Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

6 Patterns for Gradient Yarn - Round Up

In today's round-up, I've collected some pattern ideas for gradient yarns.

What's gradient yarn? They are skeins or cakes that gradually fade from one color to the next, either tonally or into other hues, saving you from weaving in ends! Some brand names you might recognise are Scheepjes 'Whirl', Garnmanufaktur 'Lola', Red Heart 'It;s a Wrap', Konkoki Mokti and Hobbii 'Twirl'. Some colours in the Mandala range are also gradients (check out my review post here) One that I haven't tried myself, but looks really pretty is the Lana Grossa "Twisted Summer Shades' 

6 Patterns that I've picked that suit gradient yarn 

Half Moon Goddess by Betty McKnit

Bonus - Coming Soon: Next month I have a new pattern out! I'm going to leave you with a sneak peek - but if you want to be first to know - then please join my newsletter list by clicking the 'Newsletter' button at the top right of the blog.

This one has been made by one of my testers - Thanks so much Jenny! She has helped me keep you guessing, but still managed to show off the gradient in her styling. 

Once again, thank you for reading

and Happy Crocheting,


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Yarn Review - 'Lionbrand' Mandala

 I've been using Lionbrand Mandala and a rebranded version for some time now, (although I've kind of stuck to one colourway) and I'd like to kick off a new series of yarn reviews with it

This post contains some affiliate links, opinions are my own.

Lionbrand Mandala is a large 'cake' yarn - 540m/590 yards, 150g/5.3 oz - this cake is bigger than your standard ball of yarn - You'll be able to make a lot from one ball.

 Mandalas are 100% acrylic, although you'll find some variations available. They are a weight 3 (light) which is usually referred to as an 8ply in Australia. It's a soft acrylic, that I've found to be very versatile. Blankets, clothing, toys - I've had great results for everything. 

Mandalas change colours throughout the cake - usually only repeated once in each cake - these colour changes can be abrupt, depending on the colour - For example, a pink to purple may fade into each other, but then change to white. The colours work well together, so if you've found yourself struggling with colour selection, a mandala may take out some of the pain for you! I have cut and restarted when I found a colour change too distracting, but for the most part, I just let them flow. 

Even though I've stuck to Nymph colourway - there is a wide range of colours and combinations.

My small Cupcake Tunic was made in Lionbrand Mandala in 'Wood Nymph'
Pattern available at

I got two Cupcake tunics out of one cake - as you can see, this second one got more of the pink in it! 

Remember when I said I've stuck to one colourway! Well, it's true - I also used wood nymph to make the Sunset Poncho (available at Ravelry and LoveCrafts)  In the background are some other mandala creations! 

Overall, I've great results using Mandalas, I've found them to be affordable, the extra length gives you bang for your buck, as well as being soft, easy to use, and easy to follow the care instructions.

I hope you enjoy my yarn review!

Happy Crocheting,


Monday, April 2, 2018

My Top Acrylic Yarns - And Where I Buy Them.

I use a variety of yarns, but I am most often drawn to DK (8ply) Acrylic. It is often dismissed as cheap, but I use it for a variety of reasons. Some of them are:

- It's easy accessible, and easily substituted.
- It comes in a wide variety of colours.
- Washes well and hypoallergenic.

Not all acrylic is created equal, and there are definitely good and bad brands. The followng is based solely on my own personal experiences and has absolutely no scientific data to back it up :) You may completely disagree with me! I have also listed the places where I buy my yarn, which may be of interest - this post is not sponsored. You can click on the names of the shops and patterns for the links.

Scheepjes Colour Crafter. (100% Premium Acrylic. 100 g/300 m DK/8ply) This premium yarn is soft, washes and wears well. It comes in 93 shades. The softness is definitely what makes it my favourite. it's light, which also increases the yardage in a 100 g ball.  It is on the pricier side of Acrylic, but I feel like it is so worth it. I purchase mine from, who also are my (sort of) Local Yarn Store. (there's a bit of a drive for me!) I have used this yarn in a few patterns - some are to be released later this year, but one example is The St Niklaas Star

Paintbox Simply DK. (100% Acrylic, 100 g/276 m DK/8ply) is available in 60 shades. This yarn feels like more of a 'standard' acrylic yarn to me. I still find it high quality and soft. Washable and smooth. Excellent stitch definition.  It is exclusively available at LoveCrochet or LoveKnitting (same company) and you can save by purchasing lots in 5 or 10. I have used this yarn for the Hug Cushion Cover.

Special mention to Paintbox Simply Chunky- (100% Acrylic, 100 g/136 m Chunky) Also available in 60 shades, just as soft as Simply DK, but also thicker, meaning faster projects! I love this yarn for blankets. Also only through LoveCrochet. I used it for my Zesty Throw.

Stylecraft Special DK  (100% Acrylic, 100 g/295 m DK /8ply) To me, this feels like a good middle ground between the colour crafter and paintbox, soft and durable. Has less stitch definition.  It comes in 80 shades. I do also get mine from LoveCrochet. I used this yarn for my Valentine Gloves. 

Special Mention to one more yarn, as I was mainly focused on DK weight yarn, but I also love Bernat Big Ball Chunky (100% Acrylic, 400 g/394 m Super Bulky) It is so thick and wonderful for chunky throws, scarves and blankets. It is only available in a few shades. I get mine from American Yarns. I have used for a few personal projects, but will have a pattern coming out later this year using it.

Thanks for reading. I am always open to trying new yarns, in all sorts of fibres. If you have a favourite, let me know!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

American Yarns - Review, with Free Pattern: "Blueberry WashCloth"

Welcome to the first in a three part blog series 

Free Pattern : Blueberry Washcloth using Lily Sugar and Cream
Keep reading for Pattern. 

I was sent some yarn from "American Yarns" to review, and have complied my thought on three types, and also included a bonus pattern for a wash cloth, made from one of the yarns sent. Still time before Christmas to make some handmade gifts!

American Yarns are based in Melbourne, Australia, and stock American and Canadian brands of yarn that are not readily available in the usual Australian Marketplace. They are familiar sounding names, ones you might see recommended by our American crochet and knitting friends online, like Red Heart, Bernat and Caron. They also stock hooks, needles, books and accessories, and provide Afterpay. I was sent the yarns to review and was not paid to do so, and the opinions remain my own. I have provided links to American Yarns and the products I sampled.

I trialled three different yarns, Red Heart Unforgettable, Lily Sugar and Cream, and Bernat Big Ball Chunky.

The first thing you notice about Red Heart Unforgettable is the iridescent sheen. It's really very beautiful. It's a worsted weight yarn, and recommends a 6 mm hook, but I did my swatch with a 5.5 mm. It's 100% acrylic, but has an unspun (roving) look about it. It is incredibly soft and quite silky. It is difficult to frog (undo), so I would recommend having a pattern in mind rather than experimenting! I did read somewhere that the thickness changes, due to the handspun look, but I did not notice this at all. The colours are variegated, in short colour sequences, but they blend very subtlety. It's quite unlike any yarn I have used before when you consider all combined elements.
I swatched up a small ripple, in 'Tealberry' and will continue to make a scarf! I will update with another blog post when that is done!

Next up, I tried Big Ball Chunky, in teal. I have used this yarn before and already have a positive view of it! I had previously bought online and had not found any Australian stockists, so very happy to now know of one. The most exciting thing, in my opinion, is the 400 g ball! It is a super bulky weight yarn with a plied look (spun) 100% acrylic, and although it recommends an 8 mm hook, I went up to a 12 mm! The down side is there aren't a huge range of colours, but the softee chunky- available in smaller 150 g balls do provide a few more choices. The colours that are available - grey, teal, black and white, suit my tastes, so I can't complain about that! I started with a simple granny hexagon, and plan to keep going until the ball is finished and have a throw for the bed or lounge room.

Finally I tried the Lily Sugar and Cream. A worsted weight 100% cotton yarn. It is plied and non mercerized. It's unusual to see yarn available in 71 grams! But that adds up to 2.5 ounces. It isn't the softest cotton I've tried, but I think that adds a certain amount of durability, perfect for washcloths and grocery bags. This cotton has a really easy centre pull and has a big range of colours, with ombre and striped options also available.

I made a swatch with the blueberry colour and a 5 mm hook. I kept going until I had made a wash cloth, and have the free pattern available for you.

Blueberry Washcloth

Using US terms. Turning chains not counted as a stitch.
With 'Blueberry' Sugar and Cream and 5 mm hook:
Ch 28.

Row 1: (skip 1st ch) 27 sc, Ch 1 Turn.
Row 2: 27 hdc. Ch 2 Turn.
Row 3: *1dc, 1sc. Repeat from *to end. Finishing row with dc. Ch 1. Turn
Row 4: *1sc, 1dc. Repeat from * to end. Finishing row with sc. Ch 1. Turn.

Repeat rows 1- 4, 6 times.
Repeat row 1 to finish.

Fasten off and weave in ends.
This will make a 20 x 20 cm square / 7.8 x 7.8 inch square.

Package up with a fancy soap, like the lime one pictured.

Thank you for reading my thoughts, don't forget, there is still time to give handmade, or out yarn on your Christmas list!