MISS GRACE SHAWL PHOTO COMPETITION

During the last 2 weeks we received plenty of beautiful photos from knitters from all over the world. It’s great to see so much response from the knitting community. We really couldn’t ask for more!

You sent us all kinds of photos, in all stages of progress and using both our yarn as well as others. All of these wonderful images will be showcased in this blog post.

As you know there is a prize: the best photo will win a 100% discount on SKEINO for any of our products including free shipping. The decision wasn’t easy. We sat together for quite some time and after several cups of coffee and lively discussions we decided on our top 10.

No matter what happens, please remember: Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth!

TOP 10 PICTURES

10. Jutta, Switzerland – colorway Michelle

All the way from Europe came this photo by Jutta. Her Michelle colorway is almost finished and it looks so smooth! The full forms create this nice look, almost like the surface of water with little waves in it. We’re wondering if Jutta is thinking of Lake Zurich when she knits…

Uni Kath_Ravelry-Jutta-Michelle

 

9. Susi Hoosier, USA – colorway Jan

Susanne named her project “Friendship” and we couldn’t think of a better title! On Ravelry she commented that it will be a Christmas present. She chose colorway Jan which comes in pastel purple and blue tones contrasted by a solid black. Her photo composition is as simple as it is beautiful with the basket holding the yarn and the shawl in progress in the front.

Hoosier Susi_Ravelry-Jan

 

8. Steven Self, USA – colorway Barb

First of all thumbs up for one of the few male knitters! Steven is knitting colorway Barb. We love the way those deep purple tones are contrasted by the pastel tones in the full forms. The two balls at the bottom of the photo give it a nice “work in progress” look.

Steven-Self-Barb

 

7. Elly May, UK – own colorway

Elly is not using SKEINO colorways but we have to admit that these look so funky! What a color explosion this is! Stunning, as they say in the UK. This is a great example how you can use SKEINO’s free patterns on Ravelry and create your own style.

Elly May_Ravelry

 

6. Manuela Tudor, Canada – colorway Cindy

Manuela sent us this beautiful picture of her colorway Cindy. This is the original colorway our Tapestry Knitting technique was created with. The shawl is very colorful and Manuela did a great job contrasting the lively shawl with the neutral gray of the stone background.

Manuela-Tudor-Cindy

 

5. Laura Yant, USA – colorway Sherri

Laura’s theme in this picture is fall. Her colorway Sherri is work in progress and since the rows are so short when you start knitting Miss Grace we’re sure she made very quick progress. Laura did such a great job matching the colors of the background with the Miss Grace colorway and those leaves make it even better! What a great sense of color!

Laura-Yant-Sherri

 

4. Janice, USA – colorway Patti

Janice was brave enough to model herself in this photo and she gets an extra point for that! Her colorway Patti looks amazing – the 3 colorways creating the forms make Patti particularly interesting, we think. Also the photo composition quotes the shades of green and blue in the shawl. Note the green hat! 🙂

jdm6of18 Janice_Ravelry-Patti

 

3. Deana Mumbower, USA – colorway Pamela 

Deana chose colorway Pamela for her project. This collage style photo is truly artistic and we love the way she brings together the shawl with pictures of herself. A special mention goes out to her tattoo. That’s what you call a passionate knitter!

Deana-Mumbower-Pamela

 

2. Ann Kobilis, USA – colorway Sherri

This photo looks like a knitting lab. Ann seems so dedicated to her Miss Grace in colorway Sherri! All the tools are ready to go and on her tablet Ann is watching Staci Perry’s video tutorial. The full package of Knitting a Miss Grace shawl!

Ann Kobilis-Sherri

 

1. Candy Spurzem, USA – colorway Patti

Now isn’t that picture gorgeous! Candace shows all her creativity and humour when dressing up her big Gorilla friend. We love the crown! The background is all nature and it looks like the Miss Grace king (or is it a queen?) is more than happy with Candace knitting the shawl for him (or her). Congratulations Candy, you won a FREE SKEINO product of your choice!

Candy-Spurzem-Patti

 

Honorable mentions:

Staci Perry, USA – colorway Sherri

Well, who would doubt that one of the most successful knitting bloggers out there is able to take a great photo! Staci always does such a good job when posting things she makes tutorials about. We hope many of you found her video for our Tapestry Knitting technique helpful. We cannot thank Staci enough for her great job on explaining the somewhat challenging pattern. The feedback we received was overall positive, so here goes a honourable mention to Staci!

