close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eye Candy

I realize that swatching is not everyone's favorite part of a project. But when you get to use a beautiful shade of Harrisville Flywheel, it's really not so bad. This is the Stonewall colorway, but I think I bought all of it. Don't worry. The other shades are gorgeous, too.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Brioche Scarf Class

Emily wants to teach you knitting magic! Brioche stitch creates this gorgeous, double-sided fabric that is thick and squishy and so satisfying to knit and wear. I made a brioche cowl years ago, and the finished product reminded me of a sea creature.
Emily used the Brioche Basix pattern, a freebie on Ravelry. You can use that pattern for the class, or any other brioche pattern that you like. My cowl is a mashup of the Purl Soho Brioche Cowl and the Newsprint Cowl, if that one looks appealing.

Class starts August 1 at 6:30! Give us a call at the shop or pop in to sign up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alpaca Speckles!

We love a good speckled yarn, and the Baby Alpaca Hand Dyes are always just perfect. The whole range of hand dyes is really beautiful, but the speckles always get me. I'm in love with all five. The Plymouth website gives you an idea of how they will knit up when you scroll over each colorway, but it seems to me that the skeins we have in stock have more white background showing through than the swatches on the website. I did a little Ravelry search to give you a better idea of what to expect.
The photo above shows 141 (blues and brights) and 145 (pinks and purples).
These two are 142 (blues and blacks) and 144 (browns and oranges and yellows). And this one below is 143 (PINK).
Obviously, they are not going to knit up the same way between dye lots, so you might get some slight variations from what you see on Ravelry. But they are all so beautiful, you are guaranteed a lovely finished product!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Eye Candy

My week has started with a whirlwind! How about you all? I'm hoping to squeeze in a little calming knitting this evening to soothe my soul. In the meantime, here's a lovely hat and some pretty Swans Island yarn for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More Cotton! It's Supreme

Look at this big ol' batch of Cotton Supreme! Such pretty colors, and the yarn is so very squishy. I've used this for cute little baby hats, which are in the shop as samples, and I know a few knitters have used it for blankets. I have face cloths and washcloths on the brain, though, so that needs to happen.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Eye Candy

There are at least six fresh shades of Kureyon in the shop. It took us a few minutes to find them all, but they are sure pretty. All you Noromanicas out there, come and get it!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Flax Linen Sport and Lace

Yes, I did look a little crazy as I took these pictures out on the street corner. But this beautiful Fibra Natura Flax deserved to be seen in some sunlight! This beautiful sport/DK weight pure linen is available in a range of summery shades for all kinds of great projects...pullovers, cardigans, wraps, bags, facecloths. Your finished items will be machine washable and dryable. In fact, whatever you create with this yarn will soften up appreciably with each washing.
We are also happy to see Flax Lace in the shop this season. It's a much lighter weight, and a much softer color palette. So lovely and sophisticated.
Imagine a floaty wrap using this beautiful yarn. Lace patterns, garter stitch...either one would be really lovely to wear, and the perfect thing to be knitting on this summer.

The linen always goes fast, so if you see colors that you love, pop in soon and make them yours!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Knitscene Fall 2017

The fall issue of Knitscene is out, and it is chock full of cute cardigans with lovely details. Let's take a look!
This one has thumb holes on those extra long cuffs!
I also loved the shawl on the cover, and these cute little mitts.
I remember reading somewhere that one should always be knitting or sewing for the next season. Can we start knitting for fall now? Always?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Eye Candy

I do love knitting on the beach. This is the start of my (third) Tea with Jam and Bread, this time for my littlest one in colors of her choosing. I'm using good ol' Cascade 220 again, which softens up so much and stands up to some serious abuse. Not the most summery of projects, but the kid needs a new sweater for fall.
I hope your summer knitting is relaxing and satisfying! We will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, but otherwise we are open regular summer hours this week. Happy July!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Washcloth Advice

Does anyone else have trouble taking their own advice? Always wear sunscreen, don't forget your charger, knit some handy washcloths...

