Monday, November 29, 2010

Sensational Shirttail Update: The Five Most Fearful Words in Knitting

Here is the latest on our progress. Cheryl has finished both sleeves and is working on the back. She changed the design a bit by adding 2 slipped stitches, one on ether of the cables to frame them. I’ll let her explain in the next installment.

I have finished the back and the fronts and have done one cuff. The pattern combination is easy to follow without referring to the instructions, once you get going and quite fun! A bit of stockinette, a bit of Moss stitch and a cable every eight rows.
So I was moving along and really enjoying myself and then when I referred to the pattern for the next direction as I was working on the armhole, there they were, the five words that strike fear into the hearts of a knitter: AND AT THE SAME TIME!! Now, I have to change to Moss stitch on some of the stitches, decrease on the armhole side and for the fronts also decrease for the V-neck of the cardigan. Oh and by the way don’t forget to do the cable on the first row of the eight-row pattern repeat. YIKES!!

Over the years as I built my knitting skills I have learned that there are certain situations that just call for the simplicity of a piece of paper and a pencil. AND AT THE SAME TIME is one of them. Here is my method - I write out the number of rows in each pattern repeat-in this case the eight row repeat for the cable, and then write a letter to correspond with the direction, like a D for decrease. I also make a column on either side of the row number in this case one side of the number was for instructions on the armhole side and the other for the v-neck. As I complete each row I cross it out on the chart. It works well for me and both fronts were the same. So try it next time you see those five fearful words and you too can knit with joy and no fear!!
Happy Knitting,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eliminate Holiday Horror

Frightened by what awaits you under the Christmas Tree?

We've taken the fear out of opening your gifts this holiday season. All you have to do is come in and fill out a "Holiday Wish List" and then let your friends and family know where you want them to shop.

Turn your holiday frown up side down. No more stinky lotions, holiday bric-a-brac and year old fruit cake.

Don't delay! Come in and start shopping today. Your holiday happiness depends on it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gift Project #3 - Chunky Bias Cowl

Thanks go to Stacey for this great pattern. This fantastic cowl is knit on the bias on a size 15 needle and takes only two skeins of Ushya by Mirasol. You can also feel great about supporting a company that gives back. Here's a little info on the Mirasol Project.

"The philosophy behind the Mirasol Project is very simple, the Mirasol Project supports local communities in Peru through the sales of the Mirasol Yarn Collection.

Peru’s heritage and culture of textile artistry is rich and ancient. The Mirasol Yarn Collection includes yarn made from the animals tended by these communities for generations in the Peruvian highlands. Without them we would not have this beautiful yarn.

By purchasing the Mirasol Yarn Collection you are supporting the shepherds and their families ensuring the continuation of this tradition."

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My First Needlepoint Project is at the Finisher!

At the end of September I was lamenting about finishing some of my needlepoint canvasses before the dede Designs truck show arrived. Well, I finished the smallest project, a Christmas stocking ornament, and sent it off to the finisher this past week. I must say that it is awfully cute and can’t wait to see the finished project. The top photo is the completed project.

Now, the million dollar question is can I start on one of the two canvasses that I purchased from the dede Designs trunk show or do I act like a responsible adult and complete what I have already started? In one ear, I can hear Carole encouraging me to finish the coaster, and in the other ear I can hear Debbie saying go ahead, start that new canvass. And, then to add to my dilemma, the Cooper Oaks trunk show opens this coming Saturday. I’ve seen not one, not two but three canvases that I want. Oh, decisions, decisions! Right now, I better get stitching on the Andes orchid or the coaster before I have way too many needlepoint projects like my many, many knitting projects.

So I look forward to seeing you at the Cooper Oaks trunk show that runs from Saturday November 13, 2010 through December 4, 2010. Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gift Project #2 - Garden Scarf

During the month of November we are highlighting some of our favorite projects. We have chosen projects that are quick and easy. Best of all, they won't break the bank.

Garden Scarf

This little number is knit on either a size 13 or 15 and takes only 2 skeins of Garden.

