Teddy Sweater

Making things for little people is so fun–they are cute and so quick to finish!  This is the Teddy Sweater from Terri Kruse, aka Ninja8Tofu Designs.  I used Simplicity from Skacel’s HiKoo line.  It is a 55% Merino, 28% acrylic, and 17% nylon blend, and it is machine washable and dryable–this sweater was laundered with a regular load of knits at my house.  My project notes can be found here.

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Inspired by Ellensburg

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New fingering weight yarn from Cantering Crow Colorworks of Kent, WA!  Many of these are inspired by Ellensburg–there’s Spring Meadow, Cinnabar, Mt. Stuart, and the Yellow Church Cafe, along with Ellensburg Blues, Nootka Rose, Vintage Rodeo, and Hay Field.  The second photo shows the Scamper base, which is 80% Blue-faced Leicester blended with 20% nylon, and is a fingering weight with 400 yards per 100 grams.  The bottom photo shows Swish, 75% Blue-faced Leicester with 25% nylon.  It is also a fingering weight, with 464 yards per 100 grams.  I made Song of the Sea in Cinnabar Swish, and it’s a dream to work with.

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Anniversary Weekend

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Thursdays are normally open knitting, and while you may certainly bring your knitting, we are also participating in Girls Night Out on Thursday, April 9th!

This time out, we will enjoy truffles from Roslyn Candy Company (while they last!), as well as other snacks.

 As we did last year, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a mystery discount at checkout, ranging from 10-30%, good for any in-stock, regular priced merchandise, with the exception of consignment items and classes.

And don’t forget, every $10 you spend gives you a chance to win one of the event-wide gift baskets with contributions from all participating businesses.

1) 2 skeins of Oink Pigments Sport + project bag and pattern for the Kepler shawl

2) 2 skeins of Opera from Black Tie Yarns (a division of Zen Yarn Garden)–800 total yards of merino, cashmere, and silk…

3) A skein of Satchel from Mrs. Crosby + a pattern for A Simple Little Something scarf

4) An Almost Everything set from the Bar-Maids

5) 2 skeins of Yarn Hollow Tor DK in Blueberry and Winter Lake

 We give you two tickets, you choose the prizes you most want to win. I’ll draw for prizes on Monday morning!

While you can only enter to win the event-wide gift basket on Thursday evening,  the mystery discount and entries for the in-store prizes will continue through Sunday afternoon.

I’d love for you to be part of Thursday evening’s festivities, but please stop by during the weekend if you can’t make it!

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Tale of Three Swatches

I wanted a cardigan with a stripe sequence that looks like this:

I’m using a slightly modified color palette, but I like the proportion and relative values of the stripes.  The sweater shouts “Spring!” to me, so sport weight wool seemed like the right choice.

Enter Galway Sport.  It’s a brand-new 2-ply from Plymouth, and I have 20 or so colors in stock.

I’ve generated the pattern essentials using CustomFit, and with the total number of rows in hand, I worked out a stripe sequence that fit–and maintained the proportion of the inspiration stripes.  This cardigan is a V-neck, but I am knitting Inlet, from the CustomFit Winter/Spring 2015 collection.  I had the option to change the sleeve length from 3/4 to full length, so I did so.

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L to R — Swatch 1, Swatch 2, Swatch 3

 

The swatching process was interesting.  Swatch 1 used 3.5mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, which were one size smaller than the ball band suggested.  My gauge was 5.2 stitches and 7.8 rows per inch–significantly looser than the recommended gauge of 6 stitches and 8 rows per inch.  Swatch 2 was on 3.00mm Addi Turbo Rockets, and while my gauge was a more pleasing 6.1 stitches and 8.8 rows per inch, this swatch was the least consistent of the three I knit. It was noticeably not square, and the tension was less even than I’d like.  I decided to try one more time using needles with a little more grip.  Since I’d used the Karbonz for the first swatch, and ChiaoGoos skip from 2.75mm to 3.25mm, I decided on 3.00mm Addi Turbo Lace needles.  That was the magic combo for me.  (Although I suspect that 3.00mm Karbonz would also have worked.) Some of the inconsistencies of Swatch 2 were probably attributable to inattention–I knit some of it standing up, some sitting, some while doing other things at the same time–but the slight drag of the brass finish on the Lace needles had a subtle effect I liked.

Here’s how my final swatch numbers measured up:

30 stitches measured 4.875″ (6.2 stitches per inch)

40 rows measured 4.625″ (8.6 rows per inch)

Total swatch measured 7″ x 6.875″, and weighed 17.5 grams

Just to be on the safe side, when beginning the pattern, I started with a cardigan front, instead of the larger back piece.  After about 7″ of knitting, my tension seems to be on track, and I love the oatmeal, navy, and bright pink together!

The process so far highlights a couple of the advantages of CustomFit.  You’ll notice that there was never a point where I had an even number of stitches per inch (or even x.5 stitches per inch).  Instead of trying to match the gauge of a pattern, the pattern is created from the gauge of the fabric I liked the best–and I was able to experiment until I was satisfied. Also, this sweater is a pretty math-intensive endeavor–but I only have to worry about the stripe placement & matching part of it–the basic silhouette and shaping are sorted, and are made for me.

If you’ve talked with me, you know I’m not a “hard-sell” kind of gal.  But when I am genuinely enthusiastic about something, I’m not shy about sharing that enthusiasm.  I love making sweaters within the CustomFit platform, and I think that the opportunity to participate in the design process is a big part of the reason why!

