Sunday, December 27, 2009

27 December 2009

The year is almost at an end and I still have many shop models in progress. You can always ask to see what it is that I am knitting.

I am close to half done on the Hanne Falkenberg Lagoon sweater. It is a challenge to get through the wavy row and I do have to pay a bit of attention but I don't need the pattern. It is pretty easy. Then there are six rows of garter stitch - that's really easy!

I have several new sheep in my collection. Come by and I will show you the new ones. There is one that is especially creative and funny - ask Jo Anne about her thoughts.

We will be closing early on New Years eve and then open again at 10 AM on Saturday Jan 2.

As a side note, most of my suppliers are closed between Christmas and New Year. I can try to place an order but they most likely won't even see the order until Monday. Jan 4.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

23 December 2009

Well, I finally got myself dug out. Sorry that I wasn't at the shop Saturday or Sunday but a lot of folks weren't going anywhere, especially out here.

We're helping out last minute shoppers as best we can. Gift certificates seem the choice of the day. At least it will be the right size and the right color. No problem with fit.

I will keep the shop open until about 2 p.m. tomorrow and then it is off to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Lyn and I will be here at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

If you still feel snow bound or the chaos is getting to you with a house full of relatives, come on down and sit and knit. I can't promise quiet but the conversation will be pleasant and the company superlative.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

17 December 2009

A nice wool sweater seems appropriate right now, brrrrrrrr.

A backorder of Mushishi (a wool/silk blend) is in. I now have all five of the colors of the original colors. I'll have all of the colors as soon as they ship.

Four new colors of Silk and Ivory have arrived. They are shades of gray plus one called Straw (a pale yellow just a bit darker than French Vanilla). These are the grays that folks have been looking for.

The sterling silver needle gauge by Debra's Garden have arrived. They are laser engraved with US needle sizes. You never have to worry about the size information wearing off. This is a needle gauge so pretty it can be worn as jewelery.

The needle gauges are also in aluminum and have been tinted different colors. If you want to be color coordinated, this is the gauge for you. There is a small clip on the top of the gauge so you can use it as a zipper pull on your knitting bag (or jacket). No more lost needle gauges!

There is a tray of chocolate chip cookies on the table up front. They'll be there until they're all gone. The shop ladies would like you to eat them and save them from over indulging.

We'll be at the shop on Saturday and Sunday despite the forecast of snow. If it snows more than a foot that may slow me down but I will get here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

13 December 2009

I have been busy rushing packages off to the post office, for customers, so that Christmas gifts will arrive in time. Finger nails are being bitten to the quick in hopes that the needlepoint Christmas stockings will be here in time. They always are, but that doesn't stop customer from worrying.

The shipment of shawl pins is here. Many of these are made of natural products. I think the most creative one is the pin made from a shell. I would guess that it is a helmet shell of some type. All are pretty (of course, I order them) and I think the use natural material is very creative.

One of my needlepoint designers, Bonnie Alexander, has just put up a website. This is great news because she is one of the folks who really knows horses and the hunt scene. She will combine just about and combination of horses, hounds or foxes that you would like.

This isn't all of her collection but it is a start. She will custom paint your horse or your horse and house on any mesh canvas in any size. She also does great fox masks in all sizes and shapes.

Here's hoping your knitted Christmas gifts are close to completion.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 December 2009

Frantic customer are rushing in the door needing last minute knitted gifts. Scarves still seem to be high on the list. I would think that gloves would be just as simple and take less time for the same amount of yarn. Can't think of anyone who would turn down a warm pair of gloves.

I found a great website that solves the problem of the Kitchener Stitch to weave the toes of socks. I've always disliked using a darning needle. This site shows you how to graft on your needles using your needles. It's great. Here's the link. Have fun with this one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

5 December 2009

Let it snow! I'm here where are all of you? I suppose that you're sitting in front of the fireplace knitting.

Next Saturday from 5 - 8 pm there will be a tree lighting ceremony in town. Check out the town's website for more information. It should be fun and there is always dinner in town after (or during) the festivities.

I'm working on the new class schedule. It will be at the printer's next week and probably in you mail boxes by the end of the week. The Oops! class was a success so I have scheduled more of them for the Winter.

I also added a new class. I will teach a Chris Bylsma like class using all of your scraps to knit a sweater. This should be fun! And yes, I will also do another "Steeking" class so you can get over your fear of cutting (yes, I did say cutting) your knitting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 December 2009

A shipment of Mountain Colors "River Twist" has arrived. These are the new colors of River Twist. If you haven't seen the yarn it is worth a look. It is quite soft and in colors only Mountain Colors can do. It is simply beautiful.

