Disco Ball Shawl Extras

If you came to 3 Kittens during the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop 2017, you probably picked up a copy of our Disco Ball Shawl pattern. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough room on the printed pattern to incorporate several useful tips, so we’ve put some extras in this post to help you finish your shawl successfully.


Disco Ball Schematic



This is a rough drawing of the shawl. The actual shawl’s hypotenuse (the longest edge) is actually curved as is the bottom edge.




Section 1 – Color Sequence

The following chart is a representation of how the color sequencing occurs in Section 1 of the shawl. Some people (like me!) are more visual and like charts and diagrams. This is for you!

Disco Ball Color Sequence

(The red numbers in the # of sts columns correspond to the stitch counts in the written pattern.)

Finding the Stitch in the Row Below for Make Bobble Instructions

My test knitter didn’t know exactly what I meant by “st from the row below at the base of the bobble”, so we thought a series of pictures might help you!

Locating the Stitch Below the Bobble

To Shorten the Shawl

This is a large shawl. If you would like to shorten it, I suggest removing the last stripe sequence.

I hope all of this helps you make the Disco Shawl!

~ Laura

Winding Yarn Can be Hazardous to Your (Yarn’s) Health

skinny_cotton_small2 (1)

At 3 Kittens we will always ask our yarn customers if they would like their hanks/skeins of yarn wound into balls/cakes when they purchase their yarn. It is one of the services we provide happily to our customers.

But, did you know that winding a hank of yarn before it’s ready to be used can cause issues? Here are some of the cons to winding a hank too early:

  • Winding a hank into a tight ball/cake (which unfortunately is how our big wooden swift tends to create them) means that your yarn fibers might get stretched a bit from how they are in the relaxed hank. When you have an elastic fiber (meaning that a yarn when stretched will bounce back when released – wool is highly elastic, while cotton is inelastic), you might stretch the yarn so much that it won’t return to its original state.
  • Winding yarn that is ‘slinky’ or slippery might allow the yarn to get tangled if not used right away. The yarn is much less likely to tangle while it is in the hank!
  • Wound balls/cakes are less compact-able than hanks. Have you ever tried to squish a ball/cake down? It’s pretty impossible, particularly if the cake is wound tightly. If you’re packing your yarn up (either in a suitcase or a storage box), hanks are more malleable and easier to fit into odd spaces.

Of course, if you don’t have your own ball winder and swift and you live far away from 3 Kittens, it might be worth it to go ahead and wind all of your hanks at the time of purchase. However, if you live nearby or come to the store frequently, you should think about only having us wind your hank(s) when you’re ready to use them. We are happy to wind yarn purchased at 3 Kittens any time! And if you purchase yarn elsewhere and would like us to wind it, we are happy to do that as well for just $1/hank.


Sivia Harding Workshops in April

We’re very excited to have knitting designer and instructor Sivia Harding come to 3 Kittens on Friday, April 21 to teach two great workshops! Sivia is known for her beautiful and unusual shapes in her designs, and we’ve picked two projects that showcase that talent.

Short Row Stripes Workshop:rainshadow Rainshadow Scarf

This garter stitch scarf features two different kinds of short rows: one for the color insert wedges along the narrow edge and one that shapes the long curved lengthwise stripes. You will learn about these two short row methods (and why you need two!) while we work up a sample swatch. We will talk about lace, beads, color stripes, and all of the issues that you will encounter such as weaving in ends and carrying yarns. Note: In the class, you will be working on a swatch, not the actual scarf.

Click here for more information and to sign up

Harmonia’s Rings: Moebius & More!harmonias-ring

The Harmonia’s Rings family (cowl, tunic and sweater) uses Cat Bordhi’s Moebius cast on to achieve the mysterious spiral neck shape. We will concentrate on the cowl in this class. It features a stitch pattern that creates concentric rings reminiscent of ancient architecture. The cowl sits cape-like over the shoulders and flatters a wide range of body types. We will discuss customizing the cowl shape to fit any body type.

Click here for more information and to sign up

Timaru Cowl



Baby, it’s cold outside!

No, seriously, it’s supposed to be -19ºF tonight!

What’s a girl to do? Whip up a super fast wool cowl to keep out the cold, of course…

So, here it is, the Timaru Cowl. Made out of our bulkiest yarn in the store – Outlaw Yarn Queen Bee. This 100% New Zealand wool yarn knits up at 1.5 stitches per inch! Pull out your size 19US/16mm needles, and you can make the Timaru Cowl in just a few hours with a single hank.

