Tag Archives: Knitting

Felici Is Back – Behind the Scenes

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Felici has taken on a life of its own because of its enthusiastic fan base. The limited colorways and amazing softness of the Superwash Merino wool/nylon blend make this sock yarn hard to resist and add to its mythical status. The colorways are top secret until they are released, but we thought we would give you an insider look to how Felici gets made.

PS It’s back in stock so get your value pack now!

Development for Felici takes some time. First our graphic designer aka color genie, Heidi, puts together dozens of colorways for us to choose from based on current palette trends in fashion, design, and general life inspiration. We then vote by committee. These can be heated debates as we each all bring our own color eye to the table. Then it’s off to our mill in Italy, where they run the color tests and send us back samples. This could take a few tries as seeing the actual colors on the fiber verses print outs on paper can vary wildly.

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The best part is when we have our final approved picks and we get to name them. That is always a good time as the color inspirations bring up topics like nature, pop culture, and of course, literary references. Even a secret reference or two:  Beyond the Wall or Baker Street anyone?

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The hardest part is waiting for it to be produced and make its journey across the Atlantic to our warehouse. If you think you’re anxious about its arrival, you should see our nails!

Spring Blossoms 27431From its initial color conception to the final result there are some shifts and happy accidents as is the nature of fibers and dyes in the handmade world. And that is what we love about yarn!


Pattern Roundup – Current Favorites

As the rain goes so does my pattern queue. It’s been a long wet season in the Pacific Northwest and I have added many projects to my list, especially as my skills grow.  A “problem” many of us can relate to, I’m sure, no matter what the weather.

Easy Stripes Blanket

There are the ones that you just have to make because: so cute! Like the Easy Stripes Blanket. The pattern is simple and with just two colors the possibilities are endless. Perfect for every room in the house. I’m already planning to make it in  Custard Brava Worsted and Dove Heather Brava Worsted, and another in Crest Preciosa and Blue Skies Preciosa. Bonus is the pattern is free and it only takes 6 100gm balls of worsted, making this a very budget friendly gift project.

Brava worsted

The Moxie Shawl caught my eye because it immediately made me smell flowers. I daydreamed of strolling in a park full of fresh spring blooms or the on boardwalk at dusk. Plus it will be a great way to test my crochet skills.

In a richer gem stone color it would make a perfect addition for an evening out. Biggest problem would be trying to narrow it down to one color of Luminance. Just look at the riches.

And because I can’t fight my love of whimsy, the Cowl’s Meow made it on to my list too. I love the colorways in Chroma and this looks like a fun project to step out of my comfort zone. Plus CATS!

Cowls Meow Pattern

 

What’s in your pattern queue?


Spring Break- 2017 Crafty Resolutions Check In

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Wondering how the Knit Picks staff is faring with their New Year’s Resolutions now that a quarter of the year has passed? I was too, since, statistically speaking those with remaining New Years Resolutions, like myself, have less than a 50% percent chance of completing them. ACK! But I’m a glass-half-full type, so I’m confident there is still time. Let’s see how the others have progressed since our last check in.

The Successes

Alison, Director of Knit Picks

Alison Finished the Brooklyn Tweed Corvid sweater she started last March using Wool of the Andes Tweed!

Emily, Graphic Designer

Since Emily wanted to finish more projects before starting others, she’s been trying to resist starteritis (which is so hard in spring, for some reason!) and she’s been sticking with her resolution. She finished two sweater WIPs that were kicking around from last year, and is working on a cowl WIP.  She did start a new cardigan project, and  de-stashed a bunch of yarn that she realized she would never knit. Unfortunately, being surrounded by incredible new yarns all the time means she has a lot of ideas for new projects inspired by that yarn, but until she can figure out that time machine, she has a limited amount of time to make them. Emily is still working on finding that balance!

 

Daniel, Administrative Assistant

Daniel is soooo close to finishing his sweater “just needs blocking and buttons.” However, this friendly feline thinks it’s perfectly finished.

