More than 3 things.
Normally, on a Friday, I'd be frantically writing & coding a Newsletter. But, because of the impeding holiday (Thanksgiving) and some interesting staffing schedules, we decided to send it out a day early (i.e. last night). So now I have the time to catch up the blog (which is sorely behind due to a second influenza mishap). The way I see it, we have 3 things to cover today:
- Customer Projects
- New In The Store
- What We've Been Doing
Except, there are more than three things to talk about, but it sounded good. Because there's so much to catch up, I'd better get started now.1. Customer Projects
A little over a week ago, Catherine wore in the loveliest shell:
Which, it turned out, she had knit herself! And designed, too, incidentally. She knit it with ShibuiKnits Sock
and Silk Cloud
held together, both in the color "Dragonfly". The pattern was inspired by a stitch pattern in one of the books in Barbara Walker's fabulous Treasury of Knitting Patterns
series. She insisted, though, that I not picture her face. But I'm sure knitters will be able to identify her from the awesome handknit garment(s) she's wearing.
The second customer project we have is Sarah's Koolhaas scarf. She took the stitch pattern from Jared Flood's Koolhaas Hat and used it to make a truly scrumptious scarf:
and a closeup:
Made with Catherine Lowe Couture Yarns Merino 5
in the color "Moss". And, OMG, this thing felt amazing. It was sooo soft and sqooshy and lofty and amazing. We passed it around so everyone could touch it. It really made me want to make something with the Merino 5. A lot. I wish I could remember how many balls she needed...
Oh, well. Moving on.2. New In The Store.
we have the coolest tool from M.W. Woodworks - darning eggs
Based off of traditional (read: antique) darning eggs, each is hand-turned and has a handle for easier maneuverability. They're currently available in Maple and Black Walnut/ Ash, and are just gorgeous. They feel really nice in your hand, too. M.W. always does the most beautiful work.
And, while he was visiting this week, he dropped off a new shipment of KnitPods
(in Black Walnut, Maple, and Cherry), one of which I am desperately coveting. Which is ridiculous, since I own two. Well, three now. M.W. also brought in the prototype for the 7-8" KnitPod (for longer DPNs), that I am currently test driving. So far, I'm loving it and think it's going to be a great for a variety of projects.3. What We've Been Up To.
Oh, so much. If you've visited the store lately, you might have seen droves of us running around like madwomen. Well, it's all for a purpose. One of our biggest success stories this week was our Holiday Happy Hour class #3 -
We had eight students (which is a high number for a weekday class). Students either started a Challah Infinity Scarf
It was really exciting for Sandy Kay and I to see so many students making progress in a single hour, too.
One of my students had finished the sole of one slipper, and two others were nearly ready to braid their first section of the Challah Scarf.
And, lastly, I've been working on a What'sIt (so we'll have a sample for the pattern!):
Please pardon the desk photo. The yarn is Handmaiden's glorious Cashmere & Silk
in the color "Pansy". It's just blissful to work on. In fact, I'm already designing another one skein project, just for this yarn! Oo0h, decadent.
And that's everything of note. Sandy Kay and I are still working out the details of the Handknits For Hard Knock Kids clothing drive, so expect to see that next Tuesday. We already have a collection of amazing prizes for donors and are working our a rewards system for knitters who knit their donations. But that's for later. Until then, have a happy weekend!
Labels: customer, customer project, fo, Sandy Kay, staff projects, store workings, store workshops, wip
Fashionknitsta Thursday: 11/19/09
Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope everyone has been having a wonderful week and is ready to enjoy the upcoming weekend. With how chilly it's been I'm really looking forward to some knitting in front of the fire. Originally I had a different post in mind today, but I was so excited when I got in this morning to see that we had received TWO brand new CoCo Knits Patterns, Gretel and Tessa, that I just can't help myself.
First, let's look at Gretel. Gretel is a beautiful light-weight tank with a cowl neck, perfect for spring and summer layering.
The sample is done in Habu Cotton Gima
, it takes just 2 skeins for the small and medium (that's only $14.50), and only 4 (that's still only $29!) for the largest size making this a seriously affordable and fun project. The cowl neck detail really makes this pattern, I would definitely wear this with a camisole and jeans, or make it a bit more work appropriate with a nicer blouse.
Now let's move onto Tessa. Tessa is a really chic vest/top that is also wonderful for layering, but probably a little more appropriate for the temperatures we are experiencing currently. The neck detail makes this just a little more special, but it could definitely be worn by a range of ages and body types.
