Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

accessories

WIPs & FOs: Marty's Flamin Socks, Foxy Hat, and a baby hat.

WIPs & FOsJean Chung2 Comments
Foxy & Wolfie Hat for Logan.

Foxy & Wolfie Hat for Logan.

I'm trying not to put too much time into baby knitting, but when I saw this pattern on Instagram, I had to knit one (or two, or THREE!). Now that I think about it, I should've knitted a Wolfie one which suited the name Logan more :D

I cast on and finished in less than 2 hours, and used the Vince buttons I had (just flipped them over so that the Vince logo wasn't visible). The smallest size on the pattern is for Toddler, but I think by the time it's chilly enough for a hat in So Cal, Logan would be able to wear this, or maybe even earlier if he takes after his dad :)

I used scraps of Patons Classic Wool for the face, and Brown Sheep Naturespun Worsted that I overdyed a long time ago for the ribbing, nose, ears, and back. I love this color combination better than orange with white, which was my initial plan.

Marty's Flamin' Socks

Marty's Flamin' Socks

Marty's socks out of Lorna's Laces Solemate in "Flames" colorway are done done done! Marty says they feel very comfortable, and they feel like an open window on a cool breezy day. I think that's a good thing! :D

Finally, an WIP for Logan.

knitcap

I know that the hospital will most likely provide a knit cap for the newborn baby, but this is what it is like to have a knitter as a mom I guess. I decided to make a handknit cap out of some scrap sock yarns, and make it all fancy. These are leftovers of Anzula Cloud, which was used in my Gurum Socks, and Plymouth Dye For Me Dancing Toes yarn, which was in my Lady Sybil socks. So basically, they're cashmere blend and alpaca blend--so soft, and so luxurious! 

The pattern I'm using is a free pattern from Purl Soho, Heirloom Hats for Newborns. I could probably make two with the leftover yarns.... OR, make matching baby booties! We'll see. 

 

Review & Giveaway Contest: Australian Superfine Merino by Cleckheaton

ReviewsJean Chung9 Comments
giveaway2
Australian Superfine Merino by Cleckheaton, in Shade 21 Cardboard and Shade 53 Cream

Australian Superfine Merino by Cleckheaton, in Shade 21 Cardboard and Shade 53 Cream

Today, I am reviewing new yarn from Cleckheaton in Australia. Cleckheaton and Stitchcraft Marketing kindly sent me a sample to review, and another kit to give away as a prize! Read on to learn more about how you can win Cleckheaton's 2 Colour Beanie Kit.

FREE pattern from Cleckheaton website: 2-Colour Beanie in Australian Superfine Merino

FREE pattern from Cleckheaton website: 2-Colour Beanie in Australian Superfine Merino

The name of the yarn is Australian Superfine Merino, a very high quality, ethically produced yarn, as endorsed by the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association (ASWGA). These woolgrowers carefully select sheep with purebloodlines and graze them on sustainable grassland.

Cleckheaton may seem a little unfamiliar to North American knitters, but Cleckheaton's parent company is Australian Country Spinner, which also distributes Patons yarn. 

So what is superfine merino wool? "Superfine" basically describes the softness of the wool. Wool fibers are generally explained in their microns -- the lower the number of microns, the finer the yarn is. Think about those hair care commercials that show your hair strands and cuticles. When there are more cuticle "ridges" on the hair strand, the hair feels coarser and rough. Superfine Merino Wool has 18.5~15.6 microns where as Strong Merino Wool has up to 26 microns. 

The kit comes with 2 balls of Australian Superfine Merino yarn in contrasting colors, a small postcard explaining the yarn and the company, and a free pattern for the 2-colour beanie. The kit comes in a canvas drawstring bag, which turns into a perfect project bag for this hat project. 

The yarn has the cutest product tag. The yarn is in a 65g / 130m ball (that is, 2.3 oz / 142 yds for the U.S. readers). The tags are attached to a garment label and washing instruction card that you can use after you finish the project. 

The tags are inserted in the yarn, unlike many other yarns with tags tied to the yarn, so you can pull it out, and start knitting right away (no scissors needed!). Also, the ball is a perfect center-pull ball, so you can start using the yarn from the center, without dealing with "yarn barf."

 

Cleckheaton website describes this yarn as "the ultimate natural fibre" that feels "silky smooth, with an unparalleled comfort factor, this woo can be worn directly next to the skin."

I would personally add that the 8-ply really makes the yarn round and plump, perfect for cable work, with good twists so that it stays round and plump without losing the lightness of merino wool.

I am working on the 2-colour beanie with the yarn, and when I was done with the ribbing portion, I tried to rub it against my forehead, which gets sensitive from wool from time to time. I didn't have any problem with it!

 

Their pattern section is also something to check out. The designs are all knitted in Australian Superfine Merino yarn, some are very classic, some quirky, some very practical and modern, some free!

I ended up buying two paid patterns, Men's Shawl Collar Pullover and Tweens Graphic Pullover. The transaction went smoothly and I was able to download the patterns instantly. 

