close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, September 27, 2013


Well, now.  It's cloudy and drippy out there in Portland.  Let's talk about knitting, shall we?
I am always thrilled to see the newest issue of knit.wear.  Interweave has really hit on something with this magazine.
The simple, yet stunning Textured Shawl has such a lovely drape and flow, thanks to the use of a silk and wool blend.  I would happily suggest our Scrumptious Lace for this, and just one skein will do the trick.  Think of the meditative knitting...
The cozy and stylish Drawstring Pullover would be less meditative, but oh-so-wearable.  It's knit up in complementary colors of Shibui Silk Cloud and Staccato.  We have all been loving the Shibui yarns, and you will, too.  The Silk Cloud adds just the right amount of halo and not a lot of fuzz.  Trust me, I am not a fan of fuzz, and I love this combo.
I am a fan of reverse stockinette, and the Eyelet Raglan has it.  The heathered colors of Blue Sky Alpacas Melange really pop in this stitch.  Another highly wearable piece.
Check out the interesting details on the Tucked PulloverElsebeth Lavold Silky Wool is perhaps one of the best sweater yarns for the money.  It knits up into a warm but light layering weight, and the finished knits look so professional.
The Envelope Hat starts out as a scarf.  Seriously.  This one was knit with Scrumptious 4 Ply for a lovely drape.  I'm hoping we will have a fresh stock of this lovely stuff soon, too.  This looks like too much fun.
The Asymmetrical Collar Jacket shows off how beautifully Harrisville Highland does cables.  The lime green is a bit much for me, but imagine it in a rich navy blue or deep red.  Lots of potential here.
Okay, the neckline of the Askew Vest doesn't do much for me, but the hemline and the slanting cable?  Much better.  I have seen this hem style a few places, but I can't decide it I like it.  Do you all have an opinion?
Speaking of cables, I love the garter plus cable combo of the Swaying Cables Scarf.  Such a basic design plan, but with some variation to the cable.  This would be squishy, warm, and amazing in Eco Cloud.
The next section is called Cocoon, and the Twelve Cables Pullover fits right in.  This one is knit with Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica.  I know many of you just got itchy thinking about that, but how about in Maxima instead?  So soft.  And the textured stitch pattern slows down the pilling that you might be worried about.  There is an interesting article on that phenomenon in the magazine, too, if you like to get your fiber geek on.
The Pocket Hem Pullover has pockets.  In the hem.  I love pockets.  Another nice reverse stockinette basic.
I like the idea of the Kite Cardigan, too.  This would be great to throw on over a dress for some extra drama, don't you think?
There is great article on color blocking and how to make it work for you.  The Shaped Intarsia Tunic is not something that I would normally consider for myself, but the color choices here have got me thinking.
The Dressmaker Jacket is worked up in Malabrigo Rios, which we have in several lovely shades.  The contrasting bands have a nice elongating effect, and the twisted stockinette stitch adds a great texture.  Machine washable in Rios, too.
I would love to try the High Collar Wrap Cardigan in our new Blue Faced Leicester DK.  What a classic.  Check out the back detail.
Cables, Majestic Tweed, and some well-placed buttons make the Cabled Bands Pullover interesting.  This yarn is soft, my friends, and this sweater would be cozy.
Talk about cozy.  And dramatic!  I think you could wear the Turtleneck Jacket over your jammies, and you would still look pulled together.  I am in love with this one.
Which one are you going to make?  Which one should I make?  Winter is coming, my friends.  Let's knit!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Three things here that several of you will appreciate:
1) Spincycle Dyed in The Wool worked up as a little ribbed beanie (free pattern in the works).  Beautiful yarn, friends.  The look of handspun at a fraction of the price.  Soft and machine-washable, too.  You are going to like this.
2) Knit.wear Fall/Winter 2013.  Many pretties in this issue, as always.  Many worked up in our yarns, too.  More on that soon.
3) Sunshine.  Soak up a little vitamin D on your walk/bike/drive to Close Knit, and check out the newest goods at the shop.
See you back here soon.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brushed Alpaca

New yarns are rolling in, and we are seeing a few that have not been in the shop for a bit like the Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush.
This pretty yarn has a nice halo for those of you who love that sort of thing.  It's a bulky yarn, too, so you don't have to knit with tiny lace weight mohair to get the softness and glow you desire.  I have not worked with this at all, but there are some really nice projects on Ravelry that totally inspired me.
Photo from Please Don't Eat the Daisies Ravelry shop.
The Cupido Cowl by Hiroko Fukatsu would be fabulous in the Alpaca Brush.  I would use a US 9 or 10 to get a nice big cowl with open stitches.  Two or three balls would do you, depending on how large you wanted it.  And the pattern is a freebie!
Photo from Jenny Stacey's Ravelry shop.
The fluffy halo of this yarn really lends itself to creature-knitting, too.  I can see a whole flock of alpacas, sheep, or maybe a few goats.  Definitely goats.
Photo from Kittyville Ravelry shop.
I'm pretty sure my girls would flip for a soft and fuzzy Kittyville Hat.  That chill in the air this morning reminded all of us that it's time to get knitting!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Balloon Pants Plus Baby

We have spoken about All You Knit Is Love.  It's a great book, full of classic designs.  Most are quite suitable for a beginning knitter, too.  
And there are Balloon Pants, which I made for a dear friend while she was growing her little girl.
Well, the sweet baby girl is finally ready for her pink pants.  Her mom and I were not sure how they were supposed to fit and flatter, but baby girl seems pretty pleased.  I could not be happier with the whole thing.
I made mine with one skein of lovely handpainted sock yarn, so any of our new socks yarns would be perfect.  For the Balloon Pants, I would stick with a semi-solid sock yarn rather than a highly variegated or striping yarn.  The details will get lost otherwise.  There are several other designs in the book that would be great in a busier yarn.  I think I need to grab a skein of that locally-dyed Bumblebirch sock yarn and cast on for another pair, because these were so much fun to knit!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New on the sock wall...

