Category Archives: Friends of HeartStrings Gallery

Friends Friday: Brandyn paints Colinton yarn sample cards with Color Finesse

Colinton yarn sample card for the new Color Finesse line
Colinton yarn sample card for the new Color Finesse line

One of the delights of the nature of my business is that relationships so often  turn into friendships. Brandyn is the owner of Colinton Angoras, for whom I’ve done some patterns as yarn support. We had a chance to talk on the phone last week before she returned to her home in Australia. (I do not envy her that long trip, although it is still a place I hope to have the opportunity to visit sometime.)

On the phone call she mentioned the new Color Finesse line she introduced at the TNNA show in Phoenix last month. I was not able to attend that show, but I do plan to be at the TNNA show next June in Columbus. Anyway, I wanted to show you this neat yarn sample card she designed to introduce the dyed colors of Colinton’s distinctive, silky smooth mohair yarns. (before this, Colinton only offered the natural white color, sometimes with kits to dye your own).

I can see why this new Color Finesse line was such a hit. Not only is this an exciting expansion into the world of color for Colinton (up until now they basically targeted the dye base market), the  sample card in itself is like a little work of are in itself. What an artistic, impactful arrangement in a limited space that clearly displays each color in each of the 3 yarn weights custom-milled by Colinton.

detail look at the Colinton yarn sample card

Most times I don’t think people realize just how costly and labor intensive it can be to prepare yarn sample cards (even the simple ones), and this sample card clearly takes some talent and love to assemble so neatly. Clever design. It’s a keeper in my book. Who knows, Brandyn might be starting a trend with other yarn companies picking up this idea to “paint” a sample card with their yarn line.

What other clever, artistically creative sample cards have you seen recently?

p.s. The knitting in the background of the sample card photo is A Touch of Beaded Class that I made in Colinton’s fingering weight yarn.

Friends of HeartStrings Gallery: Vicki and her Filigree Lace Creations

In today’s showcase of  “Friends of HeartStrings Gallery”, I am pleased to introduce Vicki Elster and some of the adapted versions of designs she has created based on the HeartStrings #A135 Filigree Lace Ensembles pattern.

Last week, Vicki emailed several photos along with the introductory message of  “Just thought you’d like to see how some of your patterns are enjoyed. I love your filigree lace patterns.” Of course, I thanked her for sending the photos and the kind compliments. I so much enjoy seeing what others are knitting with HeartStrings patterns! With her permission I am excited to share glimpses of her creations here for all my Jackie E-S Blog readers.

Vicki went on to say, ” I wanted to send you pictures of what I’ve made with your patterns. I tweaked the wrist warmers for myself (lime green), below, and also made the neck warmer go further out on my shoulders to fit under a boat neck sweater like a dickey.

And I’ve now completed two other sets of the wrist warmers for gifts. They came out lovely. One friend wanted hers similar to mine, but without the ruffle. Thanks for a great pattern.

In ‘talking’ further to Vicki, I found out we had even more in common … “I first knew you from the KnitDesign yahoo group (I am dipping my toe into making up patterns and selling them, but just starting!) and then a friend bought this filigree pattern and I fell in love with it. I bought it, and have been enchanted by the wrist warmers. Made several for friends. Your patterns are very easy to do, and your writing of them is great! Several friends have been inspired and I’ve told them where to buy your pattern.I would be honored if you use me/my project photos. I’ll tell you what yarns I’ve used: the lime green is Shepherd’s Wool fingering from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. The darker green variegated is Melody from JoJoLand Yarns. The purple variegated is Serenity Garden Yarn, a Deborah Norville collection by Premier Yarns.Thanks, Vicki Elster

Enjoy the no-calorie eye candy, thanks to Vicki. What could be better to offset the splurging I have done (and maybe you, too?) for the holidays. Interestingly, Vicki’s iPhone signature includes this cute saying: “If knitting were exercise, I would be sooo fit!.” Hee – hee. Tell me about it, lol.

p.s. Do you have photos and a story about HeartStrings patterns you’ve knitted? Email me and maybe you can be featured in the next “Friends of HeartStrings Gallery”.

Friends of HeartStrings Gallery: J & J Alpacas

I haven’t done a “Friends of HeartStrings” article in ages — I apologize. Time seems to get away (can you believe it is already almost December?)! I am resolved to do better over the upcoming months, because I really want to share with you some great things that others are knitting from HeartStrings patterns (and thus, giving them the kudos they deserve, too).

If you don’t knit, or even it you do (and don’t have time), J and J Alpacas is a neat place to visit that makes some of the HeartStrings scarf designs in their own alpaca wool that is grown and produced in Lincolnshire, UK.

Leo Riverine Scarf from J&J Alpacas
Riverine Scarf from J&J Alpacas

Did I say “neat”. YES!! because I think it is cool that not only are the scarves hand knitted in baby alpaca (the first and softest fleece they will grow), but that each scarf comes with a tag and photo of the alpaca it came from. How special can that make your gift? . They can only produce 8 to 10 scarves from each fleece, so it makes your scarf from them very almost exclusive (and even collectible, if you are into that!).

I do hope you will visit J & J Alpacas to see their hand knitted scarves. They are currently licensed to produce scarves for both the Lacy Riverine and the Reversible Lace Ladders scarves (titled on their site as Riverine Scarf and Ladders Scarf respectively). If you are interested in others, I am sure they would welcome your suggestion.


Debut of 2 more Colinton kits for HeartStrings patterns

I am delighted that Colinton Australian Angoras debuted 2 additional kits for HeartStrings patterns at the recent TNNA trade show in Columbus, OH earlier this month.

Because of the success of the launch in January, Colinton has expanded their attractively  packaged “Tucker Box” kits from the initial offering at the January TNNA show that included the White Lotus Shawl. Now there are also kits offered for the just-released A Touch of Beaded Class Stole and the “get a taste of Colinton” small project Coronet Collaret.

These Colinton Tucker Box kits include all materials to complete the project, including Colinton’s silky worsted-spun 100% Kid Mohair yarn, top quality Japanese glass beads (for the Stole and Shawl kits), pattern instructions, plus the extra bonus of sample packets of Unicorn Fibre Wash/Rinse. All 3 kits come with choice of natural color yarn only, or with dye packet in any of 7 different jewel tones.

Colinton Tucker Box Kits

Please contact Colinton Angoras for wholesale orders or check their website for retailers.

More information about the pattern designs is here —

p.s. Wondering what a “tucker box” is? It is an informal Australian term for a bag or box used for carrying food. Maybe we can’t eat yarn like regular food, but I think you will find the Colinton yarn to “yummy” on your knitting needles and in the finished project.

Thanks to Yvonne: Bunny pattern in Dutch and Swedish

I am pleased to introduce Yvonne Peelen-Pel for this week’s Friends of HeartStrings Gallery. Yvonne was born in the Netherlands and now lives in Sweden. She is studying at the university and wants to be a handcraft teacher. Until she has completed her studies, she said that she only does little projects. That is why she loved the Knitted Bunny so much. She said, “When I am ready for teaching young children to stitch, it would be a nice and easy project to do with them.”

It’s always great to hear enthusiasm like that. But that’s not all. Yvonne has translated the Knitted Bunny into Dutch and Swedish and offered it to all of us. It’s available now for free download along with the original English version (by me) and the Spanish version (translated by another HeartStrings friend, Paula Toledo) at the HeartStrings website.

Here are the translated patterns. (‘gebreid konijntje’ is in Dutch and ‘stickad kanin’ is in Swedish)

Many thanks to Yvonne for translating. Please comment here and send Yvonne some love and knitterly hugs.