Yarn Shop Love!

At Kelbourne Woolens we are always trying to find new ways to support our stockists. Our local yarn shop owners are the lifeline of the knitting community. They are the community builders; churning out new knitters, fostering new designers, and helping people with problems from picking up dropped stitches to relationship advice! The online knitting community is vibrant, and vital, but we wouldn't have anything without our local yarn stores.

This fall, we decided to come up with a special promotion to let shops know we appreciate all they do. For the next three months, we will be offering a FREE pattern download that will be exclusively available through participating stockists. Shops can offer the pattern free with purchase, use it to host a class or knit along, or use it as a sales tool for a special promotion in the shop. 

This month's Yarn Shop Love pattern is Demeter. Demeter is a top-down raglan pullover using our flagship yarn, Terra.

Demeter is a top-down raglan with an interesting increase structure. Courtney designed it based on a theory that if you divided the four sections (front, right sleeve, back, left sleeve) into four equal segments, and then increased on the front and back every round, and the sleeves every other round, that the proportions would increase out at the proper rate and size. She knit it for herself first, and it worked! To size it, the theory of proportional relativity was proven false so the largest and smallest sizes are worked as modified compound raglans to get the same look while not being too large at the neck or too small in the upper arm. 

Each participating stockist will receive a ticket with the pattern information and secret download code, but one very lucky stockist will receive a golden ticket. What do you get with the golden ticket, you ask? 

You win the sweater sample for your shop!

If you are a shop owner, get in touch with us or your sales rep to find out how to participate!

Knitter Projects: Traveller Tunic

Liz from Stash Local in Corvallis, OR knit this incredible Traveller Tunic out of Knightsbridge in the color Concordia!  

Such a great fall layering piece that works for the office and for dinner out with friends.  This is definitely a wardrobe staple.


Lovely work Liz!  Thanks for sharing!

Do you have a project made with The Fibre Co. yarns, or a Kelbourne Woolens design? We'd love to see it! Share with us via the hashtags #madewiththefibreco or #madewithkelbournewoolens.  

All photos © LizArrow, used with permission.

Woolful Podcast!

We are excited to share the Woolful's latest interview with our very own Daphne Marinopoulos! Daphne is the creator of The Fibre Co and she shares her origin story with Ashley. It's a fascinating listen and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

It's been a really great experience working with and learning from Daphne. She is a well-spring of wisdom and inspiration and it's really great to share in her vision for The Fibre Co. From her start in Maine, owning her own mill where she spun and hand-dyed each order, to today as the The Fibre Co. grows to become an international brand, Daphne has witnessed and participated in so many aspects of our industry. We at Kelbourne Woolens are honored to be a part of her journey. Head on over to the Woolful Podcast to hear more about Daphne's fiber journey.  

Have a listen and share your thoughts in the comments below!

Cumbria Collection Feature: Keswick by Kate Gagnon Osborn

I will freely admit: when I designed Keswick, it was a totally selfish endeavor. Scafell Pike, the undyed color of The Fibre Co. Cumbria, , is a perfect heathered grey, one I love and wear often. I waffle back and forth in the winter between wearing pullovers and layering on cardigans, but was in full-on cardigan mode after finishing the Amanda knitalong, and wanted another. The initial designing of Keswick happened right on the heels of finishing Amanda, so I knew I wanted to take the classic elements of the Aran-inspired garments I loved and turn them into a design that would translate well to the rustic-yet-modern nature of Cumbria.  

Keswick is designed with a slightly oversized fit in the body, and slimmer fit sleeves. There are no buttonholes on the front bands (although you could easily make them if you desired), and while there are full fronts, it is meant to be worn loose and open. It is knit in pieces and seamed (hands down, my favorite way to make a sweater), and the band is picked up and worked once all seaming is complete. When designing the sweater, I knew I needed one for myself, and immediately commissioned a sample for promotion and trunk shows and kept the original.

Keswick is the perfect layering piece - I have worn it over dresses, collared shirts, and a simple t-shirt, and under jean jackets and a down vest. It has been a little bit since we have done a Style It post, so I thought this design would be a perfect venue to showcase the myriad of ways I am inspired to wear Keswick. Typically, with our Style It posts, I try to broaden my reach a little bit, and offer some options outside of what I would wear myself, but these three looks are very much my every-day style. 

