close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Few New Samples

We are constantly cranking out the new samples for you, and I wanted to show you a few that my army of sample knitters have produced recently.

The Dream Stripes Shawl in Classic Elite Soft Linen is truly dreamy.  I am a sucker for stripes, as you know, and the little bit of lace at the edge adds such a nice delicate touch to this piece.  Plus, you only have to knit about 20 rows of lace* to get the effect rather than doing the whole thing in lace.

Classic Elite Soft Linen is a great summer yarn, especially for our climate where we still have those chilly evenings.  We haven't had a sample of this yarn in the shop for awhile, and I hope you all are as smitten with this as I am.  We used three balls of the teal and two of the gray to make the sample, but you could easily make it with four balls if you chose to go for a solid instead.

We also have a sample of Quest, a free pattern from Knitty from a few issues back.  The pattern was designed using Schaefer Yarns Chris, a machine washable merino, so that's what we used.  The hat has a little short row brim, which really sold me on this design.

There is a version with the honeycomb texture and one with plain stockinette if you don't care for the texture.  Personally, I find the texture and variegation a bit much, but I think the honeycomb version would be fabulous in a solid or semisolid like Dream in Color Classy, which we recently restocked, or Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes.

We have new samples almost every week to inspire and entice you.  Stop by on one of these rainy spring days and try on a few things.

Also, no Open Knit Night on Wednesday, March 28.  See you late night knitters again in April!

*If you make this, please pay careful attention to the lace chart, as the lace repeat section is a little misleading.  For most rows, the first stitch in the repeat is a double decrease, although it looks like there is a knit stitch right before it.  That particular cell on the lace chart is large, so it looks like two stitches.  Be careful!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dream in Color

We decided to restock our supply of Dream in Color loveliness, and I'm so happy we did.  Their company website is under construction, so I'll give you some Ravelry links.

Classy is a worsted weight machine washable merino, and the colors are amazing.  The Dream in Color dye process produces gorgeous tonal and subtle variations in the yarn.  Their newest round is even darker and richer than previous batches due to a new over-dyeing process.

There is some good yardage in these.  With 250 yards in each skein, you can easily make a baby or kid sweater with one or two of these.  One is more than enough for a hat, and two would get you a nice coordinating hat and scarf set.  There are more than 14,000 projects on Ravelry using Classy, so you know it's good.

I recently used an older colorway to make Rubble for my daughter.  She is very particular about itchy sweaters and clingy things around her neck, but she loves this.  I left the ribbing unseamed at the hem for a little more give.

We are sad to hear that Dream in Color's Starry sock yarn is going out of production because of some trouble with the sparkly substrate yarn they use for their gorgeous hand dyes.  We have a little left on the shelf, but we are loving the new Smooshy with Cashmere.  

Who wouldn't?

Everlasting DK is new to us, too.  This was very popular during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, and I'm hoping we will get more in stock.  Great yardage again with 275 yards per 100 gram skein.  The colors play so nicely together, I think I striped shawl would be amazing.  One Raveler made Pipp's Openwork Eyelet Scarf using just one skein.

You could make the tiniest size of Cascade from Petite Purls with just one skein of Everlasting DK.  Perfect for those first weeks when a new little person just needs to be kept warm and everything seems to big.

Photo from Petite Purls
Dream in Color always does good work.  We'd love to hear what you think of their new colors and yarns!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Liberty Color Play

Did I show you this?  I don't think I did.

I cranked out a Splash of Color Cowl while I was away in February for a few days.  I needed a small, mindless airport project, and this was just the thing.

Classic Elite Liberty Wool is a machine washable multi-colored worsted wool that does some interesting things.  The colors change very gradually over the course of the ball, so you end up with a watercolor effect.  I found this terribly satisfying.  There isn't much repeat in each ball, so you don't really get stripes, and you can pick and choose your blending depending on which end of the ball you pull from.

