Mountain Meadow Wool Cody

50 grams
200 yards
100% American merino wool
Sportweight: US Needle 3-4

I've featured
Mountain Meadow Wool company and its American yarns on the blog before. Today's Pick of the Week is their sportweight merino wool: Cody. 
 Cody is a soft, springy 2-ply yarn that comes in undyed natural colors and in eco-friendly natural dyes as well. The Geranium color is a warm, friendly red that immediately attracted me and I started a ruffled edge shawl that was inspired by a shawl worn by Kate Middleton, recent bride to Prince William.

 I am using US 5 needles from my set of Addi Click Turbos, with a 24 inch cable to hold all of the stitches. I am in love with this yarn. It has a faint scent of lanolin that gives the yarn a rustic appeal and its incredible softness. There are tiny amounts of VM (vegetable matter) still in the yarn, because MMW uses a gentler cleaning process to preserve its softness. They are easy to remove and haven't bothered me.
 The shawl is approximately half-way finished and it is light, warm, drapey and soft. Knit at a tighter gauge, Cody would make excellent textured socks or garments. Right now I am enjoying making a warm cozy wrap in time for the cool weather of fall.
Here's a quick peek at some of our new arrivals at the shop! Stop by to see all the colors!
Mirasol Sawya
50 grams, 98 yards
60% cotton, 25% alpaca, 15% silk

Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool
50 grams, 109 yards
50% cotton, 50% wool

Mirasol Lachiwa
50 grams, 123 yards
60% cotton, 40% linen
 One challenge that crafters always face is finding the perfect yarn for summer garments. It is important for the fiber to feel cool in the warm weather, but plant fibers often have a tendency to stretch out of shape. It is also important for the garment to be easy to care for, because no one wants to take a tank-top to the dry-cleaners every time it needs to be cleaned!

 Cascade Ultra Pima may just be that perfect summer yarn. It comes in generous 220 yard hanks of 100% pima cotton. Pima Cotton is a high-quality cotton yarn that was developed in the United State when farmers cross-bred Egyptian cotton with local American cottons. Ultra Pima is a mercerised cotton, which means that it has been treated to increase the yarn's luster and softness. It is definitely one of the softest cotton yarns I have ever felt; this yarn looks and feels like silk because of its sheen and drapiness.

 Here's the best part: Ultra Pima is machine-washable AND machine-dryable! Last time a representative from Cascade Yarns visited us, she showed us a sample garment knit from Ultra Pima. Pat and I both admired the lacy summer top and I loved the soft, silky feel of the garment. But I was most surprised when the representative told us that this very garment had been washed and dried by machine. I am sure I am not the only knitter who has had cotton projects that got 'crunchy' or stiff-feeling after they were accidentally washed or dried in the machine. Not only did it feel great, it also retained its shape and size. 

 Finally, the price-point of Ultra Pima is a big selling point for  me. For 220 yards, this yarn only costs $9.50. Many summer tops take less yardage than winter garments, so if I bought 5 hanks, it could only cost $47.50. Being able to knit or crochet a garment for under $50 in natural fibers is a win in my book! I could also see this being an ideal yarn for baby or child garments because of its durable nature and soft feel.

 We currenty have 9 colors of Ultra Pima in stock (the 3 pictured colors are brandnew!) and we can always special-order additional colors from Cascade Yarns.  So stop by and check out my 'Pick of the Week'-Cascade Ultra Pima! 

 At last, crochet hooks have been added to the amazing Addi Click interchangeable system. Addi Click Hook comes in a compact black leather case and holds 8 crochet hooks: from 3.00 millimeters to 9 millimeters. The first 6 sizes have the same brass coating as the Addi Lace needles do. The two biggest sizes come in a lightweight plastic that is easier on the hands than a metal hook would be.

 There are no cables included in this set, as it is intended to be an addition to other Click sets. These hooks will fit any of the Click cables to form a regular crochet hook or a Tunisian hook for those unique projects. If you only want the crochet hooks and don't already have available cables, there is a simple enough solution.

The cable accessory kit comes with 3 cables: a 24' inch cable, a 32' inch cable and a 30' inch cable. It also comes with a connector so you can make an even bigger cable if need be. You can secure the free cable end with one of Addi's new Heartstoppers. These cute heart-shaped accessories click onto the Click cables to make sure your project doesn't slide off the cable!

