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I've had my advent pattern for my wool yarn selected for a few months now but I've also kept a cotton set and haven't chosen a pattern for that yet.

I've come up with a brief list of patterns that I think would work well with my advent calendars in the order I chose to package them. As those of you who purchased will know I chose to use a botanical method of organising the skeins so although they flow from one to the next they do not form a gradient like many other advent calendars. You could always rearrange them into a gradient if that is what you prefer but I have specifically chosen patterns that I think will be beautiful without a gradient effect.

It's also worth nothing that because of the number of IBRA bioregions in Western Australia (there are 26) my advent calendar actually contains one more skein than usual with 25 mini skeins so you may need to modify the patterns slightly but adding an extra couple of rows. For those of you who purchased the extra skein also you will have 25 minis, a gradient set made up of 5 minis spread throughout the month, and an additional 100g skein. This is around 120g more yarn than most advent calendars contain so you should have plenty to work with.

So let's get straight into it. I will likely add to this as people share their ideas with me on socials.

ADVENTurous Wrap - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering weight

This pattern would work well for both rearranged advents and those in the order opened. You can either add extra rows or change your colours slightly earlier to suit the 24 colours used in the pattern.

ADVENTuring Scarf and Wrap - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering Weight

Designed for 25 colours and super easy to add extra colours by increasing the width (just add more rows).

ADVENTuring Cowl - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering Weight

The cowl comes free with the scarf and wrap pattern purchase.

I think this pattern would be a great choice for the 4ply cotton too. It would work with the 10g sets beautifully.

Willow - Natalie Moreva - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

This isn't specifically an advent pattern but without having knitted it myself it looks as though it could work with the 30 minis (25 minis + 5 minis from gradient) and an additional 100g skein really well.

True Colors - Melanie Berg - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

Again not a specific pattern for advent sets but there appear to be approximately the right number of stripes and the reverse colour end section would be a great way to use the gradient set.

Radvent Throw - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering Weight

Again, this pattern is designed for 24 mini skeins but you can easily do 30 squares and then use the extra skein for the border or do 25 minis with the border from the gradient set making a square blanket.

Lamina Wrap - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering Weight

This wrap has 27 sections of the main colour and 26 of the lace pattern. It looks as though it would be really simple to adjust by using the main colour to do one of the lace sections leaving 25 for the mini skeins.

Mini Skein Infinity Scarf - Julieanne Cole - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

With the 10g set without the extra skein you might not quite get a full size scarf but it will be really close, especially as I have put a little extra onto each skein. This is a 'scrap' project so you simply change colours wherever it suits. This would also work well for cotton.

ADVENTurer Scarf and Wrap - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

Fingering Weight

This pattern actually uses 25 colours but is very adaptable and I think the garter sections between the lace would be beautiful using the gradient set or extra skein.

Dust of Snow - Helen Stewart - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

This pattern is designed for 24 mini skeins held with a mohair strand but should work for fingering weight yarn on its own.

Hearten Cowl - Helen Stewart - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

The pattern doesn't specify the number of colours needed but it appears to be around 24 and it appears that you could change colours more frequently to use more.

For a larger cowl you could use a 20g set or if you prefer a single loop a 10g set would suffice.

If you're good at adjusting patterns I think this would also be lovely as an DK/8ply project.

Potter Advent Blanket - LJ Stone - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

Another really versatile project. Uses 24 mini skeins plus a 100g skein but it's a blanket so just add more rows or go a few stitches wider to suit.

Wollemi Pine Wrap - Shara Made - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

Uses 24 colours but this is another project where it is super easy to adjust the number of rows.

Planina Wrap - Shara Made - Ravelry

Fingering Weight (but could easily work for any weight yarn)

Another project which is really versatile. The number of rows for each colour can be easily adjusted to suit the 25/30 minis in my advent calendars. This would be a great opportunity to play with the order of the mini skeins.

Nayla Wrap - Shara Made - Ravelry

Fingering Weight

This is the CROCHET version of the Planina wrap above. It's hard to find crochet projects so I'm really pleased to be able to include this beautiful one from and Australian designer.

Radvent Pillow - Ambah O'Brien - Ravelry/Etsy

DK Weight

I'd love to see this made in cotton... might even do that myself...

It uses 24 colours but once again, use your creativity to make it work for 25/30 depending on your kit.

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Hi everyone

I have been thoroughly enjoying being part of the Big Wool Show the last few days so thought it'd be fun to do a little 'Choose your own Adventure' dye-along.

