Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A number of my customers made pink and green squares that were sewn together in a huge banner by the volunteers of Codepink with the saying you see on the left for Mother's Day. The banner covered the fence in front of the White House. If you want to see more pix of the day go here . Amy Ferris wrote a beautiful piece entitled "What color is peace" talking about the day.

Lots of crocheting going on at Woolbearers. Gwen used some stash yarn (Lily Chin, I think) to whip up this beautiful scarf. Joanna made this great little hat, out of something self-striping.

Alice keeps knitting away on new projects. Here she is showing off her Classic Elite cotton/bamboo top.

Jane needed to make a baby blanket and used Muench's Big Baby - so soft and cuddly.

My beginning knitting students are starting other projects, besides Barbara Walker's Learn to knit afghan. Here, Teena, needed a shawl for a dress that she just bought. She fell in love with our hand dyed sterling and is knitting away. I just love how this stuff knits up. Ceil is showing off her first scarf -- it's made out of Cascade Venezia and is from a free Cascade pattern ( you can find it on their website)

Drum Roll please! Lest you all think I never finish anything, the Great American Afghan is finally completed. Ok -- I didin't do much of the finishing (thank you Sabra), and Sabra did knit 4 of the squares, so that leaves me with 21 squares -- it was a lot fun to knit and now I just have to figure out how to display it. I took a look at my ravelry page and it says that I started it in Dec 2007. Anyone else finish??

This pile of yarn is turning into

this sweater.

The pattern is from Interweave Summer 2009, Filet Patch Blouse by Teva Durham. At first I thought it was crocheted. but each square is knit --- filet knitting it's called. It took a while to get used to reading the chart for this, but once you get going, it's a breeze. I don't carry the yarn it calls for, and was debating what to use. Finally it dawned on me to dye my own wool boucle, which is what I did. My colors came very close to what Teva used and I have to say I think the yarn is perfect for this project. So, I have to get back to knitting -- can't wait to finish this one!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Men who knit seem to get all the attention. I was perusing the Sunday NY Times and found this article about the broadway actor, John Glover knitting away on a scarf at the now defunct NYC yarn shop, The Point. The article quoted Mr. Glover as saying how relaxing knitting was. He only makes scarves and does not like to KIP because he says he has a "bizarre technique." He knits with one needle between his legs and manipulates the stitches with the other. Sounds like a way that lots of folks I know knit. So, John -- if you ever want to KIP, come down to Woolbearers -- we promise not to laugh.

We are having another "Knit to Fit" class. Here Joanne is modeling what will be her summer sweater made out of Classic Elite's, Classic Silk. Joan's sweater is knit out of Cascade 220 and she used a Cascade 220 pattern as inspiration.

Joanna and Gwen are knitting with Tilli Tomas' beaded silk. Both pieces are just gorgeous.

Gwen is also crocheting a shawl from Vogue Crocheted Shawls. It's a pattern that Shiri Mor designed. Funny how after Shiri was here, everyone started looking through their pattern books for her designs. Anyway, another customer came in after Gwen was showing off her beautiful shawl and was working on the same project and needed help. I'm not much of a crocheter, so I was really glad Gwen was there to offer advice.

Speaking of crochet, Kris is really moving on her crocheted shawl. Can you believe this is her first piece!

Jill is working on her Botanica knit out of Manos Silk/Wool. Very subtle color changes -- can't wait to see it finished.

Teri and Julie dropped in on Saturday. Teri was showing off her Euroflax sweater. She bought a few cones of Euroflax laceweight, and doubled it up for this fabulous lace sweater.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

PI -- that is the key to designing the lovely Botanica Medallion Cardigan that graces the cover of Vogue Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2009 issue, according to designer Shiri Mor. I was so excited when she explained this to a group of knitters at Woolbearers last week. Now, I finally have something I can relate to my math-major son about knitting. We have always had a joke in our family about the "answer is in geometry" -- but no, he said it is really in trig. Whatever! At least I had his attention for a few moments.

