Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Show and Tell TUESDAY!!!

Since I didn't get to show you any finished projects last week...because I had forgotten to download the pictures from my camera...I decided to switch things up a bit and show them to you today...on a Tuesday no doubt. Mainly because this dreary morning needs a bright spot in it. Not that I mind the rain so much...because we desperately need it...but because with the wonderful rain comes a somewhat down feeling. So to cheer you up...here are a couple of finished projects to motivate and inspire you.

Annhara did a wonderful job on this sweater. I call it her "Saturday Morning" sweater. You know, something warm and cozy to put on when you want to relax on a Saturday morning. She designed parts of it herself and it looked great on her. She used Plymouth's Encore Chunky yarn.

And then she also brought in her Drop Stitch Scarf to show me. She used Araucania's Ulmo yarn...a hand-dyed 100% cotton yarn that is just made for this stitch pattern. Since my own Drop Stitch Scarf is still laying on the coffee table here at the shop unfinished, I guess I should get back on task and finish it.

Thanks, Annhara, for sharing with us!!

Well, the Olympics are finally over. Did you finish your Olympic project before the flame went out? I did! And even though I'm not going to win a medal, I was proud of myself for getting an entire sweater finished in such a short time. I actually liked the idea of having a deadline. It helped me to focus on just doing one of my many projects...and I was able to finish it. I hope everyone will bring in their Olympic project this week for our Olympic Showcase! Medals will be awarded next week. And be sure to come by the shop on Saturday, August 30 and vote for your favorite...other than your own, of course.

Have a great day!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Show and Tell Friday...

I can tell that a lot of folks are working hard on their Olympic projects because the Show and Tell items have come in a lot slower the past 2 weeks. But that's fine...because I'll have lots of Olympic Show and Tell items to post next Friday. :-)

And I was going to show you a couple of projects that had been brought in this week...but I forgot to download them from my camera. :-( I'll have to show them to you at a later date.

Well, we will be meeting again at the shop tonight to work on our Olympic projects and watch the games on the wonderful big screen TV that Aaron Rents donated for the event. Come at 6 pm with your project and a snack to share. We'll knit/crochet, talk, eat, and then turn on the games at 8 pm. Even if you've already finished your Olympic project...YEAH!...or if you're not working on an Olympic project, you are still welcome to come join us tonight.

And can I entice you with more new items that have arrived this week???
  • New colors of Cascade's Cash Vero...a merino/cashmere blend. I used some of this yarn in my Olympic project and really like it. And the colors are great!
  • Several new colors of the Cascade 220...a great felting yarn.
  • Blocking wires have been restocked.
  • E-Balm...a great new product to help soften your hands for knitting/crocheting
  • 2 new Debbie Bliss pattern booklets

Well, I hope you get your Olympic project done by the time the flame goes out on Sunday evening! Bring in your projects next week and then come back on Saturday, August 30 to vote for your favorite...besides your own project of course. Have a great weekend...and enjoy watching the Summer Olympics!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Keep me awake today...

Oh...I stayed up way too late last night watching the Olympics. But I just had to see our USA Girl Gymnasts win the Gold and Silver medals. It was very fun...last night...but today will be interesting as I try to keep awake. I'm sure there are many of you who stayed up too late watching as well.

I wanted to share with you Melissa's poncho that she brought in this week. It looked so warm and snuggly. Sam, our wonderful college girl, volunteered to model it since just laying it on the table to take a photo wouldn't do for this garment. Melissa got the pattern from an old Basketweave magazine, but she changed the pattern to give it a different collar. She did a nice job. I think she's going to do a poncho like this for one of her many dolls. We'll look forward to seeing that project as well, Melissa.

Terry brought in her contributions to our summer charity project, Warm Woolies. These vests and matching hats were just too cute. I'm sure that some little kids in China, Russia...or wherever these garments go...will really enjoy them. I hope everyone is working on making at least one garment to donate to this worthy charity. For all the details, go to their website.

Hope you'll come by the shop tonight for our Friday Night Knitting Club from 6-9 pm. We will turn on the big screen television that Aaron Rents donated for our Olympics and watch some of the Olympics starting at 8 pm...and we'll probably stay later than 9 pm if folks would like to stay and watch while working on their Olympic projects. Keep knitting...and try to stay awake today!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Avoiding Knitting Injuries...

