Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's Our Mannequin Wearing?

Brrrrrr! It's been nippy this past week! Our mannequin is thrilled to set aside the summery knits in favor of a more fall-like wardrobe. Stripes are in, and she's definitely in fashion with her striped sweater jacket. She's also showing off a new bag we've just received, and a warm scarf.
Shawl Pin (closing sweater): Horizontal Pin
Bag: Della Q Clea Bag, coming to the website soon!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Customer Project: Noro Silk Garden Checkerboard Cap

Noro Silk Garden yarn is one of my favorite yarns so I wanted to be sure we shared this customer project photo with you!  

This is the Checkerboard Cap from the Noro KnittingMagazine Premiere Issue Fall 2012:

Don't you just love the colors!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby Shower Gift

So many of our customers have made our Baby Blocks pattern that we thought we'd share them here.
This is a fun project to knit, and a great gift to give!

We no longer sell the yarn we used to make these (pictured) but we're not getting rid of this sample, because any worsted weight in fun colors will do!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Spud & Chloe Fine Colors

contributed by Shawn

Emily and I opened a box from Spud & Chloe last week to find that Jill & Barb had conspired to bring us NEW colors.  The nice bright new colors of Spud & Chloe Fine hanging on the wall immediately got us thinking about pattern possibilities since we just HAD to take some of them home.
I think the Yarndance Slip Stich Mosaic Hat is going to be my choice.  This pattern is stunning when it is done and even though you use 2 colors to create the pattern only a single color is used in each row of knitting. You won't believe how simple it is to create one for yourself! 
Goldfish, Dolphin, Lizard, Dragonfly

I haven't decided yet if I will choose Goldfish and Dolphin, or Lizard and Dragonfly.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A visit to the Shelburne Museum

contributed by Emily (and written a few weeks ago!)

School is starting back up for me and that means that I’m about to lose some of my knitting time in favor of reading history books. Normally, I’d be quite grumpy about anything that takes me away from my knitting, but I’m so totally fascinated by the past that the sacrifice isn’t too painful.

Knowing that my free time is about to become quite limited, some friends and I took advantage of one of Vermont’s unbelievably gorgeous summer Sundays to visit the Shelburne Museum.

We went specifically to see the current temporary exhibit on Robots, Rocket Ships, and Steampunk (you can see all of those pictures here), but once inside of the museum grounds, there are so many other wonderful things to see and do.

One of my favorite things to see are the automata. From the museum’s website:

Automata are large (sometimes three feet tall), often comical wind-up toys with accompanying music that were displayed in parlors, especially in France, in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. The Museum exhibits about 30 automata, including several particularly fine pieces by Gustave Vichy of Paris, France. These include a drunken chef, a magician, and a clown walking on his hands.

The one that will most interest our customers is the knitter in her very traditional, late nineteenth-century clothes and frilled cap:
The museum shows a video in the automata room featuring the machines in motion. Unfortunately, they haven’t made the video available online. She isn’t accurate enough to actually create stitches, but her hand movements were definitely worked out by an engineer who knew knitting very well.

In the general store, I was thrilled to see a beautiful line of 19th- and early 20th century hand knitted socks and stockings hanging all in a row:
Who gets excited about a bunch of old, used socks? I do!

Hanging off to the side of the stockings was a stack of wooden stocking blockers. One of my absolute favorite things about studying history is when you notice the little things that have remained almost untouched throughout the years.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gorgeous Fall Foliage + Berroco Trunk Show = MUST DO Saturday

This week's weather in Vermont is going to be more fall-like, with temperatures at night in the 40's and during the day in the 60's. These temperatures are perfect for getting all those leaves ready to wow us with their brilliant fall colors.

Reds, oranges, browns, greens... hey, this is Vermont and Vermont is FAMOUS for the foliage. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful time of the year!

So even if you're a few hours away from us, it's SO worth the trip! Save this coming Saturday for us. Take a little leaf-peeping drive over to the Burlington area in Vermont. Hit Church Street downtown, grab some yummy lunch at the Skinny Pancake (yum!) down by the lake, and then meet us at the yarn shop in Essex Junction between 1-5 pm so you can try on some great Berroco fall & winter samples!

Remember that all Berroco and Lang yarns will be discounted in the shop on Saturday because of the trunk show. Hope to see you then!

