Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I've never been fond of novelty yarns. Maybe it's because I learned to knit at the peak of scarf mania at a wonderful yarn store, so I learned my derisive attitude along with my knit and purl stitches. I tend to like natural fibers and hand dyed colors.

So why the heck am I so in love with Daylily? [rav link]

It's a cotton/nylon/acrylic blend. It looks like a ribbon, but it's not. The colors are interesting, subtle but shimmering. Usually I'm lusting after the 100% cottons this time of year (I love spring and summer knitting--cotton is my jam!) But I find that everyday I'm at the shop, I end up bringing a ball of Daylily to sit next to me at the table so I can just look at it.

I'm not alone. Most other people have fallen for this sweater.

Carla was good enough to model it for us (since I always hate when sweaters are just shown on hangers--it always makes me think, "What's wrong with it that a human being doesn't want to try it on?" But worse is when baby sweaters are modeled by dolls. Gives me the hebejeebees!) and she was also kind enough to wear a dress that coordinated so nicely with the garment.

It's the Scoop Necked Cardigan from the Daylily book. A very versatile cardigan that takes 7 - 12 skeins.

But I'm not going to make it. I was thinking (dreaming, scheming) about a short-sleeved February Lady. [rav link] The perfect spring sweater.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Do Dye Lots Matter?

Cindy and Margie have just finished these sweaters. Cindy's is Rowan Summer Tweed and Margie's is Rowan Calmer.

If I hadn't titled this blog post so obviously, would you have noticed that each of these sweaters is composed out of two dye lots?

It's not a mistake, it's a design feature. That's what we like to say. Margie and Cindy love their sweaters regardless (except Cindy keeps tugging on the sleeves, wishing they were a bit longer. Good thing the summer/silk blend is very stretchy!)
And a note to all the knitters out there with similar problems: if you don't go around pointing out the different dye lots as soon as you walk into a room, most likely nobody will notice your sweater's condition.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some Colour on a Cloudy Day

It's another cold and rainy day, but Heather's not complaining. She just finished her Tender sweater from The Colourscape Chunky Collection out of Kaffe Fasset's Colourscape [rav link].

Check out those wings--er, I mean sleeves!

Look how elegant she looks, reaching for a ball of just out of reach yarn!
(And maintaining elegance in those electric candy shades is quite a feat! But, Heather, you pull it off without a hitch!)
So, it's a cold, gray, rainy Sunday. So what? Pick up that wool sweater you haven't quite finished, turn on the basketball game, and knit!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yosemite Class

The Yosemite Sweater Class has already started, so posting about it now seems a little bit of too little, too late.

But it's a beautiful sweater! It comes in a lot of sizes! It's flattering on many body types! It's a great year round addition to your wardrobe! And now, this class is on sale!

That's right. Sign up for the Yosemite Sweater Class by next Wednesday, April 1 and you only have to pay $55.

What the heck? Sign up for the Yosemite Sweater Class by Wednesday, April 8, and you only have to pay $44.

So if you want to take a sweater class, but feel like a whole 6 weeks is a serious commitment, we are ready to offer you a more casual relationship. 4 weeks of a 6 week sweater class offered at a discount? Let's just call that friends with benefits.

For more information about the Yosemite Sweater Class (or all of the other classes we offer), check out our website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Little People, Big World

Sorry I fell into a blogless hole again. But thankfully, Keith has come to the rescue!

Keith knows a family of five who are adopting three orphaned brothers from Ethiopia. A family friend requested dolls of each family member and Keith was only too happy to oblige.

You can't see the amazing details as well in this picture, but he's gotten it down to corn rows and facial hair. And because everybody was so impressed, Keith wrote down the basic pattern and asked us to share it with everyone. Thank you!

Keith's Dolls

Yarn requirements: Any yarn will work, but DK or worsted weight will work best. Go down two or three sizes from recommended hook size so your stitches are tight enough to keep the stuffing inside. (Example: with worsted weight yarn, use a G hook.)

