Getting to Us During Road Construction Season

It’s well known that in Minnesota there are two seasons – winter and road construction. And, this year, the road construction season is going to hit 3 Kittens hard.

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Hwy 110 will be under construction all summer with East bound traffic affected from May 15-July 24 and West bound traffic affected from July 25 until the end of the project in the early fall. You can read more about the project here.

The officially suggested detour for both directions will be to take Hwy 494 to Dodd Rd. But we have a few other suggestions that you might like to try. [Note – none of the following maps are clickable, but they were all created using Google Maps, which allows you to click and drag the suggested route onto other possible routes.]

Coming from the West (such as Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs)

494 to Dodd Rd

MnDot’s route is probably easiest if you are coming east using 494: exit at Dodd Rd and go north, turn right at Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - 494 east to Dodd

Hwy 62 (the Crosstown)

Take the Crosstown (Hwy 62) east until you cross over the Mendota Bridge, stay in the right line to merge onto Hwy 55, turn left at Mendota Heights Rd, turn left at Dodd Rd, turn right at Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - Crosstown

Coming from the North (such as St Paul & northern suburbs)

Hwy 52

Take Hwy 52, exit and turn right at Wentworth Ave, turn left at Dodd Rd, turn left onto Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - Hwy 52

Hwy 35E (but be warned that there is bridge construction on the I-35E bridge)

Take 35E south, exit and turn right at Hwy 13, turn left at Victoria Rd S, turn left at Marie Ave, turn right at Dodd Rd, turn left onto Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - Hwy 35E South

Coming from the East (such as Woodbury, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights)

Hwy 494 west to Dodd Rd

MnDot’s suggested route is probably the best: take 494 west, exit and go north on Dodd Rd,  turn right at Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - 494 west to Dodd

494 to 52 N

This route will help you avoid any back up on Dodd Rd going north: take 494 to Hwy 52 north, exit and go west on Wentworth Ave, turn left at Dodd Rd, turn left onto Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - 494 to 52

Coming from the South (such as Eagan, Burnsville)

494 to Dodd Rd

MnDot’s suggested route is probably the best – take 35E north, go east on 494, exit and go north on Dodd Rd, turn right at Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - 494 to Dodd

Mendota Heights Rd to Dodd Rd

If you want to avoid the 35E/494 interchange, you can exit 35E and head west on Lone Oak Rd, turn right at Pilot Knob Rd, turn right at Mendota Heights Rd, turn left at Dodd Rd, turn right at Market St and enter the Village at Mendota Heights.

110 Alternatives - Mendota Rd to Dodd

 

 

We hope that these ideas help you out. And if you have other route ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

We rely on you, our customers, to allow us to stay in business – even during construction season. So please help us out by braving the construction and visiting us throughout the summer!

~ Julie, Laura and all of the 3 Kittens Team

Aalto Knit-A-Long Starts June 1!

We’re trying something a little new with our next Knit-A-Long (or “KAL” for short)!

First, here’s the project: Aalto by Shellie Anderson

Aalto

 

I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it. It’s perfect for every “body”! Cool and breezy for summer. Plus it’s an easy knit – two stockinette squares joined at the shoulder with a 3-needle bind off. Perfect summer knitting and summer wearing!

We are offering Aalto Kits for this KAL. Each kit will include enough yarn to make Aalto in your chosen size, the printed pattern, and a little something fun for joining the KAL! The yarn is Shibui Twig, a 46% linen, 42% recycled silk and 12% wool blend that comes in luscious colors.

Shibui Twig

Kits must be ordered by May 1st in order to start the KAL on June 1!

Click here to order yours now!

For this KAL, we’re offering two ways to knit with us – In-Store and Virtual:

In-Store – This is our traditional KAL format. Join me (Laura) for 4 sessions at the store from 2-4pm on the following Saturdays – June 1, 10, 17 and July 8. It’s just $15 to join the in-store KAL, but seats are limited to 10 participants. Sign up for the In-Store KAL here.

Virtual – Since our space is limited for the In-Store KAL, I thought we would try a virtual way to join in the fun. We’ll have a dedicated thread on our Ravelry page to discuss our progress, post pictures, ask questions, etc. Plus, each week of the KAL, I will send out an email to all participants with a tip for completing your project – there may even be a video or two for special techniques that you might need. Virtual participation is free and is open to everyone (including our In-Store KAL participants). To sign up, just send me an email at laura@3kittensneedlearts.com.


I’m really excited about this KAL. I wish we could start it today!

~ Laura

PS Don’t forget to order your Aalto Kit by May 1! (Kits will be available for purchase after May 1, but I just can’t guarantee yours will be available to start on June 1…)

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

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

 

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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