Yarn

Advent swap

This year, after I’d bought my other two Advent calendars, I learned that the members of the Love in Stitches group, of which I’m a member, decided to do a voluntary Advent calendar swap.  And I couldn’t resist signing up, of course!   Let me tell you all about this fun swap! Love in Stitches I’ve been a member of Knitty Natty’s Love in Stitches membership for a while.  It’s a great group of knitters and crocheters from around the world.  And my favorite part is doing swaps and other activities that pairs  you with someone else to exchange yarn, goodies, or notes.   There are also fun activities within the membership to take part in: knit-alongs, movie nights, and interviews with dyers and designers.  So much fun! Advent Calendar Options When the Advent swap was announced, you could sign up for various options, which included 12 or 24 days, as well as different amounts of yarn.  I chose 12 days of 20-gram mini skeins, in an effort to cut back and be responsible (ha!).  But the point of this swap was great: to get rid of some scraps, which I always need to do!   As far as other things included in the swap….  The LIS guidelines stated that this swap could consist only of mini skeins, making it fair to all the participants.  It also kept the pressure off having to come up with unique gift ideas.  So nice! The Calendar My partner was super sweet.  We talked a bit before we put together each other’s calendars and agreed on some basic preferential guidelines.  For us, it was mostly to stay away from neon colors.   The Advent calendar I received is so, so happy!  The colors are so bright and cheerful!  Some of the mini skeins are clearly scraps but some are new, which was a surprise.  Several of the new ones are from Craftily Dyed Yarn.  So cool!   I don’t know what I’m going to do with this calendar, yet.  But I have some ideas in mind! 

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LIS Advent Swap 2022

Lay Family Yarn Advent

Apparently for me, Advent in 2022 was all about British dyers.  I bought a full, 25-day Advent calendar from Birdstreet Yarn and then, on a bit of a whim, a 12-day calendar from Lay Family Yarn.  I’ve long admired Lay Family Yarn from afar (literally and figuratively) and this was the perfect opportunity to finally order their yarn. Let me tell you more! The Calendar This calendar was so much fun to open, as I had no idea what to expect.  I’ve never bought yarn from Lay Family Yarn, though I’ve been tempted more times than I can count.   This calendar was based on a village that Lay Family had curated other yarn around.  I honestly can’t remember the name of it.  But the inspiration art was adorable.  And the colorways were beautiful!  So many beautiful speckles and variegated colors that are soft yet stunning. Thoughts For 12 days, this calendar of mini skeins brought me great joy.  The colorways ranged from extremely subtle and variegated to bright with subtle speckles.  And they go together beautifully!  Conclusion Though this calendar included only the mini skeins, I couldn’t be happier.  It was so lovely to open and I’ve already started a project with it: Helen Stewart’s Land of Sweets Cowl.  And it’s turning out great! (I’ve made a habit of knitting on an Advent yarn project for 30 minutes every morning before work.  It’s so relaxing and gets my day off to a great start!) A 12-day Advent calendar is a great investment if you’re unsure if you can knit a 24 or 25-day calendar.  And I can highly recommend any calendar from Lay Family Yarn!

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Lay Family Yarn 2022 Advent Calendar

Woolens and Nosh

If you like self-striping yarn, like me, you’ve most likely heard of Woolens and Nosh.  Michele is the dyer behind Woolens and Nosh and she lives in Vermont.  She has made a name for herself among knitters as a self-striping yarn master and I could not wait to get my hands on some of her yarn. Let me tell you more! Bases Michele dyes Woolens and Nosh yarn on many bases, including… Kid Silk (Lace – 72% Kid Mohair/28% silk) SW Targhee (Fingering – 90% SW Targhee/10% Nylon) SW Corriedale (Fingering – 75% SW Corriedale/25% Nylon) Non-superwash Merino (Fingering – 100% Merino) MCN (Fingering – 80% SW Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) SW Targhee Sport (90% SW Targhee/10% Nylon) SW Merino (Sport – 100% SW Merino) High Twist DK (100% SW Merino) Squishy DK (100% SW Merino) SW Merino Worsted (100% SW Merino) Availability I’ve always found yarn for sale on the Woolens and Nosh website, but to get the best selection, you need to follow Michele on Instagram to learn of her updates.  And once she updates, yarn sells very quickly!  You need to know what you want beforehand and be ready to check out!    One thing I love about Michele is that she offers so many bases with which you can knit socks!  How cool is that?! Ease of Shopping Michele’s website is very easy to use.  And there are accessories and brand goodies to go along with the awesome yarn for sale! Shipping Shipping within the United States is very reasonable and fast.   Conclusion When Michele comes out with a new colorway, I’m almost always amazed.  She has an incredible eye for color and I know I’ll buy more yarn from her in the future.  Be sure to follow her on Instagram to keep tabs on what she dyeing.

