Thursday, December 29, 2011


What a delightful pattern this was to knit ... and it's even more delightful to wear. I used Zauberwolle, which is 100% virgin merino ombre. The subtle color changes just happened to hit the owl section right, making it look as if they were intentionally highlighted with a lighter color. I chose a matte bead for the owl eyes which was compatible with the rustic look of the organic shawl. I am loving knitting with Zauberwolle and am currently using it to knit the Wurm hat, featured in our January knit-along. Since I had some yarn left over from Hogwarts-Express I knit a pair of fingerless gloves to go with the shawl. And if yarn allows, I will also do a pair to match the Wurm. Stay tuned for more photos!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meet Grover, Our Mascot!

Growing up in New England, I've always had a love for the ocean. So it follows that I also love fish. For my birthday, Krista of Daily Scoop, bought me a gorgeous Betta and named him Grover after The Grove. Honestly, it was one of the best presents I've ever received. I would never have thought that this little guy could bring me such pleasure.

It's been nearly a month now and I think I'm finally getting to know Grover and what he needs. He came in the bowl on the left (above) and he swam in spring water that clouded within a couple of days. I did some research and discovered this awesome globe aquarium (shown below) with a filter and waterfall! According to some, it only needs changing once a month. I'm all about low maintenance so I got one, filled it with gravel, live plants, and seashells that I've gathered throughout my life from different oceans and seas. Oh, the pleasure of setting Grover free in a spacious new home with lights and oxygen pumping though the water...It makes me sooo happy! It's like having a little piece of the ocean in my kitchen. If the Grove were warmer, I'd keep the little guy there but he's a tropical fish and he was freezing without heat. He's much happier at home in a warm kitchen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2012 Knit Kits!

As if they could get any cooler, Knit Kits has added a needle gauge to their kits! We just got an email from them today saying that the turquoise ones are sold out and that the hot pink ones won't be received from China until "Christmas week". They're suggesting that we have customers prepay and issue them a coupon entitling the bearer to a knit kit as soon as they arrive. I think that's a pretty good idea! They raised the price a bit. They will now cost $24.00. So, if you're interested, call the Grove at 619-284-7684 with your credit card and we'll put you're name on our list. BTW, the needle gauge goes from 000 to 15.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweater Mice

We are having a great time this holiday season decorating the store. This darling mice couple has stolen the hearts of many who have visited the Grove recently. Completely understandable! South Park's Winter Walkabout is tomorrow night and we are ready for it. The San Diego Mandolin Orchestra will be here again. This time, we are expecting 6 players instead of 29. Last year we were a tad too crowded for comfort. We're pretty sure that with this acoustically friendly space of ours, the orchestra will sound just as sweet. Hope you can stop by and join us for some music and a cup of eggnog!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let Heaven and Nature Sing!

We are so blessed at the Grove by being surrounded with artistic souls and one such soul is Jo Madden of Go-Go Paperarts. This gorgeous card is one of her new holiday designs and my favorite. We've heard the phrase she chose so often but when you isolate it like Jo did and drop it into a gorgeous hand-made card it becomes new again and has such an impact! What a lovely thought...heaven and nature singing. I'm going to keep that in mind this holiday season to rise above the pressure and worries that so often run alongside of the joy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Julie's Bandana Cowl

Julie was one of the 10 knitters who came to the Bandana Cowl KAL on Sunday. She had never worked with circular needles before and she'd never done short rows. Besides which, she chose Indigo, a very dark blue organic worsted cotton, which made spotting the wraps somewhat difficult. Imagine all those hurdles! None, however, stopped her. She came to the shop on Tuesday wearing her cowl which came out beautifully! For anyone who would like to knit the cowl in the same yarn, Julie used a 16", #9 needle and made no modifications to the pattern. Fantastic job, Julie!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Door Prizes!

Skacel Yarns heard about us celebrating our 8th anniversary in business and they sent us 2 kits to give away as door prizes this weekend. How nice was that!!! The yarn is a 2-ply tape by Austermann yarns in Germany and is surprisingly soft . I figured it may be scratchy because of that sparkling tinsel ... but no! It's pleasing! The pattern is a triangular scarf with long tails. From the picture, it looks like you put the point of the scarf in front, wrap the tails around your neck and tie them in the front. Sort of like the Baktus.

