I Love Caron Cakes Yarn: But Not for Everything

Caron Cakes Yarn Review

After hearing about Caron Cakes yarn from the guys at Crochet Crowd, I was so excited to try it out with a crochet project of my own.  Caron Cakes is only being offered for sale at Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

It took me two trips to Michael’s to finally get my hands on some because I think on my first trip they were sold out.  I’m guessing that because when I went the second (successful) time, while I was checking out, the cashier told me that they were having trouble keeping the Caron Cakes in the store because they were so popular.

 

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Caron Cakes Cookies & Cream color yarn

I have to tell you that after working with the yarn, crocheting a poncho for myself, this stuff truly lives up to the hype.  It is so soft and smooth to work with and the drape of my poncho is perfection.

The crochet hook size recommended was a US H/8.  If you knit, you’ll want to use a US 8.

The yarn is an 80/20 split with 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool and the washing instructions say Hand wash.  Lay flat to dry.  You can see an experiment that was done on the washing of this yarn HERE.  The bottom line on that experiment reads: To make it last and get very little felting, follow the label.

The hand washing is why I don’t recommend this yarn for making EVERYTHING.  As much as I loved using it, and as much as I love all of the gorgeous color combinations they have, I will not be using Caron Cakes to create anything for my grandchildren or any other child because kids are messy and their stuff needs to be washed too often to give them anything that needs special washing instructions.

You also need to be cautious about creating gifts for someone who might have a Wool allergy and be sure to tell the recipient that the item contains Wool and needs to be hand washed and laid dry to keep it looking its best.

That said, I highly recommend this yarn for any and all adult-sized projects including ponchos and shawls, scarves, mittens, throw blankets, sweaters and home décor.

Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule about this and this is just my humble opinion.  You CAN use it for children’s items if you want but for my time and money, I’d prefer to use a 100% Acrylic yarn for my kids instead of using something that might felt and shrink after just a few washings.

P.S. They do sell some Caron Cakes online at Michael.com but when I tried they only had a few colors available.  However, On my next visit, I was able to purchase more of this terrific yarn at my local Michaels store.  In other words, grab it when you see it!

P.S.S.  This is NOT an affiliate post and I was not paid or compensated in any way for posting this.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

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Lancome Gift with Purchase Holiday 2016 Review

Before I get started I need to say that I LOVE Lancôme mascara and I’ve been using it on and off since 2006.  That said, I know a good deal when I see one and this year’s Gift with Purchase from Lancôme is an unbelievable bargain.  With the purchase of one item, for the additional cost of just two more products you get approximately $300.00 worth of cosmetics for free.  Seriously!  I could NOT pass this up.

Lancome gift with purchase 2016

Look at all of the stuff I got for an additional $60.00!  Ten eyeshadows, two lipsticks, a lip gloss, make up remover, eye liner, mascara, mascara base (which I had already gotten a sample of and loved) two make up brushes, a blush and a highlighter, two make up bags, (I love the big one especially.  It’s so cute and French!) and a small bottle of Genifique.

For my purchase, I chose a lip liner so the total spent was under $100.00 and the value of the gift set was something like $342.00.

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I am so happy that I decided to splurge on some new black mascara or I might not have been made aware of this great deal that’s being offered. The gift set had everything I could possibly want except for the lip liner which I gladly purchased.

If you know someone who loves Lancôme make up, and you need a great gift for them,  Mom? Wife? Girl friend? I highly recommend this set.  It comes in warm or cool.  Many of the items are the same in both sets except for the lipstick, cheek, and eye shadow colors.

I got mine at Dillards.com but I believe you can find them online and at other department stores as well.

This is a classic case of spending money to save money but for me, this time, it was totally worth it.  Especially since I’m starting a new job and needed a complete update to my make up collection, and my look.

P.S. I was encouraged to start wearing more make up by following my good friend’s beauty blog.  If you love make up, be sure to visit her at Queen of the Girl Geeks.

