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Join Erin's Cable Crew! A new KAL

Join Erin's Cable Crew! A new KAL

Hello knitters! Erin here. 

Since we all find ourselves in another lockdown, is there truly a better time to have a KAL? The answer is definitely no. I have recently found myself browsing through many beautiful cabled projects on Ravelry, and I think it would be wonderful for the NITH community to hunker down and cable it out together while we are keeping each other safe at home. 

This will be a “choose your own adventure” type of KAL. Deanna and I have scoured the internet for some beautiful patterns of all skill levels, so we will be suggesting multiple patterns that you could choose from, if you’d like! If you’re a newbie knitter that is thinking of tackling cables for the first time, or a seasoned knitter who wants a quick and cozy cabled accessory to knit as you watch the newest season of Outlander on Netflix, you are in the right place. 

In my opinion, KALs are a really fun time to try out a yarn that you have been eyeing in the shop for a while, but haven’t taken the opportunity to knit with yet. There are a couple two-skein hats that would be perfect for this sort of experimenting, or you can dive right in and knit yourself a beautiful sweater with some fun and luxurious wool. Dealers choice! 

The Knitty Gritty:
The KAL will begin January 30, and run for a month, ending on February 28. You can post your wool picks, progress photos, and finished object photos on Ravelry, if that is an accessible platform to you, our Facebook group, or by tagging @needlesinthehay on Instagram using the hashtag #NITHKAL and #NITHcablecrew. 

As always, participation in the KAL is free with yarn purchase, which is currently happening online. We offer $8 standard shipping within Canada, as well as free local delivery within a 20 km radius from the shop for orders over $25, and free local pickup. We have also created a special collection on our website for your convenience.

Feel free to participate in any capacity that is comfortable for you! I will be there (virtually) to help you decipher your project and cheer you to the finish line. I am also toying with the idea of hosting a couple KAL instagram live sessions, if anyone would be interested. Let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post!

Tier One 

I am calling the first tier of patterns for this KAL the “I think cables are scary but I love how they look” level. These patterns are a great introduction to cable knitting, but will also suit a seasoned cabler who wants to work on something short and sweet just to feel a sense of togetherness with our lovely little woolly community. 

First Cables Hat by Brooklyn Tweed

This hat is designed by Jared Flood, the unofficial king of hat patterns. It is a beautiful DK weight toque that can be customized and knit as a watch cap-style (pictured here) or a beanie. It consists of a gorgeous yet simple 4-stitch cable cross design, and the pattern includes perfectly accessible directions for the construction of your first ever cabled project. 

For this project, you could use the matching BT wools that we carry. Arbor is a tried and true favourite with a vast palate that most definitely includes your favourite colour. It is a 100% Montana and South Dakota bred Targhee wool that is sure to become a new favourite. You could also try BT’s newest yarn, Dapple, which is a woolen-spun blend of 40% Texas organic cotton and 60% Merino wool from Colorado. The Dapple palate consists of 11 beautiful colours, that are dyed in the skein with traditional wool dyes. Merino absorbs the majority of the color, leaving desaturated dots of organic cotton throughout. This nuanced result evokes the dimensionality of a good tweed and engages the knitter with rich tonality. Dapple has no dye lot, so when purchasing this yarn you must indicate if you prefer a light, medium, or dark skein. 

To make this hat, approximately 154/237 total yards of DK weight yarn is required for Beanie/ Watchcap. This is equal to two skeins of either Arbor or Dapple. 

The pattern can be found on the BT website
First Cables Hat | Knitting Pattern by Jared Flood | BT by Brooklyn Tweed

You can also find the pattern on Ravelry

Tiilda Hat by Inese Sang

The Tiilda Hat is a gorgeous bulky weight braided cable hat that is perfect for beginners and seasoned knitters alike! It’s simple construction makes it an easy to wear, classic piece to add to your winter wardrobe. Due to the chunky weight, this hat will knit up very quickly -- but have no fear! The designer has released a matching mitten pattern that you could knit to match your gorgeous new toque. Another lovely feature of this hat is that it is available as a free pattern on Ravelry.

We have a lot of beautiful bulky weight yarns in the shop. I would recommend using a new(ish!) wool to the shop, Semilla Grosso by BC Garn. This is a 100% organic wool, sourced from Mulesing-free farms in Argentina, and spun in Italy. The palate consists of 18 gorgeous colours that range from neutrals to brighter shades. It has beautiful stitch definition and is extremely soft. This pattern requires 140 m of yarn total, so grab two skeins of Semilla Grosso to complete this project. 

