Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Couple of My Knitting Projects

People often ask me how many projects I have going. I usually can't tell them because...well, there are too many to actually count. I have quite a few bags back in my office with projects in various stages...from just the yarn, pattern and needles together to WIPs (works in progress) UFOs (unfinished objects). Yes...I do have UFOs. Sometimes I kick myself for letting a project sit there with so little left to do on it. But it's usually the finishing part. And NOBODY likes to do the finishing part!

But today I decided to reveal just how many projects I actually have going. I have 14 WIPs and 2 UFOs! I decided to not count the projects that I haven't started yet...because they are really just part of my stash. Yipes! You know, if I'm honest with you...a couple of those WIPs should really be counted in the UFO department because I had forgotten I was even working on a few of them. It's never a good thing when you open the bag with your knitting project inside and you are surprised at what you see. :-(

But to balance things out....I have finished a couple of projects lately. I made my daughter this cute felted hat for her birthday. She had seen Tracy's hat that I showcased one Friday and said that she wanted one. She loved it and now my other daughter wants one! This project has a funny story attached to it. My daughter came home for the weekend for her birthday party on Sunday. So on Friday I gave her the hat early so we would have time to felt it. Well, I put it in the washing machine and felted it. Then put it on my daughter's head to see if it fit. It did, so we put it on a mannequin head to dry. My daughter was turning the brim this way and that way to try and get it just right. (She's a bit of a perfectionist. I don't know where she gets that from.) Well, a couple of hours later I went on to bed and as I was laying there I realized that in our excitement to get the hat fitted, I had forgotten to rinse out the soap. For about a minute I laid there thinking...what does it matter if a little soap is left in the hat? But then I got the funniest image of it raining and little bubbles starting to appear on the crown of the hat. My daughter would not be happy with that. So...I got up, rinsed out the hat, and left my daughter to "fit it" so that it shaped like she wanted.

Another project that I have completed is one of the Best Friends Dolls from our KAL (knitalong). These dolls are so fun to make. And making them together with others just makes it more fun. You get all kinds of ideas for your next doll. Donna brought to the KAL some little seed beads that she had leftover from a beading project. So I made my doll a necklace, a bracelet and some earrings. And then someone suggested I give her some toothpicks and let her be knitting. That reminded me that I had a tiny pair of knitting needles back in the office. So I knitted up a swatch for her and here is the finished project. I'm definitely going to have to made another doll...because I also have a tiny crochet hook. So the next doll will be a crocheter.

Well, I hope you have a wonderful day. Don't forget our Spring Cleaning Day today at The Yarn Haven. Selected yarns and accessories are 25% off!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Show and Tell Friday...a day late

Boy, you all kept me busy at the shop yesterday with the Tax Free Days! So busy, I completely forgot about showcasing some of your completed projects. But without further ado, here they are...

Sue brought in her Entrelac Felted Bag that she made from Mimi's pattern. But...she made it in 2 of my favorite and white. She says she gets comments on her bag all the time... which wasn't surprising to me since we do live in Big Orange country. It was nice to see someone "color outside the box" for a change and do something completely different than the model on a pattern. Good work, Sue!

Then Nancy brought in 2 of her finished projects. The first one is a sweater out of Plymouth's Jeannee yarn. I have a model of this sweater in the shop...but Nancy did it in different colors. I must say I like her color choice better than my shop model. And she also brought in a sweater she did out of Plymouth's Jelli Beens yarn. This one looks great as well. Thanks for sharing with us, Nancy!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...and if you haven't been by to celebrate our Tax Free have until 2:00 pm today to take advantage of it! Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Calm in the Midst of a Storm

Have you ever considered that someone's smiling face might be hiding a deep wound or a heavy burden? Many folks coming into The Yarn Haven walk in with a smile on their face...experiencing pure joy at just being around so much wonderful yarn. And yet, when they sit down to relax and knit or crochet a bit...the smile fades as their mind drifts back to the struggles of their life.

I have to admit that I've been a bit distracted lately from being around all the wonderful yarn in the shop. Many of you may not realize that besides being a yarn shop owner, I am also raising my 5 year old granddaughter. My son is in Alabama going to pharmacy school and my granddaughter's mother has moved to Virginia. So since I am here in Knox County, last August the judge awarded temporary custody of my granddaughter to me...until the parents could go to trial and try to sort out where she would live.

