Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014 Newsletter

Projects of the Month... Warble Cowl
Warble is simply an elegant beauty.  The pattern, by Bonnie Sennott, combines seed stitch, cables and lace and is a nice knit for an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter.  For those of you who participated in our Building Blocks class, this is a perfect opportunity to use those skills again.  Jana knit our shop sample using Sweet Georgia Superwash DK but you can select any Sport or DK weight yarn or if you would like a larger cowl, you can also use any worsted weight yarn.  So the choice is all yours!  If you need a bit of help to get your Warble Cowl started, Jana will be teaching a class on Saturday, July 19th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.  (See below for details.)




Projects of the Month... Hudson Cowl
Do you want to add lovely light weight cowl to your summer and early fall wardrobe? Or perhaps you cannot wear wool?  Hudson is just the cowl for you. This striking two-color cowl is knit with Kestrel, Quince and Co.'s heavy worsted linen.  The pattern combines stockinette stitch with a two-color rice stitch to create the classic tweed look.  Give the it a bath and a quick block when complete and you will have a soft cowl that will drape beautifully to wear through the season.



July Lesson... How Should I Start My Warble Cowl?
Do you want to knit the project of the month but are a bit unsure of how to get started?  Jana can help you with that!  Join her on Saturday, July19th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to cast on.  You will begin with a provisional cast on, review how to read a pattern from a chart, and review cable and lace knitting.  You will have time in the class to knit a few repeats of the pattern, so you will be well on your way at the end of the class!  (Please note, you should know how to knit a basic cable to attend this class.)  


July Lesson... Lets Learn About Gauge
Do the patterns you knit fit as they should?  Does the fabric feel how you like?  Gauge is an incredibly important part of a successful project as it affects not only fit, but also how your knitwear looks and feels.  In this class we will talk about how to create, block and measure a good gauge swatch. Learn how different needle sizes can change your finished fabric.  We will also look at how stitch patterns can alter your gauge and how different fiber characteristics will affect your knitting.  Join us for 90 minutes on July 26th, from 1:00pm to 2:30pm and become a gauge expert!


Quick Tips for July
Don't miss any of our quick tips to improve your knitting knowledge.  Come in any time between 3:00pm and 4:00pm on Wednesdays or 11:00am to 12:00pm on Saturdays to get a free 10- to 15-minute demonstration on a knitting technique.  This month's tips are:

Week 1 - Provisional cast-on (both of our projects of the month use this cast on!)
Week 2 - Rice stitch (as used in the Hudson Cowl)
Week 3 - Linen stitch (some have asked for a demonstration after seeing Ann's blanket)
Week 4 - How to weave in ends
Week 5 - Russian Join

When you come in do not forget to pick up you Quick Tip Rewards Card!  For each Quick Tip Session you attend, you will receive one hole punch on your card.  Once you have reached ten, turn it in and receive a free Monarch Knitting class of your choice.  




Madelinetosh Discontinues Toshlace
Calling all of you lace weight lovers!  Madelinetosh has decided to discontinue Toshlace... such a bummer!  We have a few hanks of this lovely yarn left in stock so come on in to stash some away for a rainy day.  Don't miss out on these 950 yards of gorgeous color!




Mark your Calendars
Shibui Mix Party
We love our Shibui yarns!  Shibui is a beautiful collection of soft, rich, luxurious and inspiring fibers.  Marge Okuley (aka Ann Norling), our representative from Shibui, will be at Monarch Knitting on Saturday, September 27th from 10:00am to 12:00pm to take us on a tour through the endless possibilities created by mixing Shibui yarns.  Knit single stranded, they are a dream, but mix the fibers, and they sing.  Mix two or three strands and you have a yarn line that will be your go to each time you look to start a project.  They are also perfect yarns with which to create your CustomFit sweater!  We will also have a Shibui trunk show at the store, so you can see the latest patterns from the line.  If you have knit something from the Shibui line, bring it in... we love seeing what everyone has created!  We will have coffee and treats to munch on, door prizes from Shibui and other special surprises.  Please call the store or email us to sign up for the Mix Party as space is limited.  Cost is $10.00.


Custom Order Day at Monarch
In August (watch our calendar for the date) Monarch Knitting will be hosting a "Custom Order Day."  Come by the store to see what we see when we order from our vendors... sample yarn, color swatches, and garments from Sweet Georgia, Jade Sapphire and Zealana.  You can then order ANY base (weight) and ANY color your heart desires by the bag.  This is a perfect opportunity to get just what you want for Christmas knitting or that perfect sweater (CustomFit anyone?).  You can also come in with a friend and split an order!

