Autumn Crafting Inspiration

Autumn might very well be our favourite season – the chill in the air, the gorgeous foliage, steaming warm beverages, and of course, our woollens! Each fall we eagerly anticipate the return of crafting season and all the new patterns that inspire us to pick up our needles and hooks. We couldn’t possibly cover everything in one post, but today we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite looks from this season’s new patterns!

Sweaters

Whether you’re looking for a cute cropped sweater, a simple sweater with a yoke motif for interest, or you’re all about that squishy brioche, there are tons of fun new sweaters this season. And if you want to combine the elegant and the casual with a bit of colorwork, why not try a swoncho (a combination of sweater and poncho)? If crochet is your craft, we’re loving cozy cabled cardigans and colorful granny squares to brighten up those gray days.

Shawls

On a chilly day there’s nothing better than wrapping up in an oversized handmade shawl. Go semi-solid with lace or texture for an oversized triangular shawl. Or knit a longer wrap on the bias so you can wrap it multiple times! Combine colors and garter stitch with tassels for a bit of fun. Or try a fun new style – a cushy scarf with pockets to keep your hands warm! Or go with a delicate lace designed to accessorize your favorite coat!

Socks

Winter for us means cold feet – but not if you make your own woolly socks! Whether you prefer short and lacy, plain and simple, colourfully striped, or textured, keep those feet warm all winter long (and hanging out beside the fireplace never hurts either)!

Other Winter Accessories

Winter also means it’s time for hats, mittens, cowls and more! We found a ton of fun hats with gorgeous colourwork and textures in both knit and crochet. We’re also smitten with the cowl offerings from Shetland Wool Week and Interweave Crochet. And there’s even a Mittens and Socks two-fer!

We hope we’ve given you a bit of inspiration to get crafting this fall. If you’re in search of more ideas we have both Knitting and Crochet pattern boards on Pinterest.

Did we miss your favourite new find of the season? Please let us know in the comments!

What’s hot in Lingerie: CURVE NYC 2021

Even though we couldn’t attend, we were eagerly anticipating the return of CURVE NY in person the first week in August. And thanks to previews and posts from our friends who attended we’ve been able to catch up on what’s trending in lingerie. Today we’ve pulled together some of our favourite posts and photos to give you an idea of what’s going to be hot next season and beyond!

Our favourite writeup of the show is from lingerie blogger Ellen Lewis from Lingerie Briefs: The Lingerie Market Goes Live. WOW! Ellen reports that the future is full of colour and prints. It also seems that the Pantone Color of the Year, yellow, is here to brighten up everything and make this season’s offerings golden!

Bright yellow flowery and lacy robes on a hanger.
Samantha Chang via Lingerie Briefs

While sexy lingerie is still an anchor of the show, Ellen also reports that comfort and casual lifestyle has become a dominant theme as well. Be sure to check out her full photo coverage – it tells a beautiful colour story!

Daniel Quintanilla of Daniel+Lauren loves how CURVE NYC celebrates all body types and was particularly taken with Elila Full Figure Intimates, a company that designs intimates and swimsuits for those who wear larger than a size 6. This seasonless collection is all about luxury materials, comfort and wearability.

A black woman poses wearing a grey lace bra and boy shorts matching underwear.
Daniel Quintanilla

Underlines Magazine also did a brief writeup of the show, highlighting some new brands to keep your eye on! Embrago focused on comfort and the bra-free style cultivated by the pandemic, releasing a selection of tops and dresses designed to be worn without a bra for women with curves. 

In the foreground one woman wears leather like leggings and a bra free tank top. In the background another woman poses wearing a bra free black dress, while seated on a stool.
Embrago

The other true standout was AnaOno, a stunning and sexy line of lingerie and intimates designed for women with breast cancer. 

Finally, Design and Style Report has a nice collection of images that give you a bit of a feel for CURVE NYC at Spring Studios. It was a smaller show than in years past, but a welcome look forward to what’s coming next with bright colours and prints!

A collection of images from left to right: a  mannequin in a hot pink bodysuit with decorative lace patterns, an open air rooftop patio, a group of bras, robes, lingerie in bright colors and patterns.
Design and Style

We hope we’ve given you a brief peek into what’s hot and trending in lingerie. Did we miss a source that you love? Please let us know in the comments – we’re always looking for new trendsetters to follow!

