Wednesday, August 27, 2008

KIP Redux
So, of course I am still, forever working on my Kauni cardigan. I was in the lobby of the gym waiting for husband, knitting on the cardigan when I heard a large gasp “Oh – you have the yarn”. I looked up and saw a customer of Woolbearers. “Where did you get that yarn?” she asked plaintively. “Why, at my store”. “Where’s your store?” “You know, Woolbearers, you are a customer.” “Oh, I thought you looked familiar – are you making THE sweater, you know, the one the Yarn Harlot made?” So we chatted a while and husband appeared and we both said our goodbyes and she will be in the store soon to get the yarn. A good KIP story.
The sad part is, when I got home, I realized that I didn’t count correctly when dividing up the sweater for the steeks (I was just about done with the body when I realized this), so I had to frog all the way back to the beginning of the armhole steeks. All the work that I had done while on vacation – poof – gone. I was a little upset, but I really took this one in stride. Worse things happen, I think.
Now, the colors did actually meet and the after one set of four rows of the fair isle pattern, the colors actually switched places – the color that was on the ball that I took from the inside changed places with the ball of yarn that I was taking from the outside and now everything looks almost mirror image. There are a few rows where it really blends and it’s a little hard to see the actual pattern, but I think most folks who are knitting this experience the same thing (at least the pictures of the sweaters that I have seen on Ravelry) – and I am sure we didn’t all start knitting in the same place.

While on vacation we stopped at Shadeyside Farm to pick up some of the yarn that we had spun for us by Deborah and Dave. This time we had them spin an alpaca/romney blend. I can't wait to get out the dyepots.
Draw Frame and Spindle Spinner
Yarn ready for dyeing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Woolbearers Fall 2008 Newsletter

On the farm, as autumn approaches, a nightly ritual begins. The sheep leave the safe, cool darkness of the their stalls, and shaking the straw off their fleece, step out into the dusk, heads down against flies, and walk like an Egyptian toward the open field. There, under the rising moon, they’ll find a place close enough to one another for security, but in anticipation of the cool night ahead, give space for air to circulate.

This morning at dawn, I went to the barn to check their water, and seeing me, they hopped up and ran toward me, hopeful for a treat. I reached out to pet them and their wool was wet with dew. It immediately brought to mind warm afghans and cabled sweaters, a fire in the fireplace, chili cooking on the stove. I love the seasons and especially, fall.


We really went crazy at TNNA and you will surely be the beneficiaries of our insanity.

Oasis Yarns – new company for us. We bought their hand-dyed sock yarns – 90% merino 10% nylon in 9 different colorways and their hand dyed silk-310 yards to the skein in 5 colorways.

JoJoland International – Harmony (lace weight), Melody (fingering weight) and Rhythm (worsted weight) in wonderful colorways and great pattern support.

Manos –Manos now has a silk/merino blend and we have all the colorways, lots of new Wool Classica colorways and all the new pattern books.

Knit 1, Crochet 2 – lots of new yarns and patterns. Linus is a wool, acrylic, alpaca blend. Each color has a contrasting line of color throughout. USDK is a dk weight Shetland wool made in the US. It comes in small skeins so it’s great when you want to do colorwork. Ty-dy socks (not in stock just yet) 80%wool 20% nylon, 436 yards -matches the Ty-Dy cotton yarn.

NashuaNashua has a new magazine out with lots of new great patterns, new colors in Julia, and we received our first order of Vignette, a bulky superwash, Ecologie wool and new Creative Focus colors

Rowan – We are never disappointed with Rowan’s yarn or patterns. Rowan Book 44 is a must have – there isn’t a pattern that I don’t want to knit. We now have Rowan Felted Tweed, Kid Classic, Purelife Organic Wool, new fabulous pattern books new colors in Tapestry and Cashsoft.

