How to Fix a Dropped Stitch

None of us are immune to the ever-problematic dropped stitch in a knitting project. Does it feel like an anxiety-inducing, moment or do you feel confident with your fixing capabilities? Most of us panic about this ladder of dropped stitches in our knitting – but fear not, help is on the way!

At the shop, we love the McPorter Stitch Tool for fixing dropped stitches. Add it to your notions bag and you’ll be able to fix any stitch mishaps, no matter where you are!

Here’s how to use the tool that came in the March Purl Diver Club shipment.

Step one: Don’t panic!

Step two: Insert your McPorter Stitch Tool into the stitch below the bottom “rung” of the ladder. Grab the bottom rung of the ladder and pull through the stitch on your tool. Repeat this process until you pull the final rung of the ladder through the last stitch on the tool.

Step three: Place the stitch back on your left needle and continue knitting! Make sure the right leg of the loop is in front of the needle.

Step four: Congratulate yourself.

This tutorial features the “Brainy” colorway dyed exclusively for us by String Theory Yarns on the Quince and Co. Yarn base Chickadee. This stunning green yarn was inspired by brain coral! Here’s a little information about the inspiration:

“Brain corals are found in shallow warm water coral reefs in all the world’s oceans. While diving in the Cayman Islands with my son Daniel, this one caught my eye with the unusual arrangement of the whirls in its structure. The lifespan of the largest brain corals can reach 900 years, and colonies can grow as large as 6 feet or more in height. Like other corals, brain corals feed on small drifting plankton, extending their tentacles to catch food at night. They also receive nutrients provided by the algae which live within their tissues. During the day, they use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface. The surface is hard and offers good protection against fish or hurricanes.”

If you liked this tutorial, pin it on Pinterest! We’d love to see your WIP from our March Purl Diver Club shipment – be sure to share with us on Instagram using the #agysarasot and #purldiverclub hashtags!

Weaving with Cotton Yarn on the Zoom Loom

Many weavers who use a pin loom like the Schacht Zoom Loom will tell you to steer clear of cotton yarns or that you will hurt yourself if you try to weave with it.

With this month’s Purl Diver Club tutorial, we’ll share tips to easily and comfortably weave with cotton yarn on your Zoom Loom.

The main point in weaving with cotton yarn is to lessen your tension overall, and believe it or not, this starts BEFORE you even begin weaving!

Wind off approximately 9 yards of your fingering weight yarn into a small pile of yarn.

Even the smallest amount of tension coming from a ball of yarn will cause your first layers to be tight, so measuring out your yarn ahead of time is key.

Next, start laying your foundation layers down. Gently place the yarn between the pins according to the weaving instructions that come with your loom. This shouldn’t be too saggy, but you want to feel like you have just laid the yarn in.

Lay down all three of your base layers down in this manner.

When you start weaving, you’ll notice that there is a bit of slack in your “warp” threads, but as you weave, this will be taken up. When passing your needle through in this “locking” layer, be sure that you don’t tug it tight at the end of each row. As you did in the warping, gently put the weaving yarn into place.

If you feel any tension in your hands or wrists as you weave, this means your warp is too tight. Take breaks frequently, and stretch from time to time to prevent discomfort. When you get to the last couple of weaving rows, these should go by smoothly.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you weave with any of your Purl Diver Club yarns, share those photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #agysarasota!

 

How to Perform the KRL and KLL Increases

Last month, we covered the M1B increase, and this month we have two more increases for you to try out on your next knitting project! The increases are found in the Muffle pattern by Alexandra Tinsley, using the January colorway from the Purl Diver Collection. The yarn is from KittyBea Knitting on their Nokomis base, a bulky merino/nylon blend. The color was inspired by the Ornate Ghost Pipefish, a relative of the seahorse.

The KRL (knit right loop) and KLL (knit left loop) are mirrored increases, perfect for using in pieces that you want to look the same on the left and the right.

For the KRL: knit in pattern until you get to the increase stitch. insert your needle into the stitch one row below the stitch on your left needle, and lift up the right loop onto the left needle. Knit this stitch.

For the KLL, knit in pattern until it is time to increase, then pick up the stitch 2 rows below the worked stitch on your right needle, and place it on your left needle. Knit through the back loop.

These increases help prevent holes and eyelets in the finished piece.

Come back next month for another exclusive tutorial from A Good Yarn Sarasota.

If you’ve received your January Purl Diver Club already, let us know on Instagram! We’d love to see your posts; just use the hashtag #agysarasota in the description.

How to Master M1B & Knitting with Beads

In 2017, we’ll be doing a monthly blog series to spotlight our ever-popular Purl Diver Yarn Club. Each month, we release a limited edition color-way with a pattern that complements the yarn. Starting this month, we will pick a technique from the previous month’s pattern to demonstrate a technique step-by-step.

The Aurita Shawl by Susanna IC uses the Strawberry Tube Sponge Yarn from the December club. There are actually TWO techniques in this shawl which we’ll help you master in this post: the M1B (make 1 below) technique for making increases and how to add beads to your knitting.

