Life in the Long Grass - Now Available at My Sister Knits!

Say hello to the beauty that is Life in the Long Grass. Life in the Long Grass yarns are beautifully hand dyed in Ireland using environmentally friendly methods and recycled paper labels. Life in the Long Grass is perfect for knitting or crocheting shawl patterns, sock knits and other gorgeous gifts.  Their name represents the natural life of the wool that they dye. They love texture and rustic living, which you can spot in the main body of their color ways.LifeintheLongGrass

We are delighted to be sharing this beautiful yarn with you! My Sister Knits is one of 9 local yarn shops in the United States to carry this unique hand dyed and hand painted yarn. The tonal solids and variegated color ways are vibrant and shine even more in person. Lucky for you, we’ve got a gorgeous selection of yarn in three different weights from LITLG in the shop. We love helping you choose patterns and yarns that are exactly what you want; stop in today to indulge your senses…

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Andrea Mowry Workshops

Processed with VSCO with 9 preset© Andrea MowryWe are excited to be welcoming Andrea Mowry to My Sister Knits in the coming year to teach two brioche workshops. Andrea Mowry is a pattern designer known for her incredible shawls and brioche work. She has designed patterns for her own collections as well as various fantastic companies such as Knit Purl and Quince & Co.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset© Andrea MowryShe will be joining us on March 11th, teaching Getting Started with Brioche from 9am-1pm and Beyond Basics Brioche from 2-6pm. Each workshop is $105. Brioche knitting creates such luxurious fabric that we absolutely love to wrap around ourselves throughout the year. Spots in the class are very limited, so call today to reserve yours - (970) 407-1461.Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset© Andrea Mowry“Andrea is one of the many who was lucky enough to learn how to knit as a child from her grandma. By her late teens, guided by the wisdom of the great Elizabeth Zimmerman and her many books, she began trying to work out her own patterns. After leaving her life as a pastry chef to start a family with her husband, her hands found the necessary freedom to begin creating with fiber instead of flour. She focuses on designing knits to fit the modern wardrobe - fun to knit and easy to wear, with clear directions for every level of knitter. She believes in enjoying every stitch and wearing at least one hand knit everyday! Andrea has a great love for indulging in new techniques and skills and then sharing them with other knitters thru her patterns and workshops. Her goal is to leave knitters feeling empowered and inspired, and wrapped up in their own beautiful knits!"

Introducing Local Artist Edd Casas

We have discovered a talented artist just down the street from My Sister Knits and are thrilled to showcase his work at the shop!raven-rtpEdd Casas graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2012.  He moved to Ft. Collins because he feels we are an art-driven, health conscious city with a feeling of community and he plans to stay!rocksteady-rtpHe usually shows his work in art shows and gallery settings; we are fortunate to be able to have some of his works in the shop for sale!oso-puro-rtp-1Edd works with watercolor or acrylics on wood, and oil on canvas; his works tend to be either large or small, nothing in the middle!old-samuel-rtp"My works take form with a mixture of organic elements and shapes, along with mechanical structure and inorganic lines. It is a combination of nature and machine, not one or the other. Our culture has become too attached to clean, sharp lines and unnatural precision and order in their everyday life. Many have lost touch with the true, chaotic nature of our world. I am attempting to overlay one aesthetic with another to show there is merit to both. We can no longer live entirely with nature or entirely with human order, but we can intermingle the two and maintain our own balance as long as we do not neglect either one."  from  Edd's Artist Statementindreams-gif-rtpOne of his paintings would make a splendid,  unexpected Christmas present for an art lover in your life!  Better yet, buy two, one for you and one for them!

Fearless Knitting: Ravelry Revelry!