Never heard of Outlaw Yarn? 3 Kittens is one of only four stores in the US to carry them. The first Outlaw yarn we carried was Bohemia Sport – a luscious blend of wool, alpaca, and New Zealand possum (which is different than our indigenous possum and considered an invasive species in New Zealand). When Deb from Outlaw Yarn came out with her super bulky Queen Bee, I knew we had to have it. It’s a great addition to our super bulky yarns. I hope you like it as much as I do!


Why the name Timaru? Outlaw Yarn is based in New Zealand, and Timaru is a port city along the Pacific coast of the South Island. And, well, I just liked the sound of it. I imagine they are much warmer there right now than we are here, so that helps, too…

~ Laura



Another Birthday Wish!


From guest blogger Patty Lyons:

I first met Laura at an industry event several years ago. When she asked me to come teach at 3 Kittens Needle Arts, I was excited. I had heard great things about the shop from other knitting teachers and I was looking forward to seeing it for myself.

When I found out it was 3 Kitten’s 10th anniversary, I was not surprised. Few shops make it to that landmark, and when I visited the shop I understood why 3 Kittens is in that handful of stores that make it to 10 (and will make it to 20!). 

When I first walked in the shop early on a Friday afternoon, it was a buzz of activity. There was a woman in the back picking out colors for a new canvas, a few women browsing the yarn, a woman picking up her finished needlepoint pillow (there was a good deal of oohing and aahing over the beautiful birds on the pillow), and another woman rushing in to get a gift asking the nearly unanswerable question, “What do teenage girls like?”

The shop is not only stocked with beautiful yarns, many of which I had never seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of yarn), but more importantly, it’s staffed by funny, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. 

Congrats to 3 Kittens on your 10-year anniversary . . . I have a feeling this shop will be around for a long time to come!

~ Patty Lyons

Thanks for the Love


Melissa Leapman, author, designer and knitting/crochet instructor, sent me this little note to put on our blog:

I’m excitedly counting the days until my return visit (number 4? number 5????) to do a designer event at 3 Kittens.

Ten years?!?! Congratulations! It’s because you are one of the best, most comprehensive, and friendly yarn shops in the country–with the most fantastic customers! (Trust me because I know. Seriously, I’ve literally made a career out of visiting shops. <grin>)

Thanks, Melissa!

Melissa teaching for us in 2014 – I think the visit count is now at 4!

ten. 10. TEN!

3 Kittens Needle Arts is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary

of ownership by Julie and Laura!


When we bought 3 Kittens on 2006, little did we know the impact that the store would have on our lives and the lives of our staff and customers. 3 Kittens had been in existence since 1972, and we knew that it’s history and customer base were strong. But we also knew that we had dreams and aspirations for 3 Kittens that we just HAD to bring alive! The store has evolved, and we are so proud of it and all that we’ve accomplished. Here are some of the changes that have occurred in our ten years of business:

  • Immediately, we changed the name from Three Kittens Yarn Shoppe to 3 Kittens Needle Arts – we wanted to reflect the fact that we didn’t just carry yarn, we also carried needlepoint and wanted the ability to bring in other needle arts.
  • In 2008, we moved from the former Diamond Jim’s strip mall on Hwy 13 to our beautiful location in the Village at Mendota Heights. 2007-07 (Jul).jpg
  • We introduced our 3K Club loyalty program which has grown to over 3800 members – and we can’t even begin to count how many $50 rewards we’ve given out!
  • Our needlepoint business has grown and grown and grown. Because of this growth, we have had to rearrange our store many times to accommodate more canvases, threads and classes.
  • We were in our forties when we bought the store – and our children still lived at home. As of this writing, both of us are empty nesters (although who knows if that will last…)
  • We have been lucky to have many, many national instructors visit our store – Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, Romi Hill, Laura Taylor, Melissa Leapman, Nancy Bush, Amy Detjen, Elsebeth Lavold. romi-hill-workshops
  • We have our own national instructor, Paula Rae Schmidt, who teaches needlepoint for us as often as she can.
  • We have the most knowledgeable staff in the Twin Cities, and we actively encourage our staff to continue learning so they can pass their knowledge onto our customers.
  • 3 Kittens has grown to be in the top 20% of needle arts stores in the country (by annual revenue according to the State of Specialty Needle Arts 2016 survey conducted by The National Needlearts Association).

