Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Reasons Why A Poncho Should Be Your Next Project (Really!)

For those of you who are starting to experience warmer weather, the question of what to knit or crochet can be a little more difficult; it's hard to feel motivated to knit a sweater when you know that it will be months until you can wear it! There are lots of great small projects to make when the temperature rises, but today we want to share 3 reasons why a poncho should be your next project (really!):

1. Ponchos are great for changing seasons. The transition between winter and summer is rarely smooth - one day, you're wearing shorts and flip-flops, then next you are reaching for wool socks and a coat! A poncho is an easy way to layer up and be prepared for those crazy fluctuations of temperature. Yak, qiviut and silk fibers are a particularly good choice, because they are lightweight while still being warm & insulating.

2. Ponchos are easy to wear. Think of them as a shawl that is simply easier to style - just throw is on and you're out the door! We've heard many crafters comment that they love to knit or crochet shawls, but find them difficult to wear. A poncho is a great way to sidestep the issue while still getting that lovely shawl-wearing effect.

3. There's a poncho pattern for every skill level. Whether you're just starting out, or you've been knitting for years, there is a pattern to suit your preference and skill level. Newbies may prefer a simple construction such as knitting a large rectangle which is then seamed into a poncho; intermediate and experienced knitters may opt to try more adventurous techniques or stitch patterns to add an element of excitement to their project.

One of our favorite patterns is the Little Bear Poncho by Marly Bird, knit in Shangri-La 50/50 yak/silk lace weight yarn - click here to purchase pattern PDF or here to purchase discounted project kit.
If you're a fan of knitting with fingering weight yarns such as Himalayan Trail or Tibetan Dream, Carina Spencer's Winterberry Hood is a fun poncho to knit which also includes a functional hood.
Andrea Mowry's Yoga Shawl would be another lovely project to knit with either of these yarns substituted in - it's constructed exactly like a shawl (for all those die-hard shawl knitters out there!), but  can be worn as a poncho when both ends are buttoned together. How clever!

(Be sure to also check out Andrea's recent review of our Bijou Bliss yarn and Allure fiber wash, found here on her blog.)

Our Lhasa Wilderness yarn is a great go-to for warmer months; the yak/bamboo blend is great for year-round wear, but the breathability of bamboo is especially handy in the summertime. Monika Sirna's Amethyst Iris poncho would be a great project to knit with Lhasa Wilderness, and it comes in a range of sizes from child to adult.
We look forward to seeing your poncho projects over in the Bijou Basin Ranch Fan Club on Ravelry!

Friday, May 6, 2016

#MemeAYak Winner & May Updates

Wow! We were really impressed with the creativity of our fans for our recent #MemeAYak contest. From the pool of entries, we saw many clever and amusing entries, and since many folks were inspired to submit multiple memes, we thought it was only fair to enter each person's name into a a hat to draw for our prize winner. Congratulations to Raveler PamMaher, who says she was stuck in an airport and discovered our contest. We're glad we could provide a little entertainment to make the time pass a little faster (we hope!) - here is one of her funny entries:
We'll get in touch with Pam via Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of the prize, a skein of our Tibetan Dream sock yarn in the winner's choice of in-stock colors. Congratulations Pam, and many thanks to everyone who shared their entries with us on Ravelry, Facebook, and Instagram.
This Saturday & Sunday, we'll be at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (MDSW for short) in Tent N4. We're pretty excited to return to West Friendship with all of your favorite yak & luxury yarns, including colors from our new Indie Dyer series - and don't forget the Allure! Be sure to also ask about our show specials on Paco-Vicuna yarn and roving in all natural colors, too.
If you can't make it to the show, don't forget that our online store is open 24/7. You can also click here to see our full schedule of events for 2016. See you soon!