• Product Reviews

    Lion Brand Mandala Tweed Yarn Review

    Lion Brand Manadala Tweed Yarn Cake a yellow Furls Crochet Hook laying on top of it.
    This post may contain afilliate links. Although YarnCanada.com supplied me with the yarn for free, it does not affect my opinon of the yarn. All opinions are my own.

    When my friends at YarnCanada.com reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing Lion Brand Mandala Tweed yarn, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t even heard about this yarn yet and many Lion Brand yarns aren’t accessible in Canada so I was really excited to check this new yarn out.

    Yarn Canada

    Here in Canada, we don’t typically have access to the number of yarn options that our U.S. neighbours enjoy. I often find myself drooling over Lion Brand yarns that are released only to find out that they aren’t available for purchase in Canada. Sure, I could order it in online but once you add in the exchange rate, shipping and duty charges, that $8 skein of yarn, just got a whole lot pricier. YarnCanada.com has helped to bridge that gap by offering a wide selection of yarns that I previously would not have been able to obtain (reasonably) while keeping the purchase price affordable. They ship for FREE when you spend over $55! My yarn addiction just hit next level. Click HERE to check out their site and add some new yarny goodness to your stash.

    Lion Brand Mandala Tweed Yarn Review

    Image of Lion Brand Mandala Tweed Yarn cake amongst a crochet project with a furls crochet hook on top.

    One cake of Lion Brand Mandala Tweed is 200g/7oz and contains 568 yards/520m of yarn. That’s a lot of yarn for just one cake! It is 100% acrylic and it’s machine washable and dryable. The recommended hook size for this yarn is a 5.5mm (4.5mm needle for all you knitters out there). The gauge information on the label (using the recommended hook/needle sizes) are as follows:

    • Crochet Gauge: 15 sts x 18 rows = 4″
    • Knitting Gauge: 20 sts x 28 rows = 4″

    Lion Brand Mandala Tweed is a size 4 medium weight yarn that is currently available in three colourways: Seven, Dice and Lucky Penny. The colours were all very pretty and it took me a long time to decide which colourway to pick. I decided to go with Seven since the bright colours were a little outside the realm of what I’d normally pick and they just seemed fun.

    This is a self striping yarn and the tweed is created with two differently coloured strands of yarn being twisted together. Once worked up, it creates a beautiful kind of marled ombre effect as it works from one colour to the next.

    Side view of a Lion Brand Mandala Tweed Yarn cake with a Furls Crochet Hook laying in front.

    The one thing I want to note about the colours and tweed effect is that just because you get two or more cakes from the same dye lot does not mean that your colours will look the same. The label reads “Note: Balls of yarn from the same dye lot may differ due to the unique effect within each color. This is the charm of the yarn.” I myself experienced this with the two cakes that I was sent. Both cakes were from the same dye lot but looked very different from eachother. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that everything you make from this yarn is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. After working the second cake in with the first, the difference wasn’t as noticeable as I thought it would be. As long as your cakes are from the same dye lot, any changes should be unnoticeable.

    crochet project with cake of lion brand mandala tweed sitting on top to show different in colours.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    My first impressions upon taking it out of the box was that the yarn has some serious squish factor. I gave it the initial squeeze test and loved it. It was soft and incredibly squishy. My daughter grabbed a cake and started hugging it so it passed her test as well.

    How Mandala Tweed Works Up

    I had no idea what to expect in terms of how this yarn would work up. Having two colours working together at the same time and with some colour changes being longer than others, this yarn has a lot of personality. I wanted to find something that worked with the yarn and that personality instead of against it. I probably did about 50 or so swatches of verious stitch patterns until I found something that I was happy with. In the end, I felt like a closed, simple stitch pattern would be better for this yarn than something more open or with a lot of texture because everything was getting lost in all that colour.

    Mandala Tweed Yarn by Lion Brand

    I chose to use the thicket stitch for the project I designed with the Lion Brand Mandala Tweed yarn I received. I am so pleased with how it’s worked up so far. The colours are beautiful and the texture of the simple stitch compliments the colours nicely. You can see the Tweedy Pocket Scarf pattern made with this yarn HERE.

    Have you tried Lion Brand Mandala Tweed yarn yet? What did you think? Let me know what you thought below!

    Check out some of my other reviews here: Furls Crochet Hook Review, Kawaii Crochet: Crochet Book Review, Knitcrate Unboxing and Review.

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  • Product Reviews

    Furls Crochet Hook Review (and Giveaway)

    Image of the hooks available from the furls crochet hook product line with a word overlay.
    This post may contain affiliate links. Furls Crochet has sponsored this giveaway but in no way has requested or paid for my review. All opinions are entirely my own.

    As a crocheter, we have tons of wonderful options for crochet hooks: handcarved, polymer, ergonomic, resin, steel, aluminum – the list goes on. It can be a bit overwhelming honestly. You’ve likely heard of Furls Crochet hooks and may recognize them for their unique shape and style. But is a Furls Crochet hook worth the hype (and the price tag)? Here I share my honest review of Furls crochet hooks.

