close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Embrace the Grey

The sun was shining out there yesterday, but those skies are cloudy this morning.  And that makes me want something cozy.  And grey, for some reason.
Good thing we have a shelf full of these plump lovelies.  The Galler Peruvian Tweed speaks to me every time we have it on the shelves.  The natural tweedy marl of this yarn is visually interesting and lusciously soft.  One of these big ol' skeins is 595 yards, too, so one is plenty for a nice big wrap.
Maybe something as easy as a Boneyard Shawl, or you could use the Textured Shawl Recipe. A nice long ribbed scarf would be so nice...something like the Churchmouse Pressed Rib MufflerNo. 4 from Shibui would be amazing and gorgeous, but I would certainly commit to two skeins and make it huge.  Keep it simple on the texture, though.  The halo of the yarn will obscure anything too intricate, so ribbing or garter or stockinette for sure.
How about a Groovy?  I love my white linen/wool version.  I am constanly sizing up any new and tempting yarn to see if it might be suitable for my next Groovy, and a squishy grey Peruvian Tweed version seems just right. 

I just finished up a few projects...I might need to treat myself with some of this stuff.  The darkest charcoal grey is calling my name.  And I know I'll need something to match those grey skies that are looming.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Color Options

The calendar says spring is officially here, and many of us will be on spring break next week.  Let's look at some nice color, shall we?  
First up, Crazy Zauberball.  It's a crazy fingering weight wool with a cool handspun/marled/gradient thing happening.  Great for socks, hats, cowls, shawls...I love it for the September Circle.  I made one of these with Kauni a few years ago, and I can highly recommend the pattern.  It would be a great first lace project if you are looking to dip your toes into that pool. 

For a super-easy option, the Baktus is always a good choice.  The simplest garter stitch triangle will really highlight the cool yarn, on its own or striped with a solid.  You really can't go wrong with a Baktus.  As for sweaters, the wardrobe staple Funky Grandpa cardigan uses the Zauberball for stripes against a solid background.  There are nearly 12,000 projects on Ravelry with this yarn.  That's usually a good sign.

During the yarn crawl, I had several knitters ask about Footlights from Blue Ridge Yarns.  I had not really thought too hard about the possibilities for this pretty stuff, but I started looking after the crawl.
These little bundles contain 400 yards of four coordinating colors of richly-dyed superwash merino sock yarn.  You can use them for shawls, mitts, cowls...any place you might want smallish amounts of colors that will go together.  I've linked to Ravelry projects that caught my eye, but there are so many possibilities.  Blue Ridge Yarns offers a free sock pattern, too.
We currently have Navajo Sunset, Pansies, Apple Rose, and River Rocks.  Sometimes it's the colorway names that get me, and these are good ones.
Finally, we have everyone's favorite shade of Shiraito back in stock for the Soft Waves Hat.  There are several more on the way, but I wanted to make sure you knew this one was on the shelves.
There is some really pretty yarn rolling in for lighter weight knitting.  I am really excited to tell you about the newest yarn from Berroco...more on that soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Deep End of Neon

We are a bit concerned about Sally.  She might have gone off the deep end.  She ordered this.
Is that a super bulky nylon tape yarn, you ask?  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  Can you tell that it's all neon?
This is Filara.  I was very skeptical until Sally brought in her swatch. 
It is squishy, lofty, and has a very nice hand...not snaggy and sticky like some synthetic tape yarns.  This little swatch has got me thinking about all the crazy cool things you could do with neon super bulky tape yarn.  (Aside from a mini dress and an oversized boxy cardigan, of course.)

Maybe a headband?  This would be another easy way to keep track of my daughter on the playground, and it should wash up easily enough when she drops it in the mud.  This one looks like it should work up with just one ball.  I like the texture of this should look really cool with the tape yarn.  There are plenty of free pattern choices on Ravelry.  I know a few vegan knitters chose this for their Cowlbertas during the yarn crawl.  Legwarmers might be crazy fun, too, if you or your people are itching to relive the 80's.

It looks as if this neon craze is sticking around for a little while longer, so let's join Sally in the deep end, shall we?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Francis, Anyone?

Whew.  Sorry to leave you all for so long...I am still recovering from the time change last weekend.  (Tell me I'm not the only one.)  I have been knitting, though, and dreaming about knitting.  Specifically, I've been dreaming of Shibui.  They sent us a trunk show to display during the yarn crawl, and I know several of you have fallen in love with their designs.  The real star?  Francis, for sure.  We're getting calls about it everyday.
I keep meaning to try this sample on while it's still at the shop...hopefully it will be around next week.  If you have a moment this weekend, I highly recommend stopping in to take a look.  It's worked side to side, and the back is so cool.  Check out the scooped hems and that dramatic split.  These details give the top such a nice swing and flow.  And the yarn?  Oh, my.
Francis is knit up with Shibui Heichi, a 100% recycled silk worsted weight yarn.  It reminds me the slightest bit of Rowan Summer Tweed, but sososo much nicer.  And the colors?  Well...
Francis is available as a Ravelry download, and we have a nice stock of Heichi in the shop right now.  It's knit on US8, so it won't even take very long.  You'll be wearing it by summer.  Hopefully I will have recovered from this Daylight Savings Hangover by then...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A New Go-To?

