Thursday, August 20, 2009

What to do with all that pretty new yarn

Earlier we got your drooling, this time we want to get you planning. Not only did we unveil our two beautiful new yarns at TNNA, we also released a whole slew of new patterns. First, let's talk about Astral. Astral knits up as a light worsted weight and works on everything from a size 4 to an 8 needle. Our sweet friend Shelley knitted the Decimal Sweater from Knitty using a size 4. Her fabric is rich, dense and feels silken to the touch.

Beth then knit the Firefly Shawl, designed by the amazing Kristin Omdahl on size 8 needles. The shawl fabric has a beautiful almost liquid like flow and drape. We were thrilled to see it walking on stage at the TNNA Fashion Show.

Truth be told, I sort of felt like I was in an episode of Ugly Betty, you know, without quite as much drama. No one came out on stage and admitted to murder or treachery, but it was like Mode in all the good ways. The Firefly shawl continued to wow throughout the show and more then one person jokingly threatened to walk away with it -- at least I *think* they were joking. Knitted from 4 skeins of Astral, the Firefly is constructed from the bottom up, thus avoiding that dreaded billion-stitch cast on. After the main body is completed, a complimentary edging is added. The shawl works up quickly and is 'intermediate' level of experience. If you've been wanting a lace shawl but the idea of knitting with skinny string is intimidating, this might be just the pattern for you.

If shawls aren't your speed or you want to whip up a quick one-skin wonderment, might we suggest one of our two fun new hat patterns. One is knit & one is crochet and both are adorable. The Bobble Beret, designed by Beth, is knit from the top down on size 5 & 6 double point needles or with a magic loop. The Road Trip Crochet Beret, designed by Angela, uses a size G hook has a unique band-up construction. In addition to being totally adorable, both are considered intermediate skill level and can be completed in a weekend. Keep watching this space, the Road Trip Beret pattern will be available soon!

Next time we'll talk about the new Halo patterns and what else is on the menu for fall. Till then, happy crafting!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer crafting

Hooray Summer! Okay, I tried to sound cheerful about that, but really, isn't August the dregs of summer, at least from a fibery perspective? Depending on where you live in the country, it's hot, it's humid, it rains nearly every afternoon and it's just downright miserable. Of course, if you have air conditioning this might not be so bad, but even then no one wants to sit under a blanket while working on an edging or deal with complicated lace charts under a ceiling fan.

August is great though for working on two things, socks & hats. It's also a fantastic time to get a jump start on all that holiday knitting & crocheting that you know you need to start on, but just can't quite seem to find the motivation.

We have an adorable kit that is sure to spice up your needles and take your mind off the heat, while getting you in the spirit for cooler weather.

The Baltic Ski Hat kit includes the colors seen in the picture and enough Classic Alpaca yarn to complete a 16"/small or 20"/med hat. The large kit includes enough yarn to complete a 22"/large hat. Purchase the kit and the pattern is included at no extra charge! Cost for the Small/Medium kit is $28, for the Large is $35.

My plan is to, pop in "A Christmas Story" and cast 0n!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Twilly Neckerchief

The insanely talented Lisa Shroyer has not one, but TWO patterns in the Fall, 2009 Interweave Knits. First, the terribly cute (if slightly intimidating) Bandelier Socks as well as the totally rockin' Twilly Neckerchief. The Twilly features three complimentary shades of Classic Alpaca. It's unique shape is worked in a honeycomb brioche stitch in two-row stripes and creates the look of woven twill fabric. Framing the pattern with bands of garter stitch breaks up the allover patterning. A simple shawl in a smaller-than-usual size makes for a great kerchief-style neck-warmer. Shaped like a "wonky square" you fold it in half to make a triangle. I've been imagining it done in shades of green & teal. Yummy! Best of all, this pattern is available as a FREE .pdf download from Lisa & the fantastic folks at Interweave Knits. Yay!!!