Friday, April 23, 2010

Crochet Friday

Lately we've been taking inventory of what we offer in the way of house patterns. We're trying to diversify things and not offer only scarves or only hats. With that said, more crochet items will be introduced. With more of the staff picking up the hook more often (with no lost love for the two sticks), we're more mindful of the number of available crochet designs that we can offer as a standalone pattern. Not to say that there aren't great books (Crochet Me, Crochet In Color, Crocheted Gifts, etc.), but sometimes you're more in the market for a single pattern, especially if you're trying something new.

With the surge in crochet's popularity, not only do we have your average length crochet hooks but we also made sure to introduce/reintroduce you to Tunisian crochet. What is Tunisian crochet? Tunisian (or afghan) crochet uses an afghan hook, which is simply an elongated crochet hook. You start by working the same type of chain you use as the base for any other crocheted work. Now here's where it gets interesting. You don't work one stitch at a time and move on as you do in normal crochet. Instead you are pulling one stitch up and leaving it on the hook. This is why you need an elongated hook, or a hook with a plastic cord similar to the ones seen on circular needles, to accommodate the extra stitches. The next step is to not turn the work but to wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the first loop, then proceed to yarnover and pull through two loops until you reach the end of the row.  What you get after working a few sets of rows is.....

The fabric is best when worked on a hook size that is larger than normally called for depending upon your yarn choice. Here is the Manos del Uruguay Serena, usually knit on a US 4/3.5mm-US 5/3.75mm, and I got a nice, drapey fabric at about 4-4.5 stitches per inch on an H/5mm afghan hook. You might be a tight or loose crocheter; it all comes down to washing and blocking your swatch (which I did). As soon as the yarn touched the water, the alpaca content in the yarn made it drape but the pima cotton kept the stitch definition while still keeping it soft. Summer yarn option anyone?
Well, we've got a few patterns in the works even as I'm typing this, and maybe in the future we'll have a Introduction to Crochet class structured much in the way of the Beginner Knitting/Project classes. Stay tuned for more info and for new patterns!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Miss Flitt Recap

This past Sunday our Miss Flitt event took place and it was a lovely afternoon!
Beth and her husband came by and set up the samples the previous weekend so that people could see them and ogle them before the event. The knitters came in and by the time Beth had finished the selection, we all had made up in our minds that we were all going to buy the book and knit something. I (Jen) have been eyeing that Emma Cardigan ever since I tried on the sample. I've got some Organik in my stash that would look great in that pattern! Anyway, here are a few pictures from Sunday.

There was a very informative Q&A session (Bridget is officially the head interviewer of Rosie's!). Beth studied printmaking and painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and writing at The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah Lawrence College. The result was that the knitting, writing, & watercolor aspect blended with ease, making the finished product come without being forced. It definitely shows in the way the book is presented and the way the knits correlate to the storyline. The setup of each book's release is very similar to the 19th-century style of publication,where you get a piece of the story with each release of a book. The next book, Volume 1, Chapter II, Dangerous Ladies & Opium Dens, will be launched soon and hopefully we'll be getting a few copies for you to pick up and read after you finish Chapter I, The Strange Case of the Magician's Cabinet, of which we do have copies available for sale.

You know what we also have?

Rosie's has grab bags. Grab bags of what you ask? Yarn. Alpaca, bamboo, wool, cotton, mohair, cashmere (yes, cashmere!). Dk-weight, lace, fingering, a bit of worsted. It'd also be helpful to mention if you want odd assortment of fibers or if you simply want different colors of the same thing. Do you like Noro? You might get some. If you're interested, click on the Buy Now button and please be sure to leave a comment telling us which fibers you like/adore and what fibers you might break out from/not enjoy so much. We want to send you yarn but not if it's something that'll cause you to have an allergic reaction to it! Each bag is $35 (although you'll get at least $60 worth of yarn!) and you will receive a bag of yarns we've put together and hope you'll enjoy!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Puttin' On The Knits

On Sunday, Beth Hahn will be here to do a few reading selections from her book, The Adventures of Miss Flitt!
At 1pm, there will be a reading of chosen selections from her book, The Adventures of Miss Flitt, a four-part, illustrated, 19th century mystery with character-based knitting patterns by Beth Hahn. The story follows Emma Flitt into a Victorian New York filled with magicians, clairvoyants, charlatans, and pick pockets to unravel the mysterious disappearance of her sister Lucy.

We're all pretty excited to meet her and to snag a few copies for ourselves. Not only does the book tell a story, but it also includes knitting patterns that you see some of the character wearing. Today Johanna and I decided to go outside and snag a few photos of the Emma Cardigan sample we have on display in the store.

(I have no idea why I look so worried and freaked out by some imaginary beast on the sidewalk in the left picture, but I'll blame it on the sun being over-enthusiastically bright today. Or on Johanna acting as creative director/Tim Gunn protégé by telling me to "make it work".)

The Emma Cardigan sample (shown here) was knit up in Ella Rae Heathers but Manos Rittenhouse 5 Ply Merino would be a great substitution. The stitch definition shows in the lace pattern and it's got a bit of give. I'm wearing the extra small size (30") and I am not an extra small, but the negative ease makes the lace pattern show quite nicely. Know thyself, my friends, know thyself. I could see myself making a small (34") in the future. O-Wool Balance would be the yarn to choose if you want something that's warm for chilly offices & trains in the summertime, but cool enough to wear in the evening and not feel overheated. 

Beth also includes swatches in the book made with other yarns such as The Fibre Company's Organik just to give you an idea of how different yarns of different compositions will show off the same stitch. I think this is great because you can pick the appearance and texture of your sweater based on which yarn you pick, and anything that allows the knitter to own the outcome of their project is a definite plus in my book.

If you want to meet Beth and purchase the book & some yarn and get started on this cardigan or any of the designs in her book, stop by on Sunday from 1pm-5pm. We'll see you then!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Closed Sunday!

Hello all! This blog post is to simply let everyone know that we will be closed on Sunday. We hope you enjoy the day & the awesome weather we're supposed to have this weekend! We'll be open for normal hours on Monday. If you do need to come down this weekend to pick anything up, Saturday's your day. Again, we will be closed on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!