Glow Lace

Image of Knit Purl Glow Lace Yarn© Knit Purl

It’s July, which means it’s the Month of Lace here at Knit Purl. All month the blog will be dedicated to all things lace, starting off with Glow Lace, a limited edition Knit Purl yarn. Glow Lace is an opulent merino and mulberry silk lace weight yarn that comes in 12 radiant colors. The combination of silk and merino makes this yarn irresistible to knit with. The merino is soft to the touch, while the silk gives Glow Lace a beautiful shimmer that will tempt knitters away from all their other knitting projects.

The colorways are everything you want in a summer yarn, vibrant and neutral. Two of my favorite colorways are Dawn and Firefly. I can’t help but to gravitate towards bright colors, and these two colorways are reminiscent of summery fruit like honeydew and papaya. Now to figure out how to combine them together in a knitting project. Before I start mentioning a few pretty patterns that will pair nicely with Glow Lace, we have a little gift for all our fans of lace. During the Month of Lace (July), all lace weight yarn and kits will be 10% off by entering the code LACE2016.

Patterns:

Image of Sea Salt Cowl Knitting Pattern by Keli Hansen© Knit Purl

Sea Salt Cowl: This cowl might ring a few bells for some since it was featured during our Month of Lace in 2014. The Sea Salt Cowl is a lightweight cowl that is perfect for the warmer months. It features a geometric motif of diamonds that grow and shrink like salt crystals, and it was designed by one of our very own Knit Purl staff members, Keli Hansen. The Sea Salt Cowl was my first excursion into the realm of lace knitting and I’m so glad I gave lace knitting a shot, because the results were amazing.

Image of Twinleaf Shawl Pattern © Kelbourne Woolens + Amanda Stevenson Lupke

Twinleaf: With summer comes traveling, and the Twinleaf wrap is a great pattern to take on a trip or to the park. The use of garter stitch and short rows make this an easy knitting project, and the use of stripes gives it a clean chic look.

Image of Dawn Shawl by Grace Anna Farrow© Grace Anna Farrow

Volt: Chevrons, colorwork, and a jagged edge, oh my! I love knitting kits and this is going to be a fun one. Volt is a super intriguing wrap that will captivate lookers and I can’t wait to start knitting this project. I thought about gifting the Volt kit to my mom, but I really want to knit this so I’m going to gift my mom the completed wrap. Win, win.  

July 01, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Wool People Volume 10

Brooklyn Tweed released Wool People Volume 10 last month and it’s by far my favorite collection to date, from the series. There are plenty of beautiful cable sweaters for both fall and winter, and there are also a few shawls and wraps for the warmer months that I’m readying my needles for. My favorite part of the Wool People series is getting introduced to talented designers that I possibly wouldn’t have found on my own, like Nadia Crétin-Léchenne. I’m not sure how I’ve missed Nadia’s designs before now, but my knitting queue expanded significantly with all her shawls, wraps, and sweaters I must make.

Typically this is the point where I share my top picks of a collection, but this is quite possibly the first time I’ve seen a collection that I want to knit all 15 designs. I’m still going to share three projects that I really like, but keep in mind, I have 10 favorites I want to selfishly knit and 5 favorites I want to knit for others.

 

Loess: Delicate elegance. I love the look of this simple and chic scarf. I’ve never knit a scarf before, but that’s about to change. This scarf would work great as a wrap to throw over bare arms on a cool summer evening or during the fall to fancy up your outfit and keep your neck warm. An easy knitting project that can be picked up and worked on whenever you have a few minutes to spare, but will still keep you intrigued thanks to the openwork and crossed stitches.

 

Oda: Basic and cozy. There is something about this sweater that instantly warms me up. Oda is a simple raglan with large, lush cables, which makes this a great pattern for a beginner knitter that is starting to branch out and try something new. If you are ever looking for the definition of hygge in sweater form, Oda would be it.

 

Rigel: Chunky, dreamy, cables. I’ve repeated this multiple times, but here I go again. I love chunky knits. The grandiose cables on the Rigel coat remind me of a powerful waterfall and really adds to the elegant style of this oversized coat. The impeccable tailoring is front and center and shows how well thought out this statement piece was designed. Rigel will look great in a dark color like Lazulite, and will look equally chic in Gypsum.  

June 03, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Happy Birthday, Knit Purl

It’s April, which means it’s Knit Purl’s birthday month! You might be wondering how many years we are turning? Well, don’t worry, we aren’t too shy to share that it’s our 11th birthday.

