close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Foggy Noggin Hat in Spincycle Dyed in the Wool

Spincycle Yarns is a small company producing pretty hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn up in Seattle.  We recently welcomed Dyed in the Wool to our shop, and I knit up a hat for you all.

The yarn has such a great squish and bounce, with a few thick-and-thin spots.  It is millspun in a small mill using fiber from the Spincycle folks.  The resulting yarn has so much hand-spun character, but not the hand-spun price.  I love the look of this yarn in the skein.

But I love the look of it all knit up even more.
I tried to use up as much of the yarn as possible while I was working on this hat, but I ended up with enough to knit maybe another half and inch of stockinette before the decreases.  I love the deep 2x2 rib, but you can do more or less as you please.
I like it slouchy or folded's totally up to you.  The sizing is very generous, thanks to the ribbing, so one size fits pretty much anyone over the age of three.  I used a centered double decrease on the crown.  It sounds scary, but it's not, I promise.  It creates these nice straight seams the run up to the top rather that the spiral you get with the k2tog method.
I really enjoyed working with this yarn, and I love the hat.  Mine is currently living at the shop, so I might need to make another for these foggy mornings.  Enjoy the pattern!
Foggy Noggin Hat
by Leah Bandstra
Yarn: 1 skein Spincycle Dyed in the Wool (Tangled Up in Blue)
Needles: US3 16" circular and US3 dpns

Notions: 8 split ring stitch markers (one of a different color)
Finished Size: one size fits most adults
Gauge: 6 stitches per inch


CO 128 stitches.  Join in the round, being careful not to twist, and place marker.  
Knit 2, purl 2 all around.  Continue this way until piece measures 5.5".
Work in stockinette (knit every round) until piece measures 8.5”.

When you begin the decrease section next, you will need to mark individual stitches, so you will need split-ring stitch markers or several short lengths of yarn that you can wrap around an individual stitch.
Set up: Place a marker on the stitch (not on the needle) every 16 stitches (on stitch 16, 32, 48, etc.).  It helps if your beginning (or end)-of-round marker is a different color from the other three.  Your hat is now divided into eight sections of 16 stitches each.

*Knit to 1 stitch before the next marked stitch.  Remove the marker.  Slip two stitches together from the left to the right needle (as if you were about to knit 2 together), knit the next stitch on the left needle, and pass the 2 slipped stitches over the one you just knit.  Place your split-ring stitch marker back onto the stitch (not on the needle).*
You have just completed a centered double decrease (CDD), which is what creates those nice clean lines running up the crown of the hat.
Repeat between the *s at each marker.  Your last decrease will be at the beginning-of-round marker.

Knit 1 round even with no decreases.

Continue to work this way: work 1 round with CDDs at each marked stitch, work 1 round even with no decreases, until 16 stitches remain. You will need to switch to the double-pointed needles (or magic loop) when the stitches are too stretched out.
As you are working the decreases, they should line up, creating the “seams” on the crown of the hat.  If they aren’t lining up, then you are doing your CDD in the wrong place.  Make sure you are placing your stitch marker in the correct spot.

Break yarn, leaving about a 10” tail.  Thread the tail through the remaining 16 stitches, tighten them up to close the hole, and weave in your ends.  Block it if you'd like, but don't stretch the ribbing out too much.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When I first started working at Close Knit, we carried several items from Colinette Yarns.  As trends and tastes changed, we slowly worked through our stock and moved on to other things.  I was always sad to see Jitterbug go, though, and I am so glad to see it back in the shop.
Even though I am not really a sock enthusiast, I love the rich and interesting colors of Jitterbug.  In fact, I picked up a skein for myself as a souvenir on a recent trip to New Orleans before I knew we would be carrying it in our shop again.
The semi-solids are full of depth and interest, and the multis work up nicely as socks, shawls, sweaters, whatevers.  There are almost 16,000 projects on Ravelry, so there must be something to it.
Colinette has re-released this yarn with more yardage and a nice price for hand-dyed beauty...less than $24 for 400 yards.  We only have a few of each colorway in stock for now, so grab it while you can!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Abode...Like the Dwelling

I cannot stop calling this Adobe.  But that is not its name.  This is Abode, a lovely new yarn from Berroco.
It is a thick-and-thin single ply with a very unusual watercolory effect.  It almost looks like the surface of the wool has been painted, but the color has not penetrated into the core.  It's really cool to see in person, and the knitted fabric has a mottled, natural look.

We have a little sample vest from the pattern book in the shop.  This is Morinda in the golden colorway.
I wish they had sent a sample of Boxelder, though.  I would have been fighting to get my hands on that one.  Doesn't that look amazing?
I really like the cabled capelet, too.  
I made a capelet for myself a few years ago, and I was surprised at how much use I got out of it.  This looks like it would be so warm under the rain coat on the really nasty days, or as a top layer when the sun joins us.

