Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manic-In Monday

We are finally having some gorgeous weather, and our gal is hoping it's here to stay. She's celebrating the official start of summer by baring a bit of skin. This knitted tank is shaped to flatter, and worked in a cool linen & cotton blend. Pattern: Knitting Pure & Simple Tank Top for Women #101 done in Berroco Linsey Yarn
Necklace: Hank of Berroco Origami Yarn

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baseball Socks

contributed by Shawn

Here's a treat to whet your appetite for baseball season and to get ready for Vermont's Stitch N' Pitch game on June 24th. Two fun baseball related sock patterns found on Ravelry... for free!

1) Baseball Socks by Meredith Davey
2) Stitch n'Pitch Socks by Amanda Berka

Check them out!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Maybe these new colors...

...can brighten up a pretty dull day? (At least it's dull here!) Just in, new colors of Berroco Vintage:new colors of Berroco Vintage Chunky:and three new Berroco yarns! We've got Nanuk:Boboli:and Souffle:Patterns are not here yet, but we do have sample garments in the shop if you want to come in to the shop to get a preview.

Check out this great video!

Here's a fun way to work a cast on for a K1P1 ribbing!

I'm going to have to give this a try. Thanks Berroco!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guinness World Record - Most People Crocheting Simultaneously

contributed by Shawn

What better way to get a whole lot of folks together all in one spot than at
a baseball game!

Last summer on June 5th, Stitch N' Pitch set a new Guinness World Record for the "Most People Crocheting Simultaneously" at Mets Citi-Field with 427 crocheters.

Check it out here!

That's a lot of stitches! We're looking forward to a crowd at Vermont's 2011 Stitch N' Pitch event, June 24th.

Don't forget that you can enter to
win tickets to this game by making a purchase in the shop. We've already drawn 2 lucky winners for April, and we're just days away from finding out who our 3 May winners are! Each winner gets a pair of tickets to the game. And on June 22nd, we'll be drawing 4 more winners!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Third time's a charm?

Oh the saga continues. I am trying to finish the sleeves on my Gaia sweater. And I haven't been this frustrated in ages! Last week I spoke to Kali, a customer/friend/super adventurous knitter who is fascinated with learning new knitting techniques and designing her own sweaters. She's not one to follow a pattern - she's always trying to improve upon what she sees. She shared a recent success story with me for a top down short row sleeve that she'd incorporated into a sweater she just finished. The sleeves on the Gaia sweater are top down short row sleeves, but I wasn't having luck with them.

Kali gave me some tips on the ones she had just made, and sent me a youtube link,
which I watched faithfully that evening. I also watched this one for extra info. Because I love my Gaia sweater, I am determined to get the sleeves finished in a way that will not bother me. A little background...

ATTEMPT #1: When I followed the pattern as written, there was no way to pick up the number of
sleeve stitches called for unless I picked up 1 stitch for every 2 rows. I knew I wouldn't be happy with that, so I went with my normal ratio of 3 stitches for every 4 rows. I knit the sleeve cap, and as I'd predicted, because of the extra number of stitches, the sleeve was way too baggy by the time the short row shaping was finished. So I ripped it out.

Enter Kali, our discussion, and the youtube video. I picked up some great tips about tightening the pickup row (watch the video and see for yourself, and note the contrast color in my pickup row). I liked her method of short row shaping where she divides the stitches into 3rds. And I followed her instructions for figuring out the number of stitches to pick up... and it was almost exactly the same as what the pattern called for. So while I agree that the finished sleeve circumference is mathematically correct with that number of stitches, I still think it's too FEW stitches to pick up in terms of looking good. So it's right... but it's wrong.

ATTEMPT #2: Last night I tried again. I picked up 2 stiches for every 3 rows, thinking that this was somewhere in between a number I KNEW was too small, and one I had PROVEN to be too large. I knit the whole sleeve cap. And it's still too large. It fits really well along the top portion of the sleeve, but bags out around the armhole shaping. There's no way I could be happy with this.So this morning, the team here at Kyarns had a meeting of the minds. Lots of good suggestions were tossed about. It's so great to be able to share a problem and have so many different opinions about what to do to fix it!

And so tonight, in what will be ATTEMPT #3 (and hopefully the LAST ATTEMPT) I am going to rip it out, and pick up the same number of stitches I have now (2 for every 3 rows). Then I'm going to work 1 complete row before starting my short rows, where I decrease stitches at the bottom of the sleeve, in the underarm stitches and in the armhole shaping area. That's where it's way too baggy. Then, I will complete the short row shaping again, and fingers crossed, it will be a much better fitting sleeve. Wish me luck!


I think, that due to my allergies, this will not be something I will be trying!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Classy's Grown Up!

