Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hilltop's Super Socktacular Monday

We are so lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, where artists are everywhere and knitters and crocheters share their work, even across state lines! On Monday night, Hilltop hosted a visit from Kalani Craig, of Portland's Shibui Knits, to celebrate their yarns' new presence at the shop. We will be carrying their superwash, gorgeously hand-dyed sock yarns, as well as the light and shiny Silk Puff, and a silk/mohair yarn called Silk Cloud.

Here Kalani models the brilliantly-constructed Origami Wrap, knit in Silk Puff. The sweater is created as you wrap it on your body, and it was quite a performance in itself to watch it being put on!

The Origami Wrap completed!
Kalani demonstrated a unique toe-up method for casting on socks. If you start from the toes and work up, you don't have to worry about having enough yarn to finish your sock; just make the cuffs shorter.
One of our resident sock experts, Kat, demonstrated knitting socks with the Magic Loop method, which uses one long circular needle. Kat, Kalani and Kathryn were all on hand to show off different approaches to sock knitting and answer questions. You can knit them toe up, or top down, one or two at a time, on double points, on one circular or on two circulars-- there are so many ways to make a sock! Kat is also modeling Transparency, another of the Shibui Knits patterns, in Kidsilk Haze. (We have these patterns at the shop, too.)
These are just a few of the colorways in the Shibui Sock yarn, which is sooooo soft. That blue and brown one would be perfect for man socks. Even the "solid" colors have subtle variations in shade, which would give the yarn a beautiful amount of depth without potentially distracting from an equally nice and complex stitch pattern (like fancy lace or cables).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

That Girl Hat!

That Girl Hat 2
Originally uploaded by dinahsaurus.
I did it! I made my own personal copy of my favorite shop pattern, Kathryn's That Girl Hat. I love the yarn (Cashmerino Superchunky in olive green), and the cables, and the slouchiness, and the fact that it only took a couple of hours to knit. In fact, I love it so much, I need a new haircut to do it justice. So my chair gets to pose this one. Unfortunately, it doesn't show off the lovely, just-slouchy-enough european style of this hat, but I promise you, this hat has it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ShibuiKnits Sock Event

Shibui means "elegance with a touch of irony" and that's exactly how we like our knits here at Hilltop.
Kalani Craig, the designer of Shibui patterns and yarn will join us Monday March 26th from 6:00-8:00pm to introduce her yarn to us. During the event ShibuiKnit yarn and patterns will be 10% off.
In addition, Kat, Kathryn and Kalini will demonstrate the Magic Loop, Two Circulars and Double Pointed methods of sock making. If you'd like to sign up for a whole sock making class there will be a 2 session class April 21st and May 5th from 11-1pm, and if you sign up for it the night of our sock event we'll give you $10 off!
What could be better than that?
Hope to see you there!
RSVP to (206) 282-1332


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Soft Kid Sweater emerges

Soft Kid Round Yoke Sweater

It was a bit of a long haul--I found out my sister is pregnant with twins in the middle of this project, and had to align, realign, then actually focus on some priorities to get things done. I may be learning a lesson from all this, but let's give it a few months to see if I put that lesson into action, eh? My point to you is if you're a one-project person, this is a quick and worthwhile project. If you're a bit pokey, like me, it's a good project because it's easy to pick up again after breaks, and it seamed quickly. You knit front, back and sleeves separately to the armholes, keeping all stitches live, then join for knitting (and decreasing!) in the round to the top. You could knit the body in the round, but definitely swatch in the round if you do.

The sweater above is a size small and took less than 5 skeins (by a healthy bit -- I had about 15 grams left of a 25 gm skein) of the dark blue, and only 10 grams of the aqua. I used the smaller size needles (Rebecca gives you a range) to get gauge, but would've probably used the larger needles for the flowers had I realized how small they'd end up. Also, Rebecca patterns are translated from the original German. This pattern was clear, but one note--in the last row of ribbing, the pattern tells you to increase evenly around by a certain number of stitches, depending on size. I used "m1" or "make one" increases, lifting the bar between stitches and knitting into the back. They're invisible in this pattern, which was great... until I realized I was supposed to thread the crocheted "belt" through that row! Obviously, it worked out fine, but if you're doing the belt/tie, you might want to do those increases as yarn overs (yo's). (If you don't want to crochet the belt, you can use i-cord or your own alternative.)

Also note that the pattern calls for 2 skeins of the contrast color (aqua here). That's because they have you double the yarn for the belt--you really don't need 2 skeins--unless someone else is buying! The only time I've regretted having Soft Kid in my stash is when the cat found it, and even that story ended well (the scarf was auctioned for charity... and won by my sweetie).

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Friday, March 09, 2007

ASC Sweater

By request, this is my husband's most recent finished sweater, in Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It's his most favorite yarn, for having no wool and still some stretch and even manly colors... If you knit for a wool-allergic person, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. Anyway, he MADE UP (!) this pattern himself based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Percentage System, with all the cables and chevron side ribs and everything, and then knit it. I think it's a great example of how a really basic sweater pattern can be made entirely your own (especially if you're willing to weave in a lot of ends!).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fabulous Fair Isle

This is Sebastion from Rowan's Arabesque. It is knit in Rowan's Little Big Wool on size US 11's and 13's.
Coming soon to your local Hilltop Yarn Shop.

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