PLAIN YARN: LAMB--What will you make?

Plain Yarn is organic, undyed, local Romney Wool

Plain Yarn is organic, undyed, local Romney Wool

Still trying to decide what you might do with Plain Yarn: Lamb from Lancaster, Pennsylvania?  We have some ideas!  We have two natural, un-dyed colors in stock this spring--a beautiful deep brown, and unbleached natural white. 

Felt Flock by Bev Galeskas knit by edirks on Ravelry

Felt Flock by Bev Galeskas knit by edirks on Ravelry

It is always a privilege to see what knitters and crocheters make with yarns from LYS--and we are impressed and thrilled with the creativity we've seen when it comes to Plain Yarn! We can't wait to see what you've made, and we'd love to hear what you're planning to make with this beautiful yarn.  Post your projects on Ravelry, or send us a photo!

We fell in love with Erica Dirks' projects using the "Felted Flock" pattern by Bev Galeska.  We wrote our own pattern for a warm, comfortable hat called the 'Shepherd's Checkerboard' (which is available as a kit in the shop or on our website).  And several of us made the 'Change of Heart' cowl by Justyna Lorkowska (Knitty Deep Fall 2014), it's very pretty in natural white or brown.

Lately, I've been thinking about what would be the 'just right' project for the fingering weight lambswool skeins and I hit on the traditional Shetland Hap. Now, I can't stop thinking about them. So, I've googled and searched around on Ravelry--and it turns out there's more than one way to knit a hap! There isn't consensus on the meaning or etymology of the word 'hap,' but mostly it seems that it's Norse roots mean to 'cover, wrap, or enfold; shelter.'  In knitting it refers specifically to the Shetland Island tradition of making warm, comfortable shawls suitable for daily wear and usually featuring an old shale patterned border.

Kate Davies recently published a collection of traditional and modern takes on the knitted hap, and she is in good company. Jared Flood, Gudrun Johnston, and many more outstanding contemporary designers are giving haps a chance. Yardage for a traditional full hap ranges between 850-1,700 yards of fingering weight yarns.  A two color hap in Plain Yarn: Lamb may very well be in my knitting future!

photo Shetland Museum & Archives

photo Shetland Museum & Archives

'Haps may well surprise you: they can be square, triangular, or hexagonal, incorporating lace, cables, or colour. Though haps are, by definition, functional, wearable textiles, you’ll find they can also be elegant and fascinating, graphic and abstract.'  --Kate Davies

Meet Deb Cech

Deb Cech is an excellent knitter and a longtime educator. We are happy to announce several upcoming Classes & Free Workshops being taught by Deb in our beautiful upstairs knitting studio.


Deb has recently retired from a 28 year career in public education.  She has been knitting for over 50 years!  

"I love any opportunity to frolic with fiber and I am a yarn shop junkie!  In addition to knitting, I am also hooked on hand weaving.  And yes, I have a stash for that too!"  Deb says, "Working at LYS allows me to combine my passions – teaching and creating beautiful things with yarn.  I am so eager to meet the wonderful knitters who frequent the shop."

Have a look at our schedule, register for one of the excellent Classes or Workshops and join us in making Deb feel right at home at LYS!

SEEDLING: organic cotton yarn

Cotton yarns are incredibly various, ranging from mercerized, shiny yarns to soft and fluffy plied yarns.  We’re excited to be carrying and knitting with an organic cotton yarn from Classic Elite called ‘Seedling.’  An eco-friendly yarn, Seedling is a machine washable organic cotton.  Seedling’s organic fiber is more robust and less stressed by chemicals than non-organic cotton, which increases its absorbency and color intensity.

As preparation for the Lancaster Knitter’s Retreat (#LKR2017), I’ve cast on and knit Ann Weaver’s ‘Yipes Stripes Cowl’ using five colors of Seedling. The yarn is lovely to knit with.  It’s a pleasure even when a complicated three color Latvian braid means the yarn must be twisted around a great deal. 

I’m nearly finished my knitting, I have one more braid to do, a fancy bind off and ends to weave in.  While the yarn is machine washable, I plan to hand wash my cowl for blocking. 

Yarn Details for Seedling:

110 yards (101 meters)/50 grams (1.76 ounces)
Gauge: 18.0 sts = 4 inches
Needle size: US 7 - 4.5 mm
Fiber Content: 100% Cotton
Texture: singles plied with binder thread
Machine wash? Yes

Introducing Chateau & Chalet

We are delighted to have Chateau & Chalet from Classic Elite Yarns arrive in the shop this week! A mid-winter stash pick me up, these yarns are an exquisitely soft blend of baby alpaca and bamboo.  What fun to find a chunky weight yarn that is light as a feather and so soft its like knitting a kitten!

The chainette construction provides strength and lightness while the fiber content create enviable drape in a chunky weight.  Chalet is available in undyed, natural colors and Chateau features saturated, vibrant colors.

Projects to consider: knit up a fast one or two skein hat on US#10-11 needles, a beautiful two skein cowl, or go all out and knit a shawl

Chateau & Chalet
Fiber Content
: 70% baby alpaca, 30% bamboo
3-3½ sts/inch US 10-11 (6-8 mm) needle
50 grams/approx 98 yards

Stripes! (the siren call of a favorite look)

I am crazy about stripes. Indiscriminately so. I wear wide striped sweaters with scarves featuring narrow stripes. I like fair isle patterns that resolve visually into a striped pattern, I like stitch patterns that fool the eye and create vertical, horizontal, and diagonal stripes. I like my eye to be led across and up and down and back.  I love striped, hand knit socks. LOVE them.

Yipes Stripes by Ann Weaver

Yipes Stripes by Ann Weaver

I like stripes in my knitting, and I like them in the world, too.  I like painted crosswalks in bustling towns, the orderly vertical stripes of a bike rack, and telephone poles strung out in lines. I like the way a curled shelf fungi can radiate color to the edge.  I love the white and yellow and black stripes on monarch butterfly caterpillars, the endless variety of striping in leaves, flowers and stems, and the wonder and grandeur of colorful and textured stripes in stone formations.  Driving through Lancaster County's verdant, precious farmland, I am cheered by the contoured fields as the seasons change the colors, heights and textures of the landscape stripe by stripe. Stripes get my attention. 

Self striping yarns can be gorgeous--so much variety and color! And stripes made with leftover bits of yarn are just as appealing.  Gradients allow us to knit and crochet gently changing stripes of color in any shape or configuration.  We'll talk at length about color and strategies for knitting interesting stripes at the Lancaster Knitter's Retreat with Ann Weaver in May.  We'll also be knitting stripes in many of our upcoming Free Workshops--including the Frieze Shawl, Leventry, and the Home & Away hat.

Ursula by Kate Davies in Kettle Dyed Sock Yarn

Ursula by Kate Davies in Kettle Dyed Sock Yarn

How do you satisfy your knitting obsessions?  I wear and knit stripes nearly all the time, in some configuration or another. Meanwhile, I add stripey patterns and knitting ideas to my endless list of favorite patterns, and scheme for more time to knit!