Friday, March 30, 2012

Barb's Woven Table Runner

contributed by Shawn

Some of you may know that Barb enjoys weaving just as much as she enjoys knitting and crocheting.  She recently brought in this very lovely table runner woven in the overshot style using cotton and linen. 
Barb enjoys this style of pattern and it is commonly found in woven blanket patterns.  Her weaving gives her a nice fiber-related change of pace every once in a while and the results are beautiful!   

Does anyone else have related fiber pursuits they enjoy?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Customer Project - Felting!

contributed by Shawn

Our customer Nobuko brought in this bag to show us. It's the TriMiters bag pattern by Knitternall. It's free on Ravelry!
She used Plymouth Galway and already has another one going.  I love how the mitered corners in this pattern create triangles that look like Celtic knots when felted.   
See all those loose ends from changing colors?  It's not a problem in this project - you can felt the bag and then just leave the ends loose and trim them after felting. The felting process will keep your ends from unraveling. This is a perfect project for someone who wants to try mitered knitting but hates to weave in ends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rectangly Hat Class - Completed!

contributed by Shawn

In our last session of group knitting classes here at the shop we had some brave students who learned the skill of double knitting.  We used the free Rectangly Hat pattern by Catherine Hughes that Barb discovered last fall. She knit one up for the shop and we've had so many people ask about it that we scheduled a class. 

We started by learning how to create both layers of knitted fabric (inside and outside) simultaneously after forming the cast on row.  There was a lot of "don't think too hard" about what you are doing moments! The color chart was intimidating at first but, once everyone got theirs minds going in a binary sort of way it wasn't too hard to keep going.   
We used markers to help us out with our repeats - a must! After our first session everyone went home to work on their hats.  One hat was re-started in colors that showed a better contrast.  Be sure to pick colors that will show your hard work if you knit something like this - it helps if you can see the difference in the colors clearly as well. 

We had a couple of stop-in-the-shop emergencies until everyone realized how easy it really could be to fix one of their mistakes without even ripping out their work! 

In the second class session we learned how to manage the simultaneous decreases. I finished my hat just after class. The Berroco Vintage yarn is lovely in the hat!   
One of our customers from class finished her hat and has already started teaching her knitting friends the art of double knitting - I can't wait to see the snowflake pattern that she adapted to the original pattern for her second hat project!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One spring sweater completed!

I just finished my Monhegan Tee last night and I love it! I have not had a hand knit sweater fit me this well in ages.

The pattern was fun and easy, and the K1C2 Pediwick yarn is amazing! There is so much "spring" and "stretch" in this yarn. I had a hard time figuring out what size to make... I am a 36" bust and the closest options were a 35" or a 40". I knew the 40" would be huge but I was concerned about the 35" being too snug.

The pattern called for size 7 US needles, but I had to go down to a size 5 US to get gauge. I swatched with my Addi Turbo in sizes 7, 6, and 5 and still couldn't get the right gauge, so I went with my Denise size 5 and was right on. 
Sorry, this is the only way I could get a full length shot. My self-timer is on the fritz!
Remember, different needle types - metal, plastic, wood -  in the same size often produce different results. So when you buy a whole new interchangeable needle set, don't get rid of your other needles!
The yoke/neck detailing is really pretty. Needs to be blocked just a smidge!
This sweater was a dream to finish. The set-in sleeves fit in like a dream, and the yarn seamed up the side beautifully - it looks like it was worked in the round. The chest measures exactly 35" and with that 1" of negative ease for me, it fits beautifully. Thanks, in part, to that awesome stretchiness of the yarn!
Now we just need some spring weather in Finland!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FB Updates

For our non-Facebook Fans, here's what's been going on on FB:
New Manos LE color in stock!
Great new baby blanket pattern from Sirdar
Beautiful crocheted bed set
Don't knit and drive
One of our favorite wrap projects in Noro Nadeshiko
Reminds us of Fraggle Rock!
Looks like a car I'd want to hire for a fancy party!
Article on second graders knitting in Rapid City
The Google Doodle for the arrival of spring was Marimekko!
Need a sweater to go with that Easter dress?
Fun crochet tutorial - great for beginners and good gift for little ones!
Low-fat (actually NO-fat) peeps!
Adorable newborn gift idea
Another cool car... although this one would be for every day!
Great new sweater for men!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Accept it

Today is the first day of spring, but in Vermont it feels like mid-summer. As wrong as this weather is at this time of the year, it might just be time to accept it!

