Archive for July, 2013

Knits Fit For A Little Prince

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Now that the royal baby has made his first public appearance wrapped in a beautiful lace shawl, the Prince George Effect is officially underway with the clickety-clack of needles and knitters churning out precious outfits for their own tiny arrivals.  According to statistics gathered by the Craft Yarn Council, baby gifts are the third most popular knitting projects and not surprisingly, blankets rank the highest in that grouping.  Sirdar remains the leader in fashionable knitwear for infants, with a design catalogue featuring a selection of close to a thousand layette sets, christening shawls, booties, onesies, caps, bonnets, cardigans, vests, dresses, soft toys and pint-sized pullovers.

This summer Sirdar goes au naturel with the all-new Snuggly Baby Cotton DK, soft enough for newborn skin and non-allergenic, this all-cotton yarn absorbs moisture while keeping little ones cool, comfortable and dry.  Look for these and more designs accompanied by eight pastel shades at your local knitting shop.

Knits Fit For a Little Prince-

 

Sirdar Leaflet 4423

Sirdar Leaflet 4423

Classics stand the test of time, and for babies a raglan cardigan simply has a better fit.  A choice of round and v neck styles are included in this easy to knit pattern along with a full range of sizes from preemie to toddler.  Heavenly Blue (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet 4422

Sirdar Leaflet 4422

Add a bit of texture to dress up baby’s first cardigan with this adorable design.  It has an interesting pattern on the lower half of the body and sleeves with alternate necklines plus a pull-on cap to finish off the look.  Lemoncups and Little Hugs (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet 4420

Sirdar Leaflet 4420

Sweaters with a v neck traditionally signified if the baby was a boy or girl.  This pattern gives the option of a pullover or vest with garter stitch borders and seed stitch detail.  Heavenly Blue (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet 4424

Sirdar Leaflet 4424

Cute as a pixie and cosy for brisk days, this design covers sensitive little ears with a turnback edging.  Choose the face-framing hoodie or the shawl collar version for more boyish charm, both feature ribbed raglan sleeves for a sporty look.  Impish (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet 4418

Sirdar Leaflet 4418

Knit these up beforehand and stay one step ahead of the next baby shower.  Buttoned bibs and a sampler style ABC blanket are an ideal addition to a layette set.  Heavenly Blue, Soft Lilac, Cottonbud White and Lemoncups (shown above).

Happiness Is…..A Yarn Named Sami

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Sami is a word well-known to the Quechua people of the high Andes and translated into our language it simply means ‘happy’.  Mirasol did not have to stretch too far in choosing an appropriate name for one of their latest Fall yarns, Sami fits like a glove.  Rustic in quality, this pure wool is grown in the highlands of Peru where young shepherds roam with herds from one plateau to the next in search of lush grazing areas.  Sami is characteristic of this nomadic lifestyle, dyed and spun in a rich palette featuring eight distinctive colourways, slowly drifting from one tone to the next making the transition almost flawlessly with an unique featherlike effect.

Canadian designers- Michelle Porter and Michele Meadows have put together this enticing collection of women’s designs for Mirasol which are now available in leaflet form at your local yarn shop along with all eight shades of Sami

 

Mirasol m5030

Mirasol m5030

Green Heron-  Vertical ribs vary the horizontal striping aspect in Sami in this mock neck pullover designed to fit close against the body and accented with seamless shoulder shaping.  Rainforest (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5031

Mirasol m5031

Tanager- This longer length tunic with side vents features seed stitch stripes set against a background of stocking stitch for an interplay of texture and shading.  The split cowl neck is knit separately in seed stitch and finished off with toggle buttons to create an adjustable collar.   Hummingbird (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5032

Mirasol m5032

Partridge-  For a casual look to wear with jeans, this roll neck pullover fits the bill.  The back and front are knit with minimal effort in stocking stitch while the sleeves are enhanced with a central cable panel which carries on into a classic saddle shoulder.  Riverbed (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5033

Mirasol m5033

Winter Wren- If you can’t quite decide whether to knit a shawl or a vest, this design blurs the lines by combining two styles in one.  The front sections have the ease and comfort of a shawl while the back panel adds structure with cables and single ribs.  Pockets are added as a finishing touch and match the back pattern.  Sycamore (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5034