M1B – Make one Below

This technique is a one-stitch increase that doesn’t involve holes, unlike yarn-overs and the reverse cast-on. Here’s what to do:

Knit until you reach 1 stitch before the marker – you’ll be knitting into the stitch below this. It helps to stretch the knitting just a bit to make the stitch easier to see.

Insert your right hand needle into the stitch below the stitch on your left hand needle (see photo below), yarn over and pull through the stitch, then insert your right needle into the stitch on your left needle and knit as you normally would. Voila! You’ve just added a stitch to your knitting!

Knitting with Beads

When you get to the stitch that the bead needs to go on, take a small crochet hook that will fit through the hole of the bead and place bead on the hook like so:

Take the stitch off of your left hand needle with the crochet hook, and pass the bead from the hook to the base of the stitch. Replace the stitch on your left needle and knit as you would normally. It’s like magic!

Have you made a project with yarn from the Purl Diver Collection? Post pictures on Instagram and use the hashtags #AGYsarasota and #PurlDiverCollection, and you may see your photos shared on our Instagram!

Working with Gradient Yarn: Carol Feller

Carol Feller | A Good Yarn

We spent some time catching up with Carol Feller, prolific designer of more than 200 stunning knitting patterns, as well as five books. We are fortunate to have her coming to A Good Yarn Sarasota next month for a special class working with gradient yarns and patterns that showoff these stunning rainbows to their best. Gradient and ombre yarns are increasingly popular, but it can be difficult to figure out how to show them off to their full beauty in a finished knit. Carol was happy to share some of her great tips on working with gradients!

How did you come up with the idea to use gradients in the Santa Rosa Plum cardigan?

I’m currently going though a gradient obsession; that is how I ended up writing a gradient book! In the book the projects are all smaller to take advantage of the standard gradient kit, which is 100-200g. However I also want to work on a larger gradient project so a gradient cardigan KAL seemed like a great way of doing it and Santa Rosa Plum was born. Fortunately Blue Moon Fiber Arts wanted to create some gradients so we teamed up for the project. We’ve done a few KALs in the past and they work really well, their yarn is fantastic and their great customer service make it a wonderful experience for the knitters.

What are some of your best tips for using gradients effectively in projects? Do you have any rules of thumbs for choosing project types or substituting gradients, even when the pattern isn’t written for them? (Or, if this will be covered in the class you’re teaching…..What can students expect to learn in the Painting with Rainbows workshop?)

I will indeed be working through a lot of these concepts in the class. Frequently knitters will pick up a fantastic gradient yarn and then feel at a loss on how to use it. To start with you need to evaluate the gradient type. Is it a single skein with continuous color change? Is it in several mini-skeins? Are the changes between the colors subtle or are there big jumps? This is the first question that you need to answer. The yarn type will determine the most suitable stitch pattern and project type for the yarn.
Subtle color changes look great with patterns that use biased stitches such as lace or chevrons. If you’ve got big color changes you could try slip stitch patterns or perhaps using a contrasting color to break up each division. In addition to different stitch patterns you’ve also then got biased fabric that are knit at an angle and even modular knitting that can use different colors for each panel.
Once knitters can recognize the different types and know how to use them it will make it very easy for them to make pattern decisions that are perfect for their gradient yarn.

What are some of your favorite designs from your pattern catalog? Are you working on any new books or collections for fall?

I’ve got so many pattern favourites! I’ve listed the knit pieces in a few different categories that I get a lot of use out of myself. For cardigans, Ravi and Dark Pearl are probably my all time favorite cardigans. For sweaters I seem to live in Spritz Stripes when I travel, it’s wonderful over summer dresses. My shawl of choice always seems to be Penrose Tile.
I’m always working on something new and at the moment I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest self-published book, Painting with Rainbows. As you can probably guess this book will cover the same topic as the class, gradient yarn. Each section will look at a different method that can be used to enhance gradient yarn and there will be patterns that demonstrate it. It has been so much fun collecting a variety of yarn for this project; there are some amazing yarns out there. I will bring all the samples to the class so the students will get an early peek at the book!

Carol Feller | A Good Yarn

Top: Spritz Stripes, Ravi. Bottom: Penrose Tile, Dark Pearl.

You’ve taught workshops here at A Good Yarn before. What is your favorite thing about visiting Florida?

My husband is originally from Sarasota and we actually lived here for a few years after we got married. Homesickness got the better of me though after my first son was born and we went back to Ireland! My in-laws still live there so we try to visit most years. Florida (and especially Sarasota) is very special to me, there is such a lovely mixture of beach, arts and great shopping that we love coming back every year!

There are still spots left for our August 13th workshop with Carol- sign up now!

A Good Retreat: Registration Opens Today!

Save the date! Our first annual retreat will be held in Orlando, Florida May 18-21, 2017 and will feature notable designers Ann Budd, Susan Anderson, and Romi Hill. You won’t want to miss this weekend filled with learning, laughing, and knitting which begins after lunch on Thursday, May 18th and ends with Brunch on Sunday, May 21st.

