Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learn to Crochet (Upcoming Class Preview)

We've had tons of requests for crochet help in the past couple of weeks because of our beautiful Sashay scarf shop sample. 
This super soft scarf is an easy project in bulky weight yarn and it's a generous size at 11" x 74". But if you haven't crocheted before, why not tackle one that's a more manageable size?

We've modified this pattern and scheduled a Learn to Crochet a Granny Square Scarf class.  In no time at all you'll be wrangling a crochet hook like a professional. Starting with a simple chain and basic crochet stitches you will build colorful circles within squares in this Granny Square technique.
You'll learn crochet joining techniques to bring your motifs together in our own adaptation of this popular pattern. The Berroco Lodge yarn is so fun, it stripes all by itself and looks amazing in crochet patterns!

This TWO SESSION class meets Wednesdays, October 3 AND October 24, 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Customer Project - Avengers Golf Club Covers

contributed by Shawn

Leslie stopped by the shop the other day to pick out some Berroco Vintage in fun colors for a surprise project. Leslie and a friend started taking golf lessons at the beginning of the summer and the two of them decided one afternoon to go see the new Avengers movie.  This inspired Leslie to come up with this birthday plan for her friend: knitted golf club covers that are Avengers characters!

She brought them in to show us and get a little assistance with the crocheted details for Iron Man.  Don't you just love that the Hulk is for the largest of the clubs?

Believe it or not we get TONS of requests for patterns for knitted golf club covers.  We have our Ann Norling Golf Club Covers knitting pattern knitting pattern on standby as a perfect base for any creative imagination.  

We recommend Plymouth Encore or Berroco Vintage yarns as the nylon blend will provide machine washability and longer life (than all natural fibers) for the best looking club covers around!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


...while in a local craft gallery.
A large wall hanging that gets me (and my daughter Sophie) itching to knit!

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Get it while it's hot!

contributed by Shawn

Many of you may recognize this amazingly simple, flamboyant scarf.
And you probably also remember how the Flounce yarn was gone in a flash last season? And how we couldn't get more because the supplier was COMPLETELY OUT OF EVERY COLOR? We waited for MONTHS for our reorders to arrive and we only got a limited amount of just a few of the colors. It was certainly well after the holiday season before we could let customers know it was available again.

Well there are 8 NEW amazing colors available now and we have them in stock! But we have a feeling this yarn is going to be hard to get this again this season especially as the time for holiday gift giving draws near.

So we've purchased other ruffle yarns that are almost exactly like the Flounce. That means we have more supply and more colors! Check out Rozetti Marina, Plymouth Joy and Katia Ondas. In addition to these three we have many other new ruffle yarns

Even though we have added new ruffle yarns and increased our stock, we still anticipate another shortage. So please DO NOT WAIT to get the colors you like, or the colors you think your friends and co-workers will ask for as soon as they see YOUR scarf.

These scarves are quick and easy knitting projects (no purling!) and make great gifts.

Happy as a Frog! (Upcoming Class Preview)

Hop to it - The Happy Frog Class is coming to your local knitting store!  Join the designer, Emily (the Crafty Hedgehog herself!) for a two part class on the art of knitting toys. 
Small knitted toys are quite the rage these days. This type of project is a wonderful way to use up leftover project yarn and they knit up quickly making great gift ideas.  Get tips for casting-on with double pointed needles, practice your increasing and decreasing techniques, and learn how to knit i-cord in this class.  Get ready to explore the world of knitted toy patterns with your new-found skills. (We know you know someone that needs a knitted zebra, dinosaur, alien, or rabbit to play with this winter!)

This TWO SESSION class meets Fridays, October 12 AND October 26, 10 am – 11:30 am.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Customer Project - Reading... and knitting!

contributed by Shawn

Our customer Pauli D. has been visiting Malta this summer and she's keeping in touch with us on our facebook page.  We always love hearing what she's been up to. She was just back in Vermont and stopped in the shop before heading back to the Mediterranean. Pauli told us she's been reading Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson. While she's been enjoying the story, she's also been trying out some of the Irish stitch patterns that are included in the book.

This is a sample that she brought by to show us:
The story teller is a woman who visits an island off the west coast of Ireland to research Irish knitting.  She finds that each fisherman's handmade sweater tells a story.  Stories and knitting! Guess I'll need to stop by the library this weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

To Match? Or To Coordinate?

contributed by Barb

The shop is bursting with new yarns! Every time our UPS driver lugs boxes into the shop, we have so much fun unloading them. Sometimes when we open boxes from different suppliers, we get excited because the new items tend to coordinate. It give us good ideas for merchandizing, and it shows that different companies are on the same page when it comes to introducing new colors.

We just received the Harlow bag from Namaste. This bag is functional and beautiful, and comes in the new Namaste colors of Espresso, Eggplant, and Caribbean Blue. We've also got some new colors in the circular cases (the same three plus Pumpkin Spice). 

