Wednesday, February 25, 2009

March Free Pattern of the Month

You saw this version in our March e-letter:

Now here's our store sample, knit out of Cascade 128 Tweed:

This shrug looks great and knits up quickly in tons of yarns - like the Cascade 128 or 128 Tweed, Lamb's Pride Bulky, Baby Alpaca Grande, Encore Chunky. And when you buy the yarn at 10% off, you get the pattern for free. The shrug is a great transitional clothing item - perfect for warmer winter days and chilly spring evenings.

We also have several other shrug patterns that have been almost as popular as our free pattern. This gorgeous cabled shrug is from one of the Aslan Trends' Seasons Change Vol 2 booklet, and is knit in super-bulky weight yarn. The booklet also includes a lighter-weight yarn version.

This shrug below is from Jo Sharp's Knit Issue 2 and is knit out of a strand of yummy Jo Sharp mohair. This is the perfect garment to cover the shoulders at a summer movie or air-conditioned restaurant.

If you haven't already done so, call the store at 215-242-1271 or stop by and add your email address to our monthly newsletter list. We will never share your information with anyone else, and you'll get our fabulous monthly newsletter, filled with news about store specials, classes, Knit-Alongs and general goings-on at the store.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Critical Mass- The First Step in Getting Organized

There has been a lot of talk around the shop lately about getting organized. I really assumed we were talking about how we could help everyone else get organized. I never considered the possibility that maybe I was in need of some organizational therapy myself. Well, I was sorely mistaken.

It all became very clear last weekend as I sat snuggled deep in the arms of my big green chair knitting a tiny little baby sweater for the shop. I was at the point in my project where I needed to take a measurement and reached into my tool case for a tape measure. That's when it hit me. My tool case had reached the point of critical mass. I could no longer find anything that I needed and everything seemed to be connected somehow as if all my knitting notions had morphed into one. I could see the tape measure but getting to it was not going to be easy.

Then I remembered all that talk around the shop about getting organized and I did it! I dumped out the case holding all my knitting notions and started sorting. There were 19 crochet hooks, 25 stitch holders and a half dozen cable needles just to name a few things taking up an awful lot of space in my tiny knitting case. I even had a small gadget bag inside my knitting case. Why was I carrying every knitting gadget that I owned for a project that only needed a stitch holder and a measuring tape? And how horrible would I feel having to replace all of my gadgets if I were to misplace this one project bag? It was time to consolidate.

Well a good ten minutes later I was completely organized. Now I have a central location for all my knitting notions and carry only what I need in my project bag. I'm not sure how long this will last but it was well worth the small amount of time that it took to organize my notions.

Here's an old eyeglass case that now hold all my crochet hooks.....
And another with all my many markers....
My little black case holds all my notions and now I just have a zipper case that travels with my project bag. 

It's cold. About 16 degrees today. And my boiler broke last night in a torrent of water that came through my diningroom ceiling. The temperature in my house is 55 degrees and dropping. Hopefully, the plumber will be coming soon.

I'm wearing my hat. I had a few to choose from. I have one that is super warm--a fairisle design in Baby Alpaca Grande from Plymouth. It is yummy, but doesn't seem like an indoor hat--no matter how cold it is in my livingroom! I chose a ribbed hat in three colors made from Merino 2000. The pattern is in Hip to Knit and I think I made six of them one year. Here it is

And this has me thinking about hats. How essential they are. How a good hat can make all the difference. When I put a handknit hat on my daughter's head, I feel I am protecting her. Keeping her safe.

On Superbowl Sunday, my children and I snuggled together on the same chair where I await my plumber in shining armor. We watched the football, but more importantly, we worked on our knitting. Here we are knitting during the superbowl:

Julie, the little one, is working on a blanket for her imaginary chipmunk who lives on her shoulder. She cast off at bedtime and slept with her little swatch on her shoulder. It was her first completed piece. Lydia is starting a hat for herself which I will work on later today. When she wears it, she will have the satisfaction of knowing that we knit it together. I am working on a hat for Julie. I finished it during the post game show. Here it is:

It is made from Bingo. A simple roll hat with stripes in reverse stockinette.

And as I wait, shivering, for the plumber who said he would be here a half hour ago, I am secure in the knowledge that Julie's head is warm. Now, I have to go finish Lydia's hat.