Posts Tagged ‘Blue Sky Alpacas’

Whimsical Little Knits 3

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

That’s right, one of our favorites, Ysolda Teague has a brand new book in the shop. Whimsical Little Knits 1 and 2 are really just that, some smaller scale knits all touched with Ysolda’s personal flair for detail and whimsy. Book number 3 has her same great flair for fashion and fun but I think it has an added sophistication as well.


Some of my faves from the book are her adorable button cap, Hendreary. This hat has my favorite things this spring: yellow, and buttons. Of course the yellow part is optional and the buttons are done in colourwork but you see what I mean! I will be knitting mine up in Blue Sky Alpacas Sport (or perhaps some Melange…)


Kynna (possibly one of Ysolda’s biggest fans) is knitting up a pair of Sherman socks in the lovely Madelinetosh Pashmina. She went with Glazed Pecan, which is no great surprise considering she seems permanently attached to her beautiful honey cowl in the same colour!


Whimsical Little Knits 3 is available on the shelves and there is an interesting little article in the latest Vogue Magazine featuring Ysolda as well so give it a read!

Toasty Mittens

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I just came across some seriously gorgeous mittens. I was just minding my own business and BAM there they were. They took me by surprise. They are Borough by Veronica O’Neil and they look amazing! These mittens can be found amongst a fabulous collection of patterns in the latest Knitty. I was just starting to think that perhaps the photographs of carrying wood were what won me over (I always miss camping in the middle of winter), but no, the mittens are awesome.


I realize they are probably technically designed for boys but I say, not to worry! Is there really a gender to mittens?! And the best thing of all? They are knit in one of my favorite indulgences, Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes. The yarn is soft, it has excellent stitch definition and it’s nice and warm on the hands for those windy days out there.


December 7th: Covet

Thursday, December 8th, 2011


I recently posted about my very own Dashing gloves, a pattern designed by Cheryl Niamath. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a great little book of small knits by none other than Cheryl herself!

Bon Bon

Bon Bon

Covet is a book of 6 small knits (hint hint: still time to knit these up!), each an excellent gift or perhaps a book for a knitterly friend! Apropos is knit up in Blue Sky Alpacas Sport, a lovely soft yarn in a rainbow of colours. Bon Bon is knit up in Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, a new yarn from BSA that already has a big following, it’s so soft with slightly fuzzy texture, just lovely!

A Winning Combination

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

This past weekend we took Hunter out for her very first camping trip. I needed the perfect project for the trip. There was a little driving to get there but mostly there was a  lot of hanging out by the campfire so it would have to be something worthy of a  fair bit of knitting time. By the way, some might have worried about smoke flavoured knitting but I figured I would just give it a soak and it would be none the worse for wear. I needed a project with a pattern that was easily memorizable (sorry Rock Island, you had to stay home) and something with a thicker yarn, no lace for this long weekend.


The perfect combo for me was the Big Herringbone Cowl from the Purlbee. The combination of a nice textured stitch, big needles, and my all time favorite yarn (yes, I realize this title changes from time to time) Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes. The pretty charcoal grey with the herringbone stitch is such a wonderful combination it’s like knitting hot chocolate, warm, comforting, and cozy. I had some 12mm needles from my various Twinkle cowls but they are unfortunately a bit short. There are a lot of stitches crammed onto those bad boys! I recommend you pick up 5 skeins, some giant needles (24 or 32 inches rather than 16) and check out the pattern for the next long weekend camping trip!

New Blue Sky Patterns!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

It’s always excitement around the shop when the new Blue Sky Alpacas patterns arrive. We all scramble around deciding which colours the items should be knit in and what sizes to make. We argue over who will knit what and which pattern is clearly the best, it’s always a good time! I missed the hubbub this year but I can only imagine! Here are my three faves of the new patterns:


First up is the men’s vest. There are really so few men’s patterns out there it’s refreshing to see something simple and trendy. Why there are so few men’s patterns I don’t really know but they can be scarce. This is especially frustrating since I find women usually want to knit their hubby something simple that can be worn with multiple other items. This shouldn’t be such a tall order! Digression past, BSA has put out this lovely simple vest pattern which is knit in my fave: Sport or Melange. The colour combos are endless and the yarn is soft and warm, just what I would like in a vest!


The next two patterns are great for Spring knitting. They are knit in the Blue Sky Alpacas Silk, a warm yarn with the beautiful drape of silk. I knit up the Rectangular Shawl in BSA Silk and it’s one of my favorite pieces (even though I knit it in black which left me incredibly bored by the end of it!). The Alpaca Silk has a great shine as well and comes in perfect colours for spring, or some darker hues if they are more to your liking. First up is the Cecily cardigan. A lovely open lacey item for mild spring days.


Last is a gorgeous shawl with a leafy patterned edge to it called the Kaw Valley Wrap. I am thinking it will make a really great Mother’s Day gift, or perhaps a beautiful wedding shawl? There are so many uses for a shawl so lovely, as a gift or just for you.

