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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

This is my third yarn of the month club envelope, which is significant because I only paid for 3 months up-front and promised myself I’d make a decision thereafter. Only two samples once again, but I liked them!


The samples for April 2015:

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


Pattern: Spring Showers Hood


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


This is a cute little pattern that I’m tempted to make just to see if I’d use it. I’m not much for cowls, but I like hats, so maybe? No author given, no reference to it in ravelry, so I guess it’s just a YOTM special.


Tenzing


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


Tenzing

“This is a great blend. The merino gives it bounce and the yak adds just a little haze.”

6.25 sts/inch on US 3-4

85% Merino Wool 15% Yak

153 yds Color: 13


I love this yarn. Soft but shows off the stitch pattern nicely. I’ve definitely pet yak-blend yarns before, since J has a particular fondness for Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ YAKSI Fingering in Tardis Blue, but I hadn’t knit anything with yak in it myself. This was definitely a treat!


Look at it, even before it was blocked:

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


I liked this stitch motif for the swatch, which makes a nice zigzaggy cable across the top of each rib. It’s nice and stretchy, but a little more solid than a regular rib because of the teensy zig-zag cables. I may have to find a way to use this in a pattern!


And here it is blocked:

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


I wouldn’t mind picking up some more of this, and I’m definitely interested in trying some more yak blends now, even if they are pricey!


Azalea


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


Azalea

“Soft and strong cotton”

5.5 sts/inch on US 6

100% Printed Cotton

262 yds Color: 207 Monet


This is a really nice soft cotton. Not fuzzy the way the yak yarn is, but easy to bend and knit. It tends to unwind a bit; the loose twist that helps with the softness doesn’t do you favours in the “staying together” department, but I think the balance in that tradeoff was ok.


What I don’t like about this yarn is the way the colourway looks when it’s knit up. It looks ok in the ball. Interesting, at least. But put it together into a stitch pattern and it seriously makes this look like a grimy paint rag:


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


I’m not a huge fan of the “bluebell rib” swatch pattern provided, as it once again looks like a bunch of nostrils to me, and I think I probably should have flipped my yarn overs so that both holes worked out to be the same size, but I decided to just run with it rather than re-knit.


I don’t think this colourway does any favours the bluebell rib, unless you figure providing camouflage so you can’t see stacks of noses in photo is good. It’s a bit easier to see the shapes in person than in the blocked photos below, but it’s still not great.


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015

Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015


I think I actually like the reverse side better in this case! But I did enjoy the yarn even if I think the colourway is too much and the stitch pattern is too nasal. I would consider buying this in another colour if I had a project that could use a soft cotton.


Conclusion


Even though there were only two samples this month, these two were both really fun yarns to try out and they weren’t very much like other yarns I already have, so I’m pretty pleased! I definitely feel like I got more bang for my buck than last month.


So in the end, I’ve decided to continue the subscription. It’s $9.25/month for a fun little surprise in the mail, and I’m not having trouble making sure I knit the samples every month at least so far. I was worried these might pile up with all the travel I do, but in practice I really like having quick knit projects when I want a break from my bigger works in progress, or as a palette cleanser while I decide what to work on next. It’s actually kind of changed my attitude towards swatching, too, since I can just add my other swatches into the pile I’m building up from yarn of the month samples.


All my samples are going to make one *very* strange blanket, though.


Yarn of the Month Club, April 2015

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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

One of my personal goals for 2015 was to try knitting an adult-sized sweater. And I’m happy to say that I’ve managed it, although I admit I cheated a bit in making it for my sister rather than for myself, as she’s a few sizes smaller than I am.


S's Cotton Sweater


The Yarn


The yarn is KnitPicks Billow, which I picked up because my sister prefers things without animal fibers so that they won’t be bad for her boyfriend, who is allergic. It’s soft yarn and lovely feeling, but it’s a bit weird to work with because it has variable thickness. After a few test swatches, I decided it would be nicest in a simple stockinette that showcased the homespun feel of the yarn, since the other things I tried seemed to be fighting it.


The pattern


This is based off The Cherry Variations [ravelry link], a most excellent free pattern from Knitty’s Spring 2003 edition. (I didn’t even know how to knit back then!)


However, if you go look at that pattern, you’ll notice mine’s a fair bit different from the original…


Untitled


So what happened?


