YarnSub Newsletter

July 2021

Newly-published books

[Book: 'MDK Field Guide 18: Beginnings' by Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne] [Book: 'Block by Block Crochet' by Leonie Morgan] [Book: '' by ]

MDK Field Guide 18: Beginnings isn't your average book for new knitters. There are no pages dedicated to explaining how to knit, and almost all the designs use a more complicated stitch pattern than garter or stockinette. However, I think the MDK team have good reasons for taking this approach. They haven't forgotten that a brand new knitter needs guidance, they've just put it in their other new book (and app) out this month, Skill Set. This allows them to keep Beginnings to the usual petite size of an MDK Field Guide, and makes it more appealing to experienced knitters looking for something straightforward to make. As for the more-complicated knit-and-purl texture patterns, I think it's a great idea for a novice to get as much purling in as possible right from the start. I do wonder if the more usual practice of concentrating on the knit stitch at first is why many long-time knitters don't like to purl.

Everyday Cowl, Scarf-Cowl Duet and Debut Pullover from MDK Field Guide 18: Beginnings
Everyday Cowl, Scarf-Cowl Duet and Debut Pullover from MDK Field Guide 18: Beginnings


Block by Block Crochet is full of colorful squares made using stripes, intarsia crochet (where a different ball of yarn is used for each area of color) and tapestry crochet (where unused colors are carried along the row until needed).

Squares from Block by Block Crochet: Red and blue striped squares, a house, mirror image diagonals, flowers from hexagons
Squares from Block by Block Crochet: Hot and Cold, Cottage, Three In A Row and Paper Pieced Hexie

The book also shows techniques for joining the squares together, including the crochet join (shown on the left below), which is one I've not used before. My go-to join for knitted squares is mattress stitch (on the right below), so I decided to make some squaress from the book and see how the two methods compared.

crochet squares being joined with crochet and mattress stitch

I found that the crochet join was easier to do and gave a neater finish than the mattress stitch. The crochet join is slightly bulkier, but that just helped to hide the messy edge.

crocheted squares joined with the crochet join and mattress stitch

Being impressed with the results on crochet, I wondered how knitted squares would look with a crochet join.

knitted squares joined with the crochet join and mattress stitch

The squares on the left are joined with crochet, while those on the right are joined with mattress stitch at the sides and grafted at the top and bottom edge (as shown below - it makes a visible seam that looks like another row of stitches).

Grafting the top and bottom of two knitted squares together with a sewing needle

There's not much difference between the two methods when looking at the side join. I was surprised as I had expected the mattress stitch to excel here. There was some difference with the horizontal join though. Grafting produces a slim join which can be color-matched with the surrounding stitches. The crochet join was heftier and when stretched the yarn used for the join showed through.

While mattress stitch and grafting look great when used to join straight edges, they don't work so well with less regular shapes, like joining a sleeve to the body of a sweater. Here I usually switch to backstitch, which, like the crochet join, pulls some of the messiness of the edge into the seam for a neater finish. I find backstitch tedious though, so I'll be trying out the crochet join next time I have to do something like this.

If you're already a crocheter, then there are some lovely squares to make in Block by Block Crochet. If you're a knitter, you never know what helpful stuff you might learn from a crochet book!

See all newly published books >

New and discontinued yarns

New yarn: John Arbon Textiles Appledore
New yarn: John Arbon Textiles Appledore – Image © John Arbon Textiles


BC Garn
Brushed Baby GOTS – Bulky – 100% Baby Alpaca – Fuzzy – Undyed

Dulce – Worsted – 50% Cotton, 20% Nylon, 16% Alpaca, 14% Wool – Fuzzy – Heathered colors
Lanas Quick – Super Bulky – 100% Wool – 2 ply – Heathered colors
Lucca – Worsted – 50% Cashmere, 50% Cotton – S on S plied – Solid colors
Remix Chunky – Bulky – 30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen – Tweedy – Tweed colors
Topaz – Aran – 72% Wool, 20% Alpaca, 8% Nylon – Single ply – Multicolored

Big Twist Yarns
Lil' Twist Baby – Aran – 91% Acrylic, 9% Viscose – Plied – Solid colors
Living – Aran – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Solid colors
Tweed – Heavy Worsted – 97% Acrylic, 3% Viscose – Tweedy – Tweed colors

Expression Fiber Arts
Vellum Fingering – Fingering – 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Mulberry Silk, 10% Yak – Plied – Solid colors, Heathers

John Arbon Textiles
Appledore – DK – 40% Devon Closewool Wool, 40% Romney Wool, 20% Exmoor Blueface Wool – 2 ply – Heathered colors

King Cole
Baby Safe DK – DK – 100% Acrylic – S on S plied – Solid colors
Footsie 4-ply – Fingering – 93% Acrylic, 7% PBT (Elastic) – Plied – Self-striping
Rosarium Mega Chunky – Jumbo – 100% Wool – 2 ply – Solid colors

