Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I just made the Knitbits pattern from December 11, 2009. Knitbits is Berroco's e-newsletter that includes a free pattern each week. The Jejune hat is knit with Inca Gold (one of my favorite yarns) and I picked colors #6448 and #6424. The pattern was an unusual looking project and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to give it a try.

I must admit that the pattern instructions were a bit unusual too! The instructions are written a bit differently than I was used to. But with a little searching on ravelry (other folks were stumped too!) I managed to interpret the directions.
Turns out, it's a great example of needing to read the pattern and do EXACTLY what it asks you to do. It turned out to be quite easy once I understood the method involved in creating the textured bumps. It was such a quick knit, that I've already been able to wear it a lot. And that's good, since it's now very white and cold here in Vermont!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Manic-in Monday

Yesterday was a TOUCH busy (okay, super busy) in the shop, so this post had to wait. We are seeing so many folks from out of town this week. That's right, what better place to visit for the holidays... than Vermont!? Especially now that we have plenty of snow to give us that white, wintery feeling.

This week's outfit is proof that less is more. Our mannequin is all set for a nice intimate New Year's Eve gathering with a few of her closest friends. Her gorgeous shawl can be dressed UP or DOWN, depending on the mood and/or occasion. And her little knitting bag is an eye-catcher in sweet, shiny SILVER.
Shawl: Tahki Ritratto yarn, 2 balls
Knitting Bag: GoKnit Pouch

Pattern: EASY! With size 17 needles, cast on 50 stitches loosely. Work in Stockinette stitch until you have used the 2 balls of yarn. Bind off loosely.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fun Project

I've finished my hat. This pattern was free on Ravelry and is definitely worth a download!
Use any worsted worsted weight yarn. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Worsted in the color: Cove. Look how great the crown decreases look!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! We are here until 2pm EST today, and will reopen at 9am on Saturday.

One of our gifts to you... slashed prices! Check out our sale page for SO MANY great deals!
Cascade... Lamb's Pride... Pure Merino... Be Sweet... sock yarns... and MORE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Does ribbing bore you?

Recently my kids started a Saturday ski program at Sugarbush. It runs from 10am-3:30pm, and it's nice because they're off with an instructor, skiing all over the mountain, doing things they'd NEVER do if they were just with me & Marc. (My kids are more willing to try new things if Mom & Dad aren't around...)

So Marc and I get to snowboard with each other on Saturdays, which we really haven't done since before we had kids. So even though we would much rather be spending the day together as a family, it's GOOD for them, and it's GOOD for us.

This past Saturday was my first day out this year, and my legs aren't quite in the shape they need to be to ride all day. So I took some really nice runs, and then went inside the lodge. I had at least several hours free (Marc went back out for a bit) and since I knew this would be the case, I had come prepared with a completely mindless knitting project. Even though some people find ribbing boring, I LOVE IT! I started the Classic World War II Watch Cap (free pattern on Ravelry!)and made quite a bit of progress. The hat is a mindless 2x2 rib for the first 6 inches, and then the pattern gives you some nice variations for the top. The crown shaping creates a beautiful pattern, so I'm excited to see it when it's finished.

This pattern is great because in addition to having 3 sizes and several different stitch pattern options, it is also written for circular needles and straights.

And the yarn I'm using, what a treat! Madelinetosh worsted in Cove... yummy, to say the very least!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free patterns and facial hair

How do the two have anything to do with each other, you ask? Well, we recently made the Colonnade Shawl from the Fall '09 issue of knitty. It's a gorgeous pattern, and FREE since it comes from Knitty (go download it!) It uses Manos Wool Clasica, which is one of our favorite yarns!