Staci-Perri-Sherri

 

Merrie Marks, USA – colorway Leslie

Merrie is kitting colorway Leslie. The full forms come out with a nice gradient that almost looks like a rainbow. Once finished her Miss Grace shawl will definitely be a very special piece turning many heads!

Merrie-Marks-Leslie

 

Jeanne Anderson – colorway Jeanne

Jeanne is knitting colorway Jeanne, or at least she is about to start! And that’s what we love about her picture. It looks so much like she just recently unboxed her package and is ready to go.

Jeanne-Anderson-Jeanne

 

Hayley – own colorway

Hayley posted her project on Instagram and of course we are more than happy to showcase her work. We’re not sure what yarn she is using but the project looks beautiful.

Haley_instagram

 

Eileen, USA – own colorway

Eileen is using Knitpicks yarn for her project and from what we can see it looks like a big success.

image_medium2

 

We hope you enjoyed these beautiful pictures and if you participated yourself, thank you sooo much for sending your photo to us!

Please know that you can always send us pictures of your SKEINO projects. We will be more than happy to post your images on our social media channels.

Do you agree with our rating? Which picture is your personal favourite? Let us know in the comments!

…and as always: HAPPY KNITTING!!

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HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT A “SECRET” KNITTING STYLE

I learned to knit when I was just 5 years old. My Grandmother had the patience to show me how to do my first chain with my fingers, because I was on her heels and wanted to do the same thing she was doing. Over the years I became more and more interested in needlecraft and everything that goes along with it, so finally I studied Textile Design.

I’m now getting close to 70 and you would think that after so much time I would know most about needlecrafts but very recently I found out something very curious that made me think again:

It was the day when someone told me that I practice COMBINATION KNITTING.

I had no idea that besides the English/American and the Continental technique there is a third knitting style! Well, this explains why some of my pattern writing always needed some extra help to be right so knitters could understand what I was trying to say.

Here is a video that opened my eyes when a friend sent it to me:

Recently I planned a new Shawl and I decided to do a very open structure just based on the front row YO, K2tog and the back row all purl. To make it more exciting, I chose to work the shawl in the bias.

Knitting Bias Scheme

Interestingly due to my Combination Knitting technique, the K2tog’s supported the bias shape and the final design turned into a lengthwise striped scarf. What a fun surprise!

SKEINO Gala Scarf Detail

SKEINO’s new Gala Scarf

Our superfluffy, glittery and light weight VENICE yarn made the scarf very special and I’m convinced that the result with another yarn would not haven been so pretty as it came out with SKEINO Venice Yarn.

Here is the pattern:

Cast on 30 Stitches with needle #11

  1. Row K
  2. Row K1, K2tog, K26, M1, K1
  3. Row P
  4. Row K1, K2tog, K26, M1B, K1
  5. Row P

From now on repeat the following two rows:

Front row: K1, K2tog, K1, [YO, K2tog] 12 times, M1B, K2

Back row: P

For the last 5 rows repeat rows 1.-5.

Bind of loosely and weave in ends.

As I was knitting the model for our website I recorded a small video and I thought that it would be a nice idea to show you how the scarf knits using my combination knitting. You are very welcome to try the technique too:

This was my first attempt on doing a video tutorial. Please let me know if you want to see more videos like that.

To conclude let me say that actually I am very happy with my knitting style: it is easy and fast. But as you already know, SKEINO’s slogan is HAPPY KNITTING so please stay true to your personal style.

What is your favourite knitting style? Do you know of a fourth “secret” technique? Please let me know in the comments!

…and as always:

HAPPY KNITTING!

Love,

Bjorn

10 RULES WHEN DYEING YARN – HOW WE CREATE OUR COLORWAYS

Sea of SKEINO yarn

A sea of yarn. All of it hand dyed. Are there any rules a dyer has to follow?

We’re happy that SKEINO is known for superior quality yarns and colors. All of our colors are created by imagination. Sparks of inspiration came from many sources such as flowers and plants, weather, landscapes as well as music just to name a few.

All the colorways that we created over time needed to be documented and captured in recipes. It requires a lot of discipline to turn all that joy for creating colorways into solid documentation so we can repeat the colorways over and over again with as little fluctuation as possible. Nevertheless it’s a never-ending passion to create new colorways so I won’t complain about that!

Still there are basic rules you have to follow when creating a colorway. Here are 10 things (in no particular order) a dyer has to take into account when dyeing yarn:

  1. The deepness or lightness of a color – rich or pastel

The main difference lies of course in the amount of dyes used. More dye means a richer tone. Getting it just right is not always easy. Not all dyes will dilute equally so there’s a lot of experimenting, especially when a colorway should be created in a rich and pastel tone.