This beautiful piece can be worn open or closed (though I think I prefer closed) and I think, like Gretel, that it would be really easy to dress up or down. It could also be really versatile based on your yarn choice. The sample is done in Mirasole Tupa, a 50/50 Merino Silk Blend which makes me think of this as kind of more of a fall and winter pattern. They suggest Habu Shoshenshi Paper
(100% linen) as an alternate yarn which brings a whole new tone to Tessa for me. While both of the suggest yarns are lovely, I think if and when I knit this pattern I would like to see it done in Rowan Wool Cotton
. It has definite potential to be a big part of my winter and holiday wardrobe.
Sadly as both of these patterns are brand new they are not up on our site yet. I have been assured it will be soon, but until then they are available in the store.
My next pattern to share comes courtesy of past employee I'm sure many of you remember from in the store and her many blog appearances, Liz, who sadly left us for the tundra of Alaska. While innocently stalking her on Ravelry, I happened upon this pattern that she had recently favorited for the Carnaby Street Pullover
by Melissa Wehrle from the Fall 09 issue of Knitscene (the Berkshire Doleman Sweater
in that issue from the same designer is also really cute).
Lately I have seen a big comeback of military inspired cuts and details on clothing in stores, but I hadn't seen very many new patterns with that feel. The button detail on this pullover really hits that trend and gives it enough of that edge without taking it too far. The pattern calls for Brown Sheep Lanaloft Sport, and conveniently this is just about the same gauge as the Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca
, which would be my choice for this lovely sweater.
During the same round of Ravelry-ing I found a pleathora of projects inspired by this scarf from Anthropologie:
None of those that I saw quite captured it exactly, but there is a free pattern available from Isager that I think is really close. The Cherry Scarf (available free with purchase of the yarn from Knit Purl) is done in Isager Alpaca 2
, and its a pattern I have been considering making for a while.
The Alpaca 2
is the majority of the scarf and the Tvinni
is used for the accent colors. With 20+ colors of the Alpaca 2 available 30+ colors of Tvinni
, the possibilities for this scarf are almost endless. A few customers have come in with theirs, and we recently got a shop sample of this and everyone I have seen has been different. I think its really fun to make a project truly your own like that and because this isn't just your average scarf it's a great project to make for yourself, or as a gift. I don't think too many people would complain about having their neck swathed in alpaca all day.
With that I will leave you for today. In light of the Thanksgiving holiday next week there will be no Fashionknitsta, but check back the week after for a new post.
Until then, stay chic, blogfans!
Labels: CoCo Knits, fashionknitsta, habu textiles, isager, Lindsay, Liz
Fashionknitsta Thursday: 11/12/09
I hope everyone is having a great week! It's Thursday, and today I bring you another edition of Fashionknitsta. I have some really fun pieces I found this week to share with all of you - some knit, some not. And so, I will begin with the not.
I happened upon this really fun Etsy store, Vilte
, that specializes in Nuno Felted items. She has a lot of really beautiful items, but I'm going to just share my favorites, like this collar
If you aren't familiar with Nuno Felting, it is a Japanese technique that melds loose fiber (typically wool roving) onto and into
a sheer fabric (usually silk).
Our wonderful felting teacher, LeBrie Rich
, teaches a Nuno Felting class
here at the store. There is one class coming up at the end of the month, that is unfortunately full, but there is another class coming next February, as well as an Advanced
Nuno Felting workshop. I've seen this class while in session and it always looks like a lot of fun, but I never really thought about how far you could go past a scarf!
Vilte makes the possibilities seem endless, as she not only makes collars and scarves but uses Nuno felt for jewelry, rugs, and even custom-order wedding dresses. I really love this dress in particular:
is pretty amazing. If you're into felt art, I definitely recommend checking it out.
Ok, now back to more knitting-related matters. While wandering downtown the other day, I saw this adorable sweater at Banana Republic:
I really enjoy double-breasted cardigans, so, of course, I immediately started hunting for a good pattern as soon as I got home. So far, the best version of this I have come up is this pattern, the Alex Sweater Jacket
from Debbie Bliss' Luxury Collection:
This beautiful garment is done in Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed, a yarn I've used before and really like. While I like that this seems almost more blazer-y to me, it's not exactly what I'm looking for. In my search I also discovered the pattern for Thea
, by Kim Hargreaves.
This cute sweater jacket is done in Rowan Kid Classic (I might substitute a doubled Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca
, big surprise). I think I really want these two patterns melded together, as I prefer the collar on Thea, but the higher button placement on Alex.
Now, the holidays really are my favorite time of year. Holiday decorations, music, food, everything about it. I also have a fish thing. Seriously, if you ask my friends they will tell you I have a serious under-the-sea problem. And so, when I saw these
little crocheted treasures at Anthropologie, I knew I would have to spend a day making a few Christmas tree ornaments:
These will be pretty easy to figure out sans pattern, but (in case I'm feeling lazy) there are a few free patterns for similar creatures on Ravelry
, like this one by Ana Paula Rimoli:Ana
actually has quite a few fun little animal patterns (some free, some not) that are definitely worth checking out - if you're into knitting creatures.
