close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, July 26, 2013

Knitbot Linen and Fit to Flatter

I've been hoping these books would show up at the shop.
Hannah Fettig's Knitbot Linen is a beautiful book.  She uses all Quince & Co. Sparrow, which is only available at select shops.  Since ours is not one of those shops, we can highly recommend Shibui Linen for all of the patterns in here.  Here are the lovely designs: Brise Cardigan, Surrounding Tank, Lineal Cardigan, Point of View Vest, and the Aproned Tank.  There's a nice slouchy hat, too, but I forgot to snap a photo.

These are all so cool!  The knitting is pretty straight-forward, but the designs are really fashionable and interesting.  Which one is your favorite?

Amy Herzog's Fit to Flatter is the book that so many of you have been asking about.  It's a pattern collection and fit instruction manual.
I'm not going to give away any of her secrets, but the first chapter is pretty eye-opening.  She will teach you things about your body and how to dress it that you have never even considered.  And then she will talk about knitting, designing, and altering her lovely patterns to work for you.

We only have a few of these in the shop, so come take a look!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Close Knit Sale: Tahki Cotton Classic

Tahki Cotton Classic is 20% off this week!  The same rules apply as the last time (in-store, in-stock sales, don't combine with other offers).
This is truly a classic summer yarn, with nearly 10,000 projects on Ravelry.  Perfect for blankets, sweaters, baby and kids items...whatever you can imagine.  It washes and dries beautifully, and this yarn holds vibrant color like nobody's business.  Check out these rich shades.
Sally has been working on the Mitered Square Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting since...well, none of us are sure.
But the colors are great and the blanket it going to be amazing someday.  Come on in and ask her about it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Still Knitting!

So sorry to have abandoned you all this week.  Between the flu and two family weddings, I was spent.  But I knit on. 
My Mix No. 10 hat is progressing nicely.  I am in love with Shibui Cima.  I am considering knitting an entire wardrobe out of this might be the softest yarn I have ever used.  It's held doubled for this hat, and the slip stitch pattern is really fun.  I didn't consider how the ivory and lumen would play together, so the top section is very subtle, but I love it.
I am hopeful that there is enough left to make another whole hat.  I'll need to switch up the colors, but that's half the fun.

And I have inspiration to share.  The Purl Bee's Shadow Stripe Baby Blanket is calling to me.  It seems like it would be so easy to upsize, too, for a larger throw.  The Purl Bee blankets are always winners...checkout the beautiful gallery on their site (including links to all of the free patterns).
Photo from Purl Bee
This one is knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton, one of our favorites.
I'll be back this week full force.  I just need one night of solid sleep, and then I'll be ready to tell you all about our new yarn, new books, and new magazines.  Bear with me!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sweet Little Dress

Melissa's pattern is ready for you all.  Enjoy!

Sugar & Spice – A Sweetly Satisfying Little Knit Dress 
By Melissa Tyler

This delicious little dress works up super quickly and is very customizable.  Show off a beautiful hand-dye, knit stripes or color blocks – be creative and have fun and your little one will love it! 

Materials: Child’s t-shirt, any size will do, but try to get one that will be a little long on the wearer 
1 skein Classic Elite Seedling or a minimum of 110 yards of your favorite DK or worsted weight yarn for a size 4T.  You’ll need more or less if you are using a different size shirt or want a longer skirt.  Nothing too precious as it will probably need lots of washing!
Size 7, 24” circular knitting needles, or size to obtain gauge
Sharp sewing needle
Strong thread to match the shirt color, I used a few strands of embroidery floss
Tapestry Needle
2 Stitch Markers

Gauge: 18 sts/4” - The gauge is a bit loose for the yarn in order to obtain a more fluid fabric.

Prep Work: Make sure to wash your t-shirt before you begin!  Start at one of the side seams and use the sewing needle and thread to backstitch along the top edge of the hem.  Work through both layers of fabric and make ¼”-long stitches.  Aim for a multiple of 3 stitches.  My sample was 105 stitches sewn around the hem. 

Get Started: Using your circular needles, start at one of the side seams and pick up and knit 1 stitch through each sewn stitch.  Place stitch marker and join to work in the round.  I also placed another marker at the opposite side seem so that I had an easy visual for my half-way point – you’ll have a lot of stitches on that needle! 