Ravelry is an internet gathering place for fiber enthusiasts where you can find patterns, yarn, inspiration, help, groups, and forums.ravelrylogo81r_20140401_144342_20140401_144344Ravelry is fun, informative and is a treasure when it comes to finding patterns!We discovered this fun and colorful cowl made of chained strands while doing a search for a crocheted cowl.whole-cowl-rtpPerhaps you are wanting to knit with Lemonade yarns and are wondering what types of projects people are making with them.  Ravelry will tell you!more-lemonade-skeins-rtpYou may be planning to make something for a new baby and would like to see what's available.  Ravelry is your answer!baby-things-rtpLike walking into a yarn shop for the first time, Ravelry can be overwhelming with the amount of information available.Join us for our next Fearless Knitting sessions, Thursdays, December 1st & 8th and Saturdays, December 3rd and 10th from 11am until noon to learn how to navigate this invaluable site!We'll start with how to find a pattern and go on to using Ravelry's database to keep track of your projects, yarn and ideas.If you don't have a free Ravelry account, we'll walk you through how to set one up and you'll be ready to delve into this fount of information!We hope to see you in the shop for one of these helpful sessions!

Theodora's Pearls Pop-Up Shop and Classes!

We have a special event indeed coming up for two days:  Friday, December 2nd Saturday, December 3rd!Jennifer Miller, an indie dyer from Longmont, CO who owns Theodora's Pearls, will have a pop-up shop and will be teaching both days.jennifer-rt-pIn the way of yarn, Jennifer offers us luxury hand-dyed yarn in fiberways that include bamboo, wool, wool/cashmere and wool/silk blends,  and more.  She will also bring some Chicken Soup bags and yarny cards for our purchasing pleasure!mitered-cowl-rtpIn the way of classes, Friday night at 5:30 she will give a talk about updated mitered squares .  "Mitered squares, a part of modular or no-sew component knitting, is a great use for scraps, for hand-painted or high contrast yarns, and for creating interesting textures. Squares can be used for creating garments, accessories, and much more!"mitered-hat-rtpThen on Saturday, she will teach Elizabeth Zimmerman's classic pattern, the Baby Surprise Jacket, from 9am until noon.baby-surprise-jacket-rtpAccording to Jennifer, "Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket is a very charming, adaptable, useful pattern that works, as written, for newborns through toddlers. This famous pattern must be easy, since tens of thousands of them have been made over the years – and that counts only those posted on Ravelry! However, EZ’s pattern writing style is conversational and not particularly linear.baby-in-jacket-rtpWith this class and the basic pattern, you will be able to figure it out fast! In fact, it’s quite easy, and lends itself to endless creativity. This fun and interactive class covers BSJ construction; tips and tricks; creative options and ideas; sizing the BSJ; knitting techniques; baby gifting options. I have constructed dozens of BSJs in all sizes & has created my own annotation to the basic pattern."

Participants please bring:
The BSJ pattern from Schoolhouse Press; Sport, DK or light worsted weight yarn; 24" circular needles, size 6, 7, 8 (or those that create a medium-firm fabric with your yarn); stitch markers; safety pins.
Class preparation: please cast on 160 stitches on a size 7 or 8 32” circular needle. (Your choice of cast on methods.)
Instructor provides:  Jennifer's 11 page annotated pattern explication; sample yarn for learning important stitch pattern.
There are over 25,000 projects on Ravelry to provide ample inspiration in making yours unique!
Plan to come to the shop anytime after 1pm Friday through Saturday and call 970.407.1461 to secure your spot in the Saturday class!

We Have Your Solution!

We know that everyone's  level of activity jumps up a notch this time of year.  You want to knit something for a deserving someone but you question if you have the time to find and make that special gift.Searching out the ideal pattern and distinct, uncommon yarn can seem overwhelming; however, we have a solution!photo-of-kit-rtpThe Swan's Island Aurora kit is just what you need!maroon-swans-island-kit-rtpThis kit comes with three skeins of yarn and makes three accessories:  a slouchy hat, a cozy cowl, and fingerless mitts.  It comes in three colorways so you just have a little decision there!blue-swans-island-kit-rtpSwan's Island Ikat yarns are hand tied before being dyed, creating eye-catching texture that shows off beautifully in stockinette.black-swans-island-kit-rtpThese kits use Ikat Firefly.   The Firefly yarns have bold white resist marks that bring to mind fireflies shimmering against a night sky.  Or, to our minds, snow falling against a night sky!  What a splendid gift apropos of Colorado!These three items are mostly stockinette and can be finished in time to put under the tree.  Your gift making predicament is resolved!

We're Thankful for Knitting!

