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November 22, 2016

June Cashmere At String Yarns

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!

Be sure to subscribe to the String Blog to catch each post!





November 08, 2016

String Yarns' 2016 Picks for Last-Minute Knits

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!


Robin’s Island Hat


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. 

Excursion Slippers


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.”

Mistake Rib Cowl


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! 

Les Petit Beret

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. 

Paige Mitts


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.

All Seasons Slouchy Hat

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’s Shawl - Winter Edition

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.

Seed Stitch Cowl & Floral Pom Pom Hat


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!

Check out our Classes & Events and subscribe to the String Blog to catch each post!

October 25, 2016

Improve Your Knitting & Knitting ER with Patty Lyons

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.

Clockwise starting from top left: Farfalle Shawl from Lace Yarn Studio, Rhinebeck Wristers, Patchwork Cable Vest from Vogue Knitting Fall 2016, Corcoran 2.0, Soho Slip Stitch Pullover from Creative Knitting Magazine, Sachertorte from twist collective fall 2015

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

Don’t forget to check out our other Classes & Events and subscribe to the String Blog to never miss a post!





October 11, 2016

How Runway Influenced The Asbury Cardigan

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

October 21-27

Tahki Yarns Trunk Show


September 25, 2016

String Yarns Master Workshop with Melissa Leapman

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.    

Melissa Leapman                                  

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.


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.


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. 


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.


You mean besides lots of homework? <grin> Lots of hands-on learning and fun jam-packed into our very short time-frame.


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. 


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 30thTwo-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

Paint The Town Red This September & Meet Stacy Charles

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

September 23-29

Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Trunk Show

September 23-25

NYC Yarn Crawl

September 24

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!

September 06, 2016

String Yarns Master Workshop with Shirley Paden

As the hot, hot heat of Summer begins its slow, sweaty retreat, String Yarns is looking forward to the crisp promise of a cool Fall and the exciting events on String’s agenda.

First up—our brand new Master Workshop series! We have an impressive roster of leading knitwear teachers scheduled for the remainder of 2016. Slotted for the Fall and Winter—knitting’s high season—these classes aim to guide you through the various steps needed to create gorgeous, polished knitwear. The topics range from incorporating stitch patterns into garments to correcting errors to working with multiple colors.

String Yarns is hosting a rare cadre of nationally renowned designers, authors, and artists from the fiber universe. We start in mid-September with the incomparable Shirley Paden, an internationally respected knitwear designer whose work and writing you’ve seen in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, Knitters, Family Circle, and Knit It. Shirley also has a popular online class Handknit Garment Design hosted by Craftsy, and has been featured on HGTV, Knitting Daily TV, and in the British magazine The Knitter, where she was included in the list “Who’s Who In North American Knitting.” Most hardcore knitters need only look to their libraries to recognize Shirley’s thorough, expertly executed reference on knitwear design, Knitwear Design Workshop. As if she couldn’t possibly be more prolific, Shirley also owns Shirley Paden Custom Knits, an exclusive, custom-knit clothing line.

So the question is: can you really afford to miss a master workshop with this queen of textiles? Shirley is offering two master workshops exploring colorwork techniques in knitting—the first, on September 17th, will focus on Intarsia, while the second, on September 24th, will focus on Stranded Color Knitting. If you aren’t totally convinced, check out some examples of Shirley’s beautiful colorwork patterns…

Figure 1 Clockwise from top left: Timeless Fair Isle Sweater from Interweave Knits; Cunningsburgh Star Jacket from Color Style: Innovative to Traditional, 17 Inspired Designs to Knit; Winter Wren Cardigan from Interweave Knits, Mosaic Coat from Vogue Knitting; Sleeveless Jacquard Dress from Vogue Knitting; Cabled Fair Isle Cardigan from Vogue Knitting

We sat down with Shirley to get her thoughts on her upcoming workshop series. If you’re (somehow?!) unfamiliar with Shirley’s work, hopefully her words will inspire you to delve deeper into her pattern archive… and sign up for her exclusive workshop!

Why do you think education is important to the hand-knitter or crocheter?

As with any art, if a knitter or crocheter has found enjoyment to a degree where their skills have become a true creative outlet, growing in knowledge will enable them to achieve mastery of many of those skills. Learning and understanding as much about the different aspects of these needle arts as they can will provide them with a continued sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for many years in the future.

What do you want your students to walk away with when they leave your class at String Yarns? 

