Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

30
Mar

New Pattern! Elevé Pullover in Knitscene Summer 2015

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, knits, KYC Presents, sweater

My newest pattern is here! I’m so excited to show you the Elevé Pullover.

eleve knitscene summer 2015

This lightweight, cropped sweater is all about geometrics. Elevé features stranded colorwork, intarsia, and saddle shoulders. It’s knit flat with Rowan Wool Cotton. This is kind of my take on a modern Cosby sweater. The shape and colors bring a fresh look to that iconic design. And, of course, there are triangles.

eleve pullover knitscene summer 2015

I imagine wearing this with high-waisted shorts but how cute would it look over a maxi dress? I’m really psyched about this top. It feels very true to my style.

eleve pullover

You can get the pattern in Knitscene’s Summer 2015 issue which hits news stands April 13th! You can pre-order it today. Or, if you just can’t wait, you can purchase the digital edition right now! This issue is full of great patterns including a Southwestern-inspired collection and featured designer Allyson Dykhuizen (the brilliant mind behind Holla Knits)!

Don’t forget to add Elevé to your queue on Ravelry!

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19
Aug

Lion Brand Yarn Studio Customer Fashion Show

Written by Sarah. Posted in events

Last week I attended the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s first ever customer fashion show. It was such a blast! I’ve always enjoyed visiting the LBY Studio. The vibe in there is just always very fun and friendly. The fashion show was the same times a million. Here are a few of my favorite garments (but you’ll have to excuse the crappy iPhone quality).

lion brand customer fashion showknit top

Anyone could enter a knit or crocheted garment as long as it was made with Lion Brand yarn. Most of the participants had attended classes at the Studio and were showing off their projects. Some of them were sporting their first-ever garments while others showed off their own designs. It was a great mix of projects and everyone was excited to share.

lion brand customer fashion show 2fair isle hat, original design

lion brand customer fashion showcrocheted tank with ribbon

It was a great reminder of how creative knitters and crocheters are and how we makers really love being together. Even strangers can get together in a knitting circle or any LYS and have that bond. But what really stuck with me was how much we love to share. We love to show others what we’ve accomplished whether it’s through instagram, our blogs, or Ravelry. It’s very satisfying to complete a sweater, but when we share what we’ve done with someone else who can appreciate the story behind the piece – whether it had special inspiration or it was a particularly uncooperative project – it feels even more exciting. That is really the driving force that makes us want to make more and more. At the fashion show, it was literally coming in the form of applause which was very exciting even as an audience member.

lion brand customer fashion show 4cobweb lace shawl

 While knitting is such a huge part of my life, I don’t get to interact with knitters face-to-face as much as I’d like. Sure, I think about knitting 24/7 but most of the people in my day-to-day are not knitters. I feel so lucky to have an incredible network of talented, generous, hilarious knitters that I call my friends and the best part is that they live all around the world! But sometimes it’s and inspiring reminder to get in a room and feel the energy.

Anyway, I got all sappy at the end. Does your LYS put on any fashion shows? Do you share your projects with other knitters in real life?

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15
Aug

Sheep Week All Year Round

Written by Sarah. Posted in sheep week

Sheep Week flew by, huh? I wish I had more sheep-tastic things to share. Maybe, by next year, it’ll catch on? I have to admit, with the gorgeous weather we had yesterday in the city, I’m getting ready for fall. And you know what that means! It’s almost time for sweater weather and yummy wool socks and pumpkin pie and hot apple cider. Am I getting ahead of myself? Most importantly, it means that it’s almost fiber festival season which means SHEEP! Sheep that I can pet and hug in real life!

Sheep Week doesn’t need to come just once a year! I’ve got a hot tip on where to get your wooly fix 365 days of the year.

benjamin hole

 

Benjamin Hole’s instagram is by far my favorite place to day dream. Hole’s picturesque Dorset farm is home not only to some gorgeous views and lovely sheep but a number of other creatures including a little dog named Ochre. His photography really makes me long to run away from city life, put on a pair of galoshes, and run around in a field. (Isn’t it cool that we live in a time when a farmer can share his day-to-day with a Brooklynite?)

benjamin hole 2benjamin hole 3

 

Aside from bringing you the very best farm photos, the Hole farm is starting a new venture that I couldn’t be happier about! There will soon be yarn from these beautiful sheep under the name Hole & Sons. The yarn looks absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Their site also has a wonderful history of the Dorset breed as well as the Hole family farm.

