01 July 2016

Deramores Review & Free Crochet Tote Bag Pattern

Ahoy hoy. So, time for something a little bit different. Recently the lovely folks at Deramores got in touch with me. If you’re not familiar with Deramores they’re an awesome online knitting and crochet store with one of the biggest ranges of yarns and patterns in the UK. As well as stocking most of the big name yarn brands, they also do a good amount of their own brand yarn, and they kindly sent me some of this to review.
I didn’t know exactly how much yarn they were going to send me, so when I got this huge package in the post I was pretty chuffed. First out of the packet was their Vintage Chunky yarn. It's a 50/50 blend of Merino and acrylic. They sent me 3 suitable muted vintage colours, and it looks really nice. You can tell from the touch that it's a blended yarn, and its got a nice twist to it too. I was wondering what I could make with it, and then I remembered there was more to look at.
I delved further into the package and found another package inside. It contained one of their Studio DK multi colour packs. Deramores have a really good range of colour packs on their site, going from this small one to larger ones that will fulfill your needs for specific patterns. Straight away I was impressed with the colours in the small pack, they’re all bold and vibrant.

I couldn’t wait to get started having a play with it. TheDeramores own brand yarn is in fact winner of ‘Best Independent Yarn Brand’ at the British Knitting Awards for the last 3 years running, and as soon as it was in my hands I could see why. Now those of you who regularly follow my shenanigans will know that I’m a big fan of acrylic yarn. I love real wool too but when it comes down to the crunch I’m an acrylic man. There’s still a bit of snobbery towards synthetic yarns which harks back to the bad old days of cheap and nasty yarns, but in reality acrylic has come a long way. The Deramores studio yarn is actually one of the softest (if not the softest) acrylic yarns I’ve come across. At first touch you can tell it's soft, but first touches can often be deceiving. The proof came when working the yarn. Over the last week my cuticles have been torn to shreds, and because of the way I wrap yarn around my fingers, I expected it to get worse and be bleeding and getting the plasters out in no time. Fortunately I was wrong; the yarn felt lovely and soft against my fingers and didn’t aggravate my skin at all, they claim its soft enough for babies and I can agree with that - an impressive start.
I decided to try making a basic shape out of each of the different colours, to test it out a bit. I’ve got a lot of experience with acrylics, and a problem I’ve come across before is thicknesses. You can often have two different coloured DK yarns of the same brand and by the same manufacturer, but when you start working you notice one works out ever so slightly thicker/bigger than the other. This appears to be to do with the dyeing and colour process, and can happen across many different types of yarn. Normally it’s so slight that it’s not a huge problem, but if you’re doing anything patchwork related it can really throw you off size-wise. Again, I found the Deramores yarn impressive in this factor, there was little discernable difference, if any.
 In terms of quality the yarn was very good. Through each ball I found it to be very even and consistent. There is nothing that annoys me more (well, there is in the grander scheme of things) than when you get halfway through a ball of yarn and find a knot in the middle – you’ll be glad to hear there was none of that nonsense. Now, the yarn label also describes it as ‘anti-pilling’, I’ll be honest - I had to look up what this meant. Basically it means that you won’t get those annoying bobbles after washing (this is to do with the way the fibres are constructed). Oddly, I noticed the effects of this with the white and raspberry coloured yarns only, when working them you can get a little bit of fluff coming off, but nothing enough to be of concern and when the yarn is worked it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Finally, and possibly the most important factors for some, price and range of colours. The Studio DK range comes in 33 different shades and you can get the packs in a variety of amounts and colour combinations. This small Studio DK pack comes in at £10.99, and if you want to buy the balls individually it’s £1.99, which I feel is more than a fair price for such a quality product – I’ve paid about that for some real cheap and nasty yarns in the past so I’d definitely use these again. Overall I was very impressed with the yarn, and I’m not just saying that cos this is a review, I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about it.
Now, so that I could give the yarn a proper review I made a shape out of each colour, but you know what I’m like, that’s just not enough, we can’t let those shapes go to waste now can we? That’s right, it’s free pattern time! I’m going to try and start making more patterns, and I haven’t done any of that for a while so wanted to get a bit of practice. I also felt like I hadn’t given you loyal readers anything for a while either. I figured I'd write you a simple pattern, but then I thought you might like a bit of variation, so you have two sides to choose from. It should be easy enough and gives you some creative choices, so I hope you enjoy!

FREE TWO-WAY TESSALATING TOTE BAG PATTERN
You will need:
DeramoresStudio DK Multi Colour Pack (6 x 100g, 250m, 100% acrylic) containing the following shades: 
Citrine [YELLOW], Heather [PURPLE], Raspberry [RED], Lapis [BLUE], Frost [WHITE] and Malachite [GREEN]. 
3.5mm hook
Stitch markers
Wool needle

THIS PATTERN IS WRITTEN IN UK ENGLISH. FOR US TERMS JUST REPLACE DC WITH SC!!!

