Maybe you’ve met them or maybe you haven’t, but I’m sure that most of you have been hearing about the latest trending mobile App (and probably from me since I can’t seem to button my yap about it) and its occupants. As it turns out, some of them are fiber artists, and we get to see some of them pop over to the store when the servers are down! It always seems to be when I’m off the clock or on break…
I’d like you to meet some of them, and they’ve even recommended a few of their favorite patterns for all you trainers out there to enjoy!
Cecil was taking some time to admire how we’ve been setting the back room up as an additional teaching space. He thinks it’s wonderful for people to learn to knit, that way they can make Christina J’s Pikachu Tail scarf for chilly adventuring days!
Lumi loves the idea of the Cowl Club and has been planning on doing a few as Christmas gifts. She may even make a few of Nyela d’Endel’s Pokemon Cowls for a few of the children trainers she sees every day.
A Jigglypuff showed up during a Stitch n’ Spin one evening eager to learn how to knit (and in turn, to demonstrate to the lovely ladies how the game is played)! She’s been thinking of starting a Pokeball Hat with Sasha Stavsky’s pattern, what do you think?
… But what a wonderful scarf you finished! Let’s put it on the boss board!
Grump came in with a pattern question a few weeks ago. He was so frustrated that he was getting headaches! Don’t worry, we figured out the problem and he was grump no more. The headache reminded him of the Psyduck amigurumi pattern by Emma Whittle, and thought you all may want to know about it!
Agrippa was feeling a bit down about trying to find safety eyes for the Chikorita plush pattern by Heartstring Crochet. Luckily we had just what he was looking for!
Queen Elizabeth came in early one morning to get a gift certificate for her husband, King Henry. He really enjoys making baby booties and hats, especially Sissy Johnson’s Mudkip earflap hat!
Today, I fell in love all over again. It wasn’t love at first sight, because I vaguely remember glancing at it a few months ago during our rep meeting, and we’ve had it in the shop for an entire month. But sometimes the best loves are the ones where you discover that in fact, they’ve been there all along. That is the case for me with the new pattern book from Berroco, their beautiful Portfolio Vol. 2. This latest offering from the Berroco Design Team is so, so beautiful, and it uses yarns from the Vintage and Ultra Alpaca families.
Have you heard of the Rule of Three when it comes to patterns? If you like three or more patterns in a pattern booklet, it’s a worthwhile investment. Three is the magic number, but this book has nine patterns — nine! — that make me want to cast on immediately. The thing that really sealed the deal was that one of these patterns was already on my to-knit list, I just hadn’t realized that Portfolio Vol. 2 was the source. Obviously, it was meant to be. Let me show you some of my favorites:
The Teeter Totter Shawl by Julia Farwell-Clay is a fun riot of color. Knit in Ultra Alpaca Fine, it will keep me warm despite arctic air conditioning, but it won’t ever be too heavy. I’ve been wanting to dabble in intarsia, and the color options are endless (though I do love the contrast between warm and cool color families).
This simple, elegant item by Elizabeth Smith is called the Brooklin Vest, and would be a quick knit in Vintage Chunky (and machine washable, too!). Knit seamlessly from side-to-side, it features a checkerboard texture on the back for a little visual interest. The Brooklin Vest is the perfect item to dress up my jeans-and-long-sleeve-tee wardrobe for fall.
Speaking of cooler weather, this sweet accessory is called the Marguerite Hat. Designed by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, you already know it’s going to be soft, because it’s knit in Ultra Alpaca. I don’t know if I would do mine with a white background — maybe I would choose a fun magenta with eggplant colorwork, or perhaps a bright blue-green with deep teal colorwork… It would be so warm and cozy!
I’ve saved the best for last. This is my absolute favorite, the Addilyn Capelet by Elizabeth Smith. It’s designed for Ultra Alpaca Chunky Tonal, which has soft variations in color that add a beautiful depth to the fabric. And I just adore those statement buttons, and the way you can fold down the collar if you want to wear it unbuttoned. This is the item that was already on my to-knit list, thanks to our Berroco rep, Andra. She’s always a few steps ahead of us, fashion-wise, and she called the poncho trend before it was even a glimmer on our horizon. (You were right, Andra!) In fact, Andra was so far ahead that she had already put her own twist on the pattern: she switched the yarn to North Star on size 11 needles. Look how wonderful it is:
I don’t think I can choose between the two yarns. I think I’ll have to knit both. Berroco really knocked it out of the park with their Portfolio Vol. 2. Stop by the store to check it out — it’s really stunning.
Or something like that, anyway.
It has been a long time goal of mine to knit or crochet a swatch (at the very least) of every feltable yarn we carry in the store and see how well I can felt it by hand. So far I’ve gotten ahold of Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Fingering, Bartlett, Homestead Tweed, and Moonshine. So far all of them — with the exception of the fingering weight –had to be aggressively put through my washing machine and didn’t take too well to hand felting. In fact, as a note to any of you who might be interested in felting with the Homestead Tweed, it does tend to lose some of the dye in the process (or at least, the burgundy color that I used did). Cascade 220 Fingering did hand felt, but it took a long time and wore out my hands pretty quickly.
I’ve also felted with Malabrigo Worsted and Rasta, but only for needle felting. Now, before you faint or shout “blasphemy!” , remember the mini paintings we felted at the store for the Christmas tree auction?
There was one other yarn that I’ve been wet felting by hand that surprised me, and that’s the one I wanted to focus on today: Quince&Co. In particular, Chickadee.
Oh my goodness. Ooooh, my goodness. When knit on a US #2 instead of the #3-#5 that it recommends, this stuff felts like a dream! With very little time, effort, and a lot of soap I was able to get these results.
I’m sure if I had put in some more time, I’d be able to get it completely felted so the impressions of the stitches no longer remained, but this was a satisfying first attempt. Now, does it needle felt well (using a large gauged needle because this is already a densely felted object)?
Yes, it does! Do I needle felt letters with roving well? No, no not at all. I think I’ll be sticking to the Malabrigo for that.