Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show!

My Sister Knits has a trunk show consisting entirely of Brooklyn Tweed patterns for babies and children!You may be asking yourself what exactly is a trunk show.  It's when a yarn company sends us samples to display for a certain period of time.  You get to see first hand patterns knit up in the yarn they were designed for.  Many times they accompany the release of a collection of patterns.We will only have this trunk show for a little while longer, so if you have any children to knit for, come in quickly!This one has a diverse selection of pattern categories!  There are baby blankets:My Sister KnitsThere are several hats and this adorable colorwork set of a hat and mittens:trunk showThere are sweaters of all kinds..cardigans and pullovers, colorwork and plain:local yarn shoplocal yarn shopWe've pictured some but not all of the Brooklyn Tweed trunk show items; come in to see the rest before they must be sent back!

Quince & Co. trunk show

In early 2018 Pam Allen, founder of Quince & Co., published a collection of patterns in a book titled Plain and Simple.  We are so excited to see these cozy items in the flesh!  Plain and Simple is filled with patterns intended to be used every day.  They are all designed with Quince & Co.'s worsted weight Owl.The trunk show containing these samples is due in any now!Brooklyn Tweed trunk showWe are lucky to have a sample of one of the cardigans in the book, Chestnut, on display at the shop right now.  Instead of being knit with Owl, it was knit with Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter.  It's an excellent example of how easy it is to substitute one yarn for another, providing they are alike.  We'll gladly help you do that with any project!Now is the time to relax with a knitting project that doesn't have a deadline.  We encourage you to come in and find something calming to knit that will help you unwind!  Just think of it; yards of lovely yarn, a hot cup of your favorite drink, a scented candle burning, and a new knitting project.  What better way to end the year? 

My Sister Knits' Holiday Wish for You

Chances are you are busy with the myriad activities that this time of year brings.  And chances are you might be wondering how your holiday celebrations are going to come together with everything that needs to be done.  We hope that you can pause for a moment and consider our wish for you.Our wish for you is a quiet hour to yourself.  A completely peaceful hour!  We suggest deciding ahead of time how you'd like to spend it; then take a few minutes to set it up.  Only you know what brings you peace....perhaps soaking in a bath with music, a candle, and beverage of choice; curled up in a cozy spot with a good book; knitting in a quiet corner of a coffee shop in the middle of errands; or a stroll outside after dark to see Christmas lights.Whatever it is, give yourself over to it completely and savor the experience.  No worrying or fretting allowed for one hour!  If you also remember to do some deep breathing now and then, it will enhance your hour of peacefulness.No matter how unlikely this prospect sounds, we strongly encourage you to try it.  We are sure you will come away from your hour happier, more relaxed, and better able to handle the inevitable stress of the holidays.  You might even want to carve out another hour!Take care of yourself and give yourself the gift of a tiny bit of relaxation.  You'll be glad you did!  Some of us have done this and we highly recommend it! 

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! 

My Sister Knits' Make a Hat Day!

My Sister Knits' Make a Hat Day is Saturday, December 15th from 11 - 4!  Join us for fun, frivolity, and some rare knitting time with no interruptions!We will provide soup, hot apple cider, and other yummy goodies including chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up.  We will also toast our progress with a glass of bubbly at the end of the day!My Sister KnitsIf you're new to hat knitting, Jenny will be there to guide you through the process.  The only requirements are knowing how to knit and purl.  If you’d like to try a new technique on your hat, she will guide you through that also.  She’ll gladly be your ‘safety net’ for your hat project on that day!We have oodles of ideas and hats on display for your consideration.  We have ones that can be knit quickly and ones that require a bit more work.  What are you in the mood for?Hat KnittingYou are welcome to come to My Sister Knits that morning ready with your yarn and pattern.  Alternatively, you may come that morning, choose your pattern and your yarn, and then get started!

An RSVP is appreciated

It would help us plan for you if you could RSVP by Dec. 8th letting us know you're coming or even thinking about coming.  However, if you decide to join us at the last minute, please do so!My Sister Knits' Make a Hat Day

My Sister Knits' Annual Clothing Drive

My Sister Knits' Make a Hat Day would be a great time to bring in a donation for our annual clothing drive for Putnam and Irish elementary schools.  They are in dire need of sweat pants for the younger grades, socks, and girls' leggings in sizes 4 - 6.  These kiddos really have need of our generosity.“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.” —The Dalai Lama XIVWe hope to see you on Saturday, December 15th!