Everyone who walks through the door on Sunday, gets a shot at winning one of these kits at the end of the business day! So c'mon in! We'll be serving canapes and bubbly from 3-5 p.m.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Penguin PJ's

Aw. You gotta love the knitters in New Zealand who have made many pj's for oil-drenched penguins! Following rehabilitation, these jumpers keep the little ones warm and also prevent them from preening while they recover. So sweet!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Wound Up

She's done it again. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, that is. We just received her latest book, All Wound Up, and it is as engaging as her other two. I never tire of her. In chapter one, she describes her seemingly eternal wait in a government office and the difference between a knitter waiting and a non-knitter waiting. It is funny and something we can all relate to. It's just a joy to read, so if you're looking for a good book to cozy up with (heard we are getting some weather soon), this is the one!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kids, Cookies & Carvings

Yesterday, there were bat and ghost cookies to make:

Pumpkins to carve:

Power tools to hold:

A grandpa to help:

A big brother who makes us laugh:

And bikes to ride off into the sunset:

Such a beautiful day!

Wishing all much fun in preparing for and celebrating Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scarf Soup

Sometimes the answer to "what's for dinner?" is "scarf soup". Or "hat soup", or "wrap soup", or ... you get the idea! This delicious cowl is knit from one skein of hand-dyed Kidlin, a linen/mohair blend that is surprisingly soft.
The pattern, "Myra" by Louet, falls in the lace category and while it is not a difficult pattern, it's hard to gain speed. This is most likely due to the width of it and the eyelet work. So it's best to sit back with this one and loving create every stitch, appreciating the gorgeous texture and depth of color. I finished and steam blocked it yesterday morning and when I put it around my neck for the first time, I thought: Uh oh, everyone is going to be sick to death of seeing me in this because I Love It! If neutral colors aren't your thing, we have a beautiful selection of jewel tones. Shoot, as I think about them, I just know I'm going to have to knit one in color now (despite my obligation to knit shop samples)! Probably the raspberry & orange one! Darn this blog and my roaming thoughts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Introducing Grinning Cat Yarns

We are so thrilled to introduce Grinning Cat Yarns, hand-dyed here in San Diego by our very own Joni Schulz. I hardly ever come across a yarn enthusiast (in every day life) who actually loves yarn more than I do. Joni is one such person. Man, it doesn't take her long to learn anything! Her byline is "curiouser and curiouser" and that is Joni personified. Not content to just knit, she started spinning a few months ago...not content to just spin, she started hand-dying weeks ago! And the results of her recent forage into the world of color is truly extraordinary. A perfect way to try out her sock yarns is to take the Quilted Lattice Mitts class with Joni on Saturdays, Nov. 12th and 19th, from 1-3 p.m. at the Grove. Please click on our calendar (above right) for further details.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Contagious Relaxation!

Knitting can be contagiously relaxing...especially when you're knitting with hand-painted Chunky by Misti Alpaca. It's dreamy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


We just received "Knitivity, Create Your Own Christmas Scene" by Fiona Goble. Every critter and every human is irresistible. I'm not big on knitting little things because it's impossible to build up momentum, but I just had to knit baby Jesus! There he is posing right in front of the baby Jesus on the cover.

Once he is relieved of his swaddling, he is free to wave his arms and legs around without dislodging his diapers. (Luckily, they don't have to be changed because that would be a deal breaker.)

Now I don't know how far I'm going to go with this project, but I have finished Mary's robe. That's all I have to say on the matter.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hand-Crafted Yarn Bowls from the 'Hood'

How I love this neighborhood! When Vogue published a page of incredible yarn bowls, we immediately thought of Plum Pottery, the pottery studio around the corner from us. Let's have 'em made right here in the hood, we said! And Brandy Noon, an accomplished ceramicist, was gracious enough to create a special line of them just for Grove customers! They are as practical as they are pretty and they frame our exquisite hand-dyeds beautifully. When you are knitting from a hand-wound ball or the outside yarn on a pre-wound ball, the ingenious design holds the ball in place while you pull freely as you knit. These are must haves, and I'm not kidding. And it's also a good for your soul to support a local artisan.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goody Gumdrops!

