Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free pattern

Here's a cute free pattern that uses Nepal Print, an self-striping organic cotton from Stacy Charles.
What a quick and easy baby gift!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pet Peeve Alert: Mismatched edgings

I just finished this adorable little baby shrug. I used the madelinetosh Tosh DK in the Baltic color. The yarn is so lovely to work with! I now understand the cult following it had. We do have a lot more Tosh on order, but it is about 4-6 weeks out, as they are waiting for fiber to arrive at their facility. So we are waiting patiently...

I used the Knitting Pure & Simple Pattern #288: Little Girl's Shrug. I love the Knitting Pure & Simple patterns, but have always been frustrated at how they recommend a garter ribbing on the button band, and then a ribbing on the neck, cuff and bottom edges. This drives me crazy!!! To make it even worse, in this pattern there is a great option for a lace edging on the bottom, which I decided to do. But then I'd have THREE different edgings: garter, rib and lace. No way! It wasn't going to fly for me.

I do understand why they do this. Because these sweaters are top down, they want you to work the garter edging on the button band AS you work down from the neck. You can't work a vertical rib as you work downward. So I'm thinking they are doing it to make it easier, so you don't have to go back and pick up stitches to work the button bands. BUT, you have to pick up stitches to work the neck edge, so you might as well pick up your button bands and work them so they match the neck edge. Right!?

In my sweater, I did the garter button bands and I did choose the lace edge for the bottom. When I worked my neck and cuff edges, I chose to use garter stitch to mirror the button band. In my opinion, it looks so much better this way.

Just know that you have the option of changing things on any pattern you follow. Just because it's written a certain way, doesn't mean you have to do it that way. It also doesn't always mean it's the BEST way.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More class preparations

Part two of my class prep work!

I've just finished the charted and written instructions for our Cables 101 class. I'll be working up these swatches myself, to be sure there are no errors in the directions! (Proofing is important in knitting too!) When I knit these swatches, I'm going to practice my "cabling without a cable needle" because we cover that in the Tips and Tricks class and I find that the cables knit up faster when I don't have an extra needle to wrangle.

I'm working on a crochet sampler in worsted weight wool for the Intro Crochet workshop in our Crochet Workshop series. I'm looking forward to our next needle shipment because Barb taught me how to crochet with an afghan hook in preparation for this series of workshops. Now I need my own needle so I can work up a double ended crochet washcloth demo for the second class in the series.

Barb is already working on her scarf sample for the third crochet class in a new cotton & acrylic yarn, Berroco Weekend. I got to help pick out colors and it is going to be a striking spring scarf if I may say so. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Suzie's small needle projects

Suzie was in recently with some of her latest small needle projects. I loved the colors of the yarn she chose, so I thought I'd share them.

Here's her Baby Surprise Sweater in Schaefer Nichole - colorway Little Mermaid. So cute! This colorway came in after I made my shop model, so I was so glad to finally see it made up. It's perfect for this pattern.

And here's a beautiful pair of socks she's making out of the Tosh Sock. We just love this colorway; it's called Rhubarb. I wish it came in the heavier weight Tosh DK, but it doesn't. Too bad!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic-In Monday

I know you're shocked! It's Monday, and I'm on time with posting our mannequin Monday post. Here's why... it's school vacation week. I knew I would be working from home this morning while my kids grabbed a few hours of extra beauty sleep after a big skiing weekend. So yesterday on the way back from Sugarbush, I stopped at the shop to grab a big stack of new patterns and books to work on this morning. Our mannequin clothing changes occur Saturday evenings, so I snapped a quick picture, loaded it onto my computer, and remoted in this morning to do the post. Yay!

This sweater is one of my new favorites. I love the tweedy yarn, love the style, and love the gorgeous soft colors. I also love the new yarn she's sporting as a choker!
Sweater: From the Louisa Harding Little Cake pattern booklet in Louisa Harding Willow Tweed yarn
Choker: BRAND NEW yarn from Tilli Tomas called Beaded Superwash, this is a beaded SUPER SOFT superwash merino! Think Flurries, but softer and superwash! (I think you need to make a new Baby Beanie for some little baby out of this!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last week we had a local designer stop in the shop - Becky H. Here she is modeling her own design, Cambridge Cables:
This beautiful sweater was featured in the Winter 2009 Twist Collective online knitting magazine. If you haven't checked Twist Collective out yet, please do! The designs continue to be excellent and the magazine is always full of inspiration.

