And the Awayuki goes to…

Drum roll please!

*drum roll sounds here*

awayuki giveaway!…Jess Hanley! Hooray!

Thank you all so much for entering and for sharing my page with your friends. Jess, your new Awayuki will be winging its way to you very soon!

Ali xo

It’s Time For Another Giveaway!

Welcome to the world’s most neglected blog!*

*not an actual fact; I’m just assuming

I am determined to get better at this blogging business and start posting once a week. But anyway, that’s a different discussion. This post is all about the giveaway!

To thank you all for your continued support, and to celebrate my Facebook page reaching 275 likers, I would love to give away one of my Awayuki hats in your choice of delicious Jodulbug Creations yarn!

Awayuki means “light snowfall” in Japanese. The design of this hat was inspired by both the beautiful city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan and my love of quirky details, represented in the large pompom and the unusual cabling on the hat.

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As with all of my hats, Awayuki is available in sizes 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-12m, 12m-3yr, and small child (3yr+). It is very soft and squishy, and is just screaming to be made in lovely bright colours!

Jodulbug Creations 100% machine washable wool

Jodulbug Creations 100% machine washable wool
From left to right, top row: Echinacea Fairy, Blossom
Bottom row: Honey mustard, Tropical Sea, Orange Peel

So, you’d like to win one, yes? Yes! Well, I’m offering you the chance to win an Awayuki beanie in your choice of size and colour (from the 5 colours you can see in the photo above). All you need to do is comment on this post, telling me which colour you would choose and in what size. That’s it! When the giveaway is closed, I will do a random draw to determine the winner.

Comment away! And please, if you’re so inclined, share my page with your friends.

Ali xo

THE BORING BITS:

* Limit of one entry per person

* Winner will be determined by random.org

* Open to Aus and NZ residents only

* You must be a liker of my Facebook page in order for your entry to be valid. I will check!

* Please allow 4 weeks from the time I announce the winner for receipt of your hat

* Giveaway closes Wednesday the 8th of May at 8 pm WST

 

Can’t stop thinking about…

…Malabrigo Rios. I think this is my most favourite yarn EVER.

Made from 100% superwash merino, this yarn is unbelievably soft. Seriously, you have to touch it to believe it. It is kettle dyed, so the colours are mottled and fairly random; even though there are specific colourways, they are only dyed in batches of 10, and no 2 skeins ever really look the same. While this can be annoying when knitting something that requires more than one skein (generally you’ll need to change the skein you’re working from often so there is no obvious difference in colour in the finished piece), I completely adore this about the Rios. It means, while I know in general what colour I’m getting, there is always an element of surprise. A quick browse on Ravelry through finished projects made using Rios demonstrates just how different pieces made using the same colourway can look.

As mentioned, Rios is very soft…so soft that it can be quite slippery. Unlike standard wool, the fibres don’t really “fluff up” and therefore stick to each other. This means your finished piece is going to be prone to stretching a lot more than with standard wools. Some find this annoying; I do not! It just means I need to account for this softness while knitting, and the finished item will require a bit of extra care. In my opinion, taking the time to gently wash, squeeze out excess water with a towel, and then dry flat (even blocking for best results) is totally worth it to see the amazing effect of this glorious yarn.

Need to see pretty colours? Of course you do!

Rios

Image credit: The Wool Shack

My favourite yarn seller, the lovely Jemma from http://www.thewoolshack.com, has just added a bunch of new colourways of the Rios to her range. CANNOT STOP LOOKING. I have just bought 5 skeins of Arco Iris for myself (I am making a new jumper for this winter), and now I’m fantasising about which colours to choose to make things for you.

What more can I say? I love yarn, but Malabrigo Rios is the cherry on my cake.

So please, tell me: if I were to buy a handle of different colourways of Rios, which one would you love to see me use for pieces for sale? See http://www.thewoolshack.com/malabrigo_yarns.htm?action=detail&title_replace=Malabrigo+Yarns&ID=4004 to view the full range available to me.

 

Ali xo

Whoops! I accidentally neglected my blog!

Apparently I have had nothing to say for nearly 2 months. Hmm. Not entirely accurate; anyone that knows me personally can attest to the fact that I nearly always have something to say.

No, the actual reason I have neglected to update my blog is that I have had a fair bit going on in my personal life…oh, and I’ve been busy making all your woolly goodies! Great reason to forget to write, I reckon.

So this is a nothing post, mainly. In order that this update not be a complete waste of time, however, I do have a question:

TELL ME, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR?

Or, what colour do you most love to see on your little one/s?

I am currently obsessed with colour. Pretty much every colour you could think of. I think about colours whenever I have the brain space available. I need to place an order for some hand dyed yarn, and I haven’t done it yet…know why? Because I can’t choose which colours I want! I feel like I’m going to be missing out on whatever I don’t choose!

Help me out and force me to make a decision by telling me what is your absolute favourite colour. My sanity will thank you. ;-p

Ali xo

 

Inspired by…textures

Pretty much dying over this gorgeous “scowl” – it’s a scarf! It’s a cowl! – I’ve made for one of the women in my family. We do handmade secret Santa, which I love; we spend less, don’t support the multinational corporations, and we all get something really heartfelt. Special.

Anyway, I know I’m kind of ruining the surprise by sharing pictures of this scowl, but I can’t help it. It’s just too pretty not to share.

The yarn is Malabrigo “Rios”, a gorgeous, super soft, superwash merino wool. The pattern is Blueberry Scowl, by Liz Abinante. Unfortunately I will not be making this for Boris & Stasha as the pattern is for personal use only.

