close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Here We Are

Hi friends!  Sorry about that inadvertent blog break there.  I was busy knitting my fingers off in preparation for Christmas.  I tried to keep things simple, but I did end up knitting a hedgehog at the last moment.  It happens.
I also had to finish the mini Groovy ordered up by my youngest.  I loved knitting one for myself in the spring, so it wasn't too hard to agree.  I used one skein of Berroco Weekend DK, and I just knit until I ran out of yarn.  It was so nice to work with, and she loves it.
Now that I have finished the frantically-knitting-for-others phase, my attention is turning to selfish knitting.  Let me tell you what I'm thinking.
I have four skeins of the most beautiful green Harrisvile Highland sitting on the shelf waiting to become Tea With Jam and Bread. I have not yet chosen my contrasting colors, but I'll see what speaks to me when the time comes.  There are plenty of options.
Photo borrowed from Knitty.
I was so excited to see Streymoy in the most recent issue of Knitty.  This cardigan is not for the faint of heart, but it's the kind of garment you would pass down to the next generation.  The designer included so many thoughtful details, it's hard to believe it's a free pattern.  The pattern calls for Cascade Eco Wool and Eco+, a yarn that we love and keep well-stocked.
Photo borrowed from O-Wool site.

There are a few smaller projects percolating in my brain, too.  I have seen several lovely versions of the Garfunkel Hat, and I am so excited to try it out in the Debbie Bliss BFL DK.  We have a great color selection, and I think the texture of the yarn would be great for colorwork.  It's hard to tell, but it looks like there are at least three colors involved here, and I love the double-thick ribbed brim. 
Another Shibui No. 10 is on the list, too.  The sample I knit for the shop is pretty great, and I am a little tired of the glass head getting all the good hats.  We figured out that four skeins will make two hats with a little creative rearranging of colors.

This is what's knocking around in my head.  Now that the new year is almost upon us, what are you all knitting?

Friday, December 20, 2013


So, Sally has been ordering some uncharacteristically NEON yarn this fall.  We all thought she was a little off her rocker, but it would seem that she knows what the kids like.
As soon as her tween/teenage kids saw this hat, they both immediately wanted one.  Lucky for you, we have lots of the yarn, and it knits up FAST.
The solids are Boston, and the multis are Lova.  They are different yarns (the Lova is chained), but they play really nicely together.  You can mix and match to your heart's content.  I'm thinking of making these as playground hats for the kids...high visibility and warm heads!  As an added bonus, the Boston is very machine-washable.

The pattern is a freebie from Schachenmayr, and we can give you all of the info at the shop.  Swing by and see this crazy yarn.  You won't be able to miss it!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Time for Fast Hats

So, it's getting down to it here, friends.  Let's talk about some quick knitting projects, shall we?

Remember all of that gorgeous Malabrigo that arrived last week?  Well, my sweet friend Laura used some to crank out some fabulous Super Simple Baby Hats.
The pattern is a freebie from Purl Soho, the yarn is lusciously soft, and you get to make a pom pom.  The pattern is written for babies, but it is easy as pie to make them larger.  Just cast on more stitches in multiples of two and work a longer tube.  There isn't even any decreasing!  

Laura doubled the Malabrigo Merino Worsted and used a US10.5.  We should have everything you need at the shop right now, including the pom pom makers.  It's even cute baby-approved!
Thanks for the inspiration and the photos, Laura!  Stay tuned for more quick hats...

Sunday, December 15, 2013


We received a nice fat shipment from Malabrigo this week.
Silkpaca.  Lots and lots of it.  We used this for our Bateaux Moches sample, and it sold like hotcakes.  No surprise, considering these lustrous colors.
We have a boatload of Malabrigo Merino Worsted on the shelves, too.  
We haven't carried this popular yarn in awhile, so it's nice to have it back.  Good for so many things, and as soft as butter.  Some of it is the color of butter, too!

Shelf full of Rasta, anyone?  About half of this is probably gone's getting to be that time of year, isn't it?

