Spring is here, & it’s GIVEAWAY time!!!

***giveaway now closed!***

And it’s bigger than my last Thanksgiving giveaway, too.  Ooooh, I’ve been waiting to be able to do this one!  Lets jump right into what you could win!  You could win ALL THE THINGS:

Let’s go into details, shall we?

What you’ll win:

Item #1: Frozen Lake Wool of the Andes Sport Sampler

  • 100% Peruvian Highland Wool
  • 2 full size balls each of 3 colors: Sapphire Heather, Midnight Heather, & Thirst Heather.
  • Total yardage: 822 (752 m)

Item #2: Llamarama Tall Mug

  • 14 oz (about 3/4 of a pint)
  • Porcelain

Item #3: Llamarama Steel Pencil Case

  • 8″ long x 3″ wide x 2″ deep (20 cm long x 8 cm wide x 5 cm deep)
  • Can hold small tools, crochet hooks, etc.

Item #4: Inspiring Mandalas Coloring Book

  • Mandalas in crochet are all the rage, but coloring is a great stress reliever, too!
  • 18 designs
  • printed on premium paper, & printed on one side only
  • Can use colored pencils, markers, gel pens, and other media

Item #5: Lullaby – Aloft Sampler

  • Lace weight
  • 75% Super Kid Mohair, 25% Silk
  • 1 full size ball each of colorways Pennyroyal, Blush, Oat, & Sky
  • Total yardage: 984 (900 m)

Item #6: Yarn Valet Yarn Bowl

  • Plastic, touted as “unbreakable”
  • 6.2″ wide, 3″ high (16 cm wide, 8 cm high)
  • Suction ring to keep things in place

Item #7: Love + Leche Anywhere Balm – Lavender Mint

  • .5 oz (15 g)
  • Solid lotion bar
  • All natural

Item #8: Locking Stitch Markers

  • 20 locking stitch markers (perfect for crocheters and knitters alike) with pouch
  • Will slide on needles up to US size H/8 (5.00 mm)

Item #9: Pansy Posie Swish DK Sampler

  • 100% Superwash Merino Wool
  • 2 full size balls each of 3 colors: Sugar Plum, Amethyst Heather, & Eggplant
  • Total yardage: 738 (675 m)

So, to recap, that’s the Frozen Lake Wool of the Andes Sport Sampler (6 balls), an adorable Llamarama Tall Mug, an equally cute Llamarama Steel Pencil Case, the Inspiring Mandalas Coloring Book, the Lullaby – Aloft Sampler (4 balls), a Yarn Valet Yarn Bowl, a tin of Love + Leche Anywhere Balm – Lavender Mint, a pack of Locking Stitch Markers, & finally, the Pansy Posie Swish DK Sampler (6 balls).  That’s a lot of stuff!

The retail price would be $118.69, but you have the chance to win it all for free!

How to win:

First off, anyone can win, anywhere in the world.  I’ll ship it wherever you are!

The giveaway starts when this post goes live (Monday, April 11, 2016), and will go through Sunday, April 24, 2016, ending at 6:00 pm EST.  At that time the winner will be drawn randomly and notified via e-mail, with 24 hours to respond.  If the winner doesn’t respond by Monday, April 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm EST, I will draw another winner, who will then have 24 hours, etc.  The winner will be announced here on Not Your Average Crochet as soon as they have responded to me via email with their shipping address.

To enter, here’s what to do:

  1. Follow Not Your Average Crochet (via WordPress, Bloglovin’, or e-mail).
  2. Earn entries (you must do at least 1 but can earn multiple entries if you do more of the following) by:
    • re-blogging this post
    • sharing this post on your personal Facebook page
    • sharing this post on a crochet group page on Facebook (not counting the Not Your Average Crochet Facebook page)
    • sharing this post on Pinterest
    • sharing this post on Twitter
    • sharing this post on Instagram
    • sharing this post on knitting/crochet forums
    • sharing this post on any other social media platforms you’re on
  3. Leave a comment on this post including the following information: how you follow this blog, of the options above, & the links to each of your entries.

