Blog

Gauge Yarns Whidbey in Yarn Yay Colorway

YarnYAY!s Exclusive Colorway of Whidbey

We are so excited for the launch of Gauge Yarns exclusive new yarn Whidbey!

Inspired by Whidbey Island, located about 30 miles north of Seattle, the island forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound. Often referred to as Puget Sound’s Largest Artist’s Colony, Whidbey is home to numerous working artists, writers, and performers. The south end of the Island is a true haven for those who enjoy the fine arts. With its rich flora and fauna, including Deception Pass State Park (the most visited state park in Washington), we wanted to ensure that our Whidbey yarn was just as spectacular and special as its namesake island. 

And to go along with this new release, YarnYAY! has their very own exclusive colorway.  Check out Vickie Howell's Instagram unboxing. This colorway was available only in limited quantities, but Makers' Mercantile will soon have other colors of Whidbey in stock.

Want to see YarnYAY!'s One Year Anniversary Box featuring Whidbey? Take a look.

The Chilly Dog May 2019 Knit Along – Week One

Ready to get started on the Line Drawing Knit Along with Ellen Thomas of The Chilly Dog?

The first week is all about the leg and Ellen has provided a video to help you out.

Don't forget to join us on the Makers' Mercantile Ravelry Discussion Group!

Want more info on the KAL or Zitron Art Deco Yarn?  Check out our KAL Information.

Still need your yarn or other supplies?  Check out Makers' Mercantile!

Kinky Yarn Dyed with Sharpie

Sharpie Dyeing

Kinky Yarn

Ready to make something unique? Karin and Kyle are here to walk you through a video tutorial on how to dye your Kinky Yarn coil with Sharpie Markers and some rubbing alcohol.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Kinky Yarn Dyed with Sharpie


MATERIALS
Kinky Yarn 100% Superwash Wool
200 grams / 133 meters / 147 yards

TOOLS
Deep bowl
Sharpie Markers
Rubbing Alcohol
White vinegar
Salt
Bowl
Gloves 

Technique

We have created two videos showing the Sharpie Marker Dyeing Method.  The first is just the facts, the second is a much longer and more detailed video.

Tutorial # 1 - Just the Facts
Tutorial # 2 - Longer and More Detailed Version

Fridays with Franklin: Very Kinky, Indeed

Fridays with Franklin logo

For an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

For the first part of this adventure, click here.

If you want your Kinky Yarn to be kinky, you have to let it dry thoroughly before you unravel it. After I’d finished my dye jobs, I went away for a week. Probably a good thing, or I’d have been poking and prodding it to see if it was still damp. To speed it along, of course, you can uncoil the cake.

I was happy to see that the extra soak on the sprayed cake (dyed with Fashion Spray Marabu) had done some interesting things to the interior.

Oooh.

When I uncoiled the cake, I was even more excited by the effect.

Ooooooooooooh!

I was less thrilled with the painted cake (decorated with Textil Marabu) because of course the decoration was limited only to the outer surface. The inside was still blank.

Not quite ready.

If I were to use the paints again (and I would–they were a pleasure to work with) I think I’d just paint the unrolled coil. For the moment, I set aside this cake of Kinky (that is never not going to sound weird) for further manipulation.

The sprayed cake was begging to be knit up. I unraveled it from the end, rolling it into a ball as I went. Very easy. The strand was undeniably kinky.

Sure is kinky!

I wasn’t really sure what to knit with it. I decided not to decide until I’d messed around with it a little bit.

I knew I’d need a large needle, not only because Kinky is bulky but also because it’s lightly spun and lofty. If you knit a lofty yarn of any weight with a relatively small needle, you’ll squeeze the life right out of it.

I worked from plain garter stitch into moss stitch and then double moss stitch, increasing my needle size a few times to see which would give me a fabric that made me happy.

What’s more exciting than swatch photos?

Ultimately I settled on US 10 (6 mm) addi Clicks. For hands used to working with nothing much above a US 4 (3.5 mm), that took some getting used to.

Curiosity drove me onward. I really wanted to see what would happen with this stuff. I didn’t want to work only in garter stitch–too familiar. Moss stitch wasn’t much of an improvement. Double moss looked a bit better.

It made sense. This yarn was
• bulky,
• kinky, and
• variegated.

The combination calls for a bold, simple repeating stitch pattern if you’re going to use one. Anything delicate or finely detailed will just be lost.

