The Shoreline Crochet Bag. New Wave Yarn from WATG

I recently got my mitts on a yarn kit from Wool and the Gang for their newly released New Wave yarn. I was sent the Shoreline bag crochet kit as a free gift so I could try it out and tell you what I think… Here’s the story….

Once upon a time there was an email that was sent to my inbox. It was Anna from Wool and the Gang. Would I like to try a new crochet kit using yarn made from cotton and whazzed up plastic bottles? Yeah, alright then, that sounds fun! And so that’s what happened.

The first thing you’ll notice in the top photo is that there are knitting needles rather than a crochet hook. This is because I was sent a knit kit for the I Got You bag by mistake. Oops! Once I got in touch with Anna from the WATG team, I was swiftly sent the pattern for the Shoreline bag, a pretty wooden hook and the extra ball of yarn needed so that I could get started in earnest on some crochet. Whilst I waited for the additional crochet essentials I thought I’d try a few rows of the knitting pattern. I had the tools, so why not? I’m pleased to report that I learned a posh new stitch from following the pattern, which made me ridiculously happy. I just did what I was told and the fancy stitch magically appeared on my needles! I almost wish that I’d kept quiet and made the knitted bag pattern instead because it would have been a fantastic achievement for me as a relatively basic knitter.

Knitting and crochet. Both equally beautiful.

I got to choose the colour I wanted (there are 12 shades in total). I picked Seaweed green, a shade which reminds me of a Kelpie’s mane. A few of the colour names in the collection are named after seasidey things (seashell, oyster) and that’s because there’s a definite sea theme going on. The patterns have been inspired by fisherman’s tales which I think is lovely and harks back to a time when the ocean wasn’t filled with nasty plastic.

I mention plastic because nearly half (47%) of the yarn composition is plastic. In each 100gram ball, there are three plastic bottles (lids and all). The rest is cotton, which forms the outer mesh of the yarn. The plastic inside is a different tone to the outer and together they create a marled effect. You’ll also notice it has a great stitch definition when worked up.

The Shoreline bag works up really quickly, it’s a very easy stitch repeat and one that can be done in front of the telly (the best kind of crochet, yes?). I finished mine in a couple of days. It actually wasn’t until I’d fastened off the last piece that I realized I’d done something a teeny bit wrong. It took me that long to notice that the pattern was written in US terms and not UK terms (I don’t think the pattern tells you which it is). Now here’s the thing, I’m a bit fluid in my use of UK and US terminology. In my head I call a UK double crochet a “single” but I use the UK term “treble” to mean a US double…. It doesn’t make sense at all. Due to this silly, confusing habit of mine, I didn’t even question the use  of “single” and “treble” stitches in the pattern.  Essentially what I’ve done is use the wrong stitch for my bag, I’ve used US doubles/UK trebles. It should be a US treble instead. Whoopsy! Do you know what though? It doesn’t really matter! There was absolutely no way I was going to frog the whole thing just to make it properly. That would be plain daft. The most important thing is I’ve got a bag I can use and in it right now is yarn for my next project!

Random things that don’t fit elsewhere:

  • I used 3ch not 4 as my turning chain
  • The pattern is written for the absolute beginner. So much so, it’s almost unconventional in the style format for a crochet pattern. Super broken down into all the steps.
  • I should have gone down to a 4.5mm hook. My tension was quite loose.
  • I want to know what a garment would feel like in this yarn. I’m curious.
  • It’s mostly knitting patterns in the range. I’d like to see more crochet designs.
  • Both the needles and the hook came in little plastic wrappers. Not necessary and quite the antithesis of the WATG objective for New Wave yarn. Hmmm.
  • Free WATG patterns are available HERE. There’s at least one with New Wave yarn.

Anyway, we’re at the end of this fisherwoman’s tale (I’ve been fishing  more than once, it’s true). I’m always dead impressed with the WATG yarn and kits, it’s clear that loads of thought goes into each line they produce. I still wear my Foxy Roxy scarf in the dead of winter. When it’s super cold it’s the only scarf that keeps out the biting wind. I’ve tried out their silky eucalyptus in the form of  Tina Tape (I still can’t help calling it Tina Tapeworm), and my first try was Take Care Mohair, a mohair yarn that hasn’t been topped by any other I’ve tried. That’s all pretty good if you ask me.

