Year of the Sweater: 4th Quarter

We’re excited to announce our 4th Quarter inspiration sweaters. These are the sweaters that each of us in the Yarn Department at 3 Kittens wish we could make this fall if we could only find the time!

Here you go –

Antler Cardigan

by Tin Can Knits

Cecilia’s pick is sized from infants to 4XL adults. The Antler Cardigan is truly a sweater for everyone!

Suggested Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool SW Worsted (219 yds/25gr; 100% Wool): 2-9 balls

Alternative Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater (160 yds/100gr; 55% SW Wool, 45% Organic Cotton): 2-12 skeins

Join our Antler Cardigan Knit-A-Long this fall!

 

Barnard

by Lori Versaci

Shelley likes Barnard because it will be easy to wear for all sizes.

Suggested Yarn: The Fibre Co Cumbria (236 yds/100gr; 90% Wool, 10% Mohair): 5 (6, 6, 7) (7, 8, 8) skeins

Alternative Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca (215 yds/100gr; 50% Super Fine Alpaca, 50% Peruvian Wool): 5 (6, 7, 7) (8, 8, 9) skeins

 

Brickyard

by Elizabeth Doherty

Casual and comfortable, Brickyard  is Jane’s favorite.

Suggested Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool SW DK (137 yds/50gr; 100% Wool): 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20) balls

Alternative Yarn: The Fibre Co Luma (137 yds/50gr; 50% Wool, 25% Cotton, 15% Linen, 10% Silk): 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20) skeins

 

Gwyneth

by Amy Miller

Cables and a classic fit make Gwyneth Shayne’s pick for fall/winter.

Suggested Yarn: Swans Island All American Sport (185 yds/40gr; 100% Rambouillet Wool): 8 (9, 9, 10, 10) (11, 12, 12, 13) skeins

Alternative Yarn: Outlaw Bohemia Sport (183 yds/50gr; 45% Polwarth Wool, 45% Alpaca, 10% Possum): 8 (9, 9, 10, 10) (11, 12, 12, 13) balls

Koto

by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

Koto is on-trend with it’s hi-lo hemline – right up Laura’s alley!

Suggested Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Solo (109 yds/50gr; 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, 10% Lambs Wool): 12 (12, 13, 13, 14, 15) skeins

Alternative Yarn: Sugar Bush Bold (190 yds/100gr; 100% SW Merino Wool): 7 (7, 8, 8, 8, 9) balls

 

Tangled Up in Gray

by Sloan Rosenthal

Elizabeth thinks the Tangled Up in Gray pullover would look great with jeans and boots.

Suggested Yarn: Rowan Hemp Tweed (104 yds/50gr; 75% Wool, 25% Hemp): 11-16 balls

Alternative Yarn: Cascade 220 (220 yds/100gr; 100% Wool): 6-8 skeins

 

What do you think of our choices? If you’d like to participate in a Knit-A-Long for any of them this fall/winter, leave a comment, and we’ll add you to the interest list. As soon as we get a few eager beavers for any sweater, we’ll put it on the calendar.

Happy Sweater Knitting!

Aalto KAL: Part 4, What Now?

According to the calendar, the Aalto KAL is over. However, I don’t think anyone is finished with their poncho yet. Am I right? I know I’m not! I haven’t even finished with the first half!! And Mary Lou who has been attending the in-person KAL hasn’t either. We took a pic yesterday of our progress.

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So, first of all, we are going to extend the knit-a-long. If you can or want to join us in the store, we will be meeting Saturdays, July 29 and August 12, from 2-4pm. That’s four more weeks. Not sure if that will be enough, but we will assess when we get there. I’m hoping to get to the shoulder shaping in the next few days, and I will do another post on the short rows then.

What we noticed, though, when we took the photo is that my fabric (the orange) is much more open than Mary Lou’s fabric (the blue). It’s hard to tell in the above photo, but here’s a close up.

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We decided we had better check our gauges again. Oops! Neither of us is on gauge! I am back to 19 sts/4″ and Mary Lou is at 25 sts/4″! I am not terribly concerned about mine. I know I can stretch my finished piece vertically and gravity will do the rest. I may never achieve that perfect 22 sts/4″, but it will be close enough (remember my comment about being tall?). Mary Lou is also not going to worry about it. She is short and was concerned about the length of the poncho down her arms. That is not going to be an issue at all now. And, when she held up the piece to her body, it was obvious that the circumference will be big enough to accommodate her torso, so that’s not a concern. She can also stretch her poncho horizontally when she blocks it if she decides she needs more room in the torso.

This is one of the beauties of this garment – you don’t have to be spot on with your gauge to still have a great poncho.

How are things going for you?

~ Laura

Aalto KAL: Part 3, Adding a New Ball of Yarn

First of all, sorry for the delay in getting this blog post done (and thank you, Judy, for reminding me to do it!). I have been under a deadline to get a shawl design wrapped up for our upcoming Progressive East End Project, and I haven’t even gotten to my 2nd ball of yarn for Aalto yet. Sigh…

However, Mary Lou was here knitting with me at last Saturday’s in-store knit-a-long, and she had to attach a new ball of Twig. Normally, when I add another ball of yarn or a new color to my knitting, I knit in the new strand and the old strand as I’m knitting like this:

But, because of the airy, open nature of this fabric, this method won’t work – it would show through as a line on the right side of the fabric.