The past 8 months have been interesting to say the least. Taking care of preschooler can be tiring. They just have so much energy!! But it's been a wonderful time of having her near and getting to experience once again life as seen through the eyes of a child. Her daddy comes home every weekend to see her...and she so looks forward to seeing him. Her mother has not been able to come down to see her during this time, but calls her on the phone to talk.

We went back to court yesterday and walked away discouraged because things are going to stay pretty much the same as they have for the past 8 months. The judge will not give custody to either parent because they don't live here in Knox County. So my sweet granddaughter will continue to stay with her grandparents while Mom makes plans to try and come see her more often and Dad wrestles with the decision of whether he should stay in pharmacy school to try and provide for his child or drop out of school and come back to Knoxville in order to gain custody of his child. What a pickle we find ourselves in sometimes!

But in the midst of all this turmoil was a day of fun and joy. This weekend, with the court proceedings looming in our eyes on Monday, we went up to Johnson City to visit my youngest daughter and her husband. And while we were there, we went to the Hands On Musemn. We had
taken our children there many years ago when they were little. As you can see from the pictures, Ariel had a blast! She got to dress up and perform on a stage, go to a grocery store and make purchases, fly an airplane with her aunt, play with a snake (ugh), and have lots of fun adventures.

And then on Monday, she got to see her Mommy for the first time in a long time. What joy there was in her eyes yesterday! And for a brief moment in time, all was right with the world.

But the storm still rages...and decisions will need to be made...and life will go on. And until the final outcome presents itself, my life will continue to be very full with the running of a yarn shop, taking care of my dear sweet granddaughter, and...knitting. Because in the midst of a storm, knitting is the one thing over which I have full control.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Melissa recently brought in some photos of her Harry Potter dolls and some clothing she had made for them. The first couple of photos are of Doby. He's looking quite nice in his sweater and socks. He's REALLY not a servant after all the clothing Melissa gave him. :-)

Then here are a couple of photos of Harry with his hat and scarf and then his sweater.

And we have a photo of a sweater she made for Ron.

And one for Malfoy as well.

It's not easy making clothing for these dolls...particularly without a pattern. But Melissa enjoys the challenge and has done a nice job.

Speaking of dolls, don't forget the KAL for the Best Friend Dolls starts tomorrow (Saturday, April 19) from 10 am - Noon. For 3 weeks we'll gather and make these cute little dolls. If you're interested, please come on into the shop...even if you didn't sign up. We'd love to have you.
Hope you're enjoying this beautiful weather we're having today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


A lot of people learned a valuable lesson this past week. If you see a knitting or crochet pattern online that you it on your computer! Don't expect it to be online forever. A very popular place to get free patterns online was MagKnits. Well, they closed their site this past week and sent a lot of folks scrambling to find the pattern that they were working on. Has this ever happened to you before? A couple of times I've saved a pattern that I liked in "My Favorites"...but when I went back there, the pattern was no longer available. But imagine you were in the middle of making a garment and suddenly the pattern was gone! Not a pleasant thought.

So today I thought I share with you a site that has some free patterns available by download for just about a month. Knitting Daily recently asked folks to tell them which 5 garments they liked the most out of an assortment of choices. I got in my email yesterday the "Readers' Choice Award Winners". You can go to Knitting Daily and download this pdf with all 5 of the winners...but it will only be available until 5 pm on Wednesday, May 14. So check out these patterns and if you see something you like, download it to your computer so that you'll have it when the time comes for you to knit it up. By the way, the Swallowtail Shawl that I showcased on my Show and Tell Friday on April 4 is one of the free patterns. Hope you enjoy them!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

I hope everyone has been enjoying this beautiful weather we've been having lately. If we can only make it through the dogwood winter that's coming this weekend, I think we'll be fine.
For Show and Tell today I have some beautiful things to show you. First of all, there's Anne's shell that she knitted with different yarns. Quite a masterpiece.

Then Esther made this sweater with the doggy for her son using Plymouth's Encore yarn. It was the first time she had tried the intarsia technique. I think she did a pretty good job, don't you? I love this pattern from Roo Designs. In fact, I have several patterns by them that are just too cute. I think my favorite one is the one with the fish...or maybe it's the one with the bunny...I can't decide because they are all great.

Next comes a couple of finished projects from Mary. First is the Peplum Vest made out of Crystal Palace's Waikiki. It's a free pattern on their website if you'd like to make one. And if you want a smaller project using Waikiki, just stop by The Yarn Haven and pick up a skein and a free pattern for a spring/summer scarf. I like this yarn and I love what Mary made out of it.

Then Mary also made this sweater using a top to bottom pattern that eliminated the shoulder seams. Pretty cool idea.

And finally, Phil brought in her fairisle bolster pillow that she completed after taking Mimi's class on the fairisle technique. She put in a lot of work on this bolster, as you can see. But what a great addition it will make to her home!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Warm Up America afghan & New Items

Last Friday night the Friday Night Knitting Club's goal was to put together the knitted and crocheted squares that folks had donated to make an afghan for the "Warm Up America" program. After we finished, I crocheted an edge around it to pull it all together. Here is the first of many afghans that The Yarn Haven has made for this charity project. This afghan will be donated to the Knox Area Rescue Mission since we can donate our completed afghans to our own community. We still have some squares left and would like to do another afghan in the near keep making those squares. The closer the squares are to the required 7" x 9" size, the easier they are to add to other squares. Thanks to Becky, Darlene, Leslie, Judy, Amanda, & Melissa for sewing the squares together. And thank you also to everyone who donated squares. Keep them coming!

I received a huge shipment of yarn last week and have just now gotten it ready for Marilyn to put on the shelves. Items include:
  • Berroco’s new “Socks of the Month”…6 new colorways in a cotton/wool/nylon blend with a spool of reinforcing thread inside. Once these colorways are gone, they’re gone!

  • Sublime's Organic Cotton in DK weight…all 8 soft, subtle colors of it!

  • Araucania’s Ulmo…100% variegated cotton in DK weight

  • Noro’s Silk Garden Lite…Silk Garden in DK weight…enough said :-)

  • Araucania’s Chacabuco…100% hand-dyed pima cotton in bulky weight

  • Araucania’s Quellon…bulky weight rayon/cotton blend…makes great chemo caps!

  • More colors of Noro’s Daria…cotton/rayon blend cording that makes great belts and purses
Hope you'll stop by The Yarn Haven and check all these new yarns out!

I know Show and Tell Friday is not until tomorrow, but since UT's Lady Vols just won their 8th National Championship, I had to show you the Candice Parker doll that Mary made. Mary is a huge fan of the Lady Vols and started this doll a while back. She brought it in yesterday to show me. I'm going to felt a small basketball for Mary to sew to her hand. (Thanks Cary for showing me how to felt those stitch markers! Now all I have to do is make a bigger one!)

Well, I hope everyone has a great day and I'll post some more Show and Tell items tomorrow. Blessings!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Well, it's Friday again...and you know what that means...Show and Tell time!! I love it when folks bring in their finished projects for me to see. Today I want you to show you Debbie's crocheted baby blanket. She made this as a gift, but the amazing part is that she just learned to crochet about 6-7 weeks ago! She's done a terrific job and I'm so proud of her. Way to go, Debbie!

I have two socks to show you. The first one was made by Melissa out of Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton yarn. I love this yarn for socks! Melissa did a nice job and the socks are so colorful. Melissa's son was the one who thought the shop was a "Yarn Heaven". I believe he was right! Then Terri brought in a sock she made for her son out of the "Go UT" orange and white sock yarn that J.Knits custom-dyed for us. She said she got this diagonal stitch pattern out of Interweave's Favorite Socks book. Very cool...but then I love to see the UT socks that folks are making. Terri also brought in her Swallowtail shawl made out of JoJoland's lace. It was very beautiful and made me wish I had one just like it.

And lastly, we have a gorgeous shawl made by a new friend to The Yarn Haven, Karla. She brought in this shawl when she came to the Wednesday afternoon, Sit 'N Stitch, this week. Very pretty and unique. Karla loves to do colorwork, so I expect we'll see more of her beautiful creations in the near future.

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you'll take the opportunity to join us on Wednesday afternoons for our Sit 'N Stitch time from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. It's a great time to work on your projects, but also to meet new people, and learn from each other. Keep bringing in your finished projects...and you, too, can see your creation featured in The Yarn Haven blog. Blessings!