Friday, August 12, 2011

Sample Knitting

One of the things people assume about yarn store employees is that we get to sit around and knit all day. A lot of the time we have other things to do - helping customers, restocking yarn, cleaning, etc. But, sometimes, we do get to sit around and knit. Samples for the shop, that is.

I recently completed two such samples:

Grace by Tonia Barry

Knit in Classic Elite Pirouette (67% mohair, 25% bamboo, 8% nylon) on size 6 needles. This took less than 2 balls of yarn, and includes some insane ruffle increases which I rather love.

The finished product is larger in reality than the photo in the booklet makes it appear. Or, maybe I just had gauge issues.

Winding Way Mitts by Cheryl Beckerich
Knit in Cascade 220 Sport (100% wool) on size 4 needles. The pattern calls for one skein, but I only made one mitt so I only used 1/2 a skein. I would have to weigh the remainder to be sure, but it seems correct.

If I was a fingerless mitts person I would definitely make myself a pair of these. The cable pattern is engaging and easy to work, and the ribbing in the hand makes for a great fit. The 220 Sport is lovely to work with - lofty and soft, with awesome stitch definition.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet Harald Bairhair

Last fall I bought a DK weight cashmere sweater at Value Village. It had a hole in it, and wasn't the most attractive thing I'd ever seen, but it was extremely soft and a nice clean white color, so I bought it. I brought it home and washed it, and then it sat in a box for months.

This weekend I finally pulled it out, dissected it, and frogged it onto my ball winder. This is what it yielded:

Also this weekend, at the yarn shop, a customer showed off the adorable bear she had just finished. I asked her about it, and learned that the pattern was Peabey the Polar Bear by Snowden Becker. I immediately queued it, and favorited her project, then went on about my day. On Monday I realized that I could make him out of a bit of the cashmere, and off I went. Two evenings later I was finished.

Isn't he cute? The pattern is thorough and clear, with lots of great photos of the construction. I ended up using 7 dpns at once and wasn't even annoyed about it, it was that clever. Plus, 50% of the pattern sales proceeds are being donated to polar bear research and conservation. Everyone wins!

Tyler, tasked with naming our new friend, came up with Harald (after Harald Fairhair, first king of Norway). Bears are pleased.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


All of these are growing on our little porch.


Red Bell Peppers