Thursday 22 March 2018

Yarn Review: Bernat Baby Blanket Tiny (from American Yarns)

Hi everyone!

I was recently given the opportunity by a yarn retailer in Melbourne, American Yarns, to try out some of their brands and write about it here. Well, who am I to say no to free yarn, and also, a lot of the American yarn brands are actually quite difficult and expensive to get hold of here in Australia! But where to start!? So many beautiful squishies, from Bernat to Caron to Lily Sugar'n'Cream, and some new Red Heart lines I haven't seen before... 

I've been admiring the Bernat Baby Blanket Tiny chenille yarns for ages to make some little animal friends. What better opportunity to try some, and also make some baby things for my own little one! American Yarns kindly sent me some in the Wildflower and Hush Pink colourways. 

The postage was very quick (fortunately, because I am very impatient) and then I had to decide what to make. This gave me time for some very enjoyable squishing and cuddling of the yarn - it is so soft and snuggly!

My first thought was to make one of Anne's gorgeous little Cross Your Heart Teddies as a cosy little friend for my tiny human, but then I thought I better find a bigger project first, as the teddies don't need all that much yarn and I didn't want to run out on making a blanket!

After perusing the Ravelry Projects Gallery for the yarn, I started with a Corner to Corner blanket, thinking that it would show off the colour changes without looking too mind bendy. However I discovered very quickly that because the lovely squishy chenille yarn has almost no stitch definition, it was very difficult to work into chains. So, that half a ball of blanket is sitting here now waiting for me to be inspired to either finish it and make a lovey, or undo it and repurpose the yarn. The outcome is extremely warm, soft and beautiful to touch and hold, just the crocheting was not a lot of fun. 

Do you have any suggestions on blanket patterns that require minimal working into chains? 

So on to the teddy. Oh my goodness, it worked up so well with a 3.5mm hook, and it is just so soft (I need to find another word for soft). My husband Kiah nearly claimed it for his own, and spent quite a lot of time the evening I finished it with it tucked between his neck and shoulder, just enjoying the cuddles. I am going to make a few more so that as they need washing or the chenille wears a bit thin, the wee flea can still have its snuggly toy! 

It's been heaps of fun trying out this yarn. If you're in Australia and looking to buy American branded yarns, have a look at American Yarns! I'm excited to dive in further and try more, but they might have to wait until after I get used to having a small baby in the house! 

Saturday 17 March 2018

Nesting: Part 1

Hey everyone!

Oh man I have been so bad at blogging and crocheting so far this year - my output is way down and my crojo has spent a lot of time AWOL. I've just been extra tired, what with growing a whole new human being! Kiah and I are having our first child, due in mid-May. So far pregnancy has not been enjoyable at all between the very hot summer, my chronic fatigue and all the usual "perfectly normal" things that go along with the whole process, so thank goodness there's only 9 weeks to go! We're not going to find out whether it's a boy or a girl until it arrives :) 

I have managed to make a few things though, and it's super exciting to be making baby things for me for once :P 

We have some big things coming along this year - continuing our work with Stylecraft and the Blogstars, a new collaboration with an Australian yarn retailer, and hopefully working with a mindfulness magazine called Breathe later in the year on another meditation CAL. Plus, there's a bunch of new designs at  various stages of production that I really should get moving on before all my time is devoted to a tiny screaming person! 

But, while that is all in progress, I thought I'd share with you the things that I've been working on over the last few months :) 

Neat Ripple Blanket

Pattern: Attic24 Neat Ripple

Yarn: Bella Baby Bambini Print, 50% Acrylic 50% Nylon

I started this blanket ages ago - the yarn is so soft and silky, and worked up so beautifully in Lucy's neat ripple pattern. When my crojo first disappeared in January it was really nice to pick up again and just do something relatively mindless and repetitive, and I'm so happy with how it came out!  

Rainbow Cloud Wrap

Pattern: Virus Blanket / Scallop Border for Virus Shawl

Yarn: Wolltraum My Melodyy 4ply in Mamma Mia (500g cake)

I made one of these for the Sydney Easter Show last year, and sold that one very soon after. I still had the other 500g cake which was wound with the colours in the opposite direction with dreams of making another one someday... Then, I was looking for a project I could take with me to sit in the extremely boring waiting room of the antenatal clinic, and picked up the second cake to give it a go! 

The pattern was so easy to remember after a few rounds, and it was a lovely project to just sit in front of the tv through this hot Sydney summer, no need to change colours or weave in ends... The texture is absolutely wonderful - warm but breathable - and I can't wait to wrap our baby in it! It's also machine washable (and goes in the dryer on low) so I don't have to be afraid to use it in case it gets dirty! 

For the edging, I found an edging pattern for the virus shawl and it was pretty easy to adapt to the square blanket. It finishes it off beautifully! 

Rainbow Happypotamus

Pattern: Happypotamus 

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Rum Paradise 

I have been drooling over this yarn forever - such bright rainbow colours... But, I am not too excited about making more socks (knitting is just so slow!?) and as it's a wool/nylon blend, what else is it really good for? 

It's good for happypotami. The outcome is just so pretty, but the texture of the yarn is a bit scratchy from the wool so maybe this will be a toy for looking at on the shelf rather than playing with :P 

I only ended up cutting the yarn to start in a different place once, for the nose piece - otherwise every piece just continues on from the previous one, and it worked out really well!

I absolutely adore the colours! 

What's next? 

Anne and I are working on a project with the other Blogstars using Polly Plum's Stardust Melodies patterns and the new Bambino Yarn - but we'll tell you all about that next time!