Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Changed My Mind

This week I was going to sing the praises of Cascade's Alpaca Lace because it is absolutely beautiful and because I'm making this out of it:

This is the triangular shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia and I'm just 2 repeats away from finishing the center. I adore knitting this and it is so surprisingly easy and a very quick knit. The pattern repeat is only 8 stitches and every wrong side row is purled! I don't really even need the chart - I just use it to start my rows and whip across.

I making mine in a soft gray and the Alpaca Lace is magnificent. It's only going to end up using two skeins and it is embarrassingly inexpensive.

With that said, I was perusing magazines today looking for the perfect project for Classic Elite's Princess yarn and was thrilled to find two! Princess is a wonderful blend of merino, cashmere, and angora. It's so incredibly soft and I've been dying to get my hands on it.

Here are the two sweaters I'm crazy about (today).

The first is the Vogue Knitting Winter 2010 cover sweater.

It's a lovely little cable/Fair Isle number. It's a little too dress-like for me so I'm going to change the pattern. I'm going to eliminate the Fair Isle border on the bottom and the pockets, and I'm going to shorten it up to tunic length. The sleeve border is seed stitch so I'll do a bottom border of seed instead of the Fair Isle. I'm seriously thinking of doing the same colors because I think they fit nicely.

Here's option number two and I think it's adorable:

It's from the Winter issue of Knit Simple and while the picture blurs the details some, it's a broken rib cardigan with a slight ruffle at the bottom and on the sleeves.

Princess will be perfect and I'm planning to use the cobalt blue.

Check these out!

Miss Cory made these adorable Elf Shoes by Pamela Wynne of Flint Knits and she's going to teach a class starting on Friday, February 12. Check out the details at the website. I'd say they are for an intermediate beginner. You'll learn how construct the shoes, short row shaping and a very clever toe technique. You'll also learn all the ins and outs of felting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm in Halo Heaven!

Dad and all of the skiers made it to France just fine, but all of their luggage was missing for a few days. I've since learned that Dad packed his vest in his carry on so he was the hit of dinner the first night as planned! Lots of oooohs and ahhhhs!

And, now that the Christmas knitting is over, I've been like a kid in a candy shop trying new yarns I haven't had the time to play with up until now.

Fresco is Fabulous!

Pam Allen, Creative Director for Classic Elite Yarns, calls Fresco a "Bohus style" yarn. Bohus, for those of you that are unfamiliar:

"The Bohus Stickning organization came into existence in Sweden in the 1930's during a time of financial hardship for many people. A group of women from Bohuslän, married to unemployed quarry workers sought out the Governor's wife in Gothenburg to find a means of helping support their struggling families. And so this organization was born out of need and for 30 years it created wondrous and beautiful hand knitted garments while helping the women who knitted them support their families financially." (Susanna Hansson, One of Susanna's)

Fresco is an uber soft blend of 60% wool, 30% baby alpaca, and 10% angora. The angora gives this sport weight yarn a heavenly halo and it is perfect for colorwork.

I'm making these darling leg warmers for a class that begins on Thursday, February 18. This is a great introduction to Fair Isle for the intermediate knitter. Working on double points (or we could do Magic Loop), you'll learn how to change colors for stripes as well as how to do jogless stripes 1. You'll also learn how to knit Fair Isle (two-handed) and how to read a color chart.

We're holding another class using this yarn on Tuesday, February 9 - the Lace Cowl class. In this beginner class, you'll learn how to read a pattern and chart, how to knit in the round, how to block and all of the stitches that make up the lace pattern. Isn't it pretty?

Here are some other pattern ideas for this wonderful yarn.

Jared Flood's Beaumont Tam from Made in Brooklyn. This book is in stock.

Veronik Avery's Fair Isle Vest from Classic Elite's Sunday Afternoon which is in stock.

Another beautiful cowl is Laura Patterson's Basket Whip from Classic Elite's Web Letter. This pattern was one of Ravelry's top ten for quite a while!

Well, Looky Who's Back!

And looking just as smarmy as he did before he left. I haven't gotten all of the details yet, but it seems he was whisked off to Texas of all places! He's been mumbling something about being appointed an honorary Sheriff for some act of heroism, but he's being very tight-lipped about the details.

Hey, Mister Ben, I love the badge and the hat and the hand knit bandana is to die for! (Thank goodness they didn't give him a gun.)

Tune in next week for another of my favorite yarns!

1When knitting stripes in the round, because you are actually knitting in a spiral, the second round of the same color jogs up slightly at the beginning of the round causing the stripe at the join to not line up exactly.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Happy New Year!

Miss Cory and I spent the New Year's weekend taking inventory; how fun was that? We counted and ultimately moved exactly 7,899 skeins of wonderful, beautiful yarn! There were so many I haven't fondled in forever and naturally, there were some I even forgot we stocked!

While we were at it, we reorganized, painted, redecorated, redisplayed and made whopping overall changes to the Shop. Of course, we're biased, but we think it looks great and all the people that have been in the Shop this week agree!

I've got lots of new project ideas; I just had to revisit magazines and books while we were at it - whew we've got a lot of books! You must stop by and see all that's new.

In other news, Mister Ben has not returned, but he was spotted and I'm beginning to rethink the whole kidnapping plot. Does he look like a hostage to you? I thought not. He certainly doesn't look like a hostage to me. Whenever it is that you return, Mister Ben, you have serious 'splainin' to do.