close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, September 28, 2012

Love Love Love Knit.Wear

It's here!  The eagerly-anticipated knit.wear fall 2012 is in the shop.
This is the third issue of this special publication, and it's beginning to look like a regular offering from Interweave.  I could not be happier about this.  There is something about the aesthetic of this magazine that really appeals to me.  The photography and styling are so clean and minimal, and projects are grouped together in these little stories centered around a common design feature.  Let's take a look.  (I can't access any details on the Interweave site, and Ravelry does not have all of the designs posted yet, so please forgive my incomplete link-fest below.)

The all-over textural details of the pieces in Material Things are so impactful.  I really like these two sweaters, the Lattice Cardigan and Thermal PulloverJamieson's Spindrift or our new Jarbo fingering weight (more on that soon) would be ideal for the cardigan, and Cascade 220 would be ideal for the pullover.
The Open Up story features some cool lace and some really interesting constructions.  I have already queued the Trapezoid Tee, designed in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, which we should be seeing soon.
The Disc Cardigan is made from five rectangles, believe it or not, and the dramatic shape of the Arc and Line Cowl is achieved with some interesting decreasing.
The Nip/Tuck story shows off texture.  The Waved Wrap is a free-flowing thing of beauty.
The Gathered Blouse is quite flattering in Cascade Venezia, and the Smocked Skirt shows promise, too.  The Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan from the cover is part of this story, too.  So many great details.
Elastic showcases some sweaters with simple textures plus ribbing.  I love the Boxed Pullover by Norah Gaughan...I will be casting on for that this weekend.
Amy Christoffer's Columnar Jacket is a winner, too.
The final story, In the Details, is all about the high-impact cable.  The Honeycomb-Collar Pullover in Rowan Cocoon looks so cozy.
The Turned-Cable Cardigan features a big ol' cable that goes all the way around the body of the sweater.
The simple shaping and construction of the Horseshoe Cape shows off the cable to its best.
The Mirrored-Cable Swing Coat would be so warm in Cascade Magnum.  Take a look at the interesting back detail, too.
I've only shown you a handful of the designs in this great magazine, and the articles are worth a look, too.  There is a very interesting piece discussing the use of a sewing machine on your handknits, and a must-have encyclopedia covering all methods of casting on and binding off.
I have my copy in hand, so it is safe to send you all to the shop for yours.  Go now.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Classic Elite Blackthorn

Our Blackthorn trunk show is on the ladies!  We're featuring the designs from the Blackthorn pattern book, #9182 for the next week.  If that chill in the air is getting to you, the soft and chunky Blackthorn might be just the thing for a quick knit to warm you up.  Take a look.
Blackthorn is a chunky wool/alpaca blend in the natural, undyed shades of the Classic Elite Mountain Top collection.  Knitting up at 3 to 3.5 stitches/inch on a US10.5 or 11, this one will make for some quick knits.
Jenni and I agreed that Spyder Lake, a cozy cabled sweater dress, is calling out for some skinny jeans and boots as the weather cools down.  The smallest size requires only seven skeins, so I think this one would knit up pretty quickly.
Birchfield features some really nice finishing, including a double-layered collar and folded under front edges for a clean look.  The thick collar stands up and holds its shape really nicely.  Love the asymmetrical opening and the chance to use some pretty buttons on this one, too.  Again, only seven skeins for the smallest size.
Photo from Classic Elite Yarns site
Widgeon Hill is knit lengthwise with just four skeins.  I thought this was a cowl at first, given the direction of the detailed edge, but I love the scarf length.  You could easily join it in the round for a nice long wrap-around infinity scarf.
Photo from Classic Elite Yarns site
A few of our knitters have already found these easy-peasy chunky mittens.  I know of at least one pair that will soon be off to warm up a loved one in chilly Minnesota.

These samples are here for you!  Don't be shy about stripping the mannequins and trying on the fabulous pieces.  We will have these until the middle of next week, so we'll see you soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Liberty Wool Light

We have been loving Classic Elite Liberty Wool since we starting carrying it, and we are excited to see the Liberty Wool Light.
The Light is a sport weight (and still machine-washable) version of the original in the same beautiful colors.
The pattern book has some cute stuff, too, and we have a nice little ruffly cowl sample at the shop.

