Hairy love story: Our addiction to cosy wool.

Hairy love story: Our addiction to cosy wool.

Merino, Alpaca, Mohair, Cashmere... Where does it come from and why do we love it so much? 

I am calling myself a knitter, but every knitter knows that apart from working the needles, we are passionate yarn collectors. The fact that there are 466 thousand posts with #yarnaddict on Instagram tells me: I am not alone!

But why is yarn so fascinating? Colour, structure, thickness and cosiness are all relevant factors when it comes to making a buying decision. For me, it really depends on how it feels like, and again, I am not alone.

Tutorial 2: Cotton Candy Sweater

Tutorial 2: Cotton Candy Sweater

Hi Ladies!

Some of you have asked me for the pattern of my loose fit sweater, so I am trying to write up what I did. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns, I am still new to this ;) The sweater is called Cotton Candy because it is soft, pink, and loose fit, so you could eat a lot of it.. I would LOVE it if you tagged me in your result <3

 

Tutorial 1: Edgy Croptop

Hello dear Crochet Community,

some of you have asked for a tutorial on one of my croptops.

  • Yarn: Lana Rossa Merino 3,5-4mm, I used white and dark green for the border.
  • Needle size: 3,5mm
  • Made for: 75B/75C

I would recommend to crochet top to bottom. I tried both and noticed that each "Low" leaves little holes as we crochet three into the same chain, and each peak makes it nice and tight as we crochet three together. Therefore, we want peaks to cover our nipples ;) 

  1. Chain 90 (6*15, each "peak" needs 15 up and 15 down. This top has three peaks.) If you have bigger breasts, chain 6*18 (or more!)
  2. Flip work, crochet 14, for 15 crochet three in same chain (first low in the top, but as we work upside down it looks like a peak while you are doing it)
  3. Crochet 14, for 15 crochet three together (first Peak)
  4.  Crochet 14, for 15 crochet three in same chain (Second low)
  5. Crochet 14, for 15 crochet three together (second peak)
  6. crochet 14, for 15 crochet three in same chain (third low)
  7. Crochet 15, chain one, flip work
  8. Skip one! Crochet 14, for 15 crochet three in same... and so on 
  9. Crochet as many rows as you want- I did 24
  10. Take your second colour and crochet around it once. Remember to do the lows and peaks.

 

Depending on your size, chain the straps and attach them to the top like shown in the picture below. 

Done :) Feel free to link me in your creation, I would love to see what you made!

Happy Crocheting!

 

Love,

Johanna

Dream Big: My experience with Chunky Merino Wool

Dream big: My experience with Chunky Merino Wool

Dear knitting community,

No need to say that I am slightly obsessed with giant Merino Yarn.

Some of you have commented on my pictures and asked about my experience with size, quality and my favourite brand. I'd like to mention that I have not been paid by any brand, I have and always will write about my honest and unbiased opinion! 

Here we go:

Size: I've been using two different sizes of chunky yarn. One was for 25mm needles and the other one for 45mm needles. Working with 25mm needles can be considered as knitting, while working with 45mm needles is a different thing. 

It took me a while to figure out how to work with the 45mm needles. My second XL blanket turned out much nicer than my first one. I posted a small video on Instagram where you can see me struggling with my first blanket and I am planning to do a full video on how to knit a blanket that size, but I won't be able to do that before December (I am going to talk about that in the end of this post). I would recommend to start with 25mm, it is already quite big and looks fantastic! (The "Monday" post I made was written with the 25mm yarn) 

Shape: There are significant differences in yarn shape! I didn't know the differences until I accidently ordered felted merino yarn (the yellow jacket). The advantage of felted yarn is that it is not as fuzzy. The yarn is harder, heavier and less flexible. I would NOT recommend felted yarn for clothing, but it might work well as seat covers. Unfelted merino yarn can be very fuzzy. Some brands do not twirl the yarn at all, it happened to me that the yarn ripped/ fell apart a couple of times while I was knitting. I'm always having a felting needle close to me, which is what I use to (re)connect the ends. I prefer unfelted yarn because it feels better than cotton candy. 
Costs: When you first see the price tag of a XL merino blanket, you might want to cancel your weekend trip to the spa hotel. Quality comes to its price. the costs of XL merino blankets depend on size and weight and vary between $250-$1000. If you think about it, it makes sense. Remember how much you pay for 100g merino yarn you used to buy for your little crop tops. The blankets are heavy! Mine vary between 2.5- 9kg / 5-15 pounds. Each sheep produces between 2-4kg/ 4-8,8 pounds of wool per year (I googled that, haven't had sheep yet) which means you have to pay for an annual salary of almost two sheep. 

You guys asked me for cheaper alternatives and I ordered synthetic yarn to give it a try. 1kg costs around $18, which is a bit less than half the price of merino yarn ($42). My recommendation here is: don't do it. It doesn't look bad, but it doesn't feel great either. I am going to use this one for experiments, but if you want to do it, to it right. Merino to synthetic is like a three course meal by Jamie Oliver compared to microwaved Ramen Noodles.

Brand: I have tried three different brands. Please keep in mind that this is only my opinion, statistically we need 49 more opinions to make a valid judgement. 

1. Warm and Tender: The yellow, felted yarn I ordered was from W&T. It was the only felted yarn I ever bought and therefore cannot compare it, but I think the quality is good. If I remember it right the delivery took two weeks. The packaging could have been a bit more professional, but after all I odered it on Etsy and therefore did not expect the highest level of professionality.

2. Manuosh: My first XL blanket (Colour Regal) as well as the 25mm yarn was from the American brand Manuosh. Advantage: The quality was the best I ever had. Manuosh yarn does not fall apart, the yarn is super soft without being too fuzzy. I really liked working with it and although I cuddle with my blanket every day it still looks great. Unfortunately, Manuosh has very long delivery times of almost 5 weeks. I know it takes a while to ship it from the US to Germany, but I order yarn after a customer ordered a blanket (for locked-up capital and stock reasons) and it really sucks if I have to tell my customers they have to wait for at least 6 weeks. The second disadvantage is the extremely high price of Manuosh. It is more than twice as expensive than the other Merino yarn I have tried. Will I order from Manuosh again? I just did. A customer ordered a blanket for his wife for Christmas and said that he does not care about price, but wants the highest quality there is. In that case, Manuosh is my go to.

3. Woolly Mahoosive: The brand from the UK sells fine merino, felted merino and synthetic yarn. I'd say this is the brand I recommend. Although the yarn is a bit fuzzier and might rip once in a while, the quality is still great and the blanket I made looks awesome. The price seems very fair and the best thing is the quick delivery: it took less than 72 hours! I contacted the brand a couple of times through Instagram and the response was always very nice and quick.
Here is a link to their website:  http://woollymahoosive.com/


That's it! I hope this helps a little bit. If you have any more questions please let me know, I am happy to help :) If you have any brand recommendations feel free to share it with me.

Love,
Johanna

#keepcalmandknit