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Natural Fiber Yarns

Welcome to the blog of Better Yarn Store

Lace scarf and the miracle of blocking.

 

Do you give your handmade items finishing touch with blocking? I hope you do J

Some time ago I knitted a lace scarf for a very nice lady in Paris. The pattern was Whispering Lace (Drops 133-16) and I used Drops Lace yarn to knit it. I have to say I really like Drops Lace yarn. It’s a thin yarn but nevertheless warm because it’s a luxurious mix of alpaca and silk. Perfect for delicate lace shawl (but not only!).

The pattern I knitted was a simple, easy to remember leaf pattern with a beautiful border of ‘lily of the valley’ pattern with a lot of nupps. Not my strongest skill but I love a good challenge.

I have had customers asking that Drops Lace yarn knits up very funny looking, to say the least. The knitted item has no shape and looks really bad. Well, it really does need blocking to bring all the beauty alive.

I wanted to share with you the photos of before and after blocking, to see what a magnificent transformation my shawl went through. Unfortunately the pictures are not so great because the shawl had to leave the same day it dried up. I had no time to set the shoot or wait for the better conditions. But nevertheless you will see the magic happening J

You can watch a video of how to block a finished project and a great article about blocking by Kirsten from Haakmaarraak.nl 

This is the scarf before blocking. Quite sad looking, right!? 

Lace scarf without blocking 

 This is what it looked like after blocking. Beautiful :)

After blocking

 

Lace scarf after blocking

Margaux scarf

 

Big and with fringe, as the fashion calls for this winter, this super warm scarf is easy to knit.

Margaux scarf free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

 

 Materials

Yarn: Drops Polaris / color: 05 Taupe; Quantity: 7 balls

Knitting needles: Addi 12mm

Gauge: 5x5cm = 5s x 6r in double seed stitch; but it’s not critical

Used stitch pattern: double seed stitch

Abbreviations

k – knit

p – purl

rep – repeat

Pattern

Cast on 23 stitches

1-2: *k1, p1* rep 11 times, p1

3-4: *p1, k1* rep 11 times, k1

Repeat the rows 1-4 until desired length, mine is 170 cm long. Bind off.

Add fringe. There is a great video that shows how to add fringe to your scarf. I made the fringe from a single strand of yarn cutting each strand about 40cm long. After folding it double, fastening and trimming, it leaves a fringe about 15cm long. 

Margaux scarf free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Margaux scarf free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Margaux scarf free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Key chain. Free crochet pattern.

Key Chain Free Crochet Pattern

Everybody loves cute key chains, don’t they? This cute little key chain will be finished in no time. Decorate it with beads to add a little sparkle, or add a small button, or leave it like it is.

Materials

Abbreviations

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

sc2tog – single crochet 2 together

ss – slip stitch

st(s) – stitch(es)

rep – repeat

Key chain

Work in continuous rounds. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of round.

1: Start 6 sc in a magic ring

2: Work 2 sc in each st around [12]

3: (Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [18]

4: (sc in next 2st, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [24]

5: (sc in next 3st, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [30]

6-9: sc in each st around [30]

10: (sc in next 8, sc2tog) rep 3 times [27]

Fasten off with a long tail and use it to sew the handles on. Decorate.

 

 

Seeded rib stitch scarf.

 

Seeded rib stitch scarf for him

I was asked to knit a masculine scarf. After some serious pattern browsing in raverly I found a pattern that I really liked and which in my mind fitted the description perfectly. The pattern is ’My Accountant’s Scarf’ by Darlene Joyce and it is available for free (in English). It was easy to knit and I really love the way it turned out.

What really makes it a great pattern is that it’s reversible. To have both sides looking the same makes a perfect scarf. Furthemore the i-cord edge makes it really neat. The ower of the scarf was very happy to receive it and it compliments his classic style. Makes me want to knit some more of these scarfs :)

I used 5 balls of Drops Nepal yarn in the color Medium Grey. It’s soft and warm yarn, blend of alpaca and wool, suitable for next to the skin garments. 

Seeded rib stitch scarf for him

Seeded rib stitch scarf for him

Crochet bag for a yoga mat

 

Bag for a yoga mat

crohcet yoga bag

My precious Manduka PROlite yoga mat needed a bag to keep it cosy while not used. I wanted a colorful yet zen looking bag and I am pleased with the result. The yarn used is Delight by Drops and it has many colorways to choose from. I went for a darker turquoise-purple and brighter lilac-green shades hoping they would contrast each other nicely. Which they did. But it happened twice that the green from each ball met and blended into wider green stripe. Well, I don’t mind. I made no lining to the bag because I am not much of a seamstress, but it would help getting the no-slip yoga mat more easily in the bag. I also had a lot of thinking over the carry-straps. I knew that I did not want them to be sewn onto the bag because I did not like the way sewn-on straps stretched the bag out. So i found a solution where the straps are pulled over the bag, so it supports the weight of the mat and there are no ugly stretched out corners.

