Announcing Galway Worsted!

Category: Rockland Maine Yarn Shop

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!

Happy Pi Day!

Category: Rockland Maine Yarn Shop

Today is March 14th, which makes it Pi Day! This day, which can be written 3.14, is a fun excuse to celebrate all types of pi(e). Other than the obvious (and delicious) option of making and/or eating a pie, we knitters can also observe Pi Day by casting on a project inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann! Knit author Kate Atherley, writing for Interweave, explains that the Great EZ “realized that the application of a simple fact of geometry could make knitting a circular shawl significantly easier and more fun”. Atherley’s article, “Demystifying The Pi Shawl: Create Your Own One of a Kind Circular Shawl” is a perfect quick read for today.

EZ’s full original pattern for the Pi Shawl is in the Knitter’s Almanac and Knitting Workshop, both of which we have on the shelf at the shop. But one search in Ravelry will show you the influence that she has had on the knitting world. When I searched “pi shawl”, I got eight pages of results! The beauty of EZ’s genius is in the way it empowers knitters, and transforms complicated or tedious concepts into inspirational springboards. One of my favorite designs on Ravelry is Mwaa Knit’s “EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Camping” pattern. The designer pieces together four carefully chosen motifs to create a stunning shawl that is a tribute to EZ’s writings, specifically her tales of wonderful camping experiences. The final piece is a work of art.

© Mwaa

For those of you who want to observe Pi Day but are daunted by the idea of doing a full circle shawl, Over The Rainbow Yarn has the answer: our Pi Hat! Basically a mini pi shawl, our Pi Hat uses a strand of sport weight yarn (like Plymouth Galway Sport) held together with a strand of mohair or other fluffy yarn (like Kidsilk Haze or Andean Mist). The pattern for this soft, slouchy beret is available for purchase either in the store, or through Ravelry.

© Over the Rainbow Yarn Designs

How will you celebrate Pi Day?

Spring Selections

Category: Rockland Maine Yarn Shop

Happy Tuesday, wonderful readers! I’m in a good mood today — we have exciting new things coming your way, I’m almost done with my Goldfish sweater, and I’ve just been looking at the beautiful new yarns and patterns some of our suppliers are releasing for spring. Also, last night, it was still light out at 5:15 pm! Woot!

Bubble cables on my Goldfish sweater!

Last week I wrote a cryptic Facebook post about news from Quince & Co. that I couldn’t share yet. You see, they sometimes send me top-secret emails with drool-worthy photos of soon-to-be-released yarns/patterns/kits/plans for world domination. Quince has finally done their own post about this news, so now I’m allowed to share: behold, the Linen Noir collection! They’re doing a series of breathtaking patterns in black linen, both Sparrow (fingering) and Kestrel (worsted). These patterns are described as “summer-night-worthy knits”, and I can safely say that you will not be disappointed. Here’s the first pattern, Deschain, by Leila Raabe:

© Pam Allen

We currently carry Sparrow, but not Kestrel. However, this collection has captured my heart, so I wanted to make you an offer: if you want to make something from the Linen Noir collection, I will order you any color of Sparrow OR Kestrel between now and April 1st. (No joke!)

The other company that really has me excited is Universal Yarn. You may have seen our newest cowl sample on the needles, the Hanasaku Cowl by Tori Gurbisz, using Bamboo Bloom Handpaints and Plymouth Yarn Gina — it’s going to be beautiful! And Universal Yarn has made it so that if you buy the yarn from us, we can give you the pattern for free. Come by and check out your (many, many) color options!

© Universal Yarn

Universal has also just released a fabulous ebook collection featuring Bamboo Pop accessories. I love Bamboo Pop, in all its lightweight, summery glory, and I’m intrigued by several of these patterns. I think my favorite is Philodendron, also by Tori Gurbisz (apparently she’s my new favorite designer).

© Universal Yarn

I’ve been knitting cozy, bulky things all winter, but now I’m ready for spring. Bring on the cute accessories, bright colors, and cool fibers of spring — and summer! Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), the Deschain top will be mine!

(As a reward for those of you who made it all the way to the end of this post: We’re having a huge Spring Cleaning Sale starting this Friday. I’m putting Cascade 220 on sale. Now you know.)