    After using these hooks for a while, I reached out to Furls Crochet and they have generously offer to sponsor a giveaway. Keep reading to learn how to enter for a chance to win a $75 gift certificate from Furls Crochet.

    They’re Gorgeous

    I first learned about Furls Crochet Hooks on Instagram. A maker shared a picture of her work in progress with this gorgeous hook laying next to it. As a self-professed hook addict, I needed to know what that hook was (and where she got it!) I quickly learned that this sleek and stylish looking hook was made by Furls Crochet. They really are a beautiful hook.

    three furls odyssey crochet hooks on a black reflective surface.

    Furls Odyssey hooks come in a bunch of fun colour combos. There are nickel tips and gold tips with different coloured handles. I personally have a black and yellow odyssey hooks with nickel tips and a red odyssey with a gold tip. They have different fun coloured resin hooks like the streamline swirls and candy shops. They even have wooden streamline hooks in various coloured woods.

    Five differently coloured crochet hooks from the Furls Crochet hook product line.

    They’re Ergonomic and Comfy

    As someone that crochets in every spare minute I have, I’m not stranger to hand pain. My first set of hooks were a set of aluminum hooks with rubber covers on the end to make them more ergonomic. As much as I loved them, I found them particularly painful to use when I crocheted amigurumi. All those tight little stitches were taking a toll on my hands.

    I wasn’t about to give up crocheting so I began looking into different hook styles and learning more about crochet ergonomics. I came across Furls Crochet hooks in my search. Furls Crochet hooks have been designed with hand health in mind. Their tear drop shape was designed to required minimal effort of the hand to hold the hook while crocheting. (Check out their videos on hand health HERE)

    Ebony Furls Crochet hook from the streamline product line.

    I use the Furls Odyssey hooks and can tell you that I do find them to be very comfortable to work with. I use hold my hooks with a knife hold primarily and can crochet for hours without issue. I also enjoy the Furls Streamline hooks but I find the shorter shaft of the Odyssey hooks to work better for me.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Weight

    It is worth mentioning that if you’re transitioning from plastic/resin or lighter aluminium hooks, the weight of the Odyssey hooks takes some getting used to. They are heavier than other hooks I’ve worked with but I actually like that. They are well balanced. According to the Furls website, this weight assists in driving the crochet momentum into the act of crocheting, rather than hand strain.

    If the weight makes you unsure, they’re streamline hooks made of resin or wood are much lighter and may be preferred by those that hold their hook pencil style. I personally love my Streamline swirl hook and I use a knife hold.

    Furls Streamline Swirl crochet hook on a white backdrop

    They’re Pricey

    I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. When you compare the price of an entire set of “ergonomic” hooks on Amazon to the price of a single Furls Odyssey hook, it makes you think twice. You all know how I love a good deal so it was tough to justify at first (especially when you factor in shipping and the currency exchange since I’m Canadian). But my husband made a good point when I was mentioning the hooks to him: I crochet EVERY DAY. Every. Single. Day. When I’m really lucky, I can crochet for a few hours at a time. Crochet hooks are the most vital part of the crocheting process and good tools are worth the money. If they could help minimize future hand pain, they would be worth it. A few weeks later, my husband gave me my anniversary gift: two Furls Odyssey crochet hooks.

    Odyssey Crochet Hook by Furls  with yellow handle on black reflective surface.

    He ordered me 3.5mm Odyssey hook and a 4.5 streamline swirl hook to see if it made any difference in my hands. I do a lot of amigurumi projects and they are hardest on my hands so it made sense to start off with the 3.5mm size. It took a little to get used to the weight difference of the hook but I ended up loving it. I crocheted a large amigurumi bunny over the next few days and had zero issues with my hands. My stitches were just a tight as they had been before, but no pain. Months later and I’m still not experiencing any issues when I crochet with my Furls hooks.

    Are They Worth It?

    In a nutshell: YES. I personally love my Furls Crochet hooks, the Odyssey hooks being my favourite. If you’re unsure about whether a Furls Crochet hook will work for you, Furls has a money-back guarantee that if they hooks don’t help you crochet faster, more even stitches, you get your money back. They also have a $500 hand-health guarantee and a lifetime warranty on all of their hooks. So if something happens to your hook, contact them for a replacement. I personally feel they are worth the price tag. They often have free shipping events so if you’re price conscious, you can usually snag a deal and also get free shipping. Check out the full Furls Crochet hook lineup HERE.

    Image of 5 different hooks that are part of the Furls hook product line up.

    If you’ve decided to purchase a Furls Crochet Hook, please consider shopping through this link. I’ll get a small commission at no additional cost to you and helps me to continue to provide great content like this for free.

    Furls Crochet Giveaway

    Furls Crochet has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for you guys. They’ll be providing a $75 gift certificate to the winner of the giveaway to purchase the hooks of their choice (or some of their other merchandise) from their site Furlscrochet.com.

