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Yarn Over Coffee is the official blog of Yarn Over.  We sell a range of American-branded knitting yarns, needles, pattern books, crochet supplies, spinning wheels, weaving looms and equipment.  We have a store based in Brisbane – 1/265 Blaker Road, Grovely, 4054.

Come on in and see us for all your yarn and fibre needs!  We are open – Tuesday to Friday – 10am to 4pm and Saturday – 9am to 1pm.  EFTPOS available and plenty of free parking.

Introducing Namaste’s new BYOB – Build Your Own Binder – Product Review

We are very excited to have received a new product in the store this week – Namaste’s NEW needle and hook storage option called the BYOB – Build Your Own Binder.

BYOB Eggplant colour

It’s called that because the binder is sold as an empty ‘shell’ and the assorted pages are sold seperately so that you can ‘build your own’ – choose how many pages or combinations of pages you want to have.

There are three colours of Binders and Pages available:

Red

Eggplant

Caribbean Blue

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The binder comes ‘empty’ but that is not strictly correct. It does have fixed mesh zippered panels on the front and back inside the binder. These mesh fixtures are the same material that Namaste uses for its’ Oh Snap! Pouches. It is a fine mesh so you could use these panels to store notions like stitch markers, sewing needles, scissors (with tips protected of course!), patterns, crochet hooks, buttons etc…

The BYOB Binder is zippered, so nothing falls out! It also has a handy detachable wrist-strap.

The beauty of the BYOB comes in its flexibility. With 3 page options to choose from – which are sold seperately – you can really customize your storage to your own needle/crochet hook collection.

Namaste states that you can fit 3 pages in with ease. That is true to a certain extent – 3 pages do fit in easily when these said pages are empty, but I think once you fill them up with needles and hooks and put things into the mesh pages inside the covers, you would be hard-pressed to fit more than TWO full pages in the binder.

So for that reason, I think the mesh page would be unnecessary – if you are buying two other pages at the same time – considering that you have the mesh pages inside the front and back walls of the binder itself. But of course this depends on what other pages you are using! See the end of this post where we recommend page combinations for different crafters’ needs.

Now, let’s look at the 3 different pages, which are sold seperately. Each page is the same on both sides, giving you double the storage space!:

Mesh Page

As you can see from the picture, the mesh page is divided in half so you can store things seperately, like long circulars, without them getting tangled. Or you could use each compartment to store the cables for your interchangeable needles.

Interchangeable Page

You would infer from the name that this page is for storing interchangeable needle tips, but I think interchangeable means that the options for this page are flexible and it can be interchangeable between knitting needles or crochet hooks or DPNs etc…

Long Straights Page:

This page gives you double-sided storage for needles up to 14 inches long. So if you use straights, more than circulars, I’d recommend this page.

So…what about combinations?

Well, there are of course, lots of different combinations, depending on your needs, but we’ve put together some ideas, based on the different types of knitters and crocheters that we meet in the shop!

For the Knitter who loves circulars…

I’d recommend buying the mesh page and 2 of the interchangeable pages to fill your binder. You have the extra slots for crochet hooks or DPNs if you don’t fill with with circulars or interchangeable circular tips!

For the crocheter…

I’d recommend buying the mesh page and 2 of the interchangeable pages to fill your binder. You then have lots of extra slots for your crochet hooks! If you’re into Tunisian Crochet, then simply swap one of the interchangeable pages for a long straights page – these will accommodate the much longer tunisian hooks.

For the Knitter who loves straight needles…

Well this is an easy one! We’d recommend that you purchase a mesh page and two of the long straights pages!

We hope you enjoyed our review!

Please feel free to leave your own comments. If you have a BYOB, how did you find it? How do you use your BYOB? Let us know – we’d love to hear about it!

Happy Knitting and Crocheting,

Gabrielle and the team @ YarnOver.com.au

Customer Project – Bernat Softee Baby – Strawberry Baby Cocoon

One of my lovely customers, Erica, came into the shop today to show me her Strawberry Baby Cocoon that she knitted up in Bernat Softee Baby using a free pattern from the Bernat Website:

I think she did a wonderful job, don’t you? :)

New Store Projects and New Yarn

Wow – hasn’t it been a long time since my last post!

Lots of things have been happening – the usual new yarns etc… but I wanted to share something with you that is unique to Yarn Over – our very own yarn!