Florida Knitting Retreat RegistrationReserve your spot by registering NOW – we have limited spaces available and expect them to fill up quickly! Call us at (941) 487-7914  to reserve your spot!

So, just what are you getting yourself into? Not only will you have fun learning new skills from some of the best teachers in the industry, you’ll make new friends, too! Our retreat will take place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, which offers plenty to do when you’re not knitting or sleeping: enjoy an award-winning golf course, relaxing spa, and plenty more activities and amenities.

Of course, our focus will be knitting, and our esteemed guests will be sharing their wealth of knowledge through a variety of exciting classes.

A Good Knitting Retreat - learn knitting techniques from Ann Budd, Susan Anderson and Romi Hill!

From L-R: Ann Budd, Susan Anderson & Romi Hill.

Ann Budd is a freelance knitting editor, author, teacher, and designer who has authored more than a dozen books, including the Handy Book series and many of the Style series, as well as several books on sock knitting, including Getting Started Knitting Socks and Sock Knitting Master Class. She will be teaching the following classes for us (click on each title for more details): Reading Your Knitting, Socks at Any Gauge, Fixing Mistakes, and Shadow Knitting.

Susan B. Anderson designs knitwear and hand-knit toys in Madison, Wisconsin. She has authored six knitting books including the best selling Itty-Bitty Hats, Itty-Bitty Nursery and Itty-Bitty Toys series. Her other books include Spud & Chloe at the Farm and another bestseller, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out. She designs for her self-published pattern line and has had designs and features in Parents Magazine, Knit Simple, Interweave Knits and the Noro Magazine as well as many designs for independent yarn and design companies including Quince & Co., Infinite Twist, and Little Skein in the Big Wool. Susan will be teaching the following classes for us (click on each title for more details): Seamless Top-Down Dolls, Sheep!, Fair Isle Hat, and Reversible Toy – The Owl to Egg.

Romi Hill lives on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern Nevada, where the high desert nights are cool and the air is clear and crisp. She specializes in lace of all weights, and you can see her full pattern collection on Ravelry. Romi’s lace book from Interweave Press: “New Lace Knitting” was published in September 2015 and features timeless patterns for garments and accessories. She will be teaching the following classes for us (click on each title for more details): Lace Surgery, Devilish Details, Chilkat Cowl, and Shapely Shawls.

Florida Knitting Retreat Shingle Creek ResortAccommodations and Costs
The retreat will begin on Thursday with check in beginning at 12:30 p.m. (lunch is not included on Thurs.) We will be offering an afternoon program Thursday that’s yet to be announced. The retreat will end following brunch on Sunday. The costs for the retreat are as follows and will include lodging, meals, one class with each of the three teachers, a SWAG bag and MORE FUN than anyone should be allowed to have in one weekend!

~ Double occupancy (2 queen beds) $1125.00 Security deposit of $375 is due upon registration with $375 due by Oct.15th and $375 due by Feb. 15th.
~ Single occupancy (1 king bed) $1400.00 Security deposit of $467.00 is due upon registration with $467 due on Oct. 15th and $466 due by Feb. 15th.
~Non- Knitter Double occupancy ( 2 queen beds/ no classes and no swag) $975.00 Security deposit of $325.00 is due upon registration with $325.00 due on Oct. 15th and $325 due by Feb. 15th.

 

You can call us at (941) 487-7914  to reserve your spot! 

 

3 Ways to Prepare Now for Spinzilla

Mark your calendars for a monster of a spinning week! Spinzilla is a week-long competition designed to motivate spinners to learn new skills, take risks, and spin until they can’t spin anymore! Spinzilla is also a fundraiser for the NeedleArts Mentoring Program (NAMP), a program run by The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA). The program provides supplies and other resources to teach younger generations handspinning and the needle arts.

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October may seem like it’s a long time away, but it’ll be here before you know it! Here are 3 ways to get prepared for Spinzilla 2016:

  1. Save the Date: We’ll be hosting our own Team Purl Diver again this year, and we’d love to have you join us! If you are interested in joining our team, let us know as soon as possible so that we can save you a spot. The competition takes place October 3-9, 2016, and space on each team is limited to 25 spinners! Please drop by the shop or call us at (941)487.7914; you can also email us at info@agoodyarnsarasota.com to reserve your spot!
  2. Take stock. Do you have enough to spin a Monster Mile…or maybe two? Depending on your output, you may be surprised at the amount of spinning fiber you can get through in a week’s time. If this is your first year competing, a reasonable rule of thumb is to have 2-3 four-ounce braids for each day of spinning – you may not get through all of them, but it’s better to have too much fiber than to run out midway through the event!
  3. Prep your fiber ahead of time. By preparing all of your fiber before the big event, you will have even more time to spend spinning once Spinzilla arrives. Beth Smith shared some of her best tips for production spinning which can be found on her blog archive here. You can also find lots of great fiber preparation tips here on the Spinzilla website. If you plan to card or comb your fiber, be sure to check out these tips by Kate Larson Textiles.

