Tag: sweater

Knit Locally Book Club October 2018: Ship Fever by Andrea Barret

Knit Locally Book Club October 2018: Ship Fever by Andrea Barret

Knit Locally Book Club: October Meeting

Tuesday, October 2

6:30-8:30 pm

Our October Book Club selection is Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett. 

1996 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.

The elegant short fictions gathered hereabout the love of science and the science of love are often set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century. Interweaving historical and fictional characters, they encompass both past and present as they negotiate the complex territory of ambition, failure, achievement, and shattered dreams. In “Ship Fever,” the title novella, a young Canadian doctor finds himself at the center of one of history’s most tragic epidemics. In “The English Pupil,” Linnaeus, in old age, watches as the world he organized within his head slowly drifts beyond his reach. And in “The Littoral Zone,” two marine biologists wonder whether their life-altering affair finally was worth it. In the tradition of Alice Munro and William Trevor, these exquisitely rendered fictions encompass whole lives in a brief space. As they move between interior and exterior journeys, “science is transformed from hard and known fact into malleable, strange and thrilling fictional material” (Boston Globe)

Project Inspiration:

We’ve chosen projects reminiscent of both the floral theme of the book cover and connections to the natural world that are a theme throughout the short stores.

Each of these designs uses sport-weight yarn, and would be stunning knit in our Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy, Carol Sunday 3-ply (Eden, Nirvana or Angelic) or Blue Sky Baby Alpaca Sport.

Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy

100% Virgin Organic Merino Extra Fine

350 yards / 100 g / $24.95

Carol Sunday 3-Ply

Eden: 100% Extra-Fine Australian Merino: 50g / 246 yards / $11.50

Nirvana: 90% Extra-Fine Merino, 10% Cashmere: 50g / 246 yards / $13.95

Angelic: 75% Extra-Fine Merino, 25% Angora: 50g / 246 yards / $12.95

Blue Sky Baby Alpaca Sport

100% Baby Alpaca

50g / 110 yards / $13.00

Pattern Ideas:

Branches and Buds Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Cowl Latvian Blooms by Dela Hausmann

Frosted Leaves by Lisa Hannes

Caress My Soul by Melanie Berg

Upcoming Book Selections and Meeting Dates

Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood: Tuesday, November 6
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: Tuesday, December 4
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: To Be Determined (Either Tuesday, January 1 or Tuesday, January 8)
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: Tuesday, February 5

Project Inspiration with Cheeky Merino Joy: 3 colors, 8 combos, 7 patterns

Find your Joy! Cheeky Merino Joy is our newest arrival from Rosy Green Wool.  The wool, yarn, and entire production process are certified according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The supersoft Merino wool comes from Patagonia and is spun and dyed for Rosy Green Wool by small businesses in England. This sport-weight yarn is extremely soft, also ideal for children. Available in 23 colors and the first GOTS-certified organic Merino hand-knitting yarn that is also machine washable.

The Color Combinations

Here are our 8 favorite 3-color combinations, and 7 patterns for your inspiration:

Combo 1: 062 Isar Pebble / 063 Deep Ocean / 050 Ruby
Combo 2: 062 Isar Pebble / 126 Peony / 101 Blackberry
Combo 3: 065 Edelweiss (undyed) / 058 Rose Garden / 060 Black Cat
Combo 4: 105 Blackberry Sorbet / 107 Arctic Sea / 055 Moss
Combo 5: 126 Peony / 105 Blackberry Sorbet / 057 Wild Mallow
Combo 6: 051 Laguna / 062 Isar Pebble / 061 Cornish Slate
Combo 7: 103 Garden Pond / 102 Sunflower / 115 Air
Combo 8: 053 Sand / 054 Lucky Clover / 102 Sunflower

The Patterns

Each of these patterns calls for 3 colors of Cheeky Merino Joy

“Hamble” by Isabell Kraemer

“Drachenfels” by Melanie Berg

“Coya” by Jana Huck

“Streetscape” by Jana Huck

“Heidschnucke” by Melanie Berg

“Color Affection” by  Veera Välimäki

“Colour Spotting” by Jana Huck

The 10-day, 2-skein Rhinebeck Sweater in Cascade Eco+

by Beth Knarr

New York Sheep and Wool (aka Rhinebeck) takes place every year, and one of it’s strongest traditions is the Rhinebeck Sweater, where participants knit a sweater to wear around the festival.