A Thanksgiving Wish

Thanksgiving

The year has turned its circle,The seasons come and go.The harvest is all gathered inAnd chilly north winds blow.Orchards have shared their treasures,The fields, their yellow grain.So open wide the doorway-Thanksgiving comes again!

 All of us at My Sister Knits wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and hope that you can spend at least a little of it knitting and thinking about the good things it has added to your life!

"What size needle was used to knit this?"

“What size needle was used to knit this?” is a question we often hear at My Sister Knits.  We put that information on the tags of display items as an indication of what size needle to use.  Usually it’s the size that was recommended by the designer. It can also be the size the knitter used to get the gauge that the pattern called for.  Matching stitch gauge is vital in certain circumstances!If you see something on display, fall in love with it, and want to reproduce it exactly, you’re going to need to do a little research.  You want to match the stitch gauge!  The knitter who created the item probably knits differently than you do. His stitches may be looser or tighter than yours. The thing you really need to know is the stitch gauge of the project!  If the knitter knits more loosely than you and you use the same size needle, your project will be smaller.  The opposite is also true; if that knitter knits tighter than you, your end result will be larger. This can be mildly annoying with a shawl or cowl or disastrous in a sweater.  The result is possibly a garment that will lay around and be worn only seldom, if at all. This is a shame due to the time, expense, and happy anticipation you’ve put into your project.We urge you to use the needle size on the tag as a jumping-off point, as an indicator of approximately the size needle you might use.  So what should you do about the display that you love that used a size 6 needle? Let’s say it’s a shawl.  Ask us for a ruler if you don’t have one; lay the shawl out on one of our tables; find something with a point, say a darning needle or pencil, and use it to count the number of stitches over at least 2 and preferably 4 inches in a stockinette or garter stitch section.  This will give you the gauge of the shawl you want to reproduce.Your task: buy the yarn you've chosen and make a knitting gauge swatch that matches the display garment’s gauge. Be sure it’s at least 4” wide and tall and give it a bath before you count your stitches per inch!  If you have to go up or down a needle size and made another swatch that more closely matches, it’s ok!If you want to get results that are even more in keeping with the display shawl, add in row gauge as well. Keep in mind that row gauge is hard to match. It would be interesting to get the shawl’s row gauge and then measure yours after you closely match the stitch gauge. Then you will have an idea of how closely your project will match the one on display!We hope to see you measuring away at the shop and we'll help in any way we can! 

Ravelry: How to Search for Patterns

Several weeks ago we showed you how to create an account on Ravelry.  This week we're going to show you how to use Ravelry to search for patterns in general, not a specific one.Usually I write as the voice of My Sister Knits but for this post I'm writing as myself because it seems much easier this way!  I, Jenny, had a gorgeous skein of My Sister Knits Local yarn that I wanted to cast on immediately.  It is the lighter gray paired with Shibui Silk Cloud.  I decided that I wanted to make a hat for my daughter, so I immediately went to Ravelry.I clicked on 'patterns' at the top of the home page.  This photo is from my phone, the home page looks a bit different on your computer but you will still see 'patterns' to click on.RavelryIt took me to this page where I clicked on the 'pattern browser & advanced search' linkHow to use Ravelrywhich took me to this page where all of the category choices are!  This is the fun part!My Sister KnitsThis is where you narrow down your choices! This photo is from my computer.  It's much easier to search using your computer and it looks quite different from your phone. Or at least, my phone!Once I landed on this page, I could start choosing from the filters on the left.  Your filters may be in a different order but they're there!  They can be rearranged by putting your cursor near the name and dragging them up or down.  I'll list the filters in the order I opened them and made my choices.Category:  I chose accessories, then hat, then all hatCraft:  I chose knitting and that gave me 67,028 patterns to choose from!Weight:  my yarn is worsted, so I ticked that boxAvailability:  I wanted a Ravelry download and I didn't care if it was free or not.Gender/Age/Size/Fit:  I chose adult because I didn't want a bunch of baby hats popping up.  I also chose unisex.  I didn't have to because it's a hat but I hoped that would narrow my choices a bit.Then I scrolled down to narrow my choices even more.  I knew I was only going to use one color and I knew that my daughter wanted cables.  So here is what I did:I found the Colors Used filter and chose 1.  This narrowed my pattern choices to 673.I then went to Attributes, chose Fabric Characteristics and from there chose cables.  Now I had 270 choices, a much more manageable number!As you play with the filters and learn how to use Ravelry, you'll see how helpful they are!  This opens up a whole new world of pattern searching!  I like the idea of swatching and then searching by the gauge that I get to find a sweater design.  You can find 'gauge' in the 'More search options' filter.  There are oodles of possibilities and combinations!We love to hear about your searches and fun with Ravelry! local yarn shop 