However, I have enough yarn left for a little hat, so keep your eyes peeled for a Puck’s Cap in 3-6 month size in the next few days.

image

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And the winner is…

That should really say, “And the winners are…”, but anyway…

Can I just say that this was really, really hard? I knew I’d get some great suggestions, but I did not think I’d get so many! So after much deliberation, the winner of my pixie hat naming competition is..

Charlotte, with her suggestion of “Puck’s Cap”!

Fabulous suggestion, Charlotte. Suits my little hat perfectly.

Now for the winner of the second hat! I used random.org to select this winner; each individual name suggestion was counted as one entry. There were 42 suggestions altogether (see how hard it was for me to choose the first winner?). The winner of my “thanks for entering” prize is…

Sunshine!

If you two lovely ladies could send me an email at mccarney.ali@gmail.com to discuss colour and size, and then I can get started on your adorable little Puck’s Caps!

Thanks again to everyone for entering. I really appreciate you all making the effort to come up with such clever suggestions. Actually, I have ideas for future hats swirling around inside my head, so I think I may need to use some of your names (and there may just be a discount for those who suggested the names I end up using!).

Keep your eyes peeled for another giveaway in the new year…

Ali xo

What’s in a name?

Hey kids,

I have this adorable little pixie hat available for sale. It’s a Boris & Stasha original, and I’m pretty pleased with it, I have to say. This is a unisex hat, though I designed it in order to offer a pixie hat option for boys. It’s called the Textured Pixie Hat.

Boooooooring. Am I right?

So I’m thinking a giveaway/competition is in order. Here is what I’m proposing:

You give me an awesome name for this little hat, and I will give you one of these hats, in the colour and size of your choice. That sounds like a fair deal, yes? And just because I’m extra nice, I will also give away a second hat, to someone else, just for entering. All you need to do is comment on this post with your hat name suggestion, and you are in the draw! See the bottom of this post for a photo of the hat. Also, please note that it can be made using solid, semi solid, or variegated (as in the picture) colourways. I prefer solid colours for this particular hat, but it is really up to you.

Get your creative caps on and give me a new name for the Textured Pixie Hat!

THE BORING BITS:

* You may enter as many times as you like.

* You must be a liker of my Facebook page.

* The winner of the “best name” will be determined by me. My decision is final.

* The winner of the second hat will be determined by random.org. In the event that random.org draws the person who won the first hat, I will redraw.

* Please allow 3 weeks from the time you choose your colour and size for receipt of your hat.

* Competition closes Friday the 7th of December at 8 pm WST.

Textured Pixie Hat

It’s flippin’ 40 degrees…why would I buy woollies now?

So, I was going to write this as a status on the page, and then I thought, “Well, with my inability to be succinct, I think this would be better served as a blog post.”  You now get to read it on my blog instead.

Back to the topic: why buy woolly goodies in summer? It’s hot — and man, does it get hot here in Perth — so you’re basically wanting to walk around with as little clothing on as possible. Delicious knitted and crocheted items rarely belong in a summer wardrobe.

However, there are still plenty of reasons to buy woolly clothing and accessories before the weather gets cold. Such as:

1. Be prepared. I have a very dear friend who is pretty much the most prepared person on the planet. She has a spare room for all of the stuff she has stored, ready to use for her next baby, or someone else’s baby, or for when her toddler is bigger…and so on. None of it is wasted; it will all be used at some point. She just likes to take advantage of bargain-buying opportunities!

Everyone knows someone who is having a baby. So, say your friend is having a summer baby. This baby won’t need a lovely knitted cardigan, will they? WRONG! They perhaps won’t need one in a newborn size, but think ahead. People tend to buy their friends lots of newborn sized pieces, which is lovely, but I know from experience that a lot of it ends up unused. You get so much, and babies grow quickly. So why not buy a woolly garment in preparation for baby’s first winter?

2. Summer is not hot 100% of the time. There are evenings that get fairly cool, especially if you’re like my little family and love to have picnics near the beach or river in the evening. The breeze coming off the water can get pretty chilly. So make sure your little ones have some stylin’ woollies for such occasions!

Also consider that merino, a fibre I use a lot, has fabulous heat regulating properties, as well as many other benefits. According to the Wikipedia entry on merino wool:

  • Merino is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.[6]
  • Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet,[7] thus helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts (climbs) or weather events.[6]
  • Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties.[8]
  • Merino is one of the softest types of wool available, due to finer fibers and smaller scales.[7]
  • Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.[9]

Need I say more? Combine the properties of merino with short sleeves on a cardi, and you have a perfect cooler-summer-day garment.

3. Everyone will have the same idea as you and will wait until the weather is cooler to buy their woollies. And sadly for many people, this will mean missing out! There are only so many pieces I can knit or crochet in a week. I would hate to see anyone miss out on something they want; I aim to please and really, the only reason I am now selling my woolly goodies is because I love to make them but can’t afford to give them away for free. So, the moral of that story is…get in early to avoid disappointment!

There you have it. Just three Very Good Reasons why you should buy woollies in summer.

Apologies if this is TL;DR. You’ll have to get used to it, I’m afraid! I am long winded by nature.

Ali xo

Boris & Stasha…the beginning

Welcome to Boris & Stasha! I’ve started this blog as a companion to my Facebook page; I’d really like it to be a space to share what I’m currently knitting or crocheting, or perhaps just things I’ve seen that inspire me to create. Let’s be honest…there are going to be lots of pretty pictures.

But that’s ok, right?

Also, connecting a blog to my page means that I am able to hold competitions from time to time without breaking Facebook rules. Hurrah! Everybody wins.

So that’s it for now. I really just wanted to say hello! This blog, and my business, are brand new, so please go easy on me while I work out the best way to do things. I’m very open to suggestions, so if you have any, please share!

I’m looking forward to creating something for you soon.

Ali