Knit for the Gold!
Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 19:19 Written by Sue Coffrin Friday, 22 June 2012 17:20
Friendly competition to support future athletes!*
Join us in our first ever Team Adirondack Yarns
as part of the 2012 Ravelry Games
· 15% yarn discount for your project
*$10 registration fee with all proceeds donated to the LPHS Athletic Department.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 17:27 Written by Sue Coffrin Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:26
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our newsletter and pattern
Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 15:32 Written by Sue Coffrin Monday, 23 May 2011 15:27
Lamb’s Pride – Our Workhorse Yarn
The yarn chosen for our Great American Aran Afghan Knit a Long is Lamb’s Pride worsted weight. Some knitters chose the traditional Aran colorway while others went with yellows and gold.
Brown Sheep's original Lamb's Pride yarn is blended of 85% pure, soft wool and 15% mohair, producing finished objects with great stitch definition, softness, and a unique halo. We’ve used this yarn in countless projects and we’re not the only ones – there are more than 27,000 projects listed on Ravelry made with this yarn.
The intrigue of this yarn is that it comes in just about any color needed from earthy browns to stunning jewel tones. The yarn can legitimately worked on needles from 6 – 10.5, making it as perfect for tiny baby toys to slippers.
Brown Sheep Company, Inc. is a family owned and operated yarn spinning mill, located in Mitchell, NE. But you won’t find brown sheep there, according to the company’s website where Peggy Wells, founder’s granddaughter proudly tells its history. Over 100 years ago, E.W. Brown purchased land in western Nebraska, attracted by the fertile farm land of the North Platte River Valley where he raised a small flock of sheep, never imagining that the eventual market for wool. The late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and mid way through the 70’s were good farming and sheep production years, but in 1975, farming prices forced the next generation to look for alternative methods of making a living from the land. After five years of extensive research the family decided to purchase used equipment to spin yarn. The equipment came without “instructions” and it took more than 6 months for Harlan Brown, the current CEO’s father, to spin the first ball of yarn. He soon filled a truck and hit the road to sell his yarn.
By 2010, the old used equipment was replaced with new, state of the art textile equipment, making Brown Sheep a viable “Made in the USA” member of the yarn industry for years to come. The current generation has developed a new program that allows the Brown’s to reuse 70 to 90% of their daily waste water, impressive for a company that dyes over 1000 different colors.
Favorite Lamb’s Pride projects at Adirondack Yarns include everything from head to toe – literally. Countless customers have created hats and mittens while others love working on clogs or slippers. Felted accessories are also popular, we carry a wide selection of bag patterns and the handles needed to finish the project. Whether you’re game for joining our knit a long or you need a new summer tote, please stop in to try Lamb’s Pride.
Felting Knit Objects
From slippers to clogs, formal clutches to market totes, we love felted projects. The transformation that takes place in the washing machine is nothing short of magic. Felting is caused by heat and agitation that happens when you place a finished object in the washer on the lowest water setting, the highest temperature and the longest agitation.
To get an idea of how it works and what a finished object will look like, begin with a swatch. Any 100% wool yarn that is not labeled “superwash” can be used. Cast on 30 stitches and knit two squares, on in garter stitch and one in stockinette. Bind off and securely weave in the ends before putting the swatches in a pillow case. A pillow case catches fiber released while the swatches felt.
Different yarns will felt at different rates. The first sign of felting is that the individual stitches disappear and the fabric is smaller. As this process starts, check the swatches every few minutes. Swatches are finished when the fabric feels firm, solid and thicker than when it was dropped in the water. If knitting from a pattern, the piece will be finished when it is the size stated in the pattern.
After felting the piece, block the swatch in a square and allow it to dry thoroughly. When finished unpin it and take a look – each stitch pattern will yield a different look.
Stop in the shop for felting projects from slippers and bags to the shop favorite – clogs!
Felting Without Knitting
Every once in a while it’s time to put the knitting needles down, but not necessarily to wander away from fiber. Knit pieces can be embellished in any number of ways including felting. Needle felting offers the option of creating fine details while wet felting can be used to add color and texture to finished pieces.