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Another CustomFit Adventure

This time I decided to use “Expert Mode”–you don’t really need to be an expert, but it’s a great way to combine just the details you have in mind.

I started by swatching Kenzington from Skacel Knitting’s HiKoo line.  I decided on a 4×2 ribbing, but I was undecided about which would be the right side until after I blocked the swatch.  With CustomFit, you are knitting to your own exact gauge, and in this case, mine was 16.75 stitches and 24.25 rows over 4″.  Probably not the sort of gauge you’d find in a standard pattern, right?

I knew I wanted to make a cardigan vest, and even though it’s not a shape I typically wear, I thought I’d try a tunic length.  For me, that was 13 1/2″ to the hem.  I wanted some kind of finish to the bottom, but didn’t want to interrupt the ribbing, so I chose a folded hem.  The front bands and armscyes are edged in i-cord trim.  I specified a deep scoop neck–1″ below the beginning of the armhole, and the neck trim is 1×1 twisted rib.  I wanted to wear it open, but I like a little bit of closure, so I asked for one button.

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CustomFit sweaters are most commonly knit in pieces and seamed.  The wonderful bit is that because the patterns take your individual row gauge into consideration, if you keep track of your rows, you will have precisely the same number for each piece–even though back and front widths can differ, particularly if you have more bust shaping.  After knitting the back and both fronts, I blocked the pieces.  (I stayed late on Sunday to pin them out so that they could dry before I came back on Tuesday.)  I seamed the pieces on Tuesday, and knit the edgings on Wednesday.  The button I wanted to use is about 1/4″ wide but about 2″ long, which mean that the crochet loop I made for it had to be a little bigger than I would have preferred.  I had the swell idea to secure the bust closure with hook-and-eye closures–except they are not readily available in Ellensburg.  So I bought a black bra at Goodwill and cannibalized it for the fasteners.  My last step was to tack up the folded hem.

Because CustomFit utilizes princess style darts for shaping, you need to increase and decrease in pattern, and many times there are more decreases than increases, or vice versa, depending on your build.  You can see the effect in the back view of the sweater, thought it’s present in the fronts as well.

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My last remaining issue is with the i-cord edgings along the front.  The pattern instructed me to pick up along the front at a 1:1 ratio.  I think it might have worked better to either have dropped a needle size or have eliminated 10-20% of the rows.  There wouldn’t have been any need to use a typical button band ratio, since the direction of the two pieces of knitting isn’t perpendicular.  To add some stiffness, I may try threading a stiff cord through the i-cord tube.  If that fails to give me a slightly straighter edge, I might reknit those front edgings a little more tightly.  Time will tell.

Overall, this was another great experience working within the CustomFit platform, and I am already plotting my next CF sweater! If you have more questions about the program, or are ready to try a CustomFit pattern yourself, email me–ann (at) yarnfolk . com!

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Please welcome the delightful Mrs. Crosby to Yarn Folk

She was kind enough to send along her Hat Box in 10 delicious colors.  Merino, silk, and cashmere in a 317 yard sport weight put-up.

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Jitterbug!

I got sucked right into the Colinette Yarns booth at TNNA, and ordered a couple of dozen skeins of Jitterbug–400 yards and 150g of exploding color.  Amazing when a box of yarn can leave Wales on a Monday and get delivered to the middle of Washington State on a Thursday!

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Custom Fit Info Session!

Are you familiar with Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit sweater generator? This coming Friday, February 13th, is your chance to learn more about how Yarn Folk can help you create a sweater that is perfect for YOU.

When we talk about Custom Fit, we don’t necessarily mean snug, form-fitting sweaters.  (Although that’s an option!) Custom Fit lets you make your own choices–about the yarn, the fit, and the design–and then use them to generate a sweater for a specific set of measurements, with no further math required.
I have made four Custom Fit sweaters, and can’t say enough about how much I love the process and the results.  Plan on coming in Friday at 5 pm to hear me try! as a Custom Fit LYS, I can assist with measurements, yarn selection and swatching, design choices, generating the pattern, and if you choose to participate in the KAL, you’ll be supported through your sweater journey.
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Sweater shown is Seguin.  You can  find my other Custom Fit sweaters here, here, and here.  (I need to get pictures of my mom wearing that last one!)
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Cross posting most recent email!

With information about my upcoming trip to TNNA’s winter show, and an updated class schedule!

Check it out here!

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Santa’s Helper

First, I want to share a phoDto of a small “thank you” gift pack I’ve put together.  Any purchase from now until December 31st enters you to win.  What’s inside? A Baggu tote, a double-zip Walker Bag, a Eucalan IMG_6284.JPGDelicate Wash travel set, a Lo-Lo To Go lotion bar, and a set of stitch markers made by Chelsea from Raveler’s Roost.  Along with a Ravelry pattern of your choice up to $7.  Thanks for being wonderful customers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, because Santa sometimes needs a little help, I am sharing a few gift ideas here and on Facebook over the next few days.

Stitch markers are a perfect stocking stuffer, or a small gift for a knitting friend.

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Are cases for your tools on your wish list?  Knitter’s Pride just introduced some new ones for interchangeables, assorted sets, and fixed circulars.

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And Slipped Stitch Studios’ Needle Nooks may be one of my favorite accessory items.  They keep your stitches safely on your needles whether you are using double points or circulars.  Love them!  I’ve got some really fun prints in stock right now.

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