La Bien Aimée
Corrie Worsted – Worsted – 75% Corriedale Wool, 25% Gotland Wool – Plied – Heathered colors

La Droguerie
Brin de Chanvre – DK – 67% Organic Cotton, 17% Hemp, 16% Bamboo Viscose – Plied – Solid colors

Lion Brand
Feels Like Alpaca – DK – 87% Acrylic, 7% Polyester, 6% Nylon – Plied with a soft haze – Heathered colors
Feels Like Bliss – Bulky – 100% Nylon – Fuzzy – Solid colors
Go For Fleece Sherpa – Super Bulky – 100% Polyester – Fleece style – Solid colors
Re-Spun Thick & Quick – Super Bulky – 100% Polyester – Plied – Solid colors
Spektacular – Jumbo – 51% Polyester, 38% Acrylic, 10% Wool, 1% Metallic – Thick and thin – Solid colors with metallic

Mirasol Yarn
Inka – Fingering – 64% Viscose, 36% Baby Alpaca – Plied with a soft haze – Semi-solid colors

Dolce Mohair Lamè – Heavy Worsted – 60% Kid Mohair, 35% Acrylic, 5% Metallic – Brushed bouclé – Solid colors

Huviretki – DK – 60% Superwash Wool, 40% Nylon – Plied – Solid colors

Phil Passion – Super Bulky – 45% Acrylic, 30% Mohair, 22% Wool, 3% Viscose – Fuzzy – Tweed colors

Plymouth Yarn
Shades of Sockotta – Fingering – 45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon – S on S plied – Semi-solid colors

Premier Yarns
Chameleon – Worsted – 100% Cotton – Plied – Solid colors (changes color in the sun)
Chunky Cotton – Super Bulky – 100% Cotton – Single wrapped with thread – Solid colors

String Yarns
Turin – Bulky – 95% Cashmere, 5% Merino Wool – Tweedy – Tweed colors

Universal Yarn
Noelle – DK – 28% Polyester, 26% Baby Alpaca, 26% Merino Wool, 19% Nylon, 1% Metallic – Fiber-filled net – Solid colors with metallic
Posh Alpaca – Super Bulky – 45% Wool, 30% Acrylic, 25% Superfine Alpaca – Single ply – Solid colors, Heathers

Valley Yarns
Whately – Worsted – 68% Baby Alpaca, 32% Organic Cotton – Chained – Heathered colors

Viking of Norway
Alpaca Picasso Tweed – Fingering – 30% Alpaca, 30% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon, 20% Viscose – Bobbly – Tweed colors


Aero – Super Bulky – 65% Alpaca, 28% Nylon, 7% Wool – Fuzzy – Self-striping (gradient transition)
Farro – DK – 80% Cotton, 20% Nylon – Tape – Solid colors
Millefiori – Aran – 50% Acrylic, 50% Wool – Single ply – Self-striping (gradient transition)
Nomad – Super Bulky – 72% Merino Wool, 28% Camel – Bouclé – Solid colors
Quinoa – DK – 91% Cotton, 9% Nylon – Slubby single wrapped with thread – Semi-solid colors

Blue Sky Fibers
Woolstok Jumbo – Jumbo – 100% Highland Wool – Chained – Solid colors

Lang Yarns
Ario – Bulky – 66% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 5% Viscose – Fuzzy – Tweed colors

Lion Brand
Mandala Fluffy – Jumbo – 100% Acrylic – Fuzzy – Self-striping (long transition)
Rebound – Aran – 100% Nylon – Chained – Multicolored
Shawl in a Ball Fab! – Worsted – 40% Cotton, 30% Polyester, 20% Acrylic, 10% Superwash Wool – Plied with a soft haze – Self-striping (gradient transition)
That 70's Yarn – Jumbo – 90% Acrylic, 10% Polyester – Faux fur – Multicolored

Mirasol Yarn
Kancha – DK – 50% Cotton, 50% Merino Wool – 2 ply – Semi-solid colors

Miss Babs
Woodbury – Fingering – 65% Merino Wool, 35% Silk – Plied – Solid colors, Tonal colors, Multicolored, Speckled colors

Premier Yarns
Washi – Heavy Worsted – 100% Polyester – Scrubby – Solid colors, Multicolored

Smudge – Super Bulky – 100% Polyester – Chenille – Solid colors

Sublime Yarns
Baby Cashmere Merino Silk 4-ply – Fingering – 75% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Silk, 5% Cashmere – S on S plied – Solid colors
Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK – DK – 75% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Silk, 5% Cashmere – S on S plied – Solid colors
Eden – DK – 55% Wool, 45% Cotton – Plied – Self-striping (long)

The Plucky Knitter
Bello Fingering – Fingering – 55% Merino Superwash Wool, 45% Cashmere – Plied – Solid colors, Tonal colors, Multicolored, Speckles

I received a copy of both books to review.

If you'd like to get in touch, please send a mail to hello@yarnsub.com (you can simply reply to this mail) or find me on Instagram.

See you in August!


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