Now as you now I don’t need much of an excuse to start a new project. Show me a ball of yarn and I’m away. So can you imagine what happened when I was presented with a box of 55 balls of yarn! Oh my giddy Aunt, I went new project bonkers and started two in one day!
The yarn in question is the incredible, and aptly named, Caron Simply Soft. An aran weight 100% acrylic yarn that you can machine wash and tumble dry. The 55 colours mean you can be a true artist and create any palette you like.
My first thought was granny squares. I went for muted berry tones and a starburst design. Because it’s an aran weight the squares grow in no time. The treble stitch shows of the subtle sheen of the yarn and I know the blanket will have a great weight to it. I made three or four squares before I changed my mind. (I told you I went slightly bonkers). The colours would look even better as a V stitch.
I love the V stitch design. I’ve used it before on both the ‘Spice of Life’ blanket and ‘Highland Heathers’. It blends the colours beautifully and crochets up in no time. I’ve only done a small sample of it so far but I love it. So watch this space as I think it will be a WIP in no time!
I was playing with these yarns on Mother’s Day which meant I had much more time to play. It was my first Mother’s Day at home for a few years; I’m usually away at a show. So I made the most of it and insisted on Matt & the girls doing everything. This meant I could crochet all day long, and I did.
The sun was shining so after a morning of V stitch I picked out six new shades that reminded me of spring and sat outside and started a baby blanket. I don’t need a baby blanket but that’s what the yarn wanted to be and who am I to argue. The granny squares are in a mix of five bright shades, pink, blue, green, yellow and purple and I will edge them all together in white. Wow! I love it! I’ve not got much time to do it at the moment but I’m about half way through and hoping to get it finished next week as I have a few days off. Watch this space!
Watch my latest video on our YouTube channel all about Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn. A brand new sock yarn from Stylecraft that comes in six variegated shades. I have knitted a beret in shade Eiger. Emily and Amy have also been having a play with the yarn, crochet and tunisan crochet.
Last week I shared our Facebook followers yarn favourites – part 1. This week I am back with the round up for part 2. Four more yarn categories have been put up to the vote. Along with carefully counting numbers it has been interesting reading the comments people have left to support their choices. I have included some of this feedback below. To read more take a look on our Facebook page.
Lyn says – ‘Washes and tumble dries beautifully. Lovely and soft.’
Helen says – ‘King Cole Cottonsoft I too am part of the wonderful Knitted Knockers UK group that make 100% cotton prosthesis for women who have had mastectomies …king Cole Cotton soft is the softest and comes in the prettiest colours.’
Earlier this year we put out a series of questions on our Facebook page, asking our followers to choose their favourite yarns. Rather than leaving the question open ended we offered four options to choose from in each yarn category. It was interesting to see which yarns came out as the overall favourites, there were lots of positive comments too. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for similar posts popping up over the next couple of weeks.
We started with super chunky yarns, offering the the following options –
‘I decided to use the Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester aran as my grandson is allergic to man-made fibres. I wanted a yarn that was 100% pure wool, this way there would be no chance of a small percentage of another fibre affecting him. I chose to knit with the fantastic plum – shade 11.
The yarn is so beautiful and soft. I have found it an absolute pleasure to knit with, sliding off my Lantern Moon rosewood needles effortlessly. A lovely, full bodied pure wool. As I made the jacket for my grandson I wanted to wash it before he wore it. I made sure that I hand washed the jacket to avoid any possibility of shrinking and it has washed beautifully. The yarn still has that bounce and softness it had prior to washing. I will definitely be knitting with this yarn again in the future.’
Many of you have probably seen the Wendy Thor ‘knitting’ slide popping up on our new website. There are some gorgeous shades to choose from including Viking the shade shown in the photograph. For those of you who haven’t spotted it here it is! Amazing colours and texture don’t you think?
This week Catherine (Craft Barn manager) has been knitting with the super chunky yarn. When she brought in her completed cowl I just had to share it with you. The perfect opportunity for a yarn review. Here is what she had to say…………..
‘A lovely, soft yarn to work with. I was spoilt for choice with the variety of shades. Autumnal oranges and browns through to icy Winter grey. Decisions, decisions in the end I chose ‘Aurora’ – shade 1985 as I like the hint of turquoise & pink coming through. The cowl pattern I have followed is actually on the ball band, the best thing of all you only need the 1 ball (£6.50)! I found the yarn really easy to knit and with chunky 15mm needles I soon had it knitted. In fact it only took one evening. Looking through the other patterns I think I might just be tempted to knit a cushion or pouffe cover in maybe one of the grey shades. One more thing – although there are buttons on the cowl you do not need to know how to do button holes due to the nature of the holey design.’
Having never even used bamboo needles before I was a little unsure about the Lantern Moon Rosewood needles. Will they feel any different to use? How will they affect my knitting? I knit with metal or plastic needles and have never really thought about trying anything else, I guess you just get used to something and stick with it. Although many of the Black Sheep ladies swear by bamboo needles and when they heard the Lantern Moon needles were coming in stock here at the Black Sheep I would say excited was an understatement. Leaving me intrigued for the arrival of the Rosewood needles.
Seeing the needles lay neatly in size order, exquisitely hand crafted all shiny and smooth reminded me of Harry Potter when he enters Ollivander’s wand shop for the first time to purchase a wand. Each pair unique due to the variations in the Rosewood. These are precious needles.
Since the needles arrived Sara, Catherine, Yvonne and I have all bought a pair and here is what we all have to say…………..
Sara – ‘The needles have completely sorted out my tension! Usually I would use a needle size slightly larger, knowing this would give me the desired tension. This is not the case with the Lantern Moon Rosewood needles.’
Catherine – ‘They are so smooth, lovely and tactile. It is surprising how much faster I am knitting with them. The yarn just glides along so easily.’
Yvonne – ‘They are light to hold, kind of like bamboo but with the slippy, smooth feel of metal. I am getting the best qualities of both. Using the Rosewood needles has improved the look of my finished piece of knitting. Also they have really helped with my arthritis. I would recommend them to anyone.’
Me (Amy) – ‘I can’t believe how much faster I am knitting with the needles. At the moment I am knitting with the Rowan Lima and it is coming along beautifully. They are just so easy to use and do make a difference, I think that I may have been converted!’