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Archive for August, 2009

The Sicily Line Glamour BeretAt My Sister Knits we really like reaching out to our local community as well as doing what we can for the larger community. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of that we are sharing here a pattern designed by one of our caring customers. Glenda Jackson designed these berets for a young Wilms patient in Oaklahoma whom she knows. Stay tuned as Glenda is working with the Fort Collins Whole Foods to put together another charity knit-in in September similar to the one held in May. Once things are solidified we’ll be sharing all the info you need.

The Sicily Line Glamour Beret

This pattern is for easy knitted berets for pediatric cancer patients. They are intended to cover beautiful bald heads and provide the comfort and glamour to which all little girls are entitled, and the “cool” that all boys crave. Use your imagination to select yarn, color and embellishments. These hats should be soft and comfortable but definitely fun to wear! Meet the inspiration for these caps at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sicilyevelynzeka.

Yarn
100-150 yds of worsted weight yarn or a combo of thinner yarns to achieve the desired fabric at the required gauge. Soft, easy care yarns should be used.

Needles & Notions
– US 7 (4.5mm) circular needles, 16” / 40 cm long
– US 7 (4.5mm) double pointed needles (DPNs), set of 4 or 5
– Tapestry needle

Gauge
20 sts and 24 rnds per 4” / 10 cm in St st

Size
Young Child

Special Instructions
Abbreviations used follow the standards at http://yarnstandards.com/knit.html. Below are some less familiar abbreviations.
k1fb – knit 1 front and back; knit into the front and back of stitch to increase by 1 st
mrkr – marker

Pattern
The pattern below contains both standard and alternate options. The standard uses a no-hole increase method. The alternate version uses yarn overs to add a touch of lace to the hat and is indicated by italic type. If no alternate direction is given it applies to both versions.

Loosely CO 76 sts. PM and join for knitting in the round, being careful not to twist the sts. Work 5 rnds of k1, p1 or k2, p2 ribbing. Nxt Rnd: (k7, pm) five times, k2, k1fb, k3, pm, (k7, pm) 5 times — 77 sts.

Incr Rnd: *Knit to 1 st before mrkr, k1fb; rep from * to end of rnd — incr 11 sts.

Alt Incr Rnd: *Knit to 2 sts before mrkr, yo, k2; rep from * to end of rnd — incr 11 sts.

Repeat desired Incr Rnd every other round until total st count equals 132 sts.

For standard beret work even in St st for 5 rnds. For alternate beret work 1 rnd even in St st foll by one rnd of *k8, k2tog, yo, k2; rep from * to end of rnd. Repeat twice and end with one more plain St st rnd.

Crown

Decr Rnd: *Knit to 2 sts before mrkr, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd — decr 11sts.

Alt Decr Rnd: *Knit to 4 sts before mrkr, k2tog, yo, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd — decr 11 sts.

Repeat desired Decr Rnd every other round until 22 sts rem, ending after a plain round. Nxt Rnd: *K2tog, rem mrkr; rep from * to end of rnd — 11 sts rem. Work 1 rnd in St st. Nxt Rnd: K2tog five times, k1 — 6 sts rem. Nxt Rnd: *K2tog; rep from * to end of rnd – 3 sts rem.

With rem 3 sts work i-cord as desired. The i-cord can be used to form a short curved “handle”, turned into a ring, knotted or omitted alltogether. 1 – 1½” of i-cord is recommended for looping or knotting. Cut yarn leaving a 10 inch tail and pull back through the i-cord to inside of hat. Weave in ends. Hand wash, block and lie flat to dry.

A note from Sicily’s mother, “When I think of berets, I think of the army and of soldiers, many who have fought for our freedom. Your knitted berets symbolize these cancer kids’ fight for freedom from their illness. These kids are in essence little soldiers themselves, and I can’t think of a better uniform for them to wear than your “knitted with love and prayers” berets. Thank  you, again, for being such an integral part of this heart wrenching war we are fighting.”

If you have any questions about the pattern please leave a comment here or in our Ravelry community and we’ll sure to get an answer for you!

