Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review/Blog Tour - "Elegant, Fashionable, Chic Accessories to Crochet" by Karen McKenna - and a Contest!

I was really excited when Karen McKenna told me she was going to do her first book and use Cascade Yarns in it.  She has designed a number of projects for Cascade including including the Arched Cuffed Fingerless Mitts crocheted in Heritage 150 Paints (and she was sweet enough to make a pair for me).  We will be doing a giveaway from the book on the blog and Karen will be doing a giveaway on her blog.

There are 6 different sets with different styles for each.
Desert Southwest Scarf, Mitts & Headband
Crocheted in Casablanca
This sporty set only requires 4 skeins and can be worked in any of the 21 colorways available.
Heartland Hat, Scarf & Mitts
Crocheted in 220 Superwash
Texture and simple lines combined with a washable wool make a great gift set for the man in your life.
Purple Mountain Hat & Mitts
Crocheted in Casablanca
Whimisical and colorful, this set takes advantage of the long color repeats of the yarn.
This is the prize you can get from Karen's blog - 1 skein of Casablanca in color 03 - Gallah Cockatoo and a copy of the book.
Metro Headwrap & Gloves
Crocheted in Heritage
This elegant set offers just a hint of sparkle and has the added benefit of being practical (the index finger and thumb finger have an opening so you can use your phone or tablet without taking them off)
Pacific Northwest Hat, Gloves & Scarf
Crocheted in 220 Superwash
Buttons add to this fun Washington inspired set.
New England Hat, Mittens & Scarf
Crocheted in 220 Superwash
Warm and bright combined with texture, this will add that pop of color during the cold months.

To enter on this blog, write a comment with your favorite set and what you like about it between September 25 and September 30.  We will announce a winner on October 1 on the blog.  The winner will win the yarn for their favorite set and a copy of the book.

Also, remember to go to Karen's blog for a chance to win.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cozy - Dunham, NC - Mitered Squares Cardi - Pattern #58 from 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops

 Our next stop from 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops is Cozy at 770 Ninth Street, Durham, NC.  Lisa Doherty designed Mitered Squares Cardi  - an adorable baby cardigan - knit in 220 Superwash.  This super cute project combines mitered squares on the body and stripes on the sleeps and would be a fabulous gift.
Cozy opened 9/8/2001, inspired by a handful of small businesses in other cities that had diverse merchandise in one store. None were exactly like Cozy, and Cozy has certainly evolved in its 12 year history.  They have grown with their eclectic array of merchandise, from yarn to shoes into “a sort of chick department store.” (Not that they don’t value our male customers who knit and crochet, but where else can you find yarn, great clothing, local jewelry, shoes, accessories, and clever gifts all in one great location?)
Their yarn department offers free help hours six days a week with priority to those who are working with our materials, but if it’s quiet are happy to take a look at other projects, too.  They also offer classes, from learn to knit or crochet to project based classes taught by talented and creative teachers that also work in the store.
About her pattern, designer and Cozy employee Lisa Carney Doherty says "The Mitered Square Baby Sweater came from my love of modular knitting (those little squares are just so addictive!) and the birth of my niece, Emma.  The prototype was made for her in various shades of purple, pink, and red.  Soon after, I made one for Cozy and wrote out the pattern. At first, the sweater looks complicated, but once you get the hang of knitting the mitered square, the only challenge is to make sure you join the squares correctly.  The 220 Superwash comes in so many great colors, it's easy to pick a pair that look beautiful together."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Waves Shawlette - 1 skein Shawlette knit in Souk

I love to see what I can get out of a skein.  Souk is one of our new yarns for Fall 2013 - a silk-wool blend with a tweedy texture.  Each 220 yard skein shifts through 8 colors and there are 14 colorways to choose from.  Previously I'd created an Infinity scarf from 1 skein and wanted to try to do a quick shawlette.  The beauty of this yarn is that it does most of the work and simple patterns do best.

-        1 skein Souk (55% Silk/45% Wool – 220 yds/100 g ) – shown in 11 (Jewels)
-        Size US 10 needle
-        2 Stitch Markers
-        Yarn needle
Finished Measuments
-        1 skein = 45” wide across the top x 20” long at the point

-        K – Knit
-        YO – Yarn over
-        K2Tog – Knit 2 Together
-        pm – Place Marker
-        sm – Slip Marker
-        sl1 – Slip one stitch
-        psso – Pass Slipped Stitch Over
-    P - Purl
CO 3 stitches
Row 1 - K1, YO, [pm]K1 [pm] YO, K1
Row 2 - Knit
Row 3 - K1, YO, K1, YO [sm]K1 [sm] YO, K1, YO, K1
Row 4 - Knit

Start Pattern
Row 1 - K1, YO, Knit to Marker, YO, [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K to last stitch, YO, K1
Row 2 - Knit
Repeat 29 more times