Show Off Saturday
What did you knit or crochet over the Summer?  We see the yarn wound and ready to be worked with when you leave the store, but far too often do not get to see the finished projects.  Join us for coffee and treats on Saturday, September 6th from 10:30am to noon to show off what you knit or crocheted.  Just drop by and show us your favorite projects.


Facebook and Monarch Knitting's Blog
Don't forget to like us on Facebook to get the latest news and inspiration from Monarch Knitting!  We post a lot of reminders and last minute news each day.  Check out our blog to read a bit more about the store and what we are working on.  We are going to start a "What Do You Carry in Your Notions Bag?" series next week! (http://monarchknitting.blogspot.com)




Saturday, June 14, 2014

Knitting Stitches and Rose Petals

Red rose petals in the air signify one thing for me...my daughter is ready to move on with her life.  High school is over and she is ready to fly.  Come fall she will be living on the East Coast and I will be trying to figure out where the time went.  So like every mom (or dad) who knits or crochets, what will I do?  The obvious answer is knit a blanket in her college colors.  This could not be just any blanket for me....it had to be lovely.  So I started with the school colors....


navy and orange.   I searched the store for just the right colors, in a worsted weight yarn, and found the perfect orange, Madelinetosh Citrus.  Because navy can be such a heavy color, I wanted something with a bit of life to it.  We had Anzula Cricket in navy so I took a skein home and swatched...the perfect color but not the perfect weight.  A call to the fabulous people at Anzula and an order for 14 skeins of For Better or Worsted in navy blue was in the queue.  It is soft, yummy and so lovely to knit.  If I was going to do a large blanket it had to be with yarn that is a joy to work with.  I had to knit... and be happy!


Now my attention turned to the pattern I would use.  I wanted something sophisticated and simple.   A pattern that would fit my daughter's style choices.  A friend had just completed Swans Island Bunkie Blanket for a friend who was having a baby.  The result was so beautiful that she decided to knit an adult size throw.  (This is not her blanket, but a photo from the pattern leaflet.)


So I did a tiny swatch to see if I would like the orange and navy combination in this stitch... and 
ooh la la I did!  I love the tonal variegation of the navy blue even on this tiny piece.  So I took the advice of my friend, Chris, and cast on 277 stitches and began knitting the time consuming linen stitch.  I modified the striping sequence to allow for the large blanket size (4 feet by 6 feet).  I was happily knitting away on my lovely blanket in the evening or when I could spare a few moments to do a row.   It was shaping up just as I had imagined and my daughter loved it.


While I was knitting away, the city repaved the road in front of Monarch Knitting.   This road work was nothing but a small inconvenience to me until I left the store last Monday with my hands full and my knitting basket over my arm.  All of a sudden I heard, "Excuse me, but you are dragging something behind you!"  And yes, I turned around to find my blanket dragging across the newly paved, very rough street.  All I could do was hope for the best as I followed the trail of yarn to my project.  Maybe it had fallen like the rose petals at graduation, ever so lightly, and just needed to be retrieved and dusted off.  NOPE.  The street had pulled up the fiber all over my blanket and it was dirty.  Definitely no longer beautiful or sophisticated.  When I got home, I tried to rescue it but it was not to be.  Time to cut bait.  Out came the scissors and snip, the yarn was free to cast on college blanket version 2.


Even though the linen stitch is a slow knit, it is a perfect stitch for me right now as I remember all the joy, laughter and fun my daughter has brought to our family.  Each stitch will represent a hug that I wish I could give as she greets each day 2,787 miles away from home. 



Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 2014 Newsletter

Projects of the Month... Ilene Bag
A perfect tote to hold your Monarch Knitting purchases – or for a trip to the farmer's market – the Ilene Bag.  This stretchy bag has a comfortable, wide strap ready to be thrown over your shoulder as you walk through town.  Just 2 skeins of our new Quince and Co Sparrow will complete the project.  Knit a few for friends as great Christmas gifts!  Jana knit our sample and fell in love with this beautiful organic linen and its yummy colors.  If knitting a project like this is new to you, have no fear: we will have an Ilene Bag class on Saturday, June 14th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.





