Estelle Yarns Blog

A blog to excite and inspire knitters and crocheters from around the world.

Month: June 2016

ChiaoGoo Twist Mini Interchangeable Sets

Over the past few years, interchangeable knitting needles have had the knitting universe buzzing. Knitters are buying them, asking for them as gifts, using them as their primary knitting needles, or maybe just as their ‘on-the-go’ needles. Any knitter with interchangeable needles will tell you that they don’t remember life (or their knitting bag!) before they acquired their first set. The vast majority of knitting needle companies now have a version of interchangeable knitting needles in their product line-up, and ChiaoGoo is no exception.

At Estelle Yarns, we are pleased to announce that we are now distributing  ChiaoGoo knitting needles, crochet hooks and accessories across Canada. ChiaoGoo makes premium products, at reasonable prices, and their interchangeable knitting needle sets have been receiving rave reviews from around the world since their debut several years ago.

ChiaoGoo Black Logo

Up until recently, ChiaoGoo has been offering their lightweight, surgical grade stainless steel interchangeable needle sets in a small version (2.75mm-5mm), large (5.5mm-10mm) and complete (2.75mm-10mm). On top of those three sets however, they are also offering something that no other needle company does- ChiaoGoo now offers a MINI set of interchangeable knitting needles! With needle sizes ranging from 1.5mm-2.5mm, this set continues to deliver the same high quality that have made their other stainless steel sets so popular- including flexible cords, smooth joins and needle tips that switch easily and do not loosen unexpectedly while knitting.

So if you are an avid sock knitter, love working in delicate lace patterns and yarn, or simply enjoy knitting at a fine gauge, then this set is for you!

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Each ChiaoGoo Mini Interchangeable set contains five pairs of needle tips, including 1.5mm, 1.75mm, 2mm, 2.25mm and 2.5mm, as well as three cords (60cm, 80cm  and 100cm). ChiaoGoo’s signature flexible red cords are made of multi-stranded stainless steel, coated in a smooth, nylon finish- making them memory free! So if knitting socks using the Magic Loop technique is something that you enjoy doing, you need not worry about leaving a kink in your cord.

Great needles and cords is not all that this kit offers- there’s more! Including a needle gauge, cable connectors, stoppers, stitch markers, tightening keys and a gripper, the contents of this kit are all neatly packaged in a mesh carrying case that will keep all of your tools perfectly organized. Each needle size has it’s own, labelled pocket, and the tools and notions are safely stowed away in zippered pouches.

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One thing about this kit should be noted however. Due to the ‘mini’ nature of these needles, the cords and tips are not compatible with the larger interchangeable needle kits available from ChiaoGoo– they’re just too teeny!

These kits are now available in local yarn stores across Canada. To get your set today, click here to find a shop near you.

And to look at ChiaoGoo’s full range of products, including bamboo interchangeable needles, double pointed needle gift sets and individual circular, straight and double pointed needles, please click here. 

Happy knitting everyone!

 

Introducing Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine

Even though this may be the the first official week of Summer, in the yarn industry, we always have to be one step ahead of Mother Nature- which means that we are already welcoming tonnes of new yarns for Fall 2016 into the Estelle warehouse! This season we have put a strong focus on creating classic, staple yarns of the highest quality, that will produce exceptional garments and accessories to be worn for years to come!
One new yarn that we are particularly excited about this Fall is our Alpaca Merino Fine, a blend of 55% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon and 20% Alpaca. Made in Bolivia, this fingering weight yarn is warm, breathable, hard-wearing, and it only gets softer, the more it gets washed, worn and loved.

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Being that this yarn is so new, we haven’t yet had a chance to publish any new patterns for it. But fortunately for us, the World Wide Web provides us with plenty of pattern ideas, options, and inspiration. So without further ado, allow us to share with you a few patterns that we think would be simply stunning knit in our new Alpaca Merino Fine. 

The nice thing about fingering weight yarn is that it has absolutely incredible yardage. One skein often will get you a very generous sized scarf! Which is why we thought that the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronique Avery would be beautiful knit in the Alpaca Merino Fine. With a gentle lace pattern that zigs and zags throughout the entire length of the scarf, this project is compact enough to take anywhere with you, easy enough to work on while socializing, but challenging enough to satisfy your inner lace knitter. Want to make it longer? Or wider? No problem! Just be sure to pick up an extra skein (or two!)

And while we are on the topic of one-skein-projects, this hat is perfect if you’re new to knitting in the round- or if you are new to knitting generally! Using only one skein of Estelle’s Alpaca Merino Fine, the Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure is the absolute perfect “cottage knit”. Pick up an extra skein in a contrasting colour and knit some stripes! Or maybe even use up those pesky little balls of left over sock yarn to throw in a few pops of colour along the way.

For those of you who really like knitting with the finer gauge yarns, then the Boxy Sweater by Joji Locatelli is just the project for you. While it is not overly challenging as far as sweater patterns go, it could be considered a bit time consuming due to the thinner nature of this yarn. However, this sweater (much like the yarn) is a classic, and you will be able to wear it for years to come. Since the majority of this project is stocking stitch, it will make for an ideal Summer project- perfect for knitting on your porch with a drink! And by the time you are about ready to cast off, it will be just the time of year that you will find yourself wanting to wear it.