Beautiful Audrey

Monday, January 10th, 2011


Of all the Blue Sky Alpacas patterns I’ve seen the Audrey coat really takes the cake. It’s so elegant and somewhat extravagant it beckoned to me immediately. A big part of the beauty of this pattern is in the clean lines and the details, I absolutely love the covered buttons. This coat really reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn’s great style. A classic coat that would work with any outfit, but remains a statement piece. My fashionable aunties both asked me to knit them one but I declined, this is a knit for knitters, something to knit only for yourself! Now that all the hubbub over holiday knitting has seriously died down, it’s time to get started on a project just for you, and I think the Audrey coat is perfect.

Audrey is knit in warm alpaca sport, held doubled. This means the colour options are practically endless! The fashionable and Audrey-esque Amanda knit hers up in the original red and it’s just stunning. The picture above is the Audrey coat Amanda knit on our UY mannequin, Ursula. I think the beret makes a nice touch don’t you? I’m personally smitten with Blue Sky’s newest colour though: emerald. I think a beautiful emerald Audrey coat would definitely keep the winter blues away!


Hats for Charity (and for fun)

Friday, December 10th, 2010


There are so many great things about knitting for charity. The number one great thing being that you can do something special for a cause using your mad knitting skills. It’s nice to use your knitting powers for good. Urban Yarns will be knitting up some more hats for charity in the next few weeks for Save the Children/ Caps for Good Campaign. Hats will be displayed at TNNA in January then distributed to new moms and their babies through Save the Children programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


Save the Children offers a downloadable kit to help you create your caps complete with free patterns You can Click here to download the Save the Children/Caps for Good Campaign kit. You can drop your caps by UY and Anina and Jan will bring them to TNNA themselves. Otherwise you can mail them to the following address by January 4th.

Alice Peterson Co.
Att: Caps for Good
118 Center Street
El Segundo, CA 90245

* Please make sure your cap has a “cap tag” which must accompany each cap – click here for the cap tag.


I have been knitting up some hats myself, somewhat compulsively. This hat pattern has pretty much everything I love in a hat: Fair Isle techniques, pompoms, and Blue Sky Alpacas Sport and Melange. They are also adorably small for all the little rugrats coming into the world. The other great thing about these hats is that they whip up in an evening, charts and all!


I started with the classic hat, colours just like the pattern. Then I thought, why not take this colourwork a step further? These hats are a great way to explore the colour wheel and different colour combinations in a low investment project. 4 skeins of BSA makes more than a couple of hats and you really don’t need much for the pattern part.


It’s interesting to see how differently the hats look with more and less contrast between colours. For this fall inspired hat I really thought there was enough contrast between the yellow, red, and orange but the pattern is definitely harder to pick out than in the hats with a white/cream background. I sometimes find it hard to tell whether colour combinations will work or not without using the old trial and error method. The human eye can see the contrast so clearly between 2 skeins of yarn but it’s a little harder when there are only a few stitches of each colour.

To make a Giacomo Baby Hat of your very own, for yourself or for charity you will need:

Yarn: 4 skeins Blue Sky Alpacas Sport or Melange

Needles: 3.5mm 16″ circular needle, 3.75mm 16″ circular needle, 3.75mm double pointed needles

Other: pompom maker (I used the green one, the second largest size), darning needle for those pesky ends, 1 stitch marker

The pattern: you can find the free pattern here.


Toy Mania Continues…..

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


I just don’t know how she does it! I feel like there is a new and even more adorable toy at Urban Yarns every week. Not only is Amanda on a Toy roll but they have been popping up at knit night, knit classes, and in general show and tell. Anina just finished knitting this adorable turkey from the Spud and Chloe Blog. It’s a free pattern that you can find here.


My new favorite though is the cutest reindeer of all! It may seem a bit early to be getting so festive but I just think he’s the cutest thing. Amanda knit this little lovely up with Blue Sky Alpacas yarn (sumptuous) and the pattern and bits and pieces from CID designs. There are so many to choose from in this line (even Amanda hasn’t knit them ALL yet), there is a cute elf and santa if you are feeling festive, or drop by and check out the frog prince. Amanda knit him up in a tweedy yarn and he’s just perfect. The menagerie continues to grow!

The only problem with these charming little creatures is that they can seem a little daunting. Small double pointed needles, lots of increases and decreases, putting the whole thing together when it’s done…it can seem like a lot to take on in a small project. This, however, is both the challenge and the charm of toys. There is a lot of interest and technique but there is also a lot of instant gratification. Also, should a mistake HAPPEN to turn up, it’s not a lot of knitting to rip back (perish the thought).


If you are still feeling overwhelmed at the possibility of a little toy, don’t be afraid, just learn from the best! Amanda is teaching a class on the CID Hanscom Design kits at the end of the month. This whimsical class is going to be a lot of fun, using the ever-so-cute, CID Hanscom Design Kits.  THere are a number of sweet creatures to choose from: Harry Rabbit, Squeak the mouse, Tadeus Crocker, Croco Dehlia to name a few.  Amanda will assist you in working through the pattern and help you with its final construction.
Supply Requirements: Suggested yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Sport or Melange & 2.25mm needles, fibre fill.
*Please Note: Since these toys are fairly small, basic knitting skills are a pre-requisite, with a concentration on fine motor skills.
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Dates: Oct. 26 & Nov. 2
Cost: $50.00 + HST

A Fall Hat

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


There’s something great about knitting a hat. They are fashionable (most of the time, I suppose that’s up for debate….) and I can whip one up in an evening, as long as it’s not in a sock weight yarn, which it rarely is. There are what seems to be a million hat patterns out there, ranging from the cute and ridiculous to the woodsy and warm. So many to choose from.

