close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You, More Classes, and New Stuff

Thank you so much to everyone who supported the Little Boxes program on Back Friday.  It is so cool to see a small, grass-roots movement take hold like that.  Portlanders really know what's up.  Let's hope it was successful enough that we will see a repeat next year.  I am making a conscious effort to to maintain the Little Boxes mindset throughout the year, and especially in the next month.

To that end, please join us for the Winter Frolic this coming Friday night!  Several Alberta Street businesses are staying open until 8 PM on Friday to give you some extra shopping time.  Most of the stores are offering discounts and special treats, so please come on down.

We have added a few classes to the schedule for you, too.  Ann is offering her Beginning Socks Class on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 PM December 12, 19, and January 2.  We have a few people signed up already, so give us a ring or stop by if you are interested.  Ann starts you out with a worsted weight yarn for the sake of speed and teaching, but this class will prepare you to make socks at any gauge.

If you are just getting into knitting or want to further you skills and need some help, we have so many options.  Adrienne's Beginning and Beyond series is chock full in December, but we have a January series all ready for you.  Thursday nights from 6:30-8:30 from January 5th through the 19th.

We also have a Learn to Knit Workshop for those of you with time commitment issues.  It's a two-hour workshop that will get you on your way.  Tuesday, December 6th or the 13th, also from 6:30-8:30 PM.

If you have crochet on your brain, sign up for the Learn to Crochet Workshop on December 5th.  Ann will have you chaining like a pro in two hours or less.

Okay, now for a few shop updates that seem to have fallen through the cracks here on the blog.

We have a fresh batch of Kauni is some lovely colorways.  They were kind enough to provide a swatch pack so you know what you are getting.

Sally drew my attention to amazing design.  The Silver Spring Pullover is a dolman-sleeve sweater, knit cuff-to-cuff to really take advantage of the long color repeat of the Kauni.  Any now I can't stop thinking about knitting a fingering-weight adult-sized pullover.  Thanks, Sally.

Our supply of Cascade 128 Superwash is quite ample right now.  This yarn is a great choice for blankets, sweaters, hats, scarves, pretty much everything.  It's a super soft, machine-washable chunky yarn in great colors.  What's not to love?

You also seem to love Cascade Magnum and Sally's Seed Stitch Cowl.  We are keeping the Magnum and the US17s in stock to keep you knitting for the holidays.

I was going to talk to you about Classic Elite Liberty Wool, but you bought it up already.  More is on the way, so I will gush when it arrives.  

We have new magazines, including Jane Austen Knits, Knitscene, Interweave Crochet Accessories, and Interweave Knits.  I will give you details next time.  For now, here is a photo of our lovely new window.

Stop by and tell Jenni how much you love it.  Also, try to spot the sheep.  Hope to see you Friday night!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunny Friday

It's a beautiful sunny day in Portland.  I hope have all had a chance to take advantage of the lovely weather.  Don't forget that Close Knit is participating in Little Boxes today, along with dozens of other local Portland shops.  We will be open until 8 PM tonight, so please come by to see us!

We have received lots of new stuff this week.  Here's the rundown.  From Malabrigo: Rasta, Worsted, and Rios.


The Worsted is the same good stuff you all know and love, but the Rios is new to Close Knit.  It's a plied worsted weight, and it is machine washable!  Come see it...I think you'll love it.

I used one skein of Rasta (and about two hours of my life) to make the lovely little shawlette, Ovate.  She has a larger version using two skeins, as well, and the pattern is available on Ravelry.

We have also loaded up on Cascade Magnum, as you can see above, and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, DK, and Baby Cashmerino.

We also received a few new books from Debbie Bliss: Simply Glen, Time for Tweed, and The Charleston Collection.  I'm loving this Two-Tone Sweater from Simply Glen.

They released new Glen colors, as well.  Check out that dark bottle green.

We have a few new colors of Twinkle Soft Chunky, including the gorgeous cranberry that many of you nabbed up the first time around.

We loved Cascade Eco Cloud so much that we order the dyed version, too, Cloud.  Love that squishy chained texture and those deep colors.

Misti Alpaca Chunky Handpaints are back, too, with some of the best variegated colorways for you.

Last but not least, a whole slew of beautiful bags from Lantern Moon...perfect gift ideas.  Drop a few hints at home, and we'll make sure they get you a good one.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Local Fridays

I want to share a bit about two very cool events coming up in the next few weeks and show you a crazy cool scarf.

First up, we have Little Boxes.  I don't know about you, but the big box stores make me a touch homicidal, so I think it is super cool that the Little Box stores in Portland are banding together to encourage you to keep you holiday shopping dollars (not to mention sanity) close to home.  Several of you have asked about the flier at the shop, so here's the skinny.

On Friday, November 25 (a.k.a. Black Friday) you can line up outside of T***** at 1:00 AM, or you can sleep off you turkey hangover like a normal person and spend a luxurious day shopping at some of the best places in Portland.  

Start your day purchasing something fabulous at any of the shops listed on the Little Boxes participants list, keep your receipt, and enter the raffle.  Mosey on over to another Little Box store, and present your receipt from the first Little Box to receive 10% off your purchase.  Repeat as many times as you'd like at as many stores as you can.  Plus, you can enter the raffle at every single store all day long.  There is some good stuff on that raffle list, people.  Check out the Little Boxes site for additional details and a great map to help you plan your day.

