Since I’m busily working on the next class schedule, I’m going to take the easy way out on this post and show you some of our wonderful customers’ finished projects.  These things always thrill me!

Janice Bieber always looks so smart when she comes into the shop, and I’m always ambushing her with my camera.  She takes it with good grace!  This is her Crosshatch Shawl:

and this is her Easy Folded Poncho with a wonderful lightly-contrasting stripe, which adds a spark to the simple design, as well as a flattering diagonal line.

 

Marci Frey made this Bounce baby blanket in wonderful colors.  Cutest thing ever, and the new mom sent her a very sweet picture of the sleepy baby wrapped up in it.

 

Jane Brubaker finished her Simple Tee just in time to wear it once or twice before the cold weather moved in.  Beautifully accessorized, as usual!

 

David Ritz made this intricate sweater, which I love!  I’m sure he used size zero needles.  It’s beautiful, yes?

And this is his Yarn Gallery Afghan, pre-blocking and seaming.  I love it in black and white.  He did it so fast and sent me feedback on typos and other errors, which saved my class lots of headaches.  Thanks, David, you are the best!

 

Marianne Summers knit this Hitofude sweater in no time flat, having fallen in love with this pretty color way of Alegria.  I love the colors on her, don’t you?

 

Rochelle Mann made these lovely, warm hats for a charity auction, each taking one ball of Encore Dynamo.

 

Linda Seifarth has been knitting these fabulous doubled headbands for her grand-daughters (and all their friends, I think!)  So warm and soft in various merino wools.

 

And Sue Marshall made and modeled these Cloud Nine  Slippers, from our class this fall.  They fit her perfectly, and there may be some more on her needles for her gift list.

How is your gift list coming??  Mine is slow-going, but the sweater I’m making for my niece is almost done, just the turtleneck to knit, so things will be moving more quickly soon!

I nearly lost this file of photos of customers’ finished projects, so I decided I would hurry up and post them before I do something unexpected and inexplicable again!

First, Janet came in with the most wonderful shawl that she made during a Mystery Knitalong from Joji Locatelli this past summer.  The shawl is called Starting Point and look how wonderful Janet looks in it! I love the colors she used.  (She also brought lunch for Jack and Purl and absolutely made their day!)

Jettie sent photos of two finished objects that she made with our classes this past summer, and I just love them both!  First she made a Fancy Hen for a friend who raises Rhode Island Reds:

and then she made this pretty pink Pearl for herself:

Both beautifully done!

Anne Alderman made a beautiful Stella Luna shawl, all in black, bless her heart:

Challenge met and mastered!

Kathleen Delong took our Magic Loop Mitts class this summer and made a beautiful pair of mitts, then designed her own headband with the leftovers:

I’m so impressed by Kathleen, who has only been knitting for bit over a year!

Sandy Albert has two unexpected but very welcome grandchildren coming this fall, and made them boy and girl blankets, then had them personalized at Initials Only:

Dave Ritz, who is recovering from a broken ankle (and had to cancel a planned trip to Rhinebeck – so sad!), sent for our Yarn Gallery afghan pattern and yarn to make it, and got the first strip done in a couple of days!  He’s so fast!

It’s looking good in black and white, right?  Love and best wishes to David for a quick healing process!

Pam Berger has been crocheting mermaids this summer and I asked her to please bring one in to show me, since she used unusual yarns and I just couldn’t picture it.  This mermaid is adorable, here doing the side stroke, with long shiny ringlets floating about her and a lovely sinuous tail:

I have only one finished object this week.  I couldn’t resist this wonderful red color of Estilo, a wool and silk blend from Plymouth that is so completely yummy I had to make something with it.  One skein made an Ocean Waves cowl which I cut down to a cast-on of 234 stitches to make a loop about 42″ around and 10″ tall after blocking.

I love this pattern, it’s relaxing and engaging all at once, and very, very pretty.

I have more new yarn to show you, but you’re sick of looking at new yarn, aren’t you? No?  Me neither!! Next week…

It’s been a while since I posted, and there’s so much to talk about and show you that I don’t even know how to start.  I want to show you customer projects from this summer, but I also want to show you new yarns that have been coming in, and I also just want to ramble on about this and that.

I’ll start with some customer projects today:

Susie Drake took Karen’s Eternal Optimist class this summer and brought in her completed scarf to show.  The color is stunning and the beads are beautiful accents:

Mary Ellen Leidy took Karen’s Modern Wrapper Fine class in the spring, just after getting a new puppy!  It took a little while to finish the wrapper, in between walks, play, and training sessions for Keiko, but she did it!  It’s a beautiful fit, a beautiful color, and beautiful workmanship:

Cindy Schuchart took my Corella hat class this summer, in between vacations with a house full of kids and grandkids.  She made a beautiful hat and got comfortable with charts as well.

