Who: Istex Lopi Yarns is located in Iceland and has been manufacturing hand knitting yarns since 1896. Best known for their Álafosslopi yarn the company makes all their products from 100% Icelandic wool. Lopi purchases their wool directly from Iceland farmers then spins, dyes and processes it into yarns all at their own manufacturing plant. Read more about Lopi/Icelandic wool HERE and a yarn review from Knitter’s Review HERE.
Note: we are not presently carrying Lopi yarns (they’re a bit in the itch side), but it’s fun to explore new things, so when the offer for a trunk show came up I said yes. All of the patterns are downloadable on Ravelry and we can help you chose a substitute yarn, or if you want to use Lopi we can look into special ordering it for you.
These two retreats are run by one of my great clients, Sandra, and based on her DELICIOUS descriptions I thought some of you might be interested. She lives in Verona for part of the year and organizes the events with the knowledge of a resident and the sensibility of a North American fibre artist and crafter. BTW, Sandra is a bit of a gourmand, so I have no doubt that the food is AMAZING, and from what I hear the accommodations sound lovely.
I really love how this project came out! It’s soft, airy, light, cozy, and with the pattern being free and the yarn only costing $20, it’s a pretty cost effective knit too! If you’re starting to think about holiday gift to knit, this is a great go-to project.
The pattern is called a scarf, but I don’t know why because it’s actually a cowl. We made the smaller size and in the yarn we used (Drops Air) it can be worn either once or twice around the neck. I also found that the “twice around” brings the ‘full goldilocks’ – it isn’t too big or too small, it’s just right (in my mind, that means it doesn’t gape, letting cold air in). If your finished project looks small just wet-block it, mine stretched from 20″ x 10″ to 24″ x 9″.
The pattern, Infinitude Scarf, is a simple little thing that combines knits and purls in the easiest way. The skills are pretty simple: casting on, working in the round, using a knit & purl stitch in the same row, and binding off. We made the smaller size, but had extra yarn so just kept going in the welt pattern by adding an extra 3 pattern repeats (so we did “Knit 4 rnds, purl 4 rnds” a total of 6 times).
We used two skeins of Drops Air, a new yarn for us this year. It’s a super light and airy alpaca that knits easily and looks great! It’s a ‘blown’ yarn, which means it consists of a loosely knit chain core made of polyamide and then the Alpaca is literally blown into and through this core, coating it in a delightful halo of the softest alpaca. The result is an extra depth of colour because you can see a bit of the core through the translucent outer layer. Drops Air comes in both heathered and solid colours, but I think the heathers are extra pretty, with that extra dimension of colour added. Did I mention that it’s also super soft? Yeah, it’s crazy soft, it totally passes the neck test. Drops Air comes in a bunch of colours, made in Peru and the European Union, and it only costs $9.97 a skein.
If you’re looking for a quick sweater to whip up before the fall weather really hits, this is IT! The Carbeth Pullover uses chunky weight yarn, 6mm/US10 needles, so it goes fast! The design is simple, elegant, and makes for a very easy to wear sweater with a little bit of interest in the details. It’s easy to change the measurements (make the body longer, make the neck longer or shorter, etc). We used the same yarn, Cascade Eco+ Peruvian Tones, but in a more interesting colour, 08 Rum Raisin (in the skein it looks brownish, but knitted up it looks more like an oxblood/dark red). We tried out the black/grey colourway last December when I made a Carbeth Cardigan, but I think it’s time to get some colour back into our lives!
We used Cascade Eco+ Peruvian Tones, which gave it a contemporary look for a great price (the project used less than two skeins, and came in under $70). I’ve also seen it made a few times with Cascade Eco+ Merino, which is a softer merino wool, has more body and definition and still comes in under $76. If you need something machine washable you can’t go wrong with Berroco Vintage Chunky.
The pattern is a cropped style and we added one inch to the length of the body. I think if I was to make one for myself I’d like the neck longer – I like it all oversized and cozy.
Many thanks to our sample knitter Tessa, without who I could not keep up with the hard work of inspiration.
There’s a nip in the air (and my niece & nephew need to be picked up from school on Tuesdays) so we’re rolling out our Fall Store Hours a week early! Starting Monday September 16 we’re back to our regular hours, and we will be open again on Sundays and Mondays.
We have someone new in the store! Erica will be working on Sundays and Mondays, so please give her a warm welcome and introduce yourself. It will take her a little time to settle in and get up-to-speed, but she is sweet and lovely and awesome and I know your are going to fall in love!
Additionally, the Sit ‘n Knit will only be on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons this season (see times below).
Fall/Winter/Spring Store Hours
Monday: 11 am to 6 pm
Tuesday: 11 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm (Sit ‘n Knit 5 pm – 8 pm)
Fibre Co One Sweater is a classic. It’s a timeless, gender-inclusive (unisex) knit – it will NEVER go out of style. Take good care of this sweater and you’ll have it forever. It’s knitted in one piece from the top down with a raglan sleeve. It has a little bit of short row neck shaping to make the fit comfortable (I hate it when the back of a sweater rides up). The pattern is offered in a broad range of sizes, from age 1-2 through to a 56” chest circumference. It also includes the option of a shorter or longer length for the adult sizes, and they included the extra yardage (I love these people).
This is a great project for knitters who are new to sweaters, as well as those who have already been initiated.
If you are ….
New to sweaters: it’s a good first sweater, you’ll learn useful new skills and it’ll give you the confidence to jump into more advanced projects.
Have a little bit of experience with sweaters: this shouldn’t phase you, and it’ll reinforce the skills you already have.
Experienced at sweaters: it’s great for those who want to go on autopilot and make something simple and timeless.
This is normally a paid pattern ($9 USD/$12.50CAD) but The Fibre Co is offering it for free through stores when you buy the yarn for the sweater (Fibre Co Cumbria). Just ask us in-store or when you check-out online.
Let’s talk about the YARN. Fibre Co Cumbria is a traditional style British yarn, and at first glance it doesn’t look substantially different from other classic-ish string from the UK? What makes it special? Good question … it involves a story. A little while ago I decided to start exploring a different way to buy yarn for the store. Instead of making sure a yarn ticks a bunch of boxes of client needs (which I do still take into account), I decided to base my initial decision of how the yarn feels to knit with – ie. how ENJOYABLE it is.
So I started swatching and rating my enjoyment level during the process of working with the yarns. It has been a VERY interesting process. There have been a lot of gorgeous yarns that I thought would be great while in the skein, but once I cast-on they felt Meh, or worse, Yucky. Life is both very short and very long, and if I’m laying down my money for a pricey yarn I don’t want to work with Meh or Yucky. I want something that SINGS, something that brings me JOY. Furthermore, I don’t want you to either. There’s already enough Meh and Yuck in our world, I don’t want to spread more, I want to share Joy. It’s time to bring-back joy.
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already read between the lines and figured out that The Fibre Co. Cumbria was one of the yarns that absolutely SANG. I think I even swatched it twice, on separate occasions several months apart, and still had the same happy reaction. It was beautiful to work with, and I enjoyed it so much that when I ordered it I bought an extra bag to make a sweater for ME (if you want my yarn I’ll share it, I know where to get more).
Keeping your hands warm is one of the best reasons to know how to knit! Mittens and fingerless mitts are one of those great projects that knit up quickly enough to make great gifts out of a small amount of yarn.
Using the same tools and yarn we will use for our adult mittens, this class begins with working a mini-mitten to cover all the steps including casting on for a small diameter in-the-round, working ribbing, placing and shaping a thumb gusset, using stitch holders or waste yarn, shaping with decreases, closed bind-offs, picking up stitches and darning ends. Students will work through a cuff and thumb gusset of a mini-mitten in the first class and will have an opportunity to work the same stages on an adult mitten as homework. The mini-mitten will be completed in the second class, and students will have all the information to complete their adult mitten on their own time. Students will have the option of making fingerless adult mitts or full mittens. Students are provided with a multi-size pattern for worsted-weight mittens and may choose to use either double-pointed needles or two circulars in class.
Prerequisites: Students must be able to knit and purl independently, to distinguish knit and purl stitches in their fabric, and should have some familiarity with basic knitting terms.