As we gather with our loved ones for Thanksgiving this week, we begin to think about the many things we are thankful for.As knitters, we can give thanks for a myriad of reasons.  Here are some that come to mind......knit-sign-for-vp-rtpKnitting brings together people of diverse backgrounds, political and religious views, age, and none of it matters.  All that's important to us is our common love of creating something beautiful out of yarn and needles.  Knitting enables us to know and like other knitters who we may think we have nothing in common with.group-knitting-rtpKnitting allows us to develop and express our creativity.  We don't need to buy the exact same color and type of yarn a pattern suggests.  We can branch out and use what appeals to us, what we think is gorgeous.loft-skeins-rtp-use-this-oneWe have the satisfaction of creating beautiful items.  We can look at a finished project, know that we created a unique item, and take joy in it.20160915_130221Knitting creates confidence!  When we try a new stitch and master it, we are encouraged to try yet another one, and another until we are eager to try new things, knowing that we can be successful.jonathans-hands-rtpWe can be thankful for the health benefits knitting brings us.  It's good for our brains!  Knitting helps keep our neural pathways functioning, eases depression, and aids in memory retention.It can lower blood pressure and heart rate and is calming.  It can help with arthiritis.  This article explores the benefits in more depth.final-amy-rtpSo, on Thanksgiving Day, feel free to bring your knitting out in public, among people who love you, and extol the benefits of creating with string and sticks!  

Ombre? Gradient? Is There a Difference?

Ombre or gradient?  Have you ever wondered what the difference is?According to Voie de Vie, gradient yarns are a progression of different colors from light to dark and ombre yarns are usually a blending of hues of the same color, progressing from light to dark.freia-bulky-1-rtpThere are certain points to consider when knitting with these yarns:Choosing a pattern with a plain stitch or very simple design will allow the yarn to shine!freia-bulky-2-rtpThe direction of your knitting will determine the direction of the color changes.  For instance, if you're knitting a cowl end to end, the color changes will be horizontal; if you're knitting from top to bottom or in the round, they will be vertical.If you're making a shawl, where you start your pattern, whether at the bottom or the top, the first color will appear to take up approximately half of the shawl.freia-fingering-1-rtpSimple, repeating design elements are perfect for ombres and gradients.Our Friea Fine Handpaints Ombre yarns are a beautiful foray into gradual color change yarns.freia-fingering-2-rtpThere are patterns galore that lend themselves to these yarns.A Ravelry search found a considerable amount of free patterns that would be a great match:  Multnomah, Haruni,  fibre space Knockout Round, Laura Nelkin's Gusto, Calistoga Cowl, Reverb Shawl, Nurmilintu, Bristol Ivy's Two for Joy, Reyna, Freia pom pom hat, Loop London's Cecelia Cowl, Steven Be's Jet Setter Cowl .We'll be happy to help you choose the perfect pattern for your ombre or gradient yarn!   

Sandy's Coming, Sandy's Coming!

We dearly love it when Sandy Barnes from Shibui Knits has a chance to visit us!  We always take advantage of her extensive knowledge and enjoy her fun personality.This time she's going to teach which is even better!  Our gift to you this holiday season is her Sequences class.shibui-versaci-1-rtpSequences is a bold, striking and cutting -edge wrap designed by Lori Versaci who believes in offering knitters positive and interesting knitting experiences; this certainly holds true with her use of sequence patterning.shbui-versaci-2-rtpSequences can be made in two sizes; the larger one makes a generous wrap and the smaller one is perfect to wear as a scarf under your coat. It's wider at one end than the other, adding sophistication to the design.shibui-versaci-3-rtpThis stylish wrap is made with Shibui's newest yarn, Drift, a velvety combination of 85% Merino wool and 15% cashmere in 13 colors.unnamedCome to the shop Tuesday, November 22nd from 5 -7 to get acquainted with Drift!  You'll be able to play with it and will undoubtedly choose a color combination for your own Sequences!  If you'd like to add a pop of color at the short end of the wrap, Sandy will kindly provide it at the class.shibui-versaci-4-rtpThe only thing you need to do is call the shop, 970.407.1461, to let us know you're coming,  If you decide at the last minute that you can make it, then be sure to come even if you haven't signed up!

Double the Fun!

