Yarn Craft

Your Knitting & Crocheting
This page celebrates the people who have knit and crocheted with Catskill Merino yarn.  Come by the stand in Union Square to show me what you've made; I'll photograph your work and post it here; or send me your photos and patterns too for others to work from.

Cheryl's Scarves
CCheryl's Scarf
Cheryl has knit two lovely scarves, and gratefully she emailed us knitting instructions.  The first scarf is a subtle indigo over a light cochineal that we call 'Mystery' and
"was knit with size 10 1/2 needles using a farrow rib pattern, a lovely simple two row pattern:  Cast on a multiple of three plus one stitches (for example, 28)  Row One:  *Knit 2, purl 1; Repeat from the * to the last stitch, knit 1.  Row Two:  Purl 1, *knit 2, purl 1; repeat from the * to end.  This is a wonderful pattern which highlights the subtle color variations from the hand dyeing of the yarn." 
Her second scarf 
"was knit on size 11 needles in a mistake rib.  Using the larger needles made the scarf a little more airy and emphasized the softness of the yarn."
I appreciate seeing what's been done with the yarn, and knowing how it was put together.  Thanks Cheryl, for sharing your work here.  Very well done.
Cheryl's 2nd Scarf

Designing Your Own Scarf Pattern
By Barbara Breiter 
"You too can be a knitting designer! There really is nothing at all to knitting a scarf and you don't need a special pattern unless it's a little out of the ordinary. But you will need to know a few basic concepts.
How Many Stitches Do I Cast On?
This is where you begin designing. The answer to how many stitches you cast on depends on the gauge you will be working at, the pattern stitch you will use, and the width you want the scarf to be. Everything in knitting always begins with gauge. You can guess if you wish (as the gauge will not be vital in a scarf) or use the suggested gauge and needle size on the yarn label. You'll need to figure out how many stitches per inch you are getting after working a gauge swatch or from the label information. Stitches per inch x desired width=number of stitches to cast on. If you want to knit a scarf that is 5 inches wide and you will be knitting at 5 stitches to the inch, you would cast on 25 stitches because 5x5=25. It's that simple. The width of the scarf is your choice. Most scarves are between 6 and 8 inches. Yours can be skinnier or wider. There is no right or wrong. You might consider using a stitch pattern for your scarf. Reversible stitch patterns are wonderful choices for this because they look the same on both sides (or are mirror images) so both sides of your scarf will look nice. Consider the multiple of the repeat in your stitch pattern as this will impact the number of stitches you must cast on to begin. A multiple of 5 stitches means you should cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 5. A multiple of 6 + 1 means you should cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 6 plus 1 extra stitch.
Rolling Sides
The sides of your scarf are rolling inward and you have what resembles a 7 foot long tube. What did you do wrong? Stockinette rolls. You can't stop it. It's the nature of the fabric that is produced when you knit one row and purl the next. If you really just have to knit a stockinette scarf, you can solve this problem most times by adding 3 to 5 seed or garter stitches to border the beginning and end of each row; also work four to six entire rows at the beginning and end. Or work the entire scarf in seed stitch or garter stitch and it won't roll at all. Even better, get creative and use of the literally thousands of very lovely stitch patterns that will lie flat.
How Long Do I Make It?
This is your personal choice and preference. There are scarves 10 feet long that are wrapped twice around your neck and still hang down to your knees. Or you can knit a short scarf about 3 feet long that will just tuck around your neck for a more classic look.
How Much Yarn Do I Need?
This is where you have to wing it. You don't have a pattern to follow so no one has knit it up and tested it for you. If you're willing to just knit until you run out, try two skeins. If you want a long one, you may need four or five." 

The 3rd edition is available in bookstores everywhere. Plus, it’s the only book to include knitting and crocheting, with both comprehensive instructions and exciting patterns. Readers will get:
• A 32-page, full-color section featuring finished projects
• Goof-proof instructions to get them knitting and crocheting in no time
• Expert advice on how to correct common knitting gaffes
• Terrific tips that will help them decipher knitting and crocheting patterns
• Easy ways to check their gauge—and what to do when it doesn’t match the pattern

More information on the book and a preview of the patterns included is available at Knit A Bit.

 Her Hat

Susan & her hat
Susan came by the stand to show us her tassled hat, very warm & very cool in New York City.


