knit1 blog

the horse is not dead yet

vintage class

I have said it before and it bears repeating.  It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in the Shop.  There were two women in a class with Kathy to create the fair isle Modjeska Hat (it matches a cowl that also is divine).

Kathy concentrates and watches and cajoles and encourages.  The women are intense and joyful.  They discover that despite the fact that they do not know each other, they have a deep connection.  It is a Mississippi thing.  The conversation becomes personal and pleasurable.

Meanwhile knitting continues.  One of the women – who is mostly self-taught – learns that she is purling backwards and knitting on the “wrong” side.  The other has to rip out several rows because she split a stitch four rows down and cannot live with it.

They are both still happy. They have learned something wonderful and Kathy is still encouraging.  Hours later they leave excited by what they have accomplished and eager to get on with their hats with a newly discovered skill, a new friend, and a great sense of Hooray!

Take classes.  It makes you feel good.  That’s all I am saying – though I have said it before and may say it again.  The Shop is a gift.  Kathy is a gift.  Love your knitting more.  Now is when.

magic in the shop

yarn basket

If you get to spend a lot of time in a yarn shop – as I do – you are witness to all of its magic.  There are simple pleasures that make a good day.  You meet people who are just happy to be there.  When the shop is quiet you can move yarn around.  And on days when there is a class in session you get to watch as people revel in the joy of knitting!!

All three happened this weekend.  But the most fun was overhearing Renita and Kathy talk about Renita’s  knitting projects “bucket list”.  Each project would expose her to something new and divine.  She was excited and Kathy was eager to be there for her.

In case I have not said it often enough, let me repeat.  It is the rare yarn shop that offers teachers who are skilled at the highest level and could teach anywhere AND who like people AND who are patient.  Our little Shop in the corner of nowhere is that rare Shop.

Yes, our yarns are among the best.  But that is not the only treasure.  It is the women who are here to help make knitting a fantastic journey that you may take without fear!  You are not alone and that is real magic.

a last summer fling with linen

hudson long

For more than a year, I have looked at the Hudson Cowl knit with Quince Kestral – an aran weight 100% Italian linen.  It was a project that stayed on my list but never quite made it to the top.

Until last week.  The picture shows the cowl done in Porpoise (a blue/gray) and Senza (linen).  It is gorgeous.  But I went a different direction and chose Minos (mauve) and Pebble (deep gray).  The result is equally fabulous – if I do say so myself.  There are so many equally wonderful colors to choose!

hudson color combo

 

 

If you a looking for a project that creates a little piece of linen luxury I encourage you to take up the Hudson Cowl.  It is a quick and easy project with a fun little twist in the center.  It makes the perfect extra add-on to any outfit for three seasons of the year!

Curl up with a good mystery

We are going on a “magical mystery tour” and invite you to join us.  We know the designer and the yarn and both are fabulous – so we say what could possibly go wrong?

The term “fade” is the current “it” word in knitting.  Ravelry has several patterns that use the term.  The one we love is by Andrea Mowry of DreaReneeKnits.com.  Her tag line is “Andrea Renee knits for the love” – just like us!

Find Your Fade took the knitting world by storm.  It calls for about 1600 yards of fingering weight using as many colors as you wish.  Andrea’s vision is that the colors will work together or “fade” or “melt” together!

AndreaFinalCurvedWe are excited that Andrea created a new pattern comically called What The Fade!  This is where the mystery begins as we do not know what she has designed.  We know that it will take 2400 yards and use 6 different colorways.   Beginning on August 31, Andrea will issue one clue a week.  (P.S. some brioche knitting is involved.  If you do not know brioche, this is a GREAT time to learn with Kathy’s good guidance.)  You purchase the pattern on Ravelry and each week receive the next clue!  (P.S.S. if you do not have a Ravelry account we will purchase the pattern for you.)

Mrs. Crosby has taken the guess work out of the adventure by issuing 4 different 6-skein colorways that are perfect for the What The Fade.

We want to take this knitting journey and invite you to join in and knit EITHER of Andrea’s great patterns. Kathy will host the KAL beginning Saturday, September 2 from 11 – Noon.  Bring in your project to get help, moral support or simply to show off.

 

the lys – more than “just” a yarn shop

Patti reminded us why a Local Yarn Shop is different than any other retail store.  In the crush of business we sometimes forget how lucky we are to have Knit1 and the women who live and breathe yarn.  Kathy, Lynn, Marty and Ann love to help others accomplish their knitting dreams.  It is a joy for me to watch as they encourage and support.  But sometimes we may take it for granted.  So what happened this weekend was a gift.

Patti signed up for a class using the brioche stitch – a technique that requires concentration and patience.  A really good teacher is a plus.  Patti brought her concentration and patience.  Kathy provided the rest.  It was a success and Patti left happy.

We did not realize how happy until we got her note.  It made our day, our week, our month.  It is good to remember that a really good local yarn shop is about more than really good yarn!  It was reaffirming to be reminded that we are all that.

Thanks Patti – the feeling is mutual.

thank you note

Funky & Fabulous – The Janesville

janesville duo

The Janesville Jacket had me at “hello”.  Right away I knew it is a “must have” for nearly everyone.  The unstructured kimono-style shaping knit in seed stitch makes this little jacket an instant classic and the “go to” garment to throw over a simple tee or great blouse.