If one trunk show is great, then two at a time is fantastic!  A Quince & Co. trunk show joins our Rosy Green Wool trunk show this week.We have a three color pullover, Svana, made with sport weight Chickadee:svana-rtp svana-detail-rtpWe have a richly textured cardigan, Gretel, made with worsted weight Lark.  The photos don't do this justice, it's a gorgeous sweater!gretel-rtp gretel-front-detail-rtp gretel-cuff-detaill-rtpWe have a hooded tunic length pullover, Helga, made with two strands of Chickadee held together which creates an aran weight yarn:unknown-sweater-rtp hood-of-unknown-sweater-rtpAnd, to top it all off, we have a cheerful hat, Alba, made with fingering weight Finch:alba-rtpThis trunk show has something for everyone; colorwork, texture, various weights of yarn, and a variety of project size!Come in and be inspired!

To Infinity and Beyond!

One day last week, those of us in the shop were on a mission to find a crocheted cowl pattern for a customer.  We of course went straight to Ravelry and found several, as we expected.  What we didn't expect to find was a simple, fun, quick free infinity cowl pattern, Chaining to Infinity and Beyond!whole-cowl-rtpJenny and Connie immediately went on a search of the super bulky yarns to find the exact right one and chose a skein of Malabrigo Rasta. Jenny grabbed a crochet hook and, after a quick lesson, started chaining.  It was so satisfying to watch the chain getting longer and longer and the skein getting smaller and smaller!Once all of the skein, except for the last  four yards, had been chained, Jenny and Connie realized that four hands would be best for the next step.  Together they wound it into the length they wanted, using those last four yards to wrap around the cowl and hold the chain and ends in place.  Ta dah!  A fun, colorful Christmas present in about an hour!wrap-rtpThis can be made from any bulky or super bulky yarn and we have a wide selection for your choosing pleasure!infinity-cowl-yarn-2-rtp infinity-cowl-yarn1-rtp

Chic Pre-Holiday Jewelry Show This Saturday!

My Sister Knits is delighted to offer a chic pre-holiday event this Saturday, November 12th, from 10am until 1pm.val-jewelry-1-rtpYou will have the unusual opportunity to see and buy lovely jewelry created by long time Fort Collins resident Val Mauksch.val-mauksch-jewelry-2-rtpVal has been designing and making eclectic jewelry for 10 years and participates in local markets, shows, and home parties.val-mauksch-jewelry-post-3She can also work with you to create an original piece just for you.val-mauksch-jewelry-post-5Val has a wide variety of designs and there are more on her Facebook page.val-mauksch-jewelry-post-7Saturday will be an excellent time to pick up a unique gift ideal for a Christmas stocking, either yours or for someone you love!val-mauskch-jewelry-post-4We welcome you to come in and have fun trying on Val's jewelry!

A Rare Trunk Show!

We were so excited in February when our first shipment of Rosy Green Wool arrived!  You can read about it here.  Now we're just as enthusiastic about the trunk show containing samples knit with their yarns arriving this week!Trunk shows are a treat and a valuable opportunity to see and feel a company's yarns knit into several garments for us to examine and try on.rosy-green-wool-manx-merino-fineWe will have this special selection of one sweater and five shawls on display for just over a week.  Plan a trip to the shop to indulge in this lovely yarn made with the softest Merino wool and rare endangered Hebridean and Manx Loaghtan sheep.Both heb merino fine and manx merino fine are fingering weight yarns with subtle light and dark flecks in 7 colors. They are close-to-skin-soft due to the 80% merino content and are marvelous for shawls, accessories, fair isle knitting, and sumptuous tops.rosy-green-wool-heb-merino-fine-rtpWe consider ourselves fortunate indeed to be able to get these yarns; they are so rare and precious that each skein is numbered individually.  They are vintage yarns, a bit different from year to year.  Also, a portion of their purchase goes to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in Great Britain.Cheeky merino joy is a 100% merino sport weight yarn that is, unlike the others, machine washable and perfect for children's wear.rosy-green-wool-cheeky-merino-joy-rtpRosy and Patrick's passion and dedication to helping endangered and rare sheep breeds sets them apart and makes their yarn unique.  Their yarns are certified organic, from sheep to dyed yarn, by one of the strictest international methods, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards).  Their commitment to the well-being of the sheep they love drives every decision they make.We urge you to come in without delay and think of the sheep who grew the fleece that became the yarn you are admiring. 

