Twins Face Off – Yashi Sneak Peek

Twins Face Off – Sneak Peek of Crochet with Raffia

Last week we announced that Ewe and Me is sponsoring the Twins Face Off crochet challenge using Yashi, a raffia yarn by Universal Yarn. We’re still working on our projects, but here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve got so far.Sneak Peek Crochet with Raffia

Summer Accessories (non clothing) – that’s the category Debbie, the owner of Ewe and Me, has challenged us with. Since it’s warm and sunny these days…we are loving all the possibilities.

Next week we’ll share photos and ask you to vote for the design you like better. We’ll also be giving away prizes.

  • 1 place: Yarn needed to make the winning design and both crochet patterns;
  • 2nd place: both crochet patterns.

Two Ways to Win!
Register to win (next week) here on our blog and in store at Ewe and Me.

 

See you next week!

Twins Face Off – Ewe and Me Challenge with Yashi

Twins Face Off Crochet Design Challenge and Giveaway Sponsored by Ewe and Me Using Yashi Yarn by Universal Yarns

Ewe and Me: A Yarn Boutique in Colorado Springs is sponsoring this month’s Twins Face Off crochet design challenge and we are thrilled, excited and definitely challenged!

Yashi Challenge by Ewe and Me A Yarn Boutique to Yarn Twins

Debbie, Owner of Ewe and Me (pictured center) presents Yashi Yarn by Universal to Dana (left) and Deborah (right)…saying “Game On”

Debbie Golucke, Owner of Ewe and Me, presented us with a challenge to use Yashi. This is a fairly new yarn made from raffia sold by Universal Yarns. We were each given 8 skeins of this raffia yarn with Debbie tellling us, “Game On!”

Next week we will announce what cateogry of item we will crochet and we’ll share a sneak peek at what we’re working on. The week following that we will ask you to vote on the two designs.

Yashi YarnThere will also be 2 chances to win this yarn! Stop by Ewe and Me to enter the giveaway being held in store. Enter online here on Yarnovations.com. Giveaway starts June 19.

  • 1st place to wins the yarn needed to make the winning design and the 2 patterns;
  • 2nd place to win the two patterns.

A big thank you to Ewe and Me for sponsoring this challenge! Debbie also has some fun things planned in store…so be sure to stop by later this month.

Behind the Scenes: Baby Pink – Shelly Baby Set

Behind the Scenes: Baby Pink – Shelly Baby Set

The Baby Pink Shelly Baby Set eeked out a win in the Twin Face Off design challenge using Bernat Softee Baby yarn in May 2015. I, Dana, thought I would share a bit about how the design came to be.

Pink Baby Blanket Set

 

The blanket was the first project I created. I was inspired by swatches I found in the Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell. From there I created a sweater, hat and booties that incoporporated the elements from the center panel and edging of the blanket.

As you can see in the photo above, I used a brown ribbon as an accent in the set. I adore the contrast in color. Ultimately I swapped the brown for a pink because I couldn’t find a button that coordianted without being overpowering. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the daisies…but I think they are a bit bright for the set.

pink booties with daisy buttons

That being said, I absolutely adore how the daisies look with the booties. If the challenge had just been baby booties, I definitely would have kept them. Perhaps I should have looked a little harder for a ribbon to go with the buttons…maybe a white or yellow.

Pink Shell Baby Sweater Hat Booties

This is the first time I’ve created a baby sweater, so it was the last thing I designed…and I was nervous about it. Deborah went through a baby sweater craze recently and honestly, I was a little intimidated to make one. She shared her basic pattern with me and I was able to modify it to create a cute little sweater that I’m happy with.

Twins Face Off Baby Sets

 

This particular challenge was really fun for me. I don’t often make girly items and I found that it was a blast! Deborah was thrilled to make a “boy” set because she’s got two little ones at home. So she was very interested in creating projects that she would actually use.

Shelly Baby Blanket in Blue

 

Our mom saw a sneak peek of the pink baby blanket before the challenge went live and she loved it! She wanted to make a blanket for her great grand son and asked for the pattern. So, she was the first pattern tester for the baby blanket. The blanket turned out great and looks adorable in baby blue. Good job, Mom!

 

 

Review: Softee Baby by Bernat

Review: Softee Baby by Bernat

We used Softee Baby in our Twins Face Off Baby Set crochet design challange this month. Here are our thoughts about the yarn.

Bernat Softee Baby

We love it! Not only is Softee Baby soft, as the name implies, it also has great drape. It is delightful to work with and makes beautiful finished pieces.

Yarn Features:

According to Yarnspirations website: “Bernat Softee Baby is a soft, premium acrylic yarn with a delightful range of shades. 100% acrylic”

Light Weight: 140g / 5 oz, 331 meters / 362 yards

Bernat Softee Baby Pros:

  • Soft to crochet
  • Soft finished projects
  • Beautiful drape
  • Glides smoothly over hook
  • Nice variety of pastel baby colors

Bernat Softee Baby Cons:

  • Colors limited to pastel baby colors

This yarn is perfect for a variety of projects including baby blankets, hats, sweaters and booties. We only wish it came in more colors!

