Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School = Football Season!

Double Coverage Hat & Scarf
It's back to school time!  The Boys of Fall are already out on the practice field and before you know it we will be watching our favorite schools compete. 

My favorite choice for school games is the Double Coverage Hat & Scarf set and the Double Coverage Mittens.  All three are simple two-color designs knit with the warm, buttery-soft SimpliWorsted yarn.  SimpliWorsted is a wool blend that is machine washable - just in case you spill your hot chocolate at the game!

Bonus:  Right now we have SimpliWorsted yarn on sale at 20% off!

So what school colors will you be snuggled in during the crisp fall games?

I have to say I'm partial to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's red (SimpliWorsted color 16) and white (01) - it's where Sean and I met and both went to school (Go Badgers!!!).  Vera prefers Beloit College's blue (29) and gold (57), and together the three of us Wisconsinites try to stay clear of anyone knitting with the blue (51) and orange (55) of the University of Illinois. 

Double Coverage Mittens
Locally we cheer on the Galena High School Pirates while knitting blue (29) and white (01), the Orangeville High School Broncos with purple (33) and gold (57), and the Freeport High School Pretzels with black (02) and orange (55).

(Yup, you read that right, the Freeport school mascot is "The Pretzels."  In the 19th century the town had a large German population, and along with that came a lot of German bakeries that specialized in pretzels.  The town was known as Pretzel City, and the high school team became The Pretzels.)

Suzy's daughter Evelyn just started pre-school this week, so for the next 14 years Suzy will be knitting with the Stockton Blackhawk's maroon (46) and gold (57).  Good thing SimpliWorsted is on sale - this is a great time for Suzy to build up her yarn stash!

Enjoy heading back to school - and be prepared to keep warm watching your local schools compete!

Bonus: We've got a list of all the colors in SimpliWorsted for all the pro-teams too! Just drop us a note if we can help!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Bravura Jacket

Bravura Jacket, with hood down
Last year, Skacel sponsored the first season of “The Fiber Factor,” where independent knitwear designers competed for world fame. This September, Tracy Purtscher, winner of the Fiber Factor Challenge 3, will host a Knit-Along featuring her winning design, the “Bravura Jacket.”

So who is Tracy Purtscher?  She describes herself as "a little cock-eyed and a little wonky."  I like her already.  And she knits with an enormous long-haired black cat named Benjamin, so our cat Scout likes her, too.  She hails from Bradford, Illinois, a booming metropolis of 787 people, and we're always proud to cheer on a fellow corn-fed Illinois girl! 

So what is the Bravura Jacket?  The word "bravura" comes from the Italian word for brave, and Dictionary.com defines bravura as "a display of daring; brilliant performance."  Looking at this jacket, I agree completely!  The jacket is a very unique design . . . part capelet, part jacket and featuring an oversized hood.  Wear the hood up to delicately frame your face or throw it back and it rests nicely as a big comfy shawl collar. With an open front design, it can be worn open or close it with your favorite shawl pin. Perfect for fall, this everyday jacket is great for weekend excursions!

Bravura Jacket, with hood up
This ingenious hooded jacket is offered in two sizes. The Small/Medium fits women's sizes 2 - 12. The Large/Extra Large fits women's 14 - 20. The jacket is knit in Kenzie yarn by HiKoo. Kenzie is a soft and slightly fuzzy yarn with a wonderfully unique blend of fibers:  50% New Zealand Merino, 25% Nylon, 10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils.

Each Monday in September, Tracy will release a new video giving you hints and tricks on knitting the next part of this unique design (View KAL videos here). Tracy will also be actively answering questions about her pattern and cheering you on in “The Fiber Factor” forum on Ravelry.

There is no registration or cost, just get your supplies, purchase the pattern on Ravelry and check out Tracy’s video starting on Monday, September 1st at noon pacific time (that's Labor Day - you've got the day off work, no better reason to spend the day knitting!).

