Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: ThermoMorph

So something magical happened.  A company contacted me about reviewing their product.  Usually it's the other way around.  So here it is: ThermoMorph!

It is apparently made out of polymorph granules and is available on Amazon, for $19.95 per 500g.  Basically, it is a bottle of little plastic beads that melt in hot water.  They are about this big:
You dump them in hot water (I poured water from the kettle in a bowl, and dumped the beads in), and they quickly go clear and start to stick together, like so:
It's also quite sticky when you first pull it out, which solves the first worry I had about it, that it would be hard to get out of the boiling hot water.  It says on the bottle that it takes two minutes, but it never took that long for me.  It cools down pretty quickly to just pleasantly warm, but is really hot when it first comes out.  It is then surprisingly pliable:
My camera isn't good enough to pick it up, but when it's nice and hot, you can actually get a fingerprint in this stuff, which is cool.  The bottle says you can color it, which turned out ok, but don't be a dummy like me and use liquid food coloring, because it makes a big mess and is almost impossible to get evenly distributed.  I think a powder would work better.  Here is my best effort, at any rate:
That's going to be the handle of a beading tool, eventually.  It adheres to the wire really nicely.  It also adheres nicely to my crochet hook, that I made a nice ergonomic handle for:
You can also see how very badly I stained my hands making that beader handle pink.  It was everywhere, I tell you!  We also tried to make some buttons:
But I got super frustrated trying to get them all the same size and gave up.  The stuff is definitely hard enough to drill though, and should take paint well.  I don't keep any paint other than water colors on hand though, so I haven't tried that yet.

The one downside of this stuff is part of the whole reusable thing... once it's in a lump, it takes forever to warm back up again enough to be pliable.  We did get some interesting flower shapes, working with pieces that were warm and bendy on the outside and hard in the middle.  But, if you have leftover pieces, and you want to use them again later, I highly suggest rolling them out into a thin piece, and maybe snipping it into little bits before putting it back in the jar.  Also, a thing to keep in mind is that it's kind of boingy.  It springs back when you press on it, know what I mean?  But it is really neat, over all, and I'm looking forward to playing with it some more.

Full disclosure: I did get some free ThermoMorph to play with.  I was not however compensated in any other way for this review.

Just a reminder that my moving sale is still going on.  Get 20% off all the patterns in my Ravelry Store!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yarn Review: Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool

If I have been quiet, and continue to be, I apologize, but Casa Driggs in in the midst of major upheaval.  We are quite suddenly moving to Virginia!  It is a move for the best of reasons (hello, shiny new job for my husband!), but as moves are expensive at best, I am having a big sale to try and raise some extra money.  All patterns in my Ravelry store are 20% off until we land, or January 15, whichever is later!

But the thing I'm really falling behind on is reviewing yarn and giving you cool previews of the next pattern in my book.  It will be a Chocolate Sweater, worked in this lovely yarn:
Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool.  This stuff actually comes in two put ups, a one pound skein, and Weavers Wool Quarters, which as the name implies is a mere quarter pound (4 oz).  I got the big skein, if you will remember, which was really cool because I geeked out on the idea of making a sweater without ever having to join a new piece of yarn.  But it was really NOT COOL because, even with extreme modifications, my ball winder won't hold nearly that much yarn.  If you also remember the cocoon-shaped, paper towel tube centered monstrosity of a ball I got that first skein into, let me tell you, it is not fun to work with.  Seriously, yarn popping off all over the place!  So in all honesty, if you get the big put up, just cut the dang yarn.  If I was really careful I could get half of a skein onto my ball winder at a time, and that isn't bad at all.  Or just buy the smaller put up.  The cost seems to be about the same per yard.

Weaver's Wool is, as the name implies, 100% wool, at about a DK weight.  It is the same as Mountain Colors 4/8's Wool, but a lighter weight.  It is smooth, round, and easy to work with (no splitting here!).  Of course, as with most small company yarn, the real draw is the colors, which are all beautiful.  Most LYS around here carry at least some Mountain Colors yarn, and I've yet to see a colorway that I didn't like.