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.

Shopping at 3 Kittens During the Pandemic

We know how it is. You’ve got free time on your hands. You’ve been browsing Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc. And, you’ve seen something you’ve just got to have … right now! But you can’t make it to 3 Kittens, and what you want isn’t on our website. We can still help!

The first step is to call us at 651-457-4969 or send an email to Julie (for needlepoint) or Laura (for yarn). Sometimes, the item you need is in the store but not on our website. Many other items we can order for you.

A number of our yarn department vendors are drop shipping directly to our customers during the pandemic. This is a special service for a special time. (And, boy, are we grateful!) How does it work? You place your order through us. We send the order to our vendor. They ship to you. Easy peasy! (You will get your 3K Club rewards for all drop shipped items).

Who’s participating?

DropShip123_1

Appalachian Baby Design

Berroco

Feza Yarns

Jul Designs

Lenny Mud

Trendsetter Yarns

Urth Yarns

 

 

 

What We’re Doing During the Covid-19 Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is changing how we do business. Check back reguarly for updates. All information below is being sent out in our newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

5/4/20
#StayHomeMN continues, but… 3 Kittens is now allowed to offer curbside pickup! Of course, we will continue to ship items to those who prefer that, but if you want to drive to the store to pickup your items, here’s how the process will work:
Place your order through our website, phone (651-457-4969) or email  to: julie.mast@comcast.net for needlepoint or  laura@3kittensneedlearts.com for yarn
Payment will need to be made prior to pickup.   
If you order via the website, make sure to select “curbside pickup” for the shipping method.
Curbside pickup will be available
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
from 10am-2pm
When you arrive at the store, pull up in front of the yarn department and call us at 651-457-4969, ext 2#.  
We will bring your purchase to your car. No need for you to get out. We will place your purchase in your trunk (please pop the trunk) .
We highly recommend that you wear a face mask when coming to 3 Kittens to collect your purchase.
3/25/20

By now you have probably heard that Minnesota’s governor has issued a Stay at Home order beginning Friday, March 27, at 11:59pm to last through Friday, April 10 in order to fight the spread of COVID19 in Minnesota. We, of course, will comply with this rule. Beginning Saturday, March 28, 3 Kittens’ doors will be closed.

That means that you have just a couple of days left to purchase things and for us to get them to you.

Store Hours

Thursday, March 26 10am-2pm by appointment only

Friday, March 27 10am-5pm by appointment only (note updated hours)

Ordering Over the Next Two Days

You can choose –

  • in-store pickup
  • curbside pickup
  • shipping – orders for product over $25 are free – please note that all orders to be shipped must be received no later than Thursday at 2pm to give us time to process the orders

Classes, Coaching Sessions & Social Events

All classes suspended through April 10

All social events cancelled through April 10

Face to Face Coaching Sessions suspended through April 10

 

How can you continue to stitch/knit/crochet with 3 Kittens?

  • Call ahead to make an appointment for a quick shopping trip, to pick up finishing or an online order, or to drop off finishing. This service is meant to be quick. If you know what you need when you call for your appointment, consider pre-paying to limit your time in the store. Remember if you are picking up or dropping off, we offer curbside service. Call us at 651-457-4969 (ext 1# for needlepoint; ext 2# for yarn) to make your appointment. In order to maintain social distancing standards, we will be limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time, and we will not be offering one-on-one help with issues on your projects.
  • Shop our e-storeWe have many, many items on our website, including canvases, yarns, notions, and more. You can pick up your online order at the store or curbside from 10am-2pm Thursday and from 10am-5pm Friday. If you choose to have your order shipped, please remember that we will need your order no later than Thursday at 2pm.

What will we do regarding classes scheduled through April 10?

  • Studios, Embellishment Workshops, All-Day UFO Workshops – we will contact you to determine next steps (rescheduling at a later date; receiving a store credit refund).
  • Project Classes – we will reschedule these classes at a future date (including project classes that have already begun). Needlepoint project classes may be converted to a Home Study.

What are we doing in the store?

  • Washing our hands – often.
  • Wiping down credit card machines, door handles, bathroom fixtures, etc. with disinfecting wipes several times each day.
  • Asking employees to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
  • Offering free shipping on all orders over $25 placed on our website, by phone or by email (domestic only).
  • Offering curbside pick up. Simply call us at 651-457-4969 when you arrive, and we will bring your purchase out to your car.

What can you do to help?