Anne chose 2 different colors for her version and fashioned a shawl pin out of a couple of buttons and a stitch holder. Not so crafty? Don't worry, we have some lovely shawl pins in stock that will do the trick.

There are six fantastic colors to choose from.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

November Project of the Month

The "November Project of the Month" is a winner! Knit these fabulous "Welted Fingerless Gloves" for everyone on your holiday gift list. This project takes only one skein of Debbie Bliss "Andes", (an alpaca and mulberry silk blend) and costs less than $20.00 to make. I know I'll be making a bunch of these as teacher gifts this year. How about you?

Just to get you started we are offering you a sweet deal. Mention seeing this on our blog and take 20% off Debbie Bliss Andes. While supplies last.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sensational Shirttail Adventure Contines

Hip Hip Hooray! I have completed the back and Cheryl has completed her first sleeve. The finished pieces look beautiful if we say so ourselves. The Kathmandu is showing the stitch definition wonderfully and Cheryl’s sleeve looks very sheik with a solid cuff. She decided to have the wrong side of the cuff be the right side because she liked the way the horizontal slipped stitches looked on the outside of the cuff when it was turned up. So the cast on has begun for the next sweater parts: I have started with the right front and Cheryl with the second sleeve.

Happy Knitting,
Carole and Cheryl

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TO RIP OR NOT TO RIP –That is the question.

Your initial response may be, “…you made a mistake, of course rip it out and correct it.” Not so fast my fellow knitter. I believe there are three phases to the decision to rip or not to rip: recognition, debate and decision.

I was happily knitting along on the project Cheryl and I have coveted for so long and happy to finally be making my own version of Mary’s Sensational Shirttail Cardigan. I started with the back of the sweater and was on the fifth 8 -row repeat. The cables looked beautiful, I was delighted with the Moss stitch framed by a slipped stitch on each side and then, “Oh #$%#!. I noticed that about two repeats back I had evidently held the yarn in front of my work when I slipped the stitch on one side of the Moss stitch section. Recognition! Phase two began immediately and I began to debate with myself. For those of you who have never been in this position, it goes something like this, “…how bad is it? Will anyone notice? Can I live with it this way? OMG how many rows do I have to rip? Will I be able to get the stitches back on the needle and figure out where I am in the pattern?” These thoughts for me come in a rush all at once and are then followed by, “What would you tell a fellow knitter or customer at the Web if they came in with the same dilemma?” So I made a decision: have a glass of wine and sleep on it.

This morning I my thoughts were very clear and the decision was made: I would rip! Yes it involved undoing a fair amount of work. Yes I would have to be careful to count the number of rows I ripped and be ever so careful putting the stitches back on the needle to stay in pattern. I began to rip as I had my first cup of coffee-which could have had fatal results, but in the end I ripped 12 rows back and successfully returned the stitches to the needle and put the markers in their correct places. I am now happily continuing on quest to finish the back, hopefully with more care when I slip those stitches on either side of the Moss stitch section.

Here are a few tips for ripping:
1. Gather some tools that you may need to make the task easier – a crochet hook and a smaller size needle.
2. Place the piece to be ripped on a firm flat surface.
3. Rip slowly and carefully and count the number of rows you rip.
4. Put the stitches on the smaller needle and then transfer them to the needle you are using for the project (it is easier to pick them up with a smaller needle)
5. Reorient the stitches as you transfer them back to the larger needle.

So I am back on track and hope to finish the back by next week. Cheryl started with the sleeves first-you remember she is using two different yarns, needs about three inches to finish the first sleeve. Have you started yours yet?
Happy Knitting,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My First Needlepoint

A little over a year ago needlepoint arrived at The Tangled Web and began to pique my interest. Then in the fall, the Barbara Russell trunk show arrived and made my head spin. There were a few canvasses that interested me but I just could not commit. Then one Saturday I arrived and the canvasses had been rearranged and the most spectacular “spider” had made its way to the top of the pile and grabbed my attention – I was hooked. It turns out that my “spider” is an Andes Orchid. The flower is done in Pearl Cotton and the background is in Paternayan wool. A year later, the flower is done but I am still working on the background and it is going slowly.

