Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Knit A Long in Progress

We have a shop knit a long going.  Anyone is welcome and I would love to get pictures and comments from others who decide to give this project a try.  The project, a knitted bear from a vintage knitting book (1910)  is adorable and in some places a tad challenging.  I am in the process of retyping the instructions so they are a little more readable.  For now you can email me  for a pdf version for your knitting pleasure. I am working on getting it translated to text or attached on the webpage.

The materials needed for this bear are stated in the pattern but among the three of us participating in the shop knit a long have selected three different yarns.  I am using Cascade 220 in brown, Barbara is using Cascade 220 superwash in white and Julianne is using a lace weight in a lovely pastel blue.  We have already learned that we should opt for a smaller needle size than expected because you want your stitches to be quite dense.  If in doubt opt for a smaller needle size.

If you don't feel like picking out your own yarn or buying full skeins for the small amount needed to knit up this bears foot pads, eyes and nose let me know. I am putting together kits for a brown, black or polar bear.  The cost will be $25.00.  You will get a cool PVC bag to keep your yarn clean and tidy while knitting.  a set of circular needles (size 7 U.S.), two small buttons for eyes, a copy of this vintage pattern, and enough yarn to finish the project.  The brown bear comes with black contrasting yarn, the black with brown yarn and the polar bear has black contrast yarn just for his face.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Suitcase Holds a Treasure of Yarn

Erica Heftmann, owner of Colorshift yarns, has featured a few of her yarn sets at the Black Sheep. Erica is  a studio dyer and Senior Member of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. 

She says:

I began making color gradations for my own designs 20 years ago when I realized that commercially dyed yarns limited my creativity. Knitting with an array of exciting colors involves me like nothing else. I carry swatches with me, jot down notes, dream of colors, and cannot bear to put down my knitting. I hope that my yarns will help other knitters to experience this enchantment and to gain confidence in color design.

Come in and see a few of Erica's yarns in our store. She has even more to choose from in her Etsy shop:https://www.etsy.com/people/colorshiftyarn.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sally Reed and Julie, her sheep.

Welcome to Black Sheep at Orenco! This is, I hope, the first of many blog posts to come. In this space I will try and post at least a couple times a week announcing new shop arrivals, upcoming classes, give aways, sales and even patterns/Ideas I run across on facebook, pinterist and other friend's blogs. I hope you find this aspect of the shop webpage useful and interesting.
The photo I have included today is one of my aunt Sally and her sheep Julie from the early 1960s. My grandparents were farmers in Eastern Washington raising a variety of animals and crops over the years. A constant on the farm was sheep. In my childhood I was lucky enough to experience the magic of lambing season and shearing and the lovely temperment that most sheep have. My grandmother was an avid knitter and crocheter. I am sure there are many trunks containing baby sweaters and hats made by my grandmother around town. Whenever I visited she was hard at work on a small pink, blue or green garmet. It was my grandmother who taught me to crochet. She tried to teach me knitting but that skill took a little longer to stick. I learned to spin and dye while in college. I actually took the basket-weaving class that is the butt of so many jokes. It was a REAL class and a valuable one.
I will include all kinds of sheep related photos on the Wool Shed posts so if you have some you want to see please let me know or send them in (obviously with permission to print).