Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How we overcome the chill

At this exact moment, iGoogle claims that the temperature outside is 32F (or 0C for you metric knitters), making Portland quite frosty right now. Working in a building that dates to the Shanghai Tunnels (seriously, we're connected via our basement) means that our heating system is older than most grandparents and not the most efficient machinery on the planet. But that's not a problem for knitters!

In the past week we've seen some creative (and often elaborate) ways Portlanders have developed to keep warm when the wind chill causes the temperature to drop into the negatives. One of which was an awesome Chain Link Scarf (pattern by Teva Durham); but, alas, I have no knitter to credit. Blame Kristin, she forgot to get the now Anonymous knitter's info.

Chain Link Scarf

Our knitter (I am told) was also wearing handknit mittens and multiple layers. Notice the sweater over a shirt over another shirt. The scarf, if you're into that sort of thing (chances are that, as a knitter, you might be), was made with the new Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Chunky. Soft, thick and quick. Ideal for sudden forecast changes.

My 0wn coping method involves layering multiple handknits. Right now I'm madly in love with my recently finished Sapphire Sabine:

Sabine - front

At 65% baby alpaca, this light little cardigan is surprisingly warm (okay, maybe not that surprising if you know that alpaca is 3 - 7x warmer than wool!). But, darns, people, it is nice and toasty in a frigidly cold basement. All I need are wrist warmers and I'm set. I thought my coworkers were going to strangle me when I said that.

And, before the questions pour in, the pattern is Sabine, by CoCo Knits. The yarn was Road To China Light, in the color "Sapphire". The pattern said I'd need 7 skeins, but I think it could have been done with 6. If you're making the XL size, you probably can get away with a little less yarn than suggested. But don't quote me on that. The Knitting Fates will strike me down.

Next on the list of toasty ideas is our Handknits For Hard Knock Kids clothing drive. Knitters across the PDX area are getting the warm fuzzies after donating their handknit and store bought clothing:

Handknits for Hard Knock Kids

Knit a hat, or buy some mittens, or clear out your closet and you'll stay toasty all winter long!

Our donations box is almost full after a week, which means we'll have to get another box because we're not stopping anytime soon. We have a week and a half left for donors to qualify for one (or more!) of our fantabulous prizes, but will continue to collect donations through the New Year. So, if you want to earn an inner glow and possibly win a skein of handpainted yarn, bring in some clothing to donate!

In less toasty news, we do have some fun events coming up in the next few days:
  1. The Holiday Happy Hour #5: Danger Crafts Toy! is scheduled for tomorrow night. I'll be helping Sandy Kay teach students how to create jogless stripes as well as join two in-the-round projects (such as legs) into one. It's gonna be great, and I'm going to endeavor to bring my IP Sammie the Sock Monster with me.
  2. a very cool eCard (with preview!) that features one of CoCo Knits' new patterns! Perfect for layering, Tessa is one of those garments that can be worn year-round.
Tessa - side

Of course, right now I'm thinking I want one made out of Madelinetosh Merino. Just think how warm and soft it'd beee... And it'd only take, like, 4 - 7 skeins. Now there's an idea. A dangerous one, I'll admit, but it does have the potential for greatness.

Now, before I go back to data entry, I have a couple of updates:
  1. Have you seen our facebook page? We'd love it if you became a fan or friended us!
  2. Our limited edition Super Sock in "Opal Creek Winter" is going to be back in stock shortly. If you read the most recent Newsletter and just missed out on a skein of your own, now is the time to place a preorder before these next 25 skeins are gone for good.
With that, we've covered everything. So, until next week, stay warm and keep knitting (or crocheting)!

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