Tolt“, a destination yarn shop located in Carnation, Washington.  Their address is 4509 Tolt Ave., so there you go.   A name derived from the Tolt River.  The town story goes, the town was originally called Tolt, then was changed to Carnation, then back to Tolt, then back to Carnation.  Whew, let’s just talk about yarn!

The store has been open for a couple of years now, and I just made it out for a visit this passed Sunday.  Carmel & I went on a little mini shop hop of our own to kick off the new year.  In my head, I had a barn type image for the store.  I knew that they carried highly sought after, high end yarns.

I was wrong about the barn.  Having slowly walked through the store taking it all in, it has an organic, yet upscale, northwest mercantile feel to the experience.  I don’t know that mercantile is even quite right… how about mercantile with a Ralph Lauren essence to it.  Yep, I don’t know if it was the lighting or the chandelier or both.  These things only translate to pleasing design, not snobbery.  The staff was very pleasant and welcoming and accommodating.

With all the brands that  scream American exceptionalism like YOTH, Quince & Co., Cestari, Imperial Yarn, Brooklyn Tweed yarns, Green Mountain Spinnery, and their own collaboration yarn Snoqualmie Valley Yarn benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital, you’ll find Lettlopi, Baa Ram Ewe, and many other yarns of your dreams.  Can I just mention how difficult it is to take in the store, searching for that great picture to take, yet noticing yarns you’ve heard about, and really wanting to touch, check out the colors, and let the mind wander to knitting, and projects.  Now back to work!

I ended up with a few skeins of Quince & Co and a couple of Fringe Supply bags.  Carmel treated herself to some Cestari Traditional 2 Ply.  I look forward to another trip in the future because I’ve been dreaming of some Imperial Yarn Columbia – the colors – be still my heart, Tufted Primrose!  Thank you Tolt for allowing me some pictures.  Until next time!*you can click on any image to see a larger version



Knit Night Inspiration

I have a few ‘knit groups’ that I have, but my Wednesday night group is my main.  These ladies are amazing, each and every one of them in one way or another.  They are such good knitters, so knowledgeable and all very supportive of one another and always there to lend a helping hand.

One of our gals Helen is having a baby SOON.  She’s having a little baby boy!  The girls have purchased a few things, knit some things…..I’m knitting baby socks.  But look at this…. Julie knit this amazing sweater of heirloom proportion.  Julie brought it to group to get a consensus on which buttons to use at the shoulders/neck.  The pattern goes front and back.  She couldn’t remember the name of the pattern, but said it was out of book.  The yarn however is Berroco Vintage and the size is 18 months.

I’m positive, mom Helen is knitting things up for this special little boy too!  Thanks Julie for allowing me to share.



Little Sophia’s Hat for Kaia

Every year I do a Christmas tea for my daughter in law, her mother, and her friends and myself.  It’s super fun, and this year we had tea at Debbie Macomber’s Victorian Tea Room!  I always have a gift for everyone because it’s at Christmas time and that’s what you do at Christmas, you give gifts.  I got all the girls autographed books of Debbie’s, but Kaia’s only 21 months old – she can’t read.  So, I knit her a winter hat.  The hat is called Little Sophia’s Hat designed by Sheila Joynes that actually works and manages Debbie’s yarn shop A Good Yarn, named after her book with the same name.

I took a fair isle class with Carmel, the gal who runs our Ravelry group.  I fell in love with this hat.  I had a couple of left over skeins of some Hazel Knits DK Lively, but needed 3 more colors, and this is what you see.  The colors go like this:

purple – Violetta  orange – High Octang  blue – cornflower  red – Vamp  Lt purple – Haze

It was a super fun knit, my first picot edge treatment.  It’s a little big on her, but she’ll grow into it!

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Stockings For All

DILMy dear friend Erin lives down in California!  I’ve written about her before.  She a woman with style – a Martha Stewart type.  She’s very creative and doesn’t care for the ordinary.  She had 3 kids and I had 2.  All of our children are grown now, all of hers are even married.  Here are the stockings that she knit for her growing family, and my note from Erin:

Hi Mary,
The stockings began about November 1st when I thought it would be fun to give a pair to the newlyweds, Peter and Betsy, Peterand and to Chris and Arielle for their new home in Colorado— especially because I was going to visit them (C/A in Colorado Springs and P/B in Fort Collins) at Thanksgiving. Nothing like a deadline to get me going!!!  And, I couldn’t leave Meg and Ben (or Noah- his is still on needles…) out of the fun, so I’ve been knitting with earnest since my return.Chris & Airiel
I used Churchmouse Christmas Stocking pattern in size medium. I knit my first one in size large, and it was too big. It’s finished… looking for a home. Most of the yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. The pattern I used is for LP Bulky, but Churchmouse just came out with a new version for worsted— as you know, I tend to color outside the lines, hahaha! The worsted version may have been helpful.
the boysI also added Kid Chic mohair with a touch of glitter to Betsy’s snowflake, and scrapes of this and that elsewhere. The variegated yarn in Meghan’s is Classic Elite Liberty Wool in Neon Parade. Most purchased at my lys: Alamitos Bay Yarn.
Have a very merry Christmas- I miss you!
With love from your crazy friend… Erin Meghan


Down For 7 Consecutive Years

FullSizeRender (21)America’s Knitting has been tracking yarn shops across the nation since August of 2007!  Every year around Labor Day we do a mass mailer out to all the yarn shops.  Once a year, we garner financial support from the yarn shops with minor monetary donation – this keeps us going throughout the year, doing what we do.FullSizeRender (22)

Our goal is to support the LYS from the islands of Hawaii to the glaciers of Alaska, to the Dakotas and the Carolinas, from my home state of Washington all the way across the nation to New York and beyond.  I really feel that the local yarn shop truly is the heart beat of our craft, be it knitting, crochet, spinning, or weaving.  It’s a place where learning happens and community happens.

FullSizeRender (24)The mailer does garner some support, but it also serves as a useful tool.  All the shops that have closed or moved, those mailers get returned to me for investigation.  As we keep up with these shops throughout the year through facebook, website and telephone, this final act finishes the job.  I believe America’s Knitting is the most accurate listing out there in real time.  I hear from knitters and yarn shop owners on a daily basis, as shops open up, close and move locations.

Having said all of this, having any small business is a challenge.  For the last 7 years, our LYS number has decreased with this year being no different.  We started 2015 with 1177 yarn shops, and as of today January 6, 2016 there are now 1,090; that is a deficit of 87 yarn shops.FullSizeRender (20)

Please support your LYS, or an LYS on your travels.  They are doing everything they can with on-line support, classes and long hours, some 7 days a week to be there for you.  Every sale really does make a difference.  All of the beautiful pictures you see in this post are from Myra Garcia of Fancy Image Yarn, in Shelton, Washington, one of my many shops that support America’s Knitting!

FullSizeRender (23)Here’s to another great year of knitting~

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