Saturday, December 31, 2011

Summer Knitting in Winter!

Knit One Crochet Too is a great company. Years ago I carried this line. Well I'm back! Starting off with 2 of their lines. 100% cotton Ty-Dy in the multi and in the dots.  Everytime I see garments made from this yarn, it always takes my breath away.  Also their luscious Croc-o-Dye, 65% Superwash Wool,  20% Nylon and  15% Silk.

I know it is winter, and while I'm craving hot summer weather, I'm wrapped in 4 layers on my way to work.  I'm working on a garment out of Ty-Dy yarn. Something simple with the goal that I actually get it finished before summer. Download the free Lucia Tee pattern here.

Now is the time to plan those summer garments and gifts. Knit One Crochet Too's Ty-Dy Cotton Yarn has a summery array of colors for the perfect summer fiber. This smooth and soft, pure cotton yarn reminds us here at the Yarn Store of ice cream. Delicious!
Fiber Content: 100% cotton , Yardage: 196 yards
Sts per 4": 20 sts, Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm)

Take a look at the shades, and the fun-fun-fun "Dots" shades.
Get this cotton yarn now, while stock is good!

You might think baby blankets are for babies, but everyone loves a cozy throw to curl up with at night. They can be for children, but college students love them too. Angelika's has a great selection of "cozy cuddly afghans" and a great selection of reasonably priced yarns to go with them.

Cascade's Pacific Worsted is super priced, but knit something cozy in Cascade's Pacific Bulky
Using a bulky yarn for a DK or Worsted weight cozy throw, and you get a bigger, squishy, cozy cuddle!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crochet! Beautiful Crochet!

We have Open House Knitting & Crochet every Saturday from 11-ish to 1-ish.  Our customers work never fails to amaze us.  Our last featured project from one of our Saturday knitters was a project by a very ambitious beginner knitter. This time we present to you a scarf done by an extremely advanced and thorough crocheter. Although she had no problem breezing through this simple gift, the finished item shows her dedication to her craft. The yarn she chose was Cascade's Cherub Aran and the crocheted fabric shows off the yarn the best we've ever seen. Laura is one of our regulars here at the Yarn Store on Saturdays and she's a constant inspiration to pick up more crochet ourselves.

Lorna's Laces Heaven is 30% off! Yep, you read that right. All skeins of Lorna's Laces Heaven is $59 right now. Type in "I'm your fan!" in the comment line and we'll give you an additional $10 of each skein of Heaven you order. The photo I've included with this post is a close-up of the Easy Pie Shawl which is included on the back of every label of Heaven. (Angelika added the beads herself.)

Henry this great idea after seeing a customer walk in with a crocheted scarf. She had done it out of Lorna's Laces Bulky in Zombie BBQ (yes, that's a color, its pictured above.) It just so happened that the multi-colored yarn ended up in a varied checkerboard pattern! Oh Shepherd wool, what will you do next? Anyway, I found a remnant of some Zombie BBQ we had left over and set it out to do a small crochet sample... then Angelika steals it out from under Henry.  WOW does this hand-dyed yarn do the most interesting things with such simple projects. Another example of the amazing things this color does with small projects is found in a hat in this gallery. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock through Bulky is fully stocked here at the Yarn Store. We've even got 7 colors no other store can sell!

Friday, December 16, 2011

All About Knitting Machines

All About Knitting Machines

Machine knitting has leaped in popularity over the last year.  Since 1987, when I became a Brother and Studio (Silver Reed) knitting machine dealer, I have seen the rise and fall of machine knitters and manufacturers. I briefly sold Passap and Artisan.  Passap and Brother both, have not manufactured machines for over 10 years.     Today I sell Silver Reed knitting machines.  And truly, machine knitting is where my passion is.  

Machine knitting is a challenge many have enjoyed.  The knitted garment that comes off a machine, verses hand knit, has a different personality to it.  My hand knits are casual and I hand knit in the evening after a long day.  There is no deadline.  But when the impulse is creation and I want it now, the machine is my #1 tool.  The exactness of not only stitches, but measurements is what draws me back time and again.  The machine and I mesh together well, and the creations that come off it are precise and beautiful.

The reasons someone machine knits over hand knitting are various.  The calls that come in cite reasons such as hand pain from long hours of hand knitting, requests for items that cannot be hand knit fast enough, wanting to use of stashes of yarns, and simply an enjoyment of knitwear that cannot be satisfied by hand knitting alone.  Machine and hand knitting happily co-exist side-by-side.

