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Crazy for Ewe

July First Friday Project

July First Friday Project

It's First Friday this week, and we have a great project planned for you.  This beautiful wrap in Noro Tokonatsu is part shawl, part capelet, and totally fabulous. 

Noro Tokonatsu Lace edge Shawl from Noro Magazine Issue 8


Noro Tokonatsu Wrap

It's just what you need to keep your shoulders covered in those frosty, over-air-conditioned spaces we brave all summer - the grocery store, the movie theater, and most restaurants.  It's even a nice way to keep the blazing sun of your shoulders when you're out and about.  The clever use of two increase points makes this shawl look like a trendy capelet and keeps it on your shoulders without any fiddling or fussing as you go about your busy life, so you look and feel relaxed, comfortable, and pulled together. 

Noro Tokonatsu wrap on model

The shawl features a simple lace edging that's modern looking and easy to knit.  It takes just 3 skeins of Tokonatsu, so it's a fun and quick project.  Come see how beautifully soft and wearable it is. We have lots of colors, but they're going to go quickly, so come choose your favorite and get started with us First Friday. 

Can't make it into the shop?  Order the kit on-line here and we'll pop it in the mail to you.  Depending on where you are, you should have it in a day or two, so you won't miss out on the First Friday fun!



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Nymphalidea Shawl

Nymphalidea Shawl

I first saw this gorgeous shawl when Sigrid was knitting it last summer.  Worked in two colors of fingering weight yarn, it combines lace panels and reverse stockinette, it's a perfect way to highlight self-striping yarn.  My pick for Nymphalidea is Rainbow Beach, a lovely offering from Queensland.

Rainbow Beach is subtly self striping and gently marled.  Marled yarns are formed by twisting together plies, or strands, of different colors. The result is a single strand of yarn with several colors winding around each another.  If the different strands are close in color, the effect is subtle and blended. Plies of very different color or value give the the yarn a more high-contrast effect.  Can you see the effect of the marled yarn in the lace sections below?

Since this yarn is self striping, it has both subtle and high contrast sections.  It's an attractive and energetic yarn that works beautifully in this project.

You can pair two colors of Rainbow Beach, or you can pair it with a self striping sock yarn like Noro Silk Garden Sock, which has a more defined color shift.  Either way, Nyphalidea is a great project that works up quickly and will be a go-to accessory in your wardrobe.  

We've pulled together some combinations really attractive combinations.  Come by the shop and pick your favorite for First Friday.

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The wonders of blocking

Bernadette came in last week with Vortex hot off her needles - a beautiful circular shawl pattern worked from the center out in lovely Huasco,   Very pretty, no?

Vortex unblocked 

As with all lace projects, Vortex needs a good blocking to look its best.  See how a good hard blocking opens the fabric, displays the structure of the lace, and creates a beautiful drape in the fabric. Nice blocking job, Lynne!

Vortex blocked 

Here's a close-up of the fabric that really shows the dramatic change.   Great job, Bernadette!

Fabric close-up 


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New Noro Magazine


Okay, you know that I am a hopeless Noro addict.  The colors, the fibers, the whole aesthetic just me.  So, you know I was super jazzed about the new magazine.  This is the Spring Summer issue, and it has so many adorable garments and accessories I just can't believe it.

They've focused on smaller, lighter weight projects using their fingering weight yarns.  While the labels call sock yarns, I think something was lost in the translation, because as lovely as they are, these fibers are not really great for socks.  They are, however, spectacular for lacy shawls like these


Perfect for relaxed summer projects, these shawls use only the simplest of pattern stitches, relying instead on gorgeous Noro colors to make the statement.  Fun to knit, fabulous to wear.  All the colors of Taiyo Sock in stock at both stores now!

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Mary's Piewhacket in Huasco

At our last staff meeting, Mary was wearing this adorable little shawlette.  We all loved it and asked her how long it had taken her to knit.   Here reply was, "I'm not going to tell you."

I can tell you she probably whipped it up in one evening, because when Mary gets going on something, she just works it until it's done.  Gotta love that Mary.  Most normal mortals can knit it in less that a week - it is just one skein...

Cool asymmetrical shape Cool asymmetrical shape


Pattern: Piewhacket by Jennifer Dassau
Yarn: 1 skein Huasco hand dyed 100% merino fingering
Needle size - about a 6, depending on your gauge
Gauge is 18 stitches/4 inches (after blocking)

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Sugar is sweet

Nicole was in this morning and showed off her latest finished object, And so are You.  This shawl is part of a series of designs by Rose Beck.  It's an especially nice pattern because the crescent shape allows you to get a shawl that's nice and wide without being too long.  This one is wide enough for Nicole to wear around her shoulders

but not too big to wear up close as more of a scarf.  Great job, Nicole!

