7.13.2015

Mango Moon Chakra Review


Today I have a yarn review for you readers. When I went to the Marly Bird Designer Dinner I received a skein of Mango Moon Chakra in my swag bag. I was intrigued by this variegated yarn with two different kinds of beads tied into it. A skein is 75 yds/69 m of yarn, hand spun in Indonesia. The tag says "Provides Safe Shelter, Health Care, & Education to Families in Nepal & Indonesia." Mango Moon's website further explains that the spinners of this yarn use their earnings to provide these benefits to their families. This is especially wonderful right now, given the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. I love that you can do good and buy yarn at the same time! The fiber content is 30% recycled viscose, 66% cotton, 3% spandex, 1% beads/stones. The colorway is 9212 White.

I started by making a crochet swatch. I first tried it with an I/9/5.5 mm hook. The yarn doesn't seem to be quite worsted weight to me, just looking at it, so I thought this was a good choice. However, this hook didn't seem to make the yarn happy. It was compact and stiff when I crocheted with that hook. I ripped it out and began again with a K/10.5/6.5 mm hook. This was better, but still made a pretty firm fabric. I think that this hook would work for some projects, but a larger hook would have provided better drape, so you could easily go up to an L or M with this yarn.


Next I made a knit swatch, in stockinette stitch. This time I started with size 11/8 mm needles. This made a swatch that would have been very open and floppy, almost shapeless. I debated between trying a 10/6 mm or a 10.5/6.5 mm. I went with the 10.5, since the difference between that and the 11 was actually fairly big. Anyhow, size 10.5 needles made a good swatch if you want drape. The stitches are still pretty open on this size of needle. Interestingly, the yarn definitely didn't want to make a square. It made a trapezoid. I photographed my swatch before blocking, just so you could see that. I have since blocked it though, and it made a very nice rectangle after that, so no need to worry about your rectangles looking like trapezoids.

Before blocking

After blocking

I noticed, as I hand-wound this yarn into a center-pull ball, that the yarn had a tendency to twist up on itself. I couldn't tell for sure if this yarn was a single ply. I wondered, because single-ply yarns tend to be overtwisted. Anyhow, the twist may have been what caused this trapezoid shape. That's just my guess. I don't know for sure. I don't find this tendency irritating, just interesting. I was able to use my leg as a swift and wind by hand without too much difficulty, but a swift would have made this even easier. I have a swift, but wasn't at home when I was doing this.


I could see making a scarf or cowl with this yarn. It would also make for a nice edging on a scarf, cowl, sweater, blanket, or home decor item. I began by trying to hold all the beads to one side of the fabric, but this was not really possible, so I had a pretty even smattering of beads on both sides.

I hope this review is helpful to you as you make decisions on how to spend your yarn budget. It was a fun yarn for me to work with. Have you used Chakra for a project? I'd love to see your thoughts in the comments. Not sure what to make with it? Click HERE to see the 195 projects on Ravelry that have used this yarn.

Now, one more thing to take care of. Last week I posted about Eucalan Delicate Wash and took comments for a giveaway. Today, I get to announce that LisaC is the winner! Thank you to all those that read the post and left their comments! LisaC, would you please send an email to bananamoonstudio @ gmail . com (take out the spaces) with your address? I will forward it to Eucalan, and they will send you your prize. Congrats!

Happy stitching everyone!

April

7.06.2015

Eucalan Delicate Wash

The scarf pictured here is my knit Coral Current Cowl. Pattern is available for $3
on Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy.

Go with me back in time to the end of May. I traveled to Columbus, and stayed for less than 24 hours. I attended my first ever Marly Bird Designer Dinner during the weekend of the TNNA show. It was fun, I met new and wonderful designers and publishers, and I got a BIG. BAG. OF SWAG.

One of the goodies in that bag was a small bottle of Wrapture by Kristin Omdahl and Eucalan, as well as a sample of the grapefruit scented Eucalan. Lucky for me, this was not my first opportunity to try Eucalan. I have a big bottle of it that I use for my handmades.

I want to tell you about the awesomeness that is Eucalan. First, so easy to wash your handmades with Eucalan, it really does not take any longer than loading up your washing machine, seriously. Fill a wash basin with cool water, and add the Eucalan. Believe it or not the small bottle they gave me will last through several washes. In fact the large bottle I have is not even half empty and I bought it 2 or 3 years ago. This is because you only need 1 teaspoon, or 5 mL, of Eucalan per gallon of water.


Place your handmade item into the water, press it down a little to make sure it all gets wet, and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.


When it is finished soaking...here is the really fantastic part...don't rinse. Just gently press out some of the extra water. Then roll it in a towel and press out some more extra water, and lay it flat to dry. So easy.

One thing I love about Eucalan that I didn't even know until receiving this sample is that the wonderful scent of Eucalan is not achieved with any artificial perfumes. The smell comes from natural essential oils. Well, this just makes me super happy. I love essential oils!



Eucalan isn't just for your handmade items. It is really for anything that you wash by hand, so you can use it for many things. It comes in eucalyptus, lavender, grapefruit, unscented, and jasmine (that's the Wrapture variety that is jasmine scented). It comes in single use 5mL sizes, as well as 100 mL, 500 mL, and 1 gal. sizes.

Lucky for you, Eucalan is offering you some goodies too! You can win a "Getaway Gang", pictured below, by leaving a comment on this blog post. I will choose a random winner in 1 week, announce it here, and pass along your address to Eucalan so that you can receive your prize!

(C) Eucalan
This package includes 10 single use sample packets of Eucalan, two in each scent, 6 Eucalan wipes for touching up drips or spots on your clothing, a small sewing kit, and a nail file. This makes a great travel kit in case you need to wash or repair clothes, or fingernails, while traveling.

I'm excited for our winner who will get to try every scent of Eucalan and decide on his/her favorite!

Happy stitching!

April