Thursday, October 02, 2014

                     When we got in this new yarn from Aracaunia called Sotaqui, I knew I had to knit up something quick with it.  So, here is a super easy, super quick knit with superbulky yarn on super big needles.


1 skein of  Aracaunia Sotaqui
24" Size 19 needles

Cast on 40 stitches.  Join to work in the round
Pattern: K2, P2 all the way around.  Repeat for each row.

After approx 13 rows -- bind off.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mini Skeins    

  Hopefully you have seen my version of Tin Can Knits' Vivid Blanket. I dyed up lots of colors, wound them into 90 yard skeins and kitted them up.  I  love doing projects like this because it's so satisfying to get a square done. And then you want to do another and another ......

So, I decided to dye more "mini-skeins" and sell them individually -- if you want to make the blanket, you can choose your own colors. Or, if you are doing a project that requires small
 amounts of lots of different colors, this would be a great way to buy yarn.

I'll have the yarn for sale at the Garden State Sheep Breeders Show Sept 6-7 at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds along with plenty of other hand dyed yarns and roving.

Here's a pattern I just wrote that uses 8 different colors of the mini skeins -- you could probably make 2 or 3 cowls using this yarn.

Materials: 8 colors of Woolbearers' Mini skeins.
Color A: Red/Black
Color B: Deep Magenta
Color C: Wine Rose
Color D: Med Grey
Color E: Light Grey
Color F: Pink Magenta
Color G: Light Pink
Color H: Dark Charcoal

Needles:  Size 5 16" circular needles
Begin with color A,  Work first 6 rows of scarf and then change to color B and work 8 rows of pattern (or 2 repeats), do the same for Colors C through G.  Work last 6 rows with Color H.

Cast on 154.  Place marker, join to work in the round.

Setup rows:
Row 1:  Knit
Row 2: Purl

Feather and Fan Pattern:
Row 1:* (K 2 tog) 2 times, (YO, K 1) 3 times, YO, (K 2 tog) 2 times, repeat from * 13 more times
Row 2: purl
Rows 3&4: Knit

Repeat these 4 rows for pattern

With Color H: Knit Rows 1-4  of pattern.
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Knit
Bind off in knitting.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

     It's hard to believe that Woolbearers has been in business for over 10 years now.  I think it was only yesterday when we opened up the shop in a little house down in Mill Race Village.  Times have changed and we have had to make lots of changes as well.  Moving up to High Street has been great -- lots of visibility and a nice large shop to display all of our goodies. 
     The latest program Woolbearers is offering is CustomFit. CustomFit makes custom patterns for hand-knit sweaters. It takes your choices, your body, and your hand-knit fabric and produces a pattern perfectly suited to you. Design and fit expertise are built-in, so you get to make all the fun choices without worrying about the hard ones.  CustomFit builds a pattern that fits beautifully from hem to neck, and everywhere in between.

 Here is my first CustomFit sweater.  I used Customfits Classic Cardigan template and indeed, I got a perfect fit. I used Zealana's Heron yarn.
  Fran's first sweater is a pullover. She specified some of the design choices she wanted (neck depth, neck style, edging, etc.)  and got great results.  Of course, it fits perfectly as well.  We both said that the shoulders were a perfect fit -- something that doesn't always happen, even when trying on store bought sweaters.  Fran knit with Tahki Tara Tweed.

I just started another CustomFit sweater.  I did a twisted 1 x 1 rib and  am incorporating a pattern on the back -- maybe the fronts too -- we'll see. I was really inspired by the Botanic Knits trunk show. Found this leaf pattern in one of Barbara Walker's books.
This time I'm using Classic Elite Mohawk Wool and I just love this new yarn  -- it's made of Merino and Romney, is soft, but has great stitch definition.  Here are all the natural colors.

Our first 2-part classes are scheduled for Thursday, July 31st & August 7 or Saturday, August 2nd & 9th,  More info is on our website.

I know it's been months since I have blogged, so here are a few items I have been collecting to put on the blog.  I hope you have all seen my version of the Vivid Blanket by Tin Can Knits.  I've made up kits and lot of folks are knitting away. 

Here is my first version 

and here is Bonnie's version.  Just love it!
I dyed extra black yarn for her and away she went!

Janet has a new grandson and of course he needed a new blankie.  Janet made this out of Berroco Vintage.  The pattern is by Ashley Rao and is published in 60 Quick Baby Blankets.

Robert visits our shop when he is in the area and just had to show off his latest creation.

Here are some new yarns that have been coming in:

Mrs. Crosby Train Case (fingering weight)  Buy here

Spincyle  Dyed in the Wool.  Buy here

 Sweet Georgia Silk Crush 
Delicious Yarns Parfait

If you can't make it into the shop, I'll be getting all these new yarns on my online store soon.

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!