Monday, December 8, 2014

Pine Bough Cowl -- Kenzie at its Best!


Here are few photos of the Pine Bough Cowl, a FREE PATTERN, that is knit using Kenzie, the DK weight tweed yarn that is a blend of New Zealand merino, nylon, alpaca and angora, with touches of silk noils. It is a spectacular yarn.


Lori, who works here at Graywood Designs, made this cowl using Color 1015 "Boysenberry" and Color 1018 "Seal."

Lori's knitting projects are on Ravelry, a social media site for knitters that you might not have found yet. Ravelry is a great resource for all kind of knitting information.


Pine Bough is knit as a tube using a two color technique. The ends of the tube are joined to make the cowl. Lori used four skeins of Boysenberry and 2 1/2 skeins of Seal to complete this project.

Kenzie will also be used as the featured yarn for the January 2015 Knit Along (KAL).


Monday, December 1, 2014

January 2015 KAL Project: Unisex Cabled Scarf




How cool! The January 2015 KAL starts on New Year's Day! Whether you are planning a gathering, or hunkering down for the holiday weekend, it will be satisfying to get out a new knitting project and start something. The directions for Week One will be posted at 9 am EST, so you can knit in the morning, take a break, knit in the afternoon, take a break. . .well, you get the idea.

The project, named "Endgame" and designed by Michelle Hunter, will be a unisex cabled scarf and it is knit with HiKoo's wonderful tweedy yarn, Kenzie. The Graywood Designs website carries twenty luscious colors of this DK weight yarn, colors with names like "Boysenberry" (Color 1015, a deep raspberry rose red) and "Kiwi" (Color 1007, an edgy green that leans toward gold).



Michelle Hunter, designer of the KAL series, says that "Kenzie just may be the perfect tweed. . .the smooth, round 3 ply yarn knits into a cohesive fabric that blooms when wet blocked." Kenzie is a blend of New Zealand merino, angora, and alpaca with nylon added for strength. Silk noils complete the blend and add texture and accents to Kenzie

Scarf size:
Approximately 6 1/2" wide; 56" (70") long

(Notice that there are two choices of length for the scarf.)

Yarn:
Kenzie by HiKoo -- 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noil,
3 (4) skeins
Waste yarn -- contrasting color in a similar weight, 10 yards

Needles and notions:
US #6 (4.0 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
US #7 (4.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable needle
Tapestry needle (we suggest the Clover Chibi, a handy notion for knitting)

Gauge:
20 stitches = 4 " in stockinette stitch using larger needle

Purchase Kenzie HERE.

Buy needles HERE.

Follow the KAL clues HERE.

KAL FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Monday, November 24, 2014

KAL (Knit Along) FAQ

How do I join the KAL?

There is no sign up. During the month of the KAL, you go to the KAL website at Knitpurlhunter.com where the clues are posted every Thursday at 9 am EST for four weeks.

How many KALs are there in a year?



Four. One each in January, April, July, and October, starting on the first Thursday of the month. 

How much does the KAL cost?

Nothing. It is free. The pattern for each KAL is free, too.

Do I have to use the specified yarn?

No.

Is the KAL a mystery?

Yes and no. You will not see photos of the project until the Clue Two (the second week's clue) is posted. You will know the basics -- that it is a scarf or mittens or a hat, etc; what sizes you can knit; what yarn, needles, notions to use; what the gauge is.

Are there clues to the mystery?

Yes. Usually designer Michelle Hunter announces clues. For example, she might indicate that there will be cables, or you will do two color knitting, or the project showcases a new cast on, or a lacework pattern.

Is the knitting hard?

No, but you do need to know how to knit. The directions are detailed and guide you through each stage of the project. If you are a beginner who has accomplished several projects and likes a challenge, these KALs are a great way to further your skills.

How good are the directions?

