Join Us in Celebrating Worldwide Knit in Public Day!

On Saturday, June 10th, knitters all over the world will gather to knit in public!We will come out of our homes and flock to coffee shops, restaurants, sporting events, anywhere there are unknown people and we will pull out our WIPs and we will bravely knit in front of everyone!We will show the world that people of all types cherish this craft of ours - old, young, women, men, literally everyone!Worldwide Knit it Public Day began in 2005 and it's always the second Saturday in June.  There are registered events from Guinea to the Philippines to New Zealand to Luxembourg and all points in between!Gather with us as My Sister Knits celebrates this international knitting event; we will knit away in our garden from 10am until 3pm and refreshments will be offered.Yes, we realize this isn't exactly out in public; it's part of our Knitting in the Garden series this summer.  We challenge you to gather your courage to pull out your needles and yarn in our 'safe zone' and then move on to a more public place!You never know how you might influence a stranger to take up knitting, perhaps someone who needs it in their life.We hope to see you Saturday!

Join us for Fearless Knitting!

Do you have a project you dearly want to create but something is holding you back?  One that you've had your eye on for ages but perhaps there's a certain skill required that you need to learn or brush up on?  We have just the solution!Maybe you've been eyeing one of our shop samples, pondering if you have the skills to make one for yourself.  We have several Shibui samples from their Spring/Summer 17 collection and, as always with Shibui, they are the epitome of simple elegance and style.  Some require seaming with mattress stitch, others have a lovely cast on or bind off.

If any of these skills have you pausing, our two-pronged Fearless Knitting program has you covered! We offer Fearless Knitting twice a week, for free.  Sessions are Thursdays and Saturdays from 11am until 1pm.  The first hour is a technique demonstration and the second hour is focused individual help.

For your convenience, we offer four sessions for each technique demonstration.  We choose a technique that can be learned in one session but you are welcome to come to as many as you like!You can learn how seam with mattress stitch on April 27th and 29th.May 4th, 6th, 11th and 13th is Cast Ons.May 18th, 20th, 25th and 27th is Bind  Offs.Remember our knitting help hour is for anything you need help with!   If you can't make it to a specific technique demonstration, you can still learn it during the noon - 1pm hour.This can also be used as community knitting time; you are welcome to join in just to listen.  It's amazing how much can be learned by listening!We invite everyone to Fearless Knitting!  There is no sign up needed.  

A Cornucopia of Classes!

Think about the last time you took a knitting class.  What was your motivation?color-affection-rtpLearning a new skill?Meeting other knitters?Brushing up on a certain technique?Gleaning valuable tidbits from a trusted teacher?Just for the pure fun of it?Julie-and-Stephen-brioching-RTP

We have several offerings in October for you to take advantage of......

You could learn how to make truly awesome Latvian mittens!latvian-mitten-thumb-side-rtp Perhaps there's a small child in your life who would fall in love with the Wallaby sweater!wallaby-sweater-full-view-rtp wallaby-sweater-pocket-detail-rtpwallaby-sweater-cuff-detail-rtp wallaby-sweater-neck-detail-rtp You could make a soft, squishy, super warm Brioche Bandana Cowl created with this popular distinctive stitch!brioche-cowl-on-diana-rtpbrioche-cowl-detail-rtp Or you could make cabled socks!karens-socks-and-class-rtp Call 970.407.1461 or come into the shop to sign up for the class that excites you the most!         You could

The Circus Has Come To Town!

Which circus?  Why, Knitcircus, of course!Come one, come all to My Sister Knits during September and see daring colorways that will make your mind spin.Get on the hand dyed gradient bandwagon with this one-of-a- kind yarn from Knitcircus in Wisconsin!  Jaala Spiro's extraordinarily innovative dyeing technique produces exceptional color combinations that have to be seen to be believed!knit-circus-skeins-use-this-one-rtp Julie fearlessly attempted this lightweight, soft as down cowl using the brioche stitch and can't wait for the weather to turn cold enough to wear it!knit-circus-chromatic-cowl-with-little-fence-rtpIf you're up in the air over what to make, the Holden Shawl is always a crowd pleaser.knit-circus-holden-shawl-rtpHurry, hurry, before the circus packs up and leaves town September 30th!Don't miss a moment of knitting pleasure with this soft, squishy yarn; step right up and choose your base and your colorway!We have Greatest of Ease, 80% Merino, 20% Nylon; Corriedale Sock, 75% Wool, 25% Nylon; and Lavish, 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon.  All are fingering weight, machine washable, and sourced in the US or UK!     

Come for Colorwork!

We have a class starting on Tuesday that we are thrilled about, although some of us are a little intimidated at the same time!  That's good because it means learning will take place and our knitting skills will grow.Jeannie Giberson, a gifted and patient colorwork teacher, is teaching a two session Colorwork Fundamentals class on Tuesdays, August 30th and September 13th from 5:30pm - 8:30pm.  Students will make two-color wristwarmers as they learn about color selection, how to hold one color in each hand, how to achieve correct tension, and other kernels of wisdom Jeannie has to offer.Finullgarn-Colorwork-Wristlets-RTPThis class is perfect for your first foray into colorwork and, if you become hooked, we have another class for you in October!  Jeannie will teach Latvian Mittens over three Saturday sessions Oct. 1st, 15th and 29th from 9am - noon.These classes use Norwegian Rauma Finullgarn yarn which is superb for colorwork due to its 'stickiness' and the range of colors available.Finullgarn-yarn-RTPFor her October class, Jeannie will use the Mittens of Latvia book which includes the history of these unique mittens along with numerous detailed photos.  We have copies in the shop!Mittens-of-Latvia-bookThe oldest mittens in Europe are Latvian and they have a rich history.  The colorwork was mainly on the cuffs since colored wool was home-dyed and scarce.  A gift of mittens from a young woman to her beau was a sign of engagement and brides gave away mittens at weddings which required many, many pairs. The tradition of knitting mittens passed down through families and individual patterns could be traced back to a certain parish within a district of Latvia, rather like a signature!Jeannie's-Latvian-Mittens-WIP-RTP Jeannie's-Latvian-Mitten-detail-RTPThere is still time to sign up for the class, get your yarn and do the tiny bit of homework required before the first session!

Recycle, re-use, re-envision, re-frog

Kate should swatch, but doesn't.  It means that she has more projects than she would like that are not exactly what she hoped they'd be.  Sometimes the sizing is off, and occasionally the yarn would be better suited in another stitch or at another gauge.By swatching, she could get a chance to work with a yarn, see how it blocks out and find a pattern perfectly suited to the yarn.  Instead, she spends more time than she might like frogging projects.This week she's been a little tangled up transforming one project into another.jet stream 02Her Jetstream Shawl was stunning and hung in the shop for a season.  We all loved the subtle shimmer Habu Tsumugi silk and she adored how it knit up in a simple stockinette.  However, the shawl's large size and fine fabric made it a bit unwieldy for her and so it went unworn.She realized that even doubled, the silk created a fabric that was more delicate than she wanted to wear.  But the deep navy color was calling out to her and she envisioned a classic, boxy sweater that make the most of this beautiful yarn.  Last summer, when Dawn completed her Davis, (a Pam Allen pattern that called for Kestrel, Quince & Co.'s aran weight linen yarn) Kate found her pattern.frog-02But how do you make a lace weight yarn become an aran weight gauge? Hold 5 strands together.  Since her shawl was created with a double strand of Habu, she opted to double that and add a strand of Habu Cotton Gima in a similar deep navy color.This requires more yardage, so Kate needed to find more yarn.  Since the original shawl was created over 2 years ago, she wasn't surprised when the additional yarn arrived and the color was not an exact match.She had already started her project and found that the front of her sweater (knit with four strands of the older yarn) was just a tiny bit darker than the back she was starting (which had a blend of two of the new and two of the old).After a brief break up with the project, she opted to frog the front; giving herself a chance to start fresh with the same blend used throughout the entire project.  Yep, another frogging project.  Happily, the silk yarn is very strong and has stood up to the abuse beautifully.frog-01This time however, the project is a bit more complicated, requiring that she separate out the various strands for re-use.  It's going a bit slower, but she has help from her husband, who (so far) is enjoying the challenge.The sweater will be finished before summer's end.  When photos are ready, we'll be sure to share them with you.  In the meantime, do you have any projects that you'd like to re-envision?

A Stitch too Delicious to Miss

On a recent Sunday afternoon several of us from the My Sister Knits community took advantage of the chance to take a two-color brioche class from Stephen West! Stephen is one of the knitting world's most creative designers and an excellent teacher.Stephen-West-brioche-class-fixedIn addition to learning how to work the brioche stitch, we were encouraged to experiment with putting yarns of different weights and fibers together into a knitting project.  Stephen gives his students permission to break any common knitting ‘rule’ and see if they like the result!Spin-Cycle-Kit-fixedWhile we all were eager to learn to brioche and cast on our projects, Julie took to this stitch immediately.Julie-and-Stephen-brioching-RTPShe has already created 2 squishy Hawkshaw Cowls using different yarns! Several of us are in varying stages of progress on this cowl and samples are on display in the shop.If you are new to the technique, not to fear; there are many ways to learn to brioche:September 10, 17 & 24 we will be offering a Brioche Series where you will learn the basics in the first class; increasing, decreasing and cables in the second; and fixing mistakes in the last class.The Unapologetic Knitter  has a number of superb instruction videos on youtube. A little digging around will find an answer to almost any brioche question you have!Julie, Kimberly, and Jenny can help at the shop, with Julie being the most experienced. In addition, Jenny has mastered the transition between rounds when brioching in the round and will be happy to share that knowledge!spincycle-brioche-kits-under-tree-RTPWe have kits put together especially for two-color brioche with Spincycle Yarns' aran weight, single ply Independence.Now is a perfect time for you to try brioche.  Come into the shop to see all of the incredible color combinations and feel how cushiony and lush a brioche fabric is!  You'll get as excited about this stitch as we are and want to cast on without delay.

Impulse knits

Karen Templar of Fringe Association recently posted that "It’s good to go a little rogue on one’s well-laid plans once in awhile, as long as A) the journey is fun or B) the outcome is worthwhile."Kate has had Julie Hoover's Dafne pattern waiting in her queue since it was published in 2014.  This week as snow started to fly, again, around Fort Collins, she cast on with some sunny golden yellow Shibui linen.  She spent some happy hours working with a color that reminded her of summer.dafne-wipHer tunic will be a bit shorter than the pattern calls for, but just as wearable and classic.  Already finished with the back, Kate is hoping to have the sample into the shop before long.We can't wait to see it!Is there an impulse knit that you've been flirting with?  We'd love to get you started, stop by the shop and let us know how we can help.

From the coast of Maine...

...to the shores of Warren Lake.  Carrie Bostick Hoge's new Swoon Maine collection is inspiring some great knits!swoonThis new paperback book includes 14 patterns that are all delightfully knitworthy.  With tiny knits for kiddos, accessories and larger garments, it can be hard to pick just one to start with!Kate recently finished a snuggly version of the Shore Cardigan that is in the shop as a sample.  While she was visiting the area earlier this year, she snapped a few  photos by Warren Lake.shore-05She chose to work with Blue Sky Alpaca's TECHNO yarn.  "Modern technology makes TECHNO a feather-weight genius: baby alpaca is blown into a mesh tube of silk for really fast knitting with no splitting."The yarn is just as light as promised and has knit up like a dream.  The sweater is lushly thick and yet as light as a micro down jacket.Kate has plans to cast on for another sweater from these pages, the Sea Pullover using Fibre Company's Cumbria.cumbria-01We'll keep you posted on her progress and let you know when her new sweater arrived in the shop.In the meantime we invite you to come check out Carrie's beautiful book.  The photographs of her stunning coastal home are as gorgeous as her patterns are.  They may have you planning a holiday to Maine as well as your next project!

What's on our needles?

Some well needed warmth!  Bulkier knits are what we want to work on this week; quick to knit and delightful to snuggle into.polka-knot-01Julie started a project that will become a Valentine present before too long.  Ellen Mason's Polka Knot Hat works up quickly with Cascade's Eco Cloud.ramona wipKate just cast on for Elizabeth Smith's Ramona Cardigan using the lushly thick Toft Aran Wool.  While it's unlikely that Kate's new sweater will be ready by the week's end, working with such soft cushy yarn is a treat in itself.  The perfect Valentines gift.Do you have a Valentine's Day project on your needles?

Traveling stitches

Kate treated herself to a new project for her trip west yesterday.  She cast on for Isabell Kraemer's Paris Toujour shawl.  This design was designed for the Stitch ‘n Bitch weekend in Paris and knit up in a worldwide knitalong that began in October.paris-wipSo far over 300 Ravelers have knit up this pattern and Kate now knows why.The pattern includes a simple sequence of garter stitch rows and lace rows that can be easily memorized, so that you can leave your pattern in your project bag or even at home.  Being able to work without a pattern makes this project perfect for travel knitting when weather delays could have you grateful for a project to keep you distracted.The pattern can be created with either DK weight yarn or fingering.  Kate chose to work with Madelinetosh Merino DK which will knit up into a generously lush accessory that will be a pleasure to snuggle into.  Thanks to the open lace work this wonderful volume of this shawl doesn't have a great deal of weight, so it is a pleasure to wear.Safe travels to all of you on holiday in the weeks to come and let us know if you'd like some great yarn suggestions for a Paris Toujour shawl of your own!

Knit big!

Who doesn't enjoy the gratification of a quick knit?  Big, bold large yarn projects are popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram and we love them too.  The designers at Loopy Mango have created a great simple pattern for a 12 x 18” pillow that Julie knit up in a blink this week.

loopy-pillow

Simply, cast on 15 stitches. Knit in the round until ready to cast off (leaving one yard of yarn remaining for stitching the openings).  Cast off loosely with your preferred method and insert the pillow inside.  Use your remaining yarn to stitch closed the openings on each side (you could also use other yarn and/or ribbon for this seaming).loopy-pillow-2Voila!  We wanted to share work in progress photos with you but before we could get them posted, Julie had finished her project.loopy-pillow-3Call the shop for more details on this lovely big yarn and the great big needles that makes it easy to work.  You'll have a great new finished project in no time!

