The Knitting Olympics are more than halfway over (can you feel the pressure mounting?), but we refuse to be overwhelmed... yet. Lindsay and I are making merry progress (as you shall soon see) and, well, everyone else are being very nice by not mocking. Sandy Kay is almost
participating in that she's trying to knit up a Skif sweater in record time (don't ask) and has been going a little swatching crazy.
Now, normally, we wouldn't share swatches (who'd care, right?), but these are special little squares of handknit curiosity. They're each an experiment in the field of yarn chemistry. If you, like so many of us, have been intrigued by assemblage's beauteous Thursday
vest and Paper Crane
cardigan patterns, this next bit might just interest you.
If you want to drop by the store and feel them, we'll have them (and many more Habu swatches) on hand for fondling. Not in Portland? Well, each photo has a mini review attached. Just click on it for more information!
Next, on our list of staff doings, we have Eva's cashmere/ silk mitts:
(or, well, mitt)
Yarn? The delicious and decadent Swiss Mountain Cashmere & Silk
by Handmaiden, in the color "Ocean". Eva is following the Ayanna Mitts
pattern but (be warned) had to go down two needle sizes (to US 1's) to get gauge - this yarn has got bounce. It'll be worth it, though, as the finished mitts are going to be gorgeous.
Now, onto the Olympian knitting! While Lindsay and I might be the only staffers crazy enough to attempt the Games, we're at least making progress. Lindsay's Vintage Baby Cardigan
is actually starting to look like a cardigan!
She's certain that she'll be able to finish be the Feb 28th deadline and still manage to make a set of matching booties (Ysolda's Tiny Shoes
) as well. It's gonna be awesome.
I, myself, am not quite so far ahead as Lindsay, but am dutifully trucking along. My Gansey Vest (self-designed pattern, sorry) is coming along:
Though I am not to the half-way point as I would like. Soon, though. This might turn into a slightly different project to make my deadline. It was going to have a hood, but that's looking less likely right now...
And while I am on the subject of my Knitting Olympics project, I simply must share with you the best
cable needle EVAH:
Lantern Moon's rosewood (or ebony) cable needle set. I, in all honesty, didn't did not like using cable needles and would just go needle-less - until I tried these. They are just perfect. Smooth but not slippery. And, to hold your stitches in place, there are these clever little grooves in the middle that make sure the cable needle doesn't slip out, even if it's smaller than the working needle. They are just AWESOME and easily win a 10 out of 10 from me.
I had to share that. Surely there are many knitters out there who have suffered from escapee cable needles (shudder) or from ones that are too sticky and stretch out your knitting (grr) and are either: a) constantly trying new cable needles and being disappointed or, b) trying to go needle-less (which doesn't really work when you get to cabling more than 2 sts). These Lantern Moon cable needles
are the solution and everyone should try them.
In other Knitting Olympics, or would it be Olympic Knitting?, news - have you seen this? The Peruvian Alpine Skiing uniform:
Which features traditional knitting motifs (including Llamas!) in honor of Peru's rich knitting tradition. Read the article (and see the close-up!) here
Lastly, we have some Store News to share...
- Wanted: Sample Knitters. See here for details.
- Finishing 101 is tomorrow night. Taught by me. I'll be covering picking up stitches along a straight seem (along both garter stitch and stockinette edges) and a curved seam. Swatches are required. See the class description for details. It's only $15 and you get to learn several new techniques!
And that is everything. Check back on Thursday for another fantabulous issue of Fashionknitsta!
Labels: coworker, crazy, Handmaiden and Fleece Artist, Knitting Olympics, Lindsay, staff projects, wip, wristlets
Fashionknitsta Thursday: 2/18/10
Hello everyone! Sorry for the unexpected mini-hiatus last week, the arrival of the remainder of the Shibui Sock really made for a crazy day.