  1. Contrasting colors or not

This is important in two situations: The first is when dyeing a single skein. Color contrasts might be interesting and beautiful or they might destroy the whole thing. The other situation occurs when creating a more-than-one-skein-project. In our Miss Grace Shawl for example, we where experimenting for a long time when choosing the tones for each colorway in order to make sure that the contrasts would fit. Do this right and you will dye a unique colorway. Do it wrong and you might spoil the beautiful yarn or the finished piece.

Bjorn from SKEINO smiling wearing his apron

That’s me in my dyeing outfit. Ready to go!

  1. Color shades – staying in one color

This becomes important when creating gradient colorways. Again it requires skill and experience to create a recipe for a colorway that will slowly AND steadily create a gradient you will love.

  1. Neighboring colors – blue next to yellow will create green

Remember when painting with watercolors in school? This is not too far from it. Just like watercolors, our colors will fade into each other too. Most of the time this is just what you want. However you have to make sure that you don’t end up with a totally different color than you intended to create in the first place.

  1. Proportions of the color section – short or wide

This becomes important for the main appearance of a skein of yarn. A wide stripe of red makes a skein mainly red. After that, just smaller sections of additional colors might support the red or make the red less important. In any case a dyer should think about this before starting with her or his work.

a person dyeing SKEINO yarn

Dyeing yarn requires concentration and experience

  1. The dyeing technique

This is a most kept secret among dyers and we won’t get into too much detail either. Only so much can be revealed: Each dyeing technique will generate a different result. Use the wrong technique and you’ll end up with spots, uneven colors or colors that were intended to be darker or lighter than they came out. At SKEINO we sometimes create new techniques for certain types of yarn just to get this right!

  1. Plant fiber or animal fiber

Plant fibers need a different technique to be dyed than animal (protein) fibers. The dyes will work less bright and vibrant on cotton or linen. Acid dyes will dye any wool bright and vibrant and the dyed yarn is resisted to light and water. Here at SKEINO we are “acid dyers” and prefer animal fibers on our dye table. Several yarns are blends with plant fibers such as bamboo or Tencel. Because of the blended fiber, the yarn becomes a silvery shine and appears more pastel.

  1. Superwash or not?

Superwash yarns are treated to be cleaned in a washer. Because of this process the dyes are able to color a yarn much darker and brighter. Untreated yarns are also easy to dye, but with more dyes and the colors will be softer. The dyer must know the yarn before mixing the dyes.

  1. Personal taste

Every person has a different taste and there can be no criticism to that. As a dyer however you have to take into account that just because you don’t like light green, your customers might not feel the same way. A personal touch is great and wanted but at SKEINO we always try to cover a broad palette for our colorways.

  1. Fashion trends

If you have been knitting for a long time you know that the fashion industry is constantly repeating itself or, in a more positive way, it takes inspiration from the past. However there are seasons and there are trends that can’t be denied. A dyer does good to know these trends, deciding if they should follow them or ignore them.


All these aspects need to be brought together to create a new colorway. Sounds like a lot, huh? Here at SKEINO we try to cover all aspects, tastes and (some of) what the fashion industry tells us.

Besides all of this, we’re bold enough to have our very own colorways. We’re happy to say that our customers compliment what we create and so it’s easy to keep going.

Be assured that all our yarns and knitting kits were carefully designed to achieve the best result when being hand dyed.

I want to encourage all of you, to pick your most favorable color. Remember what you like to wear and how a new shawl would fit into this color range. You’re going to put all your skills and time into the new piece and we always like to know that you’re happy with your color choice.

So… What should we create next? Is there anything your would like to see? Let me know in the comment section!

Happy Knitting!

Bjorn

THE ARABELLA SHAWL PHOTO CONTEST – WE HAVE A WINNER!

Over the last months our Arabella Shawl knitting kit has been quite popular. Every now and then we could spot gorgeous photos of the finished pieces our customers uploaded on Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Time to organize our very own official photo contest! Looking for the most beautiful, hilarious, creative or elegant photo of your Arabella Shawl.

The competition has been running for 2 weeks and after receiving numerous photos we sat together to choose the finest photos of our finalist which was hard enough. Today we made our decision after a long and lively discussion. And what can we say.. When in doubt choose cuteness! And so it was Michelle from South Carolina, USA who won our hearts with this beautiful shot of her Arabella Shawl and her dog Webster. Congratulations Michelle!

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Misty Morning

Our Winner: Michelle’s Arabella Shawl in colorway Misty Morning

Well we did have to choose one winner but since there were so many gorgeous photos here is a gallery of our finalists:

Elizabeth sent us her lovely photos in lush surroundings.

