Free pattern Friday: Outline

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(Photos: Hedgehog Fibres)

Outline by Beata Jezek is a brilliant pattern for showcasing your coveted, hand-dyed skeins of fingering (sock) weight yarns. Use up leftovers, use all new skeins, or combine remnants with new indulgences to knit this simple but stunning wrap. As the designer says “this wrap lets your yarns shine and your mind rest. It’s a very easy, enjoyable knit, with a great knitting rhythm”.

The pattern can be easily customized in terms of length and width and the sky’s the limit where colour is concerned. Try using yarns that are of similar weight for best results.

– Melissa

Interchangeable Tips

I have a thing for interchangeable knitting needles – especially when they look so very  pretty as the Marblz do. I also enjoy knitting with the Symfonie Dreamz from Knitter’s Pride, specifically when I knit with cotton or linen.

There are things you can do with an interchangeable knitting needle set that you cannot with your regular fixed circulars. Today I have a few pointers in that direction, maybe you’ll even find something that you did not know before or never thought about.

First of all though, when attaching your interchangeables, please always use whatever little implement is included in the package to securely tighten them. The Kntter’s Pride sets have a little key that needs to be inserted in a hole in the cable which gives you a better grip when screwing on the needle, thus making it tighter. The Hiya Hiya kits include two little rubber pieces, one to hold the cord, the other to hold the needle with – again, to provide better grip and a tighter fit. Addi clicks do not need to be screwed and tightened so there is no gadget included, however, you want to make sure the cable actually clicks into position, and thus cannot detach itself.

I do not want to go on about how to generally use an interchangeable set, you know that it is possible to attach cords of different lengths, etc etc. What I am rather going to talk about is the stuff you do not think about at first, but will work nicely using your interchangeable kit.

There are a lot of useful things included in a kit – if not included, you often can buy them in addition. End caps, for example, are very useful. I never worry if I have the right size in use or not, if I do an want to start something else with the same size, I just detach the needles and screw on the end caps to make the cord into a stitch holder for my work in progress. To not forget which needle size you used, there are little tags with the needle size you can include on the cord, just to be sure!

You probably already know that when you knit a cardigan or sweater top down you can try it on during knitting. That’s really great – especially when you are indecisive about the length and need help to decide. I usually use a 32′ neelde to knit sweaters, which is too short to try on a sweater – in that case I just unscrew a needle, attach the cord extender, screw on another cord and an end cap or the needle with a needle stopper. This way I can securely try on my knitting on the go and see how much I yet have to knit.

I also like to use the shorter cables as stitch holder for the sleeves, since I prefer malleable holders to the metal rigid ones for sleeves. Don’t get me wrong, these have their uses and I do have quite a few of them, but for sleeves I prefer the cords.

Did you know that you can make two sets of the same size with just one pair of tips? When knitting in the round you always knit with the needle in your right hand. While we usually have the same size on the left hand needle, you can totally get away with using a tip a size smaller. This way you can knit two projects at the same time – only in the round though!! It does not work for flat knitting, because then we use both needles alternately. You can also knit very small circumferenes, instead of using double pointed needles, use the two circulars.

There are projects out there that ask to knit one row with a big needle and the next one with a much smaller one. Just attach the adequate size to your cable and go – no need to swith needles every row.

One thing you want to keep in mind in regard of interchangeable kits: keep them organized! I keep a good number of the keys to tighten the cords on a amall key ring as not to loose them, but have one or two in my notions case that I usually carry to work and one in my notions box in the living room. It is best to place the tips and cords back into the needle case when you are done with your project, otherwise you can loose track of where the needles are – and you might need the cord for another project. (No worries, if you need extra cords, you can buy them separately.)

Interchangeables are also the perfect travel companion. You always have a variety of needle sizes on hand contained in a neat little package.

What’s not to love?

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

Chevron Baby Blanket Class

Still a few spots left in our Chevron Baby Blanket class beginning this Sunday evening – call us at 514-486-5648 to reserve your spot!


