Friday, May 28, 2010

New Product Review: Berroco Remix Yarn

Our new fall Berroco yarns are now online but they won't be here until next week. There are 5 of them, and they're all awesome! You ask... how can we be excited about fall yarns when we've just finished a stretch of 90-degree days? Well, when the yarns are this great and the patterns are beyond fabulous, it makes it a lot easier to forget the weather and start thinking fall! I took a ball of Berroco Remix home last night (perhaps my favorite new yarn of the bunch!) and swatched it. I'm-in-love-I'm-in-love-I'm-in-love! It's made of 100% recycled fibers... nylon, cotton, acrylic, silk and linen. Plan to see a number of "re-cycled" yarns this fall- as just about every one of my sales reps has shown me one in their line.

This yarn is beyond soft. It's supposed to be 4.25 stitches to the inch on an 8 US, but I got just over 4.5 in my swatch. This means that in addition to all the beautiful patterns that were made specifically for this yarn (
Berroco Book #303 Remix) I can use any of the patterns that were made for Blackstone Tweed, which includes Book #288 and several in the new Berroco Book #298!

I love Abi:and Rafik:from Book #303. And I've always wanted to make Nuss from Book #288, so I've got to narrow it down, for sure.

And the fact that it's soft, tweedy (another hot thing for fall) and works with so many great Berroco patterns isn't all... It's got wonderful yardage (216yards!!) for just $10.

Oh... and it's machine washable!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tell us what you think!

We've been working hard over the past year to make some changes to our website and online store. One of the things that you may have noticed as you perused the site is that it is possible to read through reviews of the different products that we offer when reviews are available. This is a great way to share your personal experience with us and with other customers and access a wealth of information on products that you cannot always see first hand.

So we need your feedback! Your insightful reviews can help other knitters determine which yarns, needles, and patterns will work best for them.
The next time that you are browsing through the website take a minute or two to visit a yarn or pattern that you are familiar with or have had the opportunity to try out in person. Click on 'Review this Product' and let us know your thoughts.

AND your review could win you a prize! We randomly choose one product reviewer each month to receive a gift - it could be you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Manic-In Monday

This week we grabbed a new sweater vest sample to put on the mannequin, but realized it was only a child's size 10/12. Bummer!

But since we're always up for a challenge, we thought we'd see if it would fit. And it did! So here's our gal wearing a really cute cabled vest meant for a child. We knew she was diminutive in stature, but never realized just how small she really was! Pattern: Design Four "Slipover" from the Queensland Collection 12 book (Jenny Watson Designs) knit in Queensland Collection Haze, a lovely corn & cotton blend. Pattern goes from 2-3 up to 12-13 (finished chest measurement of 34").

Monday, May 24, 2010

Granny Squares in Kenya

So today Polly left for Kenya. I asked her to write a little bit about her trip for the blog - and you'll see, there IS a yarn connection. So here it is, in her own words:

Here it is almost May 24th - departure day for Kenya! Since February, my husband and I have had our tickets for this trip to visit our daughter, Kate, who has been living and working in the small western Kenyan town of Kendu Bay on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Her work has been with the Kenya Self-Help Project, an organization dedicated to the health and education of children in the region. Specifically, she's working to help keep primary school age girls in school who typically drop out of school at the alarming rate of about 70%. We will be staying with Kate's host family - the Opondos.

While there, I had the idea to share my interest in handcrafts with anyone who might be interested. Mrs. Opondo jumped onboard the idea and has enlisted her group of local women who call themselves The Voice of the Youth to get involved.

So, armed with 12 skeins of Plymouth Encore Worsted yarn and 10 crochet hooks from faraway Kaleidoscope Yarns in Essex Junction, Vermont, I will be teaching a class in learning to make the famous Grannie Squares! I have absolutely no idea how this is going to go over! Their main language is not English, most of them have probably never done anything with yarn before AND I'm one teacher amongst a group of 10, 20, really not sure how many.

