Monday, April 25, 2011

Got Questions? We Got Answers!

Today's question is one we get every day... from folks in the shop, from folks on the phone, and from folks in emails. I think people just want to know what we like to knit!

What is your favorite thing to knit and why?

I love hats. They are quick and portable, but offer endless possibilities. Whether it’s chunky or fine gauge, Fair Isle or cabled, roll brim, or earflap, they are a great way to show off your personal style, while still keeping you warm! Recently, I can’t stop knitting Fair Isle tams using a dark merino dk along with some Noro Silk Garden. The result has an almost stained glass effect that I adore.

My favorite thing to knit changes about as often as my favorite color yarn to knit with. I do like to knit hats because I can choose patterns that explore a new knitting technique each time I knit a new hat. Hats are smaller projects and so they are a good way for me to learn something new and practice that new skill just enough to remember it for later use in a larger or more complicated project. At the same time smaller projects like this allow me to knit and experiment with many more different yarns and fibers. Besides – my friends are always happy to have a hand knit hat!

My favorite item to knit would be a shawl or scarf - like the Deirdre Shawl or the Firefly Scarf.. I get hot often, so I don't wear as many sweaters these days. Shawls and scarves are so versatile, and can completely change the look of your outfit. They are also great projects for me right now, because I am so busy these days that I like a project I can pick up and put down without struggling to figure out where I am in the pattern.

It really depends on what sort of a mood I am in. I’m currently obsessed with knitting sweaters in sport or DK weight yarns (worsteds and heavier tend to be too heavy for me to wear). The next sweaters in my queue are Nespelem by Norah Gaughan (I’m using Louisa Harding Aimee yarn) and Jidai, because I’m totally in love with stripes at the moment (I am torn between using the Berroco Vintage DK and maybe Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy).

For quite a while I knitted nothing but socks. I always love socks because they are small, portable, and allow me to indulge my love for knitting more intricately cabled patterns (I overheat at the drop of a hat, and so cabled sweaters are sadly outside the realm of wearability for me). I also love to keep a sock on the needles that uses the Yankee Knitter Classic Socks for the Family pattern. After you’ve made a few pairs from this pattern, it really does become one of those projects that you can keep with you to knit when you don’t want to think too much about what you’re doing.

My favorite projects are sweaters. When we get new patterns and new yarns, I love to pick out my next projects. It’s a great feeling to finish a project and then be able to wear it.

I also enjoy knitting children’s sweater with intarsia patterns in them like the Roo Designs patterns. I always made sweaters for my sons when they were small. Sometimes they would help me pick out the patterns. Now that they are older they have been asking me to knit them sweaters. It just takes more time since they're grown, but it's worth it to have them enjoy wearing hand knit sweaters made by me.

I totally gravitate toward smaller projects that are super quick to finish. I used to love intricate sweater patterns with lots of texture, colorwork, cables... but now I'm more of an instant gratification knitter. I love to make hats, baby sweaters, quick baby blankets, scarves, vests... anything that is fast.

I do really want to make the Gaia sweater that Berroco featured as their free KnitBits pattern last Friday. And although it's technically NOT a small project, I think that it would go really quickly (short sleeves & fast knitting Remix yarn!) so I may just sneak this one in! The new fall 2011 colors of Remix are beautiful, but they are not going to be in stock until the end of May, so I might have to delay this project just a bit. (That's the downside of seeing fall yarns so early... you fall in love with new colors and then have to wait.)

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