Favorite Things

When was the last time you had that kid-in-a-candy-store feeling? Being surrounded by sparkling colors and enticing textures can make you feel giddy with delight and anticipation–and with the weather cooling down, we’re feeling eager to wrap ourselves in cozy fibers. I asked our enthusiastic staff to describe their favorites among the new fall yarns and what they’re planning for their fall projects–read on below for an entertaining peek into their knitting queues.

Meanwhile, my favorite event of the year is just around the corner: the Los Altos Holiday Stroll takes place on Friday, November 8. As in past years, I’ll serve cake and coffee in the afternoon, followed by champagne and chocolate in the evening until 9 p.m. As an additional treat, we’ll have a “draw your discount” jar full of chips marked with different discounts and specials–every pick is a winner!

The Perfect Gift for You…

If your loved ones have trouble picking out a yarny gift for you, we’re here to offer a helping hand. You can create a personal wish list the next time you visit the shop simply by bringing the items you like to the checkout desk to scan, and they’ll be added to your customer file under your name. Though the item descriptions will be stored for as long as you wish, the actual items may not be in stock forever.

… and for Them

We’ve added more classes in November and December, focused on small, quick projects that make great gifts. The Wingspan KAL has moved to Sunday afternoons starting November 3–try Kauni Effektgarn (shown below) or Crazy Zauberball for dramatic color transitions. The Crochet Accessories CALs continue with a handy market bag starting November 5, and a poncho starting December 3. Laura’s Beginning Sock Class will start you off on the right foot to learn cuff-down socks in a speedy DK-weight yarn; the first meeting is November 12.

Wingspan by Maylin Tri'coterie Designs

Wingspan by Maylin Tri’coterie Designs

Crochet Market Bag (Rowan Cotton Glace)

Crochet Market Bag (Rowan Cotton Glace)

Basic Sock by Handwerks

Basic Sock by Handwerks

Small Project Saturday meets on November 9 for a final project to benefit Knits for Palo Alto Veterans: the simple and cozy Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm. The group will be collecting all donations that weekend, so please feel free to bring in any hat, scarf, mitts, slippers or lap blankets you’ve been working on–your generosity is warmly appreciated!

Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm

Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm


Yarn Shop Confessions

And now, I hope you’ll make yourself comfortable and indulge in some “imaginary knitting” through the words of the Uncommon Threads ladies…

Sydney : “Rowan Kidsilk Haze has been in my stash for Kim Hargreave’s Smoulder, but I will now change it out for the new Kidsilk Haze Eclipse and be ready for the holidays and New Year’s eve! Just the right amount of sparkle for my taste.

Smoulder by Kim Hargreaves (Whisper)

Smoulder by Kim Hargreaves (Whisper)

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse

I will then take my displaced Kidsilk Haze and combine it with some Rowan Fine Lace. Kim Hargreaves has several patterns combining these two yarns… Will, Pippa, Caris, Alexa, Moonstone, Eva, Asma, and Beat. I’m still on the fence about my choice, too many great options to make a decision now!

Pippa by Kim Hargreaves (Quirky)

Pippa by Kim Hargreaves (Quirky)

Beat by Kim Hargreaves (Spirit)

Beat by Kim Hargreaves (Spirit)

I couldn’t pass up the Rowan Angora Haze, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity as it is rare to find angora yarn of this quality (and the colors!) The pattern support for Angora Haze is exemplary and the Thelma (Angora Haze Collection) shop sample shows off the incredible stitch definition this yarn can produce.

Rowan Angora Haze

Rowan Angora Haze

Thelma by Martin Storey (Angora Haze Collection)

Thelma by Martin Storey (Angora Haze Collection)

I also added two skeins of The Fibre Company’s Meadow, with absolutely no idea what it would become. With Merino, Llama, Silk and Linen it has a most unique assortment of fibers that look like a winning combination! Notes in my stash comments are presently showing Hannah Fettig’s Featherweight Cardigan a clear favorite so far…”

The Fibre Company Meadow

The Fibre Company Meadow

Featherweight Cardi by Hannah Fettig

Featherweight Cardi by Hannah Fettig

Jean : “I snapped up two skeins of Handwerks Silky DK the moment they arrived at the shop. It is that special yarn I will drop everything for, and I did. I finished a Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos in record time (for me). I love the drape, the sheen and the stitch definition for all of those little leaves.

Handwerks Silky DK

Handwerks Silky DK

Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos

Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos

I am enamored with the Fibre Company ‘Meadow‘ and, like Sydney, the Featherweight Cardigan is calling to me. I particularly like the linen in this blend of fibers.