The sweater Becky is wearing is knit from Green Mountain Spinnery yarn, specifically the Silkspun. The sweater in Twist Collective is knit with madelinetosh Tosh DK (formerly called Madeline Tosh Worsted).

Becky has more designs available on Ravelry. Check them out!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Projects for upcoming classes

Last week I admitted that I've finished only one project in 2010. That's because I have so many different projects on needles right now! I've now finished another project, the Quincy Hat (from Jared Flood's Made in Brooklyn) that I started for our recent class on the same project. Just one skein of Rowan Cocoon - this is a great hat.

One reason I have so many things on my needles is because I'm getting ready for our upcoming knitting classes!

I've started the Newborn Sweater for the next First Time Sweater class. This is our own pattern and I'm using one of our new yarns, Classic Elite Katydid. This is a nice organic cotton tape yarn that knits up nicely and in my new favorite color - green.

I've also started an entrelac project called Quant. This is a free headband pattern from and I'm using Berroco Jasper. This class is coming up next month so I wanted to make up the pattern beforehand to display in the shop. This is a really fun project... sign up!

Barb's Finishing Class is next week, so I have to finish my swatch 'homework' for that. Emily and I are both sitting in on Barb's class so we will all be able to teach it in the future. We all know how to seam properly, but we try to be really consistent in how we teach certain techniques, and finishing is one of those techniques. Next week's class is full, but we've scheduled another session in April if you you'd like some excellent instruction on seaming your finished pieces together.

I also have a pair of striped socks (Yankee Knitter Classic Socks for the Family) on my needles. I started these to demonstrate the jogless stripe technique in our last Tips and Tricks class, and will show them in the next Tips & Tricks class as well. That class filled up so quickly that we're offering it again. There are only a few spots left, so hurry and sign up.

So I have lots of projects, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming classes. More about the rest of the classes in another post.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Manic-In Monday... on Friday?

Sorry! But that's what happens when it's President's Week and we are slammed with visitors from out of town.
And, in all honestly, the mannequin had a hard time deciding what to wear this week. She first picked out an ensemble that was nixed by management (she wore one of the pieces back in December, and we CAN'T repeat an outfit this early in the game, now can we?)

Then she tried on a few other new samples that have arrived from yarn companies over the past couple of weeks. After she struggled to get into these sweaters (remember, her limbs tend to fall off and get all twisted at the MOST inopportune times) those sweaters, too, were nixed. The samples were SO new that in some cases we didn't have the pattern books yet, and in others, we didn't have the yarn!

She ended up sporting one of our most popular linen spring sweaters, a gorgeous year round shawl, and our own felted project bag. Every time I am out and about in Burlington, I see at least 2-3 of these bags being carried around.Sweater:Orleans Sweater in Berroco Naturlin from Berroco Book #273 Naturlin

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cross Country Project

Polly asked last week if she could share some thoughts on her latest project with our blog readers. I was thrilled! So here it is... in her own words!

Recently I was anticipating a cross country road trip from Prescott, Arizona to Vermont with my daughter and wanted a fun, but no-brainer project for the car. Besides all the cool stuff to watch out the window, we had audio books and Cd's to entertain us and I didn't want to have to think very hard about my knitting. So, I bumped my Half Crepe Triangular Shawl project to the front of the queue.

It uses the Mountain Colors Half Crepe yarn which I chose in the color Lupine. The pattern is easy as pie (and free!) and it's turning out beautifully! On a 32" US size 8 circular needle you begin by casting on 3 stitches. Then EVERY row you simply K2, YO, knit to the end of the row until the shawl is as long as you want it, then bind off. How's that for easy?
Not only was it a great project for the car, it's great for sitting and talking with friends or watching TV or a movie. It's almost like the shawl is knitting itself! I must be almost a third of the way done and I just started last month so at this rate I'll have it done just when we finally go into spring in Vermont and need a light layer.
Have to say, I'm looking forward to when my chosen color of Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted comes in to the shop so I can begin my Blue Sky Alpaca Pleated Vest. Definitely feeling the need for an alternate project that asks a wee more of my brain power!

