close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Linen and Knit.Wear

A few new things for you!

We are trying out Marks & Kattens Linen in some great rich colors.  It's only $9.25 for 50g of pure linen.  Let us know what you think.  If you like it, we'll see about getting more.

We also have the second issue of knit.wear.  The first issue was AMAZING.  It also sold out in just a few weeks, and we had a hard time getting our hands on any more copies.  Eunny Jang makes an interesting point in her editor's note about finding the intersection of pieces that you'd like to knit and pieces you'd actually like to wear.  I agree that the designs in knit.wear more often than not fit nicely into both categories.  In addition, the magazine is beautiful, and the articles are interesting.  I'll show you more details and have yarn suggestions for you soon.  In the mean time, come grab your copy while we have them.

Also, we are on summer hours now.  We'll be open from 11-6 during the week (M-F), with Wednesday night Open Knit going until 9PM.  Saturday is still 10-5 and Sunday is still 11-4.  Also, please join us on Monday nights for Knit Night at Cruzroom, just a few blocks away!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cleaning House

There is some good stuff in the sale bin, Close Knitters.  Everything is 50% off the price marked on the tag.

That's enough Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby to make several blankets.  There is a lot of pale blue, minty green, and sunny yellow, as well as a few browns and aqua blues.  If there is a baby in your future, perhaps this basket is for you.

We have a little bit of Classic Elite Princess in pretty green, enough for a hat and scarf set or little girl's sweater.

There are four balls of Ella Rae Kamelsoft in deep red and a whole bag in pretty chocolaty brown.  There is a smattering of Rowan Wool Cotton in some bright sunny colors.

We have some rich, man-appropriate colors in Karabella Margrite, browns, and a sky blue.  I used this yarn to make a simple hat for my mom a few years back.

Want a free pattern?  Here you go.  You'll need 2 balls of Margrite Bulky and a US10 16" and US10 double-pointed needles.  Cast on 68 stitches, join in the round, work 2x2 ribbing (knit2, purl2 around) for 6".  Work in stockinette stitch until the piece measures 10" from the cast on.  Then work the decreases as for the Turn a Square Hat, switching to the double-pointed needles when necessary.  There you go.

There is a basket full of bag handles and purse hardware, too. 

If you are knitting on a budget this summer, come take a look at all of these great yarns and help us clean house a little bit as we start thinking about fall yarns!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Taiyo Sock

Okay, so now for the Noro Taiyo Sock.

The fiber content and structure are very similar to the Taiyo, but this is much much finer, coming in at a light fingering weight.  Although this is called a sock yarn, I would be kind of hesitant to use it for socks due to the single-ply structure of the yarn.  It makes me worry that you would wear holes in it on your first wear.  If you have your heart set on socks, I would strongly recommend using a more traditional sock yarn for heels and toes.  That being said, many people on Ravelry have used this for socks, and the Noro Knitting Magazine has a lovely pair designed with Taiyo Sock.  Maybe it's just me.

So, moving on from socks.  Look at this gorgeous sweater, the Cropped Jacket from the Noro Knitting Magazine.  It was designed with Silk Garden Sock, but I have all the faith in the world that Tayio Sock would work just fine.

Part of it is knit sideways, and the front is shaped with some strategically placed short rows.  Two colorways are worked alternately to create the more bold stripes, and the subtle changes of the Noro are responsible for the cool ombre effect.

This skirt also really plays up the long color changes of the Noro.  I don't know about the stripes on the belly area, but I like the mitered rectangles at the bottom of the skirt.

When Sally told me that she was going to start stocking Taiyo Sock, my heart skipped a little beat, because I was reminded of this beautiful cowl.

Thank you, Streetsandyos, for use of your photo.
The Inspria Cowl is a Ravelry freebie from designer celerystalk, and she provides lots of options and room for modification.  This stunning version above is from Streetsandyos, and she paired the Taiyo Sock with Malabrigo Sock to tame it down a little bit.  I love every little thing about this piece.  In fact, one skein of Tayio Sock color #23A may or may not have already come home with me so that I may blatantly copy her.

