swatching Misti Alpaca

Best of Nature Organic Cotton

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, eco world, Fiber Focus, Yarn, Yarn Review Leave a Comment

Today’s yarn review investigates Best of Nature Organic Cotton from Misti Alpaca. This organic pima cotton is grown in Peru and dyed with vegetables and minerals! Gauge:The ball band recommends a US 7/ 4.5mm needle. After swatching using US 6 – US 9, my test swatches confirmed that US 7 is the needle size which best limited the natural stitch shape change that happens on untreated cotton once washed. For me, both unwashed and washed / blocked gauge is 18 sts and 26 rows over 4″/ 10cm, which was the upper end of the ball band range. Additionally all four sample gauge areas resulted in the same stitch and row number. But what made me happiest was the fact the …

linen WIP with tea and cookies

Working with Linen Yarn

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, eco world, Fiber Focus, How-Tos, Pattern Related, Puddles, Q&A, Yarn 18 Comments

Last week I published my 10th pattern featuring linen yarn and thought it was high time I write a blog on working with this unique fiber! Without a doubt, linen is the “black sheep” of the cellulose fiber bases. But like all black sheep it is the unique characteristics of the fiber that will draw you in and keep you coming back for more! It has the best stitch memory of any cellulous fiber I’ve tried. Linen is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and thermoregulating like some of the other cellulous fibers like bamboo. However, unlike the others in the category, it lacks elasticity and is initial rough to the touch – thus making it the black sheep. When knitting the 2 …

polar bear round robin start image

Instagram Fun

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Apparently February is the month for social media fun so I’m joining in! First up, the wonderful powers that be at Ravelry created #yarnlovechallenge / @yarnlovechallenge – a month full of prompts, where you show your love of yarn and get to know your fellow crafters! I’d love to learn more about your love for fiber – give me a tag on Instagram if you join in this challenge too :-). Also this month I’ve gotten together with some of my favorite indie designers for an Instagram Round Robin. This is your chance to win each pattern highlighted by all us indies! The theme is Polar Bear knits – indie knits for the coldest winter nights. Interested in playing along? …

Puddles ears covered a rarity

Q&A: Organic Cotton for Winter Hats

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On IG Thethoughtfulknitter asked “p.s. how do you find using cotton for cold weather hats? I lost my hat and going to knit one.” Thanks so much for your question! Since snow is once again in the forecast, I thought this an ideal topic for this week’s blog. Organic cotton (and cotton in general) is an excellent option for cold weather knits! As important as the fiber is, however, I’ve found that the needle size, pattern, and fit play a stronger role in whether or not the fiber will keep you cozy in the coldest climes. Needle Size: the smaller the needle size with the thicker the yarn, the warmer your FO will be! The thicker yarn creates a density …

k2tog by God small front

Zip As You Knit (TM)

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According to Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), and who’s to argue with that most wise of men? So accordingly TPTB created a “Flash of Genius” test for claiming a technique as such. The following is the story of my flash of genius that resulted in my Zip As You Knit (TM) technique. Years back I ran a test for a headband with color work. Due to the nature of cotton and the fact it doesn’t felt, I offered it as a work flat and seam design. One of the testers was substituting wool and asked if I minded if she worked in the round. Of course, I didn’t, but I was SO jealous! You all …

I want you

Change Is in the Air

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, eco world, Pattern Related, Yarn 5 Comments

…And also in the pattern layout! After many months brainstorming with my mentors I believe I’ve finally solved one of the biggest issues being allergic to animal-fiber created! I’m super excited about this development as I’ve never been ethically against animal fibers if they are produced in a humane way, just limited by my own illness. I shall try to limit my use of exclamation points, but don’t let that fool you – I’m totally jazzed about this development and hope you all will be too! In the pattern you’ll see a few new things. The “gauge” section will now look like this: Rather than requiring both blocked stitch and row gauge to match, you may now substitute as long …

The Unique Sheep Organic Cotton Petite DK

Organic Cotton Petite DK Yarn Review

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, eco world, Fiber Focus, Yarn, Yarn Review 3 Comments

NEW – you all know that sign when you see it hanging next to beautiful fiber; you drop everything just to dive into the lovely new yarn! Well I had that experience recently thanks to a squishy mail delivery from one of my favorite yarnies, The Unique Sheep. Inside was a sample of their new yarn offering, Organic Cotton Petite DK! And I’m not at all ashamed to confess that after it went through the obligatory wash, I dropped all my WIPs in order to whip out swatches to see what yarn stories Organic Cotton Petite DK was dying to tell. Review – through the fingersOrganic Cotton Petite DK has an airy lofty feel to it. In addition to being …

Cestari Sheep & Wool Co. Francis

An Inside Look at Cestari

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, Designers, eco world, Pattern Related, Yarn 1 Comment

Francis Chester, the patriarch of Cestari Sheep & Wool Co, graciously granted me an interview this week. A fellow indie designer told me about Cestari and when I saw it at Black Mountain Yarn shop, I had to give it a try. Immediately a fan, I wanted to know more about this yarn company, which has such a unique vision and family focus. So without further ado, please say “hi” to Francis! Cestari – what’s the story behind your unique name? Cestari is my Ancestral Italian name from my father’s family who were shepherds for centuries. Your website shows you to be a leader and initiator in many aspects of wool production: from your decades old family-run operation, to your …