This yarn has been knocking around the shop for a few months.
I have been meaning to tell you about it, but I was kind of overwhelmed by all of the colors.  And then Sally ordered more colors.  So now it's time to talk about it before she orders even more.
I must say, I am really impressed with the new Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.  When folks come in looking for a nice all-purpose worsted weight yarn, I generally show them the Cascade 220.  But now, I feel like we have another very nice option in this yarn.  And it's superwash!
I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable price point, too.  Only $10.95 for 219 yards of superwash wool.  That's a pretty good deal, especially for Rowan.
Honestly, I have not always been impressed with their superwash yarns, so I was a little skeptical.  
But then Ann whipped up this River Mist Cowl in the light grey and mustard shades, and I knew I was going to have to give it a shot.  The yarn is soft and lofty, and the colors are really rich and full.  A few heathered options, as well.
We have two of the pattern books featuring Pure Wool Worsted, Simple Shapes and The Pure Wool Worsted Collection.
Let me show you a few designs from Simple Shapes.  Who doesn't need a grandpa cardigan like Minn?
Or a basic cap or cabled scarf like Burra and Ismay?  Lots of classic stuff.  Several men's sweaters, too.

I love that cover sweater, Alba, from the collection.
Morna looks like a cozy live-in sweater, for sure.

Spence is designed as a unisex fisherman's sweater, and it really shows off how well this yarn does cables.

Rowan also offers a collection of free home decor and pillow patterns for Pure Wool Worsted.  The patterns use several interesting textured stitches and multiple colors to create some really unusual items.  I really like the Chainlink Cushion and the Wheel Barrel Cushion.  Take a look at their site for more.

I think this yarn is going to be a big hit for all you knitters looking for a high-quality superwash option.  I know it will be a great choice for the man sweaters, too.  I am happy to have more options to give people looking for a nice basic worsted wool in a wide range of colors.  I'll keep you posted if Sally orders even more!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Consume More Fiber

Do you need help getting more fiber into your life?  Maybe these nice posters from Fringe Supply Co. can help.
These 16x20 letterpress posters are printed on some beefy cardstock.  I love the graphics and the clean design...look at those fat sheep!
And we have tote bags!  These are beefy and high-quality, too.
I am really impressed with the quality of the goods from Fringe Supply Co.  Their company motto is "nice things for makers", and I love the idea of giving quality goodies to people who will really appreciate them.  Either of these would make lovely gifts for your favorite fiber fiend.  Or yourself.  We won't tell.

P.S. Congrats to our lucky Yarn Crawl winners!  Emily M., Rebecca B., Marie B., and Janelle S. won our Close Knit door prizes.  Our big basket went to Karen D., and Jill P. and Michelle L. each won a gift certificate.  Thanks so much for participating, and we hope you love your gifts!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Last Day to Yarn Crawl

Have you all been keeping up with the Yarn Crawl happenings at Close Knit?  Our Facebook page is covered with the proud (and tired) faces of yarn crawlers who made it to all eighteen Portland-area shops.  Those adventurous folks are entered to win a humongous prize basket filled with lots of yarny goodies.  It's huge.
For those of you who have only made it to a few shops (or maybe just one), you are still entered into the raffle at each shop where you signed in.  There are large and lovely baskets at each shop, as well as very generous yarn kits and gift certificates.
Our sweet and talented friend Sarah of Bumblebirch joined us, and I know you all fell in love with her yarn.  I snagged the lone skein of Forage in Dandelion.  
So pretty.  Sarah will be at the shop for the rest of the crawl, showing off her beautiful yarns.  She has a smattering of the worsted weight Forage, as well as her three fingering weights Grove, Wellspring, and Heartwood.

If you made a purchase at Close Knit, we gave you a Ravelry code for our free pattern, the Cowlberta.  Don't forget to use this by Monday at midnight!  It will expire!  The patterns will be available as part of an ebook, but they are only accessible as freebies until Monday night.
Photo borrowed from RCYC Ravelry page.
It was fun to see all of the color combos that knitters chose for their cowls.  I wore a carbon/soapstone/leapfrog sample around the shop for a bit on Friday, and I was so pleased with the Spud & Chloe Outer.  So soft and still 10% off for the rest of the crawl!  All of the shops are open today from 10-6, so there is plenty of time to come get yours.
Thank you so much to everyone who visited our shop, whether you are a long-time Close Knitter or a first-timer.  We are happy to have you and we hope to see you all again soon!  Maybe not all at the same time, though...we need a minute to recuperate and clean up the shop!