Rnd 1: Knit through the front & back of each stitch to the end of the round
Rnds 2-6: Knit all stitches
Rnds 7-8: *K2, P1, repeat from * to end of round
Rnd 9: Purl all stitches
Rnds 10-14: Knit all stitches 
Rnds 15-16: *K2, P1, repeat from * to end of round
Rnd 17: Purl all stitches
Bind Off in Picot Edging as follows:  BO 1 st, *slide stitch back to left needle, cast on 2 sts, BO 4 sts, repeat from * to end.  Use tapestry needle to weave in ends.  Block lightly if desired.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Instant Karma

We have an unusual new yarn in the shop for summer.  Say hello to Berroco Karma.
Karma is a 100% cotton tape yarn, so the "strand" of yarn is actually a loosely knitted mesh tube.
These kinds of yarns were all over the place several years ago, and it's nice to see a more subtle version available now.  This one knits up at 3 stitches per inch on a US11.
Sally whipped up a sample of the Karma Scarf using just three skeins of the denim blue and a free pattern from Loop Knits.  I love those drop stitch ladders and the chunky definition of each stitch.
Berroco sent us a sample from the booklet, too.  This is Vasya from the Karma Booklet, #330.
I also really liked Sequim, Herbie, and Overby.

Amy Christoffers just published the Long Sands Cardigan, designed with Karma, and it looks pretty fabulous.  Check out the textured stitch pattern and those unusual sleeve cuffs.
Photo from Savory Knitting Ravelry page.
I'm going to have to add this one to the queue.  At this gauge, it will knit up in an instant.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Close Knit Weekly Sale: Classic Elite Sprout and Seedling

Hey, how about a discount on some great cotton yarns?
We are offering a 20% discount on Classic Elite Sprout and Seedling this coming week!  The sale starts Monday, July 8 and continues through close on Sunday, July 14.  The discount applies to yarn that we have in stock and in-store sales only, and please don't combine this with any other offer or coupon.  Okay, enough logistics, let's talk about the yarn!
Above is Seedling, a worsted weight cotton with an interesting texture and nice bounce, reminding me a bit of the 1824 Cotton that was discontinued a few years ago.  Below is Sprout is a heavier weight cotton a very similar texture.  This yarn is surprisingly lofty for a chunky cotton yarn.
These yarns are part of the Verde Collection from Classic Elite, a line of "environmentally conscious" yarns.  The cotton is produced organically, although I don't think the dyes are.  Classic Elite claims that the cotton is "more robust and less stressed," improving its "absorbancy and color intensity."  I can say from experience that the nubbly texture makes a big difference when knitting with these yarns, as it seems to give the yarn more bounce than most cottons.  I did not experience the achy hands that I so often do when knitting with pure cotton.

I used Sprout to make my Agnes sweater last summer, and I love it.  Very much.  It's like a comfy sweatshirt, but way classier.  The yarn has held up nicely, too, even with regular machine washing and drying!  It really hasn't pilled up at all, and a short stint in the dryer helps it pop back into shape after I've worn it day and night.
Melissa knit up Lobster Cove from the Seaside Booklet for her wool-allergic sister using the same cozy grey.
Ann created this lovely lacey leafy cowl using two skeins of Sprout.  We have the pattern available in the shop.  Love the chunky lace!
I used Sprout to design my Tiny Baby Hat way back when, and I still say it's a winner.  The pattern is a freebie, too, any you can easily get two hats out of one skein.  That reminds me, a friend of mine is having twins this weekend...I guess I need to stop by and grab a skein.
As for Seedling ideas, we have a sample of Starboard from the Harbor Booklet, and Classic Elite has several pattern books for Seedling, many of which we have in the shop.
Our very own Melissa has been developing a sweet little top using just one skein of Seedling and basic little girls' tee.
The pattern and sample will be in the shop this week, and I'll post the pattern on the blog, too.  Look at that cute ruffle.
If you have been thinking about some cotton projects for the summer, it's time to come in and take a look.  Stop by, share your ideas, and pick up some fabulous yarn at a great deal!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Siena Booties

When Ann brought these tiny booties into the shop, it seemed impossible that they would actually fit on a real live foot.  Fortunately, my wee friend here has some long, skinny feet!
Ann used two colors of Rowan Siena 4-Ply, a fingering weight mercerized cotton.  We have a nice stock of some really beautiful shades.  I love that orange.  White and blue would be so sweet together, too.
The pattern is a seamless variation of Saartje's Booties developed by Susan Glinert Stevens called Fleegle's Seamless Saarjte Booties.  I knit the original version years ago, and they are really fun to make.  At this gauge, they are the prefect size for brand new babies, too.  These feet have been out in the world for just 6 weeks.
One more shot of tiny feet, just for good measure.  Oh, they are so cute.

We will be closed Thursday, July 4th to celebrate the holiday.  Enjoy some sun and fun!  What will you be knitting?