Whether you’ve got a trip planned or are just making it a “staycation” this summer, we hope it includes a little time pool or beachside. Today we’re taking a look at the top swimsuit trends for summer of 2021. There are some new trends (hello glitz and glamour!) and some old favourites (keyhole cutouts are back for another season). And once you’re enjoying your new suit, be sure to keep it beach-ready and smelling amazing with your favourite Eucalan scent!
Soon the seasons will be changing again and we have high hopes that we’ll get to spend some time out and about this summer. When we think about summer knit and crochet projects, we think lighter weight yarns, smaller projects and portability, and that means one thing to us: socks! So whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or laying poolside, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite new sock patterns for your summer project inspiration.
Fun in the Sun
If you’re laying in your beach cabana, or you’re on the go with the kids, you’ll need a drink and a project that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. These patterns seem like easy knitting to us!
Clockwise from top left:
The Soxploration Heel Wrap by Denise DeSantis has an interesting heel construction, but otherwise is perfect for a self-striping yarn. You can just knit in the round and let the yarn do the work! (Ravelry)
The Ready, Set, Go Socks by The Chilly Dog are slightly textured, but short and sweet. You’ll have a new pair of socks ready to go before you know it! (The Chilly Dog)
The Toe Beans by Louise Tilbrook are also shorties, with a simple lace pattern reminiscent of cat’s paws. Snuggle up with your best feline and knit the night away. (Payhip)
The Rook Socks by Tanis Lavalee have a short textural repeat that is easy to read when knitting. Knit one pair, or outfit the whole family! (Ravelry, Tanis Fiber Arts)
I’m Gonna Level UP!
The next set of sock patterns is a little more challenging; nothing you can’t do, but a bit more lace or cables, or even some colorwork. If you’re looking for a project that will pique your interest, here’s a few to try!
Clockwise from top left:
The cable patterns in Intersections by Marcelline Smith symbolize the way all of our lives are connected, and the rich sock it creates shows how enriched our lives are by these connections. (Ravelry, Etsy)
The Summer Crush Shorties by Tracie Millar add some fun cabling to a short sock that’s perfect for those warm summer days. (Ravelry)
Summer Flowers by This Handmade LIfe are gorgeously lacy and remind us of wildflowers through the summer season – these will be quick to knit as they’re only anklets! (Ravelry)
The Sandy Ripple Socks by Shannon Long were inspired by the waves at the beach – what could be more summery? (Ravelry, Blue Fern Yarns UK)
The Saguaro Blossom Socks by Margaret Stauffacher are so fun! A little colorwork, a little summer sun and you’ll have a pair of socks that would make anyone smile. (Ravelry)
Crochet ALL Day
Of course we can’t forget our crocheters! We’ve found a few great patterns, so grab your hook and pick your next project.
Clockwise from top left:
The Pixel Socks by Svetlana Kochkina look like they’ll crochet just right: not too tall, not too short, not too complicated, just enough texture to add some interest. What do you think? (Ravelry)
Colorwork isn’t just for the knitters! The Ramble Socks by Yvonne Choi combine a neutral and a variegated yarn to keep you guessing what’s coming next. (Ravelry)
The Herringbone Socks by Ashlea Konecny look like the perfect pattern for all that self-striping yarn you’ve got in your stash. (Ravelry, Heart Hook Home)
If you’re looking for a quick free pattern for your summer crafting, we’ve got you covered there as well. These are our top picks!
Clockwise from top left:
If you just need a simple vanilla sock, check out I’m So Basic by Summer Lee. Add contrasting heels and toes for extra fun! (Ravelry)
You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here! Check out the After Party Socks by Beki Norman and raid the stash for that special self-striping skein you’ve been saving. (Ravelry)
If you’re visiting waterfalls and tidepools, and love the idea of cascading waters, check out the Cascading Cables by Lisa Park Tomaszewski. (Knitty)
And for our crocheters, these look like the perfect socks come fall. Get started now with the Watson Waffle Socks by Lakeside Loops and you’ll be ready when cooler temps return! (Lake Side Loops)
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to keep your socks in tip-top shape with a Eucalan Delicate Wash spa treatment between wears. All of our scents are lovely, but Grapefruit and Jasmine will have you smelling the summer citrus and oh, those summer nights.
We hope we’ve given you a little inspiration for your summer sock crafting! We’d love to see what you make – tag us using the hashtag #eucalan on Instagram or come visit our Facebook group.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering a new pattern, the Branches and Blooms Double Wrap Cowl designed by Michael Harrigan, for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter. Today we’re featuring an interview with Michael, and chat about his design inspirations, favourite patterns and his book. Keep reading to learn more!