YUM!!! The fall yarns have begun to arrive and it is a mouth-watering experience. The latest arrival is a delicious yarn called "Cortina" which are those beautiful gum drop balls on the top. I'm always looking for light-weight bulkies which hold their shape, are reasonably priced, and have good colors. Cortina is one such yarn! It has a nylon core wrapped in merino so it is light as a feather and soft as down. It retails for $9.95. At 2.5 sts. per inch on a #17, this yarn knits up ever-so-quickly.

Another huge yarn in color and texture, is Pagewood Farm's Rustic Spun yarn which is hanging on the sides of the shelves. It's hand-dyed (of course) and one skein knits up a luxurious scarf, long enough to wrap around your neck. Since it's a thick/thin yarn, garter stitch emphasizes the slubs to the max. It is a textural, color-drenched wonder.

And from Misti Alpaca, Baby Me Boo, has arrived. It is a blend of alpaca, merino and bamboo and it is as soft as a baby's cheek. We haven't gotten all the colors in yet, but we're off to a great start with ivory, red, green, and charcoal with more on their way. One skein makes a wonderful mobius cowl (which you'll see on our November class schedule).

Last but not least, on the bottom shelf, is our best-selling Chunky, by Misti Alpaca. Beware. You cannot touch this and put it back down without buying it. It should have a warning label on it!

So c'mon by and check out our new finds!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Donna, Baby Fashionista!

Donna was spotted at the Grove yesterday, donning a hand knit organic cotton hat in a lime green and orange, yarn by Blue Sky Alpaca, design by Susan Wells. The hat was embellished with a large crocheted flower in yellow and lime green organic cotton, with a colorful button from judipatuti's collection in the center. Donna also wore a silk ruffle scarf that matched her hat and outfit perfectly. The scarf is hand knit from Louisa Harding's Mulberry Silk, pattern by Susan Wells.

In the photo posted below, Donna is selecting her next project and has wisely chosen Chameleon Green in Lanaloft, a variegated 100% wool, grown & spun in the U.S. This reflects Donna's allegiance to natural fibers, reasonably priced yarn ($7.00 for 160 yds.) and fiber from U.S. grown sheep. For additional information on Donna's ensemble, please contact the Grove at 619-284-7684.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lisa in "Abigail"

Ah, sweet success! This is Lisa wearing "Abigail", a pattern by C2Knits. Lisa knit one scarf; I repeat, one scarf and then she launched straight into "Abigail". She's a fearless one. She chose Covington, a mercerized cotton by Plymouth, in fog. The drape of this yarn is beautiful and it has a shine to it that puts it on the border of "casual" and "dress". Add one of judipatuti's cool buttons and voila...a masterpiece! Bravo Lisa! Great fit, great job!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Classes in Full Swing!

We had a full house this past weekend with classes in full swing. This is Eileen and her mom Jan (favorite mother-daughter knitters!) getting the Linen Lace Diagonal Scarf under way.
Meanwhile, in the conference room, judipatuti taught students how to tattoo aka embroider images on these really cool faux vintage towels.

Little Lola could not have been more content sitting in Lee's lap while Lee embroidered. Hands down, Lola wins the Cute Award.

Oh, how we love September and the start of the Serious Knitting/Craft season!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bite of Boston

Today is our 16th anniversary. To celebrate, we're going to see Debt with Helen Mirin and then we're going to Bite of Boston to eat Fried Ipswich Clams (with da' bellies....yummmm!!!!!!!), crinkle cut french fries, and homemade coleslaw. And we're going to drink Sam Adams from plastic cups while we sit at the outdoor picnic tables (I don't care if it's raining), and we're going to laugh our patookies off cuz if there's one thing we know how to do, it's to have fun (well, when DH is in the mood, that is...but I think he will be today!). And I'll pretend we're sitting on a dock in Maine and it will ease my homesick heart. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else than here but I do long for the Atlantic and New England, especially in the Fall. Now