Needle felting can also be used to create objects such as felt sculptures or toys. Needle felting is a method of fusing a layer of fiber such as wool roving onto the base fiber or felted fabric. The more the fibers are punctured, the more firmly fused the fabric. Popular needle felted items in the shop include holiday ornaments and Easter eggs.
Wet felting is thought to be the oldest form of felting, Mongolians were among the first to use this technique and they did so on a large scale - rolling wool into large flat pieces of felt to cover their gers, round tentlike dwellings. it is commonly used to make objects such as flowers but also used to add layers of color and texture to many fabrics. Wet felting involves crisscrossing layers of wool that are dampened with warm soapy water and agitating them by rubbing them against a rough surface or rolling them against each other. Smaller shaped items such as hats, bags and footwear can be made with the rubbing method by felting around a form.
Last year’s spring fiber frolic married wool roving to a silk scarf with beautiful results. Participants first set various colors of roving on the scarf blank, wet it thoroughly with soapy water, then rolled up. Participants then created the agitation necessary to felt the two fibers together by rolling, rubbing and wringing. The resulting colors and textures were beautiful. The scarf was just the right weight for warmer temperatures, giving participants a perfect wrap for the season.
For more ideas on felting, stop by the shop.
The Great American Aran Afghan Knit a Long 2011
Written by Sue Coffrin Monday, 04 April 2011 17:48
Inspired by the reality that we snuggle under wool blankets for 6-8 months per year, I suggested that we launch a knit a long featuring the Great American Aran Afghan. Much excitement ensued followed by a bit of “how will I ever do this” moaning as knitters realized just how many squares were in the GAAA (24).
Nonetheless, the pattern books arrived and participants cast on their first square. What looked like a highly structured project (i.e. do square one and work down the strip) has evolved into a fine example of how each knitter creatively interprets patterns.
Knitter creativity is also evident in the design of the pattern, the result of a contest sponsored by Knitter’s Magazine. The challenge: to create a square using one color and some type of Aran patterning. The editors received hundreds of squares and selected 24, the first being published in the Winter, 2000 issue.
All squares are not created equally, they range from a row of cables up the middle of Trinity Stitch square to squares knit in the round.
The first square was designed by Ann Strong of Olympia, Washington. She writes about her fondness for pomegranates and says the Seed Wishbone stitch pattern, used in the center of the square reminds her of the fruit while the Double Texture Cable used at each border illustrated the contrast between the smooth outside and bumpy inside of the fruit.
The next square, designed by Vicki Sever of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, shows a heart for hope, a cross for faith, and a heart for love with an offset square of a ribbon symbolizing the designer’s loss of her sister to breast cancer. Our group had a variety of reactions to the square, and those who are planning to knit have many ideas for the area where the ribbon is shown. Each knitter has faith, hope and love about something….and they are ready to knit their own version of this square.
Classes for the KAL are being held the first Sunday of each month, at 1pm in the shop. As the project moves on we will try our hand with Skype and other technologies to share what we’ve learned. Take a look at our conversation in the Adirondack Yarns group on Ravelry. There’s still time to order kits, please call the shop to discuss your yarn preference and cast on!
Vogue Live and Maggiknits
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:21 Written by Sue Coffrin Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:18
Vogue Live and Maggiknits
Vogue Live! turned out to be our best show yet. Knitters from around the country and “across the pond” converged on New York City (between blizzards) sharing ideas, techniques and, of course, yarn. Our booth was in a great location, adjacent to our partner for the show, Maggie Jackson of Maggiknits.
Maggie was as delightful as the yarns and patterns that inspire us in the shop. Raised on a farm close to the linen town of Lisburn in County Antrium, Northern Ireland, Maggie’s earliest memories include watching her mother’s fingers clicking away knitting traditional wood sweaters. Maggie picked up her own miniature needles at 6 and was creating her own designs by the time she was 12.
Maggie studied fashion at The College of Art and Design, including post-graduate work in Fashion Knitwear. She established her own cottage-style business in 1977. That business is now global with Maggie’s designs and yarns being sold in shops around the world and online. Maggie cites her innovation and determination as keys to winning a string of design and business awards.
We carry many of Maggie’s design books, each featuring their own special look from traditional to romantic. Maggie’s yarns are made to coordinate within the collection. Her signature yarn is a Linen mix that is perfect when you start to think of spring projects.
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