Spring is finally here, with fresh produce, farmers markets and… crisp and colorful yarns. With the Los Altos Farmers Market starting in May, we’re inspired to offer our own “fresh picks in season!”
Every Thursday through August, we’ll highlight one spring yarn with pattern suggestions, and you’ll save 10% on that yarn all day. Not ready to buy? Then enjoy a “taste” from our sample skein. The complete calendar of Fresh Picks is below, and suggested patterns will be added to our website and Ravelry group page as the season continues.
August 28 : Be Sweet Bambino and Bambino Taffy
And here we are at the last Fresh Pick of 2014: soft and light as a cloud, this organic cotton/bamboo blend is ideal for sensitive skin. The candy colors make for cheerful knitting and a sunny outlook–a great way to extend summer relaxation into the fall!
It would be hard to give away this adorable Momma and Baby Monster by Rebecca Danger–better make two! Sweet Chloe by Alana Dakos could be worked in stripes of Bambino, or let Bambino Taffy do the work for you. The perfect baby hat is simple and cozy, and just as comfy for adults–try Bamboo Baby Hat by Laurie Kimmelstiel.
May 1 : Rowan Summerspun
This cheery DK-weight yarn is spun with one strand of merino wool and one strand of cotton dyed separately and twisted around each other for a unique variegated effect. It’s wonderful for knitting, crocheting and weaving! Try any of these patterns for a great summer look:
Summerspun has appealing colorways for men too: Lower Eastside by Josh Bennett. Eyes Sweater by Linda Skuja has a fresh, intriguing crochet pattern. Beguiling stripes on a slouchy summer sweater: Bloomsbury by Marie Wallin.
May 8 : Berroco Linsey
Berroco Linsey is in the spotlight this week–a summery DK-weight linen/cotton blend that comes in fresh marled and self-striping colorways. It’s lightweight and feels great next to your skin, with an easy drape for cardigans, tee shirts… just about anything! Berroco #307 is dedicated to Linsey, but there are lots of other choices:
Lanesplitter Skirt by Tina Whitmore has unexpected edge and fabulous color. Your spring wardrobe deserves a splashy yet practical accessory: Solid Granny Square Bottom Bag by Bob Wilson. The popular Wingspan by Maylin Tri’coterie takes on a new personality in a summer-weight yarn:
May 15 : Tahki Cotton Classic
It’s all in the name–when you need a basic, reliable cotton that comes in a zillion colors, Tahki Cotton Classic is your go-to yarn. Its stability is so good, you can even crochet bikinis with it! But if bikinis aren’t your thing, try some of these lovely patterns instead:
Funky Baby Monster Hat by Christine DeCoster will keep moms and dads smiling; Neat Ripple Pattern blanket by Lucy of Attic24 shows off the wide color palette; Liesl by Ysolda Teague is a simple top-down style with plenty of design options.
May 22 : Bergere de France Bergereine
This 50/50 wool-cotton blend marries the best qualities of both fibers in a crisp, heathered strand. You can wear it comfortably year-round in tee-shirts, cardigans or shawls–and it crochets beautifully too!
For a feminine and flirty accessory, try #16 Crochet Handbag from Bergere de France #172; these Crochet Baby Converse by Suzanne Resaul are too cute for words; Leaving by Anne Hanson is an elegant layer for any season.
May 29 : Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Sometimes you need a snuggly summer pullover that’s not too warm; or a soft hat for sensitive skin; or just a bulky-but-lightweight cotton that knits or crochets quickly. Rowan All Seasons Cotton lives up to its name by giving you year-round comfort in fresh colors.
Babies need stylish summer cover too! Try Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down; Smooch by Kim Hargreaves is saucy yet classic; Cabazon by Sarah Hatton is simply chic and a great project for a beginning crocheter.
June 5 : Classic Elite Sprout
There’s nothing quite like Sprout: fluffy soft with a charming pebbled texture, it’s well suited to simply styled baby blankets, pullovers, shawls and toys.
