New Yarn and Patterns Inspired by the 1940s

The Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop normally happens in April. From August to April, the local yarn stores that participate in the Hop plan, plan, and plan some more. We work with hand-dyers to create exclusive colors in the yarns we choose to highlight. And we design patterns to showcase the yarn. We arrange to donate money to food shelves. And we organize the event to make it the most appealing to a broad range of participants. It’s a long process. But, oh so worth it.

Then, along comes a pandemic. The best laid plans have to be abandoned – including 2020’s Shop Hop. Sigh!

But, guess what? We already had our yarn and patterns, so… Introducing our homage to the 1940s!

The 1940s was a time of war, tragedy, and hard-won peace. Because World War II was such a huge part of the decade, we asked local dyer Trippin’ with Dixi to create colorways reminiscent of army fatigues and the Red Cross.

Migration Fatigues
Migration Red Cross

We chose Trippin’ with Dixi’s Migration base to showcase these fabulous colorways. We wanted a fingering weight yarn, but not the ubiquitous merino. Not that we don’t love merino wool – it’s just that there is so much of it in today’s yarn world. At 3 Kittens, we’re always looking for non-merino yarns to introduce to our customers! And the blend of wool, yak (!), and nylon in Migration is just so luscious, we couldn’t resist. The yarn will be available while supplies last, so get yours while you can! Click here to purchase.

When Laura started thinking about the patterns, she considered what was happening in the forties to influence the design process. For the knit pattern, Laura chose to do a riff on argyle socks. ‘A Short History of Argyle Socks’ on the Joseph Turner website, says –

During the 1940s and 50s, after World War II, the Argyle pattern once again grew in popularity. Beginning in England, the craze spread across the pond to the US, where girls learning to knit would create Argyle patterned socks for the boys they were sweet on.

Because argyle socks are typically done with multiple colors in intarsia, but that just seemed too complicated, Laura decided to create her own faux argyle pattern using knits, purls, and twisted stitches. The resulting Fogyle Socks have a continuous diamond shaped pattern running up the leg of the sock. The stitch pattern is both charted and written out.

During World War II, many of those on the home front wanted to help in whatever way the could. One thing that many people could do was knit or crochet for the troops. From socks to “helmets” to sweaters to vests, people could create useful items to warm and comfort soldiers on the front. Laura used the idea of making “helmets” as an inspiration for her crochet pattern, the Medic Hat. It is a very easy, slightly slouchy beanie made with basic stitches.

Both patterns are available on Ravelry – free through July 15, 2020.

We hope you enjoy our 1940s inspired patterns and yarn!

The 4-Day Sweater KAL is Coming

We’re participating in Olive Knits 4-Day Sweater KAL again this year. Marie Greene has designed a unisex sweater for everyone – Soundtrack!

What is the 4-Day Sweater KAL?
Olive Knits has been doing the 4-Day Sweater Knit-A-Long for four years. Every year, Marie Greene designs a sweater that can be completed in 4-days – but you’re allowed to take longer! This year the sweater is Soundtrack. Check out the Olive Knits blog for all the details on the how, why, and when, but know that it starts July 1, 2020 – which is just around the corner.

How do you sign up?
There’s no real sign up. All you need to do is buy the pattern (during the pre-order phase, the price is $8; after June 15, the price will be $9). And make sure to join Olive Knit’s Facebook group for lots of fun during the KAL.

What do we recommend for yarn?
Soundtrack calls for DK or light worsted weight yarn in two high-contrast colors, and 3 Kittens has a lot of options. Marie used Kelbourne Woollens Scout, a non-superwash wool. Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok or Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted would be lovely as well. We also have some superwash and non-wool options. Keep in mind that, whatever you choose, you should do a swatch and wet block it to make sure it behaves as you want and that you are getting gauge!

Click here for all of the details on the Olive Knits website.