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Category Archives: Product Reviews

Year of the Emerald at Vogue Knitting Live

The Year of the Emerald at Vogue Knitting Live

Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry

Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry

As many of you know, Pantone has heralded Emerald as the color of the year. Every year, no matter how much I think I know what the color is going to be I am delightfully surprised at the announcement. This year I was even more excited as it elevates my birthstone of emerald to its rightful place!

Emerald is known to us in the fiber and fashion industry to be part of the jewel stone family. In nature it is a variety of the mineral, beryl and gets the green hues from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium.

“Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue necessarily being green. Yellow and blue are the normal secondary hues found in emeralds. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emerald; light-toned gems are known instead by the species name green beryl.” – Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald )

From Local Yarn producers and indie dyers, to our favorite local yarn shops and yarn companies, Emerald was showcased in a whole new light. The natural shades of Emerald were seen throughout.

Local Yarn and Indie dyer herself, Jill Draper from Jill Makes Stuff (http://www.etsy.com/shop/jilldrapermakesstuff), highlighted the yellow-green end of the hue range with Lichen, which is a gorgeous NYS wool that would look great in any garment. Take a look at her Etsy Shop to see her many wonderful colors.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/114783479/hand-dyed-aran-weight-nys-wool-213-yds

The folks at the Neighborhood Fiber Company displayed breath taking colors and Emerald took center stage. For a closer look at their yarn check out their facebook page: (http://www.facebook.com/neighborhoodfiberco)

Green Mountain Spinnery, another great locally based company using solely American wool showcased emerald in their classic line as well as their new yarn (so excited!!!)

The amazing standard in a great line of yarns is Mountain Mohair in the colorway of Wintergreen. It showcases the blue undertones inherent in Emerald.

( http://www.spinnery.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=5-WG )

Need a great pattern for this color, try my Putney Cowl which is perfect for the extreme winter weather we have been experiencing.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/putney-cowl

Weekend Wool, which debuted at VK live, highlights the deep green hues in the Emerald family in its  Spruce color way. This great new yarn has the same gauge as their discontinued Wonderfully Wooly but has an even greater loft and softer feel!  A great choice for ski hats, sweaters and mittens.

( http://www.spinnery.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=Spruce )

Knitting Fever and Noro Yarns showcased the very beautiful Karuta in the Noro Line.  A gorgeous hand knit top, using Karuta in the 04 colorway seemed perfect for summer. This yarn is a great representation of the color spectrum that is Emerald. Looking for a great pattern using Karuta, may I suggest my Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry?

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/year-of-the-emerald-mittens

Eventhough, my friends at The Fiberists were not in attendance at VK live, this post would be incomplete without mentioning their amazing Emerald colors as they are continually inspired by the natural world. (http://www.etsy.com/listing/119019161/specimen-184-385-yards-hand-dyed-semi) . If you would love to see their yarns in person, they are sold at Fiber Space in Virginia as well as online in their Etsy shop.( http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFiberists?ref=search_shop_redirect). They will also be in person at their trunk show at Fibre Space President’s Day Weekend and I will be there as well showcasing my designs.

While this post included many of the emerald yarns available at VK Live and shops across the country we would love to hear what your favorite emerald yarn is !ChainTwo_Fall_2012-3

Crochet on the Beach

As you all know, I love to stitch in public as well as wear my crochet to my favorite places and the beach is no exception. Everyone who goes to the beach needs a great beach tote where everything can fit in from your towel, to your nook and of course the sun tan lotion. I love experimenting with different fibers as well and I was inspired recently by an amazing beach tote I saw while out on the East End of Long Island near Montauk. It was rugged and marine in nature and it was made out of jute cord. Yup… you read that right jute cord.

After searching for the perfect fiber for my bag it brought me to industrial Jute. Used by many through the years in very utilitarian ways, I decided to turn it into the perfect staple for anybody’s summer wardrobe. Since it was inspired by the nautical landscape, I added marine boat rope for the handles.

So challenge yourself to crochet outside the box with jute and see the wondrous beauty you can create for your wardrobe.

