Arranmore – a special new yarnNovember 15, 2017
It had us at “hello”. This yarn is just what we were looking for and we did not even know it. Fibre Co. Arranmore is a tweedy blend of merino wool, silk and cashmere. This is what the Fibre Company has to say about this lovely yarn:
Inspired by the breathtaking scenery of Ireland’s Northern Headlands, Arranmore is spun in a mill that traces its roots to the homespun tweed industry of the 19th century County Donegal.
Blending cashmere and silk with a fine merino creates an authentic tweed yarn of the finest quality. With a color palette reminiscent of the wild Irish coast lands, this aran weight yarn is designed for those who appreciate luxury and tradition.
(each skein is $28 and has 175 yards)
a joyful CarolOctober 28, 2017
Carol has come to the Shop for years – not often but regularly. She picks a big and fabulous project and then disappears for months. It is always a good day when Carol comes to the Shop because she always seems happy and excited about knitting. We catch up on news of her work and family and she picks a project and heads off until the next time long later.
Then…recently…Carol took Kathy’s fair isle class – the Modjeska Cowl. She came back a few days later as if on fire and she was giddy. She bought yarn to make two more cowls, signed up for two more fair isle classes (the Mojeska Hat and Spots & Strips Mitts). The pictures show some of her work so far. She loves that the projects are stunning, vibrant, beautiful and finished! She loves that everyone says “you are an artist”. She is now taking a sock class.
It is inspiring to see her so inspired and happy. It is a treat to watch her drink in her new found talents. It just took a little gumption and her inner creative self sprung to life. Her joy brings us joy and her inspiration has infected us all!
one + others = communityOctober 26, 2017
Today we heard that Knits by Nana in Baton Rouge will close. You can feel the sadness and regret in the eloquent and heartfelt note from the owner.
She and I are in the same business but we were not competitors. The loss of any yarn shop is a loss to our community. We can imagine her emotions. We know that she poured her soul in to the business and into her knitting community which will suffer without her.
If you are reading this blog you are not surprised at this news because you support a local yarn shop. You already know that most local yarn shops are vulnerable to many market forces conspiring against our success.
We count on you and appreciate every skein of yarn and stitch marker that you purchase and every class you take. It is your support that gives us the hope that we may weather these challenging times and continue our glorious craft and create wondrously together.
attention must be paidOctober 10, 2017
I am about to celebrate (quietly and far away) a birthday with a breathtakingly large number attached to it. Do not get me wrong. I am grateful to be alive, old and healthy. I look forward to many, many, many more birthdays as the numbers climb ever higher.
But it made me reflect on life so far. I took a quick survey and had to admit that the last decade has been tumultuous with big changes – expected and otherwise – that have led me to this place. What made me think that life would get more even-keeled with age?
The big changes include learning to knit and opening this Shop. In many ways the shop has not been what I dreamed it would be. It has been both more and less. But through it all a couple of things remain true.
First, owning a business is a joy. I learn, grow, and change. It is work and play. My only regret is that I did not have the courage or the gumption to do it sooner.
Most importantly this shop has enhanced my life figuratively and literally by adding color and texture. This place is the hub of my life’s wheel. It has introduced me to people I cannot live without. It has ignited a creative side of me that lay dormant and unexpressed. It brings me pleasure nearly every day. For that on this birthday I am most grateful.
For you who come in our doors…I thank you for enriching my life.
not really knitting but…October 6, 2017
I just finished a big, fat, fabulous throw designed by Knit Collage, using their Sister – super bulky, thick/thin 100% unplied wool yarn – doubled!
It is not exactly knit because is done on 36″ #50 needles! The gigantic needles are a little bit like baseball bats (poetic license) and the process is not fluid or rhythmical. But that is the “bad news”. All the rest makes it absolutely, positively worth doing.
Despite all of those “nots”, the final product is quite fabulous. The throw is dreamy, divine, soft and cushy warm. It knits up so quickly you can hardly believe it is finished.
Everyone needs a great big fabulous hug. This throw – and the others like it that we can show you in the Shop – are just the ticket. You want the perfect gift for your home, a big splash of color or a spectacular gift? This will do it for you. They knit up as fast as you can say “I hate #50 needles.”
It may not be “really knitting” but it is creative and glorious. Join us to make fabulous BIG blanket in the NEXT BIG THING KAL on Saturday, November 4 from 1-3. Come in to choose the yarn and pattern that suits you best. Can’t come into the Shop? Give us a call and we’ll help you on your way to your next big thing!
warm feet + warm heart = loveSeptember 28, 2017
I just learned something that seemed worth passing along. My husband has never asked me to knit for him. Edit: he has given up asking me to knit for him!
Then yesterday he told me that his feet are cold at night and it would be wonderful to have thick but very soft socks/slippers to wear in bed. He has had chemo treatments in the past and suffers some from neuropathy. It is a circulation issue – hence the cold feet.
HOORAY! Blue Sky Fibers created the perfect solution – Sunday Morning Slippers. Quick and easy! I knit exactly what he needed – a pair of squishy warm and wonderful bed slippers. The pattern calls for Organic Cotton (bulky) and is designed in every size from infant to grown man. Even better there are many colors to choose from. You never have to have knit a pair of socks to create the booties. And, as always, we are here if you need help.
Of course, these are good for anyone and everyone and make the utterly unique gift – baby shower, birthday… BUT, if someone you love is enduring chemo these will be the most unexpected and perfect act of friendship. Bonus – every time they look at their warm and wonderful feet they will feel your love.
Thought you would like to know.
On the way in and then (probably) out!September 26, 2017
It is designed to carry everything for, but not limited to, the knitter. Twig and Horn’s Crossbody Canvas Project Tote had us at “hello”!!! With pockets at every turn, these brand new totes fit multiple projects and notions or may be your go-to purse. It will be mine.
Each tote has a center zipper divider with four yarn guide grommets, great for keeping wound yarn separate. Two large projects fit on either side of the center divider in two separate pockets. The picture above gives you a taste of all that can happen in this fabulous bag.
Each tote has oil tanned shoulder straps with a comfortable shoulder drop and a removable adjustable cross-body strap. The leather is American tanned with a hard wearing treatment.
The bag comes in four colors (Olive, Camel, Navy, and Khaki). We have each BUT, fair warning, the wholesaler sold out in one day. We are certain you will fall in love with it as much as we have. So call or come in. They are due to arrive this week and then, who knows, they may be gone! ($130)
p.s. Twig and Horn comes to us through Qunice & Co.
the horse is not dead yetSeptember 20, 2017
I have said it before and it bears repeating. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in the Shop. There were two women in a class with Kathy to create the fair isle Modjeska Hat (it matches a cowl that also is divine).
Kathy concentrates and watches and cajoles and encourages. The women are intense and joyful. They discover that despite the fact that they do not know each other, they have a deep connection. It is a Mississippi thing. The conversation becomes personal and pleasurable.
Meanwhile knitting continues. One of the women – who is mostly self-taught – learns that she is purling backwards and knitting on the “wrong” side. The other has to rip out several rows because she split a stitch four rows down and cannot live with it.
They are both still happy. They have learned something wonderful and Kathy is still encouraging. Hours later they leave excited by what they have accomplished and eager to get on with their hats with a newly discovered skill, a new friend, and a great sense of Hooray!
Take classes. It makes you feel good. That’s all I am saying – though I have said it before and may say it again. The Shop is a gift. Kathy is a gift. Love your knitting more. Now is when.
magic in the shopSeptember 5, 2017
If you get to spend a lot of time in a yarn shop – as I do – you are witness to all of its magic. There are simple pleasures that make a good day. You meet people who are just happy to be there. When the shop is quiet you can move yarn around. And on days when there is a class in session you get to watch as people revel in the joy of knitting!!
All three happened this weekend. But the most fun was overhearing Renita and Kathy talk about Renita’s knitting projects “bucket list”. Each project would expose her to something new and divine. She was excited and Kathy was eager to be there for her.
In case I have not said it often enough, let me repeat. It is the rare yarn shop that offers teachers who are skilled at the highest level and could teach anywhere AND who like people AND who are patient. Our little Shop in the corner of nowhere is that rare Shop.
Yes, our yarns are among the best. But that is not the only treasure. It is the women who are here to help make knitting a fantastic journey that you may take without fear! You are not alone and that is real magic.
a last summer fling with linenAugust 30, 2017
For more than a year, I have looked at the Hudson Cowl knit with Quince Kestral – an aran weight 100% Italian linen. It was a project that stayed on my list but never quite made it to the top.
Until last week. The picture shows the cowl done in Porpoise (a blue/gray) and Senza (linen). It is gorgeous. But I went a different direction and chose Minos (mauve) and Pebble (deep gray). The result is equally fabulous – if I do say so myself. There are so many equally wonderful colors to choose!
If you a looking for a project that creates a little piece of linen luxury I encourage you to take up the Hudson Cowl. It is a quick and easy project with a fun little twist in the center. It makes the perfect extra add-on to any outfit for three seasons of the year!