Zuzu’s Petals

Hello everybody!  Tomorrow launches our Spring Fling KAL featuring Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer.  Start date April 1, finish date April 30.  Our prize will be drawn from finishers May 1.  Please join in the fun and enjoy the launch of Spring.  Pattern available on Ravelry!

Here are some of our finished Zuzu’s.  I thought y’all might want to see how everyone’s turned out.

Do you need a ‘Sweet Distraction’? …another project to knit?????

Jennifer Weissman, or shadystroll, as she’s known by on Ravelry, is a designer.  She designs cowls, shawls and hats.  I am in love with her latest design, Sweet Distraction….now that winter is over.  BUT, fall will come around again, and we’ve all got those gradient kits.  This calls for fingering weight yarn on this cowl.  So if you’ve got fingering weight yarn and aren’t into socks, or need a break from socks — this is for you.  OR, you’ve been wanting to purchase gradient, but don’t know what to knit — this is for you.  LOVE!!  Jennifer used Mariantated Yarns Six Pack Gradient for this project and you can find shadystroll on Instagram, ShadyStroll Knits group on Ravelry, ShadyStroll Knits on Facebook, and here is a link to her patterns on Ravelry! Jennifer is offering a 20% discount on her latest pattern over on Ravelry, using code DISTRACTME at checkout – thank you Jennifer~

Hat For Baby

A hat is one of those things that we can whip up and knit rather quickly for a quick gift.  I have always loved the Cascade Yarns Fixation for baby hats.  It’s cotton and it stretches.  It grips baby’s head but also gives and grows with baby.  The colors are fun and there are so many to choose from.  I love the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas hat pattern Easy Roll-Up Hat: DK Version.  It’s well written and has options for larger sizes.

This hat has traveled “across the pond” as they say to England.  I hope they love it!!

Ewe And I

I am *knot* a monogamous knitter, and I’m *knot* a monogamous shopper!

I love yarn shops — HELLO — that’s why I’m America’s Knitting.  I’m all about the yarn shop.  So, a couple posts back, I visited Loose Ends Fiber Arts.  They had asked when I was coming to Centralia, and I finally went.  Well that’s like a two and half hour drive for me.  My husband kept me company, and we brought our dog Mae.  We started off with coffee, made a pit stop, and had lunch after visiting the yarn shop.  Wes walked the dog while I was shopping in the yarn shop, and taking pictures.

Well, not even half an hour down the road is a town called Chehalis.  There is a yarn shop there too, and it’s called Ewe And I.  How could I drive all that way, and not slide into that store?

It has a super fun back story, and unique too!  So, There are two businesses really inside the store; Ewe And I ‘yarn shop’, and Black Sheep ‘Creamery’!  Meg Gregory with her husband Brad Gregory have a farm, and they have sheep, lots of sheep.  So, with the sheep, they get milk and make cheese.  They also get wool, and make yarn.  It’s a going concern, they’ve won awards and you can find their cheese other places besides the yarn shop!  You HAVE to check out their website to really see it all. 

The yarn shop is very nice, they carry lots of yarn, and brands you know.  Notables that I saw… Rowan, Knitted Wit, Jamiesons, Opal, Brown Sheep and of course their own yarn in the natural shades of the sheep.  I did purchase some Knitted Wit, as I have never owned or knit with that yarn and it felt like a special treat.  The store is what I would call full service, in that, they sell yarn and knit, but they also spin and weave.

The ladies were very nice and told me all about the store.  I encourage you to check out their website and of course, the creamery website too.  They are on Facebook as well, so you can keep up even if you can’t make a visit.  Thanks for showing me around Meg and allowing me to take some pictures … I’ll be back~ **you can click on any photo to see it’s larger version**

Brioche Knitting 101

HUGE in the knitting world now…Brioche!  Not to be confused with the bread!  Brioche knitting is not new, but it certainly has had a great resurgence.  I believe in large part, it’s popularity could be due to designs by Stephen West, and his way with color.

Now, yarn shops are jumping in with classes to support this popularity.  I have even seen some retreats surrounding this technique accompanied with some notable knitterati teaching.  These retreats go for big money.

To be honest, when I first saw Brioche knitting, it sort of scared me.  I thought, no thank you, I’ll just sit here and finish what I’m working on.  But, as more patterns were introduced, my interest peaked.  I wasn’t in a position to spend big money on a retreat weekend for this, but Pinchknitter yarns advertised a class on Facebook for $30, and I said “SOLD”!

I thought it would be a fun team activity, so I signed myself, Diana and Carmel up to take the class.  It’s winter here in the pacific northwest, and that translates into gray skies, chilly temps and rain.  Carmel drove — we got there early and all had lunch together.  We arrived for our class, and met our instructor Sarah.

The class wasn’t project based, it was swatch based.  Now, I know why.  There was a lot to unpack for this new technique.  There were four of us in the class which I think was perfect.  Anything larger may have required a second teacher.  We got handouts and great instruction, and I believe we all ripped out and started again.  Carmel was the advanced student, as she was able to proceed to increases and decreases.  I learned a lot and am just working my rows for practice.  It may turn into a scarf, I just don’t know for sure.

After class, I took some pictures of the store, because, you know me.  I’m all about the yarn shop and I am sure you want to see the store.  Pinchknitter yarns is located in Stanwood, Washington and owner Sirkku Bingham is a lover of baseball, hence the name Pinchknitter.  The store used to be a clock store/repair business and there are clocks around the store including a cuckoo clock that sounds off on the hour.  There is also a nearby train track with trains bustling through town not far away.  It’s like a step back in time.  And these days, a slow down is lovely and soothing, right along with our yarn and knitting….brioche knitting!  …you may click on any photo to see it’s larger version…

Pinchknitter owner Sirkku Bingham with America’s Knitting owner Mary Neill