We chose Thrush (semi solid) and Moss (multi), but this would also be beautiful in one solid color of Manos. It's just perfect for warming up when it's cool inside.
There's an optional button loop that's really just an I-cord sewn on to the side edge of the shawl. We decided to make the loop, but once it was attached to the shawl, we didn't quite like it. Michele performed delicate surgery to remove the I-cord, and we all agreed that we liked it better without it.
Now the mustache part... Last week I was looking at the film card from the shop camera which usually contains photos of customer projects. Occasionally I find some interesting things on the film card... and this time found Michele sporting a new mustache.
My staff can find humor in so many things, and it looks like they had some laughs over this photo shoot. Sometimes the best laughs are the unexpected ones. Thanks!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Manic-in Monday

Today is the shortest day of the year, which means that tomorrow, we can all rejoice in days that are slowly getting L-O-N-G-E-R!

This week is a holiday week, and our mannequin is celebrating with a bit of sparkle! There's real sparkle in her scarf, and a faux sparkle in her sweater (it's really just black tweed!)

Sweater: Plymouth Encore Tweed (now back in stock after a LONG backorder situation) and brand new pattern, Plymouth #1720.
Scarf: Plymouth Sin City Yarn, 2 balls (free pattern here)
Wristers: Artful Yarns Vineyard - one ball, free pattern on the label (CHEAP project at just $8.95)
Bag: Namaste Laguna Bag in Eggplant

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Recent Customer Projects

Take a look at these amazing finished objects that have traveled through the door lately!

Martha's wonderful cabled mittens knit from Cascade 220 yarn. A gorgeous fair isle baby sweater that Shelley shared with us the other day. I really do need to try my own yoked sweater one of these days! Here's a nifty snapshot of some colors in someone's knitting bag recently.
A super bulky button hat that uses a shawl closure, instead of a button. You guys are so creative!
Hope you are having a colorful month of your own and keep those projects going strong!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eye Candy

Here are just a few things that we've been oohing and aahing at over the past few days!

Michele has been cranking out the Eli Hats for friends and family. This hat is AWESOME and the Nashua Handknits Paradise is a great yarn. Her latest is a gorgeous colorway (Spruce, Dusty Teal & Spring Leaf):Yesterday we received a new shipment of Susan Todd needlecases. This is my favorite shipment yet! The colors are so gorgeous and we have straights, circulars, and combos all in stock. What a great gift!
People are in the holiday spirit, and have been admiring our "trees"! I found these last month and just love them. Especially when the heat turns on and the feathers start to gently blow.
Hot off the UPS truck is Madeline Tosh Lace... not online yet, but will be in a few days.
Also, 4 super new colors of Berroco Sox.
Aren't these colors happy? And you'll be happy to know, that we've discontinued some oldie (but goodie!) colors of Berroco Sox, because we had to make room for these beauties (and a few others to come.) So check out the sale page to get a great deal.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Manic-in Monday

This week our gal is feeling the festive spirit in red and beige with a splash of gold. Like last week, she's intent on proving that summer knits can really work year round, even in cold climates like Vermont! (That's right, we'll be in single digits tonight!!)
Vest: The Maya Vest is knit with Tahki Maya, a unique thick and thin cotton. This yarn has been so popular that you'll soon be seeing it's worsted weight sister (Mia) in the shop! Pattern for the vest available in the Tahki Maya booklet.
Pin: Stone Agate Shawl Pin from Creative Designs
Scarf: This swirly scarf takes just 3 balls of Jojoland Melody Superwash. The pattern (Swirl Shawl) has instructions for a 5 skein shawl, or you can just use fewer balls to knit the scarf. Fun knitting, great yarn, reasonable price!
Bag: The Offhand Designs Suzannah Bag in the Astoria colorway is so gorgeous! This color has been our number one holiday seller, but I also love the Offhand Designs Daisy Bag in Versailles!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

MadelineTosh Yarns

Last week we received a shipment from MadelineTosh. A number of our customers have been asking about these yarns for quite some time now, and I finally broke down and brought them into the shop. I'm so glad! They are just incredible. Now I understand why you folks were so persistent in bugging me. Thanks!