So, the best way to add your next yarn is to knit several stitches (I would do 8-10 sts) while holding both the old and new yarn together. I suggested to Mary Lou that she should do this at the beginning of the row, because even if it was a bit noticeable, having it at the edge of the fabric would mean that most people would never see it. However, Mary Lou ran out of yarn suddenly in the middle of the row, so she decided to add her new yarn there (despite my dire warnings!). I believe she knit 10 stitches with both the new and old yarn held together, then she dropped the old yarn and kept knitting with the new one. After knitting with the new one for several rows, here’s what it looks like:

The join is in the middle of the row right under where Mary Lou’s nose ends. Can you see it? Neither can I. So, go ahead, change yarns in the middle of the row!

Bonus tip: This type of join is also ideal when working with cotton yarns. My favored knitting in method is terrible for cottons – you can always see the join from the right side. Knitting several stitches with the old and new yarns held together, surprisingly, is not nearly as noticeable. For a tighter fabric, I may only do a few stitches , but for open fabrics, where the stitches are looser, I like to do 8-10 stitches.

~ Laura

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.

Schematic

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

Another Birthday Wish!

patty-lyons-2016

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

Patty Lyons to Visit 3 Kittens

lyons-patty-01

We’re so excited to announce that Patty Lyons will be visiting us September 30-October 2! Patty is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the “why” not just the “how” in her pursuit of training the “mindful knitter.” She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.

She has taught nationally at guilds and knitting shows around the country. In addition, Patty’s designs and knitting articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Purl, Knitter’s Magazine, Cast On, Knit Style, and Creative Knitting magazines. Her designs have also been used by Classic Elite, Noro, Cascade, Tahki Stacy Charles, and Kollage Yarns.

Patty’s classes, both live and online, are extremely popular and routinely sell out. We’re excited to have Patty here for three classes and her highly enjoyable and interactive presentation, “Oops, I Accidentally Knit a Dress (Tales of Lies, Heartbreak and Denial).”

Here is the schedule of events. Make sure to click through to our website for more details.

Friday, September 30

5-7pm: Designer Reception and Power Point Lecture/Presentation – Oops, I Accidentally Knit a Dress (Tales of Lies, Heartbreak and Denial) – presentation will start at approximately 5:30pm

Patty Lyons 1

 

Saturday, October 1

9am-noon: Stop Turning: Knitting and Purling Backwards

1pm-4pm: Finishing SEAMS Simple!

 

Sunday, October 2

9am-noon: Patty’s Knitting Bag of Tricks

#YarnbombTheBonanza

by guest blogger, Knitteapolis 

                  A quick definition of yarnbombing: A type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth, rather than paint or chalk. While yarn installations–called yarnbombs or knit bombs–may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide.

 

Hello,

My name is Knitteapolis and I am the Minnesota Yarnbomber. You might have seen some of my yarnbombs on bike racks or on street signs in the Twin Cities. I’ve also created custom yarnbombs for the Mall of America, American Heart Association, Creative Kidstuff, the OVALumination in Roseville, sureCAN Productions, How To Make Everything, Minnstameets, and Bundle Up MN.

Right now, I’m super excited to announce that I am currently creating a fabulous custom yarnbomb for the giant Junk Bonanza event at Canterbury Park! Junk Bonanza is a Ki Nassauer event for purveyors & shoppers of vintage finds, beautiful antiques & artisan-repurposed pieces. I will be yarnbombing a life size horse statue that will be placed at the entrance of Junk Bonanza this April. The horse statue will be covered head to toe in cozy knits & crochet. However, this horse needs a winner’s wreath of pink and orange flowers to go around his neck and I would be honored if YOU would join me in creating this wreath! But I need your help! I will be accepting any and all pink & orange knit or crochet flowers up until April 14th. Please send as many as you like. Whether you create 20 flowers or 2, I appreciate your contribution and look forward to sewing it into the fabulous wreath. I’ve attached some links to some patterns below but feel free to knit or crochet any type of flower you’d like. The only thing we ask is that you use pink or orange yarn. I also would like to encourage you to take photos of your beautiful flowers and upload them to social media to show off your creations. Use the hashtag #YarnbombTheBonanza and you’ll be able to see & meet the other fiber artists who are donating their flowers to this funky fun yarnbomb.

Here is a link to learn more about the awesome Junk Bonanza.

For questions and/or a shipping address you can reach me via my email: Knitteapolis@gmail.com

You can also find out more about Knitteapolis on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The following two videos are also fun: Fox 9 News and North Suburban Beat.

Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to working with you!

Sincerely, Knitteapolis

 

If you would like to make flowers for the yarn bomb, Knitteapolis has provided a few pattern links:

CROCHET FLOWERS

http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Crochet-Flower-Patterns/The-5-Minute-Flower

http://pattern-paradise.com/2015/03/31/free-crochet-pattern-flower-power/

http://yarnartwithsuepinner.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/part-1-giant-flower-pattern.html

http://www.bhookedcrochet.com/2013/07/13/crochet-flower-pattern/

http://www.crochetspot.com/crochet-flower-pattern-rose/

 

KNIT FLOWERS

http://voknits.com/blooming-rose/

http://pilgrimpurse.blogspot.com/2012/01/variation-on-easy-flower.html

http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/nicky-epstein

https://misscraftyfingers.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/a-knitted-flower-with-pattern/

http://www.berroco.com/patterns/peruvia-rose

These patterns are here if you would like to try them but are in no way mandatory. You are more than welcome to free form crochet or knit your flowers or use a pattern you already know and like.