Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pashmina Worsted.

I love it when I don't need to come up with a clever title for the post. Nope, this one is easy. Pashmina Worsted. As in the latest yarn base from the ever-so-popular Madelinetosh. It's a worsted weight version of the lovely Pashmina, a merino, silk and cashmere blend and comes in all your favorite colors, including the newest ones for Fall 2012.
L-R: rain water, foxglove, stephen loves tosh, mansfield garden party and grey gardens
Our shipment arrived last week and it's filled up* the right side of the back wall.  What a pretty sight!

And it's just in time for more gift knitting ideas (of course we won't tell if you decide to make this "gift" for yourself!)

Each skein is 210 yards, which is plenty for a hat or a pair of mitts and even a short cowl. Two skeins would give you enough for a long cowl or a hat and mitts. Here are some of our favorite patterns - all free on Ravelry!

Honey Cowl - this is a pattern from Madelinetosh and it's our go-to choice for a variegated yarn. The texture and the slipped stitches really make the colors pop!
Gaptastic Cowl - another pattern with texture, this time a seed stitch. The pattern calls for bulky yarn and a size 13 needle; suggest doubling the Pashmina Worsted to use a size 13 needle (or a size 8 or 9 needle and more stitches - maybe 200 total - if you want to use a single strand)
Infinitude Scarf - with ribbing on one edge and rounds of stockinette and reverse stockinette, this pattern would work well for any of the colors.

Hermoine's Cable and Eyelet - love for a girl and this is a great project to learn cabling without a cable needle!
Knotty but Nice - and this for a guy (or a that!).

One Cable Mitts - super easy (especially if you can cable without a cable needle!). This one works well for any of the colors.
Diamond Texture Mitts - also quick and easy...and no cables, but the texture stitch requires a little attention. And that texture might be lost in some of the variegated colors; this one works best with the semi-solids.

If you have any other pattern suggestions, please share them here, on Facebook or in our Ravelry forum. We can't wait to see what you knit!

*These photos are from Saturday.... the wall is a bit sparser now!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

November Knits.

We're taking a break from the parade of holiday knitting to share a bit of inspiration from my favorite book to hit the yellow table since Coastal Knits arrived last fall.

This is November Knits, a collection of 23 designs curated by the very talented Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelly (yep, we've crushed on them before). In addition to their own designs, they've also included patterns by Melissa LaBarre, Tanis Gray, Gudrun Johnston, Veera Valimaki and many others. They set out to create a collection of projects "capturing the essence of fall in perfect style". 

They've succeeded.  

And the timing is perfect since fall is finally here - have you seen the pansies planted out front?

Here are three projects that show the variety of the patterns - cardigans, accessories, lace, texture, fiber...all fun!

First, the Market Jacket designed by Tanis Gray. Perfect in Rowan's Kid Classic. I'm not sure what I like best - the yarn, the three quarter sleeves, the top-down seamless construction...

...or the stunning lacy cables running down the back.

Another favorite jacket is the Cobblestone Trenchcoat designed by Veera Valimaki ... in Rowan's Lima. Lima is a blend of baby alpaca, merino wool and nylon that will wrap you up in soft warmth. It even has a hood. This sweater is also knit seamlessly, but from the bottom up.

The book includes seven more sweaters, a skirt (!!), a lace shrug and a variety of accessories ranging from socks (two), to mittens, scarves, cowls and hats (six), and legwarmers (two).

These are the Spanish Moss Legwarmers designed by Courtney Kelley ... in Canopy Fingering. A perfect gift (but if you want to keep them for yourself, we won't tell!)

See what I mean? Which projects are inspiring you for fall?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Holiday Knitting Part 2 - Fine Scarves.

For our first post featuring scarves, we're highlighting those knit in laceweight or fingering-weight yarn, resulting in a fine fabric...and a lovely gift.

First, Kozue . You might remember this from a few months back when I asked for input about which yarn to use (and then on facebook about which color). Well, I've been busy knitting other things and haven't gotten around to this; turns out this is one time my procrastination has paid off. We now have Malabrigo's Silkpaca laceweight (a plied 70% baby alpaca/30% silk blend with 420 yards per skein).
See what I mean? I'm glad I waited!

Second, another pattern from Assemblage called Hakusa
For most of the pattern, you hold a strand of Habu Merino together with a strand of Habu Silk Stainless; the border is the Silk Stainless by itself. The photo shown on the pattern (and most of the projects on Ravelry) are monochromatic; Kathy knit a sample and used gray and a pale purple. We really like mixing the colors for a tweedy look over the body of the scarf and a defined contrast for the border.

...and finally, we can't resist including the Linen Stitch Scarf . Our latest shipment of Claudia Handpaints Fingering offers up plenty of colorways. Here are a few to get you thinking about fall/winter neutral combinations - with just a pop of purple or blue perhaps?
the pattern calls for three different skeins...which ones would you choose?
In our next installment, we'll offer suggestions for cowls in three different weights - fingering, worsted and can choose the project to match the amount of time you have to spend.