Friday, October 26, 2007

Custom Colorways... for Kaleidoscope Yarns!

Some of our suppliers are just great to do business with. Several weeks ago, Tracy (owner of Tilli Tomas) called and asked me if I'd like her to create a custom colorway for us in one of her yarns. We talked about some color ideas, and threw around some names, and then look what arrives in the mail one day? Pure and Simple, in our custom colorway called "Leaf Peepers." We love it! It reminds us of the gorgeous fall foliage we have here in Vermont. Our fall tourists are called "leaf peepers" and the name also has meaning for us since a few of ran in the "Leaf Peepers" Half Marathon recently. This colorway was developed for us, but should be available in other stores that stock the Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple.
Then Cheryl from Cherry Tree Hill called the other day. They recently acquired Wool in the Woods, and she has a lot of their dyes left. She offered to dye up some "potluck" colors in Sockittome for us. I asked her for 8, and we talked about what colors I liked and what I didn't like. Today, our UPS driver brought us the gorgeous yarn. We have 12 skeins in each colorway. That's it! They are our colors and you won't see them elsewhere. When they are gone, they are gone. Kalen and I were unpacking them, and decided to name the colors after some of the local ski & snowboard resorts. Maybe we really are eager for the snow to fly? Anyway, they are spectacular colors. Thanks Cheryl!
From top left to bottom right: Smugg's, Sugarbush, Stowe, Bolton, Stratton, Snow Bowl, Mad River and Jay.

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Aktion sock yarn from Lang

Just in, Aktion sock yarn from Lang. Berroco KnitBits talked about it a couple of weeks ago, and we received it in the shop last week. Lang's sock yarns have been in 50g skeins before, but this one is 100g, so you only need one skein per pair of socks.
This "limited edition" program has gorgeous yarns that are put out monthly. And when they're gone, they're gone. We have 4 of the October colors in stock, and will be getting 4 of the November colors next month. They're quick movers!

Remember those cute kitties I got a little over a year ago? Look how cute they were.
They're still cute - really, they are great cats. I just thought that after the first year, they'd chill out a little. You know, mellow a bit. Not eat my yarn anymore and end up having emergency visits to the vet. Not eat every little plastic bead or hair elastic that my kids leave all over the place. Not steal my kids' stuffed animals and carry them around the house as if they were prey. Not make a huge mess every single day when we are all at work/school. Well, I thought wrong. If there's any bit of trouble that you think they could get into, they will.

Last weekend we went away for 2 nights. The girl across the street came to feed them and check on them. I guess she missed this.
Just my crocheted pillow project from a couple of years ago, still unfinished. On the bright side, it does look like they had fun with it, doesn't it?It wasn't just an open bag of yarn. It was actually hidden underneath another bag. Yes, it should have been behind closed doors, I know. And here's Maisy saying, "Who, ME!?!"
Lesson learned. Next time they're boarding at the vet.

Last night I started a new hooked rug. I was inspired by a piece of wool I spot dyed over a week ago. Just had to use it in a project! This is the wool.
This is the project.
It's going in my mudroom, which is being worked on, so I have some time to finish it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Knitting weather is upon us

What a cold morning here! 50 degrees, raining, and a bitter wind. Not good for outside activitites, but great for sitting inside and knitting. In fact, this week it has been nice and cool, and that cool weather always brings a lot of people into the shop. We've been quite busy.

I've been knitting a lot recently. I am wearing my Pure Merino top today - yay! It is so comfortable and warm. Michele wore hers on Wednesday and I should have gotten a picture, but I didn't... So next time she wears it, I will. Hers is brown, and she got compliments on it all day. Kalen is nearing completion on hers - maybe she'll be done next week?

I am almost finished the front of my Anais sweater. It's going faster than I thought it would, considering I am only on size 4 needles. I LOVE the Felted Tweed. I had to take a break from it last night, as the hexagons for the Aune skirt arrived! Joy knit the hexagons and the waistband, and I agreed to crochet everything together. I'm not a big crocheter, but look at what I accomplished last night! It was pretty easy, and once I block it again, it will be perfect. We are excited to wear it... We've been busy this week - dying wools for rug hooking, unloading lots of shipments, etc. We got in a number of new rug hooking kits. We've had such an increased interest in rug hooking, so we ordered some new kits that we haven't had before. We also brought in a few more patterns from Vermont Folk Rugs, and a number from Primitive Grace - those will be here next week. All this wool dying has made me want to start a new project. I'm not finished the checkerboard rug for the girls yet. I put it down this summer - it just got way too hot for it. And I think I want to start another one, and maybe have two going at a time. Just like knitting, it's hard to only have one project!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Errata - a timesaver in the end

Today in the shop, a woman asked for help calculating yardage for a great sweater in the Men in Knits book, by Tara Jon Manning. For a men's medium, it was calling for 4 skeins of yarn, at 800 yards each. That's 3,200 yards! We immediately knew something was wrong.

So I logged onto and checked out the book corrections. Sure enough, that pattern had a correction - it meant to call for 4 skeins of yarn, at 400 yards each. Now that's more like it.

If something seems wacky to you, or a stitch count isn't quite working out, etc. take action and check to see if there's an errata out there! These patterns and books are usually rushed through to being printed. The authors and editors are human. Mistakes happen. Things get left out. And when they realize there's a problem, the publisher usually puts out an "errata", a sheet with the pattern corrections. These can be obtained on websites, or by calling the publisher.

