Fort Collins Colorado

Yarn Fest is Fast Approaching!

Yarn Fest is Fast Approaching!

We are nearing the end of March and that means that Interweave Yarn Festis almost here!For the past several years we have been lucky enough to have this major yarn festival right here in northern Colorado!  Yarn Fest takes place the last weekend of March at The Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado.  This year the dates are Thursday, March 28th through Sunday, March 31st.

Spincycle Yarns' Dream State is Restocked!

Spincycle Yarns' Dream State is a hot commodity in the knitting world right now!Thanks to all of the recent patterns featuring Dream State, this unique and colorful yarn is flying off the shelves!

Ritual Dyes Yarn

My Sister Knits has the good luck to be one of only five yarn shops to carry Ritual Dyes yarn!  This is a brand new line of yarn from Rachel Bratcher of Portland, Oregon.Rachel has developed two yarn lines that are quite diverse.  One is completely from the United States and dyed with natural plant dyes, producing gorgeous soft colorways.  The other is sourced outside of the United States but is dyed in-house, producing deeply saturated and ever-so-subtly speckled colorways.

Colorwork Trunk Show at My Sister Knits!

Come one, come all to the Colorwork Trunk Show presented by Brooklyn Tweed!  We will have this trunk show until the last week of February so put it on your calendar!

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! 

The Perfect Beginner Colorwork Cowl!

We posted about our upcoming Ninilchik Swoncho class a few weeks ago.  We suggested that it would be a good beginner colorwork project.  It is knit with worsted weight yarn and larger needles than many colorwork projects.beginner colorworkHowever, if you can't take the class or don't want to commit to a project the size of the swoncho, we have something else for you!  The Flying Geese Cowl is on display at My Sister Knits.  You should come in and take a close look at it.  Mary Jane Mucklestone, a superb designer of colorwork knitting patterns, says that her Flying Geese Cowl is a 'stellar first stranded colorwork project'.It uses Aran weight yarn and suggests size 9 needles for the bulk of the cowl, making for a fairly quick knit.  Size 8s are used for the final 1 1/2" of ribbing.  There are only 36 rows in addition to the top and bottom ribbing!This pattern is only one page long, including the easy to read and follow colorwork chart!  Flying Geese has a gradient background which adds an interesting detail to the cowl.  Still, it could easily be made with one color for the background if you prefer.  Mary Jane states how many yards are needed for each color.  That makes it easy to go stash diving if you have any aran weight left-overs!colorwork knitting patternsThe more we look at this cowl, the more we like it with the gradient background!  There will be enough yarn left over for a pair of fingerless mitts or mittens!  We can help you find a plain pattern and use stripes for a cowl/mitt set that blends but isn't matchy-matchy.If you'd like to change out the colors but aren't sure which to use, there are a couple of things you can do.  We love playing with colors and would be happy to help you!  The other thing you can do is go to the Ravelry project page to find inspiration by looking at all the projects there.My Sister KnitsMary Jane has a great video that demonstrates how to knit with two colors, whether you knit English or Continental.  If you don't know what which way you knit, she'll explain that, too!If you need help or encouragement, you can stop by the shop during our Fearless Knitting times, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 - 1.  We'll gladly help you anytime but those times have a person dedicated to only helping people who come in! Otherwise you might have to wait.We encourage you to take a look at this truly beginner colorwork project!  The color combinations are endless; come into the shop and play with them! local yarn shop

Fibres of Life Bags

When you walk into My Sister Knits it’s hard not to notice the striking bags on top of the display case!  These bags are Fibres of Life fair trade products from Nepal.Fibres of LifeJenn Pullin, founder of Fibres of Life, is from Nova Scotia. If you would like to read the full story of how she came about founding Fibres of Life, read this.  Jenn is passionate about fair trade products! She has put that passion to work helping to design and create handmade, ethically produced, high quality products.Fibres of Life designs are fanciful and colorful, embracing a rich fall palette.  Jenn has learned that having up-to-date, distinct designs is an essential part of fair trade success!Fair tradeNo two products are exactly alike.  Knitting, felting, dyeing, stitching, and weaving are all done by hand and reflect each artisan’s traditions and artistic expression.Jenn says it best when describing fair trade associations:"Fair trade associations are based first, on supporting people and communities, with developing products as a means to that end. We meet and work where people work in small groups in neighbourhood houses with their children nearby or nestled in the group, family-based workshops, or in the main facilities of the fair trade associations, where parents working share the space with daycare support, a school for their kids, adult literacy classes, or a subsidized cafeteria with incredible food. The people who come to work at the associations come for varied reasons and from varied backgrounds. Some come simply seeking a positive work environment, training and mentorship, or better compensation. Others may have been marginalized in one way or another – economically, from a minority group or low caste, women leaving family violence, or youth at risk."My Sister KnitsFor in depth information on fair trade, the Fibres of Life website is well worth exploring!We encourage you to come in and check out these bags that are hand made by artisans on a small scale.  One of My Sister Knits' goals is to bring this type of product to our customers! local yarn shop      

