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The Crossbones Cowl KAL – And the Yarn is 20% Off!

Crossbones Style Cowl

It’s always fun to knit with a friend.  It’s even better to knit with a new friend!  With that in mind . . . meet Steve May!

Last year, Skacel sponsored the first season of “The Fiber Factor,” where independent knitwear designers competed for world fame. This year, the favorite and most knittable designs are being featured in a series of Knit-Alongs, hosted by these now famous “Knitterati.”

In August, Steve May will be leading a Knit-Along featuring his popular design, the “Crossbones Style Cowl” which is available for Free!  The cowl is knit in the round, featuring twelve sections of different knit and purl checkerboard patterns.  This is not a monotonous, dull pattern – the variety will keep your knitting interesting and fun!

So who is Steve May Someone with decades of knitting experience under his belt?  Not hardly.  He learned how to knit about one year ago.  An artist who likes art in all forms, he was introduced to knitting when he worked with Steven West on the “Places Where You Can Knit” videos.  Surrounded by knitters who never stopped knitting, he took up a pair of needles and the rest, as they say, is history.  You can learn more about Steve May in his video introduction.

More about the cowl?  The gauge of the cowl is approximately 4.5 st/inch (18 sts/4 inches) in garter stitch, in one size.  The suggested yarns are HiKoo’s Kenzie or HiKoo’s Simplicity.  Which do you prefer?  That’s up to you – because both are on sale at 20% off!  The sample is shown knit in Kenzie in the natural “Pavlova” color (and yes, that cute model is Steve May himself!).

Every Monday in August, a video with Steve will explain what should be tackled that week while giving you hints and tips on knitting his unique design.  The KAL starts Monday August 4th at 8:00 AM Eastern time (View KAL videos here). But you don’t have to get up at 8:00 AM – watch it when it is convenient for you!  Steve will also be actively answering questions about his pattern and cheering you on in “The Fiber Factor” forum on Ravelry.

There is no registration or cost, simply download the free pattern, get your supplies and check out Steve’s video starting on August 4th at 8:00 am Eastern time. Don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your yarn, needle or notion selections … a great way to get a jump on your holiday projects!

Here is what you will need:

Crossbones Style Cowl in Kenzie Color #1000 – Pavlova

OR

Plus

Need more incentive? You will also have the chance to win great prizes generously furnished by Skacel Collection. Skacel will be randomly selecting three lucky winners who post pictures and information about their finished projects on Ravelry. The project must be started in August and finished within two weeks of the posting of the final instructions/video. Winners will be announced on Skacel’s “www.TheFiberFactor.com” and on Ravelry.

Enjoy knitting with your new friend Steve!

Happy Knitting . . . Amy

Berroco Yarn Sale and History Lesson

Photo from the Berroco Archives, 1950s

Textile production was the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution – and Berroco was right there at the start!  In 1810 Jerry Wheelock, the great-great-great-grandfather of the current Berroco president, Warren Wheelock, joined one of the first mills in the U.S. to produce woolen cloth.  In 1905 Stanley Wheelock established his own mill, the Stanley Woolen Mills, in Massachusetts.  The family continued to produce exceptional wool cloth through two world wars, depressions and recessions (but so far, no yarn yet!).

Abode in Flagstone

My favorite part of the family history is 1968 – when the Wheelock family formed a new handknitting subsidiary called Stanley Berroco.  There was never anyone named Stanley Berroco, so why the funny name?  “Stanley,” of course, was from the parent company name “Stanley Woolen Mills.”  “Berroco” combined the first syllables from the last names of two sales agents, Mr. BERglass and Mr. ROsenberg.  Add a “CO” for company, and you have “BER-RO-CO.”  Later Stanley Berroco was reestablished as Berroco, Inc., and it has become one of the largest importers and wholesalers of handknitting yarns, patterns and supplies in the United States and Canada.

That’s a long time to have been appreciating good yarn!  At FiberWild! we’ve got over 30 brands of Berroco yarn – and for the month of June all of our Berroco yarns are on sale at 20% to 25% off!