I figure that if I can just get one person to catch on, she will be able to instruct the others after I go. Kate assures me that there is yarn available in the markets if they wish to go on with their crocheting. We'll see!!

For now, I'm mostly worried about how the heck I'm going to squish the yarn into my luggage with all the other stuff I'm taking. Hope the customs people in Nairobi don't ask too many questions! I promise to report back upon our return in mid June with photos and stories to tell.

We're so eager for Polly to return and tell us all about her experience!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hooks, holders & Holy Cow, that's inexpensive!

We just brought in a new yarn that is perfect for potholder and dishcloth knitters. Even if you don't knit holders & cloths around the clock, you have to admit, it's fun to whip one or two up every now and then. They make great gifts, and I'm always in need of more at home.

A shipment from Kertzer arrived the other day, and in addition to 4 FUN new colors of Marble Chunky, we got Coolspun Cotton, a craft cotton in variegated colors. Folks, this yarn is fun! I whipped up a quick crochet potholder last night, and this weekend will make a knitted dishcloth.

And price? It's CHEAP! Cheap in the very best way, not meaning it's of poor quality (because it's not!) but meaning it's under $2.50 a ball!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sock it to Ya!

Sock knitters take note! I know it is hard to come into the shop or browse through the almost unlimited opportunities for sock yarn sometimes. For that reason we thought we would point out a couple of special sock yarns for you to take a look at and marvel over.

We have a new Online Supersocke yarn, Noble Color, that is the softest washable blend of fingering weight sock yarn that I've ever had the pleasure to pet. This yarn is an almost unbelievable silky soft texture created by a mixture of wool, nylon, and 20% angora. The self patterning color palette offered ensures there is something to fit everyone's fancy and I don't think I will want to take these socks off my feet they are going to be so cozy. And yes, this blend is machine washable, too! It really will be a treat to have a pair of socks knit from this yarn. You may have to feel it to believe it - I just cannot do this yarn justice in a blog post.

For those of you who are always looking for that new exciting sock yarn colorway to keep things hopping on your needles we have an incredible selection of limited edition colors from Opal. Opal has always been a favorite for our sock knitters. It is soft, yet durable and machine washable. The colorways are always changing so if you don't pick one up today you may miss it! We have 5 different color lines right now including Maskenball, Antonia, Rainforest, Schafpate, and Kaleidoscope. That translates into 19 different limited edition colors to choose from! But as I said these won't be around long so be sure to grab what you want before they're gone.

Don't forget that sock yarn isn't just for socks! Try our new free Newborn Hat pattern for a super cute and quick knit in one of these self patterning sock yarns. (Oooooh, just think angora sock yarn for tiny newborn babies!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's a mystery

We just unloaded a new yarn from Tilli Tomas yesterday... and it's gorgeous! We are the only ones to have it right now as it is BRAND new. It's called the Mystery Skein, because it's got multiple fibers in it that change as you knit... so it's a mystery as to what is coming next!

There are 10 colors and all the fibers are dyed in similar (or the same) shades. There are a number of different yarns/fibers in each skein... like Pure & Simple, Symphony Lace, Milan, the un-beaded version of Angel, and then some other fibers like a funky mohair boucle, a gorgeous ribbon, etc.

I grabbed a skein of the Dusty purple and a size G crochet hook and worked up a simple crochet skinny scarf. I had some yarn leftover, so I crocheted some little flowers and attached them on the ends. I love it!

We are working up some other samples with this yarn. It's really gorgeous and so soft... there are are so many possibilities for it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Kitchen Sink

Recently I walked into our kitchen and found this in the sink. Gross! Was it cottage cheese? Oatmeal? Or something worse?
We keep our kitchen pretty clean, so I was surprised that someone left this in the sink and set off to find the culprit. But then Shawn came in and told me she was dissolving some of those biodegradable packing peanuts. Aha! So that's what it was! I'd never seen the dissolving process before...

