Knit City 2017

Where can you go, where you run into The Grocery Girls around every corner, see The Yarn Harlot going out for a run, or see Stephen West crossing the street? Where could you go to have breakfast with Andrea Rangel?  Where would you have the opportunity to talk with Shannon Cook or Jane Richmond, or take a class from Felicia Lo, or have the opportunity to meet and talk with Julie Asselin?  Well, you have to go to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and attend Knit City.

I had heard of this event before, but I had never attended.  This year, a good friend of mine sent me a text as suggested we go.  She booked the hotel, and it’s a good thing, because it quickly sold out.

The vendor lineup for the marketplace was beyond imaginable.  The class list was impressive, the hotel was so close with the event not even a block away, and a Starbucks a block away in the other direction.  Complimentary breakfast in the hotel with a bar right next door.  The event even invited food trucks parked right out from with a great selection of food for our convenience.

As we stood outside in line to get into the market place on Saturday morning, bright and early, everywhere you look, are knitters wearing their hand knitted wears.  Everybody in a great moods and happy to meet you.  My friend and I are from the Kitsap Peninsula, located in western Washington, but we met people from Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, tons on Canadians, and there was even a lady from Iceland.  Those are just some that I met.  It was a well attended event.

Whenever you walked into the hotel, there were knitters knitting in a sitting room off the lobby.  There were knitters in the elevator, and in the bar next door.  We totally took over the place.  I didn’t take a class, but my friend did.  I’m so busy working, running America’s Knitting and babysitting my grandson, that I just wanted time to hang out and knit, and shop.  That is exactly what I did.  I knit a fingerless mitt while I was there, and I bought yarn that I don’t have access to in my neck of the woods.

 

I’m so glad that my friend suggest we go.  We had a blast hanging out, laughing, knitting, going to happy hour, eating out, knitting in our room at night while watching podcasts, going out for coffee, and shopping for yarn and taking pictures.  I really needed a vacation.  Thanks Vancouver, it was SO fun…I hope to be back next year~

**  please click on any photo to see it larger form **

*Happy Anniversary to CHURCHMOUSE YARNS & TEAS*

Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, located on beautiful Bainbridge Island, in the state of Washington, is celebrating 17 years in business!  The store started out as an up-scale yarn shop, and they have grown to a destination yarn shop visited by knitters and designers from around the world.  In addition to their lovely store, and fabulous selection of yarns, they have a fine line of patterns that are sold in yarn shops far and near.  The store teaches knitting along with lots of other classes.  They have trunk shows, events and retreats, and hold a sizable on-line presence.

Their style is classic, and tasteful simplicity!  Their patterns are timeless and ageless (except for their wee ones line).  Their staff is sweet and knowledgeable, and their brand…..inspiring!

Living in western Washington myself, I have access to lots of fine yarn shops…all different.  Fortunately, for me, getting to Churchmouse Yarns & Teas is an easy 25 minute drive for me.  Those of us frequent patrons have simple names for the business.  Lots of us, simply say Churchmouse, others fondly refer to the store as ‘the Mouse’.  And we further refer to the employees as ‘mice’.

This success, didn’t just happen — the store started with a business plan, works very hard, and hasn’t stagnated – they’ve grown.  Last weekend was their latest pattern launch, and this weekend, they celebrated their anniversary.  Churchmouse has a facebook page, and they also a Ravelry group, and are on all forms of social media.  I encourage you to follow them on their journey, and I hope that you are lucky enough to be able to visit their lovely store some day soon.  Congratulations to Kit & John, and all the mice, on your anniversary.

Here’s to 17 more years!!

Hurricane Harvey – Labor Day Weekend – Back To School

There’s so much going on! As I watch the aftermath of Harvey, and see hospitals evacuating because they don’t have any potable water, and wells breaking down, and families being held up in make shift shelters in convention centers.  My head swirls with the good fortune at every turn; the grocery chain HEB sending convoys of trucks with food to serve everyone, Anheuser-Busch pausing their beer production to send bottled water to Harvey victims, and neighbors helping neighbors to evacuate even the pets.

The same holds true within our own knitting community.  There are three yarn shops in Houston, with two more within a 24-mile radiance, not to mention the yarn shops affected in Louisiana!  I’ve seen a couple of fine offers coming from the knitting community to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Here is a letter from Lauren & Trey of Lolo Did It I’m sorry this offer ran out….I’ve been experiencing computer and internet issues and couldn’t get this out any sooner – I AM SO SORRY!  Please follow Lolo Did It on Instagram, to get to know her lovely products.

Huge Thank You To Everyone

I realized this evening that I have quite a few people who do not follow me on social media, so I wanted to make sure to tell you everything that’s been going on over here.

Sunday night Trey and I decided we wanted to do something that had more of an impact on the relief effort than we could do all by ourselves. So we are dyeing a surprise colorway and all proceeds are going to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort in Texas and Louisiana. We have had an amazing response from our beautiful fiber arts community and I’m so proud and thankful to be a part of it!