    The Furls Crochet Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants and ends December 20, 2019 at 12:00am Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only.

    Want to read some other product reviews? Check out my Knitcrate Review and Unboxing, Crochet Animal Rugs to Crochet Book Review and Christmas Ornaments to Crochet Book Review.

  • Product Reviews

    Knitcrate Unboxing and Review

    Open Knitcrate Subscription box showing purple yarn, pattern book and stitch markerThis post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    This month, I received my first-ever subscription box – the October 2019 Knitcrate. I’ve been interested in the possibility of getting a subscription box but wasn’t sure what kind to get. Honestly, a lot of them come with stuff that although it may be kind of cool, I would never use. When I found out about yarn subscription boxes, I knew I had to get one. Yarn delivered to my door every month? Yeah, I’m obviously signing up for that. After some research, I found Knitcrate. I was intrigued after checking them out online and decided to contact them to try it out. Once I received it, I obviously wanted to share with you my Knitcrate unboxing and review of the October 2019 Knitcrate.

    Knitcrate Unboxing: What Comes in a Knitcrate anyway?

    Every month Knitcrate sends you one or more skeins of premium yarn and a pattern book with both a knit and crochet pattern using the yarn you received in your box. I’m not sure if every crate includes a little surprise, but my crate also came with a cute little locking stitch marker. Additional to the items that come in the Knitcrate, members receive 25% purchases made in the online store at Knitcrate.com.

    Use code LOOPY20 to get 20% off your first crate HERE.

    Knitcrate unboxing and review
    *Please note the hook did not come with the crate*

    Why Knitcrate?

    One of the reasons I was intrigued by Knitcrate was the number of options available for your Knitcrate. Knitcrate.com offers the regular Knitcrate box, a Sock Crate for sock knitters and two different crates that they offer inconjunction with Malabrigo and something called Mrs. Crosby Travels Quarterly crate. I looked into the regular Knitcrate and from there, you have more options.

    Each Knitcrate is curated to fit a “vibe”. The “vibes” to choose from are “Energize Me”, “All Natural”, “Chill Out” and “Anything Goes”.Each vibe speaks to a set of colours that the yarn you receive will be selected from. Energize Me is for those that love bright, bold colours. All Natural is for those that have an affinity for earth tones and neutrals. Chill Out is a collection of relaxing tones like blues, greens and purples. And Anything Goes is for the adventurous spirit that wants to be surprised with what they receive every month. Knitcrate provides a colour pallete image for each selection so you have an idea of what you can expect for each selection.

    Knitcrate provides a colour pallete image for each selection so you have an idea of what you can expect for each selection.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Close up of the stitch marker included in the October 2019 Knitcrate

    What is the yarn like?

    The yarn that came in my October Knitcrate is GORGEOUS. My Knitcrate came with two skeins of yarn. When I first opened the box, I was surprised by the size of the skeins and just how gorgeous the colour was. The rich purple colour is heather with pink hues and it is just beautiful. I got the Chill Out box this month and the yarn is called Vidalana Ascendance in the colourway Tassel. It’s 100% fine peruvian highland wool. It is a sport weight chainette style yarn and each skein comes with 328 yards. My first impressions upon taking it out of the box was that the yarn was very soft and it has some serious squish factor.

    Knitcrate review 2019

    I’m really impressed with the amount of yarn I received in the box. I think it’s great that there is not just enough yarn to make the patterns in the book but should I choose not to use the pattern in the book, I’ve got enough to make something else.

    October 2019 Knitcrate Review - Vidalana Ascendance Yarn in the Colourway Tassel.

    What kind of patterns came with the Knitcrate?

    The October Knitcrate I received came with a pattern book and at the front of the book, it shows which yarn was included in the different Knitcrate boxes for this month and it gives you the story behind the yarn I received. The book for this month includes a knitting pattern for a pretty shawl by Aimee Hanson and a crochet pattern for a Bundling Blanket and Bonnet Set. The book includes the patterns for the sock crates too so although the patterns aren’t meant for the yarn you received, you still get the patterns which is cool.

    Picture of the pattern book that comes in the October 2019 Knitcrate

    Overall Thoughts on my first Knitcrate Unboxing and Review

    I am seriously impressed with my first Knitcrate. The yarn is gorgeous, the patterns look clear and easy to make and I also got this cute little stitch marker. If you’re considering getting a yarn subscription box, I definitely recommend checking Knitcrate out.

    Get a discount on your first Knitcrate

    Knitcrate has offered my followers a 20% discount off your first subscription box using the code LOOPY20. You can check out Knitcrate though this link HERE.

    Curious about what a knitcrate is and what comes in it?  Check out my unboxing and unbiased review of the October 2019 Knitcrate.

    Thanks for reading my Knitcrate unboxing and review! If you enjoy reading reviews, be sure to check out my Dinosaurs to Crochet Book Review and my Snuggle and Play Crochet Book Review.