Pierrot Yarns Haul 2.0 – It May Look Like I Have A Problem, But…

Gentle reader,

Now, I’m writing this post to present my second Pierrot Yarns haul to you, and though it may look like I may be in the fledgling stages of a serious self-control problem, I assure you it’s not the case. Or at least, I can rationalize those niggling thoughts away for now…

A good part of this haul was on behalf of my dear friends, Judith and Jules. Their interest was piqued when I showed them the bounty of my first haul and we poured over the color card together ooohing and aaahing at the delicious little snippets of beautiful yarns. And so I ordered them each two cones of Irish Linen. Naturally, I had to throw in some goodies for myself and so I chose a ball of Pop Merino, three balls of Zakka Acrylic Namibuto which are for an amigurumi project I need to get started on, and a set of Hamanaka double-ended crochet hooks.

Yarnie delights from Japan!

The Pop Merino is a lovely aran weight single spun 100% merino wool yarn. I had actually intended to buy the #6 color way, but accidentally ordered the #7 (this happens to me far more often that is humanly probable), but I’m not at all bothered, #7 is still a very nice color way.

The Irish Linen is absolutely gorgeous; it has a beautiful texture and the most amazing sheen to it. I’ll definitely follow up with Judith and Jules to see what they think of it.

Now, the Zakka Acrylic Namibuto is an insanely soft and squishy acrylic yarn that is somewhere between an 8 ply and a 10 ply. I’m sure some of you are turning your noses up at the very thought of acrylic yarn – I know, how reprehensible of me! – but hey, acrylic is awesome for amigurumi, especially if they’re intended for children to put their grubby, unforgiving little paws on them. I’m totes not a pink person, but I have to make a pig to test out a pattern I’ve written (the pig I made while writing the pattern was stolen! True story.) and I’ve been procrastinating like WHOAH. I was pleasantly surprised by how soft and fuzzy this yarn is, so it’ll be perfect for a little pig.

And as for the Hamanaka crochet hooks… well, I’ve not even used them yet and I’m completely obsessed with them. So obsessed in fact, that I became a bit snap-happy when I was photographing, and I felt that they deserve a collage of their own.

Hamanaka Hooks

I’ll probably get started on that piggily using one of these and the Zakka. My fingers are itching to get started even as I type!

Fear not, gentle reader, this will be the last Pierrot haul for at least a while, so this blog isn’t in danger of becoming a Pierrot Super-Fan page (well, not yet…).

What online yarn companies do you like ordering from? Comment below!

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Of Lions & Melbourne

Gentle reader,

It’s been a year and three days since I moved to Melbourne, and it still feels a little surreal sometimes. I love how many odd little nooks and crannies this city has, all the hidden little alleys and arcades that are brimming with life and history. Today, my friend Kendyl and I wandered into the Cathedral Arcade which runs between Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, where we discovered this amazing stained glass ceiling.

Catherdral Place

Also, the little lion is finished!

"Hello, World!"

I’m pretty pleased with him, and I like that he’s a little lopsided and kooky (like most things I do).

Dandy Lion

Gentle reader,

It’s been a fair while since I’ve made an amigurumi with the exception of a fish for work a few weeks ago. So, I thought what better to make with my new Japanese yarn that a cute ami! So, I took my ball of Poka Poka Hitsujichan and my 3.5mm hook to while away my public transport time, and came up with this over a few trips:

Almost done!

When I’d finished his body and head, I decided I’d use the Ethnic Denim cotton to make his mane. I’ve finished the first strip, but I’ll probably make a few more strips to give him a nice full mane. I’ll keep you posted and let you know what I thought of the yarns!

Meet Me At Mike’s

Gentle readers,

There are a great many wonderful people in this world, some of whom you’ve never met, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that. Well, I woke up today with a lovely reminder of that.

