Cascade Magnum

With only nine weeks until Christmas, time is of the essence for knitters right now.

The most wonderful time of the year is also quite often the busiest time of the year. And nothing is better for those with little spare time than super bulky yarns. One of our all time favorite super bulky yarns is, without a doubt, Cascade Magnum! With oodles of colours available and a ton of free patternsMagnum is great for last minute Christmas gifts.

 

 

There are so many reasons to love Magnum. Too many in fact, to mention them all, but we thought we could mention a few.

Magnum is a 100% Peruvian Highland wool that is available in a multitude of exquisite shades. Have a look at some of the plush colours available.

 

 

Rich heathers and sophisticated solids make up this palette of over 55 colours. This many options will make it easy to find a colour to please everyone on your wish list! Your biggest dilemma this year will be deciding which of your Magnum masterpieces you are willing to part with! We know you started out knitting them as gifts, the intention was there–it’s just that Magnum endears itself to you with each and every stitch making it so difficult to say goodbye to.

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Due to the lofty, unspun nature of Magnum, it is amazingly warm yet astoundingly light–a pleasant surprise for a super bulky yarn! By virtue of it’s loftiness, sweaters knit in Magnum tend to keep their shape rather than stretching out because of the weight. And since Magnum is 100% wool, you’re not compromising on warmth.

 

 

Magnum knits up at an unbelievable 2 stitches per inch, meaning projects literally fly off the needles! Knit on jumbo needlesMagnum makes weekend projects a breeze.

Arm knitting? Yes please!! Magnum is absolutely perfect for arm knitting! Use a single strand for an understated look, or strand it together with different shades to create your very own custom variegated yarn.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to knit or crochet with super bulky yarns, we are positive that you will love working with Magnum as much as we do. Leave us a comment about what you love about knitting with Magnum, we love hearing from you.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

 

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Comfort Wolle Sock Collection

We have waxed on in the past about our love for H&W Comfort Wolle and with the newest collection of colours now available in yarn shops across the country, we just can’t seem to stop talking about it. HW-Comfort-Wolle

You probably find yourself wondering what the difference is in all of the sock yarns that are available these days. The primary difference with Comfort Wolle is the price point. This durable yarn is affordably priced making it a highly sought after sock yarn. A 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon blend, Comfort Wolle is strong and soft with consistent colour changes.

If you were to do a yarn search on Ravelry for Comfort Wolle, you would see that this yarn is a favorite around the world. With over 40 pages of projects, inspiration will not be a problem! While Comfort Wolle is a tried and true sock yarn sweetheart, you will be thrilled to see all of the other projects such as shawls, sweaters and even doll clothes!

One of the things we love the most about Comfort Wolle is that they introduce new colours every month. What a great way to keep lines fresh and interesting. And unlike other sock yarns, they don’t just reintroduce the same colours every couple of years, they actually come up with new and innovative colour combinations all of the time! How great is that?!!

Have a look at these 8 new shades for the October Collection. Rich shades with incredible colour saturation, this is a wonderful selection of self striping and jacquard patterns.

 

 

Should you prefer a solid sock yarn, Comfort Wolle has you covered with their Uni line. Certain projects pair best with solid colours, cables and lace for example, will show their intricacy better in a solid shade. We positively love Comfort Wolle Uni for stranded colourwork, or Fair Isle, also. Like the self patterning version, Comfort Wolle Uni is also a  blend of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon.

 

 

For those who like to indulge themselves in something a little more sumptuous, you will fall in love with Comfort Wolle Cashmere Wellness. Luxuriously blended with 65% superwash merino, 25% nylon and 15% cashmere, every stitch is pure bliss. Cashmere is said to be seven to eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, and is one of the world’s most decadent fibres. There is no way you’ll stop at just one ball! Here is a sampling of some of the newest colours available this month.

 

 

If you haven’t yet seen Comfort Wolle in your favorite LYS we strongly recommend you ask for it and give it a try. We are positive you won’t be disappointed!

