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Knitting is a wonderful past-time when you find yourself in an idle hand situation; binging on your favorite TV shows and movies, biding time while waiting for an appointment or perhaps to make car/plane/train trips feel less taxing. And although knitting is most often a solitary occupation, there are times when you long for the company of others.  

At String Yarns, there is nothing better than when knitters gather around our big round table to work on and discuss individual projects. We each have aspects we love about it—in-house designer Lidia relishes strategizing one-of-a-kind, personalized garments with customers; Petra loves to seek out yarns and unique color combinations; Whitney jumps at the opportunity to document the goings-on with gorgeous photography; Lisa, our resident mother hen, expertly guides our directed knitting groups, which often influence her new designs for String; and Joan, our Ravelry guru, cherishes her time spent with the creative knitters who come to work at our table, often discovering inspiration for her next knitwear piece through the group's conversations.

Our one regret is that our round table doesn’t extend beyond our space on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. If we could, we’d stretch it across the planet, with a seat for every knitter in the world! Alas, we have yet to find a genie who grants magical wishes, but we have found the next best thing—Knit-A-Longs!

If you’ve never participated in a Knit-A-Long (or KAL), now is a great time to try one out. A KAL involves a single project undertaken by a group of knitters. KALs are great because anyone can participate, no matter where they live. It’s a wonderful way to transform the solitary act of knitting into something communal.

So, to stretch our big round table across the world, we invite you to participate in String Yarns’ very first KAL—just pull up a virtual seat! We’re beyond thrilled to announce that we’ve teamed up with the very talented Tanis Gray to produce a series of 6 KALs, beginning on the 10th of every other month. Tanis has over 350 published knitting designs under her belt; she worked at Soho Publishing as Yarn Editor at Vogue Knitting and co-editor of Knit.1, and she has been featured in several knitwear publications.

This month’s KAL features the “Charles Wristers.” Knit in String Classica Cashmere, they’re great for this time of year, whether you’re treating yourself to something warm or need a gift for someone special. Here is where the benefits of a good KAL come in—with the Charles Wristers (as with all of our upcoming Tanis Gray KALs), Tanis will be on Ravelry discussing techniques, providing helpful tips, and supplying photo tutorials to help aid visual learners.

Participants in the Charles Wristers KAL will learn how to knit in the round on DPNs, how to work a thumb gusset, how to knit cables (and fix miscrossed cables), and how to read from a chart.

Here are 6 reasons why String Yarns loves KALs:

  1. Learning New Techniques – Never cabled before? Unsure how to work a thumb gusset? Puzzled about swatching for gauge? Our KALS involve tutorials and are a safe space to learn new techniques and ask questions. When common problems arise, they can quickly be addressed and assessed by the group, so you will never feel alone.
  2. Small Doses Are Easier to Swallow – Our KALs are designed to be smaller projects because we know learning new techniques can sometimes feel overwhelming. Each KAL will present the opportunity to focus on specific skills necessary to complete the garment so before you know it you’ll have a finished knit off the needles. The instant gratification makes everything move so much smoother! 
  3. A Sense of Community – It can be hard to bust out of knitting reclusively—knitting is, after all, a solo act. Participating in a KAL will introduce you to other knitters and hopefully spur some new friendships. 
  4. You Don’t Have to Leave Home – If you’re a native New Yorker, we heartily encourage you to come in during the course of any of our KALs to get some live help, or even just to sit and knit in a quiet, creative space. But, you don’t have to leave home to participate! Enjoy the immediate access to a learning environment while wearing your pajamas and watching Seinfeld reruns—it’s totally fine. 
  5. Inspiration Sources – Working alongside other knitters and seeing their projects can result in tons of inspiration. Likely, you’ll see colors and style choices you otherwise may not have considered, and it will broaden your knitting horizons. Knitters also love to personalize and modify their knitwear, and you’ll get to see those mods as they happen and potentially utilize them as well. 
  6. Speaking of Broadened Horizons… This reason may not apply to all KALs in general, but it certainly applies to String Yarns. We LOVE the opportunity to stretch our big round table into far-flung places and foster a String Yarns community that reaches beyond the island of Manhattan. The chance to teach knitters far and wide and watch our little String Yarns projects grow in other nations and states gives us an unbelievable feeling of joy. And the immense good fortune of having someone as knowledgeable, warm, and generous as Tanis to design these fabulous projects and guide our flock of knitters is something for which we are unbelievably grateful.

So what are you waiting for? For a limited time participants can enjoy a 15% discount on String Classica Cashmere to make the Charles Wristers! We invite you to follow along with the Charles Wristers KAL on Ravelry and introduce yourself to fellow knitters!


Upcoming November Events


November 15

Patty’s Knitting Bag of Tricks with Patty Lyons – 10am-1pm

Slip Stitch & Mosaic Knitting with Patty Lyons – 2-5pm


Check out our Classes & Events page for additional information on all of our upcoming events.

Don't forget to subscribe to the String Yarns Blog to get updates! Subscribe HERE.  

Have you participated in a KAL before? What was your favorite part of the KAL?




November 12, 2015

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