I was wiping up my kitchen counters with a raggedy bit of paper towel last week, when it occurred to me that I could do better. Much better. We talked a bit last week about the new Cotton DK and quick little washcloth pattern, which I will be making soon.
But I already had a nice stash of Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton on hand, and I wanted some garter stitch washcloths like my grandma used to make. So I scribbled down this easy (and free) pattern and grabbed my scraps and a US8. These were so much fun to make! Each one requires about 50g of this cotton, so one skein will get you two washcloths.
We have a really nice smattering of colors in the shop now, and I can promise that this yarn is really lovely to knit. Classic Elite Seedling would be great for these, too, and we have a few shelves of solids and at least one (discontinued) multi.
Seriously, these washcloths are really fun to make, and so nice to use. Take my advice. Don't be like me. Knit some washcloths.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eye Candy

Fresh batch of Squish Worsted Superwash from The Farmers Daughter Fibers. Love these colors! I am also loving the Tribal Beanie, designed with this gorgeous yarn.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Debbie Bliss Cotton DK (and a Wee Washcloth Pattern)

We have the bright and sweet Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in the shop again! This beautiful matte cotton is great for many kinds of projects...blankets, sweaters, baby things, washcloths. 
Sally was inspired to cast on a little cloth using the shop favorite grellow, and the finished project is so soft. This sort of thing would make such a lovely house warming present or baby shower gift.
Here is the simple little pattern for this cute cloth.

Using a US6 needle, cast on 34 stitches. 
Work 5 rows of stockinette. 
Row 6: knit 5, purl 24, knit 5. 
Row 7: purl 5, knit 24, purl 5.
Continue with rows 6 and 7 for 35 more rows.
Finish with 5 rows of stockinette and cast off!

Sally reports that there is enough yarn in one ball to add about and inch in width and length, which would be about 4 or 5 additional stitches and about 6 or 7 rows.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Eye Candy

Summertime in Portland...does it get any better? We are settling into a slightly more relaxed pace around the yarn shop, and it seems like our knitters and crocheters are as well. Whether you are sitting on the porch, in the garden, or in the park, we hope you are always working away on little projects. Our summer hours are happening right now, so be sure to plan accordingly before you stop in to see us!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


How about another hat?
The gorgeous Bough uses just one skein of Cumbria from The Fibre Co. We have a nice batch of pretty colors, but the grellow is certainly a shop favorite. The pattern is available on Ravelry, but we are happy to help you buy it in the shop. A little cabling, a nice pom pom,a gorgeous yarn...can't go wrong!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Eye Candy

The Tahki Cotton Classic has a new look! But the rich and shiny colors are as fabulous as you remember.
The shelves are well-stocked, so now is the time to get your favorite shades for summer sweaters, hand towels, baby blankets...whatever sounds fun!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Tomorrow, June 10, is World Wide Knit in Public Day! There are events all around the world for knitters to meet up and knit and show the confused public that we are everywhere. Most groups are open to knitters, crocheters, beginners, stitchers, whatever! We are an inclusive group of fiber enthusiasts. It looks there are many groups creating items to be donated, so that's cool, too!
If you're in Portland, here are a few of the meet-ups you might attend:

Knit in the Pearl

SCRAP PDX Knit in Public

Sellwood Knitting Society Knits in Public

Northwest Wool's WWKiP in Support of the Alzheimer's Association

The Oregonian has a few more listed in Portland, including one at Director Park in the Pearl and one at Fremont Park in Overlook.
Grab your closest project (and maybe a rain coat), and find a meet-up near you!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

JaggerSpun Zephyr Lace

We have JaggerSpun Zephyr in the shop! This classic lace merino and silk blend has been around for a long time, but I think this is the first time we've carried it. Each 50g skein is over 500 yards of true lace weight, perfect for heirloom lace shawls or featherweight sweaters. 
I used a very similar yarn to make a wedding shawl for a dear friend years ago. It wasn't quite fine enough to slide through her wedding ring, but it turned out so beautifully. I am not normally a lace knitter, but that heirloom piece was really wonderful to knit and give.

