18 New Patterns for Autumn!

Autumn officially starts next week and we couldn’t be more excited to dive back into crafting gorgeous garments and accessories. September is the most exciting time of the year, when all the new patterns debut and “castonitis” is at an all time high. Whether you knit or crochet, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite new looks for this season! 

Cozy Autumn Sweaters

One of our favourite traditions is to knit or crochet ourselves a new sweater for the winter months ahead. And with so many new patterns to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few choices! 

A collage of sweaters: a yellow cardigan with bobbles; a colourwork yoked sweater; a cabled  gray turtleneck; a man wearing a cabled blue sweater, a scrappy, stripey crochet raglan all in blues, a fluffy persimmon colored zip up pullover.

For the knitters: Choose from a cardigan that evokes wandering in a meadow, or have a little fun with colourwork. A cozy turtleneck is a classic choice and this year we’re seeing more patterns for men too! 

For the crocheters: Got a lot of scraps in your stash? Turn them into a fabulous sweater! Or get cozy with a zip-up pullover with lots of texture.

Fun Fall Shawls

Shawls make great accessories to an outfit, and add lots of warmth on those chilly days. Plus they’re just plain fun to make!

A collage of shawls: a gorgeous red cabled triangular shawl; a squishy garter stitch shawl striped in pink and green; an apple green shawl with diamond lace; a rectangular geometric slip stitch wrap in shades of blue; a granny square crochet shawl in brights pinks, purples, blue and yellows; a yellow triangle crochet shawl worn like a bandana.

For the knitters: This season you’ve got your choice of cables, squishy garter stitch, lace or mosaic (slip-stitch) patterning. 

For the crocheters: Grab your hooks and hop aboard the granny stripes train – so hot this year! Looking for something soothing? How about a one-row repeat with a fun border!

Accessories and More

Chilly days call for warm, woolies! Whether that’s hats, mits, socks, or cowls, we’ve got you covered. And we couldn’t resist including a pretty pillow to add some autumn touches to your coziest spot at home!

A collage of accessories: an orange and teal colourwork hat with earflaps;  dusty purple cabled wristers (fingerless mitts); green socks with a cabled panel; cushy white and orange crochet socks; a bandana style cowl crocheted in shades of pale pink and sage green; a colourful pillow made out of granny squares and puff stitches in colors of cream, gold and burgundy.

For our knitters: A colourwork beanie with optional ear flaps? Yes please! Or a quick set of wristers that make a wonderful gift. And don’t forget the toes – they’d love some wooly warmth too.

For our crocheters: Cozy, squishy socks are perfect for cuddling up on the couch with a good book. Or whip up a quick cowl to keep the chill off your neck. And oh that gorgeous pillow!

We hope there’s a little something for everyone here, but if you don’t see a project that calls your name, we’ve got Pinterest boards full of knit and crochet pattern inspiration!

As you’re crafting this autumn, don’t forget the perfect finish: a spa treatment in Eucalan Delicate Wash. We’d love to see what you make this season – tag us in your photos with the hashtag #eucalanfan!

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A woman wears a fuzzy red crochet sweater with the turtleneck pulled up over her mouth and nose.

A new FREE pattern from Eucalan: Clapham Shrug by Jill Wolcott

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering a new pattern, the Clapham Shrug by Jill Wolcott, for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter. Today we’re featuring an interview with Jill, and chat about her design inspiration. Keep reading to learn more!

A red-headed woman poses in a garden wearing a lacy pink handknit shrug.

An Interview with Jill Wolcott:

Q: How did you come to knitting and designing?

A: I came to knitting through design. I went to technical school for pattern making and garment construction, then moved on to my design education. I was primarily a sewer, although I knit an occasional sweater.  

After a move to a new city, I found myself needing a focus as I couldn’t find a job. I saw a knitting machine, and spent the next eight years learning knitwear and designing. In about 1994 I began knitting by hand in my off hours and found so much satisfaction in it that I started to do both hand and machine knitwear design.

We moved to San Francisco in late 1998, and I never again had room to have my knitting machines in operation. By that time I was really only interested in hand knits, so I transitioned. I also started teaching at FIDM as a regular part-time instructor. I taught in both the design and product development areas, in course areas that balanced my creativity and technical expertise. I loved guiding students through their personal and professional growth, and I loved finding ways to share my knowledge and my enthusiasm for being a creative person.

We moved to Seattle in 2016 and I no longer teach except for my own business (online). I love to teach (don’t love the prep as much!) and to help knitters and knitwear professionals grow. I teach grading for knitwear which is a much-needed specialty as we expand sizing.  I have always focused on fit and that is an integral part of my design, and how I teach.

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

A: My favorite technique is generally whatever I am focused on at that moment.  Fit is crucial to my design point of view, whether designing accessories or garments. I am now focused on creating patterns that can be Any Size.Any Gauge. These are based on spreadsheets that my colleague Jamie and I build (mostly she does the building and I am the design and fit brains).  This work allows me to design a shape, then refine how we can make it fit a variety of bodies based on individual measurements. Right now I am also working on updating my sizing tables to reflect new numbers available for both Missy and Plus size bodies, including those over 55.  It is a job in itself!

I love working in a collaborative environment. I work solo, but love doing collaborations with other designers, yarn companies, and especially with someone like Jamie who shares my fit interest, but comes at it from a completely different background. I am working on a book distilling all I’ve learned, Sweater & Life Adjustments, In 15 Lessons.