To celebrate, Blissful Knits has created an exclusive, limited edition colorway of their Ambrosia MCN yarn, named Xi. Artistically hand dyed, Xi is a neutral base with beautiful citrus pops of lime and lemon and calming rain-cloud blue and gray.

If you've never been introduced to Ambrosia MCN, you're in for a treat. A special technique is used to process the superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon fibers, which gives this luxury yarn a smooth, silky feel. The merino and cashmere add a softness that you will want to forever work in your hands while the nylon adds strength to all your projects.

 

As another little treat, we have paired Xi with Woven by Casapinka, as a limited edition kit that would make a special gift for yourself or someone special. Last but not least, for all purchases made that are over $35, you will receive free shipping Friday, April 15- Sunday, 17th!

Here are a few patterns that will catch a few eyes when matched with Xi:

Westknits: Leave it to Stephen West to make perfect patterns to show-off special yarn. Arroway Shawl and Clockwork Shawl will require only one skein of Xi and one other color to use either as a main color or contrast color.

Marley Shawl: Brioche beauty. This pretty reversible brioche shawl will make Xi pop. This will also be a great project for any brioche newbies!

 

I hope you enjoy all the little treats while we celebrate our XI birthday!


April 15, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Spotlight on Elemental Affects

After 20 years in IT, Jeane deCoster left New York and moved back to Southern California, where she decided to go in a different direction — invest in starting her own yarn company. Not a stranger to the world of fashion, Jeane received her bachelor's degree in fashion and worked in the industry for five years. This experience, along with her love and knowledge of yarn and fiber, made her new venture a perfect match. In 2005, Elemental Affects came to life.

Elemental Affects is a U.S. yarn company that focuses on using domestic fibers and mills to produce beautiful, vibrant yarns. Jeane has put a lot of thought into the four lines she created for Elemental Affects: Shetland, Cormo, Romney, and Civility.

The Shetland fiber comes from sheep at Jeane’s friend Cathy’s ranch in Montana. The sheep live a luxurious life, with their own Peruvian shepherds and wonderful guard dogs. The Cormo fiber primarily comes from sheep raised in the West on multi-generational family ranches. One of these ranches is the Pheasant Ranch in Wyoming, which has been around for 100 years. The Romney fiber is from Tawanda Farms; just right outside of Oregon in Montague, California.

Last, but not least is Civility, the beautiful line of merino/silk yarn that we carry at Knit Purl. Civility all started off with a nice little challenge that Tina Whitmore of Freia Yarns brought to Jeane. The challenge was for Jeane to create a new yarn that was of similar quality to an import in her line, but made in the U.S. from U.S. wool. The challenge was accepted and Jeane set forth to find domestic Merino wool and Mulberry silk. After some searching, Jeane found what she was looking for and collaborated with Meadow Wools in Wyoming for production. While blending Merino and Mulberry silk was a first for Meadow Wools, they were also up for the challenge and jumped right in and figured out how to adjust the machinery to make what is now known as Civility.

Civility is a 70% Merino wool and 30% Mulberry silk blend that is soft, strong, and lustrous. Available in bright, vibrant colors in both fingering and worsted weights, the possibilities are endless with this yarn. I have my eyes on all the different shades of blue so watch out - I might snag them all.

Here are a few pattern ideas to go along with Civility:

Anwen
© Interweave

Anwen: New vintage done right. Anwen is a mix of three old stitch patterns: frost flower stitch, old shale stitch, and fern lace stitch. When these stitch patterns are combined, it makes an intricate, feminine shawl that is a for sure show-stopper.

 

Maeve© Kelbourne Woolens + Amanda Stevenson Lupke
Maeve: I love this bolero, and it will go with everything.

 

Paelas Tights
© Paela
Paelas Tights: I just found out that my friend is having a baby, which means I get to make these darling leggings.

 

Mangata
© Ana Mercedes

Mångata: This cute sweatshirt-style sweater would look great in Aubergine.

March 28, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Shibui Knits' Rain

I lived in the South for part of my youth, and the one thing I miss more than anything is the rain. Not just any rain, but the warm rain on a summer night that’s accompanied by a wondrous thunderstorm. When I think of the rain from the South, I’m reminded of laughter, running through rainstorms with friends, and endless sandal weather.

When Shibui Knit’s new yarn Rain came out, the first thing I thought of was happy, rainy, sunny memories from the years I spent growing up in the South. There were many times the sun would be in full force without a cloud in the sky, and out of nowhere the ocean would fall out of the sky. That’s what I pictured when I saw the little poem about Rain.

Fleeting drops fall
then silence
The sound of rain needs no translation

I’m ready to put all my projects on hold and switch to summer knitting. The sun is coming out, blossoms are appearing, and I’m ready for warmer days and drapey cotton tops.

