Category Archives: Yarns

A Week of Major Patterns!


Yes!  Our new Major yarn (no pun intended) is here, and we’re shipping it off to LYSes as we speak!  We love this yarn.  It comes in a big, beautiful, squeezable skein.  How big?

Amy shows she’s behind Major 100%.

Big.  200g/328yds of bulky self-striping goodness.

We love this yarn.  We’ve already had a great time designing with it, as with the Pineapple Peacock Shawl at right.  Two balls of Major on aUS Size K-10½ (6.5 mm) hook makes a really dramatic and satisfying piece.

But to really celebrate, we’re sharing a new free pattern in Major every day this week!  Today: the Blue Heartstrings Pullover.


Knitted in pieces and seamed, this sweater features crossed cables are repeated on the front and back (back view shown at right).

The yarn quantity given is enough to complete the project for that particular size.  However, if you want to be doubly sure to match the striping on the front/back and sleeves, you may wish to purchase an extra ball in order to start at the same place in the color patterning in the yarn ball.

Tune in tomorrow to see what’s next!

Happy crafting!


Spotlight on Yashi

With Spring coming, we want to highlight a great yarn for warm weather.

Yashi and Yashi Iro 2 balls blog

Yashi is 100% raffia.  It has a papery but soft feel and works great for accessories and home decor.  Yashi Iro is its multi-colored companion, dyed in shades that coordinate with the solids.  Our Sales Director Yonca has made a video to tell us all about it.

In the video, she mentions Rick Mondragon’s Japanese Knot bag, which is now available as a free pattern on our website.

Yashi Bag Rick Mondragon_hi-res

This was originally available for STITCHESWest attendees, and we’re very grateful to Knitting Universe for sharing it with us. By the way, if you haven’t been to a STITCHES show yet, put it on your to-do list.  They’re a blast.

You can find the Japanese Knot Bag pattern at this link.

We hope you enjoy this fun free crochet pattern.  Happy crafting!

It’s the Neck’s Big Thing!

From time to time, I see a pattern that makes me think, “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!” The Neck’s Big Thing  is just such a project. Developed a few years ago by Shelley Brander of Loops Knitting in Tulsa, OK, this scarf transforms just one skein of special yarn into a wearable art piece.

Our dear friend Susan Whitmore who used to own Rainy Day Yarns in Pineville, just a hop-skip-and jump from our office here in Harrisburg, NC, introduced us all to the Neck’s Big Thing a couple of years ago at TNNA. Then, recently I saw someone making one of these fabulous designs again it was reminded of how great a gift-project this is. It’s got everything going for it:

  • quick to make
  • easy to knit (or crochet!)
  • requires just 1 skein of yarn
  • attractive

What is there not to love?

I whipped up a couple of NBTs the other day using two of our yarns that are just perfect for it: Classic Shades Big Time and Bamboo Bloom Handpaints.

Necks Big Thing side by side_blog

The one on the left is Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in color 317 Sensei. I held the yarn double throughout and followed the pattern exactly, except I cast on 11 stitches instead of 5. I also cut the fringe  longer, at about 80″.

Necks Big Thing Bamboo Bloom Braid blog Necks Big Thing Bamboo Bloom detail blog


The version on the right uses Classic Shades Big Time color 817 Natural Glow. As you can see, I was going for an autumn theme! I love how Heather styled these. This project looks cool with the fringe hanging free, braided, wrapped, and no doubt many other ways!

Necks Big Thing Big Time detail blog Necks Big Thing Big Time 1 blog Necks Big Thing Big Time wrapped blog

Though I later found out Shelley created a crochet version for the Neck’s Big Thing, I just kind of winged mine. For anyone interested, here is the pattern I came up with:

US Size N/15 (10 mm) hook

Ch 10. Sc in second ch from hook and each ch across, turn.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in first sc, [tr in next sc, sc in next sc] across, turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Rep Rows 1-2, 9 more times. Fasten off. Attach fringe as for knit version.

I could see this project in many other stitch variations as well, both knit and crochet. Other yarns that would make great Neck’s Big Things are denims, Poems Chunky, and Poems Puzzle. It takes around 30 minutes to complete one of these – holiday gift-giving score!


Bamboo Bloom Handpaints- Limited Edition 323 Hashi


Hashi 323 blog

One of the best things about my job is coming in in the morning to a brand new batch of yarn, fresh from the mill.  This is an absolutely beautiful example.  Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in color 323 Hashi.

Hashi means “bridge” in Japanese, and this colorway represents two meanings of the word.  It’s evocative of a passage from one place to another – a bridge that we walk across step by step.

Misty fieldIt’s also meaningful as a passage from one time to another, a bridge that we cross simply by living our lives.  The muted buttery yellows and oranges of Autumn are there, along with an oaky brown.  But they’re connected by shining strands of cream and silver, a nod to winter frost, fallen leaves, and a sun that has to work a little bit harder to warm us.
Bamboo Bloom color 323 Hashi is here as a limited edition.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.  And that, too, is fitting for the passing of the seasons.  The season to come will be just a little bit different than every one before.

