Manos Del Uruguay Milo & The Naples Shrug

Ok ... so I could hardly contain my excitement when I was told Manos Del Uruguay would be sending me their new Milo fiber to try and review ... and what colors would I like. Um... ALL OF THEM? Can that be an option?

No but seriously, even though the palette of this fiber is more muted than the vibrant colors I typically work with I wanted them all.  They are so fabulous and so enticing it was hard to choose.

As I looked at the colors I had this instant image from the Florida beaches on a full moonlit night. I selected to make an ombre item that would be like the shoreline beach up to the dark sky.

The colors I chose were:

Can you see it? Beach to night sky? Ah - PERFECT!

When the yarn arrived I was ecstatic about my choices once I saw how truly perfect they worked together. It was exactly the blend I envisioned.

Now, the yarn states that it is "fingering weight" but in truth it is closer to sport weight. Ish. You know how it goes... no strands are ever quite exactly the same. Either way - it was definitely thinner and lighter than my normal chunky yarn vibe. I worked up a couple of swatches and I knew a shrug would be perfect. I pulled out an old motif and got ready to put a new twist on it.

The Milo works up so quickly and so smoothly. It has an interesting texture because of the linen blend but it is not stiff with that starch-like feeling so many other linen blends that I've used have.

I could not be more please with this yarn and am already starting another project with it! because yes.. it is THAT GOOD! I want to make so many things with it. 

Thank you so much to Fairmont Fibers & Manos Del Uruguay for sending me this yarn to try. I am definitely a new fan.

You can get the Naples Shrug pattern here to make your own.

Webs Yarn has Milo in stock and also if you buy a certain amount you get their club discount. I love their customer service - here is the link. (nope - not an affiliate link - I just like shopping with them).



Disclosure: Fairmont Fibers & Manos Del Uruguay sent me this yarn free of charge for the purpose of this review and collaboration. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are my own.

Tone on Tone and The Chapen Shrug

I love hand dyed or hand-painted yarns. I have been a fan for years. The colors and tonal shades are just magical. I also love Lion Brand Wool Ease series - it is a staple in my arsenal of yarn. So when I heard that Lion Brand was coming out with a line of Wool Ease Tonal, based on hand dyed coloring, I have to admit that I was both excited and skeptical.

The Chunky Everest, Amherst & Capeside Beanies- all designed for Wool Ease Tonal

I tried not to be bias when my sample box arrived from Lion Brand and not compare it directly to hand dyed fibers. And I was not disappointed. The subtleties of the tone on tone in each colorway is what makes them so special. There is a true 'natural" appearance to the color blends. And Wool - Ease? I mean come on... I just love it. Works up quick and has that chunky Wool Ease feel I love so much.

The yarn is perfect for my chunky hats and I even created a new set based on the subtleties of this yarn. The Amherst Beanie works up fast and picks up the accents of the colorway.

The combination of the yarn and getting into fall weather,  inspired me to create something new and fabulous. Something that really played with the shades of the Tonal. I created this Chapen Shrug.

The Chapen is my own fun twist on the traditional granny. It is misleading because it is not a granny at all! I created a graduated color scheme with the grey-scale Tonal shades. The yarn works up so well, and really lends itself to this kind of design.

And now you too can try this new delightful cozy yarn. Lion Brand is sponsoring the ALL You Need To Make This Giveaway. You win the yarn, the pattern, the hook, the yarn (did I say that twice? Because it's THAT GOOD)- the whole kit. Yup - how AWESOME is that?!?!  Enter below.

Can't wait to see if you win? You can buy the pattern here or in my Etsy shop here

Disclosure: Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are my own.

Shrug It Off With We Are Knitters

I am so incredibly excited to share this with you guys. If you follow my personal Instagram, you know I have been on a weight loss journey and am down 34 lbs so far. While this is awesome, it creates some fashion challenges. See, I have an oversized shrug from Anthropologie  that I LOVE but it is just huge now. I swim in it. It is my Go-To spring and summer item so I am having a hard time parting with it without replacement. Then I looked at it and thought... Wait! I can make that.

