Lots going on around here today! My yarn is ready for my Fourth Quarter Challenge project. (I’ve knit 6 rows so far. Woohoo!) This is Wollmeise Lace (color: Spice Market, which we don’t get in very often) that I picked up in Claudia’s shop in Germany and have been saving to knit into a sweater. It’s incredibly handy to have both skeins on the large sized Yarn Caddy so that they unwind without tangling as I knit. I did put a circle of cardboard between the two, just so they keep to themselves during the process.
Our Loopy Ewe Solid Series yarn is featured in a new crochet sock pattern in Interweave’s Fall 2012 Crochet Magazine, on sale now. The pattern is called Zig Zag Socks by Patsy Harbor and uses 1 skein each of Malachite and Pumpkin. (Photo by Harper Point Photography, used with permission.)
I finished my Charlize Shawl. I was intrigued by the open body and solid ruffle. It was quick to knit. I made the small size and used one skein of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Slippery Trail. I love this yarn base.
And finally, for those who routinely ask about Mocha, the outdoor cat that doesn’t belong to us but thinks he does – here’s an updated photo. His beautiful fur is growing back, he likes being brushed (I’m trying to help him avoid another shaving due to mats), and he continues to like hanging out on our back deck. I’m still trying to figure out a plot to adopt him forever. I just don’t think his owners would appreciate it …
Do you have any random Wacky Wednesday news to share about your day?
Today’s Monday Update is all about soft, smoothy, luscious feeling yarn. You can’t go wrong with any of it. We just added in:
Malabrigo Sock - I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting on this Sock base to come in again, but I feel like I’ve been waiting close to forever. I’m so glad it’s here! This fingering weight yarn seems to be used just as often for cowls, scarves and shawls as it is for socks. At 440 yards per skein, it’s plenty for most sizes of socks and one-skein shawls. (Shown here in Marte.)
Malabrigo Silkpaca – 26 more colors of Malabrigo’s newest lace weight. This 70% Baby Alpaca / 30% Silk base comes 420 yards to the skein and is perfect for shawls and scarves or cowls.
Mountain Colors Bearfoot – My second ever pair of socks was knit from this yarn, and they continue to be my warmest, coziest pair. This fingering weight base is 60% superwash merino, 25% kid mohair, and 15% nylon. I’m sure it would make equally cozy scarves, hats and mitts, too. We have 25 colors up for you tonight. (Shown here in Thunderstorm.)
Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere – This is another yarn that doesn’t come around all that often. When they have this base in stock, we order lots, though! I’m working on a shawl out of this fingering weight yarn, and the 70% super wash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon base is spoiling me. I’ll show you my shawl on Wednesday’s blog post. (There. That will make me get it done. Nothing like putting a deadline right out there on the blog…)
Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere Camp Colors – We also had them do up four colors to celebrate the bug groups from Camp Loopy this summer. You’ll find Dragonflies, June Bugs, Lightening Bugs, and No-Seeums under the Camp Loopy category on the homepage. (We’ll have more Camp colors coming later this month.) Shown here in No-Seeums.
Universal Cotton Supreme & Cotton Supreme Batik - This yarn is great for spring and summer sweaters, and for kids clothes year round. It’s 100% cotton and can be tossed in the machine to wash and dry, so it’s easy care. (I made a sweater out of it that turned out too large because I didn’t think being off 1/2 stitch per inch was that big of a deal with gauge. Turns out, it IS a big deal. Lesson learned. And this yarn does.not.shrink.at.all when you put it in the dryer. Even if you want it to shrink.) I think the Batik colors are particularly cute for kids sweaters.
Kollage New Square DPN’s - Now made in the U.S., these needles have been re-done and are better than ever. We currently have the new styles in circular sizes 24″, 32″, 40″ and in the 6″ DPN’s. Many knitters say that square needles are easier on your hands. These DPN’s come five needles to a set. Due to the difference between square and round needles, you’ll want to be sure to do a test swatch for needle size. Most knitters find that they need to go up a needle size on these square needles.
Enjoy your shopping and we’ll get your Box of Fun out to you asap!
We offered a weaving class here at The Loopy Ewe last weekend, and it was a lot of fun! Each class participant got their own 15″ Cricket Loom and went to work, making themselves a scarf. Here they all are, learning how to warp their looms. The warping takes almost as long as the actual weaving part. You have to stretch the yarn a long way to get it the right length for a scarf.
Once the looms are warped and the excess yarn is rolled up, you can get to work with the weaving part, which seems like the most fun. Lynn, our instructor, brought her floor loom, just to keep us focused on which loom we might want to get next.
I can’t believe you can be done with a gorgeous scarf in a day! Two of the four had theirs done by the end of the day, and the other two were almost done by the time they left. Amazing. Here’s a photo of the pattern most were using – a houndstooth variation.