Men's Shawl Collar Pullover is perfect for my husband, Marty. He LOVES shawl collar sweaters. This has some textured portions, so it looks simple and classic enough for men but interesting to knit for the knitter.

My baby will have YEARS before he is considered a "Tween" but when I looked at the sizing information, I knew the Tweens Graphic Pullover would fit me (the largest size, 14, has 39" actual circumference. I just have to knit the sleeves a little longer. The graphic detail is so cute and can be very retro and funky or slick and modern depending on which colors you choose.

GIVEAWAY PRIZE

This kit can be YOURS - in 50 True Blue & 02 Dark Grey shades

This kit can be YOURS - in 50 True Blue & 02 Dark Grey shades

Now the fun part. You can win the 2-colour beanie kit! It comes with 2 balls of Australian Superfine Merino by CLeckheaton, 1 ball in True Blue, and 1 ball in Dark Grey colorways.

HOW TO WIN THIS 2-COLOUR BEANIE KIT!

2 Ways to Participate in the contest; It takes about 10 seconds!

If you're on Instagram

1. Follow Cleckheaton ASM on Instagram at @cleckheatonsuperfine -  http://instagram.com/cleckheatonsuperfine

2. Follow me on Instagram at @candyandbagel -  http://instagram.com/candyandbagel

3. Comment below with your Instagram account name and Ravelry name so I can contact you if you win.

If you're on Facebook

1. Like Cleckheaton ASM page at https://www.facebook.com/cleckheatonsuperfine

2. Like Candy & Bagel page at https://www.facebook.com/candyandbagel

3. Comment below with your Facebook account name and Ravelry name so I can contact you if you win.

Deadline: January 15, 2015 11:59PM PST; I will randomly choose 1 winner. Make sure you leave your Ravelry name in the comment box so that I can contact you!!!  (US Residents Only!)

 

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me to review by Stitchcraft Marketing and Cleckheaton. The opinions in this post and blog are entirely mine, and I was not otherwise paid, compensated, contracted, or obligated to review this product.

Pattern Release: Bagel's Rainy Day Hat & HOLIDAY SALE!!!

Original Patterns, Life ThingsJean ChungComment
Bagel's Rainy Day Hat, in Anzula Handdyed Yarns For Better or Worsted in "Keola" colorway.

Bagel's Rainy Day Hat, in Anzula Handdyed Yarns For Better or Worsted in "Keola" colorway.

Bagel is a Taiwanese Mountain Dog that traveled over 6,500 miles on a plane to be part of our family when my husband and I were dating. And good thing we are in sunny Southern California because he is really afraid of the rain. Whenever it rains, he looks up in the sky wistfully and then looks back at us like we are doing something terrible to him. When we walk out the door, he turns back and heads for the garage as if to say, “hey guys, it rains over here, let’s try the other door!”

On one stormy day few weeks ago, I was designing this hat and Bagel wouldn’t leave my side. When I finished the sample, I wore it to go outside with him for a few minutes so that he could get used to the rain a little more and sniff around. I am dedicating this 4th piece to the First Love Collection to the little furry boy who gives us so much unconditional love and made our family so complete.

I think this hat will be a great last-minute gift for the holidays! Which is why I am offering 40% OFF sale for this and all of my other self-published patterns. Also if you're new to cables, this would be a great practice piece. It's easy to complete this project without a cable needle, if you would like to try cabling without cable needle

Yarn: Anzula Handdyed Yarns For Better or Worsted in "Keola" colorway (80% SW Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon. 200 yds / 182 m per 100g skein.

Needles: US 7 / 4.5mm circular needles, longer than 32" for magic loop technique or DPNs.

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows in 4" in Cable Chart pattern.

Size: T fit head circumference 21".

Pattern Available Here

As you can see, the cast on was done in tubular cast on. You can use any type of cast on method, I guess, but I really like Tubular Cast-On method for my socks and hats, and my favorite is Long-Tail Tubular Cast On these days. I did not include my own tutorial in the pattern because I learned from the Purl Bee's Tutorial and think it was pretty awesome. 

By the way, the yarn I used is one of the softest and strongest worsted yarn I've ever used. Anzula is sort of local to me, as they are in California, and I love supporting local dyers. The hat takes 1 skein, and I had about 20g leftover when I was done with the sample. I am super careful about choosing yarn for hats because I think my face is mildly allergic to scratchy wool. The part that touches my forehead always gets red and itchy, and by 30 minutes into wearing the hat, I usually just take it off and spend the whole day with that awkward hat hair.

This yarn has none of that. I have been wearing this hat almost every other day! We are having warm winter season but for our morning walks with the doggies, I always need some extra wool layers. I have been switching between this hat and my Quick Moss Hat. And even when I come back inside our home, I keep wearing this hat until it gets too warm. This is my new favorite yarn, especially for hats!

So more on the HOLIDAY SALE! From December 24 through December 26, 11:59PM PT, all of my self-published patterns are on sale, 40% off! No coupon code is necessary, everything should work automatically. :)

I am going to my husband's cousin's wedding today, which is a great event to start Christmas vacation. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas; otherwise, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!