On a hunch, I pulled out a Victorian pattern from my collection, suggested in the nineteenth century publication Weldon’s Practical Knitter as the center for a knitted coverlet.

It’s bold, simple to knit, and makes a non-curling fabric that’s the same on both sides. Here it is, translated into modern knitting terminology.

Wedge Pattern (1880s)

Multiple of 8 sts plus 3

Row 1. Slip 1, knit 4. [Purl 1, knit 7] to last 6 sts. Purl 1, knit 5.
Row 2. Slip 1, purl 4. [Knit 1, purl 7] to last 6 sts. Knit 1, purl 5.
Row 3. Slip 1, knit 3. [Purl 3, knit 5] to last 7 sts. Purl 3, knit 4.
Row 4. Slip 1, purl 3. [Knit 3, purl 5] to last 7 sts. Knit 3, purl 4.
Row 5. Slip 1, knit 2. [Purl 5, knit 3] across.
Row 6. Slip 1, purl 2. [Knit 5, purl 3] across.
Row 7. Slip 1, knit 1. [Purl 7, knit 1] to last st. Knit 1.
Row 8. Slip 1, purl 1. [Knit 7, purl 1] to last st. Purl 1.
Row 9. Slip 1, purl 1. [Knit 7, purl 1] to last st. Knit 1.
Row 10. Slip 1, knit 1. [Purl 7, knit 1] to last st. Purl 1.
Row 11. Slip 1, purl 2. [Knit 5, purl 3] across.
Row 12. Slip 1, knit 2. [Purl 5, knit 3] across.
Row 13. Slip 1, purl 3. [Knit 3, purl 5] to last 7 sts. Knit 3, purl 4.
Row 14. Slip 1, knit 3. [Purl 3, knit 5] to last 7 sts. Purl 3, knit 4.
Row 15. Slip 1, purl 4. [Knit 1, purl 7] to last 6 sts. Knit 1, purl 5.
Row 16. Slip 1, knit 4. [Purl 1, knit 7] to last 6 sts. Purl 1, knit 5.

How do you know which was to slip? Here’s a general tip to carry with you. Always as if to purl, unless otherwise stated; and also–if the last stitch of the previous row was a knit, slip with the working yarn in front, but if the last stitch of the previous row was a purl, slip with the working yarn in back.

The Wedge Pattern played nicely with the yarn. You can’t see the precise shapes of the wedges, but the regular changes from knit to purl gives the fabric a very interesting and pleasant faceted effect.

Happy and kinky.

I knit on 27 stitches until the yarn was almost used up, ending with Row 16. After binding off, I had a long rectangle about four feet by 18 inches.

That would be a frustratingly short scarf. But all I had to do was give a half twist in the middle and whip stitch the ends to gather to make it into a very luxurious, cozy moebius cowl.

Finished moebius cowl.

However, as I was unable to find a willing model I must present it to you on an unwilling model: me.

Zowie!
Mysterious!
Cozy!

Okay, okay–I kid. Here it is on one of my most loyal models. As we were in a hurry she didn’t have time to put her face on.

The other cake (well–now it’s a strip) of Kinky remains to be used up after a bit of further decoration, and that’s what I’ll show you when we meet again in two weeks.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Kinky Yarn (100% superwash wool)
addi Click Turbo Interchangeable Needle Set
Textil Marabu fabric paint
Fashion Spray Marabu textile spray paint

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His newest book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Bookwas brought out by Soho Publishing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Squam Arts Workshops, the Taos Wool Festival, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection/Makers’ Mercantile. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet (presently on hiatus).

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, four looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), his Web site (franklinhabit.com) or his Facebook page.

May 2019 KAL Line Drawing Socks with The Chilly Dog

May 2019 Knit Along with The Chilly Dog

May 2019 Knit Along with The Chilly Dog

The Chilly Dog's "Line Drawings"  Sock Knit-Along ...
Featuring Makers’ Mercantile exclusive Zitron's Art Deco 

Ellen Thomas (a.k.a. the Chilly Dog) is hosting May’s Makers’ Mercantile KAL 

May 2019 Knit Along with The Chilly Dog

Join Ellen Thomas of The Chilly Dog for the May Makers’ Mercantile Knit-Along! Featuring Zitron Art Deco, the pattern is written in needle neutral terms so you can use your favorite small circumference knitting method. Ellen will be using addi FlexiFlips in the companion videos.

Want the pattern for free? Purchase Zitron Art Deco at Makers’ Mercantile now through 5/31, and receive a download code for the pattern for free!

