Spring is fast approaching so it is time to start thinking about working on all of those lightweight projects. This Shawl/Caplet is a quick easy project that will be a great accessory for your warm weather wardrobe. All you need is just one hank of Cotton Rayon Seed from Blue Heron Yarn. If you can knit a rectangle in garter stitch you are ready to get started! The worsted weight yarn comes in beautiful individually painted colors making each one unique. We have just received our spring shipment and have both bright and subdued colors. The pattern is so simple, but because the yarn is a woven slub construction it gives the final product lots of texture and creates interest.
You can find the free pattern on Ravelry just click here. When you are finished knitting just create fringe with your leftover yarn and attach it to the edges. I think this might be one of the only projects I used up every bit of my yarn, Yay! -B
There’s a lot to love about Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted. Not only does it have beautiful stitch definition, fun colorways, and a very smooth feel, but it’s also machine washable! This has made it a perennial favorite around here. Amberly knit the Saroyan scarf (pattern available for free here) out of this lovely mocha and red variegated colorway. She used two skeins and size 8 needles, and was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful drape the fabric attained after blocking. Saroyan is a great pattern choice for variegated yarn because the majority of the project is stockinette stitch. Stockinette is perfect for variegated yarns because the colors come through best when the fabric is simple and untextured.
The leafy lace border adds a pretty scalloped edge and keeps the project interesting. For the intermediate knitter wanting to try lace, this project is a good way to get your feet wet without using intimidatingly tiny yarn. It’s also an easily customizable pattern – making it longer is just a matter of repeating the central section more times. Come check out the family of Lace Merino yarns we carry – we have the original Lace Merino (a light fingering weight yarn), Lace Merino Worsted, and Lace Merino Chunky as well! They all have the same sumptuous base of 100% superwash merino, and come in a rainbow of colors. Happy knitting! -Elizabeth
Oooo Fino, we are excited to announce that we have just received our first shipment of Manos Del Uruguay’s new elegant and refined yarn, Fino. A superb blend of silk and extra fine merino wool the yarn combines softness and lustre in a lightweight yarn that is perfect for heirloom accessories or luxurious garments. Fino features a new dye process that yields complex, subtle, tonal colors that are absolutely gorgeous.
I’m thinking the Circle Scarf a free download on Fairmount Fibers website will probably be a good project to start, with 490 yards per skein you will only need one.
Manos del Uruguay has been admitted as a full member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization), the global representative body of over 350 organizations committed to 100% Fair Trade. This recognizes Manos’s mission to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development, pioneering social and environmental policy and practice, and continual reinvestment in marginalized artisans, farmers and producer communities. -B
There is much gratification and excitement in finishing any handcrafted item. However, some of these items require an extra touch to make them really shine. These extra touches can be blocking, edging, overstitching, appliques, and my favorite, buttons! I love the hunt to find the perfect buttons for my cardigan, to make that statement that that is both functional and unique. But why limit buttons to closing cardigans? One of the cutest uses of buttons I have ever seen is to put one on a headband to attach different flowers and shapes to the headband (Spring Baby Headband by Amy Andersen). Another use I have seen recently is to use buttons to create folds and drapes in knitted fabric (Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik).
But who wants to use just any buttons for their handmade item? I prefer to think that while they are just as functional, they give off a different impression. I like to find buttons that really match my item. L&B just received a large shipment of buttons. We are restocked on quantity and have new buttons to inspire! I found some really elegant ones that are silvery and opalescent. Also some of the buttons are textured on one side and smooth on the other, so I feel like either side can be used based on the final look.
I like pairing buttons to my work, but find that sometimes the buttons I think match the best are either a little too large or too small for the buttons described in the pattern, which means the buttonholes are not the right size. I am a firm believer that everything can be customized, so here are some really quick guidelines to my personal way to modify the buttonholes. This is only effective if the yarn and buttons are paired up before buttonholes are made. First, measure the diameter of the button. Next, take your gauge and figure out how many stitches are the closest to the measurement of the diameter. For example, 1 inch diameter button, and your gauge is 16 stitches to 4 inches. So 1 inch of fabric is 4 stitches. So I’d change the buttonholes to binding off 4 stitches on a row, then casting on 4 stitches and continuing the pattern as written. -Mikki
Things to keep in mind when choosing buttons:
In the case that your number of stitches is a fraction of a stitch, then it is better off rounding down. Buttonholes will stretch.
Sometimes buttons are a certain size because of some characteristics of the fabric made. Going up to a much larger button may not always work well.
It is the perfect time of year to start a project with a title like Vlad! Very season appropriate! The Vlad shawl by Tammy Bailey, offers a fun great introduction into lace. With an exceptionally clear chart that is easy to memorize, it really makes learning a new technique effortless. Not feeling up to learning charts? Written instructions are provided as well, so this pattern becomes great for everyone. Combining this pattern with a yarn new to the store, Finley, really makes a fantastic match. Finley is an inexpensive lace yarn that is half silk and half merino. It has 798 yards per ball, comes in some amazing colors, and is only $25.
Leslie said that she had no problem with the yarn splitting or pilling. She recommends both the project and the pattern, especially when used together! A side note: Leslie reports that the yarn is really sturdy and gives you great stitch definition. She was impressed that she didn’t get any pilling or issues when she brought this all over town with her while she was knitting this!
Researching Vlad online yields some impressive results. There are 2 KALs on this pattern and already over 500 projects made. Just looking through the pictures of the finished objects filled me with inspiration just click here and take a look. With this sort of response, I think it is time for me to cast on! And knowing me, probably will end up adding beads…because I love to modify! -Mikki