Join us for Tour de Fat!

One of Fort Collins' great fall traditions is the annual Tour de Fat presented by New Belgium Brewing Co.!  This is a colorful, noisy, magnificent bike parade complete with costumes for both humans and bikes.tour-de-fat-beginning-use-this-one-RTPTour de Fat is a traveling bike festival taking place in 13 cities across the U.S., promoting bike use. The Ft. Collins event will be Saturday, Sept. 3rd.  Last year the Ft. Collins Tour had 25,000 attendees and raised $94,241 for local charities, proving once again that we are a generous community!We love My Sister Knits' location on a peaceful, tree-lined street near Old Town Fort Collins.front-of-house-RTPOn Tour de Fat day, we love the location even more because the parade goes right past My Sister Knits!Tour-de-Fat-Sombrero-RTPJoin us on the front lawn to experience the fun!  We will have a complimentary coffee cart from 9:30am until 1:30pm for your sipping pleasure.  Bring a lawn chair, grab a coffee and settle in to enjoy the parade.  It begins at Civic Park at 10:00am and will be meandering past us shortly after that.tour-de-fat-cozzolas-RTPThe shop will be open during the parade and all normal activities will take place; however, parking will be on the side streets because Mountain will be closed.  We hope you can take part in the Tour de Fat fun on our front lawn and do a little shopping at the same time! 

Great News!

We have been able to negotiate a lower price for our A Knitting Weekend in the Rockies retreat, November 18th - 20th!Stanley-for-blog--post-RTPJulie and I spent Monday afternoon in Estes Park and we're more excited than ever about this special event!We drove up Highway 36 instead of our regular Highway 34 which will be closed in November.  It was only 15 minutes longer and when we rounded the last bend we had a stunning view of The Stanley and the mountains and rock formations around it.  That's when it hit us; our wonderful weekend is really going to happen again!the-ranch-room-RTPThe new, lower price for a single room is $600 and a double room is $400 per person.  Remember that registration starts Thursday, August 18th and the deadline is Thursday, Oct 6th.shop-sign-RTPCall 970.407.1461 or come into the shop at 1408 W. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins to register, .  We are happy to accept checks as well as credit cards.We hope you can join us for this incredible weekend!

Yarn Crawl Sample Sale

We have been busy planning an extra special event for you during the Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl, July 30th through August 14th!In the course of rearranging this summer, we realized that we have oodles of samples that need to go to good homes. Therefore, we are announcing our first-ever Sample Sale!  This is a rare occasion to purchase handmade items you've admired in the shop.There will be cowls!cowls-for-sample-sale-RTP There will be hats and mittens!hats-for-sample-sale-2-RTP There will be shawls!shawls-for-sample-sale-RTP And even a sophisticated white felted bag!white-felted-bag-for-sample-sale-RTPWe have many more items than pictured here and you'll be able to see them all on Saturday, July 30th starting at 9am.  Now is the time to get out your calendars, plot your Yarn Crawl adventure, and plan to take advantage of our extraordinary Sample Sale!Stay tuned because next week we will  have another special Yarn Crawl treat to tell you about...........   

Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl 2016

From July 30th through August 14th, knitters will be flocking to ten LYSs (Local Yarn Shop) across our northern Colorado/southern Wyoming region to participate in the Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl.HotAugustKnitsParticipants will have a grand time visiting yarn shops from Longmont to Cheyenne, with stops in Estes Park, Fort Collins, and Laramie along the way!This is an opportunity to see and experience the diverse selection of yarn shops within a few hours drive. LYSs are disappearing from parts of the country and we are more than lucky to have so many so close.Local Yarn Shops are treasured for what they offer fiber enthusiasts: carefully curated yarn collections, a sense of community, knowledgeable help, samples to feel and try on, classes, and the list goes on!Julie-Asselin-gradient-RTPThe Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl shops have a fun, party atmosphere especially during this time with people visiting from all over, special events, and festive displays. You’ll be so glad you joined in!We at My Sister Knits will be happy to wind yarn that you collect along ‘the crawl’, and also help you pick the perfect pattern as a memento of Hot August Knits 2016.shop-and-garden-RTPWe can’t wait to welcome 'crawlers' from near and far and hear about your experiences!Below is the information from the Hot August Knits website that tells exactly how to take part!How to Yarn Crawl:1. Start at any participating shop. You will receive a passport and the opportunity to purchase a fun shopping bag filled with a variety of free patterns for the minimal price ($10.00) (while supplies last)!2. Enter into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate from the store you are visiting. (Yes, you can enter ALL of them!)Make sure your passport gets stamped at every shop you visit!3. Once you have visited all participating shops, turn in your fully stamped passport at your last stop to enter for one of ten grand prize (one on display at each store) drawings for a basket filled with special somethings from many of your favorite yarn companies.4. No purchase necessary! All you need to do to enter is get your passport stamped when you visit a participating store.Additional information will be posted on our Ravelry Group Page and our Facebook page—so be sure to find us online to stay up-to-date!Winners will be announced approximately 2 weeks after the end of the Yarn Crawl. 

Christmas in July

When it’s hot outside, we get tired of the heat.When we are tired of the heat, we dream of cold weather soon to come.christmas-in-July RTPWhen we dream of cold weather, we think of Christmas.When we think of Christmas, we see smiles on the faces of loved ones as they open gifts we’ve knit for them.We panic for a moment and then remember that it’s July and at My Sister Knits we are celebrating Christmas in July by featuring gifts that are quick to knit. We can help you get a jump-start your holiday knitting!For your gift giving  knitting pleasure we suggest:kits-for-Christmas-in-July-post-RTP cowls-for-Christmas-in-July-post-RTP baby-things-for-Christmas-in-July-post-RTP hats-for-Christmas-in-July-post RTPWe’ll be glad to be of assistance if you can’t quite decide where to begin! Come December, you’ll be oh so pleased  that you started your Christmas knitting in July!

Increasing your Knowledge of Increases

Increases and decreases are the nuts and bolts of adding shaping and decorative elements to knitting. The variety of increases may seem intimidating but they all simply change your stitch count to either the right or left side of an existing stitch.They can be almost invisible or very apparent. Some will shift the grain of your fabric to a diagonal. If repeated at regular intervals, they can form a pattern and add texture. Paired with decreases, they make lovely lace patterns.stac-shoaigh-02There are several ways to make an increase.The yarn over: as simple as laying the yarn over the needle before you knit or purl the next stitch. It creates an eyelet and is usually used as a decorative element.DoodlerThe kfb (knit in the front leg and the back leg of a stitch): use the next stitch on the needle to create an extra stitch. It creates a small purl bump in your fabric that can become a textural element.The M1: uses the running yarn in between stitches. M1L and M1R will create slanted stitches which can be great for the spine or edges of a shawl or the diagonal shaping in raglan sleeves.ameliaLastly, the raised or lifted increase uses the stitch below to add a stitch. The raised increase is the most inconspicuous of all and is useful when you’ve found you are a stitch short and need to add one!There are many more increases to consider and they all have unique details and best uses to be aware of.Join Jenny for her Fearless Knitting demonstration of increases from 11am - noon Thursdays June 30 & July 7, and Saturdays July 2 & 9. She will demonstrate several increases, giving you a chance to practice each one as well as show you an easy way to keep track of increases and decreases in your project.Jenny is eager to help with your knitting questions of any type from noon until 1pm those days!

Just a few more days

remain for the 30% off sale of our in-stock Shibui yarns!shibui wall (2)We don't want you to miss out on this opportunity to find a project (or two) for your summer knitting projects.Shibui's magical blends of fibers and delicate gauges make them ideal choices for light weight knits.  These yarns can be combined to great effect or held singly for a feather light fabric that will drape and have fluid movement you'll love.We have dozens of patterns and project ideas at the tips of our fingers that we can share with you to help get you started.This discount remains in effect through Thursday March 10th, so please stop in or give us a call so that we can share these savings with you.

Are we looking for you?