Or purchase the pattern and use the yarn of your choice!

​The Line Drawing Knit-Along started Thursday, May 9, 2019.  Get your supplies now!

Project

May 2019 KAL Line Drawing Socks with The Chilly Dog

Line Drawing Socks - featuring Zitron Art Deco yarn

Line Drawing Socks is a top down sock with an afterthought heel
and 4 Point, or 4 Corner, shaping at the toe and heel. (Psst... that means no Kitchener stitch.)

We'll be making our socks with Zitron Art Deco yarn. It's self-patterning, so the colorwork magically emerges as you knit.

Ellen will be demonstrating the skills on her bamboo addi FlexiFlip needles, but the pattern is written in needle neutral terms, so if you are already a sock knitter you can use your favorite addi double pointed needles (dpns) or circular needles.

Schedule

Segment

Date

Intro

May 2, 2019

The Leg

May 9, 2019

The Foot

May 16, 2019

The Toe

May 23, 2019

The Heel

May 30, 2019

The pattern will be available at Maker's Mercantile and remember to connect with other knitters on Maker's Mercantile Ravelry Group Page. The forums let knitters of all skill levels participate ... it's like having a knitting tutor 24/7!

Videos

Ellen Thomas has created videos to go with each week.  Watch and enjoy your Knit Along!

Materials

Materials

1 x Zitron Art Deco, Shown in #01

Finished Sizes

Adult XS (S, M, L, XL)

• sock foot circumference 7 (7 ., 8, 8 ., 9) inches

• sock foot length 8 . (9, 9 ., 10, 10 .) inches

• sock leg height from floor to top of cuff 
         10 . (10 ., 10 ., 10., 10 .) inches

Needles

2.75 mm, or size needed to obtain gauge, 
addi FlexiFlipsdpns or circular needles

Gauge

32 sts x 40 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

Notions

Yarn

Zitron's Art Deco - You'll love working with this self-patterning sock yarn!  Make a simple sock to let the yarn shine or spice it up with something more advanced!  Made by Zitron, this yarn is not only Superwash, but also super-soft.  Grab a ball today to transform your next project into something brilliant. 

Fiber Content

80% Virgin Wool, 20% Nylon

Yardage / Weight

100 grams. 
400 meters / 437 yards

Gauge

34 stitches & 50 rows = 4" on US 2 - 3 (2.5-3.0 mm)

Care Instructions

Machine Wash or Dry Clean, Dry Flat, Iron Low Heat, No Bleach

Kinky Projects

Kinky Projects

https://www.makersmercantile.com/shop/Yarn/Kinky-Yarn/p/Kinky-Yarn-Dyeing-Technique-Easter-Egg-Dye-Tablets-x40083340.htm

Easter Egg

Kinky Yarn

Easter Egg Dye isn't only for eggs! Use those brightly colored dye tables to dye your Kinky Yarn coil. It's almost as much fun as finding a chocolate bunny.  Almost. And sure to create a fun and unique colorway.

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye

MATERIALS
Kinky Yarn 100% Superwash Wool
200 grams / 133 meters / 147 yards

TOOLS
Deep bowl
Easter Egg Dye
Pill Cutter
32oz White vinegar
Towels
Old Towel
Gloves (optional)

Technique

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Open Easter Egg dye packets on dry surface. We used 3 packets of PAAS deluxe, which contained 9 different tablets.

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Uncoil the Kinky Yarn and divide it into sections equal to the number of dye tablets. We attempted to arrange the dye tablets in rainbow order using the colors of the tablets. Turns out the colors are not all accurate in tablet form. If you’d like the rainbow to be in correct order, test each color by touching a tablet to a moist white paper towel. You’ll then see the color of the dye, instead of just the color of the tablet.

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Use a pill cutter to divide tablets in half. Alternatively, use a sharp knife and cutting board. Be careful not to cut yourself and watch for flying dye pill bits!

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Lay out the pill pieces onto the coil of yarn, and put them into the coil by slipping them through a stitch. At this point, these pill bits can shuffle around, so handle your Kinky Yarn carefully.

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique
Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Fill a large container with cold water, and add 1/4th of the vinegar. Stir to combine.

Carefully submerge Kinky Yarn into bath. We laid it in starting with one end and slowly laying the coil in until it was all in the water/vinegar mixture.
IMPORTANT: Do not move yarn now. Allow the tablets to dissolve.

