Saturday, October 30, 2010

Take Care on Halloween!

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween and I just want to say to everyone....take care tomorrow night.

When I was a teenager, two of my friends and I jumped on the back of Billy O'Brien's jeep. We were driving down Drury Lane where so many of my classmates lived. We were having the best time, waving to everyone and laughing. Some of the guys yelled "O'B!!!" and they started throwing eggs at the jeep. All of a sudden Marylee wasn't sitting between Margaret & me anymore. She was laying flat on her back crunched up and in excruciating pain. She got hit in her right eye with an egg. We yelled for Billy to stop the jeep and Margaret and I put her between us. With her arms wrapped around our necks, we got her home. She was in such pain, she couldn't uncurl her body so her feet didn't touch the ground. Luckily, she lived on Drury Lane. Her father, who was a pretty pretty high-powered lawyer, went wild. He was yelling..."who did this, who did this?" over and over. "Dunno", we said. "It was dark, there were a lot of kids on the street". He called his brother who happened to be a doctor and we waited until he got there and then left.

A couple of days later, an investigator called me asking me questions. Marylee's dad offered a reward to anyone who could identify the guys who threw the eggs. He kept his money because no one would speak to the investigator.

Marylee had to lie flat in a dark room for at least a month. We used to go after school to her house and read her lessons by the light of a very small high intensity lamp. She lost all but her peripheral vision in her right eye. She was never the same after that. She was nervous in cars and really lost her ability to have fun. Can't blame her one bit.

Now despite such a loss, Marylee went to Tufts medical school and she is now a practicing dentist!!! Can you imagine that?!# Margaret goes to her. I would too but she's back in Connecticut.

So have fun tomorrow night, but don't partake in any kind of risky business where someone might get hurt! Just take care!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Estela Goes Chilean Miner-ish!

Last night at knit salon, the door opened around 8 or so and in walks this macho looking chic wearing a head lamp. It took me a few minutes to recognize Estela even though she told me the day before that she was dressing as a rescued Chilean miner for Halloween! I dug out my hard hat for her (left over from my maritime days...I know, of all people to have a hard hat!). The head lamp fit perfectly on it and the outfit was complete!

We had her pose in front of the fabrics ... for the sheer contrast of it all (!) and quick as a whip she pulled out a hummingbird garden stake we have for sale and held it as if it were a pick. Good lord, that made me laugh (hence the blurry photos). She is so feminine, soft-spoken, and cute as a button. The tough persona she put on just for the outfit slayed me! BTW, she won first price for the "most creative outfit" at the Halloween party she attended with her work buddies!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Fits!!!!!

We've been teaching this shop classic beanie for 7 years now. We've probably taught over 100 knitters how to purl, decrease, and sew with this beanie pattern. It is always so exciting when the last stitch is sewn and it fits!

This is a smiling Mia who is a natural. She started knitting in September and was understandably proud to walk out of the Grove on Saturday, sporting this adorable beanie.

And here is Karen, who wanted to learn to knit this beanie so badly, that she came to her first class after working a double shift. She was courageous enough to change colors so that the latter half of the hat (including the crown) was knit in "tulip". Just today she learned to knit in the round, starting a wonderfully fun Christmas stocking. 'Tis the time!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Grove Was Rockin' Last NIght!

Last night, 23 knitters came to the Baktus Knit Along. Lisa Limber, a Schaefer Yarns rep and designer brought bags and bags of incredible hand-dyed skeins of "Anne", "Heather" & "Nicole". This photo was taken at the end of the evening so you can imagine what that luscious heap o' yarn looked like initially. Curses, I was so busy I didn't get a chance to take any photos (p.s. thanks for the photo Marcia). What I wish I had shot: All the gorgeous samples Lisa brought with her, a roomful of smiling faces, all my precious friends who manned the winders and made the evening run so smoothly, and the beginnings of everyone's Baktus! We all had so much fun that we decided to continue the Baktus KAL next Thursday, October 28th from 6 to 8. And, everyone loved the Reversible Lace Scarf so much, that Lisa agreed to give a workshop on it. We're working out a date now and will keep you posted. As I told the group last night, if anyone is willing to teach a workshop in lace...go to it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It Never Hurts To Have Another Friend

As soon as I finished Little Owl, I thought...I wonder if it would be even cuter if I reversed the colors. I had to find out. And I just couldn't stop myself from knitting another. I presented both to Marcia and she ended up liking the blue one best. It's nice to have two. Now they'd be able to board the Ark (should the occasion ever arise)!

