Sunday, September 26, 2010

Knitting Brioche by Nancy Marchant is an amazing book, tons of information, pattern stitches and great patterns. She has lots of pictures of how to do various stitches and explains things in a clear and concise mannter.   I love the way this stitch looks.  I have a brioche stitch sweater pattern on the needles.. It's from Rowan Studio 18 called Birch -- it's knit with Rowan's Felted Aran Tweed doubled, so I really have no excuse, but to get it done quickly.

Here's a pattern that I wrote for one of my favorite hand dyed yarns -- Woolbearers' Alfresco.

Alfresco Brioche Cowl

Materials: 1 skein Woolbearers hand dyed Alfresco (200 yards); Size 13 16” circular needles

YOSL1 – Yarnover and slip 1 at the same time (it will appear as if you have made two stitches)

Cast on 48 stitches. Put in stitch marker to note the beginning of round.  Purl one row.

Set up row: *YOSL1 , K1; Rep from *

Round 1: *Knit the next stitch with its YO , YOSL1; Rep from *

Round 2: *YOSL1, Purl the next stitch with its YO; Rep from *

Repeat these two rounds until you have enough yarn to bind off.

Bind off very loosely.

Here are some pix of how to form a brioche stitch.

The middle two stitches are composed of the yarnover and slipped stitch.  They will be either knit together or purled together, depending upon which round you are doing.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here is a pix of yarn drying, getting ready for the Garden State Sheep Breeders Show which was held last weekend.  I am still trying to recover!  It was a lot of fun meeting lots of new folks and  seeing some "old" customers.  We were really busy, so I didn't get a chance to enjoy the show as I would have liked, but being busy was good too!
Here are some pictures of our booth.  We had a front row seat for the Sheep Dog Herding demos. 
I got to introduce my new line of sock yarn --- "Made in New Jersey".  From left to right are colorways "Sunrise over Asbury Park", "Blueberry Bog", "The Oranges" and "Cranberry  Bog" --- all made from a superwash merino/bamboo/ nylon blend.  Below that is "Down the Shore" and "Jersey Girlz" in superwash merino and nylon.

One of our new classes coming up is "Knits Men Want"  taught by Gary Haines.  Here is a sampling of some sweaters that he recently designed.   All the same design, using different combinations of Colorways.  The yarns he used are Southwest Trading's Karaoke paired with Plymouth's Royal Llama Linen  -- he is going to overdye one of them.  Can't wait to see how that turns out.

Kris is a master at putting colors together.  Here is her Crocheted Circle Jacket.  She used all the yarn she got from our "Yarn Tasting" -- lots of Cascade Fixation and some Prism yarn too.  I think it is just sensational.
Katy knit another Andrea Shawl -- this time out of Malabrigo Sock yarn.  

Her Owl Baby Sweater is just adorable

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Woolbearers Newsletter FALL 2010
It’s hard to believe, but the summer is almost over. Time to get out the needles and start knitting or crocheting again. We’ve been so busy this summer getting all of the new yarns in place and classes organized. We have also completely reorganized the store – you can see all the yarns from any vantage point. Yarn is all arranged by weight and one whole wall is dedicated to all of the beautiful handpaint yarns we have (including Woolbearers’ own). Hope you can stop in.

