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Country Roads Baby Blanket + Yarn Review

Yarn Bee Comfy Classic Yarn

Loudly Sings “WEST VIRGINIA…MOUNTAIN MAMA…”

Holy Moly, it feels like it has been forever since I have been able to post a pattern, or say anything yarn related really. Actually, it has only been a month. But it was the LONGEST MONTH EVER! This month was the start of Online Schooling, and as a middle school teacher and mother of a 4th grader, the last four weeks have been rough. My lesson plans for the second week looked like something from the middle of the year!

These are just the quick notes with assignments!!!

However in the midst of all the craziness, my principal sent out an email that one of our teachers is about to have a baby! And as any yarn enthusiast can attest, it doesn’t matter how busy you are, when someone is having a baby, you get to work. So that is just what I did. I had about four balls of Comfy Classic from Yarn Bee in my stash, but just to be safe I decided to see if I could find a couple more, and maybe in a contrast color. I really liked the squishy feel of the yarn. It seemed durable, and it is machine washable, which ticks most of my baby blanket boxes. it was just my luck that the day I went to grab “just 2-3 more” was a 30% off yarn day. So I bought may have bought all they had in every color.

Review Time:

Yarn bee Comfy Classic is a size 4 worsted weight yarn. You can find it at Hobby Lobby, or the link here. There are a lot of things to like about this yarn. It is really soft, and I can not express how wonderfully squishy it is! It is a combination of Viscose, Polyester & Nylon, so there is a decent amount os stretch to the yarn. When I say ‘decent amount’ that might even be an under statement. This yarn is STRETCHY. it is because of that stretchiness that I ran into a couple of problems. The first, the most minor of issues, is that the yarn can’t be wound into a cake.

Normally I don’t bother winding yarn that comes in a center pull, but after my second skein of trying to access the center pull, only to find nothing but a tangle of yarn barf, I decided to bust out the yarn winder to try and save myself some hassle. Unfortunately, all this did was cause a new issue. Because of the super stretch in the yarn, there is no tension for the winder to keep pulling. this just left me with a tangly, slippy cake that wasn’t very helpful. Down side, I had to ball the yarn. Plus side, I got to use the new yarn bowl my hubby 3D printed for me. Because of this stretch though, I think this yarn would be great for wearables like a sweater or cardigan.

The stretch caused another issue for me. The final blanket shown in the post was NOT the original pattern. At first I wanted to make a Moss Stitch Granny Square in gold with an extra wide navy boarder. The problem with that is, when doing a Moss Stitch Granny Square you have to work in a continuous round, which naturally causes warping, but add that to a stretchy yarn, and you end up with a puckery mess that no amount of blocking can fix. I do really like the stitch definition that this yarn has in Moss Stitch though, and I may use some of the extra I bought to make a patter that works.

This is not a yarn that can be used for every project. And if you are the type of crocheter that works really tight, I may recommend that you avoid it all together. However, I do really, really love how my final project turned out, and I enjoyed the time is spent working with this yarn. It is fun and cozy, and even without the sales price ($3.99/150 yards), it is a great option for larger projects. If you would like to give this yarn a try, keep scrolling and check out my newest pattern, the Country Roads Baby Blanket.

Country Roads Baby Blanket

What you need

  • 6 Yarn Bee Comfy Classic in Gold
  • 2 Yarn Bee Comfy Classic in Navy
  • 6 mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Special Stitches

SC: Single Crochet
FDHDC: Foundation Half Double Crochet
HDC: Half Double Crochet
Cross (X) Stitch: Skip stitch, DC in next, go back and DC in the skipped stitch
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet: YO and insert your hook from front to back between the posts of the stitch before the one you want to work and the one you want from front to back, then from back to front between the working stitch and the next one. Complete your DC as normal
BPDC: Back Post Double Crochet: Done the same way as FPDC, except you insert your hook from back to front instead.

Pattern

Start with 110 FDHDC.

You can replace the FDHDC with a starting chain of 112, and HDC across starting in the 3rd chain from the hook

Row 1: Ch 2, DC in first stitch (turning chains do not count as stitches in this pattern. Do not skip the first stitch) Cross (X) Stitch across to last stitch. DC in last Stitch. Ch 1 and turn.

Row 2: HDC Across

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 34 times or until blanket measures 29″ (74 cm). Make sure you end with Row 2.