Cat on Sweater

Stacey, Outreach Director

Stacey worked on her Napali Cardigan for a while…but then got distracted. She had a couple of skeins of Hawthorne Sport in Rose City in her stash and decided what she really wanted to do was make another Ms Marigold to wear this spring and summer! So that’s what she’s been working on – in her words, “Still a sweater like my resolution, just a different one.”

…The Year isn’t over yet!

Hannah, Catalog Director

As much as she’d love to say that she’s now a brioche Queen, she hasn’t made any progress since January. Instead, she whipped up a sweater and three pairs of socks, she definitely hasn’t been idle! However, now that it’s already April (how did THAT happen?!) She is ready to buckle down and actually make a few forays into brioche. With that in mind, this brioche DVD might be just the ticket!  Especially if you are visual learner, like Hannah, and being able to see each step in the process will be so helpful.

 

Jennifer, Marketing Director

Finally picked her patterns! Deciding she wants to make the Tuff Granny Throw  and Rainbow Crochet Blankie, both designed by our very own Stacey. Now that is some crafty love.

 

Heidi, Art Director

Even the best of intentions go awry at times! While I wouldn’t consider it a defeat Heidi’s New Year’s crafty resolutions took a turn as her fingers have a mind of their own and were just insisting on working on color gradient shawls instead. She knit a Find Your Fade  Shawl , like most of the knitting community, and just finished the lovely mystery knit-a-long Snowmelt Shawl by Helen Stewart. Her next project will most likely be another color fade shawl, knit in our lovely Hawthorne yarn. We’ll give her a pass on the sweater making this time.

 

Alexis, Merchandise Planner

Like Hannah, April came too quickly. I did make some progress with the quick can foods making pickled red onions, but haven’t made any progress on the blanket or my crochet skills.  But I did finish up a scarf in Tuff Puff. Does that count?


Rosewood Needles Gift Set – On Sale Now!

Have you been drooling over our Rosewood Needles? Now is the time to pick them up at a low price – and get a special edition of our needle case too!

Knit Picks Rosewood Knitting Needles Set

These gorgeous needles are such a joy to knit with- you couldn’t pry mine away over my dead body.  Lightweight, strong, and smooth as silk, you’ll love using these needles on all types of yarn. Since I got my set two years ago, I’ve rarely used another type of needle! You’ll receive the entire set of our interchangeable Rosewood needles (US size 4-11), plus two each of 24″ and 32″ black cables, eight end caps and two cable keys.

Plus the best thing about this set is the fabulous needle case you get with it.

Knit Picks Knit Picks Rosewood Knitting Needles Set Special Case

Featuring an embossed cover design by our very own staff, this particular case is only available with the set. This stylish case will keep your needles nice and safe when you are on the go – and if you have an additional interchangeable set, it’ll fit in there too! With holiday traveling coming up, you’ll certainly want to make sure you have your best needles with you at all times.

Get the complete set for a special low price of $59.99! And be sure to check out all the other fabulous items in our Big Sale – don’t forget, it ends on November 21 at 11:59pm PST!

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All About the Blankets – Intarsia Style

Hello Stash Readers!

Hold onto to your hats, not only for the impending fall winds, but because I am making an intarsia baby blanket. You may remember me from my intro podcast or the post about my knitting the Learn to Knit Kit Scarf, if not I will give you a brief introduction. I am the merchandise planner for Knit Picks and new to completed project knitting. I’m great at starting things, but I was always merely dabbling. It wasn’t until I started working here that the bug truly took hold, maybe a little slower than others, but I’ve caught it and have gone a touch off the rails.

Once I mastered the knit stitch, completing my garter stitch scarf, I started another scarf in Tuff Puff practicing stockinette, and that is coming along swimmingly.

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WIP Tuff Puff Stockiette Scarf

Then the siren song of a new baby in my circle called out… baby blanket, baby blanket.

It’s just a bigger scarf, right?

