Friday, November 4, 2011

Why Zara? Win some and fall in love!

If you get our newsletter, then you've already heard the really exciting news! We just received brand new colors of our go-to yarn, Zara, from Tahki Stacy Charles' brand Filatura di Crosa! This incredibly soft DK weight yarn is made of 100% extra fine merino wool and has great yardage (137 yards per ball!) 

As we've found here at the store, knitters hooked on Zara come back to this tried and true classic, project after project. But where does this amazing fiber come from? I chatted with Stacy Charles, co-owner of Tahki Stacy Charles, about Zara and was intrigued to learn about the history of the company and the yarn line. 


Stacy has been a part of the yarn industry his entire life. Just out of college, he started working for his Uncle Sam and Aunt Irma, who imported European yarns to the hand-knitting market. (They were the first importers of Annie Blatt products here in the U.S.) Stacy started out pulling and shipping orders and eventually worked his way up to managing accounts and helping with the business operations. A few years later, Irma and Sam decided to sell the company and Stacy headed to Italy! His love of European fashion and knitting inspired him to start his own importing company which would bring the prestigious Filatura di Crosa line to the American market, along with countless designer labels, most notably MISSONI.



Meanwhile, long time friend and fellow New Yorker Diane Friedman (founder of Tahki Yarns) was looking for a change in direction. They decided to merge the two companies and voila! Tahki Stacy Charles debuted in January of 2000.  Since then, the company has continued to grow and flourish. The company now offers 4 different brands of yarn to it's loyal customers- Tahki Yarns, Loop-d-Loop, S. Charles Collezione and of course, Filatura di Crosa.



Stacy says that hands down his favorite part after all of his years in the industry is still creating yarn. His favorite is (of course!) 100% cashmere, but his second love is extra fine merino. He told me that he thinks Zara is the best basic merino out there, and we can see why.


Here's why we love Zara:
  • Highest quality 100% extrafine Merino wool.
  • Superwash- need we say more?! (We do recommend that if you would like to throw your Zara knits into the wash, be sure to wet-block your swatch!)
  • It does not pill and keeps its shape.
  • Terrific for family knits (think wearability, washability and still looking great!)
  • Fabulous stitch definition!
  • An already great color palette which now includes 8 new colors for fall/winter!






And if that wasn't enough, what is great yarn without great pattern support? Here are just some of the FREE patterns available on the TSC website:









My favorite is the Mantova Lacy Top, which is a free pattern available for download from the TSC website. This new garment is just perfect for fall/winter. I mean, look at the great stitch definition in the rib, cable and lace patterns, and the yarn creates a sweater with wonderful 'memory' and depth of texture. And it's just challenging enough for me that it will keep me interested! 





But enough about my knitting, I want to hear about yours! We decided to give 2 lucky winners the chance to score some Zara of their very own. Warning, once you try it you will not be able to resist it in the future- be ready to fall in love!

Here's the deal. Leave a comment on our blog (only one per person, please!) and tell us what you would make with 5 balls of the lovely Zara if you were a winner. The contest will close on Wednesday, November 9th at 6pm PST. We will pick and announce our 2 winners on Thursday.

Until then, if you'd like to find out more about Zara, Stacy or Tahki Stacy Charles, be sure to check them out here:

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NewsletterThis is a monthly e-newsletter packed with the latest fashion news from the European runways.  Subscribers will receive at least one free pattern (sometimes more) in each issue - great designs with Italian flair.

I can't wait to hear your ideas! Happy Knitting everyone!

Bethany

PS- Did you hear that Beans for Brains is at it again? But we need your help!!
Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate!
JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!! 


97 comments:

  1. Hmmm... five balls of Tahki Stacy Charles... That gets me halfway through that lovely bowtie pullover, but with ONLY five balls...maybe the Honeycomb Vest by Sarah Castor, or the Ilga Leja Handknit Designs Patterns - Antique Lace Pattern, or the... so many ideas!

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  2. If I had 5 balls of this lovely yarn, I would knit a lace shawl with it. A nice, warm pretty lace shawl like the Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl or the Forest Canopy Shawl. Something to keep me warm all winter long.

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  3. I think I'd make the Mary Jane sweater with five balls of this yarn! Either that or maybe a Boneyard shawl, but I think that yarn would look lovely in a nice little sweater!

