Estelle Yarns Blog

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

Tag: yarn (page 1 of 5)

New to Estelle Yarns- Urth

Imagine a yarn that is incredibly soft to touch, available in an irresistibly bold self-striping palette, supports unemployed local woman as well as comes from a company that makes a commitment to helping the environment whenever possible.

Does this all sound too good to be true?

Well, it isn’t.

Urth is a company located in Turkey, that we are so happy to welcome into the Estelle Yarns family, and we are certain that once you get a skein of their yarn into those hands of yours, you will agree with us. It is simply gorgeous! All of the community work and environmental initiatives that they are involved in, are just the cherry on the already delicious cake!

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Uneek is a yarn that is produced by Urth, available in three different weights; fingering, worsted and chunky. Composed of 100% Superwash Extrafine Merino, the Uneek collection of yarn is available in a range of alluring self striping shades. With some colourways being tonal, some subtle, and some vivid and loud, there is a colourway for every knitter, every crocheter, and every winter coat out there

Uneek Fingering contains 400 meters of Superwash Merino Wool, and is available in 14 gorgeous shades. Since there is no nylon in this yarn, we advise you to be careful if attempting to knit socks in it, as it may wear out quickly! However, socks are not entirely out of the question. Nor are shawls, lightweight mitten liners, slouchy hats, baby sweaters… the list goes on!

Still not sure what to knit with it? Also available from Urth, using the Uneek Fingering is a free pattern for this Swing Tank Top. Simply click this link to get your hands on it today!

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Uneek Swing Tank Top, designed by Juan R. Alcantar and Lois Horychata for Urth yarns

Uneek Worsted is a 100 gram skein of yarn, containing 200 meters. Also available in 14 shades, this yarn is perfect for winter accessories, cardigans and pullovers. Or maybe you’re feeling inspired to knit a pair of mittens for everyone in your family this Christmas! One skein will produce one pair- so you had better get cracking! The holidays will be here before you know it.

And finally, the Uneek Chunky knits up at 8 sts / 10 cm, and has 60 meters on a 100 gram skein. Once again available in fourteen beautiful self striping shades, it is tempting to want to knit a pair of socks in the fingering weight, with a matching hat in the worsted weight and a coordinated cowl in the chunky. Wouldn’t you agree?

Urth yarns will be available at fine local yarn shops across Canada by mid-October 2017, so be sure to call your LYS to place your order today!

And to read more about Urth yarns, and what they are doing for their community, as well as the environment, click here to read their “About Us” page. 

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Making Sense of Crochet Terminology- with Beth Major

Try as we might, we just don’t talk about crochet on this blog as much as we would like to. Admittedly, our lack of crochet chatter would be because none of us are really all that well versed in crochet around the Estelle Yarns offices. (Embarrassing- but true!) Fortunately for us however, we recently met up with Beth Major, a prolific crochet designer who can be found on Ravelry and other social media outlets as TheCrochetGypsy. 

Having been an avid crocheter for over forty years, and a certified crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council of America for over ten years, Beth is someone we felt confident in asking for a little crochet help. Wouldn’t you?

Beth has also been publishing crochet designs for over eight years now, and we are excited to announce that she will be launching a few designs for Estelle Yarns in the coming months, so be sure to stay tuned for that!

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Beth has been kind enough to write a blog post for us today, explaining the difference between North American and UK crochet terminology, as it can certainly be confusing for newbie crocheters out there- especially since there is some overlap between the terms. (Same term- different stitch!)

We hope that by the end of this post, any uncertainties that you may have will be cleared up- and you can finally get to hooking!

But before we get startd, we would like to extend a big Thank You to you Beth for clearing up some of our crocheting queries. We look forward to getting started with our hooks!


What’s in a Stitch?

If you are anything like me, you have found the PERFECT yarn, scoured Ravelry for the PERFECT pattern and have excitedly dove into your new project, only to realize about halfway through that something isn’t quite right. Your work doesn’t look anything like the picture, or the size is just wrong- very wrong. Unless you are one of the very few of us that diligently work up the gauge swatch for EVERY pattern, you have likely been caught in this situation. What the heck is going on? The pattern is saying DC (double crochet) why is your work HUGE compared to the pic?

Congratulations/condolences! You have fallen into the UK/US terminology trap.