Skacel – Loft Color is Skacel’s “flagship felting yarn”, a bulky 100% wool in gorgeous colors. Bambou soft is worsted weight, 65% wool, 35% bamboo, and knits up on a 7-9 needle. Did you need anymore sock yarn?? We have Trekking, Hand Art, Fortissima Mexico kids, Limbo color superwash, just to name a few of Skacel’s socks yarns.

SWTC – Need therapy? Try Therapi – it’s 50% Wool, 20% Silk and 30% Jadeite and knits like a dream. It will be the featured yarn for Hat Attack – go to http://hat-attack to sign up. Woolbearers will be having a launch party for this game on Tuesday, Sept. 16th.

Cascade - More 220 colors (can you believe it?), New Yarns - Rustic – a wool/linen blend, Heritage sock yarn in solids and multis.

Punta Yarns – Lava is a wool/acrylic blend in worsted weight – great for baby blankets. Merisoft is worsted weight hand-dyed merino – veeery soft.

Frog Tree – 5 stitches to the inch pure Merino in solid colors and a new tweed alpaca in sport weight

Jil Eaton MinnowMerino - worsted weight superwash. Jil is renowned for her kids patterns. Great colors and she says that the micron count in her merino is one point away from Cashmere. Come and take a squeeze.

Classic Elite – Moorland is a merino/alpaca/acrylic blend in tweedy colors, Summer sox-a cotton/merino/nylon blend sock yarn, new colors in LaGran mohair, Wool/bamboo, Montera and of course all the great Classic Elite patterns.

Kauni – We imported most of the colors of their Effektgarn 8/2. Come into to shop and see the beautiful items you can knit with this yarn.

Brown Sheep – new Superwash Sportweight yarn – 180 yards for under $5.

Tilli Tomas – Sequined lace and beaded lace – beautiful colors.

Muench - Big Baby—bulky acrylic yarn for making great baby blankets in no time

Lana Grossa – Chiara is a nylon/rayon/mohair blend that really shines

JCA/Reynolds - Lopi, Rapture a wool/silk blend, Hopscotch—looks like a “mini-Manos”-superwash yarn – great kids patterns.

Plymouth – We bought Plymouth’s entire Ecco friendly line with great pattern support. Come in to see the Bristol Yarn Gallery trunk show – now through Sept 15. Happy Choices is a new sock yarn that you buy in flat pieces and unravel it as you knit. Woolbearers is dyeing some of the flats and we can’t wait to see it knit up!

Sock Yarn --- more J. Knits, Claudia, Jitterbug, Meilenweit, Trekking, Woolie Bears, Melody, Wildfoote, Sterling – I’m sure we left something out, so you will just have to come in and see it.


Namaste bags – the new Laguna bag has been a runaway hit. We now have Hiya Hiya needles (20” length circulars among other sizes). New pattern lines includes White Lies Designs and Chic Knits

We are expanding our spinning fiber offerings this year! As well as dyeing hundreds of pounds of wool and processing it ourselves, we are sending more out to be made into your favorite rovings. Check out the ‘green monster’ in back of the seating area for the latest spinning fibers.

In addition to our signature hand dyed Ringspun Romney yarns, this fall we will have a Romney Alpaca Blend available, spun by our friends at Shadyside Farms, as well as a wonderful sea silk wool blend.

Woolbearers is having a Fashion show on Saturday, Dec. 6th. Come to a buffet luncheon at Charley’s Other Brother in Eastampton and enjoy several trunk shows, including garments from Skacel, Simply Shetland and Plymouth, as well as having an opportunity to showcase your own knitting. Entry information and more details coming soon.

Bus Trip to Stitches – Saturday, Nov 8th Hurry and reserve your seat! Tickets will be on sale starting Labor Day weekend.


In addition to a variety of classes in beginning knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving, we also have several classes to help you get to that next step, including Introduction to Lace, Fair Isle, and Socks. For the intermediate beginner, we are offering several great classes that are filling quickly, including Knit to Fit, and Finishing Techniques.

