Saturday, December 22, 2012

SPOTTED a lingerie shop window in Paris, Rue de Rivoli near Hôtel de Ville.
Not sure I'd wear it, but I love the design and the quality was superb. And because she might have been cold in that drafty window, her two still-life friends were all wooled up with accessories to spare:

Have you spotted anything cool lately?

Thursday, December 20, 2012


...on the Boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris last month.
A very retro looking cardigan sweater in the Harley Davidson Bastille shop window.

I love the simple gray wool and reverse stockinette with big ribbing and over-sized collar. This would be an easy DIY project!

Have you spotted anything cool lately?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cezanne Bags

The other day we received our shipment of Cezanne knitting bags from Jordana Paige. We got all four beautiful colors - Stone Gray, Mediterranean Teal, Bordeaux and Poppy:
Poppy was the crowd favorite because we sold 2 the very day we took them down into the shop. Sorry! But the other 3 colors are gorgeous, too, and the Poppy will be back in stock after the holiday.
Sleek Back View with One Large Pocket
This bag looks like leather but is actually synthetic, which is easier on the wallet than leather, and a bonus for those of you who don't like to use leather products. It's got a ton of useful pockets and compartments, including a row of 7 pockets for tools and needles and two small interior zippered pockets.
3 Front Pockets
In case you wanted more internal features in this bag, there's also a key loop, three credit card slots, a removable zipper pouch, two circlets™ to prevent your yarn from tangling, a yarn pocket below each circlet™, two small outside pockets, and one large outside pocket at front and back. The bag closes neatly and securely with a metal turn clasp closure, and the adjustable shoulder strap is removable, just in case you want to carry it like a briefcase.
Pockets, pockets, pockets!
If you're ordering this and must have it for the holidays, please remember to choose an expedited shipping method for guaranteed delivery. And if you're local, come on in and grab one before they go.

Of course we've been selling a ton of gift certificates for our local customers, so you can always come in and grab one from our next shipment, after the holidays.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SPOTTED a friend's entry hall in Nokia, Finland.
What goes better with winter boots than hand knit socks?

Everyone in Finland KNOWS it's proper etiquette to remove your shoes when you go into someone's house or apartment. Usually the socks stay on, but I'm thinking that this little guy may have gotten some snow down his boots when outside playing. So off they came (with his boots) and they're getting a chance to dry off a bit!

Have you spotted anything cool lately?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Great News for Cotton Fans!

Just in, Seedling Hand Paints
Classic Elite Seedling has been a popular worsted weight cotton in the solid shades for the past couple of years. Now we've brought in 6 beautiful hand painted shades.

Seedling is a machine washable organic cotton with a nubbly texture. The organic fiber is more robust and less stressed by chemicals than non-organic cotton, which increases its absorbency and color intensity. It's popular in garments for both adults and children. 

How fun would this sweater be with a coordinating hand paint shade thrown in?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Get the Look

The mannequin's loving her look today! This vest is gorgeous and was really fun to knit. I wrote about it in this blog and the vest is now on display in the shop. Come on in and try it on!
It looks great when closed with a shawl pin, and the back is eye-catching with its spiral design.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SPOTTED a magazine recently. 
A funky knitted & knotted pillow/chair cushion. 

I'm thinking this could be really fun to make. Although I'd attempt it on a smaller scale first... perhaps some I-cord that I could fashion into a little holiday ornament?

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Enchanted with Enchanted

Two new Kim Hargreaves books have been delivered to the shop and as usual, they are full of wonderful pieces to make!

The books are named Quirky and Enchanted, and they each have instructions for 21 beautiful designs. There are so many that I'd love to start right away! There are 4 in the Enchanted book that I'm seriously considering.

The Covet cowl is made with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Lightweight, yet cozy, it can be worn and a cowl or pulled up around the head as a hood.
The Mystic Sweater is also made with Kidsilk Haze. It's got beads and is absolutely elegant, but would also look nice without the beads. Your choice!
Fate is a long collared sweater made with Rowan Alpaca Cotton. This worsted weight yarn is soft and warm... and machine washable. It's one of the coziest yarn in the shop.
Siren is a contour hugging ribbed sweater knit with Rowan Lima. This yarn is a worsted weight chainette construction. I like it both ways - with and without the belt!
Time to make some decisions!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

SPOTTED a women's clothing boutique in Paris, France.
OH MY GOSH do I love a lace weight sweater knit at a loose gauge!

