close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, October 5, 2015

Berroco Artisan

New samples always inspire me, and I know we have quite a few customers who feel the same way. It's always a treat to get a beautiful sample from the yarn company showing off a really unusual new yarn. So this lacy shawl in knit up in Berroco's new Artisan caught my eye right away.
The all-over lace pattern is really pretty. Delicate without being too much. And the sample had me searching for the yarn, which turns out to be really lovely.
Artisan is a wool and silk blend with lots of natural little silky slubs. Berroco calls this a dip dyed yarn, which I'm assuming gives it the subtle tonality.
The slubs and the color variations are more visible in some color ways than others, but they are all good.
The shawl that caught my attention is called Ceonothus, and it requires only four skeins of Artisan. 
Photo borrowed from The Brown Stitch Ravelry pattern page.
One of our knitters was inspired by this yarn and discovered the Gulf of Maine cowl, which requires four skeins as well, two of a main color and one of each contrasting color. Sally thinks the designer's colors are just right.
What gets you excited about a new yarn? Samples in the shop? Designers on Ravelry? Coming in and touching everything? Whatever it is, I hope you all stop in to check out this new arrival and find some inspiration.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ruby Peak Farms at Oregon Flock and Fiber

Did any of you enjoy the beautiful weekend at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival? I wasn't able to go (yet again) this year, but several gals from the shop made it down to Canby to meet the lovely Kate of Ruby Peak Farms
Oh, and to pick up our gorgeous yarn!
Kate is as nice as can be, and her products are so pretty. Take a look at these Jacob fleeces! Don't you just want to dig your hands in there? These are from happy sheep, for sure.
Well, maybe they aren't all happy ALL the time. This dude was not so thrilled to be stuck in the trailer, but he sure is handsome. Say hello to Diamond, Kate's new prize ram. Look at those horns. I cannot get over them.
I know a few of you are eagerly awaiting this yarn, myself included. I'll race you for that beautiful marled one! And the grey. And the charcoal brown. And the natural. Dangit...I want them all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Berroco North Star

We have gone all in with the fluffy natural yarns this season. I think you all are going to like what we have. 
We received Berroco's North Star last week, and we are already selling out of some colors. Mostly because of this sample.
Burrow has caused more than one knitter to lose all self control in an attempt to fondle its fluffy goodness. The herringbone pattern adds just the right amount of interest, but it doesn't take away from the gorgeous texture of the yarn.
North Star is almost a like a braided boucle...really unusual. It's mostly alpaca, with just enough nylon to hold it together. Knitting up at 3.75 stitches per inch on a US10.5, anything you knit with this yarn is going to fly off the needles. 
The pattern book has almost sold out, but I think most of these are available online if you can't wait for us to restock. There are several lovely pieces in the booklet, including Haven, Cocoon, and Snug. The hat on the cover is cute, too.
This is just the beginning of our natural color palette for fall, and it's a winner for sure. I'll keep you posted as more neutral beauties roll into the shop.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BT Fall 15

Have you all seen the latest from Brooklyn Tweed? The Fall 2015 collection is really something. Can I show you my favorites?
Sauvie is such a simple shape but so flattering. The seed stitch and the shoulder welts add interest to the knitting, but it's pretty simple overall. Knit up in a light fingering weight tweed, it's definitely on my list.
Trailhead is serious business. Look at all those details...cables, big collar, awesome pockets. It's knit with a fingering weight held doubled, which results in a worsted weight.
Willamette is quite the scarf. The unique cable pattern is double-sided, and the pattern is written for both worsted and fingering weights for two different looks. So cool.
I love the classic look and clean colorwork of Ashland. Those delicate little patterns are so minimalist and beautiful, and the neckline and the relaxed shape are perfectly flattering.

All of these lovely pieces are designed with Brookly Tweed yarns. While we do not carry these yarns, we have some great suggestions for substitutes. The worsted weight pieces will work up beautifully in Harrisville Watershed or Highland. We have a really deep and thorough stock of both of these right now. The fingering weight pieces will work up nicely with Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. We recently received several new colors of this yarn, so we have plenty of nice choices for you all. 