I dropped the scarf and jumped into the rabbit hole that we all love, Ravelry, in search for a lovely chevron blanket pattern. However, yarn-overs and mitered decreases are two skills for which I need much more practice. I landed on a Kyle Smith pattern that fit with my skill level. My heart was set on three colors of Mighty Stitch Bulky that I had chosen for my original idea. Than it hit me: intarsia.  Its just blocks of color that shouldn’t be so hard. When I bake cookies I mix and match the spices it so why not do it with yarn colors?  My plan was to follow the pattern, but with the garter stitch sections done in one color and  the stockinette sections block those out with other colors. Genius!

That’s what is so great about crafting you can modify any project to your taste.

That is where you find me now, I am a walking cat toy of loose ends and yarn bobbins and I am loving it. Yes, the task took on a life of its own I spent a few hours learning the Russian join, and reviewing a number of videos on intarsia techniques, it’s all in the loop people, all in the loop. And yes, even after all of of that that it still seemed easier than yos and dms.

 

Intarsia Knitting

WIP Intarsia Baby Blanket

What I have discovered with this project is how far I have come, no longer is a dropped stitch the end of the world. I can back track and correct a lot easier. I’m more comfortable overall, gone is my death grip and tight knit. Now, this isn’t a project for someone that is impatient or doesn’t like messes, every other row I’m untangling my bobbins and adding more. I haven’t figured that part out and will take any tips you readers have to offer.

Thank you for letting me share my new project and excitement. I’d love to hear about your experiences with intarsia too.

-xo Alexis

WIP Intarsia Knitting Baby Blanket

WIP Intarsia Knitting Baby Blanket

 


Twelve Weeks of Gifting: Woodland Winter Mittens

Welcome to the sixth week in our Twelve Weeks of Gifting series of free patterns! This week we’re featuring the beloved Woodland Winter Mittens pattern. Knit your way through the seasons with nature scenes that span both mittens in each pair. Falling leaves, grazing elk, Northern lights, snowflakes, snow birds, and a sprouting seed to signify the beginning of spring will keep your needles busy!

This pattern has a whopping 44 pages and includes three colorways – Original, Bright and our newest: Stormy (shown above), all for free, for one week only! Hurry over to the Woodland Winter Mittens to see the other colorways and download your very own copy before we’re on to our next installment, next Wednesday.


Bicolor Tweed: Free Knit Dishcloth Pattern

Marjorie Dussaud has created this week’s handsome free dishcloth pattern: the Bicolor Tweed Dishcloth. I’m smitten with this combination of stripes and textured slip stitches, perfect for rugged session of dish-duty! Dussaud notes that this pattern is great for beginners because it’s an easy stitch repeat for a big effect. I have this particular pattern ear-marked as a quick stash busting project, ideal for featuring striped sections of yarn from previous projects!


Sneaky Peeky!

Painted in Waterlogue

We’re such teasers, aren’t we? Get ready for lovely, spring-inspired knits, luscious plants and, of course, some handsome cats!

Painted in Waterlogue Painted in Waterlogue Painted in Waterlogue Painted in Waterlogue

 

Are you excited?  Check back tomorrow to see the full collection!

Note:  We used the app Waterlouge for these images.


The Lonely Tree Shawl

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One of the projects on my “someday” list has been a worsted weight shawl. I’ve always wanted to have a a touch of Kirsten Larson and Laura Ingalls in my life… even if the weather isn’t always quite right and I’m not about to be tossing one over my shoulders before I head out to milk some sassy milk cows in the dead of winter. At least not any time soon. Sylvia Bo Bilvia’s Lonely Tree Shawl has been in my Ravelry queue forever, just waiting for the perfect yarn to cast on with.

This shawl has all the characteristics that I look for in a lace shawl: an easy to remember pattern, top down construction and a nice simple border. The great thing about this one is that it’s knit with the worsted weight wool so it’s a super quick project (at least compared to other fingering or lace weight shawls I’ve been working on). I grabbed four balls of the new Wool of the Andes Superwash in Fjord Heather and my size 8 needles and got to work in the car on the way down to the Redwood National Park for 4th of July weekend.

