Free pattern Friday: Barbâtre

(Photo: Sandra Braida)

We love the casual style of this easy summer sweater by Sandra Braida and can see it knit in everything from linen to merino. From the designer: Barbâtre is a mid-season sweater, slightly oversized with a deep V-neck, perfect for layering! Stockinette stitch and vegetal yarn provide a very nice drape. This sweater is mainly knitted in the round, bottom-up and seamlessly, only the top front and back are knitted back and forth.

We think this would be great knit with any of the following yarns:

Classic Elite Yarns Firefly (on sale!)
Shibui Twig
Quince & Co. Sparrow
Euroflax Sport
Madelinetosh Pashmina

Pattern available in English and French!

(Photo: Sandra Braida)

– Melissa

New in store: Anzula Squishy!!!

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(Photo: Anzula)

What better way to kick off the very beginning of the new Fall season than with the aptly named Squishy yarn from Anzula. This truly is the squishiest yarn we’ve ever felt and the knitting anticipation is doing us in – what to cast on first with our lovely new addition?  Soft and springy, Squishy is a  luxurious fingering weight blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon.  Hand-dyed in a range of richly saturated tonal colourways, Squishy is perfect for socks, shawls, accessories, and light weight garments.  And it’s machine washable!

Squishy is currently available both in-store and online, however, it will take a bit of time to get pictures back from our photographer so there are only colour names and no photos on our website at this time. While this is unorthodox to be sure, some of you may have been coveting Anzula yarns for some time already know which colourway(s) you’d like to purchase. We wanted to make this in-demand yarn available to all, even while we wait for photos, so those unable to make it into the store have a chance to shop before it’s all gone…

Purchase Anzula Squishy online here.

Project inspiration from Ravelry below…

Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes

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(Photo: lavenderlime)

Duane Park Triangle by Kirsten Kapur

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(Photo: throughtheloops)

Taygete by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

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(Photo: AudKnits)

Biarritz by Alma Bali

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(Photo: Baliknit)

Gansey Wristers by Kalliopi Aronis   FREE PATTERN!

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(Photo: Kalliopi Aronis)

Rockefeller by Stephen West

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(Photo: fancytiger)

Little Cable Knee Highs by Purl Soho   FREE PATTERN!

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(Photo: Purl Soho)

– Melissa  

Free pattern Friday: Simple House Slippers

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(Photos: Simone A.)

These Simple House Slippers by Simone Alexandra are as easy to wear as they are to knit. The pattern is knit flat at the back (garter stitch) and then in the round for the rest of the foot (stockinette).  The toe has a very rounded shape like the top of mittens making these look and feel more like real slippers than house socks.  Cozy and classic.  Start now and knit a bunch of these in time for holiday gift-giving (yes, I really said that – it’s never too soon to get started)!

Suitable for beginners as well as more advanced knitters looking for an in-between project.

One size fits most.

– Melissa

New in store: Zauberball 100!

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Zauberball 100 from Schoppel Wolle landed in store this week and joins Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy on our shelves. Like regular Zauberball, which is used primarily for socks, Zauberball 100 contains no nylon making it ideal for heirloom quality shawls and accessories. A unique single-ply yarn dyed in instantly recognizable Schoppel colorways, the long, exciting colour repeats of Zauberball 100 bring beauty and dimension while the 100% merino wool brings a hardy softness that will allow you enjoy your projects for years to come.

Available in store and online! All 17 colourways in stock.

Here are a few projects found through Ravelry for inspiration…

Nuvem by Martina Behm

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(Project photo: Melidott)

Bubblemania by Diana Rozenshteyn

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(Project photo: liloumahoe)

Daybreak by Stephen West

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(Project photo: knittengirl)

 “La belle Alliance” by Mamie-Thé

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(Project photo: flobrode)

Stripetastic by Susan Ashcroft

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(Project photo: maliha)

– Melissa

Sweater 101 – Sweaters With Set In Sleeves

Well, hello there. I know I have been AWOL for quite a while, but here I am now. Back to business.

I have told you about the Raglan sweater and the Drop Shoulder one – now here is another: The sweater with Set in Sleeves.

In my opinion this is the kind that you can make fit best. The sleeves, as the name says, are fitted to your body, due to what is called the armscye they are not too big and not too small – when the sweater is well done. The armscye is the edge of the knitting to which the sleeve is sewn. When the scye is the right size, the sleeve will fit like a glove and you do not have to worry about bunching of too much fabric or stretching of too little.

Sweaters like these are usually knit in pieces and then seamed. That gives them stability, other than a Raglan knit from the top down that can stretch in every which way.