I used the Brick Road colorway, #7863.  As you can see here, I chose to keep the pinks and purples in the center of the cowl and saved the browns and grays for the edges.  If I had started from the other end of my second ball, I would have ended up with a big swath of the golden brown in the middle, which I think would have been equally cool.

This cowl requires just two balls, but I feel like I would have been even happier with about 30% more width and a third ball.  Next time.  

If you choose to make the pattern as written, make sure you bind off as loosely as you possibly can, preferable with a larger needle.  I've had luck with the Decrease or Lace Bind Off, demonstrated here on Knitting Daily.  I wasn't thinking the first time around and ended up with a bound off edge that was so tight that I couldn't double wrap the cowl.  After unpicking it and redoing the bind off, it's much better.

We are part of a little subscription service from Classic Elite, so we receive two bags of each new color they release every month or so.  The two newest colorways are very springy, but we have a really great selection of almost all of their shades.

We have some of the solids, too.  They are lovely on their own, and really fabulous paired with the multis for some variegated stripes or colorwork like in Accents (#9166).

Zig Zag Tam, Photo from Classic Elite Yarns
If you like having some simple little knitted gifts on hand, you can't really beat this cowl.  Each colorway is so interesting, it is sure to please someone you know.  And for less than $20, you really can't go wrong, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Him or Her Cowls

Sally designed these great cowls for the Rose City Yarn Crawl.  Now that the crawl has come to a close, we wanted to share.  If you choose to make one, please share your results with us on the pattern's Ravelry page.  The words below are Sally's, to give credit where it is due.

Each of these cowl designs is knit using one skein of Cascade Eco Cloud.  You will be quite smitten with this Aran weight alpaca/merino blend and it's lovely effect with textured stitch patterns.

Just a few thoughts about the pattern:  The “Him” cowl is knit using a darker, natural shade with a knot stitch that is decidedly masculine and is fitted, more like a gator.  You might want to call this a gator if you are gifting it to your favorite “Him”.  I contend that men will be embracing cowls into their wardrobes more and more, following the female lead on this fashion statement trend; perhaps to be safe call it a gator upon presentation if need be!

The “Her” cowl is done using an ecru shade of the Eco Cloud Yarn in a classic herringbone pattern.  This could  be a “Him” cowl, but the cast on side develops into a lovely scalloped edge that might not appeal to the masculine cowl wearer. 
You decide...

-One skein Cascade Eco Cloud (two skeins for larger cowl) for Him or Her cowl.
-US 10, 24” circular needle
-stitch marker
-tapestry needle

4 - 4.5 stitches per inch in either knot stitch (him), or herringbone stitch (her)

Approx finished size:
18” around, 10 in height.  The two skein version is 36” around, 10” in height.

This pattern is now available as part of the Rose City Yarn Crawl ebook.  Check it out on Ravelry!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Even More Scrumptious

Sally popped out to Lantern Moon this morning to bring more Scrumptious into our lives.

So many knitters fell in love with the Hethe Cardigan in Scrumptious Lace that we were all but cleaned out.  The smallest sizes of this pretty cardigan from The Scrumptious Collection can be knit with just one skein of the Lace.

While she was picking up more Lace for you all, she talked her way into another trunk show!

She knows I love the Tirrold sweater, also knit with one skein of Lace, and she couldn't resist Challow, knit with the so very pretty Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.  Both of these sweaters are in the Scrumptious Collection Volume 1.

Sally also scored a few individual Lantern Moon patterns featuring Lace.  Two lovely knitters took home the yarn and pattern to make Krystina today.

Alyona has come to live with us for a bit, too.  So sweet and pretty.  Alyona and Krystina each require one skein of Lace.  I wore the purple one around for a bit today, and it felt so good scrunched up around my neck.

We also now have Saturday Treat, Scrumptious Knits by Carol Feller, and The Scrumptious Baby Collection.  Take a look at a few of the sweet pieces in the baby book: the Corlyna Cardigan, the Ensar Dungarees, and the Temari Kimono Jacket.