Get a printer ready PDF.

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Koigu in Pictures

Koigu PPPM

I popped over to the shop yesterday to visit with Kathy and Kate and Svea and several others of you. Okay, I’ll admit it. The Koigu Painter’s Paletted Premium Merino arrival drew me in. I used to be in the camp that 100% percent merino yarns – especially those that have as soft of a hand as Koigu would be a bad choice for socks. No nylon? No higher micron count wool for durability? However, about 4 years ago or so I designed and knit my Flatiron Clog Socks and they still look nearly as new as they did fresh off the needles. And no, they have not spent the past 4 years in my sock drawer. I wear them nearly weekly during the winter. I don’t even handwash them! I have a front loader with a handwash cycle that I use and then I let them air dry on a drying rack. Have your doubts? One of my four year old Koigu socks is on display at the shop so go see for yourself!

Koigu PPPMEleven fun colorways from cool blues to hot oranges and pinks arrived at the shop. I have to confess that the longer I handled all 11 colorways in the different lights around the shop and garden the more colors I fell in love with and wanted to bring home with me.

For design work I’m more often drawn to the semi-solid and more muted analogous colorways so the work of interesting stitch patterns shows up. But the mixed media side of me who paints and collages loves the more wild colorways. One of them, rich with orange, purple, golds and other fall colors is just screaming to become a Halloween sock!

Koigu PPPM

Of course KPPPM is known as a “sock yarn” but it would be a fabulous choice for a small triangle shawl/scarf like Ysolda’s Ishbel from Whimsical Little Knits or any of the numerous fingering weight cowls listed on Ravelry. It is also the obvious choice for the dynamic Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Giftsand the infamous Charlotte’s Web Shawl from Knits From a Painter’s Palette as well. How is one to decide? What do you want to knit with KPPPM?

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Kate Manning's Puddles Scarves

These scarves designed and knit by Kate Manning were inspired by Laura Aylor’s Lizard Ridge. Knit in an ultra soft handpainted yarn, these are scarves anyone would love to bundle up in. The knitting is not difficult but interesting and the handpaint lands differently in the short-rows each time making it hard to put down because you want to see what the next section is going to look like. These scarves can easily become an addiction!

The display scarves have made such a splash at the store that our supply of the Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky is dwindling fast. More is on order and expected to arrive in September with plenty of time for holiday gift knitting!

Materials

  • Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky, 100% Baby Alpaca, 108 yds/99 m per 100g skein; 2 skeins. Shown in (left to right) CP01 Red Rover, CP10 Fox Tail and CP02 Azulichen
  • US 10.5 (6.5 mm)

Gauge

As no fitting is required gauge is not critical. The scarves show above measured 8″ (20.5 cm) wide by 46″ (117 cm) long.

Pattern

CO 29 sts.

Note: When working a stitch that has been wrapped on a previous row or short-row you may work as normal as the color variations and halo of the yarn partially conceal the wrap. If you wish to fully conceal wrap on a RS, use right needle tip to lift wrap up and over the the stitch it wrapped so it is the second stitch on the left needle and k2tog tbl. If you wish to fully conceal a wrap on a WS, use right needle tip to lift wrap from the RS of the fabric up and over the stitch it wrapped so it is the second stitch on the left needle and p2tog.

Rows 1 and 3 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 (WS): Purl.
Row 4: P12, w&t, k8, w&t, p7, w&t, k6, w&t, p5, w&t, k4, w&t, p20, w&t, k8, w&t, p7, w&t, k6, w&t, p5, w&t, k4, w&t, p9.
Rows 5, 7 and 9: Knit.
Rows 6 and 8: Purl.
Row 10: P5, w&t, k5, turn, p4, w&t, k4, turn, p19, w&t, k8, w&t, p7, w&t, k6, w&t, p5, w&t, k4, w&t, p16, turn, k5, w&t, p5, turn, k4, w&t, p4.
Row 11: Knit.
Row 12: Purl.

Rep rows 1-12 until yarn is nearly gone. Loosely bind-off and block lightly.

Abbreviations

CO – cast on
g – gram
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 together
mm – millimeter
p – purl
p2tog – purl 2 together
rep – repeat
RS – right side
tbl – through back loop
w&t (on right-side) – wrap and turn; bring yarn to front of work between needles, slip next stitch purlwise to right-hand needle, bring yarn around this stitch to back of work, slip stitch purlwise back to left-hand needle, turn work
w&t (on left-side) – wrap and turn; bring yarn to back of work between needles, slip next stitch purlwise to right-hand needle, bring yarn around this stitch to front of work, slip stitch purlwise back to left-hand needle, turn work
WS – wrong side

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Starting Ysolda's Grown-up Booties

Sometimes what one needs most is a quick and easy knit, even an experienced knitter. Whenever I’ve had a pile-up of design work I often seek out such a project once the desk has been cleared. During this brief break I’ve sought instant gratification in Ysolda’s Grown Up Booties from her booklet, Whimsical Little Knits.

Caya Colour Jayne YarnFor slippers which gets lots of abuse and wear I like to go for more rustic yarns that are going to hold up to those quick jaunts outside to grab the paper. I also like to err on the side of a heavier yarn that is plied to increase the life so I chose to use Caya Colour’s Jayne yarn which is described on the label as fisherman’s wool. It is nearly bulky weight and is a bit on the scratchy side which is often a good indication that it will wear well, even with the abuse slippers take. The color and value variations in the yarn is giving the fabric a watercolored look that is going to make great slippers!

I’m finding this project to be a great palette cleanser between design projects. There is a little bit of interest in the shaping, but it is mostly mindless garter stitch. Not so much garter stitch that it feels like a chore though. There may be a good chance that many members of the family may find a pair under the tree this coming holiday season! (For gifting see these charts on foot lengths for given shoe sizes and then err on the side of slightly small as the garter stitch really stretches and you want a snug fit so they stay on.)

The pattern is totally accessible to knitting newbies too and is a great way to learn a few new skills without investing a ton of time or money. You’ll learn 1 simple increase and 1 simple decrease as well as how to seam garter stitch.

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Moving In!

Kate Manning's Puddles Scarf

The newsletters we have been publishing the last several months have been met with much excitement and we are so pleased you are enjoying them. It has occurred to us that perhaps you would like to know what is going on around the shop on a more frequent basis and we have done a few things to make that possible. One is to start this blog. We are still in the process of moving in and slopping the paint around and finding where to file all our upcoming goodies. We are hoping to offer much of the same content as you have read in the monthly newsletters here on the blog as well as more in-depth yarn and book reviews. Hopefully everyone working in the shop will share what projects they are enamored with on here and perhaps you can stop by with your work for us to show off here as well!

The second thing we have done to get news from the shop to you on a more frequent basis was to set up a Twitter account. If you follow us on Twitter you will get short (less than 140 character) snippets of info. We often share news from some of our favorite designers and yarn companies who are also on Twitter such as Spud & Chloe, Berroco, Clara Parkes, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Kim Werker. We will also be sharing links to new blog posts on our Twitter feed. You can see the 3 most recent tweets over on the right in the sidebar to get a feeling for how it works.

We are also in the process of moving the mailing list to a different service. It should stop the annoying monthly e-mails reminding you that you are subscribed and the e-mails should land in more inboxes rather than bulk mail/SPAM folders. If you are already subscribed to the mailing list you should be moved over to the new system in time for the September newsletter. You may get an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription and we hope you wish to continue receiving our latest news in your e-mail inbox.

While we’ve been ramping up these new projects we have also been getting ready for the busier knitting and crocheting season, placing orders to restock the shelves with cooler season favorites as well as some fun new yarns. Toss in last minute vacations before school starts, back-to-school preparations and we have not yet gotten the August newsletter together. A mini-newsletter will be going out in the next day or two and will include the pattern shown in the photo above which was designed by our own Kate Manning who was profiled in July’s newsletter. With Kate’s permission you may find us posting it here on the blog as well so everyone can enjoy this fun knit.

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