Friday, July 25, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

It's been an unusual week for me. My hubby has taken the week off from work to spend time with his brothers and their families camping at Norris Lake. While I'm glad he's getting some time off, it couldn't have come at a worse time. Someone in my family...who shall remain nameless...borrowed our extra car and wrecked it. Now granted, this car is old and has been through a lot. My son originally bought it and then gave it to us when he got out of the Marines as payment for some debt he owed us. Then our youngest daughter drove it for 5 years while she was in college. She had a small wreck in it once and so the hood had some body damage. And bless her heart, she didn't realize that if you don't wash a car for...YEARS...that the paint finally comes off. So almost the entire top of the car was bare. But it was nice to have a 2nd car to use when we needed it. Well, since I no longer had this car to use, and my hubby had my car at the lake, it has left me without transportation. My hubby has come home a couple of times to attend to other things and has brought me to work. And my oldest daughter has taken me to work a couple of times, but for me to fit into her schedule, I had to arrive here at 7:30 am! By the time the shop opens at 10 am, I feel as though I have already put in a full day of work. And last night I didn't get home until about 10 pm because I had to wait until someone's schedule freed up so I could get a ride home.'s been a long week for me.

But in the midst of this crazy week, I had several of my friends...bring in their finished projects to show me. I always get so excited to see what folks have made. So here is the highlight of my week...

Linda made this Harry Potter sweater for someone in her family...a nephew I think. She made it out of Cleckheaton's Country 8 ply yarn. She's work long and hard to finish it and I think this Harry Potter fan will really like it.

Then Bev brought by the scarf she made out of Noro's Silk Garden yarn. She did Brooklyn Tweed's pattern and it turned out quite colorful. I know she'll enjoy wearing it this winter.

And Ernestine brought by her felted tote bag...her first "real" knitted project. She just learned to knit last summer and has done a great job on her bag. In fact, she's already working on a 2nd one. She used the Cascade 220 and Galway yarns. This pattern is from an out-of-print Interweave Knits magazine from years ago...but we have received permission from them to make copies. So if you want a fun, easy bag to make...stop in and get some wool yarn and we'll give you the pattern.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meet Diane...

I would like you to meet one of our part-time employees, Diane. Diane has been working here at The Yarn Haven since February of this year. Many of you have already met her, but I wanted to give her the chance to tell you a little more about herself. So, without further ado, here she is...

Diane, I know you were born in Augusta, Georgia, but how long have you lived in Knoxville?

15 years not counting the year and a half we spent in Texas in the middle of it

You and your husband, Ken, have lived in many different parts of the country because of Ken’s job. Where are all the different places you have lived?
Augusta, GA
Ocala, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Green Bay, WI
Coral Springs, FL
Green Acres, FL
New Orleans, LA
San Antonio, TX
Asheville, NC
Smyrna, TN
Knoxville, TN
Dallas, TX
Knoxville, TN

Wow! That’s a lot of places. I’m glad you came back to Knoxville to settle. Tell me a little about your family.
My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We have been married 35 yrs. We have 2 married daughters with 4 granddaughters and one grandson. Neither of my daughters knit, but I did teach the 3 oldest grandchildren to knit last summer, which included my grandson.

When did you first begin knitting?
I learned in 2000 because I wanted some more knitted dishcloths and couldn’t find them anywhere.

What is your favorite item to knit?

What’s your favorite color?
Yellow, but I never knit with it for myself. I like pinks, purples, and greens also.

What project are you planning to do during The Yarn Haven Olympics in
I think I will knit my Carolyn jacket or my Crayon Box sweater

Anything else you'd like to tell folks about yourself?
I do LOVE to knit. I also quilt, sew and make greeting cards. I like to meet people and interact with them. Because I do love to knit and I like people, I really enjoy my job working at The Yarn Haven. The worst thing about my job is there are too many choices and I will not live long enough to knit everything that I want to…decisions…decisions.

Thanks Diane for sharing with us. Many of you may not know that Diane was the one who got me back into knitting after years and years of being away from it. And now several years later knitting is my career. How cool is that!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Finally, I'm back on track with Show and Tell Friday...on a Friday. Today I want to show you Marilyn's aran afghan that she crocheted. She spent a lot of time and effort on this afghan. I wish the photo was better so you could see her wonderful work. Then she also brought in the scarf she had made for her daughter last winter. She used Marks & Kattens Iceland yarn to make this very nice scarf. I love the way it looks like there are snowflakes on the yarn. And finally we have a chemo cap that she made for a friend out of our new Jil Eaton Minnow Merino yarn. It's a great superwash merino yarn that is just as soft as the Malabrigo...but washable!! Good job on all of these finished projects, Marilyn.

Kristina has made yet another pair of socks. This time out of Jitterbug sock yarn. Very bright and colorful!

And Tracy's grandson will soon be the recipient of this adorable monkey. He was just too cute. I know her grandson will love him.

