January 24, 2017
Ahh, knitting for loved ones. Has there ever been a creative act less selfish, yet more fraught with anxiety and disappointment? It’s interesting how that works.
How many times have you poured yourself into a beautiful, multicolored hat/scarf/cowl/etc. for someone you love…only to never see them wear it? Or a fine-gauge cable or lace piece that somehow permanently resides in a closet? How many of us have fallen prey to the boyfriend sweater curse, painstakingly working up garments for paramours only to have our hearts broken and our stash drained? Knitting for loved ones can be painful. What if it doesn’t fit? What if it fits, but they hate it? What if they accidentally <gasp> felt it?
When we knit selfishly, we know exactly what we’re getting, and loving it really just comes down to fit and whether our taste matches our style. (Man Repeller posted an article outlining the difference between taste and style. To put it simply, taste is what you like to see on other people; style is what you feel good wearing. We may explore the concept in a future post—knitting is such a time-consuming act, you really do need to love wearing what you knit!)
With Valentines Day creeping up and dragging with it the desire to make something useful for those we love, the following projects are guaranteed knockouts. Your recipient has to love these knits. If they don’t, well…we’ll never knit for anyone again (Pfft, as if). Our String staff hand-selected these four gifts as tried and true. They also checked in about their New Years resolutions. Of course, “knitting more” is universal, but some of these resolutions are also excellent tips to carry through 2017. Enjoy!
Is there anything more romantic than snuggling up under a cushy, cloudlike blanket? Loopy Mango’s Nantucket Throw is a no-brainer. A rib pattern is elegant and stately in gargantuan stitches—simple, but deliberate, and with so much style. Knit in Loopy Mango’s 100% merino Big Loop yarn on size 50 needles, this is easily a last-minute Valentines Day knit.
Cynthia’s Resolution: I spend at least 30 minutes working on an existing project before I jump on to a new one. It’s been very successful so far.
Why We Love It: The knitting community at large suffers from startitis. This keeps every project on the needles chugging along and prevents you from searching for available needles that are wasting away under other projects.
Repeat after me: if you love them, say it with cashmere. The cute All Seasons Slouchy Hat is knit in June Cashmere Lace Weight and features an easy design with unisex appeal. June Cashmere’s colors are rich, varied, and well suited to both men’s and women’s knits.
Whitney’s Resolution: My knitting resolution is to design more and actually write out the patterns for what I make. In terms of knitting for someone you love, I made my boyfriend a scarf and hat and he still thanks me almost every time he wears them!
Why We Love It: Firstly, we’re so excited to see more from Whitney, so we’re thrilled one of her resolutions is to design more! Secondly, keeping track of what you do when you’re improvising designs is so important. Always keep a small notebook near your knitting to take down gauge and stitch counts. And good for Whitney’s boyfriend for rocking his hand-knit hat & scarf! May we all be blessed with such grateful partners.
Remember what we said about cashmere? Nothing says love like cashmere. The Mistake Rib Scarf can be knit in either Classica or Classica Bulky. Either way, it’s a warm, luscious, buttery accessory for which you will be generously thanked. If you don’t see it wrapped around your beloved’s neck every day, you have our permission to snatch it back. Fair is fair.
Joan’s Resolution: I'm only going to knit what I love. Sometimes I knit what might be “interesting” in the hope that it will be a challenge and teach me something I didn't know, and in the hope that I'll eventually fall in love with it. I'm going to try harder to find pieces that I already do love, and that will still be challenging.
Why We Love It: In some ways, this goes back to the style vs. taste conundrum, in the sense that knitting is so labor-intensive, we need to feel invested in the finished product. It’s time to attack our queues with thoughtful, critical eyes and weed out those projects that don’t pass muster.
Another gorgeous hat for both men and women, the Twist Cable Hat incorporates a beguiling stitch pattern. The twist cable creates a warm and cozy fabric, and it’s a lot of fun to knit. The Twist Cable Hat is worked in Classica Bulky and is available in two sizes.
To wrap up, Joan kindly shared her “Christmas Story” of knitting gifts for her family and thank goodness, it has a happy ending! Thanks, Joan. Your family has learned well the tenets of being good gift knitting recipients.
I rarely knit gifts for Christmas. Too much pressure, but my son is a high school senior who has played on his H.S. varsity football team for all 4 years. With 3 weeks to go before Christmas, I wanted to make him a special hat that commemorated his H.S. football “career.” So, I did. When my daughter saw me knitting it, she reminded me that I had promised her a hat 2 years ago, so after the first hat was finished, I knit hers. Then I thought, “As a good mother, how can I knit for two of the kids and not the third?” so I whipped up another one. Then I thought, how could I knit a whole family of hats and not knit one for my husband? So his was next. I finished with 2 days to spare and everyone (but me) got a new hat for Christmas.