We were so lucky to have Shiri come visit last week. She is an articulate, intuitive and passionate designer of knit and crochet patterns. She spoke about her designs and what inspires her. We were all so taken with her explanations of how simple it is to just do the math. Shiri - a gigantic thank you for taking the time to come visit. We can't wait to see you again.

Here are some pix of Shiri signing some magazines and as you can see, everyone is working on the Botanica.

Crochet is front and center at Woolbearers. Kris is working on a design from "Superior Crochet". Can you believe she just started crocheting? Joanna is working on a scarf out of Woolbearers' hand dyed Sterling sock yarn and Gwen dyed her own Sterling and is also crocheting a scarf.

Judy O. came in today to show me the results of the sweater that she kept buying one more skein of Jamiesons's Shetland DK for. It is a mitered square pattern and the results are absolutely gorgeous. Judy P. is moving on her Rambling Rows afghan.

Joanna felted a bag out of Rowan Tapestry and sewed a few flowers on --- great job!

Christine bit the bug and knitted a Boku scarf from Jared Flood's design.

Carol came in yesterday with a request. She crocheted this square a few years ago and can't find the pattern. We searched the store yesterday for a pattern, but came up empty. Anyone out there have any ideas. She really wants to make an afghan using this pattern. Help!!

Bonnie came in yesterday asking for help on the lace edging for Jojoland's Autumn Entrelac Shawl. She got nervous when the directions said to drop a third of the stitches. It's a Barbara Walker pattern idea from her 2nd Treasury. I think it's called Cobweb Frill. Of course, she didn't want to test it out on the shawl -- with a cast on of 380 stitches. So, I tried it on a cast on 13 stitches, I think, and it does work with beautiful results and no lost stitches. Sabra will be teaching a class on knitting this beautiful shawl in June.

Last, but certainly not least, Alice has begun her fair isle sweater out of Jamieson's Spindrift. The colors are just beautiful.

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's really gratifying to get good feedback on all the hard work you do. I have a customer who lives in Florida but comes to the shop everytime she visits her daughter. She called me yesterday to let me know that she was sending her daughter my way for a mother's day present -- she just loves Woolbearers' hand dyed yarn. During the course of conversation she told me that she knit a shawl out of our hand dyed Sterling sock yarn and was told by none other than Barbara Walker (yes, that Barbara Walker) that she just loved the yarn. Needless to say I was thrilled.

We are all hearing about "going green", buy local, etc. Well, I just found a website that promotes buying local products and thought you may be interested. You can find info here. The website encourages folks to pick 3 local shops and spend $50 at each shop and gives statistics explaining what a great impact it will have on the local economy. Sounds good to me!

Donna was busy working on her beaded shawl --- pattern from the class that was given by Jody a few weeks ago. You can see part of Jody's shawl in the sterling silver yarn here.

Linda has been whipping through shawls and shrugs in no time. Here is a shrug made out of Plymouth Homestead and a shawl out of Frog Tree alpaca sportweight.

This adorable baby outfit was crocheted by Bonnie out of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi. Bonnnie creates her own designs and can be found on Ravelry as BonnieJ.

I actually finished two projects this week -- the Sprout Tee from Classic Elite and Kyler's Kardigan, a new pattern from Cottage Creations made out of Plymouth Kudo. So, of course, I had to start 2 new projects (this does not include the Botanica Medallion)

Helene Rush, from Knit One, Crochet Too, created this quick knit pattern that can be found on It's called Radiate and uses K1C2's Italian Ice yarn -- a cotton/linen blend with a hint of glitz. I just love working on it, because it is knitting up so quickly with top down construction and short sleeves. And, I'm dyeing yarn for a pattern that was in the Summer 2009 Issue of Interweave. Can you guess which one?

Don't forget that Shiri Mor, designer of the Botanica Medallion Cardigan, among many others, is coming to Woolbearers on May 7th. She will be here at 6 pm -- don't miss this great opportunity to talk with Shiri about the Botanica. See you then!