I am just in love with these pictures. I could look at them all day, imagining petting those little lambs! Do you follow any farmers for a taste of life outside the city?

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14
Aug

Sheep Week: Bluefaced Leicester

Written by Sarah. Posted in sheep week

BlueFaceLeicesterimage via

It’s Sheep Week! So let’s talk about some sheep, shall we? Even non-knitters are vaguely familiar with the Merino breed of sheep so I’d like to introduce you to the Bluefaced Leicester. If you haven’t encountered the BFL yet, give some of their fiber a try! BFL yarn has recently become one of my favorite to work with and it’s been gaining popularity among spinners, dyers, and knitters over the past few years.

blue faced leicester image via Breezy Meadows

This British longwool breed has no wool on its neck or long face. It’s a relatively new breed of sheep, developed in the early 20th century. BFL is known for being tougher and less elastic than merino while still being rather soft. Its soft drape makes it a wonderful fiber for shawls while its hard-wearing wool makes it a great option for socks.

Have you knit with BFL yarn? What did you like about it? Do you have a favorite sheep breed?

ps. Don’t forget that The Crash is on sale for $3 all week!

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03
Jul

American Yarns

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, want, yarn

On 364 days of the year, I would never be caught dead wearing an American flag t-shirt or rocking stars-and-stripes nail art. I wouldn’t say that I’m not proud to be an American but I wouldn’t go singing about how I’m free, yadda yadda. To me, America is like an embarrassing parent. It’s great and it doesn’t give me a hard time about my curfew but sometimes I wish it would wear something different when we go to the mall. (Can you go lead the free world away from me and my friends? I’m trying to get Europe to notice me!) To put it simply, I am not an American of the AMURICA variety.

All of that aside, I love Independence Day. I love grilling, I love drinking domestic beers, I love the Founding Fathers (sorry those assholes are always dragging you guys into everything). I want to get drunk and watch 1776 on full volume.

Since tomorrow is AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some yarns that are Made in America. There are lots of amazing yarns coming from around the globe but there is an excitement for me in buying locally and supporting America’s textile renaissance.

Here are some yarns hailing from California to the New York Island.

american

 

1. A Verb for Keeping Warm Floating in Transitional Fury
2. Quince & Co. Puffin in River
3. Jill Draver Makes Stuff Mohonk in Bing Cherry
4. Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-ply in Natural
5. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Almanac

In the spirit of the holiday, I am reminded of the American colonists who eschewed British fabrics and produced their own homespun to boycott unjust taxes. Those are our very own forefathers of American DIY!

I’d love to collect a better list. What are your favorite American-made yarns?

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27
May

Meet Kettle Yarn Co!

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, photos, yarn

Have you picked up Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue yet? I’ve been so pleased with the response to Creamsicle. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Linda’s fantastic yarn really took the design over the top. I can’t stop raving about the color and delicious softness. Which is why I asked her to do a little interview!

Aside from having yummy yarns and gorgeous colorways, Linda is very serious about being environmentally friendly. She recently began dyeing full time and I’m so glad that she’s been able to take that step! Linda was kind enough to share the process and philosophy behind her company Kettle Yarn Co.

kettle yarn co wimbledonWimbledon in Creamsicle colorways Melon Balls and Sherbert

How did you begin dyeing yarn?

My journey into yarn is a somewhat personal one that I haven’t discussed much publicly.

My yarn dyeing adventures started a few years ago during a period of illness. I was a practicing artist at the time and found that preparing canvases was just too much for me so I started knitting so that I could continue to create while conserving energy.  Dyeing my own yarn was a logical melding of the two disciplines!

After over a year’s worth of poking and prodding by medical professionals and my health deteriorating to the point where I could barely get up a small flight of stairs, I learned my illness was largely due to severe fragrance allergies. Kettle Yarn Co. was started in the hopes that one day I’d be able to have a bit more control over my working environment and lessen my exposure to the perfume chemicals that were currently damaging my lungs in the open plan office environment at the university where I worked.