I love it when Sally plumps up the sock wall.  I don't really knit socks, but the yarn is always so beautiful.  When else can you splurge on some handpainted, local, or luxurious yarn and not break the bank?  At the sock wall, my friends.  Let's see what's arrived recently.
Oh, Mountain Colors.  They have been producing yarn for almost 20 years, and rich and saturated colors are really a trademark of the company.  I used Mountain Colors for my very first knitting project many, many years ago.  We just received a batch of Crazyfoot, a superwash merino with enough nylon to give it durability.  There are some brights, some semi-solids, and some lovely subtle variegated colorways to enjoy.
A little closer to home, the lovely lady who owns Bumblebirch Designs lives right here in Portland.  We tried out a smattering of her sock yarn, and it has been very popular.  We should be seeing more of the ochre and a few more colors in the next few weeks.
The Shubui Sock yarn is really quite lovely.  We have been carrying the solids and semi-solids for some time, but we just received a few fun colorways.  Say hi to Spectrum and 50's kitchen.
I have been working away on Mira's Cowl in the solid Blush colorway, and I promise that it's a really nice yarn.  Not the most exciting process, but it's going to be great, and I have really appreciated the mindless knitting.
Seattle company Spincycle Yarns sent us a box of Dyed in the Wool, a handpainted sport/fingering yarn with a true hand-spun look.  I'm working on a little cap pattern for you, so stay tuned.
The sock wall is bursting right now.  Come find your favorite!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall 2013 Interweave

The Fall 2013 Interweave is full of pretty pretty things.  Let's take a look!

There are several sweaters with very simple lines and striking details.  The petite cables of the Barnard Raglan hide sweet pockets.  This would be amazing in the new Debbie Bliss BFL DK I told you about earlier this week.  (I am looking for excuses to use that stuff.)
The Clear Creek Pullover features some dropped stitches and a simple, flattering shape.  I would use a sport weight with some alpaca or silk for a nice drape.
Isn't the Seven Sisters Pullover lovely?  Basic shape and construction, but a nice little detail at the waist.
I'm not sure about the turtleneck, but I do like the ruching at the shoulders of the Crinoline Tee.
The Nexus Cowl looks cozy and warm, and the Ballast Gloves seem like fun, too.
The Plowman Cardigan on the cover is really something.  I know that Intarsia can be a little intimidating, but the larger gauge should make this manageable.  Take a look at the back.  Wow.
I have a little crush on the military-style Surrey Jacket, too.
The interesting shape and construction of the Filtered Pullover would make this a very interesting project, and the shape can be surprisingly flattering.
The Joan of Arc Sweater has an armor-like quality to me, which I like.  I'm not sure if I can pull off this shape.  What do you all think?
The Haberdashery Cowl looks interesting.  Herringbone stitch is a little time-intensive, but it is sure classic.
The Trieste Cardigan is so sweet, but I think I'd use a higher contrast for the detail.  All that work, and it's barely visible!  It would be such a treasured gift for a little one.
The Rheinfels Mittens are knit up with Jamieson's Spindrift, one of my favorite yarns ever...tweedy, sheepy, and ideal for colorwork.
So many great projects, and lots of fall inspiration.  Grab a coffee, stop by the shop, and take a look at the new magazines!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Are you all feeling that little change in the air?  I know it's still getting nice and warm most days, but fall is just waiting to explode, and we are getting ready ay Close Knit. Fall yarn orders are arriving almost daily, the knitting books and magazines are looking good, and we are returning to our extended hours this week.
I was particularly excited to see Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester DK arrive last week.  Look at the cute little sheep silhouette on the label!  We have been carrying the Aran weight of this yarn in an amazing range of colors since last fall, and it is such a classically beautiful wooly wool.  The DK is equally timeless, but in a slightly lighter weight and a more heathered color palette.
Take a look at the pretty yarn close up.  This would be amazing for some subtle colorwork, don't you think?  I haven't decided what I need to make with this yet.  Any suggestions?
This shipment also included more Baby Cashmerino than you can imagine.  I spent a good two hours getting it on the shelves last week.  If you have a baby project in the works, you should be able to find everything you need.

The Fall 2013 Interweave Knits is pretty durn nice, and the Interweave Holiday Gifts 2013 has several real gems in it, too.  More on those this week.

Since the knitting season is gearing back up again, we are returning to our regular hours this week, although we will be closed on Monday, September 2nd for Labor Day.  Starting Tuesday, September 3rd, we would love to see you 10-6 Monday through Friday, 10-5 on Saturday, and 11-4 on Sunday.  Open Knit Night will continue on Wednesday nights from 6-9 PM.  Fall is's time to knit!