Sunday, February 24, 2013

SPOTTED a shop window in Munich, Germany.
A beautiful child's Bavarian jacket! This garter stitch classic is one I'm very familiar with... having made two of them about 20 years ago, one for myself and one my husband. I can't remember the pattern I used -perhaps it was this one by Elizabeth Zimmermann (although I know I modified it to make the sleeves a bit more roomy.)

I know we don't have the sweaters any longer - I think we wore them to death! But it was certainly a great "oh remember those awesome sweaters?" memory when we saw these yesterday out on a bustling sidewalk, alongside the dirndl dresses for little girls.
Want to make one for your child? Here's another EZ pattern worth checking out!

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Suprise Baby!

How many of you have made the Baby Surprise Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann? I've just finished my second, and it's one of the easiest (and most confusing!) sweaters I've ever made.
Don't get scared off by me saying it was confusing. Because it's not the directions that are confusing, it's the shape of what you are making that is confusing. You are knitting back and forth and working increases or decreases, and following a really well written, line by line pattern... so that's the simple part. But at any time during the knitting, if you try to LOOK at what you are doing, and imagine that it's going to turn out looking anything remotely like a sweater, that's when you get confused.
My only advice is to set worry aside and just follow the pattern. In the end, you will have a light bulb moment and it will all just make sense. It's a really great pattern and fun to make in sock yarn since now there are so many wonderful sock yarn choices.

This shop sample is in the new Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20. LOVE the color. Can't wait to pick out the buttons!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Customer Project: Bunny Hop

contributed by Shawn

Knitting At Knoon patterns for knitted toys have always been a hit in the shop. Which one is the most popular? Well that depends upon the age of knitter, the age of the recipient, and the season of the year!

Some of our customers love to make the Safari Friends (African animals)
while others go for Prehistoric Pals (dinosaurs).
And there are quite a few who think the aliens (Take Me To Your Leader) are the coolest, 
and still more who like the Monkey Business patterns. 
And of course, the Snobuddy Family is popular with everyone.
One of our customers, Amy, has knit many of these creatures and recently found another one of Chris de Longpre's patterns - Bunny Hop! This family of rabbits is certainly inspiration for spring :)
We didn't carry this pattern, but keep your eyes open for it. It's on order!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Upcoming Class - First Time Top-Down Sweater

contributed by Shawn

This weekend I started my own little sweater example for the First Time Top-Down Sweater Knitting class that starts on February 13th. I've decided to use the new Berroco Floret yarn since it has a super soft hand and is a machine washable acrylic & cotton blend. This means it's perfect for spring babies! I can't wait to pick out buttons when it is finished.

This class features the knitbot Yoked Cardigan knitting pattern and this is what it looks like in Fibre Company Terra yarn:
Customers have loved this shop sample but keep saying it looks hard. Trust us, it's not! It's a really fun pattern to make, and since there are still a couple of spots left in the class, maybe you should join us!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Customer Project & Feedback - Dr. Who Scarf

Some of you are probably aware (as one of our patiently waiting customers) that we've had an overwhelming number of orders in the past couple of weeks for yarns to create Dr. Who scarves. Just this week many of those orders finally went out in the mail - hooray! Some of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted and Nature Spun Sport colors have been on back-order for weeks due to demand!

We just received a wonderful note in the mail from our customer Sidney, telling us about her scarf:

She wrote:
"Dear Ladies - Despite the fact that you were overwhelmed
with orders for Brown Sheep wool to make the infamous 
'Dr. Who' scarf, you remained calm and helpful. My inquiries 
as to the back-ordered yarns were satisfactorily answered
 - so you have made me a customer for life!   
Thought you might like to see the scarf with still two 
and a half feet to go, being modeled by me. 
I made the whole scarf in six days and it got to 
my 43 year old grandson just in time for the bitter weather. 
Thank you for your help."

She included a photograph - she still had 2.5 feet to go, but it looks amazing!
And in 6 Days!? Her grandson is over 6 feet tall :) Sidney, thanks so much for sharing this with us!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Dr. Who scarf craze you can find more information here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Long Overdue

So we all have projects that are unfinished. And some have been sitting around longer than others. I recently came across a project that was so close to being completed that I vowed to finish it. And I did.

Five years ago I was making a hooked rug from a drawing that my daughters (then ages 8 and 8) had done. They wanted a welcome sign for our mudroom and thought that if they made a drawing of our family, I could transfer the drawing onto linen, and hook it. Helen immediately set out to draw the figures, and Sophie wrote the word "Welcome" in cursive (her newest skill at the time), drew the sun, and contributed landscape ideas. More about the process here. And I started hooking. Here's a shot of it when I started. There's something adorable about a drawing - made by young kids - brought to life!
I worked hard on the rug, and finished about 90% of it. I had a really hard time hooking the faces, so I set it aside for over a year. Then, two years ago, I realized that I needed to make some progress, so I enlisted the help of Michele, our resident rug hooking expert. She took it home with her and completed the faces and the hair for me, doing an excellent job. 
And so I packed up the rug and brought it here to Finland, thinking that during our time here, I'd definitely finish it. Now we've been here almost 2 years, and of course, I haven't touched it! But we're moving back to Vermont in just a couple of months, and I've been doing some packing. I came across the rug and when I opened it up and realized just how little was left to finish, I gave myself a good scolding. I immediately put down all knitting projects and made a deal with myself that I couldn't knit until I finished this rug. After all, wouldn't a Welcome sign look great in our new entryway in Vermont? I think so.
It only took me a couple of hours to finish the parts of the sky that were remaining. 
And then I had to finish the edges - that took another couple of hours. Luckily, I had grabbed a skein of Manos Rittenhouse (now discontinued) in the perfect color to edge the rug.
The girls are thrilled that it's finished. Of course, Sophie said, "Well, it's perfect except for one thing. The cats aren't in it." 

Don't worry Sophie, they may not be in it. But they're ON it.
BAD Lucy! Put those claws away!

What claws!?
And they've proven that they like my rug hooking projects JUST as much as they like my knitting projects.
And Maisy likes it too.
Luckily they won't be able to do this when it's hanging on my wall! Now, back to the knitting!