CHEVRON BABY BLANKET (Bilingual Class)
Francoise Richard-Devereaux
$90 for three 2-hour sessions
Sundays, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: May 24, 31, June 7

Chevron Baby Blanket

Come join us and knit our beautiful Chevron Baby Blanket. This simple pattern is ideal for a first time blanket experience; you will learn several skills while  creating a fun and modern project. Required materials: Worsted weight yarn – 5 colours at 140 meters each (or more if you wish to make a larger version) and needles required to obtain gauge (usually 5 – 5.5mm circular needles). Prerequisites: Cast on, knit, purl, bind off

– Melissa

New store sample: Davis

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Davis by Pam Allen is a simple, boxy pullover which perfectly blends stockinette stitch and Quince and Co’s beautiful Kestrel yarn (100% linen) in a modern silhouette . We love the fact that the nature of this yarn keeps the edges from rolling, allowing for an unstructured yet pulled-together look. An incredibly comfortable piece with great drape and a cool textureAlthough the wide profile is balanced by very fitted sleeves for esthetic balance, we felt they were a little too narrow for the average gal and increased them a little in size. All modifications are listed on our Ravelry page.

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.
Buy Quince & Co. Kestrel on our website here.

– Melissa

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New store sample: Spring Lace Infinity Scarf

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The Spring Lace Infinity Scarf by Linda Thach is a lovely spring / summer project with a light, crisp structure. Knit with 2.5 skeins of Shibui Linen (20 colours currently in stock), the fabric is light and breathable – ideal for warm-weather wear. Although some will find it a little rough at first, be assured that this will become softer with every wear. The combination of leafy lace borders with stockinette and elongated stockinette sections creates a delicately textured loop that makes a pretty addition to any outfit!

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.
Shibui Linen is available in our online store here!

– Melissa

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Free pattern Friday: Sunray Shawl

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The Sunray Shawl by designer Dunkelgrün is one of those easily customizable patterns that lends itself well to adjustments in size as well as just about any yarn weight. Although the one pictured is knit with a fingering to sport weight yarn (370m / wingspan 65″), you can use any other weight (be sure to adjust your needle size) and / or knit additional repeats for a larger shawl. With a semicircular shape, decorative yarn-overs arranged like sunrays, and a picot edge, this shawl is pretty and feminine and beautifully textured.

The designer includes a link to a video tutorial for the picot-edge bind-off and notes that this pattern is suitable for beginners – including first-time shawl knitters, first-time lace knitters, and first-time picot-edge bind-off knitters – so, if you’ve been putting off trying out these types of projects, no more excuses. It’s time to take the leap :-)

– Melissa

One For My Fellow Sock Knitters – This Is How I Do It

Hi there. Today I have something to show to my fellow sock knitters – it’s a little trick I do and that I teach in my sock class, so nothing special, unless you had to deal with those pesky holes before and want to try to avoid them. When you knit socks and just finished the heel, you get to pick up the stitches for the gusset. Which is to pick up one stitch into each selvedge stitch you created on the heel flap. I cheat a bit when I do that. Let’s have a look:

IMG_9854I pick up the stitches as usual, except for the last one.

IMG_9861For the last one, I skip the selvedge stitch and look for the regular stitch in the row below – see the beige one with the circle.

IMG_9864See? That’s where you want to pick up the last stitch.

IMG_9870When you have knit the stitches of the top of the foot, it is time to pick up the stitches for the gusset on the other side of the heel flap. Look for the corresponding stitch on this side and pick up there, not in the first selvedge stitch.

IMG_9871

See? The arrow shows the little gap that is made by skipping the first selvedge stitch. When you are done that, you pick up the rest of your stitches as you would.

This way, there will be virtually no holes between the the heel flap and top of the sock, and the slightly larger gaps are closed neatly on the next row. This is how I do it!

Dear non-sock-knitters, please forgive the lack of information for you today, yet this is something I have wanted to share for a while. Now, if you feel like you want to become a sock knitter, guess what? There is a class coming up. Starting May 25th I’ll be teaching how to knit a sock – with double pointed needles and cuff down.

Give us a ring if you want to join, there are a few spaces left!

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

Re-stocked: Woolfolk!

woolfolk_restocked

The launch of Woolfolk last year by Kristin Ford took the knitting community by storm.  And after a stellar review of Woolfolk’s Får by Clara Parke’s on Knitter’s Review it sold out at many retailers within weeks. Thankfully, Kristin has increased production and we are happy to report that we are again fully stocked with all colours of both Tynd and Får.

