When a new yarn arrives at String, you can almost hear the wheels turning in everyone’s head thinking of what the yarn wants to be, and our new cashmere yarn is no exception. Introducing Silky Cashmere - a 90% cashmere/10% silk blend created from our wishlist of yarns for Filati Biagioli Modesto. Lidia Karabinech knew this yarn was perfect for her latest design. Inspired by a silhouette created from a past season and a piece that we all admired from our Anya Cole for Hania in-store event, behold, the “Two-Way Vest”.
The vest is versatile and looks great two ways. By reversing the direction of the vest, it transforms this piece from casual and classic to chic and sophisticated. Wear it in the traditional silhouette and the cables travel along the top of the design and flow down on either side of the body. The pockets lay towards the bottom and create a very comfortable garment that always looks smart. Wear it with a pair of jeans or cords and look sharp as you meet friends for lunch, head off to a meeting at work or take a brisk fall walk. Reverse it and the piece converts into a trapeze shape with a modern flowing, soft silhouette. Pockets now lay to your sides but at a slant and the cables now create an elegant flowing lower panel.
Silky Cashmere has wonderful characteristics to it. The silk strand wrapped around the super soft cashmere creates a slight texture, similar to a delicate boucle. The light reflects the cashmere and the silk differently, adding depth before we even start with a pattern stitch. A broken rib pattern stitch was chosen for the majority of the body to achieve movement and great drape.
Amazing new yarn. Extraordinary design. Finish up those holiday gifts and knit something amazing for yourself. Enjoy!
Offered in Stacy Charles Silky Cashmere (90% cashmere, 10% extrafine merino wool)and Filatura di Crosa Zara 8 (100% extrafine merino wool).
This could be one of our all-time favorite Lisa Hoffman hat designs.
The “Snowflake Hat”, made from our softest than soft String Classica cashmere is not only the most elegant looking Fair Isle hat, but it’s a great first fair isle in the round project.
This design was created for Lisa’s students in her Directed Knitting group. The instructions are written out very clearly. The pattern includes an accompanying chart in a large, easy to read scale. As a bonus, this hat does not require any shaping! Work it up, close it with a seam or three needle bind off (your choice), put your pom-pom on and you’re done! This hat could not be easier.
The fun part is choosing the palette; three colors create a great contrast and pop! A bit of color always brightens up a winter’s day. As you can see, no matter what color combo you choose, this hat looks fantastic!!
It’s Thanksgiving night, you’re feeling dozy and content with a bellyful of turkey, stuffing, and maybe some wine, and we imagine you’re knitting away on a holiday project with a shrinking deadline.
Settle in, dear friends, because we’re reaching out through the tryptophan haze to help you hit your holiday gift knitting goals. We’ve dug deep into String Yarns’ kit stash to pull up the very best of our last minute knits.
Each of these projects can be finished inside of a day or a week, many of them are unisex, and they are all knit with decadently soft, gorgeously hued yarns. Let’s go!
It doesn’t get much faster (easier/nicer/better) than our1-Hour Mitts. Powerhouse designer Lisa Hoffman created these quick mitts using a single ball of our gorgeousString Yarns Classica Bulky Cashmere, which is available in 28 stunning colors, so you can make one for every member of your family! Our 1-Hour Mitts are incredibly versatile too, with instructions for both knitting flat and in the round.
Knit in 2 balls of HANIA by Anya Cole Cashmere, the unisex Coppelia Snoodfeatures textural stitchwork, highlighting the gorgeous quality of the yarn. Nothing beats a beautiful cashmere cowl—as any knitter will tell you, you can never have too many!
This luxurious hat is surprisingly fast. It alternates one row of Furaz Rabbit Fur with one row of String Yarns Classica Cashmereand doesn’t require any decreasing to finish. If you like the idea of fast, furry knits, check out our other kits in Furaz Rabbit fur here.
If you’re looking for something impossibly cute that will almost fly off your needles, you can’t go wrong with the Winter Skies Hat. Worked on US Size 15 needles in Loopy Mango’s squishy-soft Merino No. 5, this earflap hat is trimmed withFuraz Rabbit Furfor added softness and warmth.
Another favorite among String’s clientele, theSuper Scarfis offered inString Classica Bulky or Zara 14. Knit in an openwork lace pattern on large needles, you’ll be shocked how quickly this project moves from cast on to bind off. It’s an oh-so-chic scarf your gift recipient will be surprised you didn’t keep for yourself.
The Chunky Air Hatis knit inZealana AIR Chunky, a blend of brushtail possum, cashmere, and silk that produces a comfortably warm, light-as-air fabric. A quick knit, the cable and rib stitches of this hat pop beautifully in Zealana AIR Chunky, which is available in a stunning array of brights and neutrals.
All 12 of these kits make great gifts that knit up quickly, but remember they also work well for any knitters in your life—simply toss in a Knit Kit or GoKnit Pouch for a gift set to die for!