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Woolens and Nosh

January's Yarn Bliss Box

It’s January!  It’s 2023!  How is that possible!?!  With the new month comes another Yarn Bliss Box!  So exciting!  I’ve subscribed to the Yarn Bliss Box from Speckled Finch Studios for ten months now!  And these boxes still continue to delight me!  They have been put together so beautifully and January is no exception. This month’s theme: sheep and all things wooly!   What It Is Nina of Speckled Finch Studios has created the Yarn Bliss Box, which is a monthly yarn subscription.  Each month you get one or two skeins of fingering-weight yarn and some goodies.  Also included in the box is a discount code for Nina’s shop, just in case you need more yarn.   The colorways in the Yarn Bliss Box are exclusive and won’t be dyed for a year.   You can cancel anytime, which helps if you’re uncertain about mystery yarn colors, like myself!   January Edition As usual, Nina surprised me with this box!!  The yarn, I Heart Ewe, is bare with  lovely speckles of purples and browns/greens.  I love purples so this makes me very happy!   Also included were some fun goodies…  A sheep sticker, which I really need tattooed on my forehead,  from Apartment 2 Cards.  And a set of sheet stitch markers from A Needle Runs Through It.  These are too adorable!  Then, as a perk for being a long-time subscriber, Nina included additional goodies: a pair of scissors, which I really needed, and some herbal tea.  How lovely!   (Nine, I really could use a tape measure or two next!  Ha!) Conclusion Every month, I think of canceling this box but then I just can’t bring myself to do it.  The yarn is gorgeous and, as an added bonus, I’m finally filling all my project bags with much-needed notions!!  What’s not to love?! If you’re looking for a yarn subscription box, I highly recommend the Yarn Bliss Box!

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Yarn Bliss Box – January 2023

Birdstreet 2022 Advent

Each year, I try to buy a yarn Advent calendar from a new-to-me dyer.  And so this year, I chose to finally purchase one from Birdstreet Yarn.  This is a British dyer whose yarn constantly captures my attention on Instagram. When they posted an inspiration picture for this year’s Advent – with pinks and teals and turquoise – I knew this calendar was the one!!    And it did not disappoint! The Calendar The Birdstreet Advent Calendar did not disappoint – at all!  It actually exceeded my expectations in every way.  And, amazingly, this dyer had the foresight to give us the full skein of yarn on the first day (instead of the usual last day), so we could be planning for possible patterns from the very start!   I went through the first ten days of this calendar last month, but here is the full lineup of colors! 1 – Bare Naked (and it’s scrumptious!) 2 – Christmas Wrapping  3 – Baby Please Come Home 4 – Stop the Cavalry 5 – Wonderful Christmastime 6 – War is Over/Peace on Earth 7 – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 8 – A Spaceman Came Traveling 9 – Merry XMas Everybody 10 – 2000 Miles 11 – Step Into Christmas 12 – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year 13 – Last Christmas 14 – Merry Christmas Darling 15 – Do They Know It’s Christmas? 16 – I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday 17 – Blue Christmas 18 – Driving Home for Christmas 19 – White Christmas 20 – I Believe in Father Christmas 21 – The Christmas Song 22 –  All I Want for Christmas Is You 23 – Fairytale of New York 24 – One More Sleep 25 – Santa Baby Also included in the calendar was a tote bag, a stitch marker, and two free patterns.  Wow! Thoughts When I envisioned this calendar, I did not even begin to imagine such a lovely product.  These colors just sing to me – blues, teals, pinks, mauves, and purples.  I love it.  And I can fade it!  Though I’ve never been interested in a fade Advent, this makes me want to try one!  I’m currently searching for a pattern that will let me use the full skein along with the mini skeins.  And I cannot wait to knit this calendar! Conclusion This calendar makes me want to buy more yarn from Birdstreet.  They have such amazing colorways.  If you’ve never seen them, you should definitely follow them on Instagram.