Also wanted to point out that this is NOT an affiliate post.  All opinions are my own and I have NOT been compensated, nor will I be if you click on any of the links in this post.  I just wanted to spread the Lancôme love.

 

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What’s Up for the Weekend?

This weekend, in addition to the usual cooking and cleaning up, I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to accomplish.

One is repainting the trim around my kitchen window and the other is making another child-size poncho for my other granddaughter.

The window trim needs a bit of sanding before I can paint it because it’s located behind my sink and has gotten a bit of water spotting from splashes.  Boring job but necessary.

The poncho project is much more fun.  I’m using Caron brand Simply Soft yarn in their Baby Brights Ombre color with a size USI9/5.50 MM hook.

Here’s what I’ve got done so far:

Caron Simply Soft Baby Brights Ombre Yarn

I really love working with the Simply Soft yarn.  It’s very smooth and I love how soft the items turn out when they’re done.  The drape is fantastic too.

What are your plans for the weekend?  Have you got any great projects planned?  Share and share alike.  We can cheer each other on.

 

 

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Legacy – I Can Listen To Bowie Again

Today, David Bowie’s Legacy album became available at Amazon and I was one of the first to buy the cd.

Yes, I know.

I was informed by one of my children that NOBODY buys cds anymore.

BUT that is one of the many super powers I’ve developed being a mom all of these years; the ability to not give a crap what everyone else is doing.

I have loved David Bowie ever since the first time I heard Space Oddity on the brand new am-fm STEREO that I got for my 13th birthday back in 1973.  It was the very first song that came on the radio as I turned it on.  I can still remember how the countdown coming from a separate speaker gave me chills.  It was amazing and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Buying the Legacy cd means that when it arrives, I can add the discs to my collection of every album Bowie has ever made and also (best of all) download and listen to the album using Amazon Music, immediately and forever and ever.

I was completely devastated when the star man passed away early this year and I can honestly say that this it the first time I’ve been able to play and enjoy an album of his since that day.

Legacy has 40 songs from throughout Bowie’s many years of making awesome music.

All of them are my favorite song.

 

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Legacy on Amazon Music

 

I miss him not being here to make new music but I also realized today that by avoiding his music, unless it came on the radio by surprise, I was missing out on listening to the melody that has been the backdrop of my entire adult life.

David Bowie’s music took me through a lot of bad times, and also a lot of very good times.  Listening to him makes me feel like dancing, and singing, and just plain HAPPY.

And here he is… again, making me happy… again, taking me out of a period of mourning that has gone on for far too long.

Rest in Peace David Bowie.  Thank you for a lifetime’s worth of song.

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Here’s a link to the album at Amazon.com in case you want to see the complete playlist or purchase one for yourself.  David Bowie Legacy  FYI: I’m an Amazon affiliate which means if you do buy one, I’ll earn a few pennies. Learn More.

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Making My Own Cool Poncho Using Caron Cakes and a Tutorial from The Crochet Crowd

As a superhero, I love creating things with my bare hands.  Crochet is usually my weapon of choice.

I’m fairly new to the craft and I’m learning how to use patterns.  In my first post here I shared a child size poncho that I recently made.  It was actually the second one for me.  When I made the first one, I followed a pattern and video that I found at The Crochet Crowd blog.  The yarn they recommended was Caron Cakes, which for right now, can only be found at Michaels.

Caron Cakes yarn with crochet hook.

I thought the Caron Cakes was amazing to work with but you need to keep in mind that it’s made of 80% acrylic and 20% wool and the washing instructions say that you should hand wash whatever you make and lay flat to dry.  That’s why I was okay with using it to make my adult poncho but chose a 100% acrylic yarn to make one for my granddaughters.  Kids get messy.  It’s just easier for their mom to wash the acrylic.

You can find a link to the poncho pattern and the terrific tutorial by the Crochet Crowd HERE.

The Crochet Crowd blog not only shares a video that makes understanding the pattern so easy, but you’ll also find one to help you if you’re a left-handed crocheter.

I’m really proud of the way mine turned out.

