Sunshine + Happiness
NEW!! We have just received two spring / summer yarns from the Wool Addicts Spring 2019 collection. They are both cotton based yarns that would be perfect for lightweight summer sweaters, shawls and beach cover-ups. They are also washable, which makes them great for baby knits (or crochet) projects.
While both of these new yarns are categorized as aran weight, and come in the same palette of colors, they have their own unique characteristics.
SUNSHINE is 100% mercerized organic cotton - which means it’s strong, yet soft, and has a more shiny appearance...similar to the luster of silk. Katie knit the above swatch to test drive this yarn and raved about what a joy it was to knit with. Best of all, after a run though the washing machine it came out looking perfect, without any steam blocking! The stitch pattern she used for her swatch is from the ever popular Stone Point Poncho by Courtney Kelly - which would be an amazing project for Sunshine!
HAPPINESS is an 85% cotton, 25% nylon blend. Specifically, a high-quality super soft pima cotton, which feels like a cloud. You’ve probably never felt a cotton yarn quite like it!
Berroco Try-On Trunk Show This Saturday!
This Saturday, February 16th, Westport Yarns will be hosting Andra Asars from Berroco yarns for an all day trunk show and yarn tasting event. The trunk show will feature many garments from the new Berroco Spring 2019 collection as well as a few favorites from previous seasons. It's rare to see so many garments in one afternoon; don't miss out!
There will be the opportunity to try on the samples before you buy. Please wear clothes suitable for sweater try on. Andra will help advise on size, fit, and yarn substitutions. Come for the garments; stay for the party atmosphere.
We will be sampling select Berroco and Lang yarns; test drive if you will. Experience the feel of a soft, mercerized linen; understand how colors will pattern out or not; learn how to care for superwash wools; and much more. Westport Yarns will supply the needles.
String Chantilly Yarn
The Joan Cowl by String Design Team is made with three colors of String Chantilly yarn. Chantilly is a marled, worsted weight yarn containing 70% merino wool / 30% cashmere. It's super soft, and the fun colors are a joy to knit!
Many knitters like to have more than one project going at a time - especially when they're working on a challenging pattern. Its nice to have a mindless "TV knit" on standby. Beth knit this sample up lightening fast, while recovering from knee surgery - even though she likes to remind people that she's a slow knitter!
This yarn can be purchased separately, but when purchased as a three color kit, you'll receive 20% off! The pattern is available for free with purchase of the yarn.
Laine Issue 7 : Kouta Pre-Orders Available Now!
Each issue of Laine magazine just gets better and better, and the upcoming issue is no exception. It contains 140 pages filled with patterns from an incredibly talented group of designers, an interview with Veera Välimäki, a long-format story about The Fibre Co., a story by Emma Robinson of The Woolly Mammoth’s, a Q&A with Annie Rowden, recipes, and a travel guide of London!
Issue 7, Kouta will be released on February 15th, but we are accepting pre-orders now. Call the store to reserve your copy (203) 454.4300, or simply reply to this email!
20% Off All Cashmere Yarns Sale!
Many of you have just completed a busy holiday season, furiously knitting for others. Your beautiful handmade gifts were well-received, and now it's time for YOU!
It is for precisely this reason that January is sweater month in the knitting world. You've had the instant gratification of creating all those quick cable knit hats and fingerless mitts, but now it's time to dive into a more complex project and reward yourself with a handsomely created sweater just for you at the end of it.
This week, we hope to help inspire your next work-in-progress with a CASHMERE SALE !!
All cashmere (or cashmere blend) yarns are 20% OFF from Friday Jan. 4th through Friday Jan. 11th
Some of the cashmere yarns we carry include...
String Yarns Classica, Dolcetto, Cashetta, Zurich and Oslo
Blue Sky Fibers Eco-Cashmere
Jade Sapphire 2-ply and 4-ply Mongolian Cashmere, Zageo 6-ply Cashmere
North Light Fibers Water Street
SweetGeorgia Cashluxe Fine
Sometimes you hear or read that knitting is a dying art, like churning butter. But I am here to tell you that knitting is alive and well and living in Chappaqua (among many other places).
Recently, Beth and I were invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Chappaqua knitting guild. We were going to bring some yarn for sale and I was going to give a slide presentation on Fair Isle but other than that, we didn’t know what to expect. What we found was a large, enthusiastic group of friendly women (alas! No men, but with gender stereotypes falling as fast as they are I hope this changes soon) eager to learn and to share their skills and knowledge with us as well as each other. I loved the fact that before things got started they had a “Show and Tell” so that all the members could show off there latest creations and share their latest pattern finds.
There was the knitter who wore a beautiful fair isle sweater but that was the least of it. She not only designed it herself but she spun and dyed the wool as well. And she had steeked it! I practically handed over the presentation then and there.
There was another knitter who had designed the cabled sweater she was wearing. I have always wanted to do this myself so she gave me added inspiration to try to design my own. She also showed her copy of the hat all the American Olympians wore in the opening ceremonies. The opening ceremonies had only been a few days before so not only had she deciphered the pattern but she had knit it in record time.
Then there was the knitter who told me about the knitting tour of the Shetland Islands that she is going to this Fall. Beth’s and my ears perked up immediately as this is something we both have wanted to do (I am the equivalent of the little devil who sits on Beth’s shoulder whispering “Knitting in Ireland! Knitting tour of Scotland! Only $$$!).
So don’t let anyone tell you that knitting is dying. We could assemble an army of women, armed with pointy sticks to argue otherwise.