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  4. If I were to win the 5 balls of Zara, I think I would be completely selfish for once and make myself a lovely cowl. I have made so many beautiful scarves, cowls, blankets, shawls....the list goes on...but I make something and give it as a gift. If I win....this one is for ME!
    hollyhatton71@yahoo.com

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  5. I will make the Plum Pullover, but with a little bit of alterations at the neckline and perhaps much shorter, so that I will be able to finish it with 5 balls.
    Zara looks delicious!!!

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  6. I'm obsessed with funky legwarmers - I'd make Some Cloudy Day legwarmers from tinyowlknits.com, and if I have enough left over - matching fingerless gloves!

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  7. Two scarves--one for a gift, and the other for the local homeless shelter.

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  8. It is sooooo cold in my office, I would definitely make the Mara wrap and keep myself warm!

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  9. I have a shrug pattern I've been dying to make, but haven't found the right yarn. Maybe this? Hmmm. Could be just the thing.

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  10. I would make something for my daughter of her choosing.

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  11. Humm, hard to say. DK weight is one of my favorites to work with. I do like the Mantova Lacy Top, but not sure it would be flattering on me. Still thinking.

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  12. This yarn looks lovely! There's not enough here for a sweater, so I'd probably knit a lovely cozy vest for winter :-)

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  13. I'd make some Chemo Caps, and possibly a pair of mittens for myself.

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  14. I've been thinking I need a vest lately; five balls would be just the right amount, I think.

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  15. I would make a shawl, either the 22.5 Degree shawl, or the Hand-Painted shawl pattern I got today from Etsy. Fingerless mitts if there's enough left over.
    P.S. Excuse me, but I'm a retired schoolteacher and I have this compulsion to proofread - a viola is a musical instrument, voila means ta-da! Thank you very much. I love the blog.

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  16. This yarn would be great for a pair of nice warm tall socks.

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  17. Jane- Thanks for your edit! I feel like I read and reread this post so many times that there was no way I missed something! Thank you!!

    Bethany

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  18. I would either make a sweater for my future niece/nephew, or this gorgeous infinity scarf that needs a yarn with good stitch def: http://www.knittedbliss.com/2010/11/pattern-stockholm-scarf.html

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  19. I'd make a shawl or wrap with 5 balls of this yarn.

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  20. I would definitely make a pullover of singer kind and just purchase additional skeins as necessary! Zara was the first yarn I used when I started knitting, and the piece I made had stood the test of time. Zara not only makes beautiful pieces, but also is a joy to knit with, although it may have spoiled me on other yarns!

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  21. hmm, I'd probably see if I could buy a few more balls in the same dye lot and make Twinnings (from twist collective!)

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  22. I would learn to make cables and knit a warm scarf if I had five balls of this yarn. It's beautiful!

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  23. Oooh, maybe I'd finally tackle making a sweater! Or a jumper for one of my daughters.Or maybe just another shawl - like the one I wear all the time. Oooh! I'd just love to win!

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  24. I adore Zara yarn. I've made fingerless gloves with a pretty lace and rib pattern, and plan to use some Zara or Zara Plus for a sweater. It is yarn that you can knit with for long periods. It's great on the hands, winds up perfectly, has gorgeous sophisticated colors, and blocks and washes up so nicely. With 5 skeins, I would probably make a nice wide cowl and hat or fingerless gloves. I'd love to have a matching or coordinating set!

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  25. I haven't had the pleasure of knitting w/Zara....YET ;)
    If I were to win, I would most definitely make something fabulous for my 2-year-old granddaughter. She is my inspiration for most of my projects =)
    Thank you for an opportunity to win!

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  26. I've never used Zara but it sounds lovely! If I won 5 balls, I would make coordinated winter accessories as holiday gifts for my mom and sister!

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  27. I'm a new knitter and crocheter, so I'm not sure what I'd make. Sometimes I buy yarn just to look at it and squish it once in a while! I guess I'd make something for a Christmas gift like a scarf/hat combo or a shawl. And then I'd probably have a hard time parting with it! LOL!

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  28. If I win 5 balls of the lovely Zara I would make a warm cowl.
    thanks
    SydneyS

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  29. I would make a hat/scarf/mitt set. How snuggly!

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  30. I'd make a snood with matching mittens!

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  31. I would love to make Aethercopter by Jocelyn Tunney.

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  32. 5 balls - How about the Salsa pattern from Knitting at Knoon? It would use just the right amount of yarn and I could whip up one to match the Two Summer Dress I am making for my niece for Christmas!

