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Tips and Tricks

Cotton Yarn - what does combed, mercerised & gassed mean?

You may have noticed that some cotton yarns are described as combed, mercerised and gassed. But what does it mean? Combed CottonWhen cotton is harvested, it first needs to be cleaned to remove dirt and seeds. It is then carded, which separates the fibers and makes them all line up in the same direction. The cotton is divided into hanks of raw cotton which can then be spun into yarn. Combing is an additional process, whereby after carding, the fibres are brushed with very fine brushes to pull out all remaining impurities plus any short cotton fibers. This means that up to another...

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Yarn colour and batch numbers

Each ball of yarn carries a colour code and a batch number on their label. Yarns with the same batch number have been through the same colour run. Sometimes (not always) you may get very slight variations in tone if you have balls with different batch numbers. In most cases, the differences tend to be very minor and often hardly noticeable (it is still the same colour!), but we nevertheless aim to ship out yarn with the same batch number whenever possible. Unfortunately sometimes different batch numbers simply can't be avoided for a variety of reasons.  Does it actually matter? The answer is that it depends...

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How to adjust a pattern to get a perfect fit

What do you do if you like a pattern but your size is not available? Or the suggested sizing of the pattern simply doesn't suit you? Learn how to adjust a pattern to get a perfect fit.

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Learn how to crochet

Keen to learn crochet but not sure where to start?

We offer links to courses on craftsy.com, the biggest online provider of knitting and crocheting classes. 

This week's course offers a basic introduction to crocheting, from holding your hook to creating a beautiful granny square blanket.

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Trouble-shooting machine felting

We sell a great selection of felting yarns that are ideal for felting in the washing machine, but not all washing machines work equally well for this purpose. Sometimes you need to adjust the felting process to make it work in YOUR machine. 

Our felted slippers are quick to knit up with size 8mm needles. The felting then happens in the washing machine in a full cycle at 60 degrees Celsius

You need to use standard washing powder (not wool wash) and run a full standard or cotton cycle (NOT woollens/minimum iron or delicates cycle). It is important NOT to use any water saving settings, as the slippers have to SWIM IN WATER for this to work. Machine felting works really well in most machines, but sometimes a second or even third washing cycle may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.

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