I don't know about you, but I've knitted much more the past few days during the Olympics than I have in a while. Not that I don't knit every night when I go home...but not usually in 4 hours blocks of time! So last night as I started to feel my elbow acting up a bit, I was reminded of some information I learned at the Yarn Market this year.
  • When doing repetitive things, be sure and take breaks. Set an egg timer across the room. When it goes off, quit knitting and go turn it off. Then take a short break. I know that some of the commercials during the Olympics have been great, but taking a break during the commercial times will also help.
  • Do finger exercises...running each finger across your palm and back.
  • Swing your arms back and forth about 20 times. This will relax your neck muscles.
  • Sit on the floor and try to touch your toes. (I know...for some of us this is not as easy as it used to be. Sigh.) Continue stretching to touch your toes for about 5 minutes. This will slowly stretch out the connective tissues in your arms and back. I must tell you that stretching out my arm has helped the tendonitis in my elbow tremendously. I still avoid the ball winder...but my elbow is much better because of these exercises.

Hope your Olympic projects are coming along nicely. Knit on!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Update....

How are you coming with your Olympic project? I don't know about you, but I have frogged back 2 times now on various parts of the sweater I am knitting. I have finally gotten past the place where I was before the frogging began. The first time I didn't care for a particular contrasting yarn that I had chosen. So I had to frog back about 12 rows that time. Then on Sunday in checking to make sure the sweater would fit, it became apparent that I needed to add a little more width. It's not as bad as it sounds because I am making a sweater on the diagonal. You knit one triangle and then join in the round before knitting another triangle. All of this forms a tube that becomes the front and the back. I had finished the first triangle and was working on the second one when I realized that I might want the sweater to be about 1" wider. So I frogged back about 20 rows to get back to the first triangle and add a few more stitches. And you know, there's just something about having a deadline that makes you crazy as you knit. But I'm excited to think that I just might get this sweater done in 12 more days!

I'm sure many of you are watching the Summer Olympics on television each evening. For those of you participating in The Yarn Haven Olympics, we will gather again this Friday evening (along with the Friday Night Knitting Club) and the following Friday evening at the shop to watch together as we knit or crochet on our Olympic projects.

I'm excited to see all of the wonderful things that people have made. We'll be taking pictures as folks bring in their projects for the Olympic Showcase from August 26-29 and putting them up on the blog for everyone to see. Stop by the shop on August 30 and vote for your favorite project. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 2. And yes, there will be prizes!

Animals to love...and hate...

We all love our animals. But sometimes they drive us crazy with the things they do. Take for example, Leah's little dog. Here is what he did to her bamboo needles recently when she left them within his reach. Chewed off the entire needle on one end! Boy, was he is trouble. I remember several years ago my little Maltese was lying on the floor by my chair while I was knitting a pair of socks. I looked down to see him chewing on something. Upon further inspection, I found him to be chewing on one of my double-pointed needles that had fallen to the floor. I felt like killing that little dog. Yes, it was my fault that the needle was within his reach...but come on, it wasn't like he doesn't get big juicy dog bones to chew on all the time. So Leah, we feel your pain at having lost your needles.

And then there are cute little animals like Frodo...Patricia's little pigmy goat that came to visit with her to the Sit 'N Spin last Saturday. Frodo was so cute sitting in Patricia's lap while she was spinning. It's not every day you get to see a goat in the shop. But even Frodo had his moments of being naughty. Although you can't really blame him for getting so excited. Lots of us get excited to be around all the yarn in the shop!
In the end, the love we feel for our pets is very real and sometimes overwhelming. They become a comfort to us as they snuggle up next to us. And they bring us great joy as they run to greet us when we come home. So...I guess we'll keep them and just hope that they stay out of trouble...at least for a day or two.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Several weeks ago Dianne from Creatively Dyed Yarns came to the shop and did a Yarn Dyeing class for us. Pat took the class and created some beautiful colors with her yarn. Yesterday she brought in a scarf that she had made from that yarn...with beads added. At first glance, it looks like the fringe is yarn. But it's not...it's small seed beads. And you can't tell from the photo, but there are beads scattered throughout the scarf as well. What a beautiful scarf! Not only is she a great yarn dyer...she's also a great knitter! Thanks for sharing with us, Pat. Your scarf is gorgeous!

