knitting

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!

Our Most Important Knitting Tool

You may be pondering about what is your most important knitting tool.  Most of us would come up with a variety of answers.  Knitting needles?  Gauge swatches? Patterns? A handy dandy fix it tool to grab dropped stitches?My Sister Knits, Colorado, knitting ergonomics, most important knitting toolAll of those are important but there is one tool we all have that we tend not to think of.  Our bodies.For if our bodies don't work right we can't knit.  Arms and hands get sore and tired.  Our necks get sore from looking down at our patterns.  Our bodies get stiff if we allow them to sit while we knit for hours.We all want to knit as long as possible and in order to do that we need to take care of our most important tool - ourselves!Carson Demers, a knitter, physical therapist, and ergonomist, has written a book entitled Knitting Comfortably, the Ergonomics of Handknitting.  This highly detailed book is full of essential information to keep our bodies in good shape for years to come.  Change starts with one step.  If you implement one thing that you can do to help your body, you will have taken the first step to knitting comfortably for years!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, Fort Collins CO, knitting ergonomically, most important knitting toolOne of the basic tenets of the book is to make small changes before there's a need for them because small, almost unnoticeable problems become larger ones before we know it.

Knit on more than one project at a time

This is welcome news for those of us who have more than one project going at once!  This is actually good for your hands!  Carson suggests working on projects that use different yarn weights, different stitches, and different needle sizes to avoid repetitive stress injuries.

Move more

It can be so hard to make yourself stop and get up to move when you're in the flow of your project!  Our bodies need movement so set a timer for every 20 to 30 minutes for a break.  This would be a great time to practice knitting standing up, get a glass of water, or do some stretches.  Possibly all three!  If a timer doesn't sound ideal you could set your break time to coincide with something to do with your pattern.  Are you doing a pattern that repeats itself?  Do you need to knit a certain amount of inches?  Decide on a spot in your knitting that takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to knit and make that your break time.

Protect your back

When we look down at our pattern or our stitches, we put pressure on our spinal discs.  To help avoid this, clip your pattern to a document reader.  You'll notice a difference almost right away!  Another thing to do is practice moving just your eyes, not your neck to look at your knitting.  The more you can do this, the easier it is on your back.My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, ergonomic knitting, most important knitting toolWe've given you three ways to take care of your most important knitting tool!  They are among the multitude of ideas in Carson's book where he goes into the science of why these and others are important.  We'll give you more ideas in the coming months! 

Grab This Chance to Learn From the Best, Elizabeth Doherty!

Rarely do we get teachers and designers of Elizabeth Doherty's caliber to teach in Fort Collins.   We are incredibly lucky to have the experience of learning from her the weekend of November 4th and 5th! There are three classes available; Warming Up to Linen, Tailored Pockets for Any Sweater, and Top-Down Set-In Sleeves.Just a few weeks ago I had the unforgettable opportunity to take her Top-Down Set-In Sleeve class and it changed the way I will knit sweaters forever!  I've only made cardigans and I now have the skills to make a pullover!  That fits!  My cardigans always fall off my shoulders.  The armholes are too big which results in extra fabric under my arms.  Elizabeth taught how to fix those problems and I am over the  moon about that!  I can't wait to cast on a sweater using my new knowledge!My Sister Knits, Elizabeth Doherty, sweater knitting, Fort Collins, set-in sleeves, knitting classes, knitting designersElizabeth's class walks us through her ideas about how to create a classic fit that flatters.  Her top down patterns allow us to try on our sweaters as we go.  Her class covers both the techniques and the math involved in modifying other patterns for a better fit.  She measures each student!  Having those numbers gives us the tools we need to improve the fit of any sweater pattern!Sweaters with shoulder seams and set-in sleeves provide a better fit than other styles due to their structure.  Unfortunately, that usually includes sleeve and side seams which are intimidating.  Thanks to Elizabeth's class, I will never have to sew a side seam or set in a sleeve again and neither will you!  She teaches exactly how to pick up armhole stitches and knit the sleeves top-down.  In any sweater!Trying on her samples is a voyage of discovery!   Patterns that you might not have thought would work for your figure are as flattering as they are comfortably wearable.  I was happily surprised by several of them!Elizabeth has an engineer's mind and approaches knitting in a unique way.  She notices problems, figures out how to solve them, and the rest of us benefit!  She has some surprising tips and tricks to improve stitch consistency and prevent 'rowing out'.  I have always had a problem with a hole at the underarm when joining a sleeve.  No matter how many people I asked or how much research I did, I could not find a way to eliminate it.  Elizabeth has a marvelously simple way to avoid the gap entirely!This class is essential for any sweater knitter whether you're planning your first one or your tenth!  Not only will you have a valuable learning experience, you will have fun doing it!  Plus, Elizabeth will tell us her secret to life!Knowing how much I learned from this class, I can't wait for the other two she's teaching! Take advantage of this fantastic chance to learn from one of the best right in our own back yard!  Call the shop now to secure a spot in one or all of Elizabeth's classes!  970.407.1461

National Sisters Day with Julie and Diana!

National Sisters Day is Sunday, August 6th!  Celebrated around the world on the first Sunday in August, the first National Sisters Day was in 2011.  It's a new unofficial holiday and what a superb idea!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, Colorado, National Sisters Day, yarnThe most famous sisters at My Sister Knits are of course Julie and Diana.  For those of you who might not know, Julie is the owner and Diana is her older sister.  Their mom, who Julie says is the best mom, came up with My Sister Knits.  She knew that one day Diana was going to join Julie in the shop and this would be a fitting name.When asked to describe Julie in three words off the top of her head, Diana's response was, "fun, loving, awesome".Julie's answer to the same question was, "nicest person in the world, the one I'd turn to for parenting advice, the pretty one" (what a nice thing to say about your sister!).My Sister Knits, National Sisters Day, Northern Colorado, Local Yarn Shop, knitting, yarn, Julie and Diana learned to knit at the same time when they were about 7 and 8.  They took classes at Mrs. Bohaczek's in-home yarn shop.  Perhaps this is when the seed was planted for My Sister Knits!They have been knitting since then, sometimes taking a break to quilt but always coming back to knitting.  They each like to knit smallish 'anywhere, anytime' projects.  Diana is currently working on Christmas stockings; Julie is on a sock kick!  She also loves to knit hats, little girls' dresses, and gifts because she likes to think about the recipient as she knits.Growing up the oldest two of five siblings, Julie and Diana developed a deep bond.  They think the same, have the same interest in knitting, sewing, family, antiques, and liking to go back to their roots in Nebraska.  They went to the same nursing school with Diana becoming an elementary school nurse and Julie ending up as Head Nurse of the ICU at Poudre Valley Hospital here in Fort Collins.  Julie and Diana even look so alike that they are often mistaken for each other!My Sister Knits, Fort Collins Colorado, yarn, knitting, local yarn shopThey had a dream of doing something together when they both left nursing.  Julie opened My Sister Knits in 2004.  When Diana retired in 2015 she immediately moved to Fort Collins to partner with Julie and become a beloved fixture at the shop!When they aren't at My Sister Knits they like to spend time at their family cabin in Estes Park, Colorado,; take classes; travel; and enjoy meals cooked by Diana's husband. Their dream has come true!This quote by Isadora James perfectly sums up Julie and Diana:  "A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life."Do you have a sister or sister-like friend you'd like to celebrate on National Sisters Day?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!