My Jojo Ripple

I'm so proud of myself for finishing this blanket! I really do like to crochet, but single crochet is not my favorite stitch. I prefer a "taller" stitch that goes faster. (For all you folks who say crocheting is faster than knitting... it's not! For me, anyway!)

I was so inspired by customer Sue B's gorgeous crocheted blankets (see them and read about them in this previous post) that I had to make one for myself. But I wanted to work with one yarn that changed colors on its own.

I picked the Jojoland Rhythym Superwash yarn (color Cosmic Burst) because I wanted a worsted weight, and I lovee how the colors in this yarn are beautiful, yet completely random. And I mean COMPLETELY! There's no set pattern of striping in this yarn. Each colorway includes a set of colors, and then those colors are used throughout the spinning process, but in no particular order. If you're on the Type A side of the spectrum and want order in your yarn striping, this yarn may not be for you!

I used 11 balls of the Jojoland Ryhthm Superwash. And none of the balls were the same. This is the beauty of this yarn!
I was supposed to use a size H hook, but only had a G and was dying to get started. So my blanket is a bit smaller than it should have been, but not by much. It was supposed to be 30x36" and mine is 28x29". It's still a great size! (Pattern is Ann Norling Ripple Crochet Afghan.)

And doesn't this yarn (in this ripple pattern!) remind you of my Missoni Window blog post from August? 

Maybe that's why I enjoyed this project so much!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Factor Score - 10 out of 10

A couple of months ago I started a new project for the shop. We had just received our first shipment of Hikoo Simpliworsted yarn in the shop, and a really neat pattern booklet that went with it.

The Building Blocks pattern booklet is great!

It's got patterns for 12 different squares that can be combined to make a small afghan (36" x 48"), a smaller throw (36" x 36") or baby blanket (24" x 36"). Each square is really fun to do, and involves different stitch techniques, so you'll never be bored. 
12 different blocks - mix and match, or make them all!

This portable knitting is great - you won't have a huge blanket on your lap - just a 12" square. And of course, because you're working one square at a time, it seems like it goes faster. (At least it did for me!)

Most people choose one color of the Simpliworsted and make a solid colored afghan, but we shook things up a bit and picked 6 fun colors. The result - a gorgeous color blocked baby blanket!
My first 1 and 1/2 squares
The Simpliworsted yarn was HEAVEN to work with. And I really did love pulling different colors out of the bag when it was time for a new square.
Light at the end of the tunnel: last square!
I scanned a working copy of my pattern and sent it to my Kindle. Those reading glasses did come in handy, as PDFs are not as easy to magnify on the Kindle...

And then it was time for blocking - a date with Eucalan in the sink:
After the basin was drained, I gently pressed out the excess water and then rolled the squares up in a clean, dry towel. Note how - even though I followed the pattern exactly, some squares are not the same size. Ah, the MAGIC of blocking!
Squares are blocked to correct measurements.
Looks like I need a few more blocking squares!
And then after a bit of seaming, here it is:
Gorgeous, and FUN.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fringe, Tassels & Pom Poms (Upcoming Class Preview)

We all know that the finishing touches can really make a project.  Afghans are cozy with an added flare of fringe. Scarves swing and sway with braided or twisted edgings.  Hats become well-worn favorites with an added tassel or pom-pom.  
Learn how to make these finishing touches for your special hand-made gifts this season.  We even have specialty tools that you can try out, which make this process faster and give more consistently fabulous results!

This ONE SESSION class meets Wednesday, November 28, 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crocheting the Clapotis (Upcoming Class Preview)

Want to learn how to crochet?  This class features an easy project where you will learn beginning crochet skills with dazzling effects! The amazing Clapochet scarf is based on the wildly popular Clapotis knitting pattern by Kate Gilbert (originally released in Knitty, Fall 2004).   
This project is worked on the diagonal, with chain spaces peppered throughout to create a texture similar to the original Clapotis. Using a self-striping yarn creates a striping effect that runs with the texture of the stitches. The finished project can be worn scrunched up as a scarf or spread out like a shawl making it a very versatile wardrobe piece that you won’t want to be without!

This ONE session class meets Wednesday, December 12, 5 pm - 7 pm.