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KNITTING TIPS AND TUTORIALS
Wet Splicing Tutorial by Leah Chapman Wet splicing yarn is a great way to join multiple balls of yarn together seamlessly, without any knots or extra ends to weave in.  Most knitting projects require several balls of yarn, so at some point you will inevitably need to transition from one ball to the next. Splicing is a quick and easy way to do this. If done properly, the join will be completely invisible in the finished product. All of our Freia Flux colorways begin and end with the same color, so you can join the first ball to either end of the next, depending on the stripe pattern you desire. Our Ombré colorways can be knit as either a center-pull ball, or from the outside in, so you will always be able to join up to the matching end without having to re-wind the ball. These features help to ensure that every project will have perfect transitions between each ball of yarn.  Splicing will make sure that no knots, lumps, or extra ends ruin that seamless join. In this tutorial I will demonstrate first how to splice our single-ply 100% Wool Sport and Worsted weight yarns, and then show you how to adapt this technique for splicing our 2 and 4-ply washable Wool/Nylon Fingering and Lace weight yarns. You will need: The yarns you will be joining Scissors A small bowl of hot water (add a drop of dish soap to make splicing even easier) Splicing Single-Ply Yarns Here I will be splicing a new ball of Big Top Worsted onto my knitting project. As you can see in the detail, the yarn is only a single strand of twisted wool, as opposed to a plied yarn made up of multiple strands. Both our worsted and sport weight yarns are single-ply, so this technique will work equally well on either one. Step 1: Begin by fraying the two ends of yarn that you will be joining. Gently pick them apart with your fingers so that the wool untwists, and fans out at the end. Step 2: Next, you want to carefully cut a little bit of wool out of the center of each “fan” with scissors. You should remove about 1/3 of the total wool, so that you are left with a V shape at the end of each strand. This will ensure that when you join the two ends, there won’t be a bump in the yarn where they overlap. Step 3: Now you want to intersect the two V’s, so that the strands of yarn overlap. You can see it more clearly here with a contrast color yarn. Step 4: Roll the yarn gently between your hands so that the yarn gets compressed and the fluff becomes matted down. Step 5: Carefully dip the yarn into the bowl of water where the two strands intersect, and then continue to roll the yarn between the palms of your hands in order to felt the ends together. Start out slowly, and then roll more vigorously as the yarn starts to come together. Keep going until the ends can no longer be distinguished and the yarn looks like one continuous strand. If you gently pull on the yarn on both sides of the splice, it should not come apart.  The final splice should blend in completely with the rest of the yarn, and once knit it will be invisible in the finished product. You now have a new ball attached to your work, and you can start knitting where you left off! Splicing Plied (multi-stranded) Yarns Most of our other yarns, including our wool/nylon lace and fingering weight yarns, our Merino/Silk blend yarns, and our Alpaca/ Silk blend lace yarn are made up of multiple small strands of yarn (plies) twisted together, as opposed to being a single strand of twisted fiber. This will require a slight modification to the splicing process. Step 1: Separate out the multiple plies from the strand of yarn. As you can see here, our fingering weight yarn is a 4-ply, and the lace weight yarn has 2 plies. Whichever yarn you are using, you want to untwist the end carefully so that each ply is separated out. Don’t try to untwist the individual plies, you want to leave them intact. Step 2: This step only applies to yarn with more than two plies. If you are splicing our 2-ply lace weight yarn, because the yarn is so thin, you don’t need to cut anything and you can skip ahead to step 3.  If the yarn you are splicing has 3 or more plies, you want to use scissors to cut half of them back about ¾ of an inch, leaving an equal number of plies to form either side of the V. If the yarn you are splicing has an odd number of plies, cut fewer of the strands than you leave behind. Step 3: You can now follow the same method for splicing as for a single-ply yarn, beginning with step 3. The only difference for our lace and fingering weight yarns is that they are a washable wool blend, so they will not technically be “felting” together like the 100% wool does.  This simply means that it may take slightly longer to splice, as the ends really need to get tangled together. You may need to roll the yarn between your hands more vigorously to get this to happen, but it should still splice successfully. You might notice that the splice looks slightly fuzzier than the rest of the yarn, but once it is knit it will be nearly impossible to spot, and much more invisible than a knot.  
Self-Striping Yarns: Knitting Tricks & How to Make Your Own with Tina Whitmore Knitting with self-striping yarns is addicting: it’s so much fun to knit row after row and see what color will come up next. Join Tina Whitmore, knitwear designer and owner of Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns and learn everything you need to know to get the most out of your beautiful self-striping skeins. In this video tutorial will you learn: How these yarns are produced How to knit the best basic stripes And how to change knitting direction for visual interest. Knit along with Tina as she provides step-by-step instruction on how to create the simple Escalante Cowl. Learn elongated stitches, color placement, and more with this included pattern! Please note these links  above will take you to the Interweave Store website, and is not affiliated with Freia Yarns.
Knitting with Ombré and Gradient Yarns: Tips and Tricks for the Best Results with Tina Whitmore Ombré and Gradient yarns are irresistible when you're at the wool festival or your local yarn shop, but what can you make with that beautiful skein once it's in your stash? Tina Whitmore, knitwear designer and owner of Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns, shares her expert advice on how to choose the best yarn for your project. Tina will guide you through why it's important to consider stitch pattern, color placement, saturation and intensity, how to extend your gradient, and much more. Plus, Tina will guide you step-by-step through knitting the Trigonometry Shawlette pattern (included) What you will learn about knitting with ombré yarns: What to choose and why (long gradient, etc.) How production affects product Dyeing a knitted panel Color placement Considering your stitches (extending your gradient, how to match color when attaching a second ball of yarn) Plus, knit the Trigonometry Shawlette pattern that is included with the video!
Twisted Stitches by Tina Whitmore Let me start by saying there is no right or wrong way to knit, however, you do, theoretically, want your stitches to look even and pretty, and you probably want knitting to be fairly easy, smooth and quick. Stitches that are not twisted have the yarn lying in even rows, smoothly bumping up to, but not crossing over its neighbor stitch, or itself. The stitch presents itself to you politely on the needle and is easy to pick up and to work. In the stockinette stitch sample, shown to the left, you have nice, even little Vs all in tidy rows. Then you have the twisted stitch, it fights back, you can’t figure out where your needle goes, it’s hard to work each stitch, your knitting is not as nice as what you’ve seen around you and you start asking yourself at what point does knitting become relaxing?? Twisted stitches can happen a few different ways, and there is not one simple answer as to how they occur or how to fix them as we can all knit differently, and may knit differently one project to the next depending on the yarn, the mood, the needles or just for the heck of it. The causes and fixes are related to the following: You pick up your stitches through the back loop of the stitch, or You pick up your stitches through the front loop of the stitch You wrap the yarn counter (anti) clockwise, or You wrap the yarn clockwise. Playing with these four basic elements, (make it eight elements when working alternating knit and purl rows) is what will create or take away the twisted stitch. Here is an example of stitches that are twisted on every row. To create this, on my right side (knit) rows, I picked up my knit stitches through the front part of the loop and wrapped my yarn clockwise to creat the Knit stitch. With my purl stitches, I picked up again through the front of the loop and wrapped the yarn under my needle and over, also clockwise. If you compare this to the first picture, you will see that each little V is now crossed at the bottom, instead of just touching. It’s actually not bad looking, but every stitch was a battle and this sample took me about 3 times as long to work up compared to the untwisted version. When knitting the 1st sample of untwisted rows, I picked up my stitches in the front for both the knit and the purl rows, and wrapped my yarn counter-clockwise. A lot of knitters, when just learning, will have twisted sts on just one row and untwisted on the following. They are still figuring out what goes where, and are feeling all thumbs, wishing they had a third arm to hold anything as it’s all so confusing. Here in this 3rd sample is what that can look like, I’ve again picked up my yarn from the front, but on my knit rows I wrapped the yarn counter-clockwise, and for the purl rows, I wrapped it clockwise. So, you will see that in all these samples, the only thing that has changed is whether I’ve wrapped the yarn clockwise or not. Habits are easy to make and hard to break, and the direction the yarn is wrapped is a tough one to change for some. In that case, a way to get rid of the twist would be to pick up your stitches through the back part of the loop, instead of the front and see what happens. So on which row do you do that, the knit or the purl? Again, no real right answer, since it ultimately depends on what you are doing that is causing the twist.
Provisional Crochet Cast On in 15 Seconds!
An Assortment of Increases and Decreases
Tips and Tricks for the Flore Petal Hat
Please note: More Tips and Tutorials can be found when viewing our website on a full size screen
© Knitwhits 2010-2016. All Rights Reserved.
KNITTING TIPS AND TUTORIALS
Twist Hat/Siena Hat Making a Two-Color Knitted Braid (including a Two-Color Cast On)
An Assortment of Increases and Decreases
Tips and Tricks for the Flore Petal Hat
Ripley Hat - Tuck Stitch and Picot Edging
Nepali Hat - Color Dominance and Central Double Decrease (please excuse poor image quality)
Ophelia Sweater / Overcrossing Shawl - Crossover Stitch
Provisional Crochet Cast On in 15 Seconds!
Smooth Edges by Tina Whitmore To keep your edges of your knitting smooth, if the pattern allows for it, slip the first stitch of every row. This means, if you are right handed, that you would transfer the first stitch from your left needle to your right needle without knitting or purling it, and then work the remainder of your row in whatever stitch or pattern as called for in your instructions. To the left is a picture of garter stitch worked with a slipped stitch at the beginning of each row. What this in effect does is reduce the amount of yarn used at the end stitch, keeping your work a bit tighter and tidier. Newer knitters often have difficulty with tension in their knitting until they become comfortable enough to get a good smooth rhythm going while they work, and this can often be most apparent in the edges. The other benefit to slipping that first stitch, particularly for newer knitters, is it can make it easier if you have to go back in later on and sew two edges together, since you will have clearly demarked rows to work with. On the other hand, more experienced knitters, whose work (and tension) has become more uniform, may prefer not to slip that first stitch. When assembling a garment, such as setting in the sleeve of a sweater, you will want to have a nice, tight and even "ladder" to work with when joining pieces with mattress stitch. For this, it is in fact preferable to not slip that first stitch since the gap created by that slipped stitch will be to large for "comfort" to work well with a mattress stitch seam. Having said all this, if you are working on something using a fuzzy novelty multicolor yarn, no one will ever know the difference if you do or don’t slip that first stitch. However, it’s not a bad habit to learn and store away in your "knitting muscle memory".
Twisted Stitches by Tina Whitmore Let me start by saying there is no right or wrong way to knit, however, you do, theoretically, want your stitches to look even and pretty, and you probably want knitting to be fairly easy, smooth and quick. Stitches that are not twisted have the yarn lying in even rows, smoothly bumping up to, but not crossing over its neighbor stitch, or itself. The stitch presents itself to you politely on the needle and is easy to pick up and to work. In the stockinette stitch sample, shown to the left, you have nice, even little Vs all in tidy rows. Then you have the twisted stitch, it fights back, you can’t figure out where your needle goes, it’s hard to work each stitch, your knitting is not as nice as what you’ve seen around you and you start asking yourself at what point does knitting become relaxing?? Twisted stitches can happen a few different ways, and there is not one simple answer as to how they occur or how to fix them as we can all knit differently, and may knit differently one project to the next depending on the yarn, the mood, the needles or just for the heck of it. The causes and fixes are related to the following: You pick up your stitches through the back loop of the stitch, or You pick up your stitches through the front loop of the stitch You wrap the yarn counter (anti) clockwise, or You wrap the yarn clockwise. Playing with these four basic elements, (make it eight elements when working alternating knit and purl rows) is what will create or take away the twisted stitch. Here is an example of stitches that are twisted on every row. To create this, on my right side (knit) rows, I picked up my knit stitches through the front part of the loop and wrapped my yarn clockwise to creat the Knit stitch. With my purl stitches, I picked up again through the front of the loop and wrapped the yarn under my needle and over, also clockwise. If you compare this to the first picture, you will see that each little V is now crossed at the bottom, instead of just touching. It’s actually not bad looking, but every stitch was a battle and this sample took me about 3 times as long to work up compared to the untwisted version. When knitting the 1st sample of untwisted rows, I picked up my stitches in the front for both the knit and the purl rows, and wrapped my yarn counter-clockwise. A lot of knitters, when just learning, will have twisted sts on just one row and untwisted on the following. They are still figuring out what goes where, and are feeling all thumbs, wishing they had a third arm to hold anything as it’s all so confusing. Here in this 3rd sample is what that can look like, I’ve again picked up my yarn from the front, but on my knit rows I wrapped the yarn counter-clockwise, and for the purl rows, I wrapped it clockwise. So, you will see that in all these samples, the only thing that has changed is whether I’ve wrapped the yarn clockwise or not. Habits are easy to make and hard to break, and the direction the yarn is wrapped is a tough one to change for some. In that case, a way to get rid of the twist would be to pick up your stitches through the back part of the loop, instead of the front and see what happens. So on which row do you do that, the knit or the purl? Again, no real right answer, since it ultimately depends on what you are doing that is causing the twist.
Wet Splicing Tutorial by Leah Chapman Wet splicing yarn is a great way to join multiple balls of yarn together seamlessly, without any knots or extra ends to weave in.  Most knitting projects require several balls of yarn, so at some point you will inevitably need to transition from one ball to the next. Splicing is a quick and easy way to do this. If done properly, the join will be completely invisible in the finished product. All of our Freia Flux colorways begin and end with the same color, so you can join the first ball to either end of the next, depending on the stripe pattern you desire. Our Ombré colorways can be knit as either a center-pull ball, or from the outside in, so you will always be able to join up to the matching end without having to re-wind the ball. These features help to ensure that every project will have perfect transitions between each ball of yarn.  Splicing will make sure that no knots, lumps, or extra ends ruin that seamless join. In this tutorial I will demonstrate first how to splice our single-ply 100% Wool Sport and Worsted weight yarns, and then show you how to adapt this technique for splicing our 2 and 4-ply washable Wool/Nylon Fingering and Lace weight yarns. You will need: The yarns you will be joining Scissors A small bowl of hot water (add a drop of dish soap to make splicing even easier) Splicing Single-Ply Yarns Here I will be splicing a new ball of Big Top Worsted onto my knitting project. As you can see in the detail, the yarn is only a single strand of twisted wool, as opposed to a plied yarn made up of multiple strands. Both our worsted and sport weight yarns are single-ply, so this technique will work equally well on either one. Step 1: Begin by fraying the two ends of yarn that you will be joining. Gently pick them apart with your fingers so that the wool untwists, and fans out at the end. Step 2: Next, you want to carefully cut a little bit of wool out of the center of each “fan” with scissors. You should remove about 1/3 of the total wool, so that you are left with a V shape at the end of each strand. This will ensure that when you join the two ends, there won’t be a bump in the yarn where they overlap. Step 3: Now you want to intersect the two V’s, so that the strands of yarn overlap. You can see it more clearly here with a contrast color yarn. Step 4: Roll the yarn gently between your hands so that the yarn gets compressed and the fluff becomes matted down. Step 5: Carefully dip the yarn into the bowl of water where the two strands intersect, and then continue to roll the yarn between the palms of your hands in order to felt the ends together. Start out slowly, and then roll more vigorously as the yarn starts to come together. Keep going until the ends can no longer be distinguished and the yarn looks like one continuous strand. If you gently pull on the yarn on both sides of the splice, it should not come apart.  The final splice should blend in completely with the rest of the yarn, and once knit it will be invisible in the finished product. You now have a new ball attached to your work, and you can start knitting where you left off! Splicing Plied (multi-stranded) Yarns Most of our other yarns, including our wool/nylon lace and fingering weight yarns, our Merino/Silk blend yarns, and our Alpaca/ Silk blend lace yarn are made up of multiple small strands of yarn (plies) twisted together, as opposed to being a single strand of twisted fiber. This will require a slight modification to the splicing process. Step 1: Separate out the multiple plies from the strand of yarn. As you can see here, our fingering weight yarn is a 4-ply, and the lace weight yarn has 2 plies. Whichever yarn you are using, you want to untwist the end carefully so that each ply is separated out. Don’t try to untwist the individual plies, you want to leave them intact. Step 2: This step only applies to yarn with more than two plies. If you are splicing our 2-ply lace weight yarn, because the yarn is so thin, you don’t need to cut anything and you can skip ahead to step 3.  If the yarn you are splicing has 3 or more plies, you want to use scissors to cut half of them back about ¾ of an inch, leaving an equal number of plies to form either side of the V. If the yarn you are splicing has an odd number of plies, cut fewer of the strands than you leave behind. Step 3: You can now follow the same method for splicing as for a single-ply yarn, beginning with step 3. The only difference for our lace and fingering weight yarns is that they are a washable wool blend, so they will not technically be “felting” together like the 100% wool does.  This simply means that it may take slightly longer to splice, as the ends really need to get tangled together. You may need to roll the yarn between your hands more vigorously to get this to happen, but it should still splice successfully. You might notice that the splice looks slightly fuzzier than the rest of the yarn, but once it is knit it will be nearly impossible to spot, and much more invisible than a knot.  
Why Gauge Matters by Tina Whitmore Unless you have a particular fondness for frogging (or unknitting) your hard work, swatching is a must. When you make a swatch you determine many things: how you like the feel of the yarn, how this yarn knits up using particular needles (maybe you find you prefer metal over wood with certain yarns), the stiffness of the yarn based on gauge and how your knitting compares in tension with the manufacturer’s or pattern writer’s suggested gauge are a few reasons. When a designer writes a pattern, they will give you swatch specifications to try to match to make sure you end up with the correct results following their instructions. If your gauge is off, meaning, the you have fewer or more stitches or rows in your swatch, it will throw off all your measurements for your project and you will unhappily end up with a sweater 2 sizes too small or a hat that could fit a Yeti. Let’s start with what a manufacturer suggests..theoretically, the figures provided for you on a yarn label are what the yarn distributor or manufacturer has determined based on what they perceive to be the ‘average’ knitter. But here’s the rub.. the yarn shown in the picture to the left is distributed by two different companies. Company A says the yarn knits up at 5 sts/1" on 4mm needles. Company B says the yarn knits up at 5 1/2 sts/1" on 4mm needles. At least they agree on what needles should be used! As part of my little swatching experiment, the swatches shown here were all done using the same yarn, and same needles, on the same day. We all cast on 25 sts and worked 20 rows in stockinette stitch. Now even at this quick glance one can already see a difference between each swatch. It should also be noted that between the four of us that made up these swatches, we have well over 100 years of combined knitting experience, so be aware that experience makes no difference in your gauge, you don’t get to a point after X number of years and suddenly your gauge is always correct! Tess was my first victim. She came up with 11 sts and 14.5 rows over 2". She was right in line with Company B’s gauge. Sue's Swatch Next was Sue, she worked up the sample at 11.5 sts and 15 rows, so hers was a smidgeon tighter all around. Laurie's Swatch Then Laurie knitted up her swatch which ended up the tightest of all at 12 sts and 16 rows over 2", Tina's Swatch and I did mine last and it landed in between Sue’s and Laurie’s at 12 sts and 15 rows. Note that none of us ended up with the same gauge as Company A using the needle size suggested. So, what is the significance of all this? Well, imagine the four of us decided to make a raglan sweater and the sizes on the pattern are S, M and L. Let’s say the smallest size has a cast on of 90 sts, the M is 95 sts and the Large 100 sts. We each decide to make the Medium. Skipping on the swatch, we each pick up our 4 mm needles and start knitting away. The medium, according to the pattern, should be 19" wide at the given gauge of 5 sts and 7 rows/inch (or 20 sts x 28 rows over 4"). We knit away for a few hours and then take a look at what we’ve got: Tess measures her sweater front.. 17.25 inches wide! That’s 1.75 inches too narrow on the front alone, and will be 3.5 inches too narrow around the whole sweater, and the row count? Well, she’s at 7.25 rows to the inch, a bit on the short side, she probably should have jumped up a needle size to 4.5mm to get the gauge required. How about Sue? - She’s getting 5.75 sts/inch, in other words her sweater is even narrower at 16.5", way smaller than the Small, and 5 inches narrower around the whole garment. My sweater, well that one is 15" wide and way on the short side.. the raglan sleeves will never fit in the armholes properly And Laurie? Same again. Her sweater is all of 15" wide. Not good.. For comparison, let’s add in a fifth imaginary sweater maker who is getting a gauge of 4.5 sts to the inch, their medium sweater is turning out to be 21" wide, 2 inches wider all around than the large should be. Short of swallowing up those extra inches in the seams, it also turns out the row count is equally loose and the sleeves are looking way too long to fit in the armholes on the sweater. We’ve just learned the hard way that our knitting is not the same tension as the designer’s. That difference of 1 little stitch per inch between Tess’s swatch and Laurie’s and mine makes the difference between a medium adult sweater and a child size sweater (let alone the sleeve fitting issues). Some things to keep in mind when swatching: Make sure you use the same needles you will be using for your project, if you plan to use wood needles, then swatch on wood needles, the slipperyness of the yarn on your needles will affect your tension. Likewise, don’t swatch on straight needles only to knit on circulars, your gauge, in general, will be tighter on circular needles. Don’t rely completely on the ball band for gauge information, you should also look at yardage and weight of your yarn. If using a different yarn than what is called for in a pattern, the yardage and weight will be a far more accurate comparison between different yarns, keep in mind the fiber content too, wool may shrink, and cotton may stretch. Don’t skimp on your swatch, a 4" square will give you more accurate information than a 2" one, your stitches will settle in on a larger swatch and your work will be more even over a longer stretch of knitting. Don't waste your time making a swatch if you aren't going to block the swatch before measuring it. This means then that you also aren't allowed to complain when the item is a crazy shape or size. The point of a swatch is accuracy, take your time, do it right. You will save time in the end. Different yarns behave differently, wool is springy, cotton and silk will stretch, chenille has the mysterious ability to grow overnight. To be sure of your accuracy you will want to block your swatch, leave it to dry, and if humidity changes much in your area, you may look at leaving your swatch overnight to see if any further changes occur in your measurements. Likewise, don’t measure your swatch near your edges, your cast on or your cast off, find a spot where the stitches are the most even, swatches often splay out at the cast on or cast off, and edges can be bumpy and affect your count. If there is a stitch pattern, and the designer calls for a swatch using that stitch pattern, then do so, it’s also a great opportunity for you to test run the stitch pattern so it becomes familiar, better to make errors on a swatch than on your garment! Don’t swatch in the poor light, or when you are feeling tense. You may want to unwind with some knitting after a long stretch in rush hour traffic, but you are better off taking the dog for a walk first. Grumpy knitters make tight stitches! Keep in mind that if you rip out and restart a swatch that the yarn may have stretched from its first use, affecting your gauge on the 2nd try; again, block your swatch to get an accurate read. It is fairly easy to adjust needle size up or down to get the stitch gauge; row gauge can often be more challenging. Sometimes it may seem impossible to achieve the magic combination of stitch and row gauge and that these numbers must have been pulled from Mars! If you can get your stitch gauge correct and your row gauge close, then look at possibly making minor pattern adjustments instead of endlessly swatching your life away. Swatching is good thing, but we’re all here for the knitting in the end! A very special thank you to Tess, Sue and Laurie of Greenwich Yarn for knitting with me on Saturday - I hope you enjoyed this little experiment!
Knitting with Ombré and Gradient Yarns: Tips and Tricks for the Best Results with Tina Whitmore Ombré and Gradient yarns are irresistible when you're at the wool festival or your local yarn shop, but what can you make with that beautiful skein once it's in your stash? Tina Whitmore, knitwear designer and owner of Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns, shares her expert advice on how to choose the best yarn for your project. Tina will guide you through why it's important to consider stitch pattern, color placement, saturation and intensity, how to extend your gradient, and much more. Plus, Tina will guide you step-by-step through knitting the Trigonometry Shawlette pattern (included) What you will learn about knitting with ombré yarns: What to choose and why (long gradient, etc.) How production affects product Dyeing a knitted panel Color placement Considering your stitches (extending your gradient, how to match color when attaching a second ball of yarn)  Plus, knit the Trigonometry Shawlette pattern that is included with the video!
Self-Striping Yarns: Knitting Tricks & How to Make Your Own with Tina Whitmore Knitting with self-striping yarns is addicting: it’s so much fun to knit row after row and see what color will come up next. Join Tina Whitmore, knitwear designer and owner of Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns and learn everything you need to know to get the most out of your beautiful self-striping skeins. In this video tutorial will you learn: How these yarns are produced How to knit the best basic stripes And how to change knitting direction for visual interest. Knit along with Tina as she provides step-by-step instruction on how to create the simple Escalante Cowl. Learn elongated stitches, color placement, and more with this included pattern! Please note these links  above will take you to the Interweave Store website, and is not affiliated with Freia Yarns.