close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thank You, Classic Elite Yarns!

Classic Elite Yarns loves us! They are holding a very generous giveaway for fiber lovers who support their local yarn stores. If you spend $40 on yarn and/or books at Close Knit, they will send you one of their fabulous recent pattern books and three mini-skeins of their yarns.

You'll need to send them an itemized receipt to receive your gift, and it looks like you'll need the Close Knit address on the receipt, too, so please remind us when you check out. Their generous offer ends December 15, so take a look at the CEY
website for more information.

Between this, 10% off yarn this week, and our special Monday hours, we might as well just knit your holiday gifts for you! As long as you come clean my house and cook dinner, okay?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Five Years! and Mondays!

Close Knit opened five years ago, and we want to celebrate with a sale for all of our wonderful customers. From Monday, November 29th through Sunday, December 5, enjoy 10% off all yarn in the shop.* Thank you so much for making Close Knit such a wonderful place to knit, shop, and work. Treat yourself to something special next week!

We will also be open on Mondays from 10-5 starting November 29th through December 20th. Hopefully, this will give you a little extra time to come in and get what you need for all of your handknit gifts. Don't forget that we are open until 10 PM every Wednesday, too.

Sally just hand-picked some lovely knitterly gifts from one of our favorite Portland companies, Lantern Moon. We have silk notion bags, the best rice baskets, brocade project boxes, silk needle cases, and much more. Perhaps treat a fellow knitter...perhaps just drop a few hints to your family and friends when you conveniently wander past the yarn store after breakfast...

*This one week sale is only on yarn, and please do not combine this offer with other discounts. Thanks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Berroco Booklets

The Berroco fall pattern books are here. We have Blackstone Tweed & Chunky (#298), Norah Gaughan Volume 7, Sundae & Peruvia Quick (#299), Lustra (#289), and Vintage & Vintage Chunky (#302).

These books are chock full of pretty patterns. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Astor in Peruvia Quick,

Baudelaire in Blackstone Tweed Chunky,

and Americano in Vintage Chunky.

I actually cast on for this little vest as soon as possible. We don't have the Vintage Chunky at the shop, but Peruvia Quick is working out just perfectly. It's a little bit thicker than the yarn used in the pattern, so I am getting the nice dense fabric I was hoping for using size 10 needles. I'll post some photos as soon as it's finished. I'm hoping it will class up my jeans and t-shirt uniform...

Since we aren't currently stocking several of the yarns from these books, I wanted to list a few nice alternatives so you're prepared when you fall in love with one of these great booklets.

Lustra: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Cascade Venezia Worsted, Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran
Blackstone Tweed: Classic Elite Portland Tweed, Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed, Kathmandu Aran
Blackstone Tweed Chunky: Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Chunky, Debbie Bliss Glen, Rowan Purelife Renew
Vintage Chunky: Cascade 128 Superwash, Rowan Cocoon

Monday, November 15, 2010

Knit Night at Cruzroom

If you are in need of a little more scheduled creative time in your busy week, stop by the Cruzroom tonight for some tacos, drinks, and some crafting camaraderie. The bar is just a few blocks from Close Knit on NE Alberta and 24th Ave. We'll get started around 8:00, and there will be drink specials just for the crafters. The owner has promised a special corner for us with good lighting.

We'll be doing this every Monday night, except for the last Monday of each month. In December, our very own Melissa will host a knit-along for one of our popular free patterns. This week, I will have a few samples from the shop to show off to get you thinking about your next project.

Any and all skill levels are welcome, and Jenni and I will be available to help with any knitting questions or emergencies. Any kind of crafting is welcome, too, although we aren't really set up for glassblowing or anything...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Silky Wool has Arrived

Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool has arrived at the shop. This yarn was one of my first loves when I started knitting, and I am very pleased that we are carrying it again.
Silky Wool is a blend of silk and wool (obviously), with a little nylon for strength, but you'll never notice it. It has the slight crunch of silk, which is perfectly balanced with the all of the best qualities of the wool. It is a little bit tweedy, the colors are beautiful, and it knits up nicely in cables, lace, and anything in between.

Several years ago, I used Silky Wool to make Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style. This was actually my initial foray into lace, and it was nice to work with a DK yarn rather than jumping in with laceweight yarn on my first try. The stitch definition of the Silky Wool is very nice, and the lace blocked out perfectly. Plus, how can you not love that color?
This yarn is ideal for very wearable cardigans and pullovers, too. It would be perfect for almost any of the Pipibird designs that I wrote about in April. The very popular Goodale by Cecily Glowik MacDonald would be fabulous in this yarn, and most sizes would take only four skeins. If you are planning a sweater with Silky Wool, I do recommend blocking your swatch, as the silk content of this yarn will cause it to stretch and grow a bit.
If you haven't tried Silky Wool, stop by the shop to check out the samples. I think you'll fall in love, too.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiring Patterns for Meaningful Yarns

Manos del Uruguay has been admitted to the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) for their work supporting farmers and artisans through individual cooperatives throughout Uruguay. The co-ops provide benefits for their members, including health insurance and pensions, and each tag is signed by an artisan who made the yarn. You can read more about their mission and history here and here.

Since we recently received a great big Manos shipment, I wanted to share a few new books to go along with all of that fabulous yarn.

Adirondack Accessories is full of projects from some very popular knitwear designers, including Laura Grutzeck and Melissa LaBarre. There are mittens, fingerless gloves, hats, cowls, and legwarmers to entice those of you looking for a little bit of (relatively) quick gratification. Even though the projects are on the smaller side, there is plenty going on to keep your attention.

There is colorwork,
cabling, and some interesting details and construction techniques. The accessories are knit in Manos Silk Blend, Wool Clasica, and Rittenhouse. If you have been ogling any of these yarns, this little book gives you the perfect reason to welcome a few skeins into your fold. This book and few lovely skeins would also make a thoughtful gift for a fellow knitter.

We also have a book of sweater patterns, Rittenhouse Merino 5-Ply Collection 2: Just off the Square. (We still have a few copies of Collection 1: Community Garden, as well.) The designers have really played up the textured stitches in the book with pullovers, vests, and cardigans.
To top it all off, Fairmount Fibers has a whole page of free patterns. I'm thinking about the Handful of Berries Mittens knit up in soft and vibrant Maxima or the Botany Kerchief knit with either Maxima or Rittenhouse.

Manos del Uruguay provides fiber artists with the opportunity to create handmade crafts from beautiful handmade yarn. If this connection to other artists appeals to you, stop by the shop and get inspired while we have a wonderful selection!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holidays on Alberta

Our fiber-minded friends on Alberta are gearing up for the winter holidays. No matter which of the upcoming days are most special to you, odds are good that you have the itch to create beautiful things for the people you love. I have spoken with several Close Knitters who are already well on their way to completing several holiday gifts, and I am in awe of their foresight and project monogamy. If you are like me, you often need a little motivation to get those gifts done before the big deadline. Perhaps a class would help!

Join us at Modern Domestic on Friday, November 5 for a Handmade Holiday Open House. There will be treats to eat and drink, a drawing for some holiday crafting and decorating goodies, and special discounts on classes in the Handmade Holiday Series.

The Modern Domestic crew have chosen several classes to cater to the gift giver in you. Nothing beats a pair of handmade socks, a quick-knit cabled scarf, or some surprisingly warm fingerless gloves. Your loved ones will be warm and toasty...maybe even warm and toasty enough to give you a gift certificate to Modern Domestic or Close Knit if you drop enough hints.

Photos courtesy of Modern Domestic.