Our love affair with hand-dyed yarns just seems to grow and grow! As much as we adore them, we do know that knitting and crocheting with an individually hand-dyed fiber can become frustrating when there is variation from skein to skein. So, our very own hand-dyed yarn magi, Jeanne, set out to create a series of instructional videos to put those frustrations to rest. In the first video of this three-part series, Jeanne explains and demonstrates the art (and joy!) of working with hand-dyed yarns! She provides a few different techniques to try out if you have skeins of the same color that differ in appearance:
1. Double-strand! Simply hold one strand of each skein together and knit or crochet. Just make sure to check your gauge!
2. Work two rows of one skein and then switch to the other skein to work two more rows. Keep alternating between both skeins every two rows, which will blend the disparate colors with ease. Simply move your strands up the side as you go (no weaving in ends)!
3. Work your cast on row with your first skein and then knit or crochet your first row with that very same skein. Switch to the second skein and purl. Continue alternating each skein every row.
4. This same technique will apply when working with three or more hanks. Cast on with your first skein, knit/crochet with your second, and purl with the third.
5. If you're working in the round, you will knit each row. Also, you can carry your strands up through the inside of your piece.
Ta-Da! You are now on your way to becoming a hand-dyed master! These simple techniques work just as well for when you have mixed dye lots for any type of yarn. To learn more about hand-dyed yarns, visit our Hand-Dyed Yarn Guide where you can find links to hand-dyed yarns that we carry, the rest of the hand-dyed yarn instructional videos, and additional printed resources on hand-dyed yarn techniques!
Add some romance in your wardrobe with this enchanting shoulder cover-up from Tahki Stacy Charles!
There's nothing like a dreamy cover-up to have on hand when summer nights turn cool. This stunning wrap takes the cake!
Knit with Tahki's glitzy and sultry Stella yarn, this glamorous wrap features a unique asymmetrical design and an attractive folded collar.
Stella is a lovely Italian thread-like yarn that is mostly silk. For a touch of wonderful shimmer, however, there is just a dash of lurex weaved in to make it - as Sandy would say - "sparkle in the night"! Without any of the typical scratchiness that usually comes with lurex yarns, this wrap will be soft to the touch and oh-so alluring to the eye. Wear this seductive wrap to sparkle up any special occasion, whether it's a romantic date or girl's night out!
If you've been searching for the perfect companion knit for that little black dress you've been hiding in your closet...this is it! And at 25% off, you'll be digging it out sooner than you expected!
You voted and now it's here! We are so excited to announce the arrival of Smooshy, Dream in Color's glorious hand-dyed sock yarn! This 100% Superwash Merino yarn is exactly like it sounds - smooshy, squishy soft, and absolutely delicious (in the non-edible sense, of course). This yarn has 450 yards per skein, making it perfect for that sock, shawl, or sweater project you've been dying to start! Best of all, Dream in Color uses a special trademarked Veil Dying Process that is designed specifically to avoid color pooling. How amazing is that?
As soon as we opened the delivery from Dream in Color here in the shop, we were amazed at the gorgeous variety of colors jumping out at us. They were rich, saturated, and simply lovely to admire. Sandy was so excited that, if she could have, she would have bought one in every color! After looking at all of the lovely finished projects that Dream in Color features on their website, we'll definitely be knitting with this very soon.
As I was scrambling to finish a lace shawl for my mom after Mother's Day, I vowed not to let it happen again with Father's Day. Plus, the men in my life just seem much more difficult to choose a project for. However, once I started my search, I found more than enough projects to knit for Father's Day (and beyond) and thought maybe some of you out there could also use some knitspiration. :)
There's a whole slew of men's patterns out there just waiting to be knit up...you just have to know where to look! There's plenty of great men's kits and patterns on our website to look through and, of course, Ravelry is a great resource, too!
Many a knitter here in the shop has given Sandy our finished pieces to block since she's the blocking queen around here. However, we no longer have an excuse now that Cocoknits latest creation, the Knitter's Block Kit, has arrived. They really thought of everything with this one! It includes nine interlocking squares to block a fairly large piece with ease, a pressing cloth that is lint-free, a bunch of T-pins, an instructional pamphlet, and (drum roll, please) a handy-dandy weather-proof tote bag that doubles as a project bag!
A few weeks ago, the author of Knit, Swirl!, Sandra McIver, dropped by our shop to say hi and let us preview her book before the release! Not only is McIver an incredibly sweet person but she's authored this lovely book that is centered around the one-piece circular constructed sweater design. With comprehensive charts and graphs, this book is a knitter's dream! Sandy and Jeanne have already started planning their first project and I'm starting to gaze at this hooded Silk Garden Lite cardigan with sappy puppy dog eyes. So gorgeous and comfy!