Exquisitely soft and lustrous, Woolfolk yarn is made from Ultimate Merino®, an ecologically sourced and produced yarn which has been developed as part of a partnership between the Ovis 21 biodiversity and grasslands regeneration project and Patagonian farmers, the Nature Conservancy, and outdoor retailer Patagonia Inc. Ultimate Merino® has a micron count of 17.5, and combines the hand of cashmere with the wear of merino.

Woolfolk yarns are available exclusively at only a small number of hand-selected retail partners and we are honoured to be one of them.

Available in store and online here.

– Melissa

New store sample: Hamlin Peak

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Hamlin Peak by Pam Allen is a perfectly casual summer cardigan. This easy top-down sweater has clean lines and strategic shaping for a flattering fit.  Although this pattern originally calls for Quince and Co. Kestrel, because we’re already working up a store sample in that yarn (blog post coming soon), we opted for Rowan Pure Linen for this instead. We think  it works beautifully at this looser gauge giving the sweater a gorgeous drape, subtle sheen, and a very summery feel. At 16 1/2 stitches per 4″, Hamlin Peak knits up quickly and the straightforward raglan-style yoke and simple eyelet increases make for a minimalist yet pretty silhouette. So many wins!

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

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hamlin_3

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– Melissa

 

Our picks for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner but there’s still time to pick up the perfect gift! While choosing yarn for a knitter can sometimes be a tricky prospect, there are loads of other useful tools and accessories that are sure to be appreciated.

Here are just a few ideas:


SOAK

stocking_soak

Gentle and lightly scented, Soak is an ideal wash for cashmere, wool, cotton and other delicate fabrics.  Available in large (425 ml) and small bottles (90 ml) in the following scents: Aquae, Yuzu, Celebration, Lacey, and Scentless.

Purchase in store or online here.


ZigZag Stitches Boxy Bag

boxy_bags_2015Boxy Bags are handmade using designer Japanese fabrics. Each one is fully lined and beautifully crafted with reinforced seams. Great for storing and transporting knitting or craft projects, the bigger boxy bag will easily accommodate a shawl or small sweater. An interior pocket can hold notions and the bag itself will fit knitting needles or crochet hooks up to 10 inches long.
Approximately 10.5 inches x 5 inches x 5 inches (26cm x 13 cm x 13 cm)

Available in store and online.


DIGITAL ROW COUNTERS

digital_counters

A digital row counter is the perfect accessory for hands free counting while you knit or crochet. No more stopping to make a mark on a piece of paper or cranking a manual row counter. The electronic counter has a 5 digit LCD screen display that can count from 0 up to 99999 rows with 2 soft touch rubberized silver buttons to control it. Made from ABS plastic, the same material used for Lego. The row counter uses a standard AG10 1.5v button cell battery, so when it wears out, simply unscrew the back of the counter to replace it.

Purchase in store or online here.


Bookhou “Knit Stitch” Tall Tote or Bucket Tote

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Bookhou’s hand-drawn, hand-screened prints on beautiful multi-purpose tote bags!
Purchase in store or online here and here.

 HiyaHiya Swarovski Crystal Stitch Markers

Put a little sparkle in your knitting with these handcrafted Swarovski Crystal Stitch Markers! Each set of 12 contains 11 stitch markers with a clear Swarovski Crystal bead, and 1 specialty stitch marker with a colored or shaped Swarovski Crystal Bead. Stitch markers come inside a useful accessory tin.
Purchase in store or online here.

SNAP ‘N GO NOTIONS CASES – JUMBO

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Jumbo-sized Snap ‘n Go Notions Cases™ have eight little compartments to keep all your knitting and crocheting notions neatly separated. Organize your life in a snap and go! The first side features four small rectangular compartments that are perfect for storing stitch markers, buttons, and other tiny knitting notions. Flip apart the second half to reveal three long compartments that are great for holding things like stitch holders, darning needles, and point protectors. Finally, the big single compartment sandwiched in the center is perfect for larger items like mini crochet hooks, cable needles, T-pins, and tape measures. This compact little beauty has a hard, sturdy outer shell made of heavy-duty plastic. A hole for a lanyard or key chain is located near the hinge. Notions not included.

Purchase in store or online here.


NEEDLE KITS

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Available in-store only.