We have 9 colors of the Worsted (with one more on the way):

and 10 colors of the Sock:

We also have the Lace coming in... hopefully this week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sale Items!

It's that time of year - we've gotten a list from some suppliers of discontinued colors, and since we have new yarns coming in a few weeks we are lowering the prices of select yarns by up to 30%.

Check them out!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The trouble with Alice

Alice is not a person. It's a project. It's this: And while it should be (and IS) such a completely simple pattern, I managed to screw it up!

This pattern is all stockinette, with some increase rows (k1f&b), decrease rows (k2tog), and switching of needles sizes (5 to 3 and back to 5, and so on, and so on.) You start with a provisional cast on and 70 stitches. You are supposed to end with 70 stitches. Then, easy peasy, 3 needle bind off, and you're done.

Two nights ago I was ready for the 3 needle bindoff. I normally jump right in and do it. I must have had a premonition that something was wrong, because oddly, I actually counted my stitches before working the 3 needle bindoff. Good thing I did that!

Instead of the correct number of stitches, I was 6 short. In this super simple, stockinette, basic easiest ever pattern, I lost 6 stitches somewhere along the way.

So last night, I sat down to find my error. And find it, I did. It was all the way back at the halfway point, on a row where I should have increased in every stitch. Instead of working a k1f&b in each stitch, I worked a few k2tog's at the end of the row. Ooops. It called for a zig, and I worked a zag.

So my nearly completed Alice, became a half completed Alice last night. There was simply no other way around it. Fortunately, the yarn (Fibre Company Road to China Light) is truly divine. So knitting it twice is not half bad!

Manic-in Monday

We finally have a teeny dusting of snow on the ground! But our mannequin refuses to wear dark wintery colors. This week she's showing how you don't have to put away those spring & summer knits! Sometimes, these warmer weather knits can work well throughout the year.

Scarf: Our very own Modular Scarf made with 3 different colors of Manos Silk Blend, in both semi-solids and multis. This has been our top selling pattern of the past two weeks!

Bag: Namaste Zuma Bag in Lime... this fun compact shape holds a lot!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Color combos

As a follow up to the Monday's post with the Mixed Fiber Shawl, here are some color combos that we put together.
Our customers have fallen in love with this shawl. It's really so gorgeous in person, I'm not sure it translates in a photo!
Another hot item here at the shop is our Kochoran Cable and Rib Hat. We had this several years ago in Berroco Foliage and Frog Tree Sportweight Alpaca. But the Foliage was discontinued, so we are using Noro Kochoran in its place. The color combos for this hat are awesome! I'm definitely getting in on this one... I've already set aside some yarn to make a few of these.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Making your lists and checking them twice: gifts to include with your handknit gifts

You're generous! You love to make hand knit or crocheted items and give them to your friends and family each holiday. But sometimes it's not enough to just give your handknit gift. Isn't it a bummer when someone doesn't quite understand how to treat their new handknit and accidentally shrinks it or felts it!?

We carry several products that help people care for their precious handknits. I recommend gifting such things along with your handknits because it can emphasize the care and feeding that each piece may require. (Of course a little note with specific care instructions is also a MUST!)

Consider a sampler or travel size of Eucalan, Soak, or Kookaburra Wash to give with your next handknit sweater, hat, or pair of wrist warmers. This is a great way to emphasize that hand made items can use some extra care... especially those that aren't intended to be thrown into the washing machine!

Sweater stones are also really handy, for keeping all handknits looking fresh and pill-free. I love mine and get it out everytime I put on one of my sweaters to brush the fibers back into tip top shape. (Everyone loves admiring handknit sweaters, so make sure yours is properly groomed before you're the center of attention!)

And because handknit items conjure up feelings of warmth, they are perfect companion to warm drinks like tea! Our Harney Teas are quite tasty and are now available in new Sachet Tagalongs Tins.