The last thing I have to share today is simply for inspiration's sake. It was something I wasn't planning on blogging about originally; but, the more I think about it, I just can't help it. Because, really, how cool are these?
They are part of a series by Portland artist Rachel Denny
, called "Domestic Trophies". She does all kinds of unbelievable pieces with fiber and other media, so it is definitely
worth checking out her website.
With that, I leave you for another week. I wish everyone a good (and warm!) weekend. As always, check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta and, until then, stay chic, blogfans!
Labels: fashionknitsta, felt, Lindsay
The things we do for yarn.
To most knitters there's nothing more glamorous than working at a knitting store (except, perhaps, owning
a knitting store) and, most of the time, LYS employees will agree.Most
of the time. Last Friday, however, all I heard from my coworkers were complaints as we did a quick photoshoot for the weekend's eCard
You may remember it?
, what a bunch of whiners. It couldn't
have been more than five minutes (ten on the outside) that we were, ah, posing...
(From left to right: Me, Jaia, Marjorie, Lindsay, and Sandy Kay)
... against a brick wall, and they started kvetch
ing about how cold it was or that their fingers were going numb or how their shoulders had frozen in place. Sheesh. Consider the importance of the project, my coworkers! If we
don't stop to illuminate the world about exciting new mitten and wristlet patterns, who will? It is our duty, nay, privilege, to model shop samples in strange and interesting ways!
Let this be a lesson to current/ future/ hopeful LYS employees - working at a knitting shop isn't all
Anyway. Thought I'd share the latest behind-the-scenes look at Knit Purl.
Moving on. We have some fantastic new accessories in. My favorite are the Classic Shawl Pins
, distributed by Lantern Moon. Sleek and simple, these polished metal pretties are just what I want in a shawl pin:
Well made, beautiful and modest enough not to detract from the shawl it's pinning closed. Since I mostly wear handknit shawls (or would like to), I'd rather the shawl be the focus and not the pin. But, if you're into the bling (and there's nothing wrong with that!), Lantern Moon has also released these Textured Metal Shawl Pins
Which, I have to say, are quite lovely. They make me think of Moroccan jewelry - with all the granulation in different sizes and concentric circles. It's very pretty and quite attractive and would probably work really well with a sweeping shawl or cloak. Can't you just imagine it?
Both shawl pins were designed by Jim Knopf
, who seems to have an awesome collection of buttons and other accents across the pond, in Germany. Interestingly enough, knopf
means "button" in German. Isn't that a fun fact?
We're still waiting on some of his newest button collections and some more shawl pins - all distributed by Lantern Moon. Be sure to watch the website for updates.
And, last but certainly not least, we just received several copies of the eagerly anticipated book, Itty-Bitty Toys
Written by Susan B. Anderson
, the same author of Itty-Bitty Nursery and Itty-Bitty Hats, this collection is so much more than you'd expect. With toys that range from traditional Sock Monkeys and Teddy Bears, there are also Koalas and a Giraffe and a ducky family!
I grabbed some sample photos from Susan's ravelry journal, just so you can see how unbelievably cute this book is:
Sweet, right? We just love it. I think my favorite is the Mama Duck & Ducklings, followed closely by the Giraffe. Check out the book on ravelry
, it's too cute to resist! Be sure to look at least one of the reversibles - toys that can change from one animal into another! Like the Lion & Elephant
. If you saw them in a toy box, you'd never guess they were handknit, would you?
And I think that's quite enough awesomeness to share this week. Check back next week for a book full of wool, the joys of shipping out a Sock Club installment (don't worry, I'll get photos!), and proof of my incurable Start-itis (you may want to read this from a distance, it may just be contagious).
Until then, enjoy the liquid sunshine out there!
Labels: books, coworker, ecard, Lantern Moon, mittens, store workings, Toys, wristlets
Fashionknitsta Thursday: 11/5/09
It's Thursday again, and this week I have some great pieces that I'm really excited to share with everyone.
The first is a relatively new pattern (that's coming soon to Knit Purl), from designer Hannah Fettig
, the Lightweight Pullover
If Hannah's name sounds familliar it's probably because she is also the designer of the super popular Featherweight Cardigan
, and the Whisper Cardigan
from the Spring 2009 Interweave Knits. I really love the classic look of this sweater, updated just a bit with the slight cowl neck. It really is a perfect layering piece and would look great on a range of ages and body types.