Sumptuous Spincycle Yarns

Spincycle Yarns are like no other; the multiple colors in each skein are so eye catching!  We pet these skeins often, trying to decide which is our favorite colorway.Spincycle YarnsSpincycle Yarns Dream State, like their other bases, is "dyed in the wool" creating splendid multicolored yarns!  This means that their fleeces are cleaned, carded, made into roving and then dyed before they are spun.  Surprisingly, this is done by putting several colors of dye into the dye pot at once.  Now you might think that would create nothing but a rather muddy color.  However, if the PH and the temperature are exactly right when the roving is added, magic happens!The spinning process elongates the colors and spreads them throughout the yarn. The last step of plying lays one color over another and creates the final amazingly colored yarn!  Every skein of Spincycle Yarns is unique which adds to the fun!

Choose Your Own Adventure

Spincycle Yarns are unequaled for adding that little extra 'something' to a project.  Kimberly put some kits together that use Spincycle Yarns Dream State to create a go-to accessory!  These kits have two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft and one skein of Dream State.  When you buy a kit, you can 'choose your own adventure' because you get your choice of one of three patterns for free!Spincycle Yarns Dream StateAndrea designed this cowl with Spincycle Yarns in mind.  Across the Pond's colorwork section uses mosaic knitting which deals with only one strand of yarn at a time; perfect as an introduction to colorwork!My Sister KnitsThis pattern is only available at local yarn shops, it is not available on Ravelry.  Laura's goal is to get knitters to adventure to their local yarn shop!  This shawl has three versions so you are indeed choosing your own adventure!  They start the same, knitting a boomerang shape with a neutral color and then you choose what you'd like to do for the rest of it with skill levels ranging from beginner to more challenging.local yarn shopWe have Kate's modification instructions to make the Marley a smaller shawl, the Mini Marley!  This delightful smaller version is the result of a pattern-reading mistake that ended up creating something unexpected!  As designer Stephen West says, mistakes are just new design elements!We have another sample in the shop that is great for Spincycle Yarns, Mary Jane Mucklestone's Flying Geese Cowl.  Diana used it for some of the triangles but you could use one skein for all of them. Be sure to check out this cowl as a possibility!There are plentiful patterns where just a little of this gorgeous yarn goes a long way towards creating something special.  We'd be happy to help you choose a different project if that is your wish!We welcome you to come into My Sister Knits to ooohh and aaaahh over Spincycle Yarns, all the while appreciating the process that makes it so special.  

Two Sweaters from Pam Allen's Plain and Simple

We have two sweaters from Quince & Co on display in the shop that we think you are going to love!  These pullovers are from Pam Allen's Plain & Simple book.  They are knit with Owl, a 50/50 American wool and alpaca blend in a worsted weight.Pam Allen's Plain and SimpleBoth of these sweaters have positive ease and simple sleeves.  Even better, they look good on every body type!Remember that if you want your sweater to fit, you must swatch!!  We've written two blog posts that might help you with swatching; here and here.My Sister Knits has help available for any stage of your sweater making journey.  Fearless Knitting is on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 - 1 when someone is at the shop whose sole responsibility is to help people who come in with questions.  We are happy to answer your questions at any time but Fearless Knitting is when we offer our undivided attention to you!

Willow

Quince and CoIf you are intrigued with classic gansey sweaters but don't want to commit to knitting a full one, this sweater is for you!  Only the top portion has classic gansey knit/purl texture, with some also at the top of the sleeves.With plenty of positive ease, it is easy to wear and flattering on everyone.  Willow is knit bottom up in the round with only shoulder seams and those are done with a three-needle bind off.The pick up instructions for the sleeves and the neck ribbing are plain and easy to follow.  The stitches where the picking up is done will be easy to see because of the weight of Owl; the stitches themselves are large which should make picking up a breeze!