Leg – Make 2
Chain 5.
At the end of all the rounds (except the last one), do this: join with sl in first sc, ch 1.
Round 1: (work in 1 loop) 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 2 chains, 4 sc in next chain, sc in next 4 stitches
Round 2: (work in back loop) sc round. (12 stitches)
Round 3: sc in next 4 stitches, s2tog, sc, s2tog, sc in next 3 stitches,
Round 4: sc in next 3 stitches, s2tog, s2tog, sc in next 3 stitches.
Round 5: sc in next 2 stitches, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc in next 2 stitches.
Round 6 -7: sc round (6 stitches)
Round 8: * sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch * repeat from *.
Round 9: sc round (8 stitches)
Repeat Round 9 until the leg is the desired length.
Stuff leg.
On the first leg, finish off. On the second leg, do not finish off, ending with the ch 1 and start the torso.

Torso, Shoulders &Head – Make 1.
At the end of all the rounds (except the last one), do this: join with sl in first sc, ch 1.
Torso Round 1: sc in next 3 stitches, sc in other leg (2nd to last stitch of the last round), sc in next 7 stitches, s2tog (stitch together (1) same stitch where the first stitch in the left leg and (2) the same stitch where the last stitch from this round was made of the right leg), sc in next 5 stitches.
Torso Round 2: sc round. (17 stitches)
Torso Repeat round 2 until torso is the desired length.

Shoulder round 1: sc, * sc, s2tog * repeat from *, end with sc.
Stuff torso.
Shoulder round 2: s2tog around.

Head round 1 – 2: sc around (6 stitches)
Head round 3: 2 sc in each stitch.
Head round 4: * sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end.
Head round 5: * sc, sc, 2 sc, repeat from * to end.
Head round 6 -7 : sc around (24 stitches)
Head round 8: *sc, sc, s2tog, repeat from * to end.
Head round 9: *sc, s2tog, repeat from * to end.
Stuff head.
Head round 10: s2tog around, finish off, leaving a 4” – 6” tail.
On needle, stitch through all 6 stitches and pull tight. Finish off.

Arm – Make 2
Reduce your hook size down 1 or 2 sizes. (ie. If you’ve been using an H for the rest of the pattern, then use an F or G for the arms)
At the end of all the rounds (except the last one), do this: join with sl in first sc, ch 1.
Chain 2.
Round 1: 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.
Round 2: *sc, sc, 2 sc, repeat from * to end
Round 3: sc around (8 stitches)
Stuff arm.
Repeat round 3 for desired length, then finish off, leaving a 4” – 6” tail. Sew arm onto body.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crochet Socks

There's a lot of knitting on this blog, and crochet often gets the shaft. But Suzanne is doing her best to remedy the situation.

She has taught a lot of classes at the Knit Nook, mostly our Beginning Crochet on Saturdays, but also spinning and even some knitting classes too. This month, she taught her first Crochet Socks class. And I have a feeling, it's just the beginning.

Keith took the class and well within the three weeks, he finished his first pair of socks. They are made out of All Season's Cotton (I want to say three skeins, but I am really just making up that number) and a D hook. Keith defies convention by proving that just because you crochet, and just because you're a man, doesn't mean you can't make a pair of kick ass socks! Excellent job, Keith! And thanks for sending the pictures.

If you would like to learn how to crochet your own socks, don't wait until fall for the next class. Call or email us and Suzanne can get you hooked up. (Ha! Ha! My wit astounds me!)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

When a sweater is a home

I was so good for a while, wasn't I? Blogging three, sometimes four, times a week. Pictures almost every time. And then all of a sudden a week went by. And it wasn't until the weekend that I realized that I hadn't blogged.

Well, if it is any consolation, I've completely given up on exercising and making my own lunch. And let's just say Jimmy John's every day and no jogging has made it so I can only wear one pair of pants anymore.

Since it was Sunday night when I decided to write a blog post, I had to use what I have. So I'm going to tell you all about my at home project.

I always have one. It's become a habit of mine. When you work at a yarn store, people are always jealous about all of your knitting time. But sometimes your knitting time isn't your own. There are examples that need knitting (new yarns, classes) and customers often pay me to finish their projects (I am not naming names--you purchase loyalty along with my mattress stitch!), not to mention that sometimes, with all the working that's going on, there really isn't a whole lot of knitting time.