If you’re in our area, let us know if you’d like to take a weaving class. We’ll collect names for the next go-round. We’ll also have more 15″ Cricket Looms back in stock again soon.
So – do you weave? I can’t wait to jump in and make a scarf!
The nice thing about Camp – you have a quick month to get it done and it teaches you how fast you really CAN get things one when you focus on one thing. (Talking to myself here …..)
The nice thing about Quarterly Challenges - you have 3 months to get it done, which allows you plenty of time to insert other projects in there for variety, as you knit along.
I think there are advantages to both, but I’m ready for a little longer amount of time on this next project! The Challenge is to knit a project using yarn held double. Have you done that before?
Here are the details and then I’ll talk about a couple of ideas.
- Your project must use two yarns, held and knit together. (Two strands of lace, or two strands of fingering, or two strands of DK/Sport, or two strands of worsted, or two strands of bulky, or a combination of any of those weights.)
- It must be a 400 yard (or more) project. This means you’ll be using 800 yards of yarn: 400 + 400 knit together. You can begin any time after today.
- The project must be done (with pictures uploaded to the Fourth Quarter Challenge Gallery) by December 31st. That gives you three months!
- If you want to purchase yarn for your project, you can get a 20% discount on one project’s worth of yarn for this challenge if you order between now and next Thursday, September 20th. You will need to leave us an order note, telling us which yarn you will be using for the challenge. We will apply the discount after we receive your order. If you are going for free shipping in the U.S., please do a bit of math ahead of time to be sure that your discount won’t take you under the $75 amount, or the website will add the shipping back in. We can only apply the discount to one project in one order during this shopping week, so choose carefully and calculate yardage wisely!
- If you do purchase yarn during the Challenge Week (Sept. 12-20) and if you finish your project and upload the photo by 12/31, we will double your project’s Frequent Shopper Benefits when we approve your photo. That means if your yarn is $30, you’ll get FSB points for $30 when your order ships, and another $30 in FSB points when your project is finished and photo uploaded by the deadline.
- You can also use stash yarn and upload your photo to the gallery to be included in the random drawings, as long as it’s a yarn base/brand that we carry here at The Loopy Ewe.
So what are you going to make? I’m planning to use two skeins of laceweight held together to (finally) make the Charleston Tea cardigan. I don’t have a lot of success in sweater completion. I’ve knit two sweaters (a Mr. Greenjeans and a Zoe Cardigan), and I have 3 sweaters currently in time-out (for no reason except that sweaters take so long and there is always something else that comes along that I want to knit instead). This time, I found a friend to knit along with me, and SHE has a great track record in sweater completion, so I have hope! I’m using this Wollmeise Laceweight in Spice Market that I bought when I visited Claudia’s shop in Germany, so it’s a little heavier laceweight than the wispy stuff.
Besides doubling up for a sweater, another thing you can do is something felted. Felting frequently has you knitting two skeins of worsted yarn together (so that it knits up big and fast), so you might want to make yourself a new bag. How about a Sara Purse, or a Go Green Shopping Bag? (Or hey – design yourself a bag!)
I’ve been working on another project with two yarns held together. It’s the Cabled Rib Wrap, which is knit holding Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca DK together. It’s awesome and I love working on it. One of our Knit Nighters is working on a beautiful lacey scarve with a skein of fingering weight and a skein of that Silk Cloud held together and each time she brings it we all admire it. I think there are probably many open-lace scarf patterns that would lend themselves to that (adding a laceweight in either a different texture or color, to make it more interesting.) Check out Moiraine, or Pergola Lace Wrap, or the Summer Wind Cowl. Adding two different textured yarns together is fun. (Shown here in Silk Cloud Suit and Zitron Filigran Denim. With the two slightly different shades, you’d also be adding a bit of dimension as well as texture to your piece.) You could alter any of those patterns by adding in a second skein of something soft/warm/shimmery (alpaca, cashmere, silk) or something in a little different color, alongside your regular fingering weight skein.
If you’re adding a yarn to an existing pattern that was written for one yarn, keep in mind that it will turn out larger when you add more yarn to it, and you will probably have to go up a needle size or two. That’s why scarves/wraps/cowls are great, because in most cases, it doesn’t matter if they get bigger. They’re not fitted, and that just means more to wrap up in. In my case (with the sweater I’m doing), the pattern calls for a sportweight, and I’m using two strands of laceweight to equal a sportweight, so it should not come out bigger or require a different size of needles. (Yes, of course I’m swatching to make sure.)
Remember, the purpose of our Quarterly Challenges is to encourage you to do something you might not have tried before (or to complete something that pushes you a little further in your knitting in some way). I hope you’re up for the challenge! Who’s in?