Friday, July 30, 2010
We have finally received our Rowan Cocoon! We have 11 colors for you to choose from. It is so beautiful! Cocoon is a Bulky Weight high quality Merino Wool and Mohair one ply that you will definitely wanna "cocoon" yourself in! Its so soft and lofty like a Mohair cloud! Cocoon will be great for many projects like hats, scarfs, sweaters, or even throws. Cocoon is a Bulky Weight too so you can really "knock out" the holiday gifts for this winter! Here are a patterns that we have here at Monarch that use Cocoon. These projects are by designer Kim Hargreaves, which is a favorite of Koryn's! Her designs are so beautiful! They have sort of a "vintage" look but are updated and in style. So if you get a chance come fondle a ball of this gorgeous yarn you might not want to let go!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Feed Your Creativity!
Finally, we get to make the announcement we've been waiting to make! We have an awesome new yarn of the month program! Starting in August!
Most of the details are easily found at http://www.monarchknitting.com/kollage.html
but here are the bare bones facts:
The yarns come from Kollage, (the square needle people -- yep, we're getting those, too) so they're incredibly exotic: Corn, Milk, Soy blends, and also Angora and Alpaca Silk blends.
Here’s how it works:
- A kit arrives once a month except for November and December.
- Each kit is a different color, so come in early for the best choice.
- Join us for a Knit-Along to accomplish your project!
- Or, join us for a free class to learn the special technique in each project!
And here’s a special offer:
- Bring in your finished project for show and tell and get $2 off of the next kit!
And for the frequent flyer:
- Purchase 6 specified kits in advance and get 10% off total purchase
- Get in on color choices 1 day early
Koryn & I are working hard to knit up all of the models. Here are August and September, both coming right along:
|Cassandra Cowl, left; Cable Rib Hat, right|
Remember, kit supplies are limited, so make your choices early!!
Friday, July 23, 2010
An Update & 2 Teases
We just got our new fall order from Rowan! Goody goody goody goody.
New colors of the popular Alpaca Cotton (formerly available just in natural hues, now in dyed) and Lima (wow wait til you seen the deep red and dark purple and heather lilac) and a nice booklet called "Homestead Classics" which calls for these yarns.
Also, true to our promise, a nice selection of, ta-da, Cocoon!!
Also, true to our promise, a nice selection of, ta-da, Cocoon!!
This soft, lofty merino/mohair blend figures prominently in the new Rowan #48, and as a regular bulky gauge, there are a lot of other pattern choices as well. We have a model, and our new intern, Katie, looks smashing in it.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Mad About Tosh!
We recently started carrying a beautiful yarn line called Madelinetosh. Their yarns are beautifully hand-dyed and their colors are so vibrant. One of Madelinetosh's most popular yarns, Tosh DK (formerly known as Tosh Worsted) has been one of our best sellers! Tosh DK is a Superwash Merino Wool that is a DK to Light Worsted weight gauge. Not only does it come in so many gorgeous colors, it is a complete dream to knit!! It glides across your needles so smoothly! The employees here at Monarch can't seem to get their hands off the Tosh DK! Koryn knitted up a "Tea Leaves Cardigan" in the colorway "Baltic" that came out gorgeous!
The Tea Leaves Cardigan has been one of the top knitted patterns on Ravelry! It's pretty simple to knit and is made in one piece from the neck down, so no sewing!! You can see better pictures of Koryn's Tea Leaf Cardigan on Ravelry, or better yet come check it out in person.
Diane also knit a Tea Leaves Cardigan, but a baby version that is soooo cute!!! Both patterns are available here at Monarch.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We love supporting local businesswomen, especially when they are so awesome at what they do. Here's our new local handspun, from Boulder Creek spinner, Heather Bloom. For those of you who spin, you'll see what a high level of skill she has. For those of you who don't spin, just look at the beauty of her creations.
The skeins are generous in length, easily making a scarf or cowl. Some sport beads, some have beehive slubs, some even have teeny tiny watch parts in them! True masterpieces, every one. And don't even get us started on the beautiful colors. Each is unique.
Heather has also offered to put on a couple of demonstrations (on a weekend, since she's a busy Mom, too) so watch for our update on that.
Monday, July 19, 2010
A couple of books have arrived -- one famous, one not (but it should be!) Guess which is which? Haha.