Excellent. Michelle's directions are detailed and excellent, right down to the number of grams of yarn left at certain stages of the project!  You can print the directions for your personal use. Michelle's online videos back up all of her directions, too. You can follow the comments on the KnitPurlHunter KAL website and you can also join Ravelry.com and follow the knitting there.

Do I need a laptop to follow the KAL?

No. Many knitters use their smartphones to keep up with the clues. You can take a screen shot (or two, or three!) of the directions and have them handy on your mobile wherever you knit.

What if I don't like mystery knitting?

Mark your calendar for the second or third Thursday of the KAL month and take a look at where the KAL is going. There is nothing that says that you must start knitting on the first week with the first clue. Start later, when the mystery has been revealed and you know where the project is going. You will still benefit from all of the instruction and design information.

How do I get started?

Get organized for the KAL. Order the yarn, needles, and supplies indicated. Or round up the yarn and needles that you have that you think might work for the project. Knit a swatch and check for gauge. Be ready for the Thursday at 9 am EST clue to be posted.

Who sponsors this series?

Skacel, a family owned business based in Seattle, sponsors Michelle's design work with the KALs. Skacel has been supplying quality yarns and needles to the knitting world for two generations. 

Do I have to use the yarn specified?

No. But as in taking any class, you will get consistent results by purchasing the suggested materials for the class. Michelle's KALs are definitely learning experiences and using the specified yarn is a great way to learn from a professional knitting educator and designer. By knitting along with Michelle Hunter, you pit your skills against hers as you learn new techniques and new tricks in knitting.

Are all KALs like this?

No. The methodology described in this FAQ covers the KAL sponsored by Skacel and designed by Michelle Hunter.

How is Graywood Designs related to this KAL program?

Skacel is one of our yarn suppliers. We offer premium knitting products on our website and are proud to bring their knitting expertise and products to our online and walk in studio customers.


Information as of December 2, 2014


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FREE Magic Loop Class!

FREE Magic Loop Knitting Class

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 -- 1-4 pm

Graywood Studio

Pigeon, Michigan


Supplies needed: 32" or 40" circular needle -- Addi Turbo
 (purchase needle at Graywood)
Size 2.75 mm or US #2 or 3 -- for sock weight
Size US #4 or #5 -- for sport/DK weight
Size US #6 or #7 -- for worsted weight

Light colored yarn appropriate to needle size

If you are a beginner, choose sport/DK or worsted weight yarn.
If you have knitting experience, start a pair of socks on sock weight yarn.
You should have basic knitting experience to take this class.

=====================================================

Hey knitters, try something new!

I'm teaching the magic loop method of knitting socks (or a sleeve, or a toy) on Wednesday, October 29. The class will run from 1 pm to 4 pm.

You will learn how to cast on and knit using a one long circular needle in place of double pointed needles. We will cast on one sock (class does not teach the two-at-a-time sock method) and you will get the gist of how the circular knitting flows using the long needle.

Each student will receive a FREE copy of the Not Rocket Science Socks pattern which is easily adapted to magic loop knitting.

Magic loop knitting eliminates the dreaded "ladders" that can form between the needles when you knit using double points. Using one circular needle instead of four or five double pointed makes sock knitting very convenient since you don't have to keep track of needles that seem to want to slip down the side of your chair at an inconvenient moment.

Please email (merc@avci.net) to reserve your place at the class. (Just say, "Hey Wanda, This is Mary Sue and I'm coming to your class next Wednesday!)

The supply list and the details are listed above. Class size is limited to 10 students (our table is only so big!) so reserve a place now. Come a little early if you need help choosing a needle size and yarn.

Hope to see you at Walk In Wednesday. Stop by and shop from our Graywood Designs Website inventory. We open our doors on Wednesdays every couple of months and have special sales on those days.

We are always open on Wednesdays (that's our website shipping day) and you are welcome to stop in from 10 am to 4 pm on any Wednesday.

Graywood Studio is located at the back of the 40 South Main building. Look for the double doors and the garden entrance.

