April 5, 2014

La Casita: Bergere de France Trunk Show

Filed under: Crochet, Knitting — Tags: , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 7:11 pm


I recently attended the Bergere de France trunk show which was held at the La Casita Yarn Shop. I try to go to as many trunk shows as possible – usually you get try the garments on and it serves as inspiration for projects.

In the 1970s and 1980s European yarns were readily available in US yarn shops. Many were blends using acrylic or nylon with natural fibers. Nowadays the demand is for 100% natural fibers as well and hand-dyed yarn. The yarn representative, Margot, explained Bergere has been family run business since the 1940s; the grandson currently runs the company. Also they are the last industrial wool mill in France making yarn for hand knitting.

La Casita is stocking two Bergere yarns for the Spring: Estivale, a hemp blend with sequins and Cotton Nature, a DK weight organic cotton. Estivale is very pretty and would be great for small and large projects. Cotton Nature is not dyed, its natural color is perfect for warm weather projects.

Two of the most tried on garments at the trunk show were:

“02-Open Sweater” knit in Bigarelle, a light fingering cotton/linen blend.

“Cable Sweater” knit in Bergereine, a DK cotton/wool blend. (On Ravelry 125- Pull Asymetrique)

All attendees were given the 2013-2014 pattern book (a $20 value), which contains 161 knitting and crochet patterns for women, men, children, and the home.

I really enjoyed this goody because:

1 – Usually the European patterns need to be translated from French or Italian – this book is in English.

2 – The first 17 pages are instructions for the knitting, crochet, and embroidery techniques that are used in the patterns.

3 – Each size is assigned a color. When you read the pattern the color helps you find the right numbers for the size you are making. The colored numbers are also on the schematics. LOVE!


4 – There are many garments I would make. And judging by the mad rush to try on garments I would say others agree with me.

I wish the book had an index or a table of contents. The patterns are pretty random – you see patterns for women, followed by patterns for men, follow by a scarf pattern, and then back to patterns for women. Definitely have some post-its handy if you are marking future projects.

Also during the trunk show, several knitters were looking up the patterns on Ravelry – we quickly discovered that the patterns are assigned a number and a simple name (ex, 695 Fair-Isle Sweater). Just something to keep in mind if you want to look at existing projects.

May 13, 2013

Edie Eckman’s “Easy Stitches for Impatient Knitters”

Filed under: Crochet, Knitting — Tags: , , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 4:01 pm

I am in rut when it comes to knitting my swatches. Every one is in stockinette! I was much more adventurous when I was a beginner. The one thing I’ve learned during my almost 20 years of knitting is to always seek out something new. For me that means taking a class. I always manage to learn a couple of new things, meet some new knitters and chat with another person that works in the fiber arts industry.

This was certainly the case when I signed up for Edie Eckman’s class “Easy Stitches for Impatient Knitters”. Why take a class that teaches you new stitches? There’s guidance, practice time, and you walk away learning the correct way to knit these stitch patterns. Edie is generous with her knowledge – so much so that I signed up for her pattern writing class that took place the next day.

You can look up all these stitches in a stitch dictionary. Here is what I knit in class.

Condo Stitch – yes you use two different sized needles.

Coral Stitch (yellow) –


Turkish Stitch


Garter Drop Stitch


And my favorite, the Loops Stitch


August 28, 2012

A Big Break for Knitty City

Filed under: Crochet, Knitting — Tags: , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 3:20 pm

My favorite local yarn store, Knitty City, is a finalist in the Big Break for Small Business contest sponsored by American Express OPEN. There 10 finalists vying for five $25,000 prizes.

Two years ago I made a proposal to the store’s owner to work on some projects for the store. After 3 months Pearl added me to the store’s staff & I’ve been working there since. Knitty City is exactly what it says it is – a community for fiber lovers. The customers feel at home here, they love creating things with yarn and they love meeting others who do the same.

What would Knitty City do to with the prize money? We have taught basic knitting in Bryant Park for the past two summers – we want to expand that to a year round program. And like many small businesses we want some guidance on how to maximize out social media opportunities. This would be provided by a strategy session led by American Express and Facebook.

The five winners will be selected through public voting on Facebook that begins on Monday, August 20th at 9 am. Voting will continue for 12 days, ending at 11:59 PM, August 31, 2012.

To find out more about this competition and to vote, go to VOTE . Please note that apparently voting from mobile devices is discourage (?!?!). Desktops & laptops seem to be ok.


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