Kinky Yarn Easter Egg Dye Technique

Allow the dye to dissolve. The water will become dark with dye (ours turned blue/green). Once you think the tablets have all dissolved, sit container in a bath or kitchen sink, and turn on the cold water. Allow the water to overflow until water runs clear. You may want to pour out all the current water and allow the container to fill up again.

Once the water runs clear, squeeze all water out of the Kinky Yarn. Roll in an absorbent towel (We used an old one in case any dye transferred), then hang to dry.

https://www.makersmercantile.com/shop/Yarn/Kinky-Yarn/p/Kinky-Yarn-Dyeing-Technique-Easter-Egg-Dye-Tablets-x40083340.htm

Admire your beautiful and one of a kind Kinky Yarn!

Fridays with Franklin: I Get Kinky

Fridays with Franklin Logo

For an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

I get the darnedest stuff in the mail from Makers’ Mercantile. The latest box was preceded by a note that said, “I’m send you something kinky.”

I’m not a prude, but that did give me pause.

What arrived in the mail was yarn. Oddly packaged yarn. I’ve had yarn in skeins and balls; but this arrived as two neat little cakes.

Two new cakes of Kinky Yarn.
The only yarn I’ve ever seen that includes the word “badass” on the tag.

Cute, right? Turns out this is a new yarn, and it’s called Kinky. And you buy it in a cake. It looks like this.

The cake is plain, and that’s the point. The note enclosed said that decorating a cake of Kinky is step one before using it. Decorate it with what? Just about anything, apparently. Dye, paint, markers–whatever will leave permanent mark on the fiber–it’s 100% superwash wool.

Which explained why these were also in the box.

Marabu Textil and Marabu Fashion Spray
Interesting…

I’m not a dyer, and I admit that on the list of things you can do with yarn, dyeing it is way down my list. We all have our limits; that’s one of mine.

I’ve dabbled in dyeing, and the process reminds me of the fishing trips I was forced to endure as a child. You drop in the string, and you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Then you pull the string out and see what you got.

Just not my cup of tea.

But this was different. The Kinky Yarn cake is made up of a knitted tube, rolled and tied. The instructions suggested that I could unroll and decorate it, or not.

I decided to leave the cake intact. That way it would feel less like dyeing, and more like putting the finishing touches on a fancy dessert.

For cake one, I pulled out a paint brush and a couple bottles of Textil Marabu textile paint. This stuff looks like poster paint and acts like it, too–it’s got the same consistency. But instead of using it to announce a bake sale or the drama club’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross, you use it to paint fiber or fabric.

This was, wonder of wonders, fun. It didn’t take long for me to have this little cutie sitting on my work table.

Kinky Yarn cake painted with Textil Marabu paints.
Note the foil-covered surface. Also, I was wearing one of daddy’s old shirts as a paint smock.

This would be neat way of getting the kiddies involved in your fiber work, if you can trust the kiddies with paint or markers. Put on the smocks, cover the table, and let them go to town. Keeping an eye on them, of course. Then knit, weave or crochet with what they’ve created.

Sort of be a fun gift to a knitter or crocheter, too. Paint it up for them with Bon Voyage, Happy Birthday, or a portrait of the cat. Or put out one for each guest at yarn lover’s party, with markers and paints for decorating in the center of the table.

For the other Kinky cake, I used Fashion Spray Marabu, which comes in a little spritz bottle. Unlike Textil Marabu, which is pretty thick, Fashion Spray Marabu is what the name suggests–a spray.

Word to the wise: when you press the nozzle the first time to test it, aim it a scrap of paper or cloth. Like this.

Test spray on paper towel.
Pfffffffffffffffft…

Do not, I repeat do not, accidentally aim the nozzle at your face. I learned that the hard way. There is no photograph, because I was busy going ack ack gah cough ack while wondering if I were now Permanently Smurfed.

The spray was super fun. Spritz here, spritz there. I used two colors, and had a good time applying them over each other and watching how they blended where they touched.

Kinky Yarn cake sprayed with Fashion Spray Marabu.
Good enough to eat.

I let both cakes dry thoroughly, which is also recommend for Kinky. Only after it’s dry do you undo the cake, unravel the tube, and wind the dyed yarn into a ball. The yarn will be kinked–therefore the name. The kinks can be left in, to add interest to your fabric. Or, if you don’t like the kinks, block the finished piece and they disappear.

After drying, I was pleased with the appearance of both cakes, but checked the spray version and noted that of course the spray liquid hadn’t penetrated far beyond the surface.

The untouched interior of the yarn cake.

