FO Friday: Sarah’s Noel

We’re thrilled to carry iKnitiative gradients. Karen is a local dyer who makes beautiful jewel tones in various shades. Sarah knitted a lovely Noel in the Cherry Bomb colorway, and it’s a great showcase for the yarn.

Noel in iKnitiatives gradient at Natural Stitches

Noel in iKnitiatives gradient at Natural Stitches

Noel in iKnitiatives gradient (6)

 

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Cecelia Blanket

cascade aran sample at natural stitches

Jenn reports that she LOVED knitting this baby blanket sample in Cascade 220 Aran Superwash. The charts go fairly quickly and the yarn blocked out like a dream. Cecelia is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase.  Using a little over four skeins of the Cascade 220 Aran, this is fun and pretty fast baby gift.

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FO Friday: Lynne’s Through the Loops Mystery Shawl

Wasn’t Kirsten Kapur’s Mystery Shawl especially beautiful this year? Here’s Lynne’s in two colors of Baah La Jolla:

TTL Mystery Shawl 2015 (1)

Did you finish yours? We’d love to see it!

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WIP Wednesday: David’s Baker Street Scarf

David’s getting a head start on his holiday knitting with this variation of the Baker Street Scarf featured in Knitty [FREE pattern!]. David’s is knit in Malabrigo Rios in the Candombe colorway.

David Baker St in Rios

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Yarn Review: Ardent by Crabapple Yarn

Today we feature a guest post from teacher, knitter, and crocheter extraordinaire Andrea:

Helenas_folly

It all started when Yvonne asked me to knit another summer sample for the shop. I am happy to do her bidding, and I love trying new yarns (who doesn’t?) yet it somehow didn’t occur to me that I would be knitting plant fibers. I LOVE wool. So, I initially had mixed feelings about using the Ardent from Crabapple Yarns. The color, Champlain, is also a little out of my wheelhouse, but I gulped and cast on for my swatch. The pattern is Helena’s Folly by Jennifer Dassau. That’s a lot of stockinette stitch!

I tried two needle sizes, soaked my swatch, and dried it on the back table at the shop, using our magic fan. One of my conscientious co-workers measured it for me (we are happy to help you with this anytime) and we passed it around for admiration. The fabric had a lovely drape, with a soft hand and stitches that had evened out from their bath. All good things. I cast on and joined to knit in the round. I am quite a fast knitter, and my first milestone on this project was the 50 row turned hem. I knit and knit.

Cue dramatic music…On about row 49 I realized I had not been “careful not to twist” during my hasty join. This happens to me, and maybe to many experienced knitters, about once every 10 years, the same frequency that one can expect a bat to enter one’s house (that’s another story.) The fact that I was in denial about my unintentional moebius for so long is harder to explain. Appropriately humbled, I ripped the whole thing out and also decided to make the next smaller size. I then could not face the project for a few days. My nice and pretty friend Yvonne executed the join for me the second time around, and then it was just a matter of doing many stockinette stitches. Many, many, many stockinette stitches. Just when I thought I couldn’t go on, there was shaping. Then, it was finished, ends woven, washed, blocked, and tried on by many people.

My impressions: This match of yarn and pattern is perfect (trust in Yvonne!) The finished top is worth every stitch–comfortable like a casual t-shirt, with interesting sleeve construction and finished hem and collar that lend it some class. I would wear this top on its own or as a layering piece in cooler weather. The yarn performed extremely well. No shedding or splitting, and just a hint of shine, perhaps from the bamboo. The negative ease of the design and drape of the fabric make it body-skimming and flattering on a lot of folks.

We hope you give this new yarn a try! We have samples behind the desk, so please ask for one the next time you’re in the shop.

Ardent yarn at Natural Stitches

 

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FO Friday: Projects from Over the Sea

These finished objects have traveled over the ocean twice! first as yarn and fiber, and back as finished projects. Our customer, Ilona sends her husband, Guido, to the store when he is here on business from Germany.

Ilona’s handspun from Frabjous Fiber’s BFL Sparkle:

Guido shows an example of twined knitting in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport:
twined knitting
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WIP Wednesday: Lee’s Baby Surprise Jacket

Lee is almost finished with the classic Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Lee’s is in Cascade Eco Wool+, which upsizes the sweater to fit an older baby. Do you like her button choice?