1. Stripes. These are simple, 8 rows wide, 3 colours.


2. I decided to add some sleeves. I actually didn’t plan to do this, but when it got done the sleeveless version I decided it would be nicer with some sleeves. So I picked up stitches around the arm opening and did them seamless-style. I think there were 35 stitches the way I picked ’em up. I knit the sleeves straight at the top, with stripes to match the body. (My stripes are 8 rows wide.)


When I got down to a bit before wrist length, I decided belled sleeves would be hilarious in this yarn because of the way it drapes. To do this, I divided the stitches into 3 (it wasn’t quite even but close), placed markers (since I was using 2 circulars at this point) and increased at the stitch markers every 3rd row, approximately, for the last two stripes (so last 16 rows).


I cast off using some ludicrously stretchy bind-off from this page comparing bind-off methods. I think it was Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.


S's Cotton Sweater


3. The thing you might not notice immediately is that I decided to add a crochet border along the neckline. I found that the sweater as was tended to be a little too off-the-shoulder on me, and since my sister has much less wide shoulders, I figured that would be annoying and would eventually stretch it out to the point of uselessness. So I looked up stabilizing methods online and settled on a simple single crochet.


S's Cotton Sweater


I didn’t think to take a picture of myself wearing it, so no modelled shot. I figured it would just look ill-fitted anyhow, as the shaping around the bust line was made with my sister’s approximate measurements in mind, so it was quite tight on my rib cage, let alone my bust.


I don’t know how much she likes it, but it does fit, at least!


20150323-IMG_7200.jpg


I kind of fell in love with the yarn as I was knitting it, and I like the pattern enough that I’m strongly considering making one for myself, even though it’s cotton and not exactly the most suitable for the Pacific Northwest’s soggy weather!

terriko: (Default)
Playing with docker and the mailman bundler today in an attempt to get some images running, and I hit a point where I got this:


root@fd97a058ea83:~/mailman-bundler# apt-get install python3-dev
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
python3-dev : Depends: libpython3-dev (= 3.4.0-0ubuntu2) but it is not going to be installed
Depends: python3.4-dev (>= 3.4.0-0~) but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.


It was very non-obvious to me what was going on and google wasn't super helpful, so I'm posting in case someone else searches for the same "but it is not going to be installed" installed error message.

Turns out, what happened is that I needed to run apt-get update, and now it's happy.

Well, at least relative to that... buildout in mailman-bundler is complaining about numpy so I've still got some work to do!
terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Well, no one’s come after me for spilling the secrets of the Yarn of the Month Club, so I guess it’s time to post another review. This is for March, so I guess I’m not surprised that there’s some green yarn.


Here’s the two samples:


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


With this came a Beanie Cap pattern and instructions for two squares using the yarn.


Pattern: Beanie Cap


No author given for this, probably because it’s too simple to claim ownership of it. It’s a basic toque with a k2p2 ribbed edge and stockinette body, a nice staple to have in one’s collection but probably not something I’ll be knitting up immediately.


Here’s the yarn in their baggies, so you have the names:


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


Let’s talk about the white one first…


Moments


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015



Moments

“Fun and funky fur”

7 sts/in on US 5

100% Polyester

98 yds Color 471 or 470


This is a pretty typical fur/eyelash yarn. I’ve done enough variants of fluffy yarn that I’m pretty comfortable with it, and it was nice that this wasn’t of the sort that sheds. I’d be kind of disappointed in getting this since it wasn’t exactly a new fiber experience for me, but I did learn something due to the swatch pattern:


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


The swatch has every 4th row as a sl1 p3 pattern, and it *really* tightens up the piece (which is otherwise garter stitch). That’s a good technique to know if I ever do a scarf out of an eyelash yarn again!


The swatch pattern leaves faint lines across the piece. I couldn’t seem to get them to show up in my photos, since the light characteristics of the yarn mean I’d have had to be more selective about my lighting, but you can feel them under the fuzz and I kind of like the effect.


Rübezahl


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015



Rübezahl

“Soft and superwash – a workhorse of a yarn”

4.25 sts/inch on US 7

20% Wool and 80% Acrylic

447 yds Color 57 or 73


This is a wool/acrylic blend that didn’t really work for me. It’s got too much acrylic to block very well, and the “leaf” pattern of the swatch suffers for it, although it does result in the back looking especially like nostrils to me:


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


(Sorry about the excessively small depth of field; I forgot to switch camera settings)


Frankly, I think it does better as a nostril pattern than it does as a leaf, with them all running together like that, but it’s an old standard, I guess.