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How I Created My Poncho

I used the color Cookies & Cream which is a gorgeous combination cream-beige-tan-Olive green color.  The stripes were created automatically while I worked because the yarn has variegated colors that stop short instead of blending into each other.  I used a little more than two skeins of yarn and a USH8/5.00 MM size crochet hook.  The pattern actually calls for two skeins but I wanted to play around with the color ways and also make mine longer than what was shown.

Depending on how much crochet time you have, and how fast you crochet, this can be made very quickly.  I completed it in about 4 days but keep in mind that I’m a newbie at this.  With more free time and experience you could probably do it much faster.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern when I created mine.

The pattern calls for this to be created by making the front first, then creating the back and finally sewing the two sides together.  Mikey at the Crochet Crowd said to just start the back side with a new skein and not worry about the color way but I felt the need to make the two sides match so when I bought my yarn at Michaels Arts and Crafts, I grabbed a couple of skeins that started with the same color.  This made the two sides very close to matching which made me happy.

I followed Mikey’s example and instead of sewing at the end, I joined the two sides as I crocheted the back and was pleased with the outcome.

I also left off the sting tie with pom pom that was shown in the original pattern and instead did a row of single crochet using the dark green color, that ended up at the bottom of my poncho, to finish the neckline.

Finally, I carefully chose the two colors that I used to make the fringe so that it also reflected the darkest color in the Cookies & Cream yarn.

I’ve included the video here in case you want to jump right in or watch it before you actually get started but I do suggest you go to the original page at their blog too in order to read their great tips.

 

And if you’d rather just see the free pattern (available in several sizes) that was used, you can find that and download it at Yarnspirations right HERE.

If you’re looking for an easy crochet pattern for a poncho, you won’t go wrong trying this one.  I plan on making several more.  I think they’d make great gifts.

What do you think?  Will you try to DIY one yourself?  Have you already made a poncho?  Share your thoughts or your best crochet tips in the comments.

 

 

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It’s Election Day – Vote Early!

If you haven’t already, make sure to get your voice heard today.

You have the power.  Use it.  Go vote!  And for God’s sake, do it early.

Vote for your favorite candidate.  Vote for their character, their conviction, their new ideas, their old morals, to do away with something, to change things up, to make America great again, to be with her, to stop him, to make history, to keep our borders open, to build a wall, or to break a glass ceiling.

But most of all, go vote today and do it early because the sooner you vote, the earlier we’ll be able to count those ballots and be done with what is quite possibly the WORST election year campaign cycle EVER.

I, for one, can’t wait for all of the political commercials to stop.  How about you?  What did you hate most about this election?

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Cute Kid’s Poncho – Crochet a Day Away

Over the weekend, to avoid the stress that was closing in on me from all sides, ahem, the election, I used one of my super powers to help me unwind.

The ability to bend yarn into any shape I desire using nothing but a small tool shaped like a hook, aka crochet, is a fairly new skill for me  but I’ve already fallen hopelessly in love with the art of twisting yarn into cozy soft beautiful things.

I’m still learning all the basics such as how to measure gauge and how to read crochet patterns but I think I’m coming along pretty well for a beginner.

I spent about a day creating this cute kid’s poncho for one of my granddaughters.

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Please pardon my lack of photography skills, I’m working on learning more about taking good photos.  In the meantime, oh well.

How I Made This Cute Poncho

To make the poncho I used two skeins of Caron brand Simply Soft yarn; one of the colors was Pagoda and the other was Blue Mint with a 5.50 MM hook.

Through some trial and error, I improvised the adult-sized Cool Poncho pattern at Yarnspirations to make it a child size by starting with a 43 stitch chain instead of the 58 chains they suggested.

My granddaughter is 5 and she hasn’t tried it on yet because I need to make another one for her sister before I can give it to her but I’m pretty sure it will fit.  And even if it’s not a perfect fit, it’s okay because ponchos are very forgiving like that.  They can be worn a little too big and a little too small and still look great.

 

 

 

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