Ash

My Sister KnitsAsh is a completely different sweater with basically the same construction.  It is also knit bottom up in the round with a three-needle bind off at the shoulder seams.  Stitches are picked up around the armhole and neck.The wide swingy body is perfectly balanced with narrow sleeves.  The fun pockets offer an opportunity to perhaps learn a new skill that is plainly explained!The pattern calls for Half Brioche Stitch ribbing but our sample substitutes a twisted rib stitch.  You can take your pick or even do a 1 x 1 rib.This is a thoroughly up-to-date sweater design that will become a classic because, like Willow, it flatters everyone!Watch for details on Pam Allen's Plain & Simple trunk show between Christmas and New Year's Day. All of the samples from the book will be at the shop!

Short Rows

A word about short rows because these sweaters use short row shaping at the shoulders and Ash uses it at the neck also.  The patterns call for yarn-over short rows but you can use any kind you like and are comfortable with.  Again, come to Fearless Knitting if short rows intimidate you!  Coco Knits has a great tutorial for Shadow Short Rows.  Tin Can Knits has one for German Short Rows.  Mimi Kezer has an excellent YouTube tutorial that shows exactly how to substitute German Short Rows.We hope to see you in the shop, examining these exquisite sweaters! local yarn shop

New at My Sister Knits: Shibui Knits Colors and Love+Leche Bars

Shibui Knits' Two New Colorways

My Sister Knits has the eagerly awaited sumptuous new Shibui Knits colorways!  Shibui Knits yarns and patterns are known for their elegance and classic sophistication.  Their yarns are unique in the way they are designed to be used singly or together, creating custom fabrics.One of the new Shibui Knits colorways is Dusk, a luscious deep lavender that makes you think of the light right before the sun sets.  Or our purple mountain majesties that we love in Colorado!Shibui KnitsThe other new colorway is Deep Water, a rich, soft blue.My Sister KnitsIt's so interesting to see the ways the different fibers take the dye!Look at the sheen of the ones with silk:  Silk Cloud, Lunar, and Staccato.Pebble has recycled silk and Echo has silk noil, which is the short fibers left over from spinning.  Both of those silks are rough and not shiny and, therefore, have a completely different look.Birch is merino only.  Drift is merino and cashmere.  Cima and Maai both have merino and alpaca.  We invite you to come in and see the differences in person!

Love + Leche Lotion Bars

These bars are made by hand in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Using only local beeswax, almond oil, coconut oil, and local organic calendula flowers, the bars have natural healing qualities.  Scented with plant based essential oils, they offer an immediate aromatherapy boost!Love and LecheTo use, hold the bar in your hands and rub onto your skin.  The heat from your hands will melt the natural oils which will quickly absorb into your skin and even your chapped lips!  It's quite difficult to decide whether to get the charming larger bar made with the sheep mold or the smaller, purse sized one with the bee.  Hmmm, maybe one of each is called for, especially as we head into winter!  We have a tester for you to try when you come to the shop!  

Latvian Mittens Class!

Our resident expert on Latvian knitting, Jeannie Giberson, is teaching a class on this ages old technique!  Latvian mittens have a rich history and Jeannie will undoubtedly love to answer any questions you may have!  It will be like a history lesson combined with knitting!  We are so fortunate to have someone with Jeannie's background and passion for Latvian knitting here in Fort Collins!Latvian MittensYou will make a toddler or young child sized mitten in this class.  It's a perfect size to learn new skills and a young child won't care if they have a mistake or two!  This is an ideal way to practice using Latvian techniques before you commit to making an adult sized pair!Latvian KnittingThe yarn Jeannie uses in her class is, of course, excellent for colorwork.  Rauma Finullgarn is authentic Norwegian yarn and it is 'sticky' which is what you want for these mittens.  My Sister Knits has a wealth of colors to choose from!Two rows of these mittens have three colors and Jeannie will guide you through the handling of that many colors at once!  You will learn how to make the classic peasant thumb and double decreases for the unique shape in addition to a round mitten.  Jeannie will also bring treasured mitten samples and show you how to add cuffs for growing hands!My Sister KnitsWhen you make a pair of Latvian mittens, you are taking a living part in Latvia's tradition, culture, and history.  It's much more than just a colorwork project!Archaeologists have found the oldest mittens on record in Latvia.  For a quick dip into the history of Latvian mittens, read this article.  For a more in depth but not much longer, fascinating experience, read this article!This class is recommended for knitters who have some experience with two color knitting, knitting in the round, and reading a chart for knitting in the round.Reserve Saturdays Oct. 20th and 27th from 9:00 am until 11:00 am for this class!If you'd like to bring a little bit of Latvia into your life, you can call the shop at 970.407.1461 or register onlineKnitting Classes Near Me

