Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double Knitting Workshops held at Woolbearers last weekend were a big hit.  Thanks to Alasdair for coming down to Woolbearers from Boston, where it was a little warmer and we didn't get any snow.  Can't wait to see all the new double knitting projects you are making.

Now I know it's been a while since I last blogged. These are some of the things I've been up to:

Vogue Live Knitting
Here's our booth

I dyed up kits of 20 different colorways for knitting Tin Can Knits pattern "Vivid".  Sold out at the show, but I've since dyed more and have for sale in the shop and on my online store.

I actually finished a sweater (yay). Last Fall we started a KAL for Kate Davies Braid Hills Cardigan.  I decided to use my hand dyed sport weight merino and am really pleased with the results.  Kind of hard to see in the first picture -- the second picture, while not true to color, is a better representation of the cable work.

Everyone loves those buttons!

I finished the wedding shawl for Jen a long time ago, but didn't put the flowers on, because Jen thought it should be lined.  So, I bought some fabric and proceeded to line it.  Then I realized it wouldn't have any stretch with the fancy fabric I had, which is key to getting the shawl on.  I went with Jen to her final dress fitting the other night and we all (dressmaker included -- thank you Rosemary) decided not to line it.  Since the bodice is beaded, she will have to be careful getting it on and off.  The pattern for the shawl is the Summer Rose Capelet and I double stranded the Lotus Mink yarn. It is just so yummy.  I hope the bride likes the final product.

My daughter, Emma is going to be one of the bridesmaids.   Since there are 5 of them, I did not volunteer to knit shawls for the bridesmaids, but I really wanted to make Emma something. So here's a little shrug she can wear to the rehearsal dinner.  It's the Gaia Shrug pattern made out of Shulana's Mersilca, an aran weight, wool/cashmere/silk blend. Knits up in a day or two.

I bought my dress for Jen's wedding a few weeks ago and decided at the last minute to knit myself a shawl.  I have always wanted to do the Swallowtail shawl, and since Jen didn't want any lace in her wedding shawl, I just had to make it.  I used Jaggerspun Zephyr wool/silk laceweight and used beads instead of doing the dreaded nupps. Love the way it came out.

Since I had a deadline for the shawl, all of my other projects were on hold.  But I am now slowly getting everything else finished.  Only 5 more rows on Ysolda Teague's Follow Your Arrow shawl.  Glad I used my hand dyed fingering weight yarn, because I had to dye more yarn to finish.
Here is my Harvest Cardigan.  I'm making a child's size in hopes of finishing quickly.  Using Madelintosh Vintage and just love the way it knits.

My Strokkur is coming along slowly.  I had to rip out about 10 inches --- I put the stitch markers for side shaping in the wrong places initially and just couldn't salvage it any other way. Finally on the sleeves and then for the fun stuff -- fair isle yoke!  I'm sure it will be ready for next winter.  Making this out of Lopi Lite.

There are lots more UFO's -- but I am determined that 2014 is going to be the year of finishing things!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Here is my Christmas present to all of my wonderful customers!

Llama Glow Moebius Cowl

Materials: 1 skein of Woolbearers Hand Dyed Baby Llama Glow, buy it here (shown in colorway Grape Juice)
Needles: Size 10 US 32" circulars
Gauge: 3 stitches = 1 inch
Finished Dimensions (stretched) 10" x 19"

Cast on 150 stitches using the Moebius cast-on (see Cat Bordhi's video for instructions or take our class on Feb 1st 2014 (more info found here.

Knit the first row according to Cat's instructions.

*Knit 4 rows
 Purl 4 rows
 Repeat from * 2 times
 Knit 4 rows

Bind off with a stretchy bind off.  I used this one:  * Knit 1 stitch,  Put stitch back on left needle. Knit 2 stitches together through the back loops. Repeat from *  until you are done.

Sew in ends.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So, I noticed a sweater in the J.Jill catalog that I received today.  Looks an awful lot like Strokkur, the pattern created by Ysolda Teague.  We are having a KAL for this pattern, starting on Dec. 7. If you want the sweater from J.Jill you will have to shell out $119.  If you knit the Strokkur at Woolbearers it will cost a lot less and you will have a lot more fun!  Hope you can join us.

I have been starting lots of projects lately.  But the one that I'm really excited about is Vivid, a small blanket from TinCan Knits.  I just started knitting a square and am already addicted. Each square is begun with the Emily Ocker cast-on.  Remember I blogged about this in an August 2007 post? There is a nice You-Tube video that explains how to do this cast-on -- from Mountain Mom.  

I decided to dye yarn in lots of varying colors going up and down the hue scale. I am going to kit up the yarn, so you don't have to buy full skeins - each square takes only 70 yards or so. Here are some of the colors I've dyed already.

I'll definitely be doing more color families.  This is lots of fun.

Another KAL going on at Woolbearers is the Braid Hill Cardigan KAL.  Here's mine so far
It's a little hard to see the cables, but I have definitely become a "cable without a cable needle" convert.  I'll explain how it's done next time -- with pix.

