Fresh Picks on Thursdays

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:

Alex by Kim Hargreaves makes a vintage style look fresh and modern. Martin Storey’s Berry Mittens are a great canvas for playing with texture.

Rowan Wool Cotton

Rowan Wool Cotton

Alex by Kim Hargreaves, Vintage Designs to Knit

Alex by Kim Hargreaves, Vintage Designs to Knit

Berry Mittens by Martin Storey, Aran Knits

Berry Mittens by Martin Storey, Aran Knits

 

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.

Kintyre by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 52

Kintyre by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 52

Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic, free on Ravelry

Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic, free on Ravelry

Glenda by Amanda Crawford, Rowan Mag. 50

Glenda by Amanda Crawford, Rowan Mag. 50

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!

Picot Edge Washcloth

Picot Edge Washcloth, Churchmouse

Venus, Rowan Seascapes (Creative Linen)

Venus, Rowan Seascapes (Creative Linen)

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.

 

Blooming Cotton Scarf, Knitting Daily

Blooming Cotton Scarf, Knitting Daily (free)

River Song Skirt, Crochet Lace Innovations

River Song Skirt, Crochet Lace Innovations

Stash Busting Cotton Baby Blanket, Ravelry (free)

Stash Busting Cotton Baby Blanket, Ravelry (free)

Cotillion Shell with Flower, Tahki Garden Variety

Cotillion Shell with Flower, Tahki Garden Variety

Dazzling Raglan Mesh Tee, Tahki Intermix

Dazzling Raglan Mesh Tee, Tahki Intermix

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.

Toulon, Rowan Magazine 50

Toulon, Rowan Magazine 50

Rayures

Rayures

Jumping Jack Cushion, www.knitrowan.com

Jumping Jack Cushion, www.knitrowan.com

Juniper, Simple Shapes Cotton Glace

Juniper, Simple Shapes Cotton Glace

Cup Cake Cozie, Ravelry

Cup Cake Cozie, Ravelry

Belle, Rowan Summer Crochet

Belle, Rowan Summer Crochet

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:

#13 Pull Raye, Bergere de France Mag. 161

#13 Pull Raye, Bergere de France Mag. 161

#14 Pull Pirate, Bergere de France Mag. 162

#14 Pull Pirate, Bergere de France Mag. 162

#11, Bergere de France Mag. 167

#11, Bergere de France Mag. 167

Boteh Scarf by Kathy Merrick, Interweave Spring 2007

Boteh Scarf by Kathy Merrick, Interweave Crochet Spring 2007

FishNet Scarf, Andrea Jurgau (Ravelry)

FishNet Scarf, Andrea Jurgau (Ravelry)

Knubbelchen, Ravelry

Knubbelchen, Ravelry

 
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.

Clinton Vest, Tahki website

Clinton Vest, Tahki website

Firefly Scarf, Classic Elite #9109 Picnic

Firefly Scarf, Classic Elite #9109 Picnic

Lacy Lady Scarf by Maria Bittner, Ravelry

Lacy Lady Scarf by Maria Bittner, Ravelry

Postcards Tee, Tahki Ripple II

Postcards Tee, Tahki Ripple II

Remsen Twist-Front Top, Tahki Ripple

Remsen Twist-Front Top, Tahki Ripple

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…

Rowan Handknit Cotton

Rowan Handknit Cotton

Crocheted Slippers by Zoom Yummy (Ravelry)

Crocheted Slippers by Zoom Yummy (Ravelry)

Upside Down Daisy Hat by Susan Anderson (Itty Bitty Hats)

Upside Down Daisy Hat by Susan Anderson (Itty Bitty Hats)

Starr by Kim Hargreaves (Misty)

Starr by Kim Hargreaves (Misty)

Peace by Kim Hargreaves (Misty)

Peace by Kim Hargreaves (Misty)

Cherry by Martin Storey (Simple Shapes Handknit Cotton)

Cherry by Martin Storey (Simple Shapes Handknit Cotton)

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!

Berroco Seduce

Berroco Seduce

Pucker by Norah Gaughan, (Volume 4)

Gypsy by Cheri Christian (Ravelry)

Gypsy by Cheri Christian (Ravelry)

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert (Knitty.com)

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert (Knitty.com)

Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West (Free on Ravelry)

Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West (Free on Ravelry)

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!

Rowan Purelife Revive

Rowan Purelife Revive

Tribe by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 51

Tribe by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 51

Shell Brimmed Cloche by Cathy Phillips, Ravelry

Shell Brimmed Cloche by Cathy Phillips, Ravelry

Lolita Vest by Jamie Thomas

Lolita Vest by Jamie Thomas

Garter Stitch Pouffe by Marin Wallin, Rowan Purelife Home

Garter Stitch Pouffe by Marin Wallin, Rowan Purelife Home

Age of Brass and Steam Shawlette by Orange, Ravelry

Age of Brass and Steam Shawlette by Orange, Ravelry

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.

2nd Time Cotton, Knit One Crochet Too

2nd Time Cotton, Knit One Crochet Too

Pumpkin Pie by Heather Dixon, Ravelry In-store purchase

Pumpkin Pie by Heather Dixon, Ravelry In-store purchase

Cotton Seeds by Michelle Dupont, free on Ravelry

Cotton Seeds by Michelle Dupont, free on Ravelry

Little Dragonflies Soap Sack by Rebecca Graves, free on Ravelry

Little Dragonflies Soap Sack by Rebecca Graves, free on Ravelry

Katja by Tisra Fadely, knitty.com

Katja by Tisra Fadely, knitty.com

Ramblin' Man Barefoot Sandals by Mama Pacha, buy on Ravelry

Ramblin’ Man Barefoot Sandals by Mama Pacha, buy on Ravelry

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.