That’s part of the fun of the knitted cake structure; it means some parts of the fiber are likely to remain untouched and produce unexpected effects–sort of like the game you play whentie-dyeing t-shirts. But I didn’t want this much of my cake to stay white. So I did one more thing.

I took what was left of my blue fashion spray and diluted it with enough water to allow me to dip half the cake into it. There I let it stand for a few hours.

Then I took out the cake, and prepared a similar bath with the remains of the purple spray. I dipped the other half and let it stand for a few hours.

Kinky Yarn cake half submerged in dye bath.
Exciting action shot.

Next time, I’ll show you what sort of yarn I got from each cake, and knit some up to check out the results.

See you in two weeks…

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Kinky Yarn (100% superwash wool)
Textil Marabu fabric paint
Fashion Spray Marabu textile spray paint

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His newest book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Squam Arts Workshops, the Taos Wool Festival, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection/Makers’ Mercantile. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet (presently on hiatus).

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, four looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), his Web site (franklinhabit.com) or his Facebook page.

Cable Channel – Knit Along

Michelle Hunter's "Cable Channel"  Pillow Knit-Along ...
Featuring HiKoo's Kenzie Yarn

Michelle's (a.k.a. Knit-Purl-Hunter) newest KAL is a stylish pillow featuring an original cable pattern!

Michelle's knit alongs (KALs) are mystery knit alongs. So there are no preliminary photos ... all we know is that the finished pillow is one size about 14" square and will feature an original cable pattern.   If history has teaches us anything this design will be amazing!

Pillows provide the perfect platform to explore new techniques and hone the finishing skills.  All of the techniques Michelle uses will be supported by her video tutorials and she answers questions daily on her website and Knit Purl Hunter Ravelry group. Michelle's instructions, tutorials and videos have made her KALs extremely popular ... think of her KAL as an online class, worth far more than the price of admission — which is, of course, Free!!

The KAL is FREE and Skacel is sponsoring a drawing for one grand prize and two second place prizes. Here is more information on prizes, a contest overview and how to enter!

The Cable Channel Pillow Knit-Along started Thursday, April 4th, 2019.  Get your supplies now!

Project

"Cable Channel" Pillow - featuring HiKoo's Kenzie yarn

"Cable Channel" Pillow
by Michelle Hunter
Free pattern posted progressively during the Knit-Along

Cable Channel is knit in one piece with simple seaming and features a button closure to allow for easy washing and assembly. The front and back are knit in different stitch patterns to keep the project interesting and texturally charming. The pattern has both written and charted instructions, along with video support ... you are guaranteed success!

Schedule

Segment

Date

First

April 4, 2019

Second

April 11, 2019

Third

April 18, 2019

Fourth

April 25, 2019

The pattern will be released in four weekly installments. Each Thursday the next part of the pattern is revealed. Thus the mystery! This KAL started at 9 am on Thursday, April 4th and continues on the 11th, 18th and 25th.

The pattern and videos will be available at KnitPurlHunter.com/KAL and remember to connect with other knitters on Knit Purl Hunter's Ravelry group.  The video lessons along with the forums let knitters of all skill levels participate ... it's like having a knitting tutor 24/7!

Materials

Materials

4 x HiKoo's Kenzie.  Shown in #1024 Hokitika

Finished Sizes

One Size: 14” square

Needles

US 6 [4.00mm] 24" circular needles or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge

23 sts and 30 rows = 4" in stockinette, blocked

Buttons

4 x 7/8" (23MM) buttons - Shown in Skacel coconut button #BU1732C23

Notions

1 x 14” pillow form and 1 x Cable Needle

Skill Level

Beginner

Yarn

HiKoo's "Kenzie" yarn is a fun New Zealand creation. This soft and slightly fuzzy yarn features a wonderfully unique blend of fibers and has good stitch definition. It's available in over 25 splendid colorways ... there is a shade to match every décor or provide that perfect “pop” of color. 

Fiber Content

50% New Zealand Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils

Yardage / Weight

160 yards per 50 gram ball

Gauge

Approximately 20 sts = 4 inches on US 6 (4.00 mm) needles

Care Instructions

Hand Wash, Dry Flat

Buttons

We all have the tendency to want the button in the pictures ... but wait!

 With over 25 colors of Kenzie and a wide selection of Skacel buttons available it's easy to find just the right combination of yarn and buttons.  View our "Button Suggestions" for buttons to match to every color of the fabulous Kenzie yarn!