The premise behind this idea is that I'll dye some mini skeins while doing a live stream but the colours (and perhaps some of the methods) will be chosen by you the viewers.

As a little extra I will give away one of the mini skeins to someone who joins in the dye-along by suggesting colours and there will be a sneaky discount code given out sometime during the live stream for all the items in my store until Monday 10pm AWST.

I will be using Facebook Live for the video but will also embed it below for those who are not on Facebook (although to participate I believe you need a Facebook account). I'll also do my best to take some photos and put together a blog post about the process that you can look at later.

The live stream will start at 10am AWST.

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Updated: Aug 12, 2018

With all of the amazing fibres available to textile artists you may be wondering why plain old cotton is worth using. For me personally there are a multitude of reasons why I have gravitated towards cotton so let’s take a look at all the things that makes cotton yarn well worth giving a go in your next project.

Soft, squishy, and brightly coloured!

1. Allergy friendly

Many people can have quite strong reactions to animal fibres, particularly wool. For some this is a sensitivity that causes itching and an uncomfortable prickling sensation, for others it is a full blown allergy which can cause severe rashes and excema. My personal experience is with a sensitivity, the majority of wools are very unpleasant for me to touch and wearing them against my skin is not an option. There are a few wool brands that I’ve found to not cause me issues but they are definitely in the minority and on the more expensive end of the scale so they get reserved for special and smaller projects.

A cotton bonnet for a sensitive little head.

2. Great for babies and children

Kids make their clothes (and toys and blankets) dirty, very very dirty! Non-superwash wools aren’t particularly practical for young children if you are anything like me and have an aversion to the very thought of handwashing their clothing. Cotton is super hardwearing and can simply go into the washing machine along with all the other items, bonus points for being able to survive the dryer when an adult forgets to check for delicate items! I prefer to put knitted items in a delicates bag so they don’t snag and pull but I’m not the only one who puts the washing on in my house and not everyone is that careful.

The allergy and sensitivity aspect comes into play a bit here too. Babies tend to have very sensitive skin and cotton is a great option when giving gifts as it is very unlikely to cause a reaction.

3. The drape

Cotton is not wool or acrylic and does behave quite differently when made into a textile. There is virtually no elasticity in cotton fibres so they won’t stretch and bounce back in the way that wool and acrylic do. The elasticity of the final textile comes from the way it is constructed. The fibres can move across each other allowing the fabric to stretch even though the fibres themselves are not stretching. What this means for the final fabric is that it tends to pull more with gravity than wool. The knitted garment will drape downwards (so watch the length of your projects) and won’t have the same structure as you can achieve with a woolen garment.

10ply cotton is cosy enough for a Perth winter and drapes beautifully.

4. You live somewhere warm

Cotton is a very breathable fibre which means that the moisture from your body is able to escape. In warmer weather this is perfect as you don’t get the same insulation as you do with wool so you won’t overheat if the sun suddenly decides to come out while that cool breeze is blowing. It’s perfect for a spring or summer cardigan, or in Perth where I live, a cardigan for all but five days of the year. It’s a perfect excuse to knit or crochet some more garments even if you live somewhere warm, and who is going to complain about that!

5. It’s vegan

For those who are concerned about the treatment of animals or prefer to live a vegan lifestyle for environmental reasons, cotton is a great option. It is not without environmental impact as a significant amount of water is used in its production but cotton yarn is a plant fibre and hence suitable for vegans and entirely biodegradable.

Down a needle size and the fabric is that little bit denser and sturdier.

But all the patterns are for wool!

I know, it can be hard to find patterns that are written for cotton yarn. They are out there, but the options are certainly more limited. Personally I tend to find whatever I like and then make adjustments to suit. If you are translating a knitting project from wool to cotton you need to take into account the way the different fibres behave and alter accordingly. I often drop my needle size for cotton and go up a size on the garment to give a denser fabric that has more structure, it works very well for cardigans and jumpers where the size of the garment causes the cotton to stretch more but this certainly isn’t necessary in all cases, especially smaller projects. I’ve created many bonnets where I’ve used the same gauge as the pattern and achieved an amazing result that has a perfect fit and plenty of stretch.

I highly recommend giving cotton a go. It’s a wonderful fibre that I honestly believe doesn’t get the love it deserves. It is ideal for high use garments that need regular and thorough washing, people who may be either allergic or sensitive to animal and synthetic fibres, and creates a unique fabric that drapes and flows beautifully.

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