Pattern aside, I’m not sure what niche the Rübezahl yarn fills: it’s got too much wool to be useful for folks who can’t handle animal fibers, and too much acrylic for you to experience the greater flexibility in a wool fiber. I guess at least it has nice stitch definition, and it seems like it might be warm and hard-wearing for stuff like slippers?


I am, however, very pleased that I remembered how to do an umlaut on my mac, so there’s that. ;)


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


Here’s the finished piece being held down by pins for blocking, but frankly it rebounded back to look almost like it did unblocked.


Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


And here’s both of them so you can see it unblocked:

Yarn of the Month Club, March 2015


You can also see there that the white swatch is really not square. Oh well, it’s going to be hilarious when I put these squares together in a blanket because of the density, so why not the shape as well?


Conclusion


I’m not going to lie, with only two samples and one of them pretty meh, I’m not very impressed with this month’s offerings. But I still enjoyed knitting up the samples for the purpose of trying new stitch patterns, and I learned a useful thing about making eyelash yarn knit up more densely, something that I think will be useful for scarves and hats in the future.


If this had been my first sample, I’d probably be on the verge of giving up, but since I enjoyed the first one, I’m willing to be optimistic. I only bought a 3-month subscription, so after next month I’ll have to decide if I want to renew!

terriko: (Default)
This Birchbox is much prettier than last month's eye-searing box. (I'll post pictures/reviews of last month's later; I was busy with a visiting friend and didn't do it on the usual timeline.)

Birchbox March 2015

I actually managed to catch the "choose one sample!" email, so I chose the hair stuff. It was a good choice!

Now, to the reviews:

Birchbox March 2015 2015


With the muslin cloth included, it seems that this is intended as a whole facial cleansing ritual, and it's a pleasant one. I like the eucalyptus and plant-y scent, and the whole experience with the hot cloth makes it feel fancy and thorough. It's like a little mini spa treatment every night, which is a bit more work but I kind of enjoyed working it into my nighttime rituals. I'll consider purchasing this when my current facial cleanser runs low, but I would plan to buy a few extra cloths since they recommend laundering them every other use or so.

Birchbox March 2015 2015

It's a 10® Miracle Leave-In Product




This is the sample I chose!

This is a leave in hair product fitting a similar niche to the beauty protector one that I sampled earlier and now use regularly. I like that the scent is a bit lighter and dissipates faster in the It's a 10 product, making it more suitable for low-scent environments like my workplace. I wish I knew why it makes me think of berries every time I apply it! I don't think it's quite as good a detangler nor do the effects last as long as with my existing product, but the lighter smell is enough of an asset that I'm quite happy to have it as an option in my hair care toolbox!


Birchbox March 2015 2015

Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Crème



This is another plant-smelling moisturizer. Seems like a reasonably effective lotion, takes a bit more rubbing to blend in than some. I quite like the combo rosemary-eucalyptus smell when it's going on, but I found the lingering scent of eucalyptus on my hands started to drive me nuts after a while. Thankfully, though, it's got a nice gender-neutral packaging, so my boyfriend was happy to take it off my hands (har har) and make good use of it as a convenient travel-sized lotion for his kit.

Birchbox March 2015 2015

Roloxin™ Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment



With only a few exceptions, I enjoy trying out new face masks. Sadly, this is one of those exceptions: it dries to a powder finish, and then removing it made me sneeze like I'd been going through dusty books. It felt tightening as it dried out, but I couldn't tell much difference in my face after except for redness caused by needing to rub and rinse a lot of times to get rid of the dust. Despite my best efforts, it left chalky residue in my eyebrows and around my hair line, making them feel dirty and weird. The drying to powder experience was fun, though, it was just the removal that was too annoying for me.

I have a second packet if anyone wants to try it, although given my review, you're probably not going to be too tempted. ;)

Here's what it looks like dried on my face:
20150404-IMG_8362.jpg

(when it's wet it looks like sunscreen or moisturizer you haven't blended in)

And here's what it looks like when half-removed, so you can see the difference relative to my skin colour:

20150404-IMG_8364.jpg

Entertaining once, but too annoying to open that second packet. If anyone wants me to mail it to them, just ask. ;)

Birchbox March 2015 2015


Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter



This is a little jar of sparkle for your face! You'd think I'd be totally into this, but since my moisturizer-sunscreen already has a sparkle-vampire kind of effect, it's a bit excessive for regular use. Still, the effect is fun, and I've had a good time blending it with my matte cheek colours to try out new effects.

Conclusion:

Nothing in this box is going to change my life, but I had a good time trying most of it, and that's what sample boxes are for, right?

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