8
Jan

New Crafts for a New Year: Kelley’s Wheel Spinning Class

It was just about this time last year when I created a little list of crafting resolutions for myself. Looking back over my list just a year later, I have to admit that it felt pretty good to see my goals in relation to all of the things that I’ve been able to try over the past year. I’ve explored the world of crochet more and have a few projects under my belt (including an in-progress blanket!), I learned a lot about fiber and silk hankies, but my number one goal was to move from a drop spindle to a spinning wheel. And I’m pleased to report that I’ve utterly and completely gone head over heels for spinning! I’m collecting fiber just as fast as yarn, and having so much fun pairing my handspun yarns for special projects and gifts.

If you’re like me and are ready to (or have just made) the transition from spindle to wheel, but need a bit of extra guidance – be sure to check out Kelley’s Wheel Spinning class! This 6-part video class covers everything from the basics to fiber choices and the mechanics of your wheel to spinning and plying.

11
Dec

Personalize a Pendleton

To say that this week’s technique of the week was a treat to work on is an understatement – I am just pleased as punch at how this turned out! All of us loved the satchels that Pendleton designed for Knit Picks, so it was only natural that we adorned these chic bags with a wee bit of fiber love! Not only was this a super fun project, but it’s also a speedy (and easy!) way to add a personalized touch to your Pendleton bag – especially if the bag is a gift for a friend or family member.

In honor of our rather wet winters here in the Pacific Northwest, I needle felted a lil’ cloud with multi-color raindrops onto the grey Pendleton satchel. And if the bag is a gift, I can totally see monogramming or spelling out the recipient’s name onto the bag as a cute personalized touch.

We even have a video tutorial that shows you just how easy it is to personalize your Pendleton!

25
Oct

Embroidery: How to do the Duplicate Stitch

To round out our embroidery tutorial series, this week’s technique is all about duplicate stitch! This particular stitch lets you embroider on top of your existing stitches of stockinette fabric in a contrasting color. It also mimics the structure of your stitches, making it a fairly seamless way to add colorful motifs or other designs onto your knitting. And I must say – this is the perfect technique for smaller projects when I don’t feel up to using stranded knitting or intarsia to create the motif or pattern.

So to help you get started with the duplicate stitch, check out Kerin’s video tutorial on this technique.

17
Oct

Make do and Mend

It’s that time of year again: time to put away the sandals and dig
through my collection of warm, comforting handknit socks. The only
problem is that my sock drawer is empty – all of my socks are in the
darning pile!

I’ve often heard folks say, “Darning? That’s when I say “darn!” as I
toss them out!” I, however, prefer the old wartime motto: ‘Use it up,
wear it out, make it do or do without.’

17
Oct

Embroidery: How to do the Crochet Chain Stitch

Keeping in the theme of embroidery, this week’s technique highlights the crochet chain stitch! This embroidery technique allows you to easily create
outlines for shapes and motifs with a stitch that actually resembles the shape of
a knit stitch. Whether you outline an intarsia pattern or you create freeform shapes across a pillow or blanket, the possibility for using this stitch to introduce fun pops of color into your next project are endless. The beauty of this particular stitch is that you can really create curves and shapes, making it up as you go right on top of the surface of your knitted fabric.

And to help you embellish your knits, watch Kerin’s video tutorial on the crochet chain to get started!

 

25
Sep

Embroidery: How to do the Satin Stitch

For last week’s technique of the week, we started our embroidery series with an introduction to the back stitch. This week, we are going to keep with our embroidery obsession and show off the satin stitch! This embroidery technique uses a series of flat stitches (short or long depending on your motif) to completely cover a section of your fabric or knitting. This makes the satin stitch a great technique for when you need to fill in an area of a motif that is already outlined with the back stitch or crochet chain stitch.

      
Here is Kerin’s finished motif that shows off the satin stitch to fill in the petals.

To help you get started, check out our new video tutorial that shows you how to do the satin stitch!

