Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hate to Sew? Try our new knit along!

Introducing our NEW knit along!

Our No Sew Vest Knit Along will be starting next Friday, November 2nd. This is a great project if you hate to sew seams, would like to try making a sweater, or are just looking for a really cool project! We PROMISE, NO SEWING!

Inspired a sweater at J.Crew vest which I love, love love (it looks great with a t-shirt and jeans, under a blazer, or paired with a button down shirt)....I created this one with the same awesome fit.

In this project you will learn how to knit in the round, work on circular needles, divide for front and back, the three-needle bind off, pick up stitches, and work armhole and neck edges.

What is your favorite color?

Look at this basket of yarn and choose your favorite color. Now, don't chicken out and be practical...use THAT color to make your No Sew Vest Knit Along Project. You will be suprised how much you will wear it! I will be making mine out of Underappreciated Green....("ooooohhh, so appropriate!" I told my husband).

Vest fits women sizes: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40)"

Sizes: XSmall (Small, Medium, Large, XLarge)

You will need:
  • 3 (4, 4, 5, 6) balls La Gran Mohair 90 yards/42 gr ball

  • 24" Circular, size US 10 1/2 needles

  • 16" Circular size US 9 needles

  • Stitch Markers

  • Finishing Needles

We are offering 20% off all your supplies until November 10th. Click Here to shop for your yarn and materials now!

Order your supplies today, so you can start your vest FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fair Isle Mystery Hat - Part IV

Now for shaping the top of the hat! You will only use color Blue for the remainder of the hat
Please see the instructions below if you've never worked on double pointed needles. If you are familiar with double points, just skip this section and begin with Round 40.

Working from Circular Needles to Double Pointed Needles

Why do you need to switch to double pointed needles? As you begin decreasing sts as noted on the rounds below, the needles will become too long to accommodate such a small circle. Double pointed needles simply allow you to maker smaller and smaller circles. They are not much different than circular needles.

You will begin working on double pointed needles on Round 45. Pick up a double pointed needle in your right hand. Knit the first 23 sts on to that needle. Pick up a second double pointed needle and knit the next 23 sts on to that needle. Pick up a third double pointed needle and knit the remaining 23 sts on to that needle.

Now your circular needles should be empty and you will no longer use them. The photo below is how your project should look at the end of the round.

To begin the next round you will pick up a 4th needle and work the stitches from the first needle on to it. When you've finished knitting those stitches you will have an empty needle. Knit the stitches from the second needle on to the empty needle. See how easy this is? Just keep knitting the stitches from the next needle on to the empty needle. If it sounds confusing, just try it...needle by needle; it makes more sense when you are actually working the stitches.

Remaining Pattern using color Blue:
Round 40 (Knit 10, k2tog) repeat around - you should now have 88 sts remaining.

Round 41 Knit all stitches.

Round 42 (Knit 9, k2tog) repeat around - you should now have 80 sts remaining.

Round 43 Knit all stitches.

Round 44 (Knit 8, k2tog) repeat around - you should now have 72 sts remaining.

Round 45 Switch to double pointed needles (see tutorial above). Knit all stitches.

Round 46 (Knit 7, k2tog) repeat around - you should now have 64 sts remaining.

Round 47 Knit all stitches.

Round 48 (Knit 6, k2tog) repeat around - you should now have 56 sts remaining.

Round 49 Knit all stitches.

Round 50 (Knit 5, k2tog) repeat around - you should have 48 sts remaining.

Round 51 Knit all stitches.

Round 52 (Knit 4, k2tog) repeat around - you should have 40 sts remaining.

Round 53 Knit all stitches.

Round 54 (Knit 3, k2tog) repeat around - you should have 32 sts remaining.

Round 55 Knit all stitches.

Round 56 (Knit 2 sts, k2tog) repeat around - you should have 24 sts remaining.

Round 57 Knit all stitches.

Round 58 (Knit 1 stitch, k2tog) repeat around - you should have 16 sts remaining.

Round 59 Knit all stitches.

Round 60 (K2tog) repeat around. You should have 8 sts remaining. Cut yarn leaving a 12" tail. Using a finishing needle, weave yarn through remaining stitches and fasten. Weave in all yarn ends.


Onward! Get Fair Isle Knitting Patterns

Our funny girl is Eight; isn't that great!!!

My, how you've grown!

Happy Birthday, Hadley!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Al, thanks for the great weather!

Watching the Today Show is part of my morning routine. By the time I tune in all the "hard news" is over and it's full of nice, happy stuff like fashion and makeup tips, parenting, health, and sometimes even a concert. Before I head out for the day, I always wait for my man Al Roker to let me know if I need to grab a scarf or a sweater.

photo compliments

Al's coverage today informed me that almost the entire country is seasonable warm. No wonder our Yin Yang Bolero Kit has been so popular! You can wear it almost all year round! I love the clean lines and the combination of two yarn colors.

I mentioned a few days ago that I just taught my sister to knit. Guess why she wanted to learn to knit? Because her goal is to knit the Yin Yang Bolero! I just saw her on Saturday and she's made really good progress on her scarf. She'll be knitting that sweater in no time. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fair Isle Mystery Hat - Part III

Any of my friends will tell you I'm a night owl. I hate to get up in the morning, but have no problem staying up late. I usually get a second wind around 10 pm and the creative juices start flowing! Even when I was in high school my sister used to call me "night crawler" because I was afraid I'd miss something if I went to bed!

Anyway, here it is...Part III of the Fair Isle Mystery Hat!

Round 24 Use colors coral and natural. (Knit 1 coral, 5 cream) repeat around.

Round 25 Use colors coral, natural and blue. (Knit 2 coral, 1 natural, 1 blue, 1 natural, 1 coral) repeat around.

Round 26 Use colors coral, natural, and brown. (Knit 1 brown, 2 coral, 1 cream, 2 coral) repeat around.

Round 27 Use colors coral and brown. (Knit 2 brown, 3 coral, 1 brown) repeat around.

Round 28 Use colors green, brown, and coral. (Knit 1 green, 2 brown, 1 coral, 2 brown) repeat around.

Round 29 Using brown, knit all stitches around.

Round 30 Using brown, knit all stitches around.

Round 31 Using brown, knit all stitches around.

Round 32 Using natural, knit all stitches around.

Round 33 Use colors coral and green. (Knit 1 coral, 1 green) repeat around.

Round 34 Using natural, knit all stitches around.

Round 35 Use colors natural and brown. (Knit 1 brown, 5 natural) repeat around.

Round 36 Use colors natural, brown, and green. (Knit 2 brown, 1 natural, 1 green, 1 natural, 1 brown) repeat around.

Round 37 Use colors brown, blue, and natural. (Knit 1 blue, 2 brown, 1 natural, 2 brown) repeat around.

Round 38 Use colors brown and blue. (Knit 2 blue, 3 brown, 1 blue) repeat around.

Round 39 Use colors brown, blue and coral. (Knit 1 coral, 2 blue, 1 brown, 2 blue) repeat around.

Now move on to Mystery Hat Part IV

From other Knitters!

The Internet is so amazing! Three weeks ago this blog didn't exist. It is so exciting to see how many of us are knitting this project together! The number of you purchasing the kit for this project was overwhelming and we completely sold out of our inventory of Mission Falls colors. Don't worry, we've ordered more and it's arriving soon. We know now to plan ahead for our next project!

We've been hearing from a lot of you and would LOVE you to share your WIP or completed Fair Isle Mystery Hat!

...but I thought I was perfect!

Well, I guess this is what I get for trying to squeeze too much into one day! I was tired when I posted friday's Mystery Hat. I made a mistake on line 18. It is now corrected in the pattern. Our friend and knitter across the ocean was nice enough to let me know about it. Thanks!

Get ready for PART III coming later today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fair Isle Mystery Hat - Part II

Okay, It's time to start the really fun stuff! Above begins the fair isle that we will be doing today.
Here is the best news...the rest of this project is entirely KNIT, that means NO PURLING, woo hoo!
If you're not sure what fair isle is, I guess now is a good time to let you know. It's just a way of changing colors in your knitting. Traditional fair isle is worked in the round, providing a RIGHT SIDE as shown above, and a WRONG SIDE, shown below. The RIGHT SIDE is very nice and clean, the WRONG SIDE shows the yarns that you have carried along the back while not using. They are called "floats." Now don't be scared, this is REALLY FUN, I promise! Let's take a look at "fair isle-ing" step by step below.

At the beginning of each round I will let you know what colors you will be using. Simply tie on the new colors on the WRONG SIDE of your work as shown below with a simple slip knot.

Side the slip knot up against your work and tighten, as shown below.

Now, take your NEW color and knit the next stitch, as shown below.

Tah dah! Now wasn't that easy?? Now let's say your pattern has you change back to the Coral color. Set down the Brown, pick up the Coral and knit the stitches just as you normally would. If the pattern calls for you to change back to Brown, set down the Coral and pick up the Brown.
Fair Isle Tips to Know
  • Always remember to keep you yarn in the back of your work.
  • When changing to a new color, do NOT pull on the stitches...maintain an even tension.
  • Here's how I keep an even tension when working with a new color...I leave a lot of space between the stitches I just worked so that the "floats" in the back are not tight.

The photo below shows the WRONG SIDE and that I knit one Brown stitch, then 5 Coral stitches, now I'm about to knit another Brown stitch. See how it will create a brown float (no pun intended) along the back?
Below is a little sample of the back of my work. See the floats that are created from changing colors?

