close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, November 26, 2012

Big Stuff Coming Through

The big yarns are rolling in (and out) of Close Knit at a pretty steady clip.
This is the Cascade Magnum, or it was the Magnum as of last week...I know that a few of these colors have already flown the coop.  Magnum is one of the bulkiest yarns we regularly stock, weighing in at 2 stitches per inch on a US17!  

It is a shimmering 100% wool single-ply in some of the most gorgeous colors.  Our sample of Sally's Seed Stitch cowl knit uses just one skein of Magnum, and it's one of our most popular samples.
We also have a great color range of Cascade Lana Grande, a 2-ply bulky yarn that knits up at a slightly lighter gauge.

I love these marled colorways...they knit up like tweed fabric.  I am pretty certain we are almost out of the lighter shade, but there will be more.
Want a few ideas?  Of course you do!  

Above is the Charley Infinity Scarf from the blog of our lovely friend Nancy.  Two balls of Lana Grande and some big'll have a cowl in no time.  This sample has been in the shop for some time, and I am really impressed at how little pilling there is on the scarf.
Photo from Laura's Ravelry Shop
I used the Magnum to make Laura Irwin's Snail Twist Cowl last winter.  This one was a bit of a challenge at the end, but I promise that it works.  Bring it on in, and I'll help you with the seaming.  It's all in the seaming.

I just checked her Ravelry pattern shop, and now I have to make the Softwaves Magnum Cowl with just one skein of Magnum and the Textured Marbled Beret with one ball of Lana Grande.  I was about to get a little overwhelmed by all of this inspiration when I realized that each of these projects will only take a few hours each.  Yay!  I can cast on as much as I want and still get it all done.

I am also loving the Vite Cowl, the Drop Stitch Cowl, and the Grey Owl Cowl.
Photo from the Shalimar Yarns Ravelry Page
Photo from Spiderwomanknits Ravelry page.
Photo From Loop Knit Lounge Ravelry Shop
What are you going to make with these big beautiful yarns?  Come on in and show us what you've been doing.  We love to see your projects!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Boxes

Thanksgiving has crept up on all of us at the shop this year.  Fortunately, the folks at Little Boxes were prepared.  This little grass-roots organization encourages us to spend our holiday shopping dollars at the little boxes rather than the big boxes.
Here's how it works.

Step 1: Start your day off shopping at one of the participating shops listed on the website.  There is a great map and a list broken down by neigborhood.  Enter the raffle, and get your map stamped.

Step 2: Go to another participating shop, enter the raffle again.  Repeat at as many shops at possible.  If you collect four stamps on your map, you get 15 extra raffle tickets.  Eight stamps get you 20 extra tickets, and 12 or more will get you 30 extra tickets.  The more purchases you make at the Little Boxes, the more raffle tickets you can earn.  Plus, if you show your stamped map, you can receive a 10% discount at the next shop (with some exceptions). 

The raffle prizes are kind of amazing.  Take a look at the list.  There are gift certificates, shopping sprees, prizes, and an iPad.  Not too shabby.

No opening at 9PM on Thursday, no Black Friday lines out the door, no crazy shopping cart wars.  We will all be open from 10AM-7PM on Friday and Saturday to give you plenty of time to make your way around town.  

This is a better style of holiday shopping, supporting the small businesses that make Portland the place was all love to live.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Check out the wacky new yarn from Schoppel called Gradient.  As you might expect, this yarn does some slow color changes over the course of the ball, a little bit like Noro, but it's much softer.
Gradient is a worsted weight, so you'll get about 4-5 stitches per inch on a US7ish.  The yarn itself has a really unusual texture.  It's almost like a lightly felted single ply, so the yarn is very round and springy.  And the colors...
These are my two favorites, the most outlandish and the most subtle.  The tonal ones are nice, too.
The Ravelers have used this yarn in some spectacular ways.  There are several versions of Carina Spencer's Zuzu's Petals that are really breathtaking.  This unusual item is a cowl meant to look like a lace shawl.  Brilliant!
Gradient would make a great hat, too.  Maybe Turn a Square or the beloved Felicity slouch?  If you'd like to try fingerless gloves, maybe Nancy's Leah Gloves?  One ball of this crazy cool stuff will get you a hat, a cowl, or a pair of gloves.  You might have to think about where in the color repeat you want to start if you want to try gloves.  Or they can be fraternal if that sort of thing doesn't bother you.

This yarn is new in the shop, but going fast!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Isager is Here

We resisted it for far too long...Sally has caved to the beauty that is Isager.  We are starting out with some pretty books and a bit of yarn.
Above is the Amimono Bird Collection, The Fine Line, and the latest Amimono book from 2010.  I began collecting the Isager Amimono books as soon as I learned of their existence, and I am thrilled to see them on our shelves.  I have also been less-than-patiently waiting for the Bird Collection to be translated into English and appear at our shop.  (Surprise!  It also contains a Little Birds Collection for the littles in your life.)