THE GLEENER

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We couldn’t live without this wonder tool. Fuzzing and pilling are a fact of life with knitted garments and some fibers and blends are worse than others. Regular use of the Gleener will keep your pieces looking new and will even resuscitate some you thought were beyond repair. Not convinced? See before and after photos and product videos on the Gleener website.

Purchase in store or online here.


 “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” Project Bags

Keep calm and carry yarn in these great project bags. Each cotton muslin bag is hand-dyed and screen printed by hand. Perfect for keeping your project organized and easy to grab when you’re on your way out. Image is printed on both sides of bag. Small version measures approximately 11″ x 10.5” / Large version 16″ x 16″.  Available in 11 colours.
Purchase in store or online here (Small) and here (Large).

Loqi Bags & Zip Pockets

 

loqi_bagsStrong , eco-friendly, reusable, chemical-free, long-lasting, water-resistant, washable. And extremely good looking.  A great on-the-go bag for all your shopping (and knitting / crafting) needs! Weighs just 1.9 oz but can carry up to 44 lbs.

Loqi ZIP Pockets

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Cellphone, wallet, and keys.  Stitch markers, cable needle, extra yarn. Each new adventure calls for its own set of tools. Loqi Zip Pockets come in families of 3.

Available in store or online here.


 Gingher Stork Scissors

Beautiful design and precise function are combined in these 3½ inch Stork Embroidery Scissors from Gingher. Each pair of scissors comes with a fitted leather sheath for storage.
Available in store or online here.

HIGHLIGHTER TAPEstocking_highlighter

A removable alternative to highlighter pens, LEE Highlighter Tape is great for use with knitting charts and patterns.

Purchase in store or online here.


 Espace Tricot Tote

Show your love for Espace Tricot. Our roomy eco-tote is made from 100% recycled cotton and is printed in the US. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability.
16″W x 15.5″H; 5″ bottom gusset
Purchase in store or online here.

ESPACE TRICOT GIFT CARD

stocking_giftcardAvailable in any denomination! Can’t make it into the store to pick one up? Can also be purchased over the telephone and delivered by regular post or e-mail. Just give us a ring at 514 486-5648.


 

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Espace Tricot!

– Melissa

Free pattern Friday: Sweet Mama

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Note: This pattern is only free through end of day Mother’s Day 2015 (May 10) with coupon code MD2015.

J. L. Finkelstein’s Sweet Mama scarflette is a very easy and fun little confection that requires only a little bit of lace weight yarn to work up. If you have about 20g left in your stash from any of your previous projects, then you have enough! If you prefer something a little more substantial, simply adjust your needle-size and use a heavier weight yarn.

The pattern is easily adjusted in terms of size just by continuing the pattern past the specified dimensions – the result will be a lovely triangular shawl.  The scarflette is worked on a diagonal and can be easily ended at any size.

While the scarflette itself would make a great Mother’s Day gift, whipping this up in time for Sunday is probably not feasible for most of us.  That said, If the woman you plan to honour this weekend is a knitter, why not gift the pattern along with a beautifully indulgent skein of yarn?

Remember, Sweet Mama is only free through Sunday so be sure to download it in the next day or two even if you don’t plan to knit it right away.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!!

– Melissa

New Kestrel colours from Quince & Co.

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We blogged the arrival of Quince & Co’s original nine Kestrel colourways back in March but five more colours have been added this season and we now have them available both in-store and online.

Kestrel is a new take on Quince’s simple Sparrow yarn – the same Belgium-grown organic linen but spun this time in a ribbon structure.  The yarn’s flat surface adds a slight texture to knit and purl stitches and the finished fabric has incredible drape.  And at at 3½ to 4 stitches to the inch, Kestrel knits up quickly for satisfying projects that will surely be finished before summer is.

Have a look at our previous post for project ideas or browse Kestrel patterns on Ravelry for inspiration.

Lisa just finished Davis by Pam Allen with this yarn and it’s great – photos coming soon!

– Melissa

WWMD*

Today another edition of *What Would Mona Do.