               ... and The Crochet Market Tote
The Ilene bag's crocheted cousin... Going to the market has never been so stylish.  For those who crochet, this is the perfect bag.  Two skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic and this free pattern are all you need to complete this handy tote.  This stretchy bag can be folded up to easily fit into your handbag.






Ilene Bag Class
Learn to knit the Ilene Bag with us!  On Saturday, June 14th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm we will help get you started on this great market bag.  In the class you will pick-up stitches, work in the round, knit a basic mesh fabric, learn how to tink back, if a mistake is made, and work a 3-needle bind off.  To prepare for the class, we ask that you buy the yarn and knit the base of the bag (just 25 rows of stockinette) before the class meets.  It will be a fun afternoon and you will be on your way!



Let's Learn to Crochet a Granny Square
Didn't everyone have something created with Granny Squares in their home in the 70's?  Every where we look we see Granny Square throws for the home and for new babies.  So grab a crochet hook and some worsted weight yarn and join us on Saturday, June 28th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to Granny Square away!  In this class you will learn the techniques used to make a granny square and how to color change from row to row to create a colorful square.  This class is for those who know how to chain stitch and double crochet.


Quick Tips... with a bonus for you!

We would like to start off our week by inviting you to our next Quick Tips Session. Come in any time between 3:00pm and 4:00pm on Wednesdays or 11:00am to 12:00pm on Saturdays to get a free get a free 10-15 minute demo on a helpful knitting technique. Every week we feature something different. This month the tips are:

   week 1 - directional decreases

   week 2 - directional increases
   week 3 - single crochet
   week 4 - double crochet

We are introducing a Quick Tip Reward Card. For each Quick Tip Session you attend, you will receive 1 hole punch on your card. Once you have reached 10 punches on your reward card, turn it in to receive a free Monarch Knitting class of your choice. Collect your Quick Tip Reward Card at the shop. We love giving rewards! 



Knit Your Way Through Summer
Join us here at Monarch for a couple programs that will keep you inspired to knit through the summer months.  Long, lazy days are the perfect time to knit something special for you or to knit a few gifts to put away for the holidays.  Vacation is our favorite time to have projects on the needles!

Summer Knitting Club
Join our summer knitting club and be rewarded!  Register with the store by June 15th and pick your projects.  Cast on at the first of the month and finish by the last day and we will reward you with $10.00 in Monarch bucks towards you next purchase.  Knit projects in all 3 summer months and you will be entered into a drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate.  Each project must be a total of 400 yards (you can knit two smaller projects) and the yarn must be purchased at Monarch Knitting, please note that past purchases do not apply.   You pick the project but each month has a theme:
June - knit or crochet something for a friend or a charity (details on charity              
knitting at the shop)
July - try something new... A new technique or pattern
August - knit or crochet something for YOU!

You can sign up for the club by calling the store, posting to the Ravelry topic titled "Summer Knit Club", sending us a Facebook message, or emailing us at customerservice@monarchknitting.com.  Once you have registered we will send you more details on the Club.  

CustomFit Knit Along

Knit a CustomFit sweater along with us here at Monarch.  Who doesn't want to knit a pattern that is made for their body?  If you are new to sweater knitting, this is a great place to start.  Just think, a bit of knitting this summer and your sweater will be ready for chilly fall days!

We had a great turn out for the kick-off coffee!  Thank you to all who attended!  If you missed the coffee, it is not too late – join us!  Just stop by Monarch to be measured ($10.00 CustomFit fee), select your yarn (yarn must be purchased at Monarch Knitting) and start your swatch.  We will give you tips to help you get started if this is your first project.  

On Sunday, June 1st, (or anytime after) it is time to cast on!  Join us at the store for social knitting (1:00pm to 3:00pm) if you would like to cast on with us! Watch our progress and get tips on Facebook and our new blog.  If you complete your project on or before August 31st, you will receive a $20.00 Monarch Bucks rewards and you will have a beautiful sweater to wear!  Please call the store if you have any questions.