We decided to switch up our color offering for Dream in Color Classy... so let me introduce you to a beautiful, and definitely more mature, color palette for Classy:The colors we used to carry are marked down now!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Book Excitement

We just got a new book in the other day by Kim Hargreaves. It's called Cherished and is full of some really incredible items! Barb and Shawn and I were looking at it yesterday and we all agreed that it passes the 3 project test... where a book has to have at least three good projects in it in order to consider purchasing it. I think there are way more than 3!

Like the River skirt... a ribbed mini skirt with shaping done in Rowan Lima:
And Moon, a slouchy lace paneled hat done in Rowan Cocoon: And Skylark, a lace ribbed cardigan with a soft neckline, done in Rowan Lima: And Luna, a gorgeous raglan cardigan with beaded lace edging done in Kidsilk Haze (which we will soon be carrying again!): And Fayer, a relaxed sweater with a generous neck, done in Rowan Alpaca Cotton: It's kind of like going into a new store, and finding a ton of clothes that you LOVE... all in the same spot!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mukluk! Mukluk!

It's such a funny word! And though these mukluks are not made out of traditional sealskin or reindeer skin, they will still be super warm!

Knitting Pure & Simple Mukluk Slipper pattern was simple to do. I used two strands of Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash.
They knit up in no time. What a great gift idea - maybe everyone who has already gotten a pair of felted slippers needs a pair of mukluks...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sample Previews

These two projects are almost finished and we thought we'd share the previews!

Barb recently started a new scarf with
Filatura di Crosa Nirvana and Stacy Charles Crystal. It's knit in the round and all in stockinette. It was a perfect knitting project for last weekend when she watched her son Will graduate from college! A car ride, a long wait for the ceremony to start, the ceremony itself, and a return car ride meant lots of knitting time for Barb! It may not look like much now, but the trick is all in the finishing. It's in the round now, but it won't be later... Stay tuned for a gorgeous, lightweight scarf that will definitely WOW you!

And my Gaia is so close to being finished!
I just LOVE the Berroco Remix. It's so wonderful to knit with (and quick!) and the feel of the fabric is wonderful.

I was definitely frustrated at first when I had knit about 11" of the sweater and then happened upon a Ravelry group led by the designer that talked about erratas that she had found. Of course I went to Berroco to download another pattern, but it seems that not everything has been fixed on the new version (like the schematic!) I am very visual, and I often work directly from the schematic. When something is fixed in the written instructions but not in the schematic, I tend to go "grrrrr" a lot. (I have left a message with Berroco about this and hope they will soon fix it!)
I like the sweater - it's really cute on and it fits perfectly!
I have not done the sleeves yet, and when I tried it on last night, I actually - for a moment - considered just finishing the sleeve edging and making it sleeveless... But I think I will crank out the sleeves - that way it will be more useful with a few sundresses I have. Stay tuned for photos!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good News, Bad News re: Price Increases

Most of our vendors (Berroco, Plymouth, Manos, etc, etc!) are increasing prices on yarns this season - that's the bad news.

The good news is that we're giving you a chance to save on the CURRENT prices, before the new prices take effect.

First up is Berroco. Almost all of the prices are going up, so if you order any Berroco yarns today through 5/22 (Sunday) and put code BERROCONOW in your shopping cart, the current prices will be discounted by 15%.

The best news about this is that we've already taken delivery of some new fall colors of existing yarns, and so you can get these new colors at 15% off the OLD price! Which is pretty awesome, considering that the new colors are spectacular.

We've gotten new colors of Lustra:
Ultra Alpaca:
and Peruvia Quick:

*Please note, sale prices on discontinued Berroco yarns are not reduced further by this coupon code.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manic-In Monday

This week's sweater is a beautiful short sleeved cotton raglan sweater, with flattering side shaping, and a nice open, notched neck. Sweater: Blue Streak Henley from the Tahki Kaleidoscope knitting pattern booklet knit with Tahki Cotton Classic yarn

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And the construction has begun!

Just a reminder... we're having our back steps and retaining wall redone this week. The work started yesterday and will most likely continue through Monday.

Obviously, this means the back steps are not accessible right now!
So if you park in the Municipal Lot, you'll just need to walk around the white office building and up the sidewalk on Pearl Street to the front entrance to the shop. It's beautiful weather for a little walk - so enjoy the extra fresh air, and we thank you for your patience. (And - our parking lot is still open.)

Next week, work on the front steps to the building will start. Don't worry, we'll still be open during all regular business hours - you will just need to enter through the back of the building until the steps are finished.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cheerio, cheeriup

It's the sound I hear when looking at this gorgeous mitten... another one of customer Tammy B's creations. Beautiful!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Awesome new site feature!