Click “Shop Specials” for the Hurricane Harvey colorway, there is a link in the listing if you would like to donate directly to the Red Cross instead of purchasing a colorway. There are tons of local charities and relief projects to donate to directly as well. The sale of this colorway will end on Thursday 8/31 at 10pm PST. I have left the quantities unlimited except for 2 yarn bases, which I have completely run out of and can’t get re-supplied in time. Everything will be shipped by 9/18 – wish us luck dyeing it all for you next week! We are so ready and excited to take on the challenge for a good cause!

There are other amazing makers in this community who are also giving their time, donating proceeds, and making items for those in needs. Every little bit counts! Money isn’t everything, as always: a smile, a word, a gesture, a post, or a small gift will help someone whose life has been torn apart by this tragedy. I have had people tell me they will be knitting Roxie the Hippo and other stuffed toys for kids, which is just crazy generous! So don’t think you can’t make an impact if you can’t give money, make a donation, or make a purchase. All of our hands can make a difference!

Thank you all again!

Love, Lauren and Trey

Also, another offer in from WEBSOur hearts are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Through 9/4/17, WEBS will donate 5% of sales to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief (up to $20,000). 

This is from their facebook page, and there is also a note on their website.  Speaking of facebook, they are also matching funds donated through their site to the Red Cross I believe.

Please consider helping out, and don’t worry, helping will be going on for quite some time.  The problem in Texas will take a long time to recover from.

While, we have our own problems, like computer and internet issues, and things coming up in our lives, with kids going back to school, and as we enjoy the long holiday weekend of Labor Day, please remember our friends in Texas & Louisiana. They will be needing lots of help to get back onto their feet for quite some time to come.  Texas, and Louisiana, you are in our hearts!

Town Square Fabric & Yarn

I’ve been on a ‘StayCation’ of sorts all this week.  My husband and I are both self employed and work together.  Wes was off on a kayaking trip up in the Broken Islands, so I took the week off, to just enjoy being at home with our dog.  Well, this is why people go away, because while you are at home, you really aren’t on vacation.  With that, Monday, I had to go pick up material for one of our jobs (bathroom remodel).  So, I thought….darn it, I’m going to check out a yarn shop I have never been to before.

Town Square Fabric & Yarn, is located in Burien, Washington!  I know people, who have visited this shop before, and now I have visited this shop.  It’s a quaint shop, located in a sweet part of town with lots of small businesses around, and parking on the street.  You’ll notice, in their name that ‘Fabric’ has top billing, when in fact, the store is probably 80% yarn.  The owner, Cindy, was in, and we had the opportunity to visit, and I had the opportunity to wander about and take some pitcures.

Like most yarn shops, lots of samples and displays, but what drew my attention was her stock of Lopi yarn, and patterns.  I’ve been looking for this, and you don’t always see that brand in my area.  Other notable brands I saw; Heritage Yarns, Kauni, Alegria, Cascade Yarns, Queensland, Imperial and Raven Frog Fibers.  The store has a nice table too,  where you can sit and go through patterns, and put a project together or attend a class.

The store was preparing for a class on shadow knitting with Bobbi Daniels out of Alaska.  See the ’12’ scarf to the right?  That is shadow knitting, and this scarf doesn’t just have the number 12 on it, it’s a Seattle Seahawk scarf. The number 12 signifies the 12th man on the field, the fan!  Did I just geek out that much??  Back to yarn…. I did purchase a Lopi pattern book and some Lopi yarn for a sweater.    It was fun to sit at Cindy’s table and browse through the Lopi patterns and look at Lopi colors.  It’s a highly recommended practice while on vacation or staycation.

In closing, Cindy told me that she is considering phasing out the fabric to make room for MORE yarn.  Yarn is where it’s at, so I guess knitting is alive and well in Burien!  Town Square Fabric & Yarn is on facebook, and as with all of our photos, please click on any of them to see their larger forms.

If you are traveling for work or pleasure, please use our website to locate a yarn shop near you.  All of the shops are connected to Google Maps, so you can have direction to any shop.  Our website is mobile friendly, so you can use our website in your car and on all of your devices.  You can visit a shops website from our listings, and you can also call the store from our website.

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Also, if you would like to see a spotlight of your LYS, please contact me!  We would love to shine a light on their business.  Happy travels and happy knitting~

 

 

2017 Seattle Mariner Stitch ‘n Pitch

Every year, I attend the Stitch ‘n Pitch event with the Seattle Mariners.  I love to go, and always feel like it’s the perfect summer evening.  It’s always on a Thursday night, so of course I have to work the next day.  It totally cramps my style, as I have to leave early to go and catch a ferry home.

Every year, it’s a little different, in who we play, and who I go with.  This year, we played the New York Yankees, and I went with my daughter in law, her best friend, and a good knitting friend of mine.  We had the pleasure of meeting another knitter, blogger, that I met on Instagram, Evin O’Keefe of Evin OK!

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is amazing in that’s it’s never too hot and sticky, but always blue skies.  Our Stitch ‘n Pitch event is amazing with all the yarn vendors.  It’s hosted and organized by Pacific Fabrics.  The doors open a couple of hours early so you can shop, and eat and have a great time.