Tips for working with Jute:

1- Make sure you stretch your hands before, during and after as this is usually tough on your hands

2-Take frequent rests to avoid repetitive strain

3- Use an awesome lotion to protect your hands (I like Bee’s Needs )

4- Enjoy the process of using such a utilitarian/industrial material to create something beautiful

5-Show off your creation at the beach… you will get stopped frequently.

To purchase the above pattern, check it out on Ravelry

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/montauk-beach-bag

For more information on Chain Two Digital Magazine, check out our website http://www.chaintwo.com . All links to our social media is available there as well.

Crochet on the Beach

As you all know, I love to stitch in public as well as wear my crochet to my favorite places and the beach is no exception. Everyone who goes to the beach needs a great beach tote where everything can fit in from your towel, to your nook and of course the sun tan lotion. I love experimenting with different fibers as well and I was inspired recently by an amazing beach tote I saw while out on the East End of Long Island near Montauk. It was rugged and marine in nature and it was made out of jute cord. Yup… you read that right jute cord.

After searching for the perfect fiber for my bag it brought me to industrial Jute. Used by many through the years in very utilitarian ways, I decided to turn it into the perfect staple for anybody’s summer wardrobe. Since it was inspired by the nautical landscape, I added marine boat rope for the handles.

So challenge yourself to crochet outside the box with jute and see the wondrous beauty you can create for your wardrobe.

Tips for working with Jute:

1- Make sure you stretch your hands before, during and after as this is usually tough on your hands

2-Take frequent rests to avoid repetitive strain

3- Use an awesome lotion to protect your hands (I like Bee’s Needs )

4- Enjoy the process of using such a utilitarian/industrial material to create something beautiful

5-Show off your creation at the beach… you will get stopped frequently.

To purchase the above pattern, check it out on Ravelry

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/montauk-beach-bag

 

For more information on Chain Two Digital Magazine, check out our website http://www.chaintwo.com . All links to our social media is available there as well.

What are the qualities of a Crochet Hook that make them FAME-ous

Qualities of a Great Hook

          There are so many crochet hooks the process of selection can be daunting. We have decided that for our first issue to review three of our favorite hooks. We have come up with a little acronym that will assist you in identifying a hook that is sure to meet your project needs!

So here is what makes a hook FAME-ous!

Qualities of the perfect crochet hook:

1-    Feel in hand:

If you pick it up and it feels right it probably is

2-    Ability to grab the yarn

Some hooks pick up the yarn just right with every yarn and technique and some are best used for certain applications

3-    Material

Most hook decisions are made here. Some choose based on affordability others convenience some ethical stances

4-    Ergonomics

This term is defined by the ability of the user to use it with comfort and ease. Whether it grabs the yarn easier so you do not have to pull hard or it has a great grip this is a super important feature.

To read our review of 3 of our favorite hooks subscribe to our magazine at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chaintwoezine . Find us on ravlery either by searching for designer Suzy Allen or Chaintwomag user name!

Love to hear your comments !

Please also check out our webpage at http://www.chaintwo.com

This is the Tangerine Crush Cowl from the Summer Issue of Chaintwo! To purchase https://www.etsy.com/listing/104459197/tangerine-crush-cowl-pdf-pattern-only

A Crocheters hands need Bees Needs

Stitchers are always on a quest for hand lotion. Every dedicated stitcher deals with dry cracked hands. But is not everyday that you find the perfect hand salve. This past weekend on a trip out to the East End of Long Island, I did just that. My husband, daughter and I traveled to the Sag Harbor Farmers Market in Sag Harbor, NY and found Bees Needs and their Bees Needs Hand Salve.

The Bees’ Needs is a Community Supported Apiculture where people can preorder their honey for the year. The also sell Lip Balm and Hand Salve handmade from their own beeswax by Mary’s husband.

So what makes this salve so great? For me it was the fact that it is all natural and while it was thick it wasn’t super greasy at all! I personally am not a fan of salves that leave my hands as greasy as a oil slick. And even better then that the scent is just mildly lavender in nature. It is sweet and pleasant and not over powering! It is affordable priced at ten dollars a tin.
It is a great addition to any project bag!

Would you like some Bees’ Needs Hand Salve. Contact Mary G. Woltz head beekeeper at 631-702-5657. Her email address is mgwoltz@optonline.net

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