Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Julie Hoover Crush.

Have you heard of Julie Hoover?  Her designs are clean and modern and use fibers like silk, cashmere, merino and stainless steel. And even though she lives in Alaska (where I'm betting they won't see 80 degrees for months...right now, the headline photo on her website shows tree trunks buried in snow!) she has a few patterns that are perfect for warm - ok, maybe even hot - weather.

Yesterday, the Habu yarn* suggested for two of them arrived in the shop.

Specifically, the Tsumugi Silk for Insouciant.
click photo to enlarge

And the Silk Stainless Steel and Merino for Decalage.
click photo to enlarge
we've put together suggested color pairings - note that you could  use a single color of merino and a single color of silk/stainless and you'd need only three cones of merino and one cone of silk/stainless

...and Theresa tells me that the silk for Tisse should be in the next Fed Ex delivery (hopefully today!)

*in addition to these three yarns, we also have more cotton gima and more kits.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fed Ex Delivers.

...Malabrigo!!! ***happy dance!!***

As much as I love our UPS guy, the Fed Ex guy gives him a run for his money when he delivers three huge boxes of Malabrigo (of course Fed Ex should take a lesson from UPS and deliver those boxes in the morning, not the afternoon. but I digress).

Today, the Fed Ex guy was our hero. Those three boxes of Malabrigo were full of Rasta (five skeins each of every color - you know Theresa, she has to have all the colors!) and the newest - and best - Finito. Four bags each in every color (you know Theresa, she has to have all the colors! :-) I've already cried "yarn crush" twice this past month, so I'm not going to cry it again. [but I do feel like I should whisper it loudly ****yarn crush****] oh my.

If you've been waiting for Rasta, the time is now. Now! The selection is as good as it gets...

And if you don't know about Finito - or maybe even if you do! - it's 200 yards of the finest merino in a heavy fingering/light sport weight. It suggests 6 - 6.5 stitches per inch. And of course the colors are Malabrigo-lovely.

So if you've been waiting for the perfect lightweight merino in gorgeous colors to knit that perfect cowl or scarf, the time is now (also?, too?, does it really matter?!)

...maybe you don't have a pattern in mind...of course we do. In fact, we have two.

First up - and especially recommended if you knitted the jeweled cowl and have leftover beads - Churchmouse's English Mesh Lace Scarf . Two skeins of the Finito would be perfect.

And next up - Looped Loop . Many of us knit Sev[en]Circle and loved it; this pattern is by the same designer. Again, you'd need two skeins.

If you have other pattern suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

We can't wait to see what you knit!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Misti Alpaca Pima Silk.

aka another yarn crush. I know. They're coming fast and furious aren't they? Yes, the last one was just three weeks ago. (and yes, I haven't even cast on my Rill Scarf yet...later this week, I hope!) But that's how it goes when the temperatures warm just a bit and the trees start to blossom and the birds are chirping madly and a new yarn from Misti Alpaca arrives and it takes all my will power not to drop everything and cast on something. immediately.

Monday was a day like that.

The yarn is Pima Silk. It's a blend of 83% pima cotton and 17% silk in a DK weight and a generous 327 yards per skein. We have tonal solids in nearly all the colors and the hand paints in confetti and guilded lilys (don't you love that name?)

Believe me, this stuff is soft. The colors are vibrant. And at 327 yards per skein, it screams cowl to me.

I spent Monday night searching Ravelry for suitable patterns and I have three recommendations to share with you.

First, for the variegated handpaints, I'd suggest the Honey Cowl . That pattern is my favorite to show off pretty colors and it knits up fast and easy. (Note: The pattern is written for a light worsted yarn and a gauge of 5 st/in. The Pima Silk suggests 5.5 st/in on a size 6 needle; at that gauge, 176 stitches will give you a 32" long cowl.)

And how pretty would it be fastened with one of Kathy's pins?
the Confetti colorway
For the solids, I have two suggestions, both free patterns (available on Ravelry) from the lovely ladies at Kelbourne Woolens.

The first is Wicker Cowl . It's a straightforward charted lace pattern with a 10-stitch repeat, sized for a DK yarn, so you can simply follow the pattern as written.  The second is Avery Cowl . It's also a charted lace pattern, but more complex (34 stitches over 24 rows) and suited for an intermediate lace knitter. The pattern is sized for DK yarn, so you can follow it as written.

We had fun pairing the tonal colorways with more of Kathy's pins.

...and I managed to get through my crazy case of startitis by living vicariously through Lucille!
Lucille's Wicker Cowl...started, and accessorized!