October is such a beautiful time of the year for Steamboat! The autumn leaves are at peak and the town is bustling with pre-winter activities! Yes, snow is on it's way. Time to start thinking about holiday gift crafting and indoor weather crafting activities and supplies. You can knit/crochet hats, mittens and scarves, sew a Thanksgiving tablecloth and/or napkins, take up embroidery to embellish almost anything, etc. The possibilities are endless!
It's also what we call SOCKtober. Blair and LA are the resident sock experts, and in October Blair is going to "host" a knit along (KAL) Don't worry, there's nothing to it. Just follow KnitPurlHunter's KAL instructions on her website, and if you want to ask a question, knit with someone, or need a little nudge, Blair will be happy to help. She plans to hang out in the shop on Wednesdays in October around 2-4 pm. We also have the Zauberball sock yarn for this project (plus a BUNCH of other sock yarn to expand your choices.)
October 1st (today!) is the 3rd Anniversary of the Sew Steamboat partnership (6th for the store itself) We are so happy that our little shop has been improving each year, and that we can be here for all of the locals and tourists alike. To thank you we would like to offer a 30% off one item sale today, October 1st.
If you read our newsletter last month, you know that we were heading to Yampa Valley Fiberworks in Craig, Colorado for a field trip. Twelve of us ventured over and had the best time! Pictures were posted on our Facebook page.
Lorrae and Lewis Moon were great hosts, and everyone was in awe of their small-batch, chemical-free operation. We have their yarn in our store and we just love it.
The Sew Steamboat Team,
Nancy, Carol, Lynn, Donna, LA, Blair, Kathleen, Cindy and Cho
Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-The-Rules Primer Book Review
Bend the rules is right! The author learned the art of embroidery in a feminist art history class at Cornell and has taken what was once an art form with an uptight, sometimes oppressive past and turned it into something modern, fresh and relaxed. She doesn't worry about what the back of her work looks like (I've always wondered why this is an issue, myself) and she uses traditional stitches to draw with floss, ribbon, yarn and even raffia and jute. I appreciate her creative approach and I am inspired to embellish things around my house.
The book comes with a sample stamped on cotton fabric, explanations of tools and fibers to stitch with and page after page of original projects to try. And, of course, there are descriptions and examples of embroidery stitches. I had never tried the bullion stitch, and I think I'm going to need a little more practice (on the sampler!) and I have a new favorite stitch, the woven picot, which looks a bit like a leaf and pops off the fabric (she had me at woven!) So, add a 6" hoop, your favorite fiber colors and start stitching! If you need any help getting started, I am happy to be of service!
What's On Our Needles: LA Bourgeois
The Date Night Pullover with Hanf Natur Bicolor
Last month, a new yarn appeared at the store and
I was helpless to avoid it.
The Hanf Natur Bicolor contains 25% hemp (the other 75% is wool), and felt a little stiff in my hands. Nancy assured me that it would soften up with time and washing.
I grabbed a peachy-orangey-pinky skein from the wall and found the perfect pattern for the experimentation: The Date Night Pullover. The easy lace pattern would keep me entertained and with 437 yards of the sport weight yarn, I could make an entire pullover out of one skein. I mean, a pullover for a small person, not for me. Still, sold!
As I began to knit, the yarn entranced me. Even with the little bit of stiffness from the hemp (hemp acts like linen more than any other fiber, very unyielding), the lightness of the yarn made it a joy to knit. The lace pattern stood out and created a beautiful relief. The stitch definition is fantastic.
However, if I were going to be knitting one of these pieces for myself using this yarn, I would pick a size with a little positive ease or no ease since the yarn has less give than the yarn originally called for.
Also, I would make absolutely sure that I had the correct gauge. Not a surprise there! Swatching has become almost a sacred act to me, especially when I'm making something that I want to wear eventually. On this piece however, let's just say I skipped church this one Sunday.
After one wash, the piece feels softer than it did originally, but not quite softy-softy yet. With such a closely fitting pullover, you'd be washing it after each wearing, so the piece would soften up quickly. I call this experience a success! This easy pullover would be a great starting point for any knitter ready to play with lace and this yarn is a great one to use for the experiment. With it's tight twist, light hand, and slightly stiff manner, splitting is kept to a minimum which enables the new lace knitter to easily work and concentrate on the pattern instead of the yarn.
Enjoy your knitting!