The Spincycle Dyed in the Wool yarn is haunting my dreams, day and night. I am constantly thinking of new color combinations to allow the vibrant colors in the yarn to sing. A striped cardigan is in my future.
So far I have to cover my eyes when I pass the shelf of Kauni Effektgarn. I will succumb eventually…”

Spincycle Dyed in the Wool

Spincycle Dyed in the Wool

Kauni Effektgarn

Kauni Effektgarn

Darcie : “I just had to find an excuse to knit up something with the Spincycle Dyed in the Wool ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ color way. I am going to combine it with two complimentary colors of Fibre Company Road to China Light (Grey Pearl and Lapis) using the Churchmouse Magic Three-Yarn Scarf pattern. I’m pretending it is for a shop sample. Unlike Jean I am not turning my head away from the Kauni shelf. I have been obsessing about possible patterns that would show off the colors in striping (like the Beverly Cardigan) or something that would produce a faux Fair Isle effect.”

Magic 3-Yarn Scarf & Wrap (Churchmouse)

Magic 3-Yarn Scarf & Wrap (Churchmouse)

Fibre Company Road to China Light

Fibre Company Road to China Light

Beverly Cardigan by Sally Brandl

Beverly Cardigan by Sally Brandl

Marcella : I’m happily working on Kate Davies’ “Scatness Tunic” and haven’t thought too much about my next project. I will probably choose to do something with the Kauni Effektgarn yarn. It’s the perfect weight for our climate and I have found it fun to work with; not sure if I’ll do something with stripes or faux Fair Isle.

Scatness Tunic by Kate Davies (Colours of Shetland)

Scatness Tunic by Kate Davies (Colours of Shetland)

Laura : “I cast on for Marsa Alam by Isabell Kraemer the night I got home with a ball of Kauni Effektgarn. I’m alternating it with Rowan Felted Tweed and love the way the two yarns play off each other. The solid color Felted Tweed works well with the forever changing colors of the Kauni. Its a fun knit with an interesting construction. I thnk its going to make a very wearable lightweight cardigan. I’m almost finished with the body.

Marsa Alam by Isabell Kraemer (Kauni Effektgarn & Rowan Felted Tweed)

Marsa Alam by Isabell Kraemer (Kauni Effektgarn & Rowan Felted Tweed)

Well, of course I had to knit something with the Handwerks Silky DK. I love that it is a 4ply yarn, so round and shiny with good body plus drape. The cables in Kim Hargreaves’ Love cardigan (knit by daughter Emily) had such lovely stitch definition and relief, I knew I also wanted to knit a cabled sweater. I started Hope by Therese Chynoweth. I’m happy with the way it is progressing, and like that I dyed the yarn to show color variations but not obvious pooling. The pattern isn’t obsured by the shades of color.

I swatched Tahki Aria. It’s so soft and light feeling for a bulky yarn. I’m not sure what I want to knit with it but I have in mind a loosely knit vest to wear in the Spring and Fall. I haven’t found the right pattern yet; I’m considering the Weekend Wrap by Coco Knits.”

Hope by Therese Chynoweth (Handwerks Silky DK)

Hope by Therese Chynoweth (Handwerks Silky DK)

Tahki Aria

Tahki Aria


Lyle : “Filatura di Crosa Zara is a great superwash DK wool with wonderful stitch definition. It is soft and still has the “spring” of untreated wool. A fantastic selection of solid colors. It is my go-to yarn when I want something for a special project.” (Palazzo Raglan Pullover is shown below.)

Palazzo Raglan Pullover from Tutto Bene (Filatura di Crosa Zara)

Palazzo Raglan Pullover from Tutto Bene (Filatura di Crosa Zara)

Filatura di Crosa Zara

Filatura di Crosa Zara

Carol : “The new yarn that I am most thrilled to see in our autumn/winter new yarns line up is Rowan Fine Lace, a perfect blend of baby suri alpaca and fine merino wool. Fine Lace blends beautifully with other yarns in the Rowan family, especially Kidsilk Haze. However, used alone this yarn will make the most beautiful light and airy shawls of heirloom quality.My recommendations are:
Rock Island by Jared Flood (one skein)
Racing Raindrops – new Churchmouse pattern (1 skein)
Cameo Shawl by Sharon Miller (4 skeins) for a modern take on a traditional Scottish shawl pattern.
Merlin by Kieran Foley. Uses two skeins of Fine Lace in contrasting colours, or — and this is how I am going to use it — one skein of the Fine Lace contrasting with one skein of Taiyo Sock. I love this shawl, and in the contrasting textures I think it will look amazing.”