Our favorite new color is Espresso. Look how beautiful it is with the new Debbie Bliss Angel yarn in the colors Gold and Burnt Orange:

Fall is coming! Since we all love brown and orange, look at the Espresso bag paired with the Pumpkin Spice accessories:
The new Caribbean Blue is so pretty. This color has been popular for ages now, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Once I decide which color bag I want, I will have to start a scarf. The question is will it match, or coordinate?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Over $150,000 donated

contributed by Shawn

Did you know? 

  • FIVE dollars from each purchase of a pink Denise Kit, TWO dollars from each purchase of a pink Companion Set, and ONE dollars from each purchase of a pink Long Cord Set goes directly and entirely to breast cancer research through the S.D. Ireland fund. 
When we called to order from Denise recently, they thanked us for our support, and we just have to share this thank you... with YOU!
We love Denise kits - it is so handy to have every size needle available!  And since our shop is in Vermont we know a lot about the Fund and the story behind this effort.

Check out the Denise connection here and the Vermont S.D. Ireland connection here for more information.


Customer Project - Witch Rug

contributed by Shawn

Take a look at this wonderful witchy hooked rug.  Pam came in to get some Lamb's Pride Worsted yarn to use for the edge of her rug and that means we got to peek at her work! 
Lamb's Pride is a great choice, and many of our hookers end up choosing it when finishing off their rugs. Pam looked at our Brown Sheep color cards and we're going to special order two colors for her so she can blend them to match the red-orange tones in her project's border.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


...While window shopping in Florence, Italy in July.
Some beautiful knitwear in the Missoni Store.
And upon closer inspection, some super cool "yarn ball" candles!

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Double Knitting Strikes Again! (Upcoming Class Preview)

Our Rectangly Hat class was so popular and filled so quickly last session that we are offering it again! Double your knitting fun by learning how to knit two layers of fabric at the same time.  Put on your thinking cap and come on in for a brain-bending experience you're sure to enjoy. 
We love this hat because it's so warm when it's finished and we know you'll love it too. This completely reversible hat is an attention grabber and the mod rectangle pattern can be altered to make your own custom cap once you've mastered the double knitting technique.

This TWO SESSION class meets Wednesdays, October 17 AND October 31, 5:30 - 7 pm.

Friday, August 17, 2012


...while picking my children up from their first day of school this Monday in Tampere, Finland!
A beautifully crocheted bike basket/bag.

In cities where people commute to work and school on bikes, this is an excellent idea!

What cool things have YOU spotted recently?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Ever Hat (Upcoming Class Preview)

So you know how to knit and purl but you're tired of knitting scarves? This class is for you! Come in and learn how to knit a hat using circular needles.
We'll use super bulky yarn and large needles so this project will work up quickly. You'll learn how to join into a round, how to work a "k2tog", how to knit on double pointed needles and how to finish in your ends. You'll even learn how to make a pom-pom if you want to put one on your hat!

This TWO SESSION class meets Wednesdays, September 19 AND October 10, 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lace Wingspan Shawl (Upcoming Class Preview)

We love the Wingspan Shawl by maylin of Tri'Coterie Designs.  We've had so many customers comment on our shop sample knit in Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade yarn (pictured below) that we knew we needed to offer this project as a class! 
The triangle shaping is created using short-row technique and self-striping yarn makes the simple garter stitch stunning.

The Wingspan Shawl has been so popular that several other adaptations are now available. We decided it would be fun to take our class to the next level - so join us for the Lace Wingspan class!
We recommend a soft, luxurious, fingering weight yarn in a solid or semi-solid colorway to show off your pattern stitches.  You will master the written and charted instructions for 8 different lace patterns in once project!

This TWO SESSION class meets Wednesdays, September 12 AND September 26, 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What's our mannequin wearing?

The oh-so popular Weekend Wrap! This super simple project has a shop favorite this summer. It whips up in no time with just a couple of skeins of yarn.  So simple – a rectangle with openings for the arms – you can wear this as a wrap, scarf, or vest! 

Large needles and a beautifully textured yarn are a perfect match for this project.
Side/back view. LOVE this wrap!

Socks that Rock! (Upcoming Class Preview)

Handknit socks rock! Customers always mention to us how intimidated they are to try knitting socks for the first time because they're afraid of the shaping needed for a good fit.  Here's your chance to learn how to wield your double pointed needles in the fine art of turning a heel without coming to grief!  
The socks we knit in class will be a small size. That gives us the opportunity to teach you the seamless toe join, aka Kitchener stitch.  We're using our favorite sock pattern, Yankee Knitter Classic Socks for the Family, a tried and true favorite.   

When we finish the class, you'll be ready to knit some "gift" socks... after all, the holidays are just around the corner!