As  you might have heard me say, I do love knitting with linen. I do like the crisp fabric – often called ‘scratchy’, however, I don’t think it is – of 100% linen. Everything that follows is valid for 100% linen, not mixes, not cotton, I am talking about LINEN. We have a variety of 100% linen at the store:

Euroflax Sport from Louet – it is wet spun and very crisp

Sparrow from Quince – spun from organic flax in Belgium

Kestrel from Quince – a ribbon yarn, also from organic flax

Linen from Shibui – a chainette, which makes it extra crisp

Don’t get me wrong, linen is not soft as cashmere or silk, but, and this is a big BUT, it gets softer and softer with wear. Every time you wash your linen it softens up more – up to a point when you cannot imagine it was ever really ‘crisp’ because all that is left is softness.

One way to get your linen softer sooner – and yes, that is the WWMD part of the post – is to wash it in the washing machine. On cold, if that makes you feel better, however, I am of the opinion linen is linen and can take warm water.

If you want to be sure that nothing untoward happens to your sweater (or whatever it is you want to soften) take your swatch and throw it into the next color wash you have to do.

This way you will figure out if the mechanical wash does impact your knitting – makes it grow or shrink lengthwise. It happens more to knits that are worked in a looser gauge, because there is just more leeway to do one or the other. When your item comes out of the washer, just pull it into form and lay flat to dry as ever.

Disclaimer: What follows is not for the faint of heart and I am not saying you should do it, all I am saying is: I did it.

I dried my Quince Sparrow sweater in the dryer on low. When I got it out it felt like it compacted a bit, but with wear it expanded again. If you do that,  you do not have any control about pulling it into the shape you want it, because when it is dry it is dry and the shape cannot be changed – until the next wash, when you get another chance to pull it into form when wet.

Happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona

New in store: Sail Shawl Kits from SweetGeorgia

Sail Shawl Kit

Sail Shawl Kit

With a simple, modern construction, SweetGeorgia’s gently asymmetrical Sail Shawl evokes a nautical, summertime feel. The entire shawl is worked with knit stitches only, making for an easy, relaxing project. Pick your favorite colours and watch the colourblocks come to life!

Sail Shawl Kit

Kit includes the Sail Shawl pattern as well as three skeins of yarn (Tough Love Sock + Glitterati Sock). Choose from the following colourways:

  • Shoots & Leaves (Basil, Melon, Laurel)
  • Caramel Pecan (Auburn, Ginger, Tumbled Stone)
  • Citrus Sparkler (Coral Rose, Grapefruit, Birch)
  • Evening Song (Ultraviolet, Mulberry, Wisteria)
  • Dark & Stormy (Nightshade, Sapphire, Dreamboat)

Shoots & Leaves

Caramel Pecan

Citrus Sparkler

Evening Song

Dark & Stormy

Finished measurements

  • Width: 63” / 160 cm at top edge
  • Height: 19.75” / 50 cm at center spine

Kits can be purchased in-store or online here.

– Melissa

Now online: Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Project Bags

jenniegee_project_bags

Keep calm and carry yarn in these great project bags from JennieGee. Each cotton muslin bag is hand-dyed and screen printed by hand. Perfect for keeping your project organized and easy to grab when you’re on your way out. Image is printed on both sides. Large version measures approximately 16″ x 16” / Small version 10.5″ x 11″.

Now available in our online store here and here!

– Melissa

Now online: Handmaiden Maiden Hair

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Maiden Hair is finally available in our online store along with Handmaiden Lino, Mini Maiden, Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk, and Sea Silk.

Maiden Hair is a luscious blend of pure mulberry silk wrapped in a soft hazy strand of kid mohair. This single ply yarn is soft and fuzzy with a stunningly beautiful inner “glow” that will light up your projects.  A lovely choice for cowls, shawls, wraps, and sweaters.

See what we mean below…

Ocean Breeze by Boo Knits

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(Project photo: tramonto)

Here, Maiden Hair is beautifully combined with Sea Silk in the same colourway.

Capture by Lisa Mutch

(Project photo: Espace Tricot)

This version of Capture is one of our most popular store samples!

The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower Yarn

(Project photo: rubylamore)

This kerchief-size version of the Age of Brass and Steam is made with just half a skein of Maiden Hair.  You can make two and gift one or add repeats to create a larger shawl.

Sabine by Julie Weisenberger

(Project photo: Espace Tricot)

Sabine is another very popular store sample – luxurious, sophisticated, and flattering on nearly every body type.

