Just a very short post to make my readers aware of the Black Friday weekend special in our Etsy store.
As a token of appreciation for all of my wonderful customers (many of whom come back over and over), I am offering $10 off all orders in the continental U.S. of $50 or more November 26 through 30. Use coupon code 10OFF50.
Perhaps you are making a holiday gift list. Here are a few items currently in our shop that you might like for friends, sisters, daughters, and even yourself!
After a brief vacation from blogging, I’m back (well, at least for today). Been quite busy with kids, knitting, etc, so blogging fell by the wayside for a bit.
Nicer weather has finally arrived, after a cool, wet spring here in Indianapolis. I hear conflicting predictions on what the summer will bring, I’m hoping for cooler than average – last year was murderous.
Been knitting a lot (to put it mildly) and there are a lot of fun new items in the Etsy store. We’ve been knitting many things that will work for spring and cool summer nights, like this pale yellow open weave shawl. I love this primrose color, it’s perfect for women with delicate coloring, and 100% organic cotton makes it super soft. This is an asymmetrical triangle and it’s super versatile, wear it as a wrap or scarf, or fold it and wrap for a sarong. It dries in about 30 minutes if it gets wet, so it’s great for the beach.
We found a great buy on Noro Nobori yarn this spring, so we’ve done several different things with it. I knit this scarf; think this is the perfect pattern to show this yarn’s unusual texture and beautiful color changes. This one reminds me of a zinnia garden in the summer sunshine. Cheryl, my business partner sees fireworks. How about you? What do you see?
Cheryl knit the yarn in a different colorway, this one makes me think of a spring rainbow, cheesy I know – but how would you describe it?
This scarf is just right for women with fair, golden complexions – what we might call “Spring” or “Dressing Your Truth Type 1”. I plan to write more about this color typing stuff in a future post.
Cheryl also knit this black fishnet type rectangular scarf from organic cotton. We found a fabulous buy on Mirasol Samp’a, 100% organically grown and dyed cotton, so we snapped up a lot – watch for lots of cool new things to appear in the shop.
I love this pattern, it’s so easy to wear, it makes a nice soft scarf, a shawl or wrap and a perfect sarong. Do I even need to talk about the possibilities for a sexy Halloween costume?
I’d love to hear what kind of hand knits you’d like to see in our Etsy shop for spring and summer. Please let me know through the comments if you have other ideas or know of patterns that would make useful (and beautiful) hand knit items for warmer weather.
How would you like to win a free pair of hand knit fingerless gloves? Gloves that are completely unique and unlike any other pair on earth? Simply enter our Pinterest contest, which ends Feb 25. Better hurry! See the rules in my earlier post. We’ll even pay your shipping.
Here are a few new items in the Etsy shop, including a couple more pairs of fingerless gloves.
The first is knit of Malabrigo superwash yarn.
And I just finished this spectactular and super soft shawl in an alpaca/wool blend (75% alpaca, 25% wool).
Isn’t that the cutest shawl pin ever? You can get it here. The artist is on vacation right now, but will be back in early March. She has the best shawl pins I’ve ever seen, cows, mermaids, giraffes, you name it, she can make it.
Cheryl just completed this very sweet pink and white scarf. Perfect for spring, it reminds me of apple blossoms.
And there’s another pair of Malabrigo mitts.
There are a lot of other pairs of fingerless mitts in the Etsy shop right now. Go take a look at all the available gloves, and then enter the contest today. We will be choosing a winner on Monday, Feb. 25. Entry is easy and Pinterest is always fun.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your pinboard. We’ll select our favorite and the winner will receive a free pair of fingerless mitts (your choice) from our Etsy shop. We’ll even pay the shipping. If you don’t see anything you like right now let us know and we’ll make you something you’ll love.
I have completed the Temple Kitties hat – my first Fair Isle attempt. I’m really happy with it – what do you think? I love the tweediness of the yarn, the contrast between the colors, the fit, the softness – everything, really.
The yarn is Knitpicks City Tweed DK. My colors were Kitten (cute name!) and Poseidon. Poseidon is no longer available. I had a ball lying around, left over from a sweater. I’d been wondering for a long time what to do with one 50 gram ball of DK weight yarn.
This is what I learned, along with a bit of advice for other Fair Isle novices:
1. Choose an easy hat pattern in a heavier weight yarn for your first Fair Isle project. I chose a pattern with two color knitting on only part of the hat, and in a DK weight yarn. The trim around the base was rather fiddly and time consuming, but looks wonderful – the photo doesn’t really do it justice. Hats are small, finished quickly and the construction is simple – you don’t want to add a lot of complicated, unfamiliar techniques to this first project. Make this project for yourself, and select a pattern you love. This will keep you motivated if you struggle a bit in the beginning.
2. If you have a problem, take a deep breath, tear it out as soon as you see the problem, give it a day or two, and begin again. You will succeed. The awkwardness of handing the yarn will get much better very quickly. It’s like anything else (think of when you learned to ride a bike) – practice makes perfect. That’s a cliche for a reason – because it’s mostly true. Perhaps a better saying would be “practice makes much better”, but that’s not as snappy, is it?
I had to try twice, the first time something got twisted. it wasn’t the cast on; the disaster happened later. I didn’t discover the problem until row 12 of the 23 row chart, and I was quite miffed about it. Tore it out completely, came back in 2 days and started (carefully) again, had no further problems.
3. Don’t freak out about the fit until the project is done (or at least halfway). I wasn’t sure it was going to fit, it seemed huge in the beginning, but now that it’s done I think it’s just right. Fair Isle doesn’t stretch like stockinette or garter stitch, so it will be difficult to gauge fit in the beginning.
4. If you have a hard time handling the yarn, try holding it another way. I’m a continental knitter, so I hold both yarns in my left hand, but I know that won’t work for everyone. The person who taught me recommended I hold one yarn in the left and one in the right hand, and that was so uncomfortable for me I knew I’d be struggling harder than necessary. Experiment, but give your normal way of holding the yarn a good try first.
5. Make another Fair Isle project soon to build on your learning. Try a pattern in fingering weight yarn. How about a pattern designed to use 2 yarns only, one plain and a long color change yarn? I have a couple of balls of Mini Mochi in a bright rainbow colorway, I plan to use a creamy white to contrast. Here are some pattern ideas I’m kicking around:
Whatever pattern you choose, keep it simple, without a lot of new techniques, The corrugated ribbing shown on the Mini Mochi hat above is simple, so I might try that on project number two. I’ll save tricky new stuff for project number three.
Here’s a one question poll for my readers. I’d love to know if I have any Fair Isle experts out there.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with this technique, and any advice from the experts.
Another long straight scarf in Noro wool. This is the same wool as above, this is “only” 84″ long, and doesn’t have any black. Looks a bit different, right?
And, last but not least, a brillliantly colored cabled cowl. This is knit in Noro Bonbori, a discontinued yarn. We have just a few balls left. When they are gone, I’ll be sad, this is a really fun yarn to knit, and the results really are spectacular.
Just noticed these are all Noro – I guess it’s just a Noro kind of day. Guess that means I should go knit some Noro!