Here are a few pattern ideas for Rain from Shibui Knits SS16 look book:

Equinox: This pattern is a simple color blocked top with a seaming detail in the front and back that caught my eye.

Meridian: A drapey summer cardigan is a must have and I must have this one!

Nova: My favorite. I love everything about this top from the neckline to the side slits. After I make one I have plans on making another with some secret special modifications.

P.S. Rain, rain, don’t go away.

February 26, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin
Tags: New Yarn Love

Love Fest Fibers

If you read the post I wrote late last year about chunky yarn, then you won’t be surprised about how excited I am over the new line of chunky yarn we’re carrying: Love Fest Fibers is a brand new company with a lovely story, and beautiful chunky yarn to go along with it.

Britt, the Founder behind Love Fest Fibers, was taught to knit and crochet by her mother. She describes her knitting sessions with her mother as “a little love fest of making things and listening to family stories.” Time went by, and Britt forgot about those skills until she moved to the Himalayas, where she worked with farmers and nomads on the Tibetan Plateau. Knitting with locals became a way to connect, learn the language, and understand the ins-and-outs of raising and spinning fiber.

Eventually Britt returned home to California, where she continued to focus on international development and philanthropy, and researching fiber traditions. Like many of us, Britt became obsessed with big, fluffy, chunky yarn, the kind that makes you want to unravel a bunch of skeins and snuggle up with it. Her love for the chunky goodness caused her to head out and strike up partnerships with talented yarn makers both at home and the Himalayas to design a range of huge yarn.

“I wanted to focus on yarn that supports traditional livelihoods through the raising of natural fibers, and also find a use for something that now litters our landscapes throughout the world: plastic waste.”

 

Love Fest Fibers has three lines: Pure Love (alpaca), ReLove (alpaca/recycled plastic bottles or merino/recycled plastic bottles), and Tough Love (felted New Zealand wool). We carry both of the super soft ReLove yarns, and the Tough Love vibrant felted beauties.

If you’ve walked into Knit Purl recently, you’ve probably been greeted by Tough Love. The balls are hard to miss, they come in bright colors that put a smile on your face, and you instantly want to reach out and touch them. Tough Love is created by an incredible group of women in Kathmandu who are skilled in the craft of felt-making. Using water, soap, and undeniable muscle power, these women transform New Zealand wool into yards upon yards of felt yarn, which is then dyed in beautiful vibrant colors.

As for ReLove, it’s spun at a family-run mill in Washington, where they spin super soft alpaca or merino with recycled plastic bottle fiber. One might think that the content of recycled plastic might cause the yarn to not be soft, but this is not the case. ReLove is amazingly soft, this is the kind of chunky yarn I want to live inside. Plus, each ball of ReLove reuses anywhere from 10–15 plastic bottles, which is more than a little awesome in my book.

I can’t wait to get my hands on all the Love Fest Fibers skeins! Especially Tough Love in Cassis (think fuchsia/magenta) and ReLove Merino in Denim.

Here are a few pattern ideas to go with your new Love Fest Fibers yarn:

Tough Love: The Table Bowl
ReLove Alpaca: The Bay Throw
ReLove Merino: The Kiki Cowl

February 15, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Knitting with Paper

Have you ever knit with paper? I hadn’t until this week when I broke into a beautiful cone of ITO Urugami. I’ve always admired the ITO yarn at Knit Purl. The packaging is clean and simple, the colors are eye-catching, and the yarn content is very unique. What makes ITO’s Urugami yarn so special? It’s composed of a twisted, airy paper core that is wrapped in soft, fluffy wool.

The concept of knitting with paper and wool was difficult to wrap my brain around. What would I be able to make out of it? What would it look like once in fabric form? Would it turn into papier-mâché when introduced to water? These are a few questions that kept me admiring Urugami from afar—until this week.

I was once again gazing at Urugami as if it was a piece of fine art when I finally gave in and made the purchase. I had no project in mind for the yarn, I just needed to take it home and try it out. I was working on my Yoga Shawl when I decided to pick up my new sleek cone of Urugami and knit a simple stockinette swatch.

The yarn was nothing like how I expected. For some reason I thought it would feel like knitting with linen—slightly rough. This was not the case at all. The yarn was a little stiff when being unwound off the cone, but it was soft to the touch when being worked in my hands. The finished swatch was also not what I was expecting. I thought the paper core would cause it to not have any elasticity, but I was wrong. The fabric is stretchy and bouncy, with a nice drape, and clear stitch definition. I’m also happy to say that my swatch didn’t turn into a papier-mâché project gone wrong when I submerged it in water. The care label did say hand-wash, but I was doubtful, and then happily proven wrong.

Paper textiles have a long tradition in Japan, and they are very much like silk in that they're cooling in summer, and warming in winter. Knowing this helped me come up with my first project idea for Urugami. Last summer I made the Otherside tank out of Shibui Linen, and I’m now playing with the idea of making another using Urugami, with one small modification—making it into a dress. I’m also a little obsessed with the colorway Marine, and might have to knit a shawl/wrap before getting to my dress.

February 12, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Spotlight: North Light Fibers

Take a short stroll through an alpaca pasture, visit with some friendly exotic farm animals, and arrive at North Light Fibers. Located in the middle of Block Island, Rhode Island, North Light Fibers is a micro yarn mill that produces hand-crafted, minimally processed yarns from blended fibers (alpaca, yak, merino wool, camel, mohair, soy silk, and many others).

“North Light Fibers is one of the most complete mills in North America, as we take the fiber from shearing to skeins. We tumble, wash, pick, dye, de-hair, card, spin, ply, and finish all the yarns here at the mill on Block island.”

From using the fiber from Justin Abrams’ farm that surrounds the mill, to working with local knitters and weavers to produce garments and home decor, North Light Fibers works tirelessly to create a viable and growing year round manufacturing business. Their mill produces four primary lines, Beach Avenue (alpaca/merino wool), Forever Lace (alpaca/bamboo), Ocean Avenue (merino wool), and Water Street (cashmere/merino).

You might be wondering which line we carry at Knit Purl. Don’t worry, I won’t keep you guessing. It’s Water Street, the luxurious perfect blend of cashmere and super fine merino wool that is easily becoming a shop favorite.

“I thought Water Street was nice enough in the skein, but after working with it, I am absolutely smitten. It has cashmere's exquisite softness but merino's bounce. I've also never seen yarn colored in quite the same way, with fun little flecks that are somewhere between heathery and tweedy.”—Keli, Knit Purl Sales Floor Lead

Water Street is soft to the touch, making it extremely snuggle-worthy, thanks to the decadent cashmere. The merino wool that it’s blended with gives it the structure, body, and elasticity that really heightens the stitch definition. Add in rich beautiful colors and Water Street becomes everything one would want in a cashmere blend yarn.

The Water Street color blends are a treat in themselves. The lighter, more neutral colors like Sand Dollar have a prominent heather to them, while the greens and blues have a pleasant surprise. Enchanted Forest is a slightly muted green, but once knit, bright tiny flecks of yellow and purple appear, giving the finished piece a tweed-like effect.

One of our sample knitters, Michelle, had the pleasure of working with Enchanted Forest, “The yarn knits up so soft, it’s like heaven! Too bad the pattern went so quickly—not enough time to enjoy it!”

Being a huge fan of cashmere myself, and seeing what Water Street looks and feels like in person, I know my stash is about to get exponentially larger.
December 09, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin

The Keep 2.0

Back in 2013, we partnered with Marco Murillo and the extremely talented folks at The Good Flock to bring you The Keep, a modern knitting bag designed just for Knit Purl, and sold exclusively through us. The Keep was so well-loved, we collaborated with The Good Flock once again to bring you an updated version.

The Good Flock takes design and craftsmanship to an exceptional level. Their philosophy is one that we admire, and one that reiterates the thoughtful design process they go through to achieve beautiful products.

“The products we make can be buried in your backyard. They're made of wholesome things that won't hurt the earth or trees or worms—even the mean ones.”

According to Marco, part of the ease of collaborating with Knit Purl is our customers’ shared mindset. “Our customers care about quality over quantity. They want useful objects that are handcrafted.”

Made right here in Portland, The Keep is a meticulously crafted, chic and functional knitting bag. It’s made using a durable waxed canvas (black or gray) that can withstand the elements, wherever your knitting adventures take you.

The canvas is accented by a rich honey-colored leather. The leather base helps the bag stand upright, so you can work straight from your knitting bag. The updated leather handles have been elongated and contoured for a better fit over your shoulder, making it the perfect bag for those on the go.

The Keep now features two metal snaps on the inside top, to keep your knitting in and unwanted weather out. Stay organized with The Keep’s ten pockets. With five on the inside and five on the outside, you can easily find all your knitting essentials, and still have space for your patterns and tablet.

Not only does The Keep make a phenomenal knitting bag, but The Good Flock produced a modern and refined bag that can be used everyday. I know I plan on making it my go-to bag and I can’t wait to share with you what’s inside.

November 12, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin
Tags: Favorites New