It has always been true that the worst events often bring out the most beautiful in people. Now, knitters are beautiful people as a rule but even so, recent events have proven this to be truer than ever.
Last winter Terri, one of our favorite customers and frequent attendee of our weekly sit ’n knit group, was diagnosed with cancer. It sent shock waves through our group. But being knitters we knew what to do: knit, and more specifically knit an afghan. Now people knit prayer shawls all the time for people they don’t even know (bless their busy little fingers). But Terri was not a stranger, she was an integral part of our knitting family. So we wanted to make something special that we could all partake in.
Deb, another mainstay of our knitting community sprang into action. She came up with the idea of everyone doing an aran square that would eventually be sewn together. She organized everything, from the colors to the number of squares to keeping everyone on schedule.The colors were beachy tones, blue, green, cream and tan. The knitters bought their yarn and scurried away to start knitting. We were on a timeline because we wanted to get it to Terri in the hospital where she was for an extended stay.
In the end, it was a spectacular example of the warmth of human spirit, the strength of our knitting community, and how taking the time to create something is a beautiful way to share love, and prayers, and hope for a better tomorrow.
And at this Thursday's sit n' knit, Terri announced that she is in remission!
I have a friend who is an expert sailor, has sailed competitively around the world on all sizes of boats in all kinds of weather. He says anyone who tells you that they never get seasick is either a liar or someone who hasn’t sailed very much.
So I’m here to tell you that any knitter that tells you that they never make a mistake is someone who doesn’t knit very much or perhaps someone who embellishes the truth. Or maybe they don’t even see their mistakes, which can also be listed under the category of doesn’t knit very much or with much variety.
So what differentiates a decent knitter from a good knitter? Instinct.
Instinct is something that one develops over time and with experience. Just like my friend can probably smell the shift in wind direction, most experienced knitters can feel when something is wrong, even when they can’t spot the mistake, at least not easily.
I came up against this recently on a rather large and complicated project I started (Sage by Marie Wallin). This is a long tunic styles fair isle pullover with 13+ colors so I thought I was being as careful as could be (“thought” being the operative word). Now, I’m doing this in the round instead of flat and I have on the needles 378 stitches (I’ll let you have a second to read that again : 378 stitches). One never wants to make a mistake but you REALLY don’t want to make a mistake when you have that many stitches at stake. I was working one of the simpler patterns (at least simpler to read), a very clear dark star against a light background. As I progressed I kept having the feeling that it wasn’t quite right, but the numbers were adding up and the repeats were ending where they were supposed to. But it didn’t quite look right. But I kept on knitting.
You can probably guess where this is going.
I finally found the mistake. I had established the pattern incorrectly in the first row of the pattern. THE FIRST ROW. Which means I had to rip out 4 rows or 1512 stitches. I would have had a stiff drink except it was 8 in the morning. I still considered it. But I just took a deep breath and off those stitches came, mingled with muttered epithets and a few tears. The only silver lining is that my instinct kept nudging me. I didn’t find the mistake as quickly as I would have liked but I did find it.
So develop that instinct my friends. It will save you a few tears in the long run.
Aaah, Ravelry! Is there any more pleasant way to spend 1, 2, 10 hours? Personal hygiene? Overrated. Hungry kids? Cold cereal for dinner is perfectly reasonable. Boiling pots of water on the stove melted down to indistinguishable blobs of molten metal? Tell your family it’s artwork. Nothing can pull you out of the vortex once you have happily surrendered to the world of yarn.
What could be better than being surrounded (in an ethernet sort of way) by like minded souls, who are also blissfully unaware of the passage of time as they ponder the vast – limitless! – possibilities offered by the (literally) millions of knitters using thousands of yarns in a gazillion different ways. I’m pretty sure from my extensive research that Ravelry covers every contingency from body type to knitting/crocheting ability. Age, gender, body part are all taken into consideration. My personal favorite is “mature content”. All I have to say is, really? Dirty knitting? Isn’t that against the universal laws of knitting? How can any craft which has been so long associated with hearth and home produce patterns with, if not objectionable, let’s say questionable content. But that’s Ravelry folks! Something for everyone!
But despite all the potential pitfalls of time lost and money spent, Ravelry is still your best friend. Just try to remember that pot on the stove.
People often ask us how we pick the patterns that we knit up for the store. We have a few criteria.
1) Attractiveness. First and foremost, will people want to wear it/knit it/give it as a gift?
2) Achievability. Yes, we could all show off our knitting skizzles and dazzle everyone with our cable/colorwork/lace/brioche work but what good would that do us if the majority of the customers who walk through the door would be sent into paroxysms of inadequacy and insecurity, thinking that there was no way that they could ever produce any of the samples on display?
3) Variety. There are only so many cowls one knitter can do before boredom sets in. We try to spread our samples over a variety of projects based on amount of yarn they need and how fast they can be knit up. Clearly a fisherman’s sweater on size 8 needles takes a lot more time than a cowl on size 19 needles so we have something for someone who’s in for the long haul or someone who has to finish it for that birthday party in two hours.
4) Sellability. Let’s face it, we are in the business of selling yarn so once we have selected patterns according to the first three criteria, we want to see which ones will work best with the yarns in our store.
In this whole process we depend on what interests us individually, customer’s suggestions (or something that someone walked in with that made us sit up and take notice), and of course a knitter’s best friend, Ravelry.
So if there’s anything you’d like to see as a sample, or if you would like to make any suggestions, please share!
Julie, WY's Do-bee and store wordsmith.