Two Crochet Classes in October!

You can also learn to crochet at My Sister Knits!  We have a marvelous instructor, Shannon Player-Timmons, to guide us!Shannon is a talented yarn dyer, owner of Yarn Baby yarns, and an accomplished crocheter.  We are tickled pink that she's come into our midst!  She is teaching two classes in October.

Learn to Crochet:  Saturday Oct. 13th, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

In this class, Shannon will teach basic crochet skills such as chaining (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), and double crochet (c) which will be enough to make a washcloth or this lovely sample:Learn to crochetShe will also teach us how to hold a crochet hook (yes, there is more than one way) and how to read and follow a crochet pattern.learn to crochet a blanket

Crochet Blanket:  Saturdays, Oct. 20th and 27th, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

crochet classes near meAfter you've taken Shannon's Learn to Crochet class, you just might be hooked!  In this two part class you will learn to crochet a blanket using the Magic Circle, also known as the Magic Ring or Loop technique.  It's a way to start crocheting in the round that doesn't leave a hole in the middle of your work.  Shannon will also give tips on how to change colors.  We have kits in fingering weight yarn for this class or you can choose a heavier weight yarn.When asked about the differences between knitting and crochet, Shannon replied, "you can make machines that knit but there are no machines that crochet" which is something to ponder! She also says that mistakes are easier to deal with when crocheting and, because of that, it's easier to learn than knitting.  Also, there is only one tool involved, not two!Shannon's style of teaching is fun and laid back, therefore expect relaxing and enjoyable afternoons working on a new skill!Call the shop at 970.407.1461 or register onlineMy Sister Knits

Two Fun October Knitting Classes!

My Sister Knits has a multitude of knitting classes in October and you can read about two of them here today!  Classes offer a supportive, friendly environment to learn new skills and make new fiber friends!

Lambing Mitts

One of the benefits of these mitts is the fact that they can be worn completely covering your fingers or folded back, to set those digits free!  These are knit with worsted weight yarn; the pattern suggests size 7 needles.These warm mitts knit up quickly with a garter rib pattern consisting of two rounds.  Round 1 is a P2 K2 pattern and Round 2 is knit all the stitches.  You will learn how to make a thumb gusset and how to finish the thumb.  This is reassuring practice for picking up stitches as there are only 10, 12, or 14 stitches to pick up, depending on your size!Lambing Mitts, designed by Veronika Jobe are marvelous gifts and the holidays will soon be upon us!Julie Conway will teach this two-session class on Saturdays Oct. 13th and 20th from 9am until 11am.Call the shop at 970.407.1461 or register online!

Wanderers - Mukluk Slipper Socks

Our winter prediction is for cold and snowy weather.  After all, we do live in Colorado at the foothills of the Rockies! These mukluk slippers, designed by Andrea Mowry, will keep your feet cozy and warm!They are knit with two colors of worsted weight yarn and the pattern suggests size 8 needles.  Kelly will teach this knitting class and her only requirement is that you know how to knit in the round!  She will teach you everything else you need to know complete these cozy slipper socks!This two-part class is offered on Tuesdays Oct. 16th and 23rd from  6pm to 8pm.  Your feet will thank you for making these!Again, call the shop at 970.407.1461 or register online for this class!Both of these knitting classes have a class limit of six people to ensure everyone gets the help they need! 

