Our Great Wall of Koigu just got bigger!

We’ve just received a new shipment of Koigu to replenish and add to our stock of this beautiful hand-painted fingering-weight merino yarn – 112 colourways now available!

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From the Koigu website:

“Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) and Koigu Premium Yarn (KPM) are spun from the finest merino sheep in the world. Plied for durability, this lightweight wool is soft, silky, and retains the natural elasticity of merino. An extremely versatile yarn, the Premium Merino is celebrated by fiber artists around the globe. Ideal for both hand knitting and crochet, as well as machine knitting, weaving and needlework; this yarn is perfect for creating dresses, slippers, sweaters, shawls, blankets, hats, and gloves… the list could go on forever!”

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 170 yds/50g
  • 3.0mm Needles (US 3)
  • 28 stitches by 36 stitches over 10cm by 10cm

A perfect time to come in and stock up on supplies for these popular store sample projects (clockwise):

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- Melissa

Great Wall of Koigu

With the addition of 24 new hand-painted and 25 hand-dyed solid/semi-solid colourways this Fall, our Koigu KPPPM (Painter’s Palette Premium Merino) wall has grown to well over 90 gorgeous shades! The photo below was taken with my iPhone today so quality isn’t the best but you get the idea…

We love Koigu KPPPM and have several great project samples in the store for viewing including our multi-colour Koigu version of Craig Rosenfeld’s Carlisle and a variation on Melody’s Shawl from Morehouse Farms.

Click on images below for project details!

Koigu Carlisle

Variation on a Melody – Koigu Version

- Melissa

Let Me Tell You…

My Mother is visiting. She is usually visiting around this time of year to celebrate her granddaughter’s birthday with us – which is a special treat for us as well. My Mom is a knitter, but at home – even now retired – she does not knit that much (she says). When she sets foot into our house, this is totally changed. It is like the knitting needles never leave her hands and she produces one FO after the other. This year she is kinda obsessed with something I have also knit, but I think she decided she had to knit it after she saw a customer in the store wear it.

IMG_9704This is my version. If there is one tip I’d give you, it’s this: DO NOT STEAM/BLOCK THE CLINCHER! You want the rows to scrunch up. Too late for mine.

Now, what you have to understand is that my Mom does not speak English, so most of my patterns are really quite useless, unless they have a chart or are set up in a way that the repetition can be figured out and no actual reading of the pattern is necessary, and me explaining a bit how it goes works usually out. Which is why she did not wait for me to find my pattern but just grabbed some yarn, my sample and got started with her version of the “Clincher”. 3 and some clinchersShe’s knit three and is on the fourth. She used yarn I had at home, so some of them are worked in a heavier yarn than the original but it worked out really well! (On the sly she is sneaking in two pair of socks, you know.)

My Mom is a lifelong knitter and has taught me a lot. However, the way my life has turned out knitwise, meaning first knitting samples for a designer, then working for a yarn company and now in a yarn store, I have also  accumulated a lot of knitting knowledge. Not to say I know more, but I do know different things. She is also a crocheter, and when my daughter has requests like: “Oma, make me a pony robe, please! With a hood!” she sits down and whips it up in a way that I could not. (Sadly, I cannot show you a picture of it today since Rainbow Dash is off to Papa’s office, as my daughter tells me.) Coming back to what we know: She can construct clothes – no matter for whom – like no one else I know. I, on the other hand, have collected a lot of technical knowledge, which helps with that but is quite another story.

When she arrived at the point in the pattern where you switch to the contrast colour, she was stumped. Turning the piece over and from one side to the other she offered solutions how to knit it that were all, well, not doing the trick. Indeed, it is not hard at all, but as with a lot of things you have to know how to do it. I admit I let her steam just a little bit before I told her. As with almost everything knitting she got it right away – no long explanation necessary, as knitters we just click. (I won’t tell you about the time when I tried to show her the tubular cast-on, something she thinks she can well do without…)

I was thinking since she was so taken with the pattern you might like it also, and have a few yarn suggestions if you feel like knitting one!

The pattern asks for a fingering weight and we do have a lot of that in store.

