Knit Purl Minis

© Knit Purl

Have you ever wanted to experience new yarn without committing to an entire skein? There are so many beautiful yarns out in the world, and not enough time to try them all. I wish all of us were able to spend our days surrounded by yarn and get the opportunity to test and play with new yarns all the time. As much as I would love to spend my days lounging in a pile of fluffy yarn, I’m sadly unable to.

I do spend most of my working day in front of a computer or my iPhone, and this is how I get introduced to new yarn. I would say 90% of the time I’m introduced to new yarn, it’s because of a great photo on Instagram. The first thought I have when I see new yarn is, “I wonder what the yarn feels like?”, followed by wishing I could sample the yarn. Being able to try out yarn without having to commit to an entire skein has been something I’ve dreamt of. Knit Purl Minis came out earlier this year, and my dream became a reality.

For those that are new to Knit Purl Minis, they are a way to experience new yarn without commitments. Be warned though — our Minis include yarn you will want to purchase in bulk. Our first edition of Knit Purl Minis included North Light Fibers Water Street, which is some of the softest cashmere/merino yarn. I’ve committed multiple times to Water Street and don’t plan on ever stopping. We are now onto our second edition of Knit Purl Minis which includes the following:

How can one collect Knit Purl Minis? Well, you can either purchase them for $8, or we will gift them to you with any order $75 or more (while supplies last). I know it’s a little early to bring up, but the holidays are already on my mind. For those that are in need of gift ideas, Knit Purl Minis will make a great stocking stuffer!

November 04, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin
Tags: Kits New Yarns

One-Skein Wonder

Knitting needles. Check. Pattern. Check. One skein of yarn. CHECK!

 Who doesn’t love a project that only requires one skein of yarn? The delightful one-skein wonder comes in all shapes and sizes. From a chunky knit hat that only requires 90 yards of Malabrigo Rasta, to a light lace stole that requires just 687 yards of Handmaiden Lino.

One-skein wonders are one of my favorite knitting projects. Knowing that the yarn in hand, being worked on from one stitch to the next, is all I need to complete a project, is something I find quite relaxing and exciting. Plus, they’re low maintenance, portable (I have a few in my Keep bag now), and speedy to knit.

Here are a few of my favorite one-skein wonders:

photo credit: Davina Choy

The Big Hat: A great gift. I’ve knit more of these than I can count, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Twisted Turban Headband: A new favorite. The pattern calls for 106 yards of worsted-weight yarn, but I used a bulky weight instead. 45 yards and a few blinks later, I had a gift for my friend.

photo credit: Kieran Foley

Seascape Stole: This isn’t a super quick knit since the pattern calls for lace-weight yarn, but it’s so beautiful that I have been wanting to knit another.

Garland Cowl Kit: I haven’t knit this cowl yet, but I saw a sneak peak of the sample earlier this week, and now I must knit. Morning Frost, our limited edition Casbah yarn the kit comes with gives the cowl an opalescent sheen that you can’t take your eyes off of.

December 04, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin

How to Resize Your Iced Tee

If you are interested in knitting the Iced Tee, but want to change the sizing, this guide will walk you through the process step by step. After learning how to resize the Iced Tee, you’ll have the basic skills you need to resize many different patterns!

Before getting into resizing, let’s talk about garment fit. How do you know what size is best for you? When I make a fitted pattern, I usually start by taking a look at the pattern’s finished bust measurement. Keeping that number in mind, I compare the pattern’s finished bust measurement to my actual bust measurement.

A lot of the time, garment patterns will contain information on how much ease is desired, especially on a modeled version. Ease is the difference between the garment’s measurement and your bust measurement. If the pattern’s measurement is larger than your bust, then that is called positive ease. If the pattern’s measurement is smaller than your bust, that is called negative ease. If the two measurements are the same, then you have no ease.

As the Iced Tee doesn’t contain any ease information, it’s up to you to decide how much ease you want, if any. When I’m not sure how much ease to include in a garment, I often look in my closet for inspiration. Measure your favorite top, and use this measurement as a reference for how you want your Iced Tee to fit.

There are two basic ways to change the size of a pattern. One way is to change the gauge, and another way is to change the stitch count. Since changing the gauge is the easiest way to change the size, we’ll begin with that method.