Bergere de France Cabourg

Bergere de France Cabourg

#22 Cross-over, Bergere de France 166

#22 Cross-over, Bergere de France 166

#18 Intarsia Pullover, Bergere de France 162

#18 Intarsia Pullover, Bergere de France 162

#17 Gilet, Bergere de France 161

#17 Gilet, Bergere de France 161

Hip in Hemp by Gudrun Johnston

Hip in Hemp by Gudrun Johnston

Hemp Lace Scarf by Simone van Iderstine

Hemp Lace Scarf by Simone van Iderstine, FREE on Ravelry

Hemp Flowers Necklace by Norah Gaughan

Hemp Flowers Necklace by Norah Gaughan

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.

Biba, Rowan Mag. 53

Biba, Rowan Mag. 53

Fifi the Fennec Fox by Shannen C.

Fifi the Fennec Fox by Shannen C., Ravelry.

Haruni by Emily Ross, free on Ravelry

Haruni by Emily Ross, free on Ravelry

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).

Obsession by Kim Hargreaves, Whisper

Obsession by Kim Hargreaves, Whisper

Little Sister's Dress by Tora Froseth Design, free on Ravelry

Little Sister’s Dress by Tora Froseth Design, free on Ravelry

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!

If you need a cardigan in a hurry, Short Sands by Susan Mill will save the day. Crocheted hats will be in every boutique this fall–get ahead of the curve with the Sundance Slouch by Carrie Piper.

Classic Elite Sprout

Classic Elite Sprout

Short Sands by Susan Mill

Short Sands by Susan Mill, Classic Elite #9224

Sundance Slouch by Carrie Piper

Sundance Slouch by Carrie Piper, Ravelry

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.

Green Point by Nichole Reese

Green Point by Nichole Reese, Classic Elite #9141

Sprout Baby Blanket, free from Classic Elite

Sprout Baby Blanket, free from Classic Elite

Salt by Andi Satterlund

Salt by Andi Satterlund, Ravelry

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!

The breezy Coral top by Helga Isager goes from picnic to cocktails; the very simple structure of Belle by Julie Weisenberger is amazingly chic!

Isager Viscolin

Isager Viscolin

Coral by Helga Isager

Coral by Helga Isager

Belle by Julie Weisenberger, Cocoknits

Belle by Julie Weisenberger, Cocoknits

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.

Windswept by Diane L. Augustin, Ravelry

Windswept by Diane L. Augustin, Ravelry

+SSS by Reiko Kuwamura, free on Ravelry

+SSS by Reiko Kuwamura, free on Ravelry

Eva's Blouse by Alex Capshaw-Taylor, Interweave Knits Spring 2013

Eva’s Blouse by Alex Capshaw-Taylor, Interweave Knits Spring 2013

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.

GAP-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley, free on Ravelry

GAP-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley, free on Ravelry

Chemo Cap by Kim Kotary, free on Ravelry

Chemo Cap by Kim Kotary, free on Ravelry

Dare by Kim Hargreaves, Spirit

Dare by Kim Hargreaves, Spirit

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.

Cameo by Kim Hargreaves, Whisper

Cameo by Kim Hargreaves, Whisper

Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, free on Ravelry

Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, free on Ravelry

Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down, free on Ravelry

Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down, free on Ravelry

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:

So simple and unbelievably elegant, the Linen and Lace Cardigan by Nancy Eiseman. I love that you can wear the Fionnuala Cowl by Tracie Barrett as a shoulder-warming shawl.

Classic Elite Soft Linen

Classic Elite Soft Linen

Linen and Lace Cardigan, Nancy Eiseman

Linen and Lace Cardigan, Nancy Eiseman (Knit.wear Spring 2012)

Fionnuala Cowl by Tracie Barrett

Fionnuala Cowl by Tracie Barrett, Ravelry

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.

Garter Cable Wristlets by Amy Loberg

Garter Cable Wristlets by Amy Loberg, free from Classic Elite

Lady Grantham Hat by Brenda Castiel

Lady Grantham Hat by Brenda Castiel, Ravelry

Cinnie by Bonne Marie Burns, Chic Knits

Cinnie by Bonne Marie Burns, Chic Knits

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.

Rowan Summerspun

Rowan Summerspun

Summit by Mandie Harrington, free on knitty.com

Summit by Mandie Harrington, free on knitty.com

Lower Eastside by Josh Bennett, Rowan Mag. 51

Lower Eastside by Josh Bennett, Rowan Mag. 51

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.

Bloomsbury by Marie Wallin, Rowan Summerspun Collection

Bloomsbury by Marie Wallin, Rowan Summerspun Collection

Summerly Scarf by Ellen T. Andresen, Ravelry

Summerly Scarf by Ellen T. Andresen, Ravelry

Tutti Frutti by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 53

Tutti Frutti by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 53

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.

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Pima Silk Tonos

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Pima Silk Tonos

Silky Pima Armwarmers by Jennifer Miller, Ravelry

Silky Pima Armwarmers by Jennifer Miller, Ravelry

Crochet Shoulder Wrap, free from DROPS

Crochet Shoulder Wrap, free from DROPS

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.

A Perfect Day Off Cowl by Diane L. Augustin, Ravelry

A Perfect Day Off Cowl by Diane L. Augustin, Ravelry

Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier, Ravelry

Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier, Ravelry

Freesia by JumperCablesKnitting, Ravelry

Freesia by JumperCablesKnitting, Ravelry