Monday, May 30, 2005

new! Peru cotton shawl with ribbon

A new summer wrap that's a breeze to knit. We used Great Adirondack’s 100% Peru cotton & knit three different-sized pieces and joined them together with matching Irisée ribbon in a charming open criss-cross pattern. Knit in garter stitch on circular needles. The Peru cotton is so soft and drapes beautifully. Wear it loosely over your shoulders or tie. Livens up summer t-shirts! A Knittingbag design. Available now on
Cost: $104
Colors: Spring garden (shown), Lochness, Beach house, Cantaloupe.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Knittingbag’s knitting trends

Learn to crochet. If you learn how to do single, double and triple crochet, that’s all you need to know to do simple crocheted flowers, granny squares, and best of all to add pretty picot edgings to sweaters. You could even incorporate beads into your crochet! Kathleen Powers-Johnson is a whiz knitting designer/teacher who teaches a great class called “Funky Crochet” at many Knitting Guild shows. Think about adding a center panel of simple crochet stitch to a knitted tank top. We're adding a "Learn to Crochet" kit and have some new crocheted designs: check out the denim mini skirt!

Cool Crochet: 30 Hot, Fun Designs To Crochet And WearCOOL CROCHET: 30 Hot, Fun Designs to Crochet by Melissa Leapman

Found on everything from fabrics to sweaters to t-shirts. Bejeweled, sequined, puffed, embroidered, ruffled, beaded, flower-trimmed.

Take Judy Pascale’s class, “Knitting with Beads” or check out Lily Chin’s book on beads. Tools required are minimal: 80 mm beads, some DMC Coton Perle 3 and some dental floss hoops.

Stitchwork; patterning.
You will see more “vintage” lady-like designs that are classic but with a twist, incorporating different stitch patterns:

textural/tweed stitches – in pullovers, cardigans, can be a simple slip-stitch pattern
bobbles and cables
leafy, lace patterns
a return to pattern knitting - Fair Isle and all over jacquards – chunky looking
stripes – bright multicolors, Missoni-type chevrons
tweed sweaters -- cabled, chunky, fine gauge, zipped, ribbed.

If you don’t own a book of knitting stitches, it’s time to buy one. Some of the best are Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns, The Knitting Stitch Bible, The Ultimate Sourcebook for Knitting and Crochet Stitches by Reader’s Digest, and many more.

Silouettes; style details
cowl necks in drapey loose stitches, in stitches going the opposite direction, chunky, flat, asymmetrical
small ruffle collars – on wraps, button fronts
V-necks and low scoops – layered over other sweaters or t-shirts
scarf or shawl necks and tie necks; cross over necks
loose, relaxed hoods
for fall 2005 -- big shawl collars
use more detailing on bottom edging and cuffs. “Knitting on the Edge” by Nicky Epstein comes in handy, as well as learning a little crochet.
this Fall 2005 you will see Asian-inspired designs.

Afghans, lap blankets
Hand-knit afghans and lap blankets are a fun way to try new stitches and get beyond scarves. They make lovely gifts in any season. A good vacation project, too. Here are two good books: “Big Needle Knit Afghans” book (62 afghan patterns using US 10-1/2 needles and above). It suggests Brown Sheep yarns, but easy to make yarn substitutions. And Gorgeous Knitted Afghans, a new book out in this May.
Big-Needle Knit Afghans
by Jeanne Stauffer
Gorgeous Knitted Afghans : 33 Great Designs for Creative Knitters

GORGEOUS KNITTED AFGHANS: 33 Great Designs for Creative Knitters
by Fatema, Khadija and Hajera Habibur-Rahman

A final note from Womens Wear Autumn/Winter 2005/06 Report on other important details:
buttons are a key focus this season and are used for decorative purposes which look like jewelery.
the pocket becomes a very dominant feature, which appears in many different shapes and formats.
collars and cuffs become focal points. (Check out our summer "Java" white cotton cardigan with roses. We added a picot ruffle around the sloping neckline and some to each cuff.)

fringing enhances the season’s mood for fluidity and movement.
check out www.renaissancebuttons. We are also purchasing beautiful handmade buttons from Frog Tree Alpaca.

Current VK Issue
VOGUEknitting spring/summer 2005
• Cinnabar & spice, mango & curry. Exotic colors. On pg. 58, a pretty tank with beautiful embellishments; you can begin to see tanks morphing into tunics. On pg 62 Knittingbag’s own beach cover-up knit in GGH/Muench’s Safari linen. On pg. 60 Knittingbag did a linen wave vest. We are offering a similar vest knit with three colors of Maggiknits Irish linen.

• The life aquatic, picks up on the calming colors of the sea. We love the wrap-front hoodie by Norah Gaughan on pg. 70.

• Stitch workshop. Learn to embellish. A big trend.

• Sweet Tarts & Gossamer scarves. Check out the cute cropped sweater. This would be a great pattern to use silk yarns.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Knittingbag’s summer yarns

We see a trend to using natural yarns again - with a desire for comfort and breathability. For summer, cotton and linen yarns are at the top of our list. Our favorites, Classic Elite's Provence Egyptian cotton, GGH/Muench Java cotton, Rowan’s Denim and Calmer, and Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. Silk and linens are very strong. We use rayon and viscose as well as silk. Our favorite rayon is GGH/Muench's Mystik and for silks, Jade Sapphire’s new 100% silk and beaded silk and Great Adirondack's Nassau, a cotton/silk blend. We’ve carry lots of Serpentine ribbon to knit Nicky Epstein's ruffle purse.

We stock Great Adirondack’s beautiful hand-dyes:

Nassau – a 50/50 blend of cotton & silk (perfect summer combo)
Peru – 100% soft cotton
Irisee 1/4" ribbon – for a little glitz

For linens, we like Maggiknits. Her yarns are beautiful natural linens from Ireland, soft rag ribbons and mist slubs.

For fun novelty yarns, we suggest Karabella’s Festival and Roses. Very high quality and luxurious quality.

Capri & Capri color
Goa and samoa
Java cotton
Serpentine ribbon
String of pearls

Denim yarn
Summer tweed
Wool & cotton

Classic Elite
Premier cotton & tencel
Provence cotton


Blue Heron Chunky cotton/rayon boucle

Mist slub
Rag Ribbon


Great Adirondack
Nassau cotton & silk
Peru cotton
Irisée ribbon

Blue Sky Alpacas Organic cotton

Jade Sapphire
100% cashmere

100% silk, smooth and beaded

A recent report from Classic Elite Yarns talks about Yarn Trends for Fall 2005:

Emphasis on luxury in yarns. We will be looking for angora, cashmere, silk, extrafine merino, all blended into beautiful colors. Also alpacas, multicolor marls and heathers, tweeds in naturals and colors, plain yarns that we can knit into retro jacquards, boucles, novelty effects, metallics, velvety looking piles, light-weight, felted, brushed effects, especially mohairs.

They talk about Knitwear trends: The cropped cardigan is key – some curved bed jackets, some straight bottoms, tie front, buttons, ribbon ties, almost always layered. Big knits, blanket wraps, coats – bigger than ponchos, long cardigans, car coat lengths, cabled, pom-pommed, jacquards. The cowl neck sweater – chunky or fine gauge, drapey or bulky.