Circumnavigate by Heidi Kirrmaier

(Project photo: UandIKnit)

This has just been added to my queue and a skein in the Torngat colourway has been stashed!

– Melissa

Now online: Handmaiden Lino

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The exquisite Lino from Handmaiden has just been re-stocked (25 colours) and is now available in our online store!  Lino is a 2-ply laceweight yarn that combines shiny silk and crisp linen for a fresh and light summer yarn. The generous yardage (800 m / 875 y) makes Lino ideal for larger lace projects as well as for beautiful tops and elegant wraps. It can also be knit double for a thicker fabric.

Click here to purchase Lino in our online store.

A few projects to inspire:

Holey Square Shawl by Marianne Sigg

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(Project photo: lismete)

I have the Holey Square Shawl on my needles right now and am loving the texture and airy feel of this piece!

Swiss Cheese Scarf by Winnie Shih

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(Project photo: lismete)

This looks fun!

Muji Painting by Lies Vandesande

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(Project photo: lismete)

A great pattern for easy, mindless knitting. Perfect for showing off the beautiful hand-dyed variations.

Groovy by JumperCablesKnitting

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(Project photo: lismete)

We’ve knit several Groovy shawls already but this one in Lino is making us feel like there may be another one in our future :-)

– Melissa

Free pattern Friday: Spring Fever

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Spring Fever by Amy Miller is a fresh take on the traditional rugby scarf. With endless striping possibilities this gorgeous accessory is the perfect canvas to reflect your colour personality. Work it as a gradient or opt for 8 completely different shades. The beauty of a simple concept like this one is its versatility – it can be as wild or as sophisticated as you like depending on your colour choices and the size makes it wearable as both a scarf or a wrap.  A great way to use up any fingering weight bases in your stash – especially leftovers from previous projects.

Uses 1 skein each of 8 different colours – approximately 220 yds / 201 m each

Yarn options we’re considering (because you know we can’t resist this kind of project) are Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Julie Asselin Fino, Shibui Staccato, SweetGeorgia Yarns CashLuxe Fine,  or even Sandnesgarn Mandarin Petit.  Or what about Shibui Linen for a true summer version. Stay tuned… :-)

Let us know if you cast on for Spring Fever and what yarns and colours you choose. We can’t wait to see finished versions of these as they are added to Ravelry!

– Melissa

Mesh It Up

If you have paid attention to the knitting scene for a while, you might have realized that knitted mesh or net turns up every once in a while in a design. That could be interpreted as knitters being fashion forward – it is apparently a trend right now (see pic) or one could think that knitters really do not care and do/knit whatever they feel like. What it definitely shows is that you cannot go wrong with knitting some mesh, especially this Spring/Summer season.

Mesh

From Lucky magazine, May 2015

To help you out I have been searching ravelry.com for suitable projects and have found quite a few that I think would carry you over the warm season nicely.

Angelina Cardigan – picture from here.

This cardi is a one size fits all – it is oversized and makes for a great ‘throw-on-and-go’ piece in warmer temperatures. There is a wide variety of yarns you could use, Cascade Ultra Pima and Butterfly Cotton for the utilitarian look, if you are going for something special why not use Habu Tsumugi Silk double stranded, or Habu Wrapped Silk?

For the kniters who want mesh but a bit more structure, here is a more traditional short sleeved cardi.

Picture from here.

The original pattern uses a worsted weight yarn, however a slightly lighter yarn works well also. Rowan Creative Linen is definitely an option, as well as Rowan Pure Linen,  there is also Drops Bomull-Lin.

The Siesta Tee is just that – a t-shirt you can wear on many occasions. Personally, I would like it oversized, thinking that I definitely would have to wear a cami underneath. (D’uh. Mesh!!)

Picture from here.

I would go all out with the yarn on this one. It is originally knit in a DK weight yarn, but I am seeing Shibui Twig, Quince Sparriow, Habu Wrapped Merino, and Habu Tsumugi Silk with an added strand of Silk Stainless to give it body. Again, this makes for a versatile piece of clothing for summer, dress it up or down.

We have added Berroco Captiva to our range of summer yarns this year and I have found a design for you that fits into the trend of mesh.

Void by Norah Gaughan. Picture from here.

I have concentrated my search on garments, however if you feel rather like knitting an accessory, there are plenty to be found on ravelry also. Just enter ‘mesh’ or ‘net’ as keyword into your pattern search and you’ll find a large variety of designs.