My Sister Knits opened its doors over a dozen years ago and has been offering crafters along the Front Range an inviting home away from home filled with luxurious yarns. What started out as a small venture has grown into a passionate community of creative minds.garden-02My Sister Knits provides a welcoming atmosphere for knitters of all types and skill levels, and promises an unforgettable experience while working with a world class selection of yarns and tools.We are currently looking for a local crafter with social media experience to join the My Sister Knits team.IMG_5799If you are a blogger who loves to write about all things yarny we’d love to see a sample of your work.Are you a candidate who is comfortable working with Wordpress, Facebook, Ravelry and Mailchimp? Can you work independently? Are you positive, open to feedback, and eager to share love for fiber with our customers? A marketing background would be a plus.If you fit the bill, we’d love to hear from you. Please send a cover letter, resume and photos of your recent projects to info@mysisterknits.com. We’ll send qualified candidates a writing assignment to ensure a perfect fit.We look forward to hearing for you!

A look back

2015 has been a rewarding year for us at My Sister Knits.  As we take a few moments to look back on all that we experienced and accomplished, we can't help but be grateful for the many friends new and old who are a part of our little crafting community.2015 brought many new friends into the shop with the first Interweave Yarn Fest.  Fiber fans from all over the country came to nearby Loveland to share their passion for all things yarny.  This year also included our first knitting retreat up in Estes Park which brought us together to relax and knit in one of the most beautiful spots along the Front Range.Over the past 12 months, the shop has been filled with well over a hundred new samples created by our friends and neighbors.  New products and yarns have arrived including the Quince & Co. line and our new favorites from TOFT. quince dianaOur favorite new arrival of 2015 has to be the addition of Diana to My Sister Knits family.  The arrival of Julie's sister this summer marks a new beginning for us and the fulfillment of a long held dream: to share the love of creating beautiful things with people we love.May your upcoming year be filled with the peace and happiness of this holiday season.  And may it bring you more discovery, joy and accomplishment as you keep stitching along with us.  Happy New Year!

A holiday wish

Our friend Sarah brought some special treats with her to the Community Knit Night this week that were enjoyed by all.  Thank you Sarah for your beautiful and delicious cookies!  These little mittens are our favorites of the season.treats2We count ourselves so fortunate to be a part of this amazing community.  It is such a joy to share our love of beautiful hand made things with you.  To find new inspiration in what you have created and want to work on next.  And to exchange ideas, tips and suggestions making our world a little smaller and our craft far more rich.We wish you a very happy holiday and a fiber filled new year!  We look forward to seeing you soon.

A little sparkle

As our seasonal decorations come out of storage and our homes are transformed into festive wonderlands with tiny twinkle lights it begins to look a lot like Christmas.  If you've been humming under your breath and smiling at strangers, its likely that you've got the holiday spirit.  Let's enjoy it and have some fun!A darling little sample arrived in the shop that we wanted to share with you because this little tunic is bright, beautiful, and full of sparkle.kismetKismet, designed by Sara Gresbach is a pattern with 7 sizes running from 12 months to 12 years. Intended to be striped, we love how it knits up with one of our Sweet Georgia Party of Five kits with the Cashluxe Spark yarn. (Our friend Dani of Sunshine yarns created a similar version for her daughter Clara and it is as fresh and beautiful as a daisy.)This fresh spring color combination may not be the first thing that would pop into your head for a holiday dress, but what little girl could resist it?  And what a pleasure it would be to gift something that would be treasured because it makes her feel like a princess.  Isn't that magic exactly what we hope for from the holidays?We wish you a very fun and magical weekend and hope that your holiday season is a bright and beautiful one!  (The addition of a bit of sparkle is highly recommended).