Did you know that we have a Pinterest board dedicated to our love of Lingerie? Check it out!

A new FREE pattern from Eucalan: Bucket Hat by Lauren McElroy

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering a new pattern, the Bucket Hat by Lauren McElroy for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter. Today we’re featuring an interview with Lauren (also known as Mother of Purl) to chat about her knit and crochet patterns, art yarns, spinning instruction and more!

Three photos of black women wearing a handknit bucket-shaped hat in a dark coral colorway, on a turquoise background.

An Interview with Lauren McElroy:

Q: How did you come to knitting and designing?

A: I started Knit and Crochet design with the intent to make my own clothes. When I first started I perused patterns on Ravelry, but I don’t think I ever knit a pattern by the instructions! I was very early on, making my own adaptations that made sense for my style and to fit my body in different ways. 

I quickly picked up on the structure of garments and developed my own process for creating made to measure patterns. 

Q: What are your favourite techniques and projects to design?

A: I am without a doubt, a garment designer. I have always been drawn to textiles, fabrics and clothing. I love fashion, and for some reason, I feel, if I’m not able to wear it, there is little incentive for me to make it.

As for technique, my design style can be described as simple shapes, and techniques with exciting accents. 

Q. What are some of your favourite designs?

A: My most worn designs are the Cake Leggings, the Lace Dolman tee, and the Trellis Tee. I am also very fond of the Out of the Frying Pan Raglan Sweater Design

A collage of designs by Lauren McElroy - handknit leggings, two handknit tees with lace detailing and an elaborately striped and twisted stitch sweater design.

Q: What was your inspiration for the Bucket Hat? Did you start with the stitch patterns, or the yarn, or the idea of a hat first?

A: I had a clear vision of what I wanted the hat to look like before I started creating it. 

And for me, that density of fabric on the brim could only be achieved with a single crochet stitch. 

Q. What’s a question you wish I asked?

A: What’s on the horizon for Mother Of Purl… because it would give me the chance to reflect on it myself!

Thanks to Lauren for taking the time to answer our questions!

Bucket Hat

This kicky hat is perfect for fall (or for any season)! As Lauren said, she knew exactly how she envisioned the hat, and achieved this look with a combination of knit and crochet stitches. The first two parts of the hat are knit and the final part, the brim, is crocheted. This quick one-skein project will give you a chance to exercise multiple skills AND result in a stylish new hat for the fall!

A few details:

Yarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Bulky (100% Superwash Wool, 100g/106yds/97m), 1 skein, shown in Terra Cotta 

Needles & Hooks: US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs and 16”/40cm circular knitting needle or size needed to achieve gauge, US Size H (5mm) crochet hook

Gauge: 4 stitches = 1″/2.5 cm in stockinette stitch.

Download your free copy when you sign up for our email list today!

We hope you enjoy the pattern and can’t wait to see your versions! Please share them with us on social media using the hashtag #eucalan.

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5 Ways to Ease the Back to School Transition

After the tumult of 2020, many schools are transitioning back to in person classes this autumn. While many things have not changed (sharpen those pencils, get those spiral-bound notebooks ready!), the back to school routine also has some new challenges this year. Today we’ve collected 5 ways we hope will help you prepare for the 2021 school year!

Tip #1: Adjust that bedtime routine.

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your children’s success at school. While virtual learning and summer breaks may have meant later bedtimes, there’s no time like the present to try and readjust to a healthy routine. Young children (ages 6-12) need anywhere between 9 and 12 hours of sleep a night, and even those teenagers who like to stay up late (ages 13-18) could use a solid 8 hours of sleep (and 10 is better). Start earlier by dimming the lights, turning off electronic devices and limiting caffeine. If your children respond to scents, try using Eucalan in our Lavender scent to launder bed linens. Lavender essential oils aid in relaxation and can also improve the quality of their sleep.

A lavender sleep mask on a background of lavender fields.

Tip #2: Stock up on school supplies.

Get your homework stations ready, and provide your kids with all the supplies they’ll need for the school year. Check with schools first to see if they have any school supply lists. Many students will need access to a computer or tablet to complete lessons and/or homework assignments, and headphones are a must so everyone can listen to their own content without disturbing others. Then stock up on supplies appropriate for the age of your student, like ​​pencils, erasers, pens, calculators, crayons/markers/colored pencils, glue sticks, paper and notebooks. If you want to keep supplies tidy, check out our Back to School Pinterest board for ideas on homemade caddies. We also have a tutorial on how to reuse empty Eucalan bottles and washi tape to create your own storage containers. Finally, if your child is heading back to school in person, make sure that you’ve got a supply of hand sanitizer for when soap and water aren’t handy!