Our shelves are chock full of Ultra Alpca, Flicker, and Vintage, too.  We love the big boxes from Berroco!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rainforest Socks

I received a box full of these fun Opal sock yarns on Monday.
This collection is the latest from their rainforest line, Rainforest 9.  The finished socks are meant to look a bit like the creatures that inspired them.  Here you see a wacky bird, a butterfly, a tropical fish, a penguin (don't ask), and a lizard.  Obviously.  Even if you don't see the resemblance to the critters, the yarn is very nice.
It stands up to some serious abuse in the wash and on the foot.  I used a snake colorway to make socks for my husband several years ago, and they are just now starting to show wear.  I promise you, he is not gentle with them.  Actually, it's probably time to knit up another pair for the holidays.  Socks are pretty much the only handknit he will wear, and I know they are always appreciated.  Which animal, though?  I am leaning toward lizard.  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's So Fluffy!!!!!

I told you there would be fresh Berroco on the shelves soon.  And it is here.  Jenni has been feverishly reorganizing the shop to make space for all of it, and thank goodness for that.  Let's talk about the Kodiak first, shall we?
Kodiak is a light and lofty alpaca/wool/nylon blend.  And look at that pretty color range.  The yarn knits up at about 3 stitches per inch on a US10.5, so we are talking speed knitting here, people.  I am envisioning Santa/elf hats for all of the kids.  At this gauge, I might actually be able to complete them.  Look at the fluff!
Of course, there are many other lovely items that you could make with this fun yarn.  The pattern book is full of them, including this pretty, lighter-than-air shawl that we have in the shop.  This is Aude, knit up in the frothy, icy colorway that makes me think of after-dinner mints.
I think Perche looks like a winner, too, especially in that stunning, deep red.
I know that our very own Melissa will be all over this one.  The vintage look of Perine is right up her alley.
There are a few other designs in the book, including a turban.  I'm not ready for that, so we won't be talking about it.  You'll just have to come and see for yourselves.  

And ten points if you get the reference in the title.  That scene runs through my head on a constant loop.

Monday, October 7, 2013


The latest issue of Knitscene arrived in the shop this week.  This magazine has such a youthful and stylish feel, and I really enjoy the variety of interesting designs that they include each and every time.  Let's take a look!
Love the chunky goodness of the Victor Shawl.  It's knit up in Blue Sky alpacas Bulky, but it would be super cozy in Spud & Chloe Outer, too, and I know we will be seeing more of that soon.  This seems like the perfect gift.
These mittens.  So pretty in Rowan Felted Tweed DK, just one ball.
The Quadraphonic Cardigan looks so cozy and knitterly.  Wouldn't it be great in Harrisville Highland?  The cable detail continues up the shoulder and down the back.
Look at the cool back detail of the Hi-Fi Pullover.  Interesting construction, too.
The Sylvia Cardigan (also on the cover) looks like such a wardrobe staple.  I like the nice cable up the front and back, and the tubular cast on and bind off really add to the polished look.
This is a knitted moto jacket.  I love it.  There are so many details here, I know it would be a labor of love.  But I do love it.
The Gemma Pullover is so pretty.  That open neckline is really elegant, and that smocked cuff is a nice detail.
Here's the perfect reason to grab a few skeins of Shibui Merino Alpaca and get to work.  The Manganese Cowl is reversible and lovely.
I can imagine every kid in my house loving the Heliotrope Hat, especially in something washable like Spud & Chloe Sweater.  For the adults, how about the luscious Cascade Cloud?  Just one skein.  Ooo, that's a really good idea.
Want to try knitting with beads?  The Tyrian Loop would be a great choice.  The lace pattern is nice and simple, and the beads add a little extra...another great gift idea.
I like the large scale lace and rustic look of the Gambel Shawl.
Check out the nice neckline and interesting lace panel of the Black Cherry Pullover.  Love the boxy shape, and I think Ultra Alpaca would be so nice for this.
Want some more detail?  The Bristlecone Pullover is pretty fabulous.  I like the idea of playing with colors for the herringbone bodice and solid raglan sleeves.  The neckline is cool, too.
The Thinleaf Jacket looks cozy.  And that delicate cable up the back is so pretty.
I love flipping through a magazine and finding so many designs that I can see myself knitting and wearing.  Which designs will you make?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Books and Fresh Berroco

We got a big ol' shipment of books this week, including some old favorites like Stitch n' Bitch and More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.  These guys always fly off the shelves, so come get yours while you can.  If you already own these, and I'm guessing many of you do, we have a few new lovelies to tempt you.
The Style Books are always full of interesting things, and Scarf Style 2 and Fair Isle Style do not disappoint.  I found several scarves and fair isle projects that must be mine.  Both collections contain a nice range of classic and modern designs appropriate for every skill level.  These books make great gifts, too.

I actually squealed a little bit when I saw Woodland Knits, and I'm not really a squealer.  If you are familiar with Stephanie's work, then you know this collection is full of woodsy cuteness.  Woodland Knits contains several of her very popular designs, as well as several new pieces.  We only received a few copies of each of these, so come in and take a look.  

Sally tells me we also just received a big order from Berroco, including Ultra Alpaca, Vintage, Flicker, and a few new yarns.  I am really hoping that the new Norach Gaughan book is in there, too.  She designed everything from the top down, and I have been waiting to see what she has come up with this time.  Sounds like I will have lots more to show you soon!