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.
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.
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~
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.
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.
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!!
One of my very favorite things to do, is go to a yarn shop. That’s why I started America’s Knitting. I wanted all the yarn shops to be in one place, where the database of shops could be updated in real time, be correct and complete. I wanted knitters to know who the yarn shops are, and where they are located. I can always remember traveling (before cell phones) and being in a hotel room, and turning to the back of the local phone book yellow pages, so I could look under ‘yarn’ for a local yarn shop. I always remember being so excited if I found one, and of course, we had to make time to track it down. It was challenging, in an unfamiliar town with possibly, just a map. I love GPS.
So, I finally got to visit Paradise Fibers in Spokane, Washington. I had heard of Paradise Fibers (who am I kidding, I hear of all the yarn shops), but hadn’t made it by yet. Actually, I have property in Spokane and this was the reason for our trip east. It was my husbands birthday that actually fell on the weekend, so we took a drive across the mountains, looked in on the property, visited Paradise Fibers and went out for a really nice dinner and stayed over in a hotel. All of it was delightful, and all was good with the property!
I’m not all that familiar with Spokane…my husband more so than me, but even he didn’t know where it was. So, I pulled out my phone and went onto America’s Knitting and looked it up. All shops are connected to Google Maps, so away we went and we were there in 15 minutes. When we “arrived at our destination”, we see this sizable brick building, that looked OLD! I didn’t really know what to expect; but my husband took the dog on a stroll around the neighborhood, and I went inside.
Old hardwood floors, and brick walls everywhere. It was an old building for sure, but it didn’t smell old, and a lovely young lady greeted me. I introduced myself and asked it I could snoop around and take some pictures. She said that would be fine. She was working, and helping some customers, and then she joined me, and gave me a tour. I told her how surprised I was by the size of the building and the range of inventory that they had. It was then, that she told me of their online presence. Then it all made more sense. They do occasionally have a knit night or a class, and they are thinking of expanding on those ideas. They also had a few specialty dyes from Ancient Arts, out of Canada, created just for them. That excited me because I had heard of Ancient Arts, but had never knit with it, so I did purchase a skein of sock yarn as a treat. I wanted both, but it was expensive yarn, and I’ll have an opportunity next time to pick up the other one.
I saw lots of yarn that I would have loved to purchase. It’s really too bad that my stash is so extensive. You really do feel like a kid in a candy store. Makes me wish I were one of those fast knitters! Thank you Hannah for showing me around and being so nice to me, and letting me take pictures. It was fun!!
** remember you can always click on any of these photos to see their larger form **
Hello everybody! Tomorrow launches our Spring Fling KAL featuring Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer. Start date April 1, finish date April 30. Our prize will be drawn from finishers May 1. Please join in the fun and enjoy the launch of Spring. Pattern available on Ravelry!
Here are some of our finished Zuzu’s. I thought y’all might want to see how everyone’s turned out.
Mel, a local gal, to me….very active on the knit scene has joined her local yarn shop, the Black Sheep Yarn Boutique, in knitting ‘Knitted Knockers’. This is a specific pattern designed and created for knitting breast prosthetics, here are her words….
My local LYS on Olympia’s West Side, The Black Sheep Yarn Boutique has signed up to be a LYS for Knitted Knockers. Michele the shop owner is a Breast Cancer Survivor. We had a “Knitted Knockers” event, and we all learned how to knit them. I’m using the Magic Loop pattern adapted to use on two circulars. It’s so much easier for me to use 2 circulars rather than DPNs. It was fun Thursday night to sit and knit Knitted Knockers. There was donated soft cotton yarns to choose from and free patterns. It’s pretty easy, I’ll sew & knot the Icord when I’m finished to form a nipple. Michele will stuff them with donated stuffing she has so it’s pretty easy & goes fast. I will continue to make them in various cup sizes for the shop to give to local women in need of breast prosthetics.
We all need to know about this program and how it helps women in our communities and also worldwide.
The women who started this, also a breast cancer survivor, lives in Bellingham, WA! Here’s the link to the Knitted Knockers website! There’s a link to find LYS in your area too, or you can make them & send them to her in Bellingham to donate to women around the world in need of these breast prosthetics.
Thank you Mel for sharing your story, I love it! I know for a fact that these prosthetics do get used and are needed.
Carmel, my dear friend and colleague Carmel; she used to moderate our Ravelry group, but now she contributes over on Facebook. She’s a mighty knitter. She finishes what she starts and loves to knit. She’s always on the cutting edge of what’s on the knit scene, and she’s not afraid of color. Here are her two latest knits…
My oh MY!! First I just have to say how much I miss my dear friend Erin. We both lived on Bainbridge Island some years back. We both had boys the same age that graduated together, and both played football. We both were knitters and had so much more in common; we almost lived in the same neighborhood.
I moved to a different location on the island, and she moved to California. I have had the opportunity to visit Erin, and she has made countless trips back up to Washington, and then there’s the internet. But over the recent years, our children have taken turns getting married, and being pregnant. Here is grandchild #1 between the two of us. Meet little Natalie, from Erin’s daughter Meghan.
Is she not the cutest thing ever?? When I found out Meghan was pregnant, we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, so I knit her socks. Once I found out, she was having a girl, I knit this sweater. Now here are the vitals for this project: Unisex Baby Sweater by Jayme Glover, yarn was Opal XLarge 8-fach, purchased at Amanda’s Art Yarn & Fiber, in Poulsbo, Washington! Congratulations on such a sweet sweet baby Meghan!