We still have dreams for the store. Change is never easy, but we’re always willing to try something new, explore different product offerings, shake things up a bit. Thank you for being along for the ride – whether it’s bumpy or smooth, we’re always here for you.

And, we’re looking forward to the next ten years!

~ Julie and Laura

I’m SO Nervous!

I’m nervous. Scared. Worried… And, no, I’m not talking about the Presidential election!


I’m talking about having a booth at the upcoming Vogue Knitting LIVE event at the Minneapolis Convention Center Nov 4-6.

I wasn’t going to do it – have a booth, that is. But this new yarn company, Sugar Bush Yarns, offered 3 Kittens their booth for FREE. How could I pass that up? All we have to do is make sure we feature Sugar Bush Yarns in our booth. No problem! That part’s easy.

What’s not easy is figuring out how to set up the booth. How do I make the displays appealing and conducive to shopping? What kind of fixtures do I need to buy/rent for the show? How much yarn should I bring? It’s keeping me up at night!

I’ve started a Pinterest board to help myself. Here are some of the images I’ve found:

And, luckily, I have great staff to help me out with all of this! I’m sure it will be fine, as long as I just … {breath}…

~ Laura

Knit a Year of Mittens

Year Of Mittens Logo_Final

We’re really excited about the new Knit-A-Long that The Fibre Co (aka, Kelbourne Woolens) is having! It’s going to be a Year of Mittens!! How great is that? Even if you don’t personally need 12 pairs of mittens, you probably know enough people who could use a pair or two – or you can give them to a charity.

Here are the details:

  • Kelbourne Woolens will release one pattern per month on the 1st of the month. You can buy single patterns – or you can buy a subscription. If you opt for the subscription ($28.00), you’ll get the pattern delivered to you each month automatically via email and Ravelry. Kelbourne Woolens says:
There will be classic cables, interesting colorwork, and unique lace applications, all with a heavy dose of classic inspiration and historical information. Any new techniques will come with detailed photographs and clear step-by-step instructions conveniently linked in the pattern to our Tips and Tricks page.

Kelbourne Tips

  • The yarn used for the patterns is The Fibre Co Cumbria Fingering, a merino wool, masham wool, and mohair blend that is oh-so-lovely to knit.

3 Kittens, of course, has put a little extra spin on Kelbourne Woolens plans to make it even more special for our customers! Purchase your Year of Mittens subscription from 3 Kittens, and we will give you 10% off your purchase each month of the Cumbria Fingering to make one pair of mittens (using that month’s pattern or a different pattern of your choice).

And, even if you don’t purchase a subscription from 3 Kittens, when you finish one of the pairs of mittens in the Year of Mittens, you can get entered into one of three drawings for a $20 gift card to 3 Kittens. There are two ways to enter:

  • Bring your finished pair of mittens into 3 Kittens. We’ll take a photograph and post it to our Facebook page and our Instagram account.
  • Post a picture of your finished pair of mittens to our Ravelry page.

We’ll be holding drawings in December, March , and August. See Rules below.

We hope you join us for the Year of Mittens!


Contest Rules:

  1. Entries must be made with The Fibre Co Cumbria Fingering
  2. Proof of purchase showing that yarn was purchased from 3 Kittens is required – proof can be established with either a receipt or the yarn label with our price tag
  3. You can receive up to two entries per pair of finished mittens by –
    1. Bringing in a finished pair to the store and allowing us to post a photo of the finished mittens to our Instagram and Facebook accounts
    2. Posting a photo of the finished photo to our Ravelry page
  4. Posts to our Ravelry page must include the following information to qualify –
    1. Photo must include the pair of mittens, not just a single mitten
    2. Post must include a photo of the receipt or yarn label to verify proof of purchase
    3. Post must include the name of the person who finished the mittens (Ravelry avatar is not sufficient)
  5. Drawings will be held in –
    1. December 2016 for mittens finished between August and November 30
    2. March 2017 for mittens finished between December 1 and February 28
    3. August 2017 for mittens finished between March 1 and July 31
  6. If a person opts to make more than one pair of the same mitten pattern in the same color, in order to get an entry for each pair it must be presented with the other identical pairs. (In other words, we must have proof that we are not seeing the same pair of mittens multiple times.)