I hope you have a few minutes. Not only was November a busy month at Gosh Yarn It!, but there’s a remarkable collection of FOs to share and a few hints I need to drop about our upcoming 2013 classes.
The first big news is the long-awaited return of the Swirl. Maybe you wish you’d taken Carolyn Kern’s Swirl Sweater Class last winter. Perhaps you’ve just discovered Sandra McIver’s unique and flattering patterns? Either way, you’ll love this: Carolyn will be offering the class again, starting in January and running through early April, plenty of time to finish your Swirl. You can get both the book and all your project yarn from us at a 10% discount. Carolyn has loaned us her own completed Silhouette in the Sun, which is now on display in the shop – definitely worth a visit. If you are new to McIver’s designs, this blurb from her website will give you the big picture:
knit, Swirl! Uniquely Flattering, One Piece, One Seam Swirl Jackets [presents] 18 designs that flatter all figures, each based on the innovative one piece, one seam circular construction [McIver] calls a “Swirl”. Using simple knitting techniques, she creates elegant sweater jackets in four dramatic silhouettes and three flexible sizes. Swirls are fun to style and may be worn in a variety of ways—some even upside down! Clear step-by-step pattern instructions and detailed schematics make knitting a Swirl a simple pleasure.
“Simple” – once you know which pattern, which size, and which yarn. That’s where instructor Carolyn Kern’s experience and expertise will be invaluable, both in the preparation for your project and in the knitting and finishing of it. Registration is open now – make an early New Year’s resolution to make yourself a Swirl. Class price is $95, 4 sessions.
Our November Knit along was Gradient, a free cowl pattern from Shibui, featuring five blended colors of mohair/silk yarn. My own Gradient is only waiting to be grafted together into a cowl, a job I’m looking forward to, since I actually enjoy seaming stockinette and garter but have never joined seed stitch before. Catherine chose to make her Gradient a scarf, and, as you’ll see, I had a lot of fun styling this sophisticated, light-as-a-feather piece on Maude. Did I hear you say, mohair? seed stitch? I don’t think so… just now? Let me put in a plug for this mindless knit: three strands are held together, creating a worsted weight strand; changing the mix of colors every 20 rows or so keeps it fun; and c’mon, seed stitch can have its own auto-pilot setting, just like plain knitting or purling. You may have passed on this pattern as a monthly knit along, but keep it in mind – you’ll love it in the end.
And my own, in its early days…
Btw, the yarn bowl in the background is one of ours, from the small pottery in New Jersey we love so much. We just got in another shipment in time for the holidays, but they’re going fast. Fortunately, we also now carry Yarn Buddies, handsome handcrafted little wooden lazy susans for your balls of yarn. With a Buddy or a bowl, no more wound cakes of yarn bouncing across the floor or tangling in your tote. Check both out at your next visit.
November got off to a great start with Fibre Company Day, a visit from Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley, designers/authors/entrepreneurs and all-around inspiring knitters. Their class in Kate’s classic free pattern Springtime Bandit was a sell-out, and their trunk show of top shelf Fibre Company yarns was nearly so. Their visit was timed to coincide with the publication of their latest book, November Knits, which belongs on your wish list. (Do check out the Fibre Company blog; the December 7th post has the cutest knitting-themed paper chain, which you may be seeing soon at your local LYS. If you like, download the pattern, print off a few sheets, bring a pair of scissors, and join us in our holiday decorating, now in full swing thanks to our new Vice President of Merchandising, Joan!) Here’s the Springtime Bandit class in full swing:
Above, Jean getting a few pointers from Courtney and Jill flanked by our knitterati guests. Jean has already finished her shawl, and I’m looking forward to it being the very next FO I get to photograph. She used our Zitron Filigran, a smooth merino lace weight single, which is on the short list for my class sample of Echo Flower. (There’s one hint). Speaking of samples, here is my Mix Shawl No. 3 from Kristin Ford, knit from Shibui’s Silk Cloud and Staccato. It was a pleasure from start to finish and surprisingly simple to make.