Well, I think Joan wins the “Most Selfless Knitter Of All Time” award. Her hats are stunning—so intricate, detailed, and thoughtful. If that isn’t love, what is? Also, Joan: you deserve a hat of your own!
(And if you think you deserve a hat of your own, don't forget to join our #HatsOffKAL—the grand prize is our upcoming Hats Off! e-book, which contains patterns for some of String's most favorite hats!)
What are your knitting resolutions? Have you been burned by selfless knitting, or did someone love you for it? Let us know in the comments below!
January 10, 2017
2016 was a hard year. We lost a staggering number of creative and cultural icons, from Prince to David Bowie, Sonia Rykiel to Bill Cunningham. No matter which side of the political aisle you sat on, the slog up to the election felt, well, like a slog, and the aftermath wasn’t particularly any less a drag than the lead-up.
But, as always, we knitters knit, knit, knit our way through it all. We cast on and built our bastions stitch by stitch, investing in the meditative act that remains a steadfast and reliable retreat from reality. With the holidays now behind us, chances are good that most gift knitting is done. You may still be weaving in ends on a promised present or two, but in all likelihood, you’re looking at the wide expanse of 2017 and mulling over what to make next.
As you consider options, String Yarns is here to remind you that you deserve something, too. Cast aside thoughts of knitting for your husband, best friend, sister or son, and instead turn inward. The knitting community notoriously calls it “selfish knitting,” but that makes it sound like a negative thing, and it isn’t. You’ve probably engaged in selfless knitting all season long. Let’s reclaim our queue. It’s not selfish knitting—it’s self-care.
There are so many ways to practice self-care. Cynthia likes to start the new year with something “fun and small, like a baby sweater, or one of our String hats.” After breaking the ice, she moves onto “a big, winter-long project. Something with interesting techniques and texture and/or color.” Whitney says she’s “always excited to start that first no-pressure project as soon as holiday knitting is finished.” She said, “January is usually when winter in NYC really starts, so this year I made a pair of socks for myself.” Whitney also believes in the power of a good massage—it’s a great way to soothe those muscles after “knitting overtime and traveling with luggage.”
In the interest of self-care, we think it’s time to cast on for you. You’ve earned it, and you deserve it.
For the month of January, we’re offering the White Shadow Pullover in String Blossom for 20% off. We think it’s a spot-on selfish knit.
Firstly, String Blossom is a gorgeous, decadent blend of silk and cashmere. Soft and buoyant, it is a true pleasure to knit and wear. Secondly—and checking off one of Cynthia’s requirements—White Shadow features beguiling details and techniques that might be new to you. German short rows are employed to achieve the pretty scalloped hem. We’ve created a short, informative video for those interested in learning the technique. It’s easier than it seems! White Shadow’s simple rib design and thoughtful details make it a wonderful knit for the new year. However, if you’re aiming for something smaller first, we have something for you, too…
Join our Hats Off! Knit-a-Long! Until January 16th, every String hat is available for 15% OFF! Join our Ravelry group discussion for all the details on the KAL, including information on the prizes and giveaways. You could win a copy of our upcoming Hats Off! e-book! A simple cashmere hat is a small, luxurious treat you can give yourself—a fast, fun knit you can start wearing right away. We have over 20 hats to choose from, so there’s definitely a String hat just for you.
One more bit about self-care, if you live in the tri-state area: this upcoming weekend is Vogue Knitting Live in New York City!
Treat yourself to a trip to the city to wander the VKLive Marketplace. String Yarns will have plenty of kits and specials for our booth visitors (we’ll be at booths 999/1001/1002), and Iris Schreier of Artyarns will be with us on Saturday from 1-4pm with her beautiful yarns and kits. If you’re in the city earlier in the week, be sure to attend our String After Dark event on Thursday, January 12th from 6-8pm. Special guests Sy Belohlavek, founder of June Cashmere, and Julie Conroy of Hania by Anya Cole, will be on hand. We’re serving light dinner with yarn tastings, raffle prizes, and more. RSVP now—you don’t want to miss it!
Will we see you at VKLive? Are you participating in our Hats Off! KAL? If so, which hat are you making? Let us know in the comments below!
December 20, 2016
Every year, String Yarns produces a flurry of new knit garments & accessories. A melting pot of inspirations fuels their designs, with elements pulled from sundry sources: tiny garment details spotted in Manhattan’s storefront windows; silhouettes that have sashayed in recent runway collections; prevailing trends in the knitwear community; the moods and seasons of New York City. All aspects coalesce to inform our design aesthetic—it’s a process of which we’re extremely proud.
Before the year 2016 officially fades into a brand new 2017, we thought we’d take a moment to look back at the year that was. Our fearless leader, Stacy, with the help of the rest of String Yarns’ staff, picked out the following designs. Some of these designs were fresh creations for 2016; others are long-standing String Yarns’ favorites whose popularity cannot be denied. We hope you’ll enjoy this list. May it inspire a bright new year of knitting!
Now, in no particular order, here are String Yarns Best Patterns of 2016!
The Asbury Coat in String Dolcetto
Stacy’s favorite for the year, The Asbury Coat in String Yarns cashmere-blend Dolcetto, is a popular garment for so many reasons. The cables on the chest and upper back create a swingy, A-line silhouette that flatters the figure. Corollary cables in the sleeve hems replace the standard ribbing that has become so commonplace in sleeves. As Stacy said, “it appears traditional, but the fit is anything but. The cabled bodice and the fuller body are flattering to most shapes and sizes. I think a coat like this is the perfect piece for in between fall and winter seasons.”
Cabled Cashmere Hat in String Classica
The Cabled Cashmere Hat in String Classica may not be new for 2016, but it has definitely been one of String’s most popular kits since its release. Stacy calls it “the quintessential NYC headgear.” A thick ribbed brim ensures warmth and a comfortable fit while wide cables traverse the body of the hat to its peak, where a perfectly matched fox fur pom pom tops it all off. As Stacy says, “Cables are always fashionable!”
PRO TIP: Buy the Cabled Cashmere Hat kit for 15% OFF using the code HATSOFF and join us for our Hats Off Knit-A-Long for a chance to win some great String Yarns gifts! Full details can be found here.
Cookies & Cream Cardi in Spud & Chloe Sweater
The Cookies & Cream Cardi might be the cutest kids garment we’ve ever seen. Our customers really love it! Knit in fisherman’s rib in the soft, superwash Spud & Chloe Sweater, the C&C Cardi is a fast, unisex knit your little one can wear through the seasons.
Yin and Yang Pullover in String Classica DK or Filatura Di Crosa Zara
It’s no surprise to us that the Yin and Yang Pullover was popular this year. It’s so classically chic and timeless, it could very well wind up on our Best of list for 2017 too—we’ll just have to see! The center panel of Yin and Yang falls slightly askew for a modern take on a traditional stripe motif. With all the colors of String Classica DK and Filatura Di Crosa Zara available, it’s incredibly easy to make this top your own.
Riviera Pullover in Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Flora and Filatura Di Crosa Superior
Stacy Charles Fine Yarns’ sequin-studded Flora and Filatura Di Crosa’s cashmere/silk-blend Superior are held together in this beautiful, lightweight Riviera Pullover. Featuring a deep v-neck, flattering A-line silhouette, and generous front pockets, the Riviera Pullover shimmers with Flora’s sequins and is next-to-skin soft in a blend of cotton, cashmere, and silk.
Her Fringe Shawl in Loopy Mango Merino No. 5
The Her Fringe Shawl is a perfect knit for right now. Worked in 4 balls of Loopy Mango’s soft, squishy Merino No. 5 and finished with a thick, long curtain of fringe, the Her Fringe Shawl is a statement piece you’ll have off the needles in no time. Did we mention it’s worked on US size 35 needles?
String Opera Coat in String Breeze, Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Flora and Stella, and Tahki Yarns Tandem
Lidia Karabinech designed the String Opera Coat this past spring and we were instantly in love. Inspired by Missoni and immediately evocative of spring, the String Opera Coat features Tahki Yarns multicolor Tandem and Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Flora and Stella in the lacy, leaf-like lower body. The upper body is worked in String Breeze for a wholly lightweight and luxurious coat.
Cherry Blossom Tank in String Windsong
The Cherry Blossom Tank is the kind of top you can live in all spring and summer and layer over in the fall. Knit in String Windsong, a blend of linen and silk, it’s Cherry Blossom’s simple, straightforward details that give it charming appeal. Windsong creates drape that skims the figure perfectly, and small details like a deep v-neck and elongated-stitchwork hem keep it eternally stylish.
Did your favorite String garment make our ‘best of’ list? What did we miss? What did you love? Let us know in the comments below!
December 06, 2016
We’re closing in on yet another turn around the sun, which can mean only one thing in the northern hemisphere: it’s time to cast on for chunky knits. The winter solstice is just two weeks away, and we can already feel it in New York City. The days are short, the shadows are long, and the nip in the air is developing into quite a bite. Cozy, comfort knitting takes precedence now more than ever—it’s every knitter’s greatest weapon against the approaching winter freeze.