Q. What are some of your favourite designs?

A: I became obsessed with drop stitches about four years ago and I’ve done lots of things using them.  I mostly love creating things that fulfill whatever my design vision might be.  A few of my favorites are found in the Amalfi Collection.

Photos of patterns in the Amalfi Collection: A blue scarf with dropped stitches, a fall wrap/capelet in red and orange with pops of green, a red cowl with white and black accents, and a a lacy purple cowl in layers.

Q: What was your inspiration for the Clapham Shrug? Did you start with the stitch patterns, or the yarn, or the idea of a shrug first?

A: I started with two skeins of the same, but different intensities, of yarn that I wanted to design something in.  The dyer has a goth/punk vibe, so my mind went to Vivienne Westwood.  Clapham Road is where her first London shop was. I recreated a stitch pattern from a sweater I bought that I love, then worked out how to make two sleeves that buttoned together.  

I loved the result, and I felt that it would work in another type of yarn and have a different, but still Vivienne Westwood inspiration, so I did the lace weight version. Instead of two skeins, we worked from both ends of a skein, so the yarn plays out differently in the two pieces. Coordinated, but not match-y.  I say we because the Clapham Junction sample was knitted by Judy Ellis of Handworks, Ltd. who does most of my sample knitting.

Inspiration is always hard to pin down. I like the idea of shrugs, but they are a difficult fit for many bodies. I feel like the Clapham Shrug works because it only seeks to create a yoke and sleeves. The way it is buttoned together can be varied for different looks. I love buttons, so this allowed me to dive into my collection of vintage and other buttons.  I always look in my drawers before I go look for new ones. The buttons on the DK version are substituting for ones I couldn’t find (a chronic problem for a creative person). I ordered them online in the early months of the pandemic and I was delighted when they arrived.  They are not as awesome as the others (I did eventually find them!), but a little younger, which suits the yarn.

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

A: There are a few things I’d love to add here!

Notes on Blocking

I think it is appropriate to talk here about blocking and caring for your hand or other knits. I both wet block and steam block both my swatches and finished knitting. Wet blocking allows the yarn to relax into what it will be, and steam blocking gives a little extra polish to the fabric. If you’re looking for a few tips and tricks, I do have some Steam Blocking Videos you can check out.  

I wash my hand knits in the gentle cycle of my washer. If there is a question about agitating them, I simply let them soak, spin out the water, then lay them out. That is also what I did when I had a top-load machine. I don’t send any of my knits, including my husband’s, to the dry cleaner.  Washing will generally improve them!

But you need to know what will happen, which means getting knowledgeable about fiber content, yarn structure, and color fastness.  If you have a swatch, try out blocking method(s) on the swatch; it should give you a fairly good idea of what will happen when you wash the finished product.  

Did you know that cashmere loves to be washed?  Take the money you will save on dry cleaning and use it to buy better quality cashmere.  I have sweaters that are more than 20 years old that are still fabulous.  Less expensive versions didn’t hold up or were scratchy to my skin.  

Super wash merino grows quite a bit when introduced to water, so blocking can be a little scary.  A quick spin in the dryer to remove water and remind the fibers to contract will give the best result.  If you didn’t block your swatch you may be very surprised at the end result.

Fibers that your skin finds scratchy will generally not improve over time or by treating with softeners. So indulge in things you can wear for a long time, enjoy working with them as you make things, then enjoy them into the future as finished pieces.  Your cost per wear will definitely balance out over time!  For kids, yeah, grab that durable, washable yarn. They are not going to wear it that long.

Notes on Sizing

I am also passionate about sizing and fit. I ended up knowing most of what there is to know about grading, sizing, and fit, so I teach professional development classes. I am embarking on a new pattern format (Clapham is one version) which allows the knitter more control, and allows me to do less pattern writing. Ultimately I am seeking to provide patterns that will fit any body within a specific design. My lovely colleague Jamie builds amazing Excel work books to figure everything out.  Sign up for my newsletter and read about my sizing adventures on my blog. I am leading a Sizing [R]Evolution, the purpose of which is to get away from categorizing, to teach about your individual body, and to make designs that work for nearly everyone. 

My Website is full of Amazing Things!

I have a type of dyslexia where I have a hard time with directional cues and cannot flip things in my brain as quickly as I want to. Also, I mix up numbers. Oy. As a result, because of issues I had with standard charts, I came up with a charting system called Action charts. It is WYSIWYD (what you see is what you do), so instead of representing the right side of the knitting, it shows you what you are seeing or doing. Purls are always purls, knits are always knits, etc. It has given a lot of knitters access to charts that could not previously suss them out.

You can find a few of my favorite tools on my website linked below:

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

The Clapham Shrug

A red-headed woman wears a purple and grey shrug, with pops of yellow/green. She stands in front of a similarly colored hydrangea bush holding a french flower bucket.

A few details: The Clapham Shrug includes the 2 latest patterns from designer Jill Wolcott. Featuring her “any size, any gauge” technique, this sleeve and yoke combine and button together to make a shrug you can knit in laceweight (Clapham Junction) or DK (Clapham Road). Both patterns are included together in one PDF along with schematics, written charts, and worksheets to help you knit the perfect size. You’re going to love this new autumn knit!

Yarn: Squish DK from Fiona Kay Knits (Clapham Road); Meridian from Anzula Luxury Fibers (Clapham Junction)

Needles: US2/2.75mm and US 4/3.5mm (Clapham Road); US2/2.75mm and US 3/3.25mm (Clapham Junction)

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

A red-headed woman stands with her back to the camera, showing off a delicate pink lacy handknit shrug.