Almost architectural in design, Mix No. 3’s stripes of Staccato held with the Silk Cloud seem to float between those where the Silk Cloud is used by itself.
Here is another shop sample, another dramatic Shibui pattern using their unique fingering weight wool/silk Staccato. Here is Jill’s Geometry/Hypotenuse, designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian:
Catherine knit a Jemma Cowl, an original design by Carolyn Kern, “little sister” to her Jonna pattern that was selected by Pam Allen for inclusion in the Quince & Co. Scarves, Etc. collection. Isn’t this amethyst beauty in Dream in Color Smooshy a gem?
Here is another of Carolyn’s designs, the Equilibrium cowl. Catherine’s is pretty in pink Ultra Alpaca. Carolyn’s own is made with deliciously slubby, silky Fibre Company Acadia. Carolyn’s last stranded knitting class with Equilibrium created Fair Isle fever in these parts. If you’d like to join the ranks of those who can knit with two colors at the same time, look for another stranded knitting class in the new year (another hint).
This one is Embers. Jill zipped through this cowl crowd pleaser in “Grasshopper” and “Ink” madtosh DK. Antonia Shankland’s pattern is available at the shop.
Stephanie joined us on Fibre Company Day, bought some of Kate and Courtney’s Tundra, and whipped up another Antonia Shankland design, Arctic Circle, which may be purchased at the shop as a Ravelry pattern download. Naming her project “Allavut or Nunavut,” I’d have to say I’d happily have the former.
Jane claims this cowl wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, but we should all have such happy, stylish accidents.
Thus endeth the cowl portion of the post. Here is Mary Jane’s Zauberball Brooke’s Column of Leaves Scarf by Brooke Nelson. This free pattern has a special place in my heart. It was my first attempt at lace knitting many moons ago. I remember watching the leaves appear row by row and thinking, I can’t believe knitting needles can do this! Mary Jane may not have been quite as awestruck as I was, but I bet she was just as pleased.
Next up is Kathy’s “Ginger (Not Maryanne)” from the pattern GingerSNAP by Erika Flory, available as a download at the shop. The yarn was one she picked up on our bus trip to Rhinebeck this fall, so it’s almost as if it’s one of ours…
This beautiful yellow and green lap blanket was made by Janet. Further proof that simple can be really, really good. The pattern is basically the same classic dish cloth that so many of us know and love, but if you’d like instructions, our Churchmouse Picot-Edge Mohair Throw & Afghan is here to help. (There’s also a baby version.)
Joanne created these electrifying flip-top fingerless gloves. Take a close look at those thumbs. What do you see? Conductive thread! For texting! How cool is that? Plus they really are fingerless gloves. Each digit gets a knuckle’s worth of extra warmth. I’ve often been guilty myself of calling fingerless mittens, which end just after the hand is worked, “fingerless gloves.” But Joanne made the real deal and then went on with more Universal Yarns Dolce Merino to make a matching hat. She also knit the grey and red hats in the background for charity, and I’m sure they’ll be very gratefully received and enjoyed for many years.
Is there anything cuter than baby hats? Jill made Diane Soucy’s ear flap cap – one of the shop’s best sellers – for her granddaughter using Liberty Wool Paints. Here is “Ella’s Hat.”
It sure seems as though Bonnie is making hats at the rate of one per day. I’m going to try to keep up, FO-wise. There’s one in double thick dark charcoal grey Ultra Alpaca using another Diane Soucy pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple; one in handspun wool/angora stranded with the same Ultra Alpaca; a Howlcat using Classic Elite Alpaca Sox and a Black Bunny Fibers yarn; then a gallery of stashbusting cutie-pie children’s hats. All I can say is, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
But wait – Bonnie’s new love of Fair Isle knitting is not limited to hats. Here is her dapper “Rocky’s Vest” in Cascade Pacific. The pattern is Dressing for Style in Fair Isle, a freebie from Cascade.
