close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Classes and Coastal Knits

I promised you all a run-down on Coastal Knits, but I want to remind you about our classes first.  We have some great ones starting this week, with so many options depending on what you'd like to learn.

Knitting: Beginning and Beyond starts on Thursday night with Adrienne.  Even if you know how to knit, this class might still be for you.  Want to learn knitting in the round?  Increasing and decreasing?  I know many of you are sort of stranded at the garter stitch scarf phase, so take advantage of this opportunity to push your knitting to the next level.  Class is Thursday night 6:30-8:30 on November 3, 10, and 17.

Judy's Knitted Toys and Skills Class begins on Tuesday night.  Judy will show you how to make any of these adorable guys while honing your knitting skills.  There are so many techniques involved in creating little toys like these, and it's nice to learn on a small project.  Class is from 6:30-8:30 on November 1, 8, and 15.

Ann has several offerings starting next week, including a Learn to Crochet Workshop on Monday, November 7, her Learn to Knit Workshop on Tuesday, November 8, and her always-popular Beginning Sock Class beginning on Tuesday, November 15.  Ann's celebrating her birthday this week, and I know she would love to see your shining faces in her classes next week!

Okay, now for Coastal Knits.  This book is a self-published beauty from Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting and Hannah Fettig of Knitbot.  These gals live on opposite sides of the country, and their designs draw inspiration from the California and Maine coasts.

The book itself is beautiful, with photographs, project sketches, and line drawings that really play up the beachy coastal feel of the designs, which are also really stunning.  Here is a smattering of what you'll find in the book.

Gnarled Oak in Tosh Merino DK (which is on the way to the shop!)
Rocky Coast (my favorite) in Fibre Company Organik
Water's Edge
Panoramic Stole in Fibre Company Canopy Fingering
Pretty short row shaping
Cambrian Cowl, try Misti Alpaca Chunky
Sand and Sea
Judy will also teach a Knit Your First Sweater Class beginning on Monday, November 14.  If one of these gorgeous Coastal Knits sweaters strike your fancy, Judy can help you make it happen.

We received a box from Interweave on Friday with a nice pile of Weekend Hats, which you all seemed to love.  I love it, too...check out my preview from earlier this month.

We also received the LAST copies of knit.wear that we will be able to get our hands on.  This magazine has flown off the shelves (for good reason), and Interweave will not be printing any more.  They would only let us order 15 of the last 100 in stock, so come and get yours.

Let me know if there are any other classes that seem interesting to you.  We've been discussing a colorwork class, maybe some cables, and perhaps a kid's beginning knitting class.  Please leave a comment if you have thoughts or feelings about the classes.  Okay, I'll be back soon with more updates!  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sock Yarn, Sparkles, and Love

I've been holding out on you guys.  I have a crush on a new yarn at the shop, and I can't really bear to see it all go quite yet.

Lana Grossa Lace Lux has got me (more information here).  I know at least a few of you have found it, too.  I've worked with a slightly heavier version of this yarn in the past, and I love how it turned out.  I ended up gifting my Age of Brass and Steam Shawl, and my friend tells me she gets compliments on it all the time.

I am pretty sure a lace weight version would be even more amazing.  I have also been thinking pretty hard about just making a whole sweater out of it, but I'm still on the fence.  One Raveler used three balls to create a really fabulous Citron Shawl (a freebie from Knitty), and I think the Stripe Study Shawl would be so cool and edgy in this...if a garter stitch shawl can look edgy.  What do you think?

I'm normally a rustic sheepy wool kind of gal, but I just can't stop thinking about the Lace Lux.  I suggest using a pattern with a little texture (cables, garter ridges, and the like) because the Lace Lux fuzz fills in and creates a nice shadow and depth in the finished product.  Each ball is more than 300 yards, and we have five colors right now: the beautiful ruby red and gold above and a gorgeous purple, teal, and icy blue. 


We have new sparkles, too.  Lana Grossa Alta Moda Sera (more info here) is a chunky chain yarn with some nice sparkle...kind of a heavier version of Berocco Flicker.  One ball should be enough for a little beanie, and two would get you a nice scarf.

The sock wall has seen some love, too.  Cascade Heritage is one of the best sock yarns for your money, and we have a great selection of the solids and paints.

Kollage's brand new Sock-a-licious has also made itself at home on the sock wall.  With 10% silk, it seems like a really nice sock yarn.  I like the colors a lot, too.  Tonal rather than variegated craziness.  I can see wearing the heck out of some pretty gray socks.

Last but not least, our much-loved Cascade 220 Superwash Paints are back.  I love these colors for kid sweaters, hat, and mittens, and I know many of you are already using it for baby blankets.  This stuff goes fast, so beware.

Okay, so I've come clean about my latest obsession.  Please save some yarn for me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Books and Patterns

It feels like new books and patterns are arriving everyday around here!  We have several familiar favorites and some highly-anticipated new friends as well.

These two baby books are probably my favorite ones on the shelf: Vintage Knits for Modern Babies and Vintage Baby Knits.  I recommend these often, and I know our new mama Melissa agrees.  If you have a new baby in your life or one on the way, these books needs a spot on your knitting book shelf.  They make great gifts, too, for an expectant knitter.

