With the Los Altos Farmers Market starting this week, we’re inspired to offer our own “fresh picks in season!”
Every Thursday through September, we’ll highlight one spring yarn with pattern suggestions, and you’ll save 10% on that yarn all day. The complete calendar of Fresh Picks is below, and suggested patterns will be added for each as the season continues.
September 26 : Rowan Wool Cotton
We’ve reached the very last Fresh Pick of the season! Rowan Wool Cotton is the perfect transition for fall, since it’s light enough for comfortable layers and works well in combination with other yarns. The colors are clear and the twist creates beautiful stitch definition as well as crisp stockinette. Here’s a gentle farewell to warm weather fibers:
Colorwork has extra oomph when you add a fine strand of mohair and silk, as in Kintyre by Marie Wallin. The subtle texture of Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic makes this a piece you’ll want to wear with everything. Glenda by Amanda Crawford is a just-right pullover for cozy afternoons or casual evenings.
May 2 : Rowan Creative Linen
This worsted weight blend of cotton and linen is a terrific go-to basic for anything summery, knit or crocheted. The delicious color palette will make it hard to choose a favorite!
May 9 : Katia Bombay
Katia Bombay is a sport-weight mercerized cotton, which knits up at about 6 st./in on size US 4 or 5 needles. The gradual color changes are great fun to knit or crochet and the yarn is durable but not stiff. I’ve used it for a simple and shapely top-down shell, #169 from Vermont Fiber Designs, or you could try a beautiful crocheted scarf, like the Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf. The colorways are great for kids too, with fun patterns available in Katia Magazine #49. Add oomph to this graceful leaf washcloth, or almost any knitted or crocheted market bag. There are endless possibilities!
May 16 : Berroco Linsey
This worsted-weight blend of cotton and linen has simply the freshest colorways in marled solids or summer-berry multis. Although the knitted fabric will shrink with gentle washing, the hand becomes even more drapey and soft–great for comfy cardigans and breezy summer scarves. The stitch definition is fantastic in the Nidden Cardigan from Norah Gaughan #8, or you can show off the self-striping in a Grrlfriend Market Bag (free on Ravelry) or a simple vest, like Palau from Berroco #307.
If you’d rather try it on before casting on, come see our Turia sample: a light and colorful summer pullover. Crocheters can join granny squares into an easy scarf or cowl; Linsey would also make beautiful crocheted flowers.
May 23 : Tahki Cotton Classic
With a mind-blowing color range and legendary stability, this should be your go-to worsted cotton. There are about a million patterns available, give or take, so choosing a handful to feature is just a starting point for your inspiration.
May 30 : Rowan Cotton Glace
This week’s Fresh Pick is a mercerized sport-weight cotton that has been in Rowan’s portfolio for donkey’s years. It’s fabulous on its own, and beautifully intriguing paired with Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Rowan Panama, and many other yarns. The color range is gorgeous–and our selection is especially large since we have many discontinued colors still available.
June 6 : Bergere de France Coton Fifty
As we head into the hot summer months, there couldn’t be a better time for fingering weight cotton! Our June 6 Fresh Pick is a 50/50 blend of unmercerized cotton and acrylic. I’ve heard that it’s similar to the discontinued Rowan 4-ply Cotton, but in any case the acrylic gives it a bit more springiness than you would likely find in a 100% cotton of similar weight. With saturated colors as well as pastels, it works up beautifully for kids and adults alike. Also, Bergere de France consistently offers super stylish crochet patterns in every pattern booklet–though I wish they made more pattern information available on Ravelry!
Here a few selections to get the wheels turning:
June 13 : Tahki Ripple
You will adore this week’s Fresh Pick: Tahki Ripple, a unique thick-and-thin cotton that creates beautiful texture all on its own. If you want your handknits to look like upscale ready-to-wear, this is the yarn for you! The Tahki booklets (Ripple and Ripple II) are a great starting point for pattern suggestions, but other patterns can work well too.
June 20 : Rowan Handknit Cotton
We have a tried-and-true classic for you this week: Handknit Cotton is a worsted weight, plied cotton that stands up beautifully to wear and shows textured stitches very well. I tried to go beyond the obvious choices with the pattern selections this week, but as always, these are just a starting point…
June 27 : Berroco Seduce
Seduce is a beguiling blend of rayon, linen, silk and nylon that knits up at a worsted gauge in spite of the relatively thin strand. It has gorgeous drape, subtle sheen and a hint of texture–perfect for airy summer tops and shawls!
July 11 : Rowan Purelife Revive
It takes a sure hand to blend several different, completely recycled fibers and come up with something drapey, textural and rich with color. I knit my favorite summer scarf with Revive and love how Rowan mixes it with other yarns for great effect. Stop by the shop to see our Revive samples or get your inspiration right here!
July 18 : Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton
I have to confess, I didn’t realize this week’s Fresh Pick was 25% acrylic until I looked it up on Ravelry just now. But it makes sense, since this cotton blend is quite light and springy. It’s made from “new textile waste,” which I understand to be leftovers from cut garment pieces…all those scraps around the cutting table. I suggest playing with different needle sizes to suit your taste, as our shop swatch was knit on the recommended US size 8 and produced a rather loose fabric.
And now, here are the patterns I picked to pair with it:
I don’t know what’s more fabulous, the bright orange color or the rock-n-roll, off-the-shoulder style of Pumpkin Pie by Heather Dixon. An easy-to-wear, easy-to-knit cowl is always in fashion, Cotton Seeds by Michelle Dupont.
A lovely little housewarming gift with a great name! Little Dragonflies Soap Sack by Rebecca Graves. I’m a sucker for cute babies in sweet knits, Katja by Tisra Fadely. Last but not least, a boho-chic sandal–be the first to start this trend! Ramblin’ Man Barefoot Sandals by Mama Pacha.
