Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 12-11-2012
Yvonne has been knitting with Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran yarn. Here is what she had to say………….
‘I decided to use the Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester aran as my grandson is allergic to man-made fibres. I wanted a yarn that was 100% pure wool, this way there would be no chance of a small percentage of another fibre affecting him. I chose to knit with the fantastic plum – shade 11.
The yarn is so beautiful and soft. I have found it an absolute pleasure to knit with, sliding off my Lantern Moon rosewood needles effortlessly. A lovely, full bodied pure wool. As I made the jacket for my grandson I wanted to wash it before he wore it. I made sure that I hand washed the jacket to avoid any possibility of shrinking and it has washed beautifully. The yarn still has that bounce and softness it had prior to washing. I will definitely be knitting with this yarn again in the future.’
Many of you have probably seen the Wendy Thor ‘knitting’ slide popping up on our new website. There are some gorgeous shades to choose from including Viking the shade shown in the photograph. For those of you who haven’t spotted it here it is! Amazing colours and texture don’t you think?
This week Catherine (Craft Barn manager) has been knitting with the super chunky yarn. When she brought in her completed cowl I just had to share it with you. The perfect opportunity for a yarn review. Here is what she had to say…………..
‘A lovely, soft yarn to work with. I was spoilt for choice with the variety of shades. Autumnal oranges and browns through to icy Winter grey. Decisions, decisions in the end I chose ‘Aurora’ – shade 1985 as I like the hint of turquoise & pink coming through. The cowl pattern I have followed is actually on the ball band, the best thing of all you only need the 1 ball (£6.50)! I found the yarn really easy to knit and with chunky 15mm needles I soon had it knitted. In fact it only took one evening. Looking through the other patterns I think I might just be tempted to knit a cushion or pouffe cover in maybe one of the grey shades. One more thing – although there are buttons on the cowl you do not need to know how to do button holes due to the nature of the holey design.’
The cowl would make an ideal Christmas gift!
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 23-08-2012
Having never even used bamboo needles before I was a little unsure about the Lantern Moon Rosewood needles. Will they feel any different to use? How will they affect my knitting? I knit with metal or plastic needles and have never really thought about trying anything else, I guess you just get used to something and stick with it. Although many of the Black Sheep ladies swear by bamboo needles and when they heard the Lantern Moon needles were coming in stock here at the Black Sheep I would say excited was an understatement. Leaving me intrigued for the arrival of the Rosewood needles.
Seeing the needles lay neatly in size order, exquisitely hand crafted all shiny and smooth reminded me of Harry Potter when he enters Ollivander’s wand shop for the first time to purchase a wand. Each pair unique due to the variations in the Rosewood. These are precious needles.
Since the needles arrived Sara, Catherine, Yvonne and I have all bought a pair and here is what we all have to say…………..
Sara – ‘The needles have completely sorted out my tension! Usually I would use a needle size slightly larger, knowing this would give me the desired tension. This is not the case with the Lantern Moon Rosewood needles.’
Catherine – ‘They are so smooth, lovely and tactile. It is surprising how much faster I am knitting with them. The yarn just glides along so easily.’
Yvonne – ‘They are light to hold, kind of like bamboo but with the slippy, smooth feel of metal. I am getting the best qualities of both. Using the Rosewood needles has improved the look of my finished piece of knitting. Also they have really helped with my arthritis. I would recommend them to anyone.’
Me (Amy) – ‘I can’t believe how much faster I am knitting with the needles. At the moment I am knitting with the Rowan Lima and it is coming along beautifully. They are just so easy to use and do make a difference, I think that I may have been converted!’
The Lantern Moon needles come in a choice of two lengths 30cm and 35cm prices from £14.99 a pair.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 06-07-2012
The new Autumn / Winter yarns are already starting to arrive in stock here at the Black Sheep. Apparently it is still Summer, although calling this time of year Summer is questionable at the moment. As I sit here writing this the rain is continuing to pour. Maybe it could be a good time to start some of your Winter knitting.
Maria has been knitting with the Katia Marilyn yarn. This will be the first of our Autumn / Winter 2012 yarn reviews.
‘I found the yarn really easy to use. I would say it is definitely similar to many of the other scarf yarns I have knitted with previously. One thing I would say is that when you are following the pattern to make sure that you go into the top hole, so that the loose decorative strands hang downwards. There is also a right and wrong side which you be able to recognise. The yarn feels so soft and drapes beautifully once knitted up. It really didn’t take long at all to make. I have my eye on a couple of the other new scarf yarns now, both Katia Gala and Lolita. They are possible future projects.’
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 01-06-2012
This weeks yarn review is by me, Amy from the Black Sheep. I have been knitting with the Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace (shade 002) yarn.
Here is my review…………
“This is a delight to knit with, so fine and extremely soft. It actually feels as if I could be knitting with a wisp of a cobweb, the way it effortlessly slips through my fingers. Having never knitted with a yarn so delicate I was a little apprehensive at first, whether it would take a long time. My previous experience with a lace weight yarn has been crocheted which I feel does tend to progress a little quicker. I like to see my project growing, after a few hours knitting you do want to see something for your work. The Rialto Lace has not disappointed me. I am really enjoying knitting the lace design (with the help of my row tick off sheet – definitely a must with a lace pattern!) it is amazing how fast it is knitting up. I could imagine maybe the sideways knitted cardigan featured on the front cover of the Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace book would be very similar, not as daunting as I first thought. Maybe an idea for a future project?
The yardage is also superb, great value for money. I am more or less three quarters of the way to finishing my collar and I have only used a small amount of yarn. In the book it does say you can make more than one. My plan is to make another collar, this time crocheted from the Debbie Bliss Simply Crochet book with the remainder of the ball.”
This is how the finished collar will look. The pattern is in Rialto Lace by Debbie Bliss book.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 25-05-2012
Kirsten is new to knitting and since starting work here at the Black Sheep surrounded by all of the oh so irresistible yarns everyday she has eventually given in to the temptation. She has chosen to start off with a scarf yarn, the Katia Bossa Nova. Here is her review…………
“I really enjoyed my first attempt at knitting. I found the Bossa Nova quite therapeutic to knit with and I would definitely recommend it to other beginners. In fact I am thinking about having a knit a scarf party for my friends, in an evening you could make a scarf. The sense of achievement and actually having something you can wear so quickly is great. The only other thing I have ever knitted was a dish cloth when I was 10 years old.
It was a good to start off with something simple like the Bossa Nova. For my next project I fancy trying something a bit different, possibly using a yarn with a bit of sparkle.”
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 17-05-2012
Catherine has been knitting with the King Cole Riot Dk. This is one of the new yarns we have added to our website recently. Take a look at all of the shades here.
“The King Cole Riot Dk is a lovely soft yarn made up of 30% wool and 70% premium acrylic. It has to be one of the nicest long stripe yarns around at the moment. My initial thought after seeing the yarn was entrelac. After experimenting with different stitch combinations I have found it really good for entrelac knitting. The great thing about it is no tying in ends as you would usually when swapping yarns because of the continuous colour change, such fab colour combinations.
I plan on making a long throw or possibly a cushion with the grey shade (408 Domino) as a contrast to the brightly coloured shade (402 Wicked).”
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 11-05-2012
Although the Sirdar Snowdrops Chunky is not one of our new yarns I thought that it is always nice to know how all yarns knit up.
At the moment there are three shades of the Sirdar Snowdrops chunky in the sale. Yvonne has knitted this lovely mint duffle coat for her first grandchild. Here is what she had to say about the yarn…………
“It was an easy yarn to knit with, surprisingly soft and cuddly. Having knitted a blanket previously in the yarn I fancied using it again and this duffle jacket pattern (1975) seemed perfect. The yardage is also great, really generous I have managed to knit 2 jackets and 2 pairs of mittens out of 5 balls of yarn.
One tip I would advise is when you are sewing up a garment try separating and threading the bobbles out. Leaving the smooth yarn for sewing up. Overall I am really pleased with the finished knit.”
Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 04-05-2012
This week the Black Sheep yarn review is for Katia Azahar. Yvonne was excited about beginning her project with the Azahar (shade 52)yarn and from what she has to say about it the yarn did not disappoint…….
“This is a woven rather than a spun yarn. I found it very easy to work with and it is so versatile; whether you choose to crochet or knit. A variety of effects can be produced. I used the Azahar as the main yarn following pattern 31 as featured on the front cover of Katia Elegance No.70. I had soon completed and finished the garment in no time at all. The video tutorials on Katia’s website are really informative and useful for each of the Azahar techniques (click here to see the videos). For the crocheted sections I used a ball of dk cotton from my stash. A 4ply yarn would also work.
The thing I like most is its versatility. One technique I would like to try out in the future is gathering the cord inside the top of the yarn to give a ruffled effect or alternatively leaving it flat. Using the yarn in this way would give a lovely finish to the cuffs and neckline of a garment. This yarn and the ideas andpatterns Katia have produced bring another dimension to knitting and crochet.”
Here are two more patterns from Katia book 70 using the Azahar in a different way.
Do you ever fancy knitting with a new yarn but feel you would like to know a little bit more about it before you do?
Well here at the Black Sheep we feel the same. It is always more encouraging when you see a beautiful garment someone else has knitted or a piece they have sampled. This gives you a good idea of whether or not the yarn is for you. With that bit of extra information a yarn decision can be made. If you know that someone has enjoyed using the yarn then it definitely helps. The next decision is which shade to choose, a dilemma I will leave up to you!
Although you can’t actually feel the piece of knitting I am hoping that with the help of the staff here at the Black Sheep sharing their thoughts you will be able to get a good idea of what they experienced when knitting.
First up in our Spring / Summer 2012 yarn review is King Cole Galaxy Dk.
Stacey has been knitting with the King Cole Galaxy Dk yarn. She has experimented with two different shades of the yarn the red (shade 686) and Venus (682). This is what she had to say………….
“It was a delight! It glided through my fingers, really easy to knit with, such a lovely silky feel. The yarn feels almost brushed yet, it is so beautiful and silky. It is hard to believe that it is actually acrylic and wool. The sequins are soft, not sharp and scratchy as you might expect sequins to be. Although I have knitted the scarf on a slightly larger sized needle than suggested it creates a lovely barely there, light weight fabric. When I knitted a piece to tension with smaller needles the piece was equally as light and fluid like. The sparkly sequins are really eye – catching and there are just enough scattered throughout. A bit of glamour for evening or why not day wear?”
Stacey’s scarf pattern will follow shortly available to download on the Black Sheep website……………