New store sample: Embers Cowl

embers4_medium2

Texture and colour combine to create a dramatic and functional accessory. The Embers Cowl by Madelinetosh is long enough to fold cozily around the neck and long enough pull up over the head and ears for extra warmth.  Knit with 3 skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK, this is a fun, quick, and stylish project!

Click here to view additional photos and project details on our Ravelry project page!

embers1_medium2

- Melissa

Those Pesky Sticks

Also called Double Pointed Needles.

As I have mentioned before, and probably more often than you might want to hear, I do love knitting socks on dpns. Love it. Can’t get enough of it.

Having said as much, when I got started I had most certainly the same issues that you have when you get started knitting with five needles at once. Well, you don’t really. You still only knit with two, the other three just hang about. And that is the issue.

The result are often extra yarn overs, weirdly twisted stitches, a hole in your finger…nah, the last one never really happened! I am not saying you cannot poke a hole with dpns, I am just saying I have never encountered my students hurting themselves like that, maybe it is only me who thought it was a good idea to sit down on the couch while not paying attention to the sock on the go and thus ramming a needle in my thigh…(It stuck, I had to pull it out. That was gross. And it hurt.)

Teaching how to knit socks on dpns has taught me a lot, also. The most important fact – and the one I am sharing today – is that the order of the needles, meaning which one is on top and which is below, is very important. In fact, it is so important that your enjoyment of knitting with dpns depends on it.

Hence this post. So let’s get to it.

If you have ever tried to knit in the round with dpns you are sure to have experienced the frustration that goes on while working on the first few rounds. All the needles seem to be in the way, the knitted fabric does not look like anything and the sticks, well the sticks seem to stick out all over and are in every which way in your way. Yeah, I feel you.

Being a Continental knitter I have figured out a system that works for me – and not surprisingly this system is going to work for you also – if you do the opposite of what I do, because most of you carry the yarn English style, meaning with your right hand.

What I am going to tell you is probably going to sound a bit confusing – once your sit down and you are doing, or actually trying it, all will become clear. (Isn’t that often the truth?)

The trick is to keep the needles in the ‘correct’ order, in this case deciding which needle is ‘under’ and which is ‘over’.

To make it easier for you to understand what I am talking about, I have put my just started sock on four different colored needles. 

IMG_9653Please pay attention to how the needles are arranged: The orange needle lies on top of the pink one where you start to knit, meaning once you start knitting the pink one will be below the orange one and hence out of the way and the chance of getting your yarn tangled around it practically non-existent. (I do the opposite. If it was me knitting, I would hold the orange needle below the pink.)

IMG_9652

When knitting, it looks like this:

(Sorry for the weird angle, it is hard to photograph this!)

IMG_9656

The most important thing is that the orange working needle in the right hand is above (here rather: behind) the pink one.

As long as you pay attention to that order, knitting with dpns will be much easier than expected, and most probably improved if you were doing it differently.

I know. Small change, big difference.

Happy knitting, as ever!

- Mona

New store sample: Happy Street

happy_street1

We love knitting Veera Välimäki’s garter stitch shawls for relaxation and reward and Happy Street was no exception. Always beautifully simple in construction and perfect for showing the subtle tonal qualities of hand-dyed yarn. This wrap is generous in proportion making it perfect for wrapping around the neck as a scarf or wearing across the shoulders for drama. Using Antique Lace, Charcoal, and Onyx in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, this version is decidedly more moody than “happy”.happy_street2- Melissa

 

Free pattern Friday (on Monday): Pathways Vest

As anticipated, we were so busy in the store due to our anniversary sale last week not much else got done.  Apologies for late delivery of our Free Pattern Friday post!

pathways1(Photo: Universal Yarn)

The Pathways Vest by Amy Gunderson is a statement-making piece which, although originally designed with cotton, would also be gorgeous in a wool or wool blend for the fall/winter. Perhaps something hand-dyed – Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label or Madelinetosh Vintage or Chunky. Worked in two pieces, the main body is knit sideways and the the centre back ribbed section is worked separately.  Looks fun and quick (gauge is a loose 15sts in Stockinette). Stay tuned, I may just cast this one on this week!

pathways2 (Photo: Universal Yarn)

- Melissa

We’re 4!

balloons_blogJuly is here and we are happy to be celebrating another successful year in business! Thank you once again to our incredible community of knitters, crocheters, and all-round fiber lovers who continue to support us and make this all possible. To show our appreciation we’re having a sale!

Please join us for our 4th ANNIVERSARY SALE
July 15th through July 20th, 2014.

10% off Madelinetosh and Quince & Co. yarns.
25% – 50% off all other in-stock yarns!

Please note that our capacity to provide knitting help during this time will be limited.

Free pattern Friday: Gidday Baby

free_gidday_baby(Photo: Georgie Hallam)

Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam is a lovely and simple cardigan that combines a striped garter stitch circular yoke with a stocking stitch body.  A few well-chosen buttons add interest and bring the whole look together.  Knit seamlessly from the top down, this pattern provides a perfect template for showing off both beautiful and more practical DK weight yarns.  Or why not use a soft and beautiful hand-dyed gem from your stash at the yoke and cuffs in combination with something else for the body and sleeves? A series of blog posts (links found on the Ravelry project page) complement the pattern with useful tips and guidance.  A satisfying project for both beginner and advanced knitters!

free_gidday_baby2(Photo: foxslane)

- Melissa

No more posts.