There are several reasons why high fashion designers, String Yarns, and knitters in general love chunky knits. Aside from scratching the itch for instant gratification, get-off-my-needles-and-into-my-closet garments, chunky knits are often inherently timeless. Stitches of Brobdingnagian (ie, large!) proportions are often best left to speak for themselves, without the noise of fancy or complicated stitch work. An oversized stitch benefits from clean, simple lines. Minute details, by virtue of their effortless air, nicely juxtapose large, architectonic stitch work. We love all the chunky knits we’ve seen from Brunello Cucinelli, All Saints, Acne Studios, and more—they perfectly employ the elegant restraint that best serves a chunky gauge knit.
(Clockwise starting from top left) HunkyDory, Brunello Cucinelli, Stella McCartney, Acne Studios, All Saints
This season, chunky-knit inspiration struck after String Yarns’ in-house designer Lidia Karabinech browsed the gorgeous fashions in the windows on Madison Avenue. Armed with String Yarns Classica Bulky, a buttery soft, bulky weight cashmere, Lidia designed the Lodge Vest. The Lodge Vest embodies the classic silhouette and understated details of an immaculate chunky knit. It’s the kind of garment you can cuddle up in while knitting by the fire in, say… a relaxing mountain ski lodge!
Worked in easygoing garter stitch and thoughtfully detailed with slimming slip stitches, the Lodge Vest is a warm and on trend winter layer. Deep, generous pockets and an oversized fit up the cozy factor and extend the Lodge Vest’s utility. It’s still warm enough now to wear it alone over a long sleeve shirt, but as the winter progresses it will prove useful over a boiled wool coat or as an extra layer. A tidy garter stitch back nicely rounds out the vest and looks especially striking against the garter stitch in the collar and sleeves.
String Yarns Classica Bulky ensures the Lodge Vest is a fast, luxurious knit with flawless stitches and beautiful drape. The 100% cashmere content means that while you’ll be thrilled to wear the Lodge Vest all season long, you’ll be equally sad once you’re finished knitting it. To the question of whether you’re a product or a process knitter, the Lodge Vest unequivocally answers: both!
Right now and for the rest of December, the Lodge Vest in Classica Bulky is available for 20% OFF! It’s such a fast, enjoyable knit, if you cast on now you’ll likely wear it by New Years.
What color Lodge Vest do you crave? Do you have a favorite chunky knit you wear during the winter? Are you a product or a process knitter? Let us know in the comments!
November 22, 2016
As proud purveyors of all things cashmere, String Yarns was so pleased to recently announce we would be distributing June Cashmere yarns. Not only do we adore beautiful, luxurious, all-natural fibers, but we also love fibers with a good story. The June Cashmere brand supports several different local industries, including that of Kyrgyz farmers, who have been producing gorgeous, high-quality cashmere for generations. We take pride in both their product and in the ways in which their product moves from sheep-to-shearer and mill-to-maker.
Our fearless leader, Stacy Charles, was responsible for this brand new relationship. He met Sy Belohlavek, a frequent traveler to and worker in June Cashmere’s home of Kyrgyzstan, almost a year ago. Sy presented his concept for June Cashmere to Stacy, who admired “his dedication to his work and his desire to help the villagers of Kyrgyzstan.”
Stacy said, “This is an incredible story of Sy’s commitment and passion to help local farmers in Kyrgyzstan become self-sufficient and bring cashmere from farm to market.”
The story of June Cashmere is fascinating. All of June Cashmere’s 100% cashmere fibers (btw, June is the Kyrgyz word for animal fiber) are gathered from Kyrgyz farmers who live in Central Asia along the Silk Road. (Fun fact: The Silk Road was a major cultural trade route during the Han Dynasty, used for transporting silks, philosophies, new technologies, and other goods and products.)
A farmer in Kyrgyzstan
The small enclave of Kyrgyz family farms in Kyrgyzstan depends on june to sustain their way of life. The cashmere of Kyrgyzstan is incredibly soft—a result of the region’s exceptionally cold climate. An interest in bringing Kyrgyzstan’s special, 100% cashmere to the states propelled Sy to learn the language and forge relationships with the farmers, for whom he developed training programs so that they might learn how to properly collect the best cashmere fibers. The Kyrgyz farmers actually individually hand-comb from each goat, ensuring only the best cashmere is gathered.
Photos of the process from the June Cashmere website
This close, personal relationship with the farmers ensures they are fairly compensated for their work, thus enabling their rich june relationship to continue into the future. June Cashmere is a true investment in not only sustaining an eco-friendly cashmere industry, but also in a community with a deep and storied history. Through June Cashmere, Kyrgyzstan farmers now have access to the international market.
From Kyrgyzstan the cashmere fiber is then shipped to Europe, where it is cleaned and spun. It is then organically dyed using sustainable, eco-friendly processes at the Saco River Dyehouse in Maine.