A lot of people like knitting sweaters in pieces, the work is manageable, you plug along one piece at a time. Fewer people enjoy seaming the sweater – which is not really hard but needs some practice and preparation. There are a lot of things you can do during knitting to make it easier, the most important one is to have a selvedge stitch (I prefer them in Stockinette Stitch) on each edge. Makes seaming a cinch. Seaming row by row makes for a nice join, and just looks the best, if you ask me.

If you do not like seaming, do not despair. There are patterns with Set in Sleeves that you can knit from the top down, which get joined in the round after the armhole shaping and that make you knit the so-to-speak Set in Sleeves with short rows. I have done it, it is not exactly like the sweater knit in pieces and then seamed, but it is close.

This is my bit for today – I hope it was helpful.

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

Project ideas for current sale yarns!

As you’ve hopefully heard, our sale to make room for new inventory began today. Below you’ll find some project inspiration for some of the lovely yarns we’re letting go.  Just click on the images for additional project  information on Ravelry.

Please note: The sale also applies to yarns purchased through our online store.

Happy shopping / knitting!

Berroco Karma

LADDER SLEEVE PULLOVER

(Project photo: joro)

SEQUIM

(Project photo: Berroco Inc.)

Berroco Espresso

SIBILLA

(Project photo: brendaka)

SILK ‘ N SCRIBBLES

(Project photo: Espace Tricot)

Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk

(Project photo: Amy Miller)

RECTANGLE SHAWL

(Project photo: jgourmet)

NEW YORK CARDIGAN

(Project photo: finajosse)

SHAELYN

(Project photo: KGS)

ETCHED RIO WRAP

(Photo: jancanagan)

Cascade Ultra Pima

GROOVY (DK VERSION)

(Photo: JumperCables)

MINIMALIST CARDIGAN

(Photo: UandIKnit)

BABY KINA

(Photo: JennO)

BAKTUS SCARF

(Photo: UandIKnit)

PICOT-EDGE WASHCLOTH

(Photo: sunbonnetgirl)

CLASSICE ELITE YARNS FIREFLY

PORPHURA

(Photo: NapaGal)

ASKEW

(Photo: woolymountain)

FIREFLY TUNIC

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

ANNIS

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

Drops Bomull-Lin

MEDANO BEACH BAG

(Photo: Stryktyni)

DROPS 146-1 NATHALIE

(Photo: DROPS Design)

DROPS 87-2 PULLOVER

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

ISAGER TVINNI

FIONA’S TOP

(Photo: SanneB)

POP SPOTS

(Photo: jujuspots)

BRETON

(Photo: grimfrosties)

HEMP FOR KNITTING ALLHEMP6LUX

LITTLE ARROWHEAD SHAWL

(Photo: sfb)

SIMPLE HEMP TOTE

(Photo: grimfrosties)

COOL HEMP PONCHETTE

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

VERDANT

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

SCHOPPEL WOLLE REGGAE OMBRE

INSPIRA COWL

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

ROWAN PURE LINEN

(Photo: Mere)

TESSA

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

HAMLIN PEAK

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

ROWAN CREATIVE LINEN

LEGER

(Photo: Espace Tricot)

PRETTY PALETTE

(Photo: Suvi Simola)

Free pattern Friday: Emilia

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Chal/Poncho Emilia by Emilia Menéndez is a simple and lovely linen poncho-style wrap that makes an ideal take-everywhere summer accessory. Rowan Pure Linen creates a light and airy fabric with just enough heft for a little sun protection or for warmth in cool spaces (offices, movie theatres, patios, etc.).  Knit as a stockinette rectangle with a knit-as-you-go lace edging along one side.  At the end, the rectangle is folded in half and seamed partially along the plain edge, leaving enough space for your head.  At a loose 15 stitch gauge, this is a nice quick project!

Original pattern is in Spanish but an English translation has been posted to Ravelry by Gloriam.

Pattern calls for just 3 skeins of Rowan Pure Linen. Can’t make it into the store? Shop online here.

– Melissa

Nuvem by Martina Behm

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(Photos: enugu on Ravelry)

Every once in a while a pattern, or someone’s version of a pattern, on Ravelry stops me in my tracks. While Martina Behm’s Nuvem has caught my eye before, enugu’s versions have taken me from idle admiration to wanting to take immediate knitting action!  Both the stunner above, knit with 100% merino laceweight yarn, and the very chic fluffy version below knit with Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk are equally beautiful and demonstrate how the choice of yarn can produce dramatically different results. Big and versatile, Nuvem is shaped like  a very long hexagon making it wearable as both a wrap and as a long scarf.