Tin cans and buckets hold colored pencils, pens scissors, paintbrushes and rulers. Text reads: "Project idea: Upcycle or recycle cans and plastic bottles to corral school supplies.

Tip #3: Keep those face masks at the ready.

As this school year kicks off, many schools are requiring students to wear face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. That’s going to mean everyone needs quite a few masks, and those masks will need frequent laundering. Whether you hand or machine wash your masks, you can use Eucalan in place of regular laundry detergent. Our Lavender scent even has natural antiseptic properties. And all of our scents will keep your face masks fresh and clean and smelling amazing!

Three colorful face masks with elastic ear straps. Text reads: Pro tip: Keep your masks fresh and smelling sweet with Eucalan."

Tip #4: Create a morning checklist.

Let’s face it, after staying at home for so long we’re all rusty at packing up supplies and ensuring we have everything we need. Create a quick morning checklist that can live on the fridge or a whiteboard that includes items to pack like school supplies, homework and notebooks, lunches and snacks, computers or tablets and charging cords, clothes and equipment for sports or extracurricular activities, plus water bottles, hand sanitizer, masks and anything else that can be easily forgotten. 

A small whiteboard sits next to a white pitcher with a pink-tipped rose in it. Text reads "Pro tip: Create a morning checklist so nothing is forgotten."

Tip #5: Maintain that flexibility.

The past 18 months have taught us that we have to roll with the changes, and no one is more resilient than our children. Try modeling an open mind and flexibility as situations and plans change. Encourage your child to communicate openly with teachers and school administrators about questions and concerns and, if necessary, help them find counseling or other opportunities to maintain their mental health. Speaking literally, everyone benefits from some physical activity and flexibility. Keeping limber with yoga or taking a short walk outside does wonders for the mind, body and spirit and can help build reserves to draw on in stressful situations. 

A young woman holds a yoga pose on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the mountains. Text reads "A tree that is unbending is easily broken. - Lao Tzu"

We hope we’ve given you a few ways to better prepare for the 2021 school year. Do you have more ideas? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, on Instagram (@eucalan or using the hashtag #eucalan) or in our Facebook Group!

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A turquoise polka dot backpack rests on a pink background. Small round eyeglasses rest on top of the backpack. Unzipped pockets reveal a laptop and colored pencils. A stapler and a pair scissors rest nearby.

Freshen up your home with Eucalan!

Cleaning rugs, drapes and upholstery isn’t sexy, but it does keep your home welcoming and smelling fresh and clean. Eucalan Delicate Wash is formulated to be extremely gentle on a variety of fabrics, and requires no rinsing which makes it perfect for spot cleaning hard to launder items. Let us make a tedious job a little easier for you!

Spot Cleaning for Rugs

A woman in jeans walks across a white rug leaving muddy footprints behind.

Dirt and spills are a part of life, but you can use Eucalan to clean those spots and keep your rugs and carpets looking like new! First, add a capful or two of Eucalan to a basin of tepid water to dilute it. Using a soft brush, scrub the affected area with the diluted Eucalan until the spot disappears. Place a clean thick towel on the damp area and press on it (try walking on it!) to remove excess water. Good as new and smelling amazing!

Cleaning Rugs

A beagle puppy lies on a carpet staring at the camera.

If there aren’t problematic spots but your rugs could use a good general cleaning, Eucalan can help there as well! Follow the same directions as above and just apply to the entire rug. Or, if you’re using a machine to clean your carpets, add Eucalan in place of a traditional rug cleaner.

Eucalan is non-toxic, so it’s perfectly safe for all your furry friends as well!

Cleaning Upholstery

A cozy couch with lots of soft pillows and blankets.

Could your couches and armchairs use a little freshening? Simply dilute Eucalan in a basin of tepid water. Then use a soft brush and spot clean affected areas as described above. Wipe off dirty suds, blot with a clean towel and leave to dry for several hours. Then cozy up and enjoy!