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  33. I have had a pattern for a pullover that have always wanted to knit for my mum - it has a beautiful seed stitch banding at the bottom, cuffs and neckline and it calls for a beautiful soft single color yarn. I think the Zara sounds like it would be PERFECT.

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  34. I would use Zara for a set of hat, mitts and cowl for my Mom. She loves everything I make for her, and it is about time I sent her something new!

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  35. I would make a sweater for one of my granddaughters. It sounds like a lovely yarn.

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  36. Coincidentally, I'm knitting a scarf with approximately 5 balls of Zara right now! It is amazingly soft, and I can't wait to wear it. If I were luck enough to get my hands on even more Zara, I'd probably make some mittens and a hat to go with my scarf.

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  37. I'd make a short-sleeved pullover for my daughter, or a lightweight, 3/4-length sleeve cardi.

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  38. I'd make some scarfs. One for me, and the rest to give away. Thank you.

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  39. I'd want 5 different colors and would make 5 sets of fingerless gloves for my relatives for Thanksgiving (or more likely Xmas!). If I could only get one color, I'd make a cowl and fingerless mitts for my daughter.
    The yarn looks lovely

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  40. I would cast on for a toddler sweater for my niece. I knit one for her older sister a couple of years ago and I think she needs one of her own now too.

    jendada on ravelry

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  41. I'd make something for my 8 week old daughter and use what's left to make me something.

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  42. I'd buy 6 more so I could make the cabled tunic!

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  43. With 5 balls, the best choice is a lace cape- in a romantic shade. Also add some matching beads around the collar zone and down the front seed stitch borders! Fun!

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  44. I would probably make a Stephen West Boneyard shawl. An easy pattern that is perfect for showing off a great yarn in a great color.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  45. I would make one of those long circular scarves and a hat.

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  46. I might make a wonderful scarf and matching hat. I really love the look of that Mantova Lacy Top!

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  47. I would make my little girl 5 toasty and cute pairs of shoes/booties for her first christmas. And as she is finally able to bounce around in her jumper toys I know I can rest a sured they will still look fabulous and puppy dog hair free after the holidays because this awesome yarn is washable.

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  48. I'd like to make Hawthorne by Susanna Ic. I think some of the colors would look great!

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  49. Five balls of Zara would be enough for me to knit a few small gives for my friends and loved ones. I'm thinking the same knitted beret for everyone in their respective favorite colors. I'm already feeling strong Christmas vibes. :D

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  50. I would make a shawl to keep me warm this winter! Zara is beautiful yarn, thanks for the opportunity to win some!

    Ceejay on Rav

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  51. I would use this yarn to make a sweater for ME!

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  52. I would make the adult version of the Baby Surprise Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I think it's called Friday sweater and the pattern is available at Flint Knits.

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  53. So many things you could make with this! Maybe a scarf and mittens set...

    Sweetie41 on Ravelry

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  54. 5 balls would make a top-down sweater for one of the grandkids. I would love to do that. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  55. I have made a wonderful vest with Zara before. I LOVE it! the yarn is fantastic to work with :) I would have to take advantage of the beautiful stitch definition and make something with cables. If 5 balls isn't enough, I would just buy more!

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  56. I would love to win this, and do a fully matching set of a hat, cowl and mitts. I've been bitten by the cableing bug, so thats where I would go with it... or an Autumn Flutters shawl that I've had sitting in my ravelry queue for ten forevers :)

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  57. If I were to win 5 balls of this fabulous yarn I would make matching sweaters for my 2 toddler grandchildren for Christmas gifts. Something with a cable and lace combination.

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  58. I have a beautiful sweater pattern that I have been hanging onto. If I win the yarn I will be making that. Thanks.

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  59. I knit items for my childrens' teachers and I could use the Zara for these gifts. My son only has 1 teacher but my daughter has her main teacher and 5 special ed teachers. That's a lot of yarn & knitting to do for Christmas and year end. :)

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  60. I would make a multicolored cowl!

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  61. I'd love to make a cabled cowl or hat and fingerless mitts :)
    Thanks!
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  62. I would love to use Zara to make my granddaughter a jumper.I ove the feel of Zara,so soft.
    rinebird on Rav
    rinebird@gmail.com

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  63. I would take a break from crochet and learn how to knit properly!

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  64. I would make a cowl scarf for my son's beautiful girlfriend whom I hope will someday soon be my daughter in-law. She is as beautiful inside as well as out and deserves something beautiful to keep her warm!!

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  65. A SHAWL! This yarn would be lovely for a shawl.