STYLE ONE: daily wardrobe
Save for the shoes (only because I don't have those loafers Yet.), I am wearing this exact outfit today. In the fall and spring, I live in black jeans and a denim jacket I have painstakingly broken in over the last 10 years, and find they pair well with pretty much everything I own. This is most likely because most everything I own is a shade of grey, black, or navy, but still. They're classic and I love them so much. 

KW Style It: Keswick Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn

STYLE TWO: office casual
I've mentioned this previously, but our office dress code is beyond casual. While technically there is an traditional office area, there is also a warehouse filled with boxes and bags of yarn, and we rarely see anyone else besides our UPS driver and mail carrier. I managed to avoid a traditional office environment for any job I'be held (and plan on keeping it that way), so I don't really have any "office" clothes. An outfit like this is something you would definitely see me in at the office, and wearing a dress/tunic would actually make me feel as if I was "dressed up"!


Like anyone with a lick of sense, I love fall. Love. Love, love. It is beautiful, it smells wonderful, it is warm enough to be outside all day, but cool enough to wear cosy layering pieces. The vast temperature changes means you can go for a walk in the sun wearing a t-shirt during the afternoon, and then cosy up to a campfire at night. Keswick is great for layering, and is warm enough without being stifling on days with varying temperatures. 

KW Style It: Keswick Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn

We're headed up to Maine this weekend, and I guarantee my Keswick, and many of the same pieces you see above will be joining me. What wardrobe panning are you excited about this week? - KGO

To view all of our Polyvore sets, visit our profile here.
You can also check out our Style sets on Pinterest here.
Do you have a Kelbourne Woolens pattern you would love to see in our Style It feature? Let us know in the comments below!

Terra: revamp of a classic

Terra has been in the Fibre Co. lineup for over a decade. A yarn with such longevity is uncommon in this ever-changing industry, especially one that was so ahead of its time in regards to fiber content, color, and texture. 

As time goes by, knitter and crocheter preferences evolve. One of the ways the industry has changed is from 50 gram skeins as the "norm", to more and more suppliers offering yarn in 100 gram skeins as a result of customer requests. 

We have always seen Terra as both a unique and versatile yarn - we have knit baby hats, adult sweaters, and lovely lace shawls, with beautiful end results. Over time, it has become clear that Terra, like Canopy Worsted, would benefit greatly from a 100 gram put-up. 

We have also been slowly unveiling new, updated graphics for The Fibre Co.: Daphne recently released a new logo, and there was a redesign on the Cumbria label. Moving forward, the individual yarn labels are also getting an update - with the new logo, larger size, and additional information, including color numbers and washing graphics. The new 100 gram Terra skeins, and a recent order of Acadia both have these new labels, and you'll see them on all of the yarns as our future orders roll in.

One small quirk with this order - that you won't see in the future - is that the tags are attached to the skein itself, not to a separate end of yarn or tie. It is important you do not cut the yarn in order to take the tag off - you'll cut the skein in half! Instead, either tear the tag right at the hole in order to slip it off, or un-do the loop of yarn on order to slide the tag out:

• Top: Grab the small loop of the yarn with your finger / Pull to loosen the loop / Gently fold the tag in half, and place it through the loop
• Bottom: Slide the tag through the loop / grab the double folded end, and slide the tag off / your tag is safely off the skein

We're excited for this new (and we think, improved) put-up of Terra, and can't wait to see what you make with it! 

And don't forget! - share your projects with us using the hashtags #fibrecompanyterra #madewiththefibreco and #madewithkelbourewoolens. 

Knitter Projects: Lucinda

You may remember in July and August I teamed up with Fancy Tiger Crafts owners Jaime and Amber and patternmaker Grainline Studio to host a Knitalong for Lucinda by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Cindy made this beautiful version of Lucinda as part of the knitalong using The Fibre Co. Acadia in Blue Heron. While fall is finally here in Philadelphia, we think it looks great with her shorts as a perfect summer sweater!

Gorgeous work, Cindy!

Do you have a project made with The Fibre Co. yarns, or a Kelbourne Woolens design? We'd love to see it! Share with us via the hashtags #madewiththefibreco or #madewithkelbournewoolens. 

(Image © Fussycutter, used with permission.)

Cumbria Collection Feature: Seascale by Courtney Kelley

To say I have a fondness for history is an understatement. My car is a 1987 Mercedes diesel wagon, my house is a gothic 1860s farmhouse, and my vintage knitting library is enviable (if you're envious of an entire room of your house being devoted to knitting books!). 