This TWO SESSION class meets Fridays, September 14 AND September 28, 11 am - 12:30 pm.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kitchener Stitch

contributed by Shawn

Recently I was putting orders together and realized that I was packing a parcel headed to Kitchener, Ontario in Canada. Yes, Kitchener, as in the Kitchener stitch! Do you think everyone there is an expert at using the Kitchener stitch for their knitting projects? Do they teach this technique to all knitters there?

For those of you who haven't yet taken the plunge to work on a project that involves this technique, the Kitchener stitch is a joining method of grafting two pieces of knitted fabric together using live stitches so that there is no noticeable seam when you are finished.  It can be a bit of a love-hate experience at first, but it is a wonderful bit of knowledge for finishing and is often used in socks so that there is no 'toe seam' to irritate the wearer. 

I will admit, I still look this up to be sure that I am forming the graft correctly every time I have to do it. Once I get started I'm usually fine but I still find it is best done with no interruptions!   

We carry a favorite book that gives great Kitchener instructions: The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques. There is also a good tutorial available through

In any case, I was curious enough about Kitchener, Ontario to take a look into why there is a place named after the Kitchener stitch. 

It turns out that Kitchener started out named Berlin and in 1916 the name of the city was changed to Kitchener; named after the late British Field Marshal The 1st Earl Kitchener (wikipedia) not the Kitchener Stitch. Oh well, it was fun thinking it, even if only for a short while. :(

But the Kitchener Stitch is named after the Earl of Kitchener! (Also from wikipedia:) Apparently Kitchener "encouraged British and American women to knit for the war efforts, and contributed a sock pattern featuring a new technique for a seamless join of the toe, still known as the Kitchener stitch."

Wonderful, can't wait to ship more parcels to Kitchener, Ontario!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Customer Project - Crocheted Blankets

contributed by Barb

We caught up with customer Sue B. recently and she showed us two blankets she had just finished.  One for a boy:

And one for a girl:

They are made with Plymouth Encore and Plymouth Encore Tweed and are worked in a crocheted ripple stitch pattern. What a perfect blanket for when you are watching TV!

We think they're beautiful and the colors she chose are delicious. It really makes me want to make something like this. Thanks for sharing Sue!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Customer Project - Baby Blanket and Sweater

contributed by Barb

Linda H. stopped in to the shop recently to show us one of her latest FOs. This is an adorable baby set! Unfortunately the pattern no longer exists (at least we could not locate it as it dates back to probably the 1970’s or 80’s). 
What a great shower gift and best of all the yarn (Plymouth Dreambaby DK yarn) is machine washable. That helps those new moms who are a bit tired (and also those new dads who help our with the laundry!)

Great job Linda!

We have a similar blanket pattern here, and similar sweater patterns here and here.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

More New Colors

contributed by Barb

As soon as I opened the box and saw the new color of Stacy Charles Luna yarn I knew exactly which scarf I wanted to make.  

Actually, it's a variation of a scarf I did last year, the Stellaluna Drop Stitch Scarf
Stellaluna Drop Stitch Scarf with Stella & Luna yarns
Last year I used the Stella and Luna yarns, but this year I am going to use Crystal and Luna. The new Crystal colors are just so yummy!
5 great new Crystal colors!

Here are a few of the combinations that I came up with, the Crystal colors are all new and the Luna in the teal/green (col #35) is also new. Did you know that teal is a very popular color this year? 

Hot summer socks

contributed by Shawn

Yep, that's right - socks in the summer - these are HOT, HOT, HOT! Customers are loving our new tangerine sock sample. The lovely bright color is an eye catcher and when they feel the fabric they are hooked!   
We knit this basic top-down sock using the Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamental Top-Down Socks (#F01) pattern.  It's a great option for basic socks because it offers such a wide range of possibilities for both size (baby through adult men) and gauge (superfine through worsted weight yarn). 
This sock pattern actually uses a "Bamboo Rib". Funny that we chose a bamboo yarn for it!

What really makes this particular sock so wonderful is the yarn we chose: Knit One Crochet Too Pediwick sock yarn. This fingering weight yarn is machine washable and offers great advantages because it is made from bamboo!  It is soft but very durable, and helps your feet thermal regulate because bamboo is an excellent moisture-wicking, breathable fiber. This means it will help keep you warm, but in warmer weather, it will act as a cooling fabric.

For those of you who don't like wearing wool against your skin, bamboo is not likely to irritate the skin or bother those who have animal allergies. It's a naturally smooth fiber, and it's soft and strong, so it is perfect for socks.

But wait, there is more! Pediwick is spun with a natural stretch that gives the socks an elastic advantage to help keep them in place.  Make socks with Pediwick and you'll have no more slouchy socks! 

We've been using Pediwick in striped socks this summer since the colors are so nice. Try Plum with Sage:
or Chalk Blue with Tangerine:
or Dusky Aqua with Wheat for the summer:
But neutral stripes also look great (like Slate with Natural):
and I'll definitely be making some of those for gifts this holiday season.