It is my hope that students will walk away with a more in-depth understanding of many different aspects of the technique that they came to study. I also want them to feel that they will be able to begin successfully applying the techniques learned in class immediately.  

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 is like going to a live performance vs. seeing it on television or reading about it. All ways of experiencing the performance are enjoyable. However, there is nothing like being in the audience and experiencing not only the performer, but also the energy of the crowd and the excitement in the room. Learning in a classroom feels the same way. It is a complete and shared creative experience.  

What should students expect in your workshops?

They can expect me to share with them not just the knowledge that I have on the subject they came to learn, but also any additional knowledge about other techniques that may be linked to the techniques being taught. I feel it’s important that students take away a deeper insight into the complete art, that they not simply learn how to work a technique with their hands, but that they fully “see” and understand how the various elements being taught come together to form the technique. In that way they will be able to most successfully work when alone.

What inspired you to begin teaching other crafters? 

After years of studying from all the craft books that I could find, and trying many different ways of working numerous knitting and crocheting techniques to teach myself, I felt that I had put in the study hours, made the requisite mistakes, and acquired sufficient knowledge to effectively help other knitters and crocheters to go further and faster with their projects with fewer mishaps. I began teaching with my Advanced Knitting Techniques Class where students were taught 60 techniques in a 4-session class. That was over 20 years ago.

How has being a teacher influenced your own life and work as a knitter/crocheter? 

Currently I teach 17 different classes. Therefore, I am constantly exposed to a vast array of knowledge through studying the latest releases on various techniques, listening to questions that come up in the classes and problems that people ask for my help with as they work through their projects. As a teacher, I feel that I never stop learning and never stop being creatively and intellectually stimulated.  


Thank you, Shirley! We are beyond excited for her upcoming Master Workshops—sign up now for Intarsia on September 17th and Stranded Color Knitting on September 24th! Shirley will also be signing her famous book, Knitwear Design Workshop, at String Yarns on September 24th at 1:00pm!


Additional Upcoming September Events

September 23

Stacy Charles’ Presentation on Fall Fashion Trends – 6:30pm

September 23-29

Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Trunk Show

September 23-25

NYC Yarn Crawl

September 24

Shirley Paden Knitwear Design Workshop Book Signing – 1:00pm


Don’t forget to check out our other Classes & Events and subscribe to the String Blog to never miss a post!




September 01, 2016

String September KAL - Hollensbury Hat with Tanis Gray

Today is a little bittersweet. Tanis is starting her 6th and final KAL with us. We're so excited to make the beautiful Hollensbury Hat with her, but sad that it’s the last KAL.

Throughout the past year, Tanis has designed 6 gorgeous patterns for the String KALS, all the while leading our Ravelry group in learning new skills, techniques and tricks to improve our knitting and expand our horizons. This one is no exception.

Hollansbury Hat

Nothing’s better than a hat to get us started on fall knitting, and she’s designed this beauty with one of our newest yarns, Dolcetto, a 70/30 Merino/cashmere blend. Two colors, but only one in each row, so no stranding. And that Latvian braid? Wait until Tanis teaches you that…you’ll be putting it on everything! String is just so happy she’s hosting our KAL once again. I can’t wait for this one to start on September 13th.

So grab the preview of the pattern (with the yarn discount code for the yarn), grab your Dolcetto at 15% OFF, and prepare to get started (go ahead and knit that swatch). You’ll be ready to start on the 13th, just in time for fall!

How do our KALs work?

  1. Purchase your pattern on Ravelry. We can help you do this, if you’re in the store. If you sign up before the start date, you will receive the first page with all the specs and the discount code for purchasing the yarn needed for the KAL. On the morning of September 13th, an update to the pattern (which will include the entire pattern) will be sent to your Ravelry library.
  2. Gather your materials. These are listed on the first page of the pattern. You can purchase the yarn for 15% OFF throughout the KAL with the discount code (also on the first page of the pattern).
  3. Log into the KAL thread in our Ravelry group each Tuesday (beginning September 13th) during the month-long KAL and we will work our way through the cowl with detailed photo tutorials, instructions, tips and tricks provided Tanis. Tanis will be there to answer questions and cheer you on as we knit together virtually.
  4. You can post questions, comments, and pictures of your work in progress any time in the thread. We hope you’ll make new friends, learn new skills and think of the String Yarns group as your virtual knitting home.
  5. You can work at your own pace. Even though the KAL will be 4 weeks in length, Tanis will be dropping in after that to check on how you’re doing. You can still post to the thread any time.

