Full of Possibilities

The nice thing about working in a yarn store is that every time we get a new shipment of yarn in, it is like opening a present full of possibilities. Every box contains something different – different colours, different fibres, different gauges. What colour would I pick from the shipment? Which colours could I put together? What would I make from each of the different kinds of yarn?

Before I open a box I am so excited to see what the yarn I have ordered looks like in real life. Often I have only seen the yarn in an image on the computer. At most, I may have held a ball of the yarn in my hand when the sales rep came in but not in all the colours that are contained in that box. Often I will have seen small colour cards with samples of the yarn but not a full ball of the yarn. Some of the multicolour yarns look very different in a ball or skein than what is shown in the little swatch that I am shown when ordering. I have not felt how squishy and soft the yarn is in a skein or ball.

Every yarn is a possible hat or sweater or cowl. Some yarns are so beautiful they don’t need special stitches or techniques to look stunning. I may pull a package of yarn out of the box and know exactly what I would like to make. We just got in some Uneek Chunky yarn and I am itching to cast some on the needles to knit a chunky hat. Who cares that I have a sweater that needs finishing, I really should be finishing off the sample for an upcoming class or I should finish knitting those socks for my sister- Christmas is fast approaching. The new yarn is just asking to be knit and who am I to deny it?

Other yarns stay in my mind as I look at different patterns throughout the day as customers show me what they are wanting to knit or crochet. It may take a while to find the perfect pattern for a yarn but once I see it, I remember that yarn I pulled out the box the other day. Do we have enough left in stock or in the colour I think would be perfect?

Most of the time I have to be satisfied with seeing what our customers knit or crochet with all the yarns that come out of that box full of possibilities. Often I have to be content with that to assuage my curiosity. I do love to see what everyone has knit or crocheted. There is not enough time to knit or crochet all the things I want to make. Luckily I like to make smaller projects and can try more yarns that way.

Cestari Yarn for Spring

We have just received our new shipment of cotton yarn from Cestari yarns. We have two different cotton yarns – Ashland which is a 75% cotton and 25% wool blend. It is made exclusively with Virginia-grown cotton and blended with Cestari’s Natural White Traditional Wool. This yarn is very soft feeling. It is marked as a DK yarn but the gauge given on the ball band is more consistent with a worsted weight. We have it in grey and white.

Cestari Ashland

The second yarn we have from Cestari is their Monticello. It is a 75% cotton and 25% linen blend. The cotton grown in Virginia and the linen is imported from France.  The yarn is kettle dyed so each skein has subtle colour changes within the ball making for a more interesting knit. We have a rainbow of colours to choose from in the Monticello yarn. We have 10 colours in stock, from red to purple but also in cream and grey for the not so adventurous. The yarn will hold its shape well, making it well suited for garments such as summer tees. It would also be beautiful as a summer shawl.

Cestari Monticello

Both yarns can be machine washed in cold water but make sure to lay flat to dry. Cotton does not have any elasticity so it is important not to hang a wet cotton garment or it will stretch. The Ashland has wool in which the lanolin has not been removed so you do not want dry clean it as this would remove the lanolin.

If you have not tried any of the Cestari yarns (http://www.cestarisheep.com/ yet, these would be perfect yarns to try. We also have two wool yarns from Cestari – the Tradition and Mount Vernon collections. The Mount Vernon is 100% merino which has not had the lanolin removed so it retains all those qualities that we love in wool while also being soft. The Tradition is a Targhee Columbia so it is not as soft as a merino but it makes great hats and has great stitch definition.

Many people do not associate spring and summer with knitting but with these cotton and blend yarns you can make some beautiful summer garments. Who doesn’t need a gorgeous wrap for those cool summer evenings? Come in and try a skein or two of these great yarns!

Assorted Knitting Things I Love

Why do I love knitting?

I love all the beautiful colours in which yarns come.  Sometimes when I am walking around the yarn warehouse surrounded by thousands of balls of yarn of various colours and fibres it is just the colours of the yarn that call out to me.  Diamond yarn has a 100% silk lace weight yarn that the first time I saw it sitting on the warehouse shelf I knew I had to have it just for the colour.  It was a multicoloured blue, yellow and black that was just so striking. I didn’t know what I would do with it but I needed to have that yarn.  Luckily many of my customers agreed with me but I bet most of them had an idea what they would do with  it when they bought it.  I don’t need to know what I am going to do with I just need to have that colour.

I love all the different fibres that you can get.  The Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran (unfortunately now discontinued, but we still have some in the store) is just so soft that I had to make something out of it.  It was the one when people asked for the softest yarn that  I directed them to.  Right now the Madeline Tosh sock for it’s colours and softness is one of my favourite yarns. It is 100% merino with a nice twist.

I love that sock yarn knits up magically into a pattern.  Sometimes you just have to keep knitting to see what will come up next.  People who don’t knit think you are so talented when it is really the yarn dyers who are so talented.

I love the click and feel of the needles as the yarn slides along them. A great pair of needles is essential to my knitting enjoyment.  The yarn has to move quickly and smoothly, no pushing or bunching allowed.  My needle of choice at the moment are Hiya Hiya circulars even when I am not knitting  in the round.  I like the short needle length that you get with a circular and that you can scrunch everything up onto the cable when you  want to put your project in a bag and not worry about the stitches falling off.

I love working on a pattern and seeing it slowly take shape.  I usually am impatient to finish the project so I can see how it will look but  I often stop and just look and feel the item I am working on and think this all started as a ball of yarn and now look at it. It seems almost magical the way the yarn twists and turns to make all the stitches in a pattern.

I also love that knitting requires you to sit down and just be.

Try it you might like it

How often do you avoid trying something because it might be too hard or you might not like it?  You never know you may love it.  Some of us are naturally more adventuresome than others and are willing to try almost anything but there are others of us who just get stuck in a rut and stick with what is comfortable.  I do this in my knitting as well as in other things in life – same old recipes, same stores… I usually like to stick to small knitting projects socks, hats fingerless gloves – all usually with not too much pattern so I can do it without paying attention.

Recently I started a cable knit sweater pattern.  Initially I thought I don’t really want to do this.  There are 4 different cables to figure out, keep track of and count.  The one cable has 28 stitches in it.  Besides if I start it I may never finish it.  Well, I dove in and had to rip out the first rows a few times but now I have the hang of the pattern and I can actually watch TV while doing it.  I am enjoying the challenge of something new and it looks really nice.

So maybe we all need to try something new, whether it be in knitting or or other areas of our life.  Hmm… maybe I should try…