Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A bunch of tired Beans!



We unloaded, inventoried and got so excited over the Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky and DK yarn shipment I mentioned in my earlier blog, but phew we are tired!

At one point yesterday I had my pile of swirl up to a cash value of $300.00, but calmed down a bit and ended up under $100.00.

It was hard though and even Amber is in on this one with about a $100.00 order sitting over her desk. Sandy was the most restrained at only one hank of the Chunky, but somehow I have a feeling she isn't done yet.

We both cast on last night with the Chunky for a darling 'Icing Swirl Hat' from Ysolda's Whimsical Little Knits book and are both at about the same point.

At any rate this tired little bean needs to get back to work, but I thought you would enjoy seeing the shop in such fantastic upheaval!

As always, happy knitting!

Jeanne










Monday, October 26, 2009

The swirl is here and it is swirly!!


We received a HUGE shipment of Lorna's Laces Swirl yarn and when I say HUGE I mean it!! Lorna's is discontinuing the Swirl line and we are getting tons, dyed in a lot of their best colors too. It will be coming in DK and Chunky for your knitting pleasure, I can't wait! The shipment came via freight not UPS, so that tells you how much we got.

Amanda sent us this picture of her on the yarn mountain during the drying process, wow! You can see all the racks with yarn on them too and gee Amanda what a rough job you have lounging around on all that amazingly soft yarn!!

We include the quantities that are available on our sale yarns and you will note that right now it says 0, but soon there will be numbers under those colors and you will be able to add it to your cart for all your socks, scarves, hats, baby, sweaters, mittens, and well you get the idea! I am planning on a hat and some gloves for my husband and my son too, ssshhhhh don't tell them it's a surprise.

For my local customers this yarn will go fast, so remember all sale items are subject to prior sale. Come on by and we can get your order in right away as soon as it is up and running.

Happy Knitting!

Jeanne
















Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sock Yarn is Awesome

Hi All,

A couple of weeks ago, I was all about chunky yarn, but lately I'm obsessed with sock weight yarn. Not only is it squeezable and smooth, but sock yarn has awesome, even striping patterns that make simple pieces look fancy. I was putting away some yarn a week or two ago at the store, and came across a lone skein of Berroco Comfort Sock in #1818 ("English Garden").

It was pretty and squeezable, and at only $7.50 for 447 yards I could not resist. I knew I would find something to do with it. I found a simple pattern for fingerless gloves knit on straight needles, and started it in my Comfort Sock. In addition, I'm making a short row scarf with one strand of Vintage Wool in #5175 ("Fennel") and one strand of Noro Kureyon sock in 220. If you haven't done it already, check out Jeanne's gorgeous cabled scarf in Kidsilk Haze and Soja Print. Sock yarn is for more than just socks!
-Amerique








Thursday, October 22, 2009

New stuff

Boy, are we getting some cool new stuff in the store!

To start with none of us can stop petting, squishing and fondling the new Hand Maiden Casbah. Before I touched it I thought Malabrigo worsted and Misti Alpaca Chunky were the two softest yarns on the planet. Casbah beats them hands down. And the colors...! Intense but not over done. Oddly enough the colors I love best in the Hand Maiden Sea Silk are not the ones I love most in the Casbah. For the sea silk with it's gorgeous sheen I love the pewter, ebony, smoke and salt spray. Basically the earthy tones. But in the Casbah I am so attracted to the Ruby and Ocean, both are fairly pure jewel tones. If money were no object I would make a full length robe and afghan out of this stuff so I cuddle up in it all the time... it's that soft and luscious! To walk around in socks made of it would be like walking in clouds.

Good news for afghan fans. So many of you have been asking for them that we now have some Boye afghan/tunisian crochet hooks in stock.
There are also a bunch of new Rosewood Crochet, Double pointed needles, and other notions by Pony. Check out our new products pages.

The Addi Click sets are finally here! And we can help you out with parts for the set you already have too. We can even get the #5 tips that were not in the original sets as well as extra cables.

I can't wait to see what we will be getting next week. It's always something new and exciting.

Hope you all are on track with your holiday knitting and loving every minute of it!




Terry


















Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall, yarn, and knitting....

We had rain yesterday and here in the desert it is a cause to celebrate. I took my dogs to their pen this morning and this is what I saw on my Iris leaves, WOW! Here it is October and my grass is green, the leaves are beautiful, red, yellow, rust and water drops on leaves, it can't get a lot better than that!

Well of course there could be knitting all day and all of the above!! That is my idea of perfection, but it really doesn't take much to make me content.

With all of that in mind we got a special box from Hand Maiden yarns yesterday and the contents drove me WILD....Casbah yarn from Hand Maiden yarns is the most amazing thing to hit my sock world yet. It is 81% Merino, 9% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, Machine Washable and the colors are fabulous! I can't wait to dig in to this one and make some fair isle socks with the yardage (325mm) approximately 355 yards, I think I will get 2 pairs with alternating colors.

Of course that is not counting all the amazing sock books that are out there, like Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints (which I am currently knitting my first footprint from) and Wendy Johnson's Sock's From the Toe Up , or Cookie A. Sock Innovation, or The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, and so on, and so on....well you get the idea. This list is a big one and then of course there are individual patterns for socks too and I guess what I am getting at is that I have gotten my sock groove back on and am knitting socks again! WAHOO! I had some hand issues and couldn't go much smaller than a US 4 needle for a while, so I am stoked!!


There are also a couple of news type things going on around here, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Amber!! We have a surprise later for you, hee, hee!!

AND Laura is leaving for Munich on Friday with Kristen of Muench yarns and will be going to see where Lana Grossa yarns are made. She will also get to attend a special event put on by Lana Grossa that I am sure she will have lots to tell about all of that! I think it will be good for her to get away and she says that Germany is a favorite of hers, so have fun Laura!!

As always happy knitting!

Jeanne :)




Sunday, October 18, 2009

No New Projects!

Hi,

I have a big problem: I keep on starting projects when I should be finishing the ones I have already started! My mind is working a million times faster than my hands, and I've become obsessed with searching for patterns online, which sucks up so much time. The fact that we are getting beautiful new yarn in nearly every day doesn't help.

My favorite new yarn, which is actually a couple of weeks old now, is the Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted. It comes in the most GORGEOUS colors, and has beautiful, subtle tonal variations - and of course it's super soft and smooth. My favorite colors are #01 Sweet lavender and #15 early Spring. The first time I saw the spring green I fell in love!!! I've never seen a sweeter, buttery-er green in my life!!!


sigh . . . . .

-Amerique







Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hats and scarves




As the holidays approach many of us are making gifts and I've noticed that many of our customers are planning hats and scarves. These are great gifts because they are often quick and easy and can put small amounts of luscious yarns to good use. One of the key things to remember when choosing yarns for hats and scarves is that very often they will be in contact with sensitive areas of skin like the throat and forehead. Sometimes a yarn that seems soft at first can become itchy or irritating once they absorb a little moisture. Because of this, I recommend holding a skein or ball of yarn to the throat for a minute or so to make sure it will stay soft and yummy and not become itchy. It's wise to use alpaca, silk, merino wool, synthetics or cotton for gift recipients who may be sensitive.

We have a lot of hat patterns to choose from and some really nice scarves too. Here are just a few of the many very soft yarns that we carry that should be suitable: Rowan Wool Cotton, Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky, any Misti Alpaca or Blue Sky Alpaca, Rowan Silk Wool DK, Berroco Lustra, and Malabrigo Worsted.

For other quick gifts and more hats check out our Personal Accessory pages too.
Have fun and remember we are here for you if you need help choosing a yarn for your project.
Terry












Monday, October 12, 2009

Knitting is my sanity, or insanity??

I have been working on being in the moment as I go through my day and the same goes for my knitting. While I love to get those needles clicking fast I have also been taking the time to watch as I create each stitch that is critical to the next stitch. Each stitch is only able to stand up as long as it has it partner stitch and so on. Okay now I know this sounds very philosophical, but for me knitting is exactly that. It is my sanity, or insanity as the case may be. I started knitting because I couldn't paint (yes that's right I am also a watercolor painter) due to the illnesses of my father and my mother. Well in stepped knitting to keep my fingers and my mind calm, as I knit each stitch the soothing feel of the yarn gently working through my fingers gave me a sense of well being during some difficult times.

Well I still haven't picked my paint brushes up and it has been quite sometime now, but the needles keep on clicking. I think I have found my real passion and while at times it can be frustrating to learn a new technique, or figure out a pattern, if I wasn't knitting a bit everyday I would go INSANE!

So now that I have gone off the deep end and got onto my slllloooowwww down (I go way too fast on a daily basis) soap box, because that's really what I am trying to say I will move along to more relevant topics.

I wanted to show you the bread clips technique which I did a quick blog about the other day and thanks Julie for sharing you little trick with me. How cool is this to use those pesky bread clips for holding the tails on your work, or even as bobbins for smallish yarns. I just gave the word at my house to SAVE the bread clips in this cup please!


I have also been working on a quick scarf that uses larger needles and beautiful yarn (well of course, gee whiz!!). When we got the new Lana Grossa Soja sock yarn in I was completely in love and had to knit something up immediately! Sandy and I debated about how I could get my fix and not start a long term sock project, hence the scarf! To add a little heft to the project I am using Rowan's Kidsilk Haze yarn to bulk up the project and still allow the color of the sock yarn to shine. The soft fluffy feel of these two yarns is so nice and comforting. Isn't that exactly what we look for (comfort) in our knitting?



I hope you are getting a little knitting comfort in today....as always Happy Knitting!

Jeanne









Sunday, October 11, 2009

Delaying the Real World with Knitting

Hi everyone,

Knitting is a great way to procrastinate. As a full time graduate student I have loads of reading, research and studio work to do. When I want to be lazy, but not completely unproductive, I knit! I am currently OBSESSED with Ravelry. I can literally spend hours searching for wonderful free patterns, and checking out the cool things other knitters are doing.

As a result, I am making progress on my scarf projects. Terry was very sweet to help me out with my short row multi-directional scarf, and now I'm half done. My rib sampler scarf and cool bowtie scarf are also coming along nicely. I am working the short row scarf in Malabrigo Worsted #53, the rib sampler scarf in SWTC Saphira #575, and the bowtie scarf in Berroco Vintage Wool #5177.









That's all for now,
-Amerique








Friday, October 9, 2009

Quick knitting tip to help the planet!!


How about using your plastic bread clips for small bobbins? I just had one of my regular customers come in with them on the tails of her work. She had small ones and the ones that are extra long for a heavier yarn she is working with.

GREAT idea don't you think and the sad thing is I just picked one up off of the floor yesterday and pitched it in the trash. DARN! I will certainly be saving them from now on and helping keep them out of the land fills too!

Happy Knitting!

Jeanne










Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back to work and new goodies

Well I missed my turn posting a blog last week while I was travelling. As usual I was over optimistic about what I could accomplish and only managed to finish the first ball of yarn on my Ann Norling Short Row Multi-directional scarf I have mentioned before. I was only able to work one row on my Henley Perfected. And all the driving I did allowed me time to plan some items to go with my scarf. More about those another time.

I had a nice trip and plenty of nice surprises this week at work with all the new stuff we're getting in the store. We now have some of the AslanTrends yarns in stock that are advertised in Vogue Holiday 2009. I just had a customer call over the weekend and ask about this yarn. Lo and behold it appeared in the shop just yesterday. So now we do have it! It looks like very lovely yarn and I can't wait to get it out on display for you all to see. Keep watching our website as we get pictures taken and descriptions written. Please be patient, we're working as fast as we can. We also have a couple of their pattern books, Season's Change Vol 1 and Season's Change Vol 2, which have some great patterns I can't wait to try out.

