Friday, June 27, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

I have some cute things to show you today. First of all, Lynn made this darling Little Red Riding Hood. She made it out of the Victor yarn that was in the sale bin. It is too cute!

Then Sarah brought in a couple of things to show me....her pinwheel baby blanket that she made for a friend...and a knitting tote that she made using up some of the yarns from her stash. Great way to create something new and wonderful!

Leigh brought in a bag she made from Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It has about 7 different cable patterns on it. Very nice!

And then Betsy brought in the Baby Surprise Jacket that she made out of the Reynolds' Santana yarn. It only took 4 balls to make this precious jacket. She has it hanging in the shop waiting on the buttons I ordered to arrive.

Well, that's it for this Friday's Show and Tell. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday Party 2008

Yesterday's birthday party was so much fun...the delicious cakes that Nancy made, the balloons, the silly hat I wore, the gifts I received, the birthday cards, and the wonderful birthday wishes from everyone. It made turning 55 so much easier than I thought it would be. By the end of the day I was plum worn out. I'm not sure if it was because the day was so busy and full of fun...or if I finally was just "old". Having a birthday always makes me think back over the past year and all that has happened. A lot has changed in a year. A year ago I was just getting my feet wet as a new business owner...just trying to find my way in a sea of so many new things. My granddaughter, Ariel, had not yet come to live with us. My oldest daughter, Elizabeth, had not yet married. My grandson, Gabriel, was not really talking much yet. Gasoline cost about $3.00/gallon. So what will the next year bring?? No one knows what tomorrow will bring. But the past year has brought me a lot of new friends, new adventures, new experiences. I can only hope that this coming year will see my yarn shop take off to new heights and teach more people the wonderful art of knitting and crocheting. Life for me right now is very good. Even with the struggles that life brings, life is good. Thanks to everyone who made my birthday this year a very special one. And thank you Lord for another year of life.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wedding Bells...Reliving the Past and Thinking of the Future

On Saturday, after the shop closed, we drove up to Johnson City to attend the wedding of one of my nieces. It was held at Oaks Castle...a historic castle built in 1922. The castle was so beautiful and so full of history. It was an excellent place to have an outdoor wedding...and the weather couldn't have been nicer.

It was so fun to see a lot of my extended family members and catch up with their latest news. And I even got to see a niece and nephew that I hadn't seen in probably 8 years!

After the ceremony we had a beautiful buffet supper and ate under a huge white tent that spread out on the lawn. As dusk began to fall, some of the smaller kids began to run around and catch lightening bugs. Here's a photo of my granddaughter, Ariel, my great-nephew, Brandon, and one of my grandsons, Joshua. They were having a wonderful time just being together.

Weddings always cause me to relive my own wedding. And then the memories just flood back of "the good ole days". The only thing that caused me a bit of sadness at this wedding was that, during the ceremony, there was no mention whatsoever of God. No prayers. No blessings. It made me feel a bit sad because without God in the center of my own marriage, I don't think I would have stayed married for the past 34 years. You simply have to have something that grounds you so firmly that divorce is never an option. Our relationships with God have been that sustaining force for us. Hopefully, my newly-married niece and her new hubby will soon discover what a difference God can make in a marriage.

But all in all, the evening was most enjoyable. With a 2 hour drive home looming before us, we soon felt we should leave. Driving home I began to think that maybe I should start making some baby blankets and baby sweaters. Because you see, I have 20 nieces and nephews and only 3 of them are married. And so far 5 great-nieces and nephews have arrived. Another niece is getting married in December in Memphis...and one of her sisters probably won't be too long in following her footsteps. Once all of these weddings get going, babies are sure to follow! So I had better get to knitting right away in anticipation of all those wonderful new great-nieces and nephews that will be coming. I see some more baby surprise jackets in my future!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Hasn't the weather this week been simply delightful?? I wish the entire summer could be this great...with a little more rain, of course, since we're still in a time of drought.

Today I have four finished projects to share with you by four wonderful knitters. Carole made this cute sweater for her granddaughter...and added a ruffle to make it more feminine. This sweater is made out of the Plymouth's Jelli Beenz yarn. Very nice!

Then Annhara brought in this scarf and beret to share with you. The pattern is Oat Couture's Ripple Beret and Scarf. I've made this set before and it was very enjoyable to knit up. I think Annhara must have really like it as well since she made a second beret. Love the colors!

