Paloma by Debbie Bliss

Boxes upon boxes have been coming in the back door and it’s all we can do to keep up with getting the new yarns tagged and up on the shelves.  Today I wanted to highlight Paloma, a baby alpaca and merino wool blend from Debbie Bliss.

Paloma is perfect for making items you just want to curl up in – soft, relaxed and chunky, an ideal replacement for that sloppy but oh-so-comfortable Saturday sweatshirt from eons ago.

A cozy cowl neck, an offset cable detail and ribbing makes a perfect sweater for lounging or running errands (or dress it up for a warm office sweater).

For something simpler, you can’t go wrong with this raglan with a slight rolled neck:  Ideal for raking leaves and then coming in to relax with a pot of tea and some knitting.

For more patterns from the Paloma book, click here.

Debbie Bliss Magazine Fall/Winter 2011

Since catching tantalizing glimpses of projects, patterns and yarns during Debbie’s visit in June, we’ve been on the edge of our seats waiting for this issue of the Debbie Bliss magazine. And boy, has it been worth the wait.

The cover project in Riva, a color-shaded yarn, is dramatic, striking and a fairly easy knit.

Doesn’t it look even better at full length?

The animal prints make me want to grab yarn, needles and start right in on a new rug for the hallway (nevermind that it doesn’t match the rest of the decor).

I’ve got a set of boots that need toppers – and these are pretty amazing.

Who wants to knit this for me? I’m going to be busy knitting the rug and boot toppers, but I really need this sweater for my wardrobe.  The black and white really makes the stranded work stand out.

You can purchase the magazine here.  (yes, that’s correct: Our website is up and running again).

Apres Vest in Techno

I promised you this vest in Techno a few weeks ago, and here it is! The pattern is the Apres Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.

After an initial attempt when I accidentally used the wrong needle size (Public Service Announcement: check the size of the needle before you return it to whatever empty needle envelope happens to be sitting on the coffee table.  The two don’t necessarily go together.), the vest went quite quickly.  The ruching pattern is easy to follow and memorize and changing to a large needle for part of it means you can make lots of progress with little time.

The body is in knit back and forth, including the fronts and back, up to the armholes, which are finished with an i-cord bind-off.

The fronts and back are each worked separately up to the neckline, the shoulders are joined with a three-needle bind-off and then stitches are picked up for the collar.  Like the bottom edge, the collar is knit to a fold line, then an inner flap is knit, with the live stitches sewn to the picked-up stitches, creating a hemmed edge.  Once all the knitting is done, there is very little finishing to do!  Weaving in ends, closing a few small openings and sewing on the snap tape are all that remain.

The yarn is so light and fluffy and smooth – it just glides along the needle with little effort or friction, although, as most alpaca yarns, it does shed.   When talking to the gals at Blue Sky Alpacas in June, they assured me that after an initial period, the shedding slows down.

Although the pattern directions don’t mention anything about this, I went ahead and seamed up the openings made from hemming the body edge and the collar.

I can’t wait for cold weather so that I can wear this lightweight vest as a needed layer when out walking the dog, raking leaves or just sitting out around the firepit making s’mores.

Class: Socks on Two Circular Needles

Sock knitting is more popular than ever these days.  Small, easily portable and certainly useful in cold weather (if you can imagine colder weather),  there are a number of different methods out there for knitting socks.

We are offering a class on the method using two circular needles to knit one sock.  If Double Pointed Needles are not your thing or you want to try a different technique, Socks on Two Circular needles will help you out.  Once you’ve learned the basic technique of knitting a tube on two circular needles, you will be able to apply it other projects, such as sweater sleeves or  seamless sweaters.

This sock has been knit on two circular needles and is past the heel turn, decreasing down to the foot.

The class meets Friday Aug. 26, Sept. 2, Sept. 9:  10:30 – 12.  Two US 5 needles in the 20″ or 24″ length are required.  Yarn is included in the class fee.  Cost of the class is $85.  Give us a call to register at 972-424-3163.

Double Zipper Chic-a Bags

I know, I’ve already waxed lyrical about the wonders of all the styles of Chic-a bags we ordered, but over the past week I’ve really come to love the Double Zipper Bags.The two sides make it so much easier to keep things from getting tangled or pulled or messed up.

Pattern and notions bag on one side, project on the needles on the other side. WAY fewer tangles.

The portfolio size (14″) also fits perfectly into my laptop messenger bag, so when traveling or coming in to work, I can just slide the bag in.  Because it’s water-resistant, I don’t have to worry about any accidental leaks from my water bottle either.

Manos Maxima

 

Have you felt Maxima by Manos del Uruguay?  A fair trade single-ply worsted-weight merino yarn, it is super soft and has very rich kettle-dyed colors.  I’d like to see the Tea Leaves Cardigan knit up in Maxima because I’m sure it would be as gorgeous as the Tea Leaves in Malabrigo Rios.

This yarn is one that you might have to feel to believe the softness of it’s touch.  When is someone going to invent computer monitors that let you feel the texture of what you’re viewing?? I’d like that technology NOW, please.

Tea Leaves Cardigan

Fall will be here before you know it!

At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves as this heat wave drags on.  Be ready for the cooler weather with the Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre.

A one-piece, top-down seamless cardigan, the neckline ruching and stockinette body are ideal to showcase hand-dyed or kettle-dyed yarns.  Our store sample is in Malabrigo Rios, color Sunset, and feels so scrumptious everyone squishes a portion of it as they walk by.

The sleeve and body edgings are in simple garter stitch which prevents them from rolling (and adds extra squish).

The ruching detail of the neckline adds interest without overloading the sweater with detail work.

We left ours without buttonholes and used a shawl pin to hold it together.  Easy to throw on, this could be the perfect sweater to leave at the office, but you might love it so much you’ll need one for home, too.

Chic-a Bags

Just in at the Ewe are these fantastic bags by Chic-a.

In fun, bright prints, the pouches are easily wiped down and protect what is inside from all the unpredictable elements of life, making them ideal for knitting or crochet projects.

Not only are the zippered pouches great for knitting notions, but any time you need a bag to hold a number of things – a coupon pouch, pencil bag, camera disks (*ahem*).

The pouches come in three sizes, 7″, 9″ and 14″.  They are available in three different styles -  clear front (7″, pink, above), original (7″, butterfly print, top) and double zippered (black, 9″, bottom).

The 14″ size easily fits a pattern inside without needing to fold it.

Aside from the pouches, which could definitely fit smaller projects inside, for larger projects that need equal protection from life, the Journey Bag and the Prism Bag are both well-suited.

With a zippered closure and all-over water-resistant fabric, the Prism bag will protect its contents. The inside is lined with a light white fabric with a small pocket on one side.

The Journey Tote, while not quite as enclosing as the Prism bag, holds the same amount of yarn and (in my opinion) has a bit more pizzazz.  The top has a concealed magnetic closure which is nice for those of us who have a habit of accidentally catching yarn in zippers.

Since this bag is reversible, there is a pocket on the outside and on the inside.

One thing I particularly like about this bag is that the bottom is covered in the water-resistant fabric, making it great for vacation knitting and keeping everything safe from campgrounds, the beach, the backyard, and the kitchen floor…