In the spirit of sharing and giving that happily occupies this delicious holiday, in closing we offer you the String Staff List of Favorite Tips & Techniques. We hope they help you in your gift knitting and beyond!
String Staff's Favorite Tips & Techniques
Cynthia – Always read a pattern through, thoroughly, before you cast on to ensure you understand things before you start and know exactly where important steps like shaping take place.
Joan - My favorite knitting tip may seem obvious, but, unfortunately, many knitters don't do it... make a gauge swatch. There is nothing worse than knitting an entire garment and not being able to wear it because it turned out too big or too small. Think of it this way: the tiny investment of time you spend on a gauge swatch will pay off with a well-fitting garment.
Lidia – Finishing begins at the beginning, and by that I mean it’s very important that you take note of your knitting as it’s happening—count your rows when working sleeves so that you know your sleeves will match. Take clear notes and don’t rely on memory alone.
Petra – Make a gauge swatch! I repeat, MAKE A GAUGE SWATCH. Even if you think you’re someone who always knits a yarn to gauge, you should still make a gauge swatch. You never know how a yarn will behave once it’s on the needles and in your hands. If you can, wash your swatch to see how the yarn will behave once you’ve cleaned your garment, but first things first—make a gauge swatch!
Whitney – I put charted or complicated patterns in a plastic sleeve and use a dry erase marker to mark my progress. This keeps the pattern clean and the marker comes off the sleeve easily with a wet paper towel.
And yes, we know we told you twice to make a gauge swatch, but it really is that important! Do you want to gift a hat that flops down over your recipient’s eyes?
When a shipment of cashmere arrives at String, trying to choose just one is no easy task; each color is more beautiful than the next, what is a knitter to do?
Norway Bulky and Norway Sport are new members of our String cashmere family. We had this cashmere developed to our specifications in Italy! Norway is another Filati Biagioli Modesto luxurious cashmere multi-plied with six luscious cashmere strands, resulting in a palette of contrasting or tonal colors. The colors work so beautifully together; you can’t go wrong with any of them. Each color is so special that customers are finding it hard to choose just one. And why should they?!
Our “very” quick to knit - “Norway Bulky Cowl” solves this dilemma. You no longer have to choose your favorite color of Norway Bulky - wear three colors at a time with this simple, stockinette and garter pattern. We are offering it in two lengths to make this piece even more versatile. What you are wearing can also determine which color to wear on the top and bottom color.
Because we know that everyone is going to want this great design our holiday gift giving list just keeps getting longer and longer. Make one for everyone on your list and change up the colors. All the possibilities make it even more fun and exciting.
For advanced beginners and beyond. ROLLING ADMISSION
We all love to knit in a group with old friends and new! Gather with Lisa Hoffman and let her make any knitting obstacle your success. Lisa is a well published knitwear designer with published designs in Vogue Knitting, Interweave, and TSC pattern books, to name a few. Lisa’s designs lean toward fashionable, yet classy pieces that work for any age.
Join Lisa on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for 1 1/2 hours of guidance on your personal knitting, instruction on various techniques, and ideas for new projects. For whatever help you need, Lisa will be by your side every step of the way.
Rolling admission, max 6 students for each meeting time. Classes fill up quickly, so book your time ASAP!
BONUS- 10% off your yarn purchases when enrolled in a class. Six sessions $150/8 weeks to attend 6 classes.
Choose one of 5 available meeting times each week:
This month's String promo designed by Lidia Karabinech, the “Boyfriend Diamond Cardigan” was created with String’s exclusive Classica Bulky.
If you want a super cuddly and lofty garment for this time of the year, the cardigan was worked on a US 10.5 needle. This luxury keepsake boyfriend cardigan was designed to be unisex with a relaxed soft construction, but not over-sized like some boyfriend cardis.
Lidia’s inspiration came from two of our favorite designers; Chanel and their classic quilted design and Anya Cole for Hania. Playing with the pattern stitch, the result was an elongated taller diamond creating a flattering silhouette possibilities.
Works great with jeans or slacks. Wear it with a leather jumper or skirt. For work, layer it with a collared shirt. On the casual side, we see it with a cami, buttoned shirt (maybe a flannel).
Offered in String Classica Bulky (100% cashmere) and Filatura di Crosa Zara 14 (100% merino).
Get yourself ready to master this design with a couple techniques in our video tutorials: buttonholes on a ribbed edge and picking up stitches. Watch the videos below or (here and here).
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 exclusiveClassica cashmere. When she got to the top of the hat, she decided to change it up a bit.
"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 ofS. 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!
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
InspirationSources – 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.
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.
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!
Quick Start Beginning Knitting 2-3pm
Magic Loop Class – 3-5pm
Vogue Knitting Holiday Trunk Show & Trend Forecast from VK Editor Trisha Malcolm – 4-7pm
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!
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)
An 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 theCable 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.
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.
String Yarns loves the Cable Chic Pulloverfor 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?