Aran Lace is the latest in a series by Canadian knitter Annie Maloney. Her other books are good, but this one is great. It truly breaks ground with an entirely new technique. Actually, a combination of cable and lace techniques which she manages to actually make unique.
The format of the book is nothing fancy, but the info is absolutely killer-great. You can be sure my next project will incorporate her ideas.
Maloney says this book is mostly geared toward those who like to take ideas into their own designs, so there are only a few out-and-out patterns within. Just my kind of book!!!
The other new arrival is the slick and fancy Rowan #48. If you like the soft, bulky yarn called Cocoon, there are some interesting ideas here (although I'd have to disagree that any yarn like that could "be tailored to the body's silhouette." Okay there's a little waist shaping on some, but that amounts to about 2 stitches each side).
One nice element is that Kaffe Fassett's designs are a step up from the past couple of "stripes years." Due to the pull (and success) of the world of patchwork fabrics for Kaffe, I've felt in recent issues he's kind of phoned in his designs. But this issue has some nice, thoughtful
designs. I just hope no one comes looking for every exact color on these things! I'm sure Kaffe would be the first to say - improvise a little!
We'll be getting our Cocoon shipment soon so watch for that update. More later!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Woo-woo blob update
Notice the ball, also: I rolled up the two balls separately (took about 25 minutes) but you wouldn't need to do that if you wanted to knit 2 socks at one time, and you had a way to keep it rolling off of the center, spindle-style, so it didn't get tangled.
A couple of other tips: If you do make separate balls, and use a two tail cast on, remember to match your slip knot with your non-working ball. I did this by using a locking stitch marker through the slip knot, which I just rolled back onto the unused ball until it's time to cast on sock #2.
The galactic pooling could probably be enhanced by working a K3, P2 rib instead of K2, P2. This and other fine suggestions are in one of my top-5 favorite sock books, from the genius Lucy Neatby, called "Cool Socks Warm Feet."
Friday, July 16, 2010
The Flying Saucers have arrived all the way from Venus! No, make that Germany.
It's a very interesting new sock yarn from Schoppel Wolle, the folks who brought us those funny Zauberball and Crazy Zauberball yarns (if you don't know, those are lace, sock and DK weight yarns that come in a big ball -- like the kind your grandmother rolled. They have no repeats in them -- just one funny color after another. Very popular right now.) Anyway back to the Flying Saucers: named because the come on a flat reel, like a fishing reel:You can see we don't have anywhere to put it yet! Too much sock yarn! Not enough sock shelf space! We'll find a way.
Here's the cool thing: The yarn is dyed with two strands together so you can either knit two socks at the same time, or knit them separately, and have them both come out exactly alike! Many knitters will love that!
And that's where this funny ball design comes in. You're supposed to poke a (straight) knitting needle through the plastic core to create a spindle, then tie a string to hang it on something, so you can un-spool the two yarns, one side at a time. Like this:
There's my kitchen cupboard and I had to dig out one of Mom's old aluminum needles because I rarely use straights!
By the way, the pattern of the dyeing makes socks that look like they come from outer space, with those woo-woo color blobs. Come in and check the picture on the label if you don't understand what "woo-woo blobs" means.
Another aside: The Schoppel Wolle people, according to the 3rd generation Skacel guy (Cliff) who comes around here, once worked for the venerable old German company Schoeller Stahl, but had wild ideas like this that weren't appreciated. So now we get crazy balls and flying saucers!
I'll start unreeling now and get those socks going!
Next: some knitters learn to weave in a weekend.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
After weeks of waiting, we finally got out latest bizarre, fun yarns from Be Sweet. This is a fantastic endeavor from some caring American women to bring business opportunities to women in South Africa. This is not charity! It's a fair trade effort -- and we're on board all the way.
So check out the yarn made of T-shirt material! Called, yep, "T-Shirt":
On the label is the pattern for the little pouch Koryn made up on the left. Joan did the quick scarf on size US 19 needles in a drop stitch. Now we think a cool cotton t-shirt hat is in order.
Next is this sushi-looking stuff: Actually, not to gross you out with a mixed food-image, the name of the yarn is Taffy. Not sushi taffy! Peppermint Taffy!!! It's an organic cotton/bamboo blend. We made the cute lace-hearts & bobbles hat from the label. Our gauge was correct but the hat seems bigger than the 12 month stated on the pattern. We think its for a 2-year-old. Ver-r-ry cute.
More tomorrow, when the Flying Saucers land at Monarch!!