Thursday, October 28, 2010

Curly Girly Kasumi

One thing we love about our Knitch pattern, Curly Girly Boa, is the way it can be made in all sorts of clever combinations, limited only by your imagination. But this was the first time we ever saw it done in Shepherds Wool and Habu Kasumi.

Susan Crawley has a distinct eye for things creative and artistic it's true, being the curator for Folk Art at Atlanta's High Museum of Art. And she also has a lot of patience. That comes in handy when binding off 2400 stitches of Kasumi!

Are there any more interesting approaches to Curly Girly Boa out there? We would love to see what you are doing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Lovely Homeless Hat Project Story

Yesterday, a lady wandered into the shop, attracted by our window display for 100 Hats in 100 Days for the Homeless (see column to the left). She insisted that it would be impossible for anyone to teach her to knit. She was quite certain about that. But she wanted to participate in our project. She asked if she might purchase some yarn to give to a knitter to make a hat . . . or two. As luck would have it, a busy, happy group of knitters was gathered around the table. Jane was the first to speak up and say she'd be happy to do it. The lady thanked her and disappeared, only to return moments later with a gift -- a lovely porcelain platter full of crackers and artichoke spread from our neighbors, Bella Cucina. Now we had a table of busy and even happier knitters! The lady left, having never revealed her name, with a contented smile on her face, knowing she had contributed to a worthy cause -- on a couple of levels!

Our goal of 100 Hats in 100 Days needs a burst of activity from everyone to make the November 1 deadline. So keep those hats coming -- whether you knit them yourself or not! And thank you, mysterious lady, and Jane. You are both inspirations.

And speaking of hats, our Knitch bird sported an Atlanta Braves cap for a couple of weeks as excitement grew about our home team going into the MLB post-season. Alas, it's all over now, but not due to any lack of spirit on behalf of our bird!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh Happy Day...Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER has arrived at Knitch!

It's been really hard to keep this secret....we knew you'd love this yarn and we've been itching to tell all the Knitch Knitters about SHELTER from Brooklyn Tweed for months. This secret was worth keeping though, because the yarn is even better than we had imagined and we're thrilled to be able to unveil it!

Available in 17 over the top beautiful colors - each one sweater worthy for sure - this yarn begs to jump on your needles and fly!

From Brooklyn Tweed himself:

In September 2009 , Jared began researching answers to very specific questions he had been asking myself for some time: With such a rich textile history and an abundance of fiber and resources, why is there such a tangible absence of commercial American yarns available to the broader hand knitting community? Is it possible to develop 100% American sourced, spun & designed yarns and present them in a competitive & compelling way in the current market? What would a yarn look like that was designed from the ground up by a single designer? The desire to answer these questions sparked the beginning of a year-long journey that has allowed me to pursue a personal dream of developing my own line of wool yarn. The result of this process is SHELTER, an artisanal American Wool with a wonderful story and unique identity.

Before making steps towards the realization of SHELTER, Jared made a list of the qualities that he desired in his own ideal yarn for hand knitting. The list below served as a road map to making the search a reality.
• A woolen-spun 2-ply wool with extremely light and lofty hand
• A light worsted weight gauge that is fluid enough to create a variety of fabrics
• A yarn that allowed easy visualization of stitch architecture without creating heavy or dense fabrics.
• A rich palette of deep autumnal hues and natural greys and browns
• Fleece-dyed fiber for sophisticated heathers and tweeds
• All wools sourced and grown on American soil
• Locating American sheep breeds whose inherent qualities include both softness and structure.
• All labor and milling completed on American soil
• A high-quality and aesthetically beautiful finished product that brings with it a rich and meaningful story
• Give consumers the opportunity to support the once-great American Textile Industry through the purchase of high-quality, artisanal wool.

SHELTER is constructed from 100% wool from the Targhee-Columbia cross breed. Both Targhee and Columbia were developed as American sheep breeds in the early 20th century and have rich farming histories in the West. Both breeds have specific qualities that create wonderful wool for handknitting. Targhee is considered a Fine Wool (21-25 microns), bringing softness, while Columbia is a Medium Wool (24-31 microns) that brings an element of structure and strength.

A cross between these breeds brings together the sometimes disparate qualities of both wearability and durability, creating a yarn that is uniquely suited for the needs of handknitters and wool-wearers alike.

This yarn is inspiring!

We just have to add that the colors remind us of all that is wonderful about Autumn . . . with evocative names like Long Johns, Wool Socks, Faded Quilt, Woodsmoke, Embers, Almanac, Nest, Hayloft, Homemade Jam, Sweatshirt, Pumpernickel, Fossil, Tent, Sap, Thistle . . . even Button Jar and Soot.

SHELTER comes in a beautiful 50 gram hank with a clean, center-wrap ball band in recyclable natural brown paper.

Because of its light, woolen preparation, SHELTER sports very generous yardage for a worsted weight yarn. Each 50g hank packs approximately 140 yards. An average adult sweater (1100 yards) requires only 6 skeins and the price per skein is only 12.50 -- approximately 8.3 cents per yard, a price that is directly comparable to many commercial wools of the same weight.

There are 8 wonderful patterns available . . . all drool worthy . . . and here are four of them: Guernsey Wrap, Terra Shawl, Habitat Cabled Beanie, and Woodruff Mittens.

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We hope you've enjoyed drooling over the photos..and now you really must come and visit this special yarn! We hope to see you soon! In the meantime, we're all rolling around in wooly wonderfulness!