Here are some patterns that use Softee Baby by Bernat:

Winners in the Twins Face Off Baby Set Challenge

Winners in the Twins Face Off Baby Set Challenge using Bernat Softee Baby

Dana BincerCongrats to Dana Bincer for winning the Baby Set Challenge with the Baby Pink – Shelly Baby Set. It was a close race. The pink set received 56% of the votes. Dana has pulled ahead – winning 2 contests to Deborah’s 1.

We received lots of great feedback. People said they liked elements out of each set and that it was difficult to choose which set they liked better! It was fun to have such a close contest.

Winners in the Giveaway

A big round of applause for the two winners in the Bernat Softee Baby yarn giveaway.

Pink Shell Baby Blanket SetFirst Place: Vickie W. R.
Vickie wins 4 skeins of Bernat Softee Baby yarn (in color 0f choice) and the patterns for both baby sets.

Second Place: Elsa L.
Elsa wins both patterns for the baby sets.

A big thank you to everyone for participating in the Twins Face Off Design Challenge. It means a lot to us that you voted and entered the giveaway.

The patterns for both baby sets are available in the shop. Learn more about each pattern:

Vote on Baby Challenge and Giveaway

Vote on the Baby Design Challenge and
Enter the Bernat Softee Baby Yarn Giveaway

It’s up to you to choose, which baby set you like better. After you vote below, enter the giveaway for your chance to win the yarn used in this month’s challenge as well as the patterns for both baby sets.

Giveaway ends May 25, 2015 at midnight.

Vote on Twins Face Off Baby Sets

Left: Baby Pink Shelly Baby Set Right: Baby Blue HDC Faux Stockinette Baby Set

Below are more photos of the baby sets. You can see more photos in the shop: Baby Pink Shelly Baby Set and Baby Blue HDC Faux Stockinette Baby Set.

Pink Shell Baby Sweater Hat Booties

HDC Baby Sweater Hat Booties

It’s time for your vote – it’s annonymous…so vote with confidence!

Vote

Which Baby Set do you like better?

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Bernat Softee Baby Giveaway

USA and Canada Only

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Twins Face Off – Bernat Softee Baby Sneak Peek

Twins Face Off – Bernat Softee Baby Sneak Peek

Last week we announced that we are raiding our stash for the Bernat Softee Baby yarn Twins Face Off design challenge.

Here’s a peek at what we’re working on:

Twins Face Off May 2015 Sneak Peek

Baby projects! That’s the category we chose for the yarn. We’ll be wrapping up the patterns this week.

Next week we’ll share photos and ask you to vote for your favorite design. We’ll also be giving away prizes. 1 place: 4 skeins of yarn (pale blue or soft red, color of winners choice) and the patterns; 2nd place: two patterns.

See you next week!

 

Behind the Scenes: Chutes and Lattice

chutes and lattice with twist and tuckBehind the Scenes:
Chutes and Lattice Scarf

Inspiration comes from lots of different places. In the case of the Chutes and Lattice Scarf, it was a combination of having a beautiful yarn on hand at a time when I was browsing through a stitch dictionary.

First: The Yarn

I attended the Estes Park Wool Festival a few years ago with my friend Jean (from Desert Rose Designs). There were lots of beautiful yarns at the show, and I was overwhelmed by it all (what did I know…I crocheted with acrylic most of the time). Jean had a lot of great things to say about the yarn we saw in the booth of Brooks Farm. So I decided to buy a skein. I selected Acero because I loved the rich color, the soft fiber (wool/silk/viscose blend) and that one skein had 420 yards. Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with it!

Second: The Stitch Dictionary

donna kooler's encyclopedia of crochetAbout a year after attending the wool festival, I found myself browsing through Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. I was inspired by a lot of the designs in there, particularly those in the “Lace Patterns” section.

So, out came the Acero yarn. I began crocheting a few swatches and soon realized that my projects didn’t always look like the pictures in the book. I learned a valuable lesson: the material the yarn is made of will impact the look, drape and feel of the finished project! I was bound to stumble upon this widely known truth sometime. I’m glad it was when I had a beautiful yarn and a great book to refer to.

Third: The Scarf

To me, the “Chain Lace” on page 149 of Donna Kooler’s book looked like flowers or chutes. Although I loved it, I didn’t want that pattern to make up the entire scarf. So I added some lattice; open ladder like chain work which I sprinkled throughout and added to the ends. And since the chutes are directional, I created the scarf in two panels.

