close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kathmandu Cowl

Perhaps mid-August is not the ideal time to be knitting a wool cowl.  What can I say, my love of tweed knows no bounds.
I whipped up a little cowl to show off the pretty colors of the Kathmandu Aran Tweed from Queensland Collection.

So, I love this yarn.  This is one of my desert island yarns*.  Tweedy, crunchy merino wool with just enough cashmere and silk to make it buttery soft, especially after a little soak.  And the colors, oh my.  The flecks in the different colorways really compliment each other, so play around with color combinations.
Sailor Blue (163) and Off White (135)
Petrol (158) and Charcoal (177)
Chocolate (161) and Brown (133)
Mocha (184) and Hunter Green (174)
The knit and purl stripes make this cowl totally reversible and flipable, too, so you can show off whichever color best suits your mood.  It appears that I was pondering red velvet cupcakes when I chose my colors, Vintage Wine (182) and Natural (176).  I just couldn't say no to that deep pink.

Here's the free pattern for you.  Enjoy!
*If you were stranded on a desert island and had to choose one yarn to knit with forever, what would it be?  Perhaps we knitters should discuss polar iceberg yarns instead...

Kathmandu Cowl
by Leah Bandstra

This cowl is reversible and flipable!
I didn’t use every last bit of the yarn, so you should have enough to do a few extra rounds with each color if you’d like.

2 balls (one of each color) Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran (104 yds/50g), #182 and #176
US8 16” circular needles
Stitch marker

Finished size: About 24” around and 10” tall

Gauge: About 4.5 stitches per inch

CO 108 stitches with A.  Join in the round and place marker.
Knit 1 round with A.
Purl 15 rounds with A.  (Piece should measure about 3” from cast on.)
Knit 4 rounds with B.
Purl 8 rounds with A.
Knit 8 rounds with B.
Purl 4 rounds with A.
Knit 15 rounds with B.
Purl 1 round with B.
BO loosely knitwise using B.

Weave in your ends, block, and enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mountain Colors

Exciting news for fall...we will be carrying Mountain Colors Yarns!  

Mountain Colors produces hand-dyed wool and wool blends for all sorts of fiber arts.  Their colors, both solids and multis, are deep, vibrant, and rich with great names inspired by the mountains of Montana where the company is based.  One of my very first knitting projects was a little felted bag using the beautiful Bitterroot Rainbow.  The name and the colorway have obviously stuck with me.  Check out their story; it seems like a company full of really nice people.

In September, we will be hosting an event with lots of Mountain Colors Yarn, a trunk show featuring many of their lovely designs, and some give aways.  Right now, we have a smattering of pretties to tempt you: Crazyfoot, a superwash sock yarn; River Twist (above) a beautiful 2-ply with a handspun feel; and Twizzle, a pretty merino silk blend that knits up with a heathered look (below).

I'll let you know when the trunk show is on the way.  In the meantime, check out this great little scarf Ann designed.  It's a free pattern when you buy just one skein of Ripple, the surprise star of our summer yarns.

I pretty much love it, and I will be making one.  Stay tuned for our next round of classes...Beginning & Beyond, Crocheted Hats, Learn to Knit Workshop.  What else would you like?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Even More Samples

Jenni has a pretty new display up in the front window featuring three little pixie hats in three great yarns: Aslan Trends Del Sur, Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica (doubled), and Berroco Peruvia Quick (also doubled but not pictured).  The pattern is the Pointy Elf Hat from the cover of More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

The three hats look so different in the different yarns.  Jenni made the smallest size, which is a bit snug on my almost-two-year old pixie.  Still pretty cute, though.  Added bonus: it's a three hour project.

Ann has been busy, too.  Check out these sweet little fingerless mitts in Kollage Glisten.  The free pattern from Leslie at a Friend to knit with is called Toasty (available on her right sidebar).  There is an even simpler version without the thumb called Toast.  Either pair will take two skeins of yarn.  You may even be able to squeak two pairs out of three skeins...

The crochet hooks have been flying, too.  Ann will be teaching a crocheted hat class (more info on that soon, I promise), so she made a few samples.

The Men's Beanie from Blue Sky Alpacas is made with just one skein of their Worsted Cotton.  The design is classic and very wearable.  Even if you have never crocheted before, you can make this.  In fact, I think I might have to.

If you're looking for something smaller and/or a little more girly, check out this sweet Shell Stitch Beanie, a free pattern on Ravelry.  Also made with Blue Sky Worsted Cotton, this would make a quick gift for a summer babe.


Our pretty new shop window also features a beautiful weaving from our friend Doris. Thank you, Doris!  Come take a look and start thinking about some hats.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Our army of sample knitters has been busy creating some new pretties for the shop.  These pieces would all make great gifts, if you were so inclined.

Emily knit up a cold-weather version of my Firefly Bias Scarf using Classic Elite Fresco, an angora, alpaca and wool blend with a soft halo.  We have a really nice range of colors on this yarn.  Knit with only three skeins, this whole project costs about $25.

Have you tried The Fibre Company yarns?  I'm a believer.  Ashley knit the Poplar Cowl (a free pattern from Kelbourne Woolens) with two skeins of Organik.  The stitch pattern is pretty simple, but the texture and contrasting colors have a big impact.  Plus, this yarn feels like butter, in the best way.  Less than $25 for this one.

Several of you have already appreciated the Just Enough Ruffles scarf in Manos del Uruguay Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply.  So many, in fact, that we are out of the pattern!  Never fear, we have more patterns on the way and a wide range of solid and variegated colors in this beautiful yarn.  Ashley used less than two skeins (maybe even one and a half), putting this pretty little scarf in the $30 range.

The Shetland Trader's Shoormal in Rowan Cocoon.  This yarn is pure Rowan luxury, and the pattern is interesting but not too complicated.  After knitting this sample, Emily (another one) is now in love with this stuff.  Knit with three balls, the yarn for this project comes in under $50.

Sally made this beautiful cowl from Ravelry designer Lisa Mutch of Northboundknitting.  Lisa also designed the capelet I made earlier this year and many other beauties.  This is Berroco Peruvia, which we are expecting to have in great supply soon.  Two skeins for this cowl will cost you about $17.

Now that our shop is well-dressed in new samples, stop by and see what inspires you.  I wonder, which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fall Arrivals: Aslan Trends, Little Red, and Kauni

New stuff is arriving!  Above is Del Sur, a super-bulky thick and thin yarn from Aslan Trends.  Imagine a big ol' scarf or the pointy elf hat from the cover of More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

You guys loved the Royal Alpaca last fall, and we have a whole lot more in the shop right now.  This is one of the softest and finest alpaca yarns you can buy.  We have a sample of Nancy's lovely Lana Glove in the beautiful mustard yellow.  This yarn would be stunning for cowls, hats, gloves, or the most amazingly soft sweater you've ever worn.

We love Ysolda Teauge, and we have her newest book in stock right now, Little Red in the City.  This book is AMAZING.  There are seven classic sweater patterns, and the sizes range from a 30" to 60" bust.

In addition to the patterns, Ysolda outlines so many valuable techniques.  She really appreciates that simply making a sweater larger doesn't make it work for a curvy figure.  This book is packed with valuable design advice, illustrated in easy to understand hand-drawings and notes.  You could design a sweater from the ground up, or adjust one of her patterns for the perfect fit.  I can't even begin to describe everything in here.  Come by and flip through a copy before they are all gone.

Last but not least, a basket full of Kauni.  This lovely yarn is flying out the door, but we have more on the way.  More on this pretty stuff when we restock.