Archive for the ‘Yarn’ Category

Noro Lovers Can Help Japan

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Knitting Noro by Jane Ellison (paperback book cover)

KFI (Knitting Fever Inc.), the American distributor of the gorgeous Japanese hand-dyed yarns, Noro, has set up a matching funds contribution offer to aid disaster victims. Sion Elalouf, founder of KFI, posted to Ravelry today that their company and affiliates would match dollar for dollar made to The American Red Cross (up to $50,000). Checks should be made out to The American Red Cross and earmarked for the Japanese earthquake relief fund, then mailed to KFI: 315 Bayview Avenue, Amityville, NY 11701. All contributions will be made in the name of the knitting community. By the way, yarn manufacturer Noro is located in the central/south of Japan, far from the northeastern area devastated by the tsunami.

Free Knitting Patterns I Downloaded

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

There are so many generous designers, not to mention yarn companies, that post free knitting patterns. My favorite free pattern aggregator is Knitting Pattern Central. I also subscribe to a variety of yarn company and knitting magazine newsletters that also share patterns. Here are the patterns that I downloaded this week:

Gingko Shoulderette Shawl at Fragrant Heart Creations. A delicate triangular shawl with just a touch of leafy lace at the edges.

Lowell Cowl designed by Antonia Shankland for Classic Elite Yarns. A big mobius cowl that looks like an awesome stash buster. (Surely its not CYE’s wish for us to use our stash!)

Astra – Lace Collared Cardigan from Patons Yarns. I don’t like the construction or ruffle, but I am interested in making  a long lean cardi, so I want to check it out.

Pressed Flower Mitts by Meredith Ramirez at A Knitting Blog. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Lacy Ruffle Cardigan from Rowan (photo above). I want a Kid Silk Haze sweater. I ‘m not sure I want this one, tho. Does the model look odd to you? Something’s off there, no?

Weird Yarn: Steel Wool

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

No, it’s not the latest thing available at your LYS.  Steel wool is the sculptural media used by artist Krysta Olson in her thought-provoking piece, The Steel Wool Sweater (left). Olson works in a variety of media to investigate her attraction to vulnerability, intimacy and sadness. Her works plays with a kind of awkward tension. View her videos, photo projects, and painting. If you’d like to knit with steel, I’d suggest something from Habu Textiles or LB Collection Wool Stainless. A bit more user friendly, and infinitely more wearable.

Veronik's St-Denis Yarn

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Classic Elite Yarns launched knitwear designer Véronik Avery’s yarn line, St-Denis,  last year with Nordique.  There is a second yarn in the works called Boreale. Pretty exciting stuff. No doubt it will be as refined and beautiful as everything this talented designer puts her name too. Her work is simply classic elegance. You can check out the progression of the St-Denis brand on the blog, where Avery posts about her efforts. (That’s her photo seen above.) Buy issue 1 of St-Denis Magazine here, or go for the Spring/Summer issue here. You’ll find patterns by Ysolda, Jared Flood, Kat Coyle, Robin Melanson, Carol Sulcoski, and, of course,  Avery herself.

Ysolda's Red Yarn

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I told you that the Los Angeles LYS owners have been extremely tempting lately. No, you don’t have to be an Angeleno to shop at them, they’ll do online sales— so you’ve all been warned! Here’s the latest: Unwind in Burbank is offering the charming knitwear designer Ysolda Teague’s new yarn for Lorna’s Laces. It’s a gorgeous semi-solid red, called, naturally, “Ysolda Red” and it is part of the Shepherd Sock line. Perfect for Ysolda’s Ishbel. Read all about creating this beautiful yarn on Ysolda’s blog (that’s her photo from the process, above). Buy Ysolda Red from Unwind online. Get her patterns there too. That’s trouble, huh? Told ya.

More Lovely Handspun Yarn

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The LYS owners here in Los Angeles are working hard to separate us from our money these days. Case in point: KnitCulture is having a Tanglewood Trunk Show this weekend. Trish Anderson visits on May 15th and 16th with her luscious Tanglewood Fiber Creations. These are all hand-dyed and hand-spun. The yarns incorporate top of the line fibers like Mongolian cashmere, silk and other lux goods. Plus they set the yarn with lavender oil. (Sigh.) Every skein is different and unique, even in the same dye lot, making for one-of-a-kind knitted pieces. Anderson blogs about her work and life in St. Helens, Oregon here, at Diary Of A Hand-Spinner. I guess Anderson came to Jennifer Knits in Brentwood (a very swanky LYS here in LA) earlier this month. So here’s  another chance to view the pretty stuff and make a purchase. To tempt us further, KnitCulture has a FREE one-skein Luxury Mitts pattern made from Tanglewood Cashmere here (scroll down the page).

Knitting With Bamboo

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Have you knit with bamboo yet? I have some, enough for a sweater, but I haven’t figured out  exactly which one to make yet. After buying it, I came to understand that bamboo yarn is beautiful but super stretchy when knit up, and you need to really factor that in to your choice of pattern. The new issue of Caron Connections features an interesting Summer top by Santa Monica-based Melissa Matthay. The Aspira One-Button Tunic (left) is light, textural, and designed to be made with Spa, Caron’s bamboo-acrylic blend. The pattern page also has an audio fashion show describing the garment that is worth a listen. It highlights the novel construction of the garment. Note that at the top left corner of the Aspira page you can sign up for the Caron newsletter yourself or go here. Also, see Matthay’s Exclusive Collection designs on her website. They are all commissioned custom-knit garments.

Yarn From Pagewood Farm

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I’m not going to lie to you, this post is pure yarn porn. I received notice that Santa Monica LYS, Wildfiber, will be hosting Robin Page of Pagewood Farms on Saturday, May 8th. Details here. She’ll be showing off gorgeous handcrafted yarns (like the one called “Mississippi Mud” above), answering questions about her hand-dye process and demonstrating her “Bling” yarn. The Pagewood Farm site shows off their yarns and needle felting kits. Check out their blog too for a behind the scenes look at the boutique yarn business. Cool insider view at what it takes.

Improvisational Knitted Lace

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last February I blogged Myra Wood’s new book, Crazy Lace. Now you can get a peak into Wood’s ways with her Crazy Lace Cropped Cardi over at the Stitch Diva Studios website. It’s more of a knitting recipe than a traditional pattern, and teaches a knitter to use the “inherent logic” behind lace to create surface patterning for this simple cropped raglan design. Sounds interesting. The result is pretty (left), especially knit up in just one skein of Stitch Diva’s lovely lace-weight Studio Cashmere.

Knitting With New Stuff

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I’m busy at work on Stefanie Japel’s Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Tie, which is a Knitty pattern from some years ago. That’s Ravelery member Lolipopette’s pale blue version (above). I’ve knit this designer’s patterns before, with varying degrees of success. They are great patterns. It’s just taken me a while to get the hang of knitting sweaters that actually fit. This is the first time I’ve knit with KnitPick’s Harmony Wood Circular Needles. I am liking how pointy they are. The joins really are smooth, and the purple cables are not twisty at all. However, the jury is out on the multi-colored wood. It’s strangely distracting to me. Plus this is the first time I’ve knit with Cascade Indulgence. It’s  soft, but as I knit, little tufts of angora fly away and get everywhere.