After a two-swatch experiment, I’m very excited to announce my findings in regards to hand felting our new Galway Worsted!
As you can see, I only knit a small swatch. I knit them on US #3 dpns despite the recommended US #8. I prefer to have a tighter fabric for my felted objects so the stuffing doesn’t show afterwards. The verdict?
Compared side-by-side, you can see that it shrank a fair amount, but I love it! It only took about 3 alternations between hot and cold water with a generous amount of liquid soap to get it as felted as it is in the photo. It wasn’t too rough in my hands while I did it, and there doesn’t appear to be too much of the stitch definition left. I’m sure if I went at it a little longer, it could be gone completely. I’m definitely be excited to see how it fairs in future non-swatch felting projects down the road!
Some of you may remember my yarn quest– that is, making test swatches for how well our yarns felt (or don’t felt) by hand. I’m sure they would felt better in the washing machine, but because I knit a lot of dolls I prefer to sculpt the yarn and wool stuffing as I felt. Now that we’ve acquired Galway Worsted, I have yet another yarn to test! I’ll be knitting this swatch on US 3 (it’s recommending US 8s) and am hoping for good results. I’ll be sure to let you all know in my next post how it goes!
Yarn shop samples are important. It’s often hard to tell how a yarn will look and feel when knit up when you first encounter it in skein-form. Does it really knit to the gauge on the label? How fuzzy will it become? How will it drape? How will the colors pool? How wide will the stripes appear? Most of the time, words are inadequate. When it comes to yarn, you have to hold it in your own hands.
And the same goes for knitting patterns – clear photographs are helpful, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a physical object is surely worth a million. We’d all rather feel like we’re not stabbing in the dark when it comes to committing to a knitting project.
Yarn shop samples to the rescue! We do our very best to show off as many of our yarns as possible with knit-up examples on display in the shop. We invite you to hold them in your hands, try them on (we have a full-length mirror for your convenience), check them out in different lighting situations, toss them around, or whatever helps and inspires you to knit with confidence. If you ever find a shop sample that you like, we will put the yarn and pattern in your hands. Yarn shop samples are good for showing off the latest knitting world trends and helping you think outside the box. Why limit yourself when there’s inspiration all around?
So, I’ve been on a quest to furnish the shop with new samples lately. I’ve been banging out small projects that you could easily finish in a few days (hello holiday gift ideas!). Here are the newest shop samples you’ll find at Over the Rainbow Yarn. Come on in and touch them any time!
Thanks to Catherine for modeling these ones! I knit the Zig Zag Cowl in Gina Chunky and Jennifer knit the coordinating Zig Zag Hat in Chunky Merino Superwash. I loved seeing how the Gina Chunky works up in delightfully irregular stripes with numerous colors swirled throughout. This pattern is so clever, too. The zig-zags are formed by wrapping the yarn around the needle twice to make an extra-tall stitch, then slipping the stitch for several rows.
I just whipped this one up last night after it was recommended by our Euro Yarns sales rep (yep, it’s a quickie). It’s basically my favorite crochet stitch – the linen stitch! It’s worked in alternating colors of Cairns, a cotton/acrylic yarn with an unusual structure and many colors. The pattern is incredibly easy to adapt for anyone who’d like to have a longer, shorter, wider or narrower cowl! If you don’t know how to crochet yet, it might be worth learning in order to make this cowl.
It’s the biggest, the squishiest, the coziest cowl ever! I made the Clayton Cowl out of Ushya (merino wool) and Paqu Pura (alpaca fiber). This cowl combines a super-bulky yarn and a sport-weight yarn in a really cool way. It’s basically garter stitch, except you knit every other stitch in the row below, which has the effect of creating an unbelievably fluffy texture and wrapping the two yarns around one another in a very unusual-looking way. No one will know how you made it unless you tell them.
Sometimes it’s all about the pom pom! I knit the Swirled Ski Cap in Classic Shades. I used about half the skein for the hat and the other half for the pom pom. I knit the child size, but the pattern includes an adult size as well. This pattern is so much fun, and reminds me of soft-serve ice cream! The pattern suggests a 2-color option with the stockinette parts in one color and the reverse-stockinette parts in another. Oh, the possibilities!