Sometimes a basic stockinette stitch is the most wonderful thing. Especially when it's done in a trendy seasonal color!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SPOTTED the women's locker room at the gym.
A gorgeous pair of hand knit mittens. Someone is going to have cold hands this week. Hope they work out often enough that they come back and find these still waiting for them!

I'm inspired to make my own now with SMC Juvel. It's so soft and the colors are so crisp. But I'll be sure not to lose track of mine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dyelot Yarns Stimulus Package Project

I just finished a really fun and easy project - the Fortune's Wheel Vest with one Dyelot Yarns Stimulus Yarn Package.
Picture courtesy of Dyelot Yarns (on pattern)
Truth be told, I started out knitting the Vertically Striped Vest shown below.
But after completing the entire back and one of the fronts, I frogged it. My row gauge was off, and the decreases with the neck in the front were not working properly. I could have edited the directions for the front, to MAKE it work, but since this is a shop sample, I decided against it. When we have something in the shop, and someone tries it on and wants to make it exactly as it appears, they DON'T want to hear that they have to change even one thing in the pattern. 

So I decided to make the Fortune's Wheel Vest.  I used the same color that is shown on the pattern (above) but I did not knit through one entire fiber at a time, as they did. I changed the fibers more often, and I do appreciate the more blended effect that I achieved.
This is a versatile piece - it can be worn as shown above as a longer vest, or flipped upside down and worn more like a shorter shrug with a larger shawl collar. Be creative
And as with almost everything I make, it's Lucy approved. I think it's even her color!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


...while window shopping on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in Paris in November.
A gorgeous knitted pin! 

How easy would it be to make this? Pretty easy, I think! Grab some fingering weight wool and small double pointed needles. Start cranking out the I-cord and then experiment with arranging the cords. 

Don't forget to find a super funky pin to top it all off!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lantern Moon Scissors

Brand new from Lantern Moon...

Embroidery Scissors! Available in three finishes: black, half gold and pewter. Don't forget, it's gift season... any of your crafty friends would love these.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't Forget... Sock Yarn is Great for Baby Sweaters, Too!

It's funny how many customers look at sock yarns and think (just) "socks". 

Fingering weight sock yarns come in a great range of fibers and many of these are machine washable. They're also soft, and if they're soft enough to put on your precious piggies, they're soft enough to put on baby! And finally, these yarns are lightweight, yet warm. Perfect for wee ones who like to stay cozy without so much bulk.

There are many great patterns for fingering weight baby sweaters. One of my favorites is one I just finished - it's in the Regia Journal #004 pattern booklet, and has a hat and booties to match.
This yarn (Regia Angora Merino) is a blend of superwash merino wool, polyamid and angora. It's so incredibly soft and wonderful to knit with. I just love the pattern stitch - a 4 row repeat that's simple, and addictive!
My sweater, blocking
Other yarn choices for this sweater would be Tilli Tomas Artisan Sock or Shibui Knits Sock Yarn.

Another cute fingering weight sweater is the Knitting Pure & Simple Baby Layette.
This pattern is well written and also has instructions for a hat, sweater and booties. I'd choose Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock or Jojoland Melody Superwash for this one.

And we can't forget the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Sweater.
This one looks good in both self-striping and variegated sock yarns. This pattern is sized from baby up to adult. We love the baby version in striping sock yarns - it's so cute! Regia Garden Effects or Kaffe Fassett Ombre would be fun on this sweater. And we now have a NO-wool option: Plymouth Diversity.

Because we know you like choice, here's yet another sweater option for fingering weight sock yarns. The Lachlann Baby Set by Figheadh Yarnworks is a classic, with set-in sleeves, stripes and cables on the sweater, and matching pants. 

Dale of Norway Baby Ull, Spud & Chloe Fine or Fibre Company Canopy Fingering would all be great yarns for this set.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paris Trends: What's Hot

So I've been living here in Finland for about a year and a half, and thanks to some cheap flights and Airbnb, we have been fortunate enough to do some European travel during that time.

One of our favorite cities is Paris, and we went there last weekend for 3 days to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law from California. We did a lot of window shopping, took a pastry class with the girls and ate. A lot. 
My sister, Helen & Sophie with some freshly baked pain au chocolate!
Luckily we also walked about a million miles so hopefully the exercise helped offset the food intake!

The weather was pretty awful, actually. It was in the 40's and cold, rainy and windy. We were prepared - after all, we're living in Finland... but the Parisians we spoke to were not loving it!