I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep these samples at the shop, so head on out while the sun shines and come see us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Magazines

The spring issues of Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits have hit the shelves, with the expected ratio of winners to losers for spring knitting magazines.  Here's what I liked.

The Color Zig-Zag Top from Vogue Knitting is pretty cool, especially considering the Missoni-mania going on lately.  I'm not sure about the color palette for me, but I think this would be a really fun piece to knit and wear.  The shaping and finishing are pretty minimal, and you know how I feel about a good stripe.  The tee was designed in Debbie Bliss Eco Baby, an organic sport weight cotton.  We stock this yarn in some soft baby colors, but I would probably go for the richer color palette of the Cascade Ultra Pima or Karabella Vintage Cotton.

I also really like the Slit-Shoulder Top in Classic Elite Seedling.  We don't have this yarn in stock yet, but it will be here when the temperatures rise a bit.  Again, I love the stripes, but the dolman sleeves and the slits at the shoulders really caught my eye.

Interweave's spring offerings were wide-ranging.  I like the cute little Birch Point Hoodie out of Tahki Cotton Classic.  We always stock up on that yarn in the spring, and the price is quite reasonable.  This cardigan feels like a good summer staple.

Warmer months are also a nice time to try out a new technique on a smaller project, and this cute little intarsia bag is full of tricks.  I don't know that I'd recommend using cotton for your first intarsia project, but I think this would be just as cool in wool.

By far my favorite design in Interweave Knits Spring 2012 is the Cobble Hill Pullover.  I love a weird sweater, and this one is all kinds of wacky.  You can wear it frontwards, backwards, right-side up, or upside-down.  Seriously.  Designed in chunky alpaca, this is most definitely not a spring sweater.  I'm not sure I would suggest using chunky alpaca for a whole sweater no matter how cold it is.  It would be so warm and heavy, you could use it as a jacket all winter around here.

I was perusing the shop looking for some good alternatives.  Here's what I found.  Berroco Peruvia Quick (the pink below) would be great, and the smaller sizes would require nine skeins. 

Cascade 128 Superwash (the blue above) would be good, too, and you'd need seven skeins for the smallest size.

I can also recommend Debbie Bliss Glen (above) and Rowan Renew (below) for a more tweedy look.  The Glen would do some interesting shading considering the unusual structure of the sweater.

Cascade Eco Cloud, a shop favorite, would be dreamy.  The chained construction of this yarn makes it lofty and light for an alpaca blend.

The most economical option is the Cascade Eco Wool, but I can't promise it will be the most luxurious.

Whether the weather has you thinking about spring cardigans or enormous upside-down sweaters, we have a magazine for you!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Still Crawling!

The Rose City Yarn Crawl continues!  Over the past few days, we have had a great time seeing some of our favorite familiar faces and getting to know people from all around the area who don't normally come to our little corner.

Laura Irwin's trunk show is just lovely.  Her designs and display really reflect Laura's style and sophistication...always a welcome addition.

Her Pivot Ruffle Cloche in Rowan Kid Classic and Snail Twist Cowl in Cascade Magnum are really something to behold.  Stop on by and take a look if you have a moment.  I am feeling more than a little obsessed with the cowl.

We have a few items from the Scrumptious Collection, too.  The lovely Hethe cardigan is worked up in the Scrumptious Lace, just one skein for the smallest size.

The cabled Arncott hat from the cover is light as a cloud in the Scrumptious 4-ply.  We have a few copies of Ysolda Teague's Saturday Treat, too, featuring the Scrumptious yarns.  If you are a Ysolda fan, you'll like this.

We have a great selection of pyramid project bags from Knit, Purl, Sew What?  The designer is from Salem, and the fabric all comes from out wonderful friends at Bolt Neighborhood Fabric.  Sally loves an excuse to go pick out prints, and she always does a great job.

We are open from 10-6 through Sunday, March 4, so come on down and see us.  And good luck to you on the raffles!