The Berroco yarns come in a wide variety of fibers and weights – it’s hard to pick a favorite!  Some of the yarns I’ve really enjoyed knitting with recently are:

  •  Abode is a single ply medium weight 100% merino wool yarn with a unique thick and thin homespun texture in earthy colors.  Let the fun texture give your project character!  Great for interesting hats and cozy sweaters!
  • Lago
    A Marmot – So Cute!

    screams summer!  Lago is a chain construction thick and thin machine washable yarn in bold, tropical colors.  The yarn is a blend of viscose and linen to give it the look of linen with the drape and sheen of viscose.  Bare your shoulders with a fun tank top or an airy scarf!

  • Marmot is made from marmot fur.  Just kidding!  But Marmot is just as snuggley-wuggley as the cute little squirrels!  Use the soft, fur-like Marmot for a cuddley stuffed animal or for fur-like edging on a sweater or mittens!
  • Modern Cotton is old-fashioned cotton, but with a new sophistication!  This machine washable cotton has a bit of rayon to add sheen.  It is as soft as your favorite tee shirt – but a lot classierModern Cotton’s bold jewel colors are perfect for summer accessories, and the pastel Spinnaker (Pink) and Warbler (blue) colors are great for washable baby clothes.
  • Ultra Alpaca Chunky is just like the popular Ultra Alpaca yarn, except (duh!) – it’s chunky!  This alpaca and wool blend is incredibly soft, and because it’s chunky it knits up quickly!  Knit a speedy Ultra Alpaca Chunky hat or scarf in outdoorsey garden colors.
Modern Cotton in Gooseberry

Enjoy some new yarns from an old company!  And remember that all of our Berroco yarns – new and old – are 20% to 25% off during June.

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Knock Your Socks Off – With ChiaoGoo Sock Sets!

ChiaoGoo Bamboo Sock Set

Knock your socks off – with a Double Point Sock Set from ChiaoGoo!

Whether you are a beginning sock knitter who needs a complete set to start you off on your sock knitting adventures, or a veteran sock knitter looking for a compact and organized way to manage your sock knitting gear, ChiaoGoo’s Sock Sets are the answer!

So what is ChiaoGoo? ChiaoGoo needles are needles manufactured in China by a family-owned business which prides themselves with offering high quality knitting needles.  Started by four brothers, they were taught bamboo work by their father and grandfather, both traveling bamboo craftsman.  But their real inspiration came from their mother, an avid knitter who was their needle tester and often asked for special bamboo needles to meet her needs.

The family’s youngest son, Leon, came to the US in 1997 and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Laser Technology at West Virginia University.  This guy knows lasers!  Every ChiaoGoo needle (both bamboo and stainless steel) is precisely machined with perfectly tapered tips and is permanently laser imprinted with both the US and metric sizes.

Pandas eat bamboo – but not moso bamboo

ChiaoGoo Sock Sets are available in bamboo and stainless steel.  The bamboo needles use moso bamboo, the largest and strongest of the bamboo species, which creates a very durable needle.  Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource, and the eco-friendly bamboo needles are warm to the touch.  But what about the pandas?  Pandas only eat bamboo, but moso bamboo is too big for panda bears to eat.

The stainless steel needles are made from a  high-grade, strong, stainless steel. They have a nice, smooth satin sheen that does not reflect any light, making it easier to see your work!  They are strong and durable, but surprisingly lightweight.

So just what does a ChiaoGoo Sock Set include?

ChiaoGoo Stainless Steel Sock Set
  • The bamboo set includes five sets of six inch double pointed  needles – Sizes: US 1 (2.25 mm), US 1.5 (2.50 mm), US 2 (2.75 mm), US 2.5 (3.00 mm), and US 3 (3.25 mm).  The stainless steel set includes six sets of needles, all of the above, plus a set of US 0 (2.00 mm).
  • Stitch markers, in a variety of sizes and colors.
  • Five inch needle gauge/ruler
  • Zippered case (6″ x 8″) to keep everything neat and secure – no more renegade needles slipping out of your knitting basket!

And just what does ChiaoGoo mean?  Chiao (pronounced chau) means “crafty” and a Goo (pronounced gu) is a “lady”.  So a ChiaoGoo is a “crafty lady”!  Are you?

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

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