String Yarns is incredibly proud to carry both June Cashmere Laceweight and June Cashmere DK. A quick glance at the color offerings is all the siren song you need. The hues are rich, unique, and highly covetous.
June Cashmere Laceweight
On Thursday, January 12, 2017—right before VKLive!—String Yarns will host "String After Dark," an event running from 6-8:30pm. Guests include Sy from June Cashmere as well as Julie Conroy from HANIA by Anya Cole. Get ready for some nibbles, drinks, fun kits, exclusive looks at June Cashmere, and more. Lots of surprises are in store!
Are you knitting with cashmere this season? Have you knit with June Cashmere? Let us know in the comments below!
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November 08, 2016
We certainly don’t mean to alarm anyone, but there are only six more weekends until Hanukkah and Christmas. If most of your holiday knitting happens on Saturday and Sunday, that translates to 12 more days of concentrated holiday knitting.
Don’t panic yet! Last year we gave you our list of 12 Last-Minute Knits (still a fantastic resource), but this year we turned to String Yarn’s knowledgeable and knitterly staff for some personal suggestions. The following knits are time-tested by us—we’ve knit them, love them, and trust them as suitable for last-minute knitting. All of these patterns are readily available for download and the kits can be purchased on site, which means you can get those needles clicking immediately!
Cynthia picked the Robin’s Island Hat by Joan Forgione. Knit in String Yarns Classica DK, a soft, giftworthy 100% cashmere, this little hat plays with cascading cables mixed with ribbing for an interesting, fast knit. Consider this a great unisex hat, with options available for either a slouchy or cap version and elective pom pom.
Joan’s pick, the Excursion Slippers by Hunter Hammersen, are a no-brainer holiday knit. As Joan said, “They're worked flat, quicker than socks, and I'd love to get these as a gift because my hands and feet are always cold.” Joan is using Anzula For Better Or Worsted for friends and String Yarns Classica (100% cashmere) for that “extra special someone.”
When it comes to knitting deadlines, a quick textural cowl can’t be beat. Lidia loves the Mistake Rib Cowl because it’s even faster than you might think. Knit on US size 15 needles with two strands of String Classica Bulky held together—which also opens up so many color possibilities—the 100% cashmere Mistake Rib Cowl is a great choice when you’re really down to the wire. Cast it on the last week of December and you’ll still be done in time for the holidays!
If you’re looking for an ultra-fast last-minute hat, look no further than Ellen’s Parisian choice, the Les Petit Beret. Knit in the 100% cashmere String Classica Bulky on size US 10 needles, Les Petit Beret knits up in a flash. And with String Classica Bulky available in 20+ colors, you can easily make this sweet little hat for several people on your list.
When Lisa first showed us the gorgeous collection of Paige Mitts she knit, we just about plotzed (non-native New Yorkers and Yiddish neophytes: ‘plotz’ is Yiddish for ‘burst’). Fingerless mitts are such a fantastic gift for anyone on your list, and these fair isle beauties by Melynda Bernardi have a decidedly unisex charm if you keep them in neutral hues. Lisa knit hers in String Yarns Classica DK, a 100% cashmere, but she said String Yarns’ customers have also made them in Tahki Yarns Alden.
The All Seasons Slouchy Hat is a gift-knit you’ll want to start ASAP. One of Petra’s favorite, go-to recommendations for knitters, the All Seasons Slouchy Hat by Elizabeth Elliot is knit with one skein of June Cashmere Lace Weight, making it as delightful to knit as it is to wear. We can’t promise you won’t have trouble giving it away when you’re done!
Vera recommends her very own Vera’s Shawl, which uses self-striping 100% cashmere String Yarns Strata and Artyarns Beaded Rhapsody & Silk. The result is a decadently soft, sparkling shawl with generous fronds of fringe. Your mother, sister, grandmother, daughter, or niece will love this on-trend shawl. It’s a chic, always-hip accessory garment that can be worn multiple ways.
Last but not least, Whitney chose the Seed Stitch Cowl & Floral Pom Pom Hat in Tahki Select Poppy. This hat & cowl set is perfect for anyone age 5-12 on your list. One skein each of Poppy is used to make the hat and cowl on US size 15 needles, making these great ‘final countdown’ knits. The flowers in Tahki Select Poppy are moveable, meaning you can easily customize either accessory with thoughtful flower placement. They can be scattered as shown, ringed in the brim or crown, or placed in a diagonal line twisting upwards—feel free to use your imagination!
Which of these holiday knits is your favorite? Do you have a go-to holiday pattern? Let us know in the comments below!
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October 25, 2016
Our Master Workshop series continues this Winter with the Be A Better Knitter workshop series with Patty Lyons on December 17th.
Seats are still available for her 9am-12pm Improve Your Knitting Technique course, but act fast—there are only 3 spots left! Patty’s 1-4pm Knitting ER: Tragedies & Treatments class is full, but you can still put yourself on the waitlist.