Hope to see you soon!

Happy knitting,

Wanda

PS  Magic Loop is a REALLY cool technique! Even if you can't come to the class, stop by to see our sample socks in progress!

PPS The Addi Turbo needles make magic loop knitting possible. The cable has to be flexible with a smooth join. We'll have a nice discount for you on these needles on Walk In Wednesday.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

October KAL Project Will Be A Cowl!


The October KAL will be a cowl featuring the yarn, Simplinatural. We are carrying all the colors of this super soft and wonderful-to-knit-with yarn.

Michelle Hunter, designer of the KAL series, says that the yarn has "exquisite softness and superior stitch definition," both qualities that make for a great knitting project.

The cowl project comes in three sizes and the circumference can be adjusted to suit the knitter. Michelle has named the project "Namesake."

Size:
1 skein = cowl up to 20" circumference.
2 skeins = cowl up to to 40" circumference.
3 skeins = cowl up to 60" circumference.

Yarn:
Simplinatural by HiKoo, 40% baby alpaca; 40% fine merino wool; 20% mulberry silk, 183 yard/100 gram skein, 1 (2, 3) skeins.

Needles and notions:
US #8 circular needles 16" (24", 40") or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable needle and markers

Gauge:
Approximately 18 stitiches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch.


Purchase Simplinatural HERE.

Buy Addi Turbo needles HERE.

Follow the KAL clues HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

KAL Project: Crossbones Style Cowl



I started the Crossbones Cowl KAL, designed by Steve May, last week and am enjoying knitting this project. I'm using HiKoo Kenzie, Color 1015, Boysenberry.



Steve does a weekly video about this project on Mondays in August. His videos are funky and helpful. Even if you don't start this cowl as a Knit Along, be sure to download the pattern for future knitting.  

Next time I will try the Jogless Join with Long Tail Cast On suggested in the pattern. Because I was knitting in the car, I used my standard Cable Cast On. The knitting is on a US #7 Addi Turbo 32" needle. Again the patterns calls for US #6, but I usually knit up one size.


I'm crossing the rows off on the chart as I knit. It helps me keep my place in the knitting, as do the stitch markers that I placed every 24 stitches.

We carry every color of Kenzie, a lovely blend of merino, angora, alpaca, silk, and nylon. Kenzie leans toward a tweed and comes in luscious colors. 

Skein Caution: The patterns calls for three skeins of Kenzie, but I can already tell that I'm probably going to need a fourth skein, so you might want to order 4 skeins to start with. With four skeins, I could have added a ridge or two of the garter stitches that start and end the cowl. I like garter stitch and would do this the next time around.

You can knit this project using Simplicity yarn Simplicity, butter soft, is a merino superwash (yes, superwash!), acrylic, and nylon blend. It knits more like a cotton blend and is a delight to handle. 


So here are a bunch of reasons why you might want to do this KAL: 
++ NOT A MYSTERY  You know ahead of time what you are knitting.
++ NO SEAMS   The design uses circular knitting.
++ NOT A SWEATER, NOT A HAT  The project will take some time, but not as much as a cardigan.  So you won't be knitting forever, but you will get in plenty of hours of pleasurable knitting, just in time for cooler weather.

++ IT'S A CHART  And chart knitting is very compelling. "I'll make supper as soon as I finish this row!" Sound familiar?

As always, enjoy the knitting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

This Week is Walk In Wednesday!


Inchie Sockie -- FREE class
Learn to knit socks by making this felted Sockie

Walk In Wednesday
 at Graywood Studio
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
10 am to 4 pm

Stop by to shop and see all the knitting goodies
 that we have on our website!!
On Sale -- Yarns and Needles. . .and MORE!

FREE knitting handout to all who stop by


Morning: Learn to Knit on Double Point Needles -- 10:30 am to noon

Afternoon: Learn to Turn a Heel in a Sock
1 pm to 3 pm