Aslan Trends is a yarn company located in Argentina. This year we brought in their Royal Alpaca, a worsted weight yarn that is sooo soft in bright delicious colors. Also have their Santa Fe, a sock-weight yarn in variegated colors.
Berroco now has Vintage Chunky - a superwash wool/acrylic blend in 3.5 stitches to the inch. Same great colors as Vintage Wool of which we now have all colors. Remix is a cotton, linen, silk blend worsted weight yarn. We have all of the new Berroco Pattern books.
Blue Ridge Yarns - Footprints sock yarn-two skeins - one for the heel and toe, one for the rest of the sock in gorgeous bright colors
Brown Sheep - in addition to their staple yarn, Lamb's Pride, we now have Lanaloft Sport - a soft yarn that comes in variegated colors.
Cascade - if you love Cascade 220, you'll love their new Cascade 220 Sport. Same colors, same yardage, same yarn only in a sport weight - you'll love the price too - only $3.75. Also new from Cascade in Heritage 150 Paints - a sportweight version of the Heritage sock - almost 500 yards on a skein.
Debbie Bliss - Cashmerino in Aran weight and Baby Cashmerino - both are blends of merino, cashmere and microfiber. And of course, there is great pattern support. One of her new yarns is Glen, a bulky blend of alpaca, merino and microfiber in subtly shaded colors with its own pattern book. Don't forget Debbie Bliss Magazine - I have lots of copies.
Frabjous Fibers - more Sari Silk and Recycled Silk in bold bright colors.
Handpainted Knitting Yarns - brought in their Donegal sock yarn - it was too beautiful to pass up!
Jojoland - great new patterns and Rhythm now comes in superwash!
Knit One, Crochet Too - Brae Tweed is a merino/llama/bamboo/donegal blend in worsted weight in soft colorways. Wrapunzel is a multicolor superwash wool/acrylic blend that has one matte strand wrapped around another shiny strand of yarn. Ty-Dy Dot sock yarn - just like the Ty Dy dot cotton yarn, only in sock weight machine washable wool.
Koigu - more new colors in KPPPM
Lorna's Laces - new put up for their sock yarns. Shepherd Sock now comes in 100 gram skeins of 430 yards - great for knitting/crocheting shawls.
Madelinetosh - new kid on the sock block - got in their Tosh Sock and Merino Light yarns. Colorways are going fast! Pashmina is on its way!
Manos has a new Laceweight yarn that is an alpaca/silk/cashmere blend in all of those beautiful Manos colors. New colors for Clasica and Silk blend DK yarn.
Nashua - new is Isabella - a wool/silk/viscose blend that knits at 4 stitches to the inch and has its own pattern book.
Noro - I have finally succumbed and brought in this beautiful yarn. After working with the Kureyon, I now know what everyone was talking about. We have Kureyon, Kureyon Sock, Silk Garden and Silk Garden Sock for now. I'm sure we'll be bringing in some of their other yarns. Also, great pattern books.
Malabrigo - New this fall is Rasta, a bulky merino in the same gorgeous Malabrigo colorways. I am expecting the new Rios soon - a superwash worsted yarn.
Plymouth - has lots of new yarns. Taria Tweed, featured in the latest Knit 'n Style is a merino, llama, silk blend tweed at 3.5 stitches to the inch (I'm thinking Einstein jacket). Baby Alpaca Ampato is a soft, yummy alpaca at 4 stitches to the inch. If you haven't already tried their new Superwash Worsted merino - it knits like a dream. Great for cables. 24K is 187 yards of nylon and lame for that something special. Angora - lots of colors - great for Santa's beard! Zino is a new self-striping sock yarn. Lots of new patterns too.
Punta Yarns - handpainted Mericash - a fingering/sportweight yarn that is a merino/cashmere blend.
Rowan - brought in Lima - an alpaca blend that is very soft and drapey . Drift is a tweedy 100% merino super bulky yarn and Renew is a tweedy aran weight yarn made from recycled wool. Each yarn has its own pattern book. I had to bring in Amy Butler's new yarn - Belle Organic DK is being distributed by the folks at Rowan. It is a merino/organic cotton blend that knits up wonderfully and has great pattern support - lots of her patterns look like her fabric.
Shibuiknits - new colors in sock yarn and lots of cute baby patterns.
Skacel - Zauberball Starke 6 - a sportweight self striping superwash yarn that is fun to knit with. Unisono is another self striping sportweight yarn that is infused with Aloe and Jojoba oil that feels great on your hands. Flying Saucer - injection dyed superwash sock yarn that will allow you to knit an identical pair of socks! Noblesse is a merino/silk blend with subtle color variations in a sport/dk weight. Cashmere Queen is a cashmere/merino/silk single ply yarn in natural colors at 5 stitches to the inch. Cashmere Moda is a two-toned 100% cashmere yarn that will make great gifts for that someone special.
Southwest Trading - Dream Big is a super bulky superwash merino yarn that knits at 2 stitches to the inch. Each skein comes with a free pattern. Great for hats and scarves. One skein goes a long way! Saphira is a bulky superwash merino handpainted yarn in lots of pretty colors. Infatuation is a bamboo/wool/nylon sock yarn in tweedy delicious colors.
Stonehedge Fiber Mill - this is the yummiest aran weight merino I have seen in a long time. Milled in Michigan and priced right! Great color palette as well.
Tahki Stacy Charles - so excited to finally bring in Donegal Tweed - a traditional homespun 100% wool in worsted weight. Rio is an alpaca/merino/silk blend in a thick and thin heavy worsted weight yarn. New colors for Presto and Montana and as always, great pattern support.
Zealana - Kiwi yarn is a merino/organic cotton/possum fingering weight yarn that is so easy to knit.
Believe me, there's more yarn - you just have to come in and see for yourself.
Here is a list of some of our classes. Be sure to check out for more detailed info.

In addition to the many pattern books we have from all of our great yarn vendors, we are carrying leaflet patterns from Ysolda Teague, Steven West, C2 Knits, Chic Knits, Churchmouse Yarns & Tea, Knitbot (Hannah Fettig), Elizabeth Zimmerman, Bekah Knits, She-Knits, Lucy Neatby and many more.


Lots of new buttons, shawl pins, beads, bags and needles from Blue Moon/Renaissance, Dill Buttons, One World Buttons, Plymouth, Lantern Moon, Creative Designs, Namaste, Nancy's Knit Knacks, Chia Goo and more.

As always, we encourage you to join in our regular knitting/crocheting groups on Thursday afternoons and Sunday afternoons. The first Friday of every month we have our "meet-up" group at 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to join --- to be on the mailing list for that group go to