Wagtail Yarns has arrived! Hurray! I have a limited quantity though. It is shipped directly from Australia. The Wagtail folks raise the Angora goats, process and spin the mohair, and then dye it.

I have the yarn in two weights: DK and lace. They sent a few patterns but because of the weights I'm sure that you have a favorite pattern that would look just gorgeous knitted in this yarn.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2 December 2009

I just got in Bearfoot in all of Mountain Colors' new colors. Whew, I've been waiting since June for this shipment! Thank goodness that it is here for the cold weather. This will take care of the cold tootsies this winter.

The Addi Turbo US 5 needles for the Click set are here along with the additional cable sets. The cable sets are 24", 32" and 40" plus one connector. Now you can have even more project in process.

I got a notice that Wagtail Yarns has sent me my June order. This is wonderful kid mohair that is spun smooth - not fuzzy. The sheen is just like silk (the photo above is what it looks like - no fuzz). I can't wait for the order to get here. I will let you know as soon as it arrives.

This beautiful yarn will knit a warm mohair sweater with beautiful stitch definition. Now you can have a mohair sweater without all of the itch!

Here's another knitting hint. When you finish the back of your sweater, if you have used more than one-third of your yarn - YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO FINISH THE SWEATER. Each major section of a sweater takes a third (both sleeves make a third). So now when you finish the back of a sweater you will know whether you're in trouble or not.

Hope this help in future projects....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

28 November 2009

Hi folks, here's a helpful hint. If you are knitting something that is to have a fringe - cut the fringe material first. It is easy to get carried away knitting and forgetting that you need to have material left over for the fringe. So read the last part of the pattern first and see how much is needed for the fringe and set that aside. Then, no tears when there is not enough yarn left and your knitting has to be undone and unkinked to make a fringe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

27 November 2009

Well, turkey day was filling. What more can be said? A good time was had by all.

I am happy to report that the perpetrator of the sheep theft has felt guilty. The small sheep and its scarf has returned. It reappeared in the planter looking happy to be back. What a great gift of the season.

Today we have a number of knitters sitting and talking at the table at the front of the store. It's the relaxation needed the day after Thanksgiving. No parking hassles or being pushed in a large department store. Just a great day in The Plains!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

24 November 2009

It's a sad day in Mudville. The small sheep that has inhabited our flower boxes and planters for years has been stolen. Yes, even in The Plains there is theft - how sad a statement. It is an unfortunate statement of the state of society. No respect for anothers property.

There is a yarn reward for any information leading to the aprehension and conviction of the person or persons involved in the theft.

I have ordered another shipment of Addi Click connectors and US size 5 needles. They are more popular than Skacel had expected. I have been assured that after the first of the year, the soft carry cases will be available. I was not able to get a price.

I have gotten in another shipment of Addi Turbo 8" needles. So, for those of you that dislike double point needles and have not attempted another pair of socks - these needles might be just what you're looking for.

And finally, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We'll see you on Friday - we will be closed on Thanksgiving day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22 November 2009

Yesterday was a mittens class. It was great fun and mittens make a great quick gift for almost anyone. It takes an afternoon to knit a pair of adult mittens in a worsted weight yarn.

Mittens sound mundane but a quick trip to a craft store holds all of the promise that mittens can offer. Fabric paint makes for an interesting experiment on the palms of the mittens. Dog or cat paw prints or just tiger stripes makes for an interesting pattern and makes the gloves less slippery on steering wheels.

For that special person and a bit of bling, add crystal to the back side of the mittens. Swarovski crystals add a lot of sparkle and would be stunning.

I have received a partial shipment of Mushishi yarn from Plymouth. It is a wool/silk blend that is very soft and knits to 5 sts to the inch on a US 7 needle. There is over 490 yards to a ball and the ball includes patterns for hat and scarf in both knit and crochet.

I have an additional pattern for hat, fingerless mittens and leggings that use just a single ball.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

19 November 2009

Wow, what a busy day. I've been getting in new items every day. Sorry for the late posting. I just didn't have any time at the shop today to write this.

For those of you who liked the entrelac shawl, there is a new offering with a bit more challenge. Jojoland has created the Winter Wrap. This wrap has a round entrelac bottom — a more difficult way of knitting entrelac.

For those of you who like your knitting abilities to be sharpened, this project is for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18 November 2009

Crock-O-Dye sock yarn just arrived. It is kettle dyed sock yarn in a great range of colors. It's made by Knit One Crochet Too (view all of the colors through the link). This yarn knits with a wonderful subtle shading across the surface. A nice change from all of the self-patterning yarns.