Marilyn finished a 2nd afghan...yeah! This one is for her son's girlfriend. You can tell it was a lot of work...from the size if nothing else. Your son's girlfriend is going to love snuggling up in this beautiful afghan! I know you're glad to have these 2 afghans finished because you've been working on them for almost a year now. Another great job, Marilyn!

Melinda is taking the Weekly Class with Lisa and has already finished a project! Here is her hat made out of Noro's Silk Garden. The pattern came from the "101 Designer One Skein Wonders" book. Melinda, I know you're learning a lot from the Weekly Class. You're doing great! By the way, there are a lot of great patterns in that book...and you can do as Melinda did and get that one skein from our sale bin! You might want to consider getting that book to use for upcoming Christmas presents you could make. And if you're interested in learning more about knitting, the next Weekly Class starts on August 28. Call the shop for details.

And Tracy brought in her "Crazy Monkey" socks last night to the Lace KAL. These are the famous Monkey socks from Cookie A....but with some changes. The biggest one being that they are toe-up. The sock is made from Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton yarn...one of my favorites. They look great, Tracy! Tracy's already working on the 2nd sock...so no second sock syndrome for her!

And while I'm at it...I have to let you know of new items that arrived this week:
  • More Carolina Yarn Bells...we have all 6 right now for you to pick from.

  • Louisa Harding's Hulda yarn...a bulky wool/silk blend that is simply scrumptious! 8 great colors to choose from!

  • Classic Elite Summer Sox...4 great colors of this cotton/merino blend.

  • Mountain Colors...lots of Bearfoot sock yarn, Winter Lace, and their Targhee Top Combed roving...still waiting on the River Twist to arrive!!

  • Interweave Knits Fall 2008 issue

I hope you'll join us this evening here at the shop if you are participating in The Yarn Haven Olympics. Aaron Rents, next door, will be furnishing a television so we can watch the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics together...and cast on our Olympic projects together as well. This event starts at 7:30 pm...so bring your project and a snack to share. If you've got a folding chair, you might want to have it in your car just in case we need it. I only have 22 seats and I expect a crowd tonight. Even if you're not joining us in doing an Olympic project, you're still welcome to come tonight. OK...Ready...set...knit!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

I thought you'd like to see a couple of the finished projects that Diane and Sam have made for the shop.

This cute little baby sweater is simple to make and only takes 1 skein of the Plymouth Encore yarn if you're making the smallest size. A great little sweater to make for baby showers.

This shrug is made out of Araucania's Chacabuco yarn. It's a bulky weight yarn made out of 100% pima cotton. The pattern is from Farmhouse Yarns. This yarn comes in some real nice hand-painted colors.

Market bags are becoming more and more popular as we try to protect our environment. Why not make one out of Plymouth's Fantasy Naturale yarn like this one? This would make great Christmas gifts for your friends and family and it only uses 2 skeins! Plus the pattern is free with purchase!

Summer Charity Project...
We've had a couple of people turn in garments for the Warm Woolies organization that we're focusing on this summer. If you have some bulky weight wool just sitting in your stash, why not make a vest or sweater for this group that helps orphanages overseas and an Indian reservation here in the states. I make this cute vest to donate out of the Cascade Victor yarn that's in our sale bin. There's still some of that yarn in the sale bin if you want to help with our summer charity project.

Lisa designed this gorgeous Fiesta Coat that is on display in the shop. We're thinking of offering it as a class in October, so if you're interested, let me know. If we have enough interest, we'll definitely do a class. It's a great way to use a lot of different types of yarns together...and possibly use up some of your stash at the same time.
New arrivals...
  • Vogue Knitting - Fall issue
  • Knit 'N Style - October issue
  • St. Charles Ritratto...a DK yarn in 6 beautiful colors
  • Plymouth Forever sock yarn...a great yarn to use in making baby items
  • Plymouth Alpaca Prima...6 neutral colors that would make gorgeous lace shawls and scarves
  • Muench Family...an Aran weight yarn that is machine washable and has arrived in 11 yummy colors
  • Feza Dazzle...in orange to be added to a white yarn for a great new UT scarf for this season (model scarf on display) and in white to be added to other colors of yarn for great scarves as well
  • Feza Cyprus Mohair...beautiful yarn that you have to see to appreciate
  • Malabrigo...100 pounds of their worsted yarn has arrived. I now have in stock 42 of our 45 colors.

And don't forget...today and tomorrow (August 1 and 2) are tax-free days. Come save the tax off of your purchases!