Here Comes Santa Clause

Is your LYS decorating for Christmas yet?  Well, if not, I’m sure they are planning that.  I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  BUT, in the knitting world, the art of gift giving has to start early.  Look what Ronda over at Main St. Yarn Shop (Hartford, Wisconsin) made.  I wonder if she will have classes for these fun little guys or if they will decorate her store.  The pattern is Here We Gnome Again, and the pattern is by Sarah Schira.  The yarn that Sarah used is Malabrigo Yarn Sock.  The pattern has instructions for worsted weight yarn too, and can be found on Ravelry.

A Hat, A Shawl & Some Baby Socks

Carmel started out the year knitting fair isle hats, and she’s still doing that, and here it is November now.  She’s even started teaching others fair isle knitting.  Here is her Epistropheid hat by Kate Davies.  I love the way it turned out, and the pom pom is perfection!!

Next up with Sherri, owner of Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor Washington.  Sherri is a knitting machine, all while running a business and taking care of her family.  Here is her Josephina shawl by Amanda Rios in Hula Hut Yarns Luna DK.  This pattern is free on Ravelry.

Finally, I finished two pairs of Lumberjack socks by Tin Can Knits.  Our employee had identical twin girls.  I had always loved this pattern, and thought I’d start small with the baby size and give them a go.  I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.  One was a variegated and a solid.  I did a reverse on the second pair.  It’s wonderful when you can purchase a pattern, and have so many sizes to knit from.  What a value from Tin Can Knits.

 

America’s Knitting….well, so is Canada!!

Whenever I travel anywhere, I always find a yarn shop to visit.  Also, while traveling, I always have my camera.  Well, in September, I went to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  AND, I found a yarn shop, 88 Stitches!

My friend Jana and I were traveling up to Vancouver, BC to attend Knit City.  It’s an annual event held up there in late September.  We always call it our west coast Rhinebeck.  It really is the perfect venue.  It’s just the right size, not small, but not huge.  It’s got tons of celebrities, or as I like to call them ‘Kniteratti’!  There are tons of booths full of yummies, and tons of classes with all the famous people, and an all around good time.

Jana knows me well, and had heard about 88 Stitches on the Grocery Girls podcast.  Last year, we had visited Baad Anna’s, which was located very close to our hotel.  This year it was 88 Stitches in Langley.  Honestly, it was the first thing we did — even before checking into our hotel!

It was a lovely early fall day, we found the shop with the help of some GPS, then parked the car.  When we went inside, the two lovely gals working, were happy to see us and eager to help.  It was clear that they were busy working, putting up new inventory.  We just wanted to look around, touch and feel, and take some pictures.  I was however, looking for a needle.

Leila (I think) was helping me with my needle situation, while Jana was looking around.  Then I started looking around, and found a rad basket and cute notions pouch and tape measure.  I totally get sucked in.  I made my purchase and took my pictures.  They had a wonderful selection of yarns including Sweet Fiber Yarns, Baa Ram Ewe, Berroco, and Lettlopi to name just a few!

As we finished up, we asked Marilyn for a few lunch suggestions before heading on into Vancouver.  She gave us three suggestions, and exceptional directions into Langley proper.  What an amazing town!!  The shops were amazing and the restaurants, and bakeries, and candy shops all looked wonderful.  We ended up at a brewery called Trading Post Brewing.  The place was rustic on the inside with an amazing covered patio out back with blankets and a gas fireplace.  The beer was good and we had fried chicken sandwiches that were dreamy!

Thank you Marilyn for the great directions, thank you Leila for the help with my purchase.  I still love my basket and bag.  I want to visit Langley again soon!

As always, if you want your LYS featured send us some digital pictures and a few lines and we’ll get them up right away.  Click on any photo to see it’s larger form.

 

Fiber Arts Fine Yarns

When I started America’s Knitting, I wanted all the nations yarn shops all in one place online for everyone’s convenience.  How boring, it wasn’t enough.  I wanted to know all the yarn shops and talk about all the yarn shops.  So I started doing spotlights on yarn shops every chance I got.

Of course I started local…ones I could get out to for a visit – take some pictures!  Well, I live in Washington – NOW WHAT?  Well, I went down to Oregon and visited some shops in Portland and did spotlights, and my girlfriend Dawn took a trip back home to Connecticut, and shared a visit to a yarn shop for me.  Then I started getting contacted by yarn shops themselves and did a few yarn shops…Maine, California, Montana.  Then some of my readers started traveling and sending me photos and a few lines and I posted those spotlights…Arizona, Alaska!

Well my girlfriend Libbie just relocated to Florida for her husbands work.  She visited a yarn shop called Fiber Arts Fine Yarns in Odessa!  I asked her if she could take some pictures for me…and she did.  Here is what she had to say about the store:

The owner was there and was super friendly. They were  showcasing customers finished projects. Good parking. A little coffee shop cafe in the same strip mall as well as a brew pub next door. (Darin appreciates that!). He was able to taste a few local brews and grab a growler while I bought some locally dyed yarn.  That all being said, I haven’t been back. But, I haven’t really been knitting. In a rut.

Libbie needs to meet some knitters and join a knitting group!  I always say, you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop.  All that being said, Libbie & Darin are still getting settled in and are building a house.  Libbie needs her knitting mojo back!!  Thank you Libbie for taking the pictures and getting them to me.  I hope you get back to knitting SOON~

Mariner Socks

Years ago when I first started America’s Knitting, I met a local gal (to me), that dyed yarn.  She did a yarn that had the colors of our local major league baseball team (Seattle Mariners) in it.  Every season the ball club had an event called Stitch ‘n Pitch.  I had decided that I would be a vendor and showcase our website and how it worked.