The pattern is easily adjustable to fit different sized mats or needs.

Materials

V-stitch pattern

dc, ch1, dc

Abbreviations

ch - chain

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

ss – slip stitch

st(s) – stitch(es)

rep - repeat

Notes

Color Turquoise/Purple will be used further as color1 and Lilac/Creen as color2. Crocheted from bottom to top.

Color changing in the body: finish the joining slip stich at the end of the row with the color of the next row.

Here's a Youtube video of invisible color change method.

yoga bag free crochet pattern by betteryarnstore

Yoga bag

Bottom

Work in continuous rounds. Use a stitch marker and place it in the first stitch of each round to mark the beginning of it.

Start with color1.

1: Start 6 sc in a magic ring

2: Work 2 sc in each st around [12]

3: (Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [18]

4: (Sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [24]

5: (Sc in each of next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [30]

6: (Sc in each of next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [36]

7: (Sc in each of next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [42]

8: (Sc in each of next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [48]

9: (Sc in each of next 7 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [54]

10: (Sc in each of next 8 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [60]

11: (Sc in each of next 9 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [66]

12: (Sc in each of next 10 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [72]

13: (Sc in each of next 11 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [78]

14: (Sc in each of next 12 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [84]

15: (Sc in each of next 13 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [90]

16: (Sc in each of next 14 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [96]

17: (Sc in each of next 15 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [102]

18: (Sc in each of next 16 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [108]

19: (Sc in each of next 17 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [114]

20: (Sc in each of next 18 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [120]

21: (Sc in each of next 19 sts, 2 sc in next st) rep 6 times [126]

Do not bind off color1.

 

Body

 Crochet all even rows with color2 and uneven rows with color1.

22: (color2) ch2, (skip 2, v-stitch in next sc) rep 41 times, skip 2, dc in last st,  ch1, join with ss in 2nd ch of the beginning ch2.

23: (color1) ch2, work a v-stitch in each chain space of the v-stitch of the previous row, dc in last stitch, ch1, join with ss in 2nd ch.

Repeat row 23 until desired lenght. I made 82 rows.

Last row: Sc in each st around, join with ss, bind off.

Fastening of the bag: Make a twisted cord and weave it through the last row of v-stitches.

Strap

Strap is crocheted back and forth.

1: ch 301

2: sc to 2nd ch, sc in each st until the end of row.

3-8: ch1, sc in each st until the end of row, bind off.

To finish the straps turned the end of the straps back about 2cm and sewd it in place, creating loops at both ends. Then I pulled strap trough the loops so I could fit it around the yoga mat.

yoga bag free crochet pattern by better yarn store

yoga bag free crochet pattern by better yarn store 

 

Crochet cowl: Scoodie Kuki

Pattern by Borgo de' Pazzi.

kuki scoodie

Materials

6 balls of Kuki by Borgo de Pazzi

2 of each color: (2) Light Pink, (3) Pinkish Purple, (6) Aubergine

Size of finished cowl

Length 164cm, height 27cm

Abbreviations

ch – chain

sl st – slip stitch

dc – double crochet

FP dc – front post double crochet

BP dc – back post double crochet

rep - repeat

Stitch patterns

Pattern 1: 20 FP dc, 20 BP dc

Pattern 2: 20 BP dc, 20 FP dc

Scoodie pattern

Start every row with ch 3 and join every row with sl st into 3rd ch of the beginning ch 3.

Start with colour (2) Light Pink

1: ch 160 and join with sl st into first ch.

2-7: Pattern 1

Change to colour (3) Pinkish Purple

8: Pattern 1

9-14: Pattern 2

Change to colour (6) Aubergine

15: Pattern 2

16-21: Pattern 1

Make now one long strand of variegated yarn using the leftovers from 3 different colours. Use magic knot technique to tie them together.

22-23: (FP dc,  BP dc) repeat until the end of row.

Finishing

Fold the cowl in half and sew 20cm of the beginning side together for a hood. Weave in the ends.

kuki scoodie 1

Cloudette cardigan.

 

Oversized cardigan in Drops Cloud yarn. Free knitting pattern.

Cloudette cardigan - free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Cloudette cardigan - free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Materials

Gauge

10x10 cm = 8st x 12r

Notes

Used stitches: Stockinette stich

Increases: yarn over; purl into back loop of YO on the wrong side

This pattern is very simple and suitable for beginners. The cardi fits size S to M.

