Saturday, March 29, 2008

Noro Sock Yarn: It's HEEEEEERE!

Kate here again. You remember me, the Sheep's resident sock guru.

Just dropping by to let you know that the Noro Kureyon sock yarn has arrived at the shop, and it's truly fab!

Here's a couple of shots of socks-in-progress. Just look at those colours!

Both of these colourways are available at the Sheep, but you should come in soon... it's selling fast!

(The nail polish on my toes is OPI's "Lincoln Park After Midnight", in case you're wondering.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cascade 220 + The Naked Sheep = Love

Another week at the sheep, and another new yarn to tell you about! This past Monday Sarah and I visited the Estelle warehouse (I foolishly forgot my camera for this venture). We both relived all the same euphoria that was experienced at the Diamond warehouse just a week before, but this time i think we were able to keep the hysterics to a minimum. We walked out of Estelle with bagfulls of Cascade 220, a yarn that is sure to please even the pickiest knitter. This worsted weight yarn comes in more colours than I'd like to count, it is durable and great to knit with, and best of all each 6.99 skein is 200 m. Thats pretty tough to beat.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Yarn!

Hello Knitters! 
you may not know it by looking out the window, or listening to weather forecasts... but Spring is here!  and here at the Naked Sheep, that means new yarns!  Over the next few weeks, new yarn will be coming in like crazy!  Here's a look at some of the yarn that came in over the last week.
We've got Noro Silk Garden in tonnes of new colours, as well as a new yarn - Noro Silk Garden 
Light.  It's a DK weight Silk Garden, in new colours, and it looks and feels awesome! I'm already working up a sample for the store in it.  
The Malabrigo laceweight is another new yarn.  It's got over 400 yards in a skein, and the colours are so beautiful and vibrant.  The yarn itself is just as soft and smooshy as the worsted weight Malabrigo.  Lace knitting isn't as hard as it looks, and makes a great summer project.  Also, the Malabrigo is a fantastic deal at $11.95 a skein!  A few projects that would look awesome with it are :
Come in and pet the Malabrigo Lace today! 

Of course, we also stocked up on other yarns, we've now got full shelves of Baby Bamboo, Merino Superwash DK, and Baby Cashmerino, and a lot of new colours of Araucania Patagoina - A bulky weight hand-dyed cotton. We've also got a great sweater pattern using it as well!
and... today we just got in a lot of Cascade 220... An aran weight 100% feltable wool great for sweaters, felting projects, hats, mitts... anything!  

Well, that's about it for this sneak peek, be sure to stop by soon to see all these yarns! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in Yarn Country

Have you ever dreamed about a huge room full of yarn? No, not the room where you keep your stash...I mean a room so big and so full of yarn that you can't see from one side to the other.
I have.
In fact, I spend most of my time dreaming about this room, sleeping and awake. I dream about endless quantities of my favourite yarns in my favourite colours, making a big pile of this yarn and then jumping in it. I think that this is a totally reasonable fantasy.
Yesterday (the date was March 17, 2008; I've already marked it on my calendar) I visited this fantasy room, which was actually more of a warehouse.
I never would have guessed that the no-man's-land that is Finch West, such an unattractive and desolate area, was home to my new favourite place on earth! We had been carefully planning this shopping trip for weeks, the store needed some new yarn for spring and Sarah and I were more than happy to volunteer for the job. The drive from our little store in the Beaches seemed to take forever; I was experiencing anxious anticipation that may have had something to do with this. When we finally arrived I was shocked to see a rather cluttered and unpleasant building in front of me. More shocking still were the burly men inside carrying bags of yarn this way and that; saying over the phone, "...Worsted or DK? And was that in Geranium or Azalia?" but these concerns were forgotten the moment I laid eyes on the first shelf-full of yarn bursting with bags of Malabrigo! I forced myself to focus on the task at hand. Sarah and I were there to shop for the store, and we would not be allowed to pile the yarn up in the center of the room and jump in it.

I maintained my reserve somewhat as we wandered through the isles of the Diamond warehouse, deciding on colours (which was difficult under the fluorescent lights) and discovering new yarns. A major stumbling block for both Sarah and I was the Noro aisle. All in all I think we spent 40 minutes in this aisle alone, trying to convince ourselves that no person needs 10 full bags of Silk Garden. I am proud to say that I worked myself down to just one bag of Kureyon!
Somehow we managed to spend over two hours wandering the aisles at Diamond, the time passed so quickly. We left the Diamond warehouse with four massive garbage bag-sized bags crammed full of yarn. For the remainder of the day I was a bit delirious. I found that I spoke louder and faster than I normally do, and I couldn't seem to stop. Innocent streetcar riders almost fell victim to my uncontrollable excitement as I fought back the urge to yell at them about my adventures from the day. Instead I pulled out a sock and knit frantically, dreaming more vividly than ever about jumping into that gigantic pile of yarn.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Upcoming Socks Class!

Kate here!

I'm teaching a sock class at the Sheep Wednesdays March 19 & 26th. To whet your appetite, here's some pictures of the sorts of things I teach you how to make...

The Naked Sheep has some terrific sock yarns, including a wonderful hand-dyed yarn from Araucania, in their beautiful colourways.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Class News!

A short update on the progress of our project class this session...

Instructor Kate Atherly has worked her magic on another group of new knitters...have a look at what they've been up to...

Cabled Purse Class and Pattern

Kate, one of the instructors at the store has designed a purse pattern which she will be teaching a class on in April.  This class will teach you how to make cables in your knitting, while knitting this bag, which looks awesome, and as you will learn is not that hard!  Cabling is a way to knit which requires changing the order of the stitches on the needle.  It produces some beautiful and dramatic effects.  
The purse knits up quick in a bulky weight yarn, and is just the right size to hold your everyday essentials.  
If you're already an expert cabler, the pattern for this purse will be available shortly at the store.  

Cabled Purse Class: 
April 16, 23 7-9 pm
$ 87.50, including yarn, purse handles, and pattern.  

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ahh Lace...

Lately I have been working on a sample for the store in the most heavenly yarn, Filatura Di Crosa Superior! Superior is a cashmere and silk blend (%70 cashmere and %30 silk) in a tiny tiny lace weight. The pattern I have been using is Ice Queen from the Knitty's winter 07 issue. I've knit this pattern before, and it is the reason that I now love lace as much as I do (which is quite a lot, I should mention). Needless to say, I was happy to knit this quick and easy lace sample for the store. Using beads was a new thing for me however, but I am happy to report that it is VERY easy to do! Beading gives this piece a really nice drape, and lets it sway back and forth with every movement. Superior turns out to be a really nice match for this pattern. This yarn gives the stitch pattern a lot more definition than the Kisdilk Haze, and the end results look quite a bit different. Here are some examples for you to use as a comparison:

On the left is my Superior Ice Queen. Even though this picture was taken from very close the stitches are all (relatively) clear and easy to see. Also note that cute little bead I stuck in there! On the right is my first Ice Queen in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Bearing in mind this version does not have beads to weigh it down, it looks more like a ball of fuzz than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I love fuzz...I just wanted to show you the difference you can get from using different yarns.
Because I have already made an Ice Queen for myself, I thought that I would fine parting with this piece...this is not the case. How naive I was to think that I would be able to give up so much cashmere! So I hope that my sacrifice is worth it, and all you knitters out there love my Superior Ice Queen as much as I do. It is very close to completion, so make sure that you drop in to see it soon!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

News from the Sheep

For anyone who does not know, the Naked Sheep is a cozy little knitting store that is tucked away in the East end of Toronto. The Naked Knitters, Emily and Sarah, are the obsessive knitters that you have likely seen stocking the shelves of the store. This is our store blog. It may not blow you away just yet, but stick with us; we have some big plans for this little blog. First on the list is for me (Emily) to learn HTML.
A little bit of news to wet your appetite; our new class list is available in the store and on our website. We are offering two new classes this session that everyone at the store is really excited about!
  • Cabled Purse Workshop: Learn the basics of cables, and make a great bag in the process. What more could any knitter want?
  • Mom and Me: a learn to knit class for parents and children (all dads are welcome)
We are offering many other classes this session, including a New Knitter Project Class, Sock and Hat Workshops and our incredibly popular Knitting For Newbies! Hope to see you there.