Friday, November 11, 2016

Yarn it Forward: Veteran's Day

I posted this on facebook this morning, regarding today being Veteran's day here in the USA.

There have been so many times in the past year that I have seen articles shared about how suicides are up among those serving and our young veterans, how VA programs are failing our most vulnerable veterans. I've seen the hard times my own circle of military friends has had.

We have faced deployments (one while I was pregnant), and we have always come out better for it - but that is not the norm. So many come back different people, and then our country fails them time and again.

So this year, these next 365 days, I want you to Yarn It Forward. Let's make this country better for everyone one stitch at a time.

Ways to Yarn it (or sew it, quilt it, craft it, etc.) Forward for those who have served and those who still serve:

Operation We are Here - 

Soldier's Angels -

Flags Across the Nation -

Operation First Response -

Operation Pocket Field Pillow -

Quilts of Valor -

Operation Gratitude -

I know that there are more - so feel free to comment below, and I will update the list.

Joyful Darkness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yarn Review - Caron Cakes

Caron introduced a new yarn a few weeks back - and I picked up a few, uh, cakes on my birthday.

I made a quick crochet review video - and it got a bunch of views, so I followed up with a knit video. 

So here are the things that I promised I would share ( along with a third wrap up video... if I do this again, it will all be one longer video.)

Crocheting with Caron Cakes

The yarn has a nice feel in your hand and the round ripple pattern that I chose worked nicely with the long color bands. If I was making this for a client or as a gift I would be pickier with the color changes, to make the bands a little crisper. That would definitely mean using 2 cakes. splitting issues and the finished blanket has that 'silky' feel of a nice acrylic with the warm feel of wool. I did not have any snagging or splitting issues. The recommended hook size (H) was perfect for me, even though I tend to have a very loose gauge. 

Round ripple measurements:
  • Before washing - 31" from peak to peak.
  • After washing, before drying - 34" from peak to peak.
  • After a quick dry - 32" from peak to peak, no noticeable felting. 

Washing Notes:
I did NOT block this blanket. Washed on a cold/cold cycle with some jeans, on a fast spin setting. Blanket felt barely damp when I took it out of the washer. Dryer was set on 'Damp Dry' and buzzed after about 15 minutes. Blanket felt pretty dry (jeans, not so much)

Knitting with Caron Cakes
The stitches are a bit looser than I would like, which is, of course, an issue with gauge, and not the yarn itself. If you are a loose knitter, or you like a stiffer fabric, drop a needle size or two. For the scarf I am making, however, this looser fabric has a ton of drape and is perfect for the oversized style. 

Scarf Measurements:
  • Before Washing - 73" x 10.5"
  • After Wash, pre-blocking - didn't remember to measure.
  • After Blocking - 73"x11"

Washing Notes:
I used the same washing method as described above. 

Overall -
I really enjoyed this yarn. I would definitely use this again. 

Knitting Gauge:
18 sts – 24 rows = 4" (10 cm) on 5 mm, US - 8 needles

Crochet Gauge:
13 sc - 14 rows = 4" (10 cm) on 5mm, US - H/8 hook

Skein Weight: 7.1 oz./ 200g
Yardage: 383 yd. / 350 m
Contents: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool

Price per cake - $7.99 (at my local Michaels Arts and Crafts)
  • Price per yard - $.020861
  • Price per ounce - $1.125352
Summary Score
  1. Washability - For part wool yarn, very washable. 5/5, no fuss needed. 
  2. Wearability - Soft, warm, but without the acrylic 'sweaty' or 'sticky' feeling that you sometimes get, and no itchy wool feeling either. 4.5/5, I might like this to be a little warmer when it's breezy, but that could be an issue with my gauge. 
  3. Snuggly-ness - My son loves the blanket. The scarf will definitely get lots of wear this winter. 4/5 would like it to be a little 'loftier'
  4. Craftablilty - Knits well, crochets well, I even braided some leftover to use as an emergency bag tie. No snags or splitting issues while knitting. 5/5 (If anyone has woven with this, I'd like to hear how that went)

Total score - 18.5/20

I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments. Let me know how you would score this yarn!

Video Playlist-

Joyful Darkness

Yarn and More