When Marti came in a couple of weeks ago, she brought in the shawl she had finished from the last Girls' Night Out Workshop on the Scrap Yarn Scarf/Shawl. As you can see, her shawl is absolutely gorgeous. She used a lot of neutral colors from her a few other yarns that folks may have tossed her way that evening. Very pretty! Makes me want to finish up my own scrap yarn scarf that I started that evening. I'm sure you're surprised that I haven't already finished it.! **sighs as she think of that UFO...but then shakes it off as the blog is calling her back**

By the way, don't forget to mark your calendars for the next Girls' Night Out Workshop on the 5th Friday in August...August 29. That's when Lisa will be giving her "Knitting Tips" workshop that got canceled in May. You'll want to be there!!

And finally, we have the cute apple hat that Glenda showed me at the World Wide Knitting in Public Day. I teased her that she had made an apple cozy! It is too cute...and will look adorable on a wee one.

Just a note about some new yarns that have arrived. Our Cascade sales rep was in this week and left us with some Anne, Heather, and Andrea yarns in some wonderful colorways. And the Aslan Trends Class yarn, which is a new yarn line for us, has arrived in 8 yummy colors. This cotton/rayon blend is just perfect for making that summer shell you've been wanting to do.

Well, enjoy the first weekend of summer and watch for new yarns arriving daily at The Yarn Haven!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

WWKIP Day 2008

The World Wide Knitting in Public Day on Saturday was a huge success! We met at the Farragut Library and either sat outside in the gazebo or in the community room of the library. Despite the threat of rain in the forecast, we had a beautiful overcast day with a light breeze. Doesn't everyone look like they are having fun!! It was so great being able to go around and see all the things that people were knitting or crocheting. After being out of my seat for a while, I was gently reminded that it was World Wide Knitting in Public Day...not World Wide Talking in Public Day. So I got back focused on my knitting and just enjoyed sitting there and working on my 2nd baby surprise jacket. I'm putting in stripes for this one to show the class I am teaching at The Yarn Haven how to change it up a bit. As you can see, Emma and Zoe enjoyed knitting and crocheting along with everyone as well. Then at noon we all gathered in the community room and shared lunch together. It was so neat to be able to meet new knitters and crocheters that I didn't know. Then after lunch, Jessica got out her wheel and Lisa got out her drop spindle and began spinning. That gathered quite a bit of least from the knitters in the room. I think some new folks may join the Sit 'N Spin time on the 2nd Saturday of each month at The Yarn Haven. I was sad to have to leave the time early, but I needed to get back to the shop and teach the Crochet Block of the Month class. Several folks dropped in the shop after the WWKIP time was that was good. All in all it was a great day. Hope you got a chance to knit or crochet in public on Saturday wherever you were. I even knitted in public today at the eye doctor. It seems to gather people's attention each time I pull out my yarn and needles.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

It's been a very busy week at The Yarn Haven. Folks have been coming in and picking out summer projects like crazy! I love getting to see folks that I haven't seen in a while. It's like meeting an old friend. Not that any of my customers are old or anything. It's just nice to see them again.

I guess you all are wondering what yarns I got at the Yarn Market. If you'll stop by the shop, I have a couple of skeins of some new yarn lines that have been ordered. I can let you see them...and more importantly, feel them. But until then, I can tell you that two of our new yarn lines will be Louisa Harding and AslanTrends. They have some wonderful yarns that I simply fell in love with. I think you'll like what you see.

Here are some other items I ordered at the Market:

  • I ordered both Vogue Knitting and Knit 'N Style magazines. Both of these magazines should be arriving with the fall issue.

  • And I got some wonderful Namaste knitting bags. Two styles of bags in 6 beautiful colors. I think you'll really like these bags. They are very stylish and have many pockets inside for all of your well as a wallet and makeup bag if you choose.
  • I also bought LOTS of buttons. Lisa and Diane helped me pick out some wonderful buttons that will help dress up your garments in a WOW sort of way.
  • And I ordered some blocking wires for all of those shawls that folks have been making.

  • And I couldn't resist ordering the Dolly-Mama doll kits. These are dolls that you knit up and then felt. They were all just too cute.

  • And I ordered some Carolina Bells. These are beautiful pottery bells with a hole in the top. You place your yarn under the bell and thread you yarn through the hole. The bell holds your yarn in place while you knit so that it's not rolling all over the floor...or being attacked by the family cat. A great decor item that I think you all will love.

  • Oh, and I also ordered some yarns from Muench. A new yarn called "Family", a great wash and wear yarn, and some "Kid Melange", a lace mohair for all of those lacy garments that will be so popular this fall.
I'm sure there were other items I ordered, but my mind is so full of everything right now, that I'm sure I'm forgetting something. There are several things that I didn't get to order because we ran out of time...but I'll be placing more orders as soon as I can make my list.
New yarn arrived even today. I received a shipment from The Alpaca Company of 10 colorways of their Paca Peds sock yarn. Very nice colors...and you just can't beat the feel of alpaca.

Well, I'd better get to show and tell for today before this blog ends up being a book.

Terri brought in her Monkey socks made of the Crystal Palace Panda Silk yarn. I've been wanting to try out the panda silk yarn to make socks. I might just have to try the Monkey sock pattern since Terri's socks turned out so nice.

Pam's cabled sweater was just beautiful. Does it look nice on her?? Great color!

Leah finished her baby blanket and brought it in for me to see. It's made of the Cabin Fever Cotton Tweed. I love this yarn for baby blankets and she did a nice job on it.

And Paula also made a baby blanket out of a Plymouth pattern with sailboats on it. She added the hat and booties to match. Really cute!

Thanks gals for sharing your finished projects with us!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Adventures of Emma and Zoe

Well, The Yarn Haven girls are finally back from the Yarn Market at TNNA. Many of you know that Diane and Lisa went with me. But what you may not have known is that so did Emma and Zoe. Who is that you might ask?? Well, Emma and Zoe are my traveling dolls. (Emma's the blonde and Zoe's the brunette.) I finally named them and decided that they deserved a trip to Ohio as well. They met some very famous designers and had a wonderful trip.

I got to hear the Yarn Harlot (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) speak at the Retailers' Lunchon on Friday. She is a wonderful speaker and just as funny as she is in her books. After lunch I was able to get an signed copy of Stephanie's book, Things I Learned from Knitting...whether I wanted to or not. Emma and Zoe were resting after their long trip back at the hotel, so I asked Stephanie for a photo with the sock that I had recently finished. I was very impressed that she immediately knew the sock had been made from Jitterbug yarn. (A yarn that will be arriving at The Yarn Haven in the near future.) Boy, that girl knows her sock yarns.

I took several classes while at TNNA. At each class, Emma and Zoe attended with me and were so excited to have their pictures taken with a couple of the teachers. The first photo is of Chris Bylsma. She's the designer of the Crayon Box Jacket that several of you are working on. Lisa will be teaching this class for us again in late summer/early fall.

And they also got to meet Sally Melville. Posing with dolls was a new experience for her, according to Sally. We have 2 of Sally's books here at the shop...The Knit Stitch and The Purl Stitch. Sally's also got a new book out on color that has been ordered and will arrive in the next couple of weeks.

At Melissa Leapman's book signing Emma and Zoe were almost first in line to meet her. I think she was quite taken with the 2 of them...and most gracious to allow me to snap her photo. We'll be getting in some of the yarn that features her designs.

And probably the person we most enjoyed meeting was a British designer named Louisa Harding. It was a special treat for me as my ancestors came to America from England. Louisa is such a sweet individual and Emma and Zoe were very taken with her as well. Louisa Harding's line of yarns will be coming to The Yarn Haven soon.

All in all, it was a fabulous trip. Seeing all of the wonderful yarns were just too overwhelming for Emma and they just sat down and wrapped themselves up in some fur yarn. For all of you who have always wanted to roll around in a bed of alpaca your hearts out!!

Tomorrow I'll share with you some more details about the new yarns and accessories that will be arriving at The Yarn Haven in the next couple of months. I think you'll be pleased with our selections.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Some bad news...and some good news...

Many of you may already have heard that the factory where Malabrigo Yarns has their mill caught on fire last week. Tobias says that the mill was not damaged, but that just about everything in their offices, lab and warehouse was ruined. It will be at least a month before they can begin dyeing yarn again. And probably a lot longer before orders can start being filled. I was so sad to hear this for them as they were already struggling to keep up with the demand for their wonderful yarn. You may not have known, but back in December, I ordered some of their DK weight Silky Merino yarn. I received the first box of this new yarn a couple of weeks ago and decided to wait until the rest of the order arrived before putting it out. I was just about to email Tobias and ask if he knew the status of the rest of the Silky Merino when I heard about the fire. Needless to say, that email never got sent. That’s the bad news.

Imagine my surprise when the DHL truck pulled up to the shop today…with the rest of our Silky Merino. I felt like I was being handed a box of gold. So the very good news is that I now have the full order of our Silky Merino (all 16 colors) and hope to get it on the shelves this coming week before I leave for the Yarn Market. We still have most of the colors of the Malabrigo Worsted for our Block of the Month club. But some of you may have to use the leftovers from your previous skeins to continue with the BOTM until Malabrigo gets back up and running. It’s been about 8 weeks since I placed another order for the worsted weight. Unless, by some miracle, it had already been sent before the fire, it will be several months at least before we get in any more of this soft merino wool. But until then, we can comfort ourselves with petting the new DK weight Silky Merino wool yarn that has arrived. Come check it out!!