Let us know what you think about Comfort Wolle and what you are making with it. We always love to hear from you!

Happy knitting and crocheting  everyone!

Cascade Square of the Month Afghan KAL

Calling all afghan lovers!! Our friends at Cascade Yarns have done it again! They’ve partnered with designer Hannah Wallace and Knit Simple Magazine and come up with yet another gorgeous afghan Knit Along.

cascade kal

The folks at Cascade know that you don’t have a ton of spare time, but almost everyone has the time to knit one square a month. One square–that’s not a huge commitment. And what a sense of satisfaction you feel, at the end of the year, when you have this exquisite afghan finished up in time for the Holidays. The only difficulty will be deciding if you keep it for yourself or gift it to that special someone.

To participate in this KAL, all you have to do is purchase a copy of the Knit Simple Holiday 2017 Issue. You probably planned on buying it anyway, right?! All twelve afghan square patterns are in here, so you definitely need this issue in order to participate.

knit simple holiday

This pattern uses 4 shades of Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash, a buttery soft, machine washable merino. And let’s face it, you need a yarn that’s washable for this. You’ll be cuddled up under this afghan with a nice hot cuppa and your knitting, and chances are you spill a little something. Accidents happen right? No fear!! Superwash wool allows you the freedom to pop it into the machine on gentle and voilà! A nice clean afghan!

If you’re looking for some neutral shades for your afghan, why not try out the colours Cascade have chosen. Rich, earthy brown tones are sure to coordinate with everything. The colours pictured above are 875 Feather Grey, 1926 Doeskin Heather, 862 Walnut Heather and 247 Tuffet.

 

If you’re still thinking along a neutral theme but you want something a little more industrial, maybe shades of  grey is more your thing. Cascade has a suggestion for that palette as well. 871 White, 1946 Silver, 900 Charcoal Heather and 1913 Jet. Classic!!

 

Looking for something a little more vibrant? Let us suggest this lovely palette of blues. These rich, fully saturated colours will make the designs in this afghan pop.  Take a look at 897 Baby Denim, 845 Denim, 1959 Deep Sapphire, and 854 Navy.

 

And our last suggestion is something a little softer, more delicate if you will. Everyone loves getting roses and we think this colour combination will remind you of just that–a lovely bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Perfect for the girly girl in you! 1963 Tutu, 901 Cotton Candy, 903 Flamingo Pink and 216 Beet Red.

 

Whatever colours of Cascade 128 Superwash you choose we would love to see them! Post pictures of your progress on our Facebook or Instagram, we’re eager to see the colour combinations possible! Be sure to follow along on the Knit Simple Facebook page as well.

Let us know if you plan on joining in on this KAL. It’s really a great way to make some new friends, become part of an online community and most importantly, get some serious knitting done!!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Spotlight on Alpaca

With temperatures hitting record highs across the country this Fall, it may be hard to think about knitting scarves and hats. However, Jack Frost will be upon us in no time and we will be digging out our warm woollies once again.

There is no better way to combat the frostiness of Winter than with alpaca. Did you know that alpaca is three times warmer than wool, hypoallergenic, water resistant, and unbelievably durable? Alpaca fibres contain tiny hollow air pockets that reduce the weight of the wool, keep heat in, but also lend breathability to keep you cool. It is also closest in softness to cashmere, but at a fraction of the price. Did we mention how cute they are too?

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We like to think we have you covered as far as alpaca goes this season. Our newest addition to our extensive line of alpaca products is Estelle Alpaca Merino Bulky. This extraordinarily soft yarn knits like a dream and is composed of 60% Superfine Alpaca and 40% Merino. What a blend! Alpaca Merino Bulky has terrific twist, beautiful color selection, and would be ideal for home accessories or your favorite bulky sweater pattern. This dream blend is also available in chunky, worsted, and fingering weights. Because we think your feet are also worthy of this amazing yarn, our fingering weight is blended a little differently: 55% merino, 20% alpaca, and 25% nylon for reinforcement. The Alpaca Merino line truly has a yarn for every project!

alpmerchunkyWe have two terrific free patterns for Alpaca Merino Bulky available on Ravelry. Designed by the ever talented Michelle Porter, this cable brim hat and cabled shawl collar are this Winter’s latest craze.