Right about the same time, I had just frogged my 4th version of a baby blanket pattern I was developing in partnership with We Are Knitters (don't you just love them?). I was sitting there, staring at a pile of amazing Cotton Wool and it hit me... scrap the blankie and make a shrug. I let my WAK contact know my plan and they were also excited. Because... who doesn't love a shrug? Brilliant!

It came together perfectly. And we all know that rarely happens so I just know it was meant to be. Like my friend Amy says, "sometimes the yarn just speaks to you and tells you what it wants to be". She is so right!

I wanted to create a shrug that would be both fashionable and functional. Perfect for cooler evenings, over a swimsuit or as just a cozy accessory. An all season go-to staple item for my closet. I also wanted a pattern that would work for any size or shape, because we woman come in all shapes and sizes right :-)

It has been a blast designing this and I shared some of the process and progress on Instagram. This pattern is so much fun and I could not be happier with the outcome.

And now just for our community get this: The amazing team at We Are Knitters are sponsoring a giveaway. Enter below to win EVERYTHING you need to make this Shrug yourself. Seriously! All the happiness of a shrug in a WAK Kit. YEAH!!!!

That's not all, if you don't want to wait, you can now buy the pattern here and get 20% off your Cotton Wool from We Are Knitters with code WAK144Stitches. I mean, COME ON!!! If you were looking for your amazing next summer project, this is it.

BIG THANK YOU to We Are Knitters. This has been an amazing collaboration experience. And Enter blow to win the Kit!

The Chelsea Cowl n' Shrug: A Labor of Love

The Chelsea Shrug n' Cowl
The Chelsea Shrug n' Cowl

One of my favorite things to work on is custom orders.  It gives me an opportunity to work closely with a customer to create something special that I know will mean so much to them. Sure, sometimes it's a long and somewhat tedious process. But with good communication it can also be a fun process. And it is always worth the work in the end when I know my customer is happy.

Every once in a while, something really special happens where I am inspired to create a whole new product for my own shop born from that custom order process. That is the magic that inspires me. That is the good stuff as they say.

This new Chelsea Shrug n' Cowl is a product of that process. It is a lightweight shrug with a cowl / snood attached. It can be worn with the cowl flipped back like a hoodie giving the front a straight shrug look, or the cowl can come overhead like a hood. The cowl can drape around the front or overhead. This is one of the most versatile pieces I have ever seen.

The design process was a labor of love on this one.

First was fiber selection. I needed a fiber that would hold shape and structure but not be bulky. It's a shrug not a sweater! The fiber selection took some time because I was marrying two garments that have their own needs in construction. I settled on a great sport weight acrylic yarn that would work well with tighter stitching on the shrug but also work for the loose needs of the cowl.

The shrug was basic to be sure, but I needed a shrug that would carry the weight of the cowl without losing it's shape. The shrug needed to have a collar, but the collar shouldn't "fight" the cowl. The shrug should be able to stand alone, meaning without the cowl. There were a lot of requirements for the body of the shrug.

Once I had the shrug sorted, I moved on to the cowl - which had it's own set of issues.

The cowl itself is a basic lightweight cowl but I altered my design to attach it to the shrug. After some trial and error, I settled on attaching it almost as an add-on as opposed to part of the shrug itself. This allowed me to manipulate the placement of the cowl so that it could also be tossed back as a hood.

I also had to alter the design of my Spring Cowl for this piece so that the wight would not pull at the shrug collar. After lots of trial, failure, trial, mild success, trial and more failure, I finally had that design a-ha moment and changed the stitching but kept the pattern frame.

And voila! I was done.

But now, would my customer like it even half as much as I do is the big question (and the one that gives me knots in my stomach). I set up my photo shoot and then sent my customer the results. And boom! I hit a design home run.

This is why I love my job and am so grateful for these magical encounters. The entire process; concept to completion was just over 8 weeks. The process was long, laborious and fabulous all at once because I am left with a very happy customer and a brand new original design.