Back in July, I decided that I MUST go to Rhinebeck this year. In the ensuing chaos of trying to find any available room and cajoling my non-knitting husband into joining me on this adventure (aka: help with the six hour drive,) I just plain forgot to make sweater plans.

Fast forward to the beginning of October, when Rhinebeck is a mere two weeks away. Instagram and Ravelry were both flooded with knitters’ in-progress shots of their Rhinebeck creations, from stunning, intricate fair-isle to cushy bulky cables, to faded everything. How could I resist the urge to join in? I HAD TO KNIT A RHINEBECK SWEATER!

Fortunately for me, a few things were in my favor:

  1. We had the perfect yarn in stock at the store.
  2. I had a pattern in mind that was both fast and easy.
  3. In the two weeks before Rhinebeck, I was taking a trip to California that included 12 hours on planes and 14 hours in cars, so I would have good blocks of distraction-free frantic knitting time.

And now for the important aspect of any good last-minute plan: details!

Knitting on a plane
Knitting in the car
Knitting by the ocean
The yarn:

One of our new arrivals for fall was Cascade Eco+. The first thing you’ll notice about this yarn is that it comes in HUGE skeins. Each skein is 250 grams and 478 yards, which means you can complete an entire sweater in most sizes with 2 or 3 skeins. Longer yardage means less ends to weave in when changing skeins (a plus when time is of the essence.) Each of our colors comes with multiple skeins from the same dye lots, so no need to alternate between skeins. In my finished sweater, even I can’t tell where the first skein ended and the second color began…the colors are that identical! Did I mention that each skein is only $22.95…which means that if my crazy plan failed, i wasn’t left with hundreds of dollars worth of yarn and no Rhinebeck Sweater. As it ended up, my entire sweater cost less than $40, because I still have some of the second skein left over. This makes it a great option for a first sweater — if you end up with a sweater that doesn’t fit, or a pattern that gives you nightmares, you haven’t made a hugely expensive mistake. And this yarn is a workhouse — it can stand a gentle frogging and be ready for you to try, try again.

The suggested gauge for this yarn is 14-16 stitches per 4″ on a US 9-10 needle (5.5-6.0 mm.) Based on my swatch, I noticed the yarn blooms (grows larger) when blocking. The pattern gauge was 14 stitches per 4 inches, which I got on a size 9 needle (one size down from pattern recommendation to account for growth when blocking.) That swatch also produced a knit fabric with the drape that I wanted for my sweater. It’s always important to block a swatch! Before blocking, my gauge was closer to 15 stitches per four inches, but after blocking, the yarn relaxed to perfect gauge. Had I not blocked the swatch, and knit to 14 stitches per inch, my sweater would have grown too much during blocking and ended up too big.

There are three versions of this yarn, which all have the same yardage and gauge, but different names to denote different dye processes.

Cascade Ecological Wool: Undyed, in natural wool colors (ranging from creams to neutral grays and browns)

Cascade Eco+: Dyed

Cascade Eco+ Peruvian Tones: New line of colors which have a heathered tonal color on the cream base.

We have a great selection of all three types in the store, contact us for available colors! My sweater was knit with color 7098 “Merlot.”

The Pattern:

Close up on the cabled yoke detail. Photo from Interveave
The Unity Pullover features flattering waist shaping and bell sleeves. Photo from Interweave.

Ravelry is a great tool for finding the perfect pattern on short notice. I knew what yarn I wanted to use, so I was able to look at other projects made with the yarn first, then to search their huge pattern database for sweater patterns, using filters to find only the patterns for aran-weight yarn. When I found the Unity Pullover, I knew this was the one. Originally published in the book “Finish Free Knits” by Kirsten Ten-Dyke, this top-down sweater features NO SEAMING, which was a huge plus given my short time frame. Plus, while I love knitting aspect, I’m generally not a huge fan of seaming. The benefit of top down sweaters is that you can try them on as you knit, and adjust the pattern accordingly (saving a lot of sad frogging and re-knitting time.)

