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September 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Instructional Article: Wrap and Turn
  • Kit of the Month: Socks from Crabshells?
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 10!
  • New Lorna's Laces Color Commentary... Amy Singer
  • New Stuff: Tahki Montana, Berroco Geode, Rowan Brit Sheep Breeds and Cocoon
  • September Sale: Trendsetter Journey at 50% Off
  • Fun Videos: SWTC Saphira, Schaefer Nancy
  • New Classes in Reno

Click on any highlighted text to view the item in our online store!

Wrap and Turn - by Ashley

Inspired by the kit of the month - and knitting with crushed crab - I set my sights on knitting Southwest Trading Company's French Garden Socks Kit (like the kit of the month, these socks are knit out of Tofutsies). The only problem? You have be an intermediate knitter - and know how to wrap and turn. Luckily, i work in a yarn shop, so have been able to perfect the technique after a few years - and am here to help you perfect it as well.

The Wrap and Turn (WT) technique is a handy shaping technique that gives a smoother edge and eliminates the need for picking up stitches that other shaping methods create. The directions might seem a little counterintuitive at first, but just read along carefully and trust me - you'll love this technique once you're familiar with it!

slip the next stitch purlwise.

1. On a knit row: with the yarn in back as if to knit, slip the next stitch purlwise.

Bring yarn to the front of your work

2. Bring yarn to the front of your work.

step 4a step 4b

3. Slip the slipped stitch back to the left needle and bring the yarn to the back of your work.
This completes the 'wrap' part of the technique.

step 3

4. Turn the work and begin working your pattern back the other direction. This is the 'turn' part, and the part I found hardest to get used to! But don't worry, you'll come back to the wrapped stitch.

step 5

5. When it comes time to knit or purl past a wrapped stitch, you'll just knit or purl the two together. (If you miss this step you'll have an obvious hole in your work, but you'll notice it right away! On a purl row, you'll purl through the back loop of the wrap. The photo of is of purling through back of wrap.)

On a purl row, the steps are just about the same:

  • With the yarn in front as if to purl, slip the next stitch purlwise.

  • Bring the yarn to the back of your work.

  • Slip the slipped stitch back to the left needle and bring the yarn to the front of your work.

So, the next time you see wrap and turn referred to in a pattern, pull up a copy of this newsletter and let us guide you through it. That's what we're here for!

If you would like to see larger pictures, check out this Wrap and Turn Knitting Instructional Article on our website.

Kit of the Month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...
This month's kit is the Tofutsies Swirly Girl Socks Kit.

Tofutsies Kit Normally $16 ...
On Sale For $12 (the pattern is FREE!)
As usual, i'm a little behind the 8 ball ... i'm just now developing a love for socks and i want to share that love with all of you! Now that i know i can actually finish a pair of socks (my Misti Alpaca socks), i want to knit pairs for everyone! While my Gone Fishin' socks are for doug's sister, i'm considering knitting something a bit more exotic for his mom.... And when i say "exotic", i mean something other than wool and nylon.

Living in Wisconsin, i thought that she really might get a kick out of socks made from Crab Shells - like these Swirly Girl Socks from Southwest Trading Company. I can just hear her talking to her friends now, "Did you see these socks that my daughter-in-law made for me? they're made with crushed up crab shells... no really, i swear!"

So, if you're itching for a gift idea - consider making these - i can almost guarantee a thankful response. :)

Color Commentary - Amy Singer


As you may remember, Lorna's Laces recently embarked on a quest to periodically introduce new colors into their Shepherd Sock line. Calling their quest "The Color Commentary Series," each new color is inspired by, and collaborated on with, a famous fiber personality.

For the 2nd installment in the series (remember the first as Franklin Habit), famous Knitty.com brainchild Amy Singer was chosen as the headliner. According to Lorna's Laces, Amy drew inspiration from the everyday items in her office - hence the name "Amy's Vintage Office". Lorna's then worked with images of a charcoal desk, steel grey filing cabinets, a card catalog that was grey with the slightest hint of violet....and a light blue princess phone.

What do you think? We think it's a winner... and just perfect for the upcoming fall season.
Amy Singer Amy's Vintage Office

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 10

The Free Pattern for Month 10 of our 'scarves to throws' is finished! Sandy designed and knit this scarf in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted :: Mineshaft.

P.S. If you're just starting, you can find more information on our scarves to throws project (as well as an explanation for what we're doing).

New Yarns: Berroco Geode, Tahki Montana, Rowan Cocoon and British Sheep Breeds

Berroco Geode

According to Berroco, Geode is a new generation of engineered self-striping woolen blend yarn created from pre-dyed tops, whereby many colors are spun together in a very long striped repeat pattern. It's available in 8 colorways. According to us, it's simply a super soft yarn with fun and exciting colors all spun together. It's 50/50 wool and acrylic - a combination that results in yarn that's luscious and light. And, as usual, Berroco has outdone themselves with the hip, yet classic patterns in Book 276. My favorite is the Gypsum Pullover, shown in my fav color Tiger's Eye. At 4.5-5 sts/inch, i think it might be my next project!