Thanks Polly. Keep us posted!

Monday, February 15, 2010


This is a bit dated, but still fun to see!

Just before Christmas we had a surprise visitor to the shop. Jessica S. stopped in with her family to check out the Classic Elite pattern booklet Made In Brooklyn. She had a good reason for wanting to see it... she's friends with the designer, Jared Flood (Brooklyntweed), and she was a model in the photographs for the pattern booklet!

Here she is in the shop with one of her photos!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

First Finished Object 2010

It's washed and blocked. I've completed my first finished object for the year 2010. I find it fitting that I finished knitting this on the last day of January - then it had to wait for a laundry day and button. But here it is, the Knitting Pure and Simple One Button Cardi in size 6.
I knit it with Berroco Vintage so that it would be a washable item since it is destined for a small friend's wardrobe. This is a fun in the round project and I am particularly enamored of the garter stitch border - such a nice way to switch up each long row and a good finishing detail.

Stay tuned for why I've only finished ONE project since the beginning of 2010 :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Organic Baby Blocks

When we received our shipment of the new O~Wool Balance yarn several weeks ago, I knew I needed to start a project. But what? I loved all of the colors, and wanted to use a number of them, but I didn't want it to be just stripes. I needed a portable project, since my weekends are busy and on-the-go, and I don't want to lug around a large project. And, I wanted to make something that would be a great baby gift, since the yarn is so soft and organic, and perfect for little ones!
In the end, I chose to knit 5" squares (portable) with intarsia (not plain old stripes!) and to assemble them into fun baby blocks (great baby gift!)
The squares were really fun to knit and assemble. I went to a local craft store and purchased some 5" foam, which I then cut into 5" blocks.
The seaming was easy, and believe it or not, I was actually very strategic about my color usage (though you don't have to be!)
I wish I had these 10 years ago when Helen and Sophie were new arrivals! The ones I had were smaller, and wood. These are much bigger, but are so lightweight - they each weigh under 4 ounces.The pattern should be written up by sometime next week.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sunrise in the Shop

The other day Margot came into the shop and Michelle and I both commented on her lovely scarf. Take a look! It reminds me of a colorful sunrise and was knit in many sections as she HANDSPUN the yarn on a DROP SPINDLE for this project! Can you tell that I am immensely impressed by this amazing feat of patience and skill? The scarf is lovely and a very fine gauge yarn that she spun from Blue Faced Leicester fiber.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If you were STRANDED without your knitting...

...what would you do? I don't even want to contemplate that one!
But while we're talking about "stranded", checkout Lisa R.'s AWESOME stranded cardigan!
Pattern is in Interweave Knits Winter 2009 issue. She used Cascade 220 yarn. Isn't it gorgeous?!?!
Here's the original, courtesy of Interweave Knits:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Early notice!

Special early notice for blog readers! Check this out... email goes out Thursday morning!

January Greatest Knits

Haven't done this in a while... sorry! Here are the greatest (hits) knits for January!

Manos Desert Throw Kit - This has been so popular for years now. Probably because there are so many
gorgeous color combinations that can be made with all of the wonderful colors of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica that we carry! I've noticed a lot of these kits going home for the winter with different folks.

And several people have substituted washable alternatives, since they've been worried about how the recipients may end up caring for the finished project. (Try Mission Falls 1824 Wool or Berroco Vintage if you want machine washable. They have great color cobos, too!)

madelinetosh, Madeline Tosh, madtosh, Tosh: no matter what you call it, it's been HOT this month. We now carry 4 madelinetosh yarns: DK (this used to be called "Worsted"), Sock, Lace, and Pashmina (which just arrived last Friday). No question about it, madelinetosh yarns are the current favorite. We couldn't keep the colors in stock from our first shipment and the second shipment, while just in, is going fast! All of these yarns are very soft machine washable wool that comes in amazingly dyed colorways. You'll have to knit with it to believe it! (NOTE: In addition to what we order for the shop, we are happy to special order Tosh yarns. Any yarn, any color. This is not on our webiste yet, but will be once we figure out the best way to do it. Please call us for details.)