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Mary's Magnificent Thorn

Mary finished her Thorn the other day.  She sent me a quick photo of it just off her needles, but that picture couldn't begin to show how amazing Thorn looks as worn!  Wow!  What an elegant shape!  

Sometimes things that look as dramatic as this are fiddly and difficult to wear, but this is an example of a perfect marriage of form and function.  The tapered wing shape give you great coverage over the shoulders and across the back with a narrow and  manageable end to toss over your shoulder.  Is there a more perfect excuse for a gorgeous Jul pearl pin!


Thorn is the kind of wrap that just makes you feel elegant and pulled-together, whether you're dressed for the day in a suit, or running to the store in jeans and a turtleneck.  The fabric is ideal for this time of year as well as into the spring - light and warm and just enough.
Thorn takes just two skeins of fabulous Galler Prime Alpaca - a lovely heather yarn with terrific drape and an amazing hand.  Great colors too.   Which one should I choose?  There is that beautiful hot pink...

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I was in the Leonardtown shop the other morning chatting with Mary, aka, the amazing hand-knitting machine.  She finds the cutest little patterns and just whips them up and brings them into the shop.  She is always working on something or other cool.  Her Thursday afternoon group is just finishing Rondelay , a beautiful shawl that uses short rows to create a beautifully shaped wrap with soft curves that's easy to wear.  It's written for beautiful Malabrigo Sock, but you could use the new Hazel Knits Artisan Sock or Shi Bui Sock if you prefer. 

Most recently, Mary started Thorn,  a fabulous new pattern with an unusual asymmetrical shape that reminds me of a bird's wing.

She's using two skeins of our beautiful new Heather Prime Alpaca from Galler Yarns.   This yarn is cousin to our best selling yarn, Peruvian Tweed.  Same soft hand, same generous 600-yard hanks, beautiful rich colors. 

Get started on your own Thorn with Mary - Thursday afternoons in Leonardtown.

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Is it just me?

Last week as I was writing the newsletter about finishing things, I thought maybe I would include my Springtime Bandit.  At that point I was on row 22 of the 34 of the edging rows, and decided I'd be finished too quickly for it to matter.

How wrong I was.

I worked merrily along until row 29.  My stitches didn't match up.  I reviewed the pattern and decided I could make it work, despite the uncompensated yarnover in row 27.   This must be part of how the shawl widens at the edge, I thought stupidly.  I worked several more of the nearly 300 stitch rows until I realized that things were just not going to work out.  I had screwed up somewhere.  The pattern had been a breeze thus far.  The chart was easy to follow and I could clearly read the pattern in my knitting.  Except for the center stitch, I hadn't even needed stitch markers to denote the pattern repeats.   Ah, the price of my hubris, I told Lynne that Tuesday - no stitch markers.  No wonder I got messed up. 

So I laboriously unknit several rows - did I mention that each row was about 300 stitches?  No, I had not used a lifeline - who needs lifelines in such an easy pattern?  Back to row 26 where I proceeded to place stitch markers between the pattern repeats.  Working row 27 again, I carefully counted stitches, worked the chart and counted again.  My stitches don't match up.  What the heck???  An error in the pattern?  On Ravelry, hundreds of people have posted about this pattern and no one has mentioned an error.  Okay.  I'm an idiot.  It's Thursday night at this point and I decided that I am just tired and I will just take it in to the shop Friday morning and look at it again in the clear light of day.

When I got to Leonardtown Friday, I saw Jenny's completed and beautifully blocked Springtime Bandit on display in the shop.  Now I felt like a super idiot.  She had started a week after I had.  I showed Ginni, and together we looked at the pattern, at my knitting, back at the pattern.  Counting.  Looking.  Then back at the pattern.  Then at Jenny's.  Then at mine.  There is definitely a problem.  A quick call to Jenny confirmed that there was an error in the pattern, and no, there was nothing about it on Ravelry.  Frustrated, but relieved not to be an idiot, I took a deep breath, made the changes to the chart, and knit most of the rest of the edging. 

I went to download a clean copy of the pattern and saw that one of the changes had been made already without mention of the change or any errata.  In case you are working this pattern, here's the fix I used for rows 27 and 29:

Row 27: there should be a ssk after the final yarnover in the beginning section just before the pattern repeat begins,  another ssk after the final yarnover at the end of the pattern repeat. 
Row 29: there should not be a yarnover at the end of the beginning section just before the pattern repeat begins, nor should there be a yarnover at the end of the pattern repeat.

There are other ways to correct the errors: Jenny used a double decrease in row 29, and that looks just fine as well.

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