Thursday, October 27, 2011

So…let me tell you a bit more about owning a yarn shop!

Number One thing to know about owning a yarn shop? It doesn’t allow for much blogging time!! I know, I know…a year ago I said (right here) that I was going to try share my knitting adventures with all of you more regularly. Well, I guess we can make it an annual thing that I am going to (once again) try to keep up with this blog on some kind of regular schedule. Fair warning though…you all know what happens when humans make plans.
My plan of action here is to start out with my most current knitting projects. When that schedule idea of mine actually pans out, I will attempt to take the opportunity to fill in the blanks with my knitting over the past year. We’ll see how it goes…

Debbie Bliss Eco Aran Cably-Bobbly Madness Sweater
It’s actually called the “Curved Edge Jacket” from the Debbie Bliss Eco Fairtrade Collection book, but I think my name is more accurate. This pattern has A LOT going on!! You have the shaping of the curved edge, which starts right from the cast-on. Then there is the 12-row Pattern Panel repeat, which includes open cables, closed cables, and bobbles with cables zig-zagging in between. Fun stuff for sure, but not for the faint of heart! This one is definitely meant for a knitter with an organized mind. (Not quite sure I fit that description in any other part of my life, but it applies when it comes to knitting!)
Have I mentioned that I’ve started this sweater three times? Yes, I said three. It began in a lovely shade of green…a color I often go with. I was about 4 or 5 inches into it. Then we got in the purple…Kings purple. I just couldn’t help myself.

So I happily began again. I worked on it sporadically because I had to stay focused on many sample items for the store, butI stayed with it. I was working my way on the back through the armhole when I held it up to admire my work. It was at this moment that I realized that I started this sweater 22 pounds ago. When you’re only five feet tall, that much weight makes a big difference in the sizes that you should choose when knitting a sweater. Needless to say, I started yet again. (I didn’t even bother to rip and rewind the yarn…how do you spell “impatient”??)
I have to tell you, even with all the craziness…I love working on this one. A challenge, once in a while, is not a terrible thing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let me tell you a little bit about owning a yarn shop...

While one would think it would be simple, fun, relaxing, creative…please think again. Don’t get me wrong…there are moments in time that encompass all of the above. But in the end, it’s a BUSINESS!!! Even though I would rather be playing with yarn, shopping for yarn, or simply knitting with the yarn, there’s just so much to do to keep the doors open and the yarn on shelf!

With all that being said, over the next couple of weeks I’ll try to share with you some of the actual knitting that’s been going on in my life.

When Cowls Fly:

I knit this one up in a jiffy as a sample of our current Project of the Moment. Made in luscious Astral by The Alpaca Yarn Company, this drapey, lacy cowl would make a perfect gift for the holidays. If you can count, you can do it!!


When the Indie book by Sirdar came into the store, everyone went insane!! We didn’t even have the yarn in yet, but the book sold out in just a couple of days. So many stylish, amazingly wearable patterns graced the pages and put the locals into a frenzy. So, of course, I just had to jump on the bandwagon and knit up the Waterfall Cardigan. Talk about instant gratification…each sleeve only took a couple of hours!! Size 17 needles certainly do have their advantages. ;-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Noro's Furisode Tank

Want a cute, quick, "instant-gratification" kind of project to complete in a weekend? Well, this is it! I'm just about done with my 3rd one! Done on large needles, this adorable a-line tank is flattering on everyone who wears it.

There are a couple of minor glitches in the pattern...

--On the upper front, they forget to tell you to complete the neck/shoulder shaping on the right. Just do the same as you did on the left, simply reversing directions.

--The explanation for picking up stitches for the lower part of the front is somewhat confusing. Here are a couple of pictures of my latest tank in progress so you can see what they're talking about:

Just for fun, I'm making this last one more of a tunic-length. I added 20 rows in the straight knitting on the back (just before the armhole shaping). You can add any amount of length that you'd like, but you need to add those rows in multiples of 4 to work with the front shaping. The upper front is knitted according to the directions. On the lower front, I am continuing the "slanted knitting" for an additional 20 rows (to match the back) before switching to the short-rows that complete the lower edge.

One new top added to the wardrobe!! =)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Playa Bag

This cute summer bag is our current "Project of the Week". Done on size 9 needles, it's a quick knit that gives you a little class in stitch's so much fun to knit up! Mine has gone very quickly...I should have the finished product in the store this week for everyone to check out.

Just a couple of tips with this one:

-Besides the edge stitches on the body of the bag, the 4 stitches at the beginning and end of each row are simply done in seed stitch. The instructions explain that, but they don't make it easy.

-The handle instructions give abbreviations for the cable stitches used, but there is no explanation in the pattern. Here is the definition of those stitches:

c5f - put next 3 stitches on a cable hook ,hold to the back, K2, K3 from cable hook.

c5b - put next 2 stitches on a cable hook, hold to the back, K3, K2 from cable hook.

Check out the picture above to give you a better idea of how the handle is constructed.

Have fun! And as always, please come on in if you need any help!!

**New notes: I finished this bag...quick and easy!! Just a couple of things...don't let the handle directions freak you out! You're basically creating a double handle which will be folded in half for extra stability. I chose to single crochet around the complete outer edge of the handle, as well as the inside edge for a neater look.

Debbie Bliss' Pleated Wrap

This gorgeous, beautifully draping wrap was our first project of the week. So many of you jumped in and got started on this easy-to-knit project in an incredible variety of yarns and colors. It's been so much fun watching these creations grow before our very eyes!

The pattern is well written and very easy to follow. The only place where there has been some confusion is just how to tell where you are if you leave off without counting the rows as you do them.

Suggestion #1: Count the rows as you go and get familiar with the simple 8-row repeat. Count to 8 and start again!!!

Suggestion #2: If you just don't feel like counting rows, then get familiar with the pattern so you can tell by looking where you left off. Row 1 is the first of 5 purl rows on the right side of the wrap. Row 6 is the first of 3 rows of purl on the wrong side of the wrap.

If all else fails, stop by the store and we'll get you moving again!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

...Because the Voices Tell Me To

Many knitters say they have so much yarn, they could open a store. I took that statement very seriously...I bought a yarn store. In July 2008, I became the proud owner of Stitch Cafe in Valley Village, California.

It has become an adorable place, with gorgeous yarns and amazing people. It's so much more than just a's a caring community.

Learn more about it by following the link at the right to our website.

I've always said that knitting is cheaper than therapy. It has brought me comfort, kept my hands busy, opened my mind for creative thought, brought me many dear friends, given me something for my mother and I to share, and has generally been a big part of who I am.

I knit all the time. And I do mean, ALL the time. Don't get me wrong...I'm not rude about it. I do know when to put it away...but I carry some knitting with me all the time, just in case I find the opportunity to take it out. Whenever I have to wait for anything or anyone, I take out my knitting. (The service writer at my car dealership asked if I would make him socks. No kidding.)

I usually have many, many projects going at one time. I tend to like variety in my life. Generally speaking, I have at least one project that's challenging,
one that's mind-numbingly simple,

one that uses some yarn that I've fallen in love with,

and several others...just because...

...the voices tell me to.