close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Little Boxes

With Thanksgiving upon us, shopping season has arrived as well.  Hanukkah has already begun, and Christmas will be here in no time.  Does it feel to anyone else like the holidays are all on top of each other this year?  I just took my glow-in-the-dark Halloween skeleton down last week.  Sheesh.  To entice you lovely Portlanders to shop at our favorite local shops, Little Boxes is back again this year in force, and we are playing along.

There are so many prizes to be won, it boggles the mind.  How do you win these prizes?  You need to visit the Little Box stores!  There are shops in fifteen different neighborhoods that are participating, and you can find maps for all of them here.

To enter the raffle, you just need to visit a Little Boxes shop and fill out a raffle ticket (one per shop, please).  To increase your odds of winning, buy something!  We will stamp your passport (available here, too), and you'll get extra entries into the raffle.  Your stamped Passport will give you discount at the next Little Box you visit.  Spread the love!  There is, of course, and iPhone app, too.

Our little shop will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, and then we will be open from 10AM until 7PM on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30 for your yarn shopping pleasure.  The gals will be working hard, so feel free to bring in snacks and treats for your favorite yarn pushers.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shelves of Rowan, Take One

The shelves are all full with the yarn from Rowan.  With yarn we have loved for so many years.  (Hee hee.)  Seriously, there is a lot of it.  Some new goodies, some old favorites.  Let's take a look.
Let's begin with Lima.  This was one of the first chained yarns to hit the market several years ago, and it is as soft and light as a feather.  
Our most recent shipment includes a bit of the Lima Colour...same great yarn, but with a subtle color shift.  There is a lovely sample sweater from the newest pattern book at the shop right now.
I used less than one ball to make myself a little headband several years ago (Calorimetry from Knitty), and it's a shame that I have not used it for more projects.  Probably because it flew off the shelves so quickly, and there was so little left for me.  If there is someone in your life who thinks handknits are itchy, Lima might just save the day.  The finished knit is silky soft and beautifully textured.
Felted Tweed DK is fully stocked again as well.  This is really an amazing yarn for sweaters.  The yardage is great (191 yards/ball), and it knits up into such a great fabric.  Not too heavy, but nice and warm for the perfect layering pieces.
The tweedy texture is so Rowan, and the colors are deep and rich and satisfying.  We have several colors in stock, but the ones here are some of my favorites.  I have several balls of the orange waiting in my stash for some kind of fabulous colorwork.
And the Tumble.  This is some last-minute-holy-cow-I-forgot-to-knit-Auntie-Soandso-a-gift kind of yarn.  If you had cast on for a hat or a scarf or a cowl when you started reading this post, you'd be almost finished by now.  It's mostly alpaca, with a little cotton, and a cool texture.  It is lofty and light and big.  As you can see, each ball is about as large as a good-sized cheeseburger.
Stay tuned for more updates.  There is just so much yarn.  It's a good problem to have.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Movie Star

There is so much yarn in our tiny shop right now.  I must admit to being a tad overwhelmed and unsure where to start.  So, let's begin with a small thing.  
Well, two small things.
One of our loyal and fabulous knitters whipped up a few Movie Star Scarves from the ever-popular More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.  Based on how many copies of this book we sold last year, I am confident that at least half of you have it on your shelves.
These sweet little scarves were knit with Schulana Angora Fashion Print, just one ball of each color for the pair.  Wouldn't these make such nice little gifts?  The knitting is straight-forward, and the results are perfectly professional.
There are only four colorways of this yarn for now, and we have all four.  The color collection is unusual, but they are very pretty, don't you think?  We just received a new shipment last week, so we should have plenty of each color for you.

Sally is also working on the Angora Fashion Print Cowl, a freebie from Schulana.  Keep your eyes peeled for that at the shop soon, too.
Photo borrowed from Schulana website.
Okay, I will try to wrap my mind around the ridiculous amount of yarn we received last week from Rowan and Cascade Yarns.  There is so much, my friends.  Knit up a little scarf while you're waiting for me, okay?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Petite Honeycomb Cowl

Melissa has been working on a little something for us!  She was inspired by a few lovely yarns from Classic Elite, Wynter and Blackthorn.  Using a Classic Elite freebie written for a super bulky yarn, she scaled things back a bit to create her very own version, the Petite Honeycomb Cowl.
The stitch pattern is deceptively simple.  Only one color is used per round, and slipped stitches are used to create the honeycomb effect.  Better yet, Melissa thoughtfully designed these so that you can knit both cowls with one skein of each color.  What a great plan for those holiday gifts everyone is talking about.
We first saw Blackthorn last winter, I believe, as part of the the Mountain Top collection from Classic Elite.  It's a lovely chunky yarn with lots of nice bounce and character.  The natural color palette is so pretty, too.
This fall, we saw Wynter, the colorful counterpart to Blackthorn.  Same great yarn, but in these vibrant shades.
Melissa combined the natural snowy white Blackthorn and the pretty teal Wynter in her cozy cowl.  Just the perfect colors for a few strawberry blondes!
What color combination inspires you?  Thank you, Melissa!

Petite Honeycomb Cowl
by Melissa Tyler
Yarn: Classic Elite Wynter and/or Blackthorn, 1 skein each MC & CC (for two cowls)
Needles/Notions: US 10.5 24” Circular Needle, stitch marker

Notes: Slip all stitches purlwise with the yarn in back.  Rather than cutting yarn at each color change, carry the yarn up the inside of the cowl.

Honeycomb Pattern Stitch (multiple of 10 sts, 18 rnd repeat):
Rnds 1-5: With CC *slip 2, k8; rep from *
Rnd 6: With Mc *slip 2, k8; rep from *
Rnds 7-9: With MC purl.
Rnds 10-14: With CC *k5, slip 2, k3; rep from *
Rnd 15: With MC *k5, slip 2, k3; rep from *
Rnd 16-18: With MC purl.
Rep Rnds 1-18 for Honeycomb Pattern

Cowl: With MC, CO 70 sts.  Place marker and join to work in round, being careful not to twist sts.
Purl 3 rnds.
Work Honeycomb Pattern 2.5 times (45 rnds).
With MC, loosely BO all sts purlwise.

Finishing:  Wet block and weave in ends.  Keep one for yourself & give one to a friend!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


There's a little bit of Noromania running its course through the Close Knit staff these days, and this blanket is to blame.
It all started with Adrienne and her (ahem) sizable stash of Kureyon.  She wasn't entirely sure how to clean all of these mismatched balls out of her stash, but a blanket seemed like the most obvious choice.  There are plenty of patterns out there for Noro blankets, but Adrienne prefers to knit gloriously mindless projects, so she improvised a basic garter stitch design.  The knitting is simple, but the results speak for themselves, don't you think?

I know several of you have already been bitten by the Noro bug, so you might be interested to know that we just received a nice fresh batch of Kureyon.
The beauty of this design is that you can mix and match different colorways and dye lots without too much concern.  I assumed that all of the blankets would look pretty much the same, but I was incorrect.  Sally's has a deep green theme, and it reminds me of a field of wildflowers. 
Ann is using more of the bright colors, so hers has a more neon look.  They are both beautiful.  Since you alternate colors as you work, this is a great time to mix and match vibrant colors and calmer colors with a really nice blended result.
The pattern is below, although we aren't positive about the total yardage.  Our estimates might be a bit off, so feel free to let us know how many balls you have used for yours.
We have also started carrying Cyochin, a pretty wool/mohair/silk blend.  This classy cowl/headband set called Crushers uses just two skeins.  What a nice gift idea, right?
Between the newest Noro publications on the shelves and Adrienne's blanket, there are lots of reasons to love Noro these days.  Come by and see for yourselves!

Noromania Blanket
by Adrienne Torrey
Yarn: Lots of Noro Kureyon (20-25 for a twin/full size)
Needles: US8 40" or larger (Ann suggests metal needles)
Finished Size: 55" x however long you want to knit

Cast on 260 stitches onto the US8 40" needle.
Choose two colors of Kureyon.
Knit two rows with color 1.
Knit two rows with color 2.
Make sure you are consistently wrapping the colors up the side to avoid any long bits hanging off the edges.  When you run out of a color, try spit splicing the new one together.  The Kureyon works really well for this.
Continue on this way until your blanket is as large as you like it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is It Here Yet?

It's here!  We have been not-so-patiently waiting for this beautiful yarn.
Say hello to Heirloom Romney from Fancy Tiger Crafts, a very cool craft shop/movement in Denver.  I visited their spot several years ago, and I really enjoyed their well-stocked fabric and yarn store and beautiful space.  They have obviously been expanding and improving, and the addition of their signature yarn is the latest.  
Heirloom Romney is raised, milled, and dyed in the United States, which makes it pretty cool to begin with.  The gorgeous colors are the work of Jeane deCoster of Elemental Affects, whose work we have been enjoying in the shop since last fall.  Heirloom is rustic and sheepy, and it will hold up to lots of wear and love.  Garments made from this yarn will be passed down for generations.
Each skein contains 200 yards of heavy worsted yarn with some lovely bounce and loft.  It is not as heavy as I was expecting, and I think it's pretty soft.  The Fancy Tiger gals promise us that it softens up even more with a good wash.
The smart gals at Fancy Tiger have also developed some very cool patterns to show off their yarn, and we have several at the shop, too.  We have The Imposter's Shawl, which knits up quickly with just two skeins.
The Quandry Peak Mittens are so pretty.  It's nice to see a version with the light as the dominant color and one with the dark...just two skeins for a pair.
I'm planning a pair of Kilgore Mitts for myself.  I just need to pick a color.  And decide on mittens or fingerless mitts.  Either way, a pair is just one skein.
My Favorite Sweater would be so cozy and sturdy in the Heirloom, and you would wear it every day.  Knit up in Heirloom, it would last forever.
Who doesn't need an Army of Caterpillars?  I'm pretty sure I do.  I'm pretty sure you do, too.
Of course, the Heirloom Chevron Throw is my favorite.  It's a freebie, and you can make a large version with two skeins each of six colors.  They tell us that just one skein of each color makes a nice lap blanket, too.
Photo from the Fancy Tiger Crafts Ravelry Shop
We have just a few skeins of each stunning color at the shop right now.  We wanted to check it out and see how you all like it.  I love it, and I can't wait to pop in tomorrow and pick out a pretty color for my Kilgore Mitts.  Please come by and let us know what you think!

Friday, November 1, 2013


Photo by Jenni
The Cascade 220 cabinet looks so beautiful!  Jenni spent quite some time organizing and arranging all of this beautiful stuff, and we have a very full backstock right now.  If you are looking for sweater quantities of yarn or just an amazing color selection, come take a look!