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

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

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

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

Knitting Resolutions, Old and New

I started 2015 with one goal—to spend every day knitting, even if I only had time for a few stitches. That goal led to me learning how to do simple color work, knitting my first sweater, my first, second, third, and fourth experience with cables, and taking on a test knit for a chunky brioche poncho to end the year on.

Now that 2015 is coming to an end, it’s time for new knitting resolutions. My number one resolution is to complete all my work in progress projects. I currently have seven projects that I would like to see off my needles in 2016. Besides trying to control my need for having to start a new project every week, I would like to learn how to steek, and I really want to spend time with my knitting machine.

I am not the only one that learned a lot this year. I asked a few of the Knit Purl sales staff to share the knitting techniques they learned during 2015 and what they have lined up for next year.

 

Erin
What I learned in 2015 My 2016 Knitting Resolution

1. German short rows. My new favorite technique for doing short rows. So easy to execute, shows clearly where you turned, and a totally invisible finish.

2. Tubular cast-on. I fought it at first, but this cast on is so stretchy and clean-looking when casting on for a rib. It was also not as hard to execute as I originally thought. Ysolda Teague has the best tutorial video if you want to give the tubular cast-on a try.

In the next year I want to work on improving my Fair Isle colorwork, and figure out how to shape in brioche stitch so I can finish my UFO Opari Hat that's been in my stash for the last year.

 

Keli
What I learned in 2015 My 2016 Knitting Resolution
I got to take a twined knitting workshop with Nancy Bushin 2015 and it was fascinating! In 2016, I really want to try 2-color brioche!

 

Sarah Castles
What I learned in 2015 My 2016 Knitting Resolution

1. Provisional long tail tubular cast-on. A great cast-on method used to make a stretchy neck when knitting top-down.

2. Sewn bind-off.  Used to make a stretchier bind-off.

3. Entrelac. I helped a friend who had a question about the Entrelac technique. This was the first time doing this so I learned a little, but would like to improve on this.

I would like to improve my color work technique using a color in both hands.

 

Oleya
What I learned in 2015 My 2016 Knitting Resolution
This year, I learned the brioche stitch (just one color) and Japanese short rows. Steeking!

 

Please share some of the new techniques you learned in 2015, and what you have planned for next year. If you are in need of some help setting 2016 knitting resolutions, take a peek at our classes—we have some great ones coming up early next year!

December 30, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin

What Do You Keep in Your Keep?

In case you missed last week's post, I wrote about The Keep 2.0, a knitting bag collaboration between Knit Purl and The Goodflock. The Keep has quickly become my go-to knitting bag. With the perfect amount of storage and the clean, chic design, this bag is always at my side.

As promised, I’m going to share a few of the knitting goodies that I have readily accessible in my Keep. One never knows when the urge to knit will overtake you.

Projects: I always keep two projects in my knitting bag. One that I really want to finish, and the other to help me procrastinate on the project I really want to finish. It’s a vicious circle. I currently have the Veronika Pullover by Cocoknits and the Annabel Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge in my Keep, both vying for my attention.

Needles: Many of the projects I work on require multiple needle sizes, so my knitting needles are always with me.

Journal: For my sketching and note taking needs. My note-taking skills have really improved since grade school (my sketching not so much). I now take extensive notes on my knitting projects and would feel lost without my journal.

Linen pouch: This contains all my smaller items—sewing needles, stitch markers, mini scissors, cable needles, crochet hooks, measuring tape, point protectors, and the list goes on. One day I am going to reach into the tiny pouch and pull out a hat stand à la Mary Poppins.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my must-have items in my knitting bag, we would love for you to share some of yours. What do you have in The Keep you currently own, or might own in the future? Please share below in the comments section and on Instagram using the hashtag #WhatsInMyKeep.

November 24, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin

What We Knit: Keli's Brontasaurus

Recently, Keli came into the office with this adorable striped brontosaurus that she knit for a little girl. Everyone in the office squealed with delight upon seeing it. Pretty much everything about this dinosaur is impressive—the cool stripes; plump stuffing; beautiful, even stitching; and the twinkling eye.