I have to give thanks to Cameron, our needlepoint guru, for her help and encouragement. I am not sure that I would be as far along as I am without her. She taught me the basics, explained the differences between continental and basket weave and helped me pick out a stitch for the background. Cameron is such an inspiration that I try to show up at the store when she is there to work on my canvasses. Typically you can find her there Tuesday and Thursday.

Cameron’s mother taught her when she was in the sixth grade and she completed her first project in the eighth grade. Though she did not stitch much during high school and college she never forgot it. She finds that needlepoint is a good medium for her while visiting with her and her husband’s extended families. She is able to stitch and visit at the same time. For her, she can pick up and put down her needlepoint without losing her place.

So, now I have three canvasses that I need to finish before I start something new. The Andes orchid is going to take some time. The other two are quite small. The first one is a small Christmas stocking ornament and should take maybe a couple of evenings – it is only about 2” high. The second one is a small flower that will eventually be a coaster that measures about 4” square and should not take very long to do. In the mean time a new trunk show is arriving and will start this Saturday. What am I to do?

The trunk show that is opening this Saturday is from “dede Designs” and I am looking forward to seeing all the new canvasses. I hope to see you at the trunk show or one of the many others that are scheduled for this year. Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Got Gauge - Sensational Shirttail

WE GOT GAUGE!!! Carole and I met at the Web this past Friday evening to start our Sensational Shirttail sweater. Carole is using her Lantern Moon ebony needles and I am using bamboo needles. The instructions call for gauge to be done in stockinette which we did but we also tried the different stitches in our chosen yarns. It is amazing how the stitches pop in Carole’s chosen yarn, Kathmandu. The stitches are showing quite nicely in the Gatsby.

Carole got gauge, ripped it out and casted on the back. She was so excited to start that she ripped her gauge swatch out before I could take a picture. Once she got through the foundation rows she started to knit easily through the pattern. She is using stitch markers to mark the beginning and end of the moss stitch, the cable, a slip stitch and the stockinette.

I started the cuffs of the sleeves in the Lamb’s Pride Bulky and they are stunning. I’ve already started changing the pattern. Once the cuffs are knitted you are supposed to pick up stitches on the right side and knit the sleeve. I am picking up the stitches on the wrong side because I want the cuffs to be seen. If you look at Mary’s sweater and the picture the cuffs are rolled up and you are seeing the wrong side. The right side is just too beautiful not to seen.

I must say that this is the first time that I’ve knitted with wool in a few months – it was just too hot this summer. My hands were singing.

Again, you are welcome to join us in our Sensational Shirttail adventure, but you're welcome to bring whatever you're knitting and join us for an evening of knitting and conversation. Hope to see you on Friday, October 15 at 5pm!! Please call the store at 215-242-1271 if you have any questions!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Start Time for Sensational Shirttail

So are you ready to join us on our adventure or just be our cheerleaders?

We will be at the Web on Friday evening September 24th to knit our gauge swatches. There will be copies of the pattern available for those of you joining our adventure. We will meet at the shop the third Friday of each month until we have completed our sweaters. If I were a betting woman my money would be on Carole because she is much more focused that I am. I hope her incentive keeps me on track, but if she gets too far ahead I’ll just distract her with something shiny-you know she loves jewelry. We will keep you posted on our progress and we hope you find this interesting and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the shop on the evening of the 24th if for no other reason than to cheer us on and hang out and knit with us.

Happy Knitting,
Cheryl and Carole

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suggested Yarn for Sensational Shirttail Sweater

In our last entry, Carole and I talked about our idea to knit the Sensational Shirttail cardigan sweater together to provide that ever loving incentive to complete this project. We hope some of you will join us in our knitting adventure. We will have the pattern for you at the shop and here are some suggestions of yarn that is suitable:

· For those of you who want a more luxurious sweater the Kathmandu Chunky with its merino, silk and cashmere blend would be fabulous. It is a dream to knit with and the fabric it produces is quite hearty. The stitches will really pop in this yarn and it is the one Carole has chosen for her sweater.

· Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky is merino wool with a bit of angora and has a tweedy texture. It has a lovely hand and will show off the cables and moss stitch nicely.

· The Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed is primarily a merino with just a touch of acrylic and rayon and will give a smooth silky look. The swatch is very soft and has a lofty feel to it. It comes in solid colors with multi-colored flecks throughout.

· Debbie Bliss Glen will also fit the bill nicely and is a blend of acrylic, merino and alpaca. It has a heathered or marled look, depending on the color you choose. When knitted up it is smooth and very soft.

You will need between 880 and 1,100 yards of a chunky weight yarn. The gauge is 13 stitches to 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Drop by the shop and take a look at Mary’s sweater that is on display, we are sure many of you will recognize it. Think about which yarn you want to use and stay tuned more information about our adventure.

Cheryl and Carole

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sensational Shirttail Sweater

There is a sweater that has been around for quite awhile now and is still turning our heads. For Carole it began when her Fall 1999 copy of Knitter’s arrived. For me it started when Mary, our beloved leader at The Tangled Web, walked in wearing it. You may ask what sweater are we talking about? Well, it’s the Sensational Shirttail, a cardigan knitted in cables, moss stitch and some calming stockinette stitch – what more for could a girl ask for. It is one of those classic “keeper” sweaters to wear again and again.

The pattern calls for a chunky yarn and 10 ½ needles so it will knit up quickly. Mary used Donegal Tweed in brown. She looks fabulous in it and we covet it. So after much discussion over a couple of years Carole and I have decided to give each other some incentive by knitting it together and blogging about it. Nothing like a little pressure. I know both of us would like to wear it this winter and we can use all the help we can get.

Carole considered using Cascade 128 Tweed from her stash but fell in love with the Kathmandu in a cilantro green. It is one of her all time favorite colors and makes her green eyes pop. I will be using a dark blue in Gatsby (that reminds me of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night and Beethoven’s Fur Elise) and Lamb’s Pride Bulky.

Because I don’t have enough of the Gatsby, which has been discontinued, I will be doing the cuffs, the crocheted edging and the button band in the Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Flannel. Much to my delight the two yarns match perfectly and will work nicely together. I will do my sleeves first because I can live with a shorter version of the body but cannot live with sleeves that are to short.

So here we go!! Stop back soon for more info.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Most Fun You Can Have (Knitting A Sock)

Our Twisty Toe-Up Tube Sock class is coming up on Sunday, September 19 from 10am-12pm, which gives me an opportunity to write a little ode to these awesomely fun socks. Okay, I'm biased. I designed these socks earlier this spring, and I am in love. It's not like I thought making heels in socks was that onerous, but not making heels in socks is surprisingly great!

Look how fun:

And these:

Here's beautiful Cortez who took my class this summer with her nearly-finished pair:

Another great thing about these socks is that, because they're toe-up, once you're past the toe it's just round and round and round. The twisty rib pattern keeps your interest and makes for a nice snug fit as well.

Here are Ann's, who also took my summer class (I love how she didn't fuss with trying to make them exactly identical):

Here are Lisa's, in a little more masculine colorway:

Though we'll be making socks in fingering weight in the class, the pattern is written for sport and worsted weight yarns as well, in sizes ranging from baby to adult.

Interested? I hope so! Call the store at 215-242-1271 to sign up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yarn Tasting and Ice Cream Social

Last night was The Tangled Web's first "Yarn Tasting". An event where folks were invited to come in and see all the new yarns for Fall and were also given a chance to try them out. Tables were donned with fine china and tiny balls of yarn ready and waiting to be tasted.

