Category Archives: IRL

IRL – Sail Away with Good Earth

Buket (pronounced “boo-keht”) is one of my favorite smiling faces to see around the office here at Universal Yarn. She works part time in bookkeeping helping to make sure all of those pesky numbers and inventories make sense. Buket also happens to be a fantastic knitter.

Buket in Good Earth blog

I passed her in the hall recently to see her wearing this lovely top made from Good Earth Multi in color 203 Sail.  She knit this from the bottom up, adding her favorite lace pattern at the hem to keep herself from dying of boredom. This was a pattern she completely made up on the fly, deciding upon final details only when she needed to. I love this!

Good Earth is a true three-season yarn. It’s a blend of linen and cotton which makes it a no-brainer for summer knitting. But it’s heavy enough that when worked in a solid fabric can be suitable for spring and fall knits as well.

Good Earth is also available in Solids:

Good Earth solids revised ball pic

And an awesome spray print called Adorn:

GE Adorn backdrop beauty shot

The Billow sweater would make a fantastic fall sweater. I could see this working up nicely in the new Adorn print.


Happy fall knitting!

IRL – Llamalini Love

I was so excited to see Katie this week in her Miranda Cardigan.

Katie Llamalini cardi blog

This is a project from the spring 2015 issue of Interweave Knits. It’s worked seamlessly from the top down, beginning at the back collar. I am so proud of Katie! She knits a lot of accessories but not as many garments. And she tends to have a bit of a wandering eye when it comes to WIPs (who doesn’t?!), hence my pride at her finishing it.

The best part about this sweater (aside from Katie’s perseverance) is that it’s made in Fibra Natura Llamalini. It takes very little prompting to get me to start gushing about this yarn. A blend of royal llama, silk bourette, and linen, it has a very unique feel. It is delicate, warm yet breathable, scrumptiously diverse, and drapes well. If you’re not ready for a garment in this luxury yarn, check out our 3-skein accessory project, the Ellery Reversible Cowl.

Way to go Katie!

IRL – Gradient Garden

Talented Jen has done it again! Our Garden 5 + a tie-dye kit = awesome!

Jen Garden 5 crochet shawl colors blog


By nature I am a cool colors kind of girl. Jen’s color choices really speak to me in this crochet masterpiece.  I also love the color-block effect and the definitive lines. Here is Jen in her own words on this striking shawl project:

I had a bunch of white Garden 5 laying around the house, you know, like you do.  I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to make with plain white cotton so I decided to play around with dyeing it.  I bought one of those three color tie-dye kits at the local big box store and went to town.


I split my yarn into three hanks and dyed each hank with a separate color so that I could crochet a shawl with super long color stripes. Once the yarn was dry I Russian joined all of them together and wound a big giant ball on my ball winder.  I don’t recommend doing that since it broke my ball winder, but I had an absurdly giant ball of yarn at the end, which was kind of cool.


There is a fantastic free shawl pattern on Ravelry called the Seraphina Shawl by Doni’s Stuff.  It’s super easy once you have the repeat down and it looks awesome in just about any yarn and gauge.  This is the third time I’ve used it and I really love how it came out.  The shape of the shawl makes it easy to wear over your shoulders without it falling off and depending on the yarn you use it can be super warm for cold weather or a great layering piece for in-between weather.  I’m excited for the weather to cool down a little so I can wear it.

Jen Garden 5 crochet shawl blog

Thanks for sharing, Jen! We bow down to your fine crochet skills.

IRL – Templetop Cowl

I was surprised when Jen told me she had never done Fair-Isle knitting before. I was surprised for two reasons: 1) Jen is always knitting or crocheting. Or spinning. She always has a variety of projects going on from lace to cables and more. With all that stitching, I couldn’t believe she’d never done colorwork like this. And 2), her knitting in this piece is gorgeous! It was hard to believe this was her first attempt at stranded knitting.

Amphora Cowl 1_cu_blog


This is Jen’s version of the Templetop Cowl knit in Amphora, one of my favorite new yarns of ours. I really like the colors Jen chose for hers. That marsala red looks great on her. Jen kept her floats nice and even along the back of her work which can be the hardest thing to manage when venturing into Fair-Isle.