I loved it. My sister and mom did, too. My mom has even hinted that she’d love it if I’d accidently leave it at her house when I come visit. Since she’s a crocheter herself, I think I’ll just leave her the pattern!

Coral BloomsFourth: Publication

I was so happy with the scarf, I decided to submit it to Love of Crochet magazine and they accepted it! They requested a lighter color yarn, so I recrocheted it in Knit Picks Gloss in Guava (color discontinued). Renamed “Coral Blooms”, my scarf appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the magazine.

Fifth: Self Publishing

The magazine had exclusive rights to the design for several months, meaning I couldn’t sell it on my website (or blog or share photos of the design I loved so much).

Now I can…thus my Behind the Scene’s article. One of the fun things about self publishing is the ability to show more photos. Earlier this week I posted the pattern in the shop and shared lots of styling options on the blog, which were modeled by my friend Lorien (from Lady Lorien Designs).

This is a really fun lacy design. If you make one for yourself, please share photos on Ravelry! We’d love it.

Review: The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop

Review: “The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop”
by Dora Ohrenstein

Crocheter's Skill Building Workshop-Cover“A beautiful, stunning and informative resource.” You can quote me, Dana, on that!

I read a review of “The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop” on Crochetville and wondered if this book was all it was touted to be. And, yeah. It’s good. Really good.

If ever I thought about writing down all that I know and tricks I think every crocheter needs to know, this is the book I would have envisioned writing. But it wouldn’t have been half as good. Dora Ohrenstein nailed it with this book.

Have you ever wondered why some people’s crochet projects looks sloppy while other people’s work looks great? The difference can be a matter of technique, of knowing and putting into practice some basic skills. This book will transform your crochet.

The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop Pros

  • Step-by-step instructions & photos of basic techniques for beginners
  • Advice (and photos) for advanced crocheters
  • In depth discussion (and charts) on how to write and modify patterns
  • Photos with amazing clarity
  • 75 swatch patterns (photos and charts) that illustrate various techniques
  • Charts with two colors to help distinguish odd and even rows.
  • 256 pages with nice thick glossy paper that’s durable and provides crisp clear images
  • Great writing style – it feels like you’re having a converstaion with an instructor that’s professional yet approachable.

My three favorite sections are:

  1. Pages 53-55  Alternatives to Standard Turning Chains
    I hate how wimpy the turning chain looks as a stitch (so I often don’t count it as a st). Dora gives several great alternatives (with step-by-step photos which are very much appreciated).
  2. Pages 194-195  Tapestry Crochet
    I’ve done a little bit of tapestry crochet, but haven’t fallen in love with it. Her tip on crocheting backwards (and again, love the step-by-step photos!) makes me want to give it another try.
  3. Pages 136-139 Internal Shaping
    I liked all of Chapter 7 “Advanced Shaping” but loved the highlighted chart that addressed building a pattern internally on page 137.

The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop Cons

  • Instructions on designing 3D items seemed light. There are patterns for a hat and bag, but the book didn’t address things like amigurumi.
  • My tablet had trouble with the electronic version (which I checked out from the library). It skipped from chapter to chapter instead of page to page. In the end I’m thankful that my tablet had problems because the printed version is stunningly beautiful.
  • Not really a con, but something I found odd was the placement of the section on Pattern Reading. It seems like it would have been better placed at the front of the book rather than the back, since there were patterns sprinkled throughout the book.

The only thing I thought missing was a technique called an invisible join (which I’ve pinned on pinterest). Page 102 does give 4 ways to start and end a round.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop. Not because I think I know it all, cause I don’t. I guess I thought it would be a long winded detailed discussion on every miniscule crochet technique ever known to man. Instead, the chapters were concise yet thorough and were beautifully illustrated with fun patterns and beautiful photos. This is definitely one to keep on the shelf as a reference along side your stitch dictionaries.

Twins Face Off – Stashbuster with Bernat Softee Baby

Twins Face Off – Stashbuster Crochet Design Challenge
with Bernat Softee Baby

Twins Back to BackIt’s a new month and time for a new Twins Face Off crochet design challenge. We’ve each won one challenge so we’re both feeling the pressure this month!

For the May design challenge we’re raiding our stash.

We using Bernat Softee Baby in a Soft Red and Pale Blue.

Bernat Softee Baby

We’ll each use 4 skeins of a single color for this challange. The yarn is 100% acrylic, 140 g / 5 oz / 331 m / 362 yards. It’s a soft light weight (3) yarn with a beautiful sheen.

Giveaway and Challenge

Next week we’ll announce what category of item we’re crocheting and share sneak peek photos.

In two weeks we’ll share photos of the completed items and ask you to vote for your favorite. We’ll also be giving away prizes!

  • 1st place wins 4 skeins in the color of winner’s choice and the two patterns.
  • 2nd place wins the two patterns.

In three weeks we’ll announce the winners of the yarn and patterns as well as the twin who designed the most popular design.