Knits for Boys

Kate Oates' Knits for Boys collection arrived in the shop this week and we wanted to share a few photos of this Trunk Show so that you won't miss the fun.MSKSWAMP-THING-2This is the Long Johns PJ Top, designed to be worn as a layering piece or as pjs.  The pattern sizing includes a range from 4 -12 and the stretchy waffle stitch texture will stretch making this a perfect choice for a growing boy!  Matching bottoms are also available.MSK-H-AND-G-GRAYThe Mattox Hat and Mittens feature a beautiful chevron stitch pattern that is fun to work.  It also creates a stretchy fabric that will ensure a great fit.  These will be a quick knit in worsted weight yarn for a delightful one of a kind holiday gift.MSK-YELBRN-HATThe Stranded Newsie hat features a contemporary brimmed shape.  "A brim for a little shade and a modern print for a little style make this cap too cool. This project is on the adventurous side with short-row shaping and some stranded color-ork involved but there is truly no project better suited to practice new techniques than a hat."We couldn't agree more.Why not use a small quick to knit project like this one to learn short rows or color work?  The pattern includes sizing for a child or small adult.  Who knows, this may be a hat you keep for yourself?!We hope that you'll have a chance to visit these samples as well as the two dozen others that are featured in the shop for the next two weeks.  They are worth a visit.

Winter is coming

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

One more time

Last month's Two at a time Toe-Up Sock Workshop was such a hit that we are offering it again in November!  Jennifer will be returning to the shop on Saturday November 21st for a one day workshop that will guide you through the tips and tricks of making two socks simultaneously.Knit_SocksNo, it’s not cheating!  You can avoid the second sock syndrome by knitting a pair of socks simultaneously.  Knitting a sock from the toe up saves yarn and always gives a perfect fit. And? No grafting is required. In this day long workshop Jennifer provides all the how-tos, tips, and techniques you need, as well as the pros and cons behind the cast-on, toe, heel, bind-off and customization options, gleaned from her years of experience. You will also learn a “sock formula” so you can cast on enough stitches for a sock and design your own!Ideally, students should be able to knit in the round or have knit at least one pair of socks. However, if you are a quick learner that is extremely adventurous: a beginner who is comfortable knitting, purling and having done increases and decreases in other projects will enjoy success.Last month's class filled almost as soon as we announced it, so call us today to reserve your spot!  And we'll get you working on new socks before the holidays!

Let's get stitching!

We have a new Knit Along that will be starting at the end of the month and we wanted let you know about it so that you can be sure to join us as we get cast on.piper-03On Tuesday October 27th we'll be gathering during our Community Knit Night to work on Piper's Journey.  This sport weight garter stitch and lace shawl designed by Paula Emons-Fuessle will be a fun project to work on together.piper-01Lindsay will be leading the group and providing support for newer knitters.  You can work on your own and join the group at any of our Tuesday night gatherings.  We plan to officially meet again on Tuesday November so that she can help answer any questions that have come up and get us started on the lace border.We are offering a 20% discount on three of our favorite sport weight yarns for you to choose from:The Fibre Company's Road to China Light - You'd need 3 skeins.Anzula's Cricket - You'd need 2 skeins.Blue Sky Alpacas' Sport Weight or Melange - You'd need 3 skeins.As with many shawl patterns, you could elect to make this a bit bigger and use a bit more yardage.  You may also decide to use a different color for the lace edging.  There are so many beautiful possibilities!We can't wait to see what yarns you select and to see these beautiful shawls grow.  And best of all, we'll have beautiful new accessories to model before Thanksgiving!

A little piece of heaven

Many of our visitors tell us that they fell in love with our shop before they ever crossed the threshold.  Julie's garden is a beautiful space and walking through it is a pleasure.Kimberly took a few snapshots of the garden this week which is still looking its best.  We thought we'd share them with you so that you might enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet through a virtual visit.  Or, perhaps you may feel inspired to pop over with your project bag and find a quiet corner of the garden to enjoy!garden-02garden-04garden-01garden-06As you can see we have all kinds of inviting spots, all before you even step in the front door!Enjoy the last few weeks of warmth.  We'll take every opportunity we can to knit in the glorious Colorado sunshine before winter's chill hastens us indoors.  Come join us when you can!

