Archive for June, 2008

Portable Projects

Lots of us are heading outside this summer, whether it’s on vacation, to the ball fields to watch our loved ones play softball or baseball or over to Washington Park on Wednesday evenings to listen to our municipal band play. This calls for portable projects! These handy-to-carry-with-you projects have the added bonus of not overheating your lap while you work on them.

First in line for the portable project parade are mittens. I know from experience that you can whip out the cuff of a child’s mitten while waiting for all sorts of things. You can knit plain ones or patterned ones, whatever suits your abilities and style. We have several books to help you with your mitten knitting, and single patterns in the binders as well – the felted mitten pattern from fiber trends makes a truly toasty mitten.




If you aren’t sure you can knit a mitten in the round, or better yet, you’re teaching a child to knit a mitten, try this delightful little book by Robin Hansen – Sunny’s Mittens. Sunny has worn a hole in her mitten, and her grandmother teaches her to knit a new pair of felted ones for herself – she doesn’t even have know how to purl to do it! This book has the pattern itself in the back of the book and is a wonderful book for all ages! The author has several other mitten books that I highly recommend, including the mitten-shaped book and a book called Favorite Mittens. My family has been wearing her designs on our hands for many years now.




What are you going to knit these mittens in? Brown Sheep yarn’s Lamb’s Pride is my favorite mitten yarn. It is a warm, soft, feltable wool and mohair blend that comes in a rainbow of colors. Why not pick some bright spring or summer colors to make your mittens in, so that when it is cold and snowy, you can remember a warm day when the lilacs were blooming?






Hats are another great portable project. We have some fun books with hats patterns in them, whether you want to knit a simple watch-cap or toque, or want to make a funky tam.


 And yarns? Noro Kureyon’s wonderful color variations make a great hat. If you want something a little more understated, try the Shannon tweed by Tahki.







If you’re thinking of an even simpler portable project, try a scarf – you can make these as simple or complicated as you like and there are so many yarns to choose from.







For soft scarf, try my favorite yarn, Baby Alpaca by Plymouth.










Or if you want to play with color, try one of our new handpainted yarns, Magallanes by Arucania. It’s 100% wool and the colors are beautiful.







And then there is my favorite portable project – you know what’s coming, don’t you, from your resident sock addict? – SOCKS! We even have a sock pattern book called Knitting on the Road – Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter, a wonderful book by Nancy Bush, full of all sorts of  sock patterns.





 A sock kit is quick and easy. Just grab your pattern, a ball or two of sock yarn (and we have lots to choose from) and your favorite skinny needles, and knit away.  The whole thing fits nicely in all sorts of bags, and if you’re making a sock you know the pattern for, it will fit in a purse or jacket pocket!

By the end of the summer, you can have your whole family outfitted with new knitwear for winter, from head to toe, by working on your portable projects!

By the way, the Albany County Fair is coming up at the end of July, and it’s not just for the 4-H kids. They have an open category that anyone can enter projects in. It’s been looking pretty sparse in that section for the last few years, so let’s get together and show Albany County what its knitters and crocheters can do. Lori will have entry forms down at the shop starting sometime this week, so come by and get a form and enter your handwork in the Albany County Fair!




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The Lacy Days of Summer

Summer – it’s filled with slow peaceful days or busy active days depending on your schedule. Any of these days can be lacy days with the lace yarns Lori has here at Cowgirl Yarn. The one that caught my eye this week is a brand new one – Baby Alpaca Laceweight by Plymouth. Now, baby alpaca is my favorite yarn anyway, and this new laceweight is wonderful stuff, soft as a cloud, and it comes in beautiful colors. I am thnking what I’d like to knit with it right now…

We still have plenty of other lace yarns, too – Merino Lace by Skacel, Harmony by Jojoland (I love the color shading in this yarn) and Suri Elegance – a 100% Suri Alpaca yarn.




Then there are the lace yarns that make you want to just sit and pet them – Superior by Filatura di Crosa which is 70% cashmere and 30% silk  and Kid Seta, a Kid mohair and silk blend. Yummy, yummy yarns.








If you want to knit your lace in something a bit heavier weight by still luxurious, try Pure SIlk by Debbie Bliss. This is beautiful silk yarn and the colors are lovely.

Well, you’ve found that special yarn that you really, really want to make something lovely and lacy out of. Now you need a pattern. We have some wonderful lace books including A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson.

Other books include several Interweave Press publications, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls and Gossamer Webs. and Lace Style.






Don’t forget to check out the Addi Turbo needles, just perfect for knitting lace, and have fun creating your own lacy days this summer.

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Cotton For Summer

Cotton for summer! If you aren’t too sure about having a lap full of wool during warmer weather, think about cotton. Lori just got in several new cotton and cotton blend yarns in different weights and colors.


One of the new cottons actually comes as a kit – it makes up an adorable baby/toddler sweater and comes complete with pattern and 2 buttons: Cotton Kisses by Plymouth. The kit comes packaged with the yarn ball, and the yarn is 51% cotton, 42% acrylic and 7% nylon. It is nice and soft and we have it in several colors.





The next new yarn is Jeanee, also from Plymouth. This is another blend – 51% cotton and 49% acrylic. It is a worsted weight yarn with a nice feel to it and comes in a nice variety of colors.





If you’re looking for a finer weight cotton yarn, then look for the Dark Horse yarn, Desert Flower. This is 100% cotton and is approximately a fingering weight. Once again, there are several different colors to choose from. This would be very nice knitted up into a summer weight shawl or shrug.




And of course, there are always the old favorites, the 100% cotton Fantasy Naturale and the cotton and wool blends of Cascade Sierra Quatro and Brown Sheep’s Serendipity and Serendipity Tweed.


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