We're super excited about a new feature that we just rolled out on our website...

ucing Product Q & A!

We get questions on our products on a daily basis. They usually come in by email, and we respond back with our answers by email. But we recently found that many times, we are answering the same questions over and over. And it's not the most efficient use of our tim
e! Nor is it efficient for our customers, to have to type out an email to us if they have a question on a product... that's already been asked and answered.

So... now when you are browsing our site, and you have a question on a specific product, just click on Ask a Question (right under t
he Product Review), and fire away! Someone on our staff will answer your question within 24 hours or less (possibly a bit longer if there's a Sunday involved). To view our answer, simply go back to the product the next day, and click on View Questions and Answers, Click on the arrow to reveal the answer, and voila! Another cool thing about this is that you can submit answers to other customers questions, too! Anytime you see a question along with our answer, you can add your own opinion by clicking Submit Your Response. Your response will show as soon as we've reviewed it.

We're also enhancing this feature one step more... but it won't be ready for a few more days. This enhancement will actually email you to let you know WHEN we've answered your question. Then you'll know exactly when to check the product for your answer.
We just launched this last Friday, and by the number of questions that were already asked over the weekend... we can tell it's a hit!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Roo Designs... and instant gratification!

So Roo Designs patterns always make me smile... but my smile is now bigger! Because all Roo Designs patterns are going to be available (possibly by the end of today!) as PDF downloads. So it's click to order - double click to open - and cast on. Enjoy!We're also adding her newest patterns too.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Got Questions? We Got Answers!

It's spring... and in the spring it always seems we see a big increase in customers coming into the shop looking for things to make for babies. So this question is one we hear often at this time of year!

When you need to make a baby gift for someone, what is your favorite thing to make? Why? If you are making clothing, what size do you typically make so that the item gets the most use? What is your favorite yarn to use for a baby gift?

I love making baby blankets. Unlike full size afghans, baby blankets whip up relatively quickly, and so I feel like they’re a good opportunity to test drive a new technique or pattern that I’ve been wanting to try. They’re also a good opportunity for me to indulge a little in some techniques that I love to knit, but don’t really love to wear. I think colorwork is really fun, but a colorwork sweater is generally too hot for me to comfortably wear.

I had the best time using Berroco Vintage to make a friend the Sleepy Monkey baby blanket. This not only involved some fun colorwork, but it gave me a chance to learn how to steek (knitting your work in the round and then cutting it open -- yikes! I know!). The steeks were terrifying, but because it was a small project, I figured I might as well give it a try -- and it worked!

If I have time, I typically make a sweater, and I try to make a larger size (18-24 mos depending on the time of year the baby is expected) for the baby to grow into. Many moms have said later how they were deluged with tiny outfits that the baby outgrew in a blink, and how nice it was to have something to look forward to.

We have lots of fabulous yarns for kids, and I am still getting familiar with them all. Personally, I am all about machine washable for babies (new parents have enough to do without hand-washing!), so Berroco Comfort and Comfort DK become fast favorites of mine. It is wonderfully soft and has great stitch definition for textured work (think Aran baby sweaters!). I have also been eyeing the Jill Eaton Cottontail for cool summer garments.

When I have occasion to knit something for a new baby I try to keep in mind what I am going to get satisfaction and enjoyment out of knitting, and what sort of project will fit the personality/personalities of the people receiving the present.

I like to focus on items that I believe will be of a useful nature that can be used for long periods of time or passed from one child to the next. Baby blankets that are large enough to become a favorite child’s blanket or soakers for parents who are committed to cloth diapering.

In a pinch I’ll always knit a Fruit Cap from Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn. I try to pick out colors I think will compliment the tastes of the adults and I focus on yarns I love to knit with. I really have enjoyed knitting for babies with the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and Prima yarns. Both of these yarns are machine washable and this is something I think most parents are thankful for when a new arrival makes an appearance.

Believe it or not Malabrigo Worsted Yarn is great for soakers. This is a super soft merino wool in lovely colors and yes, I like to knit with this too. If I enjoy knitting it then the project will get done on time and if I keep the recipients in mind I know that others will love the project as much as I do when it is finished.

My favorite baby gifts are usually sweaters with some color work involved and matching hat or booties. I have always loved the Roo patterns because there are so many to choose from. I have also knit a few Debbie Bliss baby sweater patterns using the Baby Cashmerino. She does such a nice job with the soft colors and designs.

Right now I am excited about the Sublime booklets and am currently working on a sailor sweater with little matching booties. The yarn is wonderful to knit with and machine washable. The sizes I make usually depend on when the baby is being born and my time frame, but 6-12 month is usually the size.