Speaking of dyeing yarn, Marcia, a longtime customer, wanted to knit the Rosita Jacket from Knitters 108, but couldn't find a yarn to suit her.  So, I volunteered to dye some yarn and just can't believe the wonderful results.  The black and white intarsia is done out of Cascade 220, but the rest of the sweater is out of Woolbearers' Worsted Merino. Just love it!
Branwen is a beginning knitter who wanted to knit some baby clothes during her pregnancy.  She started with a sweater and then added hat and booties.  Here they are before baby and 

 on baby!
 How cute is that?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I've been a big fan of "Breaking Bad" for quite a while.  My son got me "hooked". In fact, I got him to help me dye yarn by saying "Hey, Jesse, want to cook?"   So, I wanted to do something to honor  Walt and the gang. What else can I do -- I dyed some of my Baby Llama Glow yarn and call the colorway "Crystal Blue".  If you want to score some click here.  I'll be dyeing up a batch in Sterling Sock yarn as well. 

We were so lucky to have Melissa Wehrle come for a book signing last week. Her book, Metropolitan Knits is a collection of the most knittable sweaters I have ever seen in one book.  Melissa was so generous with her time explaining how she became a designer what inspires her to do the wonderful designs she creates.  Thanks, Melissa for coming to Woolbearers!

We are starting another KAL this week. Once again, we are knitting a Kate Davies design, called Braid Hill.  It is really important to do a swatch for this sweater.  I was sure I wanted to knit this up in Grignasco's Champagne yarn.  It's a silk/wool blend -- my favorite blend to knit with and I thought it would show up the cables so nicely. Gauge for the sweater is 6 stitches to the inch. Perfect!  The pattern says that row gauge is really important for button placement.  I got stitch gauge with no problem, but couldn't get close to row gauge even with a larger needle.   What to do?  I just love my new hand dyed Sport Merino.  I already knitted up a cute little sweater from Lori Versaci with it and had some leftover and did a swatch -- boy, what a difference.  Not only did I get gauge, but the cables showed up so much better with this yarn.  I decided to use the black colorway that I recently dyed.   I know it's hard to see in this picture, but the cables really do pop nicely.  Don't even mind knitting with black this time!  I'll take more pictures next week to see the progress of everyone else's Braid Hill.

We did a KAL last winter using Kate Davies' Colours of Shetland book.  Now, I still have mine on the needles, but a few of the gals finished their Scatness Tunics .  Here's Kim's

 and Karen's

Jessa is a fairly new knitter. After knitting a few of the squares from Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan book, Jessa decided to branch out and she did it in a big way. This is her first sweater and it is just perfect.  The pattern is the "Tilted Duster" by Norah Gaughan from Interweave Knits Fall 2007. Jessa used Stonehedge Shepherd's Wool.  Not only did it come out perfectly, but it is so soft!

Janet's Baby Surprise out of Cascade Heritage 150 -- goes perfectly with the blanket she made from Berroco Vintage.

Amy and Lisa are in my Tuesday afternoon knitting class and always pick projects that they can work on together.  It's always a race to see who finishes first. Well, this time, Amy got her dress done just in time for her birthday.  The pattern is a Lang pattern and the yarn is the Seta Tweed and she did a fantastic job.

I would never want anyone to have the impression that I don't finish knitting my projects.  I know that I must have at least 18 on the needles, but I do intend to finish every one.  Here are two that are recently completed.

We did a KAL from the Knit Swirl book.  This one is called "Plum Perfect" and I used Woolbearers' Ringspun/Alpaca in 2 different colorways.

Amy Swenson's Watershed is a great little knit.  I made this one out of Woolbearers' Lanamira Verte in the Reds colorway.  

Garden State Sheep Breeders show was a lot of fun this year.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

I thought I'd start this new knitting season out by posting a free pattern. I created this pattern after dyeing up some superwash chunky yarn.  I needed to knit right away with it and thought that a baby blanket would be the most satisfying way to knit with several colors and do some different stitches. 
Here it is.   If you want to see the blanket in person, come to the Garden State Sheep Breeders Show on Sept 6-7 at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds.  More info about the show here. Buy yarns for the blanket here.

Chunky Baby Blanket

Materials:  Woolbearers Superwash Chunky
Color A: Teal 2 skeins
Color B: gold  1 skein
Color C: Lilac 1 skein
Color D: Grasshopper 1 skein
Color E: Reddish Brown 1 skein

Needles: size 11 32”

Cast on 84 stitches

Work in double seed stitch for seven rows
Double Seed Stitch:  Row 1: *K1, P1  Repeat from * all the way across end
                                  Row 2: *P1, K1 Repeat from * all the way across end
                                  Row 3: Repeat row 2
                                  Row 4: Repeat Row 1

Change to color B

Work in Stockinette stitch for 6 rows

Change to color C

Work 8 Rows I Garter stitch
Work 2 rows in stockinette

With color D begin half linen stitch as follows
Row 1 *k1, slip 1 WYIF repeat from * until end of row
Row 2 Purl entire row
Row 3: change to color C k2 * slip 1 WYIF, k1, repeat from *
Row 4: Purl entire row
Change to color D and repeat rows 1-4 one more time
Work 2 rows of stockinette in Color C

