Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free Sock Pattern!

We've taken delivery of a delicious new sock yarn from Plymouth! It's called Sakkie and it's a blend of super fine merino wool, kid mohair and nylon. It is gorgeous, and while we certainly see a lot of folks using it for shawls, scarves and super lightweight sweaters, let's not forget that it's a beautiful sock yarn!
Any purchase of this yarn (just one skein) will get you a free sock pattern, sized for medium men and women. Online orders will automatically get the electronic download link with their order confirmations, and anyone who purchases the yarn in the shop just needs to ask, and we'll give them a copy of the pattern.
Free ribbed sock pattern with purchase of Plymouth Sakkie yarn

Monday, July 30, 2012

Free Hat Pattern!

Berroco Cirrus is a new yarn for fall and we've been really enjoying it since it arrived over a month ago. Barb made the Germane Vest as a shop model and our customers have been amazed at how comfortable and lightweight this piece is.
Germane Vest
Want to try the yarn for a small scale project, before you jump into a making a sweater? Here's a great hat that uses just 2 skeins of Berroco Cirrus and sizes 6 & 8 US knitting needles.
It's a simple hat with a ribbed brim and openwork stitches that add great texture. And best of all, the pattern is free, courtesy of Berroco!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

College Blanket in Progress

contributed by Barb 

The clock keeps ticking towards the day my daughter leaves for college.  I have finished weaving the 1st of 3 panels needed for her college blanket. It's the widest of the three panels - at least the other two will each go faster than this one!
I was able to weave this panel in just 3 nights - not bad!  I am just loving the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn for this weaving project. I will definitely be using this yarn in the future for any baby blankets or throws that I make.  

And if you are a weaver, this has amazing drape! It would also be perfect as a shawl or scarf.

Perfect summer project

contributed by Barb

Before the birth of my second child I did a lot of quilting.  I have a background in accounting and so I'm a numbers person. That's why I loved all the geometric patterns.  One that always stood out for me was the Log Cabin design. Log Cabin blocks can look so different, depending on how they are arranged.

Earlier this summer I found a crochet pattern for a log cabinblock. In addition to using different colors, it uses different stitch patterns so I knew it would be really fun to make. I decided to start a new blanket for my bed.  

This project - since each block is separate - is perfect for summer! Who wants a big, warm blanket in your lap when it's hot out? I found plenty of color choices with the Berroco Vintage yarn.  I had already used this to make the Chic Knits Cassidy Sweater (past blog here) and knew I would like the result.  

I brought in the blocks and Jill and I had fun arranging them in different layouts.

I'm still not sure how I'll put it together. Maybe this way?
Or this way?

What do you think!?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Manos Limited Edition #10 is HERE!

This month's Manos Limited Edition color just arrived and we think it's scrumptious! 
It's Limited Edition #10 and it reminds me of my favorite color of flowers... purple & creamy white.

From pattern - to shop model - to real life model!

Patterns, patterns, patterns. There are a million of them! Some of them have great pictures - so you know what your finished item will look like. (And some don't!) 

Minnowknits patterns have always been popular with our customers. The designs are cute and work really well for babies and toddlers. And they've always have good photos, which is helpful!

We love their little dress patterns for girls. Back in 1999, when I was expecting my twin daughters,  I knit two of the Minnowknits Brittany Jumpers for Helen and Sophie. They were adorable! In 2002 when I opened the shop, my daughters had long outgrown the dresses, so they became shop samples. For several years the Brittany Jumper was a top selling pattern because of this.
Brittany Jumper
Over the years, we've made a number of dress samples. We've made the Sunflower Dress:
and most recently, the Daisy Dress:
Now this pattern picture is adorable! And it certainly didn't NEED a shop sample to convince people to buy/make it. But we loved it so much that I ended up making a shop sample anyway:
The pattern calls for Jil Eaton CottonTail Yarn, but I substituted Berroco Weekend. It was a quick knit and I love the flowers!

Sometimes our staff members see samples and fall in love with them too. Luckily Polly had the perfect recipient for this adorable dress... her beautiful granddaughter! So we get to share pictures of another Daisy Dress, but this one... in action:
So cute!
This picture was taken in the Boston Common (at the Frog Pond!) on Emma's 1st birthday earlier this summer. Polly says that the dress wasn't on for very long since Emma was not quite walking at the time, and crawling in a dress is pretty much impossible! 
Polly's tips: She tacked down the petals of the daisies all the way around from the inside of the dress. This way, little hands are not tempted to try to pull off the flowers. GREAT idea!

She also used Berroco Weekend, like I did, and loved the way it came out. It's very soft and washes beautifully.

