Thursday, August 18, 2016

New from Blue Sky Fibers

The yarn business has a confusing calendar.... like most retail that relates to fashion, our delivery calendar is always ahead of our "real" calendar.  Nonetheless -- yes it is over 90 degrees out there, but our winter woolens are arriving!

 One of the most outstanding new yarns this (upcoming) season is from Blue Sky Fibers (formerly Blue Sky Alpacas) -- you know them from the lovely alpaca, wool and silk blends, as well as the much loved Worsted Cotton, and Spud & Chloe yarns. 

Blue Sky has created Woolstok -- 100% Highland wool from  Peru... and it is gorgeous.  We got every color (Theresa loves a wide color array) and the wall with these skeins is just luscious.  Read on...

The story of the yarn can be found here

and the patterns are as varied as the colorways...

from the Bird Island Dog Sweater .... for a large dog this is 4 skeins of two different colors... a pug -- well maybe 2 skeins. 
 to the "Endless" wrap...

and the classic Cromwell Pullover, a great semi-structured sweater -- great for the advanced beginner who is ready to make a garment.

 Not so complicated - but a great "boyfriend" style with (can I say this again?) SO MANY COLORS to choose from!

Tonka Bay Toque -- a great unisex knit!

So, no matter what your calendar says, get ready to knit!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

End of July - How may days over 94 degrees?

We are all looking for ways to beat the heat -- after a record number of days in the mid to high 90's here in Georgia.  The last reports I saw noted that metro Atlanta had 37 days in the mid 90's last year, and we have already had 44 days in the same heat range this year.  Wow!  It's no wonder that knitters and crochet enthusiasts are looking for cotton, linen, bamboo and any other fiber that seems a bit lighter on the lap.  Not much interest in wool... yet.

But you should keep on knitting during the summer -- and I'll mention (again - this was on our Facebook page months ago) there are health and cognitive (MENTAL!) benefits to knitting.  The study was highlighted in a New York Times article back in January -- but here is the website "Life Hack" and their mention of the study :

Wendy sent me a note about the article this morning -- This is ONE of the reasons why we knit.  It's a great social activity, but it also provides a lovely result -- and here are some of our favorite knitters in the shop for a special event.... some creations  ... and a picture of part of a stash -- when you just want to experience some color.   Enjoy!

It's good for you!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Yarns... rolling in!

New Stuff!!!

And classes are included -- School starts back in August, and Cast-On is going back to school, too.  If you know someone who has never held a knitting needle, please hook them up with us if they have said...."I might like to learn to knit someday."  That day is here!

WE have TWO new instructors, Dawn and Pat -- and both are going to offer beginner classes in August.  Saturday afternoon 1:30 to 3:30 for 4 Saturdays (Pat has designed a beautiful scarf as the first project) and Monday evening from 6 to 8 with Dawn.  Dawn is a Master Knitter (there are fewer than 300 of these rare persons on the PLANET!)

Call the shop and get involved in this...

And the new yarns... oh -- they just keep coming!

It is a lot like a holiday... when Doug, our favorite delivery man brings BIG boxes of yarn -- just opening them up and seeing all the fun colors!

This week's event was the delivery of our first shipment of Brooklyn Tweed.  We are one of the few retailers for this beautiful, American wool -- and it is brand new to us.  BT has been on the market for a while, but the closest shop to us was either Pennsylvania or Tennessee.... so we are pleased and proud to be an official stockiest of this quality wool. 

Our first yarns are Loft (a beautiful fingering weight in 35 colors) and Shelter (same colors plus some) -- and pictures are below.

Also -- with this treasure trove comes a collection of patterns by the talented Jared Flood (one of the principals of BT)  -- and they are well written, updated and classy -- every one.  We can't wait to share these with our customers.  One interesting item that comes along with learning patterns from different designers is the details that some designers insert into their patterns. 

For instance, a favorite cast-on for BT's staff is the "tubular."  This goes by other names, but for a ribbed start to a cuff, a hat, etc.  you will often see the tubular CO in the "special techniques" section of the BT patterns. I went back and checked in some 2012 patterns, and some written as recently as this summer.