I have been waiting for this pattern to arrive: French Press Slippers from French Press Knits.  I love felted slippers for our wet and chilly winters, and I have been rocking my Snugs for several years now.  Perhaps it's time for something a little more dainty.  We have a bright orange sample in progress, so keep your eyes peeled for those in the next few weeks.  Hmmm, a pair of these would be a great gift, too.  I find that people who don't really wear handknits still appreciate a good pair of felted slippers.

Like colorwork?  Need a great reference book full of so many charts your head will spin?  Enter Alice Starmore and her Charts for Color Knitting.  You pretty much can't get a better chart dictionary than this one.

I know many of you have been looking for the pattern for the little elf hats we have in the window.  It's the Pointy Elf Hat from the fabulous More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, which we finally have back in stock.  Also back on the shelves, Vintage Modern Knits, featuring the amazing luxury yarns of The Fibre Company.

Miriam Felton's Furrows Shawl is so classy and interesting.  You'll need 475 yards of fingering (sock) or sport weight yarn (400 for the main color and 75 for the edging).  Choose something fabulous and you'll want to wear it everyday.

Knit, Swirl! from Sandra McIver is full of patterns for one style of sweater, the giant circle with arms.  There is probably a more sophisticated name for this style.  There is all kinds of information in here and a lot of math, but the results are pretty striking.  I love these two the most.

Shades of Grey

Silhouette in the Sun

Like to make little toys?  Susan B. Anderson is one of the best designers for this kind of thing.  Spud & Chloe at the Farm is so stinkin' cute.  We also just received Itty Bitty Toys, and Judy is teaching a class in November to hone your technical knitting skills. 

Check out these cute guys from Itty Bitty Toys and take a look at Judy's class page.  The bird flips inside out into an egg, and the frog reverses to a turtle!

On that note, perhaps you need to create something a little weird.  Knitwit and Amigurumi Knits are for you.

If squid and 6-legged dolls are not your thing, how about one of the best knitting books ever?  Veronik Avery's Knitting 24/7 is full of beauties.  Sally loves this book, and we think you will, too.  So many classic designs in some beloved yarns.

The highly-anticipated Coastal Knits from Hannah Fettig and Alana Dakos is on the table, too.  This book is beautiful.  These girls know what they are doing.  I promise a preview and yarn suggestions soon.  

Finally, a HUGE amount of Berroco arrived yesterday.  I saw a ton of Vintage, Comfort, Comfort Chunky, Ultra Alpaca, and Ultra Alpaca Light.  There might have been more in there.  I know we are expecting Flicker late October or early November.  We will be receiving the beautiful natural earth tones as well as the new pale shades, all with the fabulous sparkles.

Book, yarns, and patterns!  Oh, my!  Come see the new goods that are rolling in every day, and stay tuned here for more updates.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


A lot of Cascade 220
We have new yarn!  Some big boxes of yarn arrived from Cascade, Classic Elite, and several other friendly companies.  The shop is feeling very full, with inspiration everywhere you look.  If you had a special order on the books, you should have received a call.  If you were just waiting to see what arrived, get your self down here!

Cascade Magnum
Some old friends have arrived to get you going on your fall knitting.  Magnum is a big single-ply in beautiful heathered shades.  We have a few sample sweaters knit up in this, but I prefer it for scarves, cowls, and hats.

Eco and Eco+
Eco and Eco+ are some of the best values in the any shop, for that matter.  One of these big skeins contains 478 yards for just $20.  This is a popular choice for blankets and sweaters, and it looks like some of you have already started shopping from the look of the shelf.

A fresh batch of Twinkle Soft Chunky arrived from Classic Elite.  This stuff is one of the softest big yarns there is.  I love that red and the steely gray.  Many if you used it for Sally's Seed Stitch Cowl last winter, and it's also popular for Laura Irwin's Fawn Earflap Hat from Boutique Knits.  Just one skein for the hat and two for Sally's cowl.

New from Twinkle, Baby Chunky, a slightly smaller version of Soft Chunky.  There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about the actual gauge of this yarn.  The Soft Chunky is about 1.5 to 2 stitches/inch on a US17-19, and I've seen Baby Chunky listed at about 2.5 stitches/inch on a US13.  Someone check it out and let me know.  We have some beautiful earthy colors of this one, too.

Baby Chunky on the shelf
Eco Cloud
New to the shop, Eco Cloud from Cascade.  This is another chained yarn, similar to Berroco Flicker and Rowan Lima, so the yarn actually looks a little bit like knitted i-cord.  This makes it really bouncy, sproingy, and very light.  Eco Cloud is pure alpaca, so it's also soft as a cloud.  This is the yarn used in The Purl Bee's Half Log Cabin Ombre Blanket.  I was going to make this blanket anyway, and now I have the good stuff on hand.

We received fresh copies of The Shetland Trader and Westknits Book Two.  Our beautiful sample of the Shoormal Scarf is back out for you to enjoy.  Just three balls of Rowan Cocoon to make this lovely scarf.

Ships & Seaside from Tiny Owls Knits arrived, too.  Stephanie Dosen has such a sweet wee woodland sense of style, and I think many of you will really like her stuff.  Her gorgeous oversized cowl uses Rowan Kid Classic, a wool and mohair blend that is lofty and cozy.  This is a great chance to play around with colors you might not normally choose and see if you surprise yourself.

There is more new stuff, but I don't want to give it all away at once!  Come visit us and see what else you can find.