We require advance registration, so don’t delay signing up for the class of your choice. Enrollment is limited in most classes.

Don’t forget our Labor Day weekend Sale – most cotton and cotton blends on sale for 25%-40% off!

Suzie & Myra

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beautiful Things Part Two

Sabra is modeling a sweater knit of Claudia's Handpainted Yarns. It's asymmetrical design fits a spectrum of shapes. Entirely knit of stockinette, the pattern is written for every weight of yarn. The pattern is available at the store.

Gwen's February Lady Sweater below. We have about ten gals knitting the sweater and this is the second one that is finished. (That I've seen!)

Barbara Jean is creating a series of felted balls that are really works of art rather than toys. She started out making balls for her grandsons, and became intrigued with the design aspect. She knits the balls and stuffs them with netting before felting. They are surprisingly firm for being hollow.

Kris's wonderful shawl. I will remember the name of the pattern soon! It's very sculptural. [Kris writes that it is the Candle Flame Shawl]

This great scarf knit by Nina is four long bands of Paint Box with applied crocheted bobbles and squiggles. I couldn't for the life of me remember how to knit a bobble.

This gorgeous skein of yarn was spun by Tanya. It's colors need to be seen to be appreciated. She is the most fanatical wool buyer I know, next to Myra.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More New Yarn!
This is the new Aussie Sock Yarn. I had to take a picture of it before it's even out of the cellophane, hence the shine. We also got four new colors of Julia, charcoal Felted Tweed, five new colors of Nashua Creative Focus Worsted, the new colors of La Gran mohair, new Claudia Handpainted yarn, along with a beautiful sweater sample, some handpainted silk, a new yarn from Nashua called Vignette, (well, it's new to me, anyway)When you come into the store this week, you may be surprised! I hauled the baby yarn to the back area by the sock yarn, and put all of the books up front. So far, it's been a hit with everyone who has come in.
Jen and Delaney with their pile of lovely yarn! Their excitement is infectious!

In the spirit of Handpaint Country, Shear Spirit gives you a chance for some healthy
fiber voyeurism.
A Fine Fleece celebrates knitting with handspun yarns.
The Great American Kid's Afghan, for all of you who are going crazy knitting squares.
Another great children's pattern book by Reynolds, using Play Time and Hopscotch.

Harmony Lace from Jojoland. 880 yards for $8.60....I think I want to knit more lace. Can you use flash cards while knitting a big lace shawl???

This week we continued to receive orders that we had placed at TNNA in June. Mind you, we have to order constantly, and we saw a sales rep last month in spite of seeing him in Columbus, too. So far, the things that stand out in my mind are the books we got from Manos, Harmony Lace Weight from JoJoland, and a huge box from Rowan that I want to lay down upon.

Last night, several of us got together to knit at Bung's Tavern in Florence. Yeah, that's right, a bar. Except for the fact that it was starting to get a little dark, it's a nice place to hang out with knitters, plus the food isn't bad. Anyway, the discussion got around to stash and UFOs, which it usually does, and the general consensus was that something should get finished before anything else is purchased. I start to hyperventilate when I think of taking anything else out of inventory to start a new project. That was before I looked at the new books from Manos Del Uruguay.

In Numero 2, a collection of simple, yet exciting projects knit of Manos Silk Blend, include a fun shrug poncho thing with arm holes called Torshavn. It looks like it is knit in garter stitch, my personal favorite.

Wool Clasica 9 and Collection 10 are classic designs that don't look like they were made for a slender teenager. I love the sweater called Philadelphia in Manos Wool Clasica 9.

Geometry is a collection of throws knit of octagons and squares.

