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Blog

November 16, 2015

This Week at String: Petra's Perfect Hat!

At String, we love sharing the hottest and newest designs! Introducing “Petra’s Perfect Hat”. This great design was not a planned one; it started when Petra decided to make a hat for a friend as a gift. She just picked up the needles and started knitting with one of her favorite yarns - String's exclusive Classica cashmere. When she got to the top of the hat, she decided to change it up a bit.

Petras Perfect Hat
"After playing with some pattern stitches, I liked the way the garter stitch worked with the decreases", says Petra. The result is a crown shaping that looks different from many other hat designs.

The real fun began once she brought the hat into the store! One customer decided to start with a few rows of stockinette followed by a few garter rows because she wanted to run ribbon thru it. Then “everyone” decided to hold one strand of S. Charles Celine yarn with the cashmere to give it a bit of a twinkle. This collaboration is how "Petra's Perfect Hat" was created. The hat looks amazing as the sun hits the delicate little shimmers! 

Petras Perfect Hat sparkles
The hat is perfect because it is very easy to make; it's chic and as much fun to wear as it is to knit! Our customers love it, making it over and over again and now you can as well!

"Petra's Perfect Hat" is 15% OFF this week, get yours here

November 12, 2015

6 Reasons Why You Should Participate In A Knit-A-Long + String Yarns’ NEW KAL!

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?

 

 

 

October 29, 2015

The Knitter's Guide to Wearing Black & White

Decades come and go, and with them follow some of fashion's greatest trends, leaving us with sartorial gems we continue to revisit. One fashion trend we can comfortably get behind time and again is the happy marriage of black and white.

We love how easy it is to incorporate black & white garments into an existing wardrobe and how well the look plays up one’s figure—black is notorious for being kind to curves, and thoughtfully placed white accents can highlight your best areas. It’s a great landscape for experimenting with texture and shapes, which means it’s the perfect knitter’s palette for playing with stitchwork and color patterns.


The classic, monochromatic world of Black & White fashion is totally timeless. A staple of the mid 1960s, Black & White fashion was a direct response to the bold, brash colorings of a newly technicolored world. The modern, geometric styling of basic Black & White embraced Pop and Op Art with clean lines and simple silhouettes that could safely carry the intense color contrast. As Honey Magazine said in April 1965, "Be a black-and-white girl. Mix lots of the whitest white with a dash of black."

Black & White fashion has proven it will never go out of style—every few years it pops up on runways again and is quickly embraced by designers and fashionistas alike. 

Instagram Image Courtesy Valentino
At String we embrace this timeless trend, as seen with our Black & White Cardigan, which incorporates contrast panels of white honeycomb cables that flow seamlessly to form the back of the garment. Black kimono sleeves bell flatteringly to just above the wrist—perfect for Fall. Knit in String Classica, our beloved, worsted-weight 100% cashmere, it has the perfect drape, softness, and crisp, clean stitch definition. It's an updated take on the colorblocking found throughout Mod fashion, with the added bonus of textural, on-trend cables. 


Another great way to embrace the trend is by mixing in a balancing shade of grey, which plays as the perfect middle man to black and white. Grey instantly adds depth to your black and white knits without detracting from the bold, graphic style.

Our Stripes and Sequins Sweater (below left) adds a strand of sequin-studded yarn to String Classica for a little sparkle. A crew neck is chic and modern, and stripes of varying width create a flattering landscape for the figure.

Taking a cue from Missoni, the Kersti Cashmere Pullover (below middle) is a swirling tapestry of grey, black, and white. A center panel of moss stitch—framed by stockinette at the sides—plays with texture and keeps our exclusive Koigu Kersti Cashmere on its colorful toes. 

Finally, if we're talking timeless style and 60s fashion, we can't neglect the classic elegance of a great swing jacket. The Swing Jacket in String Classica (below right) features a slip-stitch pattern in black and white, framed by solid, grounding black at the hemlines, and 3/4 sleeves. A kick pleat incorporated into the back gives the jacket a little extra swing and creates a flattering waist line. This elegant piece would do Jackie O. proud.

                        

Our black & white kits are perfect for this season and beyond—we love that they each involve fairly straightforward and timeless shapes that will outlast fixed seasonal trends while still being fashionable.

Go even bolder and try any of these looks with a different yarn. We’d love to help you find the perfect yarn substitution from our String Classica’s gorgeous range of colors. Give us a call or stop by and let us be your personal (yarn) shopper—it’s the Manhattan way!

There’s no better time than now to try your hand at any of the fashions featured above—String Yarns is offering a 20% discount on all cashmeres for the month of November!

Upcoming Classes

November 3

Quick Start Beginning Knitting 2-3pm

November 11

Magic Loop Class – 3-5pm

November 12

Vogue Knitting Holiday Trunk Show & Trend Forecast from VK Editor Trisha Malcolm – 4-7pm

As always, check out our dedicated classes and events page for additional details on upcoming events, and subscribe to the String Blog to receive new post updates!

