Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January Sale at The Loom!!!

Happy Holidays to all!

Firstly, if you read the last blog, I had a picture of a mitten (Arc Mittens) from the magazine Interweave Knits and there is a mistake - before you rip anything out because something isn't working, check 'errata' and the name of the magazine or pattern - often the pattern is wrong in published books or magazines. In this case the photo is reversed, so my brain went for a journey, before I wondered if I was right and the pattern was incorrect in some way....and sure enough.

The January Sale begins on January 2nd, 2012 for the whole month. 20% off of all regularly priced knitting yarns - how exciting!

We have a few new sample sweaters knitted by our fabulous knitter Sylvia - what a dream knitter she is.
This is made with Rowan Lima and we could have sold this a number of times - it is so beautiful and the picture just doesn't do it justice.  Another lovely piece is made with Drops alpaca doubled.

Simple patterns and a pleasure to knit with these fine yarns.  Yet another sweater made with Drops Puddel....

The cowl in the lower right corner is made with Fleece Artist Big Merino - done in the round but I twisted it more than I should have by picking up my needles and inadvertantly twisted it more than I should have but it looks great on.  The wool is great to knit.

I have smitten-itis - and this smitten is knit with Mochi plus with a little ruffle made with Katia Ondas just folded in half and knit one round. The pattern is from my favourite book in the whole wide world '365 Stitches a Year' calendar - Tweed rib stitch - easy - multiple of two, slip 1, knit 1, YO, psso the knit 1 and YO.

And another pair from Maggie Smith and Calypso Knits - easy fingerless mittens. I made them out of Noro Silk Garden on 4.5 and found them a little big - probably the silk and I have small hands. I then made them out of Eastwin Farm mohair blend that we dye at Leola's Studio on a 4 mm and they were perfect and snug - will post a picture of the one smitten I have done - just have to take a picture. The pattern is free on Ravelry.

And the sample I am working on now is a cable also from the calendar and using Berroco Peruvia Quick - multiple of 15 and I added 5 stitches on either side - guess I am doing a collar-y thing - Just weighed what I had left and will have to rip it out and change my needle size in order to get enough length and I wanted to edge with the tweed rib anyway to stop the curl. It calls for 8 mm but I think I will try a 10 mm. I love this yarn and we will be getting more colours in soon.

And a couple more books that I delight in having around - the first one, which I use all the time....and just to read and enjoy, Elizabeth Zimmerman.....she is my kind of knitter!

And Nicky Epstein too - if I am bored I try a new sample from her books and of course the 365 Stitches a year calendar - I panic if I don't have one with me. I have one at home, one in my knitting bag and one in the studio.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Heart Felt

Just a quick post....HA
I love the projects that come to the store completed and consequently inspiring. This knitter felted these beautiful slippers from the Nova Yarn Value Collection - pure wool. A 100 gm ball that has 155 m and is only $6.99. I wove with it as a weft and it felted beautifully as well.

100% felted wool smittens!
The Interweave Knits Accessories 2011 magazine is inspiring as usual and full of  'oh I want to try this and try that too..' - so often I will use my wonderful teenager students as guinea pigs - and work with them on trying new techniques or yarns. The girls wanted to make more mittens, but I thought it might be good to try a different pattern than using the regular Paton's and there is a great pattern in the above magazine called Arc Mittens described in the magazine as "...a curved line of increases becomes the focus of the Arc Mittens, while also creating the thumb gusset......" by designer Peggy O'Grady. The pattern calls for Brown Sheep Yarns Lamb's Pride Bulky which we don't have - but we do have Fleece Artist (YAY!) Big Blue ($15/100 gm.) which is comparable and lovely to work with - Blue Faced Leiscester after all! I have some difficulty making my students understand the making of the thumb gusset sometimes, so thought this might allievate the 'angst' of a gusset. And it is so cool watching the arc appear.....so I thought I better knit one before they begin....and it was a quick mitten to knit - of course I have to do another one.....yaargh.
The arc!!

Fleece Artist Big Blue!!!!
The other tangent I went on was all due to a delightful customer as well.  She had a crochet hat on that was great and also made out of the Nova yarn as well if I remember correctly. The pattern was from ravelry.com and is free. The pattern is called Divine Hat and can be seen on http://www.rheatheylia.com/ too.
It eats a lot of yarn. I made it with the Nova yarn but obviously too big a hook - the US hooks are lettered, so I didn't know what size, so used what I had - a 5.5 mm hook, so that hat was huge, although it fit me (I have a big head). It asks for a worsted weight but the Nova is what I had. So now I am making it in Pur • 100% Merino Wool 164 yards per 100 gram hank 6-7 mm (approx. US 10-10.75) needles - not inexpensive this yarn, but really cool to use and lots of different colour combos. I think I might have enough......
This hat kind of matches the weaving in the background. I like using the front post stitch and the swirl is very cool. I think I will use a different rib though, to save time and wool - on my crocheted toques I like the split single crochet and then the crab stitch on the edge. The yarn is partly felted so it is an interesting fibre to work with. Skacel has a free entralac scarf pattern online.

Now the last tangent that I was on was the crocodile crochet stitch - I have been meaning to explore that stitch a few times and then it finally happened. It is not hard, just a little brain scramble at first. However, I found a site with a video as well - the written instructions were straight forward and I applaud the author.

It is so very pretty - however, my idea was to make a collar affair, but I only got about 7 inches with 27 stitches and I was using Noro Silk Garden!!! so I would have had to use at least 3 balls, so now I am using  Milodon by Araucania, and only 15 stitches

And one of the many new yarns - so pretty.....
Mendocino by Crystal Palace - see patterns at straw.com
and one of my very favourite people in the whole wide world - my friend Betty with her first knitting project - a cowl made with hand dyed handspun yarn from Providence Farm wool.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome to our new blog. We hope to post news (such as our month long sale all of January and all of August!), pictures and patterns that come from the staff and our customers. The above shawl/scarf is a favourite of many of our customers and is Dora's signature shawl. She chooses about six different yarns, casts on about 100 + stitches on an 8mm, 80 cm circular(for storage, not in the round), and knit a different yarn each row leaving a tail to act as fringe. This is a great way to use up your stash and perhaps one 'fancy' yarn to bling it up. I have made scarves this way using anything and everything and just knit about 8-10 inches - a great evening project.

Until the next post......