Ravelry Spotlight- Estelle Worsted Projects

As most knitters and crocheters often find themselves doing, we were browsing through Ravelry over a cup of tea recently, and decided to search our own yarn, Estelle Worsted to see what you talented people have been busy making with it.

Upon doing so, we discovered that there is a truly fantastic collection of projects that have been knit using our popular worsted weight acrylic, wool, nylon yarn! And after contacting each of the knitters and crocheters for their permission (and to simply gush!), we thought that we would share a few with you.

First up, we have the Ravelry user hotcheese, who knit a Mavis Cowl, designed by Melissa Thomson. Using less than two skeins of Estelle Worsted in shade Q61218 Limoncello, this cowl looks cozy, sophisticated, and like a real treat to knit! A fun way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise plain coat/outfit, we seriously love how this cowl of Sarah’s turned out! The added bit of shaping to the top keeps it snug against your neck, so as to avoid any snow or brisk winds from making their way down you front! We definitely have one of these in our queue… and can’t wait to cast on pronto!

Next up, we have crocheter extraordinaire Suzanne. Suzanne found a cardigan that she loved on Pinterest, and through some crafty Google searching, managed to figure out the pattern- Bankok Jacket by Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby. The end result could not be more beautiful! Made using seven skeins of Estelle Worsted in shade Q61205 Black, which she purchased at River City Yarns in Edmonton, this sweater truly is a work of art. Details can be found on Suzanne’s Ravelry page, including photos of her simply stunning finishing and workmanship. Such an inspiration!

Since accessories are always a great way to try out either a new yarn, or a new technique, we love the idea of using Estelle Worsted to knit up a Banff Hat by Tin Can Knits, just like Margaret (aka ladyquiltsalot on Ravelry).  Using stranded knitting to produce a lovely tree motif around the perimeter of this hat, you can have a lot of fun with colour combinations. And while we can’t say for sure, we suspect that there may even be enough yarn leftover to reverse the colours for a second hat! Job well done Margaret! It’s gorgeous.

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Have you had a chance to knit with our Estelle Worsted yet? If so, leave a link to your Ravelry project page in the comments! We would love to see your work.

And if you haven’t yet had a chance to knit with the Estelle Worsted, be sure to pop into your local yarn shop to see if they have any in stock! The colour range is vast, so there is sure to be a shade for each and every one of you.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Yarn Spotlight- Cascade Hampton

The warmer days are finally upon us (at least, in this part of the country they are!), and if you haven’t already lined up a few warmer weather projects- it’s about time that you do!

Knitting with cotton and linen in the warmer Spring weather is heavenly, and wearing it is even more so! And while Cascade Yarns can boast a very healthy line up of warmer weather yarns, one in particular stands out to us these days.

Cascade Hampton is a 70% Pima Cotton, 30% Linen yarn that knits up at a DK weight gauge. Available in fifteen Summer-suitable shades, this yarn is perfect Summer tops, warm weather accessories, and blankets for those Summer babies.

We know that working with linen yarn is not something that every knitter or crocheter loves, as it does has a tendency to be somewhat harsh in the hands. However, once washed and worn, it softens into a drapy, gorgeous fabric.

Being that Cascade Hampton is a blend of both cotton and linen, the gorgeous drape of linen, and the softness and comfort of cotton marry together beautifully, making it an absolute pleasure to work with.

If you are unsure as to whether or not a cotton/linen blend yarn is right for you, allow us to suggest this quick, one skein project to hopefully sway you in favour of this beautiful blend.

The Navarre Shawl by Laurie Beardsley is the perfect size for popping on when the air conditioning gets too brisk on the nape of your neck, or the sun gets too intense on your shoulders. Pick up a single skein of Cascade’s Hampton, download the pattern by clicking here, and get knitting!

To find a skein (or two!) of Cascade Hampton, click here to find a local yarn shop near you that carries it, and get your needles poised to cast on a Navarre Shawl for you, and everyone you know.

Happy knitting!

New Yarns from Borgo de Pazzi

With Spring taking an unusually long time to happen in this part of the country, we don’t feel as though it is out of line to get excited about some of the new Fall yarns. It’s chilly outside! And a cozy wool sweater or blanket doesn’t sound half bad these days! And while none of the yarns that we are about to tell you about are actually available as of yet, we can still (easily) find ourselves feeling enthusiasm toward them.

First up, we have Borgo’s Puno. This aran weight yarn is available in a truly gorgeous range of twenty tweed shades, perfect for some classic colourwork, or rich cables. For those that love the traditional, this yarn is most definitely for you! But for those of you that love to mix the traditional with modern, the colour palette of this yarn certainly allows you to do that beautifully. Composed of 50% wool, 30% Polyamide and 20% Alpaca, Puno  is durable and warm, with a gorgeous halo that will soften the look (and feel!) of this yarn, but won’t interfere with any stitch patterns.

Ginevra is a bulky, chainette yarn that is available in seven earthy, tonal shades. With 60% acrylic and 40% Wool, this yarn is soft, lofty and warm, making it a great yarn for gift knitting.

Perfectly chunky, knitting at a gauge of 8 stitches over 4″ on an 8-9 mm needle,  this yarn is wonderful for those of us who may be craving an (almost) instant gratification project.

Pair a skein of this yarn with some needles, and the promise of a little one-on-one time, and you have the ideal gift for someone wanting to learn how to knit. A simple cowl made using a skein of Ginevra would be the perfect beginner project!

Angora is a heavenly soft fingering weight yarn, available in seven, bright, variegated shades. With this kind of halo, and these sort of gorgeous colours, there is no need to get complicated with your stitch work- let the yarn do all the talking! Perfect for lightweight (but warm!) sweaters, sophisticated accessories and delicate detailing.

Borgo’s Angora has a whopping 250 metres per ball, with 40% Angora, 40% Polyamide and 20% Wool. This yarn is warm, durable, and beyond soft. And for those who have heard stories regarding the unethical nature of angora harvesting, we assure you that the Borgo de Pazzi Angora is cruelty free.

So really- what’s not to love?

As always, Borgo de Pazzi spins all of their yarns in their family owned mill in Italy, so you know that each ball Borgo yarn that you buy, will be of the highest quality standards.

Patterns for each of these yarns will be released as the Fall knitting/crocheting season draws nearer, and these yarns will be available in your local Canadian yarn shop as of August, 2017.

In the meantime, happy planning! We look forward to hearing what you hope to do with each of these gorgeous yarns!

Stay warm everyone!

Top 10 Cascade Patterns of 2017 (So Far…)

We have been counting down the Top Cascade Patterns for 2017 (thus far) over on the Estelle Facebook page, but we thought it might be fun to round up the top ten on the blog!

Not only is it always fun to see what other knitters and crocheters are making/downloading, but it’s fun to explore new (not to mention- free!) patterns! You just never know… you may find yourself inspired by a pattern that you would have never looked at otherwise.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 downloaded free patterns from Cascade Yarns’ website for 2017.

Number 10Blueberry Hill by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade Anthem

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Number 9– Groovin’ Cowl by Shannon Dunbabin in Cascade 220 Superwash Aran 

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Number 8Textured Top Down Cardigan by Cheryl Beckerich using Cascade Sarasota

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Number 7Alpine Shawl by Cristina Mershon using Cascade Ultra Pima (this pattern is crochet!)

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Number 6Knotted Openwork Cowl by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade 128 Superwash Multis

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Number 5Swirls Hat by Anna R. Simonsen using Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Merino (this pattern is crochet!)

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Number 4Tivoli Hat & Mitts by Cheryl Beckerich using Cascade Yarns Tivoli

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Number 3Danny Boy Hat by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade 220 Superwash Merino

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Number 2Milestones Blanket by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade Pacific Color Wave

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Number 1Beginner Brioche Cowl by Andrea Maglisceau using Cascade Yarns Pacific Chunky

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So be sure to queue up the patterns that you love on Ravelry, and let us know which ones you have cast on! If you want to keep up with the Top Cascade Yarns Patterns of 2017 (thus far), be sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook, where the countdown continues!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

New Contest! Tiny Pebbles Poncho by Helen Firing

With our last contest having recently wrapped up, and all of the winners having been contacted, we are excited to announce the launch of our next contest which is being held over on our Facebook page!

We have introduced everyone to Helen Firing on the blog before, as she is responsible for many of the free Estelle patterns available on our website and in local yarn shops across the country. The latest of her patterns, Tiny Pebbles is a gorgeous poncho, knit using one ball each of Lang Yarns Tosca Light, and Cascade Yarns Roslyn.

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Knit while alternating between the solid Roslyn yarn, and the gently colour shifting Tosca Light, this poncho has flattering lines, that promise to keep you cozy throughout those transitional days and months, and a comfy cowl neck that will help keep the chill at bay. This garment would look just as perfect over a pair of jeans as it would over a little black dress and some boots. It is such a versatile piece!

A great project for socializing or being on the ‘go’, one size will fit most. Perhaps you might consider whipping up a couple as Christmas presents? Because who wouldn’t love opening up one of these on Christmas morning? We guarantee that each recipient will throw it on over their shoulders the minute they unwrap it, and will proceed to leave it on until their turkey dinner forces them to shed a layer (or two!)

Entering this contest could not be more simple.  Simply click here to view our Facebook post, ‘Like’ the post, leave a comment, and you are entered!

This contest runs until May 25th, so you have plenty of time to spread the word throughout your knitting circle. Only catch? This contest open to Canadian residents only please.

Should you want to get started on this poncho right away, you can purchase Helen’s pattern on Ravelry for only $5.00, and cast on today! Click here to view the full range of Tosca Light and Roslyn shades, and then pop over to your local yarn shop to pick up all of your required supplies. (Don’t forget those 5mm needles!)

Happy knitting everyone!

New Yarn- Manos Serpentina

Manos del Uruguay is well known for their vibrant colours and truly unbelievably soft fibre blends. It is impossible to imagine knitting or crocheting anything in a Manos yarn, that is not absolutely gorgeous.

And while Manos has never been afraid of colour or texture, they are pulling out all the stops with their latest yarn, Serpentina.

Serpentina is hand spun in Uruguay, using 100% Superwash Merino wool. With a thick and thin texture, and subtle blips of colour popped throughout, this yarn will be an absolute pleasure to both knit, and wear.

Everyone here at the Estelle office has already been plotting what we will each knit with the Serpentina once we get a skein or two of it into our hands. One of us wants mittens with a contrasting cuff (maybe using some Cascade 220?), one of us wants to knit a squishy cowl, and one of us is dreaming of incorporating a few rows of it it into an afghan for the living room.

Unsure of what to do with a single skein of handspun? We cruised some images on Pinterest, and came up with some incredibly inspiring ideas! So don’t be scared to purchase that skein- even if you are unsure what to do with it. There are plenty of projects that can a single skein of handspun can be easily incorporated into. And besides, no one said that you could only purchase just one!

Manos Serpentina will be available in local yarn shops across Canada as of mid-August 2017, and like all good things, we promise that it will be well worth the wait.

To view the full range of colours available, please click here to view them on our website.

Happy knitting everyone!

New Yarn- Borgo de Pazzi Amore

Having just celebrated Earth Day this past weekend, we felt as though there was no better time to introduce this particular new yarn for Fall 2017. Amore by Borgo de Pazzi is a yarn unlike any other that we have stocked before. Amore is composed of 70% Recycled Wool, all of which comes from high end clothes that are no longer being used, and the cuttings and fabric scraps from tailor shops.

While we rarely stop to consider the consequences our yarn habits may have on the earth, the sad fact of the matter is, the processing of fibers for the ready made industry, as well as the hand knitting industry can be quite harsh on our dear Mother Earth. With the production of Amore yarn however, Borgo de Pazzi is able to divert 22 tonnes of ‘rags’ from the landfill each year.

 

And while this yarn can’t claim to be the solution to all of Mother Earth’s problem, it is certainly a step in the right direction, and a simple way that we knitters and crocheters can aim to make a small difference.

With artisans carefully selecting the fabric scraps that go into each ball of Amore, it ensures that the end result has a high percentage of merino wool, and a rich range of saturated tones.

Each ball of Borgo’s Amore is composed of 70% recycled wool, 25% Polyamide, 2% Acrylic and 1% Polyester, and is available in three weights- Fingering, Worsted and Chunky. Each of these weights is available in 36 gorgeous heathered shades, all of which can be viewed on our website.

But that’s not all! Amore is also available in a cashmere blend, that includes 55% Recycled Wool, 25% Nylon and 20% Recycled Cashmere. Knitting at a worsted weight gauge on a 4.5mm needle this yarn is available in seven gorgeous neutral tones, perfect for knitting your favourite man a classic scarf, or to make yourself a cowl to go with your classic trench. To view the full range of timeless Amore Cashmere shades, please click here.

And while we could continue to write about the Amore family of yarn for pages, we suspect that seeing how it is produced with your own two eyes, may answer any lingering questions that you might have. Not to mention- possibly even inspire you to get your hands on a ball or two!

To view the video on how Amore is processed and spun, please click the link below.

And to view an animated video that features Amore, please follow the link below.

Amore will be available in local yarn shops across Canada as of August 2017. So be sure to contact your local yarn shop to see if they have some on order!

Wishing you all a very Happy (Belated) Earth Day.