I wound a few of these up on Monday, and I was struck by the depth and richness of the colors.
Everyone loves Malabrigo!  Come get yours.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Rowan

A little more Rowan for you?
The Kidsilk Haze is always popular, and we have more in the shop.  We have also welcomed Kidsilk Haze Eclipse, the sparkly version of the old favorite, and Kidsilk Haze Stripe, a self-patterning version with double the yardage of the original.  
These are all amazing for scarves, shawls, sweaters...many knitters will hold a strand along with another yarn to add some textural interest.  There are so many version to choose from now.
Speaking of haze, say hello to Angora Haze.  It is softer than you can bunnies made of clouds.  For me, an angora sweater conjures visions of dressing up for the holidays.  There is also a certain vintage flair to an angora sweater, like this sweet little thing at the shop.  Pink, lacey, fluffy, vintage...
In fact, the Angora Haze book is full of pretty things.

Autumn Knits is gorgeous, too.
We have a sample of Ashbourne in the shop, knit up in the luxurious Lima.
Look at these beautiful shapes and textures, knit up in Cocoon and Lima.

Finally, we have the new Rowan Fine Art sock yarn in the six newest and more subtle colorways.  With the more subtle color variation, these would be lovely for lacework...elm is my favorite.  This would be perfect for that RCYC Mystery KAL/CAL.
I think that's most of the new Rowan...stay tuned for Malabrigo!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hottie Eratta

Oops!  There were a few little mistakes in our Hottie Cozy pattern.

1.  For the neck of the cozy, you'll decrease to 32 stitches instead of the 16 stitches originally stated.
2.  For the closure section, row 6 should read: K1, ssk, k5, yo, k2tog, k9, yo, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k1.  Previously, there was a k11 in there.

Sorry about that!  Go back to your knitting.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Do you all remember the Rose City Yarn Crawl from last year?  Sally designed an awesome hat (available as part of a BEAUTIFUL ebook), there were tons of prizes, and lots and lots of remember.  Well, the organizers have added a new fun feature to the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl, a Mystery Knit-a-long and Crochet-a-long.
How does this work, you ask?  Well, you don't get to know what the final product looks like!  We have seen the designs, and I promise they are both lovely shawlettes designed by Portland designers.

Presales of the pattern are available now on Ravelry, so you can choose colors and start swatching, maybe even drop a few hints about which yarns you might like to see under the tree or in your stocking.  Pattern clues will begin arriving mid-January so you can start working.

You receive clues, follow the pattern, and your shawlette will grow.  The clues will be timed so that you can have your piece all finished in time for the Yarn Crawl at the end of February.  It sounds like there will be prizes and a chance to show off your creation at the Yarn Crawl, too.

Both projects require fingering weight yarn in two different colors, and we have been stocking up to give you plenty of choices.  The designers are suggesting a semi-solid hand-dyed yarn to add depth and interest to your project.
Cheshire Cat from Frabjous Fibers would be a lovely choice, and look at all those colors.  The colorway names are all Alice-centric, and the yarn is silky soft and lustrous  Gorgeous.  How about the red and grey together?  Maybe a blue and green?  Ooo, the gold and purple.  So many choices.
We have also restocked the Heartwood from Bumblebirch, a local Portland dyer with great color sense.  The gold and grey, pink and green, purple and grey, blue and natural...oh, man.  You really need to see these in person...they are all so beautiful.
The sock wall is bursting with gorgeous choices for you.  I'll keep you posted as more options arrive.  Purchase your pattern, stop by the shop, and get ready to create!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hottie Cozy

Brrr!  If this weather doesn't get you reaching for your woolies, I don't know what will.  Melissa has another little something to keep you warm, the Hottie Cozy.
I don't have a hot water bottle myself, but this stylish cozy might just be the thing that sends me out to buy one!  Perfect for warming those sheets before you crawl in or for pressing against sore muscles.

Melissa adorned hers with a little needle-felted Close Knit logo, but you can add whatever you'd like.  She used almost every inch of one skein of Cascade 128 Superwash on size 10 needles, so this is certainly a gifting possibility.  Inexpensive, quick, and customizable.  Perfect.  Thanks, Melissa!