When our design team got together to create a mood board the new Cumbria Collection, we decided to do what Kate and I do best: Reinterpret traditional knitting patterns for today's audiences to showcase this modern, yet rustic, yarn. This meant turning to some historical sources for inspiration, and as Cumbria in the north of England is the yarn's namesake, we settled on the knitting traditions of the British Isles for our source material. Ah...another chance to bring out the historical knitting books!

Similar to the thesis of Vintage Modern Knits, our first book with Interweave Press back in 2011, we wanted to evoke the rich history of knitting, while designing garments which utilized a blend of traditional and modern knitting techniques for today's knitter. 

This lovely gentleman above, a Cromer fisherman photographed in 1905, is wearing a classic fisherman's gansey sweater. Personally, I am enamored with this style of sweater. It's construction is innovative in it's simplicity. The garment is pure utility in construction, and each element takes into account the need for flexibility, strength, and warmth.

I wanted to capture the utility of the garment, while making the fit such that today's wearer - a woman or man, as this sweater is completely unisex - would feel comfortable. Seascale incorporates all of the traditional gansey elements of construction, including the underarm gusset. This gusset is an integral part of what makes a gansey and gansey, and I have always thought it was a fantastic design element, born out of necessity for ease of movement and ease of repair on a part of the garment sure to see hard wear.

This underarm gusset has one additional detail that the original patterns lack, a bit of short row shaping at the top of the gusset where the sleeve meets the body. You can see it above; it's the garter stitch right triangle to either side of the top half of the diamond underarm. This allows for some additional ease of fit and movement, which I feel is an improvement on the original design. It also helps to make the sleeve lay nicely in the body.

Another traditional element of Seascale is the Channel Island cast-on. The Channel Island cast-on is traditionally used on the hem of Gansey fisherman sweaters of the British Isles, and you can see it at the hem and cuffs of the design.

The cast-on creates a subtle picot edge and is most often followed by a band of garter stitch. It is a nice alternative to a ribbed hem, and I think has a more feminine look to it.

Practically, the bands were knit separately and were then joined for working the body in the round, maximizing movement and breathability for the wearer. The cast-on is elastic, yet firm, and along with the picots, it is both decorative and hard wearing. 

Kate developed a Tips and Tricks for the Channel Island cast-on, since it is a bit complex. Give it a few tries to get the tension right, and I think you'll really enjoy the way it looks!

But, when working on Vintage Modern Knits back in 2010 I ran into a snag with my cast-ons and bind-offs. Gansey construction is such that the body is knit first, in rounds. Then the work is divided and the yoke is worked back and forth, first the back then the front. The shoulders are then joined using a three needle bind-off, and then the sleeve stitches are picked up and knit down on double pointed needles. Now, here was my dilemma. I wanted the hem to match the sleeve cuffs, but I would be binding off the sleeves, not casting them on. My Channel Island cast on wasn't going to help me here. I agonized over this for days. Then I got out some books and started playing around with picot bind-offs, and bobble bind-offs, and all the bind-offs. I developed my own: the unofficial Channel Island bind off. I merged two different bind-offs; the Icelandic bind-off and a picot bind-off. When working on Vintage Modern Knits, I sent the bind off instructions to our editor, Ann Budd. She tried it out, and now regularly teaches my technique as part of her Cast-on and Bind-off Techniques class!

We have developed a Tips and Tricks for the Channel Island bind off, and we hope you'll give it a try! 

Suffice to say, a lot of heart and soul went into this design and I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I did. If you've ever tried either of these hem treatments, or knit your own gansey sweater, let us know what you liked about it!

Happy Knitting,


New Colors of Canopy Worsted

This season we added four colors of Canopy Worsted to the line to round out the palette of rich, clear brights. 

Passionflower is a vibrant red for perfect for autumnal accessories.

Blue Parrot in Canopy Worsted from The Fibre Co. Distributed in N. America by Kelbourne Woolens

Blue Parrot is a rich, clear, royal blue that would look lovely in a garment. 

Lemur in Canopy Worsted from The Fibre Co. Distributed in N. America by Kelbourne Woolens

Lemur, a deep grey with purple tones that is a perfect mid-tone between the ever-popular Obsidian and River Dolphin. 

And, finally, Cloud Forest is a light grey we loved so much in Canopy Fingering, we had to add it to the worsted line. 

All four new colors and the full Canopy Worsted line are in stock and ready to ship! 

Independent Designer Feature: Ribbed Pullover by Lori Versaci

Earlier this summer our friend and fellow designer, Lori Versaci, contacted us to let us know she was publishing a design in The Fibre Co. Canopy Worsted. Summertime and sweaters! A daring move, perhaps, but I begin to plan my fall knitting in July, and if I don't have something underway on the needles by August I feel as though I am falling behind. Dedicated knitters knit all year, and for that we salute you! As we settle into cooler temperatures, with the kids back to school, it's really crunch time. Rhinebeck is just around the corner, after all! 

Ribbed is knit using Canopy Worsted, a super soft blend of merino wool, baby alpaca, and just enough bamboo to give it a subtle sheen and exquisite drape. Soft enough to wear next to your skin, Canopy Worsted is a 3-ply yarn with a nice, tight twist making it the perfect choice when stitch definition is called for. Lori uses Canopy Worsted quite often, and has told us time and again that it is one of her favorites. In fact, she was one of the driving forces behind the change in put up a couple years back from a 50g skein to an 100g skein.

The design itself is a classic, such as we've all come to expect from Lori. The sweater has just enough ease, with the wide ribs creating just a little bit of definition to your silhouette. This sweater is destined to be a staple in any wardrobe. 

We asked Lori about her design process, and about the Ribbed Pullover in particular.

KW: Your designs are always so classic and wearable. Are they things you want to wear, or is there someone you are designing for?

LV: It is funny that you ask that, because I was just thinking about how my most successful designs are garments that I essentially design to wear myself! I call my designs, “wearable, modern knits exploring shape, texture and construction”. So wearability is very important to me. My sweater designs seem to emerge one of two ways: I have an idea of a sweater that I want to add to my own wardrobe or I have a design idea that I want to explore. Examples of the first would be tiramisu, lite, pour moi, blocks and tails. Examples of the latter would be Carnaby Street, embrace, rubus and reverso. Ribbed emerged from a combination of both! I wanted a ribbed turtleneck to add to my wardrobe, but I wanted it to have a little fashion flare. Over the last few years I have been exploring how to design a successful (for a wide range of sizes) top-down raglan AND I have been thinking about how to add a bit of a bust dart to garments (since I have a little more bust than average). I enjoy taking on a challenge, so I used what Ysolda calls “compound raglan” which are varying rates of increase along the raglan edge, to create the armhole. This gives the design more control over the length of the armhole which a standard raglan increase doesn’t allow for. Then I played around a bit with where and how to add the dart. It took me quite a while and a number of attempts before I figured out how to create the traveling rib design as a way to both accommodate a dart and add a little fashion element. Voila, ribbed.

KW: This isn't your first design using Canopy Worsted. Your previous design, Pour Moi, was an elegant cardigan. The two designs are so different in terms of shape and fit, but both use Canopy Worsted. When you were planning Ribbed, what made you think Canopy would be a good choice, and was the choice influenced by your experiences designing Pour Moi?

LV: Absolutely! I find that the best way to REALLY understand a yarn is to knit with it. And, for me, this doesn’t just mean a big swatch, it means working an entire garment. That way I can understand how the fabric behaves when it is worn. So, after a wonderful visit to your office a while back, I ordered up sweater quantity of a number of your different yarns. This Canopy Worsted in Ginger was from that order. But, before I knit ribbed, I actually used Canopy Worsted for Pour Moi based on a recommendation from the owner of The Knitter’s Edge in Bethlehem, PA (if you are ever in the area, it is a “must see” LYS). I was a little worried that it would have too much give for Worsted Pour Moi and would “grow” with wear. But it is an amazing sweater yarn! Enough body to really hold a sweater’s shape — even after months of wear AND trying on at trunk shows, my Worsted Pour Moi is still in perfect shape — and enough drape to make it elegant! And the added bonus of a wonderful softness that just feel so fantastic! Just so everyone knows, I have two more sweater designs in the works with The Fibre Company yarn: one with Organik and one with Terra. Stay tuned!

KW: When you're knitting purely for pleasure, what are you making? 