Rowan Fine Lace

Rowan Fine Lace

Rock Island by Jared Flood

Rock Island by Jared Flood

Racing Raindrops (Churchmouse)

Racing Raindrops (Churchmouse)

Olga : “Definitely, Lima Colour heads the procession for me. I think that Lima may be my favorite yarn of all time. It has worn extremely well for me and was a joy to knit with. Certainly, the Noelle Capelet from Winter Warmers and Sideways Grande Cloche from “Boutique Knits” are the projects I wear the most. I have been stopped by strangers in two countries asking where to buy the set. I practically lived in them last winter. The alpaca is toasty warm and naturally wicks rain. This was my go-to, snuggly outfit for winter morning walks, and obviated the need for a coat. I would love to have one (or even two more sets) in the vibrant Lima Colour shades.

Rowan Lima Colour

Rowan Lima Colour

Noelle Capelet & Sideways Grande Cloche

Noelle Capelet & Sideways Grande Cloche

And one more idea about which I am excited. When I first saw the S. Charles Celine, I immediately thought of a gold lame evening gown that might be worn by Ginger in “Gilligan’s Island” or a 1930′s era Hollywood starlet. While I am not ambitious enough (yet) to attempt an evening gown, I am enthusiastic for an evening wrap.I was reading that S. Charles Celine is color coordinated to be used singly or paired with Crystal, Luna, Ritratto, or Stella. I’d like to make the Winter Shadows Wrap by combining Celine with Luna or Ritratto. A gleaming bit of Hollywood glamour for the shoulders. And if I hurry, it will be ready for my big birthday cruise next May.”

S. Charles Celine

S. Charles Celine

Winter Shadows Wrap by Louise Zass-Bangham

Winter Shadows Wrap by Louise Zass-Bangham

Sherri : I’m going to nickname Berroco Kodiak my “kitten yarn” because it feels like I am playing with a soft, Himalayan kitten when I knit with it! I have made the Aude shawlette and the Arette mitts from the Berroco booklet and I love them. The soft single ply combination of alpaca,nylon and wool is almost like knitting with air: weightless, soft, cozy and so pretty. I plan on making more of these patterns for holiday gifts.

Berroco Kodiak

Berroco Kodiak

Aude, Berroco 337 (Kodiak)

Aude, Berroco 337 (Kodiak)

Arette, Berroco 337 (Kodiak)

Arette, Berroco 337 (Kodiak)

Rowan Alpaca Color is definitely on my list because it is the replacement for Rowan’s RYC Baby Alpaca DK and I am thinking of combining it with Kauni Effektgarn for The LightWaves shawlette by Susan Ashcroft.

Rowan Alpaca Colour

Rowan Alpaca Colour

LightWaves by Susan Ashcroft

LightWaves by Susan Ashcroft

I am swatching the rainbow Effektgarn (EQ) with Handwerks’ Silky DK in Lapis to make the Funky Grandpa sweater by La Maison Rililie. I like the way these two yarns look together, the soft silky look of the DK paired with the edgier Kauni. A fun and unexpected combination!

Funky Grandpa by La Maison Rililie

Funky Grandpa by La Maison Rililie

For a second striped sweater pattern called Paulie by Isabell Kraemer, I am also swatching Effektgarn in the black, white and gray version for the sweater stripes, with a strand of Isager Alpaca 1 and Isager Spinni, both in black, and held together for the sweater background. Dark, edgy, elegant!

Kidsilk Haze Eclipse is another soft, kitten yarn! Only this kitten is wearing a stunning and sparkling collar! The metallic thread gives this yarn a subtle but spectacular look. I fell in love with two colors: the deep blue which makes me think of Paris nights and the gorgeous, medium gray. I am thinking of two patterns: One is Camomille by Helga Isager which will require one strand of Kidsilk Haze Eclipse held together with one strand of Isager Highland or Tvinni Wool.

Camomille by Helga Isager (Amimono 2010)

Camomille by Helga Isager (Amimono 2010)

Triangular Scarfette by Iris Schreier

Triangular Scarfette by Iris Schreier

A second pattern idea uses Iris Schreier’s one skein Triangular Scarfette pattern. Even though it was written for Artyarns Beaded Mohair and Sequins (which I am also making) I think it would work with Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.