Created for Blue Sky Fibers out of our favorite Woolstok – worsted weight breed-specific wool – the easy pattern is designed for even the newest knitter.  Of course, as most things Blue Sky, the pattern is written to be adjusted to suit your needs.  Make it longer or larger as you choose.

Choose from among 20 colors (6 of the main, 3 of the contrast).  Go light on dark or dark on light – on even one color.  Go neutral or colorful.  Or make many!

Try mine on so that you can see how to make it yours.  P.S.  I was able to knit it without asking for help!!!!

Enough said except you really, really will love making it and, even more, wearing it.

Rhinos Calling

rhino transparent

Ann claims to like animals more than people.   Animals are almost always okay.  People…not so much.  In her animal watching she recently learned that Rhinos and their protectors need blankets!!!  We want to help her help them.

Africa once had over a million black and white rhinos but aggressive hunting and poaching has left the species at grave risk.  It is made more dire by increased demand for rhino horn, a prized ingredient in traditional Asian medicines.

Most of the continent’s remaining rhinos are found in just four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.  They are very vulnerable to attack and few of them survive outside of protected areas and sanctuaries.

Care for the World is the largest rhino sanctuary and orphanage in the world.  Its mission is to save black and white rhinos from extinction.  The staff engage in rescue, rehabilitation and release for animals left orphaned by poaching.

The organization is located in the heart of South Africa.   It employs a dedicated staff that tends to the animals around the clock and tries to reassure them that they are safe.  Baby rhinos can still tug at your heart when they mourn and cry over the loss of their mothers.

rhino with blanket

The sanctuary workers report that the babies are comforted when wrapped in blankets.  On arrival, the calves are placed in a warm shelter.  At first, the babies, confused and terrified, charge into walls and react to any noise or movement.  But they react very well to the constant attention and cuddling of their human protectors.  It is affirming to see a six-month old, 800-pound rhino comforted by a warm blanket and a human hand!  Many of the protectors stay with the rhinos in distress around the clock.

 

South African authorities have relocated rhinos — particularly highly endangered black rhinos — from vulnerable areas to secret locations. But the attacks keep rising, with an average of three rhinos a day killed. The World Wildlife Association fears that extinction, at least in the wild, is not far away.  Maybe just the ones that are heavily guarded in small camps will survive, but not free-range rhinos. They will be extinct in the wild.

small rhino

Our hope is to do our small part in supporting those who are doing all they can to save these large and wonderful creatures.  And in helping our good friend Ann feel better about humans!

Kathy – what I did this summer (so far)

Knit, of course!

greenway cowl

 

Brioche with Rios – a fabulous pattern in Malabrigo Book 10 (Greenway Cowl) called to me and it is beautiful!

 

 

rock city square

 

Arroyo in lace & mosaic – I am trying a new technique – we’ll see how it goes.

 

 

 

parcheesi cropped

 

Jamieson and Smith – my “waiting time”, go-to project for the Parcheesi throw, a riot of color!

 

 

askews me square

 

A Stephen West Shawl, Askews Me – brioche again – is on my needles.

 

 

maine woven squared

 

And Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok in Antonia Shankland’s Maine Woven Throw pattern.

 

 

sunday morning cropped

 

Last but not least – Bootie Call!  The Sunday Morning Booties are a hoot!

 

 

What have I learned this summer (so far)?  I need more project bags!  Join me as we kick-off fun, new projects in the upcoming weeks.

A Fine Danish…

tokyo croppedI have seen Isager yarns in two local yarn shops and admired its subtle beauty.  Then Kathy and I rounded a corner at the trade show this summer and OMG!!!  An entire booth filled with Isager yarns.  We could not resist.

Simply put, this is Danish wool finely spun.  The wool will never pill.  It will get softer with age.  The colors are muted and elegant.  And, as if that were not enough, their designers have created garments and accessories that are modern yet classic.

For now we offer the Tokyo and Volt Shawl Kits.  The Tokyo comes in 3 color choices – light, medium and dark.  The Volt is offered in one colorway with a choice of either a chartreuse (as pictured) or red accent.  You can not go wrong with any…and you may want all.

intertidal5

I also fell in love with Intertidal – a sweater made with Spinni.  I am going to get it on my needles in the next few weeks.  I will let you know how it goes.

I am happy to welcome Isager and hope you will be happy too!

 

American Scenic – From Farm to Yarn

This Summer, Blue Sky Fibers launches a limited-edition yarn that we know will be fabulous because they say so. They have never been wrong!

This is the first time that Blue Sky has collaborated with an independent designer.  The result is American Scenic – an All-American heavy worsted weight alpaca/merino/silk blend.

Blue Sky was founded by Linda Niemeyer with her small “herd” of alpacas who lived (literally) in her Minnesota back yard. Twenty years later the Company is known worldwide for its consciously-crafted collection of high-quality natural fibers and patterns. The website quips, “One can only imagine how things might have turned out had Linda obsessed over giraffes…”

tabbethiaLinda met Tabbethia Haubold of the Long Island Livestock Co.  They connected over their shared passion – a love of animals. From their simple and easy first conversation grew a commitment to work together to make beautiful, sustainable yarn in great colors.

We are pleased to welcome their extraoridinary American Scenic.  This lovely yarn comes in four colors with two complimentary patterns.  FAIR WARNING! – this is a limited edition release.  We bought all we were allowed to buy when we were warned “when it is gone, it is gone”!

Come meet the newest addition to Blue Sky Fibers…

 

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