Woolmint first hand dyed yarn Symphony

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been busy with experimenting with yarn dyeing and now I’d like to introduce you Woolmint’s first hand dyed yarn – Symphony.

Symphony is a luxurious superwash sock blend from merino wool, cashmere and nylon. Each skein is hand dyed one by one and although the colorways are similar, every skein has it’s own attitude.
We named it Symphony, because like this musical masterpiece – symphony – have a lot of variations; our yarn has also. We usually use two different colors for making those unique combinations.

And of course, if a yarn has a name Symphony, we had to name all colorways after famous composers, so you can choose your favorite – Mozart, Kreek, Liszt, Haydn and many more, along with our local Tormis and Tubin.

You’ll find Woolmint Symfony from our online store and the yarn is also listed on Ravelry.

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What’s been happening in past 2 years

I just discovered that my old blog is still alive here on WordPress, despite of all the things happened in recent years.
And in some weird way, statistics say that people still read it, so I feel I own you all an explanation what has happened since my last blog post over two years ago.

Main reason why I probably haven’t updated the page here, is that Woolmint got it’s own website with blog and online store.
At first it was only published in Estonian and we shipped to Estonia, but in this January, after major updates on our website, we published it in English as well and started shipping worldwide.
This is how it looks:

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Some of you may remember that we also had a physical yarn store in Pärnu, Estonia – quite fancy Scandinavian-style place with a cafe, lots of craft supplies and finest selection of Estonian made handicraft.
I’m sad to say that we closed it in September 2016.
Main reason for that was a new challenge we face since autumn – Woolmint is now officially SandnesGarn distributor in all Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), which means that we physically did not have time for running a cafe and we needed to rent a bigger place where to build a warehouse.
Since then I’ve been on the road a lot, visiting all those countries, different yarn stores, events and so on. But it’s so fun!

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Besides that, we started our own line of hand dyed yarns.

Woolmint Symphony is our first “baby” from this line.
Symphony is a 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon superwash sock yarn in bright colors. We currently have only 7 different shades available, but at least three more will be available in upcoming week.
Which do you like most? Mozart, Chopin or our local Tubin and Tormis?

I’m also writing knitting patterns actively again. We have a very fun shawl KAL project coming out in April, make sure to check back for more information 🙂

Our online store is now open

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A big work has done and our brand new online store http://www.woolmint.ee is opened. I’m glad to say that woolmint.com blog will remain open until we translate our new site to English, which will happen in the beginning of next year.

Until then, if you find something interesting from our store, you’re welcome to send our wished to e-mail address anniki@woolmint.com. We do ship internationally if needed, and even if you don’t speak Estonian, a photo tells more than a million words.

Playing with new materials – Finest Royal Alpaca

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Have you ever promised not to start another knitting project unless you have finished old ones? I’m sure you have, so you know the feeling of touching brand new skeins in a yarn store, dreaming of what to knit and leaving without buying anything, because you have a box filled with UFO’s – unfinished objects.
Well, I currently knit at least 3 dresses and 2 pairs of gloves at once, so I try hard not to pick up any new yarns from our store. And I did rather well, until yesterday, when a new order from Atelier Zitron arrived. Along with other precious yarns like Fil Royal and Filisilk, there was a decent amount of Finest Royal Alpaca and since unpacking very first skein of this yarn, I was immediately addicted – I had to try it, no matter what.
What promises about UFOs? Can’t remember 🙂

A minute later I knew what I was going to knit. Audrey cardigan of course! This is one of my favorite cardigan patterns (I wonder why it has so less projects on Ravelry?) and I have already done it from natural Bluefaced Leicester wool.
First skein took only a few hours to knit:

20140802_141649 I changed the pattern a bit, because I don’t like to knit pattern in back rows and I replaced bobbles with classical Nupps – a traditional Haapsalu lace knitting technique.
So what can I say – Finest Royal Alpaca is a luxurious premium quality alpaca yarn which can be worn next to the skin because of it’s softness. Perfect for something special, so be sure to carefully choose your knitting project – you don’t want to waste any.
This was also first time when I used Knit Pro Cubics IC needles. First it was a bit odd to knit with them, but now, in the beginning of second skein, I start loving them – Cubics are smooth and not as slippery as their most popular Symfonie needles.

Pattern inspiration for Finest Royal Alpaca:

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Fold and Turn cardigan by Suvi Simola
Frost on Leaves hat by Midori Hirose
Laren Mitts by Adriana Hernandez

Woolmint Store

You may have noticed that our blog menu has a tab named “Woolmint store”. That’s correct, we opened a craft supply store in my hometown Pärnu on May 1st. We sell premium quality yarns such as Atelier Zitron, The Natural Dye Studio, Lang Yarns, Malabrigo and Laxtons along with high class knitting needles from Knit Pro / Knitter’s Pride. We also have a selection of scrapbooking and jewelry making supplies available.

You can find a selection of top quality Estonian handicraft and design, not only made by Estonians, but also designed in Estonia. Of course all Woomint designs are nicely displayed and available for buying.

To be honest, in the beginning oh this year, I had no plan to open a store. I had dreamed about it, but while being pregnant with my second son, my top priority was (and still is) my family. But then came a friend of mine, who is making & selling different paper products and jewelry supplies, worried that she has no free space at home because of all the work stuff and a plan to rent working rooms for both of us was born.
We found a lovely property in the center of Pärnu, which is perfect for us – both Angela and I have a separate office room, plus we have this big spacious studio for the store.

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From the first moment I was sure that if we do it, it has to be different and unique. We already have plenty of similar looking craft stores, we needed a place where we and our customers feel inspired. A place where we want to come and work, something worth waking up and taking walk to the city center every morning.
So it’s not really a typical store. It is an open studio where we daily work and kindly host our guests. Here you can comfortably sit on the sofa, have a cup of coffee (we don’t sell coffee, but we have some takeaways in our neighborhood, you’re welcome to bring your own) and browse craft books both in Estonian and English. Or sit and just knit, if you need a moment for yourself. Our experienced knitters know answers to most of your knitting and yarn related questions and we can offer designing advice if needed.

We play yarn lottery here and soon start offering yarn buffet for those who want to exchange their skein ends for new yarns. We have a box of homeless yarns, a place where you can find single skeins from the brands we don’t sell daily:

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If you do not live in Estonia, then of course you should visit end experience all the endless emotions the country has to offer, but if it’s not possible, then don’t worry – we will open an international online store in autumn – hopefully before October – which will be at least as cool as our local yarn store. It will be colorful, easy to browse, fun and educational at the same time. So if you open woolmint.com website later this year, you will see totally different site than at the moment. But the blog won’t go anywhere, we continue writing 🙂

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Visiting Haapsalu Lace Center

If you are a knitter, you must know world famous Haapsalu shawls. You probably know at least one word in Estonian – Nupp (knitting Nupps, as making a bobble using a traditional Haapsalu technique).

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Haapsalu Lace Center was opened not long ago – I believe it was in February. I visited them in the beginning of March for first time and have been there several times since then. I just arrived from my last visit.
It is located in the old part of Haapsalu, in a spacious house with large windows, and I love that the place is constantly changing – they have new exhibitions every month and even if you have visited them just a few weeks ago, there is probably something new to see if you stop by next time.
Local knitters frequently gather in the lace center and if you’re lucky, you can learn from real Haapsalu Shawl masters their specific historical techniques – just ask!
If you happen to visit Estonia, be sure to make at least a day trip to Haapsalu, because lace center is really worth a visit if you love knitting. The center hosts a small boutique with lace items, exhibitions, museum and regular events and workshops.

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Lace dresses knitted by very talented Haapsalu knitter Marge Heeringas.

20140710_120235Authentic Haapsalu shawls, knit by real Haapsalu shawl masters, are always packed to this nice custom box.

20140710_120258Lace jewelry by Siiri Reimann, the author of “Haapsalu Shawl” books.

20140710_123810Lace painting by Aide Leit-Lepmets. The dress is knitted!

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Lace yarn by Rees. You can buy it from Etsy.

 

Granny Square Baby Blankets

IMG_4753xsIt’s not happening every day that I can share a photo of more than a one finished baby blanket,  but this time I do have three freshly finished and photographed afghans to share.

I’ve previously written how I feel about the classic granny squares – the pattern itself is pretty easy even for beginners, but it is the color combination that fascinates me. You can use this one simple pattern over and over again in different colors and the result is always unique.

I usually make them when I need a “non-thinking” project. Pattern designing & writing can be exhausting sometimes, because of all the calculations you have to make. So it’s sometimes kind of relief to take the granny squares and just crochet without thinking of the result, while watching TV.

The one in the center was crocheted from DROPS Alpaca and it has been already sold. The yarn used for pink blanket is Rowan Pure Wool DK along with DROPS Karisma, and the blue one is done from DROPS Baby Merino.

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All my photos are again taken by Laura Toomesoo

 

Designer knitwear you can easily make yourself

Have you ever wondered why some designer knitwear items cost that much, especially when they have been made of synthetic materials such as acrylics or if they feature very basic patterns? Would you pay €400-500 for a knit cardigan? Some people do, but if you have even a little bit of knitting talent, you can easily make yourself.

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This is a Etoile Isabel Marant cotton blend cardigan. Blue, cream and light-blue chunky-knit cotton-blend hood, patch pockets zip fastening through front. Don’t know how to knit? Buy it from Net-a-Porter for €460.

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Cashmere sweater by Ralph Lauren. No one argues that cashmere is luxurious and expensive. €219 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Moncler grey cable knit jumper is my favorite! Round neck, cable knit, long sleeves. Really easy to make if you have some experience with basic cables. If you don’t, go to Harrods and take €342 with you.

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Inhabit purple shaker V cashmere. 100% cashmere. Simple and elegant for sure. €242 at Couture Candy.

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And if you’re a true knitwear and colorwork junkie, you must try Trina Turk style! Available at Revolve Clothing for €219.

A surprise from Koigu

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You all probably know my feelings about Koigu yarns. I love them! Their texture and hand-dyed colors and how they feel next to the skin.

A few days ago I received a surprise bag from Koigu, filled with KPPPM, Kersti, Bulky and new Koigu Lace. And of course a copy of new Koigu magazine 5, where my Romantic Lace Mini Gloves pattern is exclusively published.

I have a lot of experience with KPPPM, most of my Koigu designs are done from this yarn. Kersti is also familiar to me and I even have a pattern published where I used Koigu Bulky, which is also pretty new product from last year.

But Koigu Lace is something I haven’t personally seen or used before. Like all other Koigu yarns, Lace is also hand-painted, which means that each hank is a unique work of art. It is a 2ply merino yarn with 267 meters on 50g skein.

I don’t know about you, but receiving a bunch of new yarns is always a huge inspiration to me. I already started a new fingerless gloves design from KPPPM. I have a sweater design finished which I plan to adjust for Koigu yarns too. And I have something special in my mind for Koigu Lace. I really hope that you will see some of those designs in upcoming Koigu magazines.

 

Romantic Lace Mini Gloves with fingers

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Good news, winter is finally here!
And in Estonian winter it’s impossible to survive with fingerless gloves, so Romantic Lace Mini Gloves finally got fingers.
First two pairs are done and they will be available at Misu store (Tallinn, Kaarli pst 7) from Friday. I will also take some new hats to the store.
Besides Misu, Woolmint will have two more stores in Tallinn who sell our products. One is A.G.A.N in Rotermann Quarter and the other is A.G.A.N in Mustamäe Mustika shopping center. Be sure to visit, if you happen to be around!