C is for cookie, it's good enough for me. No! C is for Crystal Palace Yarns and Knitting Needles, the next in our series of Gifts for Knitters from A to Z. Crystal Palace hits two needs for knitters: yarn AND knitting needles. They've been around for ages. Once upon a time they even had a brick and mortar store in Berkeley, California, but these days they sell wholesale only. They're famous for their unique novelty yarns and fiber blends.
If you picked one yarn to represent that kind of yarns that Crystal Palace Yarns distributes, Mini Mochi would be it. It has a very high content of merino wool, paired with 20% nylon for durability. Meant as a sock yarn, it like it's big brother Danube features slowly changing color progressions that make sock knitting fun. Just like Danube, Mini Mochi also comes in a larger size, the Mochi Plus for larger projects.
If you love Noro yarns, but hate how scratchy they can be, check out Cyrstal Palace Yarns, especially the Danube line. Like the name suggests Danube features slowly meandering color changes, which has a lovely effect when applied to scarves, hats and sweaters. Danube features 40% nylon, 30% rayon and 30% wool. Danube comes in three different weights, DK, Aran and Bulky. DK is great for smaller projects, like fingerless gloves or even socks while Aran is great for sweaters and bulky perfect for afghans.
Crystal Palace Knitting Needles
Crystal Palace imports bamboo knitting needles from Japan. They've had the same manufacturer for years. In fact, you can learn about the process by which these knitting needles are made here on the CPY website. They sell both straight, double pointed and fixed circular knitting needles. Their needles come in different lengths, so be sure to check the length when you're making a purchase. Extra long knitting needles can be difficult to use, store and carry. They have a tendency to poke holes in your favorite bag. Stick with the shorter straight needles. Six inch double points can accomodate most small circular knitting projects like hats and socks. The small and medium length circulars are the most useful to knitters. The extra long circular needles are great for afghans and oversized sweaters.
It can be hard to pick a yarn as a gift for a knitter, but picking up two skeins (or three or four) of Crystal Palace Yarn, and a set of knitting needles would make any knitter happy whether it's their birthday or the holidays.
This is the latest in our series on Gifts for Knitters from A to Z. Stay tuned for more posts and discover more amazing products for knitters this holiday season.
One of the things that's great about using the alphabet to celebrate great knitting products is the opportunity to discuss various brands of yarn. For the non knitter, yarn might all look the same, but knitters know all too well each brand of yarn and how they perform. Berroco is a yarn company that has been in business for decades. They make some reliable sturdy yarns that hold up well over the years. Their design director Norah Gaughan supports those yarns with a knitting pattern program that embraces innovation while still harking back to knitting traditions. That balance between the new and the old can also be seen in their selection of yarns. They offer a wide variety of traditional wools and cottons, but also shake things up with novelty yarns that add sparkle to a knitter's wardrobe. Check out some of Berroco's Yarns and knitting pattern books below!
Vintage is another machine washable workhorse yarn, a blend of acrylic, nylon and wool. The acrylic and nylon add strength to the wool and make it easier to wash without causing too much shrinkage and felting. It's perfect for those long winters when you want your mittens and hats to last long while being able to be easily cleaned.
The Berroco Comfort Yarns are a line of nylon acrylic blend which is meant to be affordable, easy to knit and very long lasting. What's great is that Berroco Comfort comes in different weights for different needs and can be machine washed. This makes it great for heavy use items like blankets, mittens and snow hats. Comfort also comes in a ridiculous number of colors.
I love the name of Berroco Ultra Alpaca. It's not just any alpaca, it's Ultra Alpaca. That's because it blends alpaca with highland wool. It's a 50-50 blend too. This means that the company is using wool to offset some of the downsides to alpaca. Wool is springy and keeps its shape very well, while alpaca is drapey and can lose its shape. Highland wool can be a little scratchy, so the alpaca softens it up. The best of two fiber types combined to make the ultra yarn!
Remix is for your environmentally conscious knitter. It's made up of 100% recycled materials, but still has a nice natural feel. It's tweedy and a great fall knit. 30% nylon, 27% cotton, 10% acrylic, 10% silk and 9% linen.
With Berroco Comfort being such a heavy duty yarn it's no wonder that there's a whole book of afghan patterns using just that yarn. A great gift for a knitter would pair a bunch of balls of Berroco Comfort with this book (and maybe even a knitting bag). Your knitter will be thrilled to have some fun projects to try.
The hardwearing durability of Berroco's Comfort Yarn lends itself to all things baby and toddler. The baby and toddler stuff gets messy all the time and you need a yarn that can handle regular washing. This book will have you knitting your baby long lasting garments that you might even pass on to younger siblings and cousins.
If you're looking to kniw well designed sweaters with simple, yet engaging stitch motifs then you must knit a Norah Gauhan pattern. Famous for her Knitting Nature book, she's now taken the time to focus on mens knits, which are frequently overlooked in knitting pattern design.
This is a knitting pattern book especially for the Vintage and Comfort lines of yarns, which is great because you don't really have to worry about matching the yarn because it's designed especially for those Berroco yarns. Since Berroco yarns are rather interchangeable with other classic yarns like Cascade 220, or Lion Brand equivalents, this book can provide some inspiration for a knitter even if they don't have Berroco in their yarn stash.
The first in our installment of Gifts for Knitters from A to Z is of course, the letter A and we're going to talk about Addi Click Interchangeable Knitting Needles. Interchangeable Knitting Needles are one of the best gifts that you can get a knitter. They are a complete set of knitting needles connected by a flexible cable. Each set comes with a few of these flexible cables in different lengths to accomodate small and large knitting projects. The Addi Click Interchangeable Knitting Needles are some of the most well designed interchangeable knitting needles on the market. They are the only needles with a proprietary connector for the needle and cable, creating almost a seamless connection, which prevents snags while you knit.
The Addi Click Interchangeable Knitting Needles are either metal or bamboo. If you're unsure which kind to choose, check out what kind of needles your knitter prefers by watching them knit or even snooping into their knitting needle stash. If your knitter has more bamboo needles, pick the Addli Click Natura Bamboo, if they have more metal needles check out the long tip Addi Turbo Needles.
10 sizes of knitting needles from 3.5mm to 10mm (US 4 to US 15)
1 each of 24", 32", 40" connecting cables
1 Carrying Case
Interchangeable knitting needles are the most expensive tools a knitter can have and the Addi Clicks are the best designed of all of the sets of interchangeable knitting needles, so a knitter will be very pleased to discover them as a birthday or holiday gift this year.
If the Addi Clicks are not fancy enough for your knitter, you can go one step beyond and check out the Lantern Moon Interchangeable Knitting Needles in Ebony or Rosewood. Those are all handcrafted. They don't have the same connectors as the Addi Click interchangeable knitting needles, but the ebony and rosewood make for an heirloom quality set of knitting needles that you might want to pass on.
Stay tuned throughout the fall to discover all of our favorite gifts for knitters. Next up is the letter "B" and we're going to focus on one of our favorite yarn brands. You can go back to all of our Alphabet inspired gifts for knitters at the A to Z home page.
We're doing something new at Gifts for Knitters. We're going to start our holiday season early to share our favorite gifts for knitters starting with the letter A and going all the way to the letter Z. From Addi Clicks to Zitron sock yarn we're going to celebrate all the amazing products that make knitters do the happy dance whether it's Christmas, Hannukah, Valentine's Day or Mother's Day. You'll find the best gift ideas for knitters no matter the occasion.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our gift recommendations!