Here are the materials you will need: 
    Part jacket, part capelet Bravura Jacket
Yarn
The model is shown in Kenzie in the natural “Pavlova” color #1000.  We've got 20 different colors of Kenzie to choose from - and they are all on sale at 20% off!  For the Small/Med (woman's 2-12) you'll need 3040 yards (19 balls), and for the Large/XLarge (woman's 14-20) you'll need 4160 yards (26 balls).  Hint:  if you would like to make the jacket longer, you can adjust the length of the coat by making the back seam longer - just add one more ball.
      Pattern
      You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry ($10.00).
          Needles
          You will need two sets of needles and a crochet hook:
          The jacket is knit in both stockinette and herringbone stitch, the gauges are:
               14 sts and 20 rows = 4” x 4” in Stockinette Stitch on larger needle, yarn held double.
               28 sts and 19 rows = 4” x 4” in Herringbone Stitch on larger needle single stranded

          You are definitely going to want to do a gauge swatch ... adjust the needle size you need to achieve gauge!
            Notions
            You will also need a tapestry needle, a stitch holder (or waste yarn), and optional stitch markers.
              Need more incentive? You will also have the chance to win great prizes generously furnished by Skacel Collection. Skacel will be randomly selecting three lucky winners who post pictures and information about their finished projects on Ravelry. The project must be started in September and finished within two weeks of the posting of the final instructions/video. Winners will be announced on Skacel’s www.TheFiberFactor.com and on Ravelry.

              Happy Knitting . . .  Amy


              Friday, August 15, 2014

              Sidewalk Sale, Minus the Sidewalk

              Our Empty Sidewalk
              We measured our sidewalk.  Then we measured it again.  And then we had to admit, it just wasn't going to work . . . .  So what do you do when your Sidewalk Sale is bigger than your sidewalk?  Put the sale online!

              So while our sidewalk sits bare and empty, we've got over 40 yarns in our website's Sales 'n Outlet tab - and they're all marked down!

              So what yarns will you find there?
              • Dream in Color's new Jilly yarn, a fingering weight single ply, light merino superwash wool that is exquisitely soft and comes in 48 fabulous colorsAll colors are discounted at 20% off!  Not enough?  The 49 additional Special Order colors are also also 20% off!
                Jilly Lace in Amethyst
              • Jilly Lace is similar to Jilly, but in a lace weight.  This fabulous yarn is perfect for lace projects or fine gauge garments.  Choose your favorite from 23 in stock colors, or overwhelm yourself with 49 additional Special Order colors - all are 20% off!
              • If lace weight isn't your style, go for Classic Chunky Superwash, Elle Rae's bulky superwash wool.  Available in 34 colors - and they're all 25% off!  Save money, and save time with quick-knit projects!
              • Rowan's Angora Haze is wonderfully soft with a gorgeous halo - and you'll earn your halo by saving 40%!  Choose from eight different colors to add a touch of luxury to an elegant coverup or an exquisitely soft pair of mittens!
              • Dream in Color's NEW Classy is now even softer.  But we're not discounting the old stuff, we are discounting the new improved Classy!  Classy is a medium weight yarn with great stitch definition that shows off cables or patterns well.  At 20% off, your Classy projects will look, well, classy!
              • There are only a precious few kits left in the Dream in Color Dream Club!  Get 40% off the "Poinsettia" fingerless mitts and headband combo, along with an exclusively dyed 2-ply Merino wool yarn in a tonal blend of reds, pinks and almost a hint of green.  Get a jump on your holiday knitting - and making holiday gifts is more fun when you know you've saved 40%!
                Classy in Cool Fire
              • Save 50% on Della Q close-out colors!  Great bags and needle cases will help you stay organized.  Save money on the bags and cases so you can spend more on yarn!
              Forget the bugs and the heat, and shop our Sidewalk Sale from the comfort of your own home, with a cool drink by your side. 

              Prefer to shop in the brick and mortar store?  No problem.  Many of the online sale yarns are also in the sale bins at the front of the store.  If you see a yarn on sale on the website but don't see it in the store, just ask and I'll have one of the Yarn Elves to get it for you.

              Happy Knitting . .  And Happy Saving! . . .  Amy

              Friday, August 8, 2014

              All Knit One Crochet Too is 20% Off!

              Knit One Crochet Too has, quite literally, crossed the country.   They began in 1996 in California, then in 2003 Helene Rush purchased the company and moved to Windham, Maine (just west of Portland). 

              Chevron Trim Top by Helene Rush
              The name Helene Rush is probably familiar to you , but even if her name isn't, her patterns most likely are.  She has over 25 years of experience in the industry as a designer for all major knitting magazines, she is the author of five knitting books (all out of print, but available in the collectable market), and was the past editor of McCall's Needlework and Crafts Magazine and Cast On Magazine. 

              Knit One Crochet Too's yarns are selected from around the globe and feature luxury fibers along with everyday staple yarns. Each spring and fall Knit One Crochet Too launches two or three new yarns, along with patterns and kits to compliment the yarn.  FiberWild! features about 20 different yarn brands from Knit One Crochet Too's collection.