Sale Yarns
Our Sublime is on sale!  We will continue add to the sale throughout the summer to make room for some new lovely fall yarns.  This month we have included Sublime's Baby Cashmerino Silk DK and Extra Fine Merino DK to the 20% off basket.   We also have Zauberball's Murano Lace and Mirasol's Sami and Paqu Pura on sale.  Come by to stock up on some great values!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 2014 Newsletter


Project of the Month... Mizutama Shawl
Spring has sprung and knitting something light and airy should be on your list. What is more fun than polka dots for spring? This shawl pattern, Mizutama, was designed by Olga Buraya Kefelan. You will need 400-470 yards of fingering weight yarn for this triangular shawl. It is a great piece for spring as you can use a bright color to celebrate the season. It can be knit from bottom up or top down and comes with both charted and written instructions. It is an easy 4 row pattern repeat and uses very basic stitches. We knit our Mizutama with one skein of Anzula's Nebula, and the pink with a hit of metallic makes us happy. Treat yourself to this lovely addition to your spring wardrobe!

Mizutama Shawl Class
If Mizutama is your first "lace" shawl, join us on Saturday, May 10th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to learn the techniques needed to knit this project.  You will learn about a garter stitch tab cast on and how to work a very simple lace project.  We will explain how to read a chart, which is a great skill to have in your knitting arsenal!  By the time you leave the class you will be on your way to creating the perfect summer shawl.  Class fee is $25.00.  

A New Program at Monarch... Wednesday Quick Tips
Come by Monarch every Wednesday any time between 3:00pm and 4:00pm to get a 10-15 minute tutorial on a different skill each week.  You don't need to bring a thing! Just drop by the store to see how to do something new!  This month's Quick Tips:
     7th - placing a bead
     14th - provisional cast-on
     21st - kitchner stitch
     28th - mattress stitch for seaming
So make Wednesdays your day to learn something new to expand you knitter's knowledge!


Knit Your Way Through The Summer
Join us here at Monarch for a couple programs that will keep you inspired to knit through the summer months.  Long, lazy days are the perfect time to knit something special for you or to knit a few gifts to put away for the holidays.  Vacation is our favorite time to have projects on the needles!

Summer Knitting Club
Join our summer knitting club and be rewarded!  Register with the store by June 15th and pick your projects.  Cast on at the first of the month and finish by the last day and we will reward you with $10.00 in Monarch bucks towards you next purchase.  Knit projects in all 3 summer months and you will be entered into a drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate.  Each project must be a total of 400 yards (you can knit two smaller projects) and the yarn must be purchased at Monarch Knitting, please note that past purchases do not apply.   You pick the project but each month has a theme:
 
     June - knit or crochet something for a friend or a charity (details on charity         knitting at the shop)
     July - try something new... A new technique or pattern
    August - knit or crochet something for YOU!

You can sign up for the club by calling the store, posting to the Ravelry topic titled "Summer Knit Club", sending us a Facebook message, or emailing us at customer service@monarchknitting.com.  Once you have registered we will give you a send you more details on the Club.  

CustomFit Knit Along

Knit a CustomFit sweater along with us here at Monarch.  Who doesn't want to knit a pattern that is made for their body?  If you are new to sweater knitting, this is a great place to start.  Just think, a bit of knitting this summer and your sweater will be ready for chilly fall days!

Join us for morning coffee and treats on Saturday, May 24th from 10:30am to 12:00pm pick your yarn (yarn must be purchased at Monarch Knitting) and start your swatch.  If you have not been measured we are happy to do so that morning.  Please note, if you need to be measured there is a $10.00 CustomFit class fee.  We will have tips to help you get started if this is your first project.  Don't worry if you cannot make it, you can join in at any time!  

Complete your swatch between May 24th -31th and come into Monarch to get your pattern printed.  On Sunday June 1st, it is time to cast on!  Join us at the store for social knitting from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, if you would like to cast on with us! Watch our progress and get tips on Facebook and our new blog.  If you complete your project on or before August 31st, you will receive a $20.00 Monarch Bucks rewards and you will have a beautiful sweater to wear!  Please call the store to sign up for Saturday coffee as we would like to ensure we have enough treats for everyone.  

New Summer Yarns!

Quince & Co. Sparrow - This simply beautiful yarn is perfect for summer knitting.  It has a crisp hand as you knit it but once you wash it and wear it is a perfect soft linen.  Sparrow is 100% organic linen grown in Belguim and comes 168 yarns to the skein.