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  66. If I won this yarn I think I would put it towards making my first sweater. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  67. If I won this lovely yarn, I would make my first cardigan. Maybe the "every last yard cardigan". Thanks.

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  68. I'm really into making scarves, shawls, and cowls right now. I would probably make a yummy cowl.
    Patty W
    welcra@comcast.net

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  69. WOW, I'd love to knit the plum pullover with this yarn, it looks sooooo lush!!

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  70. I'm planning on knitting one skein christmas gifts..fingerless mittens, neck scarf, hat, headbands...all kinds of goodies! Time and money are precious this season... TSC Zara yarn would be fantastic for these projects!

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  71. WOW - I can imagine a gorgeous shawl, perhaps a beautiful sweater, there are so many possibilites. But no matter what, it will be awesome.

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  72. I'd make a cowl/hoodie/thing that I've been sketching out.

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  73. Nothing better than knitting a lovely shawl with Zara! 5 skeins would do nicely :-)

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  74. Hi, there this is Christiane from Germany, Cologne and I fall in Love with Zara because there are so many beautiful colours and so i would knit little beanies for early newborns and some other charity projects all over the world, which I do allways during the year, because I could not leave my fingers workless. Guess everyone can understand my gibberishenglish??? I wish you all the best and god bless you. Because I do not have a blog yet, you can reach my at: metzchristiane@aol.com

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  75. I know I'd have to get a few more balls of Zara but I'd make the bow tie pullover for my daughter. It just screams her name.

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  76. Oh my, I have never tried Zara and with all I've learned through this blog...aahhh, the possibilities! If fortunate to win 5 skeins, it would be a wonderful start to Leaves in Universal Book 1, or Lace Capelet in Vogue Spring/Summer 2010, or Harlequin Swing Coat...hhmmm... Thank you for the opportunity!!

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  77. I'd make some fun leg warmers for my little girls. Maybe a couple baby caps, too. :)

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  78. Maybe I could make my first sweater. Otherwise, I would use it to make a shawl or poncho

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  79. I would create a go-to shrug to wear all the time. Would chose a color that would mesh with most of my wardrobe to get the maximum enjoyment for my efforts.

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  80. I would make a prayer wrap, and any color will do.
    Email gailgoodhand @ yahoo.com (no spaces)

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  81. I think I would make a Stockholm Scarf by knittedbliss.com. I've been eyeing that pattern for a while and it looks like it would be glorious to have something soft like that around my neck this winter.

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  82. I think I would make a special scarf for a special someone. It's been a while since I've worked on a pretty scarf.

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  83. With 5 balls of Zara, I would indulge in some selfish knitting and make myself a lovely shawl. Maybe a pattern by Kirsten Kapur (Moody Kerchief maybe) or one by Vanessa Smith (Xenia looks pretty hot!)

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  84. I would make one of those great infinity loop scarves,it gets really cold here!

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  85. Mittens? A hat? A big cozy cowl? I think I could come up with something.

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  86. Beautiful yarn! I'd love to make a big cozy wrap or shawl with it!

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  87. A pair of long, cabled legwarmers for my 73 year old mom (who is always cold and has spent years doing things for me)! Zara would be perfect!

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  88. I think I would make the "Chevron Lace Cardigan" (been in my Rav queue for ages!) - for those days when it's nippy enough indoors to need an extra layer of cardigan, but warm enough for a bit of lace. Zara is perfect for the stitch definition and warmth. :)

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  89. I am itching to make myself a sweater....not something I normally plan to make for myself! And this yarn sounds as tho it would be perfect enough to inspire me to actually finish it!

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  90. I love the bow tie pullover....I would need to buy a few extra balls but know it would be beautiful!!

    Beth

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  91. hat and mittens I guess ..... so difficult to chose with so many possible projects

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  92. Every fall I promise myself I'll knit a pair of fingerless gloves, and then I pick up a bunch of other projects. I don't have a pair yet. With five balls that's plenty for a pair of fingerless gloves plus a matching hat and scarf.

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  93. I would crochet a nice top for myself. Treat myself to something. On average, about 99% of everything I make, I give away. Time to make something for myself. Or, I would crochet a nice dress for my 3 year old granddaughter.

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  94. If I had 5 balls of yarn I would make a cowl scarf and stay warm all winter.

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  95. Baby things......... it would be gorgeous for baby things...... and they always fit!

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  96. Five balls of Zara? I think I would really love to make something for myself finally. I have so many ideas in my Ravelry queue.

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