Friday, February 29, 2008

Show & Tell Friday on Leap Year Day!!

For Show & Tell today I want to share with you 2 creations that Mary has done this past year. But first let me tell you a little about Mary. I first met Mary about a year ago when she came into the shop with her friend, Bev. Bev mentioned something about Mary's 90th birthday party and I sort of chuckled to myself...because Mary didn't look like she was 90 years old. I thought Bev was just joking with Mary. Then later in the conversation Bev mentioned the party again and I began to slowly realize that she was telling the truth...Mary had indeed celebrated her 90th birthday. Wow! The woman not only doesn't look like she is 90 years old, she doesn't act like it either. My perception of what someone looks and acts like when they have lived 90 years was about to change. Mary still drives herself around, she does her own grocery shopping, her own house cleaning, she cooks wonderful gourmet meals and entertains frequently. Oh...and she knits. :-) Mary's mind is still as sharp as a tack and she decided this year to learn some new skills.

Mary has made several things this year, but one of the most memorable ones was a little jacket and hat for her great-grandson. Here's a photo of the adorable little guy with his proud grandmother.

Mary made the little jacket and then decided to make a hat to go with it. So she found a garter-stitch pattern in a book that just went great with the jacket. The hat was just one color, but Mary used the 4 colors in the jacket and as you can see, they look great together.

Then Mary decided she wanted to make him a little hat that Mimi, one of our teachers, had designed. But Mary didn't
know how to do the fair-isle knitting that was required in order to make the hat. Did that stop Miss Mary? No...not by any means. She took Mimi's class and here are the photos to show what a great job she did.

Mary is a very sweet person and someone that I am glad to call my friend. I only hope that when I reach the age of 90 that I am as sharp and willing to learn new things as she is. By the way, she's a year older now than when I first met her...and she's still doing new projects. She's a remarkable lady.

Now on to another subject. We all wish we had more time to knit or crochet. Well, today is your's Leap Day! At The Yarn Haven we are having our "2008 Leap Day Sit 'N Stitch". You can come by the shop anytime today to sit and knit or crochet with others. We will be having an hourly drawing for door prizes. So if you've always wanted a little extra time to knit or crochet, come on over to the shop. After all, this day only comes once every 4 years!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Going "Green" Can Be Fun!

Those of you who have read our latest March/April newsletter know that The Yarn Haven is trying to go "green". We've always recycled our cardboard boxes and aluminum cans, but we are trying to do our part to save the environment. We've switched from using plastic bags to paper bags...and have even provided some Chico bags to encourage our customers to use reusable bags.

One of the coolest things I have done is to knit my own "swiffer covers" with which to sweep up all of the fibers that hang around the yarn shop. Here's a couple of photos of the ones I made. I used Classic Elite's Star yarn...which is in our sale bin right now...and I've already made 3 of the covers. I alternated the main color, so I probably have enough yarn to make at least one more. These are the greatest dusters. The combination of the cotton yarn with its stretchiness and the ball band pattern make for a great swiffer cover. The pattern is not original with me. I found it at I used this pattern to make my swiffer covers, but I made a couple of changes. First of all, I cast on 75 stitches instead of 69 because I wanted to make sure the cover fit my swiffer. And then when I came to the bind off, I did it in purl instead of knit because the bind off edge on my first one tended to curl out instead of in. These swiffer covers are machine washable...and the best part is that I won't have to use disposable covers anymore. That will save on my pocketbook as well as be better for the environment. A win/win situation if you ask me. Several folks have started to make these swiffer covers. If you want to make some for yourself, check out the "Star" yarn in the sale bin. I've had more "fun" cleaning the floors the past couple of weeks. Who knew that cleaning could be this much fun!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

What a gloomy day it is today with all the rain. I'm not complaining because we certainly need the rain to make up for the lack of it last year. But when the days are gloomy like this, it sometimes puts a damper on your mood. Perhaps seeing the wonderful projects that folks have finished will help lift your mood and inspire you to do new knitting or crocheting projects.

For Show and Tell today I have 2 gals that have shared their finished projects with me. First of all, Lynn brought in the baby blanket she had made out of Plymouth's Oh My and Heaven yarns. It was sooo incredibly soft. Very nice. And she was wearing a vest she had made out of Plymouth's Encore yarn. She said it was the first thing she had made that actually fit her. It was good seeing that particular color knitted up. I'll have to put it on my list for the next time I place a Plymouth order. Great job, Lynn.

Then Kristina was so kind to bring in two of her finished projects. The first one was the socks she made out of the J.Knits' "Go UT" sock yarn that we had special dyed. (By the way we have a couple of skeins left if anyone is still interested.) Kristina created her own pattern for these socks!! I don't know if you can see it or not, but she was trying to make "V's" in the design for the Tennessee Volunteers, of course. She said she'd write up the pattern for us. So let me know if you'd be interested in getting it. Then she also finished up a shawl that she had been making through the Mystic Waters KAL (Knitalong). As you can see it is absolutely gorgeous. Folks that can do such large lace projects just amaze me. As always, Kristina, you do beautiful work.

I so appreciate everyone bringing in their finished projects for me to see. If you have one that you'd like to share with us, please bring it by the shop for me to photograph.

Well, stay dry today...and try to find some time to just sit and knit or crochet. There's nothing like it to lift a person's spirit.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spinning Together

A couple of months ago several folks began gathering on the 2nd Saturday of each month after hours for a time to spin. It's been a lot of fun seeing the beautiful yarn that can be created from a pile of roving that looks to a non-spinner like myself like a pile of fluff. I took a photo of the gals that came to the spinning group this month. As I sat and knitted while they were spinning away, the rhythmic sound of their wheels almost put me to sleep. So whether you spin with a spindle or a wheel, or just have an interest in learning more about spinning, please come to The Yarn Haven on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 2:00 pm. The spinners here will be glad to answer any questions you might have. And just so you know, I've ordered some "Learn to Spin" kits that have a drop spindle as well as a DVD with instructions on how to use it. They should be in soon for anyone who wants to get a taste of what it's like to spin. I'm telling you, these spinners are going to have me spinning before you know it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

Well, making Valentine cookies with my granddaughter last night was a huge hit. As you can see, the cookies were really, really red (she put in a dad too much food coloring)...and they certainly don't look as pretty as Sheri's were...but then some of them were decorated by an almost 5 year old. My granddaughter LOVED me letting her decorate them herself. And to be honest, she did a really good job at not getting icing everywhere. This was a good thing since she had already had her bath before I got home. We had a lot of fun and hopefully she'll remember it for years to come.

As for Show and Tell, this week Phil brought in some items that she had made. The first photo shows some fingerless gloves she made out of Plymouth Baby Alpaca. They were sooo soft and she did a nice job on the fair-isle pattern. The next photo is of 2 hats she made. The one on the left is the Amanda hat made out of the Malabrigo yarn and the cabled hat on the right is made out of Tahki's Bunny yarn. The last photo is her Berroco's Jasper scarf. This is what the yarn looks like when you do stockinette stitch. Last Friday I showed you what a scarf using that yarn looks like in garter stitch. Two different looks using the same yarn. Both equally nice.

Thanks Phil for sharing your work with us. If you have finished projects you'd like to share, please bring them by the shop. We'll showcase some more items next Friday. Have a great day!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love is in the Air

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you hear the words "I love you" many times today. I thought I'd share a valentine dishcloth with you today.
I found this pattern at ttp:// I used the cotton yarn "Saucy" from Reynolds to make my dishcloth. I adjusted it a bit to have a 2 stitch border and I ended it purling the bindoff. Otherwise, just follow the directions.

My granddaughter was so excited this morning about going to preschool. They were going to have a Valentine's party at lunch today and make their own pizzas. And she has been working diligently all week on making valentines for each of her classmates and teachers. Tonight when the shop closes, I'm going to go home and finish making the valentine's cookies that I started last night. I was planning on doing them last night, but I didn't realize that the dough needed to chill for a while. But it will be fun to cut out and decorate the cookies with my granddaughter. She LOVES to cook with me. It's just an extention of her love for doing arts and crafts I think. Anyway, here's a great cookie recipe from a friend of mine that I think you'll enjoy. Sheri's an awesome cook and I know her cookies will be great!

And what would Valentine's Day be without flowers. My dear sweet husband sent these to me. You may have met him in the shop because he sometimes fills in for me when I have to be away. He's the best!

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Scrap Yarn Scarf

Have you signed up yet to attend the Girls' Night Out Workshop (GNOW) on Friday, February 29?? It should be a great workshop to help teach us about color theory and a chance to use up some of our yarn stash. Lisa will be our teacher. She's such a fun gal that it promises to be a great evening. If you've not had a chance to stop in at The Yarn Haven and see the model, then here are a couple of photos to entice you to sign up for the workshop.

This workshop is for knitters and crocheters!! You can also make this scarf wider and have a wonderful rectangular shawl. So if you're the least bit interested, please stop by and sign up. Seats are filling up...and you know I only have so many chairs. :-) The time will be from 6-9 pm and cost is only $25. You'll not only have your own stash to choose can choose yarns from others' stash as well. (As long as they don't mind swapping with you.)

Be sure to watch for other GNOWs coming every 5th Friday of the month. Mark your calendar with GNOW for every 5th Friday this year and then watch the newsletter for details.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

My customers make some of the most awesome things. They come in The Yarn Haven with a great idea for something they want to knit or crochet. Then we pick out the yarn and they go home to work on their new project. And then many times I find myself picking out yarn for myself to do that same project. :-) I get some great ideas that way.

So today, I have a couple of projects to show you that people have shared with me. The first one is a scarf made out of the Jasper yarn from Berroco. Marilyn made her son a beautiful scarf out of the brown color. I've seen this yarn knitted up in stockinette and it is so pretty...but it is equally nice in garter stitch. I think it makes a nicer man's scarf in the garter stitch. I think her son will really like it.

And then there is the first graduate of Lisa's Crayon Box Jacket class. Pam came into the shop this week modeling her newly finished jacket. As you can see it is gorgeous! What fun to use so many different shades of the same colors! This is the very first sweater that Pam has ever made. Her smiling face says it all. The others in the class are still working on completing their jackets. I hope to showcase them as soon as they are finished. So if you like this jacket and think you would like to make one for yourself, you might want to stop by the shop and sign up for the next Crayon Box Jacket class coming on Tuesdays in March. It really is a fun class and you'll learn a lot about putting different colors together. Plus Lisa is a great teacher! We're glad to have her on The Yarn Haven team!

Please bring your projects by the shop when you have finished them. If I have my camera with me, I'll take a picture of them and post them on the blog during one of our Show and Tell Fridays. Thanks Marilyn and Pam for sharing your finished projects with us!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Class added to the Schedule

Have you seen the gorgeous shawl hanging in the Aran weight section? Lisa Hackman, one of our teachers, knit it up using a friend's pattern. Here's a couple of photos of what it looks like.

It's simple, beautiful and a great project to start if you want to learn how to do lace knitting. So we're going to offer a class on it at The Yarn Haven on Saturday, February 23 from 9 am - Noon. It is made out of Farmhouse Yarns' Silk Blend yarn. And the best part is that the yarn used for this project is already in the sale bin. Many of you may have overlooked this yarn before. But it will not be ignored. We have a shell/vest made up and also a scarf to you to see how the yarn looks in other items. It's a beautiful yarn and Lisa just knew it would look great in a shawl. She was right.
I hope you'll stop by to see the shawl and sign up for the class. Class spots are already filling up!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday Night Knitting Club & My First Anniversary

Last night was so much fun at our Friday Night Knitting Club. We were missing several of our "regulars", but had several new faces come join us. About 20 of us gathered to sit and knit or crochet.

We always have something special for the 1st Friday of each month. Tonight's special was to have Donna Ellenburg share with us how to make the "Best Friends Dolls". She had made one for each of her granddaughters for Christmas, but they were kind enough to allow her to gather them back up and bring to show us. The dolls were soooo cute. What little girl wouldn't want to have one! Bev Howard had also made a couple of the dolls and she brought hers to show as well.
About 5 years ago, Donna saw the pattern for these dolls in a Interweave Knits magazine. She filed it away to use later. When she began making the dolls right before Christmas, several folks saw them and fell in love with them. Since the magazine was out of print, I contacted Interweave Press, and for a small fee and the promise that I wouldn't sell the pattern, they graciously gave me permission to make copies. In fact, they will be sending me a colored copy to reprint. Donna had several "tips" she shared about things she learned in making the dolls. I will be typing up those tips and having them available to hand out with the doll pattern. Hopefully, by the end of the month, we'll not only have the pattern to give out, but the tips sheet as well. So a big thank you goes to Donna...and to Bev...for sharing their dolls with us. Don't be surprised if you see a Doll Knit-a-long in the future. It would really be a fun thing to do together. I know my granddaughter would be thrilled to have one. If you'd be interested in a knit-a-long making the dolls, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Today was the first anniversary of The Yarn Haven. Tonight as I sit here in the shop, trying to catch up on some paperwork, I have a smile on my face. This past year has been so much fun starting the yarn shop. Don't get me's been a lot of work. Working 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and not bringing home a paycheck this year has been hard. But the satisfaction of making it through my first year, and thinking of all the new friends I have made, and just the joy of having a job that is so fulfilling has made it worth every minute. I have so enjoyed helping people find just the right project to work on. And I had rejoiced with them when they finish a project and bring it in for me to see. I've taught a lot of people to knit or crochet for the first time in their lives. And to see these new knitters and crocheters taking those first baby steps...and turning them into toddler steps...and then encouraging them to take preschooler steps...has been very enjoyable. And I have been so blessed to have such gifted teachers in Mimi and Jackie...and now Lisa. They have given me such great ideas to share with you all. And I am also so thankful for Marilyn Dunn. She comes by every Thursday just to help me put away the inventory. Others have helped along the way as well and I appreciated each and every one of them for everything they have done. So thank you to everyone who has ever walked through the door of The Yarn Haven. I hope you continue to find it a place that is warm and welcoming and one that encourages you to grow in your knitting and crocheting projects. Yes, tonight I am feeling very blessed. The Lord has certainly been good to me this year.