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Birdstreet Yarn 2022 Advent Calendar

Heidi and Lana

About a year ago, I stumbled upon the Instagram account for independent yarn dyer Heidi and Lana….and I was blown away by the yarn that I saw.  The speckles (you know I love speckles) were gorgeous!  It took me a while – and a lot of shop stalking – to finally be able to snag some of this yarn.  And let me tell you, it’s just as amazing in person!   Margaret is the owner/dyer of Heidi and Lana.  She lives in Ohio.  And I can’t wait to tell you all about her yarn….. Bases Margaret dyes Heidi and Lana yarn on several bases, including… Homestead Fingering (100% Merino) Meadow Fingering (50% Merino/50% Alpaca)   Seed Fingering (90% Superwash Merino/10% Nylon) Homestead DK (100% Merino) Meadow DK (50% Merino/50% Alpaca) Homestead Worsted (100% Merino) Availability In order to snag some skeins of Heidi and Lana yarn, I suggest you follow Margaret on Instagram to see when she is having an update.  The yarn sells out fast so you  must be ready!   There are other goodies available on the Heidi and Lana site including beautiful Heidi and Lana stitch markers, yarn kits, knitting jewelry, swag, buttons, needles, and candles. Ease of Shopping The Heidi and Lana website is very easy to use and navigate. Shipping Shipping within the United States is reasonable.   Conclusion Margaret also has a Patreon account, which I have been tempted to join.  There are different levels through which you receive a stitch marker, yarn, or both.   I will definitely continue to watch Margaret to see what yarn she’s dyeing.  She is so very talented. 

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Heidi and Lana

Yarn Bliss Box

This month is crazy!  I know I’m not the only one feeling some holiday stress, which is why I’m late getting to this month’s Yarn Bliss Box update! I’ve subscribed to the Yarn Bliss Box from Speckled Finch Studios for nine months now!  And let me tell you…  This box continues to surprise me.  These packages have been put together beautifully and December certainly did not disappoint, with a “winter solstice” theme!  This one took me by surprise and I love it! Let me tell you all about this lovely box!   What It Is Nina of Speckled Finch Studios has created the Yarn Bliss Box, which is a monthly yarn subscription.  Each month you get one or two skeins of fingering-weight yarn and some goodies.  Also included in the box is a discount code for Nina’s shop, just in case you need more yarn.   The colorways in the Yarn Bliss Box are exclusive and won’t be dyed for a year.   You can cancel anytime, which helps if you’re uncertain about mystery yarn colors, like myself!   December Edition This month’s colorway, The Longest Night, is a variegated green.  There are forest green hues, along with some teal and muddy green tones.  I’m not really a green person but this is a lovely skein! Also included in this package is a set of solstice stitch markers – moons and stars – from Winemakers Sister. And for inclusions that do not pertain to yarn/knitting…  A sparkle lollipop from The Little Lollipop Shop, a British company.  And, finally, a solstice sticker (by Luna-Mac) – which are always great for my scrapbooks!   Conclusion Of course, I don’t need more yarn, but I can’t help but keep this subscription because the yarn is just lovely and Nina puts together such great boxes with unexpectedly  fun themes!  If you’re in the market for a yarn subscription box, I can’t recommend this one enough!

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Yarn Bliss Box – December 2022

