close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mere Isager

We started carrying a few of the Isager yarns a couple of years ago, and I'm so glad we brought them into the shop. The sophisticated colors, the luxurious fibers, and the pattern support. Oh my. The Amimono collections are stunning. (Go take a look.)
As you all have shown increased interest in these stunning yarns and books, Sally is expanding our selection of Isager yarns. We have been carrying Alpaca 2 and Spinni, and we have just brought Alpaca 1 into the shop.
Part of what makes the Amimono and Tutto a mano designs so unusual is that many use two or more strands of Isager yarn held together. This can make substituting yarns challenging, so I am thrilled to have more options to offer.
The doubling of the yarn adds a lot of rich texture and interest to the finished product, and you have so much creative freedom to create the look you want by using yarns that coordinate or yarns that contrast a bit for a marled look. So much fun!
We have a nice full supply of all three of our Isager yarns and plenty of these stunning books in stock. All You Knit is Love is one of my favorites, but I like to look through all of the books for inspiration when I'm in a slump.
I've been working on a baby cardigan using Dream in Color Jilly. I love how it's turning out, but I might need to make another now that we have the perfectly coordinating Isager yarns...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Best of Spring

Look at these colors. Don't they just announce spring? I opened this box on Monday when it was sunny and warm and gorgeous outside. All I could think of was spring flowers and the blue sky.
This the the Misti Alpaca Best of Nature Worsted, the same yarn Sally used for her soft and lovely Stumptown Slouch. We have had such a nice array of fall and winter colors, and it's great to see these lovely new shades on the shelves. The solids are actually tonal mixes...the blue, in particular, is stunning. The multis are blowing my mind, too. It's hard to believe they can achieve color like that with all natural dyes. You really need to come in and see for yourself!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Noro Time

It looks like Noro is having a resurgence, and we are totally on board. First, the new stuff.
Please welcome Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo. While technically a sock weight yarn, I would not recommend this for socks. It would be absolutely amazing for shawls, scarves, and fingering weight sweaters. The colors are all quite something, and the texture is a little bit nubbly and rustic.
Maybe it's this new spring-like weather, but this one really grabbed my attention.

Love all those colors. I am itching to see how this one knits up. Maybe just an easy peasy ribbed scarf or something. Or maybe my Firefly Bias Scarf from awhile back. Oooo...I like that plan.

Speaking of easy peasy, we received this lovely ribbed scarf knit up in Kureopatora. Cast on 39 stitches, knit 3, purl 3 until you run out of yarn. The simple design really shows off the yarn.

We just restocked our big tub o' Kureopatora, too, so there are plenty of color choices. Sally designed her popular Color Therapy Cowl using two different colorways.
Finally, Ann's Sori Bashi Scarf is up for sale on Ravelry. She used two balls of Noro Taiyo Sport for her scarf. The stitches are so delicate and lovely. Ann really used the yarn to full effect in this beautiful crochet design.
If you are itching to knit with some color as spring pops in Portland, we have plenty of Noro to suit your needs. Come on in. The colors are even better in person.

Monday, April 13, 2015


The new Berroco Indigo is in the shop, just in time for summer cardigans. 
Sally chose the beautiful denimy neutrals...and then the mustardy yellow. (Yellow is our unofficial shop color.) Indigo is a worsted weight yarn, working up at 5 stitches per inch on a US7, and each skein is 219 yards of recycled cotton. This yarn is going to wash up and dry like a dream. The fabric will become softer and softer over time. Look at that nubbly texture.
You know the rain is going to last at least another month, so it's a great time to start knitting those summer layers. The pattern book has several lovely options. We have a sample of Prickly Poppy in the shop window right now.

Penstemon (above) has a pretty eyelet detail, and Larkspur looks like a sweater you could live in, doesn't it? That shawl collar is so cozy.
Milkweed is a nice easy v-neck tank. Only 3 or 4 skeins for sizes 32 through 44.
If you just want to wrap up, Desert Lily should do the trick. This would make an amazing baby blanket, too.
I know Ann is working on a cardigan with Indigo, so you will likely see her wearing it this summer on chilly days. We have a nice supply for your sweaters right now, so come see this lovely new yarn!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stumptown Slouch

We received this gorgeous Best of Nature Worsted from Misti Alpaca right before the yarn crawl, so it went slightly unnoticed for some time. Luckily, Sally was motivated to knit up a lovely little garter stitch slouchy hat using just one skein.
This beautiful yarn is dyed using natural vegetable and mineral dyes, and the yarn itself is produced organically. The colors are rich and subtley tonal. Misti warns that the dyes will likely vary significantly from year to year, as some of the colors are based on the crops. I am not often lured in by pure alpaca, but this yarn is sure something. There's not a lot of that fuzzy halo that you often see with pure baby alpaca, and this yarn is cashmere-soft.
Sally used the lovely Rockies colorway, a lovely surprise. This yarn is beautiful, the hat is cute, and the pattern is free! What's not to love?

Stumptown Slouch
by Sally Palin
Yarn: 1 skein Misti Alpaca Best of Nature Worsted
Needles: US6 and US7 16" circular, US7 double-pointed needles


Cast on 88 stitches using smaller needle, join in the round (don't twist), and place marker.
Work 2.75" of K3, P1 ribbing.

Switch to larger needle and work 5 rounds of garter stitch in the round: purl one round, knit one round, purl one round, knit one round, purl one round.

Work increase round: *Knit 11, m1* around (96 stitches).
Purl one round.
Work increase round again: *Knit 12, m1* around (104 stitches).

Continue with garter stitch in the round until hat measures approximately 9" from the cast on edge.

Work decrease round: *Knit 7, k2tog* around.
Purl one round.
*Knit 6, k2tog* around.
Purl one round.
*Knit 5, k2tog* around.
Purl one round.

Continue decreasing in this way until the last round, which will be K2tog around. Do not purl a round after this. Cut your yarn and pull in through the remaining stitches, pulling the opening closed. Weave in your ends and enjoy!

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The newest issue of Knit.Purl arrived last week. Let's take a look!
The Counting Waves designs all incorporate the beloved feather and fan stitch into the patterns. Which one is your favorite?

 I loved the Striated Shawl form the Welt.Rib.Knit.Purl. story.
How about the designs in Align? So pretty.

The See-Through section contained some unusual summer designs, but I really like the Baler Cardigan worked up in Harrisville Highland.
The Boatneck Dolman is pretty, too.
I like the back and shoulder shaping of the Ladder Tank, but I don't think I could wear all those dropped stitches without snagging on everything.
I know this magazine has had a bit of a cult following in the past. Which designs are you most excited about?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jilly Sweater

Do you all remember that beautiful Dream in Color Jilly I showed you a few weeks ago. Well...I couldn't resist it. This Black & White colorway was just too beautiful. And we needed a shop sample, obviously.
So I cast on for Gry's Hoodie from All You Knit is Love. I have told you about his book before. I love it. I mean...Balloon Pants. I bought it after my babies had outgrown every single design. Everything is simple, sweet, and practical. There are several projects that are perfectly suited for the new knitter, too. It would be a nice gift for a new mom who wants to knit for her little one.
The Jilly is working up nicely on a US5, but I think a US4 might be better for this garter stitch. I think I'll switch to the smaller size to get more squishiness in the knitted fabric.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, come on in and see all the pretty shades we have in this lovely yarn.