Tahki Montana

Go Green! (Or brown in this case.) Tahki's newest super bulky yarn is eco-friendly and derived from 100% unprocessed wool roving. The natural colors (#1 - #5) are created by the sheep's own coats. The additional colors (gorgeous green thru popular purple) are achieved using low-impact dyes. And even the bag that yarn arrives in is made from recycled paper (and veggie dyes) - what fun! Plus, how can you go wrong with yarn that knits up on size 13 needles ... and is only $13 a hank? Tahki has even published a pattern book devoted solely to Montana. Knit a capelet with 2 - 3 hanks - and be done by the time you've watched the original Rocky (possibly my favorite movie of all time... tied with Cliffhanger :) ).

Terra Collection
Terra Collection
$15.00
Checkered Cardigan
Checkered Cardigan

5-7 hanks
Striped Vest
Striped Vest

4-6 hanks
Capelet
Capelet

2-4 hanks
Texture Pullover
Texture Pullover

4-7 hanks

Tahki Montana Video Review You can also check out a video review of the Tahki Montana yarn by Laura.

Rowan British Sheep Breeds - a review by Ashley

I fell in love with the new Purelife British Sheep Breeds just about the time I pulled it out of the box. In five natural colors named after the breed the wool comes from, it's also a eco-friendly alternative because it's an annually renewable resource - both characteristics that appeal to my green side. This wool's not for the faint of heart though, it's a bulky weight (2.5 - 3.5 stitches/inch) with a truly wooly texture - some colors are rougher than others, but you won't want to make anything worn directly against the skin out of this yarn. It does, however, make beautiful outerwear and sweaters sized to have blouses on underneath. I also love that there's an entire book, British Sheep Breeds Collection, for project ideas (I'm working on the Gayle Jacket right now).

Bluefaced Leicester
Bluefaced Leicester
Steel Grey Suffolk
Steel Grey Suffolk

Rowan Cocoon - New Colors - a review by Victoria

If you're not yet acquainted with Rowan Cocoon, then put it on your project list! The original colors were soft, muted shades of brown, gray and cream. Although beautiful and tasteful in colorscheme, Rowan decided to offer a new palette to complement the original earth tones. We now offer 10 new colors of Cocoon and it is impossible to pass this product by without picking it up and touching it. A bulky yarn that knits up at 14 stitches to 4 inches, it is made up of 80% fine merino wool and 20% kid mohair. Quite simply, it's a luxurious yarn that works up beautifully. I am currently knitting with color Red Wine and tells us that she's fallen in love (and who can resist knitting with a color named after a favorite libation)! There are many great projects that could be worked up with only one or two balls since the yardage is pretty good at 126 yards per ball. And if you are looking for some great Fall/Winter designs, make sure to page through the Cocoon pattern book.

Cocoon Collection
Cocoon Collection
$17.95
Lyra Crew Neck
Lyra Crew Neck

6-8 balls
Babette
Babette

7-11 balls
SeleneWrap
Selene Wrap

6 balls
Gigi
Gigi

5-8 balls

Rowan Cocoon Video Review You can also check out a video review of the Rowan Cocoon yarn by Jeanne.

Sale! 50% Off Luxury Alpaca

Trendsetter Journey - 100% Premium Alpaca

There is nothing ordinary about Trendsetter Journey.

Just cast on and allow your hands and your imagination to take a journey of glorious pleasure. The colors are all heather blends with subtle blends that light up when they are knit. And talk about soft? You'd think you were working with cashmere, this stuff is so soft... and it's even softer at 50% Off!

Normally $9.50 a ball, we got a great deal and are passing on the savings... it's yours for just $4.75 per ball. Use an 8-10 needle and a few balls for a hat - or go big and knit your DH the nicest sweater he's ever owned (19-30 balls). Whatever you choose, you're sure to be excited (i'm all about the heathers these days, so can't wait to start on a project of my own!)...

