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Archive for December, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Most people will make a New Year’s Resolution for 2012.  We want to lose a few pounds, save more money, drink less coffee and be more organized.  But what are your New Year’s Knitting Resolutions?  I’d like to share a few of ours with you, along with the resources to help you accomplish them!

1. Knit for yourself! Now that you have the feeling back in your fingers from the last-minute-holiday-crunch knits, sit down and find a pattern that you want for you.  Even if it’s as simple as a new scarf.  Think of the time you will have to fit in knitting for yourself.  If you only have an hour or two a week, think of a spring or summer shawl so when you are done your project, it will be the right season to use it.  Here are a few to consider….

knitforyourself

2.  Make a gauge swatch.  I am notorious for not following my own advice on this one.  I often go blindly into a project.  I learned my lesson just a few weeks ago while making a Christmas gift for my niece.  I switched a yarn in a pattern for a slouchy hat.  There were very few differences between the two yarns, fiber content and put-up were the only things that jumped out at me.  My slouchy hat ended not fitting my niece but fitting my husband and I can’t talk him into wearing a purple hat with a touch of glitz.   Check out this article from knitty.com on the importance of and how to knit a gauge swatch.

3. Use your stash! I tried to use my stash this year for all of my holiday knitting and will try to continue to do so.  I ran out of masculine colors and only had to purchase a few balls! I am left with mostly baby yarns so I am hoping for a very long, cold winter so I will get news in the spring that I have some babies to knit for.  I am going to use some for charity but I will get to that later in this post.  There are some wonderful things you can do with those one or two skeins you picked up.  If you have 100% wool, felt, felt, felt! Small coin purses, small bags, small bowls and headbands.  Have a baby or wedding shower to attend?  If you have cotton, consider washcloths.  I have one that a friend made me almost 10 years ago.  It was in my wishing well at my bridal shower and it may be the only linen that hasn’t needed to be replaced! Hats are a great way to use up the stash too.  Here are some pattern ideas you can try.

stash1

4.  Finish the projects you start.  I’ll admit it, I have 3 wips in my inventory for about a year now BUT I also started and finished at least 20 others this year.  Will I ever finish those other 3? Hopefully, maybe, well, I can’t answer that question.  There are some great reasons why this should be a resolution you keep.  First is if you get to the end and realize you need just 20 more yards, it may be impossible to track down the dye lot.  Second is while I always try to have a couple pairs of needles in each size, they do me no good if they are tied up in a project I’ve been procrastinating on, then I am off to buy another set or borrow from one of my many knitting buddies.  Which isn’t so bad I guess as I get to see all the new arrivals at my LYS.  Third is the most obvious, that baby will grow right out of that sweater you started.  I am going to choose my projects more carefully and think ahead to make sure I have the time and supplies I need to complete them.  Try looking up your patterns on Ravelry and get real world tips, advice, materials lists and pictures of finished products.

5. Knit for Charity.  I know so many of you are already doing this and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to use your talents.  I send scarves to a local homeless shelter.  I can get them done in one or two nights while I’m watching t.v. and it’s a great way to use your stash.  Check with your local yarn shop, they will likely have a program set up for donations of all sorts.  Here is a list of just a few organizations we have had contact with….

Chemoclothes.org

Bob’s Blankie Brigade

Project Linus

Hair Flair for Hope

Stitching for America

6. Use your technology! Did you know there’s an app for that?  Use your smartphone for more than Angry Birds!  I use my iPhone for everything. There is a free app (called Needles) for cataloging your needles so you know what you’ve got on hand.  It can also direct you to the nearest yarn shop when you are on the go!  Vogue Knitting and Knitting Daily are available too.  YouTube is a great resource for how to videos on just about everything.  I’ve used it to learn a new stitch and how to knit with the new ruffle yarns.  You can also find yarn reviews there.  I can’t talk about technology without mentioning Ravelry.  If you haven’t joined yet, get on it! It’s a fantastic resource for everything yarn, patterns and the people who love them.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and the gang here at Plymouth Yarn wish you a very Happy New Year.

Hair Flair For Hope

Friday, December 16th, 2011

There are so many amazing charities out there doing wonderful things for those who truly need it.  There are thousands of busy hands that are right now knitting a chemo cap, gloves, blankets for babies in the hospital,  prayers shawls and the list goes on.  I am proud to say that I get to work in an industry where so many people are willing to give up their time and their stash to help others.

I recently got an email regarding an organization,  Hair Flair For Hope.  I loved their site and what they do is a bit different than some of the other charities.  Here’s what they have to say “HairFlair for Hope is a creative non-profit project which utilizes the community to craft colorful, one-of-a-kind wigs (wearable art) for women and children who have experienced hair-loss due to medical illness or treatments.”  Here is just one of their many creations….

Kate Pierson of the B-52's

Kate Pierson of the B-52's

To learn more about HairFlair for hope check out their website

They also host “make a wig” workshops, accept wig applications and you can donate at their website.

Check out their facebook page for tons of great wig photos.

Knitting 101, REALLY?????

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Joy-full Knitting and Glorious Free Patterns!

Monday, December 5th, 2011

You can tell the holidays are right around the corner. The phones are ringing off the hook in the office, the fax machine is practically smoking and email boxes are bursting at the seams. I am more excited this year then ever before. Why, do you ask? Well, it’s the new Joy collection of yarns we have been shipping to our shops. I finally was able to get a ball of each and I whipped the scarves up in no time this weekend. I wanted to share the yarns and patterns with you. Call your favorite local yarn shop TODAY because everyone is telling me it’s flying off the shelves.

First we have Joy Metallic. It’s a super quick knit full of ruffles and sparkly goodness. It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve out on the town or with a pair of blue jeans.

Joy Metallic

Joy Metallic

Free Pattern

F390

F390

Joy Metallic Scarf

F390 Joy Metallic PDF

Scarf

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  4” x 48”
Needles:  Size US 10.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the glitter effect is at the bottom. Cast on 8 sts across the top edge using a size US 10 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening per stitch. Knit every row.

Next up we have Joy Prism with it’s sweet ruffles and delicate loops of sparkle. The color palette will go with everything in your wardrobe.

Joy Prism

Joy Prism

Free Pattern

F391

F391

Joy Prism
Scarf
F391 Joy Prism Scarf PDF Download

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  4” x 55”
Needles:  Size US 9.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the prism effect is at the bottom. Cast on 7 sts across the top edge using a size US 9 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening for the first stitch of every row, then skip a track hole each time for the other stitches of the row.  Knit every row.

2011 Plymouth Yarn Company.  092711jbt

Last but not least, we have Joy Rainbow.  Lots of beautiful ruffles in feminine color combinations without the sparkle.

Joy Rainbow

Free Pattern

F392

F392

Joy Rainbow Scarf

F392 Joy Rainbow Scarf PDF Download

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  3” x 48”
Needles:  Size US 10.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the rainbow effect is at the bottom. Cast on 6 sts across the top edge using a size US 10 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening for the first stitch of every row, then skip a track hole each time for the other stitches of the row. Knit every row.

2011 Plymouth Yarn Company.  092711jbt

If you would like a little guidance on how to knit with ruffle yarn, you can check out Plymouth Yarn‘s YouTube page and view the “How to knit with Joie de Vie” video as the instructions are similar.  Always knit through the top edge with the effect at the bottom.

I hope you have as much fun as I am with our Joy collection of yarns, keep your eyes peeled for new additions to the line.  Have you made scarf already with one of these yarns?  Come visit our facebook page, post a picture and tell us all about it.