To read about the inspiration for this hat on Tanis’ blog, click here.

August 25, 2016

Back From TNNA with New Fall Yarns

Months before each season we start thinking about what new yarns to bring to String. String Yarns owner, Stacy Charles, travels to Italy in search of the best quality and selection of cashmere. This season, we are thrilled to bring you many of his spectacular new finds.

Tahki Stacy Charles at TNNA
Tahki Stacy Charles at TNNA
In addition to the new cashmere that Stacy brings to String, our store manager, Petra and I attend TNNA (The National Needle Association) trade show every year. This year the show took place in Washington, DC. Inspired by new yarns, the String staff sends us off to look for a long list of yarns. We search for yarns that complement what we already have in stock while discovering new products to make our shelves pop with color and texture. Our ultimate goal is to come back to String with a carefully curated collection that stays in line with String's mission to feature fine quality with interesting textures, and colors that provide endless possibilities for your knitting enjoyment.

We only have 2 1/2 days to peruse over 120 vendor's yarn, notions, needles, and books. Not an easy task. We have to have our eyes on everything! See it, touch it, look at the color range, price it, analyze it, note possibilities and move on to the next booth. We want to find yarns that look fantastic in a variety of patterns stitches and needle sizes in colors and textures that wow us. We look for new companies who can provide consistent quality and promised delivery times. We want to fall in love with the yarn as much as we want you to!

Day 1, we take tons of notes throughout the day and later in the evening we prepare ourselves with lots of snacks for a long night of swatching samples that we’ve gotten throughout the day. The first night, we swatch and swatch new potential yarns comparing their behavior, their price point, their weights and color palette.

String at TNNA
At the show, we often see many people we know from the industry and we always make time for a quick hug and, “What did you see that was amazing?!" shout out as we make our way through the aisles. One of the highlights of attending TNNA is planning dinner with dear knitting friends. We discuss yarns, the industry, online retailers vs brick and mortar, social media and as many other topics as we can squeeze in. We are a group that has been raised to share knowledge and support each other.

Day 2, we hit the floor running, almost literally! We forge new relationships, orders get placed and deals negotiated. We choose colors very carefully, there is no time for dawdling; we must be confident in our choices and be efficient with our limited time. Any loose ends are tied up on Day 3.

During this trip in particular, we were looking for more hand-dyed yarns. We are very excited to extend our line of Anzula and Koigu yarns and we are so pleased that we found a few new lines to introduce to you this season. We will also have a new String New York exclusive lace weight and dk weight yarns, so stay tuned!

Petra at TNNA
One of the bonuses of this trip was watching Petra find and fall in love with a new yarn. She is like a kid in a candy shop. I know exactly how she feels… when you find something you love, you want to bring home every color to share with our knitters, but unfortunately that’s not always possible. The task of creating a color palette from all the possible options is a hard one for knitters who love color.

Petra and Cynthia at TNNA
Petra and I are knitters just like our customers. We want to come into work every day and be amazed and excited with the yarn choices String offers. We make our choice based on many factors, but our customers are at the front of our final decision-making process.

All in all, at the end of this trip, we were exhausted, exhilarated and full of new design ideas and experiences to bring to you. This fall, our weekly design specials will introduce you to some of these exceptional yarns so that you get a chance to try them out as soon as they arrive at String.

Let us know which new yarns and designs you love most, we love hearing from you! Reach us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, or write to us at info@stringyarns.com. Happy knitting!

June 21, 2016

Meet String Yarns’ Events Coordinator, Joan Forgione


You might ask yourself: how do we successfully wrangle all of our fantastic classes & events?

To answer that, we once again turn inward to interview one of String Yarns’ very own staff members, Joan Forgione

Joan is a local middle school reading teacher and knitwear designer whose work has been featured in every knitting publication you can think of—Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Simple, you name it. She is also String Yarns’ classes & events scout. She delivers all the best teachers, knit-a-longs, and in-store events String Yarns could hope for. So how does she do it? Well, let’s find out!

Let's start at the beginning - where are you from?  

I'm from Plainview, New York, on Long Island, about 40 minutes east of Manhattan if there's no traffic on the LIE—which never happens.
Editor’s Note: The LIE is the Long Island Expressway, for non-New Yorkers.

When did you start knitting?  How did you learn to knit? 