I logged into my WordPress, and was flabbergasted to see that my hits for the day had soared up to 220 hits (I usually average between 15 and 30 hits a day, which I’m well happy with). So, I took to the stats page, looked at the referrers and saw that most of that traffic had come from Meet Me At Mike’s, a blog by Pip, who is also author of the Meet Me At Mike’s books. I hopped over to have a bo-peep and she’d featured me in a post she’d written about her favorite “bloges” (blogs written by blokes, naturally).

Meet Me At Mikes! Click it and go read!

So, a big, enthusiastic thank you to Pip! And if I’m truly frank and honest, I’ve been a little bit star struck since Pip and I befriended each other on Google+ because I’ve loved her books for a long time. You should definitely go buy them!

Judy’s Bolero

Gentle reader,

Well, it’s been quite the Pierrot party around here! Just before I’d received my yarn parcel from them, I had completed a crocheted bolero from one of their free patterns. I had started it quite a while ago, but a monogamous crafter I ain’t. But, my dear friend, Judy, who I made it for is off on a trip to Europe in the next few days (totes jel!) so I had to get my ass into gear and finish it so she could take it with her if she wanted to.

Judy's Bolero

So, some crocheted edges, blocking and Express Post satchel later, here are the pics she sent me! I have to be honest, I’m very happy with how it turned out. There are a few things I’d do differently next time, but they’re nothing that affects the finished look.

So, the nitty-gritty:

There pattern is called Bolero by Pierrot Yarns (of course) which you can find on Ravelry or the Pierrot website (it’s image #027). It’s not in English, but the charts are impeccable, so don’t let that phase you.

I used Morris Paddington yarn, which I love to death. It’s 80% bamboo and 20% wool so it’s crazy soft and smooth and has a beautiful drape to it. The pattern calls for two 5 ply yarns held together with a 7mm hook, and while Paddington is a 6 ply my tension is quite tight so it was even-stevens. For the Ravelry peeps, you can check out my project page here.

Perhaps I’ll have to make another one with Pierrot yarn as well? ^_~

Pierrot Yarns Arrived! First Impressions

Gentle reader,

Pinch me! I’m must be dreaming! My Pierrot Yarns order has already arrived. Well, that was rather quick-quack. And let me tell you, I am one VERY happy customer. As I outlined in an earlier entry, I ordered one ball each of four different yarns just to for the sake of seeing what the yarns are like and how the online English store is. I placed the order on the 27th and it was here from Japan on the 6th!

So here are my yarns:

Scrummy Japanese Yarns!

But, wait! There’s more! They also sent me a free color card (which you could buy separately on their website for 1000 yen) and a book which showcases some of their yarns and even has a few free patterns (charted, of course).

Color card and booklet

All the yarns are so soft and lovely to touch, and they were sent individually wrapped so they got to me in perfect condition. There was even a little printed letter which had been addressed by hand thanking me for my purchase.

All in all, the prices and freight are perfectly reasonable, the service so far has been of a very high standard, and find me someone who’s heart isn’t warmed by thoughtful freebies? I’ll definitely be putting another, bigger order in.

Danish Resistance Embroidery

Gentle reader,

My best friend that I’ve never met, Felipe, has recently moved to Copenhagen (so jel!). On Skype the other day, he had a special surprise for me and sent through this picture:

Resistance Embroidery - Photo credit to Felipe

He was visiting the Resistance Museum, and when he saw these, he said he thought of me and made sure to take a picture to send my way. Thanks, Felipe! ^_^

The accompanying information card read:

“Embroideries. The design was sold by the thousands until 1970. On the left side, the ‘evils of the occupation’ are represented in black and green colors (the Germans). On the right, the Resistance is represented in the Allied colors. In the middle are yellow symbols of the Danish Royal House. The design is akin to that of embroideries of ‘family trees’ which were common in the 18th and 19th centuries.”

Amazeballs, right!? And isn’t it beautiful?

Are there any historical needlework pieces in your neck of the woods? If so, I’d love to hear about them. It’s just a reminder of how powerful and rich the history of needle and thread truly is.

Until next time!