Mirasol m5034

Northern Cardinal-  Wow your knitting friends with this intriguing pullover design, featuring a knotted front comprised of two openings that skillfully intersect.  A combination of stocking stitch and a ridge stitch pattern create the soft gathers across the front.  Meridian (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5035

Mirasol m5035

Mountain Bluebird-  A face-framing collar and A-line shaping make this cardigan all the more flattering to wear.  Front borders are worked in as you go in a pretty box stitch and three-quarter sleeves add a little retro feel to the overall style.   Coastline (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5036

Mirasol m5036

Mourning Dove-  This crossover vest is as much fun to knit as it is to wear, and makes a cosy option for cooler weather.  Designed with plenty of short row shaping to create the curves on the front panels, this style is knit in a clever garter stitch stripe pattern.  The back is worked from side-to-side forming vertical striping.  Sea Salt (shown above).

 

Mirasol m5037

Mirasol m5037

Mallard-  Show off your favorite colourway in Sami with this mitered cardigan, knit entirely in garter stitch.  The light striping accents the  geometric effect.  It really is easier than it looks, and requires very few seams.  Canyon (shown above).

Your Local Knitting Shop

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Everyone has their own special place, a tiny corner of the world to hang out in and feel welcome.  For knitters, it may be that little yarn shop tucked around the corner, found entirely by chance on a Saturday afternoon, or a palatial two-storey wool palace that everyone on Ravelry has been raving about, and well worth the drive to the other side of town.  Wherever it is, that place is an integral part of the community, more than just bricks and mortar, it is the heart and soul, ready to greet knitters with a familiar smile and an excited response to a newly finished project, doling out a helpful hint or two, and offering a place to unwind from everyday stresses while sharing in a passion for a beloved craft.

What sets each lys (local yarn shop) apart and makes it unique is the chemistry that happens when knitters gather together inside those walls.  Whether it is a charity knitting event, a social sit n stitch, or a scheduled workshop to learn new skills, the friendships that develop in these circles truly knit a community together one stitch at a time.

This summer take time to discover a new lys while on vacation or exploring your neighbourhood.  For a list and review of knitting stores worldwide check out Knitmap, or log in at Ravelry and read the forums to see where knitters love to go.  Supporting local yarn shops is much more than just good sense, eighty percent of the buying experience is tactile, feeling the texture of the yarn, and that is something you can’t get by shopping online.

Here are some light suggestions for your summer reading list and (you guessed it) all three novels take place in local yarn shops-

 

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The little shop that started it all!  Debbie Macomber has delighted readers for many years with her popular Blossom Street books.  The Shop On Blossom Street was the first in the series, introducing us to Lydia Hoffman, the owner of a quaint Seattle yarn store.  What starts out as a beginner class for knitters quickly snowballs into a charming interplay of characters brought together by their love of knitting.  There are now more than ten books in this series, each one an easy summer read.  Debbie drew on personal experience as the proprietor of a knitting shop in Port Orchard, Washington and introduced her own yarn label in 2010 to complement the book series.

 

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With over a million copies sold, The Friday Night Knitting Club has captivated each and every knitter who reads it.  Kate Jacobs, a homegrown Canadian writer sets a fictitious storyline around a Manhattan Upper West Side yarn shop run by Georgia Walker.  Encouraged by a handful of her regular customers, a knitting club develops where the ladies gather once a week to work on projects and chit chat.  The magic happens, when they realize they are also creating a sisterhood, and impact each other’s lives in unexpected ways.  This feel-good story will make you want to join a knitting club.  If you have already read this one, look for the sequel, Knit Two.

 

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Looking to weave a light mystery into your summer reading list?  The just-released, Close Knit Killer follows on the footsteps of Cast On, Kill Off  by author, Maggie Sefton.  This story takes place in Fort Connor, Colorado, centering around a cast of quirky characters that frequent the local knitting shop, The House of Lambspun.  When a murder occurs, the knitting community draws together, and is more than just a little entangled.

Check our facebook page for a list of comments from fellow knitters about what makes their local yarn shop special.