Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Perfect Layering Pieces for Spring & Summer

contributed by Shawn

We have a new sample in the shop that is drawing a lot of attention! This project is a very easy knit and creates the perfect layering piece for spring and summer wear. The Seabrook Vest is a free knitting pattern available from the Berroco Design team. 
Knit with Berroco Captiva yarn, this simple vest will turn your closet basics into sophisticated wardrobe ensembles. The satiny feel of the yarn make it a great blend to work with and the yarn has a subtle shine but is machine washable for everyday easy care. This would make an excellent piece to pack for your next vacation! 

To kick it up a notch you could work this pattern up in Berroco Captiva Metallic yarn for added glitz and an air of elegance for evening wear.

Since I have a tendency to remain a bit more on the Vermont-y side of fashion and trendiness I'm considering the Berroco Lago in the Raffia colorway for a linen-like look and effect.

Another favorite in the same easy-knit style is the Weekend Wrap pattern by Cocoknits. 
Our shop sample is knit in Tahki Ripple, a thick and thin cotton that gives a unique and beautiful textural effect. 
This pattern calls for size US 17 needles and is a no-fuss lace look that does not require yarn overs. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dead or Alive?

contributed by Shawn

I caught a whopper this weekend! OK, I didn't actually go fishing. I just finished a fish related knitting project.  
The knitting pattern Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?] by Thelma Egberts appears in the winter 2008 issue of Knitty but you can find the link and listing for this project in Ravelry

You can make your fish dead or alive, by changing how you make the eyes. I chose to make my fish alive. I made some small white crocheted circles, and then embroidered a smaller circle in black.
I had some Manos Rittenhouse in my stash (it's a discontinued yarn) and I thought the kettle dyed shading would look nice for this project. 

Now I'm thinking I'd like to make one with some Plymouth Encore - maybe the Blue Jeans Mix and Mod Light Denim would make a really cool tweedy effect. Berroco Remix would be another great choice for this hat.   

So what will your fish be? Dead or Alive?

Friday, April 26, 2013

NICU hats needed!

The NICU is looking for some knitters to help them build up their supply of baby hats!
One of our customers just dropped off a flyer asking for preemie hat donations. It says:

"The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen is home to the smallest and often sickest patients in our hospital. The babies in our NICU can be born up to 3 months early and weigh less than one pound. Premature babies often have trouble regulating their own temperature and we rely on volunteers to make hats to keep our babies warm. Each hat can only be used for one baby - so we go through donations very quickly! 

I have included a size chart for your reference, but in general we are looking for hats small enough to fit on a lemon, large enough to fit on a grapefruit, and everything in between. The more creative the hats, the better! Parents prefer gender-specific colors and the babies prefer soft, washable yarn.

If you have questions or have hats to donate, please contact Whitney at wlthomas@med.uvm.edu."
The brown bear pattern shown on the flyer is the Baby Bear Hat for Newborn or Preemie by Jennifer Dickerson, and is available online for free. Try worsted weight Plymouth Whitney or Classic Elite Seedling & Seedling Handpaint yarns.

We also have a free Preemie Hat Knitting Pattern written for sport/dk weight yarn. Best choices for yarn are Plymouth Dreambaby DK, Berroco Comfort DK, Sirdar Snuggly Kisses DK or Sirdar Crofter DK yarns.

Whatever you do, please remember that certain yarns are just not appropriate for preemie hats. If you're unsure about a yarn you have, you are welcome to stop in to ask us our opinion. We'll be happy to help determine if your yarn is right for a preemie hat!

And as always, preemie hats can also be dropped off here at the shop. We will be happy to get them to their final destination!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Felting Fun & Fixes

Plymouth Gina has been a very popular yarn in the shop for knitting, crocheting and felting. I found a cute pattern on Ravelry for a Felted Flower Bowl, and decided to make a couple for the front counter. 

I grabbed two balls of Gina and finished these bowls in one evening. I felted them this morning.