Which is your favorite Black & White look? Do you have a well-loved, well-worn Black & White staple garment? Is there a Black & White runway garment you'd love to translate into knitwear? Let us know in the comments!

Yours in style,


 

October 15, 2015

Why You Need A Cable Knit Sweater This Season

         

String Yarns loves intricate stitchwork—especially cables. Looking at our exclusive line of cashmere yarns, it’s not hard to see why. String Classica, String Classica DK, and String Classica Bulky are particularly well suited to textural knitwear. They create decadently soft but strong fabrics that support bold patterning, bloom beautifully when washed, and last a lifetime. Imagine our excitement, then, for the onset of cold weather, when perennially fashionable cable knitwear comes back into play and the opportunity arises once again to use the most cherished tools in the String Yarns’ toolbox.

 

 Cables, Cables Everywhere

Invariably, cold weather brings a renewed appreciation for cabled knitwear. Fall 2015’s high fashion runways were resplendent with cable sweaters, from Alexander McQueen to Nina Ricci to Pringle of Scotland and more. Women’s Wear Daily propped up the cable trend’s versatility for fall with a gorgeous, designer-inspired slideshow.

(L-R) Altuzarra, Isabel Marant, Max Mara, Michael Kors 

We glimpsed knitted sweaters in several fashion editorials as well, where cables enjoyed a looser drape in addition to the archetypal figure-hugging fit.

 (L-R) Alberta Ferretti, Banana Republic, Sea Fall, Alexander Wang and Vera Wang (Vogue Magazine)
HANIA by Anya ColeAn oversized cable sweater from HANIA by Anya Cole

Once fall and winter—our prime knitting seasons—set in, the knitwear community, of course, also begins churning out its fair share of cabled jumpers.

(L-R) Vogue Knitting Fall 2015, Knitty Fall 2015, Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2015, Interweave Knits Fall 2015

The common themes that constitute cabled sweaters quickly become apparent. Many successful cable sweaters employ a textural layout inherited from the traditional Fisherman’s sweater: a bold, central panel defines the center of the garment (and accentuates the figure), and is often flanked by columns of thinner cables if not an entire background of patterned stitchwork. In the folklore of the Aran Islands, each pattern signified something; today, we source from aesthetics alone, although the two concepts are certainly not mutually exclusive.

Inspired by the runways and the cable zeitgeist, String Yarns’ very own in-house designer, Lidia Karabinech, conceived the Cable Chic Pullover, which is 20% off for the entire month of October! Her gorgeous interpretation of this classic sweater style pulls from the traditional with a healthy, heaping dose of the au courant.

Cable Chic Pullover

Far from being derivative, the center cable of the Cable Chic Pullover is enticingly unique—you won’t find this particular motif duplicated in another sweater. A 44-stitch cable panel forms an inverted V flowing upward toward the wearer’s face and is bordered by staghorn cables that flow in the opposite direction. Because the spread of the center panel is so wide, it adds little bulk to the wearer’s form. The absence of cables at the sides of the body and in the sleeves also creates a leaner silhouette to flatter the figure.

 String Yarns’ String Classica DK Cashmere, a round, buttery-soft cashmere with crisp stitch definition, renders a lush fabric that supports robust stitchwork. This is the perfect cable sweater for both the beginner and the practiced knitter—simple enough to pick up quickly, but intriguing enough to maintain interest. Novice cable knitters need not be frightened—despite their tortuously tricky appearances, cables are dead simple to make.

Cable Chic Pullover in Classica DK

String Yarns loves the Cable Chic Pullover for its versatility—it can be styled and accessorized several different ways throughout the season (stay tuned to this space in the coming days for some helpful tips on styling)—and for its classic quality. No matter how long you have the Cable Chic Pullover in your closet, it will never go out of style—an important factor to consider if you’re interested in maintaining a timeless, eco-friendly, and sustainable wardrobe. And as this is the first year celebrating “Slow Fashion October,” what better entrée into the movement than a sweater you’ll love forever?

To help launch you on your cable-knitting journey, the Cable Chic Pullover in String Classica DK Cashmere is available at 20% off for the entire month of October. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

 

Upcoming October Events

 

October 26

Zhivago Shawl Workshop with Iris Schreier – 1-3pm

 

October 27

Lisa & Alice Hoffman: Faerie Magazine – 4-5pm

As always, you can check out our Classes and Events page for more details—we’re always adding fun classes and events at String, so be sure to check back often! 

Have you worked cables into your knitting before? Do you already own a favorite cable sweater? How do you style your cable knits? Let us know in the comments!

 

October 01, 2015

HANIA by Anya Cole, and other exciting news!