12487190_10153781633515390_7335255671803208266_o If you’ve participated in Spinzilla before, we’d love to hear your best tips for ultra-fast spinning in the comments!

What You’ve Been Missing: Purl Diver Exclusives

If it’s been a while since you visited our Exclusive Colorway section of the shop, you’ve been missing out on some pretty special hand-dyed colors, all inspired by photos taken by Susan’s husband Murray on deep sea diving expeditions. Not only are these one-of-a-kind colorways fun to knit with, you can also learn interesting facts along the way about the creature which inspired it. Here are two of our latest additions to the Purl Diver collection:

Puffer Fish - an exclusive colorway only at A Good Yarn Sarasota.

Pufferfish (sometimes called spiny pufferfish or porcupine-fish) come from warmer ocean waters around the world where they feed mainly on crustaceans and mollusks. They have specialized teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to crush the hard shells of their prey. Pufferfish vary in size, the smaller species only growing to 3 inches and the largest reaching over 2 feet. The one in the photo is about the size of a softball.

Puffer fish, an exclusive colorway hand-dyed for A Good Yarn Sarasota by Dream in Color Yarn.
Pufferfish have three main defense mechanisms. First, they have the ability to inflate their bodies by swallowing water or air, thereby becoming rounder. This increase in size (almost double vertically) reduces the range of potential predators. Second, they have very sharp porcupine-like sharp spines which radiate outwards when the pufferfish inflates. Third, some pufferfish species have a very potent toxin in their internal organs. As a result of these three defenses, pufferfish have few predators. The Pufferfish colorway is dyed exclusively for us by Dream in Color on their Smooshy yarn base, a lovely fingering weight 100% superwash Merino Wool that’s perfect for socks, shawls, and other lightweight projects.

Click here to shop now for Puffer Fish and other exclusive colorways of yarn.

Sea Tulips, an exclusive colorway from Anzula available only at A Good Yarn Sarasota.

Next up, we have Sea Tulips (or Pyura spinifera, for those of you who would rather use the scientific name). This colorway is named a species of sessile ascidian that lives in coastal waters at depths of up to 260 feet. They are filter feeders so named due to the flower-like appearance of a knobbly ‘bulb’ attached to a long stalk.

Sea Tulips, an exclusive colorway from Anzula available only at A Good Yarn Sarasota.

Sea Tulips come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. The coloration of sea tulips depends upon their association with a symbiotic sponge that covers their surface. We have created our color to capture the pretty pink hues of the sea tulips pictured above, hand-dyed for us by Anzula on their absolutely stunning Silken base. Silken is a fingering weight blend of 50% Silk and 50% Merino, giving it beautiful sheen and a touch of drape.

Click here to shop now for Sea Tulips and other exclusive colorways of yarn.

YOTH Yarns Are In the House!

What’s not to love about YOTH (Yarn on the House) Yarns? These exquisite yarns are dyed in small batches in a technique that makes them look hand dyed, in Maine in sophisticated color palettes curated by two siblings – “little brother” and “big sister.” We’re excited to welcome four delicious YOTH bases to A Good Yarn Sarasota:

YOTH Yarns Father is the leader of the pack; it is a worsted weight, 100% Rambouillet yarn perfect for making hats, blankets, or chunky knit sweaters. For a quick knit, we recommend the Father Cables hat pattern, available for free here on the YOTH Yarns blog. Drop by the shop to pick out your favorite color of Father yarn to knit this gorgeous unisex project, smaller sizes can be knit with just 1 skein, though a second “safety” skein is recommended and will be needed to knit larger sizes.

Father_Cables-10_medium2

YOTH Yarns Mother is Father’s lovely lace weight counterpart, also spun from 100% Rambouillet. It’s a great yarn for shawls, scarves, and lightweight hats to spice up your wardrobe. Shawl knitters will love the Let’s Get Lost pattern, knit in two different colors of Mother. This versatile pattern is knit side to side and features a variety of stitches to keep your interest up!

GRTbookletfinals-12_medium2

Coming Soon: YOTH Yarns Big Sister, a DK/Sport weight MCN that is a true luxury! A blend of  which combines 80% Merino,10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon, this yarn provides excellent stitch definition for shawls, cardigans, hats, or fingerless mitts. We love the oh-so-flattering Mimic pullover, available for free here on Ravelry. This simple design is great for newbie knitters who are itching to make their first sweater; we’re happy to help you find the perfect color of Big Sister yarn to start your project! 

Mimic - Knitting Pattern Ravelry

YOTH Yarns Little Brother is a fingering weight yarn to round out the YOTH family. This squishy MCN blends  80% Merino, 10% Nylon and 10% Cashmere yarn to make a sturdy yarn for cowls, shawls, sweaters, or fingerless mitts. What’s great about this yarn is that it looks lovely on its own, but it also pairs nicely with other yarns! The Sun Kissed shawl pattern is knit with a skein Little Brother yarn and another one of our shop favorites, MadelineTosh Merino Light. This pattern lends itself well to pairing Little Brother up with a variety of fingering weight yarns, so you can get creative with some of our newest hand-dyed colorways from the Purl Diver collection! Click here to download a free PDF of the Sun Kissed shawl on Ravelry, then stop by the shop so we can help you find the perfect skeins to knit your shawl!