I was also excited to see that someone had used it for the September Circle cowl, which I knit in Kauni this spring.  This lovely version is from Raveler oneknitwit, and she used color 28, which I believe we have at the shop, too.

Thank you, Oneknitwit, for use of your photo.
Look how well the color changes fit into the lace and garter sections.  This cowl was really fun to knit, and it would be great for a lace beginner.

If you love the scarf idea but not the lace, please please please try Windward from Heidi Kirrmaier (aka Pipibird).  I have seen a few solid versions of this scarf in person, and a few Noro versions online.  Let me tell you, this is a weird and very cool scarf.

Thank you, Knittyblue, for use of your photo.
To create her version, Knittyblue used Noro Sekku, a discontinued Noro yarn with the exact same fiber blend as Taiyo Sock.  The Noro shows off the interesting construction of this scarf and adds even more visual interest to an already interesting design.

As promised, lots of ideas for Taiyo Sock, and only one sock design in the bunch.  What are you going to make with Taiyo?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Noro Taiyo

We are carrying Noro Yarns again.  We took a little break, but Sally has decided to jump back on the bandwagon and stock some of our favorites.  Right now we have lots of Taiyo and Taiyo Sock, but there is more coming for fall.  Let me tell you about the Aran to chunky Taiyo first.

Taiyo is a really pretty cotton, silk, and wool blend (40%/30%/15%) with a little nylon added to strengthen the singly ply.  The colorways that Sally chose are beautiful, of course.

Want some project ideas?  I knew you would.  There are a few blankets that I have been ogling that just beg for Noro.  

The Mitered Crosses Blanket (above) and the Pop Blanket (below) work for me, because the solid background really highlights the Noro without letting it go too crazy.  You could use Cascade Eco Wool or Eco +, Cascade 220, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, or even Berroco Vintage for the background with much success.  (I have it on good authority that the natural Noro colorway seen above will be back on the shelves this fall.  I know several of you were pining away for it...I promise to keep you posted.)

If you'd like to embrace the full Noro color riot, Lizard Ridge from Knitty 2006 is a great design, too.  Each square is knit from opposite sides of the ball to create the more distinct stripes, and fun little short row sections create the bubbles.

Photo from Knitty, Fall 2006.

I made Rubble for my older daughter in the winter, and I am thinking the littlest daughter needs one in some crazy colors to match her personality.  The unusual construction of the sweater would really play up the striping since the whole thing is knit is one piece from the front hem to the back hem, with stitches cast on for the sleeves as you knit.  The horizontal stripes would continue uninterrupted from the front to the back.

Since Taiyo, Silk Garden, and Kureyon are all of similar gauge, you can interchange them in a lot of patterns without much trouble.  Taiyo would be great for something like the Striped Noro Scarf or the Turn a Square Hat.

Noro is also a natural choice for entrelac, since the color changes highlight the little squares so nicely.  Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style was an extremely popular design several years ago, and I can see this being just stunning in Taiyo.

The new Noro Knitting Magazine has a few great entrelac designs, as well, including these fun little pillows.  These would be a nice introduction to the technique if you are interested.

Okay, next time we'll talk about the Taiyo Sock.  I have lots of ideas for you, and very few of them are socks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Essentially Feminine

We have some pretty new things at the shop right now, many of which you may have seen on our Facebook page.  I'll fill you in on the Noro extravaganza soon, but first I wanted to show you this beautiful new book we just received.

Essentially Feminine Knits is full of just that.  The Ravelry page for the English translation is incomplete, but the Ravelry page for the Danish version is full of beautiful projects and all the details.

Here are some of my favorites from the book.  Fiona is knit with wool and mohair held together, and the gauge ends up being about a bulky weight.

Hella is a cute leafy beanie in two weights, worsted or bulky.  I think prefer the bulky one below.

Palma is a is a pretty wrap sweater with a cable detail on the back.  This one is knit with fingering weight, so a sock yarn or Scrumptious 4 Ply or Karabella Lace Merino Silk would be perfect.