Oatmeal Pullover by Jane Richmond is the cozy pullover you need for early morning walks and chilly evenings; Cantaloop by Shelley L. Brander gives you a quick and splashy burst of color.
The award for delightful creativity goes to Morehouse Designs for the Baby Alligator Scarf. Last-minute barbecue? Riptide by Susan Mills has you covered. Olivia’s Butterfly by Valerie Whitten is easily sized up for a cushy chemo cap.
June 12 : Taiyo Sock
I’m excited about this week’s Fresh Pick, Noro Taiyo Sock, because it’s unbelievably versatile and the colors are extraordinary. The fingering weight blend of cotton, wool, silk and nylon gives you a light, breathable, and strong fabric. Give it a try for some of these projects:
Wee Babe’s Gelato Vest by Wendy Russell is delightfully sweet in a pastels–and you know a yarn meant for the soles of your feet can handle the wear and tear of a toddler. Cables add lovely texture to these fashionably bright #7 Cabled Socks by Christina Behnke.
Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure is a great project when you just want to knit and let the yarn work its magic. Perfect for vacation knitting, even if you don’t leave home: the soothing undulations of Bermuda Scarf by Ilga Leja. The self-striping colorways are also beautifully rendered with crochet lace patterns, such as Shell Scarf by Mary
June 19 : Filatura di Crosa Tiffany
With a hint of sparkle and a summery tweed texture, Tiffany is an elegant, Cinderella yarn that transforms an everyday pattern into a beautiful piece for special occasions or for when you just feel like wearing some subtle bling.
Cara Cropped Poncho Top by Lynn M. Wilson has old-world, Gatsby-esque glamour with its dramatic lace pattern and simple silhouette. Crochet Spring Wrap by Sarah Anderson Designs is just right over a ladylike dress, or a pair of jeans.
Crochet Necklace by Creative Yarn is an eye-catching accessory for every neckline; Maremma Two-Tone Vest by Irina Poludnenko is inspired by Chanel’s spring runway collection. Feeling flirty? Off the Shoulder Pullover by Vladimir Teriokhin heats up a chilly summer evening.
June 26: Malabrigo Lace
You may not think of merino as a summer yarn, but it’s absolutely heavenly in lace weight, and Malabrigo’s colorways are every bit as delicious paired with your warm weather staples. Wide temperature swings are guaranteed in Northern California, so you might as well be prepared in style!
Lace Slouch Hat by Linda Permann would be at home in the Anthropologie catalog; Lila[c]loud by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne is sweetness in a feather-light sweater (see how it’s held up only by tape!); for casual, slouchy comfort that is nonetheless chic, try Weathered Pullover by Ann Weaver.
July 3 : Rowan Panama
Rowan Panama might just be the perfect summer yarn. Nearly equal parts silk, cotton and rayon, this lightly textured fingering weight yarn manages to be both casual and elegant, draping beautifully in stockinette fabric as well as lace patterns.
Make this cardigan your favorite summer staple: Ocean by Sarah Hatton; enjoy playing with texture and color in the Paint Chip Skirt by Jill Stover; Limestone Landscape by Elizabeth Cobbe is effortless and simply chic.
July 10 : Bergere de France Ecoton
What to do when you crave the nubbly comfort of tweed but you’re not ready for the warmth of wool? Look to a recycled blend like Bergere’s Ecoton, a cushy blend of cotton, acrylic and other mystery fibers in sun-soaked colors. With more spring and texture than your usual basic cotton, Ecoton gives an earthy depth to your summertime tops. Pick a project and then join us on Friday, July 11 for our Soiree Tricot, celebrating French knitted style!
Babies love going green: the adorable #42 Pullover with Hood is cozy and comfortable for summer tots. Amineko Crocheted Cat by Nekoyama is sure to get lots of love from your little one, too. Make the most of Ecoton’s edited palette with color-blocking and lace of the Blind Date top by K. Finn Dixon–every combination is beautiful!
July 17 : Tahki Rosa
Tahki Rosa is in the spotlight this week! This is a cotton yarn for instant gratification: soft as a fluffy cloud, with a wonderful thick-and-thin texture, it works up into a sweater or cardigan in a flash and without fuss. Tahki’s Intermix pattern book has several appealing patterns for Rosa, or you can try one of these styles, hand-picked for you!
Another lovely layer, with a more elegant look: Coastal Capelet by Susan Barstein. No more itchy sweaters! Kids will love Rosa’s softness in Spectacle Lake Pullover by Sara Gresbach. Rosa’s playful texture makes a simple V-neck sweater into a favorite, go-anywhere top: Destinations Top-Down Pullover by Pam Grushkin.
July 31 : Cascade Fixation
There’s nothing quite like Fixation, with its extraordinary elasticity inside a cotton strand. What can you do with it? More than you might think….
Your cherubs will get long wear out of an extra-stretchy hat, in a solid or variegated colorway: Angel Wings Hat by Susie Bonell. Make your own charming tool accessories with the Froggie Tapester with Lily Pad Scissor Case by Melanie Blake.
No more slippers and socks that sag! Not-So-Ruby Slippers by Dawn Ellerd keep your tootsies colorfully snug, while Toe-Up Fixation Footies by Sarah H. Arnold are a sporty alternative to traditional wool socks. Finally, Fixation Tank DK121 by Joan Somerville gives you body-conscious style to wear alone or as a layer.
August 7 : Rowan Summer Tweed
This rustic blend of silk and cotton has been in Rowan’s yarn portfolio for ages, and there’s good reason for its longevity. For quick summer sweaters with substance, but not weight, you can’t beat Summer Tweed’s lightness and cool feel on your skin. It’s not a springy yarn, though, so work it on a larger needle or hook to give your hands a break–it will be worth the effort!
Summer Tweed’s nubby texture gives a bohemian look to lace and stitch patterns; try Lin Lin Shawl by Yoko Johnston for a dramatic touch. Flex by Heidi Kirrmaier could be your favorite comfy summer tee.
The Shoulder Cozy by Churchmouse is an easy, versatile accessory for summer and fall, and knits up at lightning speed on size 13 needles; go a little bit rock ‘n roll with Coachella by Fathom Harvill; or add a unexpected edge to the feminine Pink Cowl by Gabriela.
August 14 : Classic Elite Soft Linen
Soft Linen is the ultimate transitional season yarn–and sometimes I think all seasons on the West Coast are transitional! With just about equal parts linen, wool and alpaca, Soft Linen gives you excellent stitch definition, drape with memory, and the right amount of warmth in a year-round DK weight strand.
This delightful topsy-turvy doll from Irene Strange will stand the test of time and hold up to many years of love; Abria by Bonne Marie Burns is a spare, feminine cardigan to layer effortlessly over anything; play with infinite color combinations in the Stripie Scarf by Amy Loberg.
August 21 : Filatura di Crosa Nirvana
As the name suggests, this 2-ply lace weight yarn is hard to top: 100% superwash merino in a wide and contemporary color palette, Nirvana is spun smoothly for pure stitch heaven. It’s fantastic on its own, and totally delectable paired with Filatura di Crosa Superior.
Stripes are always in style, and have a hint of vintage glamour in the sheer Morning Horizon by Dani Berg. It’s not just for shawls: lace weight yarn creates an artistic textural effect in Empyrean Tunic by Anne Kuo Lukito.
The intricate crocheted lace pattern in Fritillary Shawl by Aparna Rolfe is spectacular with a beaded edge. Bring a modern touch to Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Sweater on 2 Needles with a lighter strand. Light as Air Fingerless Gloves by Natalie O’Shea add a luxurious pop of color to your fall wardrobe.