Arcadia Knitting

Welcome to the blog of Arcadia Knitting, Chicago's largest yarn store! Owned by sisters Kathy and Sharon Kelly, Arcadia has been serving the Chicago knitting and crocheting community for over six years. Keep up with shop news and read more about our ongoing adventures in yarn...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Heads Up Sock Knitters!

XRX is sponsoring a sock design contest. Details will be announced at Stitches West. We are still learning the details but it will be big and fabulous.

Put your sock hats on and get thinking. Watch here or our website for more details.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Gauge Swatches

This has come up twice in the past week so I think it is important. When making a gauge swatch if you don't get the gauge on one needle you can't just assume you can go up or down one needle size and get the gauge without actually doing the gauge.

Here is the situation as it happened. Someone was doing a gauge for a sweater on size 5 needles. Here gauge was too tight, e.g., she got 25 stitches over 4 inches instead of 24 stitches over 4 inches. She assumed that she could just start the project with one size larger needle and she would be okay. NOOOOO! You have to do the gauge swatch on the needle you are using for the project. No assumptions.

I know how hard it is to take the time for a gauge swatch when the pretty, soft yarn is there and the pattern is winking. I know. But believe me, do the gauge swatch.


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Monday, January 14, 2008

Hi -

I came down with a severe case of Sockitus. This is how the illness works.
I see a new sock yarn and
fall in love. I put the hank of yarn on the table
and stare at it
waiting for it to speak to me. I search madly for the perfect pattern.
Once I have found the pattern, I knit feverishly for days.

Once I have finished the first sock, I cast on the second sock and begin
the ribbing.
But then it happens - a new sock pattern comes in and I fall
in love with it
and I have to find the perfect yarn for the pattern.

When I have found the perfect yarn, I knit feverishly for days.
Once I
have finished the first sock, I cast on the second sock and begin the ribbing.
And then a new yarn comes in ....

So I have one entrelac knee high in rainbow colors,
one and a half cable
and seed stitch socks in Jitterbug,
and one and a half brown socks
from Christmas two years ago.
Maybe there should be club for those of us with "Sock Incompetes".

In other news, I got a yoga DVD from Netflix.
Get in the pose and breath
for five breaths.
I tried to do it at regular speed but got bored.

I hit scan forward and that speed seemed ideal to me.

Is there something about yoga I am missing?

If I can get myself to do yoga at regular speed,
will I have the self
control to make the second sock?
Are these two phenomena related?

We have a lot of great sock yarn, needles, patterns,
and books in stock.
Come in and check them out.


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Hi -

Happy New Year!! The new class schedule is up. Check it out. We have a
wide variety of classes that combine fun with skills building. All the
classes teach pattern reading. Sign up with a friend.

A lot of yarn has just arrived, too. Lorna's Laces. Malabrigo, a
great tweed yarn from Plymouth, a great suri alpaca/merino mix from
Plymouth, too.

We have just unpacked two big boxes of books. Have you seen "Knitting
the New Scarves"? WOW. Not just rectangles and triangles but really
great shapes and twists on scarves.


Good Books

A number of books have recently come out that you should consider for your
knitting library:

The Book of Yarn - All about fibers, construction and care.
A must have if you often substitute yarns.
Plus great patterns that make the most of the fibers.

Knitting in America - Wow. A great coffee table book full of history, pictures,
patterns and more. For all those scholars and librarians out there this is the
book you have been waiting for.
Knitting the New Scarves - Another wow. A really great
exploration of geometry and shaping.
Not just variations on garter stitch, truly a revolutionary twist on scarves.

Pattern Books for Men

Books of men's patterns are hard to find. People try so hard and
sometimes they just don't hit the right note. However, that seems to be
changing. There are now a number of books we have in stock that have a
great variety of patterns for men.

Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them

It's been out for a awhile but it has great refreshing patterns for men
& dogs. There is a size chart in the book that groups dogs by breed
and then gives sizing. Each dog pattern comes in eight sizes. So if
you can't measure the dog all you have to know is that is an average
size beagle and you are good to go. The patterns are easy to read and
the yarns choices are unusual.
The Knitting Manual

The book has a wide variety of patterns. Sweaters, hats, mittens,
vests, socks, balaclava, etc. The designs are a good mix of simple and
advanced. The styles are traditional with a twist making the styles timeless.
The patterns are clear and there are a lot of good "how to" pictures.
The sweater sizes range from 40" to 53". I am currently making
the house slippers for my husband and will probably make a pair
for myself and then some more as gifts.

Son of Stitch N Bitch

As usual, a fresh and sassy take on menswear from our heroine, Debbie Stoller.
Lot's of patterns: sweaters, vests, socks, hats, messenger bags, ties!
My only caution is that the yardage requirements for larger sizes are very low.
If you are making any of the larger size sweaters check yardage
requirements against "Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements"
before you make a purchase.
Knitting for Him by Martin Storey

A lovely book using Rowan yarn from one of Rowan's top designers. Very
traditional designs with some updated details. The models are a hoot -
they look like fishermen and in one shot you see some very British
teeth. If your guy wants very traditional styles, this is it. If you
also want a book that is for the both of you, this would be it. These
are the sweaters I want to see my husband in but I know from
experience he wants something completely different.

Come in and check them out.


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