We called Michele and all had a laugh about what we really thought it was. And in case you don't have a shipping use for the peanuts, and don't want to dissolve them quite yet, they also make great horns. I'm glad my staff is creative!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Manic-In Monday

There's a TWIST to this week's outfit! It's called a mobius. Have you ever joined your stitches in the round with an un-intentional twist? Well, for this cowl, the twist is intentional - it's what makes it spectacular!

This week's outfit highlights a great cotton sweater and this beautiful mobius cowl, done in a self striping yarn. Both of these pieces can be worn year round. Sweater: White Rock Lake Sweater knit with Tahki Mia cotton yarn. Pattern is in the Terra Collection Urban Organics booklet.
Cowl: One skein of Lang Jawoll Magic yarn and the pattern is free.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Fall Colors - on the site and on the shelf!

My camera has been busy today. In fact it went past photo #9999 and started renumbering at 0001. That's a lot of photos (and I've got more than one camera!)

All of the new Berroco fall colors for existing yarns are now in stock (except for 1 or 2 backordered ones). They've been unpacked, stored away, put out in the shop, photographed, edited and put online. Thanks to everyone here for a job well done. We're got new colors in Comfort:
and Sundae:
And it's not just Berroco... we have 4 new colors each of Lamb's Pride Worsted and Bulky.
They're all gorgeous! And the best part is, there are still great deals on these yarns (in older colors) on the sale page. Check it out!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Manic-In Monday

If you're not local to our area, then you may not have heard. We had snow pretty much ALL DAY yesterday... on May 9th! It didn't accumulate, but it was cold and windy, and the weather station on the top of my house (my husband's a weather geek) actually measured a wind chill of 9 below zero yesterday morning. What the!?!?! I only set foot outside once yesterday, and even my full length down jacket wasn't very helpful.

So after yesterday's frigid weather, our mannequin pulled out the long sleeves and jeans again. Even though today is supposed to be 60 and sunny, yesterday's chill is STILL in the air. And it is blustery by that front door. And her color choice? All red. Well, I'm kind of seeing red too, thanks to Mother Nature's curve ball.
Scarf: Noemi scarf from Berroco's Norah Gaughan Volume 1, in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light yarn (we have some great colors on sale right now!)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Knitting at the Bandstand

Yesterday was our kids' knitting group after school. I was on my way over to meet the kids at the library, but my grumbling tummy made me sidetrack to the grocery store, where I got some cookies for me and the kids. It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to take our snack and knitting outside to the town green, right next to the library. We have a lovely bandstand in the middle of the green, so we sat and worked on our strips, chatted, and ate some chocolate chip cookies. What could be better than that?
We were trying to figure out how many strips we have completed, how many strips are in progress, and how many more we'll need. We will have enough to make 2 blankets, and possibly a third! Once more strips are completed, the girls are going to figure out which ones will go together for each blanket, and we'll teach them how to seam them properly.
I decided to use up some of the leftover scraps to make a colorful strip. It's looking good! I can't wait to see them all put together.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Skirt pattern is up

The Tilli skirt pattern is online. Had a few calls asking for it, so here it is. PDF only. Imagine the possibilities with this skirt!

Manic-In Monday

It's been HOT outside, and so our mannequin decided to spice it up a bit! Be careful as you linger in the front hallway; she tends to bust a move every so often, and if you're in her way.. well, consider yourself warned! I guess you never outgrow that 5 year old desire to spin around in a skirt!
This skirt is SO gorgeous! It uses a lot of needle sizes to achieve the flair from top to bottom. And it's two layered - looks great on it's own or over tights, jeans, whatever. Here's another picture:
Pattern: Tilli Tomas Spicy Flirt Skirt (will be available online tomorrow!)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Did you hear? There's more snow in the forecast today!

Luckily, this is our favorite type of snow. And we don't need sand, salt or shovels to deal with it!We wait all year for it to happen, and it only lasts a few days (even less when there is rain and wind in the forecast, which we are seeing today.)It's our tree! And today, it's in full bloom and snowing petals. Gorgeous, white, perfumed petals that cover the lawn and brick walks. Come on by and close your eyes and inhale! It's not to be missed.