 Since the crochet hooks themselves are similar in size to normal crochet hooks, it is possible for someone to attempt to simply crochet without the cables. However, I personally wouldn't advise it because I think the uncovered end has too much potential to snag on your project or even end up scratching you. Besides, by adding this cable set, you can open up your crafting to Tunisian or afghan crocheting.
 Also, here's a great tip for picking up a large amount of stitches, as for the edges of a blanket or the border of a cardigan; you simply unclick your Addi needle and click your Addi Hook onto the cable. The crochet hook makes it SO much easier and much less tedious than trying to pick the stitches through with the tip of your knitting needle. Once you're done picking up the stitches and you're ready to knit again, just detach the crochet hook and reattach your needle and you are ready to go!

 I admit, I am a little bit of an Addi fanatic but I bear that badge proudly-after all, they're worth it! I'll end this post with a few more pictures of the set.

Crafters are becoming more and more aware of where exactly their crafting supplies come from. After all, local products are usually more eco-friendly because it takes less gas to transport local products. Besides, it always feels good to think that your yarn came from a neighbor...even if that 'neighbor' is a few states away!

 The Mountain Meadow knit-along incorporates amazing American yarn along with great patterns from Y2Knit. I wanted to feature these two great companies on this blog so you can take a peek at what they have to offer.

Mountain Meadow Wool, who produces the yarn used in the KAL, uses earth-friendly practices in their production. They reuse or repurpose all the waste byproducts that are created during their process. They use natural citrus-based cleaners, instead of the harsher carbonization process used by other companies, to clean their yarn.

They also dedicate 10% of the profit from each skein sold to the ranchers who grow the sheep who produce their wool. All of their wool is sourced from ranch farms located in the Rocky Mountains and each skein label has the name of the farm from where the skein came. Mountain Meadow Wool helps to protect our environment and they also help to support small farmers in America.

Now take a great American yarn and add some talented American designers. Y2Knit is a wonderful company with two talented designers at the helm: Jill and Susan Wolcott. Mountain Meadow Wool and Y2Knit have joined forces to create a great knit-along that combines local yarn with local patterns.

 These adorable bobbled mitts and the two hats in the pictures above are all Y2Knit patterns. Market Street Yarn & Crafts is proudly supporting this knit-along. Each month, a different yarn and a different pattern arrive. We've been knitting up samples so you can see how well these yarns and patterns fit together. In fact, we're starting our very own KAL class for these bobbled mitts. We hope you join in and enjoy trying out these great new yarns and patterns!

Bobble-Back Mitts Class May 6th, 13th & 20th
Time: 1:30-3:30

Cost: $75
Includes the yarn and the pattern.
Bring size US 4 double-points, two circulars or one circular for Magic Loop.

 A great new shipment of books has arrived at the store and we are highlighting some of the titles here.
Judy Durant's 101 One Skein series is a great asset for any knitter who wonders what to make with those lonely single skeins in their stash. After all, how many hats can you make?  Thankfully, there are plenty of great patterns of all kinds in 101 Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders and 101 Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. I personally probably have more sock yarn than any other kind of yarn in my stash so I love the variety of projects in the sock book. These glossy paperbacks pack a lot of punch in a small package. At $18.95 each, you can get one or both and it's still a bargain!

Vogue & knitting go together like peanut-butter and jelly and so it's no wonder they have published their own line of hardback stitch dictionaries. The crocheters don't have to feel left out because a whole stitchonary is dedicated just to crochet stitches! From color knitting, to lace patterns, cables and more, these stitchonaries would make a great technical library for any crafter. These lovely hardback books are priced at $29.95 and would make great presents.

Never knit socks before? Great! Veteran sock-knitter? Still great! We have some amazing new sock pattern books on the shelves and whether you've been knitting socks for years or are just getting started, these books are excellent resources. As a long-time sock knitter, I love Wendy's Johnson's toe-up patterns. I also love the usability of the 2-at-a-time Socks book by Melissa Morgan-Oakes because the spiral binding allows it to lay flat and the illustrations are very clear, which is a great way to learn a new technique.