  • Stay at Home
  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Keep fiber-ing! Needlepoint, knitting, crocheting, weaving. All of it keeps your hands busy, which means you can’t touch your face! Plus, we all know that the fiber arts relieve stress.
  • Shop local as often as possible. Small businesses and their employees are stressing out right now. Help out by continuing to support the small stores, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, in your community. Buy a gift card online or by phone to help your favorite small business manage their cash flow during this time. They will be so grateful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to support

3 Kittens in any way possible. We’re in this together. We have no idea if Julie and Laura will be allowed to come into the store to fill and ship online orders after Friday. We will let you know if we can. In the meantime, we wish all of you good health and happy stitching!

 

3/16/20
Unfortunately, we feel the time has come to make further changes to our methods of operation to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. In light of major events in our industry being postponed or cancelled (the Spring Needlepoint Market, the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop, and Yarnover to name a few), we have decided to follow suit and limit interactions in our store at least through the end of March:
New Hours through March 31
10am-2pm Tuesday-Saturday by appointment only
Closed Sunday-Monday
Classes, Coaching Sessions & Social Events
All classes suspended through March 31
All social events cancelled through March 31
Face to Face Coaching Sessions suspended through March 31
How can you continue to stitch/knit/crochet with 3 Kittens?
  • Call ahead to make an appointment for a quick shopping trip, to pick up finishing or an online order, or to drop off finishing. This service is meant to be quick.If you know what you need when you call for your appointment, consider pre-paying to limit your time in the store. Remember if you are picking up or dropping off, we offer curbside service. Call us at 651-457-4969 (ext 1# for needlepoint; ext 2# for yarn) to make your appointment. In order to maintain social distancing standards, we will be limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time, and we will not be offering one-on-one help with your projects (see below for other options).
  • Utilize our virtual options
    • Shop our e-store. We offer shipping, as well as in-store pickup and curbside pickup (choose the in-store pickup option, then call us when you arrive) between 10am-2pm Tues-Sat
    • Personal shopping with you via FaceTime/Skype between 10am-2pm Tues-Sat (appointment required)
    • Virtual Quick Stitch Consultations (needlepoint) with Paula via FaceTime/Skype on Fridays (appointment required) – $15 for 15 minutes
    • Virtual Coaching Sessions – one-hour (appointment required)
      • In needlepoint with Paula on Tuesdays – $45
      • In yarn with Elizabeth, Shayne, or Jane – $25 (if you need a shorter session, please let us know, and we will book you in 15 minute increments)
    • Custom Stitch Guides for needlepoint (must drop off or mail in your canvas; we will consult by phone/email; when your canvas and threads are ready, we can either mail them to you or you can make an appointment to pick them up)
      • Stitch Guide Mini – 2-3 sts for your canvas – free of charge
      • Full Stitch guide – $50 deposit; balance to be determined and due upon pick up/shipment
    • Facebook Live “Surviving with Yarn” videos with LauraTuesday-Saturday at 3pm to show you yarns and products in the store and to give you ideas for projects and helpful hints.
What will we do regarding classes scheduled through the end of the month?
  • Studios, Embellishment Workshops, All-Day UFO Workshops – we will contact you to determine next steps (rescheduling at a later date; receiving a store credit refund).
  • Project Classes – we will reschedule these classes at a future date (including project classes that have already begun). Needlepoint project classes may be converted to a Home Study.

 

3/12/20

You can’t miss the news reports about the spread of COVID-19. Changes are occurring all over the country, and we’re all being vigilant about washing our hands. Even the Spring Needlepoint Market has been postponed. We at 3 Kittens are taking the news seriously. While we are remaining calm, it is time to take steps to help our staff, our customers, and our business navigate the ever-changing situation.

