A Wee WIP Wednesday
Welcome to another WIP Wednesday! This week's update will be slightly abridged, as we've had a bit of a busy week around here, but we couldn't go without sharing a few amazing projects with you all!
First off, Oleya has proudly completed her Carnaby skirt
in Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER
in Sweatshirt! The yarn has such great structure to it; the skirt looks so well-tailored and doesn't sag. Oleya says the skirt is extremely light and comfortable. Plus, how cute does she look in it?!
Eva, after spending her vacation knitting with a vengeance, has two projects to share today. The first is Beth Hahn's Paper Moon
cloche, with a modified cabled/i-cord border that Eva designed herself. She's making it with The Sanguine Gryphon Codex
in Molly Bloom, which has great stitch definition for crisp cables.
Finally, Eva's second project is Jared Flood's Strago mittens
. She's well into the second of the pair, and is loving the pattern (as always when it comes to Jared). The yarn is one of Eva's all-time favorites: Rowan Felted Tweed
, in Clay and Seafarer.
That's all for today, but we hope we've provided a bit of inspiration for all of your projects! 'Til next week, happy knitting!
Labels: staff projects
Epic yarns from The Sanguine Gryphon
We've been stifling some Big News for a while now, and the day has come to reveal it to the world: Knit Purl has been chosen as one of the first retailers to carry The Sanguine Gryphon yarns! We've been admiring these gorgeous hand-painted yarns from a distance for some time now, and we're so thrilled to be able to share them with all of you from our very own store.
The Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace
in "Goblin's Tree"
The Sanguine Gryphon has a wholly unique take on yarn, combining a sort of medieval rusticity with elegant flair. And their color names are delightfully strange; I think "Swamps of Despair" might be my favorite!
The Sanguine Gryphon Codex
in "Swamps of Despair"
But one wonderful thing about The Sanguine Gryphon is that they don't sacrifice quality for quirkiness. They show off their individual whimsical style but still manage to create beautiful yarns that any knitter is bound to fall in love with.
The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Northern Purple Gold Beetle We'll be sharing more soon about each of these lovely yarns, but for now, enjoy the eye candy! For more inspiration, check out even more yarns from The Sanguine Gryphon here!
We've been promising a big staff project post for quite some time now, but with all the comings and goings we had some trouble corralling everyone's projects into one place. But sometimes the stars align, and luckily I was able to borrow (almost) all of our staff projects for the afternoon! So, welcome to the first WIP Wednesday, our inaugural weekly staff project showcase! We've been knitting up a storm around here lately and thought today would be the perfect time to share our lovelies with all of you.
Anna has been working on the slouchy Lemon top from Marianne Isager's Amimono Knit Collection 2010
in Isager Wool 1
. I'm loving the way the lace weight knits up in this ridged texture!
William, one of our more beginning knitters, is the first of us to venture forth with Artyarns Cottonspring
, a brand new yarn at Knit Purl. He's knitting a sweet baby sweater (his very first sweater project!).
Oleya chose the gorgeous Sanguine Gryphon Bugga
in scarlet Longhorn Beetle to make her Goodale
cardigan. This color is absolutely stunning, and she's making such fast progress!
Jenny is hard at work on the always stylish Big Herringbone Cowl
from Purl Soho, knit in scrumptious Shibui Merino Alpaca
Lindsay is speeding right along on her Featherweight Cardigan
, in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock
in Charcoal. She is seriously determined to finish this sweater as soon as possible, and I think her progress so far shows her dedication!
This adorable pixie hat, knit with luxurious Buffalo Gold Heaven
and Joseph Galler Belangor
, is one of a set of two for Kristin's neighbor's new twin girls (the other is still on the needles). It's unbelievably soft and almost unbearably cute!
Finally, here is the beginning of my Sugared Violets
shawlette, in what I think might just be my new favorite yarn, Sanguine Gryphon Bugga
in Tulip-Tree Beauty. So cushy and cozy, I can't put it down.
What about you? We'd love to hear what knitted beauties you've been working on! I now consider myself to have a standing date with all of you readers, so be sure to check back next Wednesday for another update on our project progress! See you then!
Labels: staff projects
Getting Schooled on Blocking Lace
In every knitter's repertoire, there is a technique that could use a little refresher. Whether its an uncommon cast-on or a special finishing trick, we could all benefit from a little how-to every now and then. So when Lindsay approached us in need of advice about blocking her recently finished project, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to share a brand new tutorial with all of you! Today's topic: how to block a lace triangular shawl using blocking wires.
The project in question is Lindsay's beautiful Draper shawl
, knit with a single skein of luxe Madelinetosh Pashmina
in Nebula (she made the small size and says she had at least a quarter of a skein left. Amazing!). But pre-blocked lace, even when crafted by an expert knitter with a delicious yarn, just doesn't quite live up to its full potential. Here's where the delightfully alchemical blocking process comes to the rescue! Blocking transforms lumpy lace into an impeccably uniform fabric, taking your handknits to new levels of loveliness. If you've never blocked before, you'll be amazed at the results. Plus, it's a fairly simple process, especially with the help of blocking wires designed to make the whole procedure as foolproof as possible. Grab your project, a set of blocking wires, and some T-pins, and let's get started!