Sun_Kissed-7_medium2

We have all four of these yarns available in our shop, so swing by and pick out your favorite colorway! If it’s too far to travel, give us a call at 941-487-7914, we’d love to ship your new favorite yarn right to your mailbox!

We Love Joji!

We are so excited to welcome Joji Locatelli to A Good Yarn on Saturday, May 14th! Joji is an Argentine knitwear designer and author and several well-known patterns such as the , Boxy, Ley Lines, 3 Color Cashmere Cowl, and more. She will be signing books from her new collection and displaying samples in her trunk show starting at 1pm on the 14th.

Interpretations is a series of pattern collections designed with Veera Välimäki; each volume features 12 garments and accessory patterns which are based on the interpretation of six different words by both designers. Our trunk show will feature patterns from the newest collection, Interpretations Vol. 3, which was inspired by the words  kind, curious, free, aged, significant and whole. In the preview video below, you can see all of the designs from the collection, or click here to view on Ravelry.

We are so excited to have Joji come to the shop – it’s going to be an event you will not want to miss! It’s free to attend, but please call the shop now to reserve your pre-paid copies of Interpretations Vol. 3. You can pick it up on Saturday, May 14 and get it signed by Joji herself starting at 1pm!

Louet Euroflax Linen - (c) Pelican Commerce, LLCDon’t Forget: Louet North America will be here THIS Saturday, May 7th from 10am-4pm with their beautiful Euroflax and Gems yarns, plus a trunk show of inspirational warm-weather garments. Swing by to meet Dave and Pam, you can also join our monthly sit and spin!

Working with Linen

Working with Linen yarn is a different experience: if you’ve never tried it, you may come across a skein and think, “this isn’t very soft!” However, unlike many other natural fibers, linen needs to be washed in order for it to surprise you with the an exceptional. One of our favorites, Louet Euroflax, is produced using methods to ensure maximum softness.

What is Euroflax Linen?

Euroflax is a strong, durable yarn spun from 100% wet-spun flax fiber. Flax is also referred to as “long line,” because the plant grows more than a yard tall (this is almost 10 times longer than the average staple length for wool). The linen fiber comes from the stems of the flax plant which is beautiful standing in the field – a sea of blue with the flowers blowing in the wind.

Louet Euroflax Linen - (c) Pelican Commerce, LLC

What can I make with Euroflax Linen?

Linen has many uses: it has no natural elasticity which makes it incredibly durable and long lasting, though this quality means that it is not suitable for some stitch patterns (such as ribbing). However, it is great for year-round projects for weavers and knitters alike; it can transform a fall or winter project into a spring and summer one! The breathability of the fibers makes it a perfect choice for summer tops, keeping you cool in warmer temperatures. Euroflax is an addicting yarn because after you finish your first project, you’ll want to use it for everything! It is also a great yarn to use for projects that don’t need to hold much shape, such as:

  • Scarves
  • Shawls/Cowls
  • Bags
  • Light Throws
  • Tunics

Find more project inspiration for Louet Euroflax yarn by clicking here.

Euroflax Knitting Pattern by Susanna IC

How do I care for Euroflax? 

While you don’t need to wash your skeins before knitting with them, it is definitely recommended to make a swatch which is washed and dried in the same manner as your project will be finished – this will help you account for any changes in gauge that washing will cause, since the fabric will relax considerably after its first wash.

Your finished items will be quite easy to care for: you can machine wash in cold water with a mild non-bleach soap – and machine dry it, too!  The linen softens considerably when it is washed; it is not necessary to “shock” the yarn or finished garment by freezing/thawing or hitting it against a hard surface to soften the yarn. You can completely dry the garment in a dryer, and iron it with a steam iron in order to soften it a little more, if you so desire.

Euroflax is available in over 40 different colors – which one is your favorite?

Dave and Pam from Louet North America will be visiting A Good Yarn Sarasota on May 7 with their Euroflax and Gems trunk show, stay tuned for more details!

Trunks Shows Aplenty!

It’s trunk show season at A Good Yarn! We’ve lined up some amazing in-store events for this spring, starting with the Lori Versaci trunk show that just arrived in the shop! Yesterday, we hosted a meet & greet with the designer, and this weekend Lori will be teaching some fabulous classes for our customers. With a last name like Versaci, it seems fitting that Lori became a designer, and her clean, modern aesthetic resonates with knitters everywhere.  If you’re looking for fit, flattery and comfort, look no further than the many sweater designs found in the VersaciKnits catalog; shown below are Pour Moi, Yuki, and Boyfriend (from left to right).

Sweater patterns from VersaciKnits

New colors of Quince & Co. Sparrow will be landing at A Good Yarn next week, along with the Sparrow 2016 Trunk Show! Each lovely linen piece is simple, modern and most of all, lightweight – perfect for the warmer days ahead. This collection features work from notable design team members Isabell Kraemer, Melissa LaBarre, Dianna Walla and Pam Allen. We can’t wait to share them with you!

