Sheila's WIP

© Knit Purl

This week we interviewed Sheila, Knit Purl’s merchandising guru and one of our fabulous sales floors staff. We asked her about what projects she has recently finished and what is she working on. Sheila said she has been on a colorwork kick ever since she read Poems of Color: Knitting in the Bohus Tradition. She loves that it tells the story about the history of colorwork. “Colorwork keeps my interest without being complicated. I can still watch TV and not lose track of what design pattern I am knitting.”

When we got Knitting from the North in the store Sheila was the first one to purchase it because of the modern colorwork patterns. Since then she has made three patterns from the book.  She just finished the Arrow Pom Hat in Sunday Knits Nirvana in colors Cream and Teal (photo below).

© Knit Purl

Sheila is now working on Barley Twist Cowl by Hilary Grant in Sunday Knits Nirvana (3 ply sport weight) yarn in the colors Earth and Cream (first photo). Sheila’s said she picked Sunday Knits for her recent projects because all of the color options in Sunday Knits' yarn lines. Knit Purl carries nineteen different colorways of Nirvana, thirty different colorways of Eden, and eighteen different colorways of Angelic. This gives you sixty-seven different colors to choose from, to make your colorway projects unique and one of a kind. Sunday Knits is also one of Sheila’s favorite yarn lines in the store, she loves it because it is pleasurable to work with and is the perfect weight for most of the projects she knits.


If you were knitting Barley Twist Cowl, which colors of Sunday Knits would you pick?

 

 

March 27, 2017 by Kira Sassano

Knitting from the North | Book Review

© Knit Purl

Knitting from the North by Hilary Grant is a beautiful collection of modern patterns that were inspired by traditional nordic and fair isle knitting, as well as the landscape these traditions (and the designer) originate from. Featuring 30 patterns that are bold, graphic and fun, this collection is a modern take on traditional stranded colorwork. The patterns are mostly chilly weather accessories, with a few sweaters. The accessories range from hats, headbands, scarves, cowls, mitts, mittens, cuffs, to mock turtlenecks. All of the patterns are knit in fingering weight yarn.

© Caro Weiss

I love the bold, geometric and graphic quality of the colorwork motifs combined with a palette that includes high contrast, ombres and bright pops of color. These knits are cozy and cheerful, sure to get you through the tail end of winter. This book would also be a great introduction to knitting with color.

© Hilary Grant/Kyle Books


The Arrow Circle Scarf is a wide, long cowl that is knit flat and grafted. I think it looks amazing in black in white. It would be lovely knit in Brooklyn Tweed Loft or Woolfolk Tynd. It would also be interesting to reimagine the pattern as a cowl that is half the length but knit as a tube in the round so the floats are hidden, adding an extra layer of warmth.

 

© Caro Weiss

The Beacon Pom hat is a simple slouchy, ribbed hat with a pom pom. Grant’s choice of color makes it a standout. It would be fun knit up in one of the brighter Ambrosia MCN colors, like Verdigris or Pink Flambe.


© Caro Weiss

I also think the Barley Twist headband is really cute and would look great in Isager Alpaca 2.


If you are interested in colorwork we highly recommend Knitting from the North. Grab your copy here.

 

 

March 20, 2017 by Kira Sassano

Em's Spring Cardigan

© Knit Purl

Em is the sales floor supervisor at Knit Purl and she shared with me one of her many works in progress. Em is knitting herself a new summer cardigan in Shibui Twig. She chose the color Abyss and is knitting it up with size 5 needles.

© Amy Christoffers & Knitbot

She is combining two cardigan patterns together, Pomme de pin by Amy Christoffers and Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig of Knitbot. Em wants her pattern to have the fit of Pomme de pin, but with stockinette stitch, hence the look of Featherweight. She is knitting it from the bottom up and will do a set in sleeve. She also wants to try and do a sewn on button band after a recommendation from Karen Templer of Fringe Association’s blog.


Happy Knitting Em!

 

 

March 13, 2017 by Kira Sassano

Amirisu: Iceland Winter 2017 | Magazine Review

© Amirisu

I have long been fascinated with Iceland, from the music, to the terrain, to the culture, and gorgeous lopi sweaters. There is an article on pages 11-12 about the role of lineage and the history of knitting in Icelandic culture that I really enjoyed reading. I am glad to see that the editors of Amirisu feel inspired by Iceland too.

 

© Amirisu

My favorite pattern in this issue is Gullfoss by Rie. Gullfoss is a lovely cabled pullover that has an interesting construction. The combination of cables and lace creates a beautiful yoke that is first knit sideways, then folded in half, with stitches picked up to join in the round. Gullfoss is named after a waterfall in Iceland and the cables and lace are meant to emulate the flow of water. This pattern would be lovely knit up in Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor or Luxe B DK.

 

© Amirisu

Another pattern that I like is Vidro by Melynda Barnardi. The pattern is a hat and cowl set knit in stranded colorwork. I love colorwork for accessories because the wrong side floats make a thicker and warmer fabric. The hat comes in two sizes and the cowl is long so you can wrap it around your neck twice. This pattern would be great in Woolfolk Tynd or Isager Alpaca 2.