Today I have some very exciting news, we are now carrying a line of patterns by a designer I bet a lot of you are familliar with, Ysolda Teague
! If you haven't
heard of this fantastic Scottish designer, I really recommend checking out her website
for some great inspiration. A couple of my favorites are the Snapdragon Tam
I'm always on the lookout for a good flip-top mitt pattern and these guys are perfect. The recommended yarn is Madelinetosh DK, which I like, but I'd love to do this set in Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK
or Shibui Merino Kid.
No matter how old you are, shoes really do make the outfit. Demonstrating that perfectly, these little Mary Jane style booties knit with fingering yarn would be such a special gift for the tiniest fashionista in your life. A pair of these Tiny Shoes
could be knocked out in an evening, and I already have a recipient in mind (done in Shibui Sock
in Honey, definitely) for the first pair.
I can't even count the number of times people have come into the store looking for a pattern for a beanie with a brim. The perfect winter accessory for outdoor pursuits, Straun
would make a great gift or be fun to make for yourself. The pattern calls for a DK or worsted weight yarn (depending on how cozy you'd like it to be) and I would love to do it in Shibui Merino Alpaca
or Malabrigo Twist
. This hat would be super warm around the ears because of the doubled hem, and the brim, which could be potentially intimidating, is surprisingly easy to add.
It was hard to keep it down to just a few choices, all of her pieces
are so beautiful! You can see the rest of her line with everything from hats to lace wraps to adorable knit animals available at Knit Purl here
Some of you may remember way back in November
when I blogged about a great little sweater that could find it's way into anyone's wardrobe, Hannah Fettig's Lightweight Pullover
I'm very excited that we now have this pattern
in stock! I still would love to do it in Isager Alpaca 2
(color 13!) which would be the perfect weight for a transitional fall piece, but I'm kind of day dreaming about a springtime version done in Shibui's new Staccato
yarn. A blend of Superwash Merino and Silk with just a touch of nylon for strength, it would be absolutely gorgeous in this pattern.
The next pattern I have to share today is the Tuesday Night Cowl
by designer Susan Lawrence.
This lovely (and free!) pattern reminds me a lot of the Burberry Inspired Cowl
(also free on Ravelry
) I saw a few weeks ago, but this one has instructions for worsted, aran, and bulky weights. The Burberry Inspired
version was written for bulky only, which I find can sometimes come out a bit stiffer and dense than I would like. This pattern would be gorgeous in Malabrigo Twist
or Rowan Lima
For your inspiration today I have an amazing blog to share with you from a Fashion Designer and Fiber Artist out of Minneapolis, Annie Larson
. Her blog, Swank Dollar
is full of her amazing machine (and some hand) knit creations. My roommate Sarah was kind enough to show this to me the other day and I've been thinking about it ever since.
I don't know very much about machine knitting, but this definitely inspires me to look into it. It's so interesting and fun. Her blog
again is linked here
if you want to check it out. Unfortunately I can't find that much info about her or the yarns she uses or anything, but its neat to see how much freedom you could have with a little imagination. Ok, just one more, but only because it's really just too precious!
And with that I will leave you for another week. Check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta and, until then, stay chic blogfans!
Readers may be perplexed by the fact that this post is dated to Feb. 9th, but only just appeared today, Feb. 11. This is because we have been facing our very own Techno-geddon. Hardware, software and even web hosting turned against us for a couple of days there, but we emerged victorious. If you tried to visit the website yesterday and, well, couldn't
, that was due to our (and our web server's) Techno-geddon. We're back, though, and have a lot to show you!
First, is the collection of projects Sandra brought in to share. On the top is a Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf
, made with 3 skeins of KPPPM
Below that, in the lower left corner, is her Annabella's Cowl
. Made with the yarns originally used by the designer in the color "Mighty Redwood". At the very bottom of the pile is her in progress Wavy Scarf, using Schaefer Helene
in the color "Renata Tibaldi". Sandra is definitely going to have a warm and stylish neck this year.
