close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lucky You!

The good stuff keeps rolling in at Close Knit, so it's time to free up a little space in the shop. Our semi-annual sale is happening this Saturday, February 5 from 10AM-5PM. There will be a discount on all of the yarn in the store, as well as our famous deep discount table. We will keep yarn out on the table through Sunday, but the store-wide discount is on Saturday only.

We have been culling the individual patterns and booklets to free up our binders for new designs, so we'll have baskets full of great deals for you to grab up. We also have sweater quantities of some really nice yarns to move out. The earlier you arrive, the better your options will be.

More classes will be up this week, too. And I have a sweet and simple free cowl pattern to share with you (sneak peak photo at the top). Stay tuned, you lucky people.

To stay on top of Close Knit events, sign up for our mailing list at the shop site right here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great New Superwash Wool

We have a brand-spanking new yarn at the shop, Chris from Schaefer Yarns. This pretty handpainted yarn is machine washable, and it comes in a beautiful array of variegated colors. It's a great choice for kid and baby goodies, as well as hats, gloves, and mittens.

The colorways are rich and sophisticated, which I personally love for kids and babies. Each one is named after a "memorable woman," from Rosa Parks to Elizabeth Zimmermann, and a mini-biography of the yarn's namesake is included on each tag
. Take a look at the color concepts page on the Schaefer site to see all of the colorways.
Sally is working up this sweet baby vest with just one skein of Chris, and it will be a the shop soon. We have the pattern for this vest as well as the textured hat below.
The newest issue of Knitty includes Quest, a versatile hat pattern using Chris. The designer, Laura Nelkin, adapted this pattern for a man's hat, as well. Take a look at her blog for more information.

Since this yarn is handpainted, it's a good idea to alternate skeins every few rows while you are knitting to avoid pooling and flashing of the colors. If your project only requires one skein, you can knit from either end of your ball instead. Just be sure to have your skein wound into a center-pull ball before you leave the shop.

Thank you, Laura, for the use of the pattern photos!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Our Malabrigo stash has been shamefully low for months, but we have just remedied that situation.
Twist is back on the shelves. Sally used a skein of variegated Twist to make the Last Minute Slouch, a free hat pattern from Madelinetosh. I think the solids we have now would show off the pattern really nicely.
Rasta has now joined the ranks at Close Knit. Rasta is a slightly felted single ply in a super bulky weight. You could get creative with this, or just go with oh-so-simple garter stitch for a big impact scarf. Our friend Nancy has just the thing, Simply Garter, offered free on her blog. Three skeins, some big needles, and a few movies worth of knitting = fashion statement.

We have restocked the Sock, for all of you addicts.

There is a fresh supply of Aquarella (variegated) and Gruesa (solids) on the shelves, too. We can offer you the free pattern for this simple little seed stitch cowl, if you are interested. Perfect for showing off one beautiful button.

Of course, we have loads of the much-loved Merino Worsted in a beautiful array of solids. This buttery-soft yarn is good for just about everything. Hats, scarves, sweaters, felting...

We love the Malabrigo, but it is difficult to get in stock reliably. If you see something you love, grab it while it's here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Scarf or Necklace?

I have been noticing quite a few of these scarf/necklace items in the knitting and retail world. More delicate than a cowl or scarf, but softer and warmer than a necklace. Here are a few of my favorites.

Sev[en]circle from Kirsten Johnstone of assemblage:

Kirsten includes instructions for a sport weight and a lace weight version of this piece. I'd like to try this with Misti Handpaint Suri & Silk. I'm not usually a huge fan of the variegated yarns, but the folks at Misti really know what they are doing in the dyepot. It looks like they might be discontinuing this yarn, but we have a nice selection in the shop.

Looped Loop, also from assemblage:

This one requires about 400 yards of a sport weight yarn, and it would be so nice in a drapey alpaca or silk, maybe Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight, Melange, or Alpaca Silk? Kirsten has several stunning designs available through her Ravelry pattern shop, and she offers these two little accessories as free patterns.

Cable Braided Necklace (also pictured up top) from Knit Creations of a Curious Mind, designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian:

Olga used a cashmere blend for her original. Our Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply or 4-ply would be lovely, as would Karabella Margrite. Olga has a very thorough tutorial on her blog showing how to construct this sweet little piece. Despite the name, there isn't any actual cabling or braiding involved. Take a look.