What are we doing in the store?
  • Washing our hands – often.
  • Wiping down credit card machines, door handles, bathroom fixtures, etc. with disinfecting wipes several times each day.
  • Asking employees to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
  • Monitoring classes and social events regularly – we will cancel if we feel it is necessary (although we haven’t done that yet). If you would like to cancel any class that you are scheduled to attend, please call us. We are happy to move you to another class date or give you a refund on your account.
  • Offering free shipping on all orders over $25 placed on our website or by phone. (Domestic only.)
  • Offering curbside pick up. Simply call us at 651-457-4969 when you arrive, and we will bring your purchase out to your car.
What can you do to help?
  • Keep yourself healthy – wash your hands; stay home if you feel unwell; follow the guidelines of the CDC and the WHO.
  • Continue to shop with us in the store, by phone, online or through the Contact Us form on our website.
  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Laura and the yarn staff will be doing a Facebook Live presentation for yarnies at 3pm Tuesdays-Saturdays for the foreseeable future, starting Friday, March 13. Julie and the needlepoint staff will be upping their social media game as well.
  • If you’re scheduled for a class, please check your emails and phone messages before coming to make sure we’re still holding the class.
    Consider booking a Virtual Coaching Session ($25/hour for knitting or crochet; $45/hour for needlepoint). We are happy to  teach you something new or help you resolve an issue via FaceTime or Skype. We usually book these sessions in one-hour increments, but if you need less time, give us a call and we’ll work something out.
  • Keep fiber-ing! Needlepoint, knitting, crocheting, weaving. All of it keeps your hands busy, which means you can’t touch your face! Plus, we all know that the fiber arts relieve stress.
  • Shop local as often as possible. Small businesses and their employees are stressing out right now. Help out by continuing to support the small stores, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, in your community. They will be so grateful.
Whew! That’s a lot to take in. Please know that we are monitoring the situation closely, and we are considering other options, including reducing hours and staff. If you have any ideas, we’re open to your suggestions. Just respond to this email.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to support 3 Kittens in any way possible. We’re in this together. Stay healthy and craft on!

Got Gauge?

Making a gauge swatch is the best, most accurate way to determine whether your knitted or crocheted finished project will fit and/or be the right size.

So why would you want to skip this step?

Just think, if you are making a hat to fit a 21″ head and the requested stitch is 5 sts/inch, but you’re working at 4 sts/inch, your hat will end up being 26¼” around – you’ll be swimming in that hat. It just won’t fit! What if you were making a sweater and your gauge was off by that much???

Gauge swatches are essential!

Here are some basics to keep in mind when making your gauge swatches:

  • Check your pattern for the recommended gauge (stitches and rows).
  • Use the needle or hook size recommended in your pattern, unless you are not using the yarn recommended in the pattern. In that case use the needle size recommended on the ball band for your swatch.
  • Make your swatch at least 6″ x 6″ in the stitch required.
  • Knitters – Work your gauge swatch in the round if the pattern is knit in the round – your purl gauge is probably different than your knit gauge.
  • Bind off (knit) or finish off (crochet) your swatch.
  • Measurement #1 – measure your swatch, making note of the stitches/inch and the rows/inch (this is your pre-washed gauge or pre-blocked gauge).
  • Wash and block your swatch as you would your finished item. If you plan on throwing your finished sweater in the washing machine then laying it flat to dry, treat your swatch the same way.IMG_5061
  • Measurement #2 – measure your swatch again, making note of the stitches/inch and the rows/inch (this is your finished gauge)

Our sample was:

  • Pre-washed gauge- 18 sts = 4 3/8″ and 28 rows = 4″ (or 4.1 sts/inch and 7 rows/inch)
  • Finished gauge – 18 sts = 4 1/4″ and 28 rows = 4 1/8″ (or 4.2 sts/inch and 6.8 rows/inch)

While those differences don’t seem significant, if you are knitting a sweater and you’re pattern says to cast on 178 sts for a 42″ circumference sweater, your pre-washed sweater will be ~43.5″, but after washing it will be ~42.5″. You might think that you need to go down a needle size based on the pre-washed swatch, but in reality you don’t…

If your finished stitch gauge has more stitches per inch than the recommended stitch gauge, switch to a larger needle, and swatch again.

If your finished stitch gauge has less stitches per inch than the recommended stitch gauge, switch to a smaller needle, and swatch again.

If your finished row gauge is different than the recommended row gauge, your pattern and/or the quantity of yarn you may need and/or the type of knitting needles you are using may need to be adjusted. Please ask us for advice!

Why do you want to make note of both your pre-washed gauge as well as your finished gauge? Well, you will actually be knitting/crocheting to your pre-washed gauge, so you will need to know how different it is when figuring out how far to knit/crochet. For instance, let’s say you’re knitting a sweater, and the pattern says to knit the body until it is 10″ from the cast on edge before you start your armhole (for our purposes, we’re going to pretend that there is no edging, you cast and just knit, never changing your needle size, until you have 10″). Now suppose your pre-washed gauge gave you a row count of 8 rows per inch, but your finished gauge was 7 rows per inch. That means when you wash and block your sweater after you’ve knit it, your sweater is going to “grow” in length from 10″ to 11″ from the bottom edge to the armhole. Not good – unless you wanted a longer sweater! Instead, if you know that your finished gauge is 7 rows/inch, you know that you should knit 7 rows/inch x 10″ = 70 rows. It means you have to count your rows rather than pulling out your handy tape measure, but you’ll be so much happier in the end!