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Shop Hours, Starting September 1st

Hey Locals! This one's for you!
Starting September 1st, 2012, we will be changing the opening hours of our shop. We will be open:

Tuesday 10-5
Wednesday 10-7
Thursday 10-5
Friday 10-5
Saturday 10-5

Please note that we will now be closed on Sundays AND Mondays. After 10 years, we decided that our dedicated & hardworking staff members truly deserve 2 days off in a row, like a lot of other non-retail folks.

And we've added a permanent evening into our schedule... Wednesdays. So for all of you who keep telling us you can't make it into the shop before 5pm, don't fret! Mark your calendars for Wednesday evening, and we'll see you then.

Also, starting September 1st our Open Knit & Crochet will be changing to the 1st and 3rd WEDNESDAYS of the month, from 4:30-6:30pm. Hope this works for you and that you can join us!

We know it takes a long time to adjust to a new schedule (especially after 10 years!) so we'll send out periodic reminders over the next month.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Temptations, temptations, temptations…

contributed by Emily

It is really unfair that whenever we get new stuff in the shop I am forced to unpack it, price it, and put it out for sale on the shelves. How on Earth am I supposed to exercise any self-restraint! The worst offender this summer has been, hands down, the new Jordana Paige knitting bags.
LJ Kaelms Knitting Bag
Rio Bag
There is so much to love with these new bags –

  • The faux leather is super-supple and the colors are just gorgeous (I’m eyeing the green one!)
  • The straps are the perfect length – long enough to throw over your shoulder, but short enough that you can carry the bag in your hand.
  • The pockets – THE POCKETS!! – how do I describe the awesomeness of these pockets without sounding like a fawning sycophant? I can’t. I am a fawning sycophant! These pockets were obviously designed by a knitter.
Little pockets for your needles
Zip cases for your notions
Yarn sleeves with an elasticized top to keep your ball in place
And a sleeve for your iPad or knitting magazines!!

Have I mentioned my weak willpower? This bag is sorely testing me…

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The trouble with working in a yarn shop...

contributed by Emily

I was on restock duty in the shop the other day. This may sound like a boring task, but remember – I work in a yarn shop, so this task is loaded with hidden dangers!

For instance, I’ve been ogling this lovely crocheted afghan for ages now. (Please click on the link for the beautiful pictures!) Lucky for me, I can read the German pattern!

Well, it turns out that while I was checking the Berroco Vintage yarns for restock, it suddenly clicked in my brain – Hey! Vintage now comes in two gorgeous shades of grey, perfect for that blanket!
Like I said, this job has its share of dangers!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dyelot Yarn Packages

contributed by Emily

I am currently working on an Eyelet shawl for a shop sample, using a Dyelot yarns Recovery Yarn package in the color: Cowgirl.
These yarn packages consist of multiple skeins of different fibers and textures of yarn, each dyed in the same colorway. The different textures are so much fun to knit and they look so pretty together.
I love these yarns, and am now daydreaming about making one of their fab sweaters for me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Most popular customer project

contributed by Emily
I’ve recently been noticing a decided upswing in customer interest in long sweaters – almost sweater dresses, but not quite! They are the perfect thing to layer over a pair of leggings with your favorite boots. Dress em’ up, dress ‘em down – either way they will give you that extra something special in your wardrobe.

My favorite designer for these tunics is hands-down, Kim Hargreaves:

Here's a great tunic from her Winter Blooms book:
Briar tunic
And here's another one from her Whisper book:
The "Sheer" tunic

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Mixed Fiber Throw Preview!

We've got a new mixed fiber throw sample in the shop, and it's simply stunning!
By combining two gorgeous Berroco yarns (Berroco Cirrus and Berroco Boboli) with an easy, reversible pattern, we ended up with what we think is THE throw of the year! 
Barb put together some super color combinations. And the best part is that the pattern is free and the yarn is just $116. This is really reasonable for a throw that measures 45" square, NOT including fringe (and it's fringed on two sides.)

Don't forget to put this on your "must-make" list for this fall! The pattern is free when you purchase the yarn to make this.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thoughts on Afghan Kits

contributed by Emily

There are two things I am really, really looking forward to with the arrival of autumn. (Well okay, there are a million things – autumn in Vermont is my very favorite time of the year – cider, pumpkins, sweater weather, foliage!)

But what really has me counting down the days until October is the return of Game of Thrones on T.V., and the new Mountain Colors Afghan kits that we have! 
I have fallen head over heels in love with the Ice colorway, and can’t wait to knit it up while snuggled up on my sofa, watching the Lannisters and Starks battle it out!
Colorway: ICE

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Noro Inspiration

contributed by Shawn

I loved the Crochet Slippers:
Crochet Slippers
So I immediately grabbed my new favorite color of Noro Kureyon and worked up a pair of these. They're a perfect summer adaptation of warm wooly slippers!
My slippers!
I love the Crochet Throw made of hexagon shapes.
Crochet Throw

This is a perfect crochet pattern alternative to the Modular Afghan that I love so much from the Knit Noro book.