Hottie Cozy
by Melissa Tyler
Yarn: 1 skein Cascade 128 Superwash (128 yds superwash Merino), yarn scraps or roving for embellishing (optional)
Needles: US10 16" circular and US10 dpns 
Notions: tapestry needle, felting needles, two 1" buttons, two stitch markers (different colors)
Gauge: 14 stitches over 4" (check your gauge...this project will use all but a few yards of the one skein) 

Using circular needles, CO 64 sts. Place marker at the beginning of round and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the CO row.

Knit 10” in stockinette st. On last row, k32, place a different colored marker and k to end.

Begin shoulder shaping:

Dec Rnd:* k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker* rep 1 time to end of round. (60 sts)

Repeat Dec Rnd every rnd until 32 sts remain on needles, 7 times. Switch to DPNs when necessary.

Begin Neck Shaping:
Remove 2nd stitch marker. Work in 1x1 Rib (k1, p1 to end) until neck measures 3 ¼”. BO in pattern.

With right side facing, use circular needles to pick up and knit 32 sts. (Start with the first CO stitch of the round to be sure you are knitting on the flat side!)

All odd rows: K to end
Rows 2 & 4: K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Row 6: K1, ssk, k5, yo, k2tog, k9, yo, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k1
Row 8: k1, ssk, k to last 3sts, k2tog, k1.
Row 10: BO

Finishing: Weave in ends. The button edge will roll a bit, but wet blocking will fix that! Sew on buttons opposite buttonholes. Embellish to your heart’s content. “Dress” your water bottle and get snuggly!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Our friend Laura Irwin stopped by the shop on Monday with a box of Softwaves pattern booklets.
These lovely full-color publications contain five of Laura's very popular designs, and we have samples and supplies for all of them!  
The Textured Marbled Beret on the cover is knit with just one ball of Cascade Lana Grande.  Quick, easy, and inexpensive.  Somehow, it seems to look good on nearly everyone who tries it on, too. Even me, see?
Plus, there's a pom pom.  The Snail Twist Cowl and Headband are in there, too.
The cowl is worked up with one skein of Cascade Magnum, which we keep very well-stocked throughout the winter.  I made one of these last year, and the knitting took about a half and hour.  The magic is in the seaming, however, and the finished piece is high-impact, don't you think?  The headband uses one skein of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, which we have in more solids, tweeds, hand-dyes, and sparkles than you can imagine.  It was too small for me, so you'll just have to come take a look.
The Pivot Ruffle Cloche really shows off Laura's vintage flair.  Knit up with Rowan Kid Classic, it has a softness and grace that are really stunning.  We have a nice sample at the shop, and I know several of our knitters have made their own versions.
Finally, the Softwaves Cowl.  This thing is amazing.  It's a cowl, shawl, and capelet all in one.  In super bulky Magnum.  Again, the knitting is simple.  The seaming is magic.

These beautiful pattern booklets would make a great gift for yourself or a fellow knitter, as would any of these finished pieces.  If you have a long list of people expecting something handmade and fabulous, go easy on yourself and come get this booklet.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Looking for a little soothing knitting these days?  I certainly am.  Allow me to suggest Mira's Cowl.
Knit with 400 or so yards of sock yarn and a US7 circular needle, this little cowl really fits the bill.  It's an unusual variation on a knit/purl rib, so it's not boring.  But it's not complicated, either.

I created mine with two skeins of Shubui Sock, and I just worked until I ran out of yarn.
Photo from
I was quite taken by the Blush colorway, but it's not so great with my pink skin and freckles.  However, my lovely friend Laura looks just smashing, doesn't she?  Laura reports that it is such a nice weight, too, for these chilly days we're having.

There are two sizes for this cowl, and I knit the largest one, which is large enough to double wrap.  I was convinced the whole time that it was going to be too narrow, but it turned out just fine with a vigorous blocking.  A stretchy cast on and bind off are key to the success of the double-wrap on this cowl, though, so be aware.
I was thinking how nice it would be to have one of my own in some of this fabulous sock yarn from Wonderland Yarns, and with 512 yards per skein, there is more than enough for a big ol' cowl.
Now, which color will compliment my freckles?  I'm thinking dark blue or the grass green.  Looking forward to a nice soothing project with this beautiful yarn.  I'm feeling more relaxed already.