Cindy also made this pretty poncho for her daughter-in-law from our in-house free pattern.  Finished in plenty of time for fall, the poncho is perfect!

Virginia Griffith made this great open-work tunic from two colors of Shibui Twig.  (So sorry for  the photo. Take my word for it, it’s really pretty!)

Debby Andrews finished this pretty feather-and-fan tam, then made a cowl in the same stitch pattern to match.  She’s all set for cool weather:

Anne Alderman made these two good-looking summer tops, plus one or two more, plus some hats…and on and on…!

Jill Pelchar made this great hoodie for her daughter, who models it beautifully!

Linda Seifarth loves small projects.  She made the adorable hat and the in-process headband for a grand who, I think, is heading to Penn State. The beautiful Touch-Me scarf is in her own favorite color.  The headband pattern and the scarf patterns are ours and are free with purchase:

Anne Nordhoy made up her own bunch of blocks for this afghan, made from scraps from other projects.  It’s amazing!

However, the belle of the blog has got to be this challenging sweater Amy Wall made for her nephew Joey – cables, steeks and all!  He obviously adores it; you don’t see bigger smiles than this:

Many thanks to everyone who sends me photos or takes the time to bring in finished projects.  It’s a real joy to see them!

 

 

Our customers are so talented and creative and incredibly patient to put up with my terrible photos and my constant pleas of “Can I take a picture?”  I really love seeing finished projects and I hope you do, too!

I’ve linked to patterns on Ravelry when I know them:

Jill Pelchar finished her sampler afghan in Encore Tweed (the booklet is available in print at the shop) from our class last fall/winter.  Pretty colors, and cozy, too:

She also did this wonderful poncho in two colors (doing intarsia for the cable insert) of Huasco DK.  I love the way she looks in it! Sorry, I don’t know the pattern:

Jane Brubaker completed her Modern Wrapper Fine from Karen’s class using Tenzing, and as usual has accessorized it beautifully with a Chevron cowl (pattern is free-with-purchase of yarn at the shop):

Kathleen Delong recently learned to knit, but you’d think she had been doing it all her life.  Her first project class was the Forest Park cowl, then she made our Adult Ribbed Hat (a free-with-purchase pattern at the shop):

then on to the Wildflower cowl (also free-with-purchase):

and she just this week finished her Simple Tee (I’ll have pictures after blocking) and has three more sweaters lined up! Amazing!

Anne Nordhoy, as always, has done an expert job on three intricate projects:

a little tennis sweater which she designed and knit for the new baby of a tennis fan:

this complicated scarf in Zauberball from a Knitter’s Magazine pattern:

and this pretty Architexture scarf (her second or third, I believe) in Huasco DK:

Kathie Holm made this lovely Hydrangea wrap as a gift:

Marci Frey knit this adorable baby sweater for a co-worker.   Sorry, I don’t have the name of the pattern:

Pam Zern made several pairs of these Last-Minute Mittlets in luscious cashmere:

David Ritz, even though we don’t see him much these days, keeps in touch, and sent this picture of the Wildflower Cowl he made:

Nadine Lyon fell in love with the rainbow colors of our Sueno colorpacks and made this adorable Bounce baby blanket:

Kim Lally picked a great color of Olympia from Lana Grossa, and made a gorgeous poncho from their booklet of patterns (available at the shop):

Suzy Crump knit this lovely wrap (called Void) from Amirisu magazine for one of her cherished daughters-in-law:

Karen Wenrich used up dozens of fingering-weight left-overs from her many shawls and made this wonderful linen stitch wrap.  I don’t know if she used a pattern but Churchmouse’s  would certainly work:

Phew!  Overwhelming, yes?  Let’s go knit something wonderful!

How much more time is left?  How much more money do you need?  How much more stuff do you want?  More clothes, more food, more kudos, more recognition, more social standing, more, more, more?

A death in my family – the first in my generation – and a reunion of sorts with my extended family has made me reflect on what I want for the next few years of my life, what I enjoy about having this little business, and what I would wish for the years beyond.

What I like about the business:

  1. Helping you choose the right yarn for your project.  I really know a lot about yarn and will never try to sell you something that won’t work.
  2. Helping you with problems in your knitting.  There’s no need to apologize for “taking up our time.”  That’s what it’s all about, as far as I’m concerned.
  3. Teaching classes.
  4. All the stuff you like: buying yarn, talking about yarn, thinking of new projects, talking about knitting, and most of all, knitting.
  5. Designing projects I can’t find good patterns for.  This is not really part of the store; it’s just something I enjoy and would like to do more of if there is ever enough time.

