Hello from the hottest July in Washington State that I can recall in all my years living here! It is perhaps not the best month for knitting with the wool fibers I love, but I persist! Fall is coming, and I am preparing to show you all the projects I’ve been working on in Jorstad Creek yarns, including another foray into a fair-isle design. Before we get to Fall there is a world of wonderful silk blends and light, fingering weight projects and patterns to delight in, and that is what is going to be shown at Maker’s Mercantile on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Maker’s Mercantile is a craft store in Renton that features both the full line of Skacel needles and yarns (courtesy of Karin Skacel, owner), and a collection of local yarns from growers and hand dyers. This is a friendly welcoming store with a gluten-free bakery at the back, an amazing wall of buttons, felting supplies, fabric, and ribbons, and a spacious knitting lounge. It is certainly a destination to put on your list if you are near the Seattle area. I can tell you from experience that the baked goods do not taste like gluten-free fare, they are amazing! And I appreciate the opportunity for local and artisan crafted products to have a showcase, too.
Maker’s is displaying some of the light, summer yarns in the Jorstad Creek repertoire, including St. Clement, a 50% Merino/50% Silk blend, Cornwall, a Blue-Faced Leicester/Silk blend with a touch of cashmere, Isle of Skye, a dreamy kid Mohair/Silk blend, and Iona, a Merino/Silk blend. We’ve come up with some one skein projects that will entice you to take up your needles even in this hot weather, and the luxury fibers in fingering or lace weights help keep your work from making you too warm! For those persistent types like me that don’t mind a larger project even when the heat is unbearable, there are a couple of more ambitious projects too.
I’ll be appearing on trunk show day at Maker’s with at least one of the designers from BK Collective patterns to show off the samples, talk about new ideas in the pipeline, and get your feedback about color for Fall. I will be working on color development as the summer wanes, so I am looking forward to chatting with knitters for opinions about the Pantone colors, and what you like to see in Fall collections. This kind of collaboration is invaluable to me, it keeps me from getting trapped in my own little color bubble.
I’ll also be talking about alpaca/silk and alpaca/merino/silk blend made with local alpaca from a northwest mill, a new experiment for me in seeking to source more of the yarns and more of the manufacturing, close to home. I learned so much in this endeavor, and I am humbled by once again realizing there is much I do not know about the world of fiber. That is what continues to fascinate!
I will also talk about the new Jorstad Creek Dye Studio opening July 24 and 25 at 414 1/2 Legion Way in Olympia, Washington. The dye studio is a dream of mine to take the process out of my home and into a larger location where people can come for a tour, hang out in the knitting lounge and chat with me, try the yarns at a yarn-tasting table, or purchase a sample pack of yarns to try at home. I hope this new space will be as friendly and inviting as the many local stores that I love to frequent, my local Canvas Works also in Olympia, Yorkshire Yarns in Tacoma (adore my friends there!), and Bazaar Girls in Port Townsend, a home away from home. The new dye studio is not meant to replace any of these stores, as the focus is on the dye process, interacting with other knitter’s about color and fiber, exchanging ideas (I hope to host a spinning group there!), and showcasing the locally made yarns that come from northwest fiber.
Summer can be hard for yarn stores to keep going, so I hope you will take time to visit, encourage these entrepreneurs, and pick up your knitting supplies. Yorkshire, Maker’s, and Bazaar Girls all have a quantity of select Jorstad Creek yarns in stock. Bazaar Girls have a supply of locally grown yarn made from Finn sheep, the 100% Finn (Finnlanka) and the Finn/Alpaca blend (Finnpaca), in natural colors, in addition to the hand-dyed artisan yarns.
When I post again I hope to share with you a discovery in American made needles, and talk more about the dye studio endeavor as well as share some photos of the new space. Check back soon! Kerry