On another note...I was so excited to see photos from Tuesday's Creatively Dyed class on Dianne's blog. You can see all of the photos she took that well as the gals with their yarn that I missed getting a photo of...on her blog. And I also want to show you a photo of the roving that Lisa bought from Dianne and has already spun up. She brought it in last night and it was absolutely gorgeous!! She said it was some of the nicest roving that she has ever worked with. Way to go, Dianne! I just had to go pick out a wool/bamboo braid to join the milk protein/seawool braid that I stashed in the back. Oh...I am so going to have to learn to spin. :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Creatively Dyed Yarn comes to The Yarn Haven...

Yesterday was a wonderful day full of fun. It was a day of friends gathering together to be creative. Dianne from Creatively Dyed Yarn was our guest of honor (she's the one in the light blue shirt). She taught 3 classes on how to hand dyed yarn using koolaid. She brought lots of hand-dyed sock yarn in gorgeous colors made with merino, cashmere, and sea wool. And she also brought a lot of hand-dyed roving braids in colors just as beautiful. These were made out of bamboo/wool, milk protein, and sea wool. Everyone had so much fun taking Dianne's class and buying some of her yummy yarn and fiber. The only disappointment of the day was that during the last class, which I took myself, I was so focused on dyeing my own yarn that I didn't get photos of the other yarns that were created. :-( But I'm hoping that everyone will take the yarn that they hand-dyed and knit or crochet up something and bring it by for me to see...and put on the blog, of course! So here are some of the beautiful yarns that were hand-dyed... and their proud owners...

Don't these women look like they are having fun!!! At the end of the day it was time to pack up Dianne's trailor...which was still full as she is traveling for several weeks to different fiber festivals. But don't worry...she
left a lot of her sock yarns and rovings for us to enjoy.
Thanks, Dianne, for a wonderful day...and for allowing us the privilege of being able to sell your beautiful creations. Blessings, Sandy

Monday, July 14, 2008

Show and Tell...Monday

Last week was a very busy week...and a hard one for me because of some personal problems. So I apologize for not putting up the show and tell items on Friday. This week looks to be just as busy...but I'm doing better. So, let's start the week off right with some show and tell.

Carole brought in her finished "Carolyn Jacket". These jackets are sewn together and lined by one of our vendors, Carolyn White. Then you pick out yarn to match in order to knit the sleeves and sides. Carole chose this gorgeous zebra/giraffe print jacket and used Plymouth's Royal Bamboo yarn to finish it. I love the way she alternated the black and white novelty yarn as the accent yarn in the front. Very nice job, Carole! I know several others have bought these jackets. I'd like to see your finished jackets as soon as you complete them!!

Carole also brought in a vest she had made. This was one of those knitting projects where you run out of yarn before you finish. Never a good thing! But Carole chose a different yarn to complete her vest and the finished result is very stylish.

Sam is busy making some items for shop models, but in her own personal time, she knitted up this beautiful doillie. She doesn't mind working with fine yarn and the result is very nice. She's almost finished working on a market bag for the shop. It should be on display very soon.

Mary Beth outdid herself in making this cute little mermaid. She used the basic doll construction of the Best Friend Dolls and then improvised to create her very own "Ariel". Here she is checking out the Carolina Bells. Way to go, Mary Beth!!

It never ceases to amazes me how creative everyone is. Bring in your finished projects and we'll show them to the rest of the world! Blessings on your day!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Meet Our Newest Employee...

Many of you have already had the privilege of meeting our newest employee...Samantha (Sam for short). I thought you'd like to know a little more about her.

Sam, I know you've told me that you were born in Germany. How long did you live there?
I was born in Germany while my parents served in the US Army there for a few years, but we moved back to the US when I was about two years old. I don't remember anything about it, but we have a home video of my older brother in a pair of leiderhosen and a feathered cap.

You graduated from Farragut High School here in Knoxville and currently attend East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. You're a rising sophomore, right? Tell me about what you are studying and what you hope to do with that degree after college.
I graduated from Farragut High School in 2007 and go to ETSU, where I'm studying art. I have a concentration in fibers (that I decided on my first semester). I have classes like Chemical Dyeing, Natural Dyeing, and 3D Fibers, as well as regular art classes ahead of me. I really am not sure what I'll do with the degree I'm earning, but I would consider myself qualified to design yarns or knit items. Maybe in the future I could even open my own yarn store.

Do you have any siblings?
I have one older brother who is in the Air Force (but not actively serving yet), and a twin brother who is studying criminal justice at ETSU with me. We stayed in the same dorm, one floor apart, last year. What an experience. : )

When did you first begin knitting and crocheting?
My grandma taught me to knit when I was in about the second grade. I remember because I gave a book report from the viewpoint of the main character that knit, so I sat up in front of the class and knitted while I talked. I have the item still, this uneven, messy, weirdly colored (not from stains, but originally oddly colored) cotton "scarf." I then promptly dropped the hobby until about 3 years ago when I saw a classmate knitting and remembered that I could and suddenly felt bold enough to bring my needles to school. I had a lot of materials at hand because my father's mother recently passed away and left me all her crafting supplies. My living grandmother helped me out a bit with some nicer supplies, but I mostly re-taught myself from online tutorials, which is how I've learned most of what I know now. The internet is such an awesome resource! I learned to crochet this last semester with the help of my fibers instructor at school, and some good books.

What's your favorite item to knit or crochet?
Socks and lace. On a college students' budget, you need fine gauges to fill up your knitting time without completely emptying your wallet. And besides, lace is so pretty.

What's your favorite color?
Purple/pink. I wouldn't have admitted it a few months ago, but just last week I took a look at my most recent projects and they were all a shade of purple or pink, as well as most of my stash yarns. Greens are good too.

I hear your boyfriend, Noah, also knits. Did you teach him?
Noah learned from his mom when he was little, as a part of his homeschooling learning. I just sort of asked him to pick it up again so that we could knit together. He needed very little re-teaching, but he still insists that he shouldn't have to "turn" his work, and "backwards knits" instead of doing a purl row.

Are you planning to participate in The Yarn Haven Olympics in August?
I actually haven't got a project planned.. all I can think about are what I've got on the needles and what needs to be on the needles, in the way of presents for upcoming birthdays/holidays. And looking at the dates I'm probably leaving for school before the end of the Olympics, so I don't think I can participate. Although.. I don't know. I'll have to think about that more.

Anything else you'd like to tell folks about yourself??
I really, really, really want to pick up spinning as my next hobby. I haven't invested in a spindle or roving yet, or even learned to spin yet, but I really want to. Maybe that can be my Olympics project- to learn to spin! Or maybe it could be a personal goal. We'll see.

Thanks, Sam, for sharing a little about yourself with us. Sam is working here part-time for the summer and will be here on school breaks as well. She's been a great help so far in knitting and crocheting items for the shop. She made the cowl she is wearing out of Jitterbug sock yarn (which we will be getting in the near future) and Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn. A very pretty combination.

Next week I'll introduce you to our other employee, Diane, who has been working here since February. Until then, have a great week!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Show and Tell...Saturday

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July yesterday! I didn't do anything spectacular...just clean house...and knit. But today it's back to business as usual...with my grandson's 5th birthday party this afternoon. Yeah!
For Show and Tell today I have some adorable knitted animals to show you. Mary Beth made this darling hedgehog from a Fiber Trends pattern. She brought it by to show me at my birthday party...hence the birthday hat in the picture. And her daughter, Kemper, brought by a seal that she had knitted. Pretty good for a 9 year old!! I think Mom helped a bit, but Kemper did a nice job. I think she's hooked on knitting, don't you?

Then Bev brought by a poncho she made out of the Farmhouse Yarn by Bessie. It turned out real cute. I love the shawl collar on the poncho.

And Pam brought by a sweet little cardigan that she made for her granddaughter. She used a Plymouth pattern and Dreambaby DK yarn. It is much prettier than the photo. Unfortunately, I had to copy this photo from her Ravelry page because the picture I took with my camera got accidently deleted. But the sweater is gorgeous and I might just have to make one of those sweaters for one of those grand-nieces and nephews that I'll be expecting in the next few years.

While I have your attention, I thought you might like to know about some new items that have arrived at The Yarn Haven.
  • Dolly Mamas...these are very cute little dolls that you knit up and then felt. Kits include everything you need except for the needles.

  • Knit Simple - Fall 2008 issue has arrived

  • Misti Alpaca in three weights...5 new solids and 2 new handpainted lace yarn, 3 new handpainted colors of the worsted yarn, and 5 new handpainted colors of sock yarn...with 3 more colors of sock yarn to arrive soon!

Have I enticed you to stop by the shop yet? Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Yarns and Accessories are arriving daily!!

I have been busy this week trying to get all of the yarn and accessories that have arrived processed. Thanks, Marilyn, for all your help with getting the price stickers on the yarn and putting them on the shelves for folks to see!

The Yarns/Accessories that have arrived so far this week are:
  • Namaste Bags - 2 styles…6 colors of one and 3 of the other. These bags are soooo nice. I can’t decide which color I want for my knitting bag!
  • Knitters’ Magazine - summer issue
  • SweaterKits’ Wild Silk…5 colors of this beautiful handpainted silk with several patterns needing only 1 skein.
  • Classic Elite Minnow Merino…8 colors of superwash merino…great colors for kids!
  • Classic Elite Soft Linen…DK weight in 4 nice colors…additional colors will arrive shortly
  • Classic Elite Silky Merino Lace…very nice lace weight yarn in 4 gorgeous colors…additional colors of this yarn have been ordered as well

Trendsetter, Misti Alpaca and Dolly Mamas boxes are waiting to be opened. And Plymouth, Berroco, Muench and Cascade orders should be arriving next week. Whew! Stop by and see all of our new items!!