The sweater I am making, the Anais, also had an errata. Which we had printed out, from Berroco's website, and nicely stapled into all of the pattern books, including my own. But did I check? Nope! So in my last post, where I mentioned that all sizes of this sweater only took 4 skeins of Ultra Alpaca Light - well, that's not quite right! I mean REALLY, Jill. I should have figured that out! But what really clued me in, was when I started knitting on Saturday evening, and it called for several needle sizes. It had me cast on with the smallest needle size for the ribbing - and then it didn't mention changing to another size. I skimmed through the pattern, and it actually never calls for the next size up needle, yet it was listed as one I needed. So, I turned to the errata, nicely stapled in the front of my book, and yep, there were a couple of corrections for that sweater.
So, word to the wise! There are mistakes in many patterns out there. We know about some of them, but there's no way we can know about all of them. Be proactive. Do a little googling of your pattern or book to see if there are any erratas out there before you start. You'll be glad you did.

Monday and Tuesday the girls come to the shop to hang out after school. It's only for a couple of hours, and they can have a snack and get their homework finished. Then they read quietly. I'm so glad they love to read... and that we have a library right out back so we can always get new books. Today it's feeling really fall-like, and so Helen is snuggling up in our new Comfort afghan. Kim just finished it and brought it in today. It is SO soft and cozy. Fun to knit too. I will be putting that up online soon, with a number of different color options.
Sophie doesn't want a blanket, she hasn't moved from the kitchen.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pure Merino knitting

So four of us are knitting Pure Merino! Well, really only three. But that's because I finished my sweater 2 nights ago. Here it is...
Here's the progress of all the Pure Merino sweaters as of yesterday. Barb started the Manon sweater the other night. That was one of the most popular ones when Norah was here at the shop.
Last night I did a gauge swatch for my next sweater - the Anais. I'm not doing the Ultra Alpaca light - as I think it would be too hot for me. But if I used the Ultra Alpaca Light, the total cost for all sizes is just over $20! What a deal!!!
I wanted something washable, so I was deciding between Wool Cotton, Cadenza, Felted Tweed, or doubled Jitterbug. I really wanted to do the Jitterbug because there was a color screaming out to me (Morello Mash) but it would have cost $80! And that's just not responsible yarn buying (for me!) So I ended up with a gorgeous color of Rowan Felted Tweed (Avocado). The yardage translates into 3.01 balls of felted Tweed, so since I am doing the small, and all sizes call for the same yardage, I know I will only use 3 skeins. At $9.25 a ball, it's still under $30. NOT BAD!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Raffle for breast cancer research

We're having a raffle this month, so come in and buy some raffle tickets! Don't live around here? You can still participate - buy tickets on our website! Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. All proceeds go to the S.D. Ireland Cancer Research Fund.

We've got some great prizes for this raffle! FOUR signed copies of New Pathways for Sock Knitters (by Cat Bordhi), TWO Denise PINK Interchangeable Knitting needle Kits, and ONE grand prize... an S.D. Ireland Research Tote, a Denise Pink Kit, a signed copy of New Pathways for Sock Knitters, and yarn donated by Kaleidoscope Yarns!

Raffle drawing will be October 31, 2007.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

GREAT New Shawl Pins!

Barb went to visit her mom about a week ago, and in her travels picked up a gorgeous shawl pin. So that day, we contacted the company, placed an order... and 3 days later... look what we now have in stock for only $30! These are great gift ideas...

Assorted stone Agate shawl pins:
Circular shawl pins in abalone, black shell, pink shell and mother of pearl:
Square shawl pins in abalone, black shell, pink shell and mother of pearl: Oval shawl pins in abalone, black shell and mother of pearl:
Assorted wooden shawl pins:
Ebony stick pins:Oh, and the neck ribbing that I thought I only had 1 more inch to do? Well, it turns out I have to rib for 5". So it was a LOT of ribbing last night. I think I have 1-2 more rounds before binding off. I chose to do the neck first (rather than the sleeves.) Then I can seam most of it up, try it on, and see exactly how much ribbing I want to do on the sleeves. I've already shorted each sleeve by 1/2", and can shorten them more by doing a little less ribbing.

Monday, October 01, 2007

We Leaf Peeped!

Wow. We did it! We ran our Leaf Peepers half marathon yesterday. What an amazing day for a little 13.1 mile run! It was just gorgeous weather, perfectly sunny, yet cool. The leaves were a bit on the dull side - perhaps our drought is the reason for that... but still, it was a great day. And here are some shots... Kalen and Michele at mile 2:
My own mile 2 cheering section - Marc (taking the picture), the girls and my mom:
Me at mile 2, shedding the t-shirt and gloves I had been wearing (hey, it started out cold!):
Kalen, always smiling... and approaching the finish at 2 hours 3 minutes:

My cheering section again... on the lookout for me to round that last bend:

And here we come! Michele (r) and I are heading in to the finish at 2 hours 18 minutes... yay! I beat my goal of 2.5 hours!:

Smiles all around - not bad for some yarn shop ladies!

And from running to knitting... we got in these AWESOME new monochromatic variegated Lamb's Prides today! Worsted and bulky... 8 colors. Very cool. We're one of the first shops to have them.

And some progress on the Aamu - almost done! Just another inch of ribbing on the neck, and then the sleeve ribbings. Maybe if the temps are cool I can wear it next week!?

And I just blocked our Retro Ribbed Cardigan (out of Green Mountain Sylvan Spirit) this weekend. It is not quite dry yet, but I LOVE this sweater. A great classic, ribbed sweater, but it fits great and it actually attractive on - unlike some I've seen! This is a perfect staple for any winter wardrobe.