Archive for October, 2009

It used to be that knitting at the shop on Tuesday evenings was for knitting for the community. While we are not requiring that you knit for the community when you stop in on Tuesday nights, Freeba will be helping those who wish to knit for charity. Each month a new charity and a new type of project will be chosen. We’ll have a few suggestions for patterns at a few different skill levels, all using worsted weight yarns. Bring your own washable worsted weight yarns from your stash and needles or choose some from our stock.

We’ll start this coming Tuesday, the first Tuesday in November. The charity of the month will be Crossroads Safe House, a safe place for women and children to get a new start in leaving abusive situations. When Freeba spoke with them they reported having plenty of scarves and all types of knits for children, but that they could really use hats and gloves for the women. So Tuesday evenings in November will be dedicated to knitting women’s hats.

You are welcome to bring your own preferred pattern to work from if you wish. Freeba will be available to answer questions and help you get going. If you cannot join us for community knitting on Tuesdays but would still like to knit for our community you are welcome to drop off women’s hats and gloves at the shop. Anything of those items donated in November will be given to Crossroads Safe House.

Check out some of the following free worsted weight hat patterns:

Don’t forget, even the simplest of hats keeps heads and ears warm and a little finishing touch can really dress them up a bit. Add a little bit of embroidery or sew on some buttons for decoration. The sky is the limit and no matter what you make it will certainly help keep women in our community warmer this winter!


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One of the new yarns we brought into the shop this fall is a worsted weight version of Cascade’s Venezia yarn which is called Venezia Worsted. It is a multi-ply worsted weight yarn made of 70% merino wool and 30% silk. The smoothness of the yarn and sheen from the silk give this yarn fantastic stitch definition as you can see in the above photo. The silk is also a contributor to the fantastic drape of the knit fabric. Each 100 gram hank contains 218 yards of yarn, making it pretty economical choice for a merino and silk blend yarn.

311I chose my first use of this yarn (and likely not the last) for a simple shawl design. I wanted to maximize the use of the drape and stitch definition. Since it was a shawl/scarf I opted to bump up my needle size to a US 9 (recommended is US 7). This gave a slightly looser and even drapier fabric that was fantastic for the shawl. My swatch on US 7s was great as well, it still retained plenty of drape and produced a lovely fabric for sweaters and other accessories.

The silk content in yarns can sometimes make them a little bit splitty causing the needle tips to pass between plies instead of clearing the full diameter of the yarn when forming the stitches. Given the 30% silk content I was expecting a bit of a battle with yarn splitting when I set out on the project. While I did not use my pointiest tipped needles, I rarely had problems with splitting. Knitting this project was a pleasure from start to finish. The yarn even withstood a major frogging session of about 5 inches and the yarn did not look any worse for wear.


Stop by the shop and check out the fabric of the shawl pictured in this post (Tesni) and judge for yourself! The shawl is on display and the pattern available for purchase. More Venezia Worsted is on order and should be arriving soon.

If you are on Ravelry be sure to check out some of the finished projects using Venezia Worsted and some of the suggested patterns for even more ideas.

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Rugby SlouchIf you receive our monthly newsletter (subscribe here) you got a fun pattern this month that is perfect for fall knitting – a rugby striped stocking hat designed by Kristi Schueler. It is also available until November 1st here on the blog in an easy to print PDF format. The stocking hat is knit in Cascade’s Pastaza, an aran weight wool/llama blend singles yarn in fun heathered mustard and light navy colors. Many other yarns in the shop can also be used for this pattern.

The free pattern is one in a collection of three fun rugby shirt inspired hat patterns that include three distinct shapes and three different stripe sequences you can mix and match. They are great for keeping warm in the stands while still showing off your team spirit. Or, just sport the hottest fashion color combos while wandering the shops and cafes in Old Town. It may be nice this week, but it sure would have been nice to have worn one of these last weekend!

Rugby Hats

The Rugby Hat Collection is available printed at the shop and all three samples are on display to check out. The pattern collection also includes detailed instructions for making the tassel and pom-pom as well as guidance for which jog-less stripe method to use for each striping sequence. Let us know if you need assistance finding an appropriate yarn in specific team colors. We are happy to help you on your next visit!

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Barker016We have brought into the shop some fun cards and bookmarks by a neighborhood artist, Charlie Theobald. He creates wonderfully whimsical characters in watercolors. We just love the expressions he captures. Below you can read his bio. Be sure to stop in to see more of his wonderful work!

A couple of years ago I started doodling in water color and ink, and these characters came to life. Some of the figures are inspired by people I’ve seen around town, characters I imagine in books and kids that I have known. I find it relaxing to paint them. My mom prefers sending home-made cards, so she started ‘commissioning’ birthday cards from me for her friends. Their response to the cards encouraged me to print some up and see how they sold. I hope you like them and decide to send one to a friend.

Barker_Figure_003a Barker_Figure_021 Barker_Figure_023

Other artistic interests of mine include printmaking, animation, film making, photography, sculpture, and writing-basically just creating. I intend to use the proceeds from the sale of my cards and bookmarks towards an exchange trip during high school.

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We Need Your Help!

Hope Lives Soap Holders

Some completed Hope Lives kits have found their way back home to the shop where we’ve filled them with some great handmade soap. But, we still have many more that need purchased and knit before the end of the first week in October to reach our goal of having $1000 and 100 filled soap holders to donate to Hope Lives. If you haven’t helped out yet please, please stop in and do so. If you have already then you know how quick and easy these kits are to complete so consider doing another one (or three).

Thank you for your support of Hope Lives!

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