What attracted me to the pattern was the cabled yoke. I love knitting cables – so much design element for deceptively little work. In this pattern, the cables get wider as the yoke of the sweater increases. The simple cable pattern was easy enough to knit on a plane and the charted instructions meant that I could always find my place, even after putting down my knitting during the pretzel-and-beverage service on the plane.

Sweaters knit in bulkier yarns can often feel, well, bulky. This pattern uses simple decreases and increases to create flattering waist shaping. As a bonus, these rows keep the pattern interesting when it comes to knitting the length of the body. This simple shaping made for a more feminine look to the finished sweater, and made me more confident to wear it in public.

The sleeves of the pattern are a bell sleeve, which means they stay the same size down to the wrist (rather than decreasing to created a sleeve fitted to the arm.) I like a bell sleeve, as it leaves my arms more free to move around (aka knit) and doesn’t catch on any bracelets, etc. I may be wearing. It would be easy to add decreases down the length of sleeve to change it to a fitted sleeve, and several Ravelrs have done so (again, the top down design helps, as you can try it on as you knit, and stop decreasing when the sleeve gets to a width you like.)

The pattern can be found here on Ravelry and purchased from Interweave’s website for $6.50. Well worth the price for the variety of sizes (30¾ (34¼, 37¼, 40½, 44, 46¾, 50¼) and the author’s attention to design detail. I knit the 40.5″ size.

The finished result:
My finished Unity Pullover!

After knitting on planes and automobiles, I was able to finish my sweater ten days after starting, just enough time to block and dry and take to Rhinebeck! I was very happy with the finished sweater–the fit was perfect, the yarn softened during the blocking process to be comfortable to wear against bare skin, and the design details made for an attractive pullover. I proudly wore the sweater to Rhinebeck, where I received lots of compliments from fellow knitters. In the end, I’m glad that I challenged to take on such a big project, even on a deadline, and finish the first sweater that I have knit for myself with such great results.

Get ready for sweater weather with our October KAL!

Fall has officially arrived, and brought the arrival of cooler temperatures. Our October KAL is the perfect project to help you get ready for the crisp autumn air. This month, we’ll be knitting the Janesville Jacket, designed by Jane Veitenheimer for Blue Sky Fibers.

This cozy, kimono-style jacket is a gorgeous layering piece. Knit in Woolstok from Blue Sky Fibers, a worsted weight Fine Highland wool that is sourced in Peru. We have all 21 colors of this beautiful yarn in stock for the KAL, so you’re sure to find a color combination you love, whether it is bold and modern or soft and romantic. (Shown above in No. 1306, Wild Thyme & No. 1309, Earth Ivy; shown below in No. 1301, Storm Cloud & No. 1317, Midnight Sea) (Finished jacket photos from Blue Sky Fibers)

This pattern is for a one-size-fits-most cardigan, and is knit in a simple seed stitch texture, making it an excellent first sweater project for a beginner knitter. Plus, we’re available to answer any questions about the pattern or help you with any difficulties you encounter during knitting — just stop in during store hours, or contact us by email. We’re all knitting this together!

Peggy’s color combo, inspired by a classic pink Cadillac! Colors: Cast Iron and Quartz Crystal

And now for the important information: PRIZES!

We’re running our store KAL in conjunction with Blue Sky Fibers Fall KAL, so you’ll have two chance to win!

The Blue Sky Fibers KAL is hosted in their Ravelry Group, and features a grand prize of a brand new kit from Blue Sky Fibers that features five of their different yarns in a fun hat pattern. Join their group here. Deadline for their KAL is November 30, 2017.

Our Knit Locally KAL is hosted both in-store and online, so you are welcome to join us ‘virtually’ in the KAL. We meet every Wednesday in the store from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for our official knit along time, but you’re welcome to knit with us whenever the store is open. You can also participate online by sharing photos of your progress in our Facebook group, on Instagram, or via email. We have monthly prize drawings of yarn and more just for participating!

ALL participants who finish their Janesville Jacket by January 15, 2018 receive a $10 Knit Locally gift card!

To participate, purchase your yarn from Knit Locally. Don’t live nearby but want to join in? No problem! We’re always happy to send yarn to you.

Yarn details: Woolstok (100% Fine Highland Wool; 50g/123 yards)

6 hanks main color, 3 hanks contrast color

Price: $7.95 each

Needles: Size 10 32″ circular needle