Tag Archive | wraps

Giveaway: Kraemer Yarns

My wrap is done, and it’s gorgeous! I love it! If you love it too, read on, because I have a giveaway for the yarn and pattern!

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A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Stitchcraft Marketing about a review opportunity. Of course I jumped on the chance, and agreed to review Kraemer Yarn’s Perfection DK. I could choose from a selection of patterns; I chose the Mother Earth Wrap because I find shawls and wraps so marvelously wearable, plus I love the comfort of knitting garter stitch. It was so exciting to get the box in the mail, and I loved the presentation. The yarn was wrapped in red tissue paper closed with a charming sticker which had my name hand-written on it. It’s just the kind of touch you don’t see very often any more, and it made it feel like a gift!

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The pattern is a new one called the Mother Earth Wrap by Beth Aidala, and I think it’s meant to be a shawlette-sized wrap to wear around your neck. Mine is…not that, but that is only through fault of my own. Let that be a lesson to you: always check your gauge if you care about fit! Thankfully, this is the kind of piece that fits fine regardless of size. It would be marvelous to wrap up in when I’m feeling chilly. You could choose any six colors and I loved the bright colors they used for the sample: Bright Blue, Cobalt, Puddle, Spring Rhyme, Sprout and Flora. But of course three of mine had to be purple. I picked Jelly, Evening Song, Shy Violet, Sky, Tweet, and Elegant Gray.

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The Perfection line is 70% acrylic and 30% wool. I cast on immediately and right away I was struck by the feel of the yarn: it felt like wool to me, not acrylic, and I liked that a lot. As I’ve progressed in my knitting obsession, I confess I’m a bit of a yarn snob, and I don’t always like the plastic-y feeling of some acrylic. I didn’t get that from the Perfection. It wasn’t as soft as some of the merino I’ve used, but it felt good in my hands as I knit. I liked that tiny bit of texture that made it feel woolly. When my needles slipped out of stitches, I never dropped any; I could pick them up without a problem.

Even though I was only doing garter stitch, the yarn is crisp enough that it would have great stitch definition, making it a solid choice for intricate details like cables. At $6.99 for 260 yards, it’s extremely affordable when you need a lot of yardage. Also, it’s available in 71 colors, so this would be a great staple yarn for your stash. I could definitely see myself using this for sweaters and blankets.

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Another benefit to this yarn is that it’s machine washable. Mine went in on the gentlest cycle, then in the dryer on the lowest heat for a gentle tumble dry, and it came out beautiful. The stitches didn’t shrink or get floppy, the yarn came out soft and cozy, and the wrap, while still extra-large, retained its shape.

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My only minor issue came with the pattern; it stated to knit each color for 12″, but it wasn’t clear to me where I was supposed to measure. One of the sides? Up the middle? I got conflicting advice from knitter friends, so I measured based on how I interpreted the pattern’s instructions. Instead of measurements of 72″ by 16″, mine is 104″ by 22″. However, my gauge is also not 15 stitches and 30 rows = 4′. It’s more like 16 stitches and 36 rows = 4″. So I should have done the swatch first. Otherwise the pattern is simple enough for new knitters, and makes for relaxing TV knitting. I would just like to see the pattern have more than one photo, including one showing where/how to measure, and some that show the wrap laid out, or otherwise fully extended.

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Okay, so my wrap is done, and I’m gifting it to a good friend who’s been admiring it as I worked on it. Now it’s your turn! I have a complete set of the yarn identical to what I used, plus a color pattern, and I’d love to send it to one of you. It’s been in the box, wrapped in tissue, safe in my craft room since it arrived, so it will come to you in the same condition it came to me!

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TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me if you’ll be keeping the wrap for yourself or giving it to a deserving recipient, and if so, who is that person?

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 6 pm CST on Wednesday, May 9th. All entries must be submitted on this blog. Winner will be announced by 10 am CST on Thursday, May 10th. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new winner. Shipping via USPS first class. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. US residents and APO/FPO only please.

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who sent me six skeins of Perfection DK (retail $41.94) plus the Mother Earth Wrap pattern ($5.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Knitting a Wedding Wrap

My most recent FO is one of the coolest things I’ve done in a while: I got to knit a lace wrap for a bride. She wanted something to cover her shoulders and upper arms for her November wedding, something more like a capelet than a full shawl. She wanted it open and lacy, and I hadn’t done true knitted lace before. I spent days poring through Ravelry, looking at shawls and ponchos and wraps and capelets. I looked at knitted ones and crochet ones. I looked at fingering weight projects and bulky weight projects, though I was hoping for a thicker yarn so it would work up faster. We went back and forth until finally I found the perfect pattern: the Regalia Cowl Wrap. It called for super bulky yarn and has two size variations so you can wear it as a cowl/capelet, or a longer wrap. I chose the smaller size so it would hug her shoulders.

The color was the most important factor, since it needed to match her dress. She found some Bernat Alpaca in Peony that was the perfect shade, so I held two strands together to mimic the super bulky yarn called for in the Regalia pattern. Knitting lace was a little overwhelming at first: lots of wyif and k1tbl and p1tbl that I hadn’t done before. The first few rows were scary, and I thought I’d vastly underestimated the time I’d need to get it done. Fortunately, once I got going, it got a lot faster, and I managed to finish it in a little over a week. I loved watching the pattern emerge from these rows of seemingly random letters and numbers. I can’t imagine being able to design something like this, so I’m in awe of Brenda Lavell at Phydeaux Designs.

IMG_5327 IMG_5326Blocking opened up the lace pattern immensely and it held its shape pretty well once I unpinned it, even though it’s 70% acrylic with only 30% alpaca. It was a little bulkier than I intended, so it came out as 14″ by 46″ instead of 12″ x 32″, but that ended up working fine. The bride has a brooch to pin in closed, instead of buttons, so she can pin it to make it hang just right.

IMG_3098 IMG_3099Once the wrap was done and drying on the blocking mat, I made a quick pair of fingerless gloves with some of the leftover Bernat. They’re called the Iris Stitch Fingerless Mittens, and it’s my new favorite pattern for crochet fingerless gloves. It took some finessing to get the size right (I had to do the first glove four times) but I love the delicate lacy look, the simple little thumb hole, and how quickly they work up.

IMG_3107I’m so happy with how this project turned out, and I really hope the bride is too! It was a great excuse to learn some new techniques. Now I’m looking forward to seeing pictures from her big day!

This has been my focus project for a while. Really, the only other thing I’ve finished lately is an eye mask. My son had a mystery party at school where he had to dress up as a literary character. It had to be from a book originally, from a book the other sixth-graders might have read, and something not glaringly obvious (i.e. no Harry Potter). We chose Westley from The Princess Bride. It’s one of our favorite movies but the book is delightful too. If you haven’t read it, give it a shot. Anyway, the boy had black clothes, black headscarf, cardboard “sword” but needed a mask. Crafty mom was happy to oblige!

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