close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, November 30, 2018

Swan's Island Sterling Fingering

This Sterling Fingering yarn from Swan's Island is sort of breathtaking. It's 85% merino, which is luxurious and lustrous, and 15% naturally black alpaca, which gives it a smokey look. Take a look at these shades.

The jewel tones all play really nicely together. I love the Zara Hat and Mitts Set, and I think you can make three whole sets with three colors of yarn.
Pic borrowed from Swan's Island website.
Look at the Newbury Scarf. Five colors and so much drapey scarf goodness.
Pic borrowed from Swan's Island website.
I really love the muted color palette and stylish patterns they've developed for this yarn, and the dark undertones are really appealing. I think I might need some of this for a hat sooner than later. Time to chose my favorite color!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Making No. 6 Black and White

I love this magazine! We have had several of these higher-end publications in the shop recently, and I am so thrilled that you all are liking them. Making is one of my favorites. It's filled with gorgeous knitting and sewing patterns and so much inspiration.

These beautiful magazines tend to go pretty quickly! Pop in this week to take a look at this one and all of the other amazing magazines we have out on the table.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Friday Sock Party!

Hey y'all! Don't forget about the Side Hustle Sock party happening Friday evening at Close Knit, 5-8PM. You can purchase sock yarn at 10% off during the party, and the Side Hustle folks will crank your yarn into a long tube that you can turn into socks. 
Priority will be given to yarn purchased at Close Knit, but you can bring whatever you have to be cranked up. They will provide a pattern for adding afterthought toes and heels, and Emily even has a class on the books if that's more your style. See you Friday!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Eye Candy

Cranking out a sweater for my tweenager. Tea with Jam and Bread is a house favorite, and the Cascade 220 wears like iron. Can't go wrong with this combo! Now I just need her to stop growing so fast.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pom Pom Quarterly

The latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is here! It has a very dramatic and Victorian feel to it, with lots of high-impact pieces with some seriously noticeable details. Let's have a look.

This issue includes pieces by Veronik Avery, Cirilia Rose, and Joji Locatelli, with Norah Gaughan as the guest editor. You know there will be some cult following for these pieces and designers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Closed Thursday, Open Friday!

Hey fiber friends! I hope this week is allowing you some time to enjoy your yarns and fibers. Here's our plan for the week.

We are open today (Wednesday) until 6PM, but there will be no Open Knit tonight. 
We are closed Thursday for the holiday.
We will be open at 10AM and ready for you on Friday! 

Looks like the weather is turning chilly and rainy this week in Portland. Perfect knitting weather, in my opinion. See you soon!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Eye Candy

Baby Llama llama and sparkles. Everyone loves it, so we stock up every fall. Perfect for hats and wraps and cozy scarves!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Side Hustle Socks

On Friday, November 30, Close Knit will host the Side Hustle Socksters for a sock machine party!
For $20, you can have a skein of sock yarn cranked into a stockinette stitch tube, ready for you to knit afterthought heels, toes, and cuffs. This will speed up holiday gift knitting (or selfish chilly weather knitting) while still allowing you the fun of knitting with some lovely sock yarn.
With your yarn cranking, the Socksters will include their own pattern for afterthought toes and heels (with a great trick to avoid holes when picking up stitches for the heel), including a photo tutorial.
Close Knit will be open for shopping and sock cranking from 5-8 PM. Priority for on-the-spot cranking will be given to yarn purchased at Close Knit that evening, but you can also bring your own sock yarn to be cranked later in the week and picked up. There will even be a discount on sock yarn during the party!
Emily will be offering a class on after-thought toes and heels in December in case you'd like some guidance as you finish those tubes into socks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sparkle Tweed!

Oooo, look at this fun new stuff! I'm affectionately calling it sparkle tweed. This stuff has holiday gifts written all over it.
The Metal Tweed from Gedifra is a worsted weight alpaca, wool, cotton blend with a fluffy mohair feel to it. I think this would look really cool as a cabled hat or cozy cowl. Your finished piece would have a lovely halo and so many pretty flecks of color!
The navy and the white are my favorites. Which ones do you like?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Eye Candy

OMG rainbow socks! Hello PAIRFECT Rainbow Colors from Schachenmayr.
I love a good self-striping sock yarn, and these are just the ticket. 
Love sock yarn, but not a sock knitter? Stay tuned this week for a really cool event that you might love!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tiny Notions!

Look at all the cute tiny things! We have fun measuring tapes, adorable enamel pins, and unidentified pink animal stitch markers.


Sweet notions add even more joy to the creative process, don't you think? These T-pins in the porcupine box...adorable.

Show off some flare and treat yourself or a friend to something fun and fabulous!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Advanced Blanket Class

Did you all see that Adrienne is teaching a new blanket class next year? The Advanced Blanket Class uses patterns from the Great North American Afghan book. 
This class meets once a month for all of 2019, and you'll learn a new square each month. Then you put it all together to make an amazing afghan by the end of the year!
As a class, you will all decide on the twelve squares you want to make. There are some really beautiful ones to chose from!

Adrienne can help you choose colors if you're feeling overwhelmed by all of your choices. This will be a really fun class, so give us a call or stop in to sign up. We will need to get colors ordered in December, so don't delay!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Eye Candy

We are so often asked about donating hand knits this time of year. We are happy to be part of a wonderful program run by the Living Earth project that will pick up and distribute your creations to people who need them as part of the Winter Warming Project.
Everything from baby booties to sweaters for people of all ages, we are happy to have it. Stop in and add your new, handmade creation to the basket by our front door and we will make sure it ends up keeping someone warm this winter!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Dude...This Took Forever (Part 2)

The Dude Sweater saga continues (see part one last week)...

Once I had the sweater steeked and the button band all picked up, I decided to teach myself another new trick for the buttonholes. I tried them as written in the pattern, and they looked sloppy. I also knew I wanted to do a double button band (with a facing on the backside), so I turned to Ravlery again. Enter Anna Zilboorg and her super cool grafted buttonholes. 
I ended up buying this video to teach myself, but Whistling Girl Knits also has a nice tutorial that looks like it would work well. These button bands and holes took a little extra time to execute, but they are so good. They don't stretch out and they really add a nice jacket-like quality to the finished sweater. I will be using this method again.
I used a few other ninja techniques to make sure this sweater tuned out just right. The recipient is quite tall, so we wanted to make sure the sleeves were long enough. It can be hard to get this right with a bottom-up yoked sweater, so I used a provisional cast on for the sleeves and waited until it was all done to pick up the stitches and knit the ribbed cuffs. 
This allowed me to get the length just right and use a tubular bind off  in the round to make it look really clean at the edge of the cuff. I like to use the crochet chain method to do the provisional cast on, but you can also just cast on with scrap yarn and then start knitting with your project yarn. The crochet method is easier to remove later, but both methods work really well.
I was also stumped about how to deal with my steeks on the inside. With my double button band, I knew I could enclose most of the steek inside the button band, but there were several inches inside the neckline that would not be included in this lovely and secure yarn sandwich. After much deliberation, I decided that I would just cast on some extra stitches while I was knitting the inside facing of the button band to create and extra little strip. It's only about 4 or 5 rows, but I tacked it down to the collar and secured it with the rest of the button band when I was done. It perfectly enclosed the steek, and you can't see it from the outside. It's a win!
I had to add a fair bit of length to the overall sweater, and I chose to do this by adding main color rows in between the motifs so they would be spread out evenly. With this much pattern and this kind of construction, it wasn't really going to work to just add length whenever I wanted to after trying it on. I had to plan ahead. I did some math to see if the over all length would be pretty close, and then I mostly hoped for the best. I ended up making a spreadsheet to keep all of my yoke decreases and patterns under control. So nerdy. The knitting spirits must have been smiling on me, because it actually worked out pretty well.
I'm still not totally thrilled with the button band. It stretches out a bit and buckles in a few places. I might have done the button band in stockinette instead, but that would not have worked with the shawl collar. Perhaps a smaller needle size for the band facing would have helped, but I'm sure not undoing it all now. Maybe I'll thread some elastic thread in a few places or add some ribbon to the facing to keep it in place. It's possible that the heavy antler buttons are not helping, but they look really cool.
So, that's the story of my epic Dude sweater. In the several months since I finished it, this sweater has seen several fishing trips, multiple campfires, and lots of chilly nights playing guitar on the porch. I feel like it is really living its best life. And my favorite thing about knitting for others is seeing my handknits worn and loved and used. It's why I spent so much time working on this and teaching myself all the new tricks!