Yep – you heard right! We have teamed up with a local Alpaca grower who sold us some of her lovely fleece which we promptly had spun into some luscious yarn. We call it:

Local-Paca

Local-Paca is a 6-8 ply pure, undyed alpaca yarn. Each ball contains between 100 and 115 metres of yarn. It is Huacaya alpaca and is VERY soft and warm.

We had some shop samples made up for you to try:

1. Calm Cowl – crochet

This one takes 4 balls and is a Free pattern from Ravelry:

2. Candle Flame Scarf – knit

For all you knitters out there! :) This one takes 3 balls of Local-Paca and is also a FREE ravelry Pattern

We have just sent away another 5 kilos of fleece to be processed. It will be available in black, dark brown and cream – shortly before our Winter Season begins in March.

In the meantime, you can buy some Local-Paca online.

The Man Hat in Araucania Tepa

We have a lovely new Winter yarn in stock from Araucania this year – Tepa is a bulky weight, kettle-dyed yarn in a blend of wool, mohair and silk.

In the shop on display we have our Man Hat model – a free Ravelry pattern – and some lovely skeins to show you:

You can buy Araucania Tepa online here. :)

You only need one skein for the Man Hat! We made a small adjustment – we used 6mm needles (the pattern calls for 5mm) and cast on 72 stitches. It fits our model well but also fits my husband’s head too – and he has a large head! So I would recommend more stitches on a larger needle.

Customer Project – Jenny’s Crochet Mosaic Blanket

I thought I’d share with you all, this lovely project that Jenny, a customer of mine, brought in to show us!

It is a lovely crochet blanket – mostly her design – using our Bernat Mosaic yarn in the Calypso colourway:

She used about 10 balls and also some Red Heart Super Saver in Soft White to do the borders and edging.

Well done Jenny! Thanks for sharing! :)

Yes you can knit socks on a tiny circular needle!

How? By using our Hiya Hiya 9 inch steel or bamboo circular needles! They’re pretty tiny and take a lot of getting used to, so they’re definitely not for beginners. But if you don’t like Magic Loop or hate DPNs – why not try knitting some socks using these quality 9 inch circular needles?

Here’s a great video I found on YouTube – courtesy of Springers Yarn Nook:

Free Pattern – Crochet Cowl

I’ve been on a run lately, finishing a few WIPs from my basket. This one I finished last night:

It is a free Lion Brand pattern.

I used our wonderfully soft Cascade Lana D’Oro yarn in ‘Berry Blend’ – a 10 ply blend of wool and alpaca which comes in 100g skeins

FREE Pattern – Kochoran Basketweave Scarf

What to do with just one skein of Noro Kochoran?

I know… – a scarf!

Here’s a free pattern that uses one skein of Kochoran – bulky weight angora, wool and silk

Kochoran Basketweave Scarf – Knit

Finished Size: 5 inches wide x 50 inches long (two skeins will make a longer scarf, suitable for wrapping around the neck)

Needles: 6mm

(Stitch pattern is a multiple of 8 + 5)

Cast on 21 stitches

Row 1: (RS) Knit Row 2: k 5, * p 3, k 5; repeat from * Row 3: p 5, *k 3, p 5; repeat from * Row 4: repeat row 2 Row 5: knit Row 6: k 1, *p 3, k 5; repeat from * until end – p 3, k 1 Row 7: p 1, *k 3, p 5; repeat from * until end – k 3, p 1 Row 8: repeat row 6

Repeat all 8 rows until desired length, or you have run out of yarn! Bind off loosely

Customer projects

Here are a few recent projects that my customers have completed:

Steph’s Paintbox Blanket

Kollage Whimsy Scarf

I can’t remember who knitted this one or which pattern she used but it is a simple rib scarf in a mohair yarn. We would recommend Cascade Kid Seta

Jenny’s Crochet Spiderman Blankie

Jenny used Red Heart Super Saver yarn

NEW Chiao Goo Twist and Spin Interchangeable Circular Sets!

So I FINALLY got around to uploading both of Chiao Goo’s NEW ‘Twist’ and ‘Spin’ Interchangeable Circular Needle Sets.