 

String Yarns is buzzing with excitement about our fall lineup of in-store events. Fall is a fantastic season to be in the Big Apple (Cool breezes! Hot cappuccinos and fingerless mittens! Walking through a jewel-toned Central Park! Skirts with tights and light pullovers!)

If you don’t believe us, trust in the great Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (just click play and keep reading—we promise it will put you in the mood!).

This fall is especially exciting for String. Not only is it our first fall in our new location, but we’re also welcoming a local hand made knitwear icon we have admired for years.

The incomparable Anya Cole of the famous NY-based knitwear brand HANIA by Anya Cole will be visiting String Yarns on October 15th from 5-8pm!

Anya Cole hails from communist Poland where, at the budding age of nine years old, her mother told her “if you need it, make it.” It was a statement that informed the trajectory of her life. A professional ballet dancer, Anya put her knitting skills to practical purposes, making herself leg warmers, sweaters, and hats, among other things. Later, living in West Germany, she did what many crafty mothers have done throughout time—she knit to support herself and her young daughter. After a move to NY she realized her aesthetic was unique and, more importantly, unexpressed in the world of knitwear fashion. Thus, HANIA by Anya Cole was born.

Anya Cole

Anya Cole of HANIA by Anya Cole
image source: Damsels in Design

 

 

 

 

HANIA by Anya Cole prides itself on utilizing only the best luxury materials in its knitwear, and it has carried the tradition of female makers into the 21st century, employing 120 women in its textile production. Every piece of HANIA by Anya Cole knitwear is lovingly hand made by the women of New York City, all of whom are fairly and equitably compensated. HANIA by Anya Cole knitwear is beautiful, elegant, and timeless.


 

On October 15th from 5-8pm Anya will be at String Yarns with pieces from the Fall 2015 HANIA by Anya Collection. She will also be divulging some of her knitting techniques, and showing us some of the garments she has designed with String Yarns (including a new, upcoming yarn—this event will be a great opportunity to catch a sneak peek!).

If you love fashion, knitting, and design as much as we do, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event!

 

 A TASTE OF OCTOBER

String Yarns has a full roster of other exciting events and classes scheduled for October—there is a little something for everyone, so be prepared to get the whole family knitting! BONUS: All String Yarns classes offer a 10% discount on materials!

October 6

Quick Start Beginning Knitting – 2-3pm 

October 7

Socks on Double Points with Lisa Hoffman – 3-5pm 

October 8

Cables, Cables, Cables with Lisa Hoffman – 1-4pm

October 26

Zhivago Shawl Workshop with Iris Schreier – 1-3pm

         

As always, you can check out our Classes and Events page for more details and exciting developments—we’re constantly updating and adding more fun things for our local knitters, so check back often!

Which events are you most excited to attend? Is there a knitting technique you desperately want to learn? What class interests you most? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

September 17, 2015

Welcome to the NEW String Yarns!

String Yarns has been at its new location for about 7 months now, but if you've ever had to move you know what it's like for the first year—the space feels foreign until you properly fill it, and even then you find yourself rearranging the furniture and tweaking the new arrangements until everything feels just so. It's a slow and surprising shift, but one day you wake up and voilà! Things have found their right place and you finally, thankfully, feel at home.

String Yarns is thrilled and excited to announce we feel at home!

Credit our comfort with the fact that every knitter's favorite season has begun to cast its long shadows over Manhattan, but we feel settled and ready to celebrate—and just in time, too. The month of September opens a packed season of exciting in-store events and projects, and this—our brand new blog!

Watch this space for our expert eye on the world of fashion and knitting—we'll be breaking down the latest trends and how best to incorporate them into your knitting queue and your wardrobe, with photos pulled straight from the catwalk, high fashion magazines, the famous department store windows of Manhattan, and outfits curated by Mixology, a fabulous, fashion-forward shop just around the corner from us

First up on the agenda: new friends.

String Yarns just welcomed the gorgeous BIG LOOP Mini, BIG LOOP, and Merino #5 yarns from Loopy Mango in downtown Manhattan.

Stop in the store now to see it in person—it has to be 'smooshed' to be believed! And stay tuned to the blog because String will be hosting Loopy Mango-themed classes using this delicious yarn in October...

Speaking of which, don't forget we have a full line-up of classes for those wishing to learn how to knit or expand on their crafting skills, and events tailored around crafting celebrities and your favorite trunk shows.

 

Next Up in Classes

Beginning Knitting Workshop - September 17 & 24, 11-1:30pm

 

Next Up in Events

The NYC Yarn Crawl - September 25-27

An Evening with Anya Cole for Hania - October 15, 5-8pm

 

For more please visit our classes and events page. We'll continue to update you in future blogs so you don't miss a thing!

 

Have you been to the new String Yarns? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Yours in style,