close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Holst Garn

If you follow European designers on Ravelry, you have likely heard of Holst Garn. The small Danish company is run by a lovely lady named Helle Holst, and her exquisite yarns are used extensively all over Europe. A few of my favorite designers use her yarns when they design gorgeous sweaters, wraps, scarves, so many things: Isabell Kraemer, La Maison Rililie, Heidi Kirrmaier, and Fallmasche, just to name a few. It has been difficult to find these yarns in the United States, but Sally has solved that problem for us. Say hello to Holst Coast and Holst Noble.
Coast is a 45/55 cotton and wool blend in a light fingering weight, perfect for breezy sweaters, in my opinion. We have several rich and beautiful colors in the cakes, and a few color packs for the Bricks cowl pattern.
I am really thrilled to see this yarn in person, and I can't wait to try it out. The cotton and wool combination is unusual, especially in this weight. I'm pretty sure it will make the perfect all-season Oregon sweater.

Noble is a similar weight, maybe a wee bit heavier. This 95/5 wool and cashmere blend is a stunner. I am pining to try out the Doodles scarf...the construction looks so unusual, and the yarn is going to be heaven to knit.
Again, we have the pretty color packs for this one to get you inspired.
We are just trying this yarn out for the time being, but if you all love it we might make it a staple. Come on in, take a look, and let us know what you think!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Interweave

The latest issue of Interweave Knits is in the shop. Normally, the summer issue leaves me unimpressed, but there are several items in here that really caught my eye.
There is a whole section of outdoorsy, camping sort of stuff that I really liked. Several of the knitted headbands and head scarves look very wearable. These quick knits are prefect for summer knitting and wearing.

The Bartram Vest and Mount Robson Pullover are certainly very practical pieces...great for camping or hiking.
I loved the Phyllotaxis Hat worked up in fingering weight cashmere and the Larkspur Shawl in Berroco Folio.
What do you all think of the Blue Columbine Cardigan and the Western Slope Tee?
There is a whole section with some VERY ambitious colorwork if you are looking for a challenge. Any one of these would feel like quite an accomplishment!
I have never felt the urge to work miles of I-cord and then braid and stitch them together, but these trivets (mostly the rug) have me wanting to do just that.
I was so pleasantly surprised by this summer issue! Did you see anything that you like?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Shiraito

I mentioned that Noro is having a bit of resurgence at our little shop. We have plumped up our supply of Shiraito in response to the popularity of the lovely Soft Waves Hat.
The new colorways we have in stock are really beautiful. Some are bright and cheerful.
Others are muted and more natural.
They are all quite nice, though, aren't they? The cashmere and angora makes this yarn so soft and full. I love the way the hat shows off the color changes of the yarn. Really stunning. Do you all prefer the brights or the naturals? Not really a bad choice, is there?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gumballs and Singles

In addition to the Victory Sock yarn, we also received a few other goodies from Knitted Wit.
These little 45 yard skeins of fingering weight yarn are called Gumballs, and they are available in many solid (and a few kind of semi-solid) colorways. Some are bright, some are dark, all are lovely.
What to do with these, you ask? Lisa is slowly cranking away on a Beekeeper's hexipuff at a time. She tells me you can probably make about three whole puffs from each skein, with a little left over for striping or patterns on a fourth.
These little guys would be great for baby hats and sweaters, too. You could easily choose your favorite colors and make up a custom striping sequence without having to buy way too much yarn. I think seven or eight would be enough for a striped Baby Surprise Jacket or a little top-down raglan sweater. Maybe rainbow stripes, sports team colors, or any combination you'd like. So many possibilities!
On the other side of the fingering weight spectrum, we also have the Knitted Wit Single Fingering. This yarn is hand-dyed and really stunning. Reminds me a bit of Tosh Merino Light. With 475 yards in each skein, these will go far. A nice large shawl, a baby sweater, or sweet little dress from All You Knit is Love (because I can't stop thinking about that book).
We are thrilled to be offering these locally-dyed yarns in the shop for you all. Come on in a see what our Portland artists are making for your knitting and crocheting pleasure!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


We are excited to have more locally-dyed yarn in the shop!
This color explosion is a basket of Victory Sock Yarn from Knitted Wit. Each skein is 420 yards of machine washable merino/nylon blend yarn. It's a lovely yarn...squishy but solid, just as you want your sock yarn to be. And the colors pop!
I think this one above is going to be the most popular. It's called PDX Carpet. Yup. There it is. You know there will be a run on that one. But they are all really stunning.

If you love bright sock yarn, this is right up your alley! Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mere Isager

We started carrying a few of the Isager yarns a couple of years ago, and I'm so glad we brought them into the shop. The sophisticated colors, the luxurious fibers, and the pattern support. Oh my. The Amimono collections are stunning. (Go take a look.)
As you all have shown increased interest in these stunning yarns and books, Sally is expanding our selection of Isager yarns. We have been carrying Alpaca 2 and Spinni, and we have just brought Alpaca 1 into the shop.
Part of what makes the Amimono and Tutto a mano designs so unusual is that many use two or more strands of Isager yarn held together. This can make substituting yarns challenging, so I am thrilled to have more options to offer.
The doubling of the yarn adds a lot of rich texture and interest to the finished product, and you have so much creative freedom to create the look you want by using yarns that coordinate or yarns that contrast a bit for a marled look. So much fun!
We have a nice full supply of all three of our Isager yarns and plenty of these stunning books in stock. All You Knit is Love is one of my favorites, but I like to look through all of the books for inspiration when I'm in a slump.
I've been working on a baby cardigan using Dream in Color Jilly. I love how it's turning out, but I might need to make another now that we have the perfectly coordinating Isager yarns...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Best of Spring

Look at these colors. Don't they just announce spring? I opened this box on Monday when it was sunny and warm and gorgeous outside. All I could think of was spring flowers and the blue sky.
This the the Misti Alpaca Best of Nature Worsted, the same yarn Sally used for her soft and lovely Stumptown Slouch. We have had such a nice array of fall and winter colors, and it's great to see these lovely new shades on the shelves. The solids are actually tonal mixes...the blue, in particular, is stunning. The multis are blowing my mind, too. It's hard to believe they can achieve color like that with all natural dyes. You really need to come in and see for yourself!