   A quote:

"This Tubular Cast On is our staff favorite and go-to cast on for all regular
ribs – we think it strikes the perfect balance between beautiful, functional
result and not-too-fussy technique. We learned this method from our
dear friend and colleague Catherine Lowe (
who developed it as a modified version of the traditional Italian Tubular Cast On. "

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

All things "heirloom"

Image result for images heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom Knitting

Well, here are some heirloom tomatoes.... don't they look luscious?  Grab that salt & pepper...

and here are some heirloom dresses... (are you missing the Dowager Countess yet?)

Image result for downton abbey dresses

Don't we always sort of look at our unfinished projects (UFO's) and think... "I should have done something else with that time"....

Well, just knit the things you love.  And if you don't love a project, donate it to the senior center -- or -- put it in a bag and give it to someone who will love it or...

put it in the waste basket and don't think about it any more.  Stop beating yourself up about it. 

And knit something you will love -- or that someone else will love.  Like the lovely Lily Rose Dress -- pictured at left.

Dorothy knitted this for the little darling in these pictures, and it is an heirloom for under $30.  It will be cherished -- and will become a treasure that is eventually worn by a teddy bear (those " little darlings" grow up) or a little sister or cousin. 

Anything can be an heirloom! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A bit of "Joie de vivre"

What does this have to do with Falstaff?

No, not Falstaff the beer.  (who remembers that?) Falstaff that guy in the pictures who always seemed to be smiling.

This is a picture of a scarf that is a new "classic" among the knitting community -- a simple concept, easily learned pattern, and hundreds of yarn combinations that might be just the thing for you.  Great with an LBD and pearls... or your jeans.  And your pearls.

Bateaux Mouches in Dappled Findley -- 1 skein

Here are all the new bags of Alpaca 1 -  16 colors!

 Here is a bucket of color in alpaca!   

This is a work in progress -- Theresa has started on another Bateaux Mouches -- these are her colors!
Lynn's Bateaux Mouches in Dappled Findley

In spite of bad things that happen, we should find joy in each day.  Back to the Joie de Vivre -- the joy of living -- here's the guy who symbolizes that joy:

Knit on!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Linen, Summer's fiber

Every now and then, a great pattern comes along, and a "pairing" with an equally beautiful yarn occurs.

The pictures below are Mary's Shibui Linen Cowl -- and it is a beauty.  The pictures don't do it justice -- you just have to make one!  It takes 3 skeins of Shibui Linen -- so many pretty colors to choose from.  This color is Ash, but there is also an ORANGE (and I put that in all caps because it really POPS!)

Our inventory of Shibui Linen is online at   
How about a summer cowl?  Pattern on Ravelry -- come to the shop & we'll introduce you to this great look!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Susan Bates

We take pride in our "notions" for knitting, crochet and needlepoint in the shop.  There are all sorts of tiny gadgets to help you pull a needle through a canvas, or protect your knitting project from falling off the needles, or a plastic thingy to keep small amounts of yarn handy for multi-strand knitting.  I don't know much about that ( Multi- strand)so I refrain from writing about it. 

However, I do know about gadgets, and so I went to find out about one of the ladies frequently mentioned on the notions wall -- Susan Bates.  My favorite "Bates" creation is the knit check -- known by other names, but the checker is the best moniker IMHO.  You can check your needle size (who can read those tiny numbers?) and you can check your gauge.... because does anyone really make those swatch thingies? and it also is a tiny measuring device.  I always thought Susan came up with this.

But I found out -- my research -- THERE WAS NO SUSAN BATES!!!

The original name of the company was the C. J. Bates & Son -- and when they needed a name for their new line of needlework implements, they just arbitrarily called it Susan Bates.   Apparently they were hoping for an icon like Betty Crocker.  I was very disappointed -- I had been thinking that there was some wise, Jane Austen type knitter who came up with all these nifty things.