For those not in the know, Patty Lyons is one of the most sought-after knitting teachers and technique experts in the country. As she says on her website, she’s “known for teaching the ‘why’ not just the ‘how’ in her pursuit of training the ‘mindful knitter.’” We love the idea of empowering knitters to knit masterfully and correct their own mistakes.
Like most knitters, Patty is a maverick. She began her career as a stage manager on Broadway before leaving to follow her bliss as a knitwear designer. She was the Studio Director at Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City for five years. Patty now teaches nationally at guilds and knitting shows like Vogue Knitting Live, Knit and Crochet Show, STITCHES, and online at sites like Craftsy.com. Her patterns have been published in every knitting magazine under the sun: Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Purl, Knitter’s Magazine, Knit Style, and more.
We checked in with Patty about her upcoming courses at String Yarns in December. If you haven’t taken a course with Patty before, we’re certain her thoughts will inspire you to sign up today. Check out her pattern archive on Ravelry and start queuing up your favorites!
Why do you think education is important to the hand-knitter or crocheter?
There’s so much to learn in knitting. One new skill opens up so many new project possibilities.
What do you want your students to walk away with when they leave your class at String Yarns?
For Knitting ER: Tragedies & Treatments, I’d like students to know that ripping is not the only fix. When something goes wrong there are so many ways we can take control of our own knitting and not feel like our knitting has control of us.
For Improve Your Knitting Technique, I’d like students to know that no matter how long you’ve been knitting, going back to the basics of stitch construction can make your knitting faster, more comfortable, and more perfect!
In what ways have you found a live classroom situation to be more beneficial to knitters/crocheters than, say, learning online, from texts, etc?
The biggest difference is when I teach online, you can see me, but I can’t see your knitting. Nothing replaces a teacher walking around the room and making personal suggestions and keeping each student on track.
What should students expect in your workshops?
In Improve Your Knitting Technique, students can expect to learn techniques that will help polish the look of their knitted fabric. I will help students perfect their gauge so that their purl stitches match their knit stitches. We’ll explore how the quality and character of different fibers affect tension. They should also expect a return to the basics—examining cast ons and bind offs, edge stitches, and other fundamentals.
In Knitting ER, we’ll discuss picking up dropped stitches, unknitting, fixing mistakes in a wide variety of stitch patterns, and other techniques that will help students fix mistakes easily and quickly.
What inspired you to begin teaching other crafters?
I was inspired by a desire to share what I love. I never always need to understand the “why” of everything I do and that is how I teach.
How has being a teacher influenced your own life and work as a knitter/crocheter?
I learn from my students all the time. Watching a student “get it” is always inspiring.
Thank you, Patty! We can’t wait for Patty’s upcoming Master Workshops—sign up now for Improve Your Knitting Technique and get your waitlist spot for Knitting ER: Tragedies & Treatments, both on December 17th!
Upcoming October Events
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October 11, 2016
The leaves are changing here in New York City as once again the seasons turn, turn, turn. New Fall knitwear collections are slowly hitting newsstands and the internet as we all prepare for the deep, dark days of Winter ahead of us. There is nothing so inspiring during this time of year as a comfy, toasty-warm Fall layer that is as joyful to make as it is to wear. It settles us into the season and becomes our warrior wear against the coming cold weather.
Which brings us to String Yarns October special, the Asbury Cardigan in String Dolcetto, which might be our best Fall/Winter layer to date. We don’t think there is a more perfect Fall layer, but really, this is a cardigan for all seasons and occasions. A flexible, versatile garment, it’s not quite a cardigan, not quite a coat, but something in between—with all the benefits of both!
The Asbury Cardigan in String Dolcetto
20% off for the month of October, the Asbury Cardigan capitalizes on two very hot cold weather trends—embellished knitwear and longline cardigans.
The former trend graced several runways this season in the form of fringe, beads, leather straps, satin ribbons, and yes, cables.
Clockwise from top left: Altuzarra Fall 2016, Christopher Raeburn Fall 2016, Delpozo Pre-Fall 2016, Joseph Fall 2016, Belstaff Fall 2016, Pringle of Scotland Fall 2016, Red Valentino Fall 2016, Laura Biagiotti Fall 2016
Strategically placed cables (as opposed to a fully cabled sweater) are the user-friendliest embellishment for knitters—no need to purchase anything additional! Resident in-house designer Lidia Karabinech thoughtfully placed cables in the upper front and back of the Asbury Cardigan. They wind all the way to Asbury’s high-neck collar, which is a welcomed bulwark against the cold winds of the season. She added matching cables to the forearms for a stunning symmetry. They look all the more striking when the sleeves are pushed up (see below).