 

 

Estelle Eco Alpaca Chunky is an undyed, superfine alpaca perfect for those who want to use natural fibres. To complement our natural shades, Estelle Alpaca Chunky is available in 15 superbly saturated colors. With a silky smooth hand, this yarn glides across your needles and produces an exquisite finished product.

 

Michelle Porter stuns us again with this free mitten pattern for Estelle Chunky Alpaca. No one will have cold hands wearing these this winter! Using only 2 balls of yarn, these mittens are elbow length and have an opening on the palm for your fingers. Perfect for texting or photography.

chunky mitts

We are fairly confident that once you start knitting or crocheting with alpaca you won’t be disappointed. Whether you choose to use it for its hypoallergenic properties or for the warmth and feel, be prepared to fall in love. We sure have!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

New Estelle Patterns Free on Ravelry

No, I don’t want a free pattern…said no knitter ever!!

Let’s face it, time is money these days and with our free patterns you’re saving on both. Take a quick little jog over to Ravelry and check out the 85 free patterns available on our page. You pick one out, you print it off, and bam!! — a pattern in your hands for nothing and in no time. Does it get any better than this?

We mentioned in an earlier blog post the popularity of degrade yarns this Fall. In an effort to stay on top of the trends, we have three new stylish and innovative designs that pair sublimely with slow transitioning yarns. Written for Comfort Wolle’s new Gala Degrade, all three patterns take just one ball of yarn each. And you know what that means…only a few ends to darn in at the end!!

gala shawl

The Gala Shawl is knit from the bottom up in one piece. Simple yarn overs add a touch of delicate lace, and bands of garter stitch and stocking stitch alternate for some texture throughout. Finish it off with a few tassels and you’ve got a stunning new addition to your wardrobe.

gala tunic

The Gala Tunic is simplicity at its best. Paired with a black turtleneck and a pair of black leggings, your non knitting friends will be green with envy! This is knit top down, in the round, so when you’re done you’re done! We love no seaming!! Elongated stitches add a nice, creative detail without overcomplicating the pattern.

Gala Circ Vest

The Gala Circular Vest starts out with a two round crochet set-up, and then moves fluidly into knitted panels of reverse stocking stitch and elongated stitches. There is enough detail to keep the pattern interesting, but not so much that you need to set up a spreadsheet and shut yourself out from your family for the weekend.

There are still 82 other patterns for you to see on our Ravelry page. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know, we love your feedback!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

New to Estelle Yarns–Smilla

The bigger the stitches, the more spectacular the knit. With Lang Yarns Smilla, you will have just that, a spectacular knit. This jumbo yarn has beautiful stitch definition so the simplest of patterns will result in a sensational piece.

smilla

In today’s world time is precious. Hectic schedules don’t allow people much spare time for hobbies like knitting. With Smilla and 25mm needles, time is no longer an issue! This fashionable and wearable cowl can be knit in an evening. Also, since the pattern is simple garter stitch, this is a perfect TV project. Talk about filling two needs with one deed–make yourself a cool cowl and get an episode of your favorite show in!

 

 

Smilla is perfect for contemporary home decor as well. You have probably seen tons of cushions and throws knit with jumbo yarns in shops and magazines. They are currently all the rage–now you can make your own, to your size and your taste.

 

 

Smilla is 100% virgin wool and comes in 5 rich and earthy natural solid shades perfect for coordinating with anything and everything. There are 4 vibrant and sophisticated variegated colors also.

A pattern booklet that features eight exceptionally fun and easy to create designs that perfectly highlight the playful aspect of Smilla is available; just ask at your LYS.

smilla 400

Lang Pattern Booklet L456-0111

Smilla certainly falls into the “go big or go home” category and that’s never a bad thing when it comes to knitting or crocheting. Sometimes it’s nice to grab a big bulky yarn and giant needles and see some instant results, especially after you finally finish that pair of socks on 2.25mm needles that you’ve been working on since last year!