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

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Re-stocked: Handmaiden Sea Silk

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Just because warmer weather is around the corner doesn’t mean yarn deliveries slow down around here.  In the last couple of weeks we’ve received large orders from Handmaiden, Habu Textiles, Quince & Co., Rowan, Shibui, and Julie Asselin (more on that last one soon!).

Our latest Handmaiden delivery included Sea Silk, Maiden Hair, and Lino. Only Sea Silk is currently available in our online store but Maiden Hair and Lino should be added by the end of the week. Until then, a focus on Sea Silk… :-)

Sea Silk is one of our favourite fingering-weight yarns for shawls and smaller accessories. A lustrous blend of silk and Seacell® – a cellulose based fiber derived from seaweed – Sea Silk has beautiful stitch definition and incredible drape making it a perfect choice for luxurious lace projects. This yarn is especially nice for use in spring and summer.

A few knit and crochet projects ideas to inspire you below.

Elowen Shawl by Judy Marples

(Project Photo: knittimo)

Chickadee Cowl by Kirsten Kapur

(Project Photo: jillianmac)

Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes

(Project photo: knittimo)

Botanical Cowl by Megan Goodacre

(Project photo: Megan Goodacre)

Curry Cuff by Karen Borrel

(Project photo: tjasad)

Sweet November by Guylaine Godin

(Project photo: 783Nora)

– Melissa

 

 

 

New store sample: Pebble Beach

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The Pebble Beach Shawlette by Helen Stewart is a lovely crescent-shaped summer accessory which we’ve knit here with Handmaiden’s exquisite Sea Silk. This luxurious shawl has extraordinary drape and sheen and the picot edge finishes off the simple lace pattern beautifully! The pattern is clearly written and makes for a great travel and holiday knitting project.

Visit our Ravelry page for additional photos and project details!

Handmaiden Sea Silk has just been re-stocked and is now available in our online store.

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– Melissa

Dropping The Ball Stitch

Dropping stitches is usually a stressful event since under normal circumstances we do not want stitches to drop. However, there are stitch patterns out there that make you drop stitches on purpose. Yes, you read right. On these occasions you really want to drop the stitches (or, as you will see, yarn overs) to achieve an airy, loose pattern that you can use to create different effects.

One pattern that makes use of this technique is the ever so popular “Clapotis” by Kate Gilbert which celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

Picture from here. Close up of dropped stitches.

Another example for achieving an interesting fabric using dropped stitches is the “Harpswell Apron” by Pam Allen. Stitches get dropped after a certain number of rows alternately.

Picture from here.

Both of these designs are in spite of the dropped stitches structured knits, yet they have an airy feel due to the gaps that are created.

Another way to use dropped stitches is to achieve a deconstructed look, meaning yes, it is a garment but looks quite different from what we usually expect.

Picture from here.

“Les Miserables” by Cynthia Parker uses exactly the same technique, yet the deconstruction is enhanced by slightly felting the knitted fabric.

Picture from here.

The “Dropped Stitch Cardigan” by Erica Patberg makes excessive use of dropped stitches with a quite dramatic effect. Another example for a deconstructed look.

The other way of ‘dropping stitches’ is to work elongated stitches by dropping yarn overs from the row before. One can achieve an even row of long stitches or a wavy pattern depending on the number of yarn overs worked.

Picture from here.

#13 Drop Stitch Scarf by Laura Bryant (published in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009) makes use of both techniques – you drop stitches and have dropped yarn overs forming elongated rows which results in a light, airy fabric that makes for a lovely summer scarf when knit in a light summery yarn.

As you might have seen, Melissa just finished a design making use of the dropped stitches also. Shibui Twig gives it a textural quality, yet it is also light an airy.

1SS15 | Tier by Shellie Anderson. Sample is now in store!

I am currently knitting the “Spring Lace Infinity Scarf” by Purl Avenue – knit in Shibui Linen the lace pattern combined with dropped stitches makes a for a delicate fabric.

A class for this particular pattern starts on Monday and there are a few spaces left, if you feel so inclined!

Picture from here.

I have chosen only a few from a wide selection –  check out ravelry.com for any number of possible designs and make your pick as you please!

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona