Fort Collins

National Local Yarn Shop Day is April 27th!

National Local Yarn Shop Day is a day to support and celebrate brick and mortar yarn stores.

There’s nothing quite like a LYS!  Each one has its own character and knitters search them out when traveling!  Some have even become a destination in their own right.

Introducing Cestari Yarn!

Cestari yarn is now available at My Sister Knits!  We recently added two lines of Cestari Sheep and Wool Company yarns to our thoughtfully curated collection of yarns grown and processed in the United States.Francis Chester, founder of the small family run company, always wanted to be a farmer.  He was finally able to realize his dream in 1968 when he bought a sheep farm.  He didn't know it at the time but his family had been shepherds for centuries in Italy!  His passion for growing the wool sheep population in the U.S. is apparent in the programs he initiated to help other sheep farmers and in the love he puts into his own flocks.Cestari yarnIn the 1980s Francis built the first wool processing mill in the US for generations.  The American mills were closing and he didn't want to send his wool to China to be made into yarn.  All of the Cestari yarn is grown in the U.S. and processed, spun, and dyed at their mill in Augusta Springs, Virginia.You may possibly find a few specks of hay or straw in your Cestari yarn and that's a good thing!  It indicates that the natural bounce and texture of the wool was preserved during scouring!

Cestari Sheep and Wool Company Vermont Collection

Cestari Sheep and Wool CompanyThis fingering weight yarn is 100% Merino wool which makes the softest and finest yarn possible and is available in solid colorways.  Among other things, it would make a luxurious shawl with incredible drape!

Cestari Sheep and Wool Company Traditional Collection

My Sister KnitsColumbia and Targhee sheep give us this yarn. Columbia sheep give us a wool that is still soft but hardier than Merino and can withstand rougher treatment.  The addition of Targhee wool gives it loftiness, elasticity, and extra softness.  This worsted weight Cestari yarn is available in tweedy, heathered, solid, and natural colorways.  It is ideal for hats, mitts, and sweaters!We invite you into the shop to oohh and aahh over our new Cestari yarn!  As always, we'll gladly help you with ideas for your next project!     

Knitting Inspiration at My Sister Knits!

Knitting inspiration sometimes eludes us.  My Sister Knits is a superb place to come when you know what you want.  It's just as wonderful a place when you haven't the faintest idea of what you want to make next!Our shop is filled with inspiration!  The next time you just can't decide what it is that tickles your fancy, set aside an hour or two to come in and browse to your heart's delight.knitting inspirationStart with our samples.  Wander through both floors of the shop to see what catches your eye.  We have accessories:  hats, mittens, fingerless mitts, cowls, shawls, scarves and even a hot water bottle cover!  We have garments:  sweaters, socks, and ponchos.  We even have two racks of samples upstairs which are sometimes overlooked!All of our samples are meant to be picked up, examined, and tried on.  No need to ask, that's what they're for!My Sister KnitsWe also invite you to pull out skeins of yarn that call to you.  Fondle them, smell them, walk around the shop with them.  You'll know if they bring you joy!You may find an item that you'd prefer in a different color or maybe a different yarn.  You might wonder if you have the skills to create it.  We're there to help, encourage, and support you.  Please ask us!Knitting You'll find knitting inspiration in abundance at My Sister Knits!

A Reminder about By Hand Serial

We'd like to remind you that Andrea Hungerford, author and creative director of By Hand Serial will be at the shop on Saturday, January 26th.  We are thrilled to be featured in the latest edition and celebrating the launch!  We are also hosting the indie dyers featured in the magazine:  Nicole Clark of Hue Loco, Rachel Lundstrom of Six and Seven Fibers, and Dani Frisbie of Sunshine Yarns.  Their pop-up shops will be from 1 -3 on Saturday.Andrea is giving a lecture on all things yarn from 9 to noon and will be signing books from 1 - 3.  If you'd like to attend the lecture and/or the afternoon activities, please register online or call the shop at 970.407.1461.  More information can be found here.We hope to see you at this special event!

Last Minute Gifts at My Sister Knits!

Christmas is getting closer and My Sister Knits has some last minute gift ideas for you! We hope these will complete your holiday shopping.  They could be for someone special or perhaps tucked under the tree as a festive treat for you!

Six and Seven Fiber

This lovely yarn comes to us from Rachel Lundstrom in Lakewood, CO!If you are an Anne of Green Gables fan, you're going to want to check out the Anne of Green Gables 10-skein Mini Set! This set has a printed pattern with it designed by Joanna Johnson, a Colorado native. It is dyed on Rachels' Milo base, a 75% Merino wool/25% nylon fingering weight. Imagine the fun of knitting with colorways with names such as Lake of Shining Waters or Puffed Sleeves!My Sister KnitsOn the other hand, if you're a Harry Potter fan, you're going to want to see the Harry Potter 10-skein Mini Set, again on the Milo base.  This comes with names such as To The Library and Emotional Range of a Teaspoon!My Sister Knits EventsWe also have Rachel's Alfalfa, another fingering weight yarn that consists of 80% Merino wool, 10% Cashmere goat and 10% nylon.To round out our collection, we have her Soybean which is a 100% DK weight yarn.

Ritual Dyes

This yarn comes to us from another Rachel, Rachel Bratcher who lives in Portland, Oregon.FAE is an ethereal 70% mohair/30% silk lace weight bit of fluff with shine!My Sister Knits BlogMaiden is an 80% Merino wool/20% Nylon fingering weight yarn.My Sister Knits Local Yarn ShopPriestess is a DK weight, 4 ply 100% Superwash Merino wool yarn.Local Yarn ShopRitual Dyes is where our Knitter's Backpacks come from; we have a new shipment with several colors available!  We also have Moon Pouches, cute little round canvas containers for your knitting accessories or keys, in an assortment of colors!

Books

My Sister KnitsPompom Issue 27: Winter 2018 is here!  Norah Gaughan is this issue's guest editor which lets us know that we will be treated to her mind-boggling cables; just look at the sweater on the cover!Local Yarn Shop Fort CollinsPompom's Knit How: Simple Knits, Tool & Tips is a book for the new knitter.  Chock full of tutorials, advice, and patterns, it's exactly what a beginning knitter needs!

Candles

My Sister Knits always has candles!  We have our favorites plus a new line.  Let us know what you think of them when you find them in the shop!  These fill homes with lovely scents of the season!

Make a Hat Day

One last reminder for Make a Hat Day this Saturday, December 15th from 11 - 4!  We hope to see you there! 

Sought after Summer Yarns

Linen and cotton are sought after summer yarns!  If you haven't ever tried one of these yarns, My Sister Knits has several to choose from that create accessories and garments with breath-ability and lovely drape and this is the time to try one!Today we'll showcase several choices of our best yarns for warm weather for you to consider!summer yarnsShibui Knits Twig is 46% linen, 42% recycled silk, 12% wool and is a sport weight.  The recycled silk is what gives this yarn its almost tweedy look!  Three patterns written by Shibui's Shellie Anderson specifically for Twig are Bevel, a loose fitting short sleeved summer cardigan; Slope, a sleeveless top with a high/low hem; and Tier, a rectangular scarf.summer yarns for knittingShibui Knits Reed is 100% linen and is a fingering weight yarn with a chainette construction.  We have samples of a short sleeved pullover, Lucia, and a sleeveless A-line tank, Athens, both designed for Reed by Shellie Anderson.  Octave, designed by Erin Duffy, is a fun rectangular scarf with colorful sets of stripes of differing widths.best yarns for warm weatherShibui Knits Rain is a DK weight 100% mercerized cotton yarn with a chainette construction.  It has a lustrous sheen and the chainette retains shape.  Our current samples of Rain are Shellie Anderson's  short sleeved cardigan Eames and Stephen West's Boneyard shawl.  Another Shellie Anderson design written specifically for Rain is Meridian, a loose short sleeved cardigan with wide lapels.fort collins yarn storeQuince & Co. Sparrow is a 100% linen fingering weight yarn.  Often it is also knit at a sport weight gauge which creates a loose fabric.  We have three shop samples in Sparrow:  Christy Becker's Cool Breezes cowl; Meghan Telling's Miranda shawl written specifically for Sparrow; and Veronika Jobe's Let's Get Lost shawl.  If you're looking for a simple summer tee, Edie by Isabelle Kraemer is worth a look!  Isabelle designed this pattern using Sparrow.yarn storeQuince & Co. Kestrel is an aran weight, 100% linen yarn with a ribbon construction.  We have two summer yarns samples in the shop at the moment.  Elizabeth Smith designed Mira, an oversized openwork tee for Quince & Co, using Kestrel.  We also have Jane Richmond's cowl Arika.  Another pattern suggestion designed for Kestrel is Heidi Kirrmaier's seamless top down minimalist cardigan Quick Sand.My Sister KnitsQuince & Co. Willet is a 100% cotton yarn that works as both a sport and a DK weight.  Our sample is a summer tee, Atlee, designed for Quince & Co. by Leah B Thibault.  Other pattern ideas we like for Willet are Pam Allen's Auger, a garter stitch top with a high/low split hem and her baby hat Baby Kelpie.  Pam Allen founded Quince & Co in 2010.Now that you've had a chance to thoroughly look into these summer yarns for knitting, we invite you to come to the shop, examine our samples, and choose your next summer project! learn to knit     

Back from Vacation

Delightful surprises awaited me at every turn when I walked into My Sister Knits after being in England and Scotland and completely out of touch for three weeks!There are new samples, new enamel pins, new bags, and new classes among the delights!One of the first items that caught my eye was the Arika sample.My Sister Knits, Arika cowl, Kestrel, Quince & Co., Fort Collins ColoradoWe love this kerchief-shaped cowl designed by Jane Richmond for winter wear so much that we modified it for summer!  The original has yards of eye-catching fringe but we decided to leave it off of our summer version.  We also used linen to make it hot-weather friendly.  Quince & Co's aran weight Kestrel was our linen of choice.  This makes a fun accessory for a summer's day!When I went upstairs to see what was new, I immediately saw a group of items made with Hue Loco's Backyard Chicken sets.  Any of these projects answers the question, "What do I do with these fun sets of yarn?".My Sister Knits, Flax Light, Hue Loco, Backyard Chicken collection, northern Colorado, There are two hats, one sweater, and a pair of socks for your inspiration!  Our supply of Backyard Chicken sets is limited but these sample show marvelous ways to use up some of your odds and ends of yarn that are in your stash waiting for 'just the right thing'!  Be sure to check them out when you're in the shop!  My personal favorite is the Flax Light sweater designed by tincanknits with the contrasting rib and garter ridge detail which are modifications we added.  I know a toddler who is going to get one this fall!With some more poking around the shop, I found several new bags and these in particular are noteworthy.  Ann found them when she went to Squam this past month.  Squam is a lake in New Hampshire; it's also a gathering of artists and makers.  We encourage you to check out the link!My Sister Knits, Colorado yarn shop, kzstevens, knitting project bagsThese are one-of-a-kind handmade, and sometimes hand stitched, bags created by Karen Stevens who lives in Connecticut.  We have both cross-body and tote styles.  Ann would love to talk to you about them in detail and about her glorious weekend at Squam!And this isn't all I found; there's also an Anzula trunk show with samples galore and some intriguing class offerings!It's fun to walk into My Sister Knits after being gone and discover what's new.  Be sure to allow yourself some browsing time if it's been a few weeks since you've been in! 

We Have Goodies Besides Yarn!

When you walk into My Sister Knits, you first notice the yarn.  Two floors of it!  As you browse the yarn, you begin to notice the other items.  Special items that Julie has found and stocked the shop with. Items that make your knitting life and your daily life more fun!My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Fort Collins, swedish dish clothsFor instance, Swedish Dishcloths!  These eco-friendly, ultra-absorbent dishcloths are made with 70% wood cellulose from FSC certified forests and 30% cotton.  Since they can be washed many, many times, each one can replace 17 rolls of paper towels. They last 9 - 12 months and are biodegradable.  Plus, they have darling screen-printed designs on them!You won't want to miss the tiny items!  We have our own enamel pins featuring Molly, Julie's Brussels Griffon and our official shop dog, and the My Sister Knits' chickens! We have a selection of other pins such as the white Brooklyn Tweed one on the far left of the photo above.  We also have wooden stitch markers and tags for hats and sweaters from Katrinkles.  Keep your eye out for these small goodies!My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, Colorado yarn shop, tape measure bracelets, Fort CollinsOh, the bracelets!  These are so much fun!  When you try one on in the shop, you may notice that it's a bit stiff.  Never fear, it will soften up with one or two wearings.  In addition to being useful, these are unique accessories that are conversation starters!  They come in different lengths so be sure to try them all!My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, wax & wool candles, soak wool washWax and Wool candles are a wonderful find!  You'll often see one burning in the shop as we can't get enough of them!  They are hand-poured soy candles with incredible scents.  Leaving the candle lit for two hours or until the wax melts to the edges of the jar lengthens the burn time up to 50 hours.We also have Soak to care for your hand knits and other delicate garments.  Soak is a rinse-less fabric wash.  It's a low suds liquid and the dirt and detergent come out in the water.  No need to rinse ever!  It's also eco-friendly, biodegradable, and their bottles are recyclable and have all be recycled once before.We invite you to play with these special items, and more, that Julie has found! 

What's in Your Notions Bag?

Notions bags!  They are almost as fun as yarn!  These bags come in many shapes and sizes; they can be anything from plastic baggies, to unused make-up bags, to one made specifically for knitters.The important thing about notions bags is not what style they are but what goes into them!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, project bags, needle gauges, point protectors, They are vital to having what you need with you at all times.  Just like filling a baby’s diaper bag with things that were needed on your last outing, like a third set of clothes (!), your notions bag becomes filled with items as you need them over time.  Most notions bags start out with the bare necessities; possibly a pair of scissors, some locking markers, and a handiTool.  From there, it’s a slippery slope! You start a cable project and add cable needles. You need to weave in some ends and add tapestry needles.  Your lips get chapped and you some lip balm because you know it will be right where you can find it!Perhaps your current project required a large amount of stitches to cast on and you put markers every 20 stitches or so to keep track.  When you worked that first row, you took the markers off and now you have extras in your notions bag!My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, northern Colorado, embroidery scissors, tapestry needles, Kitchener stitchOnce upon a time you lost stitches off of the tip of your needles and now you carry a selection of needle caps with you at all times.  A profusion of paraphernalia makes its way into your notions bag and before you know it, you have at least one tape measure, a needle size gauge, Kitchener notes, hand lotion, an emery board, more stitch markers, pencils, highlighter tape, and it just keeps going!From there, you decide that maybe you need something just large enough for the bare essentials which differ from knitter to knitter.  This will go into your ‘anywhere, anytime’ project so it’s truly ready to grab on your way out the door. And so you buy another notions bag….My Sister Knits, Twig and Horn, Colorado yarn shop, cable needlesWherever you are on your notions bag journey, we have all the goodies, err, essentials for you in the shop!  Just for fun, ask us what we have in our notions bags! 

Lightweight Summer Knitting Ideas

As the warm weather approaches, we turn our minds to spring and summer knitting.  Our bulky and worsted weight yarn projects are put aside in favor of those that are more comfortable to knit with in the new seasons on the way.Summer is the traditional time for family vacations, hanging out on the porch with a cool drink, and visiting with friends.  Spring and summer call for projects that can be worked on anytime and anywhere; projects that use light weight yarns and can be knit with little concentration.My Sister Knits is here to help you choose those projects!  We have three in mind to get your creative juices flowing and you’ll find these samples upstairs in the shop.

Pinking Shears 

My Sister Knits, Pinking Shears shawl, Churchmouse patterns, Isager Spinni yarn, Fort Collins Colorado, summer weight shawlsThis Churchmouse pattern is a shallow triangle knit with garter stitch; perfect for knitting while having a nice conversation with friends!  Knitting the few zig-zag stitches at the edge is the only time you’ll need to pay close attention to what you’re doing. This scarf is knit in pieces and then grafted together in the center.  Please don’t panic about grafting! If you’d like help with the Kitchener stitch, come into the shop for help or check out a few youtube videos. This one and this one clearly show what to do stitch by stitch. Our sample is knit with Isager Spinni but this would also work well with a linen such a Shibui Reed.

Hakusa

My Sister Knits, Fort Collins yarn shop, Isager yarns, Hakusa, Kirsten Johnstone, northern ColoradoThis light as a feather piece, almost more like a large asymmetric kerchief, is a fun knitting adventure!  It’s stockinette stitch throughout, the adventure is with the yarns suggested! Two yarns are required and there are several options listed on the pattern.  The first 20 rows are knit with one yarn that contains stainless steel! The knitting might be a bit tedious until your fingers get used to it but it’s only 20 rows and the effort is totally worth it because of the end result! You have an edge that can be scrunched or shaped!  The rest of the scarf is knit with a strand of the stainless steel and a strand of extremely light weight wool. Try our sample on and play with it!

Aeque

 My Sister Knits, Anzula, local yarn shop, Colorado yarn shop, Aeque, fingering weight yarnThis cowl looks like a small asymmetric triangular shawl and is perfect to have in your bag, ready to throw on as the evening gets chilly.  Made with fingering weight yarn, it is lightweight and the stockinette pattern makes it ideal for an 'anywhere, anytime' project.  Aeque is designed to use a set of small gradient skeins.  Alternatively, you could use up some of your left-over yarn for this unique project!  It is knit flat with a small seam up the back.  If the seam gives you heart palpitations, remember that we are here to help you!We have even more ideas for lightweight, ‘anytime-anywhere’ projects!  Come into the shop and browse or ask us to help you find something on Ravelry that suits your fancy!  

Extra-Very-Special Selbuvotter Sock and Mitten Blockers!

If you'd like to own a small piece of Norwegian knitting history, our long-awaited Selbuvotter sock and mitten blockers are here!  Selbuvotter mittens are Norway's quintessential national symbol.My Sister Knits has an expert Selbuvotter teacher, Jeannie Gibberson and her mittens have been on display in the shop.    No matter your skill or interest level in knitting these unique mittens, you're going to want some of these blockers as art pieces, if for nothing else!My Sister Knits, Colorado, sock blockers, Norwegian knitting, Selbu knitting The story behind these blockers is captivating!  Patricia Anne Fortune moved to Norway from Dallas over 20 years ago.  She and her family live on a small farm at the top of a mountain, in the middle of a forest overlooking Selbu lake and the village of Selbu.One day she found herself in the Selbuvotter museum's room that shows how knitting machines and metal and plastic tools made the old wooden ones obsolete.  This room has a collection of  beautiful handmade wooden sock and mitten blockers that are no longer produced.My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Selbuvotter, Fort Collins Colorado She set about reviving this little piece of history that had been given over to mass production in modern times.  Patricia's blockers are made from Norwegian birch from her farm, which is processed at a saw mill in her village.  They are individually carved using laser technology.  The last step is sanding and polishing by hand with beeswax.My Sister Knits, mitten blockers, northern Colorado, Norwegian knittingThese blockers are handmade after they are ordered and each of the ones in My Sister Knits were made specifically for us.  The thought of these blockers being hand crafted in Norway just for us makes them precious; we've been handling them with reverence!  If you want to know more about Patricia, be sure to ask Ann when you see her in the shop as she is the one who discovered these remarkable blockers and their story!        

Two Yarns You May Have Missed!

Amongst our DK and fingering/sock weight yarns are some that you may have missed.  We have such a good selection that now and then a new yarn can go unnoticed, a hidden gem in between our tried and true old faithfuls.  We are going to have a number of posts featuring these yarns in the next few months.  Today, we want you to know about two of them!

Forbidden Fiber Co.

My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, northern Colorado, stellina, Forbidden Fiber CoThis hand-dyed yarn comes to us from Los Angeles, California.  We carry fingering weight Pride, a blend of 70% superwash Merino, 20% nylon, and 10% stellina.  Stellina is a nylon fiber that is metallic toned, not actually metal.  This adds understated sparkle to any project!  Perhaps a glittery shawl?  Sparkly stripes on a sweater? Socks that make your feet want to dance?My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, Fort Collins CO, Harry Potter Yarn ClubForbidden Fiber has a special Harry Potter yarn each month.  Fans of this yarn can add anything that reminds them of Harry Potter to Forbidden Fiber's Pinterest board.  Each month, a pin is chosen to use as inspiration for that month's colorway.  If you are interested in adding a pin, you can PM Forbidden Fiber on Pinterest and be added.Each month's yarn base is chosen at random and the colorways are kept secret until the 20th of the month when the inspiration for the colorway and the resulting yarn are shared on Ravelry. Once My Sister Knits' shipment for the month is gone, it's gone.  You just have to wait until the next month when a new yarn will be revealed!

Magpie Fibers

My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, Colorado, magpie fibers, Magpie Fibers’ founder Dami Hunter moved to historic Frederick, Maryland and signed up for a knitting class in a local yarn shop that opened the same week that she arrived!  With her background in and love of crafting, fashion merchandising, and apparel design, she quickly became infatuated with knitting.  The colors of the yarns captivated her and she began experimenting with dyeing. She found the art and chemistry of it irresistible and now knitters benefit from her curiosity!  Dami launched Magpie Fibers in 2014 at The Knot House, the yarn shop that opened at the same time she moved to Frederick.  We find that rather magical!My Sister Knits, magpie fibers, swanky sock, swanky dk, fort collins yarn shopMy Sister Knits carries her Swanky Sock and Swanky DK yarns.  Both are blends of 80% superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon which creates a yarn with exquisite drape and sheen!We love the diversity of her colorways, from solids and tonals to speckled, she has it covered!Both of these yarn companies have something special to offer and the lucky thing is that you don't have to chose between them!  You can get a skein of each the next time you're in the shop!    

The Story of a Perfectly Finished Shawl

You want to knit a shawl.  One with a simple lace edge catches your eye but causes immediate misgivings.  It's a bit out of your comfort zone because you've never knit or blocked lace.  However, you check the pattern's stitch abbreviations as you've been taught to do and find that you know how to do the stitches required (k2tog, yo, ssk).  You take the plunge!My Sister Knits, Deception Pass shawl, Fort Collins, lace knittingFast forward to the finished shawl.  You compare your shawl to the one in the photo on the pattern.  Horrors, they don't look anything alike!  Quickly you figure out why yours is a lump of knitting that doesn't lay flat and isn't pretty.  You've finished the knitting of it but you haven't blocked it.Now it's time for the last step and the magic that will make your shawl beautiful!  You've done your research and have learned about blocking lace.  You've gathered your tools:  blocking wires, pins that won't rust such as T-pins, Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers, and a blocking mat of some sort that is large enough for the shawl and will accept pins and doesn't absorb water.My Sister Knits, Passe-Partout Shawl, Knit Blockers, northern Colorado, blocking wires, blocking hand knitsYou give your shawl a bath, roll it into a towel and do a little dance on it to get as much water out as possible.  Then you unroll it, place it on the blocking surface, take a deep breath and smile to yourself because you are going to do it!  You're going to block your lace-edged shawl.My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, lace blocking, Fort Collins ColoradoYou find that it's quite satisfying and rather fun to pat your shawl into shape, pin the corners where you want them and choose which tools to use.  You decide that a nice crisp edge along the long top is needed so that's where you thread your blocking wires.  You could also have used your Knit Blockers here.Then comes the transformative part.  You use your T-pins to shape the edge.  When you looked at the 'projects' page on Ravelry, you saw that some knitters made sharp points and some made  more of a scalloped edge.  It's up to you to decide what you want!  As you pin out your edge, the fabric lays flat and the pattern appears.  You fiddle and tweak until it's just as you want it.  Then you impatiently wait while it dries because you can't wait to wear it and show it off!My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, Hitchhiker shawl, blocking lace, blocking wiresFinally, you proudly wear it amongst friends who ooh and ahh over it and are awed by your knitting ability.  You are no longer fearful of blocking lace and you can't wait to cast on another one!My Sister Knits carries all of the lace blocking tools you need and we'll be happy to show them to you!   

Join the Visible Mending Movement!

My Sister Knits now offers a new, cutting edge class taught by Kimberly: Visible Mending and Embroidering Knitwear!  The dates are Tuesdays April 24 and May 1 from 6 until 8pm. There is a movement afoot in the crafting community that embraces visible mending as an artform and a thing of beauty.  My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, visible mending, knitting classesMending our well-loved and often-worn hand knitted and crocheted items allows them to become whole again and have another lease on life!  It can easily become a meditative practice in addition to being a functional one.This is a new idea to a lot of us!  Just think of all the pieces of clothing that have been given up on because of a place that needed mending but it would show, which wasn’t acceptable.  With the Visible Mending movement gaining popularity, we can intentionally draw attention to spots where pieces have worn through, become snagged and torn, or been chewed by your cat.     My Sister Knits, visible mending, northern Colorado, knitting classesVisible Mending and embroidering can enhance the beauty of a garment and add uniqueness, giving it a style and personality all its own.  As Aicha Abbadi, Berlin-based fashion designer, maker, and theorist says about Visible Mending,  “…... the proponents of this tradition strongly believe that the act of repair does not only serve to bring a garment back to its original state, but rather adds to its value and demarcates a visible episode in its history by inscribing traces of use and care.”My Sister Knits, Colorado, Fort Collins Colorado, visible mending, knitting classesKimberly will teach applique which is patching from the front, reverse applique which is patching from behind, darning which is mending a hole, embroidery and duplicate stitch which are decorative.Sign up for this class while there is still room and start rescuing your precious but threadbare handmade garments!  Call the shop at 970.407.1461 or sign up online.

Good Reads at My Sister Knits

Not only does My Sister Knits carry beautiful, thoughtfully curated yarn, we also carry a select number of gorgeous knitting magazines!  They all have distinctive photos, informative articles, and of course patterns! However, each magazine has its own look and feel.My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, Colorado, amirisu, pompom, knitting magazines

amirisu

Tokuko Ochiai and Meri Tanaka publish this magazine in Japan, in addition to running two brick-and-mortar yarn shops in Kyoto and Tokyo!  Up until now there have been three issues per year and they have contained patterns in Japanese and English.  However, Meri has a one year old and he has necessitated some changes, as babies do!  Starting with the issue that will be released in May, arimisu will have two issues a year, in the spring and fall.  In addition, the issues will be published in only one language, Japanese or English.  They will have the same number of pages, though, so there will be more content which we are eagerly anticipating!

Pom Pom

This quarterly magazine was co-founded in 2012 by Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck who both lived in England at the time.  Meghan has since moved back to her native US and is the head of  North America while Lydia heads up the London Pom Pom office.  This periodical features crochet, crafts, fashion, art and food in addition to knitting!My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Fort Collins Colorado, Laine, taproot,

 Laine

Laine is one of the new knitting publications that are taking the knitting world by storm!  It is a Nordic knit and lifestyle magazine from Finland.  Co-founders Jonna Hietala and Sini Ellen "cherish natural fibers, slow living, local craftsmanship and beautiful, simple things in life" which shows on every page.

Taproot

We look forward to this bi-monthly ad-free magazine from Shelburne, Vermont!  It is chock full of articles on subjects in addition to knitting.  For instance, issue 26 has information on how to set up a gravity drip irrigation system, healing in many ways, a visit to a special farm in Atadena, CA, sea salt, numerous recipes, animal herbalism and the list goes on!

Making

This is another new magazine; published in Maine by designers Carrie Bostick Hoge of Madder and Ashley Yousling of Woolful.  Each issue focuses on a strong theme; the latest was Lines and the Spring 2018 issue's theme is Color.  All patterns in each issue reflect the theme whether they are knitted or use another form of handcraft. Like the other magazines, this one is full of handcrafts of all types, articles and tutorials!

By Hand

Also quickly becoming a beloved publication, By Hand focuses on makers of all types within a specific region.  The issues are called 'lookbooks'.  Author Andrea Hungerford and photographer Karen DeWitz explore certain communities to show us what they have to offer, both in terms of art and scenery!  Lookbook No. 5, their latest, explores Michigan's Great Lakes area.  This magazine is like a travel guide, making you want to plan a trip with each Lookbook!These magazines are highly sought after and are often sold out in a matter of days!  To ensure you get yours, you can pre-order a copy of any of these by calling the shop at 970.407.1461 

My Sister Knits is Going to Yarn Fest!

Interweave Yarn Fest is Thursday, April 12th through Sunday, April 15th!  We are so fortunate to have it take place right in our own back yard at The Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO!We had so much fun in our booth last year that we're doing it again!  We're in the same place, about halfway back in the middle, in booth 316.  It's a corner booth so we'll be easy to find.We've been scurrying about the shop gathering special items to take and planning our displays.  We'll have.......

Kits

We've put together kits for Mini Marley and Across the Pond with two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed's Loft and one skein of Spin Cycle's Dyed in the Wool!  Mini Marley is a smaller version of Andrea Mowry's Marley, with modifications by Kate SalomonAcross the Pond, also designed by Andrea Mowry, is a cowl with some "techniques to indulge in" as Andrea says!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins CO, Marley, Andrea Mowry, Across the Pond, Brooklyn Tweed, Loft, Spin Cycle yarns, Dyed in the Wool, cowl, shawl

Shibui Knits yarn

We will showcase two of Shibui Knits' yarns, Lunar and Drift, plus we will have their brand new colors available!Lunar is lace weight loveliness made with 60% Merino wool and 40% silk.  Our featured pattern, Birdrock, designed by Anne Ginger, can be either a long cowl or a scarf and uses three colors of Lunar knit with a size 5 needle.Drift is worsted weight and is heavenly to knit with as it is 85% Merino wool and 15% cashmere!  Our featured pattern for Drift is Mad Fusion by Plucky Knitter Design.  The tassels on this shawl are such a fun finishing touch!  Using garter stitch and knit with size 13 needles, you can be wearing this in no time!My Sister Knits, Shibui yarn, Mad Fusion shawl, shibui lunar, shibui drift, norther colorado

Brooklyn Tweed Quarry

Brooklyn Tweed's Bulky weight yarn, Quarry, is a heathered 100% wool, produced entirely in the US.  Since it is woolen spun, it is light, airy, and warm!  Our featured pattern for this yarn is Annie Rowden's Bracken.  This cozy child's pullover, in sizes 6 months through 12 years, has a unique texture that is created with two needle sizes, an 8 and a 13.  It's top down, seamless, and has raglan sleeves and a crew neck. It's the perfect 'sweatshirt' for our Rocky Mountain spring!My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Brookyn Tweed, Quarry, bulky weight yarn, Bracken, Colorado

And sock yarn!

Oh, the fingering weight sock yarn we're bringing!  We've gone international with Olann Hand Dyed in Ireland from the parish of Drung, Tot le Matin from Paris, Qing from London, and A Homespun House from Berlin! We certainly will have what you're looking for!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, local yarn shop, sock yarn, Qing, Olann, A Homespun House, Tot le MatinAnyone visiting our booth will get a discount coupon for use at My Sister Knits anytime during Yarn Fest weekend! 

Norwegian Fir Cardigan

Norwegian Fir is the dear little cardigan you'll find upstairs on display.  You'll probably notice it as soon as you turn left at the top of the stairs!  Be sure to check out the button!My Sister Knits, Norwegian Fir, Fort Collins, child's cardiganThis pattern is sized for 0-3 months through 8-9 years. It's a top-down pattern with explicit row-by-row directions until the divide for the sleeves, fronts, and back.  The garter stitch body and sleeves create a wonderfully squishy fabric and the simple lace detail at the raglan increases make this an irresistible knit! Some of us are so in love with this enchanting sweater that we want to make it even though we have no one to give it to!Our sample is knit with Rosy Green Wool's Cheeky Merino Joy in undyed Edelweiss which makes it easy to visualize in other colorways.  The choices are endless!My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, A Homepsun House yarn, Lemonade Shop yarn, Black Elephant yarn, local yarn shopThe pattern calls for a DK weight yarn but our sample is knit with a Sport weight which leads to the question of whether or not DK and Sport are interchangeable.  There is a common misconception among knitters that they are almost identical and can be easily substituted for each other.This, however, is not the case.  Care should be taken when deciding between these two yarns as Sport weight is lighter than DK, resulting in a difference in the size of your finished project.  As always, we encourage you to make a gauge swatch to inform your decisions!My Sister Knits, Colorado, local yarn shop, Arranmore light yarn, Anzula Cricket, Dovestone yarn, DK weight yarn, Sport weight yarnRavelry has a helpful table that explains the difference between yarn weights.  Also, the Craft Yarn Council created a Standard Yarn Weight System of weight guidelines.  When looking at these two tables, it becomes evident that there are no hard and fast rules to yarn weights!  There are instead, guidelines.  Still, putting the information from each site together gives a good sense of the differences between Sport and DK.Sport weight has 24 - 26 stitches to 4 inches, 12 wpi, and suggests a 3 to 5 US needle.  DK weight has 22 stitches to 4 inches, 11 wpi, and suggests a 5 to 7 US needle.  The differences are not great but they are significant.  Wpi means 'wraps per inch' and is a well known term among spinners.  It's also helpful to knitters, especially when we find a yarn in our stash that has lost its tag!  Just take your yarn, wrap it around an object such as a pencil or ruler with the yarn touching but not overlapping.  Measure out an inch and count the number of wraps, easy peasy!We invite you to come in and play with yarn choices for this little cardi.  We're confident you will fall in love with it as we have!    

A Homespun House!

My Sister Knits is the first in the country to carry A Homespun House yarn!This yarn comes to us from Berlin, Germany!  Molly, who is an American living in Berlin with her husband and young children, is the creative force and dyer of this enticing yarn.My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, A Homespun House yarnMolly has been knitting most of her life and was inspired by her grandmother who was a leading member of her crafting community.  Molly's grandmother, along with two friends, established a business selling hand-crafted gifts that was the original Homespun House!This yarn, in eye-catching colors, is exactly right for spring projects!  Of course the fingering weight, with its SW Merino/nylon blend, makes fun socks but we have a few other patterns for you to consider in both fingering and DK weights:My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, local yarn shop, fingering weight yarn, A Homespun House yarn

A shawl

Carol has just finished Lovella, designed by Ambah O'Brien and it's on display in the shop.  Be one of the first to make this as it was just published in February!  This shawl uses two yarns for garter row stripes and incorporates a simple section of eyelet.  Worked with the DK yarn and size 7 needles, this can be finished in plenty of time to be a transitional piece as the weather becomes warmer! 

A pullover for any size

We love tincanknits patterns for their versatility, easy to follow directions, and helpful tutorials!  Flax Light, a free pattern, would be adorable using A Homespun House fingering weight yarn.  See our shop sample to fully appreciate the garter stitch sleeve details on a baby sized sweater.  This pattern is sized from newborn to adult 4XL.

A brand new pattern from Joji Locatelli

Joji Locatelli's new collection, Interpretations Volume 5, is out this month and her Glacier Tunic is a contender for this yarn!  Using fingering weight, this tunic can be knit to any length, from a short top to a dress.  It promises to be a fun knit with intriguing construction.My Sister Knits, Colorado, DK weight yarn, A Homespun House yarn, baby knits, DK weight shawls

A little girl's dress

We envision this dress being loved by a little one!  The pattern is Caesia, designed by Georgie Nicolson, and uses DK weight and sizes 3 and 6 needles. There are 422 Ravelry projects of this dress, indicating that it's a great pattern and well written!  Included are detailed instructions for working the yoke increases which indicates Georgie's thoughtfulness as a designer.  This is a top-down, seamless pattern with a decorative textured yoke for size newborn to 12 years.

A baby cardigan

This simply designed garter stitch cardigan will show off Molly's yarn beautifully!  The pattern is playtime by Lori Versaci, uses fingering weight yarn, and comes in sizes 3 months to 18 months.  There are design options for a solid, color blocked, or a striped yoke.Our customers are the only ones in the US able to buy this yarn from a yarn shop so hurry in to get the best choice of colorways!  You'll be glad you did!  

Yarn Bowls: Necessity or Nicety?

The perfect yarn bowl is love at first sight!  You see it, you feel it, you admire it, and you are smitten.  As you come into My Sister Knits, pause and let your eyes wander, taking in our collection of these beauties.  Remember to look up as not all of them are at eye level!  We know all about yarn bowl love so please ask us to get down ones that are intriguing but out of reach.  My Sister Knits, Fort Collins Colorado, yarn bowls, local yarn shopYou may wonder if you actually need a yarn bowl; the answer to that is a resounding yes!

First, functionality….

Yarn bowls keep your yarn clean!  If you’ve ever been knitting outside and have tried to keep your yarn from dropping on the ground, you can relate!  The answer to that is to place your yarn in a yarn bowl on the ground beside you where it will be nice and safe.  We’re pretty sure you might have a cat or a dog in your life and they are excellent at keeping your project safe from pet hair!Yarn bowls keep your yarn from rolling all over the floor or table.  They sit right there in one spot, holding your yarn neat as a pin.  You never need to worry about where your skein is going to end up or how tangled it might be.  The ideal yarn bowl will allow your yarn to move freely in the bowl while at the same time keeping it in the bowl!Yarn bowls have a slot that is used as a guide for your yarn.  All of our yarn bowls have smooth guides as rough ones would damage your precious fiber investment which would be a shame.My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, lys, wooden yarn bowls

Second, beauty…..

The yarn bowls at My Sister Knits have been carefully selected.  Our wooden ones are made in Fort Collins by friends of the shop. We have some enchanting ones made with Beetle Kill wood and turquoise inlay.  Or you might choose one for its matte wood artistry.  Still others have a sleek, shiny, more modern look and are made of Aspen and Cherry.My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, ceramic yarn bows, northern ColoradoWe also have ceramic ones if they are more to your liking!All have sturdy bottoms to prevent them from tipping over as your pull your yarn from your skein.  You can pull your yarn from the center or the outside, both will work in a yarn bowl.Yarn bowls are affordable pieces of art, charming and elegant, and add a touch of whimsy to your home.  Come in and find the one that must go home with you now!

Have a Knitting Adventure!

Do you ever think of having a knitting adventure?  Are you ever not quite sure how something will turn out but you forge ahead anyway, putting your faith in the pattern and/or designer?My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Fort Collins, colorwork, stranded knittingAdventure is defined as an unusual and exciting experience; the encountering of risks; a wild and exciting undertaking!  The two concepts of ‘knitting’ and ‘adventure’ are rarely thought of together but it makes total sense to us knitters and crocheters!  Every time we start a new project we are embarking on an adventure! Even more so if we have the courage, determination, and faith in ourselves to try something new.  The nice thing for knitters and crocheters is that there isn’t an abundance of risk involved.  The worst that can happen is that we need to rip back and start anew.  That may be plenty of risk for us but, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much.  Our level of adventure lies in our experience with what we’re doing.  For a newbie, following a pattern is an intimidating experience.  The heady feeling of accomplishment when finishing your first pattern gives you the confidence to try another one!Have you always loved lacy shawls but your lack of practical knowledge of charts and increases and decreases has given you pause?  We encourage you to decide to embark on a ‘wild and exciting undertaking’ and choose a project!  Perhaps one that has a lace edging and not an all-over lace pattern to whet your whistle!  Here is a post that gives explicit guidance for your first lace chart.How about cables?  A sweater? A new texture pattern? How about something that requires knitting in the round like a cowl or hat?For support, we have classes, Fearless Knitting drop in help on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 - 1, and we are always more than happy to help you at any time.  There is a plethora of helpful websites for when you can’t get to the shop.  Jenny always found that she needed help at 5:15 on a Saturday so she became familiar with many online resources!  Some of our favorites are Knitting Help, Knit Purl Hunter, Knit Freedom, and Very Pink.  Google what you need help with and you’ll find plenty of articles and videos to choose from!  Start your next project with a spirit of adventure; encounter risks and have yourself an ‘unusual and exciting experience’!  We’d love to hear about it along the way!

Why Choose One Needle Tip Over Another?

In December we posted about the value of moving more often while we knit, protecting our backs when we sit, and knitting on more than one project at a time using different sized needles and weights of yarn.Today we’ll share why needle tips make a difference, again with information from Carson Demers’ book Knitting Comfortably, the Ergonomics of Handknitting. My Sister Knits, Colorado, lys, knitting needles

Matching our needle tips to our yarn

Something to keep in mind when choosing a needle for a project is the type of tip on the needle.  If you match needle tips to your yarn, your knitting experience will be more pleasant.  For instance, like Amelia, you may love sharp needle tips but they aren’t the best for for two-ply yarn or yarn that is softly spun or softly plied.  The structure of two-ply yarn causes the plies to push away from each other, causing gaps which are found by a sharp tipped needle.  Then we complain because the yarn is ‘splitty’ and it isn’t the yarn’s fault at all!  When this happens to you, try a needle with a medium-to-blunt tip and see if the problem goes away!  That blunt tip won’t find the gaps between the plies the way a sharp tip will.  My Sister Knits, Fort Collins Co, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, Lykke needles, Addi needlesSharp tips are wonderful for projects with small gauges like socks, lace, cables, and twisted stitch patterns.  Try purling two together through the back loop with both kinds of needles as an experiment!Or, like Diana, you may love medium-to-blunt needle tips which are best for stockinette in DK and heavier weight yarn and simple knit-purl textured stitches.  Ideally, every knitter should have both types of needle tips in their knitting toolbox!

Which needle to buy

We carry a selection of needles with both medium-to-blunt tips and sharp tips.  If you would like a sharp tip for your next project, our Addi lace and rockets are two of your choices.  If you’d like to splurge on a super sharp tip, you can treat yourself to a Signature needle!  If a blunter tip will make your project more pleasurable, you could use Addi turbos, Knit Picks Dreamz or the new Lykke needles.My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, Addi rockets, Addi needles, northern colorado A thoughtful pairing of needle tips with yarn goes a long way to making your project easier and more enjoyable to knit!We have fun helping you find exactly what you need to make your next project and that includes choosing needles so please ask!