She told me the only modification she made in the pattern was to add one extra pattern repeat, so she cast on 162 stitches instead of 144. If you’re the kind of person who knows just what kind of circumference you like in a cowl, a pattern like this is very easy to adapt. At 144 stitches around, the original cowl measures 27 1/2″. The gauge is 5 1/4 stitches per inch. Jen knew that if she added one more pattern repeat which is 18 stitches, she’d be giving herself an extra 3 1/2″.

Even when adding in the extra pattern repeat, Jen still had plenty of yarn leftover.  Amphora’s 100 gram ball clocks in at 306 yards; not shabby for a DK weight yarn! The reason for this is because Amphora is incredibly light and lofty. Brushed yarns are really trending this fall making Amphora a timely addition for us. I love haloed yarns in colorwork projects. They have a kind of romance to them. Have you fallen in love with Amphora yet?

IRL – Lovely Llamalini

I was delighted to return home from work one day recently to find a package from Interweave sitting on my doorstep. I opened it up to find the sample of my Miranda Cardigan from the spring issue of Interweave Knits.  I promptly put it on to shelter against the blast of the A/C and have hardly taken it off since.

July 2015 Amy at desk croppedSometimes I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to knit sweaters in Llamalini for Interweave and then have them shipped back to me so I can wear them. If you’ve never worked with this yarn, I have to tell you you’re missing out big time. A member of our Fibra Natura line, it’s comprised of nothing but yumminess. Silk bourette, Royal Llama, and linen come together in a soft but rustic, complex yet refined, 100% gorgeous yarn. The fibers all take the dye a little differently so the finished yarn ends up taking on a little bit of a tweedy look.

If you’re not ready for a garment in Llamalini, check out some of our great accessory projects in this yarn. What are you waiting for?

Llamalini Comestibles

IRL – Peace Out

All of our IRL features so far have been of our knitting projects. Luckily, Heather has come to the rescue to remind us there are plenty of other things to do with yarn, like weave!



Heather is sporting her very first woven piece, made on a 10″ Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom. She used Garden 3 for the warp, and the under-appreciated Garden 10 Space for weft. I really love the way the Space looks when woven.



I am seriously impressed with Heather’s first weaving project. Overall her edges are quite nice, which tends to be the biggest challenge in weaving (for me, anyway!). She told me the experience was very meditative. And she was able to look over her project as she went, making note of the subtle things she was doing differently that made her edges appear consistent. It sounds like it was a great learning experience!



Although Heather’s “scarf” turned out a little short to be used as an actual scarf, she’s put it to good use as a headband. Heather says, “Peace out!” Drops mic.

IRL – A Happy Accident

Yonca never ceases to amaze me with her take on patterns. She almost never follows a pattern, and instead likes to put her own spin on things. Something else Yonca almost never does is to knit a gauge swatch. (Sorry, Yonca – you’ve been outed!)

But in this instance, Yonca’s excitement to dig in and start her project right away really paid off! Here she is in her version of the Boho Tank, one of the projects in our Bamboo Pop Adult ebook.

Yonca in Lumen Top_crop_blog


I can’t tell you how much I love the way this turned out. For her version of the Boho Tank, Yonca used one of our new yarns, Lumen, in color 108 Regatta. This deep blue color has been all over the place this season and I adore it.

Here is the Bamboo Pop Boho Tank, the pattern for which Yonca used as a starting place:

Craftsy Boho1


Yonca made a number of changes. Instead of a curved hem, she went with a straight one. Instead of the textured pattern on the body of the tank, she did the body in stockinette and used the texture on just the hem (so it wouldn’t curl) and the yoke panel. She decided to let the yarn shine and opted not to do any embroidery on the yoke panel.

The other big change she made as a result of not swatching was to add side panels. Yonca’s gauge ended up denser than she thought it would, and her top ended up being on the small side. She knitted a triangular shaped “gusset” for each side, and seamed it to the front and back pieces. It’s hard to see from the photo above, but these gussets transform the tank into a trapeze shape and give it structure.

Great work, Yonca!