New Shawl Pins by Buttons Etc. are now on display. I only got in a partial order because these natural product shawl pins are in high demand. I have coconut rounds, shell diamonds and a flower-petal covered pin. These will nicely accent your beautifully knit shawl or make a great gift for someone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OK, here are the Dennis Kyte photos

17 November 2009.

For your enjoyment, the photos I promised of the Dennis Kyte book and samples of the needlepoint canvases. These are the artist's masters, and the books are signed. I've rarely seen anything so whimsical and sophisticated. Very, very unusual. All proceeds will go to Middleburg Humane Foundation, thanks to the generous donor.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

14 November 2009

I made it through the 13th without destroying my shop computer totally. The coffee'd keyboard is now back in service. Flooding with freshwater and a hairdryer did the trick. It actually works better because the space bar doesn't double space anymore. Who'd a thought!

The shop will have Ornamental Knits Christmas ornament kits in for several more weeks. Theses are great gifts and are quick and easy to knit.

Lyn is knitting her Vertical Stripe Sweater out of Silk and Ivory (top left). Lyn wanted the feel of the yarn ( it really has a nice hand) and the intense colors. Silk and Ivory gave her that. There are over 200 colors to choose from. It is obviously still a work in progress but the winter season is young. There'll be a picture of Lyn wearing it when she finishes.

It looks very different from all of the others including Jo Anne's (top right). As always, we can't completely follow the instructions. Jo Anne knitted hers out of kettle dyed sock yarn. Solid colors but not evenly colored. Modifications have to be made. Jo Anne decided that shorter sleeves and a cuff would be better for her. Questions? Come on down to the shop and ask in person.

The 8" needles are going fast. I will be reordering them again to restock the shelf. So far they're a hit with the sock knitters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12 November 2009

After dumping a cup of coffee on my keyboard at the shop, there's only up from there. Luckly, Troya Plaskett was at the shop and saved the day with a loaner keyboard. Thank you Troya!

I've gotten in another shipment of Addi Turbo 8" needles. I have all of the sizes (0-5). They're going fast.

I also ordered Addi Clicks in a new soft case and additional cable sets. Addi now makes a US 5 needle as a click. If you want this size, just give me a call and I will order you a set. In fact, you can order additional Click needles so that you can have more than one of each size.

Today I received more Mini Mochi in all colors from Crystal Palace Yarns. This yarn is very popular and several folks are knitting the Vertical Stripe Sweater from this yarn. I will post photos as soon as they're done. They look great in process.

I've just been given the master needlepoint canvases of Dennis Kyte's Botanicals. Mr. Kyte has stopped producing his needlepoint canvasses so these are the last. I don't have prices yet but do stop by and take a look (and place a reservation). They will be reasonably prices and your purchases go directly to the Middleburg Humane Foundation. I also have 12 signed first editions of his Botanicals book to offer.

I have taken a couple of photos of Mr. Kyte's work and will post them as soon as I have a moment, but there is nothing like seeing them in person.

And as a last thought, the Middleburg Hunmane Foundation Christmas Tree is looking a bit bare. It could use your donation of a handmade ornament for auction. Thanking you in advance...

Friday, November 6, 2009

6 November 2009

Okay, here's the picture. I was desperate, what can I say. I thought of coming as a ball of yarn but couldn't figure out how to build that kind of costume.

The new Interweave Knits "Accessories" magazine has arrived. It is loaded with scarf, wrap, hat and sock patterns. I'm sure that you will find a pattern that you will love.

I'm working on a 10 stitch scarf. It is a bit hard to describe but stop by and I will show you. It looks like a squared off cable. It's a lot of fun and there are only 10 stitches. This scarf will let you practice your wrap turns - easy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

5 November 2009

Well, I promised Porch Party pictures and here they are. You will have to wait for my costume picture. I just ran out of time. I was quite busy helping and answering questions so these were the few pictures that I took. I'm, sorry that I missed Ms. Ashley in her authentic Bobby outfit.

Pam Lamborne finished her vertical stripe sweater. I will post that picture on the website gallery.
I got a picture of Paul Hunter taking a refreshment break from the detailed knitting he's doing. Paul never tackles easy projects and he deserved a break.

Mini Mochi is flying out the door. I have ordered more. It should arrive soon.

Several folks have asked me about the new soft case for the Addi Clicks. I have been told that they do not have just the soft cases at this moment. They are hoping to have soft cases in after the first of the year. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

4 November 2009

We have the Knitter's Blocks in stock and more on order. For those of you that have always had a problem with a surface and a place to block your knitted goods - we have the answer.

Knitter's Blocks are interlocking 12" squares that can be connected to suit the project's needs. They can be stuck with pins and have a waterproof backing.