Cleaning Sheers and Drapes

Sheers and drapes held back with an ornate cord frame a window. A green plant rests on the sill.

Although sheers and drapery do not typically get dirty, they do accumulate dust and cobwebs. A quick clean a few times a year keeps them looking fresh and bright. Follow the directions for machine or hand washing depending on the quantity you have. Keep like colours together to avoid any unintentional colour transfer. Then tumble drapes or sheers in the dryer on low heat to remove any wrinkles. Re-hang while still damp, but wait until they are completely dry to tie back.

We hope we’ve given you some tips to make cleaning rugs and carpets, upholstery and drapes a little easier. Do you have tricks to make these tedious chores fly by? We’d love to hear from you!

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10 Great Drinks to Keep Cool!

Summertime is here and the temperatures are soaring! We spent the last few weeks poring over Pinterest recipes to find some treats to help us keep cool and hydrated. Today we’ve highlighted some of our favourite family-friendly recipes as well as a few for adults to enjoy. We hope these will inspire you to sip something delicious this summer!

5 Family Friendly Quaffs

Cool drinks including yellow and purple blueberry lemonade, red Italian creme soda, frozen and slushy peach sherbet punch, cherry limeade in a pitcher, and pink/orange/yellow "mermaid water."
  1. Blueberry Lemonade from Butter & Bliss: Though it takes a little bit of preparation, we love this recipe! First you’ll make a simple syrup from pureed blueberries and sugar. Then you’ll add lemon juice and water to taste. And finally add fresh blueberries and lemon slices as garnish! (Bonus: if you can, go blueberry picking as a family outing and then settle down with this sweet treat!)
  2. Vanilla Raspberry Italian Creme Soda from Wanderzest: This gorgeous drink looks like it could be alcoholic, but this one is 100% family friendly. You’ll need club soda, flavoured syrups (here she uses Torani Vanilla and Raspberry) and a touch of cream or half and half to add a little richness. If you want, you can also keep whipped cream and maraschino cherries on hand for garnish!
  3. Strawberry Peach Sherbet Punch by Mama Loves Food: Expecting guests? Whip up a batch of this surefire hit! You’ll need orange sherbet, frozen peaches and strawberries, white grape juice and ginger ale, plus lots of ice. And that’s it!
  4. Cherry Limeade by I am Baker: If you’ve ever been to Sonic in the United States, you know this drink is super popular there. But you can make it at home easily! You’ll need fresh limes, superfine sugar, Sprite (or another white soda), maraschino cherries, lime wedges and some crushed ice.
  5. Mermaid Water Mocktail by My Heavenly Recipes: The latest trend is layered drinks that look like mermaid tails. This particular version has pineapple juice, and two flavours of Gatorade, but you can experiment with different fruit juices and flavored drinks or waters. Fill a glass full of ice, and start by pouring the thickest juice on the bottom. Keep adding layers slowly and watch as they blend slightly to create a deliciously cool drink!

5 Adult Libations 

A collage of cocktails: a peach colored Moscow Mule, blackberry tequila spritzer, lightly pink gin and grapefruit cocktail, a frozen pineapple  margarita with a sugared rim, and a watermelon frose slushie.
  1. Peach Moscow Mule from The Speckled Palate: Summer means fresh peaches and this sweet and slightly spicy treat makes use of the bounty. Start with a cinnamon simple syrup and some pureed fresh peaches. Then you’ll add ginger beer, vodka and lime juice. Don’t forget the copper mugs!
  2. Blackberry Tequila Spritzer from With Spice: Though it looks like a fruity drink in need of an umbrella, this cocktail packs a sophisticated blend of flavours. We do love our simple syrups and this one starts with fresh blackberries! Then you’ll add the good tequila, and finish it off with ½ an ounce of your favourite red wine. You can go earthy with an old world red, or enhance the blackberry sweetness with a Merlot. This one is sure to become a summer favourite.
  3. The Perfect Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail from Boxwood Avenue: Squeeze a little fresh grapefruit juice and combine with simple syrup, your favourite gin, and a splash of club soda and you’re on your way to enjoying your evening!
  4. Frozen Pineapple Margaritas by the Real Food Dietitians: Blend your way to a cool, refreshing treat with a bit of a kick. You’ll need fresh or frozen pineapple, lime juice, orange juice and your favourite tequila. And rim the glasses with either coarse salt or coconut sugar, or add a straw and you’re ready to enjoy!
  5. Watermelon Frose from Evolving Table: Fresh watermelon, rose wine, mint and honey blends up into a sweet and icy treat that will make you forget you’re not poolside on vacation!