Here’s the low-down…

ChiaoGoo Interchangeable Sets The Red Lace Tips TWIST sets come in a pretty blue floral case with a red ribbon Small – Tip sizes 2 (2.75mm) – 8 (5 mm) Twist Red Lace Sets, and Large – Tip sizes 9 (5.5 mm) – 15 (10 mm) Twist Red Lace Sets Complete – Tip sizes 2 (2.75 mm) – 15 (10 mm) Twist Red Lace Sets Pricing for TWIST Sets: $100 small; $100 large; $165 complete

The SPIN bamboo sets come in a pretty blue floral case with a black ribbon. Small – Tip sizes 2 (2.75mm) – 8 (5 mm) Large – Tip sizes 9 (5.5 mm) – 15 (10 mm) Complete – Tip sizes 2 (2.75 mm) – 15 (10 mm) Pricing for SPIN Sets: $79.95 small; $79.95 large; $145 complete

The cases are cute, compact (only 6 inch x 8″) and great quality. They zip around the outside and open up like a book. They have 29 pockets inside for tips and have a zippered outside pocket.

All sets come with 5″ (13 cm) tips and cables to make 24″ (60 cm), 32″ (80 cm) & 40″ (100 cm) circulars, cable connectors, end stoppers, stitch markers, 5″ (13 cm) needle gauge/ruler and keys. The case will also be available separately with a white ribbon (no needles).

Items that will be sold separately include: • 4″ (10 cm) tips sizes US2/2.75mm – US15/10mm (including sizes US2.5/3mm, US10.75/7mm and US10.875/7.5mm) • Cable to use with the 4″ (10 cm) tips to make a 16″ circular

• 5″ (13 cm) tips sizes US2/2.75mm – US15/10mm (including sizes US2.5/3mm, US10.75/7mm and US10.875/7.5mm)

• 14″ (35 cm) cable to make a 24″ (60 cm) circular with the 5″ (13 cm) tips • 22″ cable to make a 32″ (80 cm) circular with the 5″ (13 cm) tips

• 30″ cable to make a 40″ (100 cm) circular with the 5″ (13 cm) tips • Cable Connectors • End Stoppers • Stitch Markers • 5″ Needle Gauge • Keys • Needle Case (with white ribbon as mentioned above)Both the SPIN (bamboo) and TWIST (Red Lace) interchangeables are the screw in style. The SPIN sets come with the nylon cable that swivels freely (like our current bamboo circulars).Cables, tips and accessories for the SPIN and TWIST are interchangeable!

Both sets have lifeline holes and are coded for easy use. The coding is necessary because there are two different diameter cables.

The small cable [S] is for sizes 2 (2.75mm) – 8 (5mm) and the larger [L] is for sizes 9 (5.5mm) – 15 (10mm). Connectors and end stoppers are coded as well.

Here’s a good review of them, courtesy of Knitter’s Review website

My house is full of knitting needles, yet I never seem to find the exact size and configuration I need. It’s been a lifelong challenge, and I know I’m not alone.

For those who enjoy working with circular knitting needles, interchangeable sets offer hope—the illusion of hope, that is. Imagine being able to carry all the needles you need in one small case, cords and tips alike. What’s that? You’ve fallen in love with a new yarn and want to cast on before you get home? No problem, just unzip your trusty kit, pull out your needles, and cast on. Gauge too tight? Swap one tip for another until you reach the gauge that’s just right.

That’s the promise. Of course what usually happens (and what happened to me last week) is that you pull out your kit and prepare to cast on, only to discover that the slot that should hold the needle you need is, alas, empty. Those tips are currently engaged elsewhere.

Of course none of this happens if you’re one of those disciplined knitters who only has one project going at a time. For the rest of us, interchangeable kits are still a delight for many other reasons—just as long as you don’t bet everything on those needles alone.

ChiaoGoo is a needle manufacturer based in China. For years, the company has offered fixed circular needles, but recently they expanded to interchangeables. Supply is still iffy, so don’t be surprised if you see these needles on backorder.

ChiaoGoo offers two kinds of needle sets: those with bamboo tips and clear cords (called “Spin”) and those with stainless steel tips and red cords (called “Twist”). Within each set, you can either go with the “Complete” and get 13 tips or the “Small” with just 7 tips.

the Spin needle case has a red ribbon the Twist needle case has a black ribbon

Color-Coded Cases All of the cases, whether they contain 13 tips or just 7, and whether those tips are stainless steel or bamboo, come in an attractive, slender black floral fabric case. Inside, it has 29 inner pockets for tips. An outer zipped pocket is perfect for slender accessories like cord joins, ends, keys, and stitch markers—all of which are conveniently tucked inside for you.