Remember, if all three steps have not been completed, you will not be entered!

Also, please keep in mind that if you are a new commenter on my blog I will have to verify your comment before it will appear below, but you are entered once you submit your comment, so there is no need to comment twice!  🙂

Good luck everyone, and happy Spring!


***giveaway now closed!***

KnitPro Zing needles have arrived – review & comparison

This is kind of my last big hurrah, since my new Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons are expensive (but I’m not complaining, it’s worth it)!  These KnitPro Zings were purchased from knitproneedles.co.uk — thank you guys for shipping to the US, or else it would have been really difficult and really expensive for me to get them!  KnitPro, Knitter’s Pride, and KnitPicks are all made by the same company, I believe, but for some reason have some differences in needle availability depending on where you are and what company officially ships to you.

KnitPro Zing

Zing is a new line, I believe.  I got all 13 sizes (US 0-10, or 2-6mm) in the 30cm (12″) length, although they have other lengths available as well as fixed circular needles and double points (I’d love them all)!  As you can see, they are aluminum needles that are color coded by size.  They are very sturdy, although of course as the gauge goes down the flexibility goes up a little.

I took my crappy bamboo needles that came with my Cath Kidston needle case out and am donating them (I’ve had them for years and never use them), and I’ve put the Zings in the case to give the needles at least a little protection since they didn’t come with a case, and the Cath Kidston needle roll will get some usefulness:

KnitPro Zing

I’ve taken some photos to compare the Zings with other popular brands, so you can see what they’re like and maybe decide if you want to get some yourself!

KnitPro Zing knitting needles

Zing vs. Boye

Boye needles are the most affordable and available aluminum metal option, at least in this area of the US, but let’s take a close look:

KnitPro Zing vs Boye

A US 10 Zing is on the left, a US 10 Boye is on the right.  The Zing is sharper, for sure.

KnitPro Zing vs Boye

You can sorta see that the Boye needle is a bit shinier than the Zing.  This is probably because the Zing needles have a bit more grip to them than Boye, which I like (although of course they’re still smoother than wood or bamboo or acrylic).  Boye needles have the size labeled on the end of the stopper, not on the shaft like the Zings (although it seems to be engraved on the Zings — I tried scratching it with my nail and it didn’t change a bit).  I think the quality difference is noticeable and that it’s worth the extra couple of bucks to get the Zings.

Zing vs. Karbonz

The Knitter’s Pride/KnitPro Karbonz have been so popular, so let’s compare those!

KnitPro Zing vs Karbonz

A US 5 Zing is on the left, a US 5 Karbonz is on the right.  The points seem similar, although it’s worth noting that the size label on the Karbonz DOES scratch off with my fingernail… Oops…  The Karbonz also has that join between the tip and the body, while the Zings don’t have a join at all, it’s just a texture/color change.  Many people say that the Karbonz joins are very smooth, but if you don’t like joins at all, there you go.  As far as the grip on these needles, they seem very, very similar.  In fact, when I closed my eyes and mixed these up I couldn’t tell which was which.  So in my opinion the Zings win, since they have no join, are color coded, and the size is engraved on the shaft, not stamped (also they’re cheaper than the Karbonz)!

Zing vs. KnitPicks Sunstruck

KnitPicks Sunstruck are made the same as their Rainbow and Caspian and Majestic needles, just minus the color, and I think the UK/EU equivalents are KnitPro Symfonie.

KnitPro Zing vs KnitPicks Sunstruck

As you can see, the Zing is sharper, but I do have to say that I’ve used the Sunstruck needles a few times so they may not be as sharp as they once were (although I don’t think the birch wood tips are supposed to get dull easily — they’re certainly a bazillion times better than my ChiaoGoo bamboo straights which I’m not even comparing in this post because mine have splintered at the tips a bit).  Obviously the Sunstruck needles have more grip, since they’re wood.

