close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


It's knitting weather folks, and we have the big stuff in the shop to keep you cozy.
Our shelves are well-stocked with Cascade Magnum and Lana Grande.  

What to knit with these yarns?  I love Nancy's Charly Infinity Scarf with the Lana Grande.  We have a sample of this at the shop in one of the marled colorways.  If you can knit and purl, you can make this.  And you could probably be wearing it by tomorrow if you knit quickly.
I also love Laura Irwin's Textured Marbled Beret, knit with just one ball of Lana Grande. Laura has several amazing magnum projects, too, including the Softwaves Cowl and the Snail Twist Cowl.  These cowls are very architectural and unusual.  If you are craving simple, just cast on 12-15 stitches on a US 17 and knit every row until your yarn is gone.  Bam, big impact scarf.
Speaking of simple and big impact, do you all remember our Seed Stitch Cowl from awhile back?  It is very nice in Magnum, and it's the perfect thing to whip up to fight the chill. I am reposting the pattern here for you all. Come get your yarn and warm up!

Close Knit Seed Stitch Cowl
By Sally Palin

Yarn: 1 skein Cascade Magnum
Needles: US17 24" circular
Finished Size: 10" high by about 32" around
Gauge: about 8 stitches over 4" in seed stitch
Seed stitch in the round:
Round 1: *K1, P1* until 1 stitch remains. K1.

Round 2: *P1, K1* until 1 stitch remains. P1.
Basically, after round 1, you will simply knit your purls and purl your knits, so it's not crucial to know what row you are on.

Instructions: Cast on 65 stitches.
Twist once, place marker, and join for knitting in the round. (This twist is what you usually try to avoid when joining to knit in the round. You could also join normally to create a non-twisted cowl if you prefer, but the drape is not as nice.)
Seed stitch your heart out for about 10".
Bind off and enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Freia Lace and Sport

Quite a few of you have been asking (and calling and emailing and Facebooking) about the Freia yarns.  We are happy to announce a fresh batch of Ombre Lace and Ombre Sport.  

We currently have eight colorways of the Sport, and each is as lovely as the next.  I am still partial to Lichen (bottom left) and Vertigo (bottom right), but I can appreciate them all.
Our girl Lisa used one ball of the Lichen to knit up this adorable slouchy hat.  She was even generous enough of offer it up as a shop pattern, free with the purchase of the Ombre Sport yarn.
The hat features a sweet picot hemmed edge (which is not at all difficult to create), an easy peasy stockinette body, and a slouchy crown.  I love the way it shows off the nice range on color that occurs throughout the ball.  Nice work, Lisa.
We also have the Ombre Lace, which Adrienne used to make a Bateaux Mouches scarf.  Again, the full color range gets to come out and play in a project like this.  And that's really the point of this kind of yarn, isn't it?  So, it's on the shelves for you.  Come and get yours.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tosh Merino DK, Limited Quantities

The Tosh Merino DK is currently in the shop.  We only have four skeins of each color, though.  Man, this stuff is hard to get our hands on these days, but it's totally worth the effort.
The Merino DK is the buttery soft single ply with a lovely silky sheen, essentially the thicker version of the Tosh Merino Light Ann used for the Ombre hat.  I have a few skeins hanging out in my stash waiting to become the perfect thing.  I was poking around on Ravelry, and I came up with a few ideas for you all.  It's time to start knitting gifts, right?
Puck from Lioness Arts
Rikke from Sarah Young
Mara from Madelinetosh
I would absolutely try another A Little Ruffle from Jennifer Lang.  Remember that shawl that everyone made a few years back?  I think it's time for a fresh one in some new colors, don't you?
With such limited amounts in our grasp, what will you make with this coveted stuff?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tails to Hat