Here’s Martina’s description of the pattern: „Nuvem“ is Portuguese and means „Cloud“. I picked this name because this shawl is light as a feather, super-warm and cozy, and its ruffled edge makes it look like a little cloud if you wrap it around your neck and shoulders several times. This one will warm you on chilly winter evenings on the sofa and will protect you on cold winter days outside under or over your favorite coat. In a colorful, hand-dyed laceweight yarn, it looks beautiful without using any complicated stitches. In fact, once you are done casting on, there are only knit stitches (no purling required!) and simple increases. If you have a beautiful, big skein of multicolored lace yarn and you are in the mood for a long, relaxing haul of almost mindless knitting, this is the project for you! Also, a good “first big project“ for beginning knitters.

Now which version to knit first? The laceweight or the fluffy? If these photos have had the same effect on you then you might be interested to know that the cozy Brushed Alpaca Silk version only takes 7 balls and at $5.95 a ball, this wrap is a steal at under $45. The laceweight version will of course depend on the brand and yarn blend you choose…you can view some options on our online store here :-)  Currently under consideration for my personal dream version are everything from SweetGeorgia CashSilk Lace and Jade Sapphire Cashmere Silk to Julie Asselin Merletto, Shibui Cima and Fibre Company Meadow….

Click here to view other beautiful versions of this wrap on Ravelry!

nuvem_grey

(Photos: enugu on Ravelry)

– Melissa

Free pattern Friday: Over the Sea to Skye

(Photos: Kalurah Hudson)

A gorgeous free summer shawl pattern for a brilliant start to your weekend.  Over the Sea to Skye by Kalurah Hudson is perhaps best described by the designer herself…

“The asymmetric lines and shifting patterns of this lightweight shawl will carry you away on an ocean breeze. Reminiscent of the sweeping landscape of beachy Dunes and the rippling of the waves as they rush onto the sand. This oversized shawl is the perfect accessory for a chilly summer night but light enough for a warm, balmy day as you journey over the Sea. It’s beauty is in its sheer simplicity. Easy to memorize increases and clean transitions between garter, lace mesh and eyelet lace. The shawl’s asymmetric shape lends a generous width for wrapping. And the sweet little picots and eyelet edging add just enough romantic whimsy.”

A perfect pattern for Butterfly Super 10 Cotton – a 100% cotton DK weight yarn with beautiful sheen.

EDIT (July 22, 2015): Please note that this pattern is no longer free. The designer is now selling it for $4.00 USD.

– Melissa

New store sample: Roundabout Romper

bsa_romper4

A truly easy-peasy baby dress knit with soft merino fingering weight yarn. We used hand-dyed Koigu Premium Merino (KPM) in a bright combination of sweatshirt grey and lemon yellow. Sweet and on-trend! Can be worn alone or layered over a onesie or tee for added warmth. Just one of several great new baby patterns released by Spud & Chloe for Fall 2015.

Pattern also includes instructions for matching socks!

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.

Koigu KPM is available in our online store here!

Pattern available for 50% off with yarn purchase in-store.

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bsa_romper9

– Melissa

Free pattern Friday: 164-3 Falling Leaves

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Although it’s not a very summery pattern this gorgeous blanket-style sweater just popped up on Ravelry and I thought it worth sharing! Falling Leaves by Drops Design is one of those simple profiles worked in a square, this one from the top down. Armholes are created as you go, sleeves are knit separately, and then sewn in at the end.  Worked with one strand each of Drops Alpaca and Drops Kid-Silk held together on a 5 mm needle. The result is a very pretty and cozy asymmetrical cardigan great for easy winter layering.  Use a pin or shawl stick to cross over the fronts and hold it closed. Or use these great removeable leather closures from Jul Designs.

Pattern designed for size S through XXXL

We have lots of Drops Alpaca in stock and, although we don’t carry Drops Kid-Silk, Rowan Kidsilk Haze is a perfect substitute.

– Melissa

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Scrumptious Baby Hat – Free Pattern

tequila_baby2

Keri McKiernan’s Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat is a perfect project for leftover fingering weight yarn – and is especially nice knit here with Scrumptiouspurl’s self-striping colourways. Fresh and sweet, this teeny tiny top-knot hat makes a quick yet thoughtful gift. The pattern is designed for a newborn and took just 60 yards of yarn but is easily upsized – simply use the gauge to calculate the size you want, and make sure that it’s a multiple of 10.

View additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.
Purchase Scrumptiouspurl Stripe Me Up sock yarn.

– Melissa

tequila_baby4

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New store sample: Diagonal Lace Scarf

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Although originally designed with fingering and sport weight yarns, we thought the Diagonal Lace Wrap & Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas would make an elegant scarf with gorgeous texture in Handmaiden’s Lino laceweight yarn. The pattern is simple but the result is luxurious and sophisticated and very versatile. A lovely marriage of yarn and project. Dressy enough for summer weddings but equally at home worn with a t-shirt and jeans!

