Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I know it's not November...the month we focus on thanksgiving. But today I'm really thankful for so many things.

First of all, I'm thankful for my health. Yes, I've had low back problems for almost 2 years now. And yes, I struggle on a daily basis with pain and fatigue. But, at least, it's not a life-threatening illness. My sister-in-law has pancreatic cancer. This is her second bout with cancer. She's been receiving chemo treatments for about a year now. And this week her sweet husband did something that not many men would do. He shaved HIS head in support of her. You've got to love a man that would do that. If you think about them, please pray for Nancy. She just became a grandmother and needs to live many more years to see her 5 children and 1 grandchild grow up.

Secondly, I'm thankful for my customers. You know, there are several yarn shops in this area. But those who claim The Yarn Haven as their LYS are the best. Your loyalty to our shop has made you become more than just're friends. Recently, when the Second Harvest Food Bank had all of their food & supplies destroyed by flooding, I put out a container on the counter asking for donations and we were able to send a check to Second Harvest this week for $120.00. My customers have always come through for me. Whenever I've asked them to give either money or food or knitted/crocheted items, they have been there ready to join together as a fiber community and help out those who have needs. I think back to the gal who lost her home to a fire and everyone brought in their extra knitting supplies & yarn to completely fill her car with wonderful goodies for her to use. Or when we put out the challenge of making preemie caps and everyone blewn the Alabama shop out of the water by making so many caps. Or the times I've asked for yarn donations to send overseas to help African ladies provide for their families. Or the time we sold the Capulana bags so that families in Mozambique could purchase a truck to carry their produce to market. Over and over again, my customers have given of themselves to help those in our community and others far away.

What are you thankful for today? Your family, having a job, being able to take a vacation last week during spring break? We are so blessed in this country to have the resources to care for ourselves. And when we come upon hard times, there are folks there to help us get through that rough patch.

This past weekend was the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival in Townsend. We had a booth there and enjoyed meeting other fiber folks. Don't you just love these cute little sheep that they had leading the way to the festival. Be sure to watch for it next year in March 2012.

Before I finished, I wanted to share with you two projects that have come in recently. First of all, Leigh finished her beautiful sweater coat. This is the Natalie Coat from Big Girl Knits. She used Cascade 220 Tweed yarn. She modified the cuffs to match the shawl collar stitch pattern and added ribbing at the back waist. Her tip: be sure you measure.

And then Kimberly brought in an Aran Sweater she made using an Alice Starmore pattern. It's made of merino wool. Nice job, Kimberly.

Go out and enjoy this beautiful day and spend some time thinking of the things for which you are thankful. Blessings to you all!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our First Retreat...

Our first retreat has come and gone. But the memories will last for a long time. We had a wonderful time...and had beautiful weather. I knew we were in the right place when I saw the spinning wheel that they had displayed above the stairs.

Upon arriving each person found a goody bag on their bed. I searched high and low for just the perfect fabric and then gave it to Mimi. She and a friend of hers turned the fabric into this adorable pyramid bag. I then embellished each bag with their name or initials and a red yarn ball stitch marker.
They also got a skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky and a pattern to make these cute "Duffers"...a quick and easy 19 row felted slippers pattern. We'll be getting some Lamb's Pride Bulky in stock in the near future.
After eating our supper of homemade chili and my Granny's corn muffins, Kristina gave a workshop on beading. We made this cute little beaded pin cushion. I'm going to put mine in the spare bedroom and put my T-pins in it for blocking.

Saturday morning we feasted on scrambled eggs, bacon & sausage, homemade biscuits & gravy and cinnamon apples from Miss Lily's. Then Mimi taught a workshop on her Bella Cell Phone Pouch. Here's a photo of some of the finished cases. Aren't they cute!
I made mine a little shorter since I have an older phone. Embellishing them was the really fun part! I might have to make some of these for Christmas gifts this coming year.
Ater a short break we had a lunch of chicken salad croissants, glazed fruit salad, & chips. Then for Saturday afternoon we had free time to do whatever we wanted. Some folks stayed at the tables and continued working on their projects while others went hiking or went out on the porches and enjoyed the warm sunshine Some folks even went and took a quick nap. Can you guess which one I chose to do?? If you guessed a nap, then you would be right. But I did get out in the sunshine a while before my nap.