Just a few of Beth’s designs

Okay. Admittedly, talking about crochet stitches is boring for most people. A real snooze-fest in fact! I mean really, unless you are an avid crochet geek like me, who cares? Well, download one pattern written in English … but not English … at least not the English you understand, and it might as well be in Russian.

In crochet terms, depending on which side of the pond you hail from, different crochet stitches have the same term and abbreviation and it is wonderfully confusing especially for the novice crocheter.

In the chart below, I have illustrated the comparisons.

Type of stitch Name of Stitch US Name of stitch UK Number or wraps on hook before starting the stitch
Foundation Chain (CH) Chain (CH) 0
Smallest Slip Stitch (SL ST) Slip Stitch (SL ST) 0
Shortest Single Crochet (SC) Double Crochet (DC) 0
Medium Half Double Crochet (HDC) Half Treble Crochet (HTR) 1
Tall Double Crochet (DC) Treble Crochet (TR) 1
Tallest Treble Crochet (TR) Double Treble 2

In UK terms, there is no such thing as a ‘single crochet’. They do create that stitch but they call it ‘double crochet’. This stitch is where the divergence begins. I have thought often about why that may be and I have realized that there are simply different ways to describe how to create the shortest of the crochet stitches.

To create the shortest stitch, the steps are as follows:
Step 1: Insert your hook into the stitch
Step 2: Yarn over
Step 3: Pull up that loop through the stitch
Step 4: Yarn over again
Step 5: Pull yarn through two loops on the hook.

For the taller stitches: you repeat steps 4 and 5 until there is one loop left on the hook.

The difference comes from where you start counting the creation of the stitch.
In US terms, the stitch name comes from the number of ‘yarn overs’ you do AFTER you pull the loop up through the stitch (step 3). So, in US terms, for single crochet there is only one ‘yarn over’ after step 3 therefore the term single crochet. For double crochet, there are two ‘yarn overs’ after step 3 therefore the term double crochet.

In UK terms, ALL ‘yarn overs’ are considered in the naming of the stitch. So, because the
shortest stitch has a yarn over in step 2 and one in step 4, the stitch is called ‘double crochet’.

Clear as mud? I thought so! So … now what? You know why, but the question remains “How do I fix it?”

Tip #1: Be diligent with making sure the pattern you want is in the terms you understand! Ravelry has become quite good with labeling crochet patterns with UK or US terms. (Thanks Ravelry!! You Rock!)

Tip #2: If you are finding patterns on a yarn website (ex. Estelle, King Cole, etc.) try to determine where the company is located as this will determine which terms are used. Same thing goes for magazines! Try to figure out where they are published.

Tip #3: Email the pattern designer and ask!! They always love to hear from people who love their patterns and are usually quite happy to help if they can.

Tip #4: When you already have a pattern and need it translated, try this trick in your word processor.

  • Copy and paste the pattern into a word processing program.
  • Then perform the “Find and Replace” function to quickly change all the terms from one method of terminology to another.
  • For example, for a UK pattern to US terms, ‘find’ the ‘DC’ and ‘replace’ with ‘SC’ and select ‘Replace All’ to quickly convert it to a US pattern so that you can crochet it.beth sock final sideview

So there you have it. Easy Peasy! Now you know how to get out of the US/UK term trap. Or, at least avoid it in the first place!

Happy crocheting everyone!

New Contest- Canucklehead by Jessie McKitrick

With our ChiaoGoo contest now behind us (Congratulations once again to all of our winners!), we are excited to announce the launch of our next contest, which kicks off TODAY!

But before we announce the next contest, allow us to introduce you to Jessie McKitrick, a knitting enthusiast and designer, based out of Edmonton, Alberta.

Jessie lives with her husband, and two daughters, all of whom are very supportive of her knitting habit. And why wouldn’t they be? Alberta is a province where hand knits come in VERY handy, as Jack Frost is commonly found overstaying his welcome in those parts. With a fierce love of stranded colourwork, Jessie can boast a timeless, and technically sound pattern repertoire, all of which can be found on her Ravelry page. With classic colourwork, rich cables and intriguing stitch combinations, Jessie has patterns that are suitable for enthusiastic beginners, as well as ones that will challenge even the most seasoned of knitters.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday, Jessie has designed a tuque and cowl set specially for Pam’s Woolly Shoppe, located in Stoney Plain, Alberta. Appropriately naming her design the ‘Canucklehead Tuque and Cowl‘, this pattern is the perfect addition to any proud Canadian’s Winter wardrobe.