(L-R) The Asbury Cardigan and a Delpozo Fall 2016 sweater. Notice the similarities—both in the style of the cables as well as their placement over only half the garment.
Longline cardigans have been a hot trend for a few years now. Maxi cardigans are slimming, comfortable, and well suited for Fall and Winter layering. The Asbury Cardigan is a fabulous length, with the lower half blooming outward from where the cables end, giving the silhouette a swingy, figure-flattering drape. String Dolcetto’s blend of cashmere and merino wool creates beautiful stitch definition and a warm, luxurious, and relaxed fabric.
Maxi Cardigans clockwise from top left: Ulla Johnson Fall 2016, Sportmax Fall 2016 RTW, Les Copains Fall 2016 RTW, Laura Biagiotti FW2016-17, Diane von Furstenberg Pre-Fall/Winter 2016, Ryan Roche Fall 2016, Milly Pre-Fall 2016, Totti Fall 2016
A zipper closure lends an air of sophistication to the Asbury Cardigan, elevating it above the standard longline cardigan. This is where Asbury can easily pass for a coat—that extra finishing (pun intended!) touch really takes it from simply being a cozy Fall garment to an elegant, office-appropriate statement piece.
Zipper detail on the Asbury Cardigan
Inspired by these two very hot trends, the Asbury Cardigan in String Dolcetto is at once au courant and eternally stylish. Cast it on for Fall 2016, but wear it forever—whether you finish it in time or not, it’s a look you’ll always cherish.
Get the Asbury Cardigan NOW for 20% off. This deal is only good until the end of October, so don’t wait!
What color will you choose for your Asbury Cardigan? What do you love most about this design? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our other Classes & Events and subscribe to the String Blog to never miss a post!
Upcoming October Events
October 13, 20, 27
Two Color Brioche KAL with Vera Keller – 6-7:30pm
Tahki Yarns Trunk Show
September 25, 2016
Based in New York City, String is fortunate to have relationships with an impressive roster of leading knitwear teachers, and we’re thrilled to have them teach our Master Workshops this Fall knitting season. Each of our Master Workshop instructors was carefully selected to teach you techniques and tips to make you a better and more informed knitter so that you’ll be ready to tackle any project with confidence.
These classes will guide you through the various steps needed to create gorgeous, polished knitwear. Melissa Leapman will teach Textures at String Yarns on Friday, October 30th. With over 900 designs in print, Melissa is one of the most widely-published American crochet and knit designers working today.
As a freelance designer, Melissa has worked with leading ready-to-wear design houses in New York City. She’s the bestselling author of many knitting and crocheting books, including Knitting the Perfect Fit, Mastering Color Knitting, Cables Untangled, Cool Crochet and most recently The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook, a comprehensive knitting stitch dictionary and Knit It!, a gateway knitting title designed to introduce new knitters to the craft.
Melissa will offer two master workshops exploring textures in knitting on October 30th—the morning session will focus on knitting that looks great on both sides, Two Faced Knitting, while the afternoon will be all about Celtic Cables. Sign up for either one or both! Melissa is a texture expert, as you can see from her work here.
To get you primed and ready to learn from Melissa, we sat down with her to get her thoughts on her upcoming workshop series.
WHY DO YOU THINK EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE HAND-KNITTER OR CROCHETER?
Learning new things allows us to expand our horizons and grow; growing opens new possibilities to be more creative—and in the process, happier as human beings.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR STUDENTS TO WALK AWAY WITH WHEN THEY LEAVE YOUR CLASS AT STRING YARNS?
Worse case scenario: A million swatches showcasing their new skills.
Best case scenario: The memories of a fun day learning and knitting with new friends.
IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU FOUND A LIVE CLASSROOM SITUATION TO BE MORE BENEFICIAL TO KNITTERS/CROCHETERS THAN, SAY, LEARNING ONLINE, FROM TEXTS, ETC?
It's always best to have a live instructor. Students can ask questions, get personal knitting advice geared to their unique skill level, and enjoy the camaraderie of spending time learning with fellow crafters.
WHAT SHOULD STUDENTS EXPECT IN YOUR WORKSHOPS?
You mean besides lots of homework? <grin> Lots of hands-on learning and fun jam-packed into our very short time-frame.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN TEACHING OTHER CRAFTERS?
I started teaching when my first knitting book came out in 1999. (I was twelve, obviously). My publisher made me do it. I was nervous at first, but I the intervening years, I've grown to love it.
HOW HAS BEING A TEACHER INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE AND WORK AS A KNITTER/CROCHETER?
Standing in front of a class reminds me approximately three times a month (that's how often I teach at a knitting event) what it's like to learn something new. It's made me a better author—and a better human being.