Excited by this beautiful knitted object, I decided that we needed a more regular column for Knit Purl staffers to share their projects with blog readers. I sat down with Keli and asked her a few questions about this adorable toy.

Knit Purl: What do you like best about the project?
Keli: I was pretty delighted with the jogless jogs, and knitting the legs from picked-up stitches so they seemed to grow right out of the body was very satisfying. I also enjoy grafting, so closing up the top of the body was fun. And then the eyes were fiddly, but it was great to give the little guy some personality.

KP: Is there any particular reason you chose Shibui Staccato for the project?
KH: I chose Staccato because I was looking for a solid fingering-weight yarn to make a small, modern-looking toy. I thought the silk in Staccato would give the dinosaur "skin" a nice texture.

KP: How did you decide on the colors?
KH: I was originally thinking it would be fun to make a hot pink and gray dinosaur for a little girl, but we had dinner with the expectant parents right after a baby shower and they mentioned that they were already getting sick of pink. I decided to swap out the pink for a teal that matched the sweater the mother was wearing that day.

KP: What was the recipient's reaction?
KH: The little girl I made it for (who is just over a year old) had a cold and was busy eating dinner when I gave it to her. She shook it a few times and went back to her food. Later her mom said, "Can you give it some love?" and the little girl snuggled her cheek against it and grinned.

KP:Do you plan to knit any more toys?
KH: I think I proclaimed a few times that this was the first and last toy I'll knit, but last night I saw an awfully cute narwhal on Ravelry…. The dinosaur did make a great summer project, and I love that it won't be outgrown in a matter of months.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful knit with us, Keli! To find out more about Keli’s dinosaur, check out her Ravelry page here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/keliope/basil-the-boogie-woogie-brontosaurus

October 07, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Finding Inspiration in France

Around this time last year, I had just returned from a six-week trip to France with my mom. My mom is a college professor, and we took part in a study abroad program through her school. We took a course in conversational French together, and spent time practicing French, exploring, and generally being out of our comfort zones.

Never one to go anywhere without my knitting, I brought lots of knitting projects to work on during the trip. I planned to complete three projects during my vacation. My ambitions were a bit grand, as I think I only finished one project. Even though I wanted to knit and had plenty of time to do it, most of the time I found myself just looking around and taking in the unfamiliar surroundings. Everything was new and inspiring! For many reasons, being in Paris was like looking at the world through new eyes.

Even though I didn’t get much knitting done during my trip, I found that there was plenty of knitting inspiration to be found for later use. I found a lot of inspiration in the form of architecture and art all around Paris. After taking a wrong turn in the 19th district, I found a building covered in graffiti.

I just loved the bright, bold colors on the neutral-colored building. I imagined the building’s colors being used for a colorwork knitting design, like in Brooklyn Tweed’s Tapestry cardiganI would use Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Woodsmoke as the base color, with Sap, Tartan, Thistle, and Almanac as the contrast colors. The color combination is a bit crazy and wild, but I think all the colors would work well to pull me out of my comfort zone, just like how I felt when I was there.

During the trip, one of my friends took me to La Defense, a business district just outside Paris. I expected to see a lot of buildings and offices, but I certainly didn’t expect to find so many modern art sculptures—they have over 60! Being an avid stripe knitter, I was instantly taken by this striped sculpture. Created by artist Robert Moretti, Le Moretti is over 100 feet high and is made of 672 colored fiberglass tubes.

The arrangement and varied mix of colors reminded me of the Churchmouse Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf pattern. I love how this scarf pattern can bring just about any arrangement of colors together.

For one like this pictured, I might try using Spincycle Dyed in the Wool in Shades of Earth, Ruination, and July July!

Every time I visit Paris, I always enjoy looking at the Louvre’s stunning architecture. It really appeals to my undying love for geometry and glass. I’ve photographed it many times.

Wondering how I would translate this beautiful structure to a knitting pattern, on Ravelry I happened upon a pattern called Louvre that features the geometric architecture in a beautiful textured pullover.

 

© von Hinterm Stein

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter is one of the recommended yarns, and I would choose Sweatshirt, a heathered steel gray. It’s light enough to show off the details, and gray goes with just about anything in my wardrobe.

It’s incredible how many ways there are to find inspiration for knitting on your next vacation. So the next time you travel, or even explore a new neighborhood, see what unusual sources of inspiration you can find. How have you been inspired by your travels lately?

August 12, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Knitting Experiments with Inkodye

When I was a child, I always looked forward to the summer. It meant long days, no homework, and my favorite thing of all, summer camp. While I was fortunate enough to attend a few different types of camps, I always enjoyed science camp the best. My favorite part about science camp? Definitely the experiments.

Even though I love the idea of experimentation, I find that I don’t experiment nearly enough with my knitting projects. I am trying to change this now, but knitting is usually an un-experimental process for me. I find a yarn I like, choose a pattern (or vice versa), and get started. Other than changes in gauge, yarn, and a few modifications here and there, I largely stick to projects that will give me predictable results.

A product called Inkodye has opened my eyes up to a whole new world of surface design and experimentation. Inkodye is a UV light-activated dye which allows you to print images on fabric. It is a innovative way to add color and pattern to your knitting without relying on traditional methods like stripes, stranding, and intarsia.

The Inkodye process is fairly simple and user-friendly. All you really need to get started is fabric, Inkodye, image-making materials, and sunlight. You can make images by using photographic inkjet paper, or a technique called shadow printing.

We used the shadow printing technique to create our swatches. For our experiment, we gathered plant materials around our yards and then placed them over swatches of Shibui Cima in Ivory. Covering parts of the swatch with opaque objects blocked out the sunlight, resulting in negative images kind of like a photogram.

The hard part about experiments is that there is usually a little room for improvement. While I had fun with the process, there are definitely a few variables that I would change next time. Next time I would try flattening the leaves/petals out so they left behind a more defined shape, and seeing if leaving the swatches out longer in the light would result in deeper, more saturated colors. I also can’t wait to experiment with photographic negatives.

There is so much more you can do with Inkodye—you can try mixing different colors of Inkodye together to get new colors, you can fold and dye your fabric in the Shibori manner, and you can draw on transparency film and make up a hand-drawn pattern repeat! There are all sorts of project ideas in the Inkodye gallery.

Experimenting with Inkodye has made me realize that there is so much to explore in the world of knitting and surface design. Even if you don’t use Inkodye this summer, there are multiple ways to experiment with your knitting that you might not have considered before. Try combining two different yarns together. Knit freestyle, without a pattern. Go outside of your usual color comfort zone. Combine several techniques in one project. You just might be surprised at what you come up with!

June 24, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Swatch Sketchbook: Banded Agate

Last week, I explored combining plant-based sources of inspiration with swatching. This week, I'd like to explore the possibilities that lie in the world of minerals.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by gems, rocks, and minerals. I enjoyed collecting them in variety of colors, textures and patterns. I remember my favorite piece being a small rock of Fool’s Gold (pyrite). I thought it was something magical.

As an adult, I no longer collect rocks and minerals, but I still love to look at pictures of them on the Internet. One of my favorite sources right now is http://mineralia.tumblr.com/.

There is so much inspiration out there in the world of rocks and gems that it’s hard to know where to when deciding on a design. After lots of scrolling, I decided that banded agates were a great match for with my affinity for knitting striped items.

I love all the color combinations that nature comes up with in the layers of these agates (seriously, there is not a bad one in the bunch!), and the undulating effect is quite beautiful.

There are many stunning banded agates out there, and it was hard to choose one for my design inspiration. Here is the inspiration photo I used for the swatch: http://www.d.umn.edu/~mark0524/Project/Fall/LagunaAgate1.jpg

For my banded agate swatch, I decided on Shibui Pebble for the yarn (appropriately named!), and a basic ripple knitting pattern for the undulating stripes.

Since the rippling effect is not uniform in the agate, I decided to only do the rippling effect on certain rows, working across the rest of the row normally. One row stripes created with random increases and decreases created just the effect I was looking for.


Charts are a lot more fun when I get to use my colored pencils! Here is the knitting chart I made in my Knitters Graph Paper Journal.
June 17, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall