welcome back, Friends!

IMG_4325How is everyone? We have done all right at our house. You do the best you can with what you have. Right? As a homeschooling family, not much changed for our girls other than activities that ended. Olivia was able to stay with the riding lessons that she does at a private facility, and that kept her happy. And thank You, Lord, Mike has been able to continue working.

There have been some times of learning and relaxing. Maybe you learned a new skill or baked bread, recharged and reevaluated, or just tried to hang on for dear life. Some days can be good, and some days can be plain awful. I know that it is a difficult time for everyone. No one gets a free pass this time. But we can tend to be in our bubbles and forget that each person has their struggles. There has been sickness and death, all while separated from the ones we get comfort. Fear and anxiety creep around and pokes at us when we least expect it. People have lost their jobs; some will have businesses they feel are more trouble than they are worth and others that will never recover. I hope we can have grace for one another and remember it is not just about us ~ not to judge or shame anyone based on their choices. We all have the same basic need to be loved, heard, accepted, and made to feel like our life matters.

Your life matters to me.

I will open the shop back up on Wednesday. It feels weird to open and feels weird to be closed. We have socially distanced the chairs in the shop. The great thing about that huge table and the open space we have always tried to keep is it made it easy for us to make space. So you can still shop, sit, have a coffee, and enjoy the space.

Community, we still need it even at 6 feet apart.IMG_5955-1I realize that many of you may not feel comfortable being out and about town. Shop hours have shortened to allow those who are needing to hang back a bit to do just that. You can call, email, or DM me on Instagram, and I will meet you at the shop for a one on one. You can also use those closed morning hours to have space for you and a friend. You can have the shop in the morning to yourselves to connect, knit or crochet before I open for the day.

Looking forward to seeing your faces and your completed projects!! You have been the best support. Thank you for showing me how this crisis couldn’t destroy the community you have all helped to create at a tangle of yarn.

You are friends, all of you!

a field guide…no.14

Many of you have seen the MDK Field Guide’s. And some of you learned of their existence when we had a party last fall for our local Designer/Friend, Jen Geigley and her designs for No. 12, Big Joy.

These compact pattern books are put out quarterly by Mason-Dixon Knitting. Each Field Guide focuses on one subject or designer. Between the covers you’ll find several patterns and some little extras, like info about the designer and their inspiration to full scale instructions on how to make the projects included. Another bonus to each MDK Field Guide is a the code on the back page. When you purchase a book, you receive a code for the Ravelry download of each pattern in that particular guide.

I plan to highlight them for you here on the blog, beginning with MDK Field Guide’s latest publication, No.14. Field Guide No.14 is called Refresh and features Irish designer Carol Feller. Carol is trained as an engineer and an artist which make her designs both structural and lovely.

You will find 4 patterns: a cardigan, short sleeved top, a hat, and a gorgeous, cabled wrap. A project for anytime. We know a sweater takes time and it’s never to early to cast one onto our needles. A hat can have a challenging pattern but still be quick, taking only a few days to complete. And shawl can be a relaxing way to slow down and enjoy the art of creating something beautiful. Whatever your need, MDK Field Guides are a wonderful option and can be easily thrown into your project bag or downloaded to any device.

Stop in the shop to pick one up. You can also call or email to find out which ones we have in stock.

from loop to cowl

When I started this project, it was meant to be the Mohair Bias Loop ~ with the yarn suggested in the pattern ~ Rowan Kidsilk.

My choice changed when our Yarn and Soul order arrived. This orange! It is not a color you will find much of in my closet but I love it. And the color they created in their Superfine 400 is beautiful. If you closed your eyes and think of the color orange // they’ve nailed it. Then, a dear friend suggested I put the Stitch Together, Stitch Cloud with it. Great idea! This loop was going to be soft and cozy! img_5856img_5855I kept with the same needle size. Lacey, open stitches are no more. Yarn and Soul, Superfine 400 is a light fingering weight and it’s held together with the mohair. The pattern above is the Kidsilk held single. This changed the look and feel of the original pattern but one I was loving.img_5881We were looking at the length and deciding how much more to knit. If I kept going to the pattern’s recommended length it would be too warm. Wrapped around my neck double would be more of a winter wear and I wanted a more versatile piece. It’s a bright happy color and should be worn in the spring. img_5880It’s the perfect size. When I’m out walking I can pull it up and it makes for a great wind breaker over my head. Spring is so windy here.