We hope you found something delicious you’d like to try. If you’re looking for more tasty inspiration, we’ve got a Pinterest board full of Summer Recipes to try!

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5 Ideas for Great Summer Staycations

While we’re ever so eager to travel, we’ve realized that this year is going to be the year of the staycation. If you can move around town a bit, we’ve got some fun ideas on how to play tourist in your own town, but if you’re still sticking close to home, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of the great ideas we found for making your staycation feel like a real vacation!

Explore another country.

A collection of travel objects: laptop, hat, sunglasses, shoes, camera, a world map, passports, a toy play, plus a cup of coffee and a succulent.

Even if you can’t travel to the destination of your dreams in person, you can go there virtually! Browse Pinterest for authentic recipes, and cook a few dishes from the region you’d like to visit. Research the local attractions, particularly the museums, and see if they have virtual tours that you can take, right from your own couch. (If you’re wondering what you can see virtually, check out this article from Globotrek!) Listen to music or watch a movie made in the region. If this sounds daunting, check out this article which already has suggestions for adventures to Italy, Thailand, France, India and more.

Go camping in your own backyard.

A red and tan tent on the lawn in a backyard.

Sometimes the best adventures can be found in your own backyard! Pitch a tent, set up some comfortable bedding and get your ghost stories ready. Once it gets dark, look up into the sky and use some of these tips for great backyard stargazing. Have a campfire if you can, but if you can’t, use some of these recipes to make s’mores or s’mores inspired treats!

Play tourist in your town.

A man and a woman consult a map. Their backs are to us, the sidewalk is in front of them.

If you’re free to move about town, get out and see what there is to see! Maybe you’ve been there before, or maybe you haven’t, but now is the time to explore all the wonderful things your town has to offer. Explore a new park, try a new restaurant, or visit a museum or attraction you haven’t been to before. Or learn more about geocaching and go on a virtual treasure hunt. (Bonus: this is something you can continue to do when you’re able to travel again!)

Explore the great outdoors.

A man, woman and two small girls hike in a forest.

Do you love being outdoors during warmer weather? Search for trails and short hikes near you, and head out for a day of fresh air in the great outdoors. Be sure to bring comfy shoes, and plenty of water and snacks. And if you’re a first-time hiker or a little nervous, check out this post for 6 hiking mistakes to avoid!

Have a DIY spa day.

Bath  salts and bombs, oils and a loofah rest on the edge of the tub.

If all you really want is a day to relax and pamper yourself, then we’ve got some ideas there as well! Light some candles, draw a bath (with lovely bath bombs of course!), fix yourself some fancy flavoured spa water and settle in. If buying a few treats isn’t in the budget, here are 25 great ideas for using items you already have around the house. If you’re up for trying a few new things, don’t forget our Jasmine Balm which will leave your hands feeling silky smooth and ready to craft!

We hope we’ve given you some ideas for staycations to enjoy this year. If you’ve got an idea we’ve missed, we’d love to hear it! Share with us on our Facebook page, or tag us on social media with the hashtag #eucalanfan

Need more ideas? We’ve got a Pinterest board that we’re adding to every day!

A collage of summer vacation ideas: hiking, camping, a couple consulting a map, a computer plus map for travel planning and a bathtub with bath salts.

Summer 2021 Swimsuit Trends

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!

Keyhole Cutouts

Keyhole cutouts are back for another season! Go for a bit of a plunge with the Olive Halter Plus Size One Piece from Cupshe. Or make it a little bit strappy with the Gabifresh Cup Sized Wrap Underwire Bikini Set by Swimsuits for All. If you’re up for something unusual, check out the Aster One Piece by Cult Gaia.

3 Swimsuits featuring keyholes: An olive halter one-piece with a keyhole at the chest, a bright pink bikini with lots of wide straps and an apricot colored one piece with a large flower cutout.