The best part about the weather being so cold, was that the people of Paris were wearing their knitwear in style. This guy had on a funky hat and a GORGEOUS ribbed sweater coat. He looked très hip and I'm so sorry I did not get a better shot!
I've got a number of fun knitwear pictures that I'm saving up for the "Spotted" series, so I can't share them all here. Let's just say that I noticed a few trends...
  1. Basics - like the coat pictured above... garter stitch, stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette stitch, easy stitches done in either bulky or very fine yarns
  2. Sparkles - from just a touch of sparkle to all over sequins, glitz was IN. And that makes me SO happy since I just ordered a sequin carry-along that is super reasonably priced. Yay!
  3. Bold colors - like oranges, blues & yellows. Don't be scared to go with color this year!
  4. Ponchos - yes, ponchos. Not scary ones like Ugly Betty ponchos, but really beautiful ones made in simple shapes with elegant fibers.
Since I'm saving up most of my pictures for other posts, I will share one fun shot that my brother-in-law got. He and my sister were walking on rue St. Honoré and came a small crowd of French paparazzi. 
Turns out good ole Rihanna was doing a little "private" lingerie shopping as in "close the store for everybody else, and cause a scene outside". Good times!
Personally, I think she would have looked better in a hand knit hat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

SPOTTED the Stockmann Department Store in Tampere, Finland.
Knitted ponchos in a trio of colors.
Years ago they were huge in the states, and I can report that I've seen them in numerous countries in Europe recently... looking pretty darn hip!

Of course they look MUCH better with arms underneath! I know because I thought this one was awful when I saw the display on the mannequin. Then I saw a woman wearing it a week later and it really looked great. 

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Customer Feedback

Customer Feedback is great, whether it's positive or negative. Positive feedback makes us smile and tells us we're doing a great job. Negative feedback makes us grow and strive even harder to be the best we can be.

We recently got an email with some nice feedback, and it included a picture of a work-in-progress. We LOVE it when our customers send pictures! Here's a gorgeous cabled blanket that our customer June is working on.
She emailed us say, "Thanks to Shawn, who helped me out over the phone when I was trying to figure out this cable pattern. You were so patient and explained things so that I could keep on knitting!! Using your Encore in a soft, soft yellow."

That would be Pale Yellow # 896. A great color. Thanks for sharing June... and great job!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get the Look

So we're not going to talk about the fact that it was 70 degrees on Monday of this week. Instead, we'll focus on the cool temperatures that we KNOW will be back to stick around.

Do you have a "go-to" sweater in your wardrobe? One that you love to pull out as soon as the thermometer dips into the blue? One that you'd wear to a Homecoming football game, because it's warm enough to keep you cozy while tailgating, but also stylish enough to impress those friends you haven't seen in awhile? The Brea Sweater is definitely a "go-to" sweater.  
Our mannequin is sporting the Brea Sweater this week and hoping for the mercury to return to normal. This sweater has gorgeous cable detailing on the sleeves and upper body, while the lower body flares ever so gently from the midsection. And she's topped off her look with one of our absolute favorite new shawls.
We just love the cable detail on this sweater, and the edge detail on the shawl.
Shawl: Angora Merino Lace Panel Shawl from the Regia Journal #004 knit in Regia Angora Merino yarn

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thinking Spring... Already!

contributed by Barb

Last Wednesday, I spent most of the morning on Skype with Jill and one of our sales reps looking at new spring yarns. It hasn't even turned into winter here, but we're already looking at spring yarns.

When I came out of the meeting I was sent to the basement. I thought I was being punished for being in the meeting for so long (these sales meetings can be up to 3 hours long) but as I went down the stairs into the basement I realized it was no punishment. It was a gift.

There were three huge boxes from Berroco waiting for me. These boxes contained some new spring yarns and then new colors of existing yarns. It's always so fun unloading new things, and to think Jill and I had just ordered these a little over a week ago. All of the new yarns and new colors of existing yarns will be online this week.

When the Berroco Trunk Show was at the shop, I tried on some garments in the summer yarns from last year. I decided to make a couple of them, but Andra said I may want to wait for new colors for Spring 2013 to be available. That seemed like it would be months, but now just one short month later I can start choosing colors from the new ones and get some projects on my needles.

One of the first items I will be making is the Seabrook Vest – a free pattern from Berroco knit in Captiva
I love the new colors we got, but I am having a hard time choosing just one. Help!
Then maybe I'll start a multi-colored scarf/shawl in Weekend.  I love to wear a scarf or shawl during the day, but I get a little over-heated in wool. 
I like the weight of a worsted shawl, and the acrylic and cotton blend of Weekend will keep me from overheating.