Who's in the shop?

In 2015 a few fresh faces joined the staff at My Sister Knits and we thought it could be fun to give you a chance to get to know them a little better.

Eric-jon MSK Bio Photo-1

We interviewed Eric-Jon about his passion for knitting and we hope you'll enjoy learning more about him while thinking of your own answers to these questions.


What is your earliest crafting memory?

I grew up making scale models of classic cars. When I was around 9 or 10, I used Popsicle sticks to make a scale model of the house I wanted to live in.

How old were you when you learned how to knit and who taught you? 

I learned to knit when I was 20 or 21 years old.I can’t say for sure exactly, but, I believe that Dana (my best friend's girlfriend at the time) may have taught me. I do recall her being a big influence on my interest and desire to create garments from strands of fiber.

What do you consider to be the most challenging project you've worked on so far?

The most challenging project I’ve worked on so far, is a mitten. I have big ol’ sausage fingers, so working tiny cylinders (such as a thumb) in the round can be a feat.

What tip, trick, or technique would you like to master in 2016? 

I am determined to master invisible seams and create my own cabling patterns.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

My favorite place to knit is anywhere with a comfy chair near a fire and a beverage.

What is on your needles right now?

I think I may now truly be a knitter, since I have multiple sets of needles with varying projects – Armonika Cowl, Scarf to donate to FoCo Café, 100 stitch Cowl in the round (Toft Pattern), Men’s tie, Men’s bowtie, bowties for dogs, Quick & Bulky Mittens.

We'll share photos of his projects as they come off his needles!  We look forward to seeing you soon.

One down and six to go

Kimberly's first project was completed in just a few hours!70 yard mittsHer 70 yard mitts designed by Hannah Fettig and knit up with a single skein of Green Mountain Spinnery's Mewesic were a very quick knit.  She cast on after work and had her finished pair before bedtime!Next up, a simple stockinette cowl that is made more striking with a few irregular stripes to provide a pop of color. Kimberly has opted for using machine washable Zealana Performa RIMU DK and a Unicorn Tail from Madelinetosh in neon peach. frequency wipFrequency designed by Kristen Hanley Cardozo is a great pattern for new knitters getting comfortable working in the round.  After a few rows of ribbing, you'll knit the rest of the project!  As she likes to say, "Nothing beats stockinette in the round when you're drinking, talking and knitting! "Tune into our Facebook page later today for more updates on how her cowl knit up and what's next on her needles!

Kimberly's 7 day challenge

Kimberly has set herself an exciting goal this week.  And we wanted to share it with you."I love the holidays. Downtown is all a glow with twinkle lights in every tree and sentimental carols play on the radio. But all the while a frantic voice in the back of my head cries,"The holidays are coming! KNIT FASTER!!" I have been searching Ravelry for projects I call "one-nighters" and found a few treasures.In order to quiet the voices in my head I've decided to do a 7 day challenge, 7 projects in 7 days.Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to pull an "all-nighter," so I've chosen some great gift ideas that I think I can get done in within my usual waking hours.

One-night-01

First up, Hannah Fettig's 70 yard mitts. I've chosen Green Mountain Spinnery's Mewesic, a hearty but soft yarn that will have a lasting wear.  Tune in to Facebook tomorrow to see the finished product and find out what is coming next!" 

Winter is coming

I am in love with the fun new scarf I am working on!scarfThe color is fabulous and it is so very soft. I can't wait to to finish and wear it. The yarn is Shibui Maai and Staccato held together to make an aran weight  yarn. The pattern is Facade. Happy knitting!

Just one more

As we were collecting our project stories for our Works in Progress series Theresa had an RIP story of her own that she thought was worth sharing.  We waited to tell you about it until we could include photos of the finished project.sloan-01Back at the end of June, Theresa  realized that she didn't have enough yarn to bind off as she came to the last few rows of her Sloane Shawl designed by Annie of This.Bird.Knits.When she did some quick calculations with her remaining yarn, she knew that she had a couple of options.  She could cast on with a new skein that she would only use a very small portion of or rip back.  Her husband Norm offered a third option when he suggested that she just finish it in another color.   After a bit of soul searching, she very patiently told him that switching colors would not create the look she was hoping for and ripped back.In the future, she plans to look at her pattern when she is about halfway through her last skein to review the finishing instructions.  For this pattern, she needed 6 knitted rows and an elastic bind off which takes more yarn than a traditional one.sloan-04Theresa elected to use that little bit of an extra skein of yarn for a project she didn't want to make any compromises on.  She has a beautiful shawl and most of a skein of lovely For Better or Worsted that I'm sure we'll be seeing in the future as a hat or fingerless mitts.As it turns out, all's well that ends well.