I have been very fortunate. I have left the university and am now not only able to work from home a good portion of the week but am doing a job I truly love and am passionate about. My health has improved exponentially and I feel that I’ve finally found my creative niche!

kettle yarn co dying

left: Wimbledon Sport – SW Merino – Blue Pictsies in the dye pot
right: clear water remaining after dyeing process is complete

One of your goals is to be eco-friendly. How do you make your yarns a little “greener?” 

My partner is an Environmental Project Manager and I’ve been lucky enough to get a lot of free help and advice on how to make my processes as low impact as possible.

I have chosen to use a local dye supplier and the most toxic thing I use in my process is regular household vinegar! I try to ensure that I use up all dyes in the pot when dyeing. I’ve even developed a line of OOAK (one of a kind) yarns – TWIST 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fingering – that helps me to use up every last particle so nothing gets wasted or ends up back in the water table.

islington kettle yarn coIslington colorways

All my yarn blends are chosen to ensure animal welfare and humane wool production. Any Merino I use is Peruvian to ensure that absolutely no mulesing is done to the sheep and many of my blends use 100% British Bluefaced Leicester. It is very important to me to support the British Wool Industry and help to maintain traditional breeds.

I always joke that British Bluefaced Leicester is the Holy Grail of wool blends as the fleece combines three of  the most highly prized qualities for handcrafting:
1.  a softness comparable to Merino wool – delicate enough for the most sensitive skin;
2.  a long staple fibre, making yarn hard wearing, long lasting and extremely low pilling;
3.  the fleece is formed of crimped fibres, creating a natural lustre and elastic bounce.

This gives the yarn a gentle sheen, which reflects light to enhance stitch work and colour while also giving the blend elasticity, warmth and a luxurious drape. Purchased from the British Wool Marketing Board, we only use supersorted 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fleece. ‘Supersorting’ is when the fibre is picked through (cleaned of any unwanted bits!)  twice as much as normal wools are handled and then is examined again before being combed and sent for processing at the spinning mill. This ensures that only the very softest BFL is used for Kettle Yarn Co. blends.

creamsicle cardigan

What’s next for you and Kettle Yarn Co?

I have two UK trade shows coming up in July and am in a yarn dyeing frenzy for the next month in preparation. I am so excited about them both as will have my very own solo both for the first time! Unwind is the first, which takes place July 12th and 13th in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton and Fibre East is at the end of the month July 26th and 27th in Bedfordshire.

I am working on a few new blends to release for the shows and they will be available in August in the shop! So exciting.

Thanks for sharing with us, Linda! So many amazing insights into the knitty gritty (excuse the pun) of yarn dyeing. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely check out the Kettle Yarn Co booth at those upcoming festivals! Luckily for the rest of us, Kettle Yarn Co is available through Etsy. And Linda has put together Creamsicle kits in Sherbert and Melon Balls, just add an issue of Pom Pom Quarterly and needles!

Have you knit with Kettle Yarn Co before? How important is it that your yarn be eco friendly?

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01
Apr

Introducing Bridge and Tunnel Yarns

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, that gif post, yarn

This has been a long time in the making but I have a really exciting announcement today! After months of work, I’m ready to introduce to you to Bridge and Tunnel Yarns!

knitpics

Inspired by the subways of New York City, this yarn is spun from 100% American angora rat fur. Angora rats are incredibly friendly and clean. They are terribly smart! I think they’re going to be the next big thing in knitting. Super soft and durable, our first base is a lofty fingering weight perfect for socks and shawls.

angora hamster

When I first met some happy angora rats and pet their luxurious fur, I was captivated by the idea of making yarn! I’ve partnered with Moonflower Ranch, a sustainable angora rat farm located in western Pennsylvania, as well as the 100-year-old, family-owned Quickspring Mills in New Hampshire.

Hayleigh, owner of Moonflower Ranch, has told me all about the tradition of rat shearing. This almost-forgotten domestic art is gaining a new following with the homesteader movement. While the numbers of angora rat shearers and spinners has grown, it’s always been a very homemade operation. It’s never been done on a scale like this but the yarns will still be more “small batch” as we grow.

