Straight-up or Blended: How do You Like Your Fiber?
Do you like your coffee black, or with cream and sugar? Lemonade or Tom Collins? Whether you’re a purist at heart or like to mix things up, you’ll love the beautiful yarn choices we offer for warm weather knit and crochet. I’m intrigued by the new fiber blends (yak, anyone?) as well as the innovative twists on 100% cotton or linen that make these yarns feel brand new. Read on for our menu of spring yarns–the perfect fiber cocktail awaits!
Stirred, Not Shaken
No one has mastered the art of mixing fibers better than Shibui. Their exquisite collection of single-fiber and blended yarns are meant to be combined in infinite ways, creating subtle texture and color in spare, elegant pieces. Rain is the newest yarn for spring: 100% mercerized cotton in an elongated chainette, with an unbelievable sheen. Join us for a Shibui Mix Party on Sunday, April 17 from 10 a.m – 12 noon and be your own mix-master! Let the inspiration flow as you knit or crochet with samples of all the Shibui yarn bases, guided by mixing suggestions, an amazing trunk show of Shibui and Cocoknits designs, and the full color rings and pattern books brought by our delightful Shibui representative. $10 reserves your space and can be applied to any Shibui purchase until June 30–call (650) 941-1815 or drop by the shop. Shown below: Spectrum, Etch, Tier and Bevel.
Rowan on the Rocks
When I first heard about Rowan Softyak, a DK-blend of cotton, yak and nylon, my first thought was “Okay, but why?” Here’s the answer: yak is an extremely light yet warm fiber, and combined with cotton it creates a comfortable, breathable yarn with rich heathery colors. To top it off, the pattern collection is stunning and pitch-perfect for our transitional climate. Shown below: Tinley by Marie Wallin, from the Softyak Collection.
You can always count on Rowan to do the basics really, really well. Summerlite DK is a dream come true in Egyptian cotton, with gorgeous saturated jewel tones plus an edited selection of desert pastels, knitting into a soft matte finish. As usual, Martin Storey turns traditional sweater silhouettes into current classics with the Summerlite DK Collection (Cornwallis and Mistral shown below.)
Imagine a yarn made of beach pebbles and seashells smoothed and softened by crashing waves: this is Berroco Corsica, a dreamy DK blend of cotton and cashmere in feminine pastels and light, earthy neutrals. The Berroco designers have put together a beautiful collection of casually dressy knit and crochet patterns, perfect for a summer wedding wrap or dining al fresco. Since Corsica is machine-washable, it would also make a lovely blanket for a special spring baby. Shown below: Tucker and Roberts from Berroco #370.
Still beachy but a bit bolder, Katia Creta is a playful, thick-and-thin bulky mix of cotton and acrylic. As life gets more chaotic, I really appreciate yarns that look great with hardly any effort. Creta has a fun yet sophisticated texture and all you have to do is get your big needles and knit! I love it for a lacy layered vest (Style #28 from Katia Magazine 89), or simple cardigan like Hamlin Peak by Pam Allen.
Linen with a Twist
Linen is having a moment in fashion, which seems odd to say about such an ancient fiber. Like buddies in a retro sitcom–Laverne and Shirley, or Oscar and Felix–wool and linen have almost opposite personalities, and you’ll enjoy them most when you appreciate their particular qualities. Lang Lino is one of the most beautiful 100% linen yarns I’ve seen, with amazing color saturation, brilliant sheen, and softly structured drape. Chiaki Hayashi’s Relax Modern Shaped Pullover is a great piece to show off Lino’s easy elegance, but I can also see it in a colorful, graphic shawl by Heidi Kirrmaier or Melanie Berg. And since linen is so hard-wearing, it’s the perfect fiber for a skirt–no unfortunate felting to worry about!
Classic Elite’s Fortuna takes a slightly rustic approach, mixing a fiber-y linen strand with cotton and rayon for tone-on-tone color. Use it alone for a spring top (shown above: Faye by Tonia Barry) or scarf with subtle texture; or mix it with Classic Elite’s self-striping Bella Lino for more vibrant color effects. Change up your tools and you’ll see a new side to these versatile yarns: try a crochet hook or rigid heddle loom to make market bags, washcloths or table runners. A handmade housewarming gift is always a welcome token, and it’s a fun way to experiment with a new yarn.
Our spring schedule of classes is a fizzy mix of ongoing classics and new “flavors.” When you’ve got a project in mind but aren’t sure how to tackle it, try one of our project classes. Join Sydney on Thursday nights throughout the spring and summer; knit along with Clementine on Monday mornings (through April), or–for the first time–join me on Saturday mornings for help with your crochet projects. No matter which group you choose, you can count on getting help and motivation to successfully finish your project. Meanwhile, Laura is stirring things up with a flight of new fiber classes: a Weaving Studio on April 25; Needle Felting on May 1; Woven Scarf in June; and Dye Your Own Yarn on July 17.