Let's see, what else has been happening in the midst of Techno-geddon? Well, have you seen that we now have FREE SHIPPING
It's true. Get free Priority Mail shipping with a domestic order over $75. If you'd like to read all the specifics, see our Online Ordering FAQ's page
Next, we have to admit to some excitement over the arrival of a special edition release from Interweave Press - Knitting Traditions magazine
"Indulge your passion for knitting with Knitting Traditions! This 148-page special publication from PieceWork magazine presents more than 40 projects—socks, shawls and scarves, items for baby, a variety of hand coverings, hats, squares and edgings, and finger puppets—each with a story that provides historical context." - Interweave Press
Admittedly, we are
a little geeky here (hence our staff obsession with Knitting: 19th Century Sources
). But this magazine is absolutely packed
with traditional and historic patterns from around the world. We just received 15 copies (for all you other knitting geeks out there!) and, well, 3 have already been reserved by staff members and Marj is even talking about using one of the patterns within as her Knitting Olympics challenge.
And, while on the topic of the Knitting Olympics
, are any of our blogfans participating? I'm slowly managing to convince my
coworkers to try it this year. I'm thinking of making the attempt. What about you? Are you interested? If so, what're you going to make?
While you ponder that, you might want to check out our New Arrivals page
- we've just put up EIGHT new yarns from Rowan, Noro, and Habu Textiles. The Revive
, IMHO, is absolutely scrumptious:
But we'll let you make that determination for yourself. Until next time, barring another Techno-geddon, happy knitting! And look out this afternoon for another edition of Fashionknitsta.
Labels: customer project, fo, habu textiles, New yarn, Noro, Rowan, scarf, store workings, wip, yarn pr0n
Fashionknitsta Thursday: 2/4/10
Hello, everyone! Hope your week is going well, it's been pretty great here at the store and I have a bunch of wonderful treasures to share with you all today.
If you saw Sara's last post (love the Geodesic Cardigan
!), you'll know that around here we are really starting to think about Spring time knitting. I'm blaming a lot of it Kirsten Johnston's pattern Thursday
. We just got the shop sample of this knit up last week, and I can't help but daydream about it everytime I walk by.
The original is done in Habu Ramie A-166
and Habu Super Fine Merino A-177
. I've always wanted to work with the Habu Ramie, so I think if I did this I'd have to make two because I also can't help thinking about it in Malabrigo Lace Baby
(maybe held with Isager Alpaca 1
?). This isn't up on our website yet, but it will be soon. Thanks in advance, Sara!
Switching seasons, the next thing I have to share today is a great winter piece from Coco Knits
This wonderful accessory is the Fleeced Earflap Hat
by Julie Weisenberger. It's done with a chunky yarn, they suggest Lamb's Pride Bulky, but I would love to see it in Malabrigo Chunky
or Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Bulky
. It's never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts for next year and this would be a great one for anyone. It has sizing for men and women and comes with all the instructions to knit in the fleece.
For all the CocoKnits fans our there Julie will be visiting us next month for a Meet and Greet on March 5th
and will be giving a Finishing and Design Workshop on March 6th
The last pattern I have today is from a designer I have blogged about before and absolutely love, Jane Richmond
is a free pattern on Ravelry
, and for some reason (maybe the grey sky?) it's really jumping at me today. I would absolutely love to make this cardigan in the natural Blue-faced Leicester of Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky
. It would be so cozy next winter!
While wandering the internet this week, I discovered artist Michelle Vitale Loughlin's work and really fell in love with it - and her. In her earlier work she experimented with mixing fibrous materials and painting, influenced by her seamstress grandmother who emigrated to the US and sewed American Flags to make a living.
In 2004 she received the Puffin Foundation Grant to purchase a knitting machine and has since been creating mostly large-scale, site specific architectural forms; such as this piece, Water Falls, which is currently on view at the Huterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey.
Knit on an industrial knitting machine with silver synthetic fibers, Water Falls is in response to the 200 foot waterfall adjacent to the Hunterdon Art Museum. With this piece Loughlin wanted to portray how man-made objects and nature are no longer separate by including debris in with the pristine image of the falls.