For the main colour I used Madelinetosh Tosh Light in Astrid Grey (on the left you can see some sample colours). (Psst, we’re expecting a huge new delivery of Mad Tosh Light – keep your fingers crossed that the customs officer do not take forever to clear it…!) Tanis’ Red Label is also a perfect yarn to wind around your neck (pic in the middle), as is Sweetgeorgia Cash Luxe Fine (not pictured). Talking about Sweetgeorgia, what about the Merino Silk Fine (right side)?

3 yarnsNow to the loopy part:

IMG_9686For some punch try a neon – I used “Edison Bulb” by Madelinetosh in Tosh Light. The pink is Koigu KPPPM and the orange is Regia Sock yarn.

IMG_9688This is the Lange Mille Colori Baby – a bit more colorful.

IMG_9696And never ever forget about our Wall of Koigu, which is actually perfect as MC and loopy border!

Those are just a few picks, we do have more fingering weight yarn in store. How about it? Feel like knitting a Clincher, too? I’ll let my Mom know she’s not alone…

Happy Knitting, as ever!

- Mona

Knot True!*

*A sentiment that you might have while reading this post.

Hello there. I’m back. We went to TNNA (it was great!) and I do hope you are going to enjoy the new yarns that will be coming in for Fall – and yes, I know. How can you even begin to think about Fall when we only had a few weeks of nice and warm weather here in Montreal? So let’s concentrate on other things for now.

Wall of Koigu

If you have been to Espace Tricot, you’ll probably know our ‘Wall of Koigu’ (while at TNNA we’ve ordered a few more shades). We do love a good splash of colour, and knitting with the KPPPM (Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino) is pure joy. Last year at TNNA we ordered the 10m skeinettes, hoping you all would be inspired to use them in your knitting too, adding some bright colors here and there.

This year at TNNA I saw something I could not resist to try myself. The ingenious Koigu people took 12 mini-skeins and knit a little cowl, choosing colors that blend and work really well together. I was intrigued. After coming back I put 12 skeins in order – so much fun in itself! – and got knitting. I made sure the connecting skeins had a colour in common, so they would indeed blend. However, since this hand-dyed yarn, you don’t know what you’ll get before you start knitting.

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This is so much fun, and awfully addictive since there are only 10 m to knit up and I feel I cannot wait to start the next colour!

Now, having only 10 m of yarn and that twelve times – that means 24 ends to weave in. NOT fun. I got thinking. And then I did something that I usually, under any other circumstances, really not do. I made knots. Yes, you read that right. I knotted the ends together.

Thanks to Jane Richmond  (a Canadian designer whose designs we are often drawn to) and Lisa, who tried it first, I figured out the way of joining these mini skeinettes without having to sew in a lot of ends – and thus getting more out of the yarn, too. Check her video here. It is really well explained and I can attest that it works. (Other than she says in the description of the video I will say that the knot is NOT invisible, but rather BARELY visible, especially in a very colourful yarn!)

When I did it for the first time, I kind of started hyperventilating – I mean, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I DO NOT MAKE KNOTS in my knitting. I guess there is an exception to every self-imposed rule, and you are welcome to it!

Disclaimer: I am not saying that you should always knot your yarns together from now on, all I am saying is to choose the method of joining according to your project. This time knots were the way to go.

Happy Knitting, as ever!

- Mona

Free pattern Friday: A new pattern from Espace Tricot!

We ‘Heart’ Koigu Baby Blanket

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Happy and colourful, this wonderfully simple baby blanket perfectly matches the joy of welcoming a new arrival into the world. Knit with Koigu KPPPM (100% merino), the We ‘Heart’ Koigu Baby Blanket is an easy garter stitch project – the first stitch of every row is slipped purlwise with the yarn in front to allow for easy picking up of stitches along each side to create a log cabin style border.   With more than 100 colours of hand-painted Koigu KPPPM in stock the sky truly is the limit in terms of possible combinations.

Pattern available in both English and French!

Click here to view additional photos and to access pattern through our Ravelry project page!

