Are you finished your Christmas shopping? I'm not... but then I always have been a bit of a procrastinator, so this isn't much of a surprise. On the plus side, we still have five and half shopping days left - that's loads of time, right?! :)
If you are still hoping to make a few holiday gifts, don't despair - at this point, super bulky yarn and 12mm (or 15mm!) needles are your very best friends. And even better, we have lots of these items still in stock! If you follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you will have already seen that we received four new colours of Malabrigo Rasta on Monday evening. These fantastic colourways, combined with the softness Malabrigo yarns are known for, are sure to please anyone. One skein makes a quick cowl or hat or even a pair of gloves - something you are sure to finish in only a couple of hours!
If none of our super bulky yarns are quite to your liking, don't forget that you can 'make' your own super bulky yarn by holding several thinner strands of yarn together as you knit or crochet. One of our customers recently came in wearing a cowl she had knit using 5 strands of Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn held together - I think she said she used a 20mm needle! Knitting or crocheting with several strands works pretty much the same as working just one strand - set all your 3 to 5 balls of yarn next to each other, grab one strand of each, and go for it. You do need to take a little extra care to make sure that all your strands of yarn are going around the needle or hook, but otherwise its just the same as normal knitting.
Combining several strands of yarn is a great way to play with colour. As I've been going around the shops recently, I've seen so many cowls that appear to be knit with a multi-coloured strand of yarn - cream with some grey, for example, or even black with splashes of bright colours. If you look closely, however, you will see that the "thick" strand of yarn is really made up of 2-3 different colored thinner strands. As hand knitters, we can easily replicate this by combining several different colored strands of yarn - they can be all the same thickness, for more balanced colours, or a combination of thick yarns and thin yarns. As you knit, the strands will twist around each other, creating a one of a kind multi-coloured fabric. this photo on the left is a swatch I made for a class a few years ago - it combines two different green yarns and one white one. Give this a try yourself - its tons of fun! Start with something basic, like white and black, or go bold and mix a dark colour like black or navy with a couple of very bright colours.
I've been thinking about this technique for a while now, and will be playing with it a lot more over the holidays - I'll let you know if I come up with anything good! :)
(ps: I have some other fun ideas from all the knitwear I've been seeing in the stores lately... remind me to tell you about those another day...)