The Spotlight Shawl was a fun, fairly fast, knit for me. Yes, it's a lot of garter stitch in the beginning, but that helps it block out to a good-sized shawl. I made extra stripes to use up more of the delicious Alegria from Manos (my new favorite yarn and current staff pick at Knitsburgh.) This yarn is soft, airy, springy, and gorgeously dyed. It is light yet cozy to wear. I went with a bold contrast and I am very pleased with the acid green and the rich, warm brown.
I will say that although this is a simple enough pattern, I had some issues with the lace portion until I memorized and internalized the pattern. The great news is it did not take me long to notice that something was amiss, since the vertical lines are easy to see. Until I became more familiar with the pattern, I wished there was a chart, and Jenn and I tried to make one. The effort broke our brains, so we quickly abandoned the idea. Perhaps that is why the designer decided not to have a chart. The lace is easy, but sometimes that is the kind of thing that trips me up in my knitting. I get over-confident with easy patterns and then I make mistakes by not paying enough attention. Luckily, the magical Yvonne was there to save me. I also decided to make the lace in the darker color of my high-contrast shawl. That was a little tough on the eyes, so it was better for me to do that part in the mornings, with plenty of light and alertness.
It is not too late for you to join this knitalong. Plenty of people are still working on Spotlight, and we have plenty of good yarn choices here at the shop. I blocked the shawl in the back room of Knitsburgh (do you hate blocking? We can do it for you for a modest fee.) Once dry, I immediately put the shawl on, and wore it home that night. This piece will be my close friend during this unpredictable early Spring weather.
Share your progress with us in our Ravelry group! Ready for the next KAL? We have a survey for you to help us decide what to make next.
No, really, I do .
In thinking about our classes at Knitsburgh, I wanted to focus on more than just techniques used in knit and crochet. I wanted to focus on -- well, how to say this? The whole person. We want to talk about health issues, to keep our minds sharp, and to not go gently into that good night, ever.
Knitting and crochet are often meditative (and also frustrating, we know, but also meditative). Sometimes so meditative that you have forgotten all about the fact that you've been sitting in the same position for hours and then you stand up and oof, you're so stiff....
Karen Hite, Master Personal Fitness Trainer, will be teaching a class on Saturday, March 11th, dealing with posture and mobility. She will offer tips and tricks to get you through that binge session with minimal stiffness, and also offer some simple exercises to help you improve your posture and mobility.
I have been working with Karen since October of 2015. She operates a full-time gym, Hitek Training, out of her home in Gibsonia. Her group personal training sessions are surprisingly affordable at $14 per class, and her one-on-one sessions are only $55. She can tailor a program for anyone at any fitness level, and her goal is to make you a healthier, happier person. I can honestly say that I have never left the gym feeling like a failure -- in fact, quite the opposite. I always leave feeling like I've accomplished something -- and maybe that something was just actually getting through a set of exercises without having to take a break. The other thing about that hour that I am at the gym is that I am focused on nothing but getting through that series of exercises -- no phone, no email, no Facebook messages. It really is all about me (if only for that hour).
So with all of that being said, I'd like to introduce you to Karen (as I mentioned, she'll be here teaching a class). The class is for adults at any fitness level. You need to wear comfortable clothing suitable for moving in, and gym shoes.
Class information: Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m.
Class will last approximately 1 hour.
Class limited to 12 students - last day to register is March 9th. Please call or stop by to register.
Karen Hite is a certified Master Personal Fitness Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Sports Medicine Specialist. She has three Black Belts, and more training certifications than you can shake a stick at. She offers Group Personal Training at only $14 per class, private one-on-one lessons at $55 per hour, and online nutrition/weight management. Visit www.hitektraining.com for more information, or call 724-502-4109. Karen can be reached directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, so it's oddly warm out. Today's a good day to plan out your spring accessories, and so I asked Andrea to talk about her experience knitting The Diagonal Lace Scarf with Berroco Mykonos, a blend of linen, nylon, and cotton.
This yarn was attractive to me because of the beachy palette we have here at Knitsburgh, and the slight shine, so when Yvonne asked me to work up a shop sample, I was totally up for it. We found the Diagonal Lace Scarf and Wrap pattern from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas and I wound the yarn and cast right on. Well, not right on. What really happened was, the yarn was easy enough to wind with our swift and motorized winder, but once I took it off of the equipment, the center pull ball collapsed in on itself and became one big ole tangle. I should have known better. With a fiber content of mostly linen, some cotton, and a bit of nylon (the shine) there is nothing to make this yarn stick to itself, so it is quite slippery, and there is no air in the yarn--like there is with wool--to help it hold the yarn cake shape. So, my first recommendation is that you hand-wind the yarn onto a cardboard tube. I did this with the second skein and it caused the Mykonos to behave really well. The knitting itself was enjoyable. As a loose knitter, I had to go down a few needle sizes to get a fabric that showed the simple lace pattern. Unlike a 100% linen yarn, Mykonos is not hard on your hands, but like a full linen, the stitches do not look uniform until after you soak and block your piece. I used 2 full skeins for my sample, but I think if I would make one for me to wear, I would use at least 3 for a more dramatic scarf. Overall, I loved the results I got with the Mykonos, and it would also be great for a tank top or cap sleeved tee.
We had our very first customer show and tell with Knitsburgh yarn and we are delighted to share it here for FO Friday.
Heather brought in her completed Banff Hat by Tin Can Knits, made in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd's Wool Worsted. The pattern is a lovely introduction to colorwork, is sized from baby to adult large, and is available for purchase at Knitsburgh through the Ravelry in-store sales program. Heather, you did a great job!
We would love to see what you've made with Knitsburgh yarn! Stop by the shop to show us!
We're having a really good time with our very first Knitsburgh KAL, the Spotlight Shawl by Janina Kallio. The shawl begins with a cast-on of only two stitches, and from there it's off to the races with some mindless, soothing garter stitch that's perfect to knit while chatting with friends.
In our last newsletter, we suggested some yarn pairings, and we've been delighted with the combinations customers have come up with in fingering weight yarns like Manos Alegria, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Fingering, and Neighborhood Fibers Rustic Fingering.
I (Anna) am a slow, slow, slow knitter and I'm surprised by how much I've been able to knit in the little spare time I have here at Knitsburgh. We even have some customers who have finished already! But there's no pressure: jump in and join us whenever you can.
Andrea is almost done with hers in Manos Alegria! Be sure to check out our Ravelry group for more pictures in progress.
I have one social media outlet that I follow semi religiously, and that is Instagram. I love scrolling through photos of cats, dogs, birds, nature, knitting, food, and keeping up with friends through that avenue rather than reading through a bazillion tweets or seeing people repost things from whatever on Facebook (sorry, Facebook users). Am I annoyed by the sudden influx of paid advertising on Instagram that appears every third photo? Yes. Does it make me stop using it? Nope. But I digress.
All of that blathering above to tell you that Instagram is how I became aware of Rib Magazine. Their tagline is "knitting for men and those who knit for them." Even with that tagline, I find many of their patterns to be unisex and am looking forward to making MANY things from this first issue.
I chose to make the Urban Aran mitts first, because 1) mitts = quick knit, 2) I like cables, 3) I like texture, 4) did i mention quick knit? Also the fact that the cables travel across the mitt was interesting to me. Well, let me tell you how much I love this magazine.
The paper that the magazine is printed on is good quality and the pattern instructions are clear. One of my favorite things is that they tell you what yarn is used, but then they also tell you approximately how much yarn and what weight that yarn was. For example, for these mitts, the pattern states "1 (1, 2) skeins of Julie Asseline Nurtured ... or 115 (130, 160) yd of worsted weight yarn." How refreshing to not have to go to Ravelry, look up the original yarn and the yardage! The pattern also says to use "Needles for small circumference knitting." In other words -- DPNs or MagicLoop or two circulars or WHATEVER YOU NORMALLY DO! (Yes, that is excited yelling on my behalf).
Overall: These mitts are meant to be worn with some positive ease. They're warm and I had to wrestle the sample that I knit for the shop away from my teenage son. I used Malabrigo Rios for our sample, but this pattern would work just as well in the Shepherd's Wool worsted or the Deluxe Worsted Superwash that we carry. Stop in and see the sample and try them on!
If we hopped in a time machine and took a trip back to 2016, you would find a Very Big Brainstorm going on around my head, which involved Amy Herzog, CustomFit, and other yarn stores that were participating in the CustomFit LYS Program. Flash forward to here and now, and we are very pleased to present to you the CustomFit Trunk Show.
The idea behind the trunk show was to show some of the sweaters knit in different yarns -- to show how it really is all about your gauge and your body measurements -- no matter what they are.
There are 5 sweaters on display -- 3 cardigans, 2 pullovers -- and no two are the same. They are mostly worsted weight, and one of them is slightly fulled to make a more dense fabric. The trunk show is only here until February 17th, so stop in soon to have a look, and let us tell you about CustomFit!
I am blessed to count Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops as a close friend. She has been extremely supportive of the opening of Knitsburgh Yarn Shop, both by listening to me prattle on about things and by offering her services as a teacher and a designer. Her "congratulations" gift to us was the design of the Knitsburgh Cowl, which features a complicated looking but easy to execute cable pattern nestled within a garter background. Knit in the oh-so-soft Shepherd's Wool Worsted, the cowl is a cozy addition to your outerwear wardrobe, and will easily transition to an early spring piece when paired with your favorite light jacket. If buttons aren't your thing, you could do a provisional cast on and join this at the end of the knitting when finished, or simply wear it as a scarf.
Our sample knitter, Donna, was able to complete this with two skeins of the Shepherd's Wool; but we suggest buying an additional skein just in case.*
This pattern is free with the purchase of a skein of Shepherd's Wool worsted until February 18th.
(Side note: We think that this falls in the category of cowl-cowl, as defined by Clara Parkes.)
*We originally thought that Donna used just ONE skein. I was completely mistaken and she used two. If you purchased one skein to make the cowl with, please come in for a second skein at a discount. Thanks!
If you've seen our Facebook Live video, you'll know that we were thrilled to open a box from Neighborhood Fiber Company last week. Neighborhood Fiber is a company we got to know through visiting their (crazy crowded colorful!) booth at fiber festivals, and as a small woman-owned business we are delighted to support the work done by the amazingly talented dyer Karida Collins.
Our shipment last week brought us Rustic Fingering, a single-ply super wash merino. At $24 for 475 yards, we think this is a great value, and we are in awe of Karida's ability to render such a depth and saturation of color. For spinners, we're also pleased to carry Empire Roving, 4 ounces of 100% Falkland Wool, for $20.00.
We think you will love this yarn and roving! Stop in soon to check it out.
If I'm going to be honest, I'll have to say that I am not sure that I've actually recovered.
On Thursday, we opened to a very small number of people -- a "soft opening," they call it; you know, just to make sure that the cash drawer opens and the credit card processing is working correctly, et cetera. It all went really well, and we were ready for Friday. Wait - let me clarify. We were ready to see customers and process sales on Friday.
Friday's regular hours were steady, with everything still working well. We closed the doors at 4 and began readying the space for our (I thought) little soiree. We set out some light snacks, made some punch*, made a game plan. At 5:58, Jenn, Anna, Andrea, Jack and I cavorted around taking selfies in the back of the store, and then at 6, we turned the sign and opened the doors.
I did not, by any means, expect to see so. many. people. The patio area was filled and there was a line down the sidewalk.
Most of the evening passed in a blur. I saw so many old friends and made so many new friends. We welcomed people from as near as around the corner and as far away as New Jersey (thanks, Kim!) to our space. We gave away prizes, we sold a lot of yarn and notions and needles, and more importantly than any of that, we felt the love from all of you.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy Friday evening to come to our wee corner of the world to see us.
Thank you for supporting a woman-owned small business.
Thank you for telling us how much you've missed us and making us feel loved.
Thank you for not complaining about the line to get in the door or to make purchases.
Thank you for being patient as we learned our new point of sale system (which we love!).
Thank you for joining in our celebration.
Thank goodness someone was manning the cameras so that we have these photos to share with you! Enjoy!
*sent Jenn to Target to buy cups because I'd forgotten to buy them.