Category Archives: Yarn Review

Summer in Minnesota FLOWS On!

Gorgeous, MN

Gorgeous, MN

I love it here. I’m a woman who likes cold weather, and I LOVE chilly Summer evenings and sleep-with-the-windows-open nights.  I love Minnesota.

And, being a Virgo, I love home.

Being home is better than anything else to me (and I do love travel!) so this is a very special time – I know I’ll be home for a few weeks and I’m in heaven!

Butts at Olds!

Butts at Olds!

Last week I traveled up to Olds, Alberta to teach at Olds Fiber Week – which was lovely – but I am SO glad to be home, back on my bike, and getting my health back in order!

Travel really takes it out of me (out of so many of us) and it generally takes me about 1/2 the time of the trip to feel like ‘myself’ again.

Having said that, at the start of August I’ll be teaching at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair! I’m offering 4 classes (listed to the right in the calendar area) and some are filling up very fast! If you’re in the Chicago area or will be attending this great festival, please register soon so you’re not disappointed!

Bolero Book

Right now I’m focusing on finishing writing the 25 patterns for my book, working up the schematics and charts.  It will be published by Stackpole books, and the samples have received HUGE positive comments whenever I show them while teaching. I’m afraid I cannot show pics of the finished items (it’s in my contract) but I can give a small taste of some of the items!

I have a feeling this will be an pretty popular book; the patterns are very wearable, many of them are very simple to knit, and the yarns I was able to use are just gorgeous!

And – BONUS! – I just heard from my editor that I can have a bit more time for the pattern writing. This is HUGE because I’m dealing with a cracked tooth/abscess thing right now, so my thoughts are scattered, to say the least.

Dealing with mouth pain is not the best frame of mind for doing lots of math.

ModeKnit Yarn

In our own little corner of the knit world, we’ve begun a new line of colors called FLOW!

They’re long-color change yarns, and we’re using our established Semi Precious colors as a jumping off place – here you can see Spessartine (hand painted) vs Spessartine (Flow)  Basically I’m deconstructing the colors and layering them, separately, with the actual blending happening between the hues.

Right now we’re offering selected colors, you can buy them by the ball (limited quantities, once they’re out of stock they’re gone until I dye up more!)

I’m open to any color suggestions you might have for blending; what would YOU like to see?

ModeKnit Yarn!

Color: Gilmarite in Worsted

Color: Gilmarite in ModeLuxe

I am beyond thrilled to announce the first few batches of ModeKnit Yarn is now available for purchase!

Shop Here!

We’ve been dyeing, testing, knitting, swatching and working like elves to get some of our beautiful new yarn ready for purchase before Christmas!

We’ve gone with two different yarn bases for this first group;

ModeSock is a lovely sock yarn with enough nylon for strength, but superwash merino and bamboo for drape and softness.  This yarn knits up like a dream, and feels heavenly while you’re working with it!

ModeLuxe is a stunning blend of Merino and Cultivated Silk, spun together to form a strong yet amazingly beautiful yarn.  We have less of these for our initial offering, I was curious to see if it would live up to my expectations (it has!) and I’m busily finishing up a pattern for this yarn to be released very shortly!

Color: Chabazite in ModeLuxe

Color: Chabazite in ModeLuxe

You can purchase these yarns at our website for the present. We intend to hit fiber shows and knitting conventions, and with any luck our goal is to go wholesale in 2015.

Right now we’re offering free shipping until Christmas on all domestic orders over $20!

Stained Glass Knits

I’ve been crazy busy this Summer, and it’s one of those situations where the busier I am, the less time I have to write/blog about it, so I’m entrapped in a cone of silence.

I’m breaking the cone!

I’ve been working up a collection of patterns called, not very creatively, “Stained Glass Knits”

I love color – it’s one of the most inspiring things in my world – and light traveling through colored glass is magical.  I wanted to catch some of that feeling in yarn, so here are a few of the pieces I’ll be releasing later this month as a collection (and also as single patterns, if you’re so inclined!)

Rose Window

Rose Window

This first is a circular jacket based on a small circular window.

I am calling it, simply, “Rose WIndow.”

I used Biggan Dup’s beautiful yarns – 100% Australian Merino, soft and lovely to knit with. Biggan sells a set of mini-balls (it’s the Wrap Yourself in Color kit).

Simple Stained Glass Window

Simple Stained Glass Window

I used those yarns as a jumping off point, plus about 6 skeins of black and 4 of grey, to create this lovely jacket. 

I can’t really capture how great it is in photographs, it’s so much nicer in person!

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

The next piece is “Strasbourg”, a shawl inspired by the rose window at Strasbourg Cathedral, and a ball of Kauni

Strasbourg Cathedral Window

Strasbourg Cathedral Window

I love it when a piece has multiple sources of inspiration! Separate small balls of a charcoal/black yarn are used to create the ‘leading’

Pantone Door Swatches

Pantone Door Swatches

Morse

The third piece is a cowl I’ve named “Morse”.

It’s not inspired by traditional stained glass, but by a cool door created with transparent slides of Pantone colors.

I love the measured brightness against the dark (which is the joy of just about any stained glass piece!)