How does changing the gauge of a pattern change the size? Essentially, a tighter gauge will make the garment smaller, and a looser gauge will make the garment larger. Even minor differences in gauge will affect the finished size, so it’s a good reason to make a gauge swatch before you start the project.

Let’s take a look at the pattern’s gauge. The gauge is 26 stitches over 4 inches, or 6.5 stitches to the inch. It’s important that you have the correct gauge if you want to make the pattern in the size as written. For example, let’s say your gauge is 28 stitches over 4 inches, or 7 stitches to the inch. While a half stitch difference may not seem like a big deal, that half stitch gauge difference adds up to a lot when making a garment.

At the written gauge, 6.5 stitches to the inch will create a garment that has a bust measurement of 39.5”. At 7 stitches per inch, the garment will have a bust measurement of 36.5”. As you can see, that half stitch makes a big difference in the finished size! (Another good reason to make gauge swatches, right?)

If you’d like to use gauge to change the size of the pattern, first decide what you’d like the finished bust measurement to be. Then divide the number of stitches to cast on by the bust measurement. The resulting number will give you the stitch gauge you need to aim for.

For example, my bust measurement is 35”, and I want zero ease in my top. So I’d divide the cast on number (256 stitches) by my bust measurement, 35”. 256/35 = 7.31. So I’d want my gauge to be about 7.3 stitches per inch to get a top that measures 35”.

To change pattern size based on gauge, use this formula:
Cast-On Number ÷ Bust Measurement = Gauge

If you are on gauge, and don’t want to change the gauge of the fabric, you can make the pattern larger by casting on more stitches. (If you’d like to make the pattern smaller, I’d recommend changing the gauge instead of the stitch count, so that you won’t have to modify the Ice Cube lace pattern.)

The Iced Tee stitch count is based on a multiple of four, so to make a larger size, you will want to cast on an additional multiple of four stitches. Half of the new stitches will be added to the back section, and half of the new stitches will be added to the front, one quarter on each side the front lace panel.

Let’s say we want to increase the size from a 39.5” to a 42”. Remember, the new stitch count has to be a multiple of four. At the recommended gauge, 16 more stitches will add about 2.5 inches around, which will make the top 42”.

After casting on the 16 additional stitches, you can follow the pattern as written until round nine.  Starting with round nine, we will change the directions slightly to incorporate the extra stitches.

Here is round 9 as written: K12, ICL 9 times, k8, pm, k to end.

  • On round 9, you’ll start by knitting one quarter of the new stitches, or 4 stitches, since ¼ of 16 is 4. It’s helpful to mark this section of the fabric with a stitch marker. That way you’ll have a visual cue that this section is a plain stockinette section with no patterning.
  • Then you’ll begin to follow the round 9 directions. Knit the 12 stitches as written, knit the Ice Cube Lace repeat nine times, knit 8, and place marker as indicated in pattern.
  • Knit another quarter of your new stitches, or 4 stitches, and place a side marker.
  • Finally, knit across the back stitches, which is the “knit to end” direction at the end of round 9. You’ll have eight extra stitches in the back section.

You can follow the pattern as written by this point until you get to the division of the front and back.

So that means for every patterned row, you’d do something like this: Knit new number of stitches (the first ¼ of stitches added), follow the pattern as written until you get to the first marker, slip marker, knit new number of stitches (the second ¼ of stitches added), slip marker, knit to end of round.

When you get to the division of the front and back, you’ll want to make sure to divide the top in half evenly, since you’ll have extra stitches in the fabric. Splitting the middle of each side panel will ensure the top is properly divided. You can use the beginning of round marker and side marker as a visual cue on where to split the top.

That’s really all there is to it! If you have any more questions about sizing the Iced Tee top, please email us at, or give us a call at (866) 656-5648. Happy knitting!

July 29, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall
Tags: Kits Patterns

Do the Daisy


Just in time for the Lunar New Year, we’ve released our latest pattern, the Firecracker Mitts. The stitch pattern adorning these mitts is open to interpretation—you might think of it as representing sparks to ward off evil or as lucky five-petaled plum blossoms welcoming spring. Either way, you’ll want to know how to knit it! Videos exist demonstrating how to work this evocative and highly textured stitch—commonly referred to as a daisy stitch—in a flat swatch. The Firecracker Mitts feature two slight adjustments: the stitch pattern is worked in the round for much of each mitt and a reversed version appears in the right mitt, giving you a sweetly symmetrical pair. To make everything clearer, the mitts’ designer, Bekah Stuart, walked us through how she works the daisy stitch.

