Well, I’m out of town yet again.  You know what that means… another giveaway! This time I’m away a little longer than usual, so instead of one week to enter, you’ll have two.  Lucky you!

What’s the prize? Glad you asked!  One very very lucky winner will receive the yarn and pattern to make one of my newer garment patterns, Silver Lining.  The winner will be able to choose to one of three colors of ShiBui Linen to make the Silver Lining pattern in the size of their choice (color choices coming soon).

Here’s how to enter, all you have to do is become a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest follower.  I will choose one follower from only one of three social network (I’m not telling which one).  One lucky follower will be announced on Sunday, May 26th, 2013.  The winner must claim his/her prize by Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 or he/she will forfeit the prize and I will choose a new winner.  That means that even if you didn’t win, you might still have a chance.  So keep checking back!

Two Sundays ago was the fourth and last day of the second annual LA Yarn Crawl.  I had the pleasure of being able to check out several stores that I have never been to before.  It was my first time visiting A Major Knitwork, The Yarnover Truck, Abuelita’s, and the Little Knittery.  All lovely shops with so many great things to offer. I also had the pleasure of visiting two other stable yarn shops in LA, Unwind (of course) and La Knitterie Parisienne.

I was particularly surprised by Abuelita’s in South Pasedena.  I’ve known about the shop for years, but I had never heard anything about it.  What a cute store in such a cute part of town!  A pleasant surprise.  Among carrying beautiful yarns of all kinds the shop was fully stocked with all kinds embroidery supplies.  This was such a pleasant surprise for me, I didn’t expect anything like that at all.  Among all the Pearl Cotton and other embroidery yarns, there were so many other fun accessories for knitting and crochet.  I really had to restrain myself!  I even ran into a friend of mine there, Mira Cole owner and creative genius behind Baah Yarn, a wonderful hand-dyed yarn company with absolutely fabulous colors!

A Major Knitwork is another shop I have always wanted to visit.  I know the owners well, a sweet and spicy mother daughter team that are always ready to assist with a smile.  Definitely check it out if you’re ever in the valley.

The Yarnover Truck was also a fun little adventure.  A truck! Filled with yarn! Sounds like a dream come true.  The neat thing about this shop is that its constantly traveling all around southern California.  How fun is that? You can follow them on Twiter and Facebook to get updates on their current location and their traveling schedule.

Another major LA shop is Unwind in Burbank.  It was buzzing like crazy in there.  I went in on a Sunday, and walked in on a blocking demo being held by Stephanie (the owner).  I thought that was a really neat little treat for crawlers to walk in on…. especially me since I am such a stickler for blocking.  I only wish I had gone to Unwind on a Thursday or a Friday to see what I had missed out on.  I may never know.  But I did go to Porto’s for lunch, of course…. yum!

All in all this was a really fun crawl.  I only regret I couldn’t visit more shops.  Hopefully next year I can visit all the ones I didn’t see this year.  Oh, and here is a picture of all the goodies I bought…. can’t wait to use them all!

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.

Congratulations to Facebook follower Tina Tiffin Williams – you are the lucky winner of the Hydra pattern PDF and yarn giveaway!  Please email Me@GraceAkhrem.com with your full address and the size you would like to make to claim your prize by Monday, April 1, 2013.

Remember almost a year ago when I got started on that granny square blanket?  It started off as a little project to bust a little stash and some leftover yarns.  After a while this project took on a mind of its own and became something I hadn’t intended for it to be, I started buy more yarn for it!  I went crazy with this thing! It was constantly on my mind and I was always thinking about the palate of the blanket and what other yarns I could add.  Well, I finally finished it!  Drum roll please….

   

There are 315 squares and I used about 33 different yarns including leftovers from other projects, stash and yarns I purchased specifically for this project.  The blanket measures 58″ x 41″ after blocking and including the border.  Each square is completely different from the next– no two are alike! I finally finished one of my goals from last year! Woohoo!  Now I just have to knit up the Triangles, Diamonds, and Squares… Oh My! blanket (I already have all my yarn colors chosen, I’ll share some other time) and learn to quit to get this years goals checked off the list!