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….
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.
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….
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.
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.
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 haveJoy Prism with it’s sweet ruffles and delicate loops of sparkle. The color palette will go with everything in your wardrobe.
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.
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.
I have always heard such fabulous things about the Minnesota State Fair from many of our yarns shops who have participated over the years. This year, it ran from August 25th to September 5th, in St Paul. The fair was first held in 1859 and has been held every year with only five exceptions due to war and a polio epidemic! It hosts dozens of competitions for everything from needle crafts and canning to hogs and dairy products. Not to mention all of the great exhibits, rides and food. It is the second largest fair in the United States. Many of our yarn shops were there. This year’s total attendance was 1, 769,872! I really think I should be there next year, reporting live. We’ll see if the boss will go for it!
You can get pattern 1063 at your favorite yarn shop that sells Plymouth products, or give Kelley’s Quality Sewing Center a call at 507-288-9051. Visit their website here and like them on facebook to keep up to to date with all the latest news.
Congratulations again Linda, what a beautiful afghan!
For those folks who don’t already know, I LOVE BAZINGA! This super bulky, wool/acrylic blend has colorways that are to dye for. It knits up quickly and can be used for so many different projects.
Our friends at Double Ewe Yarn Shop in Circle Pines, MN love Bazinga too. The owner of the shop, Kelly Judson, has created a darling set of mittens that can be knit in your choice of fingerless or full cover.
August is always an exciting time here at Plymouth Yarn. New yarns are arriving and fall orders are leaving. I love when customers call and thank us for all the boxes of beautiful yarns. We use this next week or two to get ready for the upcoming season. We kicked it off yesterday with our employee breakfast. After breakfast, we took advantage of the beautiful weather to snap an employee photo or two.
I love this time of year also because I get to chat about Christmas knitting projects with everyone. Usually, there is a lot of Encore colors 1386 and 54 heading out the door and I’m excited to use Holiday Lights in some of my projects this year. It has the same gauge and about the same yardage as Encore Worsted. Log into Ravelry today and download this free Encore Christmas Stocking pattern (hint- you can also use Holiday Lights).
Encore Worsted Christmas Stocking Pattern F167
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, Happy knitting & crocheting!
Do you like to fish? Do you like to crochet? Do you like to crochet while your friends are fishing? Here’s your chance to be a master angler and come home with a fish every time! Your crochet hook is your rod and Galway is your line. There is no messy bait to contend with either!
This little cutie came across my desk via email the other day.
Wal, the tiny fish
His name is Wal and he is the brain child of the vary talented Stacey at freshstitches.com. For this tiny fish, she used about 60 yards of Galway in color 154 and just 5 yards of the white, color 8. After I met Wal, I visited the website and met lots of other cuties. You can purchase Wal and Stacey’s other “Amigurumi” patterns here. There are also free patterns available here.
Stacey loves to hear from her customers and you can reach her just about any way imaginable!
This event demonstrates the latest innovations in yarns, yarn technology and stitch design. You can see all of the newest fiber trends on the horizon in some of the pictures below.
Lots of great hats to be seen
We also wanted to share the color trend chart.
I'll take one in every color!
With over 100 yarn brand representatives in attendance, it proves to be one of the most diverse and exciting events we attend.
The show’s focus this year is in ethical quality. Fiber prices are higher than we have ever seen. This directly influences all of our choices. Plymouth Yarn Company strives to keep the quality you deserve and the affordability you crave. These decisions are difficult ones and we have discovered some fabulous fibers!
The yarn I love, the pants...not so much!
Knit & Crochet unite!
You won't catch me in this one but the colors are fabulous!
Keep any eye out for new colors in some of your favorite yarns. We are also considering two new beautiful yarns from Peru and just wait until you can feast your eyes (and needles) on Mushishi Black. We would like to announce that coming soon…Plymouth Yarn will be the exclusivedistributor for Grignasco Knits in the United States!
For more photos of Christine’s adventure, please visit our facebook page.
The tribe has spoken and Baby Alpaca Ultimo is the yarn with the most votes in our free pattern poll. You click, we listen. You will love this cowl in all it’s beautiful, cuddly, super chunky goodness! Since it’s knit on a size 13 needle, you can make it this weekend while sipping on some lemonade in the backyard. If your thinking about your holiday knitting projects, this will make a wonderful gift. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
BABY ALPACA ULTIMO
Approx. Finished Measurements: 20” tall x 20 around”
Materials: Ultimo- 2 hanks
Gauge: 8 sts = 4” in garter st on size 13 needles over st st.
Needles: Size US 13 knitting needles.
Loosely cast on 50 sts
Row 1, 3, 5: K1, p1, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p1, k1.
Row 2, 4, 6: P1, k1, p1, k1, p12, k1, p1, k1, p12, k1, p1, k1, p12, k1, p1, k1, p1.
Row 7: K1, p1, k1, p1, cable 12 back, p1, k1, p1, cable 12 back, p1, k1, p1, cable 12 back, p1, k1, p1, k1.
Row 8: As row 2.
Row 9: As row 1.
Row 10: As row 2.
Repeat rows 1-10 until total length is about 20” long, or desired length, ending with row 2.
Bind off. Sew the cast on edge to the bind off edge. Weave in all ends.