Each daisy requires working into five stitches at once. Fortunately, bouncy Bannock is well-suited to the task. To make things even easier, the pattern has you prepare for each daisy by creating a group of five extra-roomy stitches. Here Bekah works on this step by wrapping her needle with yarn not just once but twice as she knits a stitch.


On the following round, when she reaches a group of double-wrapped stitches, she slips each one knitwise to her right-hand needle, releasing the extra loops in the process. That knitwise slipping closes up holes in the fabric, so she keeps the left leg of each stitch in front as she transfers all five elongated stitches back to the left-hand needle.


The next step is to work into all five stitches as if they were a single stitch, through the back loop, as shown above, for the left mitt, or through the usual front loop, as shown below, for the right mitt.


Here Bekah has worked a k1 and a yo into the group of five stitches. She’ll go on to knit one, yarn over, and knit one again, and then to drop the five elongated stitches off her left needle—one daisy done!

As you work daisies, don’t worry if you find yourself needing to redistribute your stitches so that all five stitches worked together are grouped on a single needle—it’s simply the nature of the pattern. In addition, keep in mind that while stitch markers would get in the way of making daisies, in a sense, they’re built right into your fabric. Once the pattern is established, the plain knit stitch that separates groups of elongated stitches (the “k1″ in “[CDP, k1],” for example) is worked into the central “petal” of the daisy below, as Bekah demonstrates here.


Similarly, the middle elongated stitch in a group of five will be worked into the plain knit stitch below.

The daisy stitch is a satisfying little stitch that works up quickly into a cheery set of mitts. Start yours today and begin celebrating the Year of the Sheep with Knit Purl!

February 19, 2015 by Keli Hansen
Tags: Kits Tutorial

Modifying the Modern Wrapper

Sometimes, knitters just can’t leave well enough alone. Over time, it almost gets harder to leave things as is when you buy a new pattern. Especially when simple alterations—in fit, color, or fabric choice—can result in the perfect garment for your lifestyle. The Modern Wrapper, a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, is a one-size-fits-all, […]

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January 21, 2014 by Hannah Thiessen

slightly overwhelmed

We have so much going on at the store right now (what with the Holiday Special going out on Friday, visiting instructors to organize and the holidays approaching waaay too quickly), that everything is a little discombobulated at the moment. On the subject of the holidays (and classes, technically), we can finally reveal the surprise […]

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November 18, 2008 by Sara M
Tags: Classes Kits

photographs under halogen

I figured that I better dash any hopes that you, beloved reader, might have had for decent photography immediately. The workshops with Miriam Felton this weekend were fantastic, the pictures of said workshops are significantly less so. Anyway. I took the Introduction to Lace Design class and it was completely worth sitting for six hours, […]

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November 11, 2008 by Sara M
Tags: Classes Kits

just a rainbow of projects

Or, more accurately, rainbow-colored projects. To begin with, I apologize for the blurry quality of the following photos. I was trying out the smaller store camera, with less luck than expected. On the right, I just wanted to let all y’all in Blogland know that we do have the NEW AlterKNITS Felt in stock and […]

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September 30, 2008 by Sara M

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Today’s post is of an amazing tale. An account of desperation, betrayal, and the fragility of life. Please heed my words and spread them to all in every corner of the planet. However, in yesterdays post I promised to explain to those who wanted to know about the upcoming fiber arts festival in Madrona. So, […]

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February 07, 2008 by Sara M
Tags: Classes Kits

There is Nothin’ Like a Dane

Ninja, my officemate keeps running his mouth in a pseudo Schwarzenegger imitation, saying “Fana Hulk-enburg! Fana Hulk-enburg!”. Some may notice his error. (Hanne Falkenberg is Danish while Schwarzenegger is Austrian.) Still it’s mildly amusing because he looks more Hanne than Arnold. We love him nevertheless. The arrival of Hanne Falkenberg trunk show garments precipitated this […]

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February 06, 2008 by Sara M