Jen's Coat by Laura 
Laura knit Jen's coat from Ember yarn, both pictured here with Lukas, son & grandson.
Jen belts it.
Lovely color variation on a lovely knit 
"The design is based on The Einstein Coat in Book 1:  The Knit Stitch, by Sally Melville.  (available on Amazon) However, I modified the length, position of waist, shape of sleeves, shoulder width and collar shape per Jen’s wishes.  Essentially, a customization of the basic design...(the coat) accumulated many air miles as I commuted weekly to my project in Houston. 
The folks at Downtown Yarns on Ave. A had turned me on to the Denise knitting needles (flexible with interchangeable size so I could knit in my coach seat without jabbing anyone."_ Laura Heinrich. 
See how we dyed Ember in Natural Dye Workshop 7 and find the pattern reference on the Yarn Craft page.  Thanks Laura, thanks Jen.

Punkin' hat

Cathy knits punkin' hats for wee noggins and we have them for sale at the stand in the fall.  She used our madder dyed yarn for the orange and an osage overdyed with indigo for the green.  


Chloe's Urchin Beret
                                                                                                                Photo by Chloe
"So this is Urchin by Ysolda Teague. Ysolda is gorgeous and her patterns are whimsical. The yarn was a holiday gift from my roommate Ruchi; a hand-dyed bulky merino from Catskill Merino at the Union Square Greenmarket. Its rustic quality made it a good candidate for this beret, and because I only had one skein of it, it was at the top of the list. As expected, I didn't get gauge, so I cast on 26 stitches (effectively, an XL) and I was able to easily modify as necessary (Just did everything recommended for the large size +1). Though I only did six repeats and reinforced the headband with elastic, I wish I had only done five repeats instead because then I would have gotten a more pronounced shape."  Chloe at Corazón de Fuego
Pattern Urchin, by Ysolda Teague
Needles Size 11 Susan Bates Ones
Yarn Mystery (Catskill Merino) hand-dyed bulky merino (indigo) from the Union Square Greenmarket.

I love to photograph knitters and their knitwear in the stand at Union Square because the white canopy diffuses daylight perfectly. 
The scarf was knit with two Catskill Merino yarns: one lightly dyed with Old Fustic and the other with Cutch.  I didn't ask what needles she used and—dumb me—I didn't ask her name. 
But I do know a pretty scarf and a pretty smile.

Flashdance Mittens

Flashdance Mittens from Moira & Obbie—handmade vintage inspired clothing from recycled fibers—by Vanessa Filley

“My grandparents, Moira & Obbie, were the first people I knew who recycled.  As a kid in the '70's I remember being taught to crush soup cans and collect compost. In many aspects of my life they have been a great inspiration, a font of creativity and inventiveness. When I began collecting old clothes, cutting them up, dyeing, screen-printing and quilt-patchworking things back together, they were a wonderful source of inspiration offering me their old sweaters, and memories of my great-grandmothers party dresses.

The work I create is from 95% reclaimed fibers which I deconstruct and then rebuild into something new taking inspiration from the story or use the item may have previously had to inform what it will become.  Men’s business shirts become frilly blouses, extra large sweaters get felted and patch-worked into form fitting ‘swackets,’ discarded t-shirts change color and get quilted into to new fangled t’s, and old kitchen curtains become boho bags.  All work is handcrafted and one of a kind.”

Vanessa uses Catskill Merino hand-dyed yarn around the thumbholes of her Flashdance Mittens.  We are proud to be part of her marvelous play of fibers.



Cassandra & Crocheted Hat
Cassandra does makeup for actors on location; in New York winters she is warm in her crocheted hat with ear flaps.

Helix Scarf
If anyone can tell me how she knit this helix scarf, please do.  It is knit with a lightly dyed cochineal yarn.

MM's Hat
Marilyn knit this hat using Catskill Merino Yarn.  She was gracious enough to furnish the pattern; if you would like a copy contact me and I'll send it along.


Girl in Hat

Girl in Catskill Merino hat


Sisters in Hats
When these two sisters, who were visiting from Georgia, left the stand they looked at each other in Catskill Merino hats and high-fived.
Nancy's Pullover
Nancy is good, she doesn't work from patterns. She knit this raglan sleeved pullover with Catskill Merino naturally dyed madder yarn using #11 needles.

David Harrison knit his hat with 1.5 skeins of yarn that was an Indigo overdye of a Logwood Gray using #9 needles following his own pattern. Email him for more details: peterpants@earthlink.net
On Saturday David came by the stand to show us his hat knit with Naturally Hand-Dyed Yarn. He said he felt good knitting yarn that came from a shepherd and his sheep, rather than from a store. That's what farmers' markets are all about—connectedness—it's refreshing to see it take hold of people; and when he felt it, I felt it too, thanks David. These are the moments that make the world worth itself and more.

Daniel May Scarf
Daniel knit his scarf with 2 skeins of madder-dyed Catskill Merino yarn.

Thank you for coming by and showing us your work Holly, Joe looks great. A hat in stockinette (alternating rows of knit and purl) will take one skein, but a cabled hat like Joe's will take more yarn.