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Blog / Knitting Projects

  • Icelandic Wool Month at Tolt - Thank you!


    It's been such an amazing month, thank you to everyone that participated in Icelandic Wool Month at Tolt.  I loved reading all the blog posts by our guest bloggers, Kathy Cadigan, Dianna Walla, and Cirilia Rose and seeing all the Instagram posts (#tolticelandicwoolmonth).  Be sure to visit Beatrice Perron Dahlen's  blog post about her experiences in Iceland.   

    My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful time in Iceland!  We drove around the whole island on the Ring Road, visited a couple of sheep farms, floated in hot springs, visited a yarn dyer and an amazing wool center, toured Istex, met Hélène Magnússon and had lunch with Ragga Eiríksdóttir.  



    I wore my Dalur sweater almost everyday and it kept me warm and toasty in the ever-changing weather.  I knit this sweater two weeks before we left using Álafosslopi.  This bulky yarn knit up quickly and I love the way it turned out.  My Moon Sprites hat was perfect for keeping my head and ears covered and with all the color options in Léttlopi, I think I might need to knit up a few more.  I even managed to knit up some fun swim trunks for my husband after seeing a video on Iceland Air's website that showed some Icelandic men swimming in lopi.  My poor husband modeled them in freezing temperatures at the shores of Jökulsárlón with the snow and wind blowing around us!  


    We hope you enjoyed Icelandic Wool Month at Tolt as much as we did and can't wait to do it again next March.  I might need to visit Iceland again for this special occasion ; )

  • Knitting, as a journal.

    These are the first of two pairs of Hearth Slippers by Dianna Walla I knitted during the awesome KAL that Anna and "the Fancies" (Jamie and Amber) hosted a couple of months ago.

    When Anna asked me to write a blog post about the experience, I was delighted to have a chance to think back to the knitting of them. Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney is really wonderful yarn, stunning colors too. I particularly enjoyed knitting Dianna's stranded motifs, so fun and rewarding to execute. I'd actually never knitted a pair of slippers before! And I've been wearing these practically everyday since they were done... Finished both pairs around Christmas time and a family vacation to Bend, Oregon.

    These are some images that come to my mind's eye when I think about knitting my slippers. And looking through these photos reminded of something my favorite photographer/teacher Jay Maisel once said: that we all assert our own perspectives, experiences, feelings, ideas… our hearts! into the pictures we take, no matter whom or what we decide to focus our cameras upon … The images will always act as mirrors, small reflections of ourselves.

    I think you might know where this is going... of course the same goes for the knitted things we make! From the yarn, to the texture of the fabric, to the difficulty or ease of the project… we reveal things about ourselves and leave clues about our lives in our knitting. “Stockinette, ribbing, cables,… instantly evoke places, times, people, conversations- all those poignant moments we’ve tucked away in our memory banks.” –Clara Parkes, The Yarn Whisperer.

    For me, the Hearth Slippers KAL happened along at the perfect time. Wintry nordic motifs and rustic-y Romney worked perfectly with the vision I had for the holidays. As I knitted, I dreamed about wearing those slippers in a cozy cabin, going on a family road trip, having our daughter home from college. I decided to knit the second pair for her. Specifically, to take on a camping trip she'd planned with friends. It was a bittersweet knit, knowing that our daughter would be spending the second half of her Christmas break away from us, with her friends... I am happy for her new found independence and I was happy for the chance to knit my feelings into those slippers, to be able to give her something useful... that would make her smile when she looks at them.

    I’ve never been good at journaling… I just don’t have the discipline and I’ve always felt a little guilty about not putting pen to paper. But good news!! I’ve just started reading Clara’s book today, and it’s made me realize that as knitters, we are all journalists! And the things we make with yarn can sometimes “communicate far deeper meaning than could be put into words.” “Swatches and garments… when deciphered, tell stories of their own.” I had to giggle when my daughter told me later she actually burned a few holes in her slippers from toasting toes too close to the campfire...

    Knitted textiles certainly do tell wonderful stories...

    photo, Karen Templer

    photo, Ashley Yousling

    photo, Anna Dianich

    What are you knitting/journaling about now? As you hold your knitting and peer into it, what do you see? What does it make you remember? I’ll bet it’s something delightful.

    -Kathy Cadigan


  • Knitting in the new year.

    Christmas has come and gone and the new year has begun.  As exciting as New Year's and beginnings are, I am always a little sad when the holidays are done (I didn't bake enough cookies, I didn't get my fill of Christmas music, I never got around to knitting all the Christmas presents I wanted to make).  And once again I vow that next year will be different.  

    I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of gal, but thought that I will set some New Year's intentions and also thought that I will set some New Year's knitting goals.  Along with finishing my Amanda cardigan (yes, I am the last on the panel to finish), I plan on finishing the Cypress vest that I started before the shop opened ( a year and a half ago) and starting this summer I will knit hats and mittens for all four of my kids so that I don't panic when September comes around and they have no warm hand knits to wear on those cool mornings waiting for the school bus.  Also, I intend to get a head start on my holiday knitting.  What are your plans the new year?  

  • Marled


    I just love marled yarn, there's something really rustic yet urban about it. Last weekend while at the mall (I have a teenaged daughter), I spotted a really cute marled hat at Nordstrom and then a cute pair of marled gloves at Madewell.  I took a snapshot of the hat and texted it to Karen who somehow has a mental file of every great Ravelry pattern available.  Karen texted me back with a pattern that would work for the that hat and the next day at work I picked up a skein of Anna yarn (great name!) and got started on the Thank You hat by the Purl Bee. I'm still working on the hat (and the Hearth Slippers) but am loving the way it's turning out, Anna yarn is so soft and squishy. I think I'll be casting on for some red mittens in the Anna yarn as soon as the hat is done.  

    We have some other great marled yarns available as well, Insouciant Jacob and Twirl Marbles and you can get a similar affect by knitting two different color yarns held together like Jaime Jennings did on her Forester sweater by holding two colors of Heirloom Romney yarn together while knitting.

    Check out our Pinterest page for marled yarn inspiration.

  • Hearth Slipper KAL


    I first met Dianna Walla in 2013 at VK Live in Seattle. Dianna had just finished working on a design for Brooklyn Tweed and was working on a collection of her own. Dianna contacted me a little while later to see if I could help her find some locations for her upcoming photoshoot for her new designs. Driving around Carnation, I got to know her better and after seeing more of her beautiful designs I knew I wanted Dianna to design a pattern for Tolt.

    Dianna has spent time in Norway and speaks the language so I thought a Nordic inspired design would be a perfect choice. I really wanted to use a US-sourced yarn just like how we used Imperial for the Tolt Hat and Mitts. I decided on Heirloom Romney. Romney are a "long wool" breed and their wool is strong and long-lasting making it ideal for outerwear. Heirloom Romney yarn is produced by Jeane DeCoster of California for Fancy Tiger Crafts, a craft shop in Denver, Colorado owned by Jaime and Amber.  

    I was thrilled with the way the Hearth Sippers turned out and couldn't wait to share the design with all of you. Dianna did an amazing job with this pattern and it works well for the entire family.  



    Jaime of Fancy Tiger Crafts contacted me last week and said that they were going to do a Hearth Slipper Knit-A-Long (KAL), and I asked if Tolt could join in the fun.  

    The Details:

    - Hearth Slipper KAL will start on November 18th and end on December 16th.

    -Tolt Yarn and Wool and Fancy Tiger Crafts will be offering 15% off Heirloom Romney yarn and Fiber Trend Slipper Bottoms (discount code HSKAL14) to those that want to join the Hearth Slipper KAL. Tolt Yarn and Wool will be offering this discount October 31, 2014 through November 19, 2014.  

    -Please share your progress with us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging us @toltyarnandwool and with #hearthslipperkal.

    Happy Knitting!


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