Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres Sock

I don’t generally do ‘reviews’ in the traditional sense, but maybe I should? We’ll see. Anyway I loved this Irish yarn, Hedgehog Fibres Sock, so much I felt I had to write a review of it, so here goes…

Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres SockA friend of mine (who is becoming a vegan knitter, which I find so interesting) was destashing all her animal fibre based yarns over the summer and I took the opportunity to add some superwash yarns to my stash. That was my criteria – I wanted yarn I could use for baby clothes, as I know this will get used at some point. So I bought three skeins of Malabrigo Rios in Sunset and one skein o f Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Seaglass.

Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres SockAnother friend (and knitter) recently had a baby, so I quickly cast on my new favourite baby cardigan, Beyond Puerperium, using the Hedgehog Fibres Sock. The yarn is a fingering / 4 ply weight, made of 90% merino wool and 10% nylon, with around 350m per 100 grams. And even better the yarn is dyed right here in Ireland, in Cork. I used around 65g for the 42.5cm cardigan.

Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres SockThis was one of my first times knitting with such a variegated yarn but I must say I’m delighted with the result. I’ve started knitting from time to time at my morning coffee break and several of my colleagues were curious as to how I was creating the multicoloured effect, until I showed them the ball. The overall effect reminds me of camouflage and my colleagues were very impressed.

Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres SockBut what prompted me to write this review is how soft this yarn is. I should say here that the colour in the first few pictures is more true to life – the pictures of the FO were taken in the evening before I parceled it up for posting. It’s just gorgeous to work with, I didn’t want to put it down. The stitch definition is also really crisp. I’ve popped the finished cardigan in the wash, and though I’ve only tested it after one wash, the garment really held it’s shape well.

And did I mention how soft it is? Definitely soft enough for a baby’s skin! You all know I’m a yarn snob, so for me this is a great combination of a washable yarn, made from natural fibre, that I really want to knit with. I know not everyone would be willing the spend the €22 on a skein for baby clothes (and I paid half price) but as the recipient is a knitter too I know she will appreciate the beauty of a hand dyed yarn.

Yarn Review: Hedgehog Fibres SockSo the perfect yarn deserves the perfect button, right? I wanted to get some rust coloured buttons to go with this cardigan, to pick out the brown-y tones in the yarn. I popped into A. Rubanesque and found the dotiest little elephant buttons. And even better – they were on sale. I do love a good button, the finishing touches can really make or break a finished item.

I will definitely be going back for more of this yarn, and will be trying more hand dyed, superwash yarns for baby clothes – for the right recipient (you all know what I mean).

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Book review: Woolly Woofers by Debbie Bliss

I’m not in the habit of writing book reviews, but with this one I couldn’t resist. I nearly fainted when my local yarn shop, This Is Knit, tweeted a picture of the latest knitting book to hit their shelves. Woolly Woofers is a book of 22 patterns for dogs by Debbie Bliss. See? Fainting with excitement! Two of my favourite things – dogs and knitting!! When I contacted the publisher, Quadrille Publishing, to ask about using images in a review they kindly sent me a review copy.

I didn’t realise Debbie Bliss was such a dog lover. I love that it’s so obvious from the introduction that she is a true doggie-person. And I equally love that there is advice on knitting for dogs and examples of the different types of coats to suit different statures of dogs. And and this isn’t the first time Debbie has designed clothes for dogs. Last Christmas I knit the Santa Paws jumper for Mia from the Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2013 magazine. There is a Santa Paws jumper in this book too, but it looks like a slightly re-worked version. I haven’t knit any of the outfits from the book (yet), but Debbie is a prolific designer so I’m taking it as given that they are as well written as her other patterns.

Wooly Woofers 047Ollie and Mia have also been leafing through the book and choosing their favourite patterns.  Mia has chosen the Puppy Polo, she thinks it looks like a good basic jumper that every dog needs in their wardrobe.

Wooly Woofers 057Ollie has requested the Sherlock Bones outfit (complete with Deerstalker). As a rule he objects to wearing clothes, but he feels this outfit would lend him an air of sophistication. I normally wouldn’t go near a tweed yarn, but I’m willing to make an exception for this pattern and for Ollie.

Wooly Woofers 061And I really think I *need* Man’s Bee Friend in my life. Mia thinks it might be a good option for Hallowe’en this year. What do you think?

Wooly Woofers 075And I think the Parka Barker is going to be one of the first on my needles. Both Ollie and Mia barked with excitement when they saw this one, so I might have to make them one each to avoid arguments. I might even fork out the €16.95 for the Louisa Harding Luzia for the trim. It just looks so amazing.

When I was doing some digging around for information about the book before buying it, I came across this Telegraph article. At the bottom of the article you’ll find the Sherlock Bones, Mardi Gras Mutt and the Highland Hound patters for free. So you can try before you buy the book! And believe me, you need this book on your shelf.

A rare review

A few months ago I bought a Gleener Pill Remover from my LYS to remove pills from my knitwear. Last September I know a pair of mittens and a hat in Louisa Harding Akiko.

BerryHat 030The merino wool and alpaca blend was lovely to knit with and lovely to wear, but the mittens in particular have been getting a lot of wear and have developed a bit of a – halo. They’re also a bit felted in spots which I really like. But the fuzz I don’t like quite so much.

Mittens for blogGleener to the rescue! This is the second time I’ve had to clean my gloves up. The gleener is easy to use and takes all the fuzz off my gloves and hat. I’ve used it on some of my shop-bought knitwear too and it does a good job at getting rid of the pills. And while they’re not as good as new, they’re not bad either, I hope you’ll agree.