Unfortunately I don’t have any other brands to compare with — I’ve never owned any HiyaHiya needles or good ChiaoGoo needles or any fancy brands — but hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea as to what the Zing needles are like!

I’ll probably let you know more as I use them, but my first impression is great!

That’s all for today, thanks so much for stopping by!

KnitPicks short interchangeable needle set review

Hello everyone, and happy Halloween!  I’m back from the wedding and honeymoon (pictures to come soon, when I get the professional ones; also thank you for your kind words & congratulations!), and I’m ready for more crafting!

If you’re anything like me you might have often bemoaned the fact that there’s no interchangeable needle set for 16″ needles (at least not from KnitPicks), so if you want to make a hat you have to buy each size in fixed circulars.  UNTIL NOW.  I had only a few KnitPicks fixed circulars in the 16″ size so the Options Short Interchangeable Caspian Needle Set still saved me some money and added some convenience.

The set comes with needle sizes US4-10:

knitpicks short needle set

Right now they’re only available in the Caspian needles, the ones colored with blues & greens, but I figured that would just make it more obvious which needles of mine are the interchangeables and which are fixed (all my fixed are the Sunstruck needles).  On the other side of the included pouch are the cables, cable ends, and keys:

knitpicks short needle set

Like in my original KnitPicks interchangeable needle review years ago, I have to share the pros of KnitPicks needles, just in case you don’t already know!  They are much stronger than cheap bamboo needles (and not really more expensive) and thus will not splinter at the tips.  The tips are also sharper than any other brand of needles I’ve tried, so it’s easier to get into tight or complicated stitches.  The cable joins are smooth, and the cables don’t kink and are very flexible.  My original set of the Sunstruck interchangeable is just as good as new years later, so I’m sure these will be a great investment also.  For $44.99 this is definitely worth nabbing, and hopefully soon they will release additional needles in smaller and larger sizes so that I can add to the set.

Now, to get knitting on some hats for Christmas gifts (yep, it’s definitely that time)!  Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried KnitPicks needles before or if you’ve ordered this set — I’d love to know what you think!

Thanks so much for stopping by, see you soon!

gentille cowl #2: ta-da!

This yarn is amazing, even the pooling looks great in the finished project!

gentille cowl number 2

After blocking the fabric is lightweight and airy:

gentille cowl number 2

If you want to make one, the pattern costs money but I think it’s worth it, and it can be purchased and downloaded here.

Yarn: KnitPicks Hawthorne in Alberta Arts (1 skein makes 4 repetitions of the pattern)

Needles: US 4 (3.50mm)

gentille cowl number 2


The pattern works up quickly (this took me about 3 days to complete, not counting the blocking/drying), and it is easy to remember, even the lace part!

gentille cowl number 2


Here’s a closeup of the garter stitch so you can see the beautiful colors in this yarn:

gentille cowl number 2


What a lovely  colorway, and a great pattern!  I might just make another…

gentille cowl number 2


Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’ll be back soon, most likely with some crochet!


bought lots of yarn…

KnitPicks had (and may still have) a promo code that gave you a free ball of Chroma with a $25 purchase, so I took advantage of that (I’ve never tried Chroma, have you?).  I bought yarn to crochet the Coming Up Roses Hat, and whatever’s left I’ll use to knit a Totoro Hat.  Dunno what I’ll do with the Chroma yet; depends on how soft it is, etc.  Here are the colors of Comfy Worsted and Comfy Worsted Heather Special Reserve that I purchased:

imageimageI got more than I needed but I wanted to play with the colors in person before choosing the pinks in particular.  This is the Chroma colorway I got for free (called Sugar Cookie):



That’s all I’ve got for today.  I haven’t done much for the past few days (as far as yarncrafts go) but I’ve got an idea for a future crochet blanket that I already have yarn for and a few other things, as well!  I’m gonna have so many WIPs…  How many do you usually have?

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

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