P.S. The claws on Little Owl 1 were my misinterpretation of the pattern. The claws on Little Owl 2 are done according to pattern but I think I'm liking 1 best.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Little Owl Prepares for Aussie Flight

My dear friend Marcia is leaving soon to spend four weeks in Australia teaching beading in at least three cities. Originally, her husband was going to join her but that has become infeasible for several reasons. So she'll be going it alone. Now she's traveled all over the world and loves to travel, but I've got to think that four weeks away from home could be a bit of a challenge. I told her she needed a talisman or something to guide her on her trip. I just made "Little Owl" for that purpose. He doesn't weigh much. He can slip into any small space and brighten any room she finds herself in reminding her of home and the dear ones who will await her return. So disappointed that the crystals in the center of his eyes don't show up in this photo!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tre in Salute

This is my dear sweet grandson, Tre, wearing Salute. He lives in Portland and his backyard is like a beautiful park with a creek flowing through it. I so love him peeking out from behind the tree because this really is his natural environment. What little boy doesn't love hanging onto and around trees? I'm just wondering how his mom got him to stand still for a minute so she could snap these photos! As Estes says, he is "so four!", all action, questions, wide-eyed wonder and excitement. We also say that he is so sweet that when he cries, honey comes out! Ouch. Must end here or I'll be trying to get to Lindbergh Field to board a plane instead of working today!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Baktus Scarf

This is Baktus, a fun and easy long, long triangular scarf...all knit in garter stitch. Thursday evening, October 21st from 6-8 p.m., designer Lisa Limber of Schaefer Yarns will be at the Grove with large bags of cash n' carry sock weight yarns and we are doing a Baktus knit along. I can hardly wait and you know I'm not kidding.

I have knit so many pieces in "Heather" and couldn't tear myself away from it to try Schaefer's other sock "Nicole". How could I possibly like any Schaefer yarn better, I thought? Well, I grabbed a skein of "Nicole" right before I left the shop Wednesday evening. Okay, now I have a "Nicole" fetish going on! It's springy and yummy and I keep running my hand over the fabric because it feels soooooo good. I don't really have words for its texture. I just know that my feet are screaming for socks made out of it.

Baktus has been knit by approximately 4500 Ravelers so it's fair to say it's one of the most popular patterns ever. You weigh your yarn first (hence, my little WW buddy photographed above). And then you knit half of it (weighing it to determine that point)increasing one side with a yarn over every fourth row. At the half way point, you switch to decreasing on one side. You end up with this wonderfully long scarf that can be wrapped and tied around your neck. We figured this would be a good KAL since it can be knit in public with ease.

If you would like to join us, just give me a call at the Grove (619) 284-7684 to reserve a seat.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tre's Salute Hat

Kate Oates did a KAL for the Salute Hat last month, parceling out the directions one step at a time. It was such a fun having homework in a good way. I had all but the brim done when I visited Tre in Portland last month (my four-year-old grandson). I intended to finish it there but forgot to pack the bill instructions. ARGH! I was able to try the brimless hat on him though and was grateful that it fit. He so wanted it finished (ouch!). While Viv and I were at Knit/Purl, he went next door to the fabric shop and picked out these "manly" leather covered buttons which I think are the exact size of his huge brown Bambi eyes.

His "Grandpa Dad" is mailing this to him today, so that one day soon it will be waiting for him when he gets home from his preschool, Happy Hollow (seriously, that's what it's called!). If you're interested in more details on Salute, check out my project page on Ravelry.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Alpaca Stole That Has Stolen Hearts

Hands down, the most popular pattern we have ever carried is, well, let's just call it The Swell Stole. (BTW, "Swell" is a combination of my first initial and last name of Wells.)