I still plan on making what I had originally set out to knit. Sometimes our knitting takes on a life of it’s and we have to just let that unfold. It’s only yarn after all. And like my mom ALWAYS said, ‘It won’t be the last thing you make.’ 

When you take these multicolored mohair yarns, and hold them with another fine yarn, the texture and blend of color is limitless. Here are just a few of several ideas from the shop…

 

a fine companion

There is a wonderful app called the Knit Companion. A fellow knitter shared this valuable tool with me last fall and it’s a game changer. This is a free app with a $20 (if I recall correctly) upgrade yearly. Well worth the price. You can keep track of any knitting, crochet, beading, weaving or cross-stitch patterns, no matter how complex.

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The link I attached above is the main website page, and it contains terrific tutorials. I would recommend watching the tutorials so you can use the app to its full potential.  You can write on your pattern, crop it, color code it, set up a chart, have it count your stitches, and it will download your patterns from Ravelry, Dropbox, or a folder on your device. After your pattern is on the app, you can use it offline. And a feature I just read about and have not yet used is the voice command capability.

The free version of the app is useful when you just need basic helps. It will track your row, your stitch in that row, there is a counter and it will save your progress all in the free version.

The only negative I have found with this app as there is no login, so it does not work across devices. If I’m only going to have my phone then I just look and mark where I am in my pattern // where I only have the free version loaded.

Knit Companionis a wonderful tool and absolutely worth trying out.

Goldfish Memory Shawl

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May 1st will begin our Goldfish Memory Shawl by Casapinka. I’ve had my eye on this pattern for months. The shawl is a great project to use a few of those gorgeous yarns you have stashed away. It takes only three skeins of 400yds each, size 5 & 6 needles and some stitch markers. Casapinka suggests using a light, a bright or bold yarn and something in between to see the slipped stitches more easily.

We will schedule this KAL until the end of July with Video Meets up’s weekly. You may join us for one or all. If you need help, please join us. If you want to have someone to knit and chat with, please join us.

Do you need help with your yarn choices? We have several fingering weight yarns at the shop and we can help you figure out what you will need. A great resource (I sometimes forget about) for finding what you like is the projects link on the pattern page in Ravelry. And there is always video chat too ~ so bring those stashed yarns to one of the video meets, including Yarn Social and let us all help you!

Seven Sisters Top

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Cottonwood

We started a KAL with Blue Sky Fibers this month. It’s called the Seven Sisters Top, and it is knit using the the Blue Sky Printed Organic Cotton (worsted). This is an easy fit top. The yarn is soft and squishy and the cotton fiber keeps it light for a summer day and thin enough to wear under a jacket on a cooler evening. Knit from the bottom up and in the round on size 10 circular needles make for a quick project. And the short sleeves keep you from getting stranded on sleeve island.

The KAL runs from April 1st ~ June 30th. Plenty of time to join us. We have been getting together on the Jitsi Meet site. I will post on Instagram and on the Classes/Events tab our meeting times.

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Jack Frost

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Tulip

There are 8 painted colors and 39 solids in the Organic Cotton (worsted). You will be sure to find a color to make one or three of these easy to wear summer tops. Pattern is include with the purchase of the yarn. 5 skeins will give you an XL. I’m always available to meet you at the shop for a pick up, help by phone, or email. We hope to see you online!

We have a blog…

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We have a blog! It has been something I have been working on with a close friend. We were both in agreement that we shouldn’t start one if we couldn’t maintain it. I feel disappointed when I go to a favorite website and see they have a blog and discover only a few posts; then, it’s crickets for the foreseeable future. And as I’m not much for newsletters (as you know), a blog seemed to make the most sense for this shop.

Nothing has to be saved in your emails because you can just come here to the blog and find inspiration or something you heard us talking about in a class or during a yarn social. Whatever it is, we will try and make it available to you here. We will try to be thoughtful in how we write and tag posts. We don’t want you filtering through a long blog post only to find a tiny mention of what you were seeking.

Please leave comments and participate in the posts you see here. How we think about community has taken on a new spin. We still need a space where we feel we matter. A space where we can continue to find ways to encourage, inspire, and stay connected. This is a work in progress and some tweaks will be made here and there. The main goal is to provide a bit of fun and keep this community you have all helped to create going.