You will have 129 stitches on your needles when you start the Lacey Edge – 64 on each side of the stitch marker – this will leave 63 stitches for the Lacey Edge

Lacey Edge (Lace pattern is a multiple of 12 + 1)

Row 1 - K1, YO,  K1, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to 2 stitches before marker K2, YO [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K3, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to last  stitch, YO, K1

Row 2 (and all even rows) –  P

Row 3 - K1, YO,  K1, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to 4 stitches before marker K4, YO [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K5, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to last  stitch, YO, K1

Row 5 - K1, YO,  K1, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to 6 stitches before marker K6, YO [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K7, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to last  stitch, YO, K1

Row 7 - K1, YO,  K1, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to 8 stitches before marker K8, YO [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K9, *[K2tog, K2tog, (YO, K1) 3 times, YO, (sl1, K1, psso) – 2 times, K1] repeat from * to last  stitch, YO, K1 

Row 9 - K1, YO, Knit to Marker, YO, [sm] K1 [sm] YO, K to last stitch, YO, K1

Bind off very loosely
Weave in ends

Block to desired measurement – I did wet blocking with wires and pins

Monday, September 16, 2013

Free Yarn Giveaway - Take-a-Bow Neck Warmer!

Time for another giveaway!

Kristen Stoltzfus designed Take-a-Bow Neckwarmer for the October issue of Crochet World.  Crocheted in Jewel, her versatile design can be worn long and drapey or close around the neck for warmth.  Jewel is a fabulous thick-thin kettle dyed Peruvian wool.  It only takes 2 skeins to crochet this lovely cowl.

Cascade Yarns is giving away the yarn to make this cowl to 2 lucky winners.  All you have to do is post your favorite crochet project in Cascade Yarns to the blog or Facebook between September 17 and 24.  Winners will be anounced on September 26.

 The prizes will include 2 hanks of Jewel color 9283 - Dusty Rose.

Remember to check back on September 26 to learn who the winners are! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yarn Garden - Littleton, NH - Holly Hat - Pattern #13 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops

 The second stop on our virtual Shop Hop through 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops is Yarn Garden in Littleton, NH.  Their pattern is Holly Hat knit in Cascade 220.  This adorable beanie designed by Paula Herbert features a darling applique of holly leaves and berries.
Yarn Garden, in Littleton, New Hampshire, is a warm, friendly shop, with a great selection of yarns.  They are celebrating their fifth anniversary this November!

Susan Smith and Paula Herbert opened the shop the fall of 2008, only a month after deciding to embark on the venture.  Both women were teachers worrying about sons in the military, so they created the shop to be a feel-good haven for themselves and their customers and it has continued to be just that.  
Now they have both retired from teaching and are developing their website for on-line sales.  Their staff, Katie Rose Siggins, Casey MacMillan, and Laurie Despins, are inspirational teachers who cheerfully help customers throughout the week.
Paula and Susan cooperating during World Wide Knit in Public Day
Casey modeling her witch’s hat
Katie leading in her Yarn Garden song at the Christmas Cookie Swap

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Close Knit - Wyckoff, NJ - Twisted Stitch Mittens - Pattern #34 - 60 Quick Knits From America's Yarn Shops

In case you haven't heard, there is an exciting new book coming out this fall - 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops.  I will be blogging my way through the book and telling you about the lovely patterns as well as the fabulous shops that created them.  It is my hope to get you a little more familiar with some of the fabulous shops located around the U.S.!

The first stop is Close Knit Yarns at 300 Franklin Ave, Wyckoff, NJ.  Their pattern is Twisted Stitch Mittens knit in 220 Superwash Sport.  The mittens feature an allover mini-cable pattern and are a 2 skein project.

From a tiny storefront founded by two friends in 2005, Close Knit has grown into its third location in Wyckoff, NJ and boasts eight employees and three teachers.  Representing dozens of lines of yarns, books and accessories from all over the world, Close Knit also offers a full spectrum of knitting and crochet technique and project classes.  Customers learn many skills such as knitted beaded jewelry to Tunisian crochet to fixing mistakes and finishing techniques.  They have recently introduced a “Masters Series” to challenge the advanced knitter.
Close Knit hosts an exciting array of store events including designer workshops and trunk shows.  They hold several popular annual events including a fall weekend retreat at the beautiful Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz NY, and a bus to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.

As a local community business, they are proud to host a number of outreach projects, and have contributed several thousand knitted and crocheted items to neonatal and Alzheimer’s units of local hospitals, as well as other deserving and underserved groups.

Although they are very proud of our fine products and our many events, their most important accomplishment is their standard of superior service.   Their primary goal is to have customers leave their shop in a better “place” than when they entered.  Perhaps they found the perfect yarn for a project, had a mistake corrected in order to continue working, worked with a team member to translate a pattern, learned something new or made a friend - all of these are halmarks of the Close Knit Experience!