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Product Review

I recently rereleased one of my older patterns the Ribbed Beanie, for a newer version of this pattern that calls for one hank of Bijou Basin Lhasa.  SAVE 15% OFF the Ribbed Beanie pattern today through Sunday, June 21, 2015 Pacific Time – No coupon code needed, Sale on Ravelry only.

Finished Measurements:

Length: 8”
Circumference: 22”

Materials:
Size 4 U.S. needles

Yarn:
1 Hank Bijou Basin Ranch (250 yards, 75% yak down, 25% bamboo), shown in #49 Dinna Fash.
or
1 Hank Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay (100% Superwash merino wool, 450 yards), shown in Denim.

Gauge:
24 sts and 30 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch

This is a gorgeous blend of 75% yak (my personal favorite) and 25% bamboo.  With 250 yards to a hank and making this a one skein project, how can you go wrong?  Not only is this yarn deliciously soft, and supple but the yak down yields a gorgeous halo to the yarn which gives your finished project a hint of delicacy.  Even though this yarn seems dainty it actually pretty strong.  The 25% bamboo content allows for the fiber blend to take on rich and saturated colors and allows for the strength you need in your knitting and finished projects.  It also allows for wonderfully unexpected stitch definition, which made this the perfect yarn for the Ribbed Beanie pattern. The good people over at Bijou Basin sent me an extra hank of this Lhasa yarn.  I was going to knit another Ribbed Beanie out of it, but I thought I’d share the joy that is Lhasa with you folks.  One lucky winner will win one yummy hank of Bijou Basin Lhasa.  Learn how you can win here!

 

Join the newsletter today to find out about new patterns special events and of course SALES!!!  Visit my Pattern Store and to stay in the loop, also follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+,LinkedIn Craftsy & Ravelry !

Very often, but especially around this time of year with the cold and dry air, my hands get so dry to the point where they begin to get rough and sometimes even crack.  Even with constant moisturizing its near impossible to keep my hands smooth and hydrated.  As a knitter this becomes a more frustrating issue because my yarn starts snagging on my fingers while I am working – and that’s no fun for anyone!

A couple of weeks ago I received a lotion bar from Milk + Honey.  It was so perfect how it came in the exact time that I actually needed something like this.  I received the Bee + Sunflower bar in the lavender and rosemary scent.  WOWZA! Not only did this lotion bar smell AH- MAY-ZING, but it did the trick!  All I had to do was take the bar and rub it on each one of my hands once, then I rubbed my hands together to get an even distribution of lotion and that was enough.  My hands were once again smooth and hydrated, but the best part of all – it lasted hours and though hand washing.  That was what I couldn’t believe.  I didn’t need to reapply after washing my hands!

I have tried other lotion bars before, but I couldn’t quite figure out why I liked this one so much and what make this particular lotion bar so special.  I visited the Milk + Honey site to learn more about the company and their products.  It was then that I found out the milk is goat’s milk and the honey is beeswax.  This is a natural product that is made out of two main ingredients that are both very rich and conditioning.  What could be better?!

Milk + Honey has been around for 10 years now and started out of a home just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They have such a sweet and comforting family business story that talking about it here won’t do it any justice.  Just watch this video about Milk + Honey and you’ll fall in love just as I did.  I highly recommend this product to all knitters and crocheters.  It comes in many motifs and all kinds of scents, there is something for everyone!  Take a look!

The good people over at Milk + Honey are hosing a giveaway, enter here to win your very own lotion bar!

Join the newsletter today to find out about new patterns special events and of course SALES!!! Visit my Pattern Store and to stay in the loop, also follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+,LinkedIn Craftsy & Ravelry !

Last summer I came across a Facebook post by Etsy promoting the Esty shop PaperPhine.  I was so intrigued by what I saw that I had to have it.  It reminded me a lot of Habu Textiles (a personal favorite), but made out of paper!  I contacted Linda, owner of PaperPhine, and ordered some of her yarn.  She was nice enough to include some extra samples of her other yarns as well.  Here is what she sent me:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered this yarn…. the only thing I knew I could expect was something very very unusual.  The PaperPhine yarns range from a cobweb weight all the way through a flatter ribbon/raffia type yarn that is heavier and closer to a chunky weight.  Each yarn has a unique texture and feel… even though they are all 100% paper!  How does she do it?!  In addition to all the weights and textures the colors are amazing! She has everything from neutrals to lime green! Wow!

I am still playing around with this yarn.  I started crocheting it, I thought crochet might be a little more forgiving.  I’m not sure what I’m making yet…. it looks like it might end up being a market bag or a bowl-like object.  We’ll see… I’ll keep you posted on any progress.  I have the most of the lace weight, so I might make something like a lace shawl with it…. still not sure.  It’ll be a very fun experiment.  I might make coasters out of the rest, that seems like it would be interesting.

The one thing you wouldn’t expect from these products is strength, but I am here to tell you first hand, this stuff is strong and sturdy!  Just don’t use your fabric scissors to cut it, because technically its paper… I wouldn’t want to take any chances of dulling my scissors by cutting paper (yarn).  I haven’t tried blocking or washing these yarns yet, but it seems like it would hold up pretty well to water and heat.  I’ll keep you posted on this as well.

Are you intrigued by PaperPhine but not sure this is the right yarn for your knitting or crochet? No problem! Linda has an AWESOME and inspiring blog where she discusses all kinds of uses for her products beyond knitting and crochet.

As you may or may not know Olga Buraya-Kefelian is an incredible designer and I am lucky to say she is also a dear friend. This month her beautiful collection with Quince & Co., Circles + Dots was released.  If you aren’t familiar with Olga’s work or this collection you don’t even know what you are missing! The Circles + Dots collection is composed of five pieces, including two garments and three accessories.  Olga has a real talent for designing pieces that are not just unusual but also very wearable.  The patterns are available for individual purchase or as a collection from Quince & Co. and Ravlery.

The collection definitely speaks for itself, but below there is a Q&A with Olga.  I’ll let her tell you all about the collection in her own words. P.S. There is a little treat at the very bottom, so make sure to read all the way through!!!

   

From left to right: Effervescence Cardigan, Compass Pullover, Gyre Scarf.

GA: What was your inspiration for the Circles + Dots collection from Quince & Co.?

OBK: I think main inspiration was the yarn itself. We know that wool is such a universal fiber to work with not only in knitting, but other forms of arts as well. I was trying to create something that would sort of delve into a little of different directions, that’s why I chose the circles and its versions through negative and positive spacing and play on dimensionality. At the time of actual development of the collection I was very influenced by polka dots and how one can get its look in knitwear. Besides designing a polka dot looking shawl using lace technique, this collection helped me explore more of those possibilities and techniques.

GA: Which of these five fabulous designs is your favorite and why?

OBK: That’s a very tricky questions, because some details of each of the design are my favorite. If I had to pick, it probably would be the Effervescence Cardigan because I designed the stitch used  just for that pattern!  But all of the stitches I utilized throughout the collection were carefully picked and then customized by me, so it makes it all unique. That’s the entire process that makes designer “a designer” where all puzzle pieces are carefully picked and then created in something beautiful.

GA: Which pattern from this collection did you have the most fun knitting and designing and why?

OBK: Cowry Hat, because you get to drop stitches and see the “bubbles” pop all over for this cool textured look.

GA: Did you come across any unforeseen challenges, difficulties or surprises (good or bad) while working on this collection?

OBK: When creating a collection there are always challenges, but most often I create them myself when it comes to the finished result and I am not satisfied with the particular design detail or certain look. I wouldn’t mind ripping my work and redoing it, but that unfortunately cuts into deadline. Being a perfectionist sometime works against you and against time, but in the end I am always happier with the result.

GA: How long did this collection take you to put together from conception to completion?