An Interview with Michael Harrigan:
Q: How did you come to knitting and designing?
A: When I was around 9 years old my mother showed me the basics of knitting and crocheting. However, I grew up on a farm in the northeastern US, and in that area and at that time, knitting was not one of the approved pastimes for a young boy. The needles and crochet hooks were put aside – for quite a few years, in fact.
Several years ago I started to knit again and it quickly became an integral part of my daily life. I bought lots of books and learned a wide range of techniques. Then I bought more books and experimented with lace, texture, and colorwork stitch patterns. It wasn’t long before I started combining stitch patterns into designs and decided to write out the instructions so I could share them with others (and remember them). I soon discovered I could upload the patterns to the internet and was off on a new adventure. I also improved my skills and increased my range through the Master Hand Knitter certification program of The Knitting Guild Association (tkga.org).
Over the past few years I have designed patterns for accessories, including shawls, wraps, cowls, hats – and one Fair Isle-patterned gansey. I’ve self-published the majority of my designs but have also produced others for yarn companies and online and print magazines.
Q: What are your favourite techniques and projects to design?
A: Lace knitting and color-stranded knitting are my favorites. Travel has a major impact on both the motifs and colors I use in my designs. Some decades ago I spent the better part of a year in Central America and was captivated by the colorful work of artisans in Mexico and Guatemala. Many years later my travels took me to Africa, where I was enthralled by the magic and mystery of Egypt and Morocco, and the talented artisans of South Africa. I have been fascinated by the designs of rugs in Turkey and the embroidery I’ve come across in China. There’s such an amazing wealth of hand-crafted riches throughout the world – and I certainly enjoy travels of discovery.
I like to spend time in historic settings, visiting local artisan markets and bazaars, and also taking in landscapes and natural features. I try to recreate what I have seen in stitch patterns—interpreting elements of nature, landmarks, and textiles I’ve come across.
A couple of summers ago, we visited the Shetland Islands – long an inspiration to me, both for the knitted lace from the northern island of Unst, and the wonderfully colorful patterns of Fair Isle. On a trip to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to get some hands-on advice on color-stranding knitting technique in Riga, Latvia. At the end of that trip, on a visit to the Russian National Museum in St. Petersburg, I found inspiration for a new colorwork design based on a piece of ethnic embroidery.
Q. What are some of your favourite designs?
A: One of my all-time favorites is a small shawl with intersecting lace panels called Twists and Turns. Another one of my favorites that features a bit of lace is called Northern Leaves.
There are of course a couple of colorwork designs in my “top four” list: Berries, Leaves, and Vines has been a really popular design and the most popular of all is my Windows Wrap. They all have stories behind them!
Q: What was your inspiration for the Branches and Blooms Cowl? Did you start with the stitch patterns, or the yarn, or the idea of a cowl first?
A: The color came first with this design – and was inspired by photos of the Eucalan Lavender fragrance. The branches and blooms stitch patterns came next and I thought the combination of the color and the stitch patterns would look really nice in a long, drapey cowl.
Q. What’s a question you wish I asked?
A: I wish you had asked about my book! 😉
Travel-inspired Knitsis my first book of patterns and features 10 designs that have resulted from my passion for travel. You can find the digital version available on Ravelry and print copies are readily available also from major online booksellers and from my publisher in Ireland, Anchor and Bee.
Thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer our questions!
Branches & Blooms Double-wrap Cowl
This delicate lace double-wrap cowl is perfect for spring and summer. Easy enough for those new to lace, and varied enough to keep master knitters interested, this drapey cowl is a must have accessory!
Spring is here and we’re ready to sweep out the old and welcome the new! If you’re eager to get some cleaning and organizing done, we’ve got you covered. Here are our favourite tips and tricks to whip your surroundings into shape and ready yourself to move forward into spring and summer!
Join our Spring Cleaning Challenge – Are you drowning under piles of clothes, crafts, papers and knick knacks? Even if you feel like you’ve got things under control, the seasonal shift is the perfect time to tidy up. We started our Spring Cleaning challenge a few years ago and this popular free PDF that we created breaks everything down into simple steps to get you started on this year’s spring cleaning! We’ve also got a Pinterest board full of great tips for tackling your spring cleaning and making it as easy as 1-2-3.
Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe – Have you checked out your closet lately? Now is the time to get ready for warmer weather. Washing your woolens with Eucalan before you pack them away until next winter will keep them safe from fibre loving insects. Now is the time to sort clothing into Keep/Donate/Toss piles to weed out your favourites. And of course bring out those summer swimsuits and fun dresses – now’s the time to switch things up!
Organizing and Storing Your Lingerie – You don’t have to be Marie Kondo to do a little management of your beloved lingerie collection. In this post from our archives, we’ve put together some practical tips for sorting and storing your lingerie that work for the real world.
The Ultimate Stain Guide – This handy PDF will guide you through treating stains and keeping your most-cherished items looking like new! Print it out and hang it up in your laundry room – it’s our gift to you!
We hope these get you started on your spring cleaning journey. If you’ve got advice, tips or tricks of your own, we’d love to hear them. Comment below or tag us on social media using the hashtag #eucalan!
Although each April brings us the official commemoration of Earth Day (April 22) we like to think that every day is Earth Day at Eucalan. We have always been committed to protecting our natural resources, particularly our waterways, but we’re always looking for (and sharing!) eco-friendly tips to lessen our impact on the environment around us.
Starting in Fall 2020 we renewed our commitment to the Earth and became a member of 1% for the Planet. What does this mean in practical terms? We have committed to donating 1% of our gross sales through a combination of monetary, in-kind and approved promotional support directly to environmental nonprofits. Since we love our waterways, we have stepped up to support nonprofits dedicated to implementing solutions in the following areas:
Access and recreation: Facilitating people’s ability to enjoy our natural resources and inspiring them to be stewards of our planet.
Activism: Focusing public attention on what is at stake for the planet in the current economic and political environment.
Biodiversity and habitat: Protecting the variability of life on earth in service of healthy ecosystems and our planet.
Drought mitigation: Reducing vulnerability to and the impacts of droughts.
Environmental justice: Ensuring that all people and groups, regardless of race, gender, income or nation of origin, are entitled to environmental protection.
Fisheries and sustainable fishing: Promoting fishing practices that reduce overfishing and overconsumption.
Freshwater conservation and clean up: Preserving and maintaining the quality of freshwater resources globally.
Human health and economic development: Creating positive health outcomes and economic growth through the responsible management of natural resources.
Law and public policy: Political or legal action used as a tool to protect our natural resources.
Natural resource conservation: Managing natural resources responsibly and using these resources to mitigate environmental degradation.
Ocean conservation and clean up: Preserving and maintaining the quality of ocean resources globally.
Renewable energy: Energy generated from sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.
Youth education: Environmental education specifically targeted to a youth audience.
We already have a ton of great resources for you to consult if you’re interested in helping us celebrate Earth Day this month, and every day:
4 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Year Round – From starting a butterfly garden to “greening” up your laundry routine, we’ve got some great ideas on how you can make some eco friendly changes to your life!
Eucalan: An Alternative to Dry Cleaning – The good news is that garments that are labeled “dry clean only” can be laundered easily and safely at home, AND save our environment! Check out this article for our top tips.
Sustainable Tourism & Eucalan – When we can get back to traveling we expect a renewed commitment to sustainable tourism. That is, travel to destinations to support the local economy and preserve the pristine environment. These can be enjoyed in a number of ways, from backpacking trips to eco resorts. Read this blog post from our archives to learn more.
Run your washer and dryer at night to ease electrical and hydro burdens. Not only do utilities charge less at off peak hours (save yourself some money!) there are fewer demands on the electrical and water grids during the overnight hours.
Make it a full load or adjust the water level to the amount of laundry.
Skip the dryer. While both washing and drying require a lot of energy, skipping the dryer will reduce your carbon footprint quite a bit! Hang clothes to dry on clotheslines or lay them flat to dry.
Hand wash when you only have a few items – it’s easy using Eucalan!
If you’re using your dryer, clean the vents and lint traps regularly. This improves air circulation, making drying time more efficient so you’ll need less of it. It can also help you prevent fires!
We hope we’ve given you some tips for making eco-friendly changes to your life. If there’s something we’ve missed, we’d love to hear from you!
Now that we’ve passed the Vernal Equinox we can look forward to spring! The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up and we have a bit of hope and optimism for this new season. Today we’ve gathered some beautiful and crafty ways to start welcoming spring into your home. If you’re looking for more ideas, we have a Pinterest board full of spring inspiration, but these are our favourites!