The yarn comes from an old New York company that you just sort of have to know about. They don't advertise and they don't accept credit cards. Their hanks are in large put ups which reduces cost. And Ursula alone answers the phone and takes your order. So by reducing their overhead in this fashion, they are able to offer some amazing yarns at modest prices. 600 yds. of alpaca for only $ that's modest!

When I held this yarn and tried to figure out what it wanted to be, the thought "fabric" ultimately came to me. It looked beautiful in a plain garter stitch. So I cast on and knit until I really, really got bored! When I took it off the needles and wrapped it around my neck, it folded beautifully in a shawl collar and almost looked like a coat from the front. With one of Jul's Cracked Coconut Shawl Pins, it is my favorite winter accessory.

We recently received a new shipment of their various natural heathers which are selling fast. So if you have any interest in knitting the stole, best come in soon!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's in a display?

Today judipatuti came in and worked on all our displays. Now, I'm friends with Judy. I admit it. And I'm a big fan. But honestly, without bias, she does the most awesome displays. She is an artist on so many levels. The above display focuses on our October classes. Displayed from left to right, is the Hip Hamper, the Clapotis, and the "Its a Wrap" pillow (to the right of the Clapotis).

But she didn't stop there. Here is the "baby" display where she artful hung the hand-knit Moo-Cow off the back of a child's chair by her tail! And surrounding Moo-Cow (hand-knit in organic cotton, by the way!), are the pacifier clips (also hand-knit in organic cotton) and clip-on baby bibs. She started from scratch seating all these wonderful items in the most appealing way.

And last but not least is the Halloween display on the table across from our cash wrap desk.

Can you find the following items in this photo?

- Hand-made fabric Trick or Treat and Candy Corn bowl,
- Sparkling Day-of-the-Dead fabric,
- Alpaca stole with crackled coconut scarf pin, and
- a basket of Joseph Galler's incredible Alpaca (i.e., the best deal in the shop at $28 for 600 yds.)?

Stumbling Upon a Design

This is the Noble Cowl fresh off the needles and unblocked. As I was figuring out how to photograph it, I draped it over my hand and wrist. Well, look at that, I thought. This would make a gorgeous fingerless glove especially with the scalloped edges. Wouldn't it?!#

And that is what you call...stumbling upon a design. This cowl took 1 1/4 balls of cashmere. I have 3/4 left and am wondering if I'd be able to get 2 gloves out of it. Hmmm. Well, I could always go into a third if I had to. Yes, I do believe I will start working on this today and if the results are positive, I'll let you know!

Meanwhile, I'm wet blocking the cowl and hoping it will be dry enough to take to work at 11 so we can place it on the class sample table.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Uh oh. My Roots Are Showing!

Sometimes, I slip back into my New England roots and have these "Victoria" spells where I need bows and lace and reds, golds & greens. This usually happens to me in October when I get nostalgic for Fall foliage. Sure enough, my past snuck up on me this weekend last, and voila: the "Victoria Fabric Bowl" was born. (I could have really gone haywire and filled it with potpouri but I didn't!).

And this was just one of three bowls I cranked out between Friday & Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's Walkabout (along with over a dozen coasters). The word "Intervention" comes to mind as in I NEED ONE!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Noble Cowl

I started knitting Noble Cowl in Blue Sky's Sportweight but that word "noble" kept running through my mind. It's not that I don't love Sportweight, but I wouldn't call it "noble". So I switched to cashmere and that was the right thing to do! Why not. One of the benefits of owning a yarn store is that I get to knit with whatever yarn I want. Since the cashmere isn't exactly flying off the shelf these days (!) I decided to indulge myself with this Italian cashmere in a winter white. I shall just this post with one descriptor: YUUUMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I'm teaching this cowl class on October 16th, 2-4p.m.. For more info, just click on the bird's nest in the right-hand column.