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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How to Wash a Wedding Dress with Eucalan

You spend hours searching for the perfect dress: looking through magazines, figuring out your style, the details you can’t live without and then finally deciding which dress was the right one for you. But now your wedding day has come and gone. Luckily, you have a multitude of photos and memories to always remind you of your special day. To remind you of how beautiful you looked in your wedding dress and how it made you feel.

A collection of wedding dresses hanging on a rack, in different colors (white, ivory, champagne) and different fabrics (lace, satin, tulle).

So now it’s time to properly care for the garment that you so meticulously chose for your big day. It can come as a bit of a surprise when your beautiful dress has a dirty hem, grass-stained train, or cake-speckled bust.  And while you may not want to wear your dress again, you do want to clean and preserve it so it will keep it looking beautiful for years to come.

Preservation kits can run you anywhere between $250 and $400. Though some dry cleaners offer specialized wedding cleaning services, they are expensive. They also use harsh chemicals that can damage delicate embroidery, sequins, and beadwork.

A white wedding dress laid out on a chaise lounge, the camera is focused on the  delicate embroidered lace that adorns the hem and train.

But did you know that you can actually clean and preserve your wedding dress yourself? No one will take more care in cleaning your own dress than you. By using Eucalan, the process is far less expensive and significantly better for the environment. Eucalan is non-toxic, biodegradable, free of optical brighteners, phosphates, synthetic fragrance and dye – so it’s a perfect choice for ensuring the preservation of your wedding dress for years to come.  

Washing your wedding dress is so much easier than you’d think! We can walk you through the whole process step by step:

  1. Add Eucalan to your washing machine or bathtub filled with tepid water.
  2. Immerse your dress in the water and allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Add Eucalan full strength (straight from the bottle, not diluted in water) to tough stains and rub gently with a soft bristled toothbrush until stain disappears. Your train and hem will likely need the most effort.
  4. Squeeze your dress gently with your hands to incorporate soap and water through the fabric.
  5. Soak the dress for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Eucalan does not require rinsing, but if you wish to, give it a gentle rinse under fresh tepid water.
  7. Remove from water and squeeze gently or spin out excess water.
  8. You may roll your dress in a fresh, clean towel, but be sure to go slowly and so any embellishments don’t stick to your towel fibres.
  9. Hang your dress to dry, away from direct sunlight or heat.
We see a bride in a wedding dress, holding a bouquet of pink colored roses. The back of her dress is delicately beaded, and satin ribbons lace up the back.

If you are still counting down the days to your wedding, it’s worth keeping some Eucalan stain treating towelettes in your emergency bag. These handy wipes make it quick to clean up any little bits of make-up, food, or grass and such from outdoor photo shoots. Give one to each member of your wedding party, as well – catch stains before they set to keep everyone looking their best!

We hope we’ve given you some tips and tricks on how best to clean and preserve your treasured dress. If you love all things wedding related, you should also check out our Wedding Pinterest Board!

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How to wash a wedding dress with Eucalan: A wedding dress hangs on a hanger against a mushroom colored wall. The bodice is large flowery lace, and the skirt is tulle.

5 Ways to Ease the Back to School Transition

This post originally appeared on our blog in August of 2021 but we’ve updated it to make it more relevant to you today!

Even though we’re enjoying these last few long days of summer, school bells will be ringing before we know it. While many things have not changed (sharpen those pencils, get those spiral-bound notebooks ready!), your “back-to-school” routine comes with new challenges each year. Today we’ve collected 5 tried and true tips we hope will help you prepare for the new school year ahead!

Tip #1: Adjust that bedtime routine.

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your children’s success at school. While 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. Even those teenagers (ages 13-18) who like to stay up late could use a solid 8 hours of sleep (and 10 is better). Start your evenings 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 bottle of Eucalan Lavender sits on a wooden railing, along with delicate lilacs.
Two children wearing knit sweater nap next to each other on a bed with grey sheets.

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. 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 or upcycled caddies.

A white desk draw is open revealing a number of different kinds and colors of pencils. The desk drawer rests lightly against a yellow chair.

Tip #3: Create a comfortable, distraction-free study space.

Whether it’s buckling down and starting homework, or trying to engage in virtual learning on a cold weather day, your student needs a place where they can concentrate on their schoolwork.  If your living space permits, it’s best to create a permanent work space. A dedicated space gives your student a place that feels comfortable and familiar while escaping the hassle of constantly shuffling supplies. We perused Pinterest and found tons of great inspiration for workspaces, including 35 Homeschool Room Ideas for Small Spaces from Homeschool Superfreak. The ones below are our favourites for repurposing small spaces into lovely learning environments.

A collage of two study areas. On the left, a closet has been turned into a homework station complete with computer, desktop for working, and baskets of school supplies. On the right, a small area on a landing has been turned into three school stations complete with bulletin boards, supplies, comfortable chairs and room for laptops.

Tip #4: Create a morning checklist.

Let’s face it, after summer camp and vacations 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. Include items to pack like homework, notebooks, water bottles, lunches or snacks, computers or tablets, their charging cords, clothes and equipment for extracurricular activities, and anything else that can be easily forgotten. 

A bulletin board with colorful Back To School, Monday and Tuesday signs pinned to it.

Tip #5: Maintain that flexibility.

The past few years 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 father and son bike together on a marked bike path, along pedestrians strolling with a Ferris wheel in the background.

