Goodmorning everyone 😀
I eventually managed to get some internet and a laptop to download some of my summer’s photos! And also write a small update.
So where to start… I left Scotland at the end of May so to spend some time with my family in Italy; it has been a lovely break for many reasons, mainly because I had some proper quality time with my mum and dad, my cousins in Tuscany and my brother and his family.
My family comes from all over Italy and, during these past few weeks I have been travelling quite a bit, not only to spend time with loved ones ,but also to enjoy exhibitions, museums, the beach, the hills .. the only regret I have is the lack of time to visit my beloved Dolomites!
So I got here some lovely pictures of Ferrara, on the Po Valley, where my maternal Grandmother was from,
then I went to Carrara, a small town famous for the white marble on the sea at the border between Tuscany and Liguria, Carrara is where my paternal grandmother came from and my cousins are living and where I used to spend most of my summers before I moved to Scotland 27 years ago.
Tomorrow I am off to southern Spain to catch up with my children and Michael for few days all together…
In the midst of all, I m still crocheting OBVIOUSLY!
Last year, when I came to Italy, I took a lot of acrylics and it was a major mistake because the heat was so fierce that literally melted the acrylic in my hands, this time, I took just cotton and I have been working on several WIPS at the same time.
I have a new shawl that is getting tested at the moment, I am working on a new blanket which is going to be really interesting.
It is a new concept of pattern focused on versatility.
I have taken on board all your messages and requests, I know that some of you are not so keen on acrylic yarns and prefer natural fibres, I also know that cotton is often your choice not only for an ethical reason but also for climate issues.It will be the main subject of my new classes that I got planned for July and the autumn: https://www.poppys-holmfirth.co.uk/wool-shop/knitting-and-crochet-workshops .
So, as it is already quite hot in Italy, the blanket I am making is a cotton one, but I will have an acrylic version available and by the autumn a pure wool one ( very exciting to let you know about this new collaboration I am working on) also different sizes, borders and joining methods too!
so LOADS of interesting new things.
As cotton has been my focus for the past few weeks, I also tested some new yarns.
Just before leaving a Bulgarian company called PERFORMANCE YARNS, https://performanceyarn.com/ contacted me and asked me if I was interested in testing some of their products, I said that ,as long as I could give and write an honest opinion, I was delighted to try new yarns, so just before I left I received a pack with 5 different yarns to try, so far I tried 2 of them, as I got quite a few deadlines to work on at the same time.
I tested a blend of 80% cotton and 20% linen called LINEN TOUCH https://performanceyarn.com/product/linen-touch/ and a 100% combed, gassed and mercerized cotton called COTTON QUEEN MULTI.https://performanceyarn.com/product/cotton-queen-multi/
The linen/cotton was lovely , it didnt split but ,as it is untreated, I felt it slowed the work quite a bit, I dont know if it is due to the heat or the fact it is an aran weight, but I felt I was much slower that I normally am, I will try again in Scotland to see if it is a temperature issue only, on the other side the COTTON QUEEN is AMAZING!!!! it glides on the hook, it has a beautiful shine and is incredibly soft too!
Probably the best cotton I worked with so far!
I made a small project, and I used some Scheepjees Catona too to compare the two kinds of cotton, the Performance’s cotton is better, it has the same shine, it doesn’t split but it is far softer which means it will not hurt your hands even if crochet long hours or you are a very fast crocheter. Such fabulous yarn.
I used mercerized cotton many times but I never heard of ‘GASSED’ cotton, so I found out that it is a different treatment that improves not only the shine but more so the softness of the fibres which makes a huge difference.
I still have three more yarns to test so I will let you know how I m getting on with them.
I never ordered from PERFORMANCE, but the yarn they sent me arrived well packed and very quickly by a carrier. They are Bulgaria’s biggest yarn manufacturer with 80 years of experience. They have an easy website and shop to navigate, their prices are competitive and they do worldwide delivery at 4 euros flat rate or free for orders over 40 euros.
I really like this COTTON QUEEN so I will find out more about the colours available etc once I am back.
As soon I got to Spain , assuming that I got proper internet, I will write some more updates, for now, I wish you all a lovely summer and thank you for reading!