While designing this pattern, much sweating and swatching was required in order to create a leaf image that was unmistakably that of the Canadian flag. Wanting to provide a ‘rest’ between those long floats that the leaves require, Jessie opted for a satisfying checkered pattern band between each of the motifs.

Using our popular acrylic/wool/nylon yarn, Estelle Worsted, this hat and cowl combo washes fantastically well, and will suit even those who are prone to itching in their knits. With such a broad palette, the Estelle Worsted is available in four different shades of red, and both white and ecru, making the seemingly straightforward colour options open to interpretation!

Should you find yourself to be one of those die hard Toronto Maple Leaf fans however (we know that you’re out there!), you may even want to consider swapping out the red and white for your favourite shade of “Maple Leaf blue”! Who are we to stop you?

CONTEST DETAILS- Are you interested in winning a copy of the Canucklehead Pattern, a skein of Estelle Worsted in both the Ecru and the Red as well as a set of needles to make your own Canuckle Set? Then simply head on over to our Facebook page, like our post that features this blog post, and then leave a comment, telling us what it is you love about living in Canada. Just like that… and you’re entered!

This contest will close on Friday, July 14th, and we will announce FIVE lucky winners on Monday, July 17th. This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Happy knitting everyone!

New Yarns for Estelle- Fall 2017

It has been said before, but we will certainly say it again- with each new season, comes new yarn, and what could possibly be more exciting than new yarn? We are so thrilled to introduce to you two of our new Estelle Yarns, both of which are scheduled to arrive in our warehouse, just in time for the Fall 2017 season.

First up, we have Atlantis. Gorgeous, rich jewel tones, available in a chunky weight, with a hint of glimmer tossed in for good measure, this yarn is softly spun out of 54% Superwash Wool, 42% Acrylic, 2% Nylon and 2% Metallic Polyester. This yarn will be perfect for big cozy cowls, slouchy hats and perfectly playful (but of course, tough wearing) mittens.

Available in four tonal shades, as well as one colourway that incorporates all the colours of the rainbow (which has been appropriately named “Prism”), the temptation to cast on a project in each of these shades is a fierce temptation, indeed.

Perfect for gift knitting, and for dressing up an otherwise plain (but practical!) winter coat, a ball or two of Atlantis are certain to get your creative knitting juices flowing. One ball of this new yarn is not a huge commitment of either time or money, so buying a ball of it simply for the sake of inspiration might be something that you should consider doing. You just never know what might fall off of your needles!

Next up is a yarn called Lumiere. Knitting at a worsted weight gauge, this yarn has fantastic yardage at 200 meters per 100 gram ball. Composed of 50% Acrylic and 50% Wool, this yarn is warm, washable, and economical. Knit a pair of mittens for your sister, add a few rows into a throw for your mom, or whip up a slouchy hat for yourself. With washable, worsted weight yarn, the possibilities are truly endless!

With new yarns from Estelle, often you will find that new patterns are not too far too behind, and Lumiere is no exception! We are pleased to give you a sneak peek of this stunning shawl, designed by Robbie Laughlin, which is made using just two balls of Lumiere. Knit from point to point, Robbie had fun with the striping nature of the yarn, by straying from the traditional shawl construction of working from the neck down. This pattern is knit mainly in stocking stitch, with the occasional vertical stretch of eyelets, making it a fairly easy project, all while maintaining a touch of interest. A great knit for those lazy days of late Summer, this pattern is perfect for getting a head start on holiday knits- or planning your cooler weather wardrobe!

This pattern will be available to you for free on our website, and on Ravelry later. We promise to alert you when it is available for download.

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Both Atlantis and Lumiere will start appearing on the shelves of a local yarn shop near you, as of late-July, 2017. So be sure to check in with your local shop owner, to see when you can expect their shipment to arrive.

Happy knitting 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 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!

Spotlight on King Cole Baby Yarns

We have talked about King Cole Yarns on this blog a lot in the past, and if you have ever had a chance to knit with their yarns (and we hope that you have!), you will know why.

The quality of the yarns, the extensive pattern support that accompanies each yarn, and the vast colour selections are only just a few of the reasons why we love them so much.

Today however, we thought we would focus on one particular category of their yarn collection, and that their baby yarns.

It is a well known fact amongst the knitting and crocheting community, that babies are often what bring people back to knitting or crocheting, or what introduces them to it in the first place. Whether they want to knit for their own little one, a loved one’s little one, or maybe even a little one that they will never meet (there are plenty of charities that accept hand knitted and crocheted donations!), making something for a baby simply seems a lot less daunting than making something for an adult- perfect for the aspiring new knitters or crocheter.

