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

Monday, January 15, 2024

Reviewing Mandala Yarn and a Brick Stitch Crochet Pattern

During a recent shopping trip I spotted a beautifully colored yarn cake. It was the Mandala Bonus Bundle in the colorway called Sasquatch. I had not planned on picking up any yarn but with the holidays coming up, as well as possible snow days, I thought I might have time to relax with project. Besides, the yarn color was too pretty to pass up. 

brightly colored yarn by Lion Brand
Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn Cake 


Lion Brand Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn

I have used a variety of Lion Brand yarns over the years and I have liked the quality of yarn. So when I saw this beautifully colored yarn cake, I had no problem with choosing it for a project. 

What is a yarn cake? Historically, there are skeins, hanks, and balls of yarn. Most people are familiar with skeins of yarn. Yarn cakes are different because they are flat on the top and bottom, The starting end of the yarn comes from the center of the cake. I find that yarn cakes are becoming my preferred yarns. I don't find that they tangle or snag as easily as they do with a skein. If it is a multi-colored yarn I am able to see all of the colors when it is in a cake. And best of all, yarn cakes don't roll away like a ball of yarn does. Maybe I'm the only one who has dropped a ball of yarn and watched it unwind as it rolls across the room. Let me tell you that it is quite annoying when it happens. 

The Mandala Bonus Bundle I chose is the Sasquatch colorway. At first glance, I thought that it looked like natural, outdoor colors. Greens and blues, the colors of earth and sky, followed by yellow, orange, and a magenta, the colors of a sunset. Then I decided that it reminded me of the colors of rainbow sherbert; green, orange, and raspberry!  I still haven't decided what colors I think this self-striping yarn is but I haven't changed my mind that it is beautiful.

Mandala Bonus Bundle cake is a size 3 yarn. This is a lighter weight than worsted weight. But in my opinion it is thicker than a baby yarn. The Bonus Bundle is 1,181 yards in length and it seems that just these 2 cakes are making a decent sized afghan.  The yarn is acrylic which makes it machine washable and dryable. 

crochet

I love to crochet. Especially in the wintertime. I consider myself an intermediate level crocheter. I need patterns that do not require intense concentration, counting, or intricate patterns. However, I want something pretty. Yes. I want the best of both worlds! I want super easy/fast and an interesting pattern. 

The Brick Crochet Pattern - Jayda Institches Tutorial

I can read written crochet patterns but these days I prefer to watch a good video tutorial. I have my favorite crochet channels and usually go directly to them. Fortunately, I stumbled across a wonderful Brick Stitch Baby Blanket tutorial using Mandala yarn (Sasquatch) by Jayda Institches.

She gives very clear directions, crochets slowly so I could follow along, and uses close-up shots that show exactly where she is placing her crochet hook. It was very easy for me to create an adult-sized afghan following her directions.

If you are looking for an easy and pretty crochet blanket pattern I recommend that you check out Lion Brand's Mandala yarn cake and this Brick Stitch pattern.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, April 10, 2021

I Love This Yarn - A Review



I Love This Yarn store display


I Love This Yarn! is the Hobby Lobby store brand by Yarn Bee. It is a very soft and smooth yarn that is perfect for all sorts of projects.  It's well recommended for hats, scarves and shawls. But it's softness makes it lovely for baby blankets (afghans) and especially for plush toys and animals (my favorite to crochet). 


I Love This Yarn


I Love This Yarn on a yarn store shelf
Source: Pixabay

I Love This Yarn (ILTY) is a size 4 medium worsted weight yarn that is 100% acrylic. This makes it machine washable and dryable. It is recommended for 5mm (size 8) knitting needles or 5.5mm (size 9) crochet hook. Since I primarily crochet stuffed animals and toys, my favorite hook sizes are E and F and this yarn works up just fine in these smaller hook sizes. In other words, ILTY yarn works well with whatever size knitting needles or crochet hooks you prefer.


Yarn Specs


  • Based on the recommended sizes of knitting needles and crochet hooks, the gauges are: 
    • Crochet Gauge: 12 Single Crochet x 15 Rows – 4”
    • Knit Gauge:  18 Stitches x 23 Rows – 4”
  • Skein Weight: 5 ounces
  • Skein Yardage: 252 Yards


Metallic Yarn


I Love This Metallic Yarn
I Love This Metallic Yarn (c) Elf

I Love This Yarn also comes in a metallic version, which is 97% Acrylic and 3% Metallic Polyester. This yarn gives a nice 'sparkle' to all kinds of projects.


Crocheted dolphins created in I Love This Metallic Yarn
Image by (c) Elf


A few years ago I was given a custom order for five crocheted dolphins, specifically requested in the metallic version of the I Love This yarn. I created them in the five different colors shown, using a metallic white for the belly of each. They turned out darling, as you can see in the photo. 


Crochet Plush Dolphin in Sparkly Metallic Yarn


These dolphins are now living in new homes, but I can recreate any of the others shown in the photo, or in a color of your choice, upon request by contacting me at Coastal Crochet Crafts.


Red & White handmade octopus Christmas decoration
Crochet Octopus in Metallic Yarn (c) Elf

Keychain charms handmade yarn octopus
Crochet Octopus Keychain Charm Collection

I also have a group of crocheted octopi created in this metallic yarn. They each have a (removable) chain attached to use as a keychain charm or to hook onto a purse or backpack. By removing the chain, each octopus makes a cute little toy. 


I Love This Cotton Yarn


I Love This Cotton Yarn
I Love This Cotton Yarn on Amazon


Since I first discovered I Love This Yarn, Hobby Lobby has come out with a cotton version which is also very soft.   


The yarn specs are similar, except for the size. I Love This Cotton comes in a 3.5 ounce skein with a skein yardage of 180 yards.


Summary


As a crochet crafter, I Love This Yarn! has become one of my favorite yarns to work with. I am delighted that a custom order request resulted in introducing me to this yarn. I definitely recommend it for any or all yarn enthusiasts. 


I Love This Cotton Yarn store display
Source: Pixabay


Related Yarn Reviews:



(c) I  Love This Yarn review written by Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, March 11, 2019

Reviewing Jeans Yarn by Lion Brand

Stonewash Jeans yarn by Lion Brand.
Lion Brand Yarn Company sells some of my favorite yarns. While I'm waiting for my order of Comfy Cotton Blend yarn to arrive, I'm using some Jeans yarn that I had on hand. I had forgotten how much I love this yarn for hats. The super soft yarn, in blue jean colors, was perfect in a hat for my grandson. I think it'll also be awesome for making my Jenny Hats.

I've started crocheting chemo hats. I call them my Jenny Hats. If you'd like to know more about why I started making chemo hats the link to that article is listed below.

I've been using Lion Brand Comfy Cotton blend yarn for my Jenny Hats. Because cotton is so comfortable and because the Comfy Cotton yarn is so soft. But this weekend I did not have enough Comfy Cotton blend on hand. So I started a hat with the Jeans yarn. My goal is to make the most comfortable hats that I am able to make. 

I LOVE the Jeans yarn. It is 100% acrylic yarn - not cotton as I had guessed. It is machine washable and dryable. And the colors are awesome. "Stonewash" is the color pictured. Doesn't it look like a favorite pair of broken in jeans? 

The yarn is labeled as a size 4. In my opinion, it is on the small side of size 4. It is working up in this Jenny Hat just like the size 3 Comfy Cotton blend worked up. The Jeans yarn does not split or fray easily making it very easy to work with.

At the largest yarn store in my area, I can easily find Jeans yarn in 3 shades of blue, black and 2 shades of brown.  As I was preparing to write this, I see that Jeans yarn is being made in other colors; shades of pink, turquoise, red, and burgundy. These are labeled "Jeans Colors"

Jeans Colors - pink


Related Links:

Read about Jenny and why I began making chemo hats. I also shared photos of the Jenny Hats made with Comfy Cotton Blend yarn here

Another Lion Brand yarn that I rave about is the Wool Ease Thick and Quick. An excellent chunky yarn for neck warmers and other projects that call for a thick, soft yarn. 







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, February 11, 2019

Reviewing Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Yarn

Reviewing Wool - Ease by Lion Brand Yarn Company
I have always loved to crochet. Recently, I have mindfully taken more time to crochet. As a result, my skills are improving and I've been creating things that people really enjoy. During this time I've begun to use a new yarn: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick by Lion Brand Yarns. Outside of using Bernat Blanket yarn in a couple of patterns, I've never branched out to the Bulky and Super Bulky yarns. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm so glad I did. I am thrilled with this acrylic/wool blend yarn by Lion Brand.


Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick


I've never been a fan of wool - with the exception of work socks that have a small percentage of wool. I love those. But anything that has a larger percentage of wool I imagine as scratchy. I don't know why, but I do. I just always assume that wool is going to be uncomfortable.

During shopping trips down the yarn aisles, I am a toucher. I want yarns that feel good. One day I touched a skein of yarn that was so thick and soft that I bought a few skeins. I did not realize they were an acrylic and wool blend yarn until I got home. 

Wool - Ease Thick & Quick comes in two skein sizes: a regular skein size at 5 oz (87 yards) or the bonus bundle at 12 oz (212 yards).  Be aware if you are shopping online. It appears the some outlets show the regular skein size as the "bonus bundle". Be sure to read the weight/length if ordering online.




It is in the Super Bulky category (which is #6 on the label). And the recommended crochet hook size is "N" (knitting needle size 13).

Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. 

It is machine washable and dryable using cool temps. Do not bleach or iron.

I bought this yarn as I was experimenting - trying to crochet a very small neck warmer that someone had suggested. I ended up with the wrong pattern or the wrong size yarn during my experimenting. Then I gave this yarn and a "N" hook a try. And ta-dum, I have great neck warmers that people are enjoying.


Related Links:

My neck warmers on Etsy
If you'd like an acrylic/wool blend neck warmer and don't feel like making your own, keep your eye on my Etsy Store. I will offer these neck warmers with button closures at DawnRaeCrochet as I get them made.

If you'd like to make your own scarf from this yarn, you can check out the crochet patterns on Lion Brand Yarn Company site. If you are a beginner, this "Brunch With Friends Scarfie" would be a good pattern to try. 

I am not good at writing patterns. So I cannot give you an actual pattern for my neck warmers. But for those of you who do crochet this may make sense to you:

  • chain 9 to 11 (depending on the desired width)
  • turn and single stitch in each stitch; continue for 6 rows (beginning each row with a ch 1 and turn)
  • ch 3 and turn, DC in each stitch
  • continue for desire length (mine are around 27")
  • end with a row of single crochet for a finished edge
  • attach a button (or 2 buttons) near the end of 6 rows of SC
  • the button holes are the spaces between the DCs (making the scarf able to be worn in a variety of ways/lengths).



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, February 13, 2017

Slipper Socks Review


Crocheted slipper socks are amazing. I have crocheted many pairs of slipper socks over the years, customizing the colors for friends and family. This year I bought yarn with the intention of again making slipper socks as gifts. Sadly, I have not yet found the time to crochet those gifts. But fortunately, I have found my beloved slippers socks for sale on Etsy and will review the reasons these are a favorite item with people I know.

Crocheted Slipper Socks


I have made these slipper socks off and on for many years. And I have a few friends who hint at wanting a new pair in a new color every time we see a scrap of yarn anywhere. 

Today I was looking for the online pattern as I may have some time to do some crochet work.  It was during that search that I found the finished slippers for sale in Etsy shops!  

Why These Slipper Socks Are Recommended


I have made these slippers for a woman who often gives handmade things to her friends and family as gifts. It was intimidating to make a handmade gift for her, but I did. I gifted her with a pair of these slipper socks that I had made, and she loved them. She wore them daily and is the only person I know of that has worn a pair threadbare.  She told me that was only because she wore them daily - including the daily walk down her paved driveway and to her mailbox! That is a high review if I've ever heard one. 

Blue Green Slipper Socks
I am able to recommend the slippers in this Etsy shop because I am familiar with the pattern. It is an excellent pattern - one that fits well. WiseAcreBoutique also offers customized sizes with your foot measurements. I am aware that this pattern is easy to adjust to unusually long, narrow, or wide fit because of the ease of adjusting the pattern. 

A few reasons these slippers are socks are recommended and requested by friends: 


  • they are made with worsted weight acrylic yarn
  • made with two strands of yarn - increasing warmth and softness
  • I have always tossed mine into the washer and dryer with no problems
  • the pattern creates a "heel" that is not bulky, fits well, and keeps the slipper sock in place
  • it seems the ridges under the heel would be uncomfortable when in fact, they provide cushioning
  • easy to pack in a suitcase for travel
  • can be made in solid and variegated yarns 
  • the "cuff" can remain upright or be folded down - I like to fold mine down. My friends keep theirs up for added coverage
  • the fit is reliable - in similar size ranges as socks. 
  • the pattern can be adjusted to fit a variety of feet 

Slipper Socks at WiseAcreBoutique 

There is a good chance I will soon make the time to crochet the gifts I've been planning for my friends. Those same friends who have hinted and outright asked for a new pair. The yarn is already purchased and waiting in my closet. But it is still unlikely that I will make the time to crochet a pair for myself. Because of this, it is good to know where I can purchase a pair of these awesome slipper socks for myself. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, December 15, 2014

Bernat Blanket Review

I do not consider myself a crafty person typically. But every winter I do find myself sitting and crocheting.  And every year I am able to make at least one item for a gift.  This year, I have made a very exciting discovery.  There is a fairly new line of yarn that has me head-over-heels with crocheting this year.  It is the Bernat Blanket Yarn.

Crocheted Cowl by the author
My first project was a cowl that I made for myself.  I very loosely followed a different pattern I had found on the internet. The good thing about just winging it was that I ended up with a cowl that I love. The bad part is that I can't replicate it exactly since I didn't count stitches or pay close attention to how many rows.  I can tell you that I started with joining a chain in order to make a loop around my neck at what I thought was a desired length.  I completed the second row of single stitch. Then I used rows of double stitch, with one row of decreasing.

My second project was an easy scarf pattern. I am making a gift for a child at the school.  He has asked me to teach him to crochet and since that first lesson he has been busy making gifts for his family members.  I thought he might like to have a scarf of his own. The scarf is 8 single stitches across each row. Easy peasy.  

After I finish his scarf, I think my next project will be a throw or blanket. Perhaps the one featured in the following video. 

This video is a bit long, but excellent in showing a step-by-step blanket pattern with this yarn. It shows steps from start to finish.  Please note, how soft and lush this yarn appears.  It feels even better than it looks. 









Bernat Blanket Yarn, Mallard Wood - photo by Amazon

Bernat blanket yarn can be found at craft stores as well as online.  It is a Gauge 6 - Super Bulky Chenille yarn.  It comes in ball size: 300 g/ 10.5 oz, 201 meters/220 yards. It is machine wash and dry.  When I bought my first ball, it seemed a bit pricey. But I have made two scarves so far, and haven't gotten to the end of that first ball.  


Crochet Hooks for Bulky Yarn - photo by Amazon
I wasn't prepared to crochet with this yarn since it was an impulse purchase. I saw the yarn, touched the yarn, and had to have a ball of it right then.  I didn't have a pattern and I had no plans to crochet that weekend. I knew that I didn't have any hooks that were large enough so  I did purchase a set of crochet hooks for bulky yarn. I'm happy using the N hook.  The size N hook gives me a really nicely sized stitch.  


This Bernat Blanket yarn (and I'm sure I'll try the Bernat Baby Blanket yarn soon) is amazing stuff.  You can bet that my crocheting this season will not end with just these two scarves. If you like to knit or crochet, I urge you to check out this luxurious yarn.

Bernat Blanket Yarn,Vintage White - photo by Amazon
Bernat Blanket Yarn, Silver Steel - photo by Amazon





Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with Amazon.com, Dawn Rae is a content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of  Amazon  products.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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