This pretty little yarn would be great for kid and baby stuff, and I think it would be perfect for some quick socks, too.  Come take a look!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sock Yarns and New Classes

The sock wall is nice and plump right now with old friends and new favorites.
We restocked the Vincent Van Gogh self-patterning yarn from Opal.  A few of my friends have been cranking out socks with this yarn.  I've had a few requests from the family for fancy socks, so I might have to jump on the band wagon and cast on, too.  Opal yarns are high-quality, soft, and durable...perfect for gifts.
Opal also sent us the patterns for the adorable Opal Sock Yarn Bunny, designed by Susan B. Anderson.  I love the way the self-patterning adds to the character on that sweet little face.  And the floppy ears are killing me.
The Cascade Heritage and Heritage Paints are back, too, with some of the best colors.  This yarn wears like iron, too, and the Cascade color range never disappoints.

I am quite excited about this self-striping sock yarn, Mini Raggi from Jarbo.  The colors are weird and awesome, and the stripes are pretty regular.
You can get a better feel for the self-striping pattern from the poster.  We have the three striped yarns on the left.
We also have the pretty blue shade, and we're waiting on the cool black/purple/green one on the far right.
At only $12.75 per skein, this is a great one to stash for gifts and selfish knitting, which is exactly what I will be doing.

I have always been a double-pointed-needle lover, but the joy of the magic loop technique has recently been revealed to me.  I might even jump in with both feet (ha!) and try two-at-a-time.  We'll be offering a class on this magical method in November.
We are also offering a class on Calley's Urchin Pillow at the end of October.  You'll need the most basic crochet skills to participate in the class, and we have a Learn to Crochet workshop in mid-October to get you all set up.

We also have a Fix Your Mistakes class coming up in a few weeks!  Ann and Lisa will teach you all kinds of good things that will keep you from getting stalled out when you make mistakes.  From dropped stitches to unknitting, you'll learn all kinds of good things.

We also have our regularly-scheduled Knitting: Beginning and Beyond and Learn to Knit Workshop.  Even if you know the basics, these classes might still be perfect for you.  The instructors are happy to help you take your skills to the next level.

The chill is in the air, whether you're thinking about classes or socks, we can help.  See you soon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hand-Dyed Goodness

There are some lovely hand-dyed yarns fresh in the shop for you.
When I opened up a box of Chris from Schaefer Yarns on Monday morning, I could still smell the faint odor of the vinegar they use to set the dyes.  That's some fresh yarn.

Chris is a very durable machine washable worsted weight yarn.  This is great for kids sweaters, hats, and mittens because it will wear like iron.  With 215 yards per skein, it's also a great value, especially for hand-dyed goodness.  We have some nice bright colorways like Snoopy's Crayons and Hermione, shown above, and a few more subtle options as well.

Quest from Knitty was designed using Chris, and it's a great hat.  There is a little short row brim and an interesting honeycomb texture.  There is a version without the honeycomb as well, which is equally cool.
We also have a cute little vest, which Mr. Bear is modelling for us here.  It's a free pattern with the purchase of the yarn, and the smallest sizes require only one skein of Chris.  
If the flashing and pooling of the hand-dyed colors bother you, you can knit a few alternating rows from either end of the ball.  It takes the slightest bit of extra thought, but it's the best way to eliminate the pooling of any hand-dyed yarn.
If you prefer a tad more subtlety in your hand-dyes, Dream in Color is your company.  The fresh batch of Classy arrived last week, and I have been playing with color combinations.  This is Cocoa Kiss and Ruby River.
Here's Into the Mystic and Spring Tickle.
This is Happy Forest and Petal Shower.
And my personal favorites, Nightwatch and Strange Harvest.
I love these colors so much, and I have been trying to figure out a good way to combine them into a blanket.  I think the New Super Easy Baby Blanket from The Purl Bee is a great option.
I love the colorblocking, and I love not having to worry about running out.  I can just knit to the end of the ball and then start with a new color.  I'll cast on 200 stitches or so with a US8 and just keep adding colors until it's big enough...that should make a pretty sizable throw blanket.  I used this yarn to make a sweater for my kid, and I can tell you that the Classy is very hardy, too.  She wore it much of last winter, and it still looks great.
If you are thinking about socks on these chilly mornings, we have Starry for your viewing and knitting pleasure. 
What can I say?  It's hand-dyed, it's a sock yarn, and it's sparkly.  These yarns are all machine washable and absolutely beautiful.  Come and get yours while they are still fresh.