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How to Block Your Handknits Like A Pro 0

We have received quite a few questions about how best to block those gorgeous knitted (and crocheted!) projects once you are finished creating them. Today’s post explores your options for putting the finishing touch on your Zen Yarn Garden project.

Steam Blocking

We highly recommend steam blocking over wet blocking. Steam blocking sets the stitches just as well as wet blocking and also increases the longevity of both the colour and the wool. You can use an iron or purchase a dedicated hand-held steamer for this process; simply lay your piece on a prepared surface such as an ironing board or a clean table. Pin in place, then hold your iron or steamer directly above the piece so that the steam can penetrate the fibres. Allow your piece to dry completely before you remove the pins.

IMPORTANT: Do not let the iron touch your fabric - this will damage the fibres!

Steam blocking a shawl on the Zen Yarn Garden Blog

The Secrets of Handdyed Yarns 1

Today we’d like to demystify buying independent hand-dyed yarn. What are some good tips and tricks for selecting our yarns for your projects? What are the secrets behind Zen Yarn Garden handdyed yarns?

Above all else, your yarn is handdyed for you when you order it. This means that each one-of-a kind skein is created uniquely for you. When you view our website, you see that we have many stock colourways. These colourways are created with care so that they are replicable, but even when we repeat the steps as carefully as possible, each skein is a unique creation. This means that the skeins you receive in your order may show some variation from the stock photos: in particular, colour placement and saturation might be slightly different in your skein. This could be due to many factors: where your skeins were in our dyepots, precisely who is doing the dyeing on any given day, variations in the dye itself, temperature differences in the water, or differences in base yarns, to name a few.

Semisolid yarn


Treat Yourself With Free Patterns to Knit & Crochet 0

As you cross the holiday gift-making finishing line this year, reward yourself with a brand-new project that's just for YOU! Some may call it "selfish" knitting or crocheting, but we think it's an essential part of crafting, especially if you tend to knit or crochet for others. There's nothing like indulging in a few skeins of luxurious yarn in your favorite colour and finding the perfect pattern to make them sing. Today, we share some of our favourite free patterns to knit and crochet with our yarns. 

For the Knitters

plumo gradient scarf free knitting pattern

The Plumo Gradient Scarf by Staci Perry was designed especially for our gradient yarn sets and includes a free video tutorial to ensure a successful knit from start to finish.

Single Skein Pattern Round Up 2

Looking for a quick knit, or have a single skein leftover from a larger project and wondering what to do with it? Look no further! We’ve put together a roundup of amazing single skein projects for several of our yarns: In the fingering weight category, we rounded up patterns that would be great for our Serenity 20, Superfine Fingering weight, or Superfine Glitter, which are all 400 yards per skein.

And all the pattern listed below? They are all available for free! Follow the links to Ravelry to review download and link instructions.


Serenity 20 or Superfine Fingering or Superfine Glitter - 400 yards per skein

Our Serenity 20 is a blend of 70% merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Superfine Fingering is 90% merino and 10% nylon; and Superfine Glitter is 90% merino and 10% stellina, for sparkle. All of these skeins have 400 yards of fingering weight, and are perfect for a whole variety of projects.

Top, left to right: Sockhead Slouch Hat, Lionberry.

Middle, left to right: Speckled Space Socks, Reyna.

Bottom, left to right: Copilot, Charade Socks.


Knitting Patterns for Gradient Sets 13

Lots of knitters see gorgeous gradient knits, but it can be hard to figure out how to create that effect in your own knitting. Gradient knits are uniquely beautiful because of the yarn - when you have a set that is perfectly matched, you can knit with confidence knowing that it will turn out beautifully. Our gradient sets mostly come in skeins of 3 for a total of 600 yards.

If you love playing with colour, you should check out the gradients we have put together that are dyed on our Serenity Silk Single ply (75% superwash merino/15% cashmere/10% silk), which is heavenly. Each skein has approximately 215 yards:

Top to bottom: Grey Wolf (SSS), Mossy Oak (SSS), Charcoal (SSS).