Sunday, March 29, 2009
Even though it was the depths of winter and we were wrapped in woolies when we first saw Louisa Harding Cinnabar, we new it would be a perfect yarn for spring and summer.Cinnabar is a funky blend of 30% Viscose, 25% Cotton, 15% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 10% Linen, 5% Polyamide and 5% Acetate. Each colorway is 6 unique plies: 2 single plies of a natural color, 2 of a bright and 2 wrapped plies that contain a slub linen bound with a hint of sparkle. There is just enough texture, sheen and color to suit all tastes. We currently carry 6 colors in the shop, and they can be found online here.
Our immediate reaction was to use it in summer accessories -- a drapey scarf as a funky addition to a plain Tshirt, jeans and cute flats, or a shawl or shrugworn over a simple flowy dress for a evening wedding. At 20 sts/4" on US Size 7 needles, it would also be the perfect yarn for a summer cardigan or shell for an outdoor dinner or cocktail party.
If a smaller item is more your style, Cinnabar is featured in a beautiful purse on the cover of Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding.
Come in, check it out and try something new!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Does blocking really make that much of a difference in the end result of your knitting? Yes.
Blocking is a way of using water or steam to set the fibers of your knitting and to perfect its shape and symmetry. It expands the fibers -- especially good for ones that bloom like merino or drape, like bamboo. Blocking is handy if you're making a bulky hat, but it's absolutely crucial if you're making a lace shawl or knitting a sweater. Have a look at what this shawl (Frost Flowers Stole, Interweave Knits, Holiday 2008 by Charlene Schurch knit by Lisa out of a laceweight Silk and Cashmere blend from Skaska for those interested) looked like right off the needles:
You can see the stitches are much more clearly defined, the knitting is flat, has grown in size and the lace pattern is much easier to see. A huge difference!
There are multiple ways to block.
If you're in a hurry, lay your knitting out on top of a towel on a flat surface, pin it to your desired measurements and using either a steamer or your iron set to super-steamy mode, pass the iron over the whole piece. (You're not actually ironing here, so hold the iron about 6 inches above the knitting.)
1. Fill a sink with warmish water and a dab of your favorite woolwash and place your knitting into it. Instead of squeezing or agitating in any way, just let it soak. Go watch an episode of yor favorite prime time t.v. show, then come back and drain the water.
2. Carefully squeeze the water out of the knitting very gently without wringing. It would be best to begin squeezing at one end and working your way to the other without wringing.
3. Next, grab a thick towel and lay your garment onto it. Roll the towel up, with the knitting inside of it, like a sushi roll. Press firmly to allow the towel to absorb the excess water. You could even step on the roll if you'd like!
4. Place another towel onto a flat surface with the knitting on top. This is the time when you measure & pin the item out to the specifications given in the knitting pattern schematic. If it's finely worked, has lace, or has a shaped edging, use rustproof pins to pin it in shape. If you are trying to change the length or width a bit (like if your sweater arms came out a little bit too short and you're trying to stretch them), stretch the piece gently until it's the size and shape you want. Pin the piece and allow to dry.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
favorite? The sheep to shawl competition!! Those women are amazing. There are alpacas and llamas and sheep being shown by 4-H-ers and, as always, delicious fair food to eat! Funnel cakes anyone?
The buses leave SATURDAY MAY 2ND at 7:30am - sharp! -- from Rosie's at 2017 Locust St., Philadelphia
We leave the fairgrounds at 4pm (usually back by 6:15).
Two ways to go:
Bargain Ride: coffee at the shop, comfy seat, raffle ticket for good
stuff from Rosie's, time to nap on the way home, $40 if booked by March 15th, $45 after that.
High Flyer: Boxed breakfast (muffin or scone and fresh fruit salad), fresh squeezed oj and coffee at the shop, raffle ticket, NEW! Rosie Tote, comfy seat, naptime, etc., $55 if booked by March 15th, $60 after that.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Crochet Designs For Kids by Lucinda Guy
Baby Crochet by Lois Daykin
where you can find sweet bibs and accessories, like the String of Hearts:
and this beautiful vintage and Icelandic inspired cardigan -- we're already scheming a grown-up version of this one for ourselves!
and Organic Baby Knit by the Let's Knit Series
Candy Crochet by Candi Jensen has stylish outfits and blankets for babies and toddlers:
has beautiful and inspirational photographs and projects paired with the best charts around.
Come on in and check them out!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
It's a great use for a skein of Koigu Kersti (so soft, and such wonderful colors). Use Kersti for the optional contrast color as well, or double KPM (if you should happen, by some chance, to have any remnants or mill ends in your stash). Instructions for 0-9 months and 12-18 months.