Sparrow 2016 Collection

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so that you don’t miss out on any upcoming events – we’ll have some special visitors next month that you won’t want to miss out on: Dave & Pam Van Stralen from Louet North America for an all-day event and trunk show on May 7th, and Joji Locatelli will be signing copies of Interpretations 3 and sharing a trunk show with us on May 14! 

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show is here!

The Brooklyn Tweed Trunk show has arrived at A Good Yarn! Brooklyn Tweed is focused on wool, knitting, and design – pretty much all of our favorite things! Everything is done in the USA from start to finish to produce the highest quality yarns and sophisticated knitwear patterns. Now through March 29, we have a showcase featuring some truly fantastic patterns, such as: the Autumn Leaves Stole, Brownstone, Fortnight, Irving, Kelpie, Oshima, Pavement, Quill, Rosebud, the Shale Baby Blanket, Terra, and Wayfarer. All of these patterns are currently on display here in the shop for you to see in person and try on!

L-R: Kelpie, Irving & Quill from the Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show, now at A Good Yarn.

L-R: Kelpie, Irving & Quill from the Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show, now at A Good Yarn.

We also have two wonderful yarns from Brooklyn Tweed for sale, Shelter and Loft. Shelter is a worsted weight 100% wool yarn and Loft is its fingering weight counterpart. Both are spun woolen-style using wool from 2 breeds of sheep, Targee and Columbia, sourced from the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, both of which have been raised by ranchers in the area for over 150 years. The Targhee fiber provides a fine wool with the softness of Merino; the Columbia fiber lends its durability and character to create a truly unique skein of yarn. With this combination, the wool becomes ideal for the lofty, woolen-spun yarns which Brooklyn Tweed creates. Each sheep will provide roughly 43 skeins of Loft or Shelter yarn from a single shearing!

BTyarn

Luck o’ the Irish!

It’s almost time for St. Patrick’s Day, so that means green yarn! We’ve found this collection of adorable patterns, all perfect for the Irish Holiday.

First, we have Mike the Leprechaun. With this little lucky guy around you’ll always have a smile. He is designed by Stacey of FreshStitches, and is worked in worsted weight yarn, so it is not long before you can have your very own little Leprechaun. Standing 12″ tall (including his top hat), he would make a great conversation starter! Find his pattern here.

Mike the Leprechaun by FreshStitches

Try your skills at some socks! These All of My Ducks in a Row socks are available on Ravelry. They aren’t St. Patrick’s Day specific, but they do call for yarn by the Three Irish Girls! The Three Irish Girls are based in Wisconsin and are focused on providing unique, stunning colorways for any project or color palette! Make these socks more festive for the holiday and find some green variegated yarn such as our exclusive Cabbage Key colorway.

All of My Ducks in a Row - Ravelry Pattern by Amy Kenagy featured on A Good Yarn Sarasota blog

Maybe all you need is a little luck! Instead of searching the ground for a four-leafed clover, why not crochet one? This little lucky charm is a free pattern on Ravelry; you could even use the scraps of green you have leftover from Mike the Leprechaun or your Ducks in a Row socks. For an added amount of fun, add a keyring and turn it into a keychain charm you can use year-round!

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Follow A Good Yarn on Pinterest for more inspiration: Click Here.

Coming up at A Good Yarn! You’re not going to want to miss Susan B. Anderson! Susan has been knitting for over 25 years and has spent many of those years as a designer. During the weekend of March 18th-20th she will be at A Good Yarn teaching classes and workshops that you will not want to miss! Check them out here. Can’t make it to Sarasota? Susan offers many of her patterns on Ravelry.

Build a Toy Class

Project Inspiration: Hurry Up, Spring!

Springtime is on its way! It is a season of change in weather – before you know it, the plants are budding and growing. This week, we wanted to share some inspiration for new projects you can explore in your fiber adventures! Be inspired and try something different this Spring; there are so many different things that caught our attention on Ravelry, so we’ve culled our list to these knitworthy free patterns which are sure to jump to the top of your queue: 

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Hop into spring with this fun pattern to knit some little rabbits; it’s available for free on Ravelry through March 1, 2016! These small rabbits are quick to knit, adorable, and an enjoyable project for a long weekend. They would make a wonderful stuffed toy for that special little one in your life. If you’re new to toy-making, then be sure to sign up for our upcoming Build a Toy Workshop with Susan B. Anderson, one of our industry’s experts in knitted toy construction.  

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For our amigurumi-loving crocheters, this sweet little monkey is perfect for celebrating the Chinese New Year – after all, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey! The free pattern includes step-by-step tutorials, so even beginners can successfully stitch this adorable softie.

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Even though spring is coming, there are still some days when it’s on the chilly side. That’s why “Flowform Handwarmers” would be the perfect pattern to knit up: they can be knit with sock yarn, and we think these fingerless mitts would look fabulous in many of our exclusive hand-dyed colorways from the Purl Diver collection (click here to view all of your options).

