Tag Archive | yarn giveaway

I miss knitting

It feels like I haven’t been knitting at all the last three weeks. We’re pondering the idea of stepping away from the fixer-upper life that we’re immersed in, so I’ve been spending most of my spare time doing a lot of heavy cleaning in preparation for listing it. I swear, this house hasn’t been this clean since we moved in, and it’s nice to see it all pretty and shiny. But man, I’m tired. Tired of cleaning and tired of not knitting. I get to do a tooth on my NGY Hitchhiker here and there, but most of my knitting has consisted of a little bit of sock knitting during lunch breaks at work. As a result, my second Jungle Boogie sock is looking pretty good.

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Yarn: Bootheel by Show Me Yarn in Jungle Boogie. Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks.

If you haven’t already entered, you’ve got a little over four hours to enter my Appalachian Baby Organic cotton giveaway! Go now before it’s too late!

 

Giveaway: Appalachian Baby Organic Cotton

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review some U.S. Organic Cotton from Appalachian Baby. I love that it’s grown organically in the U.S. and processed by small family companies, plus it’s pretty cool that they use earth-friendly dye processes. You can learn more here, if you like. Mostly, I love pretty yarn! I got to choose from 3 color combinations, and I selected Indigo, Natural, and Doe. When it arrived, it was a delightful surprise to see the beautiful organza gift bag holding the yarn. I also liked the brown paper labels; they fit the brand perfectly.

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Each ball was 194 yards of sport weight yarn, giving me a total of 582 yards. Sport weight isn’t one I use often, and it took me forever to decide what to make with my kit. I don’t have any little babies in my life, and selfishly, I wanted to make something I could use. Finally, I decided on the Diamonds in the Rough cowl, a pattern that’s been in my Ravelry queue for ages. Since it was designed for two colors and I had three, I chose to do the main seed stitch section in stripes. At first I was going to switch to stockinette, but then I remembered the dreaded stockinette curl and decided to stick with seed stitch after all. After refreshing my memory of the provisional cast on, I got started, choosing 4-row stripes so I could easily carry the yarn up the side and avoid weaving in fifty million ends. This project took a month, giving me a finished cotton cowl in plenty of time for early fall.

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I really enjoyed this yarn. The colors were rich and earthy, and the yarn was soft in my hand, with the subtle crispness that you get with cotton. It made for a lovely squishy fabric in the seed stitch, airy and breathable but still with some substance. Given that it’s cotton, it was a little splitty, but I think I (unintentionally) made it worse by choosing the pointiest metal needles I’ve got. Still, I knit easily and quickly, a good thing since I had 30″ of seed stitch to knit! I have to say, I did get tired of it for a bit after about 20″ of neutral-colored seed stitch, but that’s no fault of the yarn, just my own wandering brain. Still, the indigo was my favorite. It’s a deep dark blue, but not hard to knit with like black is.

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My only hiccup in this project was pairing this pattern with this yarn. If you’ve ever tried to p2tbl (purl 2 together through the back loop) with cotton, you know what I mean. Cotton tends to give less than wool, so I struggled a bit with manipulating multiple stitches. I tried to remember to knit as loosely as possible, and that helped. Anyway, cotton and complicated lace are just a trickier mix than I personally like, but I have to admit the end result is attractive. The yarn blocked wonderfully, opening up the lace pattern just enough.

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And the cowl even came out long enough to wear doubled!

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I enjoyed both the yarn and the pattern. This yarn, especially since it’s machine washable and dryable, would be fantastic for baby garments and blankets. I also think it would crochet wonderfully!  It comes in seven beautiful colors, or you can buy the 3-color set in one of 3 versions: Indigo like mine, Blush, and Woodland. They’re available for purchase here.

But one lucky person can get one for free! Appalachian Baby generously provided a set for me to give away, in the same colors I used. Would you like it to be yours?

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me what you’d like to make with the 3-color set of Organic Cotton!

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 6 pm CST on Friday, July 13th. All entries must be submitted on this blog. Winner will be announced by 10 am CST on Saturday, July 14th. 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. (You don’t have to put the address in the comment field for everyone to see, just make sure it’s in the email address field.) 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 Appalachian Baby Design, who sent me one 3 Pack U.S. Organic Cotton Yarn Set (retail $35) for free, as well as one to give away. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who read and commented on the post for the Kraemer Yarns giveaway! Last night I pulled up a random number generator online and it picked my winner for me…

Number 9 is Rachel, who writes the blog From Bad to Worsted. Congratulations, Rachel! Check your email!

If you didn’t win but want to try out Kraemer Yarns, here’s a shop finder so you can see if your LYS carries it.

Thanks again to all who entered, to Stitchcraft Marketing for giving me the opportunity, and to Kraemer Yarns for sponsoring the generous giveaway!

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.