Thursday, September 20, 2007

A New Mystery - Shh its a Secret Stole

October 4 is the deadline to sign up for the Secret of the Stole - a new mystery stole I have just found in a yahoo group online. It runs from Oct 5 through Nov 23 and the creator, nauticalknitter, claims we will have a gorgeous beaded stole to wear for New Years Eve when finished - oh these mystery knit alongs are such fun! Especially when more are working on the project! So join up and come work on your stole during our "Fridays Belong to Lace" which are every Friday between 12 -5 at the Yarn and Fiber Company! We can help launch you into lace if you are a beginner lace worker, or if you are experienced, then it is just thrilling to see how fast you are able to make your needles sing! The swatch is already posted and the supplies sound wonderful - lace yarn, beads (optional but preferred), size 4 needles, and lots of wonderful yarn-overs on the way! YEAH!

We had so much fun with the Mystery Stole 3 - no, it isn't finished yet, but it is a wonderful work in progress and seeing so many pictures of finished stoles is making me want to finish it even faster - and I can't wait to start-up this new lace project - hopefully this time I can keep up with the clues - (my three year old at this point would say "Yeah right Mommy.")

If you join, let us know if you have any questions about picking out some lace yarn... we have lots and lots of yummy lace yarns now and more are always on the way!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cheryl Potter and Missy from Wool in the Woods

The mystery of who Cheryl was bringing was quickly ended when Missy of Wool in the Woods arrived with Cheryl to teach our hand dyeing class. Cherry Tree Hill has completed a buyout of Wool In the Woods and will take over production of their line of hand dyed yarn. Missy took the lead in teaching the class, and I have to say she is a first rate teacher. Her technique was quite different to Cheryl's, and I thought a little easier to master if a lot messier.

It must of felt a little strange for Missy to be dyeing Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn but she took to the task readily explaining in detail the process step by step.
While Cheryl applies dye to the top of the yarn, Missy applies it generously in a pool (or well) under the yarn.

After cooking in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then rinsing in cold water the squidgy mess in the tray turned into a beautiful skein of hand dyed yarn (which I now have in my possesion and will turn into a pair of socks!).

Next it was the turn of the students. The turnout was not as good as for the last class, but the enthusiasm was there and we were eager to get our hands dyed, oh I mean yarn dyed. Three of us brave souls were going for the hand dyed silk lace.

All yarns take dye differently. Sockittome soaks up the dye quickly, silk does not so a lot more acid must be used when dyeing silk.
Our first task was to visualize our color way, and draw it out on paper in crayon.

Cyndi decided to do the sock yarn first and attempt the lace later, Gina decided to do the silk first and I already had my color plan so did my silk first and then did the same color way in sockittome.

Gina finished first. Her pink silk is simply amazing. It was nice to see that everyone was able to turn out gorgeous hand dyed yarn, much credit to missy's teaching ability!

My finished skeins are the top two, the very top one is sockittome, and the lower one is silk. The silk came out much lighter as much dye came out in the rinse compared to the sock yarn. The color is called "Bushkill Falls" named after one of my favorive waterfalls in Pennsylvania (where Missy is from). The lower skein is the very talented Hannah's amazing creation.

An ominous beginning to the weekend

This weekend promised to be packed with activity. Cheryl Potter was bringing a mystery guest to our hand dye class, and we had a hundred things to do to get the shop ready. The day started rather ominously when a truck full of garbage rolled over on the Interstate 93 ramp right outside of the shop, closing down the ramp and causing huge tailbacks. It was also pouring with rain and I don't think the state troopers or local police were too happy.

Anyway we did get everything done and were ready for the hand dye class. Cyndi, Gina and myself decided we were going to try hand dyeing cascade silk. Cyndi was going to use ours for shawls.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chunky Top-Down Pattern Plus Tip for Knitting with Hand-Dyes

Cool sweater huh! I designed it using Araucania Limari (70% wool, 20% alpaca and 10% silk) yarn which knits for me at 2.25 sts per inch on a US #13. This sweater knits in what feels like minutes! Plus, there are no seams - just ends to weave in..... WOW!!! It's a great man's sweater or woman's sweater (but I think I will make the woman's sweater taper at the waist a little). The pattern will be available soon at the Yarn and Fiber Company store and online. A few knitters are getting the first round of the pattern this morning to work on sweaters for their husbands - if you are interested in trying the sweater prior to the pattern being finished, the pattern is free with the yarn purchase until the pattern is finished (probably early-mid October). This sweater would also work up well in Big Wool, Equinox Stripes and the other bulky yarns!

TIP!!!! When using hand-dyed or kettle-dyed yarns.... always, always run two skeins while you are knitting and alternate the yarns either one (if on circulars) or every two rows (if using straights). This will keep the pooling down plus, many times the shading can be completely different within the same dye-lot! Happy knitting up hand-dyes!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mystery Hand-Dying Goddess at Yarn and Fiber Company on Sept 15th!

Cheryl Potter from Cherry Tree Hill is coming this Saturday, September 15 to teach a hand-dye class at the shop! But there is a secret - she is bringing with her a mystery guest - (don't even ask, she won't tell me either!) The mystery guest owns her own hand-dying company and is a friend of Cheryl's. Those are my only hints - Cheryls own words were - You won't be dissappointed! She is very excited about bringing her friend and the two of them will be teaching the class together - wow! How exciting! There are a couple of spots available if you would like to join us - give us a ring and we will put you on the list - 603-898-5059.

Here are some pictures of Aprils hand-dye class!
Awesome! Can't wait to post the pictures for this one!

GGH Yarn on Special!

Hello Fiber Lovers!
We wanted to let everyone know that we have marked the GGH yarn on super special for the rest of the month of September! Yes, the entire line of in-stock GGH has been put on a special sale - here is the line-up: Cashmere, Silk, Davos, Solitaire, Maxima, Aldente, Aspen, Bolero, Cappella, Coco, Goa, Maya, Risibisi, Mystik, Scarlett, Soft Kid, Wollywasch and Veneto. Each yarn has its own uniqueness - some are superwash while some are simply fun! And others, well, they are simply silk or cashmere - what more is there to say!
Noro Blossom is on special as we have limited amounts available and it has been discontinued with the distributor. We still have enough Blossom in different colorways that would equal sweater amounts - if you have been putting off getting some Blossom for a sweater or something else, here is your chance - this yarn is disappearing into stashes across the globe fast!
Are you behind on your fiber reading or want to think about a new area of fibering but missed a past issue of a new magazine you meant to check out? Did you find out that a knit along you want to join is based on a pattern in a magazine that is no longer available on a newstand? We may have it..... and it is most likely on special! Check out our magazine specials - when they are gone, they are gone..... By the way, the Fiber Arts by Interweave Press are a hidden treasure and are full of inspiring ideas that can carry over into many areas! I love browsing them!

On a more human note - what do YOU do on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Well here is a shot of what Jerry did, or didn't do, today.... His goal, to make a bunch of socks on his sock knitting machine.... hee hee.... well, let's just say that it appears that sock knitting machines don't seem to like rainy days...... his sock ribber didn't want to cooperate and with a big sigh he said, "There must be an easier way to do this." "Did ya ever hear of Magic Loop?" I asked him. He thinks its the yarn... I think its the rainy day!
Bye! Have a good day!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Trains, Blankets and Finished Projects!

What's better than a yarn shop with a train? Nothing if you are a little one or the mother of one or several little ones that like yarn! Our newest addition to the yarn shop is a wonderful train table that is loved by all! Here's the scenario - four little ones (under ten years of age) came in with their mom, the littlest one was very upset that the shop puppy - Stitches - wasn't in at the moment - tears turned to instant smiles when he saw the train set....... all were happy - in fact I think Mom had to ask twice if the kids were ready to leave when she was done shopping! Ah, another good day at the yarn shop - even for the 2-year old! I wonderful if he will ask for Stitchie or the train when I see him next???? He's such a cutie!

Check out this blanket!!!! Handmade and designed by Megan (President of the SHS Knitting Club) using Muench Big Baby! Megan used the free Big Baby Baby Blanket as her basis and made the blanket "hers" by making it bigger! We are all about making the patterns your own so that they work for your world, size, color, fiber preference, etc.

The blanket only took 11 skeins of yarn and Meg claims it is perfect for wearing while doing homework or watching TV. Meg blanket is almost as beautiful as she is! She that smile on her face, it is always there! Good job girl!

Another great job is this beautiful sweater made by Teresa from Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - oh, and this is her first project! Amazingly gorgeous! Teresa takes one of our Beyond Beginning Knitting classes run by Nancy and with Nancy's expertise and guidance, she created this gorgeous sweater. And check out the great finish work - Tonia Barry is definitely turning us all into better knitters (finishers!) with her Finishing Techniques class - Thanks Nancy and Tonia for being wonderful and talented and passing on your talents to us! And great job on the sweater Teresa!
More to come soon I promise! Lots of pictures to upload and lots to write about... see you all soon!