Hello, Navia Uno.

Meet Navia Uno, one of the newest yarns here at our shop.

Navia is a family-run yarn company from the Faroe Islands, specializing in traditional Faroese wool. Their yarns are now distributed in the US by our friends at Kelbourne Woolens, who traveled to the Faroe Islands earlier in the year and wrote a bit about it on their blog. They also published an interview with Óli Kristian á Torkilsheyggi, the owner of Navia, which gives more insight into the history of Faroese knitting and Navia yarns in particular.

Uno is one of the finest Navia yarns, a lofty lace weight blend of Faroese, Shetland, and Australian lambswool. Its 2ply structure gives the yarn a somewhat rustic appearance, a bit of texture that lends character to knitted fabric without detracting from lace or texture patterns.

What to knit with Navia Uno? This yarn would be right for many patterns calling for lace weight yarn, and we’ve collected a bundle on our “Lace weight” Pinterest board. I searched Ravelry for patterns that call for Navia Uno and projects that use this yarn, and found a few leads:

Searching more broadly for Faroese shawls brought more possibilities to light. Faroese shawls are known for their distinctive shoulder shaping, which helps keep the shawl in place.

Look for Navia Uno in the lace weight section here at our shop!

Back in stock: Churchmouse patterns.

For some years now, we’ve carried knitting and crochet patterns from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, a lovely yarn shop in Washington State. Their designs are known for being user-friendly and elegantly understated, the better to show off good quality yarns. Anne’s latest “Easy Folded Poncho” has had many knitters reaching for that particular Churchmouse pattern, such that we were due for a reorder. That order arrived last week, so we now have a good supply of poncho patterns, along with other old favorites and some new ones, too.

The Churchmouse Classroom series is aimed at new knitters and crocheters, and features additional photo tutorials to guide you through each technique. Marsha’s “Stitch-Sampler Handwarmers” class is always popular for new knitters, so we’ve got a fresh supply of that pattern, but we hadn’t had the “Crocheted Beanie & Cowl” before – look for that in our Crochet Patterns binder.

Because of the simple shapes and textures in these designs, the yarn choices for Churchmouse patterns are limited only by gauge. Pick a garment you’d like to make, and we’ll be happy to show you the many yarns that might suit it, and help you narrow it down from there.

Come by the shop to see our full selection of single patterns – we have many binders full of them! It’s great to be able to read through a pattern before you buy it, to get a sense of what you’re getting into. Ask us if you’re looking for something special, and we’ll be happy to help you find it!

Hello, Shibui Drift.

Meet Shibui’s newest yarn, Drift!

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Drift is a worsted weight blend of 85% extra fine merino wool and 15% cashmere, and it’s just as soft as its fiber content suggests.

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Drift knits up between 4.5 and 5 stitches per inch on a US 8, a heavier gauge than we’re used to seeing from Shibui.

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Like all of their yarns, Drift is designed to be mixed with other Shibui yarns for interesting effects: add a strand of Silk Cloud for a fuzzy halo, for example.

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The Fall/Winter 2016 pattern collection, by Shellie Anderson, makes good use of Drift, as well as familiar Shibui yarns like Staccato, Cima, Dune, Maai, and Pebble. These garments continue in the Shibui tradition of modern, wearable pieces, designed with elegant simplicity but great attention to detail.

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Come by the shop to meet Drift and see patterns from the new collection!

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New patterns for Dovestone DK.

I’m happy to report that we recently got some new single patterns for Dovestone DK, the yarn featured in our current Baa Ram Ewe Trunk Show.

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Alison Moreton’s Landmark Collection features garments and accessories knit in Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. Each design is inspired by a landmark in Yorkshore, home of Baa Ram Ewe.

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The pattern photos show each piece before the landmark that inspired it, a fascinating peek into the process of translating the shapes and textures around us into knitted fabric.

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Another new collection for Dovestone DK is Ella Austin’s Dovestone Smallholding.

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This sweet spiral bound book is filled with stuffed animals and dolls knit in Dovestone DK: a cabled kitten and wensleydale lamb, colorwork fowl, pig, and shetland pony.

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Look for these new patterns here at the shop, and come before May 6th to catch the Baa Ram Ewe Trunk Show and the 10% discount on Dovestone DK that goes with it. See you there!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks!  

New patterns from Swans Island.

Not long ago, we received a bunch of new patterns from Swans Island.