What I don’t like about the business:

  1. Being at the store when no one else is there.  There’s no one at home doing the dishes or the laundry or running errands or waiting for the cable guy or arranging doctor appointments or paying bills or taking the dogs to the vet.  I, like many of you, get to do that in my “free” time.  That’s why I’m giving myself more of it by being closed on Tuesdays now (and probably forever.)
  2. Selling.  I’m not good at it.  I won’t point out a lot of stuff you don’t express an interest in or a need for.  If you don’t look around, you’ll miss a lot of nice yarn and projects and ideas.  Take some time to poke around. (Or don’t; it’s entirely up to you.)
  3. Minor bugaboos that affect every small business: random requests for donations from strangers, junk phone calls, and people pretending they want to buy yarn from me when what they really want is free advice for their project from Michael’s or AC Moore or “America’s Yarn Store” which is hubris if I’ve ever heard it and may be the only yarn store around when the dust settles.  Don’t you wonder how that will go?

My family’s loss of a really good guy, great dad and “Pap” (as his grandkids called him), and my cousin’s sweet husband of 49 years seems to me an occasion to step back a bit and see where we are and where, if we’re given the opportunity, we go from here.

And while we reflect, here are some finished sweater projects to inspire our knitting, lovely as they are.

Rochelle Mann, her own design, in Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash:

 

Donna Hain, Eyelet Cardi, in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool:

Eleni Geishauser for her husband, Snowshoe Aran, in Plymouth Galway:

Virginia Conrad, from The Best of Lopi, in Fibre Company’s Cumbria:

Anne Alderman, Modern Wrapper Fine, in Lana Gatto Feeling (with husband John):

 

Virginia Griffith, Sunshine Coast, in Juniper Moon Farm’s Zooey:

Anne Nordhoy, Vitamin D, Modern Wrapper Fine, and her own creation, in various wonderful yarns:

Thanks to everyone who endures my poor photography and my ramblings here.  Writing to you all may be my very favorite part of having the store!  See you soon.

 

I love knitting sweaters.  They’re challenging and satisfying projects, and – if you believe in getting gauge and know how to choose the right size and yarn – they’re custom-made just for you or the recipient and wonderful to wear.  I’m so happy we have lots of people who feel the same way!

Jill Pelchar made this cute hoodie for one of her granddaughters:

dscjillpelchar2n2769

You can see her other grand in the background picking out yarn for her own hoodie.

A couple more summer projects:

Deb Hawk made this adorable top from a combination of yarns she chose:

dscn2989

And Suzy Crump knit this cute summer tee from a wonderful color of Zooey:

img_0004

Knitting for babies is always fun and gratifying.  Marci Frey made this sweet Last-Minute baby sweater for a friend:

marci

(Please don’t ask me why the photo is so small, I don’t know what I did.)

And Carol Whitcraft made these two matching smocked cardigans for two of her greats!

whitcraft

Suzy decided to rip another sweater and re-dedicate the yarn to this cabled pullover.  She was very happy with the new sweater and you can see why:

dscn2898

 

Rochelle Mann designs her own sweaters from the ground up.  This lovely and flattering cabled cardigan looks great from all angles:

dscn3117

 

Debby Andrews worked hard to finish this little summer cardigan and had enough warm weather to still wear it this fall:

dscn3091

 

And Sheila Yarus always impresses us with her excellent knitting, her choice of styles to make, and the way she can visualize how they’ll look in different yarns.  Three beautifully successful projects:

In a combination of Silk Garden Sock colors:

dscn3118

 

In Shibui Pebble:

dscn3119

 

In Fino from Manos:

dscn3121

Wow, wow, wow, you all!! Wonderful! Thanks for showing us!

I missed a post last week, but for good reason:  I spent 8 hours over two days making decisions about the yarns I want to bring in this fall for your knitting delectation.  It’s exhilarating for an hour, then it’s exhausting.  I want all the beautiful yarns they show me but I can’t have them all – life is so unfair!!  Anyway, I have loads of Manos, Fibre Company, and even some MadelineTosh coming, as well as some very nice new yarns from Juniper Moon and Noro.  I want it all right now, but most won’t be available till late summer/early fall.  I’m a little forlorn about that.

So these nice finished projects will cheer us all up! It’s all about sweaters this time.  Why sweaters this time of year?  Because fall is only a few months away and you’re going to want something new and beautiful when the weather cools off.  (That’s after the weather warms up, of course – it will happen, surely?)

Anne Nordhoy, who grew up in Norway and visits regularly, knits as naturally as the rest of us breathe.  Here are two sweaters she whipped up.  Both are simple styles, one with set-in sleeves and one a top-down raglan.  The navy is a sturdy classic wool from Ella Rae and the red is an amazing color of Zooey, a cotton/linen blend just right for these cool-into-warm days:

useit7 DSCN2860

Karen Wenrich made this beautiful Trace from Shibui’s luxurious M’aai.  The fit is perfect and the color is lovely on her.  I love the glamour-girl pose, too – done to show the sweet ribbed trim, done in Pebble and Cima.

useit1 useit2

Anne Alderman has taken up knitting with a vengeance and has made a number of beautiful items, including these pieces.  The first is a Shibui design done in their Baby Alpaca.  The pretty fuchsia Adrift is knit in Lace Lux, and the wonderful T-shirt is from a free shop pattern in Lang Ella.  Thanks to Anne for finding all the problems with the pattern – it was years old and we didn’t even know what it would look like when finished.  It was written in the days before photographs could be easily digitized and computers didn’t have enough memory or power to include good photos in documents.  Just a dozen years but an entirely different cultural era ago.  Anyway, Anne soldiered on and the tee looks wonderful on her:

useit3 useit10 useit11

Jettie Hunt is modeling her Tracks in a Field from Karen’s winter class, looking put-together and comfortable all at the same time!

useit5

Becky Steltz finished this pretty lacy pullover – I’ll bet this is the perfect time of year for it.

useit4

Ginny Close took on the challenge of Brooklyn Tweed’s differently-constructed Keel and and did a beautiful job!

useit8

Jane Brubaker made this simple and elegant Cornice in Shibui’s M’aai.  Sorry for the terrible photo – the fit is absolutely perfect.

useit6

David Ritz sadly doesn’t get down to see us much these days but that doesn’t stop him from knitting with us!  Here he has done Orca Run, a wonderful cowichan design from Beth Brown-Reinsel, and our own V-neck Raglan Cardigan and Drape-Front Cardigan.  We muss him!

useit12

useit13

useit14

And Laura Vilardo finished her Trailhead, which was way too long – we evaluated the fabric and decided her purling row gauge was a bit loose and did some PT for her purling moves, but that still left her with a beautiful sweater that was much too long.  Her hands didn’t even reach the pockets!  She wasn’t going to rip and she wasn’t going to wear it, so she decided to gently felt it – a dangerous move, but one that made some sense.  When you felt stockinette stitch, you lose a lot more length than width and that was just what she wanted.  So she tried it  – just for a few minutes! – et voila! A sweater that fits and still has plenty of stitch definition as you can see by the back view.  Whew!

DSCN2873 DSCN2872

Thanks to everyone who brought in their projects or sent photos.  It makes our day!

Need some inspiration?  Our customers inspire us every day, and we’re so thankful that they allow us to share:

 

Heather Christie made this wonderful Esjan shawl, designed by Stephen West, and models it beautifully:

use6

Anne Alderman made these beautiful Age of Brass and Steam shawls, one in Lang Ella and the other in a beautiful shade of Juniper Moon Farm Zooey.  One is a gift and one is for herself – I’m not sure she has been able to decide yet!

use5 use9

Becky Steltz knitted this adorable Elephant, designed by Sarah Keen:

use8

and then went on to make this beautiful afghan (free Lion Brand pattern) as a wedding present, using Encore Mega!

use7

Susie Drake finished her Chilkat cowl in wonderfully luscious colors:

use4

Donna Hain cleared out some old bags and baskets and found the yarn for this project – It’s the Pamela from Two Old Bags (pattern available at the shop), and it’s still just as cute as pie!

use2

Karen Walter (okay, obviously not only a customer) made these technically challenging and visually amazing Pucker socks.  (They don’t pucker when you wear them, the fit is spot on):

use3

Anne Nordhoy is just a bit obsessive about using up her odds and ends, finding it a fun challenge to make something interesting from them.  Below, she is in the process of making an infinity scarf from leftovers and you can try this, too:

use1

With an appropriately-sized circular needle, cast on a multiple of 6 stitches plus 5.  Join in the round and don’t bother to place a marker!  Work K3, P3 continuously, changing colors when you run out.  Bind off loosely when it’s deep enough!

Here are some guidelines if you’d like to give it a try.  For fingering-weight yarn, try a size 6 needle.  For a smallish cowl, cast on 125 stitches (20 x 6 = 120 +5 = 125).  For worsted-weight, try a size 9 needle and 95 stitches.  For bulky weight, try size 11 needle and 65 stitches.  For super-bulky yarns, try size 17 needle and 41 stitches.  To make it larger or smaller, add or subtract stitches in multiples of 6.