Siri (not the iPhone lady) is very interesting.  The knitting is very simple, and a few seams complete this unique shape.  It's knit with a DK yarn, and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK or Rialto DK would be so nice and cozy.

I love Lilly with her garter goodness and little leaf yoke detail.  This would be amazing in Berroco Ultra Alpaca or good ol' Cascade 220.

Wilma is a pretty little cabled vest.  I love it in the tweed they have here, and Tahki Donegal Tweed or Debbie Bliss Luxury Aran Tweed would be nice.

Viola is an interesting one.  The yarn used for this design is super fluffy and airy, but it's a bulky weight.  We have a yarn coming in the fall that would be perfect for this.  You could probably use Cascade Eco Cloud, but please swatch.

I love Nikita.  Lace, garter, cables, weird construction?  Yes, please.  Look at the pretty shoulder.

Cecilia is delicate and feminine, for sure.  Rowan Kidsilk Haze or Cascade Kid Seta would fit the bill here.

Finally, Coco.  Sophisticated and classic, especially in a fingering weight yarn.

Which ones inspire you?  Come by and take a look.  And stay tuned for the Noro color riot.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sweatshirt Complete

My cozy grey sweatshirt is off the needles.  It's perfect.

I tried to resist casting on for this, but the allure of the cozy organic yarn, simple pattern, and pockets finally pushed me over the edge.  I'm so glad I gave in.

The pattern is Agnes by Melissa LaBarre from Quince & Co (available as a download).  It's a very simple raglan sweater with a nice swingy shape and side seam pockets.  The pattern was designed with a single ply wool, but I chose Classic Elite Sprout in the perfect shade of gray.  The color is called Summer Rain, which seems so very appropriate today.

I tried knitting the pockets with Sprout, but the effect was less than flattering.  I sewed up a few little squares out of fabric and hand stitched them in place.  In hindsight, I could have used Seedling, Sprout's little sister yarn, to create a knitted pocket with less bulk.

The boatneck-ish neckline on this is so comfortable for me.  I like to think that it adds a little bit of femininity to what is otherwise a boxy bulky pullover.  I knitted most of the sweater on a US10.5, but I switched to a US9 for the ribbing on the sleeves and the hem.

Back in April, I wrote about this lovely organic cotton yarn, and I stand by my review.  My hands did not get sore and cramped while knitting with this cotton, and the finished texture is casual and cozy.  I used every last bit five skeins of Sprout for the sweater, although I would have needed another for the pockets.  I made the 37.5", but I added a few more underarm increases and made the sleeves 3/4 length.

I have already washed this a few times, and it seems to do just fine.  I turned it inside-out, washed it on cold, air-fluffed it in the dryer, and laid it flat to dry the rest of the way.  As with any pure cotton garment, it shrunk up a tiny bit in length and the stitches tightened up again, which was just fine with me.  It stretched out a bit the last time I fell asleep wearing it.  Yup, it's that perfect.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cascade Trunk Show - Get it While it's Hot!

We received a lovely trunk show from our Cascade Yarns representative last week.  Unfortunately, due to some scheduling conflicts, it will only be in the shop until Friday of this week.  There are some beautiful pieces just begging to be tried on and knit by you.  As an added bonus, all of these patterns are free through the Cascade Yarns website!

This is the Kid Seta Cardigan.  Several ladies of varying sizes have tried this, and it is quite flattering on many body types.

We also have this amazing Alpaca Lace Turtleneck in Alpaca Lace, which Jenni has styled so beautifully.

This pretty pink one is the Cluster Stitch Scarf in Alpaca Lace.

The Shaded Feather Openwork Scarf is knit with several shades of Alpaca Lace.

Finally, the Ribbed Lace Stole in Ultra Pima is silky soft and has a nice weight.

The pattern links I've provided will take you to all of the free patterns for each yarn.  There is no direct link to the individual patterns, but you'll be able to find the one you love and download it at home.

We love Cascade Yarns, and I know you do too.  Come on down before we have to box these pretties up and send them home!