I already have some favorite colors of Noro Silk Garden picked out for the Checkerboard Cap.
Checkerboard Cap
All you need is 1 skein each of 2 different colors of Noro Silk Garden yarn for this simple color work hat.

And, it you're inclined to begin your Holiday Knitting in July, then you might want to take a look at these classic hats: the Man's Slouchy Hat and the Man's Ribbed Hat.
Slouchy Hat
Ribbed Hat
Each hat can be done with just 2 skeins of Kureyon (1 skein each of 2 different colors). I think they are perfect designs that anyone would love to receive as a gift this winter.

The Cropped Jacket features a wonderful construction that shows off the Noro colors so well!
Cropped Jacket
Cropped Jacket - back view
The pattern calls for 984 yards color A and 656 yards color B Silk Garden Sock.  We no longer stock the Silk Garden Sock, so have already helped some people choose from the colors of Taiyo Sock yarn so they could get started on this one right away in time to wear for late summer!

I hope this magazine inspires you to pick up some new colorful knitting or crochet projects too!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Falling Water Ruffle Vest

contributed by Barb

We've been selling all colors of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for some time now, but until recently they'd all been special order. The yarn has done so well that we decided to pick the top 20 colors (for now!) and sell them in the shop as stock colors. 

I had never worked with this yarn before, and I really wanted to try it. I decided to start (and hopefully finish) a vest for this fall.  Unfortunately, I'm at the age where my temperature can spike - without warning! - and so I thought the cotton blend would be ideal. I had just ordered a great new pattern for the shop, iMagine Knit Designs Falling Water Ruffle Vest, and the gauge is perfect for Cotton Fleece.
I love the way this yarn is knitting up!
Lace pattern on back

Front view
My daughter heads off to her first year of college next month and I promised to weave a blanket for her dorm bed.  After knitting with the Cotton Fleece I decided that it's the perfect yarn for this project. It's exactly the weight she wanted, and she loved the feel of it. Here is a very small swatch that I used to test my sett. A "sett" is a gauge swatch for weavers. (We have to swatch too!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dr. Who? Brown Sheep for You!

contributed by Shawn

Ever since we started offering our customers every color of Brown Sheep yarns  we've been getting orders for a rather peculiar color combination. It occurs most often on orders for Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted or Nature Spun Sport yarns. 

Here's the color combination. Any ideas what people are making with it?
The colors (left to right) are Red Fox, Saddle Tan, Wood Moss, Chocolate Kisses, Goldenrod, Spiced Plum and Stone.

I admit, I finally had to ask one of our customers why we keep getting so many orders for this particular combination of colors. (I am not a regular television watcher - this is my excuse for not being able to figure this out on my own!)

Turns out that with this color combo you can make your very own Dr. Who scarf (the original version).  In fact, there is an entire website devoted to knitting the Dr. Who scarf in various forms that even details how manyrows of each color to knit to get the best match to the television version!

There are variations for different scarves as they appeared in different seasons of the show since the scarf went through some evolution over time.  (I did read the history section!)

My favorite part is the photos. Check them out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Favorite new yarn

contributed by Emily

Almost eight years ago Debbie Stoller came out with her second book, Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation. And for eight years, I’ve been waiting for the perfect yarn to make the Russian Winter hat – the one with bear ears, of course!

Well, it finally arrived! It’s the new yarn by Lang called Felice, and it is perfect. 
I hope the coming winter is more winter-y than last year’s, or this warm and fuzzy hat might be overkill!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top rated 1 skein project

If you're on our email list, you'll know that we highlighted and discounted 12 projects last week that take just 1-2 skeins of yarn. Because it's almost mid-July, we picked projects that were quick, easy and lightweight, and that means perfect for summer!

Based on the response to our email, by FAR the crowd favorite is the Multi Directional Scarf. I'm not surprised! This scarf was so easy and fun to make. Short rows are simple (don't be scared if you haven't tried them!) and the yarn is just lovely. It's garter stitch - so, easy - and I had such a hard time putting it down. I'd say to myself (and to my family, waiting for me to put down the knitting) "Just one more short row!" and then "Just until I get to the next color" and finally "Just one more triangle!" Needless to say, I annoyed them to no end, but I finished the scarf pretty quickly.
I think that with all the self striping yarns that are available, this is the perfect project to have in progress at ALL times. For my next one, I'll probably choose another color of the Lang Mille Colori Socks & Lace like Lime, Aqua, Tan & Grey:
or I'll use the Lang Jawoll Magic in Red, Pink, Orange & Green:
or a stripey, yet neutral one in Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in the color Neutrals:
It was so chilly here in Finland yesterday (in the 50s and rainy and windy!) that Helen begged to wear it.
Now it's on it's way back to the states with my aunt who was visiting for a week. Be sure to check it out in the shop later this month!