Category Archives: Yarn

A Billowing new cardigan

Spring is finally starting to hint at its arrival here in the northwest. There are buds on all of the trees, and it's actually almost light out when I'm driving to work! This means that cold-weather knitting is winding down, and it's time to satisfy the need for something a bit lighter. Since I was also eager to try out the amazing new yarn Billow, I figured that a nice open-front cardigan would be just the thing for Spring! Ever since we got the first samples of Billow, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

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Jury Duty Pullover

I just can't get over HOW SOFT THIS YARN IS! I've been looking forward to our very first shipment of our brand new yarn, Billow, since the day we decided to add it to our lineup for 2013. I love the soft, luscious color palette, the wonderfully tactile thick-and-thin strand and... did I mention the color palette?!

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Super Snuggly Cowls

As with everyone else in the office, I ooo'd & aww'd over Billow.  The colors were beautiful and it's so so soft! But when it came time for me to choose a project - I was stumped.  My coworkers were hard at work on blankets and sweaters but I wanted something smaller that I could keep next to my skin at all times - so cowls seemed to be the most obvious choice! I opted to finally do the famous GAP-tastic Cowl - it's been something in my queue for a very long time.  I chose my favorite color of Billow - Spearmint - and got to work.

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The Ultimate Billow Blanket

When our latest yarn Billow first arrived to the office, I was in the same boat as all of my crafty coworkers: completely head-over-heals, need to have it in my life, in love with this yarn. Unfortunately, this caused me great anxiety as I am very much a one-at-a-time project kind of gal – but Billow was just so tempting! Considering I was going to break my “one project” rule for Billow (I have an in progress cowl on the needles), I methodically rummaged through my books and patterns looking for the perfect project. my ultimate billow blanket, nestled nicely on top of my couch

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Cute Chroma Cap-Free pattern!

Recently I whipped up a little striped Chroma hat, and it's quicky become my favorite hat this winter. It didn't take much yarn, just a little of two colors, and the pattern is super easy! It's a quick and cute project for using up yarn leftovers. So, I thought I'd share. You'll need about 30 grams each of two colors of Chroma Worsted (my finished hat weighs 58 grams). I used Windermint and Wildwood... Click through to see the pattern!

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Customer Question of the Week: Caring for Bamboo-Blends

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff) answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature! Ultra-smart, in-house designer Kerin tackles this week's fiber dilema. Q: "How should I wash bamboo-blend garments?" A: To begin, Rayon-type cellulosic materials like viscose, bamboo, and Modal are much different than other plant fibers in that they do not retain strength when wet. They will stretch more than cotton, and can shrink unevenly. When blended into a springy yarn, the inelastic viscose fibers are not held straight, but they will tend to relax and straighten out (therefore stretching the yarn) when wet.

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Customer Question of the Week: Felting with Knit Picks Yarns

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff) answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature! This week's winter-appropriate curiosity was answered by Stacey, our super IDP Coordinator. Q:  "Which Knit Picks yarns work best for felting?" A:  First of all, a quick definition: Felting (or fulling as it is also called) is the process of intentionally shrinking natural untreated fibers into a dense fabric using hot water and agitation.  Many people use this for projects such as slippers, bags, mittens, hats, toys, and housewares - anywhere you would prefer a thick durable fabric.  We have a couple of tutorials on how to felt your knitted & crochet projects - either by machine or by hand.  We have several yarns that work great for felting.  Remember, you will want to use untreated yarns - no superwash! - and yarns that are made up of mostly natural fibers.  Different yarns (such as wool vs alpaca) and even different colors will felt at different rates, so make sure you do a swatch before starting a project!Single ply yarns are some of the best for felting so our Full Circle Worsted and Bulky are perfect for felted projects. With the blend of Merino and Highland wools, you’ll not only get very durable accessories such as hats and mittens, the fabric will be soft and warm through the chilliest of winter days.Our 100% Peruvian wools are the most popular for felting - that is, Palette and especially the Wool of the Andes line (sport, worsted and bulky).  You can see this is great for projects such as bags, like Meghan Jones’ Intwined Bag, which uses Wool of the Andes Bulky.

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Customer Question of the Week: Colorwork Alternatives to Wool

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff) answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature!Our first question comes from no one person in particular—but a chorus of customers over the years. Kudos to our wonderful Multimedia Manger, Jenny K., for tackling this one. Q: “I love colorwork, but not wool! What can I use?” A: If wool isn’t your fiber of choice and just the idea of using 100% wool for a sweater starts to make your skin itch, don’t despair – you still have options when it comes to colorwork. Known for its fine crimp and low micron count (which determines softness), Merino wool is certainly a fiber that will have you thinking twice about using wool. If you’re looking for a yarn with an extra soft touch, the Stroll yarn family blends superwash merino wool (75%) together with a touch of nylon (25%) – making it a wonderful choice for those with sensitive skin. Stroll Fingering substitutes beautifully in place of Palette in most cases, and it boasts a wonderful selection of solids and complicated heathers to make your next colorwork project picture-perfect.

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About.com Readers Choice Awards!

This week's marks the opening of the About.com 2013 Readers Choice Awards! From now until February 11th, you can nominate your favorite blogs, designers, books, yarn company, and needle brand for the award! We look forward to this every year so I thought I'd show you some of my suggestions - you can nominate up to 3 for each category!

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Podcast Episode 203: Fiber Lesson

This week, Kelley talks about different fibers and blends to explore their qualities. Learn about what makes wool so wonderful, why alpaca is so warm, how silk gets it’s shine, and what mercerized means for cotton. This handy guide to fiber basics is sure to help you as you plan out your next project. Next, Kelley reviews some of her favorite audiobooks that she has been listening to lately. Finally, Kelley catches you up with what is on her needles. 3 easy ways to listen…

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