Cut Gold yarn and pull through

Boarder

Attach Navy yarn. Ch 2 and Dc across

Row 1: Ch 2 and DC in first stitch. FPDC in next 9. *10 BPDC, 10 FPDC* Rpt ** to last 20 stitches. 10 BPDC, 9 FPDC, DC in last stitch

Row 2: Ch 2 and DC in first stitch. BPDC in next 9. *10 FPDC, 10 BPDC* Rpt ** to last 20 stitches. 10 FPDC, 9 BPDC, DC in last stitch

Rpt Rows 1 and 2 4 more times. You should have 9 rows total 8 pattern rows, plus starting DC row.

Row 10: Ch 1, SC across

Cut yarn, pull through, and repeat Boarder on other end of blanket.

Finishing

Weave in all ends and use your preferred method of blocking. Enjoy the snuggly goodness!

Don’t forget to post pictures of your finished projects and tag @MangoYarns so I can see your fabulous work!

This pattern and post contents are the property of MangoYarns and its designer. Distributing, publishing, or reprinting of this material is not permitted. Copyright 2020

Lightly Weighted Blanket

Have you ever found such a good deal on something that you just had to buy all of it off the shelves? Well that is how this blanket came to be. There is this store near my house called Ollie’s. If you have never been to an Ollie’s let me paint a picture of what you can expect. It is like if Big Lots decided to have a garage sale and get rid of all the stuff that even they didn’t want. I used to shop there a lot when I was in college, because you can find almost anything for almost no money, as long as you don’t care that it is in a brand you have never seen before.

Now, what this store does have going for it, is their super vast book department. It is the first thing you see when you come in, and on this particular day, it was the reason I had stopped in. I an a bit opposed to clutter, so in our house we rarely buy books. We are more public library people. However, because of the current state of the world, our library has been closed for months. At this point my son has read every book he owned, and is now permanently attached to his Xbox. I decided to try and pry him away from Minecraft by getting new book… probably about Minecraft.

Here is just one of the shelves in my Craft Room jam packed with my find.

I ended up getting a few books, but what really made the trip worth it was the GIANT box of light purple Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn priced for, wait for it, $2 each. Normally this yarn is around $5 each. So I did what any sane person would do, and I bought 20 of them. Now, did I NEED 20 skeins of Super Bluky yarn…No. But did I see that yarn and have a burst of inspiration knowing exactly what to make from it…Also no. No matter, the yarn was mine and I was happy.

Eventually, I did figure out want to wanted to make with my purchase. I wanted a big, chunky blanket that would cover both myself and my husband on the couch. It took some trial and error finding a stitch that was close enough together that the blanket was warm and cozy, but had enough space that the heavy yarn wouldn’t become too thick. The end result was a modified V Stitch with half double crochet boarder. when I started making the blanket, I didn’t expect it to end up weighing as much as it did. the finished blanked is a bit more than 7 lbs. It is not quite as heavy as a standard weighted blanket, but definitely heavier than your typical throw. I absolutely love how it turned out, and it has become quite the hit with everyone else.

This is Doodlebug, she is a big fan of the new blanket

The pattern for this blanket is below, but if you would like a printable, ad free version, head over to my Ravelry page and purchase the PDF from my shop. Link to the pattern is here,

Pattern

Materials Used

For the pictured blanket I used 20 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA in Joliet Iris. Link to the yarn is here. Any size 6, Super Bulky yarn will work for this pattern, though.

Items Needed:

1600 yrds (1463 meters) Super Bulky yarn

11mm crochet hook

Darning needle

Scissors

Gauge: This pattern is very easily adapted to any size blanket you want to make. Sample gauge for body of the blanket is
4 stitches x 4 rows = 4 inches (10 cm)

Stitch Abbreviations

FHDC: Foundation Half Double Crochet

HDC BLO: Half Double Crochet in the back loop onbly

DC: Double Crochet

V Stitch: 2 Double crochet in the space between the 2 double crochet in the row below

Set up:
FHDC 97 or any odd number. Alternatively, chain 98 (or any even number) and work HDC across.
Rows 1-3
Chain 1, Hdc blo in each stitch across
Row 4
Ch 2, DC in first stitch, skip next stitch, *2 DC in next stitch, skip stitch* repeat *…* to last stitch, DC in last St.
Rows 5-61
Ch 2, DC in first stitch, *V St in the space between the 2 DC in row below* repeat *…* across to last stitch, DC in last stitch
Rows 62-64
Ch 1, HDC blo in each stitch across
Cut yarn leaving a tail long enough to weave in. Finishing: Weave in all ends, and enjoy

This blanket works up super fast. I had the whole thing finished during a Sunday Snapped marathon. Please take pictures of your finished projects and tag @Mangoyarns on Instagram. I would LOVE to see your work!