String Theory Scarf from Spindleshanks, designed by Portlander Vivian Aubrey:

Such a cool scarf. I often admire a skein of yarn at the shop and think it would be beautiful just wrapped around my neck without even knitting it, and this scarf achieves that effect with a few bands of knitting holding it all together. This design almost cries out for a variegated yarn to show off the lovely color changes.

Movie Star Scarf from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, designed by Joelle Hoverson:

This book is chock full of great stuff, and this little kerchief is so sweet. We have the Louet Mooi called for in the pattern, but any luxurious laceweight would be perfect. What a nice gift, too.

These little necklaces/scarves are so versatile, too. Imagine the Cabled Braided scarf knit up in a bulky yarn, or String Theory in a solid silk, or Seven Circles with some sparkles...

I know I'm not the only one trolling Ravelry and knitting blogs for cool stuff. Has something similar caught your eye? Please share with us in the comments.

Thank you to Kirsten, Olga, and Vivian for the use of your beautiful photos!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Twister Done!

Believe it or not, my Twister is finished! It's perfect, and it really fit the bill for my special treat project. Of course, it ended up gifting itself to a dear friend, but it is still wonderful.

I used
Cascade Venezia Worsted, a luscious silk and merino blend in this fabulous eggplant color. I followed the pattern pretty closely, aside from a few mistakes/design elements. The piece ended up pretty long as written, about 75" around and about 7" wide. The photo shows it wound three times, and it is nice and cozy that way. I used the US9 called for in the pattern, but in hindsight, I should have used US8 with this yarn to tighten it up a bit. It's almost too drapey as it is.

The pattern would be perfect in any worsted weight yarn, and about half of the yarn at Close Knit fits in that category. You'll need about 300-325 yards of yarn and whatever size needle gives you the fabric you like.
One of our knitters picked up some Manos del Uruguay Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply to make this, and another Raveler used Manos del Uruguay Maxima. It would be fabulous in Belle Organic Aran from Rowan and Amy Butler, and three skeins should be enough. Of course, the Spud & Chloe Sweater called for in the pattern is pretty hard to beat, too, and we are expecting a shipment from Spud & Chloe and Blue Sky Alpacas soon.

The knitting was so blissfully mindless, and the finished project is so perfect, I'll just have to make several!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Happy New Year, Close Knitters! Now that we are coming out the the holiday haze, it's time to get serious about sticking to your new year's resolutions. I am, of course, referring to your knitting goals for the upcoming year. With our classes back at Close Knit, I wanted to tell you a bit about what we are offering this round. Perhaps you will find the perfect class to hone those knitting skills this year.

Are you brand new to knitting? Trying to pick it up again after several years? Just need a little extra confidence to tackle something new? Adrienne continues to offer her skills on Thursday nights with Knitting: Beginning and Beyond. Classes are from 6:30 to 8:30, and we have a three week session starting on January 15th and one starting on February 10th. Adrienne is a very straight-forward, no-nonsense teacher. She will have you knitting with confidence by the end of class.

If you are already comfortable with the basics and are ready to take on a sweater, Judy Taylor offers her Learn to Knit a Sweater class beginning January 17th. Over the course of six classes, Judy will teach you to read a pattern and achieve professional results for your first sweater. Judy is a popular teacher, and her classes are always fun.

For the more experienced knitters ready to learn some specific new techniques, I'm offering a series of classes a little later on Tuesday nights. We'll start out learning a provisional cast on and grafting while making this fabulous cowl. I made this for myself in the fall, and it was very hard to leave it at the shop as a sample. If there is interest, I hope to continue teaching techniques classes through the spring.

If you'd like to learn (or relearn) to knit but can't commit to Adrienne's three week sessions, take a look at Ann's one-shot knitting workshop. In two short hours, Ann will teach you to cast on, knit, purl, increase, and bind off. Ann is a very patient and thorough teacher. In the course of one Tuesday evening, she will give you the basic skills to get you on your way.

Ann is teaching a few project-based classes, as well. In January, she will walk you through your first pair of socks over the course of three classes. You will need to be pretty comfortable with knitting basics to tackle the socks.

In February, she will reveal the magic of cabling with a basic chunky scarf. If you can knit and purl, you can cable!

Give us a call at the shop or stop by to sign up for classes. If there is something else you'd like to see offered, please let us know. Join us this winter to learn something new!