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Crazy for Ewe

Cravings

Cravings

Part of the reason I love living in this area is because I like the seasonality. I need it in a way. The seasons give my life an organic kind of structure that just feels right.  There's a sense of order to what I cook, and what I eat and what I knit.  This time of year, when it's cold and dreary, I crave comfort food -- and comfort knitting.  I want warm and snuggly.  I want Umaro.

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Umaro class and knitalong

Umaro class and knitalong

Did you ever see the play Annie..or maybe the movie?  It has that catchy little tune, "Umaro, Umaro, I love you Umaro, you're always a day away..."  Oh wait, it's tomorrow...oh well, doesn't matter, Umaro is actually what I love.  Cozy and quick, Umaro is a beautiful throw designed by Jared Flood.  Shirley Walker knit one, which she graciously loaned me - it's in the shop window - you should come see. We have the sample of it knit by Shirley Walker in our window you should come see.  It's even prettier in person that the official picture from the pattern here.

Umaro throw by Jared Flood

Worked in super bulky yarn on size 15 needles, it's fun and fast to knit.   I've had it in my queue to knit for over a year, and I'm starting it Saturday, February 4th.  If you want to knit along with me, here are the skills you'll need for this project:

  • Knit and purl
  • Relaxed long-tail cast on
  • Right-leaning and left-leaning decreases
  • Yarnovers
  • Cables
  • Chart reading

In case you're not quite up to speed on any of those skills, join us Wednesday, February 1st for a class on the Umaro stitch pattern.  We'll work one repeat of the pattern so you'll get those skills and be perfectly comfortable with all aspects of the pattern.  Bonus is that this can be your swatch too, so you can come to the knitalong Saturday, all ready to go!  Class includes one skein of Ushya and the pattern.  Bring or buy at class, US Size 15 needles. Choose afternoon 2:30-4:00 or evening 5:30-7:30.  Click here for more info or to sign up.

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The Next Noro Knit Blanket

The Next Noro Knit Blanket

Noro Mitered Crosses afghan promo

This time last year I was finishing up my Cavendish throw in Noro Silk Garden.  Then I started in right away on my 64 Crayons Blanket.  I had never been much of a blanket knitter, but somehow with Noro it was different.  Everything is, I suppose.  I love having those throws tossed on the couch as if begging me to come snuggle.  Now that it's getting cold, I am getting the urge again to knit a Noro blanket. 

My friend Dollyce on Ravelry did one that I've loved for a long time.  From Kay Gardiner's book Mason Dixon Knitting, it's worked using mitered squares in various colors of Noro with borders of creamy Silk Garden Solo in between.  It's so beautiful.  Here's a shot of her afthan - it's been favorited some 2300 times.

No wonder, huh?  It's spectacular to behold, but it's also terrific to knit.  

Here are my top 7 reasons for loving this pattern:

  1. You get to use whatever colors of Noro you like
  2. It's modular, so you can take it with you and work it whenever you have five minutes
  3. It's a simple pattern that you can easily memorize so it's very relaxing
  4. Each square has its own completion reward - you get that little thrill each time you do a square
  5. You work a double decrease every other row, so the knitting accelerates as you go
  6. You pick up and knit each color, rather than seaming each little square.
  7. It's totally spectacular, and you will be so proud to say, yeah, I made that!

I'm going to get started on it this Saturday, November 5th.  Come join me! We'll start at 2, but come a little early so you can pick out the colors you like.  If choosing colors is hard for you, no worries -- I'll help -- that's my favorite part!  Can't wait to get my colors going --I'm super jazzed!  See you then!

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64-Crayons Knitalong meets today

64-Crayons Knitalong meets today

Don't forget this afternoon's knitalong - 64 Crayons by Amy Swenson.  I've been working away at it every chance I get.  The pattern is mindless enough to do while you're watching tv, but the interplay of Noro's colors make every row a delight, so you'll never be bored!

 

This is a full-sized throw made in strips using two different colors of Noro Kureyon at a time to create alternating stripes.  Strips of stripes.  Say that five times fast.  Anyway, it's a super fun project, and you'll love knitting it as much as you'll love having it!  Join me today and every Thursday for the next few weeks.  From 2 to 4 p.m.  

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Happy colors

Happy colors

64-Crayons - a very happy project

Color is powerful. We don't think about it much because it's so integral to our lives, but the colors we choose for our homes, for our clothes, and for our knitting, play an important part in our everyday happiness.  I think that a lot of what they call the winter doldrums is the lack of color in the world this time of year. Cheerful holiday decorations are gone, and things can seem a little drab. Neutrals are nice, and certainly very calm, but it's a fine line between peaceful and downright boring.  Especially in the winter, I need some happy colors. 

Happy colors are different for everyone.  Each culture views colors in a different context - for many westerners, yellow is a very happy color, while in Japan, yellow symbolizes deceit!  Regardless of a color's cultural meaning, there is a complex function of associations in our brain that gives a color its appeal for each of us.  Think about it - when you're browsing in the shop and you happen across a skein of yarn in that color, you feel your breath catch a little.  It's a visceral response.  You tell yourself, "I really should get out of my box," but you buy it anyway because it's just so beautiful that just owning it an looking at it makes you happy.  That's totally okay.  I'm making this 64-Crayons afghan, and I have all the skeins piled up in a big basket in my family room.  It makes me happy to see them there. 

If you're feeling a little drab, find a little yarn in your stash in a color that makes you happy, and whip up a little had or a pair of bright fingerless mitts. If nothing in your stash does it for you, you can stop by the shop and get a nice big dose of happy.  Especially before this weekend's snow. Happy knitting!

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table - you are always welcome here.  ~Ellen

Back to the 19 January 2016 Newsletter

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