August 1 : Bergere de France Cabourg
This week we’re celebrating French style with our Fresh Pick, Bergere de France Cabourg! This blend of hemp and acrylic looks rustic but feels soft and has terrific heathery, muted colors.
August 8 : Rowan Siena
Hot and hazy summer days call for the cool crispness of fingering weight cotton–this week’s Fresh Pick, Rowan Siena, is all that and more. The color palette ranges from brilliant flowery hues to soothing pastels and perfect neutrals, and it works up beautifully on its own or in combination with other yarns. How about giving one of these patterns a try?
Biba by Marie Wallin reminds me of Pop Art, somehow–add punch to your favorite jeans. Brace yourself for an overdose of sweetness: Fifi the Fennec Fox by Shannen C. I don’t usually think of cotton for shawls, but why not? Especially if you have wool sensitivities or just want style with less warmth. I love the lace motif in Haruni by Emily Ross.
Kim Hargreaves always gives you clean, classic, feminine styles, and Obsession is timeless in Siena. Simple and cute, in a fabulous color, is all you need for a little girl’s dress (Little Sister’s Dress).
August 15 : Classic Elite Sprout
Classic Elite Sprout is a bulky organic cotton with a unique twist, giving it a nubbly texture with lofty softness. The palette is full of candy colors as well as easy neutrals–lots of great choices for summertime garments!
Green Point by Nichole Reese would be a great beach cover-up, or a chic extra layer for evenings out. Sprout Baby Blanket by Heather McVickar will keep the little one in your life snug, even on warm days. For a quick-knit cowl that will take you from summer to fall in style, try Andi Satterlund’s Salt.
August 22 : Isager Viscolin
For late summer hot weather, you can’t beat the cool refinement of Isager Viscolin. This fingering weight blend of linen and rayon has gorgeous sheen and drape, not to mention the power to transform a simple pattern into something sublime. Take a peek at these lovely styles for inspiration!
A light and airy crocheted cowl, like Windswept by Diane L. Augustin, is the ideal accessory for early fall; +SSS by Reiko Kuwamura is pure minimalism at its best; I love the sweet femininity and flattering fit of Eva’s Blouse by Alex Capshaw-Taylor.
August 29 : Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Just a few more short weeks until we run out of Fresh Picks… sigh. We have some great transitional yarns coming up, including this week’s All Seasons Cotton–the aran weight cotton/acrylic blend keeps you comfortable even when the temperature swings. Try a few of these patterns on for size!
The great thing about acrylic blends is their light weight, so when you want the bulky look without too much warmth it’s time to try the Gap-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley. This darling crocheted beanie is soft and trendy as a Chemo Cap by Kim Kotary. Kim Hargreaves has styled the perfect pullover with Dare.
Feeling swingy? Cameo by Kim Hargreaves can be playful or sophisticated, depending on how you wear it. The Chevron Baby Blanket adds a wonderful splash of color to any baby’s room; not too hot, and definitely not too scratchy, the Baby Sophisticate is just right for the little boy in your life.
September 5 : Classic Elite Soft Linen
This week’s Fresh Pick is one of those quiet yarns that are easy to overlook. But once you give Soft Linen a try, you’ll appreciate the rather genius blend of fibers (wool, linen & baby alpaca), all-season weight and timeless color palette. Here are some of my favorites to knit or crochet:
Garter Cable Wristlets by Amy Loberg show off the great stitch definition of Soft Linen. This short-sleeved cardigan, Cinnie by Bonne Marie Burns, is an exquisite layering piece with feminine lace patterns in a modern, easy silhouette. The Lady Grantham Hat by Brenda Castiel is the ultimate in vintage-inspired knitting.
September 12 : Rowan Summerspun
The countdown is on! This week, save 10% on Rowan Summerspun–a strand each of merino and cotton, in different colors and gently twisted. The soft variegation is beautiful in stockinette and subtle enough for textured stitches and crochet. The fiber blend and DK weight make this yarn an ideal choice for chilly fall mornings and evenings.
The designer claims this stitch pattern is deceptively simple–in any case, it looks simply amazing! Summit by Mandie Harrington. A tasteful color combination for a lucky man in your life: Lower Eastside by Josh Bennett.
Bloomsbury by Marie Wallin is the kind of easy-to-wear pullover that always looks polished. Sometimes a stitch pattern and yarn seem to be made for each other: Summerly Scarf and Cowl by Ellen T. Andresen. A flirty top in a punchy color is guaranteed to brighten your day: Tutti Frutti by Marie Wallin.
September 19 : Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Pima Silk Tonos & Pima Silk Tonos
This week’s Fresh Pick is a personal favorite! Misti Alpaca Pima Silk Tonos has the comfortable softness of cotton with a hint of silk for more structure and drape, and the colors are glorious. If you prefer a bolder palette, you can try Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Tonos Pima Silk–both yarns will be 10% off on Thursday, September 19. You really can’t go wrong, as they both work wonderfully for casual or dressed-up pieces, knit or crocheted. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Silky Pima Armwarmers by Jennifer Miller show off the magnificent (or subtle) colorplays while keeping your hands toasty. Capelets add flair to a basic top in any season : 111-38 Crochet Shoulder Wrap.
There are so many beautiful cowl patterns out there, but I think this combination of openwork and ribbing in A Perfect Day Off Cowl by Diane L. Augustin shows off the yarn in an unexpected way. And Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier strikes the perfect balance between casual and dressy, with an option of long or short sleeves. The unusual shaping makes it interesting to knit as well! Because I love minimalist shawls: Freesia by JumperCablesKnitting.