Baby surprise jacket at natural stitches

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Jack’s Year of Knitting Dangerously: August

Greetings Dangerous Knitter,

Well, I really hope that you had a wonderful time knitting last month’s quirky little sock by Cookie A. The Monkey Socks let us stretch our lace knitting skills and gave us a small portable project for the heat of July. And, if you used the Naked Sock by Wisdom Yarns, I’m sure your socks are both beautiful and well fitting from the great colorways and elasticity of this wonderful yarn. August is going to be our preparation month for the colder fall that is on the horizon. Nothing says fall like college football, hot cocoa, and KNITTED SLIPPERS!!

Dangerously yours,

Jack

Nola Slippers 1_in Malabrigo Rios at Natural Stitches

August Pattern:

This month I have chosen some soft, cushy, double stranded slippers. Nola’s Knitted Slippers by Nola Miller is a slipper pattern that uses a double strand of worsted weight yarn to make the slippers very soft, warm, and squishy for the colder fall and winter months. The pattern is intended for Mariners who are out at sea around Christmas, so you can imagine how toasty these “puppies” will be. The slippers are knit flat in ribbing from the cuff down to the tongue where it switches to garter stitch. After shaping the toe, Stitches are picked up for knitting the foot and sole of the slipper. Using worsted weight yarn held double will also provide you with some instant gratification, as they will knit up lickety-split.

Malabrigo Rios is a fantastically soft and luxurious superwash wool. I used two different colorways of Rios to knit the pattern. These slippers are endlessly customizable in terms of color. You can make them a single color, two-toned, striped, or you could make them in the colors of the recipient’s favorite college football team! And the finished slipper, while intended to be a men’s medium, stretched comfortably to fit my size 13 foot. My sample slippers follow the pattern exactly, but feel free to tweak the pattern to get a longer cuff or foot.

Now, I know we’re knitting dangerously, but here are some of the specifics from my project. I made the tongue and the cuff of my slippers in one color and then switched to a second color on the first right side row after picking up all of the stitches for the foot. This gives the slippers an attractive contrast color bottom. I did this to hide the color change on the inside of the slipper, but, as a surprise bonus, the little contrast stripe this creates looks great with the slippers inside out. REVERSIBLE SLIPPERS!!

Right side

Right side

Wrong side

Wrong side

One last caveat. Take note of which side of the finished slippers will be showing. The pattern has a long cuff that is meant to be turned down. In order to keep the seam from showing, the mattress stitch will need to be switched from the right side to the wrong side at the point where the cuff turns down. If this doesn’t matter to you then feel free to seam the entire slipper from the right side. As always, stop into Natural Stitches to check out the sample in person.

 

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CustomFit Mash-Ups: When You Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

I recently finished knitting a CustomFit cardigan; because I can’t leave well enough alone, I “mashed up” my CustomFit cardigan blank with another pattern, Jackaroo from Knitty First Fall 2013.

While CustomFit can be used to create a sweater just for you based on your yarn and your gauge, you don’t have to create a plain sweater, you can create a perfectly-fitting sweater that incorporates elements of any pattern that your heart desires.

Jackaroo_4

CustomFit Jackaroo, knit with BMFA Targhee Worsted

Intrigued, but afraid? Here’s how I did it.

  • I swatched the element I wanted to add to make sure they looked right with the yarn. I originally wanted to add cables, but they didn’t pop in this colorway.
  • I generated a crew neck cardigan with tapered sleeves in CustomFit.
  • I checked the original pattern for Jackaroo and placed markers for the ribbing panels and made notes to myself about where to place the pockets.
  • I followed the edging instructions from the original pattern for the I-cord button band.

That’s all there was to it! If you would like help creating your own CustomFit sweater that incorporates another pattern, purchase the original pattern (we love supporting designers!), and then come in to see us for a consultation!

 

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FO Friday: Zelda’s Distant Shores Pullover

Usually I feature customer projects for FO Friday, not staff, but since Zelda’s Distant Shores Pullover received so much attention when it was on WIP Wednesday, I thought you all would like to see the nearly finished sweater. Zelda just has to weave in a few more ends of the Stone Soup Fingering and Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport and do another round of blocking, but it looks amazing! Distant Shores is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase.

Zelda in Distant Shores Pullover at Natural Stitches zelda (12) zelda (14) zelda (18) zelda (24)

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