19
Sep

Embroidery: How to do the Back Stitch

Every couple of months, I get the urge to break out of my little knitting bubble to try my hand at some other crafty craft. My latest adventure has been with crochet. I’ve dabbled in crochet here and there but I’ve never undertaken more than a small toy (yet at the moment, I am completely obsessed with working on my first-ever crochet blanket!).

However, a few months back when I got the itch to try something new with my yarn collection – I fell in love with the world of embroidery! This was a whole new way to explore color and texture, it was almost like drawing (slowly) with yarn. I even bought a shadow box to frame my little embroidery sampler that I was working on as a fun way of meshing my crafty explorations with pretty home decor.

So it was no surprise that my interest in embroidery was revived when I saw Kerin’s latest design – the Suzani Jacket!

This pattern incorporates four different types of embroidery to embelish and beautify this colorful cardigan. If you’ve had your eye on this pattern but haven’t had much experience with these techniques (or maybe you just want more fun and unique ways to use up those odds and ends!), we’ve created a series of video tutorials that focus on different embroidery techniques.

For this week’s technique of the week, we’re highlighting the versatile back stitch!

11
Sep

How to Block a Sweater

After investing a great deal of time into knitting a sweater, you want to give it a beautiful finish. This often involves blocking the sweater to the proper dimensions. When you block a sweater, you are setting the stitches and evening out the fabric in addition to preserving the correct sizing. Generally, sweaters can be wet blocked (good for cotton and linen), spray blocked (good for wool and alpaca) or steam blocked (good for wool and alpaca) depending on their fiber
content.

And to make sure that your first sweater blocking session is a success, we have a handy video tutorial that walks you through all of the steps! The video also shows you what to do for the three different blocking methods (wet, spray and steam). That way you can match a blocking technique that is best suited for the fiber type of your sweater.

22
Aug

The Provisional Cast On

The provisional cast on is a technique where a piece of scrap or waste yarn is used to create a cast on that can be easily undone later on to expose live stitches. These stitches are then picked up and allow you to seamlessly knit in the opposite direction. It also allows you to easily graft the new live stitches onto another knitted piece. And I have to admit that for the longest time, the provisional cast on was the most elusive cast on method to me. No matter how many times I practiced this only to rip it out and try again, I never quite got mine to work quite right. Instead of easily pulling back my waste yarn to neatly unzip my stitches from the cast on, my attempts always ended up taking quite a bit of time as I calmly tried to sort through the mess I made of my stitches.

Yet no matter how hard I tried, the universe was dead set on keeping this technique in my knitting. Project after project, the provisional cast on kept showing up in patterns I was working on. I loved what this temporary cast on allowed me to do; I just didn’t love the process so much.

So in my quest to find a provisional cast on that even I could master, I turned to Kerin. Of course she had just the thing I was looking for, so we put together a video tutorial to help you master the crocheted provisional cast on as well! In addition to your yarn and needles, you’ll just need a piece of waste yarn and a crochet hook to get started.

14
Aug

Meet Reverie!

August has really been off to quite the start. With everything from new fall yarns to Sunstruck needles and limited-edition crochet hooks making their appearance, it’s hard to know what to gush about first. And since I always seem to bit a bit cold, I have to say that it has been quite difficult to contain my excitement for one of our newest yarn lines – Reverie!

This light and fluffy blend of 80% baby alpaca and 20% acrylic is just the thing for that perfect weekend sweater. I already have a picture in my mind of a cozy Reverie sweater that I can wear instead of a light jacket as the weather transitions to the chilly autumn air. The soft halo and lofty quality of Reverie totally embodies comfort to me and is just the thing for a relaxed, weekend sweater or dramatic, billowing cowls and scarves. Just add a cup of hot cider to that scene, and I’m a happy camper!

And our in-house designer Kerin was actually one of the first lucky people to try out Reverie - watch her video review to hear more about Reverie!