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Evolving Aveline Sweater Crochet-A-Long: Recommended Yarn Options

My Evolving Aveline Sweater CAL runs April 13th-May 18th 2024 and I am excited to share more about my recommended yarn options you can source from Morris & Sons , Bendigo Woollen Mills and Skein Sisters!

Pattern testing is underway. The Evolving Aveline Sweater pattern is graded to 13 sizes and in a quest for #yarninclusivity  (as well as #sizeinclusivity) my testers and I are using a range of fibres!


flat lay photo of a 2 tone blue crocheted sweater work in progress
photo credit: Jane Downey

Within the range of tested yarns there are some extra special products that I want to focus on today because they are high quality and showcase a range of looks for my Evolving Aveline Sweater pattern.  These are my recommended yarn options. Today’s featured yarns are available from the 3 Australian yarn retailers I am collaborating with for my upcoming Crochet-A-Long!

 

Bendigo Woollen Mills, Morris & Sons and Skein Sisters have all generously provided yarn support for my pattern development AND they are also offering discount codes that CAL Pre-Sales Registrants can use at their respective checkouts when sourcing yarn kits! 



How good is that!? 

 


Different yarn options are available from different retailers and the specifics are below for each featured yarn.

 

Choosing the yarns discussed in this blog for your sweater project(s) and purchasing them from my collaborating retailers is a great way to make your garment more affordable, help to support these 3 hard working small businesses and I am grateful to receive a small percentage of the sale too!  Win, win, win!

 

Before I get into the yarn-features-benefits-swatching-deep-dive….


Question: Who or what is a “Pre-Sale Registrant”? 

Answer: Anyone who registers for the Evolving Aveline Sweater CAL using this

(Form is valid from now until end March 12th 2024)!

 

Only Pre-Sales Registrants will receive exclusive benefits such as said yarn discount codes! 



Pre-Sales Registrants will be emailed Morris & Sons, Bendigo Woollen Mills and Skein Sisters yarn discount codes on March 13th along with:

  • My Peppergoose pattern discount code to reduce the Ravelry pattern price from AUD$12.50 down to AUD$8.00


  • Early release of schematic, measurements table, yardage information and swatching instructions…  this is 2 weeks before anyone else will have access and give you more preparation time!!

 

The CAL itself runs April 13th through to May 18th, with public release of prep and swatching info March 30th!!  It will be hosted in my private Facebook pattern support group Pepper-Gaggle and is suited to intermediate crocheter, but adventurous beginners are also welcome and will be catered for with lots of video demonstration support!

 

 

So… onto the featured yarns and some of their associated projects:


Here is my design prototype that I made using Rowan Felted Tweed dk and a 3.5mm crochet hook. I swatched in the black colour and all other yarn options and their swatches are compared to this Rowan Felted Tweed dk swatch.


close up view neckline Evolving Aveline Sweater
Rowan Felted Tweed dk in French Mustard and Black - yarn support by Morris & Sons

Question: How do you tell if the yarn you want to use for a project will be successful? (ie. allow you to match the designer's gauge, drape well and feel good on your skin?)

Answer: swatching.


The answer is always swatching and as you have just read, I will supply instructions for how to swatch and check gauge on March 30th when the pattern launches on Ravelry (or 2 weeks earlier for Pre-Sales Registrants so they have more time for shipping)!


When swatching, it is always post-blocked gauge that you want to achieve, to ensure your finished garment will come out to the expected size that a designer describes in the pattern.  This is because it is post-blocked gauge that I have done all my calculations on to come up with the schematic and measurements chart. 

 

Question: What’s blocking? 

Answer: Well, I have written a long form blog about it here, but the short answer is that “wet” blocking is soaking/gently hand washing your finished swatch or made item, gently rinsing it out and then laying it out flat to desired gauge and waiting for it to dry.  “Steam” blocking is passing steam over the dry flat-laid swatch or item to saturate the fibre with steam and waiting for it to dry. Blocking washes away processing chemicals and sets the stitches.


 

Blocking "how-to" advice varies with fibre type (again, read the long form blog here), but for all swatches herein, I have wet blocked and then also steam blocked.  I have also noted down certain swatch measurements before and after blocking along, with some comments about that particular yarn's features and benefits.