In case you haven’t caught on already, April Fools! That’s actually Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud Lace Yarn. I wouldn’t really ask you to knit with rat fur.

I mean, would you?

angora hamster photo via ravenmind

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28
Jan

Vogue Knitting Live 2014

Written by Sarah. Posted in Uncategorized

Now that I’ve had some time to collect my thoughts on last weekend’s adventure at Vogue Knitting Live, I am ready to share! I had a really great time but I always do when I have a good excuse to indulge in the knitting world.

I took a few great classes. Lily Chin’s Set-in Sleeve class really made me re-think the way I design them and I feel a lot more confident than before. You can’t scare me, set-in sleeves! I had an absolutely amazing time at Kate Atherley‘s Heels and Toes class which evolved from just talking about a variety of heel flap techniques to trouble shooting socks. In the end, we all went home with advice on how to make the most perfect socks. If you have the opportunity to take a class with Ms. Atherly, DO IT. It was so fun and I can’t wait to put everything she taught me into practice!

sock kate atherlyKate blowing our minds with tips!

I also went to a fun lecture about trends with Lindsey from Kollabora. The Crash is totally on trend, guys! There are lots of other fun things I think I’ll play around with this year like chunky knits and whites. And Jared Flood’s panel on male knitters was great. During the Q&A, a teenage guy thanked everyone on the panel for inspiring him to knit and do it in public. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. You know I wanted to give him a hug.

jared floodMen at Work panel (Wish we could’ve been closer!)

There was shopping. That’s what you really want to hear about, right? I think that I was pretty good this time around. I actually stuck to a list for once so that’s exciting. I snagged some Esopus by Jill Draper Makes Stuff that I will maybe eventually use for a Follow Your Arrow shawl (I’ll get around to it). I love seeing Jill at VKL! I can’t leave her booth empty handed.

jill draper

I also picked up this beautiful skein from Neighborhood Fiber. I was really drooling over their color ways last year at Vogue. I love how saturated they are, like, really bold. This skein happened to match my manicure. I’m not sure if the photo does it justice. It’s a fawny brown with a plum/wine? Really gorgeous. I think it will become a hat. Why not?

IMG_9469

And I finally got to feed my craving for earrings with this pair by Cara Romano. They’re so cool! And I like the bright pink. I think it’ll be really fun to wear with an outfit of neutrals. (They’re being modeled by a skein of Rowan since I change earrings for another month.)

cara romano

Of course, the highlight of VKL for me is getting together with all of my friends! I got to brunch with my New York ladies, Kristen, Kim, Maria, and Dana. Everyone was knitting except for me since I’d JUST finished Faro. Felt like such a loser, I was super jealous! I had a beer with Alanna which was a blast. I got to hang out with Lisa and Rachel and we talked about more secret plans(!!!). There were certainly others I wished I’d been able to hang out with but maybe next time around! Just being around knitters makes me happy. It was a great weekend.

So what do you think? Did I buy enough yarns? Were you there? What classes did you take?

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01
Nov

Further Reading 11/1/13

Written by Sarah. Posted in Uncategorized

Today kicks off NaKniSweMo. Will you be participating? I’m not really in the right frame of mind right now to take on such a big project but if I were ready to cast on a sweater, I’d choose this one!

amy chrisoffers farophoto via Savory Knitting

I’m a Christoffile for life so I’ve GOT to talk about Amy’s latest pattern. Faro absolutely gorgeous and I can’t WAIT to get it on my needles. It looks like such a fun knit, too. If you’ve decided to give yourself the NaKniSweMo challenge, I’d definitely suggest this sweater. (Besides, the half sleeves might save you some time!)

>> My friend Katie who is a cycling instructor and work out fanatic sent me this article about the knitter who made a 12 ft scarf while running a marathon with the note “Maybe next year?” It’s cool that running can get people knitting! It will not be working the opposite way for me.

>> This is a video of a lamb frolicking around a skate park. I was worried he’d get squished but he looks like he’s actually having a really fun time. That being said, Knit York City does not condone putting lambies into dangerous situations.

