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:
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!
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.)
When I knit something that will be felted later, I tend to prefer using a yarn I know will wet felt by hand very well. While I do love how much easier it is to throw things into the washer and dryer, I don’t get as much control over the shape the piece gets felted into as well as I would like. Since I knit a lot of dolls, I often use my hands to sculpt the wool as it felts. For this reason, I normally lean towards using yarns from Quince&Co.– particularly Lark and Chickadee. As I’ve been knitting and felting test swatches of all the feltable yarns around the store (an ever ongoing project of mine ), these ones have remained my favorites so far.
There is one, however, that I wasn’t entirely sure would felt, and if so, how well: Tern. Some of you may be familiar with this Quince yarn. For those of you who aren’t, it’s a lovely fingering weight yarn made of wool, but it also includes a fair percentage of silk. I simply had to make a test swatch. The verdict?
Knit on US 0s
Tern absolutely felts, and much more than I thought it would. I’m sure if I had used a washer and dryer rather than some vigorous hand rubbing it would have felted more.
I have a printed copy of an internet meme hanging on my whiteboard above my desk at work, and another copy stuck to my fridge at home. On days when I’m struggling with procrastination, or mornings when I’m feeling sluggish and uninspired, it gives me a boost. What is this magical motivational poster, you ask? Well, it looks like this:
Now you know what gets me moving. It came from the internet. The fact that the shark hat is crocheted makes it even better, because I know that someone out there took the time to make a shark hat for their kitty (or sure, for a baby, but let’s be honest, cats in hats are pretty amazing).
This weekend, I definitely felt like a powerful Great White Shark — I finally finished repairing Brooks’ dad’s sweater! I wound in the final ends, checked everything over, and packaged it up. Success! An item checked off the knit list! Fellow crafters, you know the satisfaction I felt when I officially declared it done. Is there any better feeling?
Now I get to cast on my capeletfigure out what to make for a baby that is due in early September. I want it to be something fun but also practical, because this is a Maine baby. With that in mind, this is one of the potential items:
Is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Possibly even cuter than a cat wearing a shark hat? This is the Baby Duck Booties pattern from Quince & Co., and it makes me want to just squeal with delight. The toddler size (which I would have to make, because I knit slowly and babies grow so quickly) uses Chickadee, a sport weight yarn. I think I’d change up the color of the sole, because white would get dirty really quickly, but we’ve got plenty of colors to choose from in the store. I have also pondered trying to size this up to make a cozy pair of slippers for myself, perhaps using plushy, aran weight Osprey. (Non-slip paint or a suede sole would be a necessary safety feature.)
I’ve also considered a blanket for the heirloom factor, and because the sizing is less crucial (ditto for the gauge — score!). But there are so. many. baby blankets out there. Ravelry offered me 168 PAGES of knitted blanket patterns when I searched. After enjoying working on the ZickZack Scarf, I’m tempted to tackle the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, though probably in Berroco Vintage instead of cotton, because this is a fall/winter baby. However, if I continue procrastinating on this project, I may end up needing to choose Softcotton Chunky for a quick knit summer blankie!
Of course, there’s always the sweater option. I think I’ve already mentioned that I love designs by Tin Can Knits, and they don’t make it easy to choose. I’m torn between two patterns: Old Growth and Goldfish. Which one do you prefer?
And this is Goldfish — adorable, fun, quirky, and also seamless. With a slightly tonal yarn for the main color… this could be the one.
What do you think, readers? Booties, blanket, or sweater? What’s your go-to item to knit when someone is expecting? As soon as I have a pattern, I’ve got to channel my inner shark and attack the project!