They come in a carrying/storage bag and includes 9 blocking tiles, 20 "T" pins and a pure cotton blocking cloth to cover the tiles.

Stop by and see them when you have a chance.

Oh yes, I have the camera and will be downloading the photos tonight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9 November 2009

We had a great time on Saturday. The Porch Party on Halloween was just plain fun. The weather just didn't seem to be pleasant, but it was just fine on the porch. Several folks came in costume and the cookies and cakes (prepared by Mary Lewis) were delicious. Ms Bowes brought her famous pimento cheese sandwiches and Ms Ashley brought toffee that I had a hard time staying away from.

Pam Lamborne brought her finished Vertical Stripe Sweater for all to enjoy. The color was just wonderful. I will post the picture on the website (I hope my camera does the color justice).

I have a picture of some of the knitters but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I forgot my camera at the shop. Valerie has taken a picture of me in my costume. She tells me she'll post the photo on my Facebook page (as soon as I bring the camera home, sheesh).

The 8" Addi Turbo needles were tried and it was decided that they work just fine. Because I only ordered a few of them (sorry 'bout that), several customers were disappointed. I have ordered several of each US sizes 0 through 8. The 8" turbos should be at the shop by this coming weekend.

On Sunday the class had fun knitting Christmas ornaments using beads. Everyone was successful at transferring the beads and the knitting proceeded. Several new ornaments will be gracing trees this Christmas. I have ornament kits and models in the shop. They models will stay until the first week in December. If you would like to see the ornaments but can't get to the shop, you can visit the website and just call me with your order.

Friday, October 30, 2009

30 October 2009

Yesterday we got in the NEW Addi Turbo 8" circular needles.

I only ordered a few but can get more quickly. If you want to see these you need to get to the shop. They feel good to knit with just like we've come to expect from Addi.

This may be the answer to sock knitting on circular needles - no more loops, no more using two circular needles.

You can see the needles on Skacel website. They have a very funny You Tube video on their site. It's worth a couple of minutes to watch - you should get a chuckle out of it.

I'm looking forward to the porch party tomorrow. Sitting and knitting with folks just can't make a day any better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

28 October 2009

I set out the Middleburg Humane Society Christmas Tree today. It has been decorated with several customers' donations. I hope the tree will be filled with ornaments to donate to the humane society.

We are accepting knitted and needlepoint ornaments but be creative if you wish. The sale of the ornaments benefits the humane society so have fun. Someone will love the time and thoughtfulness that you placed in your ornament.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

27 October 2009

There is nothing better than taking a break from chores, on a rainy day, and knitting.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

25 October 2009

I just got finished teaching a class on Entrelac. Everyone was taught how to knit "Continental Style" holding the yarn in the right-hand.

This makes knitting Entrelac very easy because you never have to purl any of the stitches. The right side will always be facing you. No more knit stitches, turn, purl stitches, turn!

Everyone agreed that the class was worth taking just to learn this technique.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

24 October 2009

Today’s knitting lesson at the shop was socks. Turning the heel has always been a problem because folks get lost on which row they’re on. There is a simple solution to this problem.

After following the instructions for the first two rows of heel turn you only need to look for the “gaps” caused by the decrease and knit one more. When working across the row, decrease the two stitches that cause the “gap”, and then knit one more.

Continue repeating this back and forth across the heel turn and when there are no more “gaps” you’re done. No more counting the rows and getting lost!

Friday, October 23, 2009

23 October 2009

First thing today a customer came in looking for a yarn for a scarf. She saw our Frivola yarn model and just couldn't resist.

The yarn is soft and cuddly and knits on a US 13 needle. There are only four stitches to cast-on and you knit every row (garter stitch). It takes about an hour and a half to knit a scarf almost five feet long with two balls of yarn.

A very unique gift for a very small price. And, quick to knit!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


(22 October 2009)

Well, it's time that you start thinking about (sigh, yes, I know) Christmas gifts. Scarves are useful and quick gifts and anyone in a cold weather climate welcomes them - even guys. At the shop we have a free pattern that we hand out that is just a two row pattern that looks good on both sides. I call it:

"Bob's Never Fail Scarf"
Cast-on an odd number of stitches.
Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2: K1, P1 across row.

You can use any type of yarn but whatever you choose, your needle size should be at least two sizes larger than is recommended for the yarn.

Hint: If you have trouble telling one side from another when you are starting out, use a twist tie.

Make the tie into a "U". Push the tie through your knitting from the row two side to the row one side so that you have the tops of the "U" facing you and you are looking at the row one side. Press each side of the "U" down so they lie flat. This marker will not move through the knitting to the other side.

Now, when you see the flattened ends of the tie you know that this is row one.