If lace weight yarns are not your thing, you can also hold this beautiful stuff along with heavier yarns to add a cool marled look. You could also double the yarn (with one or two colors) to achieve a lofty and squishy DK or worsted weight, depending on your needle size. This is such a gorgeous yarn. No wonder it's been a classic for so long!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Eye Candy

Look at the improved Schoppel-Wolle Gradient! We re-wound the balls into cakes so you can see the whole color range without having to dig into the ball. This yarn has the signature slightly-felted texture that I love from Schoppel. This is the yarn we used for our Gradient Cowl, a blog freebie from a few years back. Come find your favorite colorway!

Friday, June 2, 2017


Cascade Fixation is freshly back in the shop. This cotton/spandex blend is great for projects where you need a little extra stretch in your yarn. It's a popular choice for baby hats and socks, especially for the tiniest and most sensitive of humans.
I'm thinking this would be great for some little footie socks for the summer, or maybe socks for the wool-sensitive in my life. Or maybe a hand knit swim suit. Just kidding :)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Travel Projects

Right before I departed for the Memorial Day weekend, I was scrambling about in a mad rush trying to find a good travel project... something small and packable involving minimal equipment, easy-to-memorize instructions, no swatching, and very little planning. This time, I ended up with a hat. But I know this won't be the last mad scramble for a suitable project. So, I want to arm you all (and myself) with some ideas. Since it was a hat that saved my day, let's start with a good hat project.

Did you all know that we have started listing some of our best-loved patterns for sale on Ravelry? Most of them are small, one-or-two-skein projects that will totally fit the bill for a travel project. Melissa's Snowed In Slouch Hat is a great place to start. It's knit with Berroco North Star, a bulky chained alpaca yarn that is as soft as fluffy clouds.
You'll need a few circular needles, US7 and US11, and some double-points for the top. (I do not consider DPNs good travel companions, so I would probably save that part until I returned home. But that's just me. Same goes for the pom pom.) For me, this sweet slouchy hat fits the bill for a perfect travel project: small, two balls of yarn, only two circular needles, and easily-memorized instructions. Perfect.

We even have a lovely supply of little project bags in the shop for you to keep it all safe and contained in your bag.
Whether you are traveling far and wide this summer, or just need a nice easy project for a trip to the park or a sit-down in the garden, the Snowed In Slouch might be just the thing!

Stay tuned for more ideas...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Eye Candy

How about a little Noro intarsia pillow cover for your weekly eye candy?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Linen Season

I love wearing linen garments. Linen is so airy and breezy and easy to wear...really the prefect thing for summer. Linen yarns, however, are often not so perfect. I know a lot of you knitters and crocheters don't care for the rough feel of pure linen in your hands as you work, but I think you are going to like Cascade Hampton.
This cotton/linen blend reminds me a but of Cascade's Ultra Pima, but with a matte finish and more drape. Our current color palette is really tropical, and I'm particularly loving the blues and neutrals together.

This is a new yarn, so there are not a lot of projects on Ravelry to show off yet. Some really pretty scarves and shawls, especially nice for those who don't wear animal fibers. A few Ravelers have used Hampton to create Heidi Kirrmaier's Sunshine Coast, a great choice for this yarn. I have been thinking about this new pattern called Summer, and I'm thinking Hampton might be just perfect for it. It looks like the warm weather is upon us. Time for linen!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cashmere Queen

How about this pretty cashmere? The Cashmere Queen is a merino/cashmere/silk blend from Schoppel. This cool yarn is just as soft as you'd expect, but with a really cool almost-felted texture that Schoppel does so well.

Sally is using two balls to create the Purl Bee Lovely Ribbed Cowl in a super simple 2x2 rib. She will block this out aggressively to flatten out the rib a bit and create a nice drape.
I was also smitten with this pretty Fields of Wheat cowl I found on Ravelry. It looks like the knitter did fewer repeats than the original (free) pattern calls for, so she was able to get a nice length with one ball.
We have a lovely earthy, springy color range in stock, and I think you will all really love this stuff. But, fair warning from the yarn label...