Favorite Old and New Knitting Books!

It's so much fun to receive a shipment of new knitting books!  The act of opening up a new book and flipping through it fills our minds with possibilities and inspiration.We have two new books this week that are both beautiful!

Melanie Berg's Shawls

New Knitting BooksMelanie Berg designs gorgeous shawls!  This hot-off-the-press book is full of her favorites. There are several you may recognize and others are brand new.  These are modern shawls for everyone:  designs with more than one color, lace edging, cables, various shapes, and more! The knitting world has been buzzing about this book lately, impatiently waiting for its release.  Fortunately, we have several!

pompom Quarterly

Most popular knitting booksThis magazine from the UK can easily be considered a new knitting book with each edition!  There are always distinctive patterns designed around a theme.  In addition, there is a mix of recipes, articles, crafts, and art.  Pom Pom is known for its stunning photography; even the ads are beautiful!  The theme for this edition is the moon.  Each pattern's name has special meaning.  These sell out fast and are only available from stockists.We also have two of the most popular knitting books which have become classics!

Ann Budd's the knitter's handy book of Patterns

My Sister KnitsThis book is a boon to knitters of all experience levels!  Originally published in 2002, it has withstood the test of time and should be in every knitter's library.  More than a book of designs, this is also a reference book.  By following Ann's instructions and unique tables, you can make almost any type of garment with any weight of yarn.  You need to know your gauge and the size you want to make and that's it!  Also included are many details that you can add to personalize whatever it is that you're creating!

Vicki Square's The Knitter's Companion

Local Yarn ShopThis little book by Fort Collins' own Vicki Square should also be on every knitter's bookshelf!  It's even small enough to carry with you if you need to.  This gem has been around since 2006.  It's packed with tips and tutorials with photos and illustrations for each.  This book is fantastic for those techniques you need to look up each time you do them.  Maybe you need to remember how to start the mattress stitch seam or how to Kitchener.  Or maybe you're a newer knitter who needs reminding of increases and decreases.  It's all here!We invite you to sit at our community table and browse through these books, taking your time with them!

Knitting for Olive Designs

If you have a small girl-child in your life and you have yet to discover Knitting for Olive patterns, you are in for a treat!  One look at Pernille Larsen's patterns on her Knitting for Olive Ravelry page and you'll fall in love!Olive's grandmother Pernille began designing  patterns for Olive when she was born a few years ago.  Pernille started sharing the patterns and in 2015 she and her daughter (Olive's mom) started selling them.  The knitting world is so lucky that they have shared with us!  Olive gets to wear these adorable garments and must be the best dressed little girl in Copenhagen, where they live.  Imagine having a grandmother who is such a talented designer!Knitting for OliveThere is now a sample of the simple Ruffle Dress in the shop.  Watch for Olive's Christmas Stocking and her Mullet Skirt coming soon!  Knitting for Olive patterns range from stockinette with texture that adds interesting and clever detail to garments with cables and lace.We chose to make our sample out of Shibui Staccato, a fingering weight Merino/Silk blend.  This does create a dress that needs to be hand washed but we think the result is worth it!  Shibui's yarns have such deep colors and this charming little dress is as soft as down.  If the little girl you have in mind might look better in something other than blue you could use any of these:Knitting for Olive Ravelryor these:My Sister KnitsIf a superwash yarn would suit your needs better, My Sister Knits has plenty of those in fingering weight!  We'll be happy to show them to you you when you come into the shop.  Or, look at what we call our 'sock wall' just as you get up the stairs to the second floor. This sweet knitted dress would be a great use for some of our speckled yarn!  Or what about some with little sparkly bits?Knitting with Olive designs offers well written patterns in a wide range of sizes, some with style options, and we hope to see more as Olive grows!   

Join Our Class and Knit a Swancho!

A knitting class is so much fun!  You meet encouraging, amicable knitters, gain confidence in your knitting skills by learning something new, and have an experienced instructor right there!  The instructors at My Sister Knits are always happy to help you through any crochet or knitting class whether you are a newbie or have years of experience.knitting class

Ninilchik Swoncho

The Ninilchik Swoncho, designed by Caitlin Hunter, promises to be a class that will take your knitting to the next level!  Our sample was knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter which is a worsted weight woolen spun yarn.  This is a splendid pattern for your first colorwork project because of the weight of the yarn.  Many colorwork projects use fingering weight yarn; the worsted weight will be easier for knitters new to colorwork.local knitting classesShelter is a woolen spun yarn. It is light in weight while providing extra warmth due to the air trapped in the yarn during spinning.The Swoncho, as the name suggests, is a combination of sweater and poncho.  As such, there is no need to be concerned with exact measurements which will be a relief to many!  The sleeves, which start near the elbow, make this swoncho easy to wear and less floppy than a poncho.Sleeve ribbing gives a cozy, close fit which contrasts nicely with the loose, swingy fit of the body.knitting classes near me

Class requirements

With Kelly ready to guide you through this pattern, anyone who can execute a knit stitch and considers themselves an adventurous beginner can make this! It's knit in the round with no seaming, has only four rows with wrap and turn short rows, and uses only one type of increase and decrease.  There is a large-print, easy to follow chart for each colorwork portion.  You will come away from this knitting class with newfound confidence in yourself as a knitter!

Possible modifications

This pattern can be easily modified in a number of ways.  The body and the sleeves can be made longer or shorter and you can choose to eliminate some or all of the colorwork.  You'd just need to talk to us about how much more main color you'd need.My Sister Knits

Dates and times

This class is offered Tuesday evenings, August 21, 28, and September 11 from 6 until 8.

Future classes

We offer local knitting classes at our shop on Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins every month.  You can find out about them by picking up a class card (always with a lovely photo on the front!) from the shop or by checking our website.  You can choose if you'd like to pay online, by calling the shop, or in person!We invite you into My Sister Knits to play with color combinations and sign up to make this swoncho that will quickly become a favorite fall-into-winter garment!As designer Caitlin Hunter says, "take it one row at a time and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish!" knitting classes for beginners 

Anzula Trunk Show!

Our Anzula trunk show arrived!  We thought it would be marvelous for all of the people participating in the Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl to be able to touch and try on these pieces!Anzula Trunk ShowSabrina Famellos, owner of Anzula, started dyeing yarn in 2006.  Before that, she was an avid spinner and crocheter and sold her shawls, hats, gloves, and other accessories in the San Francisco Bay area.  She began her foray into dyeing with spinning fiber first and later expanded to dyeing yarn. The home base of Anzula Luxury Fibers is now in Fresno, California, where the hand dyeing takes place.  All of their yarns are spun in the U.S. and Canada.Anzula For Better or WorstedThe items in our trunk show are all made with Anzula For Better or Worsted, a blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Nylon.  We have seven items including sweaters, shawls, and cowls.One of the first things you'll notice is the fantastic stitch definition this yarn gives!  Cables and textured stitches such as seed stitch stand out beautifully.My Sister KnitsAnzula is synonymous with luxury fiber.  The colorways range from vivid and strong to muted and delicate.  Anzula yarns are soft, squishy, and slide like butter along your needles.  Knitting with any of Sabrina's yarns is a sublime experience!  Since they are superwash, they can be washed in the machine; we suggest a hand-wash cycle if your machine has one. Jenny recently washed a baby blanket made with Cricket, For Better or Worsted's little sister DK weight yarn, in this way.  She laid it out to dry and it looked and felt like new!This yarn pairs well with needles that have a less-pointy tip.  As this yarn is slippery, we encourage you to consider using a wooden needle.  Swatching with both a wooden needle and a metal needle would immediately tell you which you prefer.  If the term 'swatching' has you thinking of huddling in a dark corner, you might substitute the term 'yarn tasting'!  You can 'taste' it with both types of needles to see which you like best!We invite you to come into My Sister Knits and pore over the Anzula trunk show items!           

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!