I finished my first sweater!! It fits and it’s gorgeous and it’s warm and cozy and I made it! That just feels so incredibly good. It’s also one-of-a-kind, since I modified a basic Pure and Simple pattern with a cable edging from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting On the Edge. For buttons I went to Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul, where they were incredibly helpful in finding something that was chunky enough for the yarn weight I used and special enough for my unique creation. They even encouraged me to lay the sweater out and place all six buttons down to see how they were going to look before I decided whether to buy them.
Posted in News by Shelly Thacker Meinhardt on Apr 1st, 2005
MKG Cable Gram - Volume 21, Number 1
We continue our statewide tour with a visit to the yarn shops of St. Paul.
Borealis Yarns The Place: Named for the north wind, this new shop at the corner of Thomas and Hamline in St. Paul’s Midway area is delightfully open and airy. The 1930s building once served as the neighborhood drug store and still boasts many original features -- including soaring tin ceilings and wide windows that provide plenty of light. You won’t have to strain to see your stitches here, even on a cloudy spring day. Add ceiling fans, hardwood floors and hundreds of skeins of yarn, and you’ve got an oasis of calm where knitters can escape from urban bustle. Owner Abby Lamberton, formerly an Asian history teacher at Gustavus Adolphus College, opened her shop in May 2004 and has already expanded to 1500 square feet. The purr of a cappuccino machine can be heard through an open door that leads to Dadders Coffee Company, and Abby encourages customers to grab a cup before settling in to knit. An antique table near the front window has room for eight, so you can unwind with your latest project and a hot latte while you watch the city whirl by.
Advanced Beginner: it's the most popular level of class being taken in the yarn shops right now, and I rather like it as a description of my skill level. Intermediate feels like too much expectation just yet, but advanced beginner gives me some nice wiggle room. In the Advanced Beginner Project class I'm currently taking at The Yarnery, I'm making my first sweater, a top down cardigan in Tahiti 2nd Time Cotton - a gorgeous variegated red 8-ply cotton/acrylic yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too that's made from recycled fibers. I thought making a sweater would be really hard, but with a top down pattern there are no seams and the most complicated part involves picking up stitches and using a thumb cast-on - not that hard. Fit is mostly a matter of personal preference, I'm finding out. The Holy Grail of fitting may be gauge, but a close second is a willingness to rip out something you don't like, whether it fits or not. My sleeves are in their third incarnation at the moment.
I don't know whether it's the rush to turn out more and more knitting books and patterns to meet current demand, or a shortage of good editors; but I do know that mistakes in patterns are epidemic. As a designer, I understand how hard it is to write an error-free pattern. Other designers have told me how they are plagued with those little mistakes that slip through the cracks - either caused by their own "oops" moments or by publisher errors.
Get the most out of your love of knitting! Membership benefits include pre-registration for Yarnover, a subscription to our quarterly Cable Gram, organized public service projects and camaraderie with fellow knitters. Annual dues are $30.