An Excellent Poncho!

Every now and then a project comes along that everyone falls in love with.  It usually is one that looks good on all body types, is easy to knit, and uses a lovely yarn.diana-in-shelteredWe have just such a project in the shop!   It's an intriguingly designed poncho by Andrea Mowry, Sheltered.There's a design choice to be made with this poncho:  hood or cowl neck?  Directions are given for both and that decision can be made at the very end of this project!sheltered-rtpWe highly suggest knitting and blocking a 4" - 6" gauge swatch to ensure your desired fit.  Once that is done and your needle size selected, it's time to cast on!  This poncho is knit in two pieces with just a little bit of mattress stitch at the shoulders.You begin with the lower back, starting with a section of short rows to shape the bottom edge.  Jenny is going to use the Shadow Short Row method which is explained in detail in this tutorial from Cocoknits.  If you aren't comfortable with short rows or mattress stitch, please let us help you.  Jenny is here exclusively to help with your knitting questions from noon until 1 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.  However, we all are happy to help as time permits during the day!close-up-of-sheltered-rtpThis is a well written pattern that is easy to follow.  The texture on the top of the front and back is made by knitting through the back loop (ktbl).  Andrea has us slipping the first stitch of every row which makes picking up stitches for the hem a breeze.buttons-rtpQuite a few of us have decided that we'd like our sides held closed and are pondering whether to tack them down as suggested in the pattern, use big decorative buttons, or use our Jul Leather Pedestal Button closures that screw on and can be moved from garment to garment.jul-closures-rtpWe'd love you to come in and try on this poncho; you may be as captivated with it as we are!

Bright and Bold or Soft and Muted?

Castle Rock resident Heather Rhoads, owner of The Lemonade Shop, has been busy dyeing yarn and her husband has been just as busy skeining it.  We are enthusiastic and appreciative recipients of their busy-ness.From bold and bright to soft and muted, it's obvious that Heather has a special knack for putting together colors that are so much fun to knit with.more-lemonade-skeins-rtpWe feel it's only fair to warn you that watching her stripes evolve into a garment can cause knitting obsession.  Dust may gather, laundry may pile up, and general life may be ignored while watching this yarn develop into stripey wonder; we encourage you to prepare before casting on.lemonade-skeins-rtpDeciding which color combination is perfect for your project is a delightful quandary.  Heather provides a variety of yarn weights; fingering, worsted, and bulky to add to your decision making process.Ann's-Baktus-fixedA quick check on Ravelry shows hats, mitts, socks, and shawls, all knit with Lemonade yarns.  We invite you to peruse our selection of these captivating superwash yarns with Christmas gift making in mind. 

Quintessentially Quince!

We invite you to take a fresh look at Quince & Co., a springy, soft, buttery yarn and one of our all time favorites!quince-chickadee-rtpIn 2010, designers Pam Allen and Carrie Bostick Hoge teamed up to work with mills in the Northeast to create a yarn that met their dreams; a quintessential, beautiful, 100% wool yarn and the rest, as they say, is history!quince-lark-rtpSince then their yarns and patterns have come to be known for their exquisite modern spin on classic designs.quince-osprey-rtpQuince & Co. adds to our yarns that are sourced in the U.S. with the exception of fibers that aren't readily available here such as linen; theirs comes from Belgium.quince-owl-tweet-rtpTheir website has abundant information about the fiber they use; it's well worth checking out!quince-phoebe-rtpWe have an upstairs space devoted to Quince & Co. yarns where you can explore our collection to your heart's content!quince-kestrel-rtp quince-sparrow-rtp quince-chickadee-string-theory-colorways-rtpYou'll find samples of projects made with Quince & Co. throughout the shop!  Have fun searching for a cardigan, cowl, fingerless mitts, a shawl and a shopping bag.  Of course we'll be delighted to point them out if you'd like!  

