The NJ Wool Walk starts today. We’ve been scurrying around the shop preparing. We’ve been bringing in new products and putting together kits like crazy. And I think we’re ready! The NJ Wool Walk is fun. As I’ve mentioned in years past, we look forward to seeing those customers who stop by once a year for the Wool Walk. We ogle their beautiful sweaters and shawls and remember those of years past. We meet so many new knitters, and we meet knitters of all different skill levels.
Over the last year or so, my appreciation for new knitters have grown tremendously. I’ve had an opportunity to teach more beginners (teaching our Beginners Learn To Knit class on Tuesday afternoons) and I’ve been doing more privates with newbies. Working with new knitters feels a little like working with a child that is learning to read: as they learn their world of knitting opens up wide in front of their eyes. There are some that take their time mastering the their knits and purls, but those knitters have patience and persistence that is awe-inspiring. There are knitters that take to it quickly, with boundless confidence and creativity.
I guess I’m taking a moment to praise the newbies because for the NJ Wool Walk we always puts together tons of knitting kits, and it just so happens that all of these are fantastic for newbie knitters. We also have a number of other projects that aren’t “kitted up” but are great for new knitters. For this year’s NJ Wool Walk, I hope we see lots of familiar faces, but also tons of new ones. My other hope is that all those newbies walk in with their eyes wide, knowing that there are tons of projects that they can make themselves, and seeing endless possibilities for their knitting abilities.
Here’s a taste of what we have ready for you for Wool Walk:
The Crazy Chevron Scarf is just what it sounds like. Using two skeins of Stonehedge Fiber Mills Crazy yarn, this chevron pattern is knit up with a simple combination of increases and decreases. Using the Crazy yarn means that you’re never quite sure what’s coming next with color, and that’s part of the fun. It’s unexpected while you give your brain a little work keeping track of that simple chevron pattern.
The Squishy Soft Cowl comes to you this year made using Katia’s Silk Tweed. This luscious yarn is a blend of mainly silk and mohair. It is luxurious and rustic at the same time. The Squishy Soft Cowl is sequence knitting at its easiest – all you have to do is keep track of a simple repeat of knits and purls. This is an excellent for the newest knitters because you get to practice reading your knitting in a really simple way. The Squishy Soft Cowl knits up in a snap and makes a great gift.
The Unicorn Striped Cowl is a fun way for knitters to play with colors in small project. One skein of Tosh Merino Light is mixed with a few colors of Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails to be used in the stripes. This simple and soft cowl lets you practice changing colors and work in pattern. You’ll have yarn left over, so you’re welcome to make your cowl longer!
Another fun color project are the Newfoundland Mitts. This classic mitten design has you working with two yarns to create a honeycomb pattern to your fabric. The simple fact that you’re working with two yarns at once makes for an especially warm mitten. We like to make this mitten with a variegated yarn in the honeycomb pattern, giving some fun color and depth to the fabric. This project is great for your first foray into stranded color-work!
Chunky hats are an incredibly popular project at Wool & Grace, and this year we’ve had our knitters banging out Chunky Cable Hats. This kit uses one skein of super bulky yarn (a la Cascade’s Spuntaneous or Mirasol’s Ushya) and uses a single cable chart throughout the hat. I love this project for anyone who is ready to jump into cables. It lets you practice that cable several times while completing your project quickly. Make your own pompom or top it with one of our ever popular fur pompoms.
The Akari Wrap is a simple bias wrap that makes the most of a lovely variegated yarn from Noro. This yarn is lovely to wear as a wrap or light layer in the warm months, but is big enough to wrap you up when it’s really freakin’ cold too! The bias fabric is achieved simply by working an increase and decease on each end of every other row, and it uses two skeins of the beautiful Akari yarn.
The Riviera Tee is a project that isn’t kitted up for Wool Walk, but it’s one of my favorite spring/summer projects at Wool & Grace. We made our sample using Gedifra’s Riviera, but it’s easy to translate this simple pattern to other interesting summery yarns like Lana Grossa’s Stromboli or Capri, or Shibui’s Vine, Rain or Reed. The Riviera Tee is made of two simple rectangles and is easy to modify in length and width.
We have a bunch of other kits here from some of our favorite vendors. Be sure to check out what we have for the little ones from Appalachian Baby Designs. The Skyline Slouch, Nevis Cowl and Quintessential Slouch are ever-popular kits from Blue Sky Fibers. Plus, we have a special pre-release kit from Brooklyn Tweed that is so new that I can only give you a hint. If you want to see it, you’ll have to stop by and see it for yourself!
This is just a taste of the Wool Walk fun. We have tons more kits than those mentioned. A Brooklyn Tweed and Shibui Trunk show are here and sure to inspire. A new shipment of Atenti project bags has just arrived and includes another herd of Mamallama bags. Plus, a big shipment of Pawley Yarn Bowls is here. And of course, there’s more… Walk on over your way for this year’s NJ Wool Walk!