 

Pro-tip:  Measure what happens to your swatch before and after blocking (stitch and row gauge and overall measurements) because you can expect the same transformation to happen to the finished sweater. 


If your swatch, for example, becomes 6% taller during blocking, then so too will your sweater!  When you try your project on as a WIP, knowing this will help your decisions about what length of sleeve and bodice you want to finish at because you know it will end up 6% longer than whatever length it is when you try it on pre-blocked.


Let's say your top is 50cm long unblocked. If you try it on at that length, you could then determine it's going to actually end up approximately 50 x 1.06 = 53cm when blocked!


...You're welcome!!

 

 



Here are the crochet swatches…

All swatches shown below are the same number of stitches and rows; all made from the one set of instructions – the only variance is that some yarn of the options required a different hook size to achieve post-blocked gauge, which is why you will see yarn listed together with hook size. 


Before we get into comparisons, let's consider the prototype yarn:

Rowan Felted Tweed dk (50% lightly felted wool, 25% viscose, 25% alpaca; 175m/50g) with a 3.5mm hook

Swatch Study: 17.37grams (approx. 61 metres)

Overall change during blocking for my swatch (your stitch tension may behave slightly differently):

·      Taller and narrower   

·      Swatch dimensions became 3.8% taller and 1.5% narrower during blocking 

Features & Benefits: Exceptional warmth for a light and fluffy fabric making it a great choice for snowy cold places! Excellent as an outer layer garment in a cold climate - a small amount of scratchiness is felt when first worn (if direct against the skin but that's not the intention and in a few minutes my body adjusted to the warmth of this yarn and I found this sensation went anyway. Tweedy vibes give the project a rustic feel and the flecks of colour OMG soo good! A long standing Rowan favourite with over 50 colours are available and they all go together (seriously!)

Available from: Morris & Sons (& others). Register for CAL Pre-Sales benefits and receive a Morris & Sons 10% discount code for this yarn!

Price guide: $$$$



Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5ply (100% machine washable wool; 580m/200g) with a 4mm hook

2 crocheted swatches
Rowan Felted Tweed dk on left; Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5ply on right

You can see in this pic that the 2 swatches are near identical in size. The gauge is well matched and the Bendigo Woollen Mils Classic 5 ply in grey is even flecked! This yarn is literally an Australian classic - the first blanket my Grandma crocheted for me was in this yarn and it's still in great shape with lustrous colour.


Swatch Study: 22.57grams (approx. 66 metres)

Overall change during blocking for my swatch (your stitch tension may behave slightly differently):

·      Shorter and narrower 

·      Swatch dimensions became 1% shorter and 5% narrower during blocking 

Features & Benefits: Brilliant bounce and swing to this elastic wool product! Lighter in weight than the original Rowan Felted Tweed dk, the Classic 5ply offers similar warmth for the sweater, excellent durability and the balls come as 580m/200g which means fewer tails when working up a sweater sized project!

Available from: Bendigo Woollen Mills.  Register for CAL Pre-Sales benefits and receive a Bendigo Woollen Mills 10% discount code for this yarn!

Price guide: $$

close up view neckline Evolving Aveline Sweater
Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5ply wool in Aztec Blue and Rose Pink - yarn support by Bendigo Woollen Mills


Morris &Sons Empire 8ply (100% superfine merino; 125m/50g) with a 3.5mm hook

2 crocheted swatches
comparing Rowan Felted Tweed dk to Morris & Sons Empire 8ply

The 2 swatches are very close in size. The stitch and row gauge is well matched in the centre of the fabric. Since the edges spring in a little more on the Empire merino product (compared to the partly felted and therefore less elastic Rowan Felted Tweed dk), the overall height of the swatch is a smidge less when you compared them laying flat. When you hang them vertically though, the heavier and more elastic Empire product compensates for this so its a great substitute!