My at home project is my monogamous personal project. It's what I knit when I'm watching TV. It's what I bring over to friend's houses and sometimes to the bar. It's what my dog sleeps on when I leave it on the couch. So that's why, when I all of a sudden show up to the shop with a sweater nobody has seen, it's not because I'm fast, it's because I'm loyal.

Anyway, I've had this Cotton Glace forever. I actually bought it from Handknitter's in Middletown to make Stella's Blouse from Spring 2004 Interweave Knits (rav link). Even then, I was terrible about following directions, so this was my effort to make a sweater the Right Way. I would use the same needles, make a gauge swatch, block--I was doing it all!

You think you know what happened, but you don't. I made the sweater. I finished it. I wore it around a few times. But then I thought, "You know, this isn't really my style." And I frogged it. (You gotta remember, this was before the days that I owned a yarn store. I was a teacher with a meager yarn stash!)

I thought about making the Lucky: Clover Lace Wrap from Stitch N Bitch Nation (rav link), but I only got a few inches into it (below). And then the yarn sat in a basket for the next few years. Homeless.

But then I saw this pattern in the new Rowan magazine.

I only needed two skeins of the red for the trim (isn't it funny how stash busting always requires new yarn?) But I think this one is a keeper.

Whew! How's that for posting? I think I'm good until at least Wednesday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Erika's Blanket

It was sad when Erika moved away. But it was also a reminder about how great technology is. She still calls us up at the shop to see what we're up to. We write notes on Facebook and Ravelry. And of course, email.

There isn't much of a knitting community where she lives. So when she finished a blanket for her nephew, she knew how much we'd appreciate it and emailed us some pictures.

The color scheme is sophisticated, but still colorful enough for a little boy. It will be something that can see him through his whole life.

It's made out of Blue Sky Cotton, which is without a doubt my favorite yarn, particularly for baby blankets. The vibrant green color is called Pickle.

Squares are a great way to experiment with new stitches. Also, blankets like this can be great stash busters. If you only have a little bit of yarn left, it might not be enough to make a hat, but it might be enough to make a square.
My favorite is the square with the F embossed on it.

Thank you, Erika for sharing your knitting with us! It's great to still feel connected even though you live on the other side of the country!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March classes

Tonya is teaching two great classes in the next couple of weeks. Her Baby Shrug class starts March 29 (and that's this month!). The Baby Shrug is a perfect introduction to sweater construction. Top down and on relatively large needles, this is a quick knit perfect for our unpredictable Easter weather. (Seriously, one of our customers said she knit one up the Saturday before Easter so her daughter would have something to wear to keep her warm that wouldn't cover up her Easter dress.) For an adorable picture, look at Tonya's blog. For more information about this and all classes, look at the Knit Nook website.

The other class Tonya is teaching is the Argyle sweater vest. This class started Sunday, March 1. (Yes, I'm a little late advertising for it.) But there are still three weeks left if you want to jump in. This is a more advanced sweater, but is a great introduction to intarsia (that's how you make the colors go). It is made out of Mission Falls 136 superwash merino.

I did have a bunch of photos of the sweater vest, but then Tonya reminded me that she can't post photos of it BECAUSE THE PATTERN IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED IN YARN FORWARD MAGAZINE! So boo about the photos (they were of Leo, being cute and holding a knitted cob of corn), but congratulations, Tonya!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

World's Fastest Knitter

Sometimes, don't you wish you could knit like this?

Makes my sorry attempts at continental knitting seem inconsequential.

It's not a race, right? I always tell the beginning knitters that. The fastest way to get a scarf is not hand knitting it, it's going to Target and buying it.

But it sure would make frogging not such a big deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009


There is also the debate about what to do with extra sock yarn. It's too pretty to just throw away. Sock knitters--always gluttons for punishment--will just use the extra yarn in a new pair of socks, heels or toes, or whatever. I've held it together with plain wool to add color to a hat. Sharri has started knitting condom cozies out of her left over sock yarn (way to update the whole cozy phenomenon, Sharri!).

Or you could follow Heather's lead and knit a Socktopus. She has eight legs that need eight little socks (or leg warmers as the case might be) which is just perfect for sock yarn left overs.

And even though those of us who have seen Coraline recently shuddered at the button eyes, she really is an adorable lady!