Ravelry: How to Create an Account

Ravelry is an essential tool for knitters!  When customers ask us "what is Ravelry?", it's hard to describe in a few words.  Basically it's a website for knitters and crocheters that fulfills all of our needs!It's where we go to look up patterns, find patterns for yarn that we have, see what others have done with certain patterns.It's also a place to find out about yarn.  You can look up a certain skein and find out what weight it is, how many yards are in it, and you can see projects that people have made with it.You can join forums and groups and you can ask questions about certain patterns or techniques in those places.  My Sister Knits has our own group!If you're an organized soul, you can enter all of your yarn into your own database so you'll know what you have at a glance.  You can also do this with patterns you like and think you might make someday.  Be careful or you might end up with 515 patterns like someone we know!  Perhaps she needs to cull!All of the patterns you buy from Ravelry go into your library and they will be available to you at any time.  If you buy a pattern at My Sister Knits, we will put it into your library for you!Ravelry is a place that inspires!Although it's free, you need an account to use this indispensable site.  Go to Ravelry.com to get started.  You'll see this:  RavelryChoose 'join now' and you'll get this:How to use RavelryEnter your email address and click on 'Email me a signup link'.  Watch your inbox!Then you get to create your account!My Sister KnitsIt's as easy as that!Once you've joined, after you've logged in you'll get to the home page:Learn to Knit This is where your fun begins!  To learn how to use Ravelry, click on the 'help' button at the top or on one of the links in the 'helpful links' box.  The help button at the top will take you to a page where you can choose 'Getting Started'.  Near the top of that page you'll be able to click on a link to a 'handy video' and find other helpful information.Now you can take some time to explore this amazing site! Be sure to tell us about your adventures on Ravelry! 

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      

Introducing My Sister Knits 'Local' Yarn!

My Sister Knits is incredibly excited to introduce our own yarn, Local!  Julie and Diana collaborated with local dyer Nicole Clark of Hue Loco to create seven colorways in three bases. This special project has been in the works for months and is now ready to present to the world!  We can't wait!The color inspiration came from Pantone colors and paint chips.  Julie and Diana wanted a Colorado-themed palette of fall and winter colors for this first edition of My Sister Knits yarn.Our launch party is Saturday, Sept. 8th so mark your calendars!  Nicole will be at the shop from 11am until 1pm to help us celebrate.

Fingering/Sock weight

My Sister KnitsJulie is knitting socks with the speckled yarn using the orange as a contrast for the heel and cuff.  Since the speckled includes all of the colorways, any of the contrast colors can be used to create different effects!  There is also a sample of Melanie Berg's shawl Solaris in progress; it should be ready by our launch date so look for it in the shop!This soft but strong yarn is 80% superwash Merino and 20% nylon.

DK weight

yarnNotice the delicate, softly muted colors in the DK speckled yarn!  The exquisite dappled watercolor effect is created by using a non-superwash base.  All of the DK colorways are lovely muted colors and are 100% Merino.  This is a specialty line of Nicole's and might not be available again.Julie is knitting the Morning Walk hat which is a great 'anywhere/anytime' project.  It's a 1x1 rib, meaning knit 1, purl 1 all the way around.

Worsted weight

yarn store Fort CollinsWe keep picking up these saturated tonal 100 % superwash Merino yarns to ooh and aah over them!  We were amazed to find that five of them perfectly blend with some Shibui Silk Cloud colorways!  Oh, the possibilities!The hat in the photo is a free pattern, Marled Hat, by Plucky Knitter Design.  It's quite entertaining to see the marled effect developing as you knit!  This is also an anywhere/anytime project because it's only stockinette after the ribbing.  There aren't even any crown decreases!

Nicole Clark of Hue Loco

Nicole knitted for years before she began playing around with dying yarn in her kitchen.  She has a background in art and was an elementary school art teacher before deciding to stay home with her kids.  Color has always been a huge part of her life and playing around with the color of yarn was a natural extension for her.  She had an Etsy shop featuring sewing bags, put some of her hand dyed yarn on it, and the rest is history! Or as the French say, 'et tout le monde connait la suite'!Note:  if any of you are curious about the term 'colorway' and it's use, take a look at this discussion.  It clears up the matter a bit although it can still be confusing!We invite you to join us on Saturday, September 8th as we launch our own My Sister Knits Local yarn! There is a finite number of skeins and when they're gone, they're gone.  If you miss them, you'll have to wait until next time, with new colorways! My Sister Knits yarn  

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