We have these bowls of Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails on the table...but what to do with them?  
Ann used these tiny skeins of Tosh Merino Light to make a One Bad Ombre hat!
What a fun way to use these little pops of color.  The pattern is available as a Ravelry download.  The designer makes lots of notes and comments about her gauge, but Ann suggests using the US3 recommended in the pattern.  The nice little turned hem adds a clean finish to the brim of the hat, and the length is perfectly slouchy without being sloppy.  Seems like a great project to add to the gift knitting list, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 28, 2014


This has been a month of adjusting for me.  How about you?  School starting, the early (and spectacular) sunsets, and the sloooooly changing weather.  I can see the leaves turning and I can feel the chill in the air, but then it often seems so warm and muggy by the afternoon.  I do know that I have been enjoying my knitting in the evenings again.  I have several projects on the needles that I look forward to showing you soon, but first, a few new things in the shop.
I don't think we have carried Noro Silk Garden Solo before.  It has all the sheen and silkiness of Silk Garden, but in some gorgeous pearly solids.  We only have the light grey and oak brown right now, but what else would you want?
I am happy to see the Silk Garden Sock in this amazing colorway.  It doesn't look like much on the outside of the ball, but the inside looks like fall exploded all over the place.
This lovely yarn would be perfect for a triangular shawl, a long ribbed scarf, or maybe my Bias Scarf?  I would suggest using a US4 or 5 and adding some increases to get the right width, maybe up to 85 stitches...whatever seems right to you as you go.  The striping would be diagonal, adding some cool effortless patterning.  Maybe the smooth Noro color transitions will help get me through this crazy month of changes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Plymouth, Part Deux

Most of those boxes from Plymouth were full of big yarn, a few of which we have not seen before.  Say hello to Baby Alpaca Magna, the biggest of the bunch.
This is another pure alpaca yarn with a chained construction, similar to the Baby Alpaca Aire that came in.  But the Magna is much thicker and sleeker.  It does not have the halo of the Aire, and it knits up at two stitches per inch on a US17.  It's similar in thickness to Cascade Mangum, but with the light and airy texture of Debbie Bliss Paloma.  I have never seen anything quite like it in our shop.  We are currently only carrying the natural shades (quartz, black, natural, and yak), because that's what you all seem to like best.

A little thinner and much more colorful, this is Gina Chunky.  Gina is a fun, self-striping yarn with 131 yards in each ball.  The colors combinations in each colorway are really lovely.  I am looking forward to seeing this knit up.
We also replenished our stock of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Worsted.  This is such a great yarn at a great price.  Just $7.75 for 102 yards of pure alpaca in some lovely, rich colors.  Always a winner.
I think that's everything that came in last week.  Can't wait for the next big shipment!  I'll let you know as soon as it's here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

So Much Plymouth Yarn!

On Monday, our diligent UPS driver dropped off four huge boxes from Plymouth, each one the size of a coffee table.  Poor guy.  But lucky us!  There is so much good stuff.
First up, the Baby Alpaca Grande shelf is chock full.  I unpacked 23 colors on Monday, and I can't believe Ann managed to get all of these in there.  We have tweeds, hues, hand-dyes, sparkles, and solids.  We have all the goods to make this popular cowl from Loop, too.  I know so many of you have loved this one.

We carried Coffee Beanz a few years back, and we have it in stock again now.  It's bright counterpart, Jelli Beanz, has joined the party, too.  These are great yarns for kid sweaters, hats, and scarves.  I think they would make really nice blankets, too.  The colors are fun, it's machine washable, and the yardage is ample.
Baby Alpaca Aire is new to the shop, and this is going to be popular.  It's a heavy worsted or aran weight, knitting up at 4 stitches per inch on a US9, and each ball contains almost 220 yards of chained alpaca fluffiness, and it is softsoftsoft.
It is really lovely, and the color range is sophisticated and beautiful.  The denimy blue (second from the left) and the reddish orange on the far right are competing to be my favorites.

Stay tuned for more updates from The Shipment that Broke the UPS Man's Back!