After our break Lisa did a workshop on Knitting Tips. She did a great job of showing how you could change patterns to work best with your body shape. I think a lot of folks learned some new ways to improve their projects.

For supper we enjoyed some homemade Lasagna with a tossed salad and french bread. And then we had birthday cake in celebration of Mimi's birthday (which was on Monday). After cleaning up from supper we had a Fashion Show where everyone got to show off their knitted and crocheted items. And then they got to pick one of the door prizes. We have some amazing vendors that sent us door prizes for our retreat. Thank you Mango Moon, Classic Elite, Shaune Bazner, Cascade, Brown Sheep & Hiya-Hiya for the wonderful prizes you sent. We were able to have just enough so that everyone got a door prize. Following the fashion show, we did our gift exchange. You either got to pick a wrapped gift...or "steal" someone else's already opened gift. Folks had no second thoughts on stealing my gifts as I got them stolen from me THREE times. But I think in the end everyone had a lot of fun and there was much laughter.

Here are some photos of the folks enjoying sitting on the porch and knitting...Mavis & Kelora.
Roz & Melinda...

Beverly, Lisa & Marilyn...

Paula & Peggy...
Merriam, Tara & Melissa...

Kristina & Wendy...

Betty & Patti...

Linda, Leigh & Mimi...
Unfortunately, Donna had to leave early, so I didn't get her photo. :-(

Sunday morning came early with light showers of sporadic rain. We all packed up and left our retreat with smiles on our faces...and less knots in our back thanks to our massage therapist, Tara. Tara worked hard all weekend giving chair massages to each person. We hope to see more of her as she has begun taking a Weekly Class.

It was a fun weekend and we hope to make this an annual event. If you missed our retreat this year, then I hope you'll plan on coming to our next one.
Kristina took some more photos that you can see here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We have a new Knitter of the Month...

For March, our Knitter of the Month is Ginny Moyers. Ginny made this gorgeous sweater out of Cascade 220 Superwash yarn. The pattern is called "Dark & Stormy" and can be bought on Ravelry. Ginny wins a $10 gift certificate. Be sure to bring in your finished projects and you could be our next Knitter or Crocheter of the Month!!

Other projects brought in this month:

Linda shared with us her Sam's Shawl. It looks so pretty in the Cascade 220 Tweed.

She also brought in some socks she made for her hubby. She used the Plymouth Zino...which comes in some great colors for men.

Marilyn finished her "I don't give a darn" socks using Swedish Yarns Raggi.
Roz brought in her Sam's Shawl. She made this for her sister using Plymouth Royal Bamboo.

Roz also finished her "knit every row" scarf using Gioco ladder yarn.

Ann made Kate Jackson's Log Cabin Felted Bag. She used lots of different wool yarns such as Cascade 220, Cascade 220 tweed, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride & Berroco Jasper.

Susan received this yarn as a gift from her son and used it to knit Judy Pascale's Simply Garter Shawl. I love the added ruffle.

Mary used Feza Cyprus Mohair to make this vest.

Amanda crocheted these fingerless gloves for a man in her life. She used one of Plymouth Encore's Colorspun colors.

Pat used Mountain Colors River Twist yarn to make this cabled vest. She lengthened it about 1 1/2 inches.

Sandy found a pattern in the One Skein Wonders book (page 11) to make this scarf using Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn.

Bernie used Plymouth Galway to make this football sweater. She used a pattern from "By Melissa".

And AnnHara finished her Potpourri Scarf using various yarns & textures from the Magic Ball of Yarn she made at our Super Ball Party.

Thanks to everyone for sharing all of these wonderful projects!