Soxy Lady Can Take You Places

It is easy to shy away from yarns that have “Sock” anywhere in its name, or on its label, after all a few crocheters work up socks, but not most. However the name really should not place a limit on its possibilities.

Sock yarn is typically a lighter weight, either a fine or lace weight and sometimes even a light weight. By weight I am meaning the diameter of the strand, the smaller the diameter the skinnier the yarn, the smaller the weight. Some yarns will identify this on a numbering system, in which case sock yarn can range from a number 1-3, with a number 2 being the most common.

Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady www.lindadeancrochet.com

Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady yarn

I have been playing with Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady, which is comprised of 60% superwash wool, 20% alpaca, and 20% nylon, with a generous yardage of 437yrd/400m/100g per hank. It is soft in the hand and creates a nice stitch definition. It has a bit of springiness yet not enough to compete with the openness of lace work.

There can be a benefit to working with a sock yarn, especially if you are not use to using “luxury” yarns. One of the most obvious benefits is price. Price per yarn makes this a very economical value. In some cases you can make a complete shawl from a hank or two of sock yarn, and feel like you have created something of heirloom quality.

Another benefit is that it is usually created with some durable fibers. Often the fibers will be machine washable, such as superwashed or boiled wools, making lit more family friendly and easy to care for. It usually contains a filament that gives added strength to the overall yarn construction and use, such as silk, nylon, or some polyesters. This fibers are strong and wear well, and when you ideally make socks you do not want to replace the heels all that often. So the yarn is designed to wear better and hold up longer.

Often the color variety is vast and the selection of yarn is great. Smaller yarn companies offer a sock weight yarn, and fun colors are always available. Some have short color repeats, some have long color repeats, some have muted tones, and others are vibrant. There really is a lot of selection.

The Soxy Lady by Diamond Luxury fit all the above characteristics, and I can see great possibilities for it in the future.

Vermont- A Nice Yarn

It seems like I am always saying that not all yarn is created equal….there is really so much that subtly goes into making yarn that it creates a large difference in how it works up in your final project. Tahki Yarns Vermont is a yarn that has some great quality that easily adds a little luxury to your project.

It is comprised of 50% Merino Wool and 50% Superfine Alpaca, since both of these fibers are have a small micron count (the diameter measurement of the individual fiber) this is a really soft yarn. The property of both of these fibers is one of working well to retain heat, so this yarn is warm. It also has a nice soft loft to it, allowing it to trap air, resulting in warmth as well. Even listed as a worsted weight, this yarn seems to be on the light side, but does work up well with 5-6mm hooks and needles.

Vermont by Tahki yarn www.lindadeancrochet.com

Tahki yarns, Vermont

This is an eight ply yarn, meaning it has eight individual strands that are spun together. This creates a nice and round yarn. That might sound odd, but when you ply strands of yarn together the actually shape is not perfectly round. Imagine twisting two ropes together, there are spaces where the ropes touch that prevent it from being a complete circle. So the higher the number of ropes the more of this gap that is filled in, making a more round yarn.

Typically the rounder a yarn the better it can highlight a stitches definition, that is true with Vermont. This yarn has a nice definition, the only distraction from the stitch itself is the marbled color of the yarn. All color options for this yarn look like natural colors, and are worked together in a manner that is reminiscent of tweed, but a bit more consistent. This makes for a very gender neutral color scheme, allowing it to be perfect for an item accepted my many.

Vermont by Tahki Yarn www.lindadeancrochet.com

Vermont by Tahki yarn

The ball size is not that generous, on 93 yrds/85m per 1.75oz/50g, so one ball could probably complete a hat, but any other project would need to have a few more. Overall though, a very nice yarn, that will create a very treasured item. Due to the size I feel that this is a yarn best suited for accessories, a nice hat, gloves (fingerless or otherwise), or maybe a scarf. I could make a nice sweater, but the yardage needed would require many balls and might be price prohibitive.

Arya Ebruil Yarn Has Some Definite Possibilities

ScannedImageYarns with only a single twist can create a unique stitch that is well defined and full, but there can be some draw backs. I experienced these with a new yarn, Nako Arya Ebruil.

0707161840c

Nako Arya Ebruil yarn

The yarn has beautiful colorways, with long gradient color, so long that it maybe that only the beginning and end use of the skein will share the same tones. It is lovely lace to superfine weight yarn comprised of 80% Acrylic, 10% wool, and 10% Alpaca, so it is not only durable, but has a little extra warmth. The feel is quite soft, and the single strand has a nice twist.

So what is a single strand? Well yarn is usually made up of multiple strands of twisted fiber that are plied together, meaning they twisted together in the opposite direction than they were originally created, it is this tension that creates a study yarn. A single simply means that it is only one, being the initial twist of the fiber, there is no plying with others to create a tension. This does cause some definite positives as it creates a nicely defined stitch, and can easily highlight various stitch work, but there is a drawback, it tends to pill, and is not a yarn that you want to rip back often as it usually snags on itself. This is due to the fact that the individual fibers are not as securely “locked” into the yarn structure and can break free of the twist. All of these characteristics are present in this yarn.

That being said, it still has a nice drape and feel that encourage me to put it to use. I can see where this yarn would lend itself very nicely to a wrap of shawl, possibly even a garment (I would suggest sleeveless, to avoid underarm pilling).

Another Crochet Journey, New Projects, New Inspirations

ScannedImageOne of the things that I really enjoy about crochet is that it has so many possibilities. When I began crocheting I created scarves and Barbie dresses, then I worked afghans….many, many afghans. I really didn’t even begin to make hats for several years as I was a little intimidated with working in the round and the working it straight, I was fine with the flat circle, but the contours of a hat use to intimidate me. I think I may have made my first sweater before my first hat, not much before, but before. When I realized that I was just creating fabric garments became my new go to, (and I include shawls in my garment category, as it took me a long time to place a shawl in my personal wardrobe).

IMG_7000.1

BBD (Baby Brown Dog)

Looking back on my time stitching I can see certain trends, however I never really got into the trend of doilies or toy making. However, I find myself taking inspiration from the work of classic thread doilies and applying it to some of my current designs and at the prompting for some of my crochet students I have been investigating some Amigurumi.

In playing with the techniques used to create toys, I have made up a little puppy. BBD (Baby Brown Dog as it is affectionately referred to in my home), is created with 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK yarn, so it is really quite soft and cuddly. This stitches used are simply single crochet, with the only challenge being the Magic Loop beginning (that can be substituted if desired with alternative circle beginnings). Simple increases and decrease are worked for the overall shaping. The paws have a little special touch of having nickels added to give a little weight to the legs so that they always want to hang downward (so it can be recognized as a 20¢ puppy).

I may not be someone that creates things like this often, but I will admit, this little dog has gotten to me, and even I enjoy cuddling with it. Sometimes working on things outside your everyday comfort zone can inspire new ideas, BBD already has me things…I wonder where this journey might take me.

If you would like to take a journey with BBD you can find it on Ravelry and Craftsy for only $5.50 US.

 

The Final Gift Bag Giveaway!

ScannedImageWow after 4 other giveaways from the gift bag at the Marly Bird Designer Dinner at TNNA Summer Trade Show in Columbus, OH, there is still enough yarn to have 1 more!

DSCF0990

Classic Elite Yarns, Red Heart Yarn & Knit Picks

The yarns for the final giveaway all have something pretty special about them. Like the Knit Picks Wool of the Andres. It has a beautiful heather of brown, and is created with 100% Peruvian Highland wool. It is not the softest yarn I have ever experienced, but it has great stitch definition and durability, great for outer ware or accessories. It is easy to see why many people use this as a “go-to” yarn.

Red Heart Boutique Infinity definitely is something special as well! It is a chain ply bulky weight acrylic/polyester/wool/nylon yarn. A chain ply is a yarn that is not strands spun together as basic yarns are, it is usually a single strand that worked like a crochet chain or like a knit I-cord. This is a very simplistic explanation, as the process for each company varies, but it should at least give you an idea. It has a little sparkle to it, and will work up quickly.

The yarns from Classic Elite Yarns are fitting the title. Inca Alpaca seems lush, with a nice hand and nicely saturated color. It offers great drape and I image would make some nice accessories, such as a shawl or gloves, maybe even a hat, but it can even work up as a nice sweater. While Fresco is comprised of wool/baby alpaca/angora is a lighter weight and softer than Inca Alpaca. It is quite yummy. They even have their own drawstring project bag, and who does not need another project bag?

This last gift bag giveaway definitely has some fun and interesting things to play with, and if you would like to sample the above mentioned, please leave a comment on this post by the end of Friday, July 31, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random with the winner announced the following day on my Facebook page and Twitter.