LV: A few months ago I would have answered that I just love to knit sweaters, and sweaters will always be my go-to knitting. But I have been knitting a lot of cowls, scarves and shawls recently and I finally understand why they are so popular with knitters. The sense of accomplishment is fantastic! And from a design perspective, you only have to write up one set of instructions — just one size (although I find myself writing for longer or shorter or different shapes. I guess that is just because it seems too easy otherwise)! That is not to say that I have given up on sweaters! They will always be my favorite thing to design. But you may see me wearing more scarves next winter!

This week, we're offering ONE LUCKY WINNER a chance to receive a free copy of Ribbed (either hard copy or PDF download, your choice) and enough Canopy Worsted in your choice of color to make your very own sweater!

Enter below for your chance to win! Good luck, and happy knitting! - CK

What do you watch while you CRAFT?

Here at KW HQ we are constantly exchanging stories about what we watched last night while knitting and crocheting; we compare notes, catch up on series 'gossip', or suggest new shows. We do the same for podcasts. Often during the day, all will be quiet and someone will abruptly guffaw or quietly giggle or gasp. And then one of us will ask, "What are you listening to?!"  

We thought it might be fun to share with you what media we love to watch and listen to while we knit and crochet. Let us know what you love to watch and listen to in the comments!

Watch: I have a dirty secret, and it is that I am addicted to Say Yes to the Dress. It has to be one of the worst things ever created, and I cannot look away. I have never been married, I have never had, or wanted, a wedding dress. I think it's a terrible waste of money in a moment when you should be planning for your future. Maybe I am trying to find and unlock some sort of feminine secret I was not let in on? But, honestly, what on earth makes you want to pour your body into a see-through, plunging neckline, crystal-encrusted-crotch-detailed dress IN FRONT OF YOUR DAD WHO IS PROBABLY A MINISTER??? But, this is fantastic knitting TV, as it is deeply entertaining and requires little attention be paid, and it is one of the more repetitive shows around. One of my all time favorite knitting-tv-watching is BBC mysteries, Sherlock Holmes (the Jeremy Brett version) and Poirot in particular. These are just always good!

Watch: These are my top tier television programs: I am addicted to gritty crime dramas. From The Wire to The Sopranos, Mad Men to True Detective, if there's some combination of blood, drugs and/or corruption, consider the show on my queue. There's nothing better than watching an extremely captivating tv show while knitting to really help make a dent in a project deadline. I do enjoy light hearted television - Broad City, Bob's Burgers, 30 Rock reruns and The Simpsons all have their place and time, but my heart truly lies with corruption.

Listen: I recently purchased a record player, so I have been listening to a bunch of music while knitting. I prefer music to Podcasts, but when we were completing the Effortless Collection I binge listened to Serial. Again, dark and brooding crime drama.

Watch: I love to watch almost anything British. British murder mysteries are my absolute favorite and within that category, anything adapted from an Agatha Christie novel (Poirot! Miss Marple!). Dr. Who is my ultimate comfort t.v. and for the record, I think David Tennant and Matt Smith are tied for best doctor. Following closely behind that are British art documentaries like Rococo Before Bedtime.

Listen: At work I'm usually listening to an audiobook (currently, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel) or one of a handful of podcasts such as Serial, Storycorps, Here's the Thing, Radiolab, FreshAir, and Sawbones which was a stellar recommendation from Kate.

Watch: I've been binge watching Inside Amy Schumer the last few weeks. She's so hilarious and on point. On a similar vein, I discovered Married via a podcast and tore through the whole first season before realizing there weren't limitless episodes (then subsequently sunk into a short-lived but deep period of melancholy.) To replace the void left by Married, I recently began watching Review, and it is so ridiculously hilarious. My heart does not exclusively belong to comedy; I recently watched the Human Planet series and really enjoyed it. As a rule, I either really enjoy social commentary via comedy or insanely nerdy documentaries. Since we're being truly honest, my most ridiculous guilty pleasure is The Voice. It is terrible. And amazing.

Listen: For Podcasts, I tend to focus on shows that are a little more in-depth, as it is much easier to knit and listen than knit, listen, and watch. Lately, Sawbones, Judge John HodgmanSong ExploderBullseye, and Radio Lab have all been in heavy rotation, and I recently discovered Fugitve Waves via, hands, down, the most interesting NPR story that has ever been aired about Curtis Carroll. I also listen to PRI's The World daily, but usually when walking the dogs in the morning - it is good to get the real heavy stuff out of the way before I'm fully awake."

Thanks for tuning in and happy crafting! - MLK