 

 

March 06, 2017 by Kira Sassano
Tags: Review

Charli’s Watkins Cardigan

© Knit Purl

Charli, who is head of e-commerce and customer service at Knit Purl, recently finished knitting Watkins. Watkins is a chunky-weight colorwork cardigan designed by Whitney Hayward for Quince & Co.


Charli told me that she and Whitney are actually both from the same hometown in Missouri. The pattern was inspired by a nearby state park called Watkins Woolen Mill State park.

 

© Knit Purl

Charli used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, double stranded, to achieve the gauge. Her main color is Soot, with accents of Cast Iron, Blanket Fort and Hayloft. The cardigan is knit seamlessly, from the bottom up in the round and then steeked. This was Charli’s first time steeking, she was intimidated at first but got the hang of it quickly. The pattern comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions, geared towards the first time steeker. After reading those and watching a youtube video or two, Charli successfully steeked the cardigan. I love the colors she chose and I think it turned out beautiful. She is really happy with it!


Whitney Hayward is based in Portland, Maine. You can see her Ravelry page here, and follow her on Instagram here.

 

February 27, 2017 by Kira Sassano

GUEST BLOGGER: SHELLIE ANDERSON | SHIBUI KNITS REED

© Shibui Knits

 

Shibui Knits recently released a new 100% linen yarn, Reed. As a member of the team responsible for developing this new yarn, I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about it and let you know how it compares with our previous Linen.


For me the most noticeable difference is the softness of Reed. It has a much softer hand than our Linen. There are several factors that contribute to that difference, of which two are particularly significant: we are using a different mill that sources higher quality raw material, and we have also tightened the chainette, which contributes to the softness and adds extra strength. The higher quality of the linen fiber also contributes to more saturated colors, which more closely align with our other yarns. We are very happy to partner with this mill, both for their responsiveness and their impeccable quality control.

 

© Shibui Knits

 

In developing this yarn, we intentionally created Reed so that it would directly replace Linen. It has the same yardage and will produce the same gauge. You can substitute Reed for any of our patterns that call for Linen, including Etch, Square, and Aurora. Like Linen, Reed mixes very well with other Shibui Knits yarns, adding to a unique drape and depth of color to the fabric. I particularly like how it mixes with Shibui Knits Cima, Silk Cloud, and our newest yarn that will be available at the end of March with our SS17 Collection.


Although I personally liked Linen, I love Reed. I wasn’t a fan of knitting with Linen solo due to its crisp hand, but I could knit with Reed on its own for days. Shibui Knits has a couple pieces coming out in the SS17 Collection at the end of March using Reed held single and one with it held double and I enjoyed every minute of knitting those pieces.


If you loved Linen, you will instantly appreciate the changes we have made with Reed – and I think you will come to love it as I do.

 

Shellie Anderson

February 20, 2017 by Guest Blogger

CAPSULE | Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed

© Knit Purl


Brooklyn Tweed has a new capsule collection designed by Michele Wang. If you are a fan of Brooklyn Tweed, you are most likely familiar with Michele Wang’s designs. Michele’s aesthetic is a mix of sophistication, texture, architectural cabling and chic coziness.


In the introduction letter of the book, Michele likens wearing her favorite handknits to being in the comfort of old friends. I love that sentiment and I think it really comes through in the patterns and the styling of the book.


The collection is mostly garments, there are two pullovers, five cardigans and a hat. These patterns are well written and they keep the knitter engaged, with a repertoire of techniques. My two favorite patterns are Ilia and Bingham.

 

© Jared Flood | Brooklyn Tweed

Ilia is a boxy fit, fingering weight cardigan that juxtaposes lattice and rope cables with ribbed hems. Like all of the garments in the collection, it is that is knit from the bottom up, in pieces that are then seamed. The collar is knit from picking up stitches. Ilia looks like it would be a great layering piece and would look lovely with a shawl pin closure.

 

© Jared Flood | Brooklyn Tweed


Bingham is a chunky knit, shawl collared pullover that would knit up quickly, keeping you cozy and warm. I love the look of the vertical cabled panels on the front and back, which add interest to the ribbed collar and hem.


We are so excited to have Michele Wang visit us on February 18th, for a special event where she will talk about the new collection. She will discuss the inspiration behind the pieces, delving into each sample in more detail. This is a great opportunity to learn about the creative process, touch the samples and learn about how to design a collection. The discussion will be followed by a book signing. Reserve your spot now here.

 

 

February 13, 2017 by Kira Sassano

WIP - Glacier Park Cowl

 

© Knit Purl


Today I am highlighting a work in progress that I started recently. I have been really excited about doing a colorwork project. I decided to knit the Glacier Park Cowl after meeting the designer, Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks, when she came into the store recently. She is a wonderful Oregon based designer and a very friendly person. You may recognize her name from the Camp Wilkerson shawl she designed, which we featured in Shibui Dune. Caitlin has published a handful of original patterns and is clearly very passionate about knitwear and design. I am excited to see what she comes out with next!


