Friday, August 28, 2009

Yes, It Is Always Like Christmas

Customers ask me if getting yarn shipments is like Christmas. Yes, it is! Here is a bunch of new colors in Brown Sheep's Cotton Wool that came in yesterday along with Bryon's Rosewood Needles, Inox steel dpns in teeny sizes, and lots of Addi Turbo's and Addi Lace Turbo's. Oh, yes, and more Shannon Martin cards that still make me laugh out loud. So, it was quite a good day!

By the way, the ball of orange striped yarn on the right side of the photo is Hand-Painted Lanaloft in Orange Confection, a new Brown Sheep yarn that comes in both worsted and sport weight. The peachy-colored solid to the left of it is Lanaloft solid in the color Marmalade. It retails for about $7.00 per skein for 160 yds. and it's 100% wool. Darn good price! So if the hand is nice, we'll be getting the line in for the Fall. Even though it's 90+ degrees, I can still get very excited about Fall yarns!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vogue's Fall Knitting Magazine Is Stunning!

Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 has arrived. When I reviewed it, I promptly called the NY distributor and ordered 8 more copies since this is the best issue I've seen in years. There are some wonderful hat patterns, including the one above, and beautifully textured sweater patterns. It's honestly hard to chose which one to make.

And don't miss the article entitled Brilliant Idea! in Vogue's Spotlight section about Swarovski Crystallized Store & Lounge in NYC. "Splendor" is the only word that comes to mind. It is for "knitters seeking the perfect embellishment for the special sweater or shawl". Good lord, that's was our "brilliant idea" in bringing Marcia DeCoster to the Grove!

This reminds me of when Anne and I visited Manhattan yarn shops. They were the size of closets and had such little inventory on hand. Anne told me I was very spoiled because of the space I had. When we returned to San Diego, my remark was....New York's got nothin' over us! And, I'll say it again. Hah! NY's got nothin' over us!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Louisa's Sari Ribbon Bag

I don't know why it is so difficult to finish our own projects, but it is. This Sari Ribbon purse was knit by a friend of mine who was not using it because she couldn't bring herself to install the lining. I volunteered to do the job and in exchange, she is generously allowing me to keep this in the shop as a sample. Now I'm no sewer but I managed to do this lining so I'm pretty sure anyone can do it and boy does it make a difference!
It feels so much better with added body. It has a great drape and is a perfect snag-free nest for a delicate project.
While I demonstrate its use as a project bag, it would make a beautiful evening bag as well. The pattern is no doubt a Louisa Harding pattern as this is her yarn: Sari Ribbon. Unfortunately, we can't locate the pattern so I have written it based on what I see in front of me. Here it is:

Sari Ribbon by Louisa Harding (2 hanks)
Size 10 needles
Tapestry needle to sew side seams and gusset for handles.
Material for lining with sewing needle and thread.
2 circular handles approximately 6" in diameter.

Gauge: 2.5 sts = 1"

Cast on 30 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 13" from cast on edge ending with a wrong side row. Repeat Rows 5-8. (These rows create a garter stitch ridge which is the fold line for the bottom of the purse. Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 12" from the garter stitch edge (i.e., the bottom fold line) ending with a wrong side row. Repeat Rows 5-8. Knit next 4 rows in stockinette stitch. Cast off all stitches on right side.

Finishing: Fold purse in half, wrong sides together, and sew side seams 7 1/2" from fold line towards the top of the purse. Turn bag to right side. The garter stitch ridges at the top of the bag form the fold lines of the gusset which encloses the handles. Fold the fabric over the handle, pin in place, easing the fabric and stitch on wrong side of fabric. Repeat for the other handle.

Cut a piece of fabric 14" by 28". Fold fabric in half and sew 1/2" side seams approximately 7 1/2" from fold line. Place lining inside bag with right sides together. Pin in place. Fold fabric to the inside along the sides and top. Using a blind stitch, hand-stitch in place.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Inspiration & Romantica

I was so inspired by Marcia's bead collection that I left the shop Wednesday, determined to finish "Romantica", a gorgeous design of hers which actually comes in a kit. Kits are ideal for beginning beaders like me. Here are my "pieces" set on Marcia's instructions all ready to assemble into a necklace. I finished it yesterday and it is beautiful beyonds words! I can't seem to get a picture of it that does it justice so take a look at the one on Marcia's website to see the finished product. I did the Teal Yellow version.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MAD Designs Moves In!

Our vision of having knitting, sewing & beading at the Grove is becoming a reality as Marcia DeCoster lovingly places seed beads and crystals in color wheel order! If all goes as planned, we will be replacing the oak bookcases that have held our yarn collection since we began in 2003. They will be replaced with glass shelving that will make everything more visible and accessible. It's a big job. I admit, I'm kind of scared. The posts that hold the shelves must be attached to our plaster and concrete walls. Yipes. And all the yarn offloaded in some kind of order and then placed on the new shelves. Lots of stuff is on sale so we don't have to move so much. So spread the word about the sale! Saturday is the last day. We pack up the yarns Saturday evening and begin the installation on Sunday. Our goal is to have everything in order by the time we reopen on Tuesday. Wish us luck!