Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quince & Co Linen | Project Inspiration.

Just in time for - our admittedly a bit belated! - Spring - we are so very pleased that our first shipment of Quince & Company linen has arrived! We are now stocking both Sparrow and Kestrel...in all the colors (of course!)

Both yarns are 100% organic linen, and like your favorite woven linen garments, they'll get softer and drapier with wear. Sparrow is a multi-ply sport-weight (recommending 6 stitches per inch on a size 3 needle), similar to Euroflax and Claudia's Hand-painted Linen. But the color palette is softer and more...organic.
Sparrow in Juniper and Birch
Kestrel is a flattened, chain-stitch tube that knits up to an aran to chunky gauge (recommending 4 to 3.75 stitches per inch on a size 9 to 10-1/2 needle). It reminds me of Shibui Linen, but bigger (much bigger!)
Kestrel in Rosehip and Senza
Quince & Company has plenty of pattern support for Sparrow, including Hannah Fettig's Knitbot Linen from last spring. This yarn is also suggested for two of our newest favorite designs - Bristol Ivy's Linum Tee (from Spring 2014 Interweave Knits) and Jamie Thomas' Meander (just released last week).

Kestrel is new this season and Quince & Company has released a five-pattern collection of simple sweaters and a cowl. But if you'd like to dip your toes into a smaller project, how about the Churchmouse Diagonal Lace Scarf & Wrap . I cast on the wrap-sized version  myself Sunday evening and I'm thrilled with the quick progress I'm getting with 42 stitches on size 11 needles!
A few inches into the 2nd ball...it's already more than 16" long!
And stay tuned for a tutorial on how to turn this project into the perfect social knit...once you know how to read your knitting, it's a piece of cake!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rowan Afghan Mystery KAL | Week One.

We got off to a great start with Week One. The clue came out a few days early to give all the anxious knitters an opportunity to knit over the holiday weekend. A group of us gathered at the shop Friday afternoon to get started (well, a few of us couldn't wait that long and arrived with a few squares already completed).
showing off our progress!
I decided not to swatch (??!! right??!!) and knit my first square on size 7 needles as the pattern suggested. Whoa. It turned out huge (as in 9-3/4" x 8-3/4" instead of approximately 8" square). I knit a second square on size 6's. It's still a little big (9" x 8-1/2"), but I like the fabric.  And that square used only 28 grams of the 100g ball, so I can knit three squares at that gauge and have enough yarn. I still need to block the square and I'm hoping I can "square it up" a bit then. To block, I'll pin it into shape and then spritz it (with plain tap water) to get it wet. When it dries, it should hold the pinned out shape.
my two completed squares - the first (bigger) one I knit is on the bottom to give you an idea how much bigger it is!
I think I'm the only one from our shop doing a 17-color afghan. I've mapped Martin's original color recommendations to my yarn so it's really easy for me to simply follow his suggestions to know which colors to use each week. For this first clue, he suggested Redcurrent (120) and Grasshopper (130). I have the Grasshopper and instead of Redcurrent, I have Rich Red (124). Folks knitting five or nine color afghans have to decide... regardless, you need to knit six squares.

It's not too late to join in. The next clue comes out a week from today, on Monday, April 28. You still have a whole week to knit the first six squares! You can find all the details in the Rowan forum on Ravelry (here). We also have a thread in our Ravelry group if the volume of posts in the Rowan thread scares you! If you want to be eligible for prizes at the end, you do need to 
  1. use the Pure Wool Worsted;
  2. finish (and post photos on Ravelry), I think by sometime in mid-to-late July; and
  3. write one post in the Rowan forum (thread linked above) to "sign up".
It's really not hard... if you need help, just let us know!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Dispatch from the Yellow Table.

Sometimes I overthink this whole blogging thing, especially when it's been a long time since I posted*. I want to share something "perfect"...and I get so caught up in all that...that I just can't seem to get it done. So I decided this morning that I'd take a different approach. Something simple. Y'all let me know what you think.
This is the first in what I hope to make a recurring feature here, sharing a bit of what's going on around our Yellow Table.

First up, we're excited about the latest issues of Knit.Wear and Knitscene, especially these four tops, perfect for the warmer weather:

Folded Lace Tank - Pretty pleats and lace knit in Manos' Serena.
(c) Interweave Knits

Bokeh Tank - Another pretty top with lace accents, knit with Shibui Linen and Silk Cloud held together. The Silk Cloud adds just a touch of soft halo to the Linen's structure. There's a sample swatch in the shop if you want to see and feel for yourself.
(c) Knitscene/Harper Point

Linum Tee - ...and Another! This one is knit with Quince & Co's Sparrow...which should be in the shop any day now. That's right! We're going to be carrying Sparrow! This tee requires only five or six skeins for most sizes; it's a great project to try the yarn.
(c) Knitscene/Harper Point

Morro Tank - Asymmetrical color blocks knit in Shibui Staccato. What's not to love!
(c) Knitscene/Harper Point
We're still talking about - and a few of us are knitting! - Shibui. Sandy's Mix workshops last weekend were a lot of fun. Nothing like a few dozen garments in a trunk show to get everyone excited about a new project...or three! Right, that might me! (you can read about my queue derailment on my personal blog -> here)
Mix swatches - that top one is Pebble & Linen and maybe my new favorite
And last but not least, an upcoming Mystery KAL.
(c) Rowan Yarns, 2014
This one is hosted by Rowan and features an afghan designed by Martin Storey to highlight their new (washable) Pure Wool Worsted. You can read more details on the pattern page in Ravelry (here) or come into the shop. We've got all fifty colors in stock; you can use one of their suggested palettes, or create your own. Here's mine:

I started with the suggested 17-color palette and swapped out a few colors to make my unique palette. I've done a few Mystery KALs, but never one for an afghan. I think the format of this KAL might be just the thing to keep me excited about all that knitting!

So - that's it - of course there's a lot more going on in the shop... yarn, patterns, works-in-progress... if you have an hour or two, we'd love to have you stop by. Take a seat at the Yellow Table. Share what you're working on...and soak up inspiration. It's one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon!

*Whoa, February 20 seems like ages ago...and it was in a way. It was winter and we were digging out from snow and knitting all the warm things. And now it's spring. The weather forecast is sunshine and low 70's. A new season is always an inspiration, isn't it?!