We know we’ll be waiting at least another month or two longer in Canada to see spring buds, but it’s already time for the new spring and summer knit and crochet patterns to be released! Planning knits for the next season is like a breath of fresh air, and a hopeful look at what’s to come. Today we’ve rounded up our favourite new spring and summer looks to share with you. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for the season ahead!
We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to start on your spring projects. If you’re looking for more ideas we have Pinterest boards dedicated to knit and crochet patterns we love. If we’ve missed your favourite new pattern in our roundup, please share it with us!
Did you know that February is National Grapefruit Month in the United States? Sources are hazy on how this came to be, but as early as 2003 people were celebrating this citrus fruit. Since Grapefruit is one of our favourite scents, we thought we’d devote a post to all things grapefruit!
Pamplemousse (the French word for grapefruit) is a cozy, cropped cabled pullover designed by Thea Colman. Love those cables!
And of course don’t forget our grapefruit scent! Eucalan’s Grapefruit Delicate Wash is scented using essential oil of grapefruit. Grapefruit oil is a natural antiseptic which is particularly beneficial when washing garments that lie close to the skin such as hosiery, workout wear, bathing suits and lingerie. The lanolin enriched formula helps to naturally condition fibres and keep static away. Use on all your delicates and enjoy the fresh, light, invigorating scent.
Except for our unscented version, Eucalan Delicate Wash uses essential natural oils (eucalyptus, jasmine, grapefruit and lavender) as moth and flea inhibitors, antiseptics, and to add gentle scents to your woolens. Eucalan is gentle enough for everything your pets touch (toys, blankets, etc.) and even your cherished four-legged friends themselves! Read on to learn more.
Your pets can actually benefit from being washed in non-toxic Eucalan. The lanolin helps to condition their skin and hair/fur while Eucalyptus essential oil can help to repel fleas.
For small pets (e.g. a small dog, guinea pig, or hedgehog), add anywhere from 5mL/1tsp to 15mL/1 Tbsp of Eucalan to basin or laundry tub. Fill with water. Then wash your friend in the water and Eucalan mixture. You can follow up with a gentle rinse but if they dash away, it’s ok, Eucalan won’t harm their coat or skin. Then remove your friend from the water and give them a towel dry.
For larger animals (e.g. a large dog or horse) we recommend a slightly different method. Get your animal thoroughly wet. Then you can rub full strength Eucalan directly onto their fur or hair. Be sure to start with small amounts as a little goes a long way. Rinse as much of the soap as you can off and then towel dry.
Pet Bedding, Blankets or Saddle Pads
Depending upon the size of item, you may want to wash these in your washing machine, in a large tub outdoors or in your bathtub. You should always launder these items according to the directions indicated, simply substituting Eucalan in place of laundry soap. You can then dry small items in the dryer on a low setting with a tennis ball or dryer balls. For larger items, you can dry those outside on the clothesline or draped over a picnic table or fence. If you’re concerned about discoloration (particularly in white bedding), be sure to dry items out of direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and yellowing.
To launder horse blankets and coolers, spread the blanket flat on the floor/ground. Soak the blanket well with a hose and then dribble Eucalan onto the blanket. Next, scrub your blanket with a clean stable brush. Finally, rinse off the dirty water and hang the blanket on a fence or clothesline to dry.
We hope we’ve given you some new ideas on how to incorporate Eucalan Delicate Wash into your TLC for your cherished pets. If we’ve missed anything, we’d love to hear from you!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while a romantic dinner or getaway to Paris is out this year, there’s no reason not to spoil yourself (or your partner) with something silky and sexy for some indoor fun!
Looking for va-va-voom red or sexy, stunning black? Parfait Lingerie debuted it’s collection over the holiday season, but we think these looks will be around long past Valentine’s Day!
Want to add a stunning piece that can be worn a variety of ways? This Victorian faux suede corset from Corsettery caught our attention!
Worried about choosing the right size? Why not try The Lingerie Gift Box from Barely There Intimates! The gift box includes: the pantie or a garter belt of your choice, a silk sleeping mask, a candle, a hand-drawn lingerie postcard with the option of gift message included and a special bonus.
We also love the Rosy Trio gift set from Amo Ambiance which includes a pink “Hibiscus Passion” bath salt, a “La vie en rose” candle and a “Hot chocolate” hand cream.
And of course our favourite gift for any lingerie lover is the ultimate guide to intimate apparel: In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie by The Lingerie Addict’s Cora Harrington. Signed copies are available on her site!
We hope we’ve given you some ideas and inspiration for making this a sexy or sweet Valentine’s Day to remember!