*Note, when fastening off always leave a tail of about a foot long to help you with the assembly – alternatively you could use a needle and cotton thread if you so desire*
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Side 1:
Main shape: (make in 3 in red, 3 in white, 3 in green, 3 in yellow, 2 in blue, 2 in purple)
Ch17
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (16dc)
Row 2-6: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Row 7: ch1, dc in each st across, ch9, turn. (16dc & 9ch)
Row 8: dc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 ch, dc in next 8 sts [leaving remaining 8dc unworked] turn. (16dc)
Row 9-14: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Fasten off.
*if you need help understanding Rows 7 & 8 see image at bottom of side 2 instructions* 

Small square shape: (make 3 in yellow, 3 in purple)
Ch9
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (8dc)
Row 2-7: ch1, dc in each st along, turn. (8dc)
Fasten off

Small rectangle shape: (2 in blue, 2 in purple)
Ch17
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (16dc)
Row 2-7: ch1, dc in each st along, turn. (16dc)
Fasten off

Backwards L shape (make 3 in green)
Ch17
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (16dc)
Row 2-7: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Row 8: ch1, dc in next 8 sts (leaving remains 8 sts unworked), turn. (8dc)
Row 9 -14: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (8dc)

Upside-down L shape (make 3 in blue)
Ch9
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (8dc)
Row 2-6: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (8dc)
Row 7: ch1, dc in each st across, ch9, turn. (8dc & 9ch)
Row 8: dc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 ch, dc in next 8 sts, turn. (16dc)
Row 9 -14: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Fasten off
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 Side 2:
Main shape: (make 3 in red, 3 in green, 3 in yellow, 3 in purple)
Ch 17
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (16dc)
Row 2-6: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Row 7: ch1, dc in each st across, ch9, turn. (16dc & 9ch)
Row 8: dc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 ch, dc in next 8 sts [leaving remaining 8dc unworked] turn. (16dc)
Row 9-13: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Row 14: ch1, dc in each st across, ch9, turn. (16dc & 9ch)
Row 15: dc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 ch, dc in next 8 sts [leaving remaining 8dc unworked] turn. (16dc)
Row 16-21: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc).
Fasten off.

C-Shape: (Make 1 in red, 1 in green)
Ch 17
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (16dc)
Row 2-7: ch1, dc in each st across, turn. (16dc)
Row 8: ch1, dc in next 8 sts [leaving remains 8 sts unworked], turn. (8dc)
Row 9-13: ch1, dc in each st along, turn. (8dc)
Row 14: ch1, dc in each st across, ch9, turn. (8dc & 9ch)
Row 15: dc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 ch, dc in next 8 sts, turn. (16dc)
Row 16-21: ch1, dc in each st along, turn. (16dc)
Fasten off

Small square shape: (make 1 in red, 1 in green, 2 in yellow, 2 in purple)
Ch9,
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along, turn. (8dc)
Row 2-7: ch1, dc in each st along, turn. (8dc)
Fasten off
Illustration of Side 2 Main Piece, Rows 7-8 apply to Side 1 Main piece too
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Assembly
Lay all your shapes out beforehand so you don’t get confused with your colours. With the wrong sides of the shapes facing you, whip stitch 2 shapes together with the tails, being careful to have your stitches showing only on the wrong side. You may find it helps to join the shapes together with safety pins/stitch markers before sewing. If you find yourself unsure of where exactly to sew/join shapes, remember that horizontally it is always divisible by 8 and vertically is always divisible by 7. Weave in all ends.

Edging

With RS of Side 1 facing, join raspberry yarn in to far right hand stitch of top edge with ss, ch1 and dc across. Fasten off (64dc)
Repeat on side 2, DO NOT FASTEN OFF.
*now is a good time to place some stitch markers to help you get the edging accurate, put at least one in each corner connecting the two sides together*

With both sides against each other (and both with RS facing outwards), ch1, dc down the side edge (connecting both sides), being as even with your stitches as possible (you should have roughly 84sts), ch2 when you reach the bottom corner, then dc along bottom edge of both sides (roughly 64sts), ch2 in the next corner, then dc back up the opposite side (roughly 84sts). Fasten off and weave in all ends.

Straps
Straps (make 2)
Using Red, ch101
Row 1 (RS): dc in 2nd ch from hook and each st across. Fasten off. (100dc)
Join Yellow with ss into 1st st of row 1,
Row2 (RS): ch 1, dc across. Fasten off (100dc)

Sew one end of strap to stitches 21 & 22 of top edge of one side of bag, and sew other end of strap to stitches 43 & 44 on same edge. Repeat with second strap on other side of bag. Weave in all ends
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There you go, all finished. Have fun, Peace out!

[The Transparency Bit - Deramores kindly supplied me with the yarn to review and make this pattern with for free, but I have not been paid to review these products. All opinions are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Deramores.]

[The Legal Bit -  I am happy for you to print this pattern for yourself, and I do not mind if you want to use it at crochet classes or groups. I retain copyright. I only ask that you do not sell works made from this pattern, and do not publish or replicate on any other websites or publications without prior permission - linking to the pattern/my blog is fine. Basically, I don't copy, neither should you!]

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. And love the bag pattern. Might give one a go!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the review. And love the bag pattern. Might give one a go!

    ReplyDelete
  3. excellent! I too am a fan of acrylic and use it to make blankets and throws: my usual go-to acrylic is Stylecraft as the colours are so good:
    currently using Scheepjes colour crafter for a CAL but it's awful! lots of knots and it splits like billy-oh: I'll defo give the Deramores a try :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I came upon your blog purely by chance, and maybe serendipitous is the correct word for this situation. This morning I was thinking that I would like to do a crochet project using pieces shaped like the quilting pattern on my blanket. The quilting pattern happens to look like side 1 of the bag you designed! Perfect! Can't wait to give it a go :)

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  5. Very pleased to read what you say about acrylic yarn. The snobbery against it can be very tedious. I too am a fan - mainly because of the available colour choices and the fact that that any moths that happen to be knocking around will not be feasting on it. Also good to see Deromores Studio dk get some credit - I've been singing its praises for a while now. Nice blog - oh, and great bag.

    ReplyDelete