Yarnbox #2

February’s Yarnbox

I got my second Yarnbox today!  I had actually forgotten about it, so it was a pleasant surprise when I opened the mailbox and found it inside.

Without further ado, here’s this month’s reveal:

yarn subscription

yarn subscription

yarn subscription

yarn subscription

yarn subscription

The Yarn

The yarn I received in this month’s Yarnbox is Caresse by Phydeaux designs.  It’s a lovely hand-dyed, four-ply worsted weight blend of 80% Superwash Merino Wool, 10% Cashmere, & 10% Nylon.  {Did I just say Cashmere?!?!? Woohoo! I’ve always wanted to try a Cashmere blend, but they’re usually too expensive.} The colorway in my box is called Calypso…it’s sooooo pretty! I am SUPER excited about this yarn and am going to have to find–or maybe even design–a special pattern for it!

The Patterns

This month’s free patterns are for a couple of lovely shawls…one knit and one crochet.  I’ll be taking a look at the designers’ other patterns too.  Speaking of patterns:  my only negative experience with last month’s Yarnbox is that the one coupon code I tried to use didn’t work for me. Each month, subscribers are given coupon codes for a discount off the purchase of other patterns from the chosen designers.  I looked through all the patterns for both designers and settled on one pattern I really liked.  But when I went to use my coupon (a few days before the code was supposed to expire) it said the code wasn’t valid and didn’t discount the total.  I immediately contacted Yarnbox via their Facebook page and asked about it.  They replied right away that they were trying to get a response from that designer regarding the problem. Unfortunately, last I heard, she still hasn’t responded to resolve the issue.  Let me just be very clear:  I don’t blame Yarnbox.  I believe it’s up to the designer to make sure her store is able to accept the coupon code as promised.  {And just for the record, unless I get the discount, I won’t be buying any of her patterns–even the one I really wanted.}

My Thoughts

Ultimately, despite last month’s coupon code problem, I’m still quite happy with my Yarnbox subscription (and am trying to figure out if I want to continue it after my gift runs out).  Oh and I almost forgot, this month’s yarn is valued at $33 per skein.  That’s $66 right there!  The knit pattern is priced at $5 and the crochet pattern is $6. That’s a grand total of $77!  Woot!  I am especially liking the value vs. cost of this club.

I’m done talking, now it’s your turn!

In the comments section below tell me what you think!  Do you subscribe to Yarnbox or another yarn subscription?  Has your experience been good or not?  If you haven’t tried a yarn subscription, do you think you’d want to try it sometime? I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Happy knitting!

-Steph

P.S. In writing this post, I’m simply sharing my experience and my opinions based on that experience.  I’m not in any way affiliated with Yarnbox and am not getting compensated in any way for writing this.  {So why write a review like this you might wonder?  Because I enjoy reading what others have to say about their experiences knitting and/or yarn-related companies and hope that you’ll enjoy reading about mine.}

February Doldrums

Winter Blues

I’m in a bit of a slump. {Is it just me? or you too?} Perhaps it’s just normal for February in Minnesota and I’ve blocked the memory of winters past, but I think this long hard winter is really getting to me.  Worst of all: I’ve had a terrible time trying to figure out what to knit next! {Something only another yarn enthusiast can truly understand, right?}

With the Olympic Games on tv and the Ravellenic Games taking place on Ravelry, I was doing as much knitting as I could while watching and cheering on our athletes. I finished the Bellatrix socks, and have been working on the second mitt from this pair I was making for my fingerless mitts tutorial.  Somehow they got set aside and forgotten. *oops*

Knitting yet another pair of socks–a pair designed in entrelac which is something I have yet to try and which I thought would be a fun test of my knitting skills–was next in my queue and planned as one of my projects for the Ravellenic Games.  Alas!  After no less than a dozen attempts at casting on, I knew I needed to let it rest for a while. I just couldn’t figure out how to do the specified cast on. I even tried Judy’s Magic cast on (which I’ve used before) and was still having problems.  Finally I decided that the yarn was telling me it just didn’t want to be a pair of socks!  I will knitting that pattern again someday, but for now I need something a bit less stressful.