Since so many knitters automatically think “socks” when they see a 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn (especially one with a dash of nylon thrown into the mix!), it would be remiss of us not to share our sock pattern with you once again. One skein of the Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine would knit you a pair of the warmest socks imaginable. Know someone who works outside in work boots all winter long? Then what are you waiting for? Cast a pair on! Absolutely nothing will keep their feet warmer. With that 25% nylon thrown in for good measure, these socks will withstand some pretty heavy duty wear and tear before they find themselves in need of a mending job. To get your hands on our sock pattern, click the link below.

Estelle Sock Pattern

And of course, we would not (and could not!) forget the crocheters in the crowd, so here is a pattern for all of you that are keen to get hooking. Purl Soho’s Granny Stripe Blanket is simple, classic and irresistibly snuggly. This project would make the perfect wedding gift, cuddly Christmas present, or addition to your very own corner of the couch. While many of us don’t tend to think of working on big blankets in the warmer weather, the lightweight nature of the fingering weight yarn won’t bog you down during those warm weather crochet sessions.

Should you be on the hunt for even more ideas and inspiration for our new Alpaca Merino Fine yarn, then be sure to sign up for a Ravelry account (if you haven’t already), click on the ‘Patterns’ tab, and search through fingering weight pattern ideas. But watch out! Doing so will severely impact the amount of time left that you actually have to knit.

To view the full range of Alpaca Merino Fine shades, please click here. And to find a yarn store near you that stocks this yarn, click here.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Some Free Pattern Sharing- from Cascade Yarns

For those of you who meet regularly with a group of fellow yarn-fanatics, you will know the feeling when a knitting/crocheting friend pulls their latest masterpiece out of their knitting bag for everyone to “ooh” and “ahhh” over- such excitement!

And isn’t it just the best when that knitting/crocheting friend of yours announces to the circle which pattern it is they used, and you say to yourself “Wait a minute… REALLY!?!?!? He/She used THAT pattern???” It may be a pattern that you have seen at one point in time, but simply brushed over during one of your Ravelry sessions. However, having seen it worked up in person, and in different colours, perhaps even with a few ‘tweaks’ made to the original pattern… and you’re in love.

Sharing pattern ideas with friends is such a great way to discover new ideas and inspiration. And since we consider you all to be such good friends, we thought we would show and share with you a few patterns that might not register on your radar otherwise. Today we have compiled a list of  the top five most downloaded patterns from Cascade Yarns website from April, 2016 for you to browse! Some of these patterns may be ones that you would otherwise skip over, had they been presented to you in some other form. But knowing that they’re the ‘top five’, you may stop and look at them just a little differently. Things don’t make it to the ‘Top Five’ for no reason! Especially when the competition is so fierce.

#5 Pinwheel Entrelac Baby Blanket

If you haven’t tried your hand at entrelac, a baby blanket is a great place to start! Even if you don’t know a baby right now… you will! The technique is much simpler than it looks, and produces rather impressive results. Entrelac appears as though you have knit individual strips, and woven them all together like a basket- but you haven’t! Using a self-striping yarn such as the Pinwheel is a great way to maximize the woven effect of entrelac. It also saves you from having to buy multiple balls of solid coloured of yarn- which saves you from sewing in  millions of ends!

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#4 Cherub Heart Cardi

Kids clothes are an absolute riot to knit, so it’s no surprise that this sweet little cardigan rolls in at #4! Knit using Cascade’s Cherub DK, it makes for an affordable (and washable!) gift for the little girl in your life. Looking for something a little more natural? Cascade’s Ultra Pima would make for a gorgeous alternative!

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#3 Arches Baby Cardigan

Another baby pattern! Knit with Cascade 220 Superwash, this pattern is incredibly sweet and would look great paired with either a pretty dress, or a tiny pair of overalls! Little sweaters like this one are a really great way to brush up on your lace knitting skills. In fact, kid’s clothes are a great way to practice all sorts of knitting techniques, as knitting a miniature sweater doesn’t end up being a big investment of time- or money! Once you feel confident in the skills mastered in your baby knitting, it is time to cast on a larger scale sweater for yourself. You deserve it!

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#2 A Robot Blanket

For those of you who aren’t so into knitting lace for the little ones, here is another option for you- a robot baby blanket! But of course… this doesn’t have to be just for a baby. Make it bigger for the toddler or maybe even the ‘young-at-heart’ in your life! Knit using Cascade’s new yarn Anthem, this 100% acrylic yarn is washable, affordable, and available in a rainbow of bright colours. The colour combinations you could come up with for this blanket are truly endless! Looking to use a cozy, washable wool instead? Why not try Cascade 220 Superwash and you will find yourself with even more colours to choose from!

#1 Ultra Pima Alpine Shawl

We are certainly happy to report that a crochet pattern has made it to the number one spot on this list, which means that Summer must be coming! Light, airy and elegant, this shawl will kick any outfit from 0-60 the second that you put it on.

Made using only four skeins of Cascade’s gorgeous Ultra Pima Cotton, you will take just as much pleasure in making this piece, as you will wearing it.

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So be sure to click the links, explore these patterns, and perhaps you may just find yourself casting on something that you may have never looked twice at, had we not brought it to your attention.

Should you find yourself craving even more inspiration, be sure to check out the entire range of free Cascade Yarns Patterns on both their websiteand ours! And of course, be sure to let us know what’s next in your queue! We wouldn’t mind a dose of fresh inspiration ourselves!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!