close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Sock Summit

As many of you already know, Sock Summit is happening at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend.  Although we won't be participating this year, we wanted to offer up a little something to those of you who are.  Thursday through Sunday this week during the Summit, we are offering 10% off your total purchase of items in stock at the shop.

As usual, we are open until 10PM tonight (Wednesday) for Open Knit Night.  As an added bonus, ae will be open until 9PM on Thursday for the monthly Alberta Art Walk (aka Last Thursday).  Alberta Street will be closed off after 6PM, and parking on side streets gets pretty full, so beware.

Enjoy your Sock Summit classes, and come by the shop for a nice sweet deal!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Market Bags

The sun is out, my tomato plants are gong nuts, and I am looking forward to some farmer's market shopping this weekend.  I usually remember to bring along a ratty old tote bag, but more often than I'd like to admit, I end up with plastic.  I would love to have something a little nicer this year.  Enter the fabulous handmade market bag!

For you crocheters out there, the Crocheted Linen Grocery Tote, a free pattern from the the talented and generous folks at The Purl Bee.

Ann worked this up with two skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic, and the original pattern calls for just one skein of Euroflax linen from Louet.  If you love this but you are doubting your crochet skills, consider Ann's class on Monday, August 8 and 15.  This is a great project for a beginner, and Ann will walk you through the whole project.

Not to leave the non-crocheters stuck with plastic, we have a few nice knitted options, too.  Elisa's Nest Tote, also from The Purl Bee, is perfect for the market, the library, the knitting group, the playground...

One skein of the gorgeous Cascade Ultra Pima is all you need for this.  The project includes some cool details, including the attached I-cord handles.  Learn something new with the easy-to-follow tutorial included with the instructions on the Purl Bee website.

Local designer (and Close Knitter) Lars Jensen designed the Knit Mesh Shopping Bag, and we have the pattern available at the shop.  Lars gives options for different sizes and mesh patterns, so you can design your own look from one pattern.

This sample is knit with Plymouth Fantasy Naturale, but it would be great in any worsted weight cotton.  The Debbie Bliss Eco Aran Fairtrade Cotton would be really nice if you prefer a solid color.

There are so many patterns out these for these kinds of bags.  Which one is your favorite?  Join the cause and work to eliminate the plastic!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not-So Last Minute

Now that we have the sale behind us and fall yarns tricking in, I am thinking about gifts.  I won't give you the countdown or anything, but the holiday season is going to happen again this year.  Regardless of what or how you celebrate, it's always nice to give handmade.  

We will, of course, be stocking up on the super bulky yarns later in the fall for you last-minute knitters, but I thought I'd offer up some ideas if you'd like to get started a little earlier.

First up, the Felted Shetland Beret from Churchmouse Yarns.  I was inspired to make this by one of my kids who complained that her knitted hats were always "too holey."

This sweet little cap knits up quickly and requires only 2 balls of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, which we have in a lovely array of tweedy colors. 

The pattern gives instructions for hand-felting, but I cheated and just ran it through my front-loader.  I put the hat in a zippered pillowcase, added a few pairs of grubby old jeans, and ran it through a few cycles on hot.  If you choose to use your machine, be sure to check the progress after each cycle.  If possible, try to skip the spin cycle, as the spinning can lead to creases.

Before felting, it is pretty big and loose.

After felting, the fabric is soft and dense with a nice little halo.

The best part?  The whole thing comes in well under $20.  My kid mostly approves of the final product.  Her only request was that it be red, so it looks like I'll be knitting another.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Magazines and Even More Sale!

The newest issue of Selvedge and Knitscene are in the shop.  Selvedge is always chock-full of inspiration, and Knitscene has some lovely designs.

Pinstripe Pullover, part of a designer collection by Amy Herzog.

The Grand Palais Shawl by Tanis Grey.

As for the sale yarn, there is some great stuff left on the table.  We have a nice selection of Louisa Harding Nautical Cotton...perfect for summer tops and cardigans.

Mission Falls is going out of business, so we have to say good-bye to some great yarns, including 1824 Cotton, 1824 Wool, and 136 Superwash.

There are sweater-quantities of Classic Elite Waterlily, too.  Aran weight, pretty tone-on-tone color.

Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby is great for baby blankets and sweaters.

There is even a tower of Noro with some good stuff.

Louisa Harding Jasmine, sparkles, bamboo, silk, and cotton.  So nice.

We are sad to see some of these fabulous yarns go, but happy to send them home with you.  Come enjoy the sale table for the rest of the week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sally's a Giver

Our fall yarns are arriving already!  Hard to believe, but true.  Since Sally is such a generous yarn shop owner, she's been putting new things on the shelves for the sale this weekend.

One of our favorites, Hillside Linen, has been restocked in your favorite lovely colors.

Sadly, this yarn is being discontinued, so get while it's here.  This will be our last batch.  I used this to make one of our most popular shop samples, A Little Ruffle scarf from Sadie & Oliver.

This sample has been in the shop for almost two years, and it still looks great.

Baby Llama Glow is back, too.  See the sparkles?  So pretty and subtle.  I think they look like snowflakes.

New this fall, Plymouth DK Merino Superwash.  Lots of colors, machine-washable, and very nicely-priced.

Also new from Plymouth, Stiletto, a self-striping sock yarn with sparkles.

Check out the sample sock.

I'm thinking legwarmers for the little (and big?) girls in my life.

And for even more bling, Juli.  The construction of this yarn is similar to that of Rowan Lima and Berroco Flicker, but at a larger gauge for even more instant sparkle gratification.

You could crank out a hat in a few short hours.

Okay, now you have even more goodies to consider this weekend.  Be sure to thank Sally!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Sale!

It's time for our annual Close Knit Summer Sale!  Join us Saturday, July 9th for the main event.  I know you've been waiting, and some of you have been asking.  We have many exciting yarns coming this fall, and we need to make some space on our shelves.

Saturday features a store-wide discount on everything in stock at the shop as well as our fabulous deep discount table on some wonderful yarns.  The deep discount table will continue through Sunday, but the store-wide discount is Saturday only.

Our fabric-minded neighbors at Bolt are having a special benefit event on Saturday, too, with a really cool offer.  It is well worth the trip up to our little corner this weekend.  Make a list, check it twice, and take home something pretty for yourself.