The following Friday, we are getting even more local.  Several shops on Alberta have banded together to offer a little extra shopping time on the evening of Friday, December 2.  We're calling it the Winter Frolic, and we welcome you to join us between 6 and 8 PM for sales and merrymaking up and down the street.  The following shops are participating: Modern Domestic, Frock, Garnish, Stu Stu Studio, Collage, Red Sail, Tumbleweed, Grasshopper, Digs, Salt & Straw, Close Knit (hey, that's us!), Abrahams & Duffy, and PedX.  There really is something for everyone.  I recommend that you leave your distractions at home and enjoy a fabulous couple of hours strolling Alberta.

As a side note, I wanted to mention the 3/50 Project, too.  It's not really an event, but more a way of thinking when you go out to make purchases, especially as we enter the time of year when it all seems to get a bit out of control.  The basic premise of the movement is to choose 3 local brick and mortar shops in your community each month and then spend $50 in each one.  They have some pretty amazing statistics on how this kind of behavior would impact local economies.

And this sort of brings me to the Les Miserables scarf.  Our fabulous Ann knit this sample up and brought it into the shop with a note about how the style and the name of this design seemed quite appropriate for the global economic climate.  Quite so, Ann. 

Anyway, I will hop off the soapbox now.  We love our customers, and we love being the shop that makes you feel welcome, offers you lots of help and advice, and makes you want to come back again and again.  Regardless of anything else, allow us to give back and say thank you to you all.  Hope to see you on Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time Flies

Oh my.  Do your weekends last longer than mine?  I feel like these short days make time fly.

We have all kinds of good stuff for you at the shop.  The newest Berroco shipment included one of my favorite yarns, Peruvia Quick.  So many beautiful colors.

I used this awhile back in my failed vest is still waiting for me to find the perfect project and enough time to knit it.  About seven million knitters have made Aidez, a free pattern from Cirilia Rose and Berroco.  This design strikes a perfect balance by combining relatively intricate cables with a chunky yarn for an impressive result that won't take all winter to knit.  Take a look at these amazing examples.

Sally made the Man Hat with 99.99% of one skein of Peruvia Quick.  Free pattern, $11 skein of yarn, a few hours of knitting = perfect gift.

Norah Gaughan uses it in her newest Berroco book, Volume 9, for Kaide and Geordie.

Look at those amazing cables pop.  There are some other lovelies in Volume 9, as well.  I love Parlan in Ultra Alpaca Light.  Oh, that mustard yellow.

Aeneas in Peruvia looks like a cabled hug.

We also have the new booklet featuring Flicker, #311Maila, a sweet little lacey shell, only takes three skeins of Flicker.  So cute with a pair of jeans for a casual holiday thing.

The cowl neck on Nurmi is dramatic and flowy, and who doesn't love a cabled cardigan like Siri?  There is a great slip-stitch hat, too, and mittens, and a scarf, and more.

The Berroco website has some great freebies using Flicker, too.  I am planning to have a freebie for you, very soon, I promise.  As soon as figure out where those extra three or four hours of my day have gone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Look at the Flicka'!

We have some fresh bling in the shop for you.

The much anticipated Flicker shipment has arrived from Berroco!  We loved the earth tones last fall, and the soft palette of colors is beautiful as well.  In addition to the natural colors, we currently have yellow, purple, and blue (aka Petipa, Pytor, and Lac, obviously).  The rest of our shipment is on the way this week.

If you have never knit with a chained yarn like this, give it a try.  The final fabric is soft, lofty, and squishy.  Sally has a simple slouchy little hat knit with one skein, and it is light as a feather.  Just ask us for the pattern when you come in for your yarn.

We also have some sparkly handmade resin buttons from M.G. Loden.  The big guys are perfect for a hat, cowl, or a one or two-button cardigan.

These little guys are a little more subtle, but still nice and sparkly.

We have restocked the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Flamme, too.  It's not sparkly, but it sure is shiny and vibrant.  The colors are so deep and pretty, and the texture of the yarn is so interesting.

Nancy used this yarn for her Chloe Cowl, which would make a lovely and relatively quick little knit.  (There was a problem with the pattern, but it's been corrected as of today.  Sorry about that.)  A friend of mine is using the gorgeous orange for the cabled capelet on the cover of knit.wear.

It's going to be stunning.  She promises to share photos when she's done.  I can't wait to see it.

We also have a nice plump supply of circular, straight, and double pointed Dreamz needles from Knitter's Pride.  The colors of the wood are really beautiful, and the cable on the circulars seems pretty flexible.  We have the circular Nova needles, too, the metal offering from Knitter's Pride.

Not sparkly at all, but still very nice, are the Pretty Cheep Bags from Blue Sky Alpacas.  These bags are the prefect size for keeping your projects clean and contained.  At just ten bucks, you might need one for each project.  These make great gifts, too, even for non-knitters.

We just received a shipment from Cascade, too, including 128 Superwash, Magnum, and 220 Superwash Sport.  The unusual and slightly addictive Kauni Effectyarn is back, too.  More on this stuff soon...and perhaps a free pattern this weekend.  See you soon!