Hats also make wonderful gifts, even for those you are not sure will appreciate them. It’s a great knited gift test because it’s low comittment, high pay off. If they toss your hat aside, you know you probably shouldn’t try to knit them a sweater. If they love the hat, it’s gold! I knit a hat for my Uncle Kenny this past Christmas, not sure what the reaction would be, and he loved it! I got a text message the next morning saying ‘I’m still wearning the hat!’. It was a great knitting moment.

I also think any hat that has been designed for a guy is officially unisex. I have yet to come across a hat and think ‘too masculine for me’. There are two hats that I really come back to though, I’ve knit both of these many times. The first is the Basketweave toque that was designed by Nick. Nick used to work at the shop and this is his design. It’s a great hat, simple but with enough detail to keep it interesting. The hat pattern comes in 2 formats, knit in the round and knit flat. It’s nice for those who are a little skitish about knitting in the round, you can knit flat and sew it up.

This particular hat was knit extra long to give it a roll up brim but that’s optional, the original pattern is for a hat that goes just over the ears. My two favorite yarns to knit this bad boy up in are Mirasol Sulka (soft, shiny with silk, great colours) and Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes. I can’t say enough about how much I love this yarn, it’s little pricy but completely worth it. Super soft combination of alpaca and wool with a great twist. It knits up like a dream.


The other hat, the one I’ve made for several boys, both family and friends (including Uncle Kenny) is Jordan’s Toque. This toque was originally designed for my little (6’4″) brother, who still loves his hat a few years later. It’s been quite popular with recipients of this hat and it’s nice and exciting to knit. TIP: make sure to knit the fair isle portion of the hat loosely, lest the hat become too tight to go over the head.

This hat is also knit up in Mirasol Sulka, it’s great that this yarn comes in 50g skeins for knitting fair isle, that way you don’t have as many leftovers. Both patterns and matching yarns are readily available at UY so come on down and get started on a great fall hat today!

GCC: The Best Laid Plans

Monday, July 5th, 2010


I started out this summer with a knitting bang. I had plans, patterns, pretty yarns, design ideas, dyes, blank yarns, I was all set to go! Creative juices were flowing, life was good. I was even shown a little knitting gods mercy with some lousy summer weather. You may all hate me for this but I’m loving the cool summer, more time for warm wools and alpacas. I mean, it’s too warm to WEAR such items but not too warm to knit with them. A few months ago I even organized my stash of yarn (more than slightly out of control but that’s a story for another time) and I went trolling on Ravelry to match up my yarns with some great patterns. I was even going to knit the top 10 Ravelry designs before the summer months were out, or at least before December. Such grand ideas and lofty goals.

Then nausea hit. I am too nauseous to knit and the constant sound of clicking needles has gone quiet in my home. It’s a knitters worst nightmare! All the yarn, patterns, and needles are just sitting there, begging to be used. New yarn and patterns are flowing into the shop and I must sit idly by and try to keep my digestive system under control. My husband even asked (in a more than concerned tone) “Is the knitting phase over, because we still have a LOT of yarn…..”. I even tried casting on for these beautiful mittens, trying to power through but to no avail. It’s a knitting disaster. It’s like my knitting life has ground to a halt.


So, over dramatic Alexa aside, I hope you are all ready for some knitting spring/summer cleaning and I have a few suggestions for getting started. I hope you all have better luck with the follow through than I did!

To organize your knitting world start with your stash. Once you know what you have/need you will be better able to go out and start new projects.

1. Pull out those long hibernating projects and get back at it. The best thing about starting here is that the projects feel like they take no time because you are probably already half way done, or more! If you’re stuck on a technique you can swing by the shop for a quick tutorial, or if it’s a bigger problem sign yourself up for a QnA, a private class, or something more substantial like a Beyond Beginner class. Amanda and Sandra are teaching those classes and they are both fantastic, you’ll learn what you need to finish up a project and much more.

2. Re-assess your pattern/yarn match ups. Have you bitten off more than you can chew? Or are you just rethinking a certain cardigan? If you need a new pattern to go with your yarn you can head on over and we will be happy to match up your yarn with a new pattern. It is most helpful if you record the gauge and yardage of your yarn, or bring in a ball and let us know how many you have at home.

3. If you’ve got a pattern that is going to become your summer pet project it’s time to pick out some yarn. As you may know, this is my favorite part of the day working at UY, picking yarn to match a pattern.

Once you have completed these steps, all there is left is knitting! Get to it!

Our Store Special this week is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, colours 30, 26, 10, 5, 25, 20, and 6. 25% off (regular $8.95, now only &6.71)