I had promoted, that I would be there at the game with a booth, and that I would have a drawing for a give away basket, during the 7th inning stretch.  Wendee with Hazel Knits contacted me and asked if I would like to have a skein of her special Mariner colorway that she called ‘Hometeam Baseball’ for my basket.  I thought that was very generous of her, and a great addition to my basket.  When it arrived in the mail, I was so surprised at how much I loved it.  That was my first introduction to her yarn.  She sells her yarn on-line, but she also sells her yarn at a some yarn shops, and also attends different events, and sometimes has pop up shops.  When I saw it, I had to have a skein for myself.  One of the vendors at that Stitch ‘n Pitch event carried the yarn, and after setting up my booth, I went directly and purchased a skein for myself.

I’ve always said that Hazel Knits would be my desert island yarn.  I promptly wound my yarn, and searched for the perfect pattern for a pair of hand knit socks.  Then, cast on and built a Ravelry page for my project.  I just finished my socks in time for this years stitch ‘n pitch.  When I took a final picture and went to update my Ravelry page, I was so surprised to see how many years had gone by…. 10 — WHAT?!?!?!

I worked on these socks off and on throughout the years, all the while being distracted by the ‘cutest’ hat, the current KAL, the occasional charity project, that baby gift, or holiday prezzie!  I know that happens to everyone, but WOW what a distraction.  In the time that it took me to knit these socks, I actually learned all about the various aspects of knitting socks.  When I cast on, I really didn’t know how to knit socks, but by the second sock, I had kitchenered the toe all by myself.  These two socks aren’t exactly the same, but they fit, and I like them and will wear them.  Now, I have many more socks on needles.  I’m sort of a project junkie, and have way too many projects going to get anything finished in a timely manner.  OH WELL, that is how I roll apparently, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The pattern I used was a Knitty.com pattern called Thuja by Bobby Ziegler.  This free pattern was written for an aran weight yarn, but I just did a math conversion to accommodate a fingering weight sock yarn.  The yarn shop that I purchased this yarn from is now out of business, but there are other yarn shops selling this lovely yarn.

It’s easy to beat ourselves up, or plain laugh out load, at how long some projects take.  BUT, I finished these socks, and love my knitting!!

 

 

 

It’s Been A While

I’ve actually had a pretty busy year, but haven’t posted in a while!  My latest event that I have attended is an annual event held in my area.  It’s actually one county over from mine in Allyn, Washington.  It’s the Knit In The Park annual event held at the Waterfront Park every summer.

It’s a wonderful event in a great setting!  Vendors come and set up to sell their wares under the huge gazebo.  It goes from 10-4, and knitters and crocheters gather.  It’s a potluck, so everyone brings food to share.  You bring your own chair and your knitting.

Folks gather in their collective groups and knit and visit the day away.  Because it’s held in July, the weather is always very nice and there’s a breeze that comes off the water.  This year was very hot with temps up over 90*!  Everyone is so friendly — knitters walk around through the groups to introduce themselves and see what everyone is working on.  There are always demonstrations, I saw weaving this year.  

Lois from the Allyn Knit Shop always organizes the event every year and conducts the door prize drawings.  Her store is located down the road a piece.  You can follow Lois and her business on Facebook!

It’s very relaxing to get away for the day, enjoy the summertime weather, and gather with your knitterly friends and get some knitting in.  You can hear conversations of gals talking about what their next class is to be, and you will often see families there as well with their knitter family members.  I go every year and always enjoy myself.  It’s an event I always look forward to!

As always, you can click on any picture to see it’s larger form~

Oregon Knitting Co.

At America’s Knitting, we love to spotlight yarn shops across the nation.  We are based out of the pacific northwest, so of course we are better able to show more west coast yarn shops.  I get photos and stories from knitters, and I also do spotlights myself when I’m out and about.  This story and these photos come from our moderator over in our Ravelry group, Diana Cripe.

Diana, lives in Washington, but was traveling to a retreat in Oregon for the weekend.  Doesn’t that sound like heaven….a retreat?  I would love a weekend where I could just hang out and knit; no phones, no cooking or gardening, no work, just knitting.  Sounds relaxing!  Anyway…here is what Diana had to say:

On my way to a retreat on the Oregon coast, my friend Amy and I stopped at the Oregon Knitting Company in McMinnville, Oregon on the way.  This was the day before LYS Day.  This cute shop was located inside a little indoor mall type building.  The shop is not very big, but has a lot of yarns to offer.  The woman working there, sorry I did not get her name, was very nice, and funny and helpful.  When I found the wall of Findley, I was mesmerized.  I found so many colors I could not decide and was not sure what I would do with it.  I got a photo of one woman working at the table, don’t worry I always ask for permission and tell people what it is for before taking a photo.  After the retreat, and deciding what I would make with that yarn, we stopped again on our way home.  Before leaving the retreat my friend Amy was told by another friend to NOT let me buy purple!  I got this gorgeous teal, and plan to make Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl one day. 

The shop was beautiful and if  money was no object, I would have bought a lot more!

Just a little inside baseball, Diana loves purple and has lots of purple yarn in her stash.  I say “you can never have enough purple yarn….or teal”!!  Thank you Diana for checking out this yarn shop and taking these photos.  I can’t wait to visit some day myself.

If you want to see your LYS here in a spotlight…take some photos and send them to me.  I would love to see a spotlight from Arizona, Hawaii, North Dakota, Maine – work with me people!!

Midnight Craving

Diana, our Ravelry moderator, knit Midnight Craving by Jennifer Weissman.  Diana used Malabrigo Yarn Sock in colorway #857 light of Love purchased at Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor, Washington.  Doesn’t this picture just scream SPRING?? Midnight Craving is a paid pattern over on Ravelry.  I love it, and the shawl.  I’m so inspired, I have to go and knit now.  Thanks Diana!!