Craftsy reached out to some of their instructors (my class on Craftsy is Mastering Foundation Crochet Stitches, and if you click on the title, you'll get a 50% off coupon to purchase the class, if you haven't done it yet) to review the yarn, and I eagerly accepted. I asked Craftsy if they could send me a skein in worsted weight, to swatch with. They did better than that - they sent me three skeins - one, a Wool Bulky Twist in Charcoal Heather - 228 yds in a skein, two - a Superwash Merino Worsted Twist in Oatmeal Heather - 221 yds in a skein, and three - one Highland Worsted in the color Storm Front - 220 yds in a skein. Here's a picture of the 3 skeins:
Lots of yardage in each skein, as you can see. And the yarn was so soft - not scratchy like wool often is. So now I had a problem. While I was waiting for the yarn to arrive, I was thinking that I would just swatch with the yarn - do different stitch patterns, make small squares and rectangles - just see how the yarn looked and felt and worked up. But when I actually received the yarn, got to touch it, got to look at it, I decided to do something else. I had about 660 yards of super soft yarn, in 3 colors that looked good together. I didn't want to just swatch with it, I wanted to crochet something that I could use. Something I could wear. A sweater, perhaps, or maybe a shawl. I had to pick a stitch pattern that would show off the yarn, and would be easy to modify if I ran out of yarn before I finished the sweater. So - I picked one of my favorite stitch patterns - a Granny Rectangle. And I got started. (You can find the pattern to a Granny Rectangle in my above-mentioned class.)
First, I had to wind the yarn. I usually do that by hand - and this was super easy. No tangles at all. Then, I had to decide what size hook I would use. I wanted the stitches to be light and lacy, but not too lacy. I had 2 different weights of yarn - bulky and worsted - so I had to be careful that the hook I picked worked with both weights. Luckily, the bulky yarn is not that much different from the worsted. So I thought either a J-10 (6mm), a K-10.5 (6.5mm) or an L-11 (8mm). I went for the middle size, tried it, and I liked the way it felt and worked up. I also tried the L hook - the stitches were too loose. And the J hook - the hook caught on the yarn. So K-10.5 it was. These were Susan Bates in-line hooks, in case you're wondering.
Second, I had to figure out how long and how wide I wanted my 2 front panels. And how many rectangles across I would have. I decided 2 rectangles across each side of the front, and 2 rectangles down. I know how loose I like my sweaters (my friends call them Marty Cardis, because I make so many of them) so I divided the width of one front panel in two, to get the width of each of the two Granny Rectangles on one side of the front. I know how long I like my sweaters - so I divided that measurement in two, to get the length of each of the two Granny Rectangles that are in the column. Then, I figured out the size of the center starting row of my Granny Rectangles. (How to figure it out - length of finished rectangle minus width of finished rectangle is how long your starting center row should be. More information is in my Craftsy class - link is above.)
Then, after all these preliminaries, I got started. I finished one front, and took a picture. It's going to be a "join-as-you-go" sweater, and I'm one-quarter finished. But, when I took the picture of the finished front, I noticed that I joined one part of one of the rectangles in the wrong place. (That's what happens when you watch a tension-filled NetFlix series while you're working!) So I had to fix it before I went any further.
Here's a picture of my sweater with the mistake in the joining:
In case you were wondering - the two rectangles on the bottom, the bottom corner join that joins the two rectangles is the one that's not joined in the right place.
Here's a picture of the corrected joining:
Can you see how much better it looks? It's important to check every thing you do, as you do it! Also, the picture shows the columns on their side. Imagine them rotated 90 degrees, and you'll get an idea of what one side of the front will look like.
And look at the colors - the dark gray is the Charcoal Heather Bulky Twist, the lighter gray is the Highland Worsted Storm Front, and the lightest color is the Superwash Merino Worsted Oatmeal Heather. I think the colors look great together! And even though there are two different weights of yarn (bulky and worsted) the rectangles still fit together nicely.
Now here's some really good news! This yarn is on sale from now until Wednesday, April 20, 2016. And you can buy skeins or kits with patterns included. And here's the link:
But wait - there's more! There's free shipping for $99.00 or more, for orders to the US.
Here is what Craftsy says about their Cloudborn yarns:
"For fiber addicts, Cloudborn Fibers is the brand of affordable indulgence that’s so stunning, you’ll want to use for all of your projects. Other yarns can’t compare to the luxe hand and exceptional, innovative color of Cloudborn, especially at such a great value."
And they are absolutely right!
Meanwhile, keep checking back here - I'll post a picture as soon as I'm finished with my Marty Cardi!