This sweater is knit with a sport weight yarn, she suggests Classic Elite Yarns Fresco, but I would do it in Isager Alpaca 2
(big surprise, right?). While I'm tempted to do this in a charcoal, I've been waiting to find the perfect project to use their most beautiful purple color (# 13), and I think I've found it here. I cannot wait until we get this pattern in! I just want to lounge by the fire in it.
I guess I'm having a sweater day, because the next 'pretty' I have to show you is this lovely number, a Sweater Jacket
from Talbots that Sara so kindly shared with me:
I then discovered this pattern for the 103-1 Jacket by DROPS
design for FREE on Ravelry:
I really love the style of this and how versitile it could be to dress up or down for a holiday party, or work, or just with jeans for the weekend. I also really like the slightly higher neck, I really enjoy that in sweaters. This pattern calls for a super bulky yarn, they recommend Garnstudio DROPS Eskimo, but I would love to see it in ShibuiKnits Highland Wool Alpaca
or Debbie Bliss Como.
My final bit of inspiration today is somthing I have been thinking about for a while, its kind of an update to a pretty classic pattern. One of my favorite winter accessories is a cowl, I'm not so much a scarf person unless they are the size of a small blanket. But the cowl is the perfect little addition when its too cold to go out without at least a little something around your neck, and I love that you can keep them on indoors. It's also a great way to add just a little pop of color and interest to an outfit. The Urban Cowl,
a Knit Purl pattern by Jane Field, is basically my ideal - its simple and nicely proportioned.
The original pattern was done in ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud
, which I think is a great choice, but I would love to make one in Isager Alpaca 1
. I think I'm actually going to need to put my current projects on hold and whip this up really quickly so I can stop day-dreaming about it.
I'm sorry if this weeks post seems a bit thin, it's been quite crazy around here and haven't been surfing the interwebs as much as I should have! Stay tuned for next week's edition. Until then, stay chic, blogfans!
Labels: fashionknitsta, isager, Lindsay, ShibuiKnits
Quite literally, in our case.
Sandy Kay and I are just beside ourselves that knitters are interested in our (slightly crazy, we admit it) Holiday Happy Hour series
. We were a little worried, as we scheduled the classes, that we'd end up staring at each other (alone, with no students) on Wednesday nights for the next month and a half.
How exciting is it, therefore, to have so many students already enrolled! Thank you for encouraging us in our madness, everyone :D
Not familiar with our Holiday Happy Hour series? Check out the article "TGI... Wednesday?"
in our latest Newsletter
for more information on what the classes will cover and how to enroll. Tonight marks the first class, and the focus will be Pam Powers' Ruffled and Ruched Scarf
. We'll be teaching students the double needle cast on while sipping champagne. If you're registered for the class, we'll look forward to seeing you this evening!
Anyway, I just had to share. It's the little things.
Moving on, we have some fantabulous customer projects to share from the past week. First, we have a beautiful (and entirely sumptuous) Cherry Scarf from Kathy.
Made with the delectable Isager Alpaca 2
(yum! and currently on sale
) and Tvinni 1 (not on the website... yet!). You may remember the Cherry Scarf pattern as a free pattern released by Isager in the Fall 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting
If not, here's a reminder...
It's such a clever knit. Helga Isager (the designer of Amimono) is a creative genius. It has to be said.
I do wish we had a modeled photograph of Kathy's FO, but it seems our customers tend to hide or duck when the store camera is pulled out.
Unless, it turns out, they're in handknit costumes!
Like Kristen and Cody were at our last Sip 'n' Stitch. Yes, you are really, truly
seeing two handknit costumes (well, the masks and mittens were handknit) that an intrepid knitter (Kristen
) made to wear this Halloween!
The first, modeled by/ knit for Cody, is a Dr. Zoidberg
mask and pair of lobster mitts:
And, alas, there is no pattern for the set. (I know
you were thinking about it)
The second costume was H.P. Lovecraft's infamous monster Cthulhu
, modeled by Kristen:
...and attacking Martha...
(I bet you didn't know that Cthulhu wore glasses until now.)
Luckily, Kristen based her mask off of the Cthulhuclava
(a purchasable pattern), so I can point other adventurous knitters in the right direction. I just know I'm going to be seeing more of these around. Imagine skiing while wearing one - wouldn't that be an amazing photo op?
If a blog reader does attempt such a thing, I demand to see photos. It's only fair.
And that's about it for this week's update. Check back next week for more fantabulous customer (and staff!) projects. I myself am planning greatness this weekend in the form of a new Christmas Ornament Kit
Until then, happy knitting!
Labels: amimono, Classes, customer project, Pam Powers, Sandy Kay, store workshops