Birdstreet Advent

My 25-day yarn Advent Calendar from Birdstreet Yarn is so much lovelier than I expected.  Each day is such a joy and I cannot wait to share the first ten days of yarn with you!   Warning: Spoilers ahead! The Calendar How lovely are these first ten days!  These colors are just beautiful!!   I cannot believe a dyer had the foresight to have the full skein unveiled on the first day!  This is such a novel concept and I love it! Here are the colorway names…. 1 – Bare Naked (and it’s scrumptious!) 2 – Christmas Wrapping  3 – Baby Please Come Home 4 – Stop the Cavalry 5 – Wonderful Christmastime 6 – War is Over/Peace on Earth 7 – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 8 – A Spaceman Came Traveling 9 – Merry XMas Everybody 10 – 2000 Miles Thoughts I love these colors – they are on theme as to what the inspiration photo indicated and I adore it!  The pinks, teals, purples, and blues are just glorious! Given the neutral, full skein, I’d love to find a huge shawl pattern for this calendar that will use that full skein in between the mini skeins.  I do so love my big shawls!  As usual, I will wait until January before I try to start anything with this yarn, as I like to re-arrange the colors!  (Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see these mini skeins unveiled the day I open them!) Conclusion If you’re unwrapping an Advent goodie each day, I hope it’s bringing you joy!  And please let me know if you know of any shawl patterns that would work with this Advent!

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Birdstreet Advent – First 10 Days

Gatti Yarn Co

Y’all know I can’t resist variegated and speckled yarn, right?  As such, I’m always on the lookout for dyers who make lovely variegated  colorways.  I happened upon one on Etsy, Gatti Yarn Co., and love what I’ve bought.  Gatti Yarn is dyed in New Jersey by Ashley.  And she is one talented yarn dyer! Let me tell you more! Bases Gatti Yarn is dyed on several bases, including… Tabby Sock (Fingering 75/25) Calico Sock (Fingering) DK (75/25) (I’m a bit unsure of all the bases, as only one is listed in Ravelry.  I have a skein of DK and have seen the Calico base on Etsy.) Availability Ashley seems to always have yarn on Etsy.  She finds inspiration from popularly books, such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTR)(my skein is called Rhysand).  There have also been clubs in the past so be sure to follow Ashley on Instagram to see all about what she’s dyeing up. Ease of Shopping Etsy is always easy for shoppers and the Gatti Yarn shop is no different. Shipping Shipping within the United States is reasonable.   Conclusion I will continue to follow Ashley to see how she grows Gatti Yarn.  She is a very talented dyer and I can’t wait to see what inspires her next.  I hope it’s more ACOTR!  And I love her DK yarn so if you’re needing DK sock yarn, be sure to be on the lookout for more from Gatti Yarn!

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Gatti Yarn Co

Advent Calendar

For several years now, I’ve bought yarn Advent calendars to help celebrate the season leading up to Christmas.  For years, as a knitter, I had no idea these existed.  And then I started watching knitting podcasts and knew I had to purchase one for myself.   For 2022, I’ve had some interesting ideas for the calendars.Let me tell you more! What It Is A yarn Advent calendar is like any other Advent calendar – usually 12 or 24/25 days of little gifts to open leading up to Christmas.  But for us knitters and crocheters, these yarn Advent calendars usually come with a mini skein a day.  And sometimes there’s a full-sized skein to open on Christmas day. So many dyers are now doing Advents – and they list them as early in the year as March.  For many people,  it’s often overwhelming to think about so early in the year – and to decide from which dyer to purchase.  I usually  try to buy from a new-to-me dyer, which makes it extra fun! 2022 Calendars For my full 25-day calendar this year, I chose to finally purchase one from Birdstreet Yarn.  This is a British dyer whose yarn constantly captures my attention on Instagram. When they posted an inspiration picture for this year’s Advent – with pinks and teals and turquoise – I knew this calendar was the one!!  This comes with a full-sized skein. But then I saw that Lay Family Yarn, another British dyer, was offering an Advent.  This is another dyer from whom I’ve always wanted to shop.  The overseas shipping is always a deterrent, though.  But I couldn’t resist this year so I bought a 12-day calendar from this dyer. And then….  Natalie announced to her Love In Stitches membership (of which I’m a part) an Advent calendar swap.  Oh my!  This one was designed to help use up yarn scraps so of course I had to participate!  To get rid of yarn scraps!  But because I already have 1.5 calendars coming, I chose to do a 12-day calendar again.  (This was super fun to talk with my swap partner and choose appropriate yarn scraps!) Conclusion Of course, I have to knit with these calendars.  I’ve already knit with last  year’s two calendars, though I still have a bit to go on my Wolop Cowl.  But these calendars are always so much fun to knit with and there are so many patterns now that these calendars have become so popular.  Look for a post soon about what I’m thinking of making!  Happy knitting!

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2022 Advent Calendars