Quince & Co. Kestrel - Quince explained Kestrel perfectly on their website: "We took the same Belguim-grown organic linen that we use in our little Sparrow and spun it this time in a ribbon structure.  Kestrel knits up quickly at 3 1/2 to 4 stitches to the inch.  Its flat surface adds a slight texture to simple knit and purl stitches.  Bue we think the best thing about it is its incredible drape.  Like all things linen, woven or knitted, Kestrel only gets better as you wash it and wear it."  This lovely yarn is 76 yards to the skein and we will have more colors available next week

Berroco Karma - This beautiful summer yarn is a bulky weight, yet it is very light and airy due to it unique mesh "tape" construction.  It is dyed in softly-shaded tonal colors and comes in a 66 yarns hank.

Classic Elite Sanibel - The soft tonal colors of Sanibel are hard to resist.  This Italian yarn is a combination of cotton and viscose and hard to resist.  We have a great free cowl pattern that will add a pop of color to your summer wardrobe!

Sale Yarns
Come by the store to see some of the yarns we have put on sale.  Mirasol's Sami and Paqu Pura are 20% off.  We will continue to add to the sale throughout the summer to make room for some new lovely Fall yarns.  

Follow Our New Blog and Follow us on Facebook!

We have started a store blog!  Loads of photographs, some personal stories and helpful tips will be at your fingertips whenever the mood to read about knitting strikes you.  You can find the blog at http://monarchknitting.blogspot.com/.  Each new post will be linked though a Facebook post but to make it easy to find you can bookmark the site on your computer.  Also as a reminder, please like us on Facebook at it is the best way to stay in touch with all of the happenings at Monarch Knitting.









Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan Knit-Along

There is just one scary word to me in this title.  Mystery.  I am a planner.  I do not like surprises. Mysteries in my life do not intrigue me, especially in my knitting.  I did the Ysolda "Follow Your Arrow" mystery knit-along shawl and the spoiler photos were my best friends throughout that project.  I would get up each Monday morning, make my coffee and pore over the photos in the Ravelry group entitled "clue - SPOILERS".

So then why would I take on the Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan?  There are a few reasons.  Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in a new yarn to our shop and I wanted to test-drive it.  How does it knit?  Do I like the stitch definition?  How does it hand wash, machine wash and block?  Also, I really enjoy getting a clue a week.  It is like a little mini project I can work on in between the larger items that I am knitting.  Finish the clue and wait for the next Monday...the weekly satisfaction of a complete project.  The last reason...Martin Storey


How can you not want to knit along with him and his maroon velvet pants?

So as some of you saw on Facebook, I selected my colors to match the couch in my den and I waited for the first clue to be released.  Week 1 - Garter Stitch Waves... Pick two colors and make three squares in each color!  So a pair of size 6 needles these two lovely colors, Apple and Rosy, and off I went! (This toile fabric is not the couch I am matching, just a place with good light.)


I knit them whenever I had a moment.  Hour-long TV shows were my best friend!  Oh, and did I love the yarn.  It is bouncy and easy to knit.  The yarn does not split and you can see the stitch definition... it lets the work you do shine!   


At the end of the week I had a stack of completed squares.  This is like knitting a bunch of dishcloths (which I love to do)!  Do you see the little fleck of yellow in the green?  It has a bit of character.  I felt so good when these were complete, except there was one problem: they need to be blocked.  I am blocking obsessed!  I want everything to lay nice and flat, ready for easy seaming.  The last thing I want at the end of this project is 48 squares that required blocking.  


I could have just pressed them as suggested in the pattern but I like to soak my knitting.  A bit of Eucalan in some lukewarm water for 15 minutes and everyone is happy!  The fibers relax and soften up a bit and so do I.


I lay them out on a towel...


and then make a burrito roll out of them.  Next, I do a little dance on the the burrito to take out any excess moisture.  There are no photos of that, my daughters would be horrified.


Here comes the blocking board!  I still have not splurged and purchased one of the 
Coco Knits blocking sets we have at the store.  So I haul this big guy out from under my bed and let it dominate my living room floor until my knitting dries.  Thankfully, my dog is not curious enough to disturb it.  I use blocking wires as they help to create a neat edge.


Now I have a beautiful stack of six completed and blocked mini projects.  All I have to do is wait for the next clue!  Just because you missed a week please don't feel like it is too late to join in.  You can knit this clue as you complete the others.  This is a perfect project for beginners as the squares will get more involved as the project progresses.  Martin Storey will cover lace, cables and many other techniques in the remaining seven weeks.  There is also a Youtube video to go with each clue (or you can always ask us for help at the shop).  There are a ton of color options or you can knit a solid color throw.  Please stop by or call the shop with questions!  



Knit... and be happy!