Learn from our mistakes (yes, we’ve made sweaters … and hats … and mittens … and other things that didn’t fit)! Do your gauge swatch.

~ Cecilia and Laura

PS Check out our video podcast, the Yarn Mews, for more useful tips – and some silliness.

3K Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, Winter Solstice… Whatever holiday you are buying for is right around the corner, so we thought we should give you some ideas of great gifts for people on your list.

For Anyone

IMG_3750

 

Ovella Wool Dryer BallsFor the eco-conscious

These dryer balls help speed up drying, control static clean, last for hundreds of washes, and completely eliminate the need for dryer sheets.

 

 

IMG_3751

 

SoakGreat Stocking Stuffer 

Soak is our go-to wool and delicates cleaner.

 

 

OTG_Kit_bbc94a4f-36dc-4c64-a459-d8b8853b173e_1024x1024

 

Gleener to Go For the Style Maven

Some people always look put together, and their clothes are impeccable. This handy tool helps rid clothing of pills and lint, plus it’s the perfect size for travel.

 

IMG_3747

 

Lolo Bar Gift Sets – For Travelers and Makers

These little gift sets are perfect for people who travel and for makers of all types. Keep their hands soft with a Cuticle Intensive and two travel sized Lolo To Go lotion bars with our Gift Set. The Lolo Travel Lite Set has a mini-deodorant, mini-face pudding, Lolo To Go, and a mini-lip balm.

 

 

IMG_3752

Bullenbees Skin Care Because it’s Winter

Locally made Bullenbees products are filled with vitamins (much more than most other skin care products) and are beloved by our customers. The Chapped Hand & Foot Therapy is our favorite item and comes in a travel size, 6 oz tube, or 8 oz pump bottle.

 

Beginning ClassFor the Novice Maker

With the new year, our beginning classes will be ready to go again! Click for more information about Needlepoint, Knitting, Crochet, or Rigid-Heddle Weaving. All classes (except weaving) can also be handled as private or private group lessons. Just call us at 651-457-4969 for more details. (See below for children’s classes.)

 

Minnesota Maker DecalsFor Established Makers

Help your maker show their love of their state and their craft with these 5″ decals – a 3 Kittens exclusive! Perfect for cars, laptops, windows, and more.

 

For Children

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Bundle Up Betty For the Girl Who Loves Dress Up

Bundle Up Betty is a wooden version of the paper doll. Little girls (or their adult makers) can create their own outfits to dress Betty in. Patterns are available on Ravelry to knit, but sewn clothes would be great as well.

 

 

 

Kids Knit Too Bunny

Kids Knit Too Class – For Little Makers-to-Be

Schedule your little ones (ages 10 and up, please) for two private lessons with our knitting instructor to learn how to cast on, knit, bind off, and create a cute little bunny. After the Kids Knit Too Class, your little maker will be on her/his way to a knitting life.

 

For Needlepointers

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Needle Bling/Magnets 

Needle magnets are essential to needlepointing – they keep your needles handy and safe when not in use. And, if you have to use needle magnets, why not make them something special with these blingy ones? (Sorry, not available on line.)

 

 

 

Stella Light TableStella Light

These are our favorite lights by far! With Tri-Spectrum Technology which allows users to easily change their light from a warm spectrum similar to incandescent lights, to a natural white similar to sunlight, to a cool white similar to moonlight and  5-level dimming, the Stella light is simply the best. Available in floor, table or clamp models.

K's Floor Stand

 

K’s Floor Stand

Needlepointers love this stand, because it allows them to stitch hands free, giving more flexibility to execute complicated stitches and relieving muscle aches and pains. Give this to someone you love!

 

 

For Yarnies

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Yarn Bowls

Yarn bowls are beautiful and functional – they keep yarn from rolling across the floor (or under your chair) while working with it.

 

 

 

True Colors 1

 

True Colors Color Pack

This beautiful shawl by designer Melanie Berg will flatter anyone and be a joy to knit. Our kit contains all of the colors chosen by the designer died in luscious Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. (The color pack does not include the pattern, but it can be downloaded here.)