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.
Click here to purchase Lino in our online store.

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diagonal_lace9

– Melissa

On the needles: Traverso Due

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I have so many things on my needles right now! From baby hats, sweaters, and dresses to this  Fall coat especially for me, a Holey Square in Handmaiden Lino, and the Traverso Due scarf / wrap pictured above (free pattern can be downloaded here).  Although my attention is flitting from one to the other, I’m making steady, if not speedy, progress on them all. Each project is enjoyable for different reasons and, although a complete departure for me, I’m all over the pink/peach/orange colourways in this combination of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe (California Sunrise) and Madelinetosh Prairie (Espadrilles). The fabric created by holding a strand of Kidsilk Haze (mohair + silk) and Prairie (merino) together is light, airy, and soft and the merino lace yarn adds a satisfying heft to the piece. Unfortunately, we’re sold out of both of these colourways in store but I’ve put together some alternatives below that would be equally stunning.

Note: Scarf requires 1 skein of Prairie and 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze Stripe.


Prairie in Vishnu + Kidsilk Haze in Cool


Prairie in ANTLER + Kidsilk Haze in SUGAR


Prairie in CHARCOAL + Kidsilk Haze in Chiaroscuro

– Melissa

New colours from Tanis Fiber Arts

All of Tanis Fiber Arts new colourways arrived in store last week. We adore every single one of these new additions to the TFA palette and can’t wait to see them knit up.  All are now available in store and online but can only be viewed by name on our website until we can get photos from our photographer. In the meantime, here are some images borrowed from the TFA website.

We currently have the new colours in Green Label Aran, Yellow Label DK, and Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single.

Click here to order online.

Chartreuse

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Saffron

CoverSaffron.jpg

Slate

CoverSlate.jpg

 Orchid

CoverOrchid.jpg

Graphite

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Free pattern Friday: Le Petit Parisien

Lisa put this little pattern together weeks ago and somehow we haven’t managed to get it up on Ravelry yet. We’ll have it up there soon but, in the meantime, here it is for your simple summer knitting pleasure :-) Knit with Habu Wrapped Silk, Le Petit Parisien is a light, stylish little accessory with gorgeous texture and Parisian flair!

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Le Petit Parisien

Yarn: 2 x 28 gm skeins of Habu Textiles Wrapped Silk 6p N-84 (color 9, light grey)
Needles: 6.0 mm

Gauge: 13 sts per 10cm / 4″
Dimensions: 95 cm x 43 cm (38” x 17”)

Notes:

This scarf is knit from the bottom up with a one stitch garter border and an increase at each end of every right side row. On the last row an increase is done every 3 stitches in order to gain more width at the top edge.

Pattern:

Cast on 3 sts and purl first row

Row 1 (RS): K1, M1R, Knit until 1 st remains, M1L, K1
Row 2 (WS): K1, Purl until 1 st remains, K1

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures approximately 16 1/2 leaving enough yarn for last increase row plus bind-off.

Next Row: *K3, M1L*, repeat from * to * until the end of the row.

Bind off loosely knitwise on WS.

Weave in ends, block and tie!

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– Melissa

Sweater 101 – Drop Shoulder Sweaters

I am a child of the 80’s and thus very familiar with drop shoulder sweaters. It is the easiest way to knit a sweater – if you will: two squares plus two trapezoids make a sweater. If you want to get fancy, you add a front neckline.

The drop shoulder sweaters in the 80’s were very over sized, and the sleeves were huge. Fortunately, for the newbie knitter, drop shoulders are back in fashion, however, thanks to modern aesthetics, the sleeves are a much smaller size than thirty years ago. (Wait, what? It has been thirty years? How did that happen?)

Advantages of the drop shoulder sweaters next to being an easy knit, are also that since most of them are still boxy and over sized, one does not have to worry too much about the actual size of the project. You can choose to knit the pieces separately and sew them up – this, as with other styles, gives more structure to the finished piece. If you please, you can pick up the stitches for the sleeves on the body and knit them top down – this works really well, especially when the sleeves are rather tight in fit and do not have any decreases. Then again, decreases are not hard, and it really depends on the pattern you pick.

A drop shoulder sweater can also be knit in the round from the bottom up. Once you reach the underarms, you divide front and back and knit them separately. If you forgo any shoulder shaping, you can even use the three-needle bind-off instead of sewing up the shoulder seams.

As a first sweater this is a good pick – though maybe a bit more knitting than a raglan or a sweater with set in sleeves due to being over sized!

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona