Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Plymouth Square Round Up

Hi there square knitters (and I am in no way implying that you are uncool)! Susan has let us know that it is time to sew those Cashsoft squares up for the "Comforts of Home" blanket, ASAP! The blanket is due to be auctioned off on February 10th. If you have one out, please bring it by or send it to the shop as soon as you possibly can. We can't wait to see how they all come together!
And yes, I'm finishing up tonight!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Valentine Pink Sweater

I just finished this sweater last week, and I know some customers are trying it out, too, so I thought it would make a good pre-Valentine
post. It's the "Cropped Cardigan" pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas, and
knits up very, VERY fast. In fact, I think it would make an excellent
first or second sweater for newish knitters, because it has my favorite
combination of big gauge and no finishing. In the recommended Alpaca Sportweight
(which this isn't--just stash yarn), it would also be cuddly soft. And
Alpaca Silk doubled would be divine as well. The only change I had to
make was in the sleeves. The cute little model in the pattern must have
massive, vampire-slayer-esque biceps, because the sleeves started out
way too big for me, even though the rest of the sweater fit fine. I
added two additional decrease rows to each sleeve (4 stitches fewer per
arm) and knitted the ribbing on size 8 needles instead of 10.5s. And, yay, instant sweater!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Comforts of Home Update

We knew we could count on Hilltop Knitters to take up the reins of the Plymouth Housing blanket! As of today, all the balls of yarn set aside for the project have gone home with good families, and are being knit up into squares. Thanks to those knitters, and thank you, too, to all of you who came in, even if we didn't have any more yarn left to be knit up! Hilltop loves to connect knitting and the community and we will have more projects soon! For those of you who are starting a square, here are some motifs you can try.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Comforts of Home

From the success of last month’s Winter Warm-Up, we know that Hilltop knitters (even those who read the blog from far away) are a kind and helpful group. In fact, this could even be said of all knitters and crocheters, particularly if you follow the amazing events on The Yarn Harlot’s blog.
Given this, we’d like to appeal to your generosity and community support again-- this time, for an organization called Plymouth Housing Group. Seattle, like all big cities, has quite a few people who are homeless, and not nearly enough shelter beds or permanent housing placements for them. Plymouth Housing Group creates affordable housing and a support network for those in need, and at the same time, revitalizes formerly neglected buildings in our city, so the improvements benefit all of us.
Hilltop Yarn would like to help out with our own creation: a blanket whose auction proceeds would support Plymouth Housing Group’s fundraising efforts. Susan held a knitting session in the fall, called “Comforts of Home,” in which knitters made the first squares for the project, but we still need more to make the blanket a big and snuggly one. Hilltop has the yarn and the pattern; now we need the knitters!
If you are interested in adding a square to the blanket, come by to Hilltop and pick up some yarn! Let us know that you would like to knit for the “Comforts of Home” blanket, and we will set you up with a pattern and some Cashsoft DK. The pattern for the basic square is also available here, at 5.5 st/inch in Cashsoft. You can knit your square with or without a motif (something that fits the theme of “home”) in the center; we will try to have some patterns for potential designs available at the shop, too.
Again, we have always appreciated our customers' willingness to give their time and expertise to good causes, and we thank you not only for helping out with this project, but for the many things you do, as fiber artists, for the world!
(House courtesy of Clipart Heaven)

test post


Thursday, January 04, 2007

knittacular fingerless gloves

az peeps 055
So I started these shortly after my arrival in AZ. And in two short, non-commital days of knitting these bad boys were done. This is the fingerless gloves pattern by Blue Sky Alpacas. They were knit in the alpaca royal. They are super soft and uber warm. I am the world's slowest knitter and these went up in a flash. Also, the pattern itself is very forgiving. I made a couple errors. While I know about where they are it even takes me a minute or two to find them when i am trying.Come into Hilltop Yarn to see them for yourself. I'm sure I'll be wearing them every chance I get since I love them so.see you soon!!xxoo

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Are there anything better than alpaca mitts?

I'd been searching for the perfect project for the Blue Sky Alpaca Royal for awhile, and I knew I'd found it when I saw the Endpaper Mitts over on Eunny Jang's blog. The Royal is a 100% alpaca sportweight and feels like cashmere. It's from the alpaca's very first shearing, so it's extra soft, extra wonderful. And at 288 yards per skein, I've got plenty leftover, so I'm dreaming up my next project with it.

Endpaper Mitts

All I can say is that they're absolutely wonderful. A fun, quickish knit, and the softest, coziest armwarmers you can imagine. The fair isle is manageable since there aren't any long floats: no more than 3 stitches of one color at a time. I knit the first one on the train to Portland and back, and the other provided a welcome distraction from holidays. I did take out 1 1/2 repeats to account for my little arms and stumpy little fingers, but otherwise didn't change a thing. It may be my imagination, but I think they make my fingers look longer!

A quick block using a couple of glasses and they're ready for wearing. (They'd make good tumbler cozies too!)
Endpaper mitts, blocking
They certainly come in handy at my job away from Hilltop where I have to sit at a computer all day, and the heating is less generous.
Endpaper Mitts, keeping typing hands warm
They're a great way to wrap your hands in a bit of luxury on cold, windy nights like tonight, while still being able to turn the pages of a book, use a computer, or dare I say it, knit another pair?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Warm Up Wrap Up

Aren't these hats adorable? These two (by Megan), among many others, went to children who can really use them this winter, via the Baby Boutique. Hilltop Knitters and Crocheters really stepped up to the challenge! Jenny reported that they were so happy to see all the knitted and crocheted hats, scarves and gloves when she brought over the first bunch. Our grand total for items donated was 38 hats, 7 scarves and a pair of gloves to the Baby Boutique, and 26 hats to Caps to the Capital. Our customer, Constance, who first brought us the idea for Caps to the Capital, added your hats to those of her knitting classmates and friends, and wound up sending in 156 newborn caps!
The staff at Hilltop has been impressed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of our customers, as well as the cuteness of those hats, and we all thank you so much!
For those of you that donated items, we held an appreciation drawing, and I'm happy to finally post the results. I will contact winners directly this week, but if you read your name before then,you are welcome to come pick up your prize at the shop.

Prize One

The two sets of stitch markers (seen earlier here) will live on the needles of... Mimi K.!

Prize Two

These three scarves were featured in the book "One Skein Wonders." (I wrote down the names and page numbers earlier, but have lost my notes!) Anyway, they are very photogenic and have modelled for a book, and so they come with their own built-in celebrity status. They will go to... Morgan D.!

Prize Three

Prize three, about 140 yards of handspun wool yarn, goes to... Julie P.!

Prize Four

These two glitzy scarves were shop models at Hilltop, and became ready to grace the neck of someone new. The red one, which is both warm and dressy, is knit in Bee Sweet mohair Boucle and 18 Karat lurex yarn. The colorful one is woven in Splash. The lucky winner is... Cookie P. !