So, in celebration of babies, and all of the knitting and crocheting that they inspire us to take on, we thought that we would feature three of King Cole’s most beloved baby yarns on the blog today. Easy to wash, soft to cuddle and with many available in colours both the traditional and trendy palette, King Cole has hit the nail on the head with each and every one of these yarns and patterns.

First up, we have King Cole’s Smarty DK. We talked about this yarn on the blog when it was first released, but we felt it was a yarn worth mentioning again. A DK weight yarn (such a great weight for babies!), available in twelve specked shades, this yarn is perfect for anyone who tends towards the traditional, but enjoys a few subtle pops of colour. Perfect for simple stocking stitch, or more complicated lace, the flecks of colour will not interfere with a stitch pattern.

To view the full range of Smarty DK colours available, please click here. And to view the full range of patterns that call for this yarn, please click here. But remember! Being that this yarn is a DK weight, there are countless other options available to you both from King Cole, and on Ravelry– it is such a popular gauge!

If you happen to have a deadline looming, and want something super soft and squishy for a little one in your life, then King Cole Yummy is the yarn for you! A chunky yarn, knit on a 6mm needle at ten stitches per inch, this yarn will simply fly off of the needles. Available in ten fun shades, this yarn is suitable to swaddle a wee babe in, or perfect for whipping up a cardigan for your busy toddler.

 

To view the full range of Yummy colours so that you can get planning your next quick-knit project, please click here. And to view all of the Yummy patterns, please click here.

And finally, this post would not be complete without mentioning some self-striping yarns. It seems to us as though self-striping yarns just go hand-in-hand with kid’s and baby projects! (Oh, and sock knitting- of course!) Saving you from having to weave in a million ends, self-striping yarn looks adorable in both baby garments and accessories. And not only that, it is such fun to knit! Anyone who has knit with self-striping yarn will tell you that they have stayed up way past their bedtime at some point, as they wanted to squeeze in just ‘one more stripe’!

King Cole’s Candy Stripe is perfect for new babies, as it washes well, and is available in nine, ‘sweet’ shades. With a great selection of pattern leaflets to accompany this popular yarn, there is a leaflet, and a striping colour way for everyone!

To view the full range of Candystripe colours, please click here. And to view the collection of Candystripe DK pattern, please click here. 

If you have yet to discover King Cole and their amazing range of quality products, please be sure to explore the entire collection by clicking here. 

Do you already love King Cole? Then let us know what patterns and yarns are your favourites! It is always a pleasure hearing from you.

Happy knitting everyone!

Free Pattern Friday- Summer Commitment by Espace Tricot

One can never have too many bags, especially with market season/beach season/weekend getaway season upon us. While crochet is typically favoured over knitting when it comes to bags due to it’s less elastic nature, there is always an exception to the rule. In this case, that exception comes to us in the form of this bag by our friends at Montreal’s Espace Tricot.

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A re-imagined version of their original, smaller bag called ‘Summer Fling’, ‘Summer Commitment’ is a larger, bulkier interpretation of the same bag.

Knit using Filatura di Crosa’s Kilim yarn at a dense gauge (so as to avoid having it stretch down to your knees), this creative combo of jute and acrylic is durable and colourful, making it the perfect yarn for a bag that is going to see a lot of wear and tear. (Because trust us, you won’t want to use any other bag once you have yourself one of these!)

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Kilim is available in ten colours, so you can have fun mixing and matching. Not into colour blocking? No problem! Just knit it all in one shade if that’s more your style!

To get your hands on this free pattern, be sure to head over to the Espace Tricot blog. And to find Kilim at a local yarn shop near you, click here to view our full Canadian directory of stores.

Happy knitting everyone!

Contest- Win Robbie Laughlin’s “A Shawl for Sharing” Kit

Robbie Laughlin is a talented Toronto designer and knitting/crochet instructor, who is well known and well loved within the local knitting community- and beyond! Today we are thrilled to be announcing a brand new contest, giving you the opportunity to win a kit to make your very own version of Robbie’s design, “A Shawl for Sharing”.

But first, a little bit about Robbie- Robbie is an avid knitter, but as is often the case, it doesn’t stop there! In the past eight years, after learning to knit from a few friends, he also learned how to spin his own yarns, weave, and work tatting. He has picked up crochet again as well, which he learnt as a young child, but set aside in pursuit of music and technology.

In the past, he worked several different day jobs based in technology and teaching that made high demands of him, and these handcrafts brought a sense of tranquility back to his life.
Knitting has helped him find and build a community full of people he adores. Most importantly, it has taught him not to take life so seriously. To relax, and have fun, to create, and to share.
About Designing the Shawl for Sharing:
“I spent a lot of time down by the lake this summer, often late at night. What started off as a smaller style shawl to warm my own back, quickly became a much larger piece after realizing there was someone I wanted to share these late night shorelines with. Inspired by Gansey sweaters, this shawl uses only simple knits and purls, with occasional slipped stitches, to form chunky textures.
The smaller size will cover your back. The large size can become a warm layer to share with a loved one, or you can wrap yourself up in it when you’re alone. Add buttons and loops to the large, and it turns into a very versatile poncho.”
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How to Win Everything You Need to Make a “Shawl for Sharing”:
We want to give you the opportunity to win everything you will need to make this shawl! Including a hard copy of the pattern, a digital copy, the appropriate needles as well as two skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool in shade 8061 (the shade pictured), enough to make the larger version of the shawl.
In order to qualify for this kit, all you have to do is subscribe to our blog by entering your email address in the sidebar, and then commenting on this post, telling us what your favourite Cascade Yarn is.
Not yet familiar with Cascade Yarns? Then click here to view the entire collection. Have a browse and let us know what yarn looks like something you would love to get your hands on in the comment section below.
And it is as simple as that! Subscribe to our blog, comment on this post and you’re entered.
This contest closes on Friday, April 14th, and three winners chosen by random number generator will be announced on Monday, April 17th.
Contest open to Canadian residents only.
Happy knitting- and good luck!

UPDATE: This contest has now closed. Thank you to all who participated!

New Cotton Yarns From Borgo de’ Pazzi

If there is anywhere that knows anything about warm Summers and gorgeous yarns, it’s Italy. And as it just so happens, that’s where our friends at Borgo de’ Pazzi reign from! This Spring they are spoiling us with a very large collection of new Spring yarns, and today we would love to introduce you to a few.

Known for their unique textures, creative patterns and gorgeous, earthy shades, Borgo never ceases to impress us with whatever yarn it is that they pull out from up their sleeve.

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First up, we have Flambé, and we promise you that this yarn is just as appetizing as it sounds! A 100% cotton yarn that is composed of two strands twisted together irregularly, the finished product drapes beautifully, with a unique, finished texture. Available in 24 rich shades, you can knit a neutral to go with every item in your wardrobe, or make a statement with a bold red or aubergine.

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Next up is Fresco. With it’s subtle sheen, and gorgeous colour selection, you will definitely want to check out this yarn the next time that you are able. With 70% Viscose and 30% Linen, this yarn drapes like a dream. Perfect for lightweight cardigans or slinky Summer shawls, this yarn has yardage for days- 450 metres worth, to be precise! Only a couple of balls will make up a rather substantial project. But if knitting at such a fine gauge isn’t your thing, then double it up! While we highly recommend making a swatch (of course…) we suspect that a DK/worsted gauge can be achieved when two strands of Fresco are held together. Available in twenty beautiful, subtly tonal shades, this yarn is definitely worth seeking out the next time you find yourself at your local yarn shop.

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And finally , what would a Spring line up of yarns be, without a classic, well made DK weight Egyptian cotton? Available in 24 rich shades and packaged in 50 gram balls, Giza is ideal for Summer striping, kid’s cardigans, baby blankets or oversized cotton pullovers for those cooler Summer evenings. Knit on a 4mm needle, this yarn has a crisp sheen, but is soft to the touch. You will simply love every stitch!

And of course, for those of you who tend to favour the variegated tones, we have good news! Giza is also available in seven multi-coloured shades. Sold in 100 gram balls, Giza Piu’s seven shades are complimentary to the solid range, we suspect it won’t be too difficult for you to allow your creativity to take over! Just think of all gorgeous projects you could make…

To view the entire Borgo de’Pazzi collection, be sure to click here. And to find a local yarn shop near you that stocks these gorgeous yarns, click here! 

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of the latest Spring yarns, so don’t be shy! We would love to know what YOU love, and what you will be casting on!

Happy knitting and crocheting, one and all!

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