Here is a photo of the blanket in its new spot in the living room. The ladder was made by my crazy talented husband.

Autumn Leaves Infinity Scarf

Even though it is hot and humid here in North Carolina in August, I have already started thinking about Fall. I made this pattern a few weeks ago, in July, which is practically August, and that is just basically September, which is Autumn after all. The long runs of Earth tone colors made me almost forget that it was 102 degrees outside.

I was already a fan of this yarn, having used a different colorway in a previous project. That shawl can be seen here on my Instagram. Like almost every crocheter I have ever met, I started out using Red Heart Super Saver. It is affordable and comes in a bunch of colors, but it is not the softest stuff to work with. I always felt like no matter what I made, or how well I made it, it always ended up looking like it came from a craft fair in the 1970s. I think because of this first impression, I was put off of the Red Heart brand for a while. But then I came across Red Heart Unforgettable. This yarn is soft, oh so pretty, and has some of the best color transitions I have seen. With each shade softly blending to next, it doesn’t matter if your stripe ends in the middle of a row.

Photo credit Yarnspriations.com

I was lucky enough to get the two skeins used to make this scarf from a friend in my Sunday Knitting Group. She was destashing, and for the price of a coffee they were mine. However, like every time yarn is acquired without a real purpose, it sat on my shelf for months and months. Then, one day my husband was about to mail a present to his dad (a wooden picture frame he made), and he asked me if I had anything that could be sent to his mom. “I can’t send Dad a gift and leave Mom out, can you make something PLEEEEEEEEASE?” So I had my mission. I needed to make something that was nice enough to be given as a gift to one of the best people on the planet (I really have the best mother in law), but I needed this gift to be fast enough to finish in a couple of sittings. This actually took less than half of my Brooklyn 99 Season 2 rewatch.

The pattern for this shawl is below, but if you prefer a printable, ad free, version, you can find it here on my Ravelry page.

Autumn Leaves Infinity Scarf Pattern

Materials Needed

Gauge is not terribly important for this project. If you would like a wider scarf, you can add additional stitches in multiples of 6, or continue the pattern to make it longer.

Finished Measurements

86”x7” blocked. 86” is the total length before ends are sewn together. Finished and folded in half is 43”x7”

Special Stitches

Stem (V stitch): DC, ch 1, DC all in the same stitch

Leaf (Shell Stitch): 9 DC in ch space of Stem

Had to take a pretty picture before dropping in the mail

Directions

Set Up​: Foundation SC 33, ch 1 turn ​or​ Chain 34, sc in second ch and sc across, ch 1 and turn

Row 1​: sc in first stitch, sk 3, 9 DC in next, sk 3 sc in next. Continue across ending with a sc (4 Leafs and 5 sc)

Row 2​: Ch 3 (counts as first DC here and throughout pattern), DC in first st, Ch 2, sc in center of leaf (5th dc), ch2, Stem stitch in sc, ch 2, continue across ending with 2 DC in last sc. Note: there is no chain between the first and last DC of the row. (4 DCs, 8 ch 2 spaces, 4 sc, 3 stems)

Row 3​: Ch 3 and DC 4 in first stitch, sk chain sp and sc in top of sc below, sk chain space, Leaf stitch in chain space of Stem stitch below. Rpt across to last DC, 5 DC in top of turning chain. (3 Leafs, 2 half Leafs, 4 sc)

Row4​:Ch1andscinfirstst,ch2,Stemstitchinsc,ch2,scintopofleaf(5thDC),rpt across ending with sc in top of turning chain from previous row ( 5 sc, 8 ch 2 spaces, 4 Stems)

Row 5​: Ch 1 and sc in first st, Leaf stitch in chain space of Stem, sc in sc from previous row, rpt across ending with sc (5 sc, 4 Leaf Stitches)

Repeat Rows 2-5​ until you reach the last color change in the 2nd skein of yarn. Attach new yarn when needed.

Make sure you end on either row 2 or 4.
Final row
​: Ch 1, sc across. 1 sc in each sc, dc, and ch1 space, 2 sc in ch2 spaces (33 sc)

Finishing

Fold scarf in half wrong side facing out and line up ends. Using remaining yarn sew ends together with your preferred method. I used a Mattress Stitch, but you do you.

