ITEM 1: It’s done! I read all of your helpful feedback about your modifications to the February Lady Sweater pattern, and I put all that wisdom together on its very own page.
ITEM 2: In other news, sales of Pickadilly and Elinor’s Mittens generated a whopping $279 for Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders. I chipped in a few more dollars, and sent a $150 donation to each organization. Big thanks to everyone who bought a pattern to support relief efforts in Haiti. There’s still so much to be done, even though Ravelry’s “help Haiti” promotion has ended. If you want to keep giving by knitting, check out Elinor Brown’s beautiful Helping Hands Mittens, as well as her thoughtful notes about giving and getting.
ITEM 3: Finally, I have a new pattern out in the March/April 2010 issue of Crochet Today magazine.
picture from Crochet Today
pattern: Natty Neck Ruff, by Pamela Wynne
yarn: Debbie Stoller Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe
Because who doesn’t need an Elizabethan neck ruff? In fact, I’m pretty sure Crush needs one asap.
This issue of Crochet Today (which is on shelves right now, people) is worth buying for lots of awesome–and much more functional than a neck ruff–designs. Maryse’s potholders and Lauren’s pillows are fanTAStic.
I was excited to work with the new Debbie Stoller Stitch Nation yarn. I like the idea of high quality yarn being affordable and widely available, and the bold colors of the new Stitch Nation line stand out pretty fabulously from the usual hunter greens and variegated pastels of the big box craft store yarn aisle.
The Bamboo Ewe (55% viscose from Bamboo, 45% Wool) was easy on my fingers, and has a subtle sheen from the bamboo viscose. The viscose content softens up the rough wool and makes it totally pleasant to crochet with.
picture from Crochet Today
Clara Parkes, my and everyone else’s favorite Yarn Whisperer, wrote a preview of the yarn line in which she mentions the new Federal Trade Commission standards for labeling fibers made from bamboo-derived viscose. Those fabrics and yarns, the FTC says, are really rayon, not bamboo. While this does raise, as Clara notes, some real questions about the Stitch Nation marketing campaign advertising Bamboo Ewe as “100% natural,” it’s also what makes the yarn so affordable (because, clearly, real mechanically-processed bamboo yarn is not gonna be widely available for $5/ball). And the viscose content in Bamboo Ewe does its job, adding softness and lustre to inexpensive wool.
What’s more, while the viscose process is usually toxic and not especially “green,” at least it’s a petroleum-free alternative to the oil-based acrylic fiber that softens most craft store yarns.