There is one small difference: If you’re getting the set with the stainless steel needles, your case will have a red ribbon sewn across the front. Bamboo needles? You get a black ribbon.

Tips Both the bamboo and stainless steel needles have well-defined tips, the stainless steel ones with a slightly more elongated taper than the bamboo. Neither is pointy enough to irritate your finger if you’re one of those knitters who pushes the tip with your index finger. Still, there is enough of a tip definition to allow easy stitch manipulation, whether you’re working cables or the elusive P3tog.

the screw-and-key mechanism All of the needles use a screw-and-key mechanism that will be familiar to you if you’ve used the Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Dreamz or Knit Picks Options needles. You screw the tip into the cord and then insert a fine metal rod through a hole in the join to tighten.

The key hole serves a second function for those knitters who love to work intricate lace. Every few dozen rows, or perhaps every pattern repeat depending on what you’re doing, simply run a thin strand of yarn through that keyhole and then proceed as normal. As you go, you’ll be quietly stranding a lifeline into that row so that you can unravel any future mistakes back to that point. In technology terms, you’re making a backup of your project—any changes made after the backup will be lost, but it’s a whole lot better than having to erase and start from scratch.

the two different sizes of screws and connectors Something’s Screwy If you look closely at your needles, you’ll notice that the smaller ones have tiny screws and the bigger needles have larger screws. The small needles require an “S” cord connector, the larger ones an “L” cord connector.

Switching to a smaller screw allows ChiaoGoo to go down to a US 2, but it does mean you’ll probably want to double up on cords. Which brings us to the cords. The red cords in the Twist kit are made from a strong, slightly firm nylon-coated multi-strand steel cable. The Spin cords, on the other hand, are made from a slender, flexible clear cord.

The clear cords are ideal for things like lace or other lightweight knitting projects where you don’t want a heavy cord kinking up on you. But as your project gets heavier and bulkier, the flexibility of the clear cord becomes a drawback. It doesn’t hold up when you try to slide your stitches from the cable onto your needle. Instead, the cord goes right along with the stitches, its end popping out and forming a giant loop. The heavier your yarn and the more stitches on your cable, the more troublesome this becomes. Soon my cord was permanently bent at a 90-degree angle to my needle, at which point I gave up and swapped out the clear cord for a red one. I had the luxury of both kits at my disposal, not everyone will.

Package Deals ChiaoGoo currently offers both its Twist and Spin interchangeables in three kinds of sets: You can get all the needles in the Complete kit, which is shown and reviewed here. Or you can get the Small or Large sets, each essentially the small or large-sized half of the Complete kit.

The Complete set retails for $150 (in the USA) and contains 13 needle tips in US 2 (2.75mm), US 3 (3.25mm), US 4 (3.5mm), US 5 (3.75mm), US 6 (4mm), US 7 (4.5mm), US 8 (5mm), US 9 (5.5mm), US 10 (6mm), US 10 1/2 (6.5mm), US 11 (8mm), US 13 (9mm), and US 15 (10mm). Each needle tip measures 5″ (13cm).

The Complete kit also comes with two sets of cords, one set for the needles with S screws, and one set for those with the L screws. Each set has three cords, one each measuring 24″ (60cm), 32″ (80cm), and 40″ (100cm). In addition, you also get two S and L end caps, one S and L cord connector for making even longer cords, two cord keys, a ruler/needle sizer, and a collection of charming, colorful stitch markers.

The Small set retails for $80 (in the USA) and contains 7 needle tips in US 2 (2.75mm), US 3 (3.25mm), US 4 (3.5mm), US 5 (3.75mm), US 6 (4mm), US 7 (4.5mm), US 8 (5mm). Ditto the Large set, which contains 7 tips in US 9 (5.5mm), US 10 (6mm), US 10 1/2 (6.5mm), US 11 (8mm), US 13 (9mm), and US 15 (10mm). In either set you also get three cords, one each measuring 24″ (60cm), 32″ (80cm), and 40″ (100cm), in addition to two S end caps, one cord connector, two cord keys, a ruler/needle sizer, and that same collection of charming, colorful stitch markers. It comes in the same case as the Complete, just half full (and loudly beckoning you to fill the empty slots).

Bottom line? I like the slender and convenient carrying case. The tips are good, the needle materials solid. There’s nothing here to make you swoon, it’s all about efficiency and functionality. I just wish the clear cords had a little more heft to them.

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