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The “Axis Shawl” calls for two shades of Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering, which come together in a striped slip-stitch pattern against a background of soothing garter stitch. Lots of “Axis Shawls” are starting to pop up on Ravelry; look there for some interesting color combinations.

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The “Northwoods Vest” and “Trail Ride Mitts” both make good use of Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, and show how nice it looks in a cable pattern.

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Most of our new Swans Island patterns call for their Organic Washable DK, which is soft and springy, with great stitch definition.

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Swans Island makes this yarn machine-washable with a process called Ecowash®, which coats the yarn with an organic compound rather than stripping the scales from the fiber. This helps to prevent felting, making it easy-care for baby and children’s things.

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Come by the shop to flip through the Swans Island pattern binder, which is full of inspiring uses for their special yarns!

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New single patterns.

Many of you know by now to look to the teacart for the latest knitting and crochet books and magazines. When a boxful of books comes in, that’s where they go: front and center, so you’ll always see the newest publications as you enter the shop. Single patterns, however, are sorted into project categories and then filed away in binders, near the front window. It’s easy to forget about those humble binders in favor of the books and magazines, but make no mistake–we keep the single patterns updated, too, adding new designs as they surface and replenishing those that sell out.

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Recently, Anne ordered a pile of patterns from Knitting Pure & Simple and Oat Couture, two sources for single patterns that are straight-forward and simply constructed. These are approachable patterns, using the most basic stitches to create classic garments for babies, children, and adults.

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Many of these patterns would make great “first sweaters” for beginners, and offer more experienced knitters a jumping-off point for modifications, or a simple way to show off spectacular yarn.

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Come by the shop to peruse the pattern binders, for they’re filled with project ideas. See you there!

Hello, Caper Sock.

As many of you already know, String Theory yarns move quickly around here. One week, we’re tearing into a box of their hand-dyed yarn, and the next, it seems, we’re studying an emptying cubby of Caper Sock, wondering how we sold out of so many colors so quickly. It gives us an excuse to give them a call and request more, of course, and with each order, we are tempted by the many colorways we haven’t stocked before. Our most recent order brought the biggest variety of Caper Sock we’ve seen yet.

What a spectrum! I find myself selecting colors I’d normally pass over. Suddenly, I like purple, and grass green.

Those of you who subscribe to our newsletter may already know that I recently self-published a pattern using Caper Sock.

North Arrow is a two-color garter stitch scarf with a short-row triangle and chevron stripes. My version is now hanging in the shop, so you can see and touch the scrumptious, soft fabric that Caper Sock creates. With our current selection of colors, choosing a pair for North Arrow makes for a fun diversion. I’d love to see a North Arrow in any of these combinations, for example:

Or you could follow Anne’s lead, and knit a North Arrow in Malabrigo Sock yarn.

We have even more Malabrigo Sock to choose from than we do Caper Sock, if you’ll recall, making the color-combining into a seemingly-endless game. Come to the shop and play!

And do take a look at North Arrow on Ravelry, if you’re interested. I’d love to hear what you think!

Works completed.

Satisfaction, to me, is a finished knitting project. Once all the ends have been woven in and the knitted piece has been washed and blocked, I can stand back, admire my work, push aside the urge to point out whatever errors I made, and get ready for the next project. Anne and I have both recently completed samples for the shop, both of which you can see hanging proudly in the front window.

Anne used the Schulana Macaibo yarn to make Little Sister’s Dress, a sweet pattern that’s available as a free download on Ravelry. Like the baby sunhat that Anne was knitting a few weeks ago out of Schulana Tamarillo, this sample shows how differently the yarn knits up than you might have supposed, looking at it in the ball.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a brightly colored lace scarf out of SWTC’s Pure yarn, made of 100% soysilk. Pure is one of those yarns that somehow never got swatched, though we’ve had it at the shop for a few years now. I tried my hardest to stretch the yardage of a single skein and managed to get a nice narrow scarf out of just 165 yards. The pattern is Veronik Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf, a free pattern from Knitty. I only cast on 26 stitches, though, working two repeats of the lace pattern rather than the suggested five. Like I said: I was trying to stretch a single skein.

Yes, finishing things up is a good feeling, matched only by the excitement of casting on for something new! You can see these and plenty of other sample garments at the shop, and if you have any questions about the yarn or the pattern we used, don’t hesitate to ask. See you at the shop!