Of course, madelinetosh yarns are old favorites the shop, but one of our latest crushes is on Tahki’s Ringo. This light, vibrant super bulky is actually several strands of wool-blend chain-looped together, and you have several options for working work with it. Tahki has made some videos, here, on the different techniques and stitches for Ringo. Jill used one skein for this bias cowl, a free shop pattern, and took less than hour to make it. Can’t beat that.
It’s not often that we get to welcome a first FO to the shop, but here is Dina’s very first finished project, a crocheted beret. Brava, Dina. May there be many more!
Tammy bought Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky one day and came back the next day with this very sharp drop stitch scarf, which may be a new GYI record.
Joan took the popular Aranami pattern by Olga Buraya-Kefelian and made it brilliantly her own, adding a bead trim to sparkle along the dark top edge and an extra panel of delightful cardinal red.
Here is Wanda’s Malice in Wonderland, knit from a combination of several stash yarns and Schaefer Nichole. Both the color pairing and the finished size of 86″ x 43″ are, indeed, wonderful.
Sometimes we find a pattern that we use again and again, and it just gets better and better. Mary Lou has enjoyed making several of Katherine Vaughan’s Riverbed Rib Hats, and it’s easy to see why. The stitch pattern is a great match for the Noro Kureyon.
Now I’d like to introduce you to Dudley, the Snow Slug. He’s a member of the extended Cheezombie Garden Slug family. I had to take a few shots to try to capture the true essence of his frosty rotundity. Stephanie is herself a repeat slug knitter (I think Dudley is #3), and they just seem to be getting cuter and cuter.
Mustn’t forget the December knit along – well, knit alongs. actually. We’ve chosen not one but two patterns for your consideration. We went looking for easy but interesting, quick knits – ones that would be great last-minute gifts if the subject came up. We found just what we were looking for in the wonderful Purl Soho blog, the Purl Bee: Fluted Cowl and Snowflake Scarf. Whichever you choose – and you can always choose to do both – you can have your finished project in your hands in a week or less.
Big, soft, bulky yarn and gigantic needles (US 15 or larger) make these ideal December projects. One pattern is based on a stitch repeat of four stitches, the other on two, so you can easily subtract stitches when you cast on to downsize to work at warp speed. Obviously, we don’t carry the exact yarn Purl Soho suggests, but we have some spiffy alternatives. Misti Alpaca Chunky, Peru, Lanaloft Bulky… Jill is almost finished making a Fluted Cowl with Cascade Lana Grande, and I’m trying to choose between Cascade Cloud, a lofty aran weight, and Lana Vida’s Francesca for a Snowflake. Holding multiple strands of thinner yarn together is always another option and one of my favorite ways to make an entirely new yarn. If you want to be finished almost before you begin, there’s Magnum from Cascade; on US 19 needles its gauge is about 1.5 stitches per inch.
Speaking of December and gifts, I’ve already mentioned the yarn bowls and Yarn Buddies, but at this time of year, there are lots of other little treats and surprises arriving almost daily. After I had snapped a picture, below, of some of the first Lantern Moon notions bags and tape measures to arrive, a box full of sock monkey tape measures showed up. You’ll have to take my word for it – they are too cute for their own good.
Speaking of new arrivals, we are delighted to make it official: rigid heddle loom weaving has arrived at Gosh Yarn It! Linda Mesavage will be teaching classes starting in January, and we’ll continue to bring in looms from Schacht by special order. Linda is pictured below, supervising the assembly of the first batch of looms by the first weavers to order their Crickets. So exciting!
I’ll end with a promise, not another hint. The next post will be our Winter 2013 class schedule, and you can look forward to all the classes I’ve hinted at, plus private sock instruction, Ready, Set, Knit! classes for children, the modular scarf Morocco by Ilga Leja, a felting project with artfelt® from Skacel, even a summer sweater or two. Until then, may these shorter days and longer nights bring you many happy hours of stitching.