Sign up now for our upcoming Master Workshop with Melissa on October 30th — Two-Faced Knitting at 9 am and Celtic Cables at 1 pm. We hope you’ll join us for an exciting day of Textured Knitting.
September 22, 2016
String Yarns’ dance card is full for September with Master Workshops, exciting new classes, patterns, and yarns, and a visit from our very own Stacy Charles! But first up, an in-depth look at String Yarns’ special September garment…
We were thrilled to see the ruddy, sanguine “Aurora Red” on Pantone’s Fall 2016 color report. Classic and brisk, this deep ruby red brightens up a Fall color palette. It was a huge hit on all the Fall/Winter 2016 runways and has been popping up in magazine and online editorials since the beginning of Summer.
Clockwise from top left: Ralph Lauren FW2016, Burberry FW2016, J. Mendel FW2016, Rodarte FW2016, Balenciaga FW2016, Dolce & Gabbana FW2016, Marchesa FW2016, Valentino FW2016
This particular shade of red is romantic, beguiling, and best of all, timeless. Bold and warm, it looks fabulous on everyone who wears it.
Clockwise from top left: Kenzo Pre-Fall 2016, Fendi FW2016, Brunello Cucinelli Fall 2016, Celiné Fall 2016, Harper’s Bazaar Fall 2016, Elle Fanning for V Magazine Pre Fall 2016, Monique Lhuillier Fall 2016, Valentino Fall 2016 in Harper’s Bazaar
Its ubiquity is undeniable, and demanded a knit garment as timeless, wearable, and chic. String Yarns fabulous in-house designer, Lidia Karabinech, presented us with the Paint The Town Cardigan. We think she hit the nail on the head!
Paint The Town Red is knit in String Yarns 100% cashmere Classica. A neat, flattering fit comes courtesy of a smart detail—a thin strip of garter travels up both fronts, bounded by flowering increases and decreases that create a striking, vine-like detail. Cable braids add a finishing touch around the sleeves, and a folded lapel collar lends the whole look an office-friendly sophistication.
The Paint The Town Cardigan kit is available at 20% off for the remainder of September—grab it now while you can!
Next up, we sat down with String Yarns’ fearless leader, Stacy Charles, to chat about his upcoming Fall 2016 Fashion Presentation & Urban Knits Trunk Show at String.
Stacy will be at String Yarns on September 23rd at 6:30pm with select garments & accessories from Stacy Charles Fine Yarns new Fall collection, Urban Knits. Stacy will be talking fashion and trends with an insightful video presentation—it’s a great opportunity to see how your favorite garments go from runway to the needles.
What are some of your favorite, standout trends for Fall 2016?
The standout trends for me were openwork layering pieces, color blocking, and simple stitch patterns. I incorporated these in the Tribeca Capelet, Riverdale Wrap, Times Square Shell, Union Square Top, Midtown Scarf, Nolita Tee, Soho Pullover, and Stuyvesant Town Poncho respectively (below, clockwise starting from top left).
A sticking point about trends is how quickly they can fall out of fashion. When approaching the design process, how do you accomplish incorporating trends in a timeless way?
I never follow trends for fashion’s sake. Trendspotting early on—when we are developing and researching a new collection—informs my sensibility for that season. I then try to factor my own sensibility about hand knitting, yarn weights, stitch, and gauge, and ask myself what is appropriate. Will people wear this design? I always try to use trends with a timeless but fresh approach.
Who are some designers you watched for inspiration this season?
I always watch longstanding international collection designers: From France—Celine, Chloe, Les Copains. From Italy—Prada, Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana, and Missoni. From America—Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, and Marc Jacobs.
How does living in NYC help influence Stacy Charles Fine Yarns' collections?
Walking the streets of Manhattan is always inspiring. Just walking out my door and being aware of people, the architecture in the city, the store windows. My love of fashion begins with all these influences.
What do you look for when marrying a particular design with a particular Stacy Charles Fine Yarns yarn?
Developing many of our own yarns means I have a deep understanding of what a yarn can do. I know how it knits, how it drapes, how I can play with stitch and tension. I then try to select certain trends for a season, and marry the two. My ultimate approach is making styles in yarns that women will want to wear. My mantra each season is to “Keep it Fresh.” Isn’t that what fashion is all about?
Thanks, Stacy! The Urban Knits Trunk Show will be at String Yarns from September 23-29. If you miss this opportunity to see it LIVE with Stacy, be sure to stop by before it leaves!
Additional Upcoming September Events
Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Trunk Show
NYC Yarn Crawl
Stranded Color Knitting With Shirley Paden – 9am-1pm
Shirley Paden Knitwear Design Workshop Book Signing – 1pm
Don’t forget to check out our other Classes & Events and subscribe to the String Blog to never miss a post!