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Part of the fun of Springtime is exploring new, bright colors: Michelle Hunter’s Wandering Moon shawl is a free pattern on Ravelry that is knit with yarn we carry here in the shop: Hikoo – RylieWith just a little flair of lace and a cabled edge, this shawl is perfect for any occasion.

Click here to follow us on Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration!

New Purl Diver Colorway: Lobster

We’re pretty excited about our newest addition to our Purl Diver collection of exclusive hand-dyed colorways: Lobster is dyed for us by Mountain Colors Yarn onto their Twizzlefoot base! Each skein is 53% Superwash Merino/17% Domestic Wool/17% Silk/13% Nylon in a light fingering weight; the silk and nylon cause each skein take the dye in an interesting manner:

Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot Lobster

Our colorway is inspired by a photo Murray took of a Florida lobster – also known as spiny lobsters, langouste, or rock lobsters (that last one especially applies to B-52s fans). Florida lobsters can easily be distinguished from other lobsters by their very long, thick, spiny antennae and by their lack of claws on the first four pairs of walking legs.

Spiny Lobster

The Spiny Lobster gets its name from the forward pointing spines that cover their bodies to help protect them from predators. Spiny lobsters are found in almost all warm seas, everywhere from the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea to Australia and South Africa. Spiny lobsters tend to live in crevices of rocks and coral reefs and usually only venture out at night to eat. Their diet usually consists of snails, clams, sea hares, crabs, or sea urchins.

Sometimes, they migrate in large groups (or long files of Lobsters) across the ocean floor, often measuring 50 lobsters long. They vary in color from white to a dark red-orange. Locally, the Spiny Lobster fishery is known as the largest commercial fishery in Florida when it is measured in dollars.

Now that you know the story behind our newest yarn, let’s talk about what you can make with it! This unique yarn boasts a generous 450 yards, making it perfect for shawl projects in addition to socks, hats, and more. Below are a few of our favorite free patterns from Ravelry which would be perfect for your skein of Lobster yarn!

Pattern Inspiration for Lobster Yarn, an exclusive Purl Diver Collection colorway.

Clockwise from top left: Multycolor Horizon Hat by Maria Petikhina, Crimple by Michelle Hunter, Mondbeere by Ute Seller, Unleaving by Lee Juvan and Archangel by Aliza Nevarie.
Click here to snag your skein of Lobster yarn today!

Winner + Superbowl Sunday Countdown

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway this month! The lucky winner of our Everglades yarn giveaway is knitcrazyforever. We will get in touch with you to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

We’re sure that a lot of our blog readers are as excited about the Superbowl next month as we are, it’s going to be an exciting game! We’ll be starting our celebration early on Sunday, February 7 with a certified Knit Companion instruction from 10am to 1pm in our brand-new class space!

A Good Yarn Sarasota's brand new classroom space!

After class ends, we’ll break out the WIPs and the snacks as we wait for the game to start – kickoff is at 6:30 PM our time! If you participated in the Scoreboard KAL, we’d love to see your finished project, so be sure to wear it to our party! Unless, of course, you are a fan of the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers, in which case, we fully expect you to bring your project so you can finish it that night!

A Good Yarn Sarasota is a participating shop for the Scoreboard KAL!

For anyone who will be celebrating at home, there are lots of fun football-themed patterns on Ravelry, many of which you still have time to knit or crochet!

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Olivia Kent’s free crochet pattern for a Baby Football Earflap hat is as cute as can be!

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Wendy Bernard’s Collegiate Hat can be knit in just about any team colors, no matter who you’re rooting for! The pattern is available for free here on the Spud & Chloe website and works great with any worsted weight yarn!

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For the overly ambitious knitter, Sarah Burton’s stunning Football Mosaic Scarf is a real touchdown when knit in your team’s colors.

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If you’re pressed for time, Anna Hrachovec’s Tiny Football only take a couple of hours to whip up; you could try larger needles and bulky weight yarn for a more sizable finished project at the 11th hour!

Project Inspiration for the New Year + Exclusive Yarn Giveaway

Get inspired to make all the things in 2016! We’re exploring all kinds of new techniques here in the shop: last weekend, we learned Portuguese knitting and other techniques from Angela Wong, yesterday we held a class on Tatting for Beginners, and near the end of the month we’ll be exploring shadow knitting, Bavarian twisted stitches, and more with none other than Franklin Habit.

We also can’t help but notice how many gorgeous colorwork patterns are trending on Ravelry and Instagram right now – it seems like everywhere we look, there’s someone knitting a Baable Hat! January is a great time to treat yourself to a special project just for you, and why not give colorwork a try? Today we’d like to share some our favorite trending projects from Ravelry to get your creative juices flowing!

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Star Wars fans are knitting this free pattern in droves, the Force Awakens Hat by Mrs Luedeke. This pattern uses DK weight yarn, and there are tons of great color combinations that are worth checking out on the project pages!

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Another great free hat pattern is Mira by Amy Christoffers – it’s a great way to give the stranded colorwork technique a try!

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, these sweet mittens are a great project to get started right now. The Valentine Mittens pattern by Milla H. is a free pattern that knits up quick in Aran weight yarn.

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The mystery may be over, but Stephen Wests’s Doodler shawl is a stunning colorwork creation that uses fingering weight yarn.

Giveaway Time!

What better way to start off the new year than with a giveaway! Click here to sign up for our newsletter and be entered to win this awesome prize:

Win this prize from A Good Yarn Sarasota!

One skein of this colorway which is hand-dyed exclusively for A Good Yarn Sarasota by The Fiber Seed (it’s part of our ever-growing collection, which you can view here in our online store!). Everglades is inspired by the 1.5 million acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of Florida and dyed on the Costa Laurel yarn base, a worsted weight blend of superwash American wool and nylon. You’ll also receive a card with information about the yarn and colorway and a suggestion for a free pattern you can knit with your skein of yarn. As a special bonus, we’ll include Everglades seasoning and include an URL where you can find recipe suggestions!

Click here to access our giveaway entry form!

We’ll announce our lucky winner on Friday, January 29 right here on our blog. Good luck!

The One, The Only Franklin Habit!

Franklin HabitStart 2016 off right by learning exciting new techniques from the inimitable Franklin Habit! Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit will be teaching 5 informative weekend workshops:

Knitted Tesselations – January 29, 10am-1pm

This class will cover theories behind tessellating (motifs that interlock without gaps or overlaps), and then put into practice the basic techniques for creating tessellated shapes that can be used for knitting or other charted needlework.

Shadow Knitting – January 29, 2016, 2-5pm

Participants will learn how to use stripes, garter stitch, and stockinette stitch to create “hidden” patterns. Basic chart reading as well as methods for designing your own patterns will be explored in this class; basic knitting skills required.

Bavarian Twisted Stitches – January 30, 2016, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Participants will study and practice the twist maneuvers required of the technique, and also learn how to read the special charts in which the patterns have most often been recorded. Fluency in the basic techniques of knitting, including knitting in the round, and knowledge of working from charted patterns will be helpful in this class.tess

Embroider Your Knitting, Level 1 – January 30, 2016, 2-5pm

This introductory-level class will teach students basic embroidery techniques to create lines, fills, knots, and motif stitches, as well as how to vary and combine them for different effects. Selection of materials, planning designs, transferring patterns, and the care of finished work will also be covered. No prior embroidery experience is necessary!

VKEF14_Men_12_small2Calvacade of Colorwork – January 31, 206, 10am-5pm

This intensive workshop will cover the basics of jacquard/Fair Isle, intarsia, and the little-known garter jacquard colorwork techniques. Students will also learn how to determine what sort of colorwork is best suited to a project’s needs, how to introduce color into plain patterns, and how to avoid losing your mind in a heap of tangled ends! Prior knowledge of the basics of single-color knitting, including casting on, knitting, and purling required.

Sign up for individual classes via the links above, or click here to sign up the entire weekend at a 20% discount (also includes lunch each day) – but hurry, space is limited!

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Knitty.com,PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, Squam Arts Workshops, STITCHES events, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.
Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Andrea Wong Returns to AGY

andrea-wongWe’re pleased to welcome Andrea Wong back to A Good Yarn Sarasota for her third visit! Andrea learned to knit Portuguese Style from her mother when she was 7 years old in South America, which she has taught in yarn shops, knitting guilds, retreats and knitting groups in the United States and abroad. Andrea is the author of 3 DVDs on the subject and she has just self-published her first book: Portuguese Style of Knitting – History, Traditions and Techniques.

The Portuguese Style of knitting is a very efficient and fast method of knitting which relies on tensioning the yarn around the neck or around a knitting pin on your shoulder. As knitting is a two hand activity, this method also uses both hands at the same time, so it is good for both right and left handed crafters.

She will be joining us in the new year to teach 3 fabulous classes on January 9th and 10th (click the links below to register online):
Portuguese Style of Knitting-January 9th, 10am-1pm: This is a basic introduction to this technique and covers knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing, casting on and binding off – all in the Portuguese style!

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ll About Socks-January 9th, 1pm-5pm:
 Students will learn all the skills necessary to complete the Pattern Jelly Fish sock: this includes a frilly cast on with beads, German short rows for heel, lace pattern and Portuguese spiral toe. Note: Working this sock Portuguese Style is optional, it is not the goal of this class to learn Portuguese knitting.


Peruvian Knitting-January 10th, 10am-5pm:
Angela will share what makes Peruvian peruvianknitting different, special, efficient and traditional as compared to the Portuguese style. Covered in this class will be construction details exclusive to Peruvian style, including: how they purl, how they work on the non-public side of the work, how they knit the “puntas or picas” as borders, and how they purl using 2 colors (or more) of yarn. You will receive a copy of the most traditional Peruvian motifs to create your own project to work in class.

We look forward to sharing Andrea’s expertise with our customers in these workshops – reserve your space today!