I started knitting when I was in college. Although my grandmother was an expert knitter, my mom never wanted to learn. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away when I was 4, so I never had the opportunity to benefit from her experience. I am self-taught. I learned from books in the beginning, but then I started taking classes. I'm a reading teacher by profession so those two things—books and education—are what I love.  

What do you love about knitting?  

Almost everything. I love that it’s a marriage of art, craft, and math. I love that I’m creating something with my hands. I’m also a bit of a math geek, so I love playing around with all the numbers involved in patterns.  

What are your favorite fibers to work with?   Do you have a least favorite fiber?  

My favorite fibers are wool, alpaca, and cashmere, but I love all animal fibers.  Hemp is probably my least favorite, but if it’s blended with something, it’ll do.

Are you a picker or a thrower—do you knit continental or english style?  

I'm a continental knitter (picker) usually, but I pick and throw when I do colorwork.
Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in how to “pick and throw” for colorwork, this instructional video is very helpful. Employing both techniques makes for faster knitting and ensures color consistency in the finished fabric.

How many WIPs do you currently have on the needles?

Currently I have 4. Two are designs I'm working on for magazines (unfortunately, those are secret until publication) and two are things I’m doing for fun. I try not to have more than that going at the same time. I’m working on a shawl called “Care to Dance?” (below). It’s crescent-shaped with a lace and cable edging, which I’m in the middle of working right now.  Unfortunately, all shawls look scrunched before they're properly blocked. 

Care to Dance? Shawl

What is your favorite thing to knit?  

I love to knit lace and colorwork, but if you're asking about types of garments, then sweaters, shawls, and hats (in that order).

What do you look for when choosing classes and events for String?  

As a teacher, I know that the teacher can make or break the class. I also know that knitters love to learn new techniques while creating something beautiful. So those are the things I look for. We want to create an environment where knitters can learn from experts in the field and a very experienced staff, but where they feel supported at whatever experience level.  

Which upcoming classes/events are you most excited for?

I can’t wait for Whitney’s Quicksilver KAL class beginning on June 28.  The “knitalong” is one of my favorite types of class anyway because it’s social and educational. I'm especially excited about this one because Whitney chose a shawl by Melanie Berg (below), who designs incredibly beautiful shawls. Whitney is working this up in 3 colors of Anzula Squishy, which is just as its name implies: soft and luxurious (It's a wool/cashmere/nylon blend). I can’t wait for this one.

Quicksilver by Melanie Berg

What makes classes/events at String Yarns unique/different from other LYSs?   

Our staff classes are unique because every single one of us is a designer in her own right. Our design experience means we’ve learned to anticipate where students might have difficulties in a pattern. All of us have knit lots of different things and learned lots of different techniques (sometimes even more than one way to do the same thing, i.e., short rows). We’re prepared to help with knitting-related difficulties that might come up in a class because we’ve either experienced it ourselves or have helped one of our customers with the same issue. It’s a perfect symbiosis, actually, because when we invite instructors we like to call our Master Teachers (see below), we, as educators, are able to provide the necessary back up to their teachings. Our staff classes marry beautifully with a lot of our special master workshops.

How does being situated in New York City influence the kinds of classes/events String Yarns can offer?   

We’re so lucky to be in NYC because we have a wealth of talented designers right here, a taxi ride away. Our Master Workshop Series this fall features 3 New Yorkers—Shirley Paden, Melissa Leapman, and Patty Lyons.


What was the last thing you finished knitting?

The last thing I finished knitting was a piece for Knitscene to be published in Spring of 2017. I can’t send a picture, but I can tell you it’s a lace top. But I finished this cabled pullover, The Crossings (bottom of page), knit in one of Tahki Yarns’ great new summer cotton/linen blends, , two weeks ago and another pullover, Policy of Truth (below), with a high/low bottom edge almost at the same time.
Policy of Truth by Joan Forgione

Set the mood. How else do you entertain yourself when you're knitting?

My other passion in life is reading. Since I haven't figured out how to knit and read simultaneously, and I've come to realize that I'll never have enough time to knit all the things in my queue of read all the books I want to read, so I've compromised and do a lot of audio books. Currently, I'm reading The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. I don't watch much TV, but I love old movies and the History Channel.

The Crossing by Joan Forgione
Thank you so much, Joan! We loved hearing from you and can’t wait for all of String’s upcoming events! Visit our classes and events page to see what else we have in store this Summer.

Which String Yarns class are you most excited about? Which event? Is there a teacher you’re dying to learn from? Let us know in the comments below!