If you love these pieces, we would be more than happy to help you select the perfect yarn for your project. Stop in and see us soon! 

All photos borrowed from Brooklyn Tweed.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ruby Peak Farms

This unassuming little swatch is the first step in some pretty exciting news.
After a family backpacking trip in eastern Oregon this summer, Sally stumbled upon Ruby Peak Farms. She quickly realized what a treasure this place was and struck up a relationship with Kate, who has been raising Jacob sheep in the Wallowas for almost fifteen years. Take a peek at her gorgeous flock.

Jacob sheep are quite the animals. As Kate writes on her website, they are "well-suited for sustainable, grass-based, and organic systems." Her sheep are only fed fresh grass and hay that grow on the property, which has been chemical-free since 1999. These amazing animals are a primitive breed, "keepers of the ancient genes that made sheep strong and healthy." They are prolific reproducers, and the ewes take good care of their (adorable) lambs. And the horns on those guys!

In addition to being really cool animals, they produce wonderful wool. Kate worked diligently to find a mill in Oregon that could process her skirted fiber into yarn. She connected with Skyline Fiber Mill, and they are currently in the process of scouring, picking, carding, and pindrafting the fleece. Learn more about the whole process here. You can see it here drying on the racks.
We are very eagerly awaiting three natural shades and one marled/multi. Kate calls this a sport weight, but Sally's swatch knit up close to five stitches per inch on a US7. I guess we will see how it looks when it arrives. Regardless, I am very excited to get my hands on this yarn from Ruby Peak Farms and start planning a project with my own little swatch. I will let you know as we hear more from Kate and the mill!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yes. We have Tosh DK.

We haven't seen yarn from Madelinetosh in some time. When they called a few weeks ago and told us they were ready to dye our order, we couldn't say no. We now have four baskets full of Tosh DK, one of their most popular yarns. This is a gorgeous plied, superwash merino wool with more than 250 yards in each squishy skein.
Need some pattern ideas? There are more than 32,000 projects on Ravelry using Tosh DK. A few of my favorite ideas include Gudrun Johnston's Norie, the Brass and Steam Shawl, and the classic Baby Surprise Jacket.
This is also a perfect choice for sweaters. It's so soft, the colors are rich and interesting, and the yarn holds up very nicely to the kind of wear you will be giving your new favorite sweater. The thousands of knitters who have used this yarn for sweaters can't be wrong.
This yarn is notoriously difficult to get our hands on, so if you see something you like, don't hesitate. Who knows when we will be able to refresh our stock again!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Road to China Lace and Cumbria

A few lovely yarns from The Fibre Company have arrived: Road to China Lace and Cumbria.
The Fibre Company yarns are always something special. The blends of fibers, the colors, the quality...all really exceptional. We have carried several of their yarns in the past, and these new additions are stunning as well. Road to China Lace is an alpaca/silk/camel/cashmere blend with over 650 yards per skein. 
I love that these folks are providing such wonderful pattern support for their yarns as well. We currently have Stillwell, Summit, and Clearview in the shop. Stillwell is a beautiful lace shawl in two sizes, using either one or two skeins of yarn. Summit is a long ombre scarf using three colors of Lace. Cleaview (my favorite) uses two colors to create an interesting striped cowl, but the pattern only requires half a skein of each color.
I am also excited to see Cumbria in the shop. The colors of this yarn really grabbed me when I walked in, particularly this yellow, which we have adopted as the shop color.
This is a gorgeous wool/mohair blend (only 10% mohair) in a worsted weight. I'm pretty sure I need a new winter cap, and this yarn works up beautifully in cables and textures. A handknit hat in Cumbria would be an amazing treat for yourself or someone special, if you're into that knitting-for-others sort of thing.

If you love Fibre Company yarns, then you already know how good these are going to be. If you don't love them yet, you will!