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Palm Tree

Although placed in a needle tree this colorway is called Palm Tree

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Palm Tree

Work in progress

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Palm Tree

Who’s feet are those? 🙂

April from Pei, Canada interpreted the Arabella pattern in her very own style.

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in custom  colorway

Another way of knitting the Arabella. Ahm, is that SKEINO yarn? 😉

Anita lives in Quebec, Canada and she sent us this beautiful example of her finished piece.

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Aqua

Elegantly placed on top of a dining table this colorway is called Aqua

Agnes is all about shades of blue with her example of the Arabella Shawl.

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Delphinium

In Delphinium all colors are shades of blue

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Delphinium

This is simply gorgeous

SKEINO Arabella Shawl in colorway Delphinium

Agnes’s way to wear her Arabella Shawl

I guess now you understand why we had such a hard time choosing our winner! A big thank you to all of you who participated in the photo contest! If you like SKEINO you can always email us your photos and we’ll post them on our social media channels – The world deserves to see your work! All colorways of the Arabella Shawl can be found here: http://www.skeino.com/arabella-shawl.html

As always please feel free to comment or ask anything in the comment section.

SKEINO-Customer Melvia shares her Fan-Shawl Project with us

Melvia from California contacted us to share her experience with SKEINO and to show us her recently finished Fan-Shawl project. We think it has come out just beautiful!

The colorway Melvia chose is NORMA. The Fan-Shawl can be found here: http://www.skeino.com/knitting-…/fan-shawl-knitting-kit.html

“I love the yarn – chose ‘Norma’ and the colorway is absolutely beautiful. I’ve attached 2 photos. I enjoyed this project. I used leftover yarn to do a reversible single crochet for an edging. the yarn means all the more to me. Your group has my support.”

Melvia also joined our SKEINO group on Ravelry. Join us here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/skeino

Melvia's fan shawl in Norma

Melvia’s fan shawl in Norma

Melvia wearing her SKEINO fan shawl in Norma

Melvia wearing her SKEINO fan shawl in Norma

Thank you Melvia! ;D

An Introduction To Yarn Fineness – The Harlequin Story

Today we are giving you a view behind the scenes of SKEINO. Our textile designer Bjorn is talking fibres i.e. he explains the development process of SKEINO’s newest product, the harlequin yarn.

in 2010 a soft ultra-fine 10 micron fleece, set a new world record in the fineness of wool fleeces.

Yarn fineness is measured in microns. These cones are about to get hand painted for SKEINO.

Yarn fineness is measured in microns. These cones are about to get hand painted for SKEINO.

Let’s start with some general information about the fineness of fibers: The finest bale of wool ever sold measured 11.6 microns in June, 2008. However in 2010 a soft ultra-fine 10 micron fleece, set a new world record in the fineness of wool fleeces. A micron (micrometer – a millions of a meter) is a measurement used to express the diameter of a wool fiber. The lower the microns, the finer the fibers.

Clear price differentials exist for different fiber diameters.

The fiber diameter is the most important characteristic for all textile fibers. Most wool between 11.5 and 24 microns in fiber diameter is made into clothing. The remainder is used for other textiles such as blankets, insulation and furnishings. Clear price differentials exist for different fiber diameters and in almost all cases the price increases as the diameter decreases.

SKEINO's Harlequin yarn

SKEINO’s Harlequin yarn

In a general sense, the super fine Merino fibers are similar to cashmere. This is why we decided to choose the 19.5 micron fibers for the HARLEQUIN yarn. One ball contains 600 yards of worsted weight single spun yarn, long and random color repeat, 7 oz. (200 grams). While knitting this yarn, you can watch the randomly changing colorway, self striping. As always at SKEINO, patterns are free with your purchase. Click here to take a closer look at our Harlequin yarn: http://www.skeino.com/yarns/harlequin-yarn.html

We hope to have given you some insight to yarn thinness and why Bjorn chose 19.5 microns for our Harlequin yarn. As always please let us know your thoughts or ask us in the comment section section down below.

SKEINO is now shipping to all 28 EU countries

We are so happy that our European customers now have it so much easier to order with SKEINO.

No more contacting us via email to place your order! We have now included all 28 EU-countries to our standard shipping rates so starting today you can order directly on www.skeino.com from anywhere in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

csm_eu_flags_bd30aa5fea

To all our customers in Australia, New Zealand and Asia please continue to contact us via email to place your orders for now. We are working on that one too…

As always please feel free to ask or let us know your thoughts down in the comment section.

Keep on knitting the free world! :)

Love,

SKEINO