Asymmetrical Silhouettes

Asymmetrical is in and oh so cool! Go for something sleek and modern with the Rib Asymmetrical One Piece from Athleta. Or have some modern fun in the sun with Les Essentiels Scarlett Bikini from Net-a-Porter. Or combine asymmetrical and a keyhole cutout with The Reversible Claudia by Solid & Striped. (Bonus: this suit is part of the Solid & Striped sustainable swimwear line meaning its produced from fabric leftovers, fishing nets and industrial plastic which reduces the carbon footprint of fabric production!)

A collage  of 3 asymmetrical swimsuits: a black one piece ribbed suit with one shoulder strap, a burnt orange two piece swimsuit with one shoulder strap, a reversible one piece with aqua and white wave print, with a side cutout and one strap.

Glitz & Glamour

Glam it up with gorgeous shimmery fabrics for a little of that Hollywood glitz! Nothing says glamour like gold – we love the Beach Shimmer Bikini by Loft. Or add some ties (another trend!) with the Lurex Swimsuit with Bows from Violeta by Mango. If you’re lounging poolside, add some accessories and let the Blush and Gold Pineapple Set from Doll shine!

3 shimmery swimsuits: a gold bikini, a dark blue/violet lurex one piece with bows at the hips, a rose gold bikini with gold pineapple print

Ties & Belts

This year we’re seeing a focus on details like ties and belts. The Beach Wrap One Piece Swimsuit by Loft is the picture of elegance. Whereas the Grace Bikini by Free People adds a bit of that shimmer plus fun ties. Or go wild with the animal print in the Beach Riot Tie One Piece Swimsuit by Anthropologie.

3 swimsuits with ties or belts: a black one piece with wrapping and ruching across the front with a gold ring accent, a shimmer light blue bikini with ties at the waist and center of the bra, an animal print one piece with a decorative fabric belt tied around the middle

We hope we’ve given you a bit of a taste of what’s hot this year! If you’re looking for more inspiration, we have a Pinterest board dedicated to beautiful swimwear. Now go forth and enjoy the water!

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A flat lay photo showing a rainbow bikini top, a camera, some seashells, sunscreen, sunglasses and a raffia summer hat.

Summer Sock Inspiration

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!

A collage of 4 different socks - stripey, ridged, slightly lacey, and basketweave.

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!

A selection of cabled socks (grey and yellow), lacy socks (pink and yellow) and colorwork socks (white with pink cacti all over)

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.

A collage of crochet socks: plain grey, mosaic like colorwork, striped and lacy lavender

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)
  • And the Lacy Socks by Kristin TenDyke will add a delicate sock to your summer wardrobe. (Ravelry, Simply Crochet Issue 108)

School’s out… we’re FREE!

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

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A new FREE pattern from Eucalan: Branches and Blooms Double-wrap Cowl by Michael Harrigan

Updated August 1, 2021: As of today, Branches and Blooms is no longer available for free. However you can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.

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!

A lavender lace cowl, double wrapped around the neck of a mannequin.

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

Two shawls in a photo collage. On the left a blue shawl with lacy zigzags down the spine and along the edges is draped in a tree. On the right a variegated orange/pink shawl with a center spine of lace diamonds is wrapped around a mannequin.
L to Right: Twists and Turns and 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!

On the left, a black woman smiles holding a colorwork cowl in white, yellow-green and red. On the right, a grey-haired white man wears a long colorwork scarf with grey and brown.
L to R: Berries, Leaves & Vines Cowl and the Windows Wrap.

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.

A lavender lace cowl lies flat on a table covered with a mosaic tablecloth.
Branches & Blooms Double-wrap Cowl

Q. What’s a question you wish I asked?

A: I wish you had asked about my book! 😉

Travel-inspired Knits is 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.

A book cover with a background of colorwork knitting, the cover reads "Travel-inspired Knits, 10 Original Patterns for Hand Knit Accessories  by Michael Harrigan."

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!

A lavender lace cowl is draped around the neck of a mannequin.
Branches & Blooms Double-wrap Cowl

A few details:

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners EXQUISITE (100 grams, 800 meters, 80% Falklands wool; 20% silk): 1 skein Portobello (#525)

Needles: US 2 (2.75mm) 24”/60cm circular knitting needle or size needed to achieve gauge.

Gauge: 27 stitches and 41 rounds = 4″/10 cm in Branches and Blooms stitch pattern.

Purchase a copy from the designer on Ravelry!

We hope you enjoy the pattern and can’t wait to see your versions! Please share them with us on social media using the hashtag #eucalan.

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