Right, it’s all getting too gushy round here. I’m gonna stop singing praises and go and get my hooks out. See ya! x

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The lighting when taking this pic was not good. The colour of the yarn is much more like the close up shots.

xxx

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Take Care Mohair. A Review!!

wool-and-the-gang

Last week I got a message from Wool and The Gang asking if I’d like to have a go at playing with their new yarn, Take Care Mohair.  In return for free wool they asked if I’d be interested in writing a review.  Would I also like to host an Instagram Giveaway!!? (more on that in a minute). It’d be rude to refuse, wouldn’t it? My first thought was that they’d asked the wrong person. Maybe they actually meant to ask Blah from that other blog (I dunno, Zones & Podger or something). Then I realised I should get in quick and say “yes, please!” before they twigged they’d got the wrong person. So, I politely did my “yes, please” and hastily added “can I have the pink and more pink thank you please?”

Today I’m here to report my findings!

get-your-knit-onThere was a couple of days chatting via email, a couple of days waiting for the postman and just a handful more days immersing myself in little fluffy clouds.

share-your-knitsI loved how it arrived. The packaging is super cool. The bag was utilised as the project bag while I made my things. The box was claimed by the cat (she fits, so she sits).

all-the-pinkWhilst I waited for my yarn to arrive I started to wonder about what I could make. I did a cursory check of Pinterest and Ravelry but nothing jumped out. I’ve not noticed mohair in any shops in the last few years. I think this could be it making a come back. Looking on the WATG website, it certainly made me want the jumpers. It could even spur me on to start knitting. Hmm.

I decided that I really wanted to come up with something of my own. Seeing as we’re headed for winter and seeing as though I’m not practised in jumper designing, I went with a hat and scarf combo.

take-care-mohair-bubblegum-pinkThis was the beginning of a scarf that will sadly never be….

crochet-mohair-hat…because I ended up making two hats. They look like boobs! blancmange boobs. I don’t think I’ll name them that. I was thinking along puddingy lines though. Maybe something candyfloss related because this stuff truly does look like candyfloss. Especially when it’s slowly unfurling from the ball. I can imagine it getting twiddled round a stick.

The reason I made two hats is because I realllly didn’t like the stitch of the first one. What works for an acrylic DK swatch truly does not translate to luxury mohair! I should know this, I really should but I didn’t want to waste any of the delightful mohair on swatches. With hindsight, a couple of swatches would have been nothing compared to a whole hat’s worth of yarn. Hey ho, I played the game and kind of lost. In other circumstances a bit of unravelling would be the answer but I’m well aware that you do not frog mohair (thankfully, I knew not to even try- what a test of patience that would be!). My scarf, by the way, is about 12 inches long. And 3 inches too wide.

first-design-for-crochet-mohair-hatFirst hat. See? Ugh. Not good enough. And not what I’d pictured in my head. This was made with UK trebles. Having used a 10mm hook, the stitches were too large.

a-good-stitch-for-mohairUK doubles. Much better! I wish I’d been less hasty. I would love a matching scarf. I wanted it to have bright fluffy pompoms.

tiddly-om-pompomI made the pompoms! I’ll keep these to one side. If I cave and buy extra, I’ll at least have my pompoms waiting. To be honest, I would start from scratch; I want to try new colours!! All the colours!  I’m thinking Space black and Dusty grey, or the blues together would look good. Black and Hot Punk Pink! Black and Bubblegum! I bet they know this sort of things happens. I bet they know that I’ll just go and order loads more. I’m broke, I’m not allowed!

hat-wearing-faceAnyway, here is my daft face with the hat I don’t like much. Despite it being perched on top of my head, it does fit properly. Look at my glorious pompom!

meHere is my daft face in the one I do like. The stitch work is so much more suited to the yarn. Much better. If only I’d tried this one first, I’d have a lovely scarf too.

I’ve got a few pages of pattern scribbles and I’d like to write them up at some point. But, er, I think I need to order more yarn to see if I can get the proper scarf as well as the hat. I’m fairly certain I can. And then I’ll have a fabulous pattern to publish!

Anyway, I did mention at the beginning about a Giveway! It’s very exciting! Wool and The Gang are offering to send three balls of Take Care Mohair to one lucky individual over on Instagram (a winner will be picked at random). If you don’t have an IG account you won’t be able to enter. Very sorry about that. The details are on my account. Pop over and have a look.

Is that a review? I feel like all I’ve done is describe what happened.

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