We have a few more books from the Isager line, too, including Hat Ladies, All You Knit is Love, and Tutto a Mano.  I feel compelled to warn you that the baby book in the middle there contains cabled balloon pants (ballonbusker!) that are impossibly cute.  I am dying to see some on an actual child.

And we have yarn, too.
This is Spinni (or Wool 1), a single ply lace-weight wool in a stunning and sophisticated color palate.  There are several designs in the the Bird Collection that feature this lovely stuff.  We are narrowing down our choices on which other Isager yarn we will be carrying, but we can help you find the perfect thing if you are ready to get started on any of these designs.
We have a few single patterns from Isager, as well, which are really worth a look.  This is the Bateaux Mouches Scarf, the Olive Blouse, and the Zig Zag Scarf.  I feel like the Olive Blouse was the one that really pulled me into the Isager world initially, so it's great to see the pattern available as a single.

I don't know what it is about these designs that I find so appealing and inspiring.  Perhaps it's the attention to fine details, the unusual shapes and techniques, or maybe it's because they are just so pretty.  I have yet to knit a stitch from any of these books that I have been coveting and collecting for years, but I have plans.  Lots of plans.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Petite Trunk Show

We spoke last month about the Royal Petite phenomenon.  The trunk show has arrived from Blue Sky Alpacas, and I am quite certain the craze will continue once you all see these finished items.
We have here the Catherine Cowl, the Mitini Mitts, the Buckingham Hat, the Tiny Empress Set, and the Westminster Hat.  The Royal yarn is incredibly soft, and these designs really demonstrate how some relatively simple stitches can have high impact when worked in such a luxurious yarn.
The Westminster and Buckingham Hats get the approval of a choosy (and very itch-sensitive) 5 year old.
The yarn is amazing, the designs are classic, and I stand by my assertion that even the most particular recipient will approve of any one of these pieces.  We have a great range of colors and patterns in stock now, but they do go quickly.  If you have been dreaming about any of these, I would pop in this weekend and choose your favorite.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Majestic Tweed

Earlier this fall, we received a shipment of Majestic Tweed, a beautiful new yarn from Classic Elite Yarns.  The colors are rich and tweedy, and it's so soft.  The angora gives it a nice subtle halo, and the silk really adds and interesting touch.

We now have a trunk show at the shop featuring designs from the Majestic Tweed pattern booklet, #9185.  Let's take a look!

From the cover, the lovely (and very long) Queen's Jubilee with a pretty stranded yoke.
Marquess, a swingy cardigan, employs some intriguing construction work.
Check out the sideways back detail.  Very unusual.
Lady Jane takes an interesting twist on the classic cabled cardigan by adding very deep armholes and wide cozy and easy to wear.
Baroness has a nice wide boatneck and grown-on sleeves.  I didn't care for the photos of this, but I really like it in person.
We have accessories, too!  The beret, Coronet, has a sweet and surprising leaf edging incorporated into the brim.
Perhaps my favorite of all is the unusual cowl, Tower of London.  This piece combines a classic cabled section with a strip of netting.  I love the way the two parts play together.  With four skeins of Majestic Tweed, this might be on the holiday gift knitting list for some special people. 

Jenni and I agreed that this yarn is so much more appealing knit up in these pretty samples than it has been on the shelf.  The subtle tweediness really shines through, and the soft hand and slight halo are really hard to resist.  We will have these for another week or so.  Drop off your ballot and come take a look!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


We have shelves full of Berroco Flicker!  I know how many of you fell in love with this yarn, so you'll be happy to see some new colors in the mix.
The new colors include the beautiful blue known as Violette, the deep heathered red called Giselle, and that gorgeous teal, Myrtha.

Want a few ideas?  Okay.

We have a sample of the Simple Slouchy Hat in the shop that Sally modified slightly in order to make it a single skein project.  (Let us know if you're interested, and we can make a copy for you when you come in for the yarn.)  

The alpaca content adds a nice drape, even with the chained texture, so ruffles might be nice.  Maybe Just Enough Ruffles?  Or for slightly more than just enough ruffles, perhaps the Flickering Ruffle Scarf from designer Andra Asars.
Photo from Andra Asars website

Flicker is such a nice gift-knitting choice.  I feel like people who might not normally be into the handkints might easily be swayed by this pretty stuff.  The sparkle adds just enough to make a basic knit something special...I think I might have to make the  Grey Quartz Cowl with this in mind.
Photo from Andra Asars website
The yarn is lofty and light, so it's great for sweaters, too, and Berroco has a slew of freebies for Flicker.  Find your favorite pattern and come see the lovely new shades in person.