We hope we’ve given you a few ways to better prepare for the 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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From the back, a small child in a yellow raincoat with a blue backpack walks away from us.

5 Tips to Organize Your Crafting Space

If you love to craft, chances are you have a healthy stash of supplies that you love using. The challenge is creating a work space that is beautiful and inspiring, while keeping your supplies neat and tidy so you can find them when you need them! Sometimes that project alone feels overwhelming. So we dove into Pinterest to find some of the best tips and tricks for organizing your space to turn it into your dream crafting environment. Keep reading to find out more about what we found!

Create a Workspace

A collage of workspaces: on the left a white Ikea table, with storage underneath and two stools; in the middle a large tabletop with storage underneath displaying a rainbow of fabric; on the right a desk inside a small closet.

No matter what your chosen craft, you need a space where you can work. This could be a larger table for fabric cutting or assembly, or a smaller desk for a computer or a sewing machine. Either way you’ll need a flat surface where you can work. We love this Ikea hack from Landeelu where she takes a table top, some legs, and adds extra storage with a square shelving unit. Or check out The Little Green Bean’s DIY Craft Room Island for a cutting table, sewing space, and fabric storage all in one. If space is tight, use what you’ve got. This gorgeous space from Beneath My Heart creates a flat surface and storage in an unused closet. Remove the doors to keep the space open, or leave them on to hide things away!

Think Vertical

A collage of photos using vertical space: on the left, a yarn wall made of pegboard, screws and cakes of yarn; in the middle diagonal shelving holds a variety of colorful yarn; on the right a pegboard wall holds ribbons, threads, paint, scissors and more in a rainbow of colors.

Some of the best storage can be vertical! Your walls, the backs of doors, bookcases, and more can be great ways to store materials within eyesight, while making use of wasted space in a room. Want yarn storage that is also an art piece? Try creating an incredible yarn wall using this tutorial from HeartHookHome. Or add shelving units above your workspace like RepeatCrafterMe to create a beautiful, and functional, tableau to inspire you while you work. If you’re struggling with a small space, the secret to wall storage is a pegboard. Check out these gorgeous ones curated by That’s So Gemma for more inspiration.

Do-It-Yourself or Thrift

A collage of DIY/Thrifted Items: on the left, a metal locker holds yarn in a variety of colors; in the middle, a shower caddy is repurposed to hold wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors, cards and gift tags; on the right wooden crates are stacked to create a storage space which holds a variety of yarn.

If you’ve got a craft room in need of organizing with next to no budget, you can likely create the craft space of your dreams with Do-It-Yourself projects or thrifted items. We love this AMAZING wool locker that WoodWoolStool found. And check out how Better Homes and Gardens upcycled a metal shower caddy into the perfect gift wrap and card writing station! You can likely find bookcases or unused bureaus at garage sales and thrift stores for very little – add paint or contact paper to make them match your decor, or just use them to keep your craft supplies tidy and out of sight. If new furniture isn’t in the cards, create your own. How cool are these DIY crate shelves from the Make & Do Crew?

Find a Place for Everything

A collage of storage solutions: on the left, glass jars hold pomoms, scraps of rickrack and more; in the middle plastic envelopes in a bin hold paper scraps; on the right glass jars and baskets hold crayons, paper, markers, paints and more.

This one is harder because it involves cleaning and organizing what you have (more about that next). But as you start to build out your craft space, make sure that everything has a place it belongs. Items will be easier to find when you need them, the space will allow you to see what you have, and you’ll always have a place to return things to. In addition to pegboard walls and shelves, think about how you can store bits and bobs and leftovers. How beautiful are these glass jars filled with pompoms, rickrack, and leftover bits of ribbon and yarn from Sweet Red Poppy? And this tutorial on organizing scrapbook paper scraps from Aubree Originals would also work for sewing or knitting patterns, or other paper crafts supplies. Even if you just want to better organize your children’s art supplies, a few shelves in a closet, some glass jars and baskets can do the trick – check out how Rachel Parcell created order out of chaos

Cleaning and Organizing

We’ve covered lots of tips and tricks for organizing over the years that we think can help you if you’re overwhelmed by the project. 

  1. Take Inventory – We know every crafter has tons of supplies. It’s time to see what you have! Gather up all of your supplies together in one place. Don’t overthink it – just grab them all and bring them somewhere that you can get comfortable to do some sorting and evaluating. 
  2. Start Sorting – We invoke Marie Kondo quite often, but we’re really taken with her idea that what you have should spark joy. Start looking at your supplies and see what you’re still inspired by most – definitely keep those! Then look at items where your tastes may have changed, or you may have moved on to pursue other crafts. If these items are still in good shape consider donating them to a good cause (a retirement home, schools that might be looking for art supplies, etc.). If you find anything that seems at the end of its useful life, it’s time to toss it.
  3. Cleaning – While you’ve got your shelves and closets emptied and bins turned out, it’s time for a good deep cleaning! And this is where Eucalan Delicate Wash can help. Vacuum all areas you can and, if you find any stains or spots on the carpet, check out Freshen Up Your Home with Eucalan for tips on removing them using Eucalan. Create a diluted solution of Eucalan and water in a spray bottle and use it and a cloth to wipe down any flat surfaces (shelves, drawers, work tables, etc.) and dust. You might as well start organizing in a clean space! 
  4. Start Organizing – Start putting items away and arranging them in a manner that seems logical to you. Gather like weights of yarn together, organize paints or fabric by color to create a beautiful rainbow spectrum, and start finding a space for everything. If you’d like to label your containers wait until your reorganization is complete – you never know when you might swap out a bin here or there and you’ll only want to label once!