Weave in ends and block.

Blocking Tip Because this is an acrylic yarn, I find that steam blocking is the most effective. If you have a hand steamer, pin the scarf to the demotions you like, and steam from end to end. Just make sure to get as close to the yarn as possible without actually touching the steamer to it. The metal plate on the steamer can melt the yarn if it touches.

Blocking took up my entire Kitchen Island. Glad my son didn’t need a snack!

I really hope you enjoy this pattern. Please post your pictures of Autumn Leaves Infinity Scarf and tag @MangoYarns on Instagram so I can see your work!

For a cozy cowl look, you can triple wrap the scarf!

Copyright 2020. This pattern is property of MangoYarns and its designer Bethany Miller. Pattern is for personal use and may not be sold, copied, or reprinted without permission. Completed items using this pattern may be sold

Premier Bobbins and My Largest Project to Date

I was recently at my local Michael’s store to pick up something for my grandmother, and of course I couldn’t go into a craft store without a stroll through the yarn section. Did I need more yarn? Well… no, but is that really the point? On the end of one of the isles my attention was caught by shelves full of these new Premier Bobbins, and was intrigued.

I have used Premier Anti-Pilling yarn in the past, and I have had overall good experiences with it. I have even been to the headquarters for Premier and their other company, Universal Yarns, in Charlotte, NC. The yarn is softer than most acrylics I find, and the Anti- Pilling holds up after multiple washings which makes it great for blankets and children’s items. So, when I saw these Bobbins, I knew I was going to have to get one. The Bobbin itself is made of size 4 worsted weigh yarn in 3 colors. there are two solids on each end, and a marled in the middle that is a mix of those two solids. With more than 500 yards on each Bobbin I found the $13 price to be pretty fair for easy color coronation. Could you get the exact same effect with three separate purchases of yarn? Absolutely. Would it look as neat? Nope, it would not.

Image credit: Premier Yarns

The pattern pictured in the end of the Bobbin is of a children’s size knit sweater in the gradient colors. it is simple and cute, and was all the inspiration I needed to get started. I rarely need an excuse to make children’s items. I often make things for my son, but mostly toys and blankets. Since we live in North Carolina, he doesn’t have much opportunity to wear knitted items through the year. However, my Sister in Law in Ohio has SIX kids under 11 who love getting random packages. So with a Bobbin of Peachy Keen and my favorite Chaigoo needles I set to work.

The Little Garter Pullover is a simple and fast knit. I really like how it turned out. There is a bit of a downside to this yarn. The yarn itself is very splitty. I often had to go back and fix stitches that were only on half the needles. I have not had this issue with other lines of the Anti-Pilling, and it was a bit unexpected. However, once I noticed what was happening, I was able to correct and pay better attention.

Here is a closeup of a split stitch that I didn’t catch in time. By the time I saw this one I was so far past the row, that I am just going to call it a design element if anyone notices.

Now as it tends to happen, I was halfway through this sweater when I started thinking about what else I could work on. And I had a burst of inspiration! These Bobbins come in A LOT of colors. And I have A LOT of nieces and nephews. So, what if I were to make a sweater for each child, in a different color Bobbin. That is 7 sweaters in sizes 12 Month to Youth Large. Each sweater would be in the same gradient, but each with a different color and style. Some knitted garter or stockinette, some crochet, I might even throw in a Tunisian. Then I though, “What about the rest of the family?” So I added hats and scarves to the list, and off I went back to Michael’s. I ended up buying 14 more Bobbins, and at $13 each that can add up. So, if you are so inclined to also make a sweater for everyone you have ever met, I recommend waiting until you have a 20% entire purchase coupon. Michael’s puts them on their app every couple of weeks, and for this trip it really payed off. I ended up saving $2.60 off each Bobbin times 14 Bobbins is $36.40!

My haul all set up in the guest room safe from the kitty cats

I have been knitting and crocheting for almost 17 years, and this has now become the largest project I have ever undertaken. Seven children’s sweaters, and 7 hats, 4 scarves, 2 cowls, and a shawl, all to be completed before Christmas. I MUST finish them all, because it wouldn’t be fair if someone didn’t get one. And I have to finish them this year, because kids grow fast and none of the sweaters will fit next year. I have a lot to do, and I am on the clock!

I am almost finished with my first sweater, and I will be tracking my progress on this blog as well as my Instagram @mangoyarns where you will find posts about projects, patterns, any super cute fur babies!

Ruth’s Sweater size 5T almost finished