Shrug
Shrug

3-8 balls
($14.25-$38)
Basketweave
Basketweave

3-4 balls
($14.25-$19)
Men's Henley
Men's Henley

19-30 balls
($90.25-$142.50)
Handwarmers
Handwarmers

3-4 balls
($14.25-$19)
Kids Hat and Mittens
Kids Hat Set

5 balls
($23.75)

Fun Yarns and Fun Videos ... from the Cast of JBW

Saphira Video
Saphira
Chunky superwash! What could be more fun? This is the only single-ply machine washable bulky yarn on the market (that we know of!). In oodles of colors, it's perfect for baby blankets, baby sweaters, mittens, hats and more. Going to a birthday party and need a quick baby gift? Try knitting the Bulky Baby Hoodie that i did - you can get it done in a day or two.
Bigger is better! We love these huge hanks of Nancy from Schaefer. In variegated and nearly-solid colors, the 600 yards in each hank is enough for all kinds of projects. Havasu Schaefer Nancy

Classes in the Reno Store

Well, you all asked for more classes and were very specific, so I have done my best to put them together for you! You can view all the details on our classes page and you will need to sign up as far in advance as you can; they fill up quickly.

Besides the Entrelac class (which you have been asking for :) and the Beginning Lace class with Allison, we are excited to announce our Learning the Basics of Socks class which will teach you to make socks, both at the same time, on 2 circular needles. This class will be taught by our newest instructor, Stacy, and I know you will enjoy this class which is based on the book by Antje Gillingham, Knitting Circles Around Socks.

Allison will also be presenting a Fair Isle Christmas Stocking class (which I am thinking of taking) and that will be in plenty of time to make that wonderful one of a kind gift for your little one. Of course you can always bring your projects to the Drop-ins classes with Allison and she will help you figure out that dropped stitch, or decrease round, or even just learn to cast on and begin knitting! Please call 775-827-9276 first to let us know you are coming to the drop ins. Pre-registration is required for all other classes, with payment at that time to ensure your spot. A materials list will be given to you at the time of sign up. So come on let's get knitting and moving up to new heights in our knitting abilities!

Happy Knitting! Jeanne :)

What We're Working On

Even if i'm not working at the computer, my fingers are still going... they're just knitting instead. Same with the wonderful girls in the store! Below is a sampling of what we've gotten accomplished lately (on the knitting front, that is). ... Sure looks like we all like Blue, eh?

Ashley's Alpaca Journey Cabled Hat
Ashley's Alpaca Journey Cabled Hat
As soon as the discontinued Journey arrived, Ashley dove into the box and grabbed a few hanks for herself.... using US 8 and 10.5 needles - and the Tahoe Knots Cable Hat 3 pattern, she was able to finish this hat in just a few evenings! And boy is it luxurious...
Cocoon Hooded Pullover
Victoria's Hooded Pullover
I thought this pattern might be beyond both my knitting skills and my attention span - but here it is! The hooded pullover pattern is by Mari Muinonen. A different yarn is called for in the pattern, but I fell in love with Rowan's new colors in Cocoon. The pattern calls for 12 sts over 4 inches. Cocoon gives 14 sts over 4 inches and so I calculated that if I cast on and knit for a size large - I would end up with the medium measurements and it worked out perfectly!
Boogy Man Socks
Jeanne's Boogy Man Socks
Well, I just couldn't stand it, I had to cast on the Boogy Man colorway in the Indie Dyer, Supersock Select yarn! It is so soft and luscious that it feels almost like silk sliding through my fingers as I knit, but it is a superwash sock yarn. Apparently it is made with a super high micron count and that's the secret to it's soft feel. I am making these socks for myself of course, but I think I may have to get another hank of this color and maybe Gourd too; as this yarn is only around for a bit. Sad but true! I will of course make the pattern available through 2 Askew Designs in the near future. I am having a hard time putting this project down to sleep, but alas, I must get at least 2 hours a night. :) Happy Knitting! Jeanne.
Gone Fishin Socks
Gone Fishin Socks - Almost Done!
I'm almost done with my Shepherd Sock Gone Fishin socks... since i only had 1 hank of the MC (gone fishin), i had to use a different color (brick) for the heels and toes. i made the cuffs about 4" long - and you can see where i then ran out of the MC. Once i finished with the toes, I started to go back and pick up along the cuff with the leftover brick (so that i could make the cuffs another 2-3 taller), but my needles got confiscated at the Cancun airport. I had to rip it all out and was absolutely devastated (they also took 2 pair of backups - ugh). Such is life - at least i know where i can get more :)
Lion and Lamb
Victoria's Turtle Neck Tube Vest
This project is from the "Fitted Knits" book by Stephanie Japel. I love this design - simple and elegant and quick to knit with no seaming! I knit mine up in Lorna's Lion and Lamb, Lily Pad color and it turned out just beautiful! I used size 8 needles for the body and size 7 needles for the neck - I didn't want it too tight around my throat so I only went down one size and not two like the pattern suggests.
Ashley's Gayle Jacket
Ashley's Gayle Jacket
Here's an update on the jacket Ashley started when the British Sheep Breeds Yarn came in. It's the Gayle Jacket shown on the cover of the accompanying book British Sheep Breeds Collection. As of September 17, the back is done and the left side is in the works!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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