Back

Cast on 60 stitches

Rows 1-4: *k1, p1* repeat 30 times

Continue in stockinette stitch for the next 82 rows and bind off.

Front

Cast on 26 stitches.

Rows 1-4: *k1, p1* repeat 13 times

Continue in stockinette stitch for the 82 rows and bind off. Knit second part of the front exactly the same.

Sleeves

Cast on 24 stitches.

Rows 1-4: *k1, p1* repeat 12 times

Row 5: *k3, yo* repeat 7 times, k3

Row 6: Purl (purl the ’yarn over’s through the back loop)

Continue in stockinette stitch for next 40 rows and bind off. Knit the second sleeve exactly the same.

Block your knitted pieces and sew them together.

Cloudette cardigan - free knitting pattern by Better Yarn Store

Pantone color of the year: Roze Quartz and Serenity

 pantone color of the year

At the end of last year Pantone introduced the color (or the colors to be exact) of the year 2016: Roze Quarts and Serenity. It’s the first time that Pantone has announced a two-color as their Color of the Year. Rose Quartz is warmer rose tone and Serenity cooler tranquil blue. Two colors together reflect the current consumer trend for calmer shooting tones.

’As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.’ said Pantone in their press release.

By choosing this two shooting, airy pastels Pantone is seeking for a balance in this chaotic world. ’With our hectic lives and the frenzy around us, there is an increasing demand for tranquility,’ says Pantone. And that’s excatly what the color combo of Rose Quarts and Tranquilty delivers.

It also challenges the practice of associating colours with gender. For decades pink has been associated with girls and blue with boys. At various points in history, the gender-color connections have actually had the opposite roles. The color pink, a shade of red which is associated with blood, courage, force, passion, heat and joy, has historically been a masculine color. Red was worn by kings and nobles, pink by their sons. Blue is often associated with the Virgin Mary.

’In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur…. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity,’ says Pantone. So are we going to see the boundaries built by generations before us soon be knocked down? Pantone for sure is one of those paving the way for future generations to be less concerned about being judged for embracing unexpected and unique colors.

From a fashion perspective two colors give an opportunity to make more combinations. Pantone predicts that paisleys and plaids will make use of this combo.

We have put together some samples of our yarns to celebrate the color pair Roze Quarts and Serenity. Hope it inspires you to create.

drops baby merino

Drops Baby Merino Light Sky Blue and  Light Old Pink

Drops Belle

Drops Belle Old Pink and Light Blue

Drops cotton light

Drops Cotton Light Ice Blue and Light Pink

Drops Eskimo

Drops Eskimo Pastel Blue and Pastel Pink

Drops Merino extra fine

Drops Merino Extra Fine Light Pink and Light Grey Blue

Drops Nepal

Drops Nepal Fog and Powder Pink

Drops Safran

Drops Safran Light Pink and Ice Blue

Lang Stellina

Lang Yarns Stellina Light Blue and Pink

 

A wrap sweater for ballet class

 

I finished this sweater for my daughter’s ballet class long time ago but didn’t have a chance to show it before because I didn’t have any pictures of it. There were many different reasons why I failed to make photos of it – she was not in the mood to pose, the batteries of my camera were empty and so on.

About the sweater – the pattern is ’en pointe wrap sweater’ by Erin Kate Archer in ravelry. She does not offer the pattern in children size, so I had to improvise a bit but I am quite happy with the end result. Even though I think the sweater is just a little bit too big for my daughter, it stayes on nicely.  A little growing room means I don’t have to make new one too soon.

The sweater is seamless and was knit sideways. The pattern was easy to follow and it knitted up quickly. I used up almost 3 balls of Drops Baby Merino yarn to make it. My younger daughter has very sensitive skin and I have once sworn never to knit for her because she has refused to wear many things I have made complaining that they are itchy (even about the softest alpaca yarn). But Drops Baby Merino is soft (and machine washable) and she did not complain of itchyness this time. What a relief :)

Knitted ballet wrap Knitted ballet wrap made with Drops Baby Merino

Animal theme rocks in fashion this fall.

 

Autumn has to be every knitters favorite season, isn’t it? I mean, the days are shorter and shorter and the weather is turning cold and rainy. So those long autumn evenings are perfect for cosying up on the couch or your favorite seat to let the needles fly.  And those cool crispy autumn days are perfect to wrap yourself in woollen goodies. Scarves, sweaters, hats and so on.

In this autumn animals on clothing are in fashion. They are everywhere – from boots to hats. And now it’s time for all kind of animals (unlike the owl or fox hype some time ago). Bunnys, cats, dogs, sheeps, dinosaurs, giraffes - you name it, everything is hip.