We have two samples here in the shop: Barb's Kiwassa Shawl knit from one skein of the Lace, and Jill's World War II Hat from one skein of the DK (formerly Worsted).

Notions and Needles
Kollage Square Double Pointed Needles - We've reordered these over and over, and they are still flying off the shelf. The feedback we've gotten is that these needles are amazing and really do help prevent hand fatigue.

I've used them to knit some of Craftyheghog's Stuffed toys and really enjoyed them. Other customers are now addicted to the short double points for smaller projects like socks. Come in to the shop and try them - we have a set on the counter to test drive.

Knit Kit - All in one, and one for all. There is a tool for every knitter contained in this handy little case. This is becoming everyone's favoirte traveling companion because it is TSA approved!
It includes folding scissors, point protectors, stitch markers, a crochet hook, thread snips, measuring tape, and row counter.

Alice Cowl - Knit from our new Road to China Light yarn. New colors for this yarn are now in stock, and they have so much depth to them! Great jewel tones to compliment a wonderful free pattern design from the Fibre Company for this cowl - just the thing since it has been in the negative temperatures here in Vermont. And by the way, cowls are the IN thing!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Manic-In Monday

How about that Superbowl? I confess, I missed the first half (I was too busy eating cookie dough making cookies in the kitchen) but I did manage to sit down and watch the exciting second half. It's my one football game of the year, and last night didn't disappoint.

So, wings and beer yesterday, and chocolates and champagne (perhaps?) next Sunday. Our mannequin is obviously dressing this week to drop some Valentine's hints...
She's sporting a very stylish sweater, with heart details, a gorgeous needle felted scarf and she's toting 2 hot new product from Namaste in the perfect color for this special day... RED. I had to post a second picture to highlight these Namaste items:And here's a closeup of the sweater in another color so you can see the details:

Sweater: Sweetheart sweater from the Kindred pattern booklet. Knit in Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran Yarn.

Scarf: Pagewood Farms Needle Felted Silk Scarf Kit in Reds

Bag: brand new Monroe Bag from Namaste - only have a few of these in stock, but more are on the way, so order now and you'll have it soon. This is a fabulous new shape and style from Namaste. It's going to make me break my "no-more-new-bags" rule. Oops!

Wallet: New Namaste Wallet. I mean really, why are we carrying wallets? I promise, I wasn't going to!! But customers called and emailed about it, so of course, I brought it in. But listen up, Namaste... please don't start making something like... I don't know, shoes?! I'm sure they'd be great, but I have to draw the line somewhere!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Manic-In Monday

This past weekend was FREEZING here in the northeast! We had wind chills in the NEGATIVE 40's on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday were only a bit warmer. Brrr. I actually blew off skiing this Saturday to sit at home and knit by the fire. It was the right choice, for sure.

These cold temps had everything to do with the mannequin's outfit change for this week. She's bundled up in several really soft and warm knits. After all, she does stand right by the door and gets awfully chilly with customers coming in and out all day. (Is this outfit a hint that she wants a new spot in the shop? Deal with it honey, we need you front and center!)
There's also a bit of a cable theme going on here. Did anyone notice that? Shawn is working on the next round of classes (starting in March) and there's a cable workshop.

Sweater: Brea Sweater made with Rowan Lima yarn. Pattern - Rowan Lima Collection. This is one of Shawn's favorite sweaters. She's normally wearing it down in the shop, but the mannequin must have won out this time.
Scarf: Jade Sapphire Cashmere Scarf for Her Kit in Natural Woman. If you haven't seen this in person, you simply must. Seven pattern choices come with this kit. This is my personal fave.
Mittens: Hoot Mittens made with Fibre Company Canopy yarn. Pattern is free! These were easy and fun to make.
Bag: Cable That Bag pattern from Gardiner Yarnworks knit with Mission Falls 1824 Wool, an incredible worsted merino that is machine washable!

Monday, February 01, 2010

The one year afghan

One of our customers took a Learn to Crochet Class here at the shop and spent her time this past year putting her new skill to work. She put together this huge, amazing, crocheted afghan.
The mixed fibers, mixed colors, beautiful stitch pattern all combine for a wonderful effect!

Kudos are in order Dannah B. - congratulations on the completion of your project :)