The tutorial is over. If you feel like I've missed anything, please feel free to post your questions. Seasoned knitters, I know there is other info regarding Fair Isle...but I'm keeping this post BASIC.
Here is the next set of instructions for your hat. Usually when working a fair isle project you will be given a color chart that you will need to follow. Having the store, we have seen one too many new knitters look at a pattern see a chart and run the other way. It looks very daunting. So I will write out each row. This fair isle pattern is a six stitch repeat, you can remember six'll just keep repeating them over and over until you hit your stitch marker. I will post a color chart in a later blog and I think it will make a lot more sense after you've worked the project.
To simplify the instructions I will call the colors:
  • Brown, Coral, Natural, Green, Blue
Round 10 (Knit 1 brown stitch, next knit 5 coral stitches) - that's six stitches total. Just keep repeat those stitches all the way around.
Round 11 In this round you will be using brown, coral, and natural. (Knit 2 brown, 1 coral, 1 natural, 1 coral, 1 brown) repeat around.
Round 12 In this round you will be using blue, brown, and coral. (Knit 1 blue, 2 brown, 1 coral, 2 brown) repeat around.
Round 13 In this round you will be using blue and brown (Knit 2 blue, 3 brown, 1 blue) repeat around.
Round 14 In this round you will be using coral, blue, and brown (Knit 1 coral, 2 blue, 1 brown, 2 blue) repeat around.
Round 15 Using only blue, knit around.
Round 16 Using only blue, knit around.
Round 17 In this round you will be using green and blue (Knit 1 green and 5 blue) repeat around.
Round 18 In this round you will be using green, blue, and brown (Knit 2 green, 1 blue, 1 brown, 1 blue, 1 green) repeat around.
Round 19 In this round you will be using natural, green and blue (1 natural, 2 green, 1 blue, 2 green) repeat around.
Round 20 In this round you will be using natural and green (2 natural, 3 green, 1 natural) repeat around.
Round 21 In this round you will be using blue, natural and green (1 blue, 2 natural, 1 green, 2 natural) repeat around.
Round 22 Using only natural, knit around.
Round 23 Using only natural, knit around.

Now move on to Mystery Hat Part III 

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fair Isle Mystery Hat - Part I

Happy Mystery Hat Day! 
I hope you've gotten your supplies and you are as anxious as I am to get started! Let's get going! It's not to late to get your supplies - click here to view the list!

Hat Size: Women's Medium

The photo, shown above, is the bottom of the hat and the section we are covering today.
Casting On Circular Needles
Using Spruce yarn, cast on 96 sts on circular needles

Allow the stitches to slide all the way around the needles. The FIRST stitch you cast on will be the first stitch that you knit. This is different from straight knitting because you usually start the LAST stitch you cast on.
Before you start knitting - Take a look at your stitches and make sure none of the stitches are twisted around the needle. Any easy way to check is just make sure all the little ridges are facing down.

The photo shown ABOVE is how the stitches should look.

The photo shown BELOW is WRONG! It has a TWIST - make sure your stitches are not twisted!
Before you make your first stitch, place a stitch marker, shown below, on your RIGHT needle. The stitch marker just slides around the needle. Whenever you come to it, you have completed one ROUND! Each time you get to it, just slide marker from the left needle to the right needle.

Okay, let's get knitting! When you reach the end of a round, you will NOT turn your work. Simply slide your marker and follow the instructions for the next round.
Round 1 Knit all stitches around.
Round 2 Purl all stitches around.
Round 3 Purl all stitches around.
Round 4 Change to Curry (green) yarn. Knit all stitches around.
Round 5 Purl all stitches around.
Round 6 Purl all stitches around.
Round 7 Change to Zinnia (coral) yarn. Knit all stitches around.
Round 8 Knit all stitches around.
Round 9 Knit all stitches around.
If you have questions, chances are someone else does too! Please POST them as a COMMENT,(you don't have to be a member to post) and I'll get to them as quickly as possible!
Here's a quick hint for not mixing up what round you are on: Print this page or a take a sheet of paper and number it from 1-9 for each round. AFTER you finish a round, check it off. You'll never loose your place if you follow this simple tip.
Now move on to Mystery Hat Part II

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fur-Real Friend!

Today's blog is off knitting, just so cute I had to share... Is it any wonder why our daughter is in LOVE with her pup? Can you spot the counterfeit Webkinz?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our First Knit Along - Mystery Hat

Welcome to the Mystery Fair Isle Hat knitalong. This is a great project for those who have never tried their hand at knitting in the round, fair isle knitting, or working on double pointed needles. It will be a very fun project!

Here is what you'll need:

Now move on to Mystery Hat Part I

Knit and raise awareness!