I'm working on a beautiful sweater for warm weather and thought I'd share it with you. A lot of people only knit for cool and cold weather, but there are so many great patterns and fibers available for warm weather. All you have to do is look!

We recently started selling the Knit One Crochet Too Pediwick Yarn at the shop. It's really a sock yarn that was designed for folks who can't (or don't want to) wear wool. It's got 66% bamboo and 34% nylon. Our non-wool-lovin' customers have been thrilled with Pediwick. The bamboo is so smooth and soft, and did you know it's got natural anti-bacterial and wicking properties? A great feature in a sock yarn...

Another bonus - this yarn is machine washable, making it a perfect choice for garments (for adults, kids and babies). I recently started the Monhegan Tee pattern and I've got about 15 more minutes to go on the front and then I'm on the home stretch with the sleeves.
This pattern is a simple one and goes really quickly. 
It's such a flattering top - it will look great with jeans, skirts and shorts!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alien Invasion

contributed by Shawn

Michele is on a roll with her knitted toys!  She brought in "Alpha" to show us recently. Knit from Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky,  this version of Alpha from the Knitting at Knoon Take Me To Your Leader pattern is 10" tall sitting on the table. This is bigger than the 7"-8" tall worsted weight versions shown in the pattern photo.  We love him!   
Barb and I have both got one of these guys in progress at home - we just seem to have bogged down in start-itis lately instead of finish-itis.  We both picked out Berroco Lustra worsted weight yarn because of it's sheen - perfect for aliens! 

Here's a photo of my Lustra version of Alpha in progress: 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Five Spice Hat

contributed by Barb

So my second crochet "show and tell" for the Learn to Crochet class later this month is a quick crochet hat.  We just started carrying some Brown Sheep Burly Spun colors and I happened upon this free pattern – Five Spice Hat

I know it is not really winter here in Vermont right now, but what a great hat!  I was able to make this in about 1 ½ hours.  I actually made the hat twice over the weekend.  My first attempt was too small, it is a little tricky to keep the tension loose enough – this is done in slip-stitch crochet, which I had never done before. 

I am considering making several of these now and putting them away for gift giving next winter!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A New Hat For Jordan

contributed by Shawn

I had a very surprising request for a new hat a couple of weeks ago. I offered to make a hat for Jordan long ago but he just wasn't ready to let go of his trusty old watch cap. Jordan lives in his watch cap - those of us who know him hardly recognize him without it.  The old hat has been around for years.  There are frayed ends coming out of it and a hole in one side where a dog got hold of it a while ago.  But there is no replacing something like that until you are really ready to let go so despite intervention attempts, the old hat stayed.   

So I was VERY surprised when he asked me if he was going to get a new hat soon.  He assured me he was ready for a new one.  I struggled for a while on how to create a color combination that would remind him (and everyone else!) of the old hat.  I realized after looking around the shop that I was going to need to combine some different colors to get what I was looking for.  I also wanted something nice and soft but warm that would be comfy to live in.  

After a lot of thought, I decided that a "color fade" project would work the best.  I picked out 3 different colors of the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. This soft blend of wool and silk is available in a wonderful range of earthy colored tweeds. Perfect gentleman colors!  I created an appropriate sized watch cap from the measurements available in my Ann Norling Head Huggers pattern and chose a 3x1 ribbing pattern so the hat would be reversible.   
Hat with no brim - remember - this mannequin head is tiny and has no hair!
I lengthened the hat so that it could be worn with the bottom folded up or down.   
Hat with brim rolled up
The color fade was accomplished by knitting with two strands of the DK yarn held together.  For the bottom 1x1 ribbed section I held two strands of the Dark Oak color together.  Then I changed to my 3x1 rib pattern and held one strand of Dark Oak with one strand of Bronzed Green.  After 10-12 rows I switched out colors again and used two strands of Bronzed Green.  After another 10-12 rows I made a transition using one strand of Bronzed Green and one strand of Granite.  I finished off the top of the hat with the decreases and using two strands of Granite together. 
Beautiful color fade
Folks who saw this hat being made loved the colors.  It is quite handsome!  I gave it to Jordan and he was quite taken with it.  He actually took the old hat off and I caught him taking photos of himself in the new one with his phone later in the evening - I don't think he realized anyone saw that!