The search for information on knitting machines can be a frustrating one.  It's a very small industry with a relatively small number of retailers.  Everyone has an opinion, from the new machine knitter to an experienced retailer of 20 some years.  Machine knitting is not for everyone.  Just like cell phone and today's technology is not for everyone.  But within the field of machines, there are models that are ideal for the simpler knitter, and models for the techy-bound knitter.

For me, I am drawn to the simpler models, such as the LK150, SK280 and the SK155.  My day consists of hours of computer work and processing. These knitting machines do not require that I be connected to electricity or a computer.  My patterns are either drafted out with paper and pencil, or I will use a design software, such as DesignaKnit.  

There is no such thing as "knitting machine yarn".  
  • When someone refers to knitting machine yarn, usually they are thinking of coned yarns.  All yarns, came off a cone sometime in their process.  Hand knitters prefer small amounts of yarn, so yarns are removed, balled or hanked into smaller amounts.  This also allows the yarn to breath and relax.  Coned yarns, because there is so much on a cone, are often somewhat flattened.  I prefer the hand knit smaller sizes, because I don't end up with partial cones in my stash.  Most all hand knitting yarns will work on a knitting machine.

Trying to decide what machine you want?  
Are you trying to use up your stash?  
  • The most common size yarn in your stash will lead to the machine you want.  The SK280 uses fingering weight and lace weight yarns.  These yarns usually call for a US#0-3 needle.  The LK150 uses mid-range yarns most commonly used by hand knitters.  Those are sport, DK and it does a great job with worsted weight yarn. These yarns are hand knit on US#4-9. I have used bulky on the LK150, and it does work, but you need to be careful.  The SK155 is for worsted and bulky yarns.  Those yarns calling for US#7 and up.
or are you planning on knitting thousands of patterned hats?
  • Selecting a machine based on project is a lesson common way to select a machine.  These are home hobby machines and are not designed for mass production work.  None the less, there are small designers out there that do exactly that.  Some for the actual production, sometimes just for the prototype design work. The SK280 and the SK155 both have punchcard pattern abilities.  The SK840 (same gauge as the SK280) is computer ready.  It uses the DesignaKnit software to feed it and you data.  DesignaKnit is a full blown design program that downloads into this machine.  (a topic for a later blog.)
The cost of knitting machines are a real steal.  In over 10 years the price of the Silver Reed line has barely increased.  Whereas the price of sewing machines . . . . omg . . .   wow!  The quality of this line shows true when you see how some models of 15 yrs are still running like new.  How many people have their refrigerator from 15 yrs ago.  and cell phones?  What is the average age of a cell phone . . . like maybe 3 years?  If you average the price of a metal bed machine over 15 yrs (they do last much longer then that), then it averages out to $67 a year.  Wow!!!   Sweet Deal!!

Have more questions?  email me at 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WOW! That's a lot of new needles and yarn!!

WOW! That's a lot of inventory! 
We progressing along remodeling the web pages and adding new yarns!

All 631 circular needles are accounted for on the completely remodeled circular needle pages. That's not even all we'll have, believe it or not. There are lengths of the new Knitter's Pride that we haven't even received yet. So which needle were you missing in your collection? I bet we have it or a more than suitable replacement. Wood, metal, bamboo, birch, and plastic with all sizes and all lengths.  Take a look at the super easy to follow pages.  Need that needle fast?  Order it online, and receive it in 2-3 days.  We process orders in less than 24-hour processing time if all your items are in stock.

Cascade Pacific Chunky
The very popular Cascade Pacific Worsted has a chunky new sister. The affordable perfection of Pacific can now be knit up quick in its new bulky incarnation. Completely washable, 40% wool, and 60% acrylic, Pacific was at first designed last year for babies because its so cuddly soft and cheap. Well us adults need pampering too and Pacific has exploded into so many new colors! This is a fantastic yarn for brand new knitters.

New Noni Felted Back Pattern
Your bag is a personal and vital accessory to your wardrobe and life. As a knitter you have the unique ability to create exactly what you or your friends need to carry their things in comfort, style, and eye-grabbing elegance. Noni offers some of the best quality in patterns and hardware for all your sack and accessory needs. The newest addition is the New York Bag. A medium sized, felted bag which is big enough to carry your netbook, current project, or hide away a small umbrella for the season. Felted bags are a category all their own when it comes to fiber arts and are just as rewarding. Luckily, the Yarn Store has everything you need to plan your next bag and with ALL the colors felt-able Cascade 220 here there's no reason not to get on it!