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Bountiful Fridays v.2 February 21, 2014

And today, is the perfect day, for a little pay-it-forward…

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Something about knitting that is always true: there is always something MORE to learn…

Even though I’ve been knitting for ages now (and designing from Studio Chic Knits for way over 10 years), almost every day, some nugget of info enters the scene, sometimes shaking it up, sometimes helping an idea cross the bridge from a thought to the needle.

I’ve been trying to aid and abet the speed of the shaky times with as much information as I can find – so I have knit encyclopedias, how-to-books, stitch pattern books, etc. in lots of versions, types and publish dates.

But something that I found I needed to truly understand what knitting was all about was not in my sights until this:

Chic Knits Knit Blog Bountiful Fridays

First of all: Clara Parkes.

Known far and wide as the ultimate yarn whisperer, she really put the pedal to the metal on this tome and goes far and wide to give us a wonderful look into the way-back story of wool itself. From sheep breeds to the types of wool they produce to an abundance of project patterns to test your new knowledge (more than 20!), it’s all there.

Secondly: this is a great basic go-to book to have in any knitter’s library. Even if you never set foot on a farm or go to a festival, it is an easy way to catch up on the organic nature and mystery of what’s been living on your needles all this time (and, yes, no mud…) There’s been a great renaissance of small producers here in the U.S. (and around the globe) and this book is perfect to help understand the evolution of some of the fabulous yarns appearing on the scene.

{{So: if you’d like a copy of The Book of Wool, just leave a comment below telling us which type of fibery animal is your favorite and why!}} … Comments closed – stand-by for winner announcement …


…from our last visit to Bountiful Fridays on Chic Knits: the winner of 2-skeins of ToshDK in the TART colorway is Sharon A. who writes, “I love knitting because it’s always in my heart.” yes.

THANKS SO much to everyone for taking the time to comment and share with us your joy in our beloved craft. I invite everyone to get a nice refreshing cuppa and linger over the comments – they are some wonderful, inspiring reading…

happy weekend & happy knitting,
Bonne Marie

Tips Tuesday: How to Block a Shawl February 18, 2014

If there’s a windy windy rain storm going on outside,
the best thing to do is get cozy,
then get busy…

Today in Portland, after bundling up in some comforting wool, I got to it.

I’ve been finished knitting my 4th ALBY shawl for quite awhile but have been putting off blocking it because, ew, blocking.

The first three Alby’s that I made were blocked upstairs in the attic – on the carpeted floor. This was the biggest area I could find that wouldn’t be disturbed while the shawls dried to measure.

Several times during the mulitple blocks, I felt time stand still – had to keep pinning and re-pinning, all while crawling around on the floor. Torturous.

{hint: don’t wear skinny jeans while doing this – heh!}

It seemed to just go on and on and on, like my own Personal Ground Hog Day, Shawl Style.

Never again, I vowed.

Tips for Shawl Blocking on the Chic Knits Knitting Blog

This time around, while I was soaking the shawl, I did a little more surveying around the house looking for someplace I wouldn’t exhaust both my back and my patience.


Tips for Shawl Blocking on the Chic Knits Knitting Blog

The dining room table.

Evolution: the very first surface I used to block on was a big cardboard box that I’d flattened. I thought it would be good to pin into and protect the carpeting. By the time I got to Shawl #3, I’d quit fooling around and was now the owner of a rubber play mat made of interlocking pieces that you could build-to-size for any blocking project.

Why not combine the two to protect the table AND be able to walk around the entire thing while shaping and pinning…

Handy-Dandy Shawl Blocking Tips:
clockwise from l. to r. Upper Picture

  • Soak the shawl in some warm, slightly soapy water for about 1/2 hour, then rinse.
  • Place out on a towel in general final shape then roll in towel to remove excess water. I find this “pre-shaping” trains the fiber to want to go into the blocked shape more easily.
  • Remove from towel and place on blocking surface in final shape, anchoring with a few T-pins to match pattern schematic dimensions. Thread blocking wires through outside edge then start pinning out points.
  • Adjust as necessary so all points are as equal in size as possible and no stress or mis-shaping is appearing on other areas of shawl.
  • Let air dry.

But wait, I forgot something – here’s the real secret to my success…

Can’t wait for this to be ready to wear – it is made from some very lovely comfy yarn – Bare Naked Wools Breakfast Blend Fingering (in Oatmeal) and Araucania Ranco (in Navy). perfect to Mind the Gap I’m feeling inside here today. :)

Bountiful Fridays February 14, 2014

Friday always seems to need a little bonus to end the working week so we’ve decided to add a little fun!

Randomly, but more weekly than not, we’ll be adding some neat give-aways to our blog to celebrate with you some of the bounty here at Studio Chic Knits!

And today, is a perfect day, to show a little luv…

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We found a couple of TART-y skeins of Madelinetosh DK in our stash from the sample making of our Derica Kane style and we’d like to celebrate Valentine’s day with you!

{{Just leave a comment on this post telling us “Why I LOVE Knitting” and we will random draw next Friday to giveaway these lovely skeins…}} … Comments closed – stand-by for winner announcement …

Chic Knits, chicknits,, Bountiful Fridays, knitting patterns

Bonne Marie

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