Swatch Study: 26.01grams (approx. 65 metres)

Overall change during blocking for my swatch (your stitch tension may behave slightly differently):

·      Taller and narrower

·      Swatch dimensions became 2.4% taller and 2.7% narrower during blocking 

Features & Benefits: Super sheen, silky smooth and amazing drape to this elastic yarn! This is the heaviest of my recommended options and has one of the softest handles. It's really squishy as the yarn has a loose twist and it comes in over 50 colours (some solid, some flecked/variegated). Fabulous stitch definition giving your project a really smart aesthetic!

Available from: Morris & Sons (& others). Register for CAL Pre-Sales benefits and receive a Morris & Sons 10% discount code for this yarn!

Price guide: $$$



Bellissimo Lucca 8ply (53% extra-fine merino, 47% cotton blend; 120m/50g) with a 3.5mm hook

close up view neckline Evolving Aveline Sweater
Bellissimo Lucca in Capri and Ice Blue - yarn support by Skein Sisters; photo credit: Jane Downey
crochet swatch
Bellissimo Lucca swatch - photo credit Jane Downey

Swatch Study: 24.4 grams (approx. 59 metres)

Overall change during blocking for Jane's swatch (your stitch tension may behave slightly differently):

·      Wider but no change in height

·      Swatch dimensions became 0% taller and 1.5% wider during blocking 

Features & Benefits: The stitch definition on this is just WOW - showcased by a silky light catching shine!! Just check out Jane's tester project in the photo above. As a luxurious blend of cotton and extra-fine merino the warmth provided is mid range and will really suit the Aussie climate! Lucca is squishy-soft as the yarn has a loose twist and it comes in over 16 solid colours!

Available from: Skein Sisters (& others). Register for CAL Pre-Sales benefits and receive a Skein Sisters 5% discount code for this yarn!

Price guide: $$$$$



Bendigo Woollen Mills (100% Cotton; 670m/200g) 4 ply with a 4mm hook

2 crocheted swatches
comparing Rowan Felted Tweed dk to Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 4ply
a neckline WIP of a top-down v-neck crochet sweater
WIP tester sample and photo by Julie Keeble - yarn support by Bendigo Woollen Mills

Cotton-loving hooksters can join the Crochet-A-Long fun! The stitches sit further apart (like in built air-conditioning - excellent in the warmer months or climates) but the overall dimensions and gauge as laid flat still work, despite it being a 4ply product. Crazy, huh!?


Yes, I really said a 4 ply (not an 8 ply) cotton! Does this mean other 4ply products will swatch up okay with a 4mm hook? No. Elastic (merino blend) 4 ply products will not be able to achieve both stitch and row gauge because they will pull inwards but the cotton doesn't.


Swatch Study: 17.14grams (approx. 57 metres)

Overall change during blocking for my swatch (your stitch tension may behave slightly differently):

·      Taller and narrower 

·      Swatch dimensions became 1% taller and 5% narrower during blocking 

Features & Benefits: Tropical and hot climates rejoice, yes cotton is on the menu! Soft, 100% natural fibre that lets you breathe and feels breezy to crochet with. My Evolving Aveline Sweater pattern will offer a short sleeve variation so it can make a sweater, or when made in a cotton, can be more of a t-shirt style of garment. This yarn is very well known in Australia as a high quality cotton yarn, it comes in 28 colours and the balls are 670m/200g which means (like the Classic 5ply), fewer tails when working up a sweater sized project!

Available from: Bendigo Woollen Mills.  Register for CAL Pre-Sales benefits and receive a Bendigo Woollen Mills 10% discount code for this yarn!

Price guide: $



These are all wonderful options to make your Evolving Aveline Sweater! They all bring something different to the table and the 3 Australian retailers I am collaborating with can all ship internationally and, of course, within Australia.


Once again for transparency - if you shop via these retailers using the Bendigo Woollen Mills, Morris & Sons  and Skein Sisters codes provided, you receive a discount on your yarn purchase (yay!) and I receive a small commission too (many thanks!)


Subscribe here to receive blog notifications and my newsletter, and browse my Ravelry pattern catalogue here! If you are popping over to the Evolving Aveline Sweater Ravelry listing please be sure to CLICK THE HEART BUTTON TO POP IT IN YOUR FAVOURITES! 


Happy Yarnspiration!


 

Susannah (Peppergoose)


Peppergoose Design logo





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