Monthly Archives: May 2012

Summer knitting – hot water bottle covers?

Yes! Now stay with me and you will appreciate my logic.

Hot water bottle covers are small, portable knitting projects. Not heavy in your lap and easy to tote around while you are on vacation or just heading out for a picnic.

You can use up bits of yarn from projects you knit last fall and winter.

There are tons of fun designs – knitting and felting.

And, they make phenomenal gifts! Just be sure to include a bottle with the cover.

You can buy the bottles in the first aid section of your local pharmacy or even on Amazon!

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Curious About Our Swatches?

I’m sure some of you out there love a good puzzle and we’ve
definitely been seeing some wonderful guesswork about the swatches on
our latest catalog cover! I’m here to solve some of them for you by
listing what yarns, colorways and stitches we used in this lovely photo.

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Your go-to sweater

I really think I’m on a sweater kick this year, and it’s got me
thinking an awful lot about favorites. You see, now that I’m knitting a
little cardigan for myself, and I’ll be starting one soon in Tropical
colors (thanks for your votes, everybody!), what I find most interesting
is that in both cases I pretty much want to make the same sweater. A
V-neck, lightly shaped cardigan. That’s pretty much The Cardigan I Want
all the time.

I must admit that being a designer has its advantages. I can knit the
same sweater several times but it doesn’t really look the same.
Different weights, different colors, different sizes, and maybe a
different finishing touch, but I can essentially just plug those things
into a formula and get my same, favorite, familiar sweater. My ‘go-to’
cardigan is based on a simple, light grey alpaca cardigan that I picked
up at a thrift store for $5. But I love it so much that I want to
re-create it over and over again. So, I just plug a new gauge into the
same shape, and out pops a ‘new’ sweater.

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How to Dye Tonal Yarns

Have you seen our new selection of tonal yarns yet? There are so many reasons to love adding the subtle shifts of color found in tonal yarns into your projects. Tonal yarns are a wonderful way to add the subtle variations of a color to your project without fearing that it will distract from textured stitches, cables, or even lace patterns. Each of our tonal yarns are made up of seven different shades of your favorite colors, which combine together to create complex, monochromatic colorways. Not only do tonal yarns add lots of visual interest when worked up with simple stitches, but they also beautifully highlight intricate stitch patterns.

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Shhh, Don’t Tell My Coworkers: I’m Learning to Knit

Well, I’m finally letting the cat out of the bag. Or letting the needles out of the…cherry red PVC backpack? Anyway, welcome to my shame! I’ve been secretly teaching myself to knit for a couple of weeks and I wouldn’t say it’s going well.


You may remember me as the resident spirited/mediocre crocheter with questionable tastes; don’t worry, I’m definitely retaining that title as well. However, I’ve surprised myself with an ever-inching desire to knit, even though I’d been resolute on these matters in the past. I’m keen on blaming my coworkers, who constantly parade beautiful knit projects around the office. But in total honesty, the turning point came when my own harassing curiosity met with a pair of Harmony needles in the office free-box. GAME OVER. Not even a lack of tools could be my excuse.

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Podcast Episode 187: Interview with Kathleen Taylor

Listen in on this week’s podcast to hear Kelley catch up with designer Kathleen Taylor to talk about all things fair isle! As author of the book Fearless Fair Isle Knitting, Kathleen Taylor chats with Kelley in depth about the different techniques for successful fair isle knitting in addition to common mistakes and issues that newcomers to fair isle might encounter. Kathleen truly has a fearless approach to fair isle knitting and has honed in her techniques specifically for knitters new to fair isle through years of teaching. Also, hear Kelley share memories of her first fair isle project in addition to chatting about favorite techniques for fair isle. Kathleen’s love and enthusiasm for colorwork is infectious and Fearless Fair Isle Knitting is sure to have you craving colorful knits for your next project.

One of the projects from Fearless Fair Isle Knitting that Kelley & Kathleen chatted about was the Dragon Ride Shawl. Kathleen was kind enough to share pictures of herself wearing this amazing shawl.


3 easy ways to listen…

Subscribe in iTunes Episode 187: Interview with Kathleen Taylor RSS feed

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Spinning Angora

As some of you know, I live with a delightful little (well, fairly large) angora rabbit named Linus. He was the little spokes-bunny for our Special Reserve Sugarbunny line
when I first started working here and periodically comes to work with
me here at the office! Every three months I give him a big shave and
wind up with about 2-3 ounces of useable fiber. I’ve had several years
to practice spinning angora fiber and have figured out a few things
about this specific fiber type that I thought I’d share today!

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Weekend Hats

I’ve gotten so much in the habit of knitting socks that I have forgotten that hats have many qualities that make them ideal, portable projects.

When I received a review copy of Weekend Hats it reminded me of the advice Elizabeth Zimmermann gave regarding knitting hats as swatches for sweaters. She suggested watch caps for quick swatch hats. But, I don’t really want to knit such simple hats. In their book Weenend Hats, Cecily and Melissa have provided me with a selection of stylish hats for our favorite waitress and I can pick out something for myself to swatch for the cardigan that has been on my To Do List for waaay too long.

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How to Make Your Own Starting Points Baby Booties

It seems that every other project of mine lately seems to be yet another baby project! I’ve had everything from baby blankets to tiny sweaters and hats on my needles over the last few months and I find myself constantly on the look out for quick projects that I can whip up. So, it was to my delight when I came across these super-adorable Starting Points Baby Booties! These faux suede booties are not only lined
with a super soft sherpa fleece to keep your little one’s feet toasty
warm, but the cuff on the inside of the booties holds a mesh tape that can
be directly knit or crocheted into – simply brilliant!

If you haven’t seen these before, they are truly the go-to solution for last-minute gifts (especially for all of the baby showers that I have been attending lately). And to show you just how easy-peasy these baby booties are to work up, we’ve create a step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to attach the cuffs into the mesh lining and voila, you’ve got a super-cute gift that looks fancy and impressive!

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