Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Knitting: Japanese Short Row Heel & Softie Hat

It's always good to try something new. Michelle Hunter's April KAL toe up sock features a Japanese Short Row Heel that uses the big plastic pins instead of a conventional wrap and turn.

Take a look at this heel and maybe give it a try. In the video, Michelle uses a baby sock as a sample in order to show the Japanese Short Row Heel method.

You'll find the directions for this heel turn in Week Two of the KAL. Michelle Hunter, designer of the KAL projects, includes a You Tube video that details how to make this unique heel turn.

Michelle says that this heel turn is similar to a standard short row heel. She finds it is easier to construct. This method uses pins in place of the wrap and turn.

The video is almost 19 minutes long, but I found that I kind of got the idea of what she is demonstrating by watching the first half of the video. Even though I'm not knitting along with this sock project, I think I'll cast on a smallish sock with worsted yarn and give this heel turn a try.

We have a selection of yarns suggested for this sock design on our website. Be sure to check out the colors.

Finally, since it is April and it is very windy some days when I'm out for my daily walk, let me suggest my Softie Hat design as a lightweight hat to wear in spring. Knit using sock yarn, it is a great hat for keeping your ears warm without crushing your hair. The pattern is a FREE PDF download on Ravelry.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April KAL (Knit Along) Starts Today

Kaika is the name of the toe up sock pattern that Michelle Hunter designed for this Knit Along. You can follow along here:

You'll learn how to knit the Peacock stitch which covers the instep on the foot of the sock. 

See the previous blog post for more information on knitting along with this Knit Along!

And here is a link to yarns that we recommend for this sock design:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

April Knit Along (KAL) Starts Thurs., April 2

Suggested yarns for the April KAL

Oh how did another Knit Along sneak up on us so quickly!

Michelle Hunter has designed a toe up sock for the April Knit Along. She is using Japanese stitches and it all sounds SO good.

You probably know the routine by now. Michelle posts the first clue of the Knit Along on the first Thursday of the month. The additional steps in the design are revealed on the three successive Thursdays. You knit along -- get it?

For more general information about the Knit Along concept, see our KAL FAQ blog post.

Now here's the bad (well, sort of bad) news. There was a huge demand for the specially dyed KAL yarn and so our website (think, gee, why didn't we order sooner!)  has missed out on the super duper specially-make-for-this-KAL yarn.

There are some wonderful substitutes, however. Two are Wolkenspiel, a yarn that is new to our website. Two others are Trekking XXL yarns, yarns that are simply basics in the sock knitting world.

Be sure to look over these four April KAL yarns on our website. You will find some nice discounts on these four yarns.

If you are a magic loop sock knitter (and this KAL can be knit using magic loop), we have Sock Rockets for you. With their smooth pointy tips and sleek cables, Sock Rockets make sock knitting into an absolute delight.

Hope you can join in on the KAL and knit along with us in April!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Soft and Elegant and a New Color -- Our Two Together Scarf

Let simple and elegant be the watchwords for this easy to knit scarf.

Our Two Together Scarf Kit matches two soft yarns into one strand for a scarf that is fashionable and warm. We have watched our inventory for two yarns that live together well. Then we pre-wind them into a ball that makes a scarf that is sort of long, but not too much.

You'll have about 7-10 hours of pleasure when you knit this scarf. Choose from Lake Huron Teal or Maple Leaf Red or our newest combination, Spring Green.

Find out more at Graywood Designs, home of specialized knitting yarns and supplies.

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.)

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)

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 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?


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 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