To create this dichotomy in color AND in feel, I’ve used two yarns by Lorna’s Laces with a very different texture. The color is their shiny silk, Pearl, in colorway Motherlode. The dark is the lovely matte Shepherd Worsted, in Kerfuffle.

Wrightish Bag

Wrightish Bag

I’m just finishing up a bag and blanket set which I’m calling “Wright-ish”

It’s loosely based on several motifs by Frank Lloyd Wright, I found myself more inspired by his use of color and leading weights than by any one of his beautifully designed windows.

The Blanket

The Blanket

I’ve used Jared Flood’s spectacular yarn, Shelter in a modular knit pattern. I love this yarn – it’s bright and rich without being shiny. It’s true and honest and warm and very loving.

Inspiration for future work

Inspiration for future work

I have two other pieces I’m working through / designing. One’s based on a lamp, the other on this beautiful image the stained glass in Thanksgiving Square in Dallas.

These patterns will all be available soon at my website, anniemodesitt.com, and also in my Ravelry store.

I just thought you’d like to see how I spent my Summer vacation!

Some New (to me) Yarns & A Lace Class

NEW CLASS

Before I talk about the yarns, I want to give a shout out for a class I’m teaching at Darn Knit Anyway in Stillwater, MN this Thursday and next Saturday (a two part class)

It’s a class on knitting lace, learning to mistress charts and feel more intuitive about your lace, and the entire class will be working on Ruth Garcia-Alcantud‘s pattern Chambourcin, we’ll be using the nested medallion motif from that pattern as a jumping off place for lace calisthenics.

NEW YARNS

A skein of SilverSpun – 50g/173 yds

Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some new yarns, well – new to me, so I thought I’d write about them on this hot, hot day with the thought of knitting with the alpaca blend I have on my needles is daunting!

My friend, Laurie Gonyea (Feel Good Yarn Company) has started a new adventure with SILVER yarn! She’s producing an American made cotton & pure silver yarn that has an amazing softness, bounce and beautiful texture! Laurie sent me a skein a few weeks ago, I did some knitting up with it and it was extraordinary!

There’s buzz that the silver can be helpful for arthritis, but I can’t really comment on that as I’m not a doctor.

What I CAN comment on is that this is extraordinary yarn with a feeling different than just about anything else I’ve knit with. It has a firmness, yet is very soft and pliable.

Laurie’s engaging in a Kickstarter campaign to help her get this yarn off the ground, I think it’s worth checking out!

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TNNA HAUL: Baah, Classic Elite, Lorna’s Laces & a maribou feather from the Columbus Gay Pride Parade

While at TNNA I was introduced to a few new yarn companies worth noting, and a few new yarns by established companies.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.35.59 AMQUINCE & CO

This is the 3rd Anniversary of Pam Allen’s yarn company, but it’s the FIRST time I’ve used any of her lovely yarns in an editorial!

I just finished a beautiful (well, I think it’s beautiful) balaklava for Interweave Crochet in Quince & Co Tern, and I enjoyed working with this yarn SO much!  It’s got a great feel in the hand, good body, and the drape of the finished fabric is perfection!  I haven’t used it for knitting, but I’m DYING to!

I think I’ll knit some up right now as a swatch for a new lace project / class!

BAAH YARNS

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.00.15 AMI was pretty much blown away by both the soft firmness (can you tell I’m a sucker for a soft, firm yarn…) AND by the beautiful array of colors.

Bright, crisp and clear, I fell in love with the blues and yellows especially (it’s hard to find a good yellow!)

I’m hoping to use their lovely yarn in a new project, time will tell…

SWAN’S ISLAND

IMG_0018Not a new company, but I hadn’t really appreciated their rich, deep and satisfying palette until I spent some time handling it at TNNA this year.  It’s gorgeous stuff!

Organic merino and natural dyes combine to make a soul-satisfying palette. 

I’ve no immediate plans to use their yarns, but that’s not for lack of love!

Maybe the editorial gods will conspire to do me a solid and hook us up in the future!

DROPS

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Scarf & Jasper

I’ve been assigned a few pieces for the UK Magazine, The Knitter, using Drops Alaska and Nepal.

They’re both beautiful yarns, Nepal has a bit of alpaca to soften it up, but Alaska is wonderfully soft wool on it’s own!

“Girls, you’re BOTH pretty!”

I’m working up a few mens pieces, one of which is a reversible cabled scarf (shown with my own handsome fellow, Jasper the Poodle outside of a local Caribou Coffee)

I’d used DROPS yarn before, but never so much for 4 different projects. It’s a VERY enjoyable knit, and the colors are clear and rich – I like my colors like I like my men…

LORNA’S LACES

Flushing Colorway

In addition to a new marled yarn pictured above (I’m not sure if it’s out for public consumption yet…) LL’s just come out with some new colorways based on locations which have meaning for the LL staff.  I love this idea, and I adore the colors!

My favorite is Flushing – a beautifully masculine colorway, which would pair really well with a more feminine semi-solid for a totally different feel.

Keep up the great work, Beth, Amanda and everyone at LL!