Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winner + Winter Knits with Baah Yarn

The holiday countdown is reaching critical mass, but we've got plenty of new project ideas for you this month for  last-minute gifting emergencies and 'selfish' knitting in the new year! First, we'd like to congratulate Elsha, aka sixcraftsunder on Ravelry, our winner for the KaPOM hat giveaway from last month's Holla Knits Blog Tour post. We've contacted Elsha to arrange for the delivery of her prize, 3 skeins of Shasta Worsted and a PDF copy of the KaPOM hat pattern!

Winter Knits with Baah Yarn

Corrina Ferguson's Debouillet, the seventh (and final!) shawl of the Seven Sheep eBook, uses just one skein of Baah! La Jolla yarn.
Form + Function Socks by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter are quick-knitting colorwork socks using just 2 skeins of our superwash La Jolla yarn. 

Two Hands Make a Star by Mari Chiba Luke is the final installment in the Two Hands series. It's a quick project to knit in Sonoma DK! 
The Berlin Cowl by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter is a one-skein project you can whip up in one weekend! The statement cable is easy to work amidst a garter stitch background; choose your favorite color of Shasta Worsted to start knitting!
Last but not least, we've got a free cowl pattern to knit with 2 skeins of Shasta held together to work at a larger gauge. The Winter Alps Cowl is a quick-knitting chunky cowl that will keep you warm all winter long! Click here to download a free PDF on Ravelry.

More Exciting News!

We're pleased to be a part of December's KnitCrate subscription box for sock yarn lovers! 

Keep your eyes on our FacebookRavelryTwitter and Pinterest accounts for the project and yarn reveal. While everything is still top-secret, we can tell you that there will be a KAL starting on December 27 for anyone wishing to indulge in a little post-holiday 'selfish' knitting! 

Even if you aren't a KnitCrate subscriber, you will still be able to participate as the pattern will be available on Ravelry beginning December 15 (again, we'll keep you posted on FacebookRavelryTwitter and Pinterest).

There will also be a giveaway, so stay tuned! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

KaPOM! Hat + Giveaway

We're thrilled to be today's stop on the Holla Knits Accessories blog tour - thanks for joining us! Our new Shasta Worsted was used to make the KaPOM hat by Mari Chiba, and we'd like to give you a closer look at this holla-worthy design PLUS a chance to win three skeins of our Shasta Worsted to knit a KaPOM hat for yourself!

While swatching with our yarns and using various stitch pattern and color combinations, Mari was inspired to create a bonnet-style hat which would be an updated version of the earflap hat. It's simple to knit, beginning first with a brim which is knit flat, then joining to be knit in the round for the colorwork crown.
This adorable bonnet is a fresh update to the earflap hat, and it's also a great way to give colorwork knitting a try. On windy days, you'll be thankful for the braided i-cord ties which will keep your ears warm - and we can't think of a better way to stay stylishly toasty than a colorful hat topped with a cheerful pom pom!
It's also a great last-minute project to make for someone special on your gift-knitting list. Our easy-care superwash merino yarn is a great choice for gift projects since you won't have to worry about the gift recipient accidentally felting your wearable work of art!
Click here to visit the Holla Knits blog for more inspiration & giveaways this month.

For your chance to win three skeins of our Shasta Worsted, leave a comment on this post telling us which three colors you'd use to make your own KaPOM hat! Be sure to also mention your email address or Ravelry ID so that we can contact you if you are the winner of our giveaway. We'll randomly select one lucky person to announce on our next blog post on December 12. Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hot Knits for Fall!

We're seeing some excellent progress in our Ravelry group for the Scalloped Rib Socks knit-a-long. It's not too late to join in the fun (and did we mentioned there is a yarny prize?) - we'll be knitting together through October 31!

L-R: Pickyxy's socks in Gold Rush, Avalanche's Raspberry Toffee Socks, and Kittycait's Cape Cod Socks.

What makes this knit-a-long so fun (besides seeing all the different Baah colorways being knit up) is that there are also free tutorial videos to help answer everyone's questions along the way. The first tutorial video demonstrates the designer's preferred elastic cast-on method, the long-tail cast-on:

The next video demonstrates how the stitches should be arranged before beginning the gusset shaping (and it also features a cat videobomb mid-way through):

There are more tutorial videos to come which will be based on suggestions from KAL participants, so come join our Ravelry group and get started on a pair of socks for fall!

Mira was recently a featured guest on the Live Sweater Show as part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge KAL that's happening this month! You can view an archived version of the show here or watch the embedded video below to learn all about handpainted yarns from Mira herself. She also shares a handy trick for swatching, plus you can also find out how to enter to win a sweater's worth of Baah Yarn!

Finally, if you're planning ahead for winter, kits are still available for the Fickleknitter December KAL - but they won't last long! Each kit includes 3 skeins of Baah La Jolla yarn, the Spring in Central Park Shawl Pattern, and two Swarovski crystal and sterling silver stitch markers from Knitifacts. Click here to read more on the Fickleknitter blog; the KAL will run from December 1-22, 2013!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Importance of Swatching in Making Your Sweater Fit

There is nothing quite so disappointing for a knitter as hours of dedicated work that results in a poorly fitting sweater. On top of rarely getting worn, that sad, non-fitting sweater could be the reason you’re afraid to try knitting another sweater. But there is hope! There is a way to make sure every sweater you knit from this day forward comes out exactly the size you anticipate; the secret lies in a seemingly trivial square of knitting: the gauge swatch. 

In today's post, we have guest blogger Johnny Vasquez from Yarn Nation to share his best swatching tips in preparation for next month's 30-Day Sweater Challenge KAL (more info at the end of this post). Enjoy! 

I’ll be honest, when I started knitting and knit my first sweater I didn’t even know you were supposed to check gauge. I just assumed that it was a nice little piece of extra information they had thought to include in the pattern I was using. I figured that when they said gauge = 5 stitches per inch that they meant that if I used the yarn they used and the needles called for I would end up with 5 stitches per inch. Good to know. I could see no reason that that little number would have any effect on my knitting. 
This is why gauge matters!
After I completed my first couple sweaters and none of them fit properly, I did some investigating online. I learned pretty quickly that gauge was not just another number on your pattern and that you were actually meant to check your gauge. Well, that certainly explained a lot!

Let me be the one to tell you if no one else has (or if you’ve been ignoring them) - you need to check your gauge if you want a sweater that fits!!

Measuring gauge; photo courtesy of salihan
via creative commons license.
Gauge - how many stitches and rows you are getting per inch of your knitting - is the single most important factor when it comes to making your sweater turn out like the pattern you’re working from. Knitting patterns are basically a series of math problems that the designer has been kind enough to work out for you. The number which all of these equations are based on just happens to be your gauge: therefore, if you aren’t getting exactly the same gauge as the pattern calls for, your sweater will not end up the dimensions listed in your pattern.  

Let's look at an example. If my gauge is supposed to be 5 stitches per inch, then I would have a total of 20 stitches over 4 inches. Let's say that for some reason I didn’t check my gauge to make sure it is perfect and I’m actually getting 5.5 stitches per inch. That means that over four inches I would have 22 stitches. No big deal, its just two extra stitches, right? But wait! If you multiply that over enough inches to fit around a body you would end up with less than 3 extra inches, all because you are off by a half a stitch! 

So now that you know the problem, here’s how to fix it!

Make a gauge swatch by casting on 20-30 stitches (enough to get a swatch that is 5” across). Knit in your desired stitch pattern until your swatch measures 5” from the cast on edge. Bind off all stitches. Now wash and block your swatch like you plan to wash your finished sweater; this will help to even out the stitches and show how your fabric reacts to washing - it may be surprising. After you wash your swatch, lay it on a flat surface to dry. Once it is completely dry, use a ruler and measure how many stitches and rows you are getting per inch. I like to measure in a couple different places on my swatch and average the numbers so I get the most accurate measurement.

If you have checked your gauge and it isn’t exactly what is called for in the pattern, adjust your needle size and make another swatch. Do this until you have reached your desired gauge. If you are not getting enough stitches per inch, that means your stitches are too large, so you should try going down a needle size. If you are getting too many stitches per inch, that means your stitches are too small, so you should try going up a needle size. 

If you’d like to learn more about getting gauge and everything else that goes into preparing to knit a sweater, download our free Sweater Planning Guide. In this guide we talk about choosing a suitable yarn, how much yarn to buy and how to plan a sweater that you’ll love!

This guest post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, all in 30 days. To sign up just visit and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot! See you in October! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome to Baah!

Mira and Jeff in the Baah Yarn booth, TNNA Summer 2013
We're excited to welcome you to the brand-new Baah Yarn blog! For our inaugural post, we'd like to share a brief history of Baah Yarn with you.

Located in sunny Oceanside, California, Baah Yarn began as a hobby fueled by a passion for color and a love for knitting. Mira used her background in graphic design and fine arts to create her first yarns which were sold at her local yarn store. After receiving a lot of encouragement from the staff, customers, and her husband Jeff, Mira turned her hobby into a business in 2011.

Baah started with just one local shop in San Diego carrying our La Jolla sock yarn. In the months to come, more stores began to place orders: first, a few other local shops, followed by yarns stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning to carry Baah Yarn, too. Pretty soon, a yarn rep was hired, we joined TNNA, and shops in Washington state joined the growing list of retailers.

At our first TNNA Trade Show, the Baah booth was hidden away in a corner, but folks still flocked to admire the yarns on display. We received rave reviews for the color range, which Mira created by using the same layering techniques employed in watercolor and oil painting on yarn. Having taught both of these techniques while living in Jakarta for a number of years, Mira's skill with color mixing, color theory, and creating shadows and highlights created a palette of complex colors which convey movement and mood.

Many of the colorways are inspired by nature, and our line of superwash Merino yarns has expanded to three weights, all of which are named for places in California known for their great beauty: La Jolla (fingering), Sonoma (DK), and our new Shasta (worsted) for fall. We've attended 4 TNNA trade shows in two years, all the while continuing to grow and expand. Our last trade show earlier this summer was a huge success, and we're looking forward to the January TNNA show, where we'll have a double booth for the first time ever!

We're so pleased to share our passion for color with our fellow knitters and crocheters, who are the reason we do what we do. Thank you for joining us!