Crochet Slippers – 1, 2, 3…Win!

Win a magazine and yarn! Keep reading!

One of the many fun parts of my job here at Universal Yarn is getting to see all the new projects about to go live in magazines. Not long ago I received an email and photo from the folks at Crochet! Magazine letting us know about an adorable pair of slippers made in our Deluxe Worsted Superwash yarn. This project is the Lucy Slippers by the talented Dora Ohrenstein.

CrochetGiftsIn1-2-3_Cvr-1 Lucy Slippers

This particular issue of Crochet! is jam-packed with tons of great projects. We’re so proud to have our yarn featured in such a cute, wearable item! I was so excited about these slippers that I wanted to do a small crochet along here in the office. Katie in customer service (you may know her for her recent weaving obsession) is also an avid crocheter. She was happy to participate!

Katie decided to do her pair in the same yarn used in original Lucy, but opted to mix things up by using several different colors. She chose 709, 710, and 731. After skimming the pattern and construction, I decided these would look great in one of our self-shading yarns. Poems was my yarn of choice, in color 584 Aurora.

Crocheted Slip‬pers hi-res

We’re partnering with Crochet! magazine to bring you a great gift, either for yourself or a loved one. We’re right on the tip of the beginning of gift-crocheting season, right? All you have to do is answer this question in the comments:

Who would you make the Lucy slippers for, and why?

One lucky winner will receive  a copy of the Winter Crochet Gifts in 1-2-3 issue of Crochet! Magazine, 2 balls of Poems and 2 balls of Deluxe Worsted Superwash in colors of her or his choosing. The cut-off for the contest is midnight, September 30. We can’t wait to hear your answers!

 

 

 

Afghan Knitalong – Block Fourteen

Block Fourteen is live!

14 Well Plaid with title_blog

Block two of our month of plaid!  Where our last block used stripes raised above the fabric of the square, Block Fourteen “Well Plaid”  creates lines of color flush with the rest of the square.

Amy Gunderson achieves this by working one vertical stitch in the row in reverse stockinette, then applying the contrasting color to the purled stitch using a crochet hook.  It’s rather ingenious.  The video shows how it’s achieved.

Neat, eh?  It’s a bit like picking up one laddered stitch, except with an entirely new color of yarn.  I love the way this looks!

As always, you can share your thoughts and work with us here, on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.    Check back in two weeks for a new technique and a new block!

Free Pattern Friday – Heavenly Henley

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Jubilation Heavenly Henley 5 blog

We’ve got a treat today!  The Heavenly Henley by Emma Welford.

Jubilation Heavenly Henley 4 back blogThis is a great combination of solid Merino XF, a soft extra-fine merino, and Jubilation Kettle-Dye, also extra-fine merino but single-ply in a riot of bright colors.  It’s a great way to use variegated yarn as a bold accent.

And speaking of accents, check out the back!  I love this little detail.  You could choose to include or omit it, depending on your taste.

Emma is a thoughtful designer, in that she considers the impact of the final piece as well as the process of knitting.  If you haven’t seen her Convertible Cowl from our Poetry at Home e-book, take a gander.

Convertible Cowl 4-shot 100

This has been a popular garment because it’s so versatile.  Like the Heavenly Henley, it’s a great use of multicolor yarn, in this case Poems 100% wool.  We’re so happy to have the chance to work with Emma again.

Happy knitting, everyone!

Throwback Thursday – Ruffles and Ribbons

It’s Throwback Thursday!

TT Ruffles and Ribbons

Awww!  Today’s Ruffles and Ribbons blanket was originally designed for Bella 4-ply, an acrylic/nylon blend.  It’s a good choice since it’s machine washable, but we have a couple of even better yarns that fit the bill now.

We’re recommending either Little Bird (344yds/100g) or Uptown Baby Sport (361yds/100g) instead.  Personally, I think I’d go with Uptown Baby Sport.  Both are soft and would work nicely, but Baby Sport has just a little bit more loft, which I think would fit well for this project.

The yarn is held doubled for the body, which is knitted on 5mm/US8 needles.  Then use just one strand of yarn and a US Size 4 circular needle for the ruffled edging.  It’s a good means of getting different effects from the same yarn.   Pretty adorable!

Happy knitting.  We’ll see you tomorrow for Free Pattern Friday!

Just Plaid

If you’ve been following along with our Uptown Afghan knitalong, you’ll know that we’re on a plaid kick ’round these parts. There are few patterns as timeless or versatile as plaid. Whether knit, woven, watercolored, or expressed in some other form, there’s a plaid out there for everyone.

With autumn approaching, I decided it was a great time to do another exercise in woven plaid. We’ve been doing lots of scarves and other smaller projects on the Cricket tabletop loom. But did you know it’s possible to make larger items like blankets on it? Natural-born weaver Katie agreed to take on this project.

To start, I picked out some skeins of Deluxe Worsted Superwash. We often have extra skeins here and there sitting around the office. To be conservative and use what we had, I picked the following 6 colors from our “honker” area:

DWorsted Superwash 721 Honeysuckle_webDWorsted Superwash 709 Lime Tree_webDWorsted Superwash 739 Turquoise_webDWorsted Superwash 728 Pulp_webDWorsted Superwash 729 Neutral Grey_webDWorsted Superwash 705 Orangesicle_web

 

Katie dutifully wove and blocked a swatch with the Superwash using an 8-dent reed, so we knew about how much take-up there would be in the finished pieces.  Next I had to do a little math. I decided a 36″ x 50″ blanket would be a nice size for a couch, and could be done in 3 separate panels. A 14″ woven piece would shrink up to about 12″. 14″ of weaving on an 8-dent reed = about 112 ends.

