close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We have more Ripple from Tahki. I keep thinking that this would be perfect for a Skif sweater...maybe Martha? We have a good stock of these colors, but this stuff flies off the shelves.
Completely unrelated, Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd also arrived this week. I don't even knit socks very often, but this reference book seems like a must-have. Check out this table of contents:

This book includes great information on pretty much everything you'd need to know about sock knitting. Ann explains magic loop and knitting in the round on two circular needles. She covers so many kinds of toes and heels that your head will spin. In addition to all of this, there are more than a dozen designs demonstrating the techniques.

Asymmetrical Cables by Cookie A
Bulgarian Blooms in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts
Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks by Veronik Avery
Crazy cool cotton yarn and a comprehensive sock book. Completely unrelated, but still good.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nice Sweaters

My friend Ashley has been knitting for a few years, and she has produced some really amazing summer tops.

The Radian Yoke by Wendy Bernard didn't really grab me when I saw it in Knitscene, but Ashley's version looks so nice on her.

Knit with Classic Elite Firefly, her top is nice enough to wear to work, but easy enough to throw on with jeans or shorts.

The smallest sizes only require 5 balls of yarn, and I would suggest going down a size for at least an inch of negative ease. That means that the finished top will actually be an inch or so smaller than your bust measurement. I think the top in the magazine shots was too big for the model, but Ashley's fits so nicely. This yarn blocks out really well, so you can expect to gain a little bit of width with blocking.

Next up is Turmeric from Veera Välimäki of Rain Knitwear Designs. Ashley used Malabrigo sock yarn for this one, but the pattern would work with most sock yarns.

Veera designs pieces with such interesting details. This seemingly simple top features a graceful neckline, a flattering off-center pleat, and big pretty button.

Ashley is working on another sweet top from Knitscene, the Sackets Harbor Pullover in Louet Mooi. She is going to have a very nice collection of summer handknits.

Just because we can't wear those woolly winter sweaters right now, there is no reason to put the knitting away!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Watchamakin, Sally?

Want to see what Sally is making right now?

The Sockhead Hat, a free pattern from bohoknits. Sally is using Dream in Color Starry, but any sock yarn will do. This is a nice little project to stuff in your bag for a summer car ride, a moment of lunchbreak knitting, a trip to the park, or just a long line at the bank.

Also a nice little hat, Norie from The Shetland Trader. Sally's using The Fibre Company Savannah. This yarn is beautiful...a little cotton, a little soy, a little linen, a little wool. Such a nice texture and a sunny yellow, too.

And the cowls. Sally is working up her own version of the Burberry Inspired Cowl. The Cascade Eco Duo she's using is so nice to work with that she can't stop. It will be a nice long wrap-around length when Sally's finished knitting. I'll tell you about her modifications when she's done.

Finally, Snood, a huge randomly cabled cowl from Debbie Bliss's Glen pattern book. Glen is such an interesting yarn. The shades change very subtly over the entire ball of yarn, so you are left with these gradual fades from light to dark. The only trick is making sure you start a new ball in the right place to avoid a stark change.

That's what Sally is making these days. Anything fabulous in your knitting bag that you'd like to share?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Do you know what this sad, empty shelf means?

It's time for more Madelinetosh! Friday morning, Sally unpacked a huge box of yarn from one of the most popular hand-dyers.

Our shelves are now stocked with a fresh batch of Tosh Merino DK and Tosh Merino Light. These are both single-ply superwash merino with amazing yardage. The DK knits at about 5.5 stitches/inch, and the Light knits at about 7.

The internet is crawling with beautiful patterns for these yarns. As many of you have already discovered, the DK is great for pretty much everything. I love it for hats and scarves. The Light is amazing for those lightweight sweaters that are all over the place right now. Shawls, too. I especially like the striped ones in The Fine Line by Grace Anna Farrow from Knit Isager.

These are very hard to keep on the shelves, and even harder to get back on the shelves when they're gone.

Come and get it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Books and Patterns on Sale!

Time for another pop up sale! Today, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, we are offering 30% off all in-stock books and patterns. We are open 10 AM-10 PM on Wednesdays, so you have all day to take advantage of this great offer.

We have so many great pattern booklets from Kim Hargreaves, Rowan, Classic Elite, Berroco, Debbie Bliss, and several independent designers. Our shelves are also full of some great hardcovers, as well...way too many to even begin listing them.

All of our single patterns will be on sale, too, including designs from Cocoknits, Skif, Blue Sky Alpacas, Knitting Pure and Simple, and (our once upon a time very own) Nancy Ricci of Getting Purly With It.

I was thinking just the other day how nice her little poppies would be as an end-of-the-year gift for a favorite teacher or as a topper on a wedding or shower gift. (Check out Nancy's Poppies of Endearment project on her blog.)

Our poppy-colored selection of Rowan Kid Silk Haze is quite robust right now, and the Tahki Luna has the perfect amount of sparkle for the center of these little flowers.

Take a long lunch, stop by after work, wrangle a babysitter for an hour. Take a little time to enjoy our huge selection of books and patterns and Sally's generous discount! See you soon.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Little Girl's Shrug

I intended to make this as a shop sample, but things did not work out that way. My four year old is very persuasive.

I used the Little Girl's Shrug pattern (#288), a top-down raglan design from Knitting Pure and Simple. I often recommend these patterns to knitters looking to start their first sweater. This style is easy to customize and there is no seaming.

The nice part about these little shrugs is that you learn the basics of sweater-making with a minimum of knitting. This particular pattern provides a chart for a lace edging rather than the ribbing, if you are so inclined.

I used Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo, which met with approval from the child. It soft and shiny and apparently the perfect shade of purple. The size 6 only took 2 balls, so the whole project came in at about $25.

It was a quick knit, too, which is good. Apparently I need to make another for the shop.

ETA: I forgot to mention...congratulations to Kathleen who won the swift and ball winder in our May raffle. Thank you for supporting our little shop!