Craft Spaces We’re Drooling Over

Two inspiring workspaces: on the left a room with a big wooden table and two yellow stools, a huge pegboard holding yarn, thread, paints and more looms behind, on the side wall fabric is arranged in a rainbow of colors in low shelving; on the right a small sewing corner with a white table with sawhorse legs, a yellow lamp, a sewing machine and a rainbow of fabric, scissors and threads on the wall.

Whether you’ve got a small or large space, we hope we’ve given you a few ideas on how to clean, organize and build the crafting space of your dreams. And we’re not done – we’re still collecting ideas on our new Pinterest board – Organizing Your Craft Space. We’ll leave you with a few craft spaces we would love to spend time in!

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A craft room with a tiger painting on the wall, a comfortable yellow chair, a small desk on sawhorse legs next to shelving that holds a rainbow of art supplies.

Plan the Perfect Summer Party 

We recently fell down the Pinterest rabbithole of gorgeous party ideas. It’s summer time, the evenings are warm and it stays light longer, and we could use a bit of celebrating. So we’ve put together a simple checklist (with lots of inspiration with the help of Pinterest – check out our new Party Planning Board) for planning the perfect summer party!

Choose a Theme

If you’re in the mood for a fun celebration, why not choose a theme for your party? The possibilities are endless. Plan an outdoor BBQ and s’mores around the fire like this ….. Go tropical with a luau themed party – this birthday party from Kara’s Party Ideas is picture perfect! Host a pool or water-themed party to keep things cool on those hot summer nights. Plan an epic backyard movie night. Or pick a region whose cuisine you adore and plan your party around a destination.

Chose a Location

Now it’s time to decide where you’ll host your party. If you’re still concerned about holding events indoors, the outdoors awaits. Make it easy and use your own backyard. Find a local park where you can reserve a spot. Head to the local beach if you’re lucky enough to live near the water, or find a restaurant with an amazing patio. Your location will depend a bit on your theme, and who’s attending, as well as what resources you have at your disposal, but anywhere can become your ideal spot. Do give thought to the weather (whether you’ll need shelter from the elements) and seating, as well as any other needs you may have (power for lighting, restrooms, etc.) And if seating isn’t readily available, you can create your own – check out the boho vibes created by DeetsandThings in the below scene.

Invite your Guests

It’s not a party without guests! Consider how many people you want to invite, whether you want the event to be family friendly or adults only, and who knows whom. You’ll want to check that most of the people you wish to include will be free to attend. You can go as simple as a quick email or phone call, send electronic invitations with Evite, or go old-fashioned and create physical invitations to your big event! Don’t miss the opportunity to send invites that coordinate with your theme and set the stage for the party to come.

Plan Your Menu

Your menu will likely be inspired by your theme, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy! One of the first pins we came across was the mouthwatering 9 Make-Ahead Dishes for Summer Parties from Greatist full of salads, wraps and casseroles you can prepare before the guests arrive. We saw tons of wine and pizza party ideas: set up a toppings bar and let guests create their own mini-pizzas. Pop them in the oven, have a few wine pairings ready to go and voila you’re done! Taco bars, make your own s’mores, BBQ meats with sides, sundaes with all the toppings – there are lots of ideas to set up main ingredients and let each guest created their own perfect meal. And don’t forget the drinks – build yourself a hydration station! For family-friendly ideas we love these 20 recipes for Mocktails, and for adults check out 19 Big Batch Cocktails for the Summer for some inspiration.

Plan your Decor

It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to add a little fun to your party. Again, let your theme be your guide and remember to use the bounty of the season. Fresh fruits and flowers can take center stage at a summer party (how fun is this watermelon centerpiece?) Consider your lighting; will you add twinkle lights or candlelight as the evening gets darker? We love these outdoor lighting ideas for inspiration, and lights can even do double duty and repel critters. There’s a wide world of printables that you can make on your own with your own home printer, or you can choose to purchase some pre-made items from party supply or craft stores. Think about creating a fun photo op for guests. A floral arch, a background wall with a banner or balloons and some fun props and everyone will want to take photos to commemorate the event.

Fun and Games

Parties are fun, and if you’ve got kids involved, there should be games! If you’re hosting a pool or water party, you may have things covered, but you can always add sprinklers, water balloons, or kiddie pools for a chance for folks to cool off. Hallmark’s think.make.share blog has fun tips for creating your own summer pinatas if you’d like to add some sweets to the party. If you’re planning for festivities after dark, we love these blacklight and glow in the dark entertainment ideas! If you opted for a backyard movie night here’s a tutorial on how to build your own outdoor theatre – you could complete it with a popcorn and candy bar on the menu. Or just add board games; adults and kids alike can have a great time playing trivia or other fun games!

The Cleanup

Getting the house in shape before folks arrive, or putting it back into shape after they leave can be a little daunting. But Eucalan can help! Our Ultimate Stain Guide can help you clean anything and is available for free when you sign up for our newsletter. And we’ve got tons of ideas on how you can freshen up your home with Eucalan. Finally, Eucalan Stain Treating Towlettes are perfect to have on hand during the party – avert disaster when things get messy!

We hope we’ve given you a few ideas on planning the perfect summer party. Do you have suggestions we didn’t share? Leave us a comment here or tag us in your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #eucalanfan.