Thanks, Anne!

Have fun!

Okay, many of you are too young to know the reference of the title.  In olden times, there was a TV cowboy named Roy Rogers who was married to a TV cowgirl named Dale Evans, and every week at the end of their show, they would sing a song that ended with the line “Happy trails to you, ’til we meet again,” which all of us little cowboys and -girls would sing along with them.

images

(Dale and Roy with Trigger)

I felt like singing this little tune when our Trailhead knit-along ended this week- we had been together since January working on this project!  The design was interesting and challenging the whole way through, from choosing the combination of fibers and colors, the intricate shaping and cable charts on the back, through the unique pocket details and significant amount of finishing required.  Although several sweaters are still in the finishing phase (the fun part, as I call it), these beauties are done:

Jill Pelcher was the first to finish in her beautiful blues. (No, there was no prize for being the first.)

DSCN2712 DSCN2714

Donna Hain chose a combination of reds to make a beautiful and vibrant brick fabric:

DSCN2731 DSCN2734

Deb Hawk loves the rich browns and subtle accent colors of the combination she chose:

DSCN2738 DSCN2739

Love them all!  We had a wrap-up this past week.  Only about half of us braved the ridiculous bitter wind to come, and I managed only one semi-decent photo – really, I should take a class, right? – of our finished pieces.  Virginia Griffith’s sweater is the beautiful neutral of my shop model and looks wonderful, plus she brought a pretty little cupcake bouquet for us!

IMG_0833

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the knit-along; it was a pure pleasure for me to see the projects coming to fruition!

Meanwhile, I’m finishing up summer models and trying to get the spring and summer classes on line.  I’m hoping that by this coming weekend, the schedule will be finished.  Lots of fun small projects to keep you knitting through the hot weather, if it ever comes!

It’s a dreary, snowy day but in here, it couldn’t be cozier.  The dogs are snoozing on the couch, my coffee tastes extra good, I’m surrounded by baskets of yarn, and a couple of interesting projects are waiting for me to finish this post.  I can’t seem to settle to a sweater right now – maybe because the Trailhead Knitalong is very involving at this point – so I’m working on my second Carmine and Rocko (yes, still!)

DSCN2623  when I have the attention for it, and also working on a pretty cowl called Appia, which I’m making in a rich pomegranate-ish shade of super-yummy Mariquita from The Alpaca Yarn Company.

DSCN2622  Lots of fun!

Just to let you Fino fans know, we received a nice batch from Manos this week.  Think spring shawls and lightweight sweaters.   We love this wool and silk blend in lovely semi-solid hand-dyed shades!

DSCN2617

Okay, I promised sweaters, and we have some beautiful projects to show you.

Anne Alderman worked on this beauty for several months, interrupted by many smaller gift projects.  It’s a wonderful Aran sweater in soft and luxurious Manos Maxima:

anne

Here’s a detail showing the complex set of cables and pattern stitches.  Wonderful job!!

DSCN2553

 

David Ritz sent this photo of an adorable reindeer sweater finished just in time for Christmas Eve.  Don’t you love it?:

david2

 

Rochelle Mann designed and knit this baby set, in Hikoo CoBaSi, for a friend:

DSCN2519

 

Sheila Yarus made this gorgeous Maxima version of Brooklyn Tweed’s Koto.  I love the way the lower body of the sweater is shaped with short rows:

DSCN2476

Jettie Hunt knit this pretty sweater in a stash yarn she had had for years, finally finding the exactly perfect pattern she had been looking for.  We do love that kind of quest, don’t we?

jettie

Jane Brubaker has “a thing” for cobalt blue and found the perfect shade of merino/cashmere/silk Feeling from Lana Gatto for the Curcuma Elements class. Lovely color and fit!

DSCN2593

Sandy Albert wore her gorgeous Hawser (like many of us!) as soon as the weather got cold.  It’s a great winter sweater, which she made in Plymouth’s Galway.

DSCN2595

And, finally, Karen Wenrich acceded to my request that she wear her lovely Birch Bay in so I could take a picture.  It’s done in Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine, in another lovely shade of blue, and perfectly accessorized by one of her beautiful Zephyr Cove shawls:

DSCN2608

Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky we are, to be able to claim such talented and dedicated knitters as customers.  You all should be so proud of your work – it’s very rare.  And I thank you for putting up with my demands for pictures of you in your finished projects. You can see how amazingly inspirational you are!