When I opened the box they came in, I just said, 'Why, why?' Anway, it is forcing me to knit like a devil on the Stonington Shawl, just to get it done and out of the way, because I am knitting something from these books.
Fed Ex just came and dropped off a box of sock yarns and some silk yarn from Aussie....I'll take pictures and post them tomorrow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One (Or Six) Step Back

Finally, thanks to the support and help of my own students, who I am supposed to be teaching, I figured out a way to do some lace without having to rip every five inches. This is so weird, because I've successfully done lace before. Something must have happened to my brain in the past three months, but now with the use of flash cards, yes, I said flash cards, I have successfully knitted ten inches of the February Lady Sweater, and six inches of edging on the Stonington Shawl. I'm not saying there aren't a few mistakes lurking in there, but is it isn't anything I would be ashamed to show to, say, my partner.

Detail of February Lady Gull Lace pattern, which is a simple, four row repeat. However, if you forgot that you were making a large sweater, and are trying to knit an extra large on the amount of stitches you cast on for a large, it ain't happening, folks. Why I thought I was making an XL is beyond me, but I did a lot of ripping until I finally figured out what was going on.
Below is the beginnings of the lace edging on my Stonington Shawl. I had reservations about using the Kauni as the edging, but now I love it. It really holds it's shape and is good compliment to the Jamieson. Thanks to Jill for the card idea.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Christmas is just around the corner. I know, because we got our first Christmas catalog today; a Linen and Things brochure with a picture of Santa himself on the cover. How can this be? Wasn't it just the beginning of summer? Now I think all of the apprehension I suffered about whether or not to buy a new bathing suit, or just simply swim with an old t shirt and shorts. Spending hours trying to get my huge, overgrown perennial garden in some kind of order was a waste of my time because in a matter of weeks it will cut down anyway. Why did we spend thousands of dollars opening the pool, getting the filter fixed, etc, when no one has gone in it, except me, and that was one time.

So if Christmas is really almost here, we better get moving with gift knitting! Shawls, scarves, quick vests and sweaters for kids, wristlets and mittens, caps, afghans, felted purses, socks, the list is endless. So many of us are crazy about lace right now, and the lacy sweater patterns I saw today are so seductive that even the most conservative project starter will succumb! There are so many beautiful, but quick knits featured in the latest knitting magazines. The new yarns in the shop are just crying out to be fondled and used! Oh, I have to hurry and finish just one thing so I can start something new! Just one darn thing!

Here is some the knitting I saw this week....

Jill's lovely Stonington Shawl of Lorna's Laces with the lace edging in progress.

Kristen's wonderful mohair boucle project; she said we dyed it but I don't remember! It's so beautiful, we better find out what colorway it is and get the dye pots out!

Rosemary's Clapotis of hand dyed milk cotton. It is really lovely. By the way, she is the fastest chemo cap knitter I know; so far, I think she's knit ten for us.

Leila's beautiful Clapotis of Lorna's Laces Happy Valley. It's wonderfully drapey.

Lastly, below is the view from one of the decks at the house my son rented on Lake Lanier near Atlanta last month. When I went to visit, I sat there and knit. It was really quite wonderful. You can see the water line is down approximately 15 feet because of drought, and neighboring states taking the water for irrigating. I think of it whenever I see the sod farm near the shop irrigating their sod fields.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I have been knitting on this cardigan every chance I get; that includes waiting for red lights, gas station waits, doctor's offices, you name it. I get to knit everywhere, except at Woolbearers, because there is so much to do, getting ready for the Fall.

I started knitting with one skein, taking yarn from the middle and the other skein taking yarn from the outside. So far, I've been able to get complementary colors working together. Now it's a race to see if the green from the outside meets the green from the inside skein. A real page turner -- I can't knit fast enough. Will keep you posted.

New for the fall:

Punta Yarns Lava - 230 yards of hand dyed 70% acrylic 30% wool - machine washable. Great for afghans and kids and babies clothes.

Punta Yarns Merisoft -- hand dyed 100% merino from Uruguay -- so soft (like buttah!)

Tilli Tomas hand dyed beaded or sequined lace weight silk.

we got it!!