It was kind of tricky to find out more info about Michelle, as her website
doesn't seem to be up right now. I did find a few of her other works online that I'd love to learn more about, including this piece from 2007, Arc:
I wish I had something to link to for her. If you're interested, I would attempt a Google search; and, hopefully, her site
will be back up soon. I actually happened upon Michelle's work via fiber artist Abigail Doan's blog
, and was intrigued by her own interesting work as well.
The first of these images is her piece Crocheted Snow 01 from 2005 and the second is Primavera 02 from 2006. Doan describes herself as an "art-farmer living part of the year in an urban nest [New York City] and part of the year on a farm in Tuscany".
Most of her work is very focused on her interconnection and experience with nature and plant materials. The very ephemeral feeling and interventions with nature remind me very much of the work of Andy Goldsworthy. Really gorgeous pieces, she has a fantastic blog
featuring her work and the work of others that I definitely recommend checking out.
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend and, as always, check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then, stay chic, blogfans!
Labels: CoCo Knits, fashionknitsta, isager, Lindsay, Malabrigo, Rowan
Just forget Death by Chocolate
We've got the new way to overdose through decadence with the new Staccato
, by ShibuiKnits. Can I just say, "Yum!"?
Is that a technical term? 'Cause it really should be. I mean, look
No, wait, you should touch
it. The fiber content, just FYI, is 65% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk, 5% Nylon.
I played with a skein and made an a-MAZE-ing sock with it in the Ivory...
Which, unfortunately, I cannot show you just yet. Patience, though, shall be rewarded. I did, however, buy two skeins of Staccato
in Cotton Candy last night...
For some fun and flirty socks. There might be a few discreet ruffles involved. It's tempting me to go ultra-fem. Must be the combination of the pink and the silk.
But don't be limited by my
madness. Take a minute and imagine the possibilities. Like, oh, Connie Chang Chinchio's new Geodesic Cardigan
Or, how about Hannah Fettig's best-selling Featherweight Cardigan
I know I'm tempted, anyway. They'd be fantastic Spring knits and would only take 5 - 10 skeins of Staccato.
Shop talk. My goodness, lots has been happening around here. We have quite a few new yarn lines in (see above, below, and the last post!), several new patterns and, well, a flurry of activity. Just wait for the next Newsletter, it's gonna be a doozy.
Anyway. Onto vicarious knitting. I convinced Jenny (our graphic designer) to share her in-progress Man Glove (remember her New Year's Resolution
?), which is nearing completion:
For the inquiring mind, the yarn is Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca
in "Mist Grey". The pattern is vintage, which vintage we don't know, but I'd guess the 40's. It's lookin' good, right? We're trying to encourage Jenny, so feel free to leave comments! We'll make sure she gets them.
Next, well, this also involves another New Year's Resolution. Amazingly, Lindsay is managing to both fulfill and break her resolution in one go. Lindsay is taking Judy Wilcox's Two Socks on Two Circulars class and has fallen mad in love with the technique. In fact, she just bought another skein of sock yarn, Madelinetosh Glazed Sock
in "Violin", to cast on another pair...
Which she plans to have to the heel (along with the green pair above - Shibui Sock
in Seaweed) by the next class on Sunday. I see a wicked addiction in the making. But, call me callous, I'm sick of being the only sock addict on staff, so I'm not saying anything
Oh, alright, I did tease her a bit. Feel free to leave comments, she'll definitely see them!
Lastly, we have an overwhelmingly huge new selection of Rowan yarns in the store. They're not on the web yet
, but they will be soon. The additions include new colors of Denim, Summer Tweed and All Seasons Cottons. Also in the photography box is the new Purelife Revive
, which is an awesome thing (recycled silk, recycled cotton, and recycled rayon).
Expect to see these beauties on the website in a couple of weeks.
And, before I go, here's a super-cute Jake & Co. photo:
Labels: cardigan, coworker, pattern, sock, staff projects, wip, yarn pr0n