OBK: I normally knit all the design samples myself and Circles + Dots is a collection of rather fine knits took about 6-7 months from sketching stage to last finished knit. But when working on a collection I do not like to rush, some stages of the process have to be done organically. If there are doubts about certain details in a designs, it needs to simply simmer for a bit and the solution for any problem that I might have been having will arrive. But I always knit on other smaller things in between, that way I keep my mind distracted and keeps everything in perspective. And when I come back to the collection – I re-evaluate it with a fresh pair of eyes.

GA: Were there any project that you intended to be a part of the Circles + Dots collection, but just did make the cut?

OBK: Surprisingly, no. I am very humbled by this, but this collection didn’t have no rejected sketches or designs that just didn’t work out.

GA: What’s in the works or what’s next for you design wise? Anything exciting on the horizon?

OBK: There is always something in the works. I am currently working on a sweater for a collection and planning several other collections. It is quite hard to juggle the volume of ideas at times. But when I am in a knitting stage for a collection, my mind is already racing towards new exciting future designs. And although I can’t start working on those right away I am always sketching the ideas down and collecting them, then reworking them. It’s all a continuous process. And when the timing is right those new designs will certainly make their debut!

 

From left to right: Cowry Hat and Flotilla Mitts.

Surprise! The wonderful people of Quice & Co. have decided to sponsor a giveaway! One very lucky winner will receive one of the two patterns Cowry Hat or Flotilla Mitts and the yarn to accompany the pattern.  How awesome is that?! All you have to do to enter to win this prize is become a Facebook and/or Twitter follower.  One lucky follower will be announced on Sunday, March 2, 2013.  Make sure you enter to win and check back on this blog next Sunday to see if you won.  The winner will have one week to claim his/her prize otherwise it will be forfeited. Good luck to everyone!!!  You can also follow Olga on Facebook & Twitter!

The knitting/cyber world had buzzing about the new Clotheshorse online knitting and crochet magazine.  I know what you’re thinking, “Oh no, not another knitting magazine.”  But this one is different.  I had the pleasure of seeing what was going into the magazine before it was published when I met up with Heather Dixon and Mindy Brown, co-founders of Clotheshorse magazine at TNNA in January.  What makes this magazine different?  Clotheshorse is a fashion forward and season appropriate magazine.  The pieces in the magazine are inspired by current runway fashions.  The selection of patterns are wonderful, they have everything from dresses to jewelry and knitting to macrame.  Clotheshorse is fashionable and wearable, there is something for everyone!

 

 

The Spring/Summer 2012 Issue has 25 fashion forward patterns.  Two of my favorite patterns are:

 

Peekamoose by Heather Dixon

 

Cobalt by Mindy Brown

 

The great thing about Clotheshorse Magazine is that you don’t have to buy the entire magazine if you like just one pattern.  The patterns are all sold individually so you can pick and choose what you would like to make.  If you like one pattern in the whole magazine, just buy the one.  If you like ten, then buy ten.  That’s the beauty of it!  Every issue offers a free pattern.  In this issue the free pattern is Morea a macrame necklace  that is done beautifully by Mindy Brown.

Not only does this new magazine have knitting, crochet and macrame patterns but they also have a great product review page where they reviewed products like Lavishea Lotion Bars, Soak, Knitter’s Tool Tin by the Sexy Knitter and more.  What I enjoyed most about this issue was the Interview with Amy Small of Knit Collage.  I love to read about how yarn companies were started and the inspiration and drive behind the yarns.  Amy in particular has a fun and interesting story about how she got started and her production, make sure you read the interview with Amy Small!  Another fun read was the “Shop Report.”  We all know that Purl Soho is a wonderful place- but in the “Shop Report” Jennifer Wendell wrote about Purl Soho and about the texture and color to the point where it transports you there.

 

I hope you enjoy this issue and all the future issues of Clotheshorse Magazine.  Mindy and Heather have been very generous as to sponsor two give-aways. Each winner will receive a free PDF of the pattern of their choice.  To enter for a chance to win all you have to do is post a comment in this blog post by Sunday March 4, 2012 by 11:59pm Pacific Time. Good luck to all who enter!

Cadmium by Jennifer Lori, Mercury by Heather Dixon & Palladium by Gyorgyi Suta