Change to Color E
Work garter stich for 10 rows

Change to color D
Work 2 rows of stockinette
Change to color A
Work 2 rows of stockinette
Change to color D
Work 2 rows of stockinette
Change to color A
Work 2 rows of stockinette
Change to color D
Work 2 rows of stockinette

Change to color C
Work 4 rows in garter

Change to color B
Row 1 Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *P1 Knit 5, Repeat from * all the way across
Row 4: P1, K1 *P3 K1, P1 K1, Repeat from * all the way across
Row 5: K3, P1 K1 *K3 P1 K1 P1, Repeat from * all the way across
Row 6: P3 *K1, P5 Repeat from * all the way across  end P2
Row 7: K1 *P1 K1 P1 K3 P1 K1 P1 K3 Repeat from * all the way across end K2
Row 8: *P1, K1 Repeat from * all the way across
Row 9: *k5, P1 Repeat from * all the way across
Row 10: Purl

Change to color E:
Seed stitch for 6 rows
Seed Stitch: Row 1 – *K1, p1 Repeat from * all the way across
                  Row 2:  *P1, k1 Repeat from * all the way across
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern

Change to color D
8 rows of Stockinette

Change to color A.
Work 10 rows of Garter

Change to color C
Work 2 rows in stockinette

With color D begin half linen stitch as follows
Row 1 *k1, slip 1 repeat from * till end of row
Row 2 Purl entire row
Row 3: change to color C and repeat row 1
Row 4: Purl entire row
Change to color C and repeat rows 1-4 one more time
Work 2 rows of stockinette in Color C

Change to color E
Work 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to color B

Work 10 rows in Moss Stitch
Moss Stitch:  Row 1& 2: *K2 P2 Repeat from * all the way across
                      Row 3&4 * P2, K2 Repeat from * all the way across
Repeat Rows 1-4 twice and Rows 1 & 2 once more for 10 row total

Change to color A
Work 2 rows  Stockinette
Change to color D
Work 2 rows  Stockinette
Change to color A
Work 2 rows  Stockinette
Change to color D
Work 2 rows  Stockinette       
Change to color A
Work 2 rows  Stockinette

Change to Color C
Work 6 rows in garter stitch

Change to color D
Work 5 rows in Stockinette

Change to Color A:
Work 7 rows in Double Seed Stitch.
Bind off

Pick up  84 Stitches along sides and work 7 rows of double Seed Stitch on each side.

Crochet chain along edges to complete blanket

Sunday, June 09, 2013

When I saw the "New" Baby Surprise pattern, I knew that I just had to make it. This pattern was reconfigured for stranded work by Elizabeth Zimmerman's grandson.  How cool is that? This Baby Surprise is done in the round with steek stitches that are later cut.  I really really wanted to use my hand dyed superwash  worsted weight yarn for this. I know you are not supposed to use superwash when you are steeking, but I have done it before with fairly good success.  So, as much as I like the way it turned out, DON'T use superwash.  Or reinforce your steeks twice.  I have to admit it got a little dicey, but I managed to catch all the little ends that started popping out.   I think you should use a heavier weight yarn for this pattern. Even though I used worsted weight, it came out tiny!
I just have to weave in all the ends and pick up and knit some collar stitches and pick up stitches arond the sleeve cuffs, knit a row or two and then I'll be done.

We're having a class starting Saturday, June 15th for the Baby Surprise Jacket -- you choose which one you want to do -- the garter stitch striped version or this new circular stranded version.
Another project that we are working on are the jackets from the book Knit Swirl.
Here, Kathy is just casting on over 600 stitches.  She decided to use Zealana Rimu DK and Queensland Velveteen for a contrast.  Can't wait to see how much she knitted up this week.

I decided to use my hand dyed Delaware Valley Ringspun/alpaca.  I only had to cast on 512 stitches and every 4th or 5th round I get to decrease! 
Judy is using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and did her swatch, had to go down a needle size or two -- but it's better to find out now than to cast on a million stitches and have to rip that out.

Pat is definitely going to finish before any of us.  As of yesterday she was on welt #18  -- she is using Noro Silk Garden Lite with a little bit of Silky Wool thrown in.
Marian is also using Silky Wool and started over. After knitting quite a bit, she realized that the size she was doing was going to be too big. Glad she discovered that now instead of after it was all done.
Cindy never ceases to amaze me with her knitting.  She decided to do another project from the Kate Davies book, Colours of Shetland.  Here she is knitting the Ursula Cardigan, but instead of using lots of different colors, she is using Kauni Effektgarn for the color changes and one solid of Jamieson's spindrift.  Can't wait to see this finished -- which I am sure will be in no time.

Elaine brought in her Sequim shawl made out of Berroco Karma -- she added beads and it looks stunning!

Patricia loves my hand dyed yarn and sometimes mixes it with other yarns that she has spun.  Here is a kimono that she knit out of  my Delaware Valley Ringspun/Alpaca. Love the way it came out!