>> The US Olympic team will finally be outfitted in Ralph Lauren clothing made in America. This includes knitwear made from sheep raised in Oregon. The sweaters and hats are pretty rad (though it can certainly be debated that the color work motifs are not American in origin, I won’t split hairs). It seems like newer yarn companies and a lot of my favorite indie spinner/dyers are already hip to this trend of using local fleeces. Wouldn’t it be cool if companies like RL kept this direction when it comes to the rest of their manufacturing?

>> On a more personal note, I finally caught up on the end of series 7 of Doctor Who. I am ready for the Christmas special but NOT ready to say goodbye to Matt Smith. On a knitting-related note, Eat. Sleep. Knit. launched a pre-order for a Fourth Doctor scarf kit in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky for any 50th Anniversary needs. Or if you’ll be missing 11 as much as I will, you need a skein of Roman Hills in I’m a Sagittarius…Probably.

What are you knitting on this weekend? I’ve got so many things on the needles, I’m not really sure what to focus on anymore!

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31
Oct

Rhinebeck 2013: The Goods

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, holiday, knits, life, Rhinebeck, yarn

Alright, I’ve held out on you long enough. It’s time to show you what I snagged at Rhinebeck!

I was a really good girl this year. I think that looking my stash directly in the face (that’s for another post) the week before Rhinebeck along with the pressure of numerous deadlines really helped me put things into perspective. I really love yarn. But I seriously need to be careful about what I’m purchasing lest things get more out of hand. (I’d also had my hopes that I was getting a big bonus at work the Friday before but that got postponed so my budget was a little tighter. Probably for the best! Custom couches don’t just pay for themselves, you know.) On top of it all, I felt like I was chatting and catching up so much on Saturday that I hardly had time to shop. Shopping was not the goal for the weekend, as I mentioned before, I felt super pumped after spending the day with all of my friends. I was literally still browsing through what was left at Into the Whirled when they announced that the fairgrounds were closed and I didn’t have to go home but I couldn’t shop for more yarn here. So I only bought two skeins of yarn for myself!

Within my first fifteen minutes, I’d already gotten a lovely compliment on my sweater (oh, Rhinebeck, you always know how to make a girl happy) and fallen deeply in love with this skein of DK BFL dyed by Jan Marek Raczkowski. It’s a gorgeous pink with just a little bit of red. I didn’t want to buy anything until I’d made my rounds so I waited until the end of the day to pick this up but I was thinking about it all day. It’s soft and squishy and the color has me swooning. I’m planning on making the Hierro mitts from Pom Pom’s Autumn 2013 issue and I had my eye out for the right yarn. This is it.

Jan Marek Raczkowski

 

I’m really excited to start those mitts and I’m already thinking that I want to get more yarn from Jan Marek Raczkowski. Apparently he only sells at shows, nothing online! Although a little birdie did tell me that I could email him to order. I’ll definitely be thinking about that!

into the whirled

 

The other skein I bought is by Into the Whirled. Now, I was a little bad. After going through my stash, I realized that I have enough sock yarn to last me a hundred winters (possible slight exaggeration but it’s serious). I’ve said again and again that I love buying sock yarn because it’s a great way to purchase yarn without worrying about having the right quantity for a random project- one skein of sock yarn is enough for a pair of socks. I love knitting socks! But, alas, I’ve seemed to have followed my own advice  a little too closely and now I have a billion skeins and zero minutes to cast on socks. Then Lisa showed me these yarns and there was just no turning back.

But when I saw this color way, I just really couldn’t say no. It’s Inara and it’s in the SW merino/nylon base. It’s just so pretty. I might make socks for Jon with it. I think that is what I say every time I buy a skein of sock yarn. And he only has one pair of socks that I ever knit him. Poor thing.

The more I think about it, the more I’m regretting not also picking up a skein of Bigger on the Inside because the colors are just gorgeous and who doesn’t want Doctor Who-themed socks?! Maybe next time. I really was trying to be good!

Did I do good? Or should I have really broken the bank this time? What did you buy?

ps. Happy Halloween! I’ve been so busy, I’ve forgotten to be festive. Last year I wrote this Halloween poem so check that out.

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