Look for Smilla in fine yarn shops across the country this fall, and let us know what you’re working on with it.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Self Striping Yarns

In our last blog post we talked about degrade yarns, so today we thought we would touch on self striping yarns. One of the best things to happen to yarn in the last few decades has been the introduction of self striping and self patterning yarns. Whether computer generated colors or hand painted, this craze has opened up a whole new world of knitting for a variety of reasons — no switching colors, no carrying yarn, and best of all, we no longer have a ton of ends to weave in!!

When self striping yarns first came on the scene, they were used primarily for socks and we watched sock knitting soar. We began to see people on buses, subways, and in airports knitting. The color combinations were limitless, and there was no end of fibre blends. Fast forward a few years and now we see patterning and striping yarns in an array of weights and with a ton of pattern support. For example, look at Robbie Laughlin’s free pattern, Spring Garden Shawl, knit in Estelle Lumiere.

FeatherShawlB8.5x11

Knit in worsted weight, this dispels the myth that all of the lovely striping yarns out there are only available in fingering weight. The eyelet section in this pattern gives this enough detail to make it appropriate for a fancy evening out, but it’s also something you would feel comfortable wearing as a simple throw over your shoulders for a walk in the woods. This side to side knit shawl is a must have fall accessory.

Lang Yarns

Also in the worsted weight, self striping family is Lang Mille Colori 200g. Our classic among the multi colored yarns is now available in cakes. We love cakes since they make it possible to see absolutely every color in the ball–no surprise neon green hidden in the middle of the ball that you don’t see until you’ve started your knitting!

mille colori worsted

Also in the Mille Colori line is Mille Colori Baby and Mille Colori Baby Luxe. Both are single ply, fingering weight, superwash merino yarns. Produced from high quality merino wool, Mille Colori Baby Luxe brings together a number of wonderful features: softness, breathability, easy care, and incomparable colour combinations. The addition of glinting fibres creates points of light in the yarn, like stars in the evening sky. Mille Colori Baby has all of the same wonderful features with 30 shades to tempt you. This super soft merino is perfect for shawls, wraps, and anything baby.

mille colori luxemille colori

With over 3500 projects being knit on Ravelry in Mille Colori Baby, there is no lack of inspiration for this yarn. In fact, this was the original yarn used in Christy Kamm’s hugely popular Zick Zack Scarf.

Cascade Yarns

We couldn’t talk about self striping or self patterning yarns without mentioning the ever popular Heritage Prints from Cascade. If this isn’t the softest yarn out there we don’t know what is! Available in both DK and fingering weights, there are a plethora of free patterns available.

Heritage Prints is a fingering weight, self patterning, super soft yarn in a machine washable blend of superwash merino and nylon. We can pretty much guarantee that once you knit with Heritage you won’t want to knit with anything else! Patterns and stripes emerge all on their own as you work. Available in 14 tantalizing colorways, this yarn is great for one skein projects like socks, mittens, or hats.

Heritage 150 Prints is the same great fiber blend as Heritage Prints but in a heavier gauge and also features a fun self patterning element that will make colorwork easy and enjoyable. This yarn is perfect for a slightly heavier sock, and absolutely ideal for baby projects, hats, cowls, or anything that is next to your skin.

These socks and baby sweater patterns are just a few examples of what you can create with just one or two balls of Heritage Prints 150 from Cascade Yarns. Imagine showing up at a baby shower with that little sweater as a gift. No one need ever know that you didn’t painstakingly do all of that colorwork. That can be your own little secret while you bask in the accolades.

Whatever your favorite self striping or self patterning yarn, let’s just all be thankful this dyeing technique was developed.  Do you have a favorite or go to pattern for self striping yarns? Leave a comment and tell us all about it.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!