linen

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! 

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!  

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

Elizabeth Doherty is Teaching at My Sister Knits!

Elizabeth Doherty is coming to teach at My Sister Knits!  We are not only thrilled but honored to have her!Elizabeth Doherty, My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, ColoradoElizabeth's designs have been published by Quince & Company, Brooklyn Tweed, and Twist Collective.  Her book, Top down: reimagining set-in sleeve design, has become a go-to reference on knitters' bookshelves.  To have a teacher of Elizabeth's caliber come to Fort Collins is a special event indeed!

Top-Down Set-In Sleeves, Sunday Nov. 5th, 10am - 6pm

My Sister Knits, sweater knitting, set in sleeve knitting, knitting classesElizabeth has developed an innovative method for knitting top down sweaters with set-in sleeves!  Simply put, sweaters need to fit our shoulders.  In order to do that, the armholes need to be shaped so that there is the correct amount of fabric across both the back and the front.  This will allow your sweater to stay put on your body, not look sloppy or fall off your shoulders. Elizabeth will teach us how to do it!We will learn everything we need to know about making a sweater that fits in the shoulders and armholes using our own measurements!  This will transform our sweater knitting into a thing of pleasure.  Never again will it be an experience of fret and worry about the fit!Read more about Elizabeth's set-in sleeves and the class details.

Warming Up to Linen, Saturday, Nov. 4th, 10am - 1pm

Elizabeth Doherty, bluebeestudio, My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, knitting with linenElizabeth will show us the wonders of knitting with linen!  This oft-neglected fiber creates garments with absolutely gorgeous drape that become softer and more supple with washing and wearing.  Linen is meant to go through the washer and dryer!  We will learn helpful techniques for working with a non-elastic plant-based yarn, from how to make our stitches look beautiful to weaving in ends.  If you've been hesitant to give linen a try, this is the class for you!  We'll become confident and eager to knit with this ages-old fiber!Read more about linen and the class details.

Tailored Pockets for Any Sweater, Saturday, Nov. 4th, 2pm - 5pm

My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, sweater knitting, adding pockets to a sweater, knitting classesWhen Elizabeth's friend Barb asked her to write pocket directions for the Copperplate cardigan, Elizabeth loved the  outcome!  She decided she wanted pockets in everything!  The beauty of free-hanging pockets is that they allow the front of the sweater to hang naturally without stretching out of shape.  Knit in a denser gauge with lighter weight yarn, these pockets don't add bulk and will stand up to use.  How fun to know how to put pockets in any sweater!Read more about the pockets and the class details.Call us at 970.407.1461 to reserve a spot in any or all of these classes.  They are an incredible, not-to-be-missed opportunity to develop new skills by a renowned designer and teacher! 

 

 

How and Why to Knit With Cooling Linen

Our hottest months are upon us and knitting with wool can leave our hands and lap sticky and damp, even in air conditioning.  The solution?  Having an adventure with linen or cotton!  Today the subject is linen; watch for cotton coming soon!Fort Collins - Yarn Shop - Knitting with LinenLinen is the perfect yarn to use, and creates the perfect fabric to wear, during hot weather.  It actually helps keep you cool!  For detailed information, read this blog post by Elizabeth Doherty who is coming to My Sister Knits to teach in November!Knitting with Linen - My Local Yarn Shop - Fort Collins, CO Linen creates a fluid fabric that softens with washings and can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer!  The dryer's tumble action helps transform the fibers into a wonderfully soft and supple fabric.   Be sure to make a swatch and launder it the same way your finished project will be laundered because the finished gauge will no doubt change!Linen Knitting - My Sister Knits - Northern Colorado Yarn ShopIf you'd like to try softening a finished linen knit, handwash and dry it and then put it in the dryer on air-dry to soften.Knitting with Linen - Fort Collins Knitting Shop - My Sister KnitsLinen's characteristics are what give it its casually sophisticated look:  your stitches will not be uniform, your finished project will wrinkle, and the slightly biased fabric that may be created is just fine.  You will end up with a cool, elegant garment with plenty of drape that will be worn again and again!Knitting with Linen - My Sister Knits - Fort Collins, Colorado Tips for knitting with linen:

  1.  Plan to go down a needle size or two because it creates a slightly larger stitch.
  2. Use a longer cable than usual because linen stitches don't compress like animal fibers.
  3. The texture of wooden needles may help even out your stitches.
  4. Work from the outside of the ball.
  5. Join a new ball of yarn at an inconspicuous spot such as the side; knit a few stitches with the old yarn and new yarn held together to secure the new yarn.
  6. Use point protectors to keep your stitches on the needles since they can slide off easily.

A summer knitting adventure with linen is just the thing to solve those sweaty hand blues!If you'd like to make a summery linen shawl instead of the tees we linked to, or a different tee, we will be happy to help you find a pattern you love!