So, all of us had to work that day, except Evin, being on vacation.  Yep, that’s how we were able to meet up.  She was visiting our fair city, and contacted me.  ANYWAY, we took off early, and all met up in front of the stadium.  Jana, my knitting friend works in Seattle…actually, not far from the stadium, Dionne, works in Kirkland for Microsoft, my daughter in law Kim & I had to catch the ferry.

We all met up at 5, when the doors open and enjoyed happy hour down in the Pen where the pitchers warm up.  Safeco Field has really turned into a foodie stadium and we all chose different things for eats!  We looked at all the yarn, found our seats and had fun knitting, talking and watching some baseball as the sun went down.

All of a sudden, it’s time to evaluate the ferry system and make a judgement call as to when to leave, and get back to the ferry for our journey home.  The Yankees beat the Mariners, but we still had a great evening.  Until next time Seattle, and it was a pleasure to meet you Evin~

*you can always click on any picture to see it’s larger form

World Wide Knit In Public Day

World Wide Knit In Public Day is a notion that is already, mostly a common practice for knitters, I believe.  Never the less, it’s fun to have a day during the calendar year that knitters can plan to spend, doing what they love.  For me, I guess, the most astonishing aspect of this special day, is that it’s a world wide concept.  That is significant!

I think the development of Ravelry has really brought the world together…the stitching world.  With all the groups, designers, focus on yarns, and patterns, and a way to organize your projects, and even your stash, you search for a project made with a certain yarn and find that the person that knit that project lives in Canada, or New Zealand, or Ireland, Japan or Norway.  It’s an amazing world wide thing!

Back to the concept of knitting in public, it is in some regards what knitting is all about.  It’s a great creative outlet for sure, but it’s a way to keep hands busy.  If you hate to just sit on the ferry boat on your way to work, or the bus or train.  If you hate to just sit there waiting for the doctors appointment (my all time high was 2 hours, and that was pre-knitting).  In those instances, we are knitting in public.  I have to admit though, when I am knitting in public, I could look around and not see a single person knitting, or crocheting.  It has made me wonder, with 7 million members on Ravelry (that is a world wide figure, and not every knitter is even on Ravelry), and 1,044 yarn shops in the USA alone, why don’t you see more people knitting in public?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that World Wide Knit In Public Day is every year in June.  Even though it’s a busy time of year with kids getting out of school and graduations and Fathers Day around the corner.  I always go to the event that the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas holds.  Cold or warm (yes, sometimes it’s cold in June in the Pacific Northwest), we have a great time.  They serve us tea and cookies, we shop, visit, knit and the passers by look on and notice what we are all doing, and some even stop to say hello and look at our work.  I think it does help the craft.  It’s like a small planted seed into the minds of others.

If you know of a World Wide Knit In Public Event or get invited to one, you should strongly consider going.  It’s fun and part of the wonderful community of stitching.  These are pictures from this years event held on Bainbridge Island, at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas!  If you have any pictures you took, email them to me and I will add them to this post.  Calling Alaska, California, Texas, New York, Idaho, Vermont and all the states – we’d love to add your photos.  You can click on any of these photos to see their larger form~

Yarn Crawl Season

Where I live (which is in the Pacific NW) there are 3 major yarn crawls; one down in Portland called the Rose City Yarn Crawl, the LYS Tour on the Seattle side of the Puget Sound, and the PNW Yarn Crawl in the south sound (which happens twice a year).  The Rose City Yarn Crawl happens in early March every year, the LYS Tour is mid May and the PNW Yarn Crawl happens in early May and again in October before the holidays begin.

It’s so much fun crawling from shop to shop.  Each shop comes up with a pattern, that they are offering up for free.  You get your passport stamped and they offer the yarn for that project at a discount.  They have daily prize winners and a gift for finishers, plus one grand prize winner.  It’s a great way to get inspired if you are in a knitting funk.  The yarn crawl is also a fun day out with friends, doing what we all love, ‘going to the yarn shop’.

I first heard of this concept years ago from a quilter friend of mine.  I’m so glad that the yarn shops are now on board.  It’s a fun outing to look forward too.  We can get so mired in our daily routines of life… work, the kids, homework, meals, errands… that’s its fun to plan a fun day out or a weekend away possibly.

This year, my friend Jana and I charted our route and hit the road – she drove.  We did the PNW Yarn Crawl, made it to all the shops in one day, and even stopped for coffee and lunch.  I think I bought something at every store, but you don’t EVEN need to do that.  It’s so fun to see what each shop comes up with for a pattern.  We took some pictures, and posted on social media – it was a blast.  We even ran into a few friends at one of the shops.

If you are wondering, if your area has a yarn crawl, get to know the folks at your local yarn shop.  Use our shop finder to find a yarn close near you.  If you knit solely on-line, you are really missing out on a wonderful and fun community, just waiting for you to join in.  Your best friend is waiting!! *You can click on any of these photo to see a larger version~