Downstairs, we had a tasting of a different kind. Zsa's Gourmet Ice Cream was on hand to tempt us with flavors like "Earl Grey", "Raspberry Sorbet", "Lavender Honey" and "Chocolate Truffle".

Yarn, Ice Cream and Wine. What a night!

Thanks to all of you that came out for the event.
Your enthusiasm and kind words were most appreciated and are the reason that we keep striving to do better.

Here are just a few photos from the event.

Many yarns waiting to be tasted.

A few tidbits from the "Buffet Table"

Who could resist trying a little bit of this yummy yarn.

Danielle was armed and ready with some tasty ice cream treats.
All natural with flavors like "Earl Grey" and "Lavender Honey".

Anne was kept very busy.

Here are a few happy faces. Save some for me.

Yay! Margo finished her kimono and she looks fabulous!

Decisions, decisions.

After the tasting came the shopping.

So many flavors, so little time.

Do you think Danielle will miss a pint or two?

And then there was none.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One of our own makes good

I can remember the first time Ariana Parenti came to my shop with her mom. She was seven years old and her mom, Dale, had just learned how to knit. Well, Ariana is now a soon to be senior art major at Yale University. She is currently participating in a summer internship program with an organization called StudioWorks in Louisville, Kentucky.

Studio works is a charitable organization that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience a sense of belonging to community through the arts.

While Ariana's main focus has been helping the artists prepare for the Kentucky State Fair, she has also been teaching them how to knit. It is great to see someone passing on the art of knitting to others and I can only hope that The Tangled Web played some small part in Ariana's interest and enthusiasm for the fiber arts.

To learn more about StudioWorks check out their blog at:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Fall Class Schedule is Up!

Attention! Attention! Our new fall class schedule is up here. Photos, dates, costs - all there. Lots of fun new classes and lots of old favorites! Sign up now to reserve your space - class space is limited! Call the store at 215-242-1271!

Here is just a sampling of the fun in store for you!

Felted Project Bag! Gorgeous colors, generous capacity, easy knit:

Not A Drop Scarf - soooooo beautiful! Intriguing construction and quick!

Beaded Bookmark! New technique for placing beads, great gift for the holidays!

Tiny Sweater Ornaments! Tiny! Fussy! Fun!

Many many more classes scheduled. Check out the schedule and then call the store at 215-242-1271 to reserve your spot!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Make Room For Fall Sale July 14-July 17!!

WOO HOO! Make Room For Fall Sale at The Tangled Web July 14 through July 17! Save up to 50%, depending on how much you buy!! Yarn Yarn Yarn!! Call the store at 215-242-1271 for more details or just come on in with your checkbook and stock up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We Got Yarn-Bombed!

Have you heard of yarn-bombing? Knitters and crocheters leave knitted or crocheted pieces anonymously in public places, usually to beautify a manmade object. I like it!!

Well, Annie and I were looking out the window at the store today and saw that we had been yarn-bombed! Look!

This beautiful and colorful crocheted piece has "Knit, Play, Love" embroidered on it. It is so awesomely awesome I can't believe it.

Thank you, anonymous yarn-bomber!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Signing At The Tangled Web

The Tangled Web was thrilled to host a book signing event for Adrienne Martini, author of "Sweater Quest-My Year of Knitting Dangerously". Adrienne chronicled a year long endeavor to knit "the Holy Grail of sweaters-her own Mary Tudor". The group was enthralled by Martini's discussion and reading, which guided us through her adventure from initial color choices to the final steps of steeking. For those who might be unfamiliar with the term, steeking is a technique in which you cut, yes cut, your finished knitting. It is also an idea that makes some of us reach for our smelling salts.

By the end of the event we all felt like very close friends. Adrienne was warm and welcoming and was happy to jot special notes in each persons book and answer questions about her adventure.

A great big thanks to Adrienne for making the event possible and to all those who came out to support her and The Tangled Web.

If you were unable to attend the event it's not too late as we still have several signed copies available for purchase. Here are a few photos of the event and Adrienne's finished masterpiece.