Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cost Cutting Ideas

One of our most popular shawl patterns last year was the Alder Wrap from Rowan. It's gorgeous and featherlight, and is a perfect accessory for throwing in your bag. Who knows when you just might need to throw something warm and cozy around your shoulders?
We had a number of customers make this wrap, but also a good number who were a bit put off by the price. It calls for 12 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn, plus the Rowan Magazine. That's over $200! WOW!
Our shop model
These days, we're ALL keeping a close watch on the wallet, so I'm thrilled to offer you an alternative to this great shawl.

Rowan has since come out with Kidsilk Haze Stripe yarn, which stripes all on its own and has twice the yardage of the original Kidsilk Haze yarn.

Just two balls will make a gorgeous scarf that's quite generous at 11" x 75". You could even make it wider by casting on more stitches and sacrificing a bit of the length (since 75" is huge!).
This is a free pattern (just register at Rowan.com to download it!) and the cost is under $60!

And if you are still in love with the Alder Wrap, why don't you use the Kidsilk Haze Stripe yarn? It will probably take just 3 skeins. That pattern can also be accessed for free on the Rowan website, which brings the cost down to just under $90. That's a savings of over 50%!


Friday, June 29, 2012

Red Hot!

Our most popular knitting bag is now available in a new color - RED! The LJ Kaelms Bag by Jordana Paige sold out in teal, and we were sad to find out that the color is no longer available :(
But don't fret! We still have Lucky Green and the Red just arrived, so things are looking up.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gifts for Kitty

Some friends who watched my two cats earlier this month while we traveled just got a kitty of their own and we're going to meet him today! I wanted to take him a little cat toy, and a hand knit mouse was just a little too boring for me.

So I did some pattern searching on Ravelry and found a free pattern for a crocheted can of sardines. I thought it was adorable, and since I haven't crocheted for a month, I thought it would be fun!

I grabbed some fun colors of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and got started. My can looks a little wonky, but oh well! The sardines were fun to make - I felt like I was making gloves!
Because this is for a kitty, I did not put any catnip in with the stuffing. I thought I'd test the toys out on my cat Maisy, who loves toys. Unfortunately, she was pretty much in the midst of a midday catnap, and she was more bothered than amused. If I sprinkled a little catnip on the sardines, it would be a different story!
What the heck are these things?
Yawn. I'm already bored with this game. You're making me guess?
 
Ok, I'll guess. A hat?
A back massager?
I've got it! A pillow!
No!? Ok, I quit. Naptime.

New Colors of Flounce!

Finally! We've been out of Flounce for some time now in most colors, but we've just received four gorgeous new colors, and here they are:
This promises to be another big ruffle year, so get it while the gettin's good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bravo!

Early this spring we added a new yarn to our kids' offering in the DK room. We had been searching for a yarn that would be great for sweaters and blankets, come in fun colors, and be super soft and washable. We found all that in Bravo Rainbow from SMC. And so far, it's been a hit with all of you! And it's just $16 for a whipping 580 yards. That's big yardage!

I made a toddler's Fighead Fundamentals Junior Vest out of less than half a skein:
Fighead Fundamentals Junior Vest
and then I used the rest of the yarn to crochet a cute "travel sized" baby blankie (it's about 14-15" square). We're thinking of putting some fun satin ribbon in a bright color on the edges of this - wouldn't that look sweet? And the pattern? It's just your basic granny square where the yarn does all the work.
We had three colors of Bravo Rainbow to start and have now added 3 new colors bringing the total to 6. These are the three newest colors, just out for fall 2012:
color: Aqua
color: Peacock
color: Misty
Great possibilities for boys and girls alike!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Customer Project - PEACE Blanket


Sydney, the 9 year old daughter of our customer Claudine, arrived home one day with a colored pillowcase and said "Mom, I want a blanket with these colors, and I want the peace symbol on it".  So Claudine got out her graph paper and started designing. Then she came into the shop and picked out some beautiful colors of Berroco Comfort Worsted.
Berroco Comfort Worsted
When all the squares were completed, Claudine came back in to get some help putting everything together. We love to show people how to seam properly!  And then, because she wanted the blanket just a bit larger, she decided to crochet around the edges. But she didn't crochet! So we taught her.

It was great learning opportunity for her, and she certainly knows how to do it now! And the blanket it amazing. (We're sure Sydney agrees!)
Claudine's Peace Sign Blanket for Sydney. LOVE IT!
Five superb colors, 20 squares (and no two squares alike!), an amazing job finishing and a HUGE amount of crochet for a first time crocheter! 

GREAT job Claudine! 

We love to see unique, hand designed success stories like this one. Do you have one to share with us?

Monday, June 25, 2012

What to knit when it is hot

contributed by Emily

This time of year it can be a little hard to stay motivated when it comes to knitting. I know I look at my blankets and sweaters in progress and I sigh, knowing that there is absolutely no way I am going to be able to knit on them until September or October, at least!

But I can’t not knit. It is just not within the realm of possibility for me. So I usually take the opportunity of these hot months to restock my supply of market bags! I love the Fruit and Vegetable market bag made in different color combinations of Tahki Cotton Classic
Yarndance Fruit & Vegetable Bags
And I recently took home a few skeins of the Rowan Revive to make the Everlasting Bagstopper. This is a free pattern from Knitty Summer 2007.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great new colors of Comfort Worsted

Our new fall Berroco yarns have arrived, and so have the awesome new colors of existing yarns. We just received 5 really fun new shades of Comfort Worsted. They're all prints, and as you can see, they're perfect additions to the already huge color offering of this yarn.
Any of these would be great as a baby blanket. But which pattern you ask? I'd recommend either the simple Building Blocks Baby Blanket pattern 
They'd also be great for baby sweaters. How about the Cottage Creations Lillie's Little Sweater?

Need more ideas? Stop in to the shop or drop us a line!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Graduation!

Lots of people are attending graduation ceremonies today and here in Vermont it's going to be a gorgeous day! The temperatures are going to be in the upper 70s, but in order to get a good seat, you may have to show up to the ceremony a bit early, when it's still a bit cooler. A little shawl is a perfect addition to any dress. Don't forget yours!
This one is the Be Sweet Capelette, and it looks perfect over any dress.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Yarn from Pagewood Farm

We were thrilled that our customers liked the super bulky wools we brought in from Pagewood Farm this past fall and winter. The Bouquet is fun because it has little wool flower "bouquets" tied around the yarn. You can slide them along as you go to force them to be in one particular part of your knitting, or you can let them "bloom" naturally.
Bouquet
Glitterati really packed a punch! This wool has got it all: ribbons, beads AND sequins. We saw some crazy cool scarves made with this yarn this winter. It's currently out of stock but we will be bringing it back for fall.
Glitterati
The Plumes was also a favorite. Our one skein skinny scarf in the shop was an attention grabber. This scarf was easy and quick to make and people just loved the feathers. Each time I wore my scarf people would stop me and ask me about it. 
Plumes
We just brought in the Brissa which is adorned with ostrich feathers. In fact, it's got SO many little ostrich feathers that completely removing the background in Photoshop was too difficult!
Brissa
It is amazing. It's got these teeny, soft ostrich feathers that just love a little breeze! Imagine how lovely this would feel (and look!) with a gorgeous winter coat.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Outfit Ideas

When customers walk into our shop, they always comment on the number of knitted and crocheted samples we have. They say it's really inspiring to see sweaters, scarves, shawls, blankets, etc all finished and on display. There's just no comparison to seeing something in a picture and then seeing it made up. 

They love to touch and feel the samples--no doubt to check out the yarn we've used--and trying a sample on certainly helps them decide whether or not it will work for them. 

Do you ever make a new sweater and then find you don't wear it because you don't know what to pair it with? Don't be afraid to be bold with your outfits. Sometimes putting a hand-knit together with something that seems wrong, can be really RIGHT.

Here's a great example of a top and a sweater that you might not normally put together:
The gold sequined top is a bit fancier than the sweater, for sure. But the color and shimmer pick up on the yellow and brown tones in the Noro Silk Garden yarn, and then the perfect bronze necklace brings it all together. Just because you're wearing a gold sequined top doesn't mean you're going out on the town! Many stores are now selling tops like this for everyday wear, so don't be afraid of mixing it up.

Top: Cropped Cardigan from the Jenny Watson Designer Mini Knits book
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden

We love it!