21 Projects to Inspire Your Summer Makes!

Summer is officially here and even though temperatures are warmer, we can’t let a season pass without having something going on our hooks and needles. As always, we love to watch new pattern releases and find projects to inspire your makes. So today we’ve pulled together some cool tops and tees for summer weather, shawls perfect for the season, and our favourite summer knitting: socks!

Tops and Tees

No one wants to be knitting heavy wool or alpaca sweaters in the heat, but fingering weight tops and tees made of natural fibers can keep you cool and breezy all summer long. Think silk, linen, cotton, or even light-weight wool and you’ll have a top you won’t want to stop wearing.

A collage of handknit and crocheted tops and tees.
  • A little bohemian and a lot of gorgeous, the Siena Vest by Margaret Stauffacher could be worn over a tank or tee, or as a swimsuit coverup! (Knit Picks)
  • Stay cool in linen with the Salty Air Tee by Samantha Guerin. (Ravelry)
  • Fancy archeology? Then you’ll love the Fossil Frenzy Tee by Mary P. Hunt. (Ravelry
  • If you love her previous ripple patterns, then you’ll dig the new Ripple Halter from Jessie Maed Designs. (Ravelry)
  • We’re loving this sweet crochet wrap top, Mandisa by CheVon Bell. Better yet – it’s free! (Expression Fiber Arts
  • This crocheted tank wins for the garment we’d most like to wear when it’s hot outside! This is the Tulip Square Tank Top by Wilma Westenberg. (Ravelry, Etsy)

Shawls

Shawls are often lightweight and airy, and we think they’re a pleasure to knit. Whether you use them to fend off the chill of air conditioning, or add a touch of elegance to a night out, we love knitting and wearing them!

A collage of 6 knit and crochet shawls.
  • The texture, shape and color of the Zeeweeg Wrap, a new design from Joji Locatelli definitely caught our eye. (Ravelry, Joji’s Website
  • We’re fascinated by origami knitting and Tiehua by Rastus Hsu just graced the cover of Amirisu’s Spring/Summer Issue. (Ravelry, Amirisu)
  • Whether you’re in a wedding party, or just a guest you’ll love the elegant Wedding Party Wrap by Tammy Garrison. (Ravelry)
  • If you’re up for a more challenging knit, we love the use of color and pattern in Fluxus by Natasja Hornsby. (Ravelry)
  • For our crocheters, we love Featherlight by Ashley Jane McIntyre that just debuted in Knitty! (Knitty)
  • And check out the bold, graphic use of color in the New Page Shawl by Helda Panagary! (Inside Crochet, Issue 146)

Summer of Socks

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, socks are our favourite projects to knit all summer long. Not only are they lightweight, portable and fairly quick to knit or crochet, we know our feet will be toasty warm come autumn. Knit shortie socks for running around during the summer, or look for cables and knee-highs to celebrate the return of cooler temperatures!

A collage of brightly colored knit and crochet socks!
  • Enjoy the summer sun with Walking on Sunshine Socks by Marta Chapman. (Ravelry)
  • Treasure your beach-walking memories with Traces in the Sand Socks by Lisa Hannes. (Ravelry)
  • Dabbie in some colourwork with the Kestra Socks by Vanessa Smith. (Ravelry, Vanessa’s Website)
  • Use up some fingering weight stash AND end up with cushy, cozy socks for the fall in Double Exposure by Amanda Scheuzger. (Ravelry)
  • Appreciate the architectural lines around you and then add them to socks with Clerestory by Makenzie Alvarez. (Ravelry)
  • Enjoy the summertime blossoms with The Blossom Socks by Deb Buckingham. (Ravelry, Etsy
  • For something a little different, try these fun Lacy Red Yoga Socks by Dorota Mackiewicz. (Ravelry)
  • These crochet shortie Seashell Socks by Shelly Diaz are perfect for beach season! (Ravelry)
  • And if you’re after a little crochet colorwork, how gorgeous are the Vine Colourwork Crochet Socks by Briana K Designs? (Ravelry, Briana’s website)

We hope we’ve given you a bit of inspiration for your summer knitting and crochet. And don’t forget to finish whatever you make with Eucalan Delicate Wash. Our favourite summertime scent is Grapefruit, but you can’t go wrong with night-blooming Jasmine or any of our other scents!

Still looking for the perfect project? Check out our Knitting and Crochet inspiration boards on Pinterest!

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4 New Swimsuit Trends for Summer 2022

It’s that time of year again! The vernal equinox is just a few weeks away and temperatures are warming up. Whether you’re hitting the beach or just chilling poolside, a great swimsuit is a must-have for those hot summer days. While we’re seeing some of 2021’s trends in this year’s fashions (asymmetrical suits, cutouts and sparkly fabrics are still hot!), we also found a few new styles to add to our wishlist.

Ruffles

Left to Right: A black woman with long curly hair wears a teal swimsuit with ruffles at the shoulders; A white woman with brown hair and blue eyes wears a navy off the shoulder swimsuit with ruffles at the top edge; a plus size white woman with blond hair wears a yellow floral swimsuit with ruffles at the neck and chest.

Ruffles are hot across the runway right now. From knitting to swimsuits, ruffled edges add a delicate feminine touch, no matter which style you prefer. We love the two-tone Ruffled Backflip from Summersalt with its open back and flirty edges. Take advantage of the off-the-shoulder trend with the Palm Beach One-Piece from Kate Spade. Or check out the combination of ruffles around the neck and the sweet floral print on this suit from Meet.Curve.