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It took three days of pretty steady knitting (knitting in the car, at the rest stop, around the campfire, in the tent and back in the car again) to finish it! One quick soak to wash the smokey campfire smell and it’s ready to wear (I LOVE that smell, but not when it’s tinged with the scent of cooking veggie dogs too!).

Now I have a shawl that reminds me of all those afternoons I spent dreaming of cabin life growing up and my vacation to one of the prettiest forests on this coast. The new Wool of the Andes Superwash feels just like regular Wool of the Andes (I was actually joking around the office that if they lost their ball bands I’d never be able to tell them apart) so now I can have my traditional wooly, rugged knits but I can toss them in the washing machine!


The Light Basics Collection is Truly Timeless

Oh how I LOVE Kerin’s new Light Basics collection. I can very clearly remember the minute we unpacked all of the knit samples in the office. As each garment came out we all reached out to touch the beautiful, springy fabric of each garment. I definitely gave the Light Basics Pullover an extra squeeze and even a little hug to with a big grin on my face because that Capretta (as I’ve said before) just knits up into SUCH A GORGEOUS fabric!

Each piece in this collection is designed to be a simple, easy to knit and timeless addition to your wardrobe.

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The Light Basics Tee is knit in the so soft, machine washable Comfy. This piece is definitely meant to be in regular rotation as an everyday garment. I could see myself sitting in a meeting at work, going for a morning stroll or spending time with a passel of children all day in this tee. I love the longer length of the torso (no skin peeping to be had!) and the gentle v-neck.

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I think this shot shows what a wonderful transition piece shawlettes can be. The Light Basics Garter Shawlette is knit in a fingering weight yarn so it’s a little bit heartier than the traditional lace shawl but light enough that it can easily be tucked inside of a jacket or on top of a cardigan without adding unnecessary bulk. I think of shawlettes as the perfect companion to sleeveless tops on cold mornings that promise to warm up into balmy afternoons. They keep those shoulders toasty in the morning and fold away perfectly into a purse as the sun comes out.

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Like the Tee, the Light Basics Shell is one of those everyday pieces that really shine. It’s deceptively simple with some wonderful little finishing touches that make it a garment that will continue to wear well through many trips through the washing machine. Applied i-cord and a folded hem means that all the edges are nice and crisp and will stay that way over time. Plus, the subtle Stellina shimmer in Glimmer gives this sleevless top a little extra sweetness.75107_19

The Light Basics Pullover is the garment that I’m totally drawn to right away. The luscious Capretta fabric and the beautiful Cream color makes this the perfect neutral garment. The shaping is so lovely and the finishing so smooth that it almost looks store-bought. It would be easy to add any sort of embellishing colorwork, swap out the yarn or choose to swap out the high turtleneck for the alternate crew neck instead. 51089D_6

And, really, I can’t think of a single day when I couldn’t wear a nice little beanie. I love the length of the Light Basics Garter Ridge Hat which leaves room to fold the band up and instantly makes this a very versatile hat, perfect for just about any shaped noggin.

 

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The proverbial “icing on the cake” in this collection is the Light Basics Cardigan. The elegant shaping, simplicity and fitted nature of this pattern means that it’s the perfect layering piece. Pop it over a light tank top for the spring or tuck it under a cozy jacket in the fall and you’re good to go on any adventure. Just check out the finished edges on this one! I love the crisp lines and the tidy bottom band. Gorgeous.

Sigh, there are so many pieces that I would LOVE to start but they’ll all have to wait until after the holidays pass and I have some more time to work on my own projects. Which one would you cast on for RIGHT NOW if you could? I think I would have to grab my needles and find the buttons for that Cardigan first, but I bet I couldn’t finish it before I just had to cast on for the pullover too!