You could also use BT’s chunky offering, Quarry. Quarry is a 100% Wyoming-grown Targhee-Columbia wool with a beautiful woolen spun construction that we have in 15 eye-catching heathered colours. You only need one skein of Quarry to complete this project.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry 

Tier Two

I’m calling the second tier of patterns for our KAL the “I would love a cabled garment that might be a bit tricky” level. This level is for the adventurous beginner or seasoned cable knitter who is looking to wrap themselves in a cozy shawl. I need a new shawl (the lines between need and want have been extremely blurred this past year) and have had my eyes on these patterns for a while. So please pick one of these patterns and we can match when we can finally all see each other in person again in the shop!! (How exciting is that thought?!)

Glykos by Dawn Henderson

Glykos is a beautiful honeycomb stitch shawl knit with a DK weight yarn that would be perfect to wrap up in year round.

The pattern calls for The Fibre Co’s DK yarn, Luma, which is a stunning blend of wool, cotton, linen, and silk, and it is certified organic! Plant-based fibers mixed with silk and wool provide a built-in layer of warmth in winter yet lightness when required in warmer temperatures. The Luma palette includes soft neutrals and bright shades of pink, blue, and green. The pattern requires 626 m total of yarn, which means you would need five skeins of Luma to complete this project. 

Another option for this shawl would be to use Brooklyn Tweed’s Dapple yarn. The wool and cotton blend, along with the unique palate would create a stunning and lightweight shawl as well. If you knit this pattern using Dapple, you need just over four skeins. To be safe, I would recommend picking up five skeins to complete this project. 

This shawl is available on Ravelry

Winter Honey by Andrea Mowry

I am absolutely obsessed with this shawl. It has been on my radar for ages, and is actually the inspiration behind this KAL! Andrea Mowry is such a solid designer who releases pattern after pattern that are well constructed, and a dream to knit up. If you haven’t yet knit any of Andrea’s stunningly classic accessories, this is the perfect time! 

She has designed this shawl to be available in two sizes, a small shawlette size (155 cm wide), and a large shawl size (213 cm wide). Imagine wrapping yourself up in this!? 

The recommended yarn for this shawl is Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, which is a worsted weight woolen-spun 100% Wyoming-grown Targhee-Columbia wool. Shelter has a dry, soft hand and a faintly rustic nature that blooms upon blocking to create a plush heirloom piece with a soft halo. I could go on and on about this wool. I used it for the first time shortly after being hired at NITH and it quickly became one of my favourite yarns to use. I just know that you will love it as well! We have 28 different colours to choose from at the shop. 

If you choose to use Shelter for this project, you will need five skeins for the shawlette, and eight skeins for the full size shawl. 

If the rustic feel of Shelter isn’t really your thing, I think that Malabrigo Rios would be a wonderful substitute. Rios is a 4-ply 100% superwash merino wool that is perfect for next-to-skin wear. I actually knit a matching pyjama set from Rios this past summer, so I can fully attest to its softness and washability. Our palette consists of 17 different hand dyed colours ranging from subtle tonals to more wild “colour melts”, as I like to call them. You cannot go wrong with Rios. 

If you choose Rios for this project, you will need three skeins for the shawlette, and five skeins for the full size shawl.

This pattern is available on Ravelry

As an aside, I think either of these shawls are well suited for a shawl pin. I love the look of a squishy, cabled shawl held tight like a hug with a pin. We have a bunch of really beautiful pins in the shop right now that would look stunning, with my favourite being the Twig Shawl Stick

Snowy Forest by Midori Hirose

This stunning sweater was just released in the latest issue of Laine Magazine. I know we all love a sweater with a good yoke, and this one does the trick of combining classic stockinette with the drama and interest of a cabled yoke. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, but how amazing would it be knit with a sport weight wool and a lace weight mohair held together? The fun thing is, you get to decide. 

An absolutely decadent wool option for this sweater is mYak’s Baby Yak Medium. For starters, baby yak has a similar micron count to cashmere. It is warm and lustrous, lightweight and breathable, making it perfect to wear throughout all seasons. Secondly, the palette available for this wool is *chef’s kiss*. According to the down color, mYak obtains three natural shades (chocolate, desert and oatmeal) which they dye in order to get a palette of soft colors that evoke the five elements of nature. Most yaks are of an intense shade, therefore light colors are very rare and even more precious.

If you want to carry a strand of mohair for this project, I would recommend holding it with Rosy Green Wool’s Cheeky Merino Joy. The wool, yarn, and entire production process are certified according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This super-soft 100% Merino wool comes from Patagonia and is spun and dyed for Rosy Green Wool by small businesses in Portugal and England. Cheeky Merino Joy is the first GOTS-certified organic Merino hand-knitting yarn that is also machine washable, which makes it extremely special if you ask me! For mohair, we stock Katia Concept’s 50 Mohair Shades. These adorable little spools are 200m of soft and fluffy superkid mohair for only $9 each! 

If you choose the mYak Baby Yak Medium wool option, you will require anywhere from eight skeins to fifteen skeins. 

If you choose the Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy & Katia Concept 50 Mohair Shades option, you would require anywhere from three skeins of Cheeky Merino Joy plus five spools of mohair to five skeins of Cheeky Merino Joy plus nine spools of mohair. 

Tier Three

Alright folks, gear up because these are the heavy hitters. I am lovingly nicknaming this tier as the “Cabling for knitters with no fear” level. In all seriousness, I think these patterns are definitely accessible to any daring knitter who is up for a challenge and a project that requires a bit more brain power than most… Or maybe it is just me who feels this way about cabled sweaters? Both of these are gorgeous patterns that will keep you warm and cozy for years to come. 

Sawyer by Sari Nordlund

This is potentially the most beautiful sweater I have ever seen. I know I frequently say that about patterns I find on Ravelry, but this time I truly mean it! As soon as I saw this pattern, I purchased a sweater quantity of the perfect wool for it. I am extremely undecided if I’ll knit the Winter Honey shawl, or the Sawyer sweater for this KAL. I think I might just have to do both. 

For this sweater, I would recommend The Fibre Co.’s Lore yarn. Lore is made of 100% lambswool from Romney sheep in England’s historical textile region of West Yorkshire. It is a woollen spun DK weight yarn that blooms into a beautiful knitted fabric after washing. Garments made from Lore will wear well and are perfect for everyday and special adventures alike. At NITH, we have 23 different colours to choose from. I personally purchased the colourway, “Serene”. To me, this is the perfect classic white cabled sweater. 

Another great option for this sweater is The Fibre Co.’s Arranmore Light. Inspired by the breathtaking scenery of Ireland's Northern Headlands, Arranmore Light is a finer weight cousin to the popular Arranmore yarn. Arranmore Light is spun in a mill that traces its roots to the tweed industry of 19th century County Donegal. Blending cashmere and silk with fine merino wool created an authentic tweed yarn of the finest quality. With a color palette reminiscent of the wild Irish coastlands, this DK weight yarn was designed for makers appreciating the best of luxury and tradition.

If you choose to knit this sweater using Lore, you will need anywhere from four skeins to seven skeins.

If you choose to knit this sweater using Arranmore light, you will need anywhere from three skeins to six skeins

This pattern is available on Ravelry

Winters Beach Cardi by Andrea Mowry

The queen (Andrea Mowry) released this pattern as I was writing up this blog post, so I just had to include it! This cardigan is a drop sleeve design that is knit in the round, and it includes afterthought pockets. I personally have never done an afterthought pocket, so if you haven’t either, maybe this KAL is the perfect opportunity to learn a new technique! I believe this cardigan could become a staple piece in anyone's wardrobe, as it is an extremely versatile layering piece. You could throw this cardigan on as the cozy autumn layer you need for a walk on a crisp fall morning, as a sweater to wrap up in while you sit around the fire and knit in the dead of winter, or as the last thought of cold weather as spring drifts into summer. I seem to have fully convinced myself that I also need to knit this cardigan, can you tell? 

This project is knit using DK weight yarn, and we have a lot of options for this in the shop. I’ve previously described Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor, The Fibre Co.’s Arranmore Light, and The Fibre Co.’s Luma, which would all work perfectly and be truly stunning. 

Another wonderful option for this project is The Fibre Co.’s Acadia. Acadia is a rustic blend of silk noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool and is one of the most versatile yarns in The Fibre Co. collection. Ideal for creating a handmade wardrobe that can be worn almost all year round, Acadia comes in a range of colours that sit well together to offer makers ample choice for projects. Warm browns and cool neutrals sit beside rich reds and greens, in a way that evokes memories of The Fibre Co.’s birthplace, the US state of Maine and the great park of the same name. Most of the shades in Acadia have a heathered appearance created from layers of beautiful raw fibres of natural brown baby alpaca, ecru merino tops and silk noil, which is then kettle dyed creating subtle duotones that are the hallmark of The Fibre Co. Acadia is the perfect option for the year-round knitter.

If you choose to use Arbor, you will require anywhere between eight skeins to seventeen skeins

If you choose to use Arranmore Light, you will require anywhere between four skeins to eight skeins.

If you choose to use Luma, you will require anywhere between nine skeins to eighteen skeins

If you choose to use Acadia, you will require anywhere between eight skeins  to seventeen skeins

The Winters Beach Cardi pattern is available on Ravelry


All right, take a breath. I know that was a lot to take in. As always, if you have any questions about the process, any of the materials required, or the patterns, do not hesitate to reach out to us at We can also help with any sizing questions that you may have, or questions about further yarn substitutions that may be possible. I have been thinking about these patterns for over a week now and I am so excited to be able to share them with you, and to start this KAL! 

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