VK Fall 2015 Llamalini Bamboo Bloom Stripes Raglan PulloverBamboo Bloom is a popular yarn for its thick/thin quality and shiny/matte blend, and because of the many easy accessory patterns out there.  Designers enjoy it as well.  Take, for example, Vanessa Putt’s Striped Raglan Pullover in the Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting.  It combines lightly heathered Llamalini (royal llama/linen/silk bourette) 101 Birchbark with coordinating Bamboo Bloom Handpaints 309 Nagano for an aesthetically pleasing blend of color and texture, perfect for this top-down loose-fitting bohemian pullover.

Llamalini and Bamboo Bloom for sweater blogLooking at our new colorway 323 Hashi, I couldn’t help but think that it would be a great match for Llamalini color 107 Porpoise.  The two together are a great earthy blend.

I’m currently making myself a one-ball cowl in Hashi.  Since it’s a limited edition I couldn’t resist grabbing a hank while we still had some.  When it’s all done, I’ll share it on our Facebook page.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the changing seasons, and find some inspiration in the world around you.

Happy crafting!

Lluxurious Llamalini

For me, there are more than a few yarns here in the office that inspire daydreams of beautiful projects.  One of those is Llamalini, a decadent blend of linen, royal llama, and silk bourette.  I’m not the only one – designers are picking up on this gem too.  May we show you what our own Amy Gunderson has done recently?


Dichotomy looks great with the very in-style color blocks that meander up the body and across the arm.  Worked flat in pieces from the bottom up, it uses a circular needle strictly to accommodate the large number of stitches required for a pullover with up to 10″ of positive ease.  Sleeve cuffs are worked by picking up stitches off the sides of the body piece and knitting downward.

Dichotomy_Llamalini_2_blogColor changes are achieved with the intarsia method.  The contrasting “line” is formed by working increases and decreases in the blocks of color – no cabling required.

You can purchase this pattern on Craftsy or Ravelry.  (Puppy not included)

In the Spring/Summer 2015 knit.purl, the Swingback Hoodie is turning heads.  Amy wrote an in-depth guest blog post about her design process for this piece.

Gunderson_Swingback_Hoodie_1  knitpurl Summer 2015 Gunderson_Swingback_Hoodie_5

A dramatic feather-and-fan panel makes a pointed back hem. The hood, fronts, and back are worked from the top down, while sleeves are worked from the bottom up.

As part of the knit.purl blog post, Lisa Shroyer asked for Amy’s suggestions for personal styles that would work well with this cardi.  We got a little happy in the studio with Amy modeling.  We couldn’t resist giving you all a little taste of the fun we had.

Happy knitting!


Infuse Yourself

I’m pretty excited. Last week, we got our first shipment of Infusion Handpaints new colors here at our warehouse in Harrisburg, NC:  Six brilliant shades to coordinate with existing colorways of Infusion.

Infusion HP 110 Ruby Mine hi-res Infusion HP 111 New Leaf hi-res Infusion HP 112 Hydro Power hi-res Infusion HP 113 Blue Riot hi-res Infusion HP 114 Purple Magic hi-res Infusion HP 115 Gray Matters hi-res

I was quoted as saying, “Oh man, all I want to do is knit with this stuff for the next month. Nothing else.” Fortunately I’ve had some time to work with the new colors, but let’s face it, I still need to eat, sleep and work.

There are a lot of things I love about this yarn, not just the delightful colorways. It is machine washable. It’s sportweight, making it great for socks, garments, and accessories. It’s an all-around joy!

As you can see, the new colorways are tonal, meaning all the shades in each color are very close to one another and belong to the same color family. Each of these tonal colorways was designed specifically to coordinate with the earlier multis. Because it can be tough to pair colors with one another without having the benefit of having all the skeins with one in person, I’ve put together this handy guide. Each of the groupings below illustrates a multi (color numbers 101-109) along with the new tonal colors (color numbers 110-115) that have an exact match with one or more shades.


_DSC0340 _DSC0339

_DSC0341 _DSC0342 _DSC0343

_DSC0345 _DSC0344

_DSC0347 _DSC0346

_DSC0349 _DSC0348


_DSC0353 _DSC0352

_DSC0356 _DSC0354 _DSC0355

As you can see, each multi colorway has either 2 or 3 tonal colors that is a direct match. Here is an example of 103 But a Dream paired up with 110 Ruby Mine:


As you can see, this yarn has decided to be a sweater. The sleeve cuff here is worked in 110 in a simple broken rib pattern. The sleeve uses both 103 & 110, alternating every 2 rows. You can see the luscious blending that occurs, since both colorways share some of the same red tones.


Here’s a second example, this time using the same multi (103 But a Dream), but paired with a contrasting tonal color, 115 Gray Matters.


Here I’ve worked a shorter cuff in a slipped 1×1 rib, using just color 115. Again, I’ve striped 115 & 103, changing colors every 2 rows.  As you can see, the striping is more pronounced. It would be even more so using more highly contrasting shades.

I haven’t decided which version to proceed with yet – I love them both! It really is like watching a watercolor painting grace the canvas right before my eyes while knitting.

The tonal colors work great all on their own, as seen here in the Razor’s Edge Shawlette:

Infusion Dragon's RazorsEdge final long

Instead of using 2 tonals, I think this project would also look great worked using a multi in place of the gray, and sticking with a tonal color for the red.

And heck, the multis look great all on their own, too. Using a slipped stitch pattern, a classic method of “mixing” handpaint variegated yarn, this little vest would look adorable in any of the colorways.

Infusion Over and Out Vest_blog

Enjoy, I know I am!