It was my first attempt felting with a front loader and it went pretty well. But the bowls did not felt all the way, so they required some hand felting afterwards.
Red bowl - just out of washing machine, Blue bowl - after additional hand felting
I did have a teeny issue with one of the bowls. When I opened the door to the washing machine, I noticed a hole in the bottom of the red bowl:
I think I rushed a bit when weaving in my ends! The tail had come unwoven in the machine, so I grabbed some leftover yarn and a tapestry needle and did a bit of mending: 
Then I hand felted the bowl under hot running water in my sink for a few minutes and you can hardly see my mending job.
Bowls like this can be hard to shape but I found a piece of pottery that my mom had made and it was just the right size:
These bowls will dry quickly - today's sun and warm temps will see to that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Projects for Your Spring Wardrobe

contributed by Shawn

The new Tahki Yarns Intermix pattern booklet is all about texture and spring/summer layering pieces! The designs in this book caught our attention as soon as it arrived and many of our customers have already snapped up their copies recognizing that these projects are fashion-forward but practical and wearable knits that can be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions.

Barb has already finished the Destinations Top-Down Pullover knit in Tahki Rosa yarn. This incredibly soft 100% cotton yarn creates a wonderfully slubby fabric with its thick and thin profile. 
Barb's sweater is shown here:
With this bulky yarn the Streamlined Vest would be a quick project to finish!
The bright and easy knit Radiant Pullover on the cover of the pattern booklet invited us to explore the other designs in the book. Radiant shows off the iridescent qualities of Tahki Pixie yarn
For more relaxed style stop by the shop to try on our sample of the Spellbound Top.
The Tahki Ripple yarn was an immediate hit last year for spring/summer knitting. This season’s book features several new designs for this textured 100% cotton yarn. Michele couldn't wait to start this one and should have her very own Ruffle Tank to show off soon!
There are 20 different designs in this book and it is well worth a look – which one of these tops will become a part of your new spring wardrobe?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Coming Up Tulips!

We are very ready for spring weather here in Vermont and Michele decided to try and hurry it along a bit. Don't the colors remind you of spring? Green grass, bright blue sky, and tulips in shades of yellow, peach and red!
This is the Tulip Sweater kit from Dream In Color. The sweater pattern comes with the kit and can be made in two sizes, 6-9 months or 12-18 months. Each kit has a different selection of 8 colors of Classy yarn included. The yarn is 100% superwash merino in hand-dyed vibrant colors to inspire spring blooms. 

All of the staff have admired the kits and Jill knit us a sample for the shop since it is so difficult to resist the yarn and the colors! Note the different edging techniques that they chose:
We have a selection of these kits available in the shop so come on in and check them out. This is a fun project and perfect for all those baby showers that happen at this time of the year!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Baby Chucks

contributed by Shawn

Remember these?

Well I recently came across a pattern for Crochet Baby Converse sneakers by Suzanne Resaul on Ravelry and COULD NOT RESIST. They are amazing!
I used Knit One Crochet Too DungarEase yarn for the soles. I don’t usually enjoy knitting with cotton especially at the tight gauge required for stiff fabric like these little shoes. However, the DungarEase yarn is wonderful to crochet with. I enjoyed using it even on a small hook at a tight gauge. The yarn is made in a way that gives it a nice cushy feel and it has some elasticity to it when you work with it. My hands definitely did not complain about crocheting with this cotton blend like the usually do when I knit or crochet with cotton.
The uppers are Berroco Comfort DK. I was going to make little red Chucks, but we were out of the bright red color so I settled for the lime green. They are still awesome!

These little Chuck Taylors are an easy project and everyone who sees the finished shoes is enthralled. I highly recommend making up a pair for the next baby gift you plan to give.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Customer Project - Skylark

We love Rowan Lima yarn because it is so soft and luxuriously squishy. Our customer Lisa stopped by to pick out buttons for her Skylark sweater and it made us swoon. This is going to be a wonderful sweater to cozy into next fall!

Skylark is a lace ribbed cardigan with a soft neckline from Cherished: 21 Designs by Kim Hargreaves.