Bloggers Unite - Action Day

Today is a day to stop and think how we can better take care of our world. Each of us can help provide a cleaner, greener Earth for our children and our children's children. I have always considered knitters a pretty environmentally conscious group. Afterall, we are so passionate about fibers; and the plants and animals that provide these luxuries.

Knitting makes us slow down. It reminds us of a gentler time when our sweaters and socks had to be made by hand to keep us warm. And even though most of us aren't able to see the entire process from start to finish; raising the sheep, sheering, carding, spinning, etc. We certainly have an appreciation for it.

Today is a great day to be alive for a knitter! Renewable resources abound in fiber, some of them age old and some fibers are just being developed.

Wool - the sheering process helps aid in the health of the sheep as well as provides a warm wonderful fiber

Bamboo - A new kid in the world of fiber and a wonderful renewable resource. Bamboo has the look of silk and the durability of cotton, amazing! Even our favorite knitting needles are made from...bamboo.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Anne Taintor stuff, Wrong...yet so right!

I'm keeping today's blog short and sweet. I'm a bit tired because we drove to my sister's for my nephew's 16th birthday party, which was a golf outing for "the guys." The girls spent the afternoon at his 14-year old brother's baseball game. It was fun, I think other spectators probably thought I was insane since I was a newbie cheering REALLY loud for my nephew. Also, I've gained a whole new appreciation for how my sister and her family spend their weekends. We stopped by for only ONE of his FOUR baseball tournaments today! They started at 8:00 am and he played until 8:00 pm! I needed a nap after watching one game. All you sports moms out there, my hats off to your hard work and dedication! One major note: I did teach my sister how to knit and I think we've gained a new "club" member. She really seemed to like it! Also, watching all those games, think of the knitting time!

Since we all have MONDAY knocking on our door, I figured we could all use a little laugh.

Anne Taintor, just when I thought you couldn't get any funnier...

We just received these new notepads: "It would, of course, have to look like an accident"

Shop this and more Anne Taintor Notepads

And her newest magnet:

"She wanted to look good for the trial"

Shop this and more Anne Taintor Magnets

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hula Hooping...and a bit more

There's hula hooping...
My daughter, Hadley spent most of last Sunday afternoon Hula Hooping. That girl can hula hoop like nobody's business! Whenever I've hula hooped, I just try to keep that hoop up as long as possible and hope for the best. Not her! She can hula and hula and usually stops because she's decided to do someithing else, not because the hula drops. I asked her how she was able to keep the hula up so long and she said, "Oh, it's easy...I'll just show you the trick my teacher taught us." It made me think of how much hula hooping and knitting have in common. Once you know the tricks and give yourself time to master a technique, you can knit anything you want. So just open your mind and remind yourself that you can do it...just keep practicing!

And then there's HULA HOOPING!!!
If plain ol' knitting isn't enough, keep at it and you'll be moving on to more advanced techniques in no time! Plain ol' hula hooping got a little boring for Hadley, so she decided she needed to add a little flag that she balanced on her head until she got the hoop going and then waved the flag around while hula-ing! You go girl!

Dune, I love you...again

We started carrying Trendsetter's Dune Yarn more than four years ago - in the "I can't get enough glitz and glamour in my scarf" age. The sales rep stopped by the shop with nearly a hundred different color combinations each with that added touch of glitz. Ahh, we amazed at what we could do with this yarn! Scarves, sweaters, shawls, wrist warmers, even added to felted bags - Dune was the wonder yarn!
Well, now that we've moved to a kinder, gentler, "less is more" knitting age - I thought Dune had seen it's day. I was wrong! Trendsetter (and I guess the company name fits), came out with a beautiful solid version of Dune. Four sophisticated colors, thicker softer mohair, and just a tad of glitz to let you know Dune isn't a wallflower. Dune, I love you...again!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sea of Love

Growing up in the in the 70's and 80's, Claymation has always been part of my life. I loved watching Gumby and SNL's Mr. Bill, just to name a few. When I saw this photo of our new Point Protectorz from Zecca, it reminded me of a wacky claymation ocean. Awesome happy colors and the the best part, they come in their own little organza green & white polka dot bag!

Knitting Season?

Roses are blooming. It hasn't rained in weeks and it's been near 90 degrees for as long as I can remember.

Ahhhhhhh, fall is in the air! At least that is how we currently describe fall in the Philly 'burbs! Here it is mid October, I'm in flip-flops and we're having a hard time being convinced that it is time to knit our wool socks and mittens for the cold days ahead. I decided I needed to work on something fun, easy and quick (incase it gets cold, and I really do want to knit mittens)! My daughter, Hadley helped me choose this adorable Monkey Business Kit. She is a monkey-aholic! I liked it because it is knit in the round (no purling...hooray!), and all the color changes keep it really interesting. I like the cute colors they used so I'm making mine just like the photo.