- Melissa

TNNA – a few photos

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since we returned from the Needle Arts Trade Show in Columbus! Some of the  things we ordered while there have already started arriving and I still haven’t posted a photo recap of the trip. As it turns out, we have only a motley collection of poor quality iPhone photos to show – pics taken whenever we happened to think of it. There’s so much we missed because we were too busy having a good time. Still, the few we managed to snap should give a sense of the event and the fun we had shopping for new products to stock at Espace Tricot.

Meeting Stephen West at the Westknits booth

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Lisa and I at Cat Bordhi’s “Seven Super Skills” workshop

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All four of us wearing our finished “Seven Super Skills Cowl” with Cat Bordhi (L-R: Mona, Lisa, Cat, Melissa, Samantha)

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Mona and Samantha spotting Mona’s “Ombre Tank” knit up at the Jade Sapphire booth (in double-stranded cashmere no less!). Sam happened to wearing hers that day too.

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Mona was happy about it!

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A sea of KPPPM at the Koigu booth

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Lisa trying her had at spinning on a Ladybug at the Schacht Spindle Company booth

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Ogling the beautiful laceweight ombre colourways at the Freia booth (lots of this coming!)

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Spotting my “Shadow & Light” design in the wild while waiting in line for Sample it! This yarn store owner knit it with Jade Sapphire 2-ply cashmere – ah, luxury!

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Group photo at the Shibui Knits booth after placing our first order with them!

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Lisa showing her love for the Seattle Cowl at the Alchemy booth.
She’s already finished knitting one of these up!

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Resting (and planning) after a long day of shopping!

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That’s it…until next year!

- Melissa

When all you need is just a little of a good thing…

Koigu Mini-Skeins

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One-thousand Koigu Skeinettes landed in store yesterday and we’re so excited about the creative possibilities these little gems bring with them! The 10m/11yd mini-skeins come in myriad shades of Koigu’s hand-painted semi-solid and multi-colour palettes and are just $2.95 ea.  From pocket linings and turned hems on hats and sweaters in peek-a-boo contrast colours to colourwork projects, toys, and accent trims, mini-skeins provide an economical alternative to purchasing full skeins when all you need is a little.  We’ve been dreaming up all kinds of uses for these – here are just a few project ideas:

koigu_mini_skeins

  1. Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits: one skein = one hexipuff!
  2. Little Fair Isle Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)
  3. Sporty Striped Peds by Purl Soho (free pattern)
  4. Infant Mittens by Purl Soho (free pattern)
  5. Saartje’s Booties – mini skeins are perfect for accent trim! (free pattern)
  6. Bow Pouch by Derya Davenport (free pattern)
  7. Mitaines Rainbow by Elise Dupont (free pattern)
  8. Bird à Pois by Lucinda Guy
  9. LoveSocks by Devon Clement (free pattern)
  10. Latte Baby Sweater by Liselotte Weller
  11. The Secret by Julie Hamilton (free pattern)
  12. Leftie by Martina Behm

Send us your ideas for Koigu mini-skeins  if you have some – we’d love to hear more!

- Melissa

One happy FO

Hi there – I am back after a week’s hiatus. That gave me enough time to finish my design. I am quite happy with it – though I am not sure if I am really done. There might be some embroidery in the future, for now I have to let it rest and maybe think about it some more until inspiration strikes again.

I worked an A-line body, with four sets of decreases done in intervals. Once I bound off for the underarms, I knit the two sleeves. They are almost straight, I only increased 6 stitches. Once joined with the body, I began with raglan decreases then switched to a yoke style. At about 2″ before finishing, I started working back and forth to get a split neck.

After binding off, I took the neon Koigu and started crocheting the edge. I worked three single crochets (made long by going into the fourth row below bind off) in every third stitch, then decided that it was not quite substantial enough and worked another single crochet row. Then I added a crochet chain with some triple crochet bobbles. That’s it. I think it stayed pretty true to my sketch, don’t you agree?

I have my notes for this size, though I want to add two or three more sizes before publishing the pattern. (Writing it is the boring part, you wouldn’t want to know the details, really.)

- Mona

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