I loved Knit Simple as a brand new knitter and I still love it to this day as an experienced one, all for the same reason: it's simple! The 2011 Spring/Summer Issue certainly does not disappoint! This issue is full of nautical inspired knits for the open ocean, neat diagonal designs for the sea, and lovely lace work for everything in between. I adore this openwork Mesh Cardigan, knit from Lorna's Laces Pearl. I have a certain special gal in mind who is extremely sensitive to wool so this super-fast knit made from a bamboo/silk blend is perfect! I also love this cabled top knit in Spud and Chloe's Sweater. The cables and ribbing look fun to knit, while the flattering silhouette looks so comfortable to wear!
Now, crocheters can join the ruffle craze with this whimsical and cheery ruffle scarf, crocheted from Crystal Palace's Cotton Chenille.
Perfect for blustery days, cold movie theaters, and everything in between, this super fun scarf is a great way to brighten up any outfit. The Cotton Chenille is a fantastic warm-weather yarn - it's light, it's soft, and the gauge is big enough to finish this project in an evening or two. Since it's so light, you can tote it around with you anywhere you go!
Now that this kit is 20% off, you'll want to grab more than a few colors to crochet up for all of your friends and family!
Besides our crochet kit of the month, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite crochet items!
Try out our newest hand-dyed yarn, Dream in Color's Smooshy, with the cover project from Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies! This Mobius style wrap is a gorgeous crocheted piece that's simple to work up. Worked as one rectangle, all you have to do is rotate one end and join it to the other end! Plus, the fantastic non-pooling nature of Smooshy will deliver subtle color variations throughout your piece! I would love this crocheted in the colorway Dusky Aurora....lovely!
Our master crocheter, Amber, snatched up this brand new book, Amigurumi Toy Box, as soon as it came in! She's a little obsessed (to put it lightly) with unicorns and fell in love with the tiny crocheted unicorn on the cover. These adorable amigurumi (pronounced "ah-me-goo-roo-me", the Japanese word for crocheted stuffed toy) toys are just too cute and are perfect gifts for little ones or for your favorite friend to decorate their home or office with. Who doesn't want an adorable little narwhale hanging out with them while they work?
Now is the perfect time to add to your crochet library and yarn stash with our store-blowout sale! We've put a lot of great crochet items on sale, such as these Blue Sky Alpacas and Ann Norling crochet patterns! These will be great for teaching aides and for friends who have been looking to push their skill sets to the next level! We also have some great crochet books on sale, as well as a few issues of Interweave Crochet. Of course, there is a ton of yarn to dip your hooks in, not to mention a handful of project bags and hook cases, all at a fantastic price.
If you've been following Wool Watcher for some time now, you may remember our "Add Splash to Your Stash" event that we held on Wool Watcher every Friday and now it's back!
Every Friday, we will have up for grabs (ha!) an assorted array of luxury yarns distributed by our good friends at Muench. They will be available in three different sizes and a few different colorways at a very affordable price. The small grab bag includes at least 250 yards, the medium at least 500 yards, and the large 1,000!
Below are just a few of the grab bags you can expect to see. Please note that the pictures we have are not actual representations but to give you an idea of what you're going to get! Besides, the surprise is half the fun!
We hope you'll join us this Friday - and that you'll bring lots of friends!
We're making room for all the new goodies arriving to our shop so we've drastically reduced prices on some of your favorite books, patterns, yarns, and accessories! There's so much on sale right now that we couldn't possibly fit it all here but encourage you to take some time and browse our sale section. We're sure you'll find more than a few special items to treat yourself and your knitting friends!
Save up to 50% off on select yarns distributed by Skacel!
This is the perfect time to stock up on quality cotton yarns for the summertime at a fantastic price! Austermann's Algarve Grande and Algarve Color are both 100% mercerized cotton yarns that are perfect for any summertime wear from lovely skirts and flirty shawls to lacy pullovers and adorable baby clothes. Algarve Color is available in a fantastic array of variegated colorways and is a fingering weight gauge, while Algarve Grande comes in bright solid colors and knits up on a US 6.
Also distributed by Skacel are these fantastic cotton and acrylic yarns from Schoeller Stahl! Pantino and Pantino Color are wonderful machine washable yarns that knit up on a US 7 needle. The cotton component keeps your garment cool in the summertime, while the acrylic helps to maintain its shape. Grab a few different solids to make a fantastic striped cardi or alternate a solid with a variegated for a fun colorful effect.