 

 

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June Cashmere

Treat your knitter or crocheter to true luxury with this 100% Cashmere yarn. June works with nomadic Kyrgyz shepherds to collect the fiber for this beautiful and oh-so-soft yarn. One skein will make the Journey Mitts or three skeins can make the His or Her Scarf.

 

Of course, these are not the only gifts we have available at 3 Kittens – there are too many to choose from to list them all here. But, hopefully, this gives you a few ideas!

Remember, a thoughtful gift is always more exciting to open than a gift card (although, we sell those too!).

 

Last Minute Gifts to Knit or Crochet

Looking for some ideas for last minute making? We know that the holidays are right around the corner, so we’ve done some searching on Ravelry to find some quick gifty projects.

Knit

Troll

Troll by Gabriela Widmer-Hanke

What child wouldn’t look cute in this hat? The pattern is free and would be great knit out of Malabrigo Rios (100% superwash merino wool).

 

 

Basic Children's Mitts

 

Basic Children’s Mittens by Elizabeth Durand

Brrr! It’s getting cold out there, so whip up a few pairs of mittens for the little ones. Another free pattern. Yarn recommendation: Cascade 220 SW Effects (100% superwash wool).

Emergency Hat

 

Emergency Hat (& Cowl) by Frankie Brown

This cleverly constructed hat can also become a cowl – user’s choice. Another free pattern that would be terrific in Noro Silk Garden (45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, 10% Lambswool) or Freia Ombre Worsted (100% wool).

 

Cables Love Pompoms

 

Cables Love Pom Poms by Jami Brynildson

Another free pattern that would look great with our Faux Fur Pompoms! Make the hat out of super bulky Cascade Pacific Chunky (60% acrylic, 40% merino wool) for the quickest gift ever.

 

 

 

Crunching Leaves Cowl

 

Crunching Leaves by Casapinka

We love this two color cowl made with bulky yarn. Try it with Malabrigo Mecha (100% merino wool) or Sugar Bush Canoe (61% wool, 26^ alpaca, 13% polyamide).

 

 

Simple House Slippers

 

Simple House Slippers by Simone A.

These sweet little slippers will fly off your needles. Try new Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK – a 100% British wool (25% Wensleydale, 50% Blue Faced Leicester, 25% Masham).

 

Crochet

Make In One Evening Mitt

 

Make-us-in-One-evening-With-a-great-movie-Mitts by A French Touch

A great free pattern for striking crocheted mitts. Yarn recommendation: Anzula For Better or Worsted (80% wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon).

 

 

 

Comfy Square Buttoned Cowl

 

Comfy Squares Buttoned Cowl by Rebecca Langford

This cozy (and comfy) cowl can be whipped up quickly using The Fibre Company’s Arranmore (80% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 10% Cashmere).

 

 

 

Crooked Coffee Cozy

 

Crooked Coffee Cozy by Danyel Pink

Make one of these for everyone on your list. They’re so fast, you can make one in every color imaginable! We recommend Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok (100% Fine Highland Wool).

 

 

Slipper Boots

 

Slipper Boots by Erika Knight

A free pattern and bulky yarn equals a great last minute gift idea! Try Superwash Soft (80% Merino Wool, 20% Nylon) from Sweet Georgia for deep rich color.

 

 

 

Join Our

Gift-A-Long 2017

Saturdays from 2-5pm

December 2, 9, 16, 23

 

Got other great last minute knit or crochet gift ideas? Share them in the comments below!

Join the Antler Cardigan Knit-A-Long

Antler

The Antler Cardigan Knit-A-Long is less than 2 weeks away. I am looking forward to making myself a “go to” cardigan. I have decided to use Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted. It comes in many colors and doesn’t have merino so I can knit with it [editor’s note – Cecilia is the only person I know of who is allergic to merino – not other types of wool, just merino!].

I have started my gauge swatch… I will not know how the fabric is going to look until I wash the swatch. I find that Superwash yarns act differently once they get wet; they tend to grow one way or the other, so I am making a nice big swatch.

Antler Swatch

The Antler cardigan has a little cabling at the top so when choosing a color, I wanted something that would not hide the cables and went with a lot of clothes. I decided on grey, which is totally outside my comfort zone; I prefer bright reds and purples, but I do like how it is coming out. There is just a little heathering, but not too much. I think it is going to be very nice.

The Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits starts at 6 months and goes to 4x so you could make one for any one you know. Make a baby one – because there are always going to be babies – and the 6 month size only uses 280 yards. A child size could actually be used as a gauge swatch for a bigger one, and you could make a matching cardigan for you and your favorite child. It is definitely a unisex sweater.

It is not too late to sign up to join me. We start on 9/23. I hope to see you there.

~ Cecilia

Phase 2 of Road Construction – How to Get to Us

Whew! We successfully survived the first phase of the Hwy 110 construction project. Over the weekend of August 5-6, MnDot opened up all of the east bound lanes! Yippee! But, they’ve now closed the west bound lanes. Sigh!

What does this change mean for you?

If you’re coming from the North, South or West

You can go back to using Hwy 110 to get to us. Simply follow your normal route to the store and take Dodd Rd to Hwy 110.

Getting home will be a bit more problematic. To go South or West, take Dodd Rd south to Hwy 494 W. To go North, take Dodd Rd north to the Marie Ave (the first stop sign; turn left and go to Victoria (the first stop sign); turn right and go to Hwy 13 (first stop sign); turn right and take go to Hwy 35E (less than 1/4 mile).

If you’re coming from the East

Take Hwy 494 west to Dodd Rd, turn right and go 1.5 miles to the Village at Mendota Heights (take a right on the first street after Hwy 110 – Market St).

110 Alternatives - 494 west to Dodd

You can return home the same way or use Hwy 110 east to connect to Hwy 52 or Hwy 494.

It looks like we’ll have another 6+ weeks until this project is over. Thank you for your patience and support!

Aalto KAL: Part 2, Swatching (again) and Casting On

After completing my 2nd swatch, blocking and hanging it for a while as suggested in the first blog post about our Aalto KAL, my gauge was still off by one stitch per inch – I have 21 sts and 27 rows per 4″ instead of the required 22 sts and 28 rows. So, am I going to make a new swatch on a smaller needle to try to squeeze in that additional st and row? No.

Now, before you jump all over me for not getting gauge since that’s what we preach here all the time, I have my reasons. First, this is not a garment that needs to fit accurately (like a sweater or hat does). I did the calculations and realized that the difference in size is not going to make a big difference for me personally. I’m making the largest size, so I will be casting on 209 stitches.

209 sts divided by 5.25 sts/” = 39.8″ (vs the 38″ shown on the schematic)

Almost 2″ difference. But, I’m tall and can handle that extra 2″ without any issue. I took a tape measure and held the end at the center back of my neck, down over the curve of my shoulder and along my arm. 20″ (half of the approx 40″ width of the front or back) hit me just above the elbow. I think that’s o.k.

Now about that pesky row gauge. What to do about that? If I was making a sweater with a set in sleeve, I would have to either get the row gauge or make some adjustments to make the sleeve work. But… Aalto is unfitted so adjustments aren’t as necessary or difficult. Again, I am tall (5’8″), so I don’t want to the garment to be short on me. Luckily, 26.25″ is pretty good for me. So, I just need to make sure that I get to the required length (23″) before I start the shoulder shaping. (I highly recommend checking the length by holding a tape measure to your body – if you are short, you may need to decrease the length.)

While I could simply measure each piece and hope for the best, the better way to make sure my front and back match in length is to count my rows. For 23″ at a gauge of 27 rows/4″, I should knit 155 rows (wow, that’s a lot of knitting!) before I start the shoulder shaping.

What’s the best way to count my rows? I could use the old-fashioned method of hash-marks on a piece of paper. Or I could use the CountMeme App that I have on my phone.

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But, I’m worried that I will forget to “hash” or to press the button on CountMeme, so instead I am going to using locking stitch markers to mark off every 10 rows.

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For me, this will work the best. What technique will you use?

Finally, casting on…

209 stitches to cast on is daunting – especially thinking that I would have to count those stitches multiple times in order to convince myself that I cast on the right amount. To make it more palatable, I put a st marker on my needle after every 10 stitches – as I was casting on.

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For 209 sts, I used 20 markers. I could have used regular stitch markers, but I used locking ones because they were handy. After I knit my first row, I will remove all except those marking the 50th, 100th, 150th, and 200th stitches. I’m leaving those in to help with counting later on.

People always ask how to know how long of a tail to leave for long-tail cast ons such as the German Twisted Cast On called for in the Aalto pattern. There are many ways to accomplish this. Check out this Google search for some ideas.

That’s it for now! Who’s started their project?

~ Laura