A good thing

As crafters,we occasionally stumble across a pattern or a yarn that we'd love to knit again and again.  Kate first cast on with Habu's A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk last November when she used a double strand to knit up Heidi Kirrmaier's Jet Stream shawl.jet stream 02She developed a lasting crush for Habu silk yarns and looked forward to casting on with it again.A visit to the shop this Spring meant that cones of Habu's N-85 Tweedy Silk went home with her destined to become a relaxed, swingy summer sweater.  Initially, she planned to reinvent Pam Allen's Davis pattern (which calls for Kestrel, an aran weight linen yarn of a completely different gauge).DavisDawn's finished sample confirmed that Davis is a perfect summer pullover. But Kate realized that reworking the gauge would require a bit more math than she felt willing to tackle while enjoying a relaxing summer.Instead, she opted to cast on for Amy Miller's James pullover.  After seeing Felicia's James on the Craft Sessions blog, she recognized a perfect match for the Habu yarn she couldn't wait to start knitting.james-01Just as she hoped, the flattering A-line shape works perfectly with the soft flowing silk fabric created by this Habu yarn.  It has a delicious drape and the tweedy texture makes the simple stockinette come alive.We hope that you can visit our sample in the shop while summer's heat makes working with lighter yarns as appealing as a dip in the pool.  We'll find the perfect yarn for this pattern if you too decide to cast on for a James of your own.

Knit for peace!

This weekend you can participate in a local Hour For Peace FUNdraiser that will include performances by Grace Marie and her Dances of Universal Peace, Jack Manno's Jazzology Trio, and a sing-along of classic 60s peace songs. There also will be food and beverages, a drumming circle, labyrinth walking, activities for children, a silent auction, and a special Light Body Activation ceremony led by Carol Skylark.When and Where: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8th at Unity Church of Fort Collins, 1401 W. Vine Dr.Since 1986, many members of our Fort Collins community have participated in the annual Hour For Peace which occurs at noon Greenwich Mean Time (5 a.m. in Colorado) on Dec. 31st.The Hour For Peace offers people all over the world an opportunity to gather together for peace, love, understanding, and forgiveness.  The event joins millions of minds around the world in prayer, meditation, music, art, dance, poetry, readings, dialogue, and other ways to focus on and manifest lasting peace on Earth.Locally, the goal is for people to not only gather to pray for and focus on Peace during that magical hour, but also to connect with other peacemakers and practice peace all year long.We hope that you can join the fun of the FUNdraiser on Saturday, we've donated a special project bag of knitting treasures for the silent auction that you may want to bid on. Whether you are knitting for peace at Unity Church or in a quiet corner of your home or garden, we wish you many peaceful stitches!

Twig & Horn

"It all started when Quince & Co. owner, Pam Allen, was searching for a wool wash with lanolin to clean and refresh an old sweater. Finding no satisfactory options on the market, she partnered with an American natural-soap maker to develop a premium gentle wool soap packed with USP-grade lanolin and other naturally moisturizing and gently cleansing ingredients."twig-soapFrom there this new needlearts company went on to source and create a small collection of great US made products that will enhance any yarn enthusiast's craft.twig-gaugeThis gauge ruler is as cleanly beautiful as it is useful.  It is crafted in Maine from baltic birch plywood for durability.twig-tote-01Their wildly popular Wool Project Tote is "the utility bag for knitters and other needle crafters. Big and sturdy enough for your largest project, and even a grocery run, but not so big that your just-started sock gets lost."twig-tote-02"A utility pocket keeps your markers and a pair of scissors handy, and a needle pocket keeps your straights organized and ready to go. These are made from 85% wool and 15% nylon fabric made in the USA; with a 100% cotton duck lining that is finished in the USA. The totes are finished with American Bison leather handles and are cut and sewn in Maine."Twig & Horn was inspired to provide this generous selection of beautifully made and exclusively US sourced tools because "We are driven by the current American craftsman (and craftswoman!), whether they’re working with 1st or 21st century technology to make their goods. And we’re inspired by the enduring natural beauty and materials found here, as well as by the artistry of the cultures that existed here centuries and millennia ago."We are delighted with Twig & Horn's commitment to beautifully and responsibly created goods with locally sourced materials that ensure a smaller carbon footprint.  We hope that you can visit the shop soon and check out this new line.