Monday, June 04, 2012

More new goodies!

contributed by Barb

We just love when the UPS truck arrives at the shop every day.  It's natural for us to ask our delivery man "Oooh, what did we get!?" but I don't know why we keep doing this. He has NO idea what's in those boxes!
As soon as we see the shipping label we know immediately what's inside each box. We're always eagerly awaiting our reorders of existing yarns, and our NEW yarn orders.

On Friday we got a lot of boxes, and 3 of them were full of new items.
A few weeks ago we ordered mesh bags from Walker Bags. We've sold so many of the yarn cases and we love the quality and durability of these. The colors are beautiful, but because they are mesh, you can still see what's inside. We've got two styles - a basic mesh bag and then one with a beefier handle and gusseted base with pockets. They're in the shop now and will be online this week.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Della Q Items: Back in Stock

We carried Della Q bags and needle cases a number of years ago and now we've got 4 our favorite new Della Q products back in the shop.

First up is "The Que". This is a great circular needle case that's available in two fun fabrics. We chose the cotton prints, because we think they're gorgeous and durable. 
The pockets that hold each needle are actually large enough to hold more than one set - which we all know is important, since who just has one of each size? Also, there's a great little flap on each pocket. This flap is actually sized perfectly to tuck into each pocket, holding the needles securely inside. If you've ever picked up your needle case and it was upside down, and all of your circulars spilled out all over the floor, you'll appreciate this tiny - yet super smart - detail.

We also carry two interchangeable kits (by Denise) in gorgeous Della Q silk cases. There's a knitting needle set and a crochet hook set, and these were both really popular gift items this winter. It's so smart that these two companies teamed up together with their incredible products!
Denise Crochet Hook Interchangeable Set in a Della Q case
And just last week we received some really fun Della Q project bags. These are perfect for small knitting or crochet projects, and make great gifts - they're under $10!
These bags come in assorted colors and you can choose from three funny sayings. SO much better than a plastic baggie for your project!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Don't miss this preview of FALL 2012!

It's here! The most anticipated day of the year - when we announce that the new Berroco Fall and Winter yarns and pattern booklets are available for pre-order on our website!

Word is we'll be receiving these items to ship to you in just a couple of weeks, so now is the time to check them out and start planning your upcoming knitting and crochet projects. 
SEVEN incredible new pattern booklets!
There are 7 new pattern booklets, and 4 new yarns for this season, and we're digging each one! Last year you loved Boboli, a soft and shimmering wool blend with beautifully shifting colors. Well it's gotten at least THREE times better! Boboli Quick is three strands of Boboli that are plied together for fast and satisfying projects!
Here are a few fun projects in Boboli Quick:
Keeler Scarf, Ruble Hat and Hillside Sweater from Book #324
Next up, one of my personal favorites! Berroco Cirrus has a really cool construction. It's a nylon core that holds the merino and super kid mohair fibers. In just 25 grams you've got an amazing 114 yards. Garments made in Cirrus will be so lightweight and airy!
A few items on my MUST MAKE list are:
Vergoose Sweater, Denslow Shawl, Samber Fingerless Gloves from Book #323
and of course I can't leave out this vest which I know I will be living in come fall:
Germane Vest from Norah Gaughan Collection, Volume #11
Berroco Lodge has beautiful color transitions and vibrant tweed flecks. It's perfect for chunky blankets, sweaters and accessories.
I think our knitters will love these quick projects:
Hinge Hat, Acey Sweater and Peel Hat from Book #322
and there are two beautiful projects for our crocheters too!
Dosado Sweater and Sashay Scarf from Book #322 - both crocheted!
The final new yarn from Berroco for fall is Berroco Elements. I can't even describe this one - you've just GOT to check it out for yourself. Wool fibers are blown into a shimmering nylon mesh. It's just gorgeous and so are the designs for it!
I love all of the designs in this yarn. Narrowing it down to just 6 to share here was torture!
Capricia Sweater from Book #321, Twin and Likewise Sweaters from Norah Gaughan Vol #11
Aquari Sweater, Tauri Shawl and Pegasi Sweater from Book #321
Want to sample these yarns? Just pre-order any 3 of the 7 new Berroco pattern booklets, we'll give you a swatch pack for free.