Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Season of Shawls

It's downright frosty throughout most of North America right now, the perfect time to think about layers upon layers to stay warm. Shawls and wraps are a versatile way to keep chills at bay when a sweater just isn't enough, and there are plenty of great designs in Bijou Basin Ranch yarns to knit and crochet this season!
Cecily Glowik Macdonald's Allay shawl is a stunning two-color shawl which pairs Tibetan Dream Sock yarn with 100% Yak Sport Weight yarn to create a luxuriously warm triangular shawl. You'll need just one skein of each yarn to make the shawl, and the pattern is available here on Ravelry!
Two colors of our angora blend laceweight yarn Seraphim are worked in Tunisian crochet to create the Velocity Shawl by Andrea Graciarena. The pattern appears in the Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet and it's a great project to expand your crochet skills!
If you're craving a simpler project (perhaps one you can work on at knit night or while traveling), Marly Bird's Culebra Simple Shawlette is a fun-to knit accessory you can make with just 2 skeins of Lhasa Wilderness!

There are plenty more shawl designs using our yarns on Ravelry - click here to view more pattern ideas!

Don't forget, our December Sale is happening now through December 24! Click here to save 15% off your entire order, no coupon code necessary - plus all orders ship FREE, even to international addresses. 

For those of you planning to order Christmas gifts, orders placed by December 20th should reach their destination by Christmas Eve via USPS First Class (of course, you'll want to check your preferred shippers' website to confirm your cutoff dates). All orders ship within 24 hours of purchase, and we can also ship expedited orders as late as December 23 for an additional cost.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Kitmas + Our December Sale

If you aren't signed up for our newsletter, we regret to inform you that you've missed out on our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. While those incredible deals have already come and gone, Santa Yak still has a few tricks up his sleeve!
From now until December 9, we're offering 30% savings on three brand-new kits from the Rocky Mountain Collection by Marly Bird. Each kit contains a pattern and enough yarn to complete the project, and they make a great gift for you or a knitting friend. Merry Kitmas, indeed!

Little Bear Folded Poncho Kit
Regularly $56, sale price is $39!

Knit this trendy poncho in our luxurious yak and silk blend yarn, Shangri-La!

Torrey's Peak Vest Kit
Regularly $81, sale price is $56!

Cables and garter combine to create the perfect layering piece! 

Snowmass Intarsia Tee Kit
Regularly $181, sale price is $126!

This stylish tee is knit with our 100% yak Sport Weight yarn, a great choice for any weather!

Finally, our December sale is in progress - click here to start shopping! From now through December 24, 2013, enjoy 15% off your entire purchase, no coupon code needed. ALL orders will ship free, even to international addresses. 

Now is a great time to stock up on your favorites such as Bijou Bliss, Tibetan Dream or Lhasa Wilderness, but why not try something new, too? Our angora-blend laceweight yarn Seraphim has been getting rave reviews, or perhaps you'd like to give our new Qiviut Sock Yarn a try! With free shipping and 15% savings, it's the best time of year to shop our site. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Gifting, BBR-Style

The countdown has begun, and we’ve got you covered for all of your gifting needs this holiday season!

Our Asbury Mitts Kit in Steel was a the top of Vickie Howell’s expert picks for holiday shopping on Knitting Daily. They’re a great present for your knitting pals, or you can gift the finished mitts to that special someone on your list!
Bijou Bliss was included in Kristin Omdahl’s gift guide for Crochet Me; it’s a great choice for anyone who appreciates natural fibers. There are plenty of  giftable patterns using just 1-2 skeins of Bijou Bliss, including this month’s Mystery KAL project.

L-R: Bijou Bliss in Amethyst, Long's Peak 3 in 1 Mittens by Marly Bird, St. Germain Hat by Thea Colman.
We also have a brand-new 100% Yak Yarn Wrap that's been a hot seller at shows. This luxuriously soft yet durable woven wrap from our new ready-to-wear line of apparel is a great gift for a loved one. Best of all, there's no assembly required!
Stay tuned for more great ways to make merry this holiday season (there may even be a visit from Santa Yak!).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mystery KAL + Rocky Mountain Collection

Exciting things are afoot in the world of Bijou Basin Ranch! Another mystery knit-along has begun in our Ravelry group, and it's not too late to join in the fun! The Blissful Cowl MKAL is a choose-your-own-design cowl by Sistah Knits (aka Rosie G and Terrie) using just one skein of either our Bijou Bliss or Lhasa Wilderness yarn! The first clue came out on November 6; click here to purchase the pattern so you can get caught up and receive the remaining clues on November 13 and 20th. Click here to purchase yarn online - don't forget to enter "MKAL2" at checkout to save 20% on your order!