              So how large is this company?  Just how many employees does it take to make this yarn powerhouse a success?  Just five. Yup, just five.  Helene Rush herself, plus two women (one fiber artist and one shipping manager) and Helene's two sons.  I enjoy working with all of our yarn suppliers, but it is especially fun to do business with a woman-owned company that is small but known throughout the world!

              To celebrate this remarkable company, we have put all of our Knit One Crochet Too yarns and patterns on sale at 20% off!  So what are some of my favorite Knit One Crochet Too yarns?  Well, I'm glad you asked . . . .
              2nd Time Cotton in Avocado
              • 2nd Time Cotton is a fabulous green yarn.  Well, it's not only green, it comes in 11 different colors (although the Avocado Green color is quite pretty).  It is a blend of cotton and acrylic recycled from the garment industry.  It's very soft and easy, as comfy as an old t-shirt, and an excellent yarn for your summer garment knitting!
              • "Thou Shall Not Covet," but you can make an exception for Covet yarn!  Alpaca is a super-soft fiber anyway, but using the finest micron fiber from baby alpaca is like knitting a cloud!  Covet knits into a luxurious fabric great for cozy mittens or a snugly cowl that everyone will covet!  Available in 10 cloud-like pastels. 
              • A "cria" is a baby alpaca, and Cria Lace yarn has all the softness of baby alpaca plus Tencel to give it strength, drape and a little sheen.  Available in over 20 bold colors, use one strand to make lacy shawls and scarves, or two strands for soft sweaters. 
              • Ty-Dy Socks in Tropicale
              • Ty-Dy Socks is a multi colored, super fine, self striping wool blend in 11 great color blends.  But why hide such great yarn below your ankles?  In addition to socks, use it for terrific, bold, attention-grabbing lace.
              • Kettle Tweed is a wool, llama and bamboo blend with a subtle sheen and tweedy flecks - then kettle-dyed by hand for unique, one-of-a-kind color.  Create a shawl with personality or unique socks!
              And what should you make with all this great yarn?  We've got that covered, because all Knit One Crochet Too patterns are also on sale at 20% off!  They have knitting patterns, of course, but as their name implies they also have great crochet patterns, too.

              Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

              Friday, August 1, 2014

              FREE Wood Smoke Cowl Pattern!

              Snow Tree  & Northwoods Solstice
              Over the last couple of years, we have worked with our friends at Mountain Colors Yarn to create some fantastic exclusive yarn colors available only at FiberWild!  It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but apparently you have - two of the most popular colors have been Northwoods Solstice and Snow Tree.  Both are available in Mountain Color Yarn's Winter Lace Jr., a soft, lace weight yarn in a silk and wool blend.  This yummy yarn demanded a great design to compliment the subtle color changes in both Northwoods Solstice and Snow Tree . . . introducing my Wood Smoke Cowl!

              This traditional smoke ring cowl, also known as a “wimple,” provides the knitter with the perfect canvas to work delicate lace using the Winter Lace Jr. yarn. The soft blend of silk and wool, paired with a feminine lace pattern, creates a feather light fabric that folds and drapes beautifully. You can wear this light and airy versatile cowl over the shoulder, as a fancy scarf, or over your head to keep you out of the cold without giving you "hat-hair".

              Wood Smoke Cowl lace edging in Snow Tree
              The cowl is knit in the round, and measures approximately 36” in circumference at the bottom, 24” circumference at the top, and about 18” long. You will need just one skein of Winter Lace Jr. and two sets of 24” circulars, a US 5 (3.75 mm) and a US 6 (4.0 mm). We recommend the addi Lace or the addi Rockets. The pattern is for the intermediate knitter.

              Bonus:  The Wood Smoke Cowl pattern is FREE with the purchase of any color of Winter Lace Jr. yarn!  So just how many colors is that?  In addition to the available-only-at-FiberWild! Northwoods Solstice, Snow Tree, Bozemill Spring and Sugared Violet, there are ten other in-stock colors.

              Wood Smoke Cowl Worn as a Wimple
              Love the colors, but just not into lace weight?  Northwoods Solstice is also available in Mountain Colors Weavers Wool 1/4 and Alpaca Blend and Snow Tree is also available in Alpaca Blend and Bearfoot.  (But don't try the Wood Smoke Cowl in the other yarn weights - your gauge will be way off!)

              You can post your pictures, share your thoughts, and ask questions about my Wood Smoke Cowl or any of my patterns in my FiberWild Ravelry Group!

              Happy Knitting . . . Amy

              Wood Smoke Cowl edging in Northwoods Solstice