Build Your Bind Off Knowledge

Bring your bind off questions to our next Fearless Knitting sessions!Would you like to know more about stretchy bind offs?  How about decorative ones?bind-offs-rtpHave you wanted to try an I-Cord bind off or learn how to bind off in pattern?ribbed-bind-off-rtpOur Fearless Knitting technique demonstrations are designed to support knitters of all abilities, with an emphasis on newer knitters.  We encourage everyone to attend, regardless of knitting experience.  Knitters love to cheer each other on and we celebrate each other's successes with glee!mitts-bind-off-rtpWe also love it when you pop into the shop during Fearless Knitting time just to knit and join the community of knitters!pink-and-blue-bind-off-rtpOur Bind Off technique demonstrations will be Thursdays, November 3rd and 10th and Saturdays, November 5th and 12th from 11 - noon.  We offer free knitting help to get you past any tricky parts in a project or answer any question you may have from noon until 1pm those days.rolled-bnd-off-rtpWe hope to see you at our upstairs table!

Brooklyn Tweed's Light and Airy Loft

Ahhhhhh, Loft!  Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed, created this lightweight fingering yarn in 2011, a year after his first yarn, Shelter, was released.It's mind-boggling to us that the first Brooklyn Tweed yarns have only been available for a relatively few years because they are already regarded as classics!loft-skeins-rtp-use-this-oneThis is the fourth in a series of posts about Brooklyn Tweed yarns; we've introduced ShelterQuarry and Arbor in the past few weeks.Loft, like the others, is a totally American yarn.  We love the fact that the sheep who give us this fiber live in Wyoming, a stone's throw from us!  It makes a trip around the country via Texas, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire before coming to My Sister Knits.loft-skeins-1-rtpAs with Shelter and Quarry, this yarn is a bit delicate until it's wet-blocked when all of those woolen spun fibers grab onto each other and create a strong fabric that will wear for years.loft-pullover-and-scarf-rtpJared loves tweeds, as indicated by the name of his company, and his yarns reflect that feeling.four-seasons-hat-spring-rtpUnlike most yarns, they are spun after dyeing.  Sixteen glaringly bright solid colors are blended together and then spun to give us the 42 colorways in his heathered palette.four-seasons-hat-fall-rtpWe have all colorways for you to choose from; we encourage you to give yourself the gift of some extra time to thoroughly browse before making your selection!  As always, we are more than happy to help you choose colorways and patterns!

Our 21 Color Slouch Hat Kits Are Available for Pre-Order!

Have fun and be fashion forward wearing Blue Sky Fibers' 21 Color Slouch hat!Made with all 21 colors of Woolstok, it uses the 2016 Pantone Fall Fashion Colors and will blend fabulously with any new fall wardrobe pieces in your closet!21-color-slouch-hat-skeinsThis hat is fondly known as 'The Stripey Hat' around the shop.  It's a rather obsessive knit because you will want to see the next stripe, and the next, and the next.....Woolstok is Blue Sky Fibers newest yarn and their first foray into the world of wool!  It comes from Highland sheep who live on the shores of Lake Titicaca in southeastern Peru and is processed, dyed and spun by local Peruvian herders, sheep shearers and mill workers.21-color-slouch-skeins-with-photo-of-hat-rtpIt's a worsted weight yarn and is rather loosely spun to give it loft, lightness and a soft hand.  In this instance, loft means that Woolstok will keep you warm because there is air trapped in it.  Hand refers to how it feels while you're knitting it.One of the great things about Woolstok is that it comes in two sizes!  You can get the smaller size 50g/123 yd skeins or the larger 150g/370 yd skeins.  Jenny has made use of several of the smaller skeins to make hats and a sweater for her new grandson!21-color-slouch-hat-on-kimberly-rtpThe yarn for the 21 Color Slouch comes as  a kit with 12 yard mini-skeins and can only be purchased at a yarn shop.  Our next shipment arrives in November and it would be a great idea to pre-order a kit as they are already being spoken for!We think that this hat deserves one of our fluffy pom poms and we invite you to dig through our supply to find the perfect one!And one more thing.......if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know we've been encouraging swatching lately.  Yet another reason:  one of our dear friends had to frog her entire hat after she was done because it didn't fit at all!  It was unwearable.  Courtney Kelley from Kelbourne Woolens wrote a wonderfully informative post that will inspire you; it's well worth reading!