Vogue Holiday 2009 is also in the store. I skimmed through it today and immediately bought my copy. There are some great projects in it and I look forward to sitting down and going through it thoroughly. Pattern 18, Pam Grushkin's V neck lace pullover maybe just the thing I've been looking for to use the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in some of the richer colors I've been drooling over.
I would have to say that this issue really and truly has something for every taste. There are some fabulous looking patterns in brilliant colors, unique cowls, updated classic sweaters, Lacy fingerless gloves any wild child would love to wear, elegant party wear, an absolutely gorgeous pair of socks and tons more!
Now to do a little work on a project I hope will turn out well so I can show you all soon.
Wishing you all fleet and nimble fingers so all those holiday projects are done on time.
Terry










Monday, October 5, 2009

Babies, dogs and Beans for Brains...

Well, I had the BEST day yesterday because it started out with our littlest bean, Huck in my arms all morning. Laura called me the night before and sheepishly asked if I would take care of him in the morning, because we had one of our beans fall ill (she is doing better, so not to worry, get well soon, Shevawn) and she needed to work. Doug had been out of town for the weekend and wouldn't be back until 11:00.

Hmmmm, what do you think I said? It took about 2 nano seconds to say, why yes I would be thrilled to hug, coo, feed and just be around that amazing little bean, Huck!! He is such a little angel and even when he decided he wanted to scream it was nice to be there for him. I bundled him up in our Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton blanket and rocked him to sleep. Then Sandy made a bed for him out of Manos Del Uruguay Classica yarn and he was very content.

Doug did show up and bundle him off, but I got a smile from him before he left. So isn't that the dreamiest job ever!! I can't wait to help out again, so come on I am ready to take care of our little guy, anytime and thanks Laura for making my day :)

Then the other day I got an email from Amber with her dog Rukus laying on his new Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn baby blanket. Doggone it do we spoil our dogs around here! He looks pretty happy doesn't he?

I am also, enjoying working on the Artyarns Cashmere Sock for our shop sample (follow my progress here) and I am completely hooked! What a great job I have getting to work with such fabulous yarns, people and of course the baby just tops it all off!

HUGE news too on the education front!! We have teamed up with Vogue Knitting to create the Beans for Bucks scholarship program and I just had to shout it out as soon as I could!

As always happy knitting!

Jeanne








Sunday, October 4, 2009

Knitting Gorgeous Things on a College Student's Budget

Hi,

I am starting to realize that making Christmas gifts for my friends and family in beautiful fancy yarn is going to be pretty expensive, and I'm going to have to be smart about how I spend my money. Luckily I have a huge array of needles that I bought as a lot on ebay a while ago.

I have 7 balls of really nice English cotton, that a family friend gave me years ago. It is pure white with little flecks of yellow green and blue in it. Even though I am not a fan of pure white, I could not part with it because it is so nice! I absolutely cannot knit something white - I NEED COLOR, so I've been thinking of dying it. I found a cool article here about hand dying yarn! I am so gonna try this!

Also, Cascade 220 is super soft and beautiful and incredibly affordable. I think I will use this for my fingerless gloves and girly necktie projects.

Wish me luck!
-Amerique









Thursday, October 1, 2009

Super quick post...


Today is the 1st and not just our Limited Edition Lorna's Laces yarn (Trick or Treat this month), but our quarterly rewards are available today. A lot of you have been checking in to see how much you will have to spend today and I can't wait to shop vicariously with you!

I of course had to try out a new yarn last night and am soooooooooo in love with Mitsti Alpaca Tanos Chunky yarn!! I picked up 2 hanks of color 04 Aquarious for some fingerless mitts and am totally stoked to cast on something big. Anyway hope to talk to you soon, gotta run and get the day started for all you knitter's out there!

Happy Knitting!

Jeanne