Instructions (each step has a corresponding picture):
- Soak the piece in cool water with a little wool wash (we love Soak) for about fifteen minutes to let the fibers relax. Next, carefully remove the piece, gently squeezing out any excess water. Lay it out flat on a towel, roll it up, and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Finally, lay the piece flat on a dry towel-covered blocking board (we use foam core, available at most stores that carry art or school supplies).
- Begin threading a blocking wire through the edge of the piece, inserting it down and then up through the fabric.
- If there are any points or scallops along the edge (like in Draper), you'll want to be sure your wire travels through these points to accentuate the decorative edging.
- Continue threading the wire through the fabric at even intervals all the way along one side of the triangle.
- When you reach the end of the first side, thread the blocking wire through the tip of the corner to emphasize the angle.
- Here's what the first side should look like: nice and smooth, with the wire traveling in and out through the fabric at evenly spaced intervals.
- Grab a new blocking wire and just as before, begin threading it through the adjacent side of the triangle.
- Continue threading and finish as before with the wire ending at the very tip of the angle where the side meets the straight top edge.
- Thread a third wire through the top edge of the shawl. Since it is a straight edge and there are no decorative points that need to be emphasized, the intervals at which you space the wire are not as crucial, but try to keep them nice and regular nonetheless.
- Depending on the size of your shawl and the length of your blocking wires, you may need more than one to span the length of the piece. If so, overlap the ends of the wires where they meet for a couple inches to provide support and stability for the edge.
- Check the piece once more, making sure it is flat, smooth and ready to pin.
- Begin pinning at the top edge, starting in the middle.
- Insert a pin every two inches or so, on the inside of the wire. Stretch the piece out slightly as you go, making sure it stays smooth and flat.
- Note: properly blocked lace tends to stretch more than you think it will! Sandy Kay had to improvise some additional blocking board, so it might be a good idea to allow yourself more room then you think you will need.
- Place a pin at the center of each protrusion and in each corner to keep the angles nice and sharp.
- Here's what the pinned shawl should look like.
- If you'd like, you can add some extra pins along the top lace tier to strengthen the scalloped appearance. Just place them at the peaks of the openwork sections, as shown here.
Let the piece dry thoroughly (usually overnight, but sometimes it takes up to a full day or two), and voila! Smooth, stunning lace you'll be proud to show off. You can use the same basic blocking techniques for all your projects: shawls, scarves, sweaters... basically, everything benefits from a little blocking. Watch your projects blossom from homemade into handmade, and enjoy!
Special thanks to Lindsay for letting us borrow her project, and Sandy for demonstrating the technique!
Labels: blocking, lace, tutorial
Yesterday, as I was expanding my own stash, I was asked what could be made with the new Habu yarn, Wool Slub N-82
The question came from a customer who had read the most recent Newsletter, Across The Sea
, and was fascinated by the yarn, but had never worked with anything like it.
My immediate suggestion was Ysolda Teague's free pattern, Urchin
, from the Fall 2007 issue of knitty...
Which would, of course, be an excellent choice. But then I realised that I didn't have any further suggestions. So I promised to do some sleuthing and find a few more appropriate matches.
Now, because we're (slowly, oh-so-slowly) approaching spring, it doesn't make sense to include any large projects. That immediately limited the selection to anything that used less than 150 yards, or 2 skeins. And because the yarn is thick and thin, it won't provide any stitch definition (or even fabric), making anything complexly patterned also
immediately out of the running.
Even with these restrictions, it seems that there are quite a number of fun (and super-quick!) projects available to a knitter coveting in this new yarn.
At 106 yards, this funky geometric cowl will use two skeins of Habu's yummy N-82 Wool Slub
and make one heck of a cool statement whilst, and at the same time
, keeping your neck nice and cozy!
Featured in the Newsletter, this super-chic snood/cowl is just the thing for adding pizzazz to an outfit. The best part is, if you're careful, you might just make it with one skein!
Such a simple concept, but I love the execution. Perfect for layering (especially in freezing rain we've been experiencing), this cowl will keep your neck and shoulders nice and toasty - even in sideways sleet. And it'd look simply fantastic with a pea coat.
Lastly, who doesn't always need another pair of fingerless mitts? With this yarn and pattern combo, you'll actually finish the pair in time to wear them before that spring weather we've been promised actually arrives.
Is your interest piqued? Be sure to check out Habu's newest yarn on our shelves (plus three new colors!) or online
, and maybe do some sleuthing on ravelry
yourself... you never know what you might find.
Next week we've some big, big news to share. In fact, one might even call it epic.
Until then, happy knitting!
~ Sara M.
Labels: habu textiles, knitspired