The Tankini

Left to Right: A white woman with blond hair wears a watercolor floral two piece swimsuit with a tank and bikini bottoms; a black woman with short curly hair wears a retro print brown tankini with red and magenta flowers; a white woman with long curly hair wears a colorblock tanikini in green, white and navy.

The Tankini is back! Whether you like your tanks shorter and cropped, or longer and torso-lengthening, there are tons of suits to choose from. Go stripes AND floral in the Watercolor Reversible Tankini from Tommy Bahamas – two styles in one great swimsuit. Or go for a wild, vibrant print with a 70’s vibe with the Plunge Tankini from Athleta. We’re also loving the simple stripes of the Lime Tree Cut Back Crop from Nani Swimwear.

Throwback to the 70s

Left to right: A woman with dark brown hair and large earrings wears a yellow-flowered romper style swimsuit, a woman with curly brown hair wears a retro block print swimsuit in orange, yellow, black and red; a white woman with her hands in her hair models a two piece floral print suit in mustard with a swim skirt.

What’s old is new this season, and swimsuits are full of that retro vibe. Nothing says the 70’s like a romper, and the Mauve Swim Romper in Ditsy Mustard from Joyfolie captures the ethos perfectly! Go graphic with the Retro 70’s Geo Cut Out from San Lorenzo Bikinis – this is actually a one piece, with cutouts to make it look like a bikini! Or try out a swim skirt in fabric reminiscent of a bygone era with the Golden Hour High-Waisted Swim Skirt from Albion.

Bringing Sexy Back

Left to right: A black woman with curly hair wears a striped swimsuit with crossed back straps; A woman wears a backless teal animal print swimsuit, an Asian woman wears a turquoise once piece with a large circular cutout at the back.

This year’s swimsuits feature plunging lines or barely-there backs, if you dare! Go strappy with the Tahiti Cross Back from Marine Layer or this fun Floral and Animal Print One-Piece from Dia. Or try something a bit more athletic with a gorgeous cutout, like the Deep Sea One-Piece from Athleta.

We hope we’ve given you a bit of inspiration for your summer shopping list! No matter what you choose, don’t forget to keep your swimwear ready for your next dip (and smelling amazing) with Eucalan Delicate Wash in your favourite scent! If you haven’t seen quite the right suit for you yet, you can find more swimsuit inspiration on our Pinterest board for Workout and Swim Wear!

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Makeup Declutter Challenge with Eucalan!

If you love wearing makeup (or even if you don’t), we bet you have a drawer or a cabinet full of products you don’t use very often. In the spirit of Marie Kondo, we’re inspired to tackle that challenge, get rid of old and unused products and only keep what brings us joy. If you’re ready to take that challenge with us, then keep reading!

A blue plaid zippered makeup bag is open on a peach background and brushes, lipstick, mascara are splayed out.
  1. Take inventory.

Any good cleanout starts with making a really big mess. It’s time to dump those drawers or cabinets out and figure out what you have. Corral all your beauty products in one place so you can see what’s in your collection.

  1. Start sorting.

A good place to start is to pull out the products that you use daily or weekly. Those are your must haves, and you’re using them!

Next pull out any products that you haven’t used in at least a year. Why haven’t you used them? Are they old? Out of season? Not quite what you wanted when you bought it? What makes you hold on to these products? 

  1. Time to clean house.

Remember that even if makeup doesn’t “expire” it does provide places for bacteria to grow, so you should be replacing items regularly. You can find more details in this informative report, but here are the basic suggestions:

  • Mascara – every 3 months
  • Lipsticks – yearly
  • Eyeliner – every 3-6 months, pencils last longer than liquids
  • Primers/Foundation – 2 years
  • Powders/Blush – 2 years
  • Lotions and creams in pump bottles – yearly
  • Lotions and creams you scoop out – every 3-6 months

If the products you are disposing of come from the pile that you don’t wear regularly, consider not replacing them. If they’re part of your everyday must-haves, definitely repurchase them!

A black plastic tray with different compartments stores compacts, brushes, mascara and lipsticks in neat orderly fashion.
  1. Let’s organize.

If you’re going to use all these products on a regular basis, make sure you’re organizing them so you can find them more easily. Purchase drawer trays/separators, or baskets for cabinets to keep everything neat and tidy and in its own proper place. This will cut down on clutter! If you’re looking for some inspiration, we love this article from Apartment Therapy featuring 16 different makeup organizers!

  1. Think about future purchases.

We’ve all fallen prey to impulse purchasing where we just have to have the newest color or try a new product. As you continue to purchase products, just keep a mindful eye on what you wear, what fits into your lifestyle and what you’re most likely to use. If it brings you joy, or you still have to have it, go for it!

White cups with lace cutouts hold a variety of makeup brushes on a vanity table.
  1. Don’t forget the makeup brushes!

The tools you use to apply your makeup should be clean and fresh to avoid makeup contamination. Brushes and sponges should be cleaned weekly to remove excess makeup and oils from your skin, and this is where Eucalan Delicate Wash can help!

  • Wet bristles with water.
  • Add a drop of full-strength Eucalan to bristles. Massage through with fingers in the direction the bristles are placed (from base to tip)
  • Rinse well. Repeat previous steps as necessary .
  • Gently squeeze excess water out of bristles by placing brush on a clean absorbent towel, wrap towel over bristles and press the towel down onto the bristles. Do not rub, simply press down. Do this several times, then allow brushes to lay on towel until fully dry. Note: do not stand brushes on bristles or on ends as this will ruin your brush.

Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear your favourite tips for decluttering makeup and cosmetics. Please leave us a message in the comments.

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Eyeshadow, brushes, mascara, fake eyelashes, blush beads and concealer are laid out on a pink background.

A new FREE pattern from Eucalan: The Densa Dopp Kit by Country Cow Designs

Updated August 1, 2022: As of today, the Densa Dopp Kit is no longer available for free. It will be available for purchase as of September 1 at Country Cow Designs.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering a new sewing pattern, the Densa Dopp Kit by Country Cow Designs for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter. Today we’re featuring an interview with Adam & Jo Kay, the husband and wife team behind Country Cow Designs to chat about their design inspiration and process.

A smaller and a larger dopp kit in leather and floral fabric sit on a wooden table.

An Interview with Adam & Jo Kay:

Q: How did you come to sewing and designing?

A (Jo): I’ve always been a bit of a sports nut and definitely didn’t have an interest in sewing, or any other craft for that matter. I spent my spare time surfing, skating and playing badminton and squash. But when I was 27 I developed health issues that stopped me in my tracks. I can no longer do any form of activity that raises my heart rate, which was a big change of pace for me. My mum bought me a sewing machine and said I needed to give it a try as I needed a hobby that suited my new circumstances. I tried to make a dress and didn’t understand any of the instructions in the pattern so I gave up and the sewing machine sat unused for about a year. 

In the meantime, my husband Adam, had been dabbling in leather craft and making bags. So when I decided to give sewing another go, it seemed right to try bag making. I started trying out different bag patterns but I found that many of them assumed a lot of existing knowledge on the part of the user. That’s when I decided I wanted to write bag patterns. I wanted to write patterns that had step by step instructions and answered all the questions you have in your head when you’re making a bag. I was also really intent on designing bags on a domestic machine as many of the patterns I tried seemed impossible to sew on my machine. Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength and in 2021 Adam decided to give up his accountancy practice and join me full time. He assists with the design process and is even writing patterns entirely of his own, such as our new “No Sew Tote“.

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

A: My favourite thing to design is something new, anything new. I love to incorporate a new idea or method into every pattern. I think it’s really important to continue imagining new techniques and trying new things. It means we go through a lot of prototypes before we create a finished pattern because we’re trying out various methods and techniques on each one. We try to decide which technique works best and gives the most professional look to a bag, whilst also being enjoyable and not so complex that you want to give up on the bag.

Q. What are some of your favourite designs?

A: For me and Adam, our favourite design is the Sedron backpack. It’s not our most popular pattern, as many are put off by the size, but it’s absolutely our favourite to make. We’re not sure why we enjoy it so much, but we found that the pattern testing team felt the same way. It’s just a really fun bag to make. My next favourite pattern is the Momexa. I love the side shape and the way it’s constructed is different to most other crossbody bags, which makes it simple and fun to put together.

On the left, a man wears a rectangular  backpack. On the right a handbag sits on a rock. The handback has a floral print that almost looks like newspaper and a big tassle.

Q: What was your inspiration for the Densa Dopp Kit?

A: Now that Adam is firmly in the business with me, we decided we should be making more man friendly patterns, not just girly bags. Adam wanted a dopp kit for when we go away to see family, but all the patterns we found had raw edges or binding inside. We knew there would be a way to construct it without any raw seams so we got to work on it, and our dopp kit pattern was born. The diagonal feature fabric on the exterior is just because I can’t resist a good diagonal feature on a bag. You’ll notice this is something of a common occurrence in our patterns.

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

A: Why should people try sewing bags, when clothes are the norm?

I think everyone should give bags a go. Bags make fantastic gifts because you don’t have to worry about sizing. One size fits all. They’re also really easy to personalise by using unique zip pulls or funky hardware, so they can be really fun. There’s a tonne of support and video tutorials available for making bags, which makes it a great place to start if you’re just getting into sewing. For example, all our paid for patterns include full video tutorials that walk you through every step. Because they’re one size, you don’t have to worry about grading or sizing the pattern to suit your body shape. For me, bags have always been much easier to make than clothes, so I really think anyone can give it a go.

The Densa Dopp Kit

Two zippered dopp kits in denim and stripey fabric sit side by side.

The Densa Dopp Kit is a beginner-friendly sewing pattern that includes instructions for producing kits in two sizes. The pattern is written clearly with step-by-step instructions, tons of photos, and also includes a link to a video tutorial that will help you create an amazing bag. This kit is designed using cotton, canvas, cork or vinyl for the exterior, but can be adapted for any fabric. Whether you use it as a toiletry kit or a crafty project bag, we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!

A few details:

Materials Needed (Small/Large):

  • Zip Tape and One Zip Pull – 14 (19)” / 36 (48) cm, No. 5
  • Exterior Fabric – ½ (⅔) yard / 50 (60) cm, 44”/112 cm wide
  • Lining Fabric – ½ (⅔) yard / 50 (60) cm, 44”/112 cm wide
  • Webbing (optional) – 5 ½ (7)” / 14 (18) cm, 1” / 2.5 cm
  • Thread: Suitable to your machine. Adam & Jo used polyester Saba Tex 40 or Coats Moons threads on their domestic sewing machine.
A close up on a dopp kit in floral fabric with a fun metal zipper pull.

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 hashtags #eucalan and #countrycowdesigns.

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