From there, it was time to plan the actual plaid pattern. I often turn to a graphics program like Adobe Illustrator when planning designs, etc. But for this project, I decided to see what the internet had to offer in terms of apps. I was not disappointed! I came across this website: www.plaidmaker.com. I was able to customize a plaid pattern and mirror it, using any colors I chose, any number of strands per color, etc. It was super easy! I ended up transferring the pattern to Adobe Illustrator so I could easily make notes on how many ends per color, etc:

Superwash Plaid

I also wanted to do a full mock-up of the finished blanket, just for fun:

Superwash Plaid_blanketmockup

The above mock-up represents 3 panels, each identical. One panel is woven following the same plaid in the warp. After doing some quick calculations, I determined Katie should be able to weave the entire blanket using 2 balls each of 728 Pulp & 729 Neutral Grey, and 1 ball each of 721 Honeysuckle, 709 Lime Tree, 705 Orangesicle, and 739 Turquoise. Who says plaid has to be boring! I ran the plan by Katie and got her approval.

Here are some in-progress pics from Katie:

warping

Katie makes great use of the warping peg. I can’t say enough good things about the ease of direct-warping to the Cricket!

weaving

Katie shows off her hemstitching. She plans on finishing the blanket with a natural fringe.

first panel

 

And…panel 1 complete!

I really do find plaid fascinating. The way the colors blend can be entrancing, depending on whether a particular strand is crossing over another strand of the same color or a different color; it’s like an optical illusion.

Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for a finished blanket, some how-to photos for sewing the panels together, and some beauty shots from Heather!

Infuse Yourself

I’m pretty excited. Last week, we got our first shipment of Infusion Handpaints new colors here at our warehouse in Harrisburg, NC:  Six brilliant shades to coordinate with existing colorways of Infusion.

Infusion HP 110 Ruby Mine hi-res Infusion HP 111 New Leaf hi-res Infusion HP 112 Hydro Power hi-res Infusion HP 113 Blue Riot hi-res Infusion HP 114 Purple Magic hi-res Infusion HP 115 Gray Matters hi-res

I was quoted as saying, “Oh man, all I want to do is knit with this stuff for the next month. Nothing else.” Fortunately I’ve had some time to work with the new colors, but let’s face it, I still need to eat, sleep and work.

There are a lot of things I love about this yarn, not just the delightful colorways. It is machine washable. It’s sportweight, making it great for socks, garments, and accessories. It’s an all-around joy!

As you can see, the new colorways are tonal, meaning all the shades in each color are very close to one another and belong to the same color family. Each of these tonal colorways was designed specifically to coordinate with the earlier multis. Because it can be tough to pair colors with one another without having the benefit of having all the skeins with one in person, I’ve put together this handy guide. Each of the groupings below illustrates a multi (color numbers 101-109) along with the new tonal colors (color numbers 110-115) that have an exact match with one or more shades.

_DSC0337_DSC0336_DSC0338

_DSC0340 _DSC0339

_DSC0341 _DSC0342 _DSC0343

_DSC0345 _DSC0344

_DSC0347 _DSC0346

_DSC0349 _DSC0348

_DSC0351_DSC0350

_DSC0353 _DSC0352

_DSC0356 _DSC0354 _DSC0355

As you can see, each multi colorway has either 2 or 3 tonal colors that is a direct match. Here is an example of 103 But a Dream paired up with 110 Ruby Mine:

Cuff_1

As you can see, this yarn has decided to be a sweater. The sleeve cuff here is worked in 110 in a simple broken rib pattern. The sleeve uses both 103 & 110, alternating every 2 rows. You can see the luscious blending that occurs, since both colorways share some of the same red tones.

 

Here’s a second example, this time using the same multi (103 But a Dream), but paired with a contrasting tonal color, 115 Gray Matters.

Cuff_2

Here I’ve worked a shorter cuff in a slipped 1×1 rib, using just color 115. Again, I’ve striped 115 & 103, changing colors every 2 rows.  As you can see, the striping is more pronounced. It would be even more so using more highly contrasting shades.

I haven’t decided which version to proceed with yet – I love them both! It really is like watching a watercolor painting grace the canvas right before my eyes while knitting.

The tonal colors work great all on their own, as seen here in the Razor’s Edge Shawlette:

Infusion Dragon's RazorsEdge final long

Instead of using 2 tonals, I think this project would also look great worked using a multi in place of the gray, and sticking with a tonal color for the red.

And heck, the multis look great all on their own, too. Using a slipped stitch pattern, a classic method of “mixing” handpaint variegated yarn, this little vest would look adorable in any of the colorways.

Infusion Over and Out Vest_blog

Enjoy, I know I am!

Free Pattern Friday – Superwash hats!

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Parfait and Here and There hats_DeluxeWorstedSuperwash_blog

Today, a little love for both the knitters and the crocheters!  Both use Deluxe Worsted Superwash (220yds/100g), the popular machine washable version of our Deluxe line of wools.

Here and There hat_DeluxeWorstedSuperwash_blog First, the knitted Here and There Hat.  Amy Gunderson uses right and left twists to create colorful slanting columns up the length of this cap.  A Luxury Fur Pom-Pom tops it off with an extra pop of color.  I love these pom-poms.  They’re pre-made with an attached thread that you can just tie onto your work.

Parfait Hat_DeluxeWorstedSuperwash_blogNext, the crocheted Parfait Hat.  Two colors of Deluxe Worsted Superwash topped off with a Luxury Fur Pom-Pom.  Adorable!  I tried this one on, and it looked really cute.  Sometimes it’s hard not to steal the garments for myself!

On the other hand, making my own would be another excuse to crochet, and that’s always a good thing.

Happy crafting!