Each week, we'll be getting new colors of the Green Line DK from Lorna's Laces and we'll be selling them at 50% off. If you see a color you like, grab it quickly because once we sell out, we're out! Here are a few of the colors we have in stock this week:
Victoria is the queen of shawls...just look at the latest one she just blocked! A free pattern on ravelry, the Vortex Shawl is an easy design that comes out simply gorgeous! Victoria used Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 which is, sadly, discontinued! However, any fingering weight yarn will do the trick, such as Fleece Artist's Sea Wool. I'm starting to look at options for this shawl for myself...I think Zauberball would be the perfect choice! How about color 1564 Frische Frische?
Stephen West's individual pattern, the Little Colonnade shawl is the perfect project to start learning lace since there aren't too many yarn overs or chart reading. In fact, once you're done with the first few rows, you pretty much have it memorized. The shawl finishes with a beautiful lace edging which is a good challenge to end with! Shevawn or a Mother's Day present. We're sure she's going to love it...even if it might be a tad late! :]
Lovely, lovely, lovely!! Diana knit up this superb cardi just in time for summer! Using the Knitting Pure & Simple Neckdown Summer Cardigan pattern, she chose to knit it with Classic Elite's 100% organic cotton yarn, Sprout. She said the yarn was a dream to work with and the pattern, of course, was incredibly simple - knit from the top down and requiring no seams! She looks fantastic in it, don't you think?
Victoria's at it again with this exquisite shawl knit from one skein of Prism's Saki for the body and one skein of Malabrigo's Sock for the edge. She used a free pattern on Ravelry called 10 in 2010 Shawlette which was designed by Janine Le Cras. Unfortunately, we no longer carry the specific Saki color that Victoria chose, Freesia, but we encourage you to have fun choosing your own color pairs. And, of course, we are always here if you need that extra eye!
Sharon is at it again with her two favorites, Stephen West and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. This time, she's knitting up the Clockwork Shawl in two different colors of the Merino Light: Antler and Turtle. She made sure to pick a solid color that was already found in the variegated skein since she wanted them to blend together well. The colors look so great together that I just had to include this extra close-up of the project. Yum Yum!!
The rufflemania craze is sweeping the nation and has already taken down a few of our own Beans with it. Leanne, the latest victim, has already fallen prey to its snazzy charm and unique texture and grabbed two balls of our newest ruffle yarn, Tundra, in one of its variegated colorways, Amethyst, for a scarf. The poor girl was addicted from the start and didn't put her needles down until she was finished! She cast on 12 stitches and did a simple garter stitch throughout, using a US 10.5 needle.
Sara is taking a bit of a break from more challenging projects knit in fingering weight yarns to knit this adorable tam from Ysolda Teague's Whimsical Little Knits Book 2. Using only one skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Tomato, Sara is just cruising through this hat! Sara is actually leaving at the end of the summer to study at the University of Chicago [congratulations!] and this tam will be the perfect accessory for those cold, cold winters!
Another gorgeous Churchmouse Beaded Beret! Diana knit this gorgeous gem up with just one skein of Koigu KPPPM! She was doing a bit of stash diving so, unfortunately, she doesn't quite remember the color # she used...but I think P840L could be a good candidate - or at least a close match!
Kristen absolutely loved knitting this shawl! Super easy to memorize and it looks great. She says this pattern is perfect for transitional weather - she literally wears it everywhere she goes! Knit in Crystal Palace Mini Mochi, the yarn pretty much did all the work for her with its self-striping magic! Kristen used a free pattern on Ravttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lacy-baktus">Lace Baktus.
Now, Victoria has knit up quite a few shawls lately but I think this one is my favorite! I just love the yarn and color she used, Lorna's Laces Robot Overlord in Honor! The Lace Leaf Shawl pattern, found in Evelyn Clark's book, Knitting Lace Triangles, was the perfect shawl design for this yarn. It made the colors pool in such a lovely way while the fiber content of the Honor gave it incredible drape, softness, and warmth. Another gorgeous knit, Victoria!
The Beans for Brains winners have been announced and we would like to congratulate Olivia from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Abigail from Rice University, Judi from the University of Nevada, Reno, Alysa from the University of Washington, Emma from the University of Cincinnati, and Elysse from the University of Edinburgh!
Be sure to check out our scholarship page to see our six winners and the incredible projects that they submitted with their applications. It was truly a humbling experience to read through all of the submitted applications from so many talented and motivated men and women out there. We can't wait for next year!
We would also like to once again send a big thank you out to all of our sponsors! Thank you to: The Yarn Group, Interweave, Tahki Stacy Charles, Denise Needles, Classic Elite Yarns, Lorna's Laces, Jennifer Knits, Koigu, Muench, Styled by Kristin, Berroco, Fairmont Fibers, Knitting Pure and Simple, Knitting at Knoon, Artyarns, Blue Sky Alpacas, Madelinetosh, Plymouth, Prism Yarns, and Be Sweet! Thank you so much for helping us support such inspiring students!