Ravelry pattern search

I searched Ravelry for pattern suggestions.  Having 2 colors to work with, I needed to choose whether to make 2 projects or combine them into just one.  I began to lean towards a shawl or scarf. Something with stripes perhaps.  And so, after much much much deliberation, I finally decided on this:

diving in

Pattern: Diving In (recipe) by Mam’zelle Flo

{My apologies for the not-so-great photo, but I was using my iPhone and the lighting wasn’t very good. You get the idea though.}

It’s a relatively easy knit so far. Just what I need.

I will be knitting this shawl with the 2 skeins of Malabrigo Yarn Sock that I bought at a little yarn shop in Hilo, Hawaii during our October family vacation. I’ve starting with Impressionist Sky (blues) and the second colorway I’ll be using is Solis (greens and blues). It should be lovely. The colors remind me of the Hawaiian sea and sky.  Perhaps working in these colorways will be like a mini {mental} vacation back to Hawaii while I’m knitting… If not, I’ve got a new favorite blog to follow:  The Grommom.  Monica writes about her life raising 4 boys who love surfing and skateboarding (aka groms/grommets) on the North Shore of Oahu. Hawaii is one of my favorite places on the planet, so I especially love seeing current photos from there on a regular basis just by reading her blog!

I’m hoping beyond hope that the sun will start warming things up here enough for me to get outside for some natural Vitamin D soon!

Be on the lookout for shawl updates here and on my Facebook page as I work on my new project.

As always, happy knitting!

-Steph

 

 

 

Bellatrix Socks

Off my needles!
I finished the Bellatrix socks. I really didn’t like how they looked while I was knitting them (they’re not too bad now that I can put them on properly) and then I ended up starting my toe decreases just a few rows early. So this pair is a little snug on me. I’m not sure whether I’ll end up keeping them or if I can find someone with smaller feet to gift them to (I’m a size 6.5-7 so they’re probably perfect for size 6 feet). But I am done knitting this pair of socks and can happily start a new project now.

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What about you? Are you working on any yarn project(s)? Finished any recently?

Leave a comment below and tell me!

As always, happy knitting!
–Steph

Yarn Along

Knitting: 

Continuing work on the Bellatrix socks: I’ve finally started the heel flaps. 

Reading: 

Currently reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think this is my third time through this one. I’ve found it more convenient to check out the ebook from my library–that way I don’t have to lug my huge paperback copy around.

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Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

Happy knitting!

-Steph

On My Needles: Bellatrix

Bellatrix socks

Ever start a project and after spending hours working on it, you’re just not 100% thrilled with how it’s turning out, but you keep going because you just don’t want to start over? Usually if I don’t like how a project is turning out, I’m not afraid to frog it (rip it, rip it), but for once I just don’t want to start over even though I’m not satisfied with how the dropped yarn overs are looking. What I’ve figured out is this: no matter whether I love a project I’m working on or not, I’d rather be knitting! …than doing housework, than teaching my kiddos, than…well, you get the idea.

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As a Harry Potter fan, I was drawn to the Bellatrix sock pattern.  Since I’m currently re-reading the series (reading is about the only thing that still ranks up there with knitting and competes for my attention during my free time) and I just started book 6 (Half-Blood Prince) again, I thought it would be fun to knit something inspired by the series. I really liked how in the pattern photos, the dropped yarn overs look a little messy and, like the Bellatrix Black character, a bit crazy. My feelings as I knit Bellatrix, however, are more like it’s driving *me* crazy. It’s not a matter of whether I’m correctly doing the dropped stitches–I am. I’m just not totally thrilled with how they look. And that really bothers the perfectionist in me. But I’m pressing on in hopes that once I’ve finished knitting these socks they will somehow magically modify my initial impression and my Bellatrix socks will be beautiful.

I’ve reached the end of the leg portion of the sock.  It’s now time to make the heel flaps!  I have to decide whether I want to continue the dropped stitch pattern on the instep of the foot or just knit it in plain stockinette stitch, but I’ll probably follow the pattern and continue the pattern on the foot too.

Now it’s your turn to share!

Do you normally keep going when a project doesn’t quite meet your standards or do you prefer to stop and start over with something new? Leave a comment to say which you would usually do!

As always, happy knitting!

-Steph