Knits for Forest Elves

Actually I bought two yarn duos, but the nature tones on the left spoke to me first.

During our recent sale I scooped up a pair of pretty skeins that sparked my imagination with images of woodland elves. On their own, these two didn’t call out to me, but paired together with a pom pom on top, they were magic. I’m always picking up pairs of yarns that look like they belong together. I feel like a professional matchmaker for yarns. Just let me know if you ever need my services in that department.

This weekend and early this week, I knit furiously as usual. I went on a hat-making spree, also as usual. Finished that striped hat I started last week. Finished a surprise hat for my sister, Mollie. Finished a new Mock Rib Watch Cap in Galway Worsted for the shop. Finished a few crocheted flower pins to decorate my hats.

Ok, we all know how awkward selfies are, but I know I prefer to see hats on actual heads.

But best of all, I finished my very own forest elf hat that I’ve been wearing for three straight days now. And a pair of matching boot cuffs to use up the leftover yarn. I can’t be the only one who wears freshly knit items for days on end, right? I am so tickled by the little leaves on the ends, and the confluence of the colors and the style, and the realistic faux fur pom pom on top, and the fact that the moss stitch looks like actual moss when knit in a mossy green.

I don’t have a pattern for my hat or matching boot cuffs. Should I write one? Anyway, in case you also want to feel like a forest elf (not a Christmas elf),  I just went perusing on Ravelry for lovely little things that fit the bill. I even found an elven leaf pussy hat. It’s all about the nature tones, the variable nubbly textures, and the leaf and vine motifs. Here are a few of my favorites. Tiny Owl Knits in particular is a gem for knit designs that will make you feel like an elf or a fairy or an otherwise sweet, magical creature from a fantasy universe.

Click the links in the captions to see these patterns on Ravelry.

Announcing Galway Worsted!

When I started working here at Over The Rainbow Yarn, one of my first tasks was to open all of the boxes of new yarns, and check them against the packing lists. (Yes, it was pretty much just like Christmas.) Karla and I waded through piles of yarn in the basement, and then hauled them upstairs to start making rainbows on the shelves. The biggest project was the giant back wall of Cascade 220, over 100 colors. We arranged, rearranged, went to lunch, and came back to rearrange again.

The wall of Cascade 220

Now, almost five years later, the time has come for a change. We sold off our Cascade 220, and carefully vetted new yarns. We swatched them, we gave them to our regulars to knit and felt, we agonized, changed our minds, and eventually came to a decision. Finally, as last week’s blizzard closed in on us, we sent out our order to Plymouth Yarn Company for 101 colors of Galway Worsted! The yarn arrived in enormous boxes on Friday, blocking Lauren’s desk and almost filling the back office. I had a moment of panic, wondering if I had gone insane and ordered far, far too much yarn. (But Jennifer, I hear you saying, there’s no such thing as too much yarn!)

And indeed, you are right. In fact, I’d say I ordered exactly enough:

Ta daaaa! Galway Worsted!

This new worsted weight yarn is 100% wool, and knits at 5 stitches per inch on a #8 needle. It’s perfect for sweaters, cowls, hats, mitts, felted bags… pretty much everything. Come on by and admire our beautiful new rainbow!

New Feltable Yarn!

Some of you may remember my yarn quest– that is, making test swatches for how well our yarns felt (or don’t felt) by hand. I’m sure they would felt better in the washing machine, but because I knit a lot of dolls I prefer to sculpt the yarn and wool stuffing as I felt. Now that we’ve acquired Galway Worsted, I have yet another yarn to test! I’ll be knitting this swatch on US 3 (it’s recommending US 8s) and am hoping for good results. I’ll be sure to let you all know in my next post how it goes!