Hello! I hope you've had a fantastic summer. I'd say we've still got sunshine in store, but last week a couple of days hinted at the onset of autumn, and I have to say, I was a little giddy at the prospect. Sweater weather's wating in the wings!
And while sweaters are of course all sorts of wonderful, it's actually knitted skirts that I've had on the brain lately. If you've been in the shop recently, you'll have seen the Lanesplitter Skirt on display. It's a great simple knit--a bias-knit rectangle, seamed and given a waistband--that is so fun to work up in a self-striping yarn (ours is made is Noro Silk Garden). The Lanesplitter (designed by Tina Whitmore) was my first knitted skirt, and I've found it to be so comfortable and flattering that I've got a handful of others planned: Yumiko Sakurai's Running Stitch Skirt, Kira Dulaney's Bell Curve, Cecily Glowick-MacDonald's Chelsea Skirt. All of these call for worsted-weight yarn, and so can be knit up in plenty of time for Berkeley's late-September/early-October temperature drop. I'll be working on mine at the blue shop table--feel free to join me to knit your own!
Another exciting autumn development: handspinning is coming to Claddagh! Lauren Zimmermann will teach our first drop spindle spinning class next month; you'll find details on the classes page, and if you'd like to learn, there are still a couple of spaces available. We've also begun to carry Ashford student drop spindles as well as Ashford Corriedale top and Malabrigo merino top, with an eye to expanding our fiber section soon . . . (Other upcoming classes include Concentric Circles Sweater [top-down, in-the-round child's pullover; photo below], a short-row workshop, Intro to Crochet, Fingerless Gloves, and what's become a Claddagh favorite, Kira's Sweater Workshop; be in touch if you'd like to enroll!)
I have yet to meet a knitter who knits only for herself or himself. Knitters are well known for spreading the love, and
I'd venture to guess that many, if not most, of us knit more for others than we do for ourselves. Among the occasions for which we knit: birthdays, new babies, in thanks, to wish well, to prepare
for the change of season, holidays.
I love holiday knitting. What I don't love is trying to knit two sweaters, three hats, and a pair of mittens in the space of ten days in December. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks, "What, socks? No problem. One today, the other tomorrow--they'll be wrapped and in the mail by Thursday." Friends, I've come to know that while a positive attitude is a wonderful thing, so is planning. So this year I'm planning to get a head start on my holiday knitting (and subsequently can plan to sleep nights, rather than knit maniacally into the wee hours, before Hanukkah and Christmas). This year, Anna and I invite you to join us in the first-annual Claddagh Yarns Giftalong!
During the Giftalong, which starts today, Anna and I will be available to help you with a variety of projects that you can knit now to give later. This week we will be focusing on hats. Today and tomorrow Anna will be working fruit caps for babies and children (free pattern on Ravelry) at the shop from 1:00 to 3:00 and will be happy to help you with yours! They're quick and darling--blueberry becomes blackberry becomes pumpkin becomes peach with a change of color and a little texture, if you like. I will be working on Gudrun Johnston's Norby hat (below; pattern available at Claddagh).
Next week Anna and I will be making (and helping you make!) ornaments; the week after is mittens,
mitts, and gloves; and then it's on to all manner of neckwear: scarves, shawls, and cowls. Our Knit Nights this month--for July only they'll be on the second and fourth Wednesday rather than the
second and fourth Tuesday--will be Giftalong themed, too. There's much more to come, so keep in touch!
******Claddagh will be closed on Friday for the holiday-- Happy Fourth of July! ******
"Mittens and socks knitted in the summer will be soft and have the warmth and strength of the sun in them," a Latvian proverb tells us. Mittens and socks are quick knits and portable--excellent qualities for summer knitting--and the notion that the sunshine lends them warmth for winter tickles me. We've got a wide variety of handknit mittens on display in the shop for inspiration, and Kira will be teaching a toe-up socks class next month for anyone who would like to harness a little summer solar power for fall feet.
Have a lovely, warm weekend; see you soon!