Great question for me, since I LOVE to knit for babies! I am always happy to make a baby blanket, a sweater (I always do a 6-12 months size, at least!), booties, a hat, a toy... whatever I'm in the mood for. I always use a machine washable yarn, and there are so many great ones to choose from these days, and because I know any mom will appreciate it. My favorite blanket is the Hexie blanket - because it's portable, and I love the way the Jojoland Rhythm Superwash works up.

I think the best yarns to use for babies are Berroco Comfort or Comfort DK, and if you're okay spending a little more for some really special yarn, then I recommend the Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK, the Debbie Bliss Prima or the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Oh, and Schaefer Nichole makes a super cute Baby Surprise Jacket!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another piece of the puzzle

Back in February we received a request in the shop to offer a class based on Shelly Kang's Sock Yarn Blanket. We liked the idea because of the techniques involved: provisional cast on, double decreases to form a mitered square, picking up stitches, applied i-cord, and more.

In order to work out the details of teaching the class I began knitting a few squares to get the feel for timing and how to break up the different sessions. Before I knew it I had started my own blanket!
It didn't take long for me to decide that this was a perfect way to incorporate many odd skeins of Noro Silk Garden yarn that are left over from various projects. By purchasing a few extra skeins I was well on my way to a beautiful & colorful creation!

Last Friday during the first class session we talked about picking yarn, gauge, square and blanket size, and worked on knitting up the first of many squares. We're working in worsted weight yarn so our squares knit a bit quicker than they would with a sock yarn.
I have to say I love this project because it is like a puzzle. Each time I finish a new square I feel as if I have accomplished the next piece in a finished picture! We'll keep you posted on how our projects come together. And look for another chance to sign up for this class in the fall, when we run it again. All of the skills learned in this class can be applied to many other projects in your knitting future. And this blanket is a great way to incorporate small amounts of many stunning yarns into a finished object that anyone would love.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

And the winners are...

We have drawn the winners for our April Lake Monsters Stitch n' Pitch ticket give away!

Congratulations to our local customers Linda D. and Linda T. who have each won a pair of tickets to the baseball game on June 24th! (We've contacted you both personally.)

What are the chances of having two winners named Linda?! Crazy knitting coincidences - we love it!

Don't forget that if you are looking forward to some baseball and knitting fun we will be choosing additional winners for May. We have begun collecting names to give away 3 more pairs of tickets. Every time you make a purchase in the shop this month we'll enter your name in the new drawing so stop in soon!

Things that sparkle!

These gorgeous stitch markers were dropped off in the shop last week by our customer, Geri C., just as a way of saying "thanks!" to all of us here at Kyarns. These are stitch markers that Geri made herself and each person on our staff now has a sparkly new set for knitting this summer's projects. Now it's our turn to say "THANK YOU GERI!"

Monday, May 02, 2011

Manic-In Monday

Even though we've had a bit of warmer weather recently, it's been rainy and damp at times. And the transparency of this week's sweater makes it perfect for cool again - hot again- cool again weather. The fabulous thick and thin nature of this 100% cotton yarn really dresses up a pair of jeans! Our gal has paired this sweater with a gorgeous small shawl done in colors that work perfectly with this ensemble. Sweater: Myrtle Pullover knit with Tahki Ripple Yarn. Pattern is in Tahki Yarns Terra Collection #7 Urban Renewal (We don't stock this color, but have other choices that are beautiful!)
Shawl: Free pattern with modifications! Pattern is the
Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West knit with Taiyo Sock Yarn. Pattern modifications can be found here.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Busting the stash, or at least trying to!

There are times when my stash just gets completely out of control. And while it's always great to have a stash - recently I've been trying to thin mine out.

When I started the little hat a couple of weeks ago, I needed 5 colors of in Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. The hat is small, and as with any fair isle project, at the end I had a lot of yarn left! I hate to use just a few yards of a new ball of yarn, and throw it into my stash, to sit and wait for another project.

So, I decided make
several smaller projects with my remnants. People always go crazy over baby bootie samples, so I did made a Bovva bootie, and then a Little Pump bootie for the shop (which still needs a button). And then I made the Vintage Racing Helmet which is just adorable! And then, because I loved how quickly that hat worked up, and wanted to make a little girl's hat, I made the Rosy Posy Hat. So sweet! The little flowers were so fun to make... no I-cord! Just a clever little cast on, bind off method that I will be using from now on. I did need to dig in my stash to find a remnant of a peach color for the flowers. Luckily I had some leftover from another sweater I'd made with this yarn.

And I'm not finished yet. I still have
enough left to make another two-tone Bovva bootie, and I'm going to make a couple versions of the Little Striped Clog.I know I'll never use up every scrap of this yarn, but I'm going to try my hardest!