Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
So, I knew I had no choice but to make this square some sort of yarn-y creation! I played around with different ideas of granny squares, crocheted stripes, a plain single crochet square with embroidery...and then the idea struck: fair isle knitting! I'm totally stoked about this project, so I'm going to walk through my process with you, should you ever be faced with a similar challenge.
First, I did some hunting for a pattern. I've been known to transform JPEGs to graph paper before to create my own fair isle patterns, but I figured the process would be way easier if I started with an already-existing pattern. I found a fantastic, simple little tulip pattern on the Purl Bee, which I decided would be the foundation for my pattern.
So the first step, as with almost any knitting project (that you want to turn out as expected!) I made a gauge swatch. This would allow me to translate the 8" square dimensions that I was given, into the grid on which I would plot my pattern.
I decided I wanted to make this entirely out of bamboo, to give it a nice, natural sheen and softness, and even-ness to the stitches. I wanted the mosaic to be fairly detailed, so I decided on two strands of our bamboo held together, knitted on size 2 needles.
See that? I'm getting 7 stitches/inch, and 11 rows/inch.
So...how does that translate to an 8" x 8" square? Well, if I were to expand that swatch to fill the entire space, that means I'd fit 56 stitches and 88 rows into that panel square.
So, back over to Excel to make some graph paper. (If you're not an Excel-lover like I am, there are many sites that will make graph paper for you in whatever size you want, like this one. You can print it out and do all this by hand if you want!)
I made a grid that was 56 x 88, and that would be my template from hereon out. The tulip template I was using was only 12 sts wide by 37 sts high, which meant I'd be able to fit 4 little tulips in side-by-side, with 8 stitches left over (4 on either side). I divided the extra vertical space evenly, which I decided would be layers of soil, grass, and sky above, knitted in four different colorways of my favorite variegated bamboo yarns (only grass layer shown in this screenshot).
So what's next? I wound up all the colors I'd be using...
Got my coffee at the ready...
And got to work!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A white rayon boucle is accented with subtle light blue and cream cottons; metallic gold flecks throughout give this blend a slight shimmer in the light. Perfect for a springtime shawl or scarf!
Monday, March 22, 2010
It appears that I may have jumped the gun on this one, winding up a simple sportweight bamboo/cotton yarn in a springy shade of green last week and casting on for what will be a simple, soft, drapey camisole. Lo and behold I discovered this morning that the new Knitty is up, and now I'm fantasizing about the same yarn taking shape as Inamorata or Petrie...
Well, the fortunate thing about tank tops is that without the sleeves, they knit up waaaay faster than all those sweaters I've been plugging along with these past few months!
Friday, March 19, 2010
That book was Custom Knits, a book that I've actually skimmed through before but then had forgotten about as it sat here in the Yarnia library and new issues of Vogue Knitting and Interweave flooded in and distracted me. I remember thinking this upon that first skimming, and now have to emphatically reiterate, this is an awesome book.
As with cookbooks, it's rare for me to find a knitting book where I'm really smitten by more than three or four of the projects within, but as I turned the pages of Custom Knits I was like, "I want to knit every single thing in here!" The best part about it though is that it totally appeals to my pattern-adapting, yarn-substituting, make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to knitting; it's written so that you can follow the patterns as closely or as loosely as you want, making your own modifications and decisions as you go along.
Plus, the first chapter begins by showing you how to make a dressform in your exact image with an old t-shirt and a roll of duct tape! Awesome.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Aqua and teal together at last! Several shades of these two colors give this yarn wonderful depth while the color from a distance will look fairly solid. A lightweight wool/cotton blend gives wonderful versatility to this yarn.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I made this one longer than the pattern called for, which makes it the perfect length for wearing over a pair of black pants with a belt around the waist, worn with a tank top underneath to allow for the super scoop neck that is created by the super-simple circular cast-on at the top.
Friday, March 12, 2010
To everyone who turned out for the Portland Yarn Crawl this past weekend...wow.
We we were so impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, and yarn love emanating from the 220+ of you who came through our doors this weekend. Some of you were familiar faces and some were just discovering our shop for the first time. It never gets old for me to see the look of delight as a newcomer excitedly realizes what it means to make your own yarn and the limitless project ideas that immediately follow...
So thanks, everyone, for coming out and supporting, shopping, discovering, and sharing -- we had a blast and we hope you did too!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
This fun boucle yarn draws on the color play of a variegated bamboo yarn, and the fluffy texture of a dusty pink acrylic boucle, to make for a springy and soft bulky weight yarn, fantastic for any season!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Check out more examples of projects using Yarnia yarn in our new Flickr pool -- and add some of your own! If you email us some details about your project (specific pattern? Fiber content? Yardage?) we'll feature it here on the blog!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Oh yeah, you know you want it...
You have not one, but SIXTEEN chances to win this mouth-watering basket, jam-packed with yarn goodness!
Join us in the Portland Yarn Crawl this weekend -- at every local yarn shop you visit, you'll have another shot at winning this amazing free raffle. Start here at Yarnia and we'll have a list of the other participating shops so you can continue along on the crawl!
We'll have coffee, yummy treats, and sales going on all weekend long, with extended hours (10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Friday-Sunday).
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This yarn would be nearly solid, a lovely greyish blue, if not for the single strand of variegated silk-rayon that runs alongside the strands of wool to give a splash of color every few stitches!