Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 January 2010

"The Perfect Notion Case" has arrived. They come in the three colors shown, with and without sparkles.

This is just the handiest little case to store all of those bits that get lost in a normal case. There are five compartments on one side (three small and two larger) and one large compartment on the other. All of the compartments have snap locks and the whole case locks. No spilled surprises!

Friday, January 29, 2010

29 January 2010

The newest model of Rhythm yarn is in!

This takes entrelac to the next step. Those of you who like a bit of a challenge will love this one.

This wrap is a caplet with a round bottom - that's the entrelac challenge.

You really need to see this one in person. It is deliciously beautiful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27 January 2010

We just got in local ORGANIC wool in three natural colors!

The colors are white of course (great for dyeing your own), a light heather brown and a rich chocolate brown. These colors are just what a warm winter sweater calls for. The jacket by Josh Bennett in the latest VOGUEknitting International (Winter 2009/10) would just "sing" in this yarn. Definitely a warm a snuggly sweater for a man or a woman.

The wool comes from Gum Tree Farm and it has been certified by NCCIA (we have a certificate here). The yarn was milled at Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont and is a single ply yarn and has 140 yards per skein. we have knitted examples of the yarn so you can see what the colors will look like. The yarn fluffs up a bit after it is washed and looks great. It knits at 5 sts/inch but it will knit to 5.5 sts/inch.

Friday, January 22, 2010

22 January 2010

I know its been awhile since my last post. The store is being inventoried so that takes most of my time. But, now when you ask if we have something in stock the computer should have the correct information. It is amazing how I can make mistakes when receiving inventory.

I have also figured out the date problem not matching the date that I post the blog. The dates should be correct from this point on.

One of my customers decided to knit a pattern from a new issue of a magazine. After casting on the required number of stitches an attempt was made to make a study (swatch).

After several knitting attempts and several brain storming attempts it was decided that the shop wasn't the best place to puzzle out this complicated cable/eyelet pattern. Come to find out there was a mistake in the pattern. I guess I can say I wasn't surprised.

There are companies that really take the time to check a pattern and these companys' patterns are a pleasure to knit from. Then there are the rest.

I would say that the internet has become a valuable tool when it comes to errata. I suggest checking the company's website to see if any errors have been found in the pattern you've chosen. Magazine or book, check first. It saves your frustration levels from going critical.

In this particular case, the magazine is too new and no one has reported finding an error in the pattern - yet.

Many customers have come in thinking that they're making a mistake when all along it has been an error in the pattern - NOT their knitting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

15 January 2010

Folks have asked me why I don't pull from the center of a ball of yarn. Well, my answer is simple. I really dislike tangled messes.

I am constantly moving my projects in and out of vinyl bags. I have several projects underway and I am moving them from the shop to home and back again. When the ball of yarn starts getting close to the end, it collapses. Now that wouldn't be a problem if the project and ball stayed in one place, but mine don't. Hence, I end up with tangled messes.

The only time I pull from the center of a ball of yarn is when the pattern calls for using two strands of yarn. Pulling from the inside and outside at the same time stops two balls of yarn from tangling and it uses all of the yarn from the single ball - no waste.

Friday, January 8, 2010

14 January 2010

If someone tells you that you are not knitting correctly, be wary.

If they mean that you are not forming stitches correctly, not doing an increase/decrease correctly or some other stitch manipulation then their help should be welcomed.

If, on the other hand, they're telling you that you could be knitting faster if you knitted differently, should hold your needles differently, or plain "that's just all wrong", politely thank the person and when they're gone, just knit the way you've always been knittng.

There is no right or wrong way to knit - there is just your way. If your knitting creates a finished and acceptable garment, fine. Knitting doesn't involve time trials!

If you want to knit faster or learn another way to knit fine, but don't think that the way you throw your yarn or how you hold your needles is wrong.
10 January 10

(As a side note, I've published this on Sunday 10, January 2010. I don't know why the blog is stating that it is Friday.)

Ever been knitting and the yarn you're knitting with just pulls apart?

What causes it to pull apart? It would be unusual for a plied yarn to come apart (you're knitting way to tightly). Most likely you are using what the industry calls a single-ply yarn.

When you examine the yarn closely you can see the twist that is holding the fibers together. The problem arises when the way you wrap the yarn around the needle to knit or purl you slightly untwist the yarn. Successive stitches completely unwinds the twist and the yarn just pulls apart.

The solution: just knit from the other end of the ball of yarn. If you have balled the yarn and there is no other end, then you will have to re-ball the yarn to gain access to the other end.

You're doing nothing wrong. It just happens that the way you knit and the yarn are just not cooperating. Changing the direction of the yarn will make cooperation possible. Don't change the way you knit!
9 January 2010

Lace knitting can be beautifully blocked or sort of blocked. I think that the use of blocking wires really enhances the look of the work. The points are properly displayed and the lace work is opened to show the world your skills.

If you've ever wondered about blocking with blocking wires there here is a link.

We have blocking wires. It does help if you have a blocking surface and we have Knitter's Blocks but an animal free surface that pins can be driven into will work (even with the Knitter's Blocks you need an animal free space for the blocks.)
8 January 2010

Another headache that folks encounter is a dropped yarn-over (YO).

When you miss (forget) a yarn-over on the right side (RS) of your work and this is the side that the yarn-overs are inserted, just pick-up the 'purl' bar between the two stitches that that frame the yarn-over. You don't need to unknit or tink back to the missing yarn over. Just slip stitches back and stop at the stitch that would have been to the left of the yarn over.

Using your right-hand needle, pick up the purl bar between the framing stitches from the back side of the work making the purl bar slant to the left "\" across the top of the needle. If you forgot to put in the yarn over this will be a bit of a tight stitch but it will be okay in the end.

When you are on the wrong side (WS) of the work and you realize that you have forgotten to put in a yarn over, stop at the stitch that would have been on the right-hand side of the yarn over.

Using your left-hand needle, pick up the purl bar between the framing stitches from the front side of the work making the purl bar slant to the left "\", across the top of the needle, and then work the yarn over as per the patten (either knit it or purl it). Again it will be a bit tight if the yarn over never existed but if it was just accidentally dropped while knitting, it will have the right tension.

No more reason to worry about dropped yarn overs. They're easily fixed.

This usually happens when you

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 January 2010

Another shop horror - marked-up original patterns.

If you know that you like to mark up, PLEASE mark up a copy.

If you can't read your mark ups, we probably can't either. We know that it is your favorite pattern (because it is so marked up). The reason that it is so marked up is because you've made this sweater many times for many different people in many different sizes.

So, if you make a copy each time you start a sweater from this pattern you will have a record of the person, size and type of yarn you used. Simple! Easy! And you always have a nice fresh original from which to copy.
5 January 2010

Wow, that was hard to write, 2010. Who would of 'thunk'. Sitting in my 5th or 6th grade class I wondered what it would be like in the year 2000. Now I know. I had hoped for a flying car and trips to the moon. Oh, well.

I just had a customer surprised by the discontinuance of a yarn. It is unfortunate, but it happens. What made matters worse is that a yarn label was not kept. So I have no color number to try to search for.

My recommendation is that you keep a copy of the sweater pattern in a sleeve with a sample of the yarn and a yarn label. Keeping this record might seem as a bit of over kill but you never know when you might need the information.

You might even want to knit the sweater again and the yarn label might be of help. If you're lucky, years later they might still be making the same yarn. That isn't unheard of. Some yarns have been around for years. If not, at least the shop has half a chance of finding a good, close substitute.

And finally, Happy New Year!