The pattern calls for fingering weight and I have been wanting to knit with the Sunday Knits 3ply yarns. I chose to knit the cowl in 4 colors instead of 2, mixing Sunday Knits Angelic and Eden. Angelic is 75% Ultra-Fine Merino, 25% Softest Angora and Eden is 100% Extra-Fine Merino Wool. My main color is Angelic in Midnight, a dark heathery blue. The main contrast color will be Eden in Bay, a seafoam green. Then I will use Angelic in Dijon and a bit of Shibui Pebble in Sidewalk as accent colors.

 

© Caitlin Hunter


I worked my gauge swatch in the two main colors and cast on to size 3, 24" circular needles. For my cast on, I used the twisted german to make the edge extra stretchy and then started the 2x2 rib. This was my first time using a Norwegian knitting thimble and once I got the hang of it I found it very helpful.  So far I am loving the yarn and I can't wait to start the colorwork part of the pattern.

 

 

February 06, 2017 by Kira Sassano

New Year Knitting Resolutions

© Knit Purl

2017 is around the corner so I would like to be the first to say happy early New Year to all our wonderful readers. I hope 2016 was filled with many happy knitting, crocheting, and weaving experiences. 2016 was a teachable knitting year for me. I might have knit less than I did in 2015, but I learned so much more than I could’ve imagined. My confidence level has grown exponentially and I’m not scared to listen to my knitting intuition.

I was reviewing my 2016 knitting resolutions which were: 

  • Complete all my work in progress projects
  • Learn how to steek
  • Spend time with my knitting machine

 

I happened to complete all my WIPs except for two which I decided to frog. I’m actually more proud of frogging those projects than finishing all my WIPs. I’ve always had a hard time giving up on a project, but I realized I shouldn’t knit something just to finish it. Progress knitting doesn’t work for me and that’s totally okay. I finally found the confidence to tell myself to stop knitting if what I’m making doesn’t make me happy. I didn’t learn how to steek in 2016, but that’s because I didn’t come across a project that I wanted to knit where steeking would be involved. I will most likely not learn how to steek in 2017 either and that is totally okay by me. As for my knitting machine, I’m a little sad about this resolution. I didn’t spend enough time with my knitting machine. I was able to play around with a few swatches, but that was it.

My 2017 resolutions are less about learning new techniques or finishing projects and more about selfish knitting. I’ve already picked out my hand knitting projects for 2017. The rest of 2017 will be spent playing on my knitting machine and designing my own patterns. In other words, my 2017 knitting resolutions are all about me. I want to keep growing as a knitter and sometimes that means taking the time to explore things for myself and see where they take me. This doesn’t mean I won’t knit other items outside of the projects I already have planned. It just means I will be spending more time on me and what makes me happy.

 © Jared Flood / Norah Gaughan

Here are all my 2017 knitting projects:

Sourcebook Chunky Cardigan in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry Lazulite

Hawser in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Thistle

Rivage Coat in Brooklyn Tweed Loft Cinnabar

Bellows in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry Obsidian

Snoqualmie in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry Hematite

 

Once again, Happy New Year to all and happy knitting in 2017!

 

December 30, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Shibui Knits Maai

© Knit Purl

My knitting journal is filling up with the prettiest swatches in all different colors. This week I added Shibui Knits Maai to my journal and I’m enamored. It was the first time I’ve knit with a chained link yarn and the result was not what I expected. I’ve seen chained link yarns before, but I always stayed clear of them thinking that I would be disappointed knitting with them. Silly me. Once again I’ve been happily proven wrong.

Maai was a delight to knit with. The blend of superbaby alpaca and fine Merino wool is lofty and soft in the skein. In fabric form, the yarn has an added spring that makes the fabric bouncy and light. The snapback, bounce that the fabric has, makes this yarn great for sweaters, cardigans, and accessories. What I really want to knit out of Maai is a robe and a pair of socks. Those probably aren’t the best uses for Maai, but it’s so soft that I can’t help but want to wrap myself in it from head to toe.


Here are a few practical knitting ideas for Maai:

© Shibui Knits

FW15 | Motif - A simple wrap with a bit of texture. My mom has been eyeing this pattern for a while now so I decided to make a kit for her. I paired it with Maai in Blueprint.

© Eric Mueller

Minne Mitts - I love fingerless gloves. I used to sew fingerless gloves with a friend of mine out of recycled cashmere sweaters. I finally knit my first pair this year which turned me into a fingerless glove knitting machine. Now whenever I see a pair of fingerless gloves that I love, I want to drop everything and start knitting. Minne Mitts are one of those pairs of gloves that have me dropping everything. They are small, cute, simple, and just waiting to be worn. Minne Mitts would look chic in Bordeaux.

© Julie Hoover

Cline Pullover - A dolman sweater with an oversize silhouette and three-quarter sleeves. This would be bouncy and airy knit in Maai. Have fun and knit Cline in a bright bold color like Poppy, or keep it classic and chic with Ivory.

© chickpeastudio

Erie Hat: A simple 1x1 ribbed, slouchy beanie. Perfect for a last minute gift and did I mention that the pattern is free?

December 23, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin