Posts Categorized: New Arrivals

A new yarn has arrived

Last week our long awaited shipment from UK based Baa Ram Ewe arrived and Titus is now available at My Sister Knits!

This wonderfully soft fingering weight yarn is a blend of 50% Wensleydale, 20% Blueface Leicester, and 30% Alpaca.  It is all  fiber that has been raised, sheared and spun in Yorkshire England.  Each 100 g skein contains 350 yards and knits up beautifully on US 2 and 3 needles.

 

titus 01

It has been voted “Favorite British Yarn by Knit Now magazine and has received rave reviews from designers, Ravelers, and other yarn enthusiasts.

What makes this yarn so special is the delicious blend of the two wools it includes.  Wensleydale wool is renowned for its silky luster and Bluefaced Leicester is soft and wonderfully fine.  With just a touch of alpaca added for softness and a bit of historical reference, this yarn is a pleasure to work with.

(You can read more about Sir Titus Salt — the namesake of these skeins – here).

 

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Along with the lovely skeins, we received new patterns as well as a booklet that is chock full of beautiful ideas for great knit accessories.  Above is a selection of the 10 patterns that are included in the Coop Knits Toasty Volume One booklet designed by Rachel Coopey.

And that’s not all!

 

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Julie also received a few tote bags that she’ll be giving away FREE with a Titus yarn purchase on a first come first served basis while supplies last.  We hope that you can pop by soon to see for yourself how special this beautiful yarn is.

 

Fibre Co.’s Knightsbridge has arrived

The gals of the Fibre Co. have created a new yarn this summer to add to their line of luxurious fiber blends that we know and love.  We’d like to introduce you to Knightsbridge.  Our skeins arrived in the shop just last week.

 

knightsbridge

This beautiful and delightfully soft worsted weight yarn is a plied blend of 65% Llama, 25% Merino, and 10% Silk.  It has wonderful drape, stitch definition and shine.  We were sent a care package earlier this summer so that we could preview a few skeins and try out the yarn.  Kate cast on for a chic pullover sweater designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge: Bronwen.

It features a very simple bottom up construction with picked up stitches for the sleeves.  It is a perfect pattern for those who haven’t yet tried sweater knitting.  Our sample is so luxurious that Theresa is considering casting on for one of her own this fall.  It would be her first sweater, and we know that this simple v-neck will look terrific on her.

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This pullover is part of a new pattern collection that has been released by Kelbourne Woolens.  The Knightsbridge Collection brings together 15 patterns from some of our favorite designers that all highlight this beautiful new yarn.  You can have your choice of all kinds of projects from sweaters to accessories.

We hope that you can visit us at the shop soon to take a look at our Bronwen sample, as well as the beautiful skeins of Knightsbridge. It is possible that they just may convince you to start a sweater of your own!

Wow

Every once in a while a sample comes to the shop that is so beautiful, and so much fun to wear that it deserves to stand on its own.  This week a sample of Strata designed by Diane Greenfield arrived and we wanted you to see the myriad ways in which we can imagine wearing it.

 

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Stunning, right?   “Knit on US Size 5 needles in a collection of Shibui Silk Cloud, Cima and Pebble, Strata features soothing transitions through a range of shades. Yarns are held double or triple throughout the progression of this gently textured scarf — a background of twisted stockinette makes this knit meticulous but not difficult.”

Those twisted stitches are what create that stunning texture that you can see in the photo above.  This shawl is a showstopper and the care taken every stitch is apparent.
Stop on by the shop when you can, you should wrap this around you to feel how wonderfully luxurious it is.  Who knows, you may find yet another way in which to wear it beautifully.

Behind the scenes with Jonathan of MJ Yarns (part 2)

So who is the man behind the beautiful skeins of MJ Yarn we have all fallen head over heels for?  We asked Jonathan to share some of his thoughts about his work, his yarn, and his love of knitting.

 

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What were you doing before you started MJ Yarns? ~and~ What was the inspiration for starting MJ Yarns?

My “grown up job” was as an Ops Manager for a major shipping company. While the pay and benefits were unmatched, I was miserable. It was an environment where nothing was good enough. The work we did was important but I had no passion for it. I could find no joy in processing tens of thousands of packages every night.

I’ve learned that, if a situation isn’t working, change it. I had been knitting for years by this time and found every bit of joy in it that I could hope for. I began to wonder how I could turn this passion in to a career. I talked to several people in the industry, most notably Maggie Casey. She was clear: “dye yarn!” Life has also taught me to listen to the people who have experience. I listened, and MJ Yarns was born.

What is your favorite part of your craft?

“For me, this is not a job. MJ Yarns is about creating something beautiful that makes me and others happy. Each morning I walk in to my studio to find the ever changing landscape of my drying racks. I’m always struck by the glory of the field of colors stretched out in front of me.  As I dye my yarns, I can’t help but enjoy the constantly increasing complexity that appears as each color is added.

My life now is surrounded in beauty and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

How do you come up with the names for your yarns?

“Each colorway has a story. Some names came from suggestions from others. Cerulean Twilight got its name from a friend on Facebook. Other colors start with a name before they are ever made. Fire Dragon was made to fit in with its siblings Green and Purple Dragons.

Other colors were named because they brought to mind very specific things: Peasant is one.  When this yarn went on the drying rack for the first time, I couldn’t help but see it on the back of a medieval serf.

Yarns with proper names (like Katelyn or Mazlyn) were named for specific people who either suggested the color or the yarn brought to mind.

Then there are my favorites: the yarns that demand  that they receive a specific name. Mice and Men simply wouldn’t let me call it anything else. From the moment I put the first coat of Grey on this yarn, the name Mice and Men was in my head. I spent the entire day that I created that color trying to come up with another name that seemed more fitting or at least made some sense, and most of the next as well. My mind was blank and Mice and Men was born.

And a question we can resist asking anyone we come in contact with,
What is on your needles?

“I am something of an anomaly in the knitting world. I absolutely refuse to have more that two projects on the needles at any given time. I heard about “startitis” early on in my knitting life and decided that it would never happen to me.

That being said, I finished one project last week and another one today. At the moment, I have nothing on the needles! This is, of course, a crisis and tomorrow’s first priority will be some time on Ravelry searching for a perfect pattern. I know where I’ll get the yarn though.”

Jonathan’s skeins of yarn are featured in the shop right now and we hope that you can visit soon to take a look at his beautiful work.  We know that these skeins are destined for stunning projects and we can’t wait to share photos of those with you as they come of the needles.

 

Behind the scenes with Jonathan of MJ Yarns (part 1)

When we first received our beautiful skeins of MJ Yarns we asked Jonathan a few interview questions so that we might learn a bit more about the man behind the yarn.  Our next couple blog posts will feature his responses.  We thought we’d start our introduction to the man through his thoughts about his beautiful yarn.

His thoughtful reply to our question about how he selected the bases for his yarns is one we knew we needed to share with you.

As a knitter, I’ve learned a lot about the many types of yarns available. Each one really has a very specific use and it was important to me to have a variety of yarns to fill each of those uses.

 

MJ simple sock

Simple Sock(shown above) is a basic workhorse yarn with a surprising drape and hand. The superwash Corriedale (a stronger breed of sheep) means the wool will hold up over time and the nylon adds the strength needed for hard wearing socks or gloves. Despite all that, this yarn is surprisingly soft and lovely to handle.

MJ BFL

Rustic Fingering(shown above) is best for fingering weight lace projects. A two ply yarn will drape better than a three or four ply so 2 ply was chosen. This yarn is also loosely spun, adding to the hand made look that gives gifts (for others and one’s self) something truly special.

The yarn is composed completely of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL), one of my favorite breeds of sheep. BFL has a long fiber making loose spun yarns possible. It’s soft and friendly nature just beg the knitter to dive their fingers in to it. Finally, BFL has a natural luster that makes the yarn look almost like it was blended with silk.

MJ opulent
Opulent Fingering (shown above) exists because we all deserve a little pampering. Merino blended with cashmere make this yarn a pure delight to work with. It has an incredible drape. Projects made from this yarn will wrap themselves around the lucky wearer like heavens arms. To make sure this pampering goes on as long as possible, just a touch of nylon was added for strength.”

We also put Jonathan on the spot and asked him what he thinks makes his yarn unique.

“A while back, I had an experience knitting with a hand dyed yarn that was incredible. Every inch of the yarn was a moment of discovery. The way the colors blended created a rich and inviting yarn. I wanted to recreate that for people.

My yarns are made in a labor and time intensive process that layers between 3 and 7 colors to make each bit of yarn complex and interesting. In addition, the short color runs create an overall color feel that becomes ever more complex as the viewer steps closer to investigate.

In addition to color, my yarns are usable and accessible to all knitters. There’s no need to fight my yarns to force them to work for the final product. They’re designed to be practical and oh so heavenly to touch.”

We couldn’t agree more.

We have more fun details to share with you about Jonathan and his beautiful yarns.  Saturday’s blog post will provide you with some more insights into Jonathan’s creative process.  Julie has fun stories to share from his visits to the shop.  And we are knitting up a collection of samples knit from his skeins that we would love to show you.

Please visit us when you can, and we’ll be sure that you get to see for yourself how special each of these wonderful yarns are.