Here are our four favorite animal-embellished kids garments to inspire you.

(Anne Kurris, t-shirt with a horse / American Outfitters, sweater with a rabbit / American Outfitters, t-shirt with a dog / Little Marc Jacobs, dress with giraffes)

 

animal embellishments

Embellish your kids t-shirts, sweaters, dresses, scarves, gloves etc. with some unique yarn-y animals. It’s a great way to use up your scrap yarns too.

It is easy to let your imagination fly and knit, crochet, embroider, felt, add buttons, beads, fringe, ribbons or even feathers. You can add an application to already finished (or even store bought) garment or draw some animal into your knitting/crochet pattern.

Here are few examples of cute appliques around the net.

Vendulka from Magic with hook and needles has super cute appliques. Check Vendulka’s etsy store for more great crochet applique’s.

applique1applique2applique3applique4applique5applique6

I also like oneandtwocompany’s etsy store. It’s a great example of ’Less is more’. The applique does not always have to be big.

applique8applique9

 

This Sheepy Applique by 'a Scrap of Life' is a free knitting pattern and as the site’s owner Angie says: it is perfect for adding to a sweater, bag, hat or just about anything that could use a little sheepy cuteness.

applique7

 

What is your favorite animal?

 

Aade Long - yarn review and our favourite projects.

We have some beautiful Aade Long yarn in stock and it’s about time to give it a proper introduction. Aade yarn (also known as Kauni yarn) is produced in Estonia by Raasiku Wool Factory. Aade has an ‘environmental attitude’, encouraging recycling and the use of environmentally friendly dyes.

Aade Long is a pure wool, Shetland-style and fun to knit with. We have it in fingering weight (2ply) and laceweight (1ply). It’s very warm and durable and makes great outer-wear, socks and mittens. Oh, and let’s not forget the shawls. Mostly it is used for knitting stunning lace shawls. We will show you our favourite projects at the end of this post, you’ll be amazed.

Read more...

Knit big with super chunky alpaca or merino yarn. Introducing BagSmith Big Stitch Yarns.

We have some exciting news – there is some new and exclusive yarn in the store so come and get your big and beautiful BagSmith Big Stitch Alpaca or Merino bumps. It’s a true gourmet yarn! It is super chunky yarn from U.S. and it’s huge, soft and inspirational. Merino Mini Bumps ( 94% merino and 9% nylon) and Alpaca Mini Bumps (60% alpaca, 34% wool, 6% nylon) are 500g and approximately 55m. Perfect for unique and BIG projects. To work with this yarn we have some big knitting needles (size 25mm) and crochet hooks (size 30mm) available. All handcrafted in U.S. and lightweight.

 

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Knitted lace scarf. Free pattern: Sweet Caroline (131-11) by Drops Design

 

I made this scarf for a family member. She chose the yarn and the colors and I looked up for a pattern. I liked the lace-y leaf pattern and the ruffles on this Drops scarf. Even though the scarf on Drops site is made with Alpaca which is finer then Merino Extra Fine I decided to give it a go. And I was not dissapointed. This yarn really brings out the beauty of the leaves. I think the pattern pops and is more beautiful then on the original design with Alpaca yarn.

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Drops Sockalicious

March is a Sockalicious month. It means that during March there is a 25% discount on the pretty sock yarns.

We have Drops Delight in stock and it comes in 17 beautiful ’magic print’ colors for the superb price of €2.35 per ball. Delight is soft superwash treated yarn meaning that it’s machine washable. It’s a blend of 75% wool and 25% polyamide as all the so-called sock yarns but it is not meant only for knitting socks. It makes beautiful sweaters, blankets, shawls, scarfs, skirts, dresses and so on.

The yarn features smooth colour transitions and has a nice handspun-like "thick and thin" texture. The self striping ’magic print’ makes beautiful patterns and therefore whatever you plan to knit keep the choice of a stitch pattern simple. The beauty of more complicated stitch patterns may get lost with the self striping yarn. People who have used Drop Delight compare it with Nor

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Pompoms – how to make and where to use?

Pom-poms may come in many colors, sizes and varieties and are made from a wide array of materials, including wool, cotton, paper, plastic and occasionally feathers.

There are plenty of ways how to use a pompom. Pompoms can be used to adorn hats, scarves, socks, dresses and other kind of clothing. It can be used to make a rug or to add cuteness to a wrapped presents.

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Carnival

Soon it is carnival time here. Even though stores are already full of all sorts costumes and accessories for a perfect carnival outfit, self made costumes will always be unique and stand out.

We searched the web for some inspiration and want to share it with you. Some of the images come with a pattern, some of them will be just for inspiration.

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