Hot off the presses, we've just added the Rocky Mountain Collection to Ravelry and Craftsy! There are 11 queue-worthy designed to choose from, all designed by the fabulous Marly Bird!
Currently, each pattern is available for individual purchase. However, we will be adding an ebook version at a discounted price soon, so if you are interested in purchasing multiple patterns, we recommend waiting for the eBook version to be available!
If you’re looking for garments to spruce up your fall wardrobe, here are some great ideas for layering pieces and warm winter wear, BBR-style!
First, check out these colorful sweater designs:
Keep your core warm without overheating by adding one of these stylish vests to your repertoire:
Need to accessorize? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rhinebeck and Beyond!

The BBR Booth at Rhinebeck
Are you having a hard time keeping up with us this month? October is shaping up to be our busiest month yet! We just spent a fantastic weekend at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, and our next stop will be the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Fletcher, NC this coming weekend (October 25-27)!

We'll be closing out our 2013 Fiber Festival circuit at the Interweave Knitting Lab in San Mateo, CA October 31-November 3, for those of you located on the west coast. We hope to see you there, but if you can't make it, we'll let you know when our 2014 Calendar is live on our site!

In addition to traveling near and far, Carl Koop and Marly Bird were also recent guests on the Sweater Knitting Show, which is a daily live event happening each weekday throughout the month of October during the 30 Day Sweater Challenge. Click here to view an archived copy of Episode 15!

If you still haven't had enough BBR in your life, you can check out the featured article from Knitsy Issue 4 - it's a fantastic (and free!) eMag available here in the itunes store. Not only will you get an inside look at the ranch, there is also a fabulous sock design (using our yarn, of course!) excerpted from The Art of Seamless Knitting, a fantastic new book by Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchant-Dest.

One of our beloved new patterns for Seraphim yarn, the Angelica Vest by Marly Bird, is currently available courtesy of our friends at AllFreeKnitting.com in a free eBook celebrating the Best of the Stitches Midwest Fashion show - click here to download your copy!

We are also excited to share the reveal for this month's KnitCrate exclusive which featured our yarn and a new pattern by Marly Bird. If you missed signing up for this month's KnitCrate, click here to find out how you can enter to win your very own package over on the KnitCrate Facebook fan page!

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Love Yarn Day

Happy I Love Yarn Day! The Craft Yarn Council has decreed October 11 as the official day to share your love of yarn with the world.

We know that a lot of our fans love yarn 365 days per year, but today is a great opportunity to spend a little time sharing your love with the world - click here for some creative suggestions on the I Love Yarn Day website!

We'd also love to have our fans take a few moments to share their feedback about our own yarns and patterns through our new website - have you had a chance to explore the new "write a review" function that launched with our new site earlier this year?

We're looking for constructive and informative reviews that will help customers like you select the correct yarn or pattern for their next project. We'd love to hear your thoughts on BBR products you have personally experienced!

Click here to view our online store - simply look for the blue "write a review" button on each product page to get started! Please note, all reviews are moderated and there may be a small delay in your review appearing on the site once it's written.

One more important detail: because of how our system is configured, customers will only be able to write reviews for products they have purchased through our site. We know that many of you have purchased yarn, kits and patterns from us at the many events we attend, so we would like to invite you to share your comments here on this blog post as well. We may use these comments in newsletters and upcoming blog posts.

In honor of I Love Yarn Day, we'll be randomly selecting one review written between now and next Friday, October 25 to win a mystery yarny prize! The winner will be notified via e-mail and we'll also make an announcement on our social media channels. 

There are two ways to be eligible:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post with your brief product review - be sure to state the exact name of the product and also let us know how to contact you in case you win (Ravelry ID or email address works just fine!).
2. Write a review on our website per the instructions above.

Good luck and happy I Love Yarn Day!

Edited to update the end date of the contest.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

5 Common Sweater Knitting Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Knitting a sweater is a lot of hard work, so naturally you want all of that work to pay off with a sweater that you’ll love and wear forever. However, this was not the case for beginning sweater knitters (and, let's face it, sometimes experienced sweater knitters have a few missteps!). In today's guest blog post, Johnny Vasquez of Yarn Nation shares his stories of woe and how he learned the hard way with his first few sweater projects so that you can avoid them, too!

1. You chose the wrong yarn.

One of the very first sweaters I knit was a chunky, 100% wool pullover. It was so warm! Unfortunately, because it was so warm (and because I live in Southern California, where it is fairly warm all the time), I rarely wore it for fear of roasting. One day I decided to wear this sweater but it got so hot during the day that I needed to wash it when I took it off. Being new to the whole fiber scene I just threw it in the wash and forgot  to take it out when I switched the wash over to dry. I'm sure you can guess what happened....it ended up being thick enough to stop bullets and too small for even a chihuahua! Needless to say, I chose the wrong yarn for my particular situation. Something more suitable would’ve been a lighter weight superwash yarn or perhaps a cotton blend that would be easier to care for.

Here are some things to consider as you’re choosing yarn. Who will be wearing it? Do they live in a warm or cool climate? Will it need to be washable? Do you mind taking extra care to hand wash your sweater, or is an easier care fiber a better option? If you are knitting for a child that likes to play and often gets dirty, you’ll probably want something machine-washable. Where will it be worn? Is this sweater for your hike through the Andes or to wear over your party dress?

2. It doesn’t fit because you measured gauge incorrectly.

I’ll be honest, for a good long while I didn’t even know you were supposed to measure gauge. I figured it was just a nice little piece of information they included at the top of the pattern. It turns out that getting the exact gauge called for by the pattern is integral to getting a sweater that fits and is proportioned correctly. When I finally began swatching before knitting I would just make a small swatch, leave it on the needles and make sure I was getting something close-ish to gauge, and then I would rip it out and jump right into knitting the sweater. I learned the hard way that getting close to gauge is not the same as “getting gauge”. Being off by even a fraction of a stitch per inch can make the difference of a precious few inches in your finished sweater.

Take the time to make a large (5” x 5”) swatch in the stitch pattern that is called for and make sure to bind it off. Wash it and block it then use a ruler to measure your gauge. If your gauge is not exactly what is called for by your pattern, change your needle size and make another swatch. Repeat this process until you have perfect gauge. If you aren’t getting enough stitches per inch that means your stitches are too large, so try going down a needle size. If you are getting too many stitches per inch that means your stitches are too small, so try going up a needle size.

3. It doesn’t fit because you did not get proper body measurements before you started.

Maybe you did everything else right, but you chose to knit the wrong size because you were unsure about your actual body measurements. If you take the time to get detailed body measurements beforehand, you will be more informed when it comes to choosing the size of sweater you want to knit. Be sure to check the pattern to see if the measurements listed are for your measurement or if they are the completed measurement of the garment. If they are the completed measurement of the garment, you will want it to be a few inches (2-4 for women, 3-6 for men) larger than your actual body in order to fit comfortably...but in order to do this, you have to know what your body size is first! Grab a friend and take a few minutes to get your body measurements (you can download this free sweater planning guide for detailed instructions on how to do this).

Once you know your exact measurements, you can learn to adapt your patterns for a better fit. Not everyone is a standard size; personally, I have a long torso and long arms, so I usually have to adapt my sweaters longer if I am knitting from a pattern. To illustrate this point: the second sweater I ever knit, I finished completely to the exact specifications of the pattern. Then I tried it on and felt like a giant. Both the arms and sleeves were too short by a long shot! When you know your measurements, you can begin to realize when things won’t fit and can alter them as you’re knitting instead of after you’re finished.
Alice's Tea Party Cardigan by Kate Oates

4. It isn’t finished professionally.

I think that finishing makes all the difference. In fact, it is now my goal for every sweater I knit to be easily mistaken for something that I could’ve bought from a store. Not that I want my garments to look machine knit, of course...but I do want them to look professional and crisp.

Some things to look out for when you are finishing your sweater are using the correct seaming method and bind off, weaving in your ends and blocking your work. The great thing is that in this day and age we can look up just about anything online! Iif there is anything you’re not sure how to do, just take a few minutes to search for a YouTube video or photo tutorial. It is worth the time and effort to finish things properly and will make your sweater look great!

5. You never finished it at all!

Another common problem with knitting sweaters is never finishing what we started. Knitting a sweater is a big project, kind of like running a marathon: it's a long race, so you need to pace yourself. Maybe you got busy and forgot about it, maybe you started off too quickly and got burnt out ⅔ of the way through, or maybe you made some mistakes and didn't want to pull back to fix them so you just started another project instead. Whatever your reason, I encourage you to pick it back up again and head for the finish line.

One of the ways I motivate myself to finish projects is by setting small attainable goals for myself. When I reach my daily or weekly goal, I stop. If I am knitting a particularly simple sweater sometimes I will get bored, so instead of knitting at home I will work on it while out socializing. Another great way to stay motivated is to actually go work on a similar project at the same time as your friend or knitting group. Then everyone encourages each other and keeps up the excitement, plus it's really fun to see what everyone else comes up with!

Dalriada by Amy Herzog & Lace Panel Pullover by Marly Bird.

If you’d like to learn more about planning your next sweater project and avoiding some of the common sweater mistakes, download our free Sweater Planning Guide. In this guide we talk about yarn choice, getting gauge, how much yarn to buy and everything else that goes into knitting 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 in just 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/bijou 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

Get Inspired for Fall!

Summer is winding down and fiber festival season is heating up! We just returned to Colorado, where we'll be attending the first annual Sneffels Fiber Festival in Ridgway, CO today and tomorrow. We hope you'll come out to say hello - if you do, be sure to print this coupon to redeem in our booth. For those of you who can't join us, you can shop online today and tomorrow and save 15% off your yarn purchase with the coupon code at right.

Where will you find us next? Click here to view our Events Calendar for 2013!

Speaking of fibery events, last weekend found us in Jefferson, WI for the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. It was our second year vending and as you can see, there was a fantastic turnout. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by our booth!

We're starting to see a lot of exciting new patterns for fall using Bijou Spun yarns. There are two gorgeous patterns which use our yarn in the newly-published book by Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein, The Art of Seamless Knitting:
L-R: Lace Cardigan by Simona Merchant Dest, Lace Stockings by Faina Goberstein
Our 100% Yak Sport Weight Yarn has been a popular yarn choice amongst designers for fall:
L-R: Dalriada by Amy Herzog, Infinity Scarf by Marly Bird, Lace Panel Pullover by Marly Bird
Stephannie Tallent's new collection Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock is hot off the presses and includes a stunning cabled hat knit with Bijou Bliss yak/cormo blend yarn:
Exakta Hat by Stephannie Tallent
Finally, we'll be releasing a new pattern collection designed by the fabulous Marly Bird next month - here is a sneak peek!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On the Road with Bijou Basin Ranch

Throughout the year, we travel near and far to bring you the best luxury yarns (click here to view our events calendar for 2013)!

Last weekend found us returning to Schaumburg, IL for yet another fantastic Stitches Midwest. Here's a fun fact: our booth number just happened to be the same most notable area code for Chicago, 312!  

Our Stitches Midwest booth just before the Marketplace opened.
There was a sneak peek of a soon-to-be-published sweater by Marly Bird knit in our yarn at the Stitches Midwest Fashion show!

Coming Soon: The Elise Sweater by Marly Bird.
Photo Courtesy of Knitting Universe.

Once the Marketplace closes and the booth is all packed up, it's time honor our yearly tradition - heading to Portillo's for dinner!

Another fun fact: Portillo's is also designer Cookie A's favorite Chicago spot!
While we're on the road, we're giving away some great prizes on the free Bijou Basin Ranch app. Look for our posts on the Fan Wall: it could be a question, a photo, or even something silly (don't worry, you'll know it when you see it!). The first app user to respond by posting the correct response will be the winner for our next random prize drawing - yarn, kits and BBR gift certificates are all up for grabs!

Click here to download our free app and join in the fun!

We'll be heading to Allegan, MI for the Michigan Fiber Festival this weekend (August 17-18). You can print and redeem the coupons below to save on your show yarn purchase (or access them via our free app). You'll find us in Booth #22 in Building 2 - see you there!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"I Love This Yarn" Photo Contest!

Welcome to the brand-new Bijou Basin Ranch blog! Each month, we'll be sharing inspiration for knitters and crocheters along with sneak peeks behind the scenes - photo shoots, fiber events, adorable yaks....and contests, too!

We are lucky to have some of the most talented knitters and crocheters counted amongst our fans. This month, we are kicking off a new contest to let your skills shine! Grab your camera and your best knit or crochet project made with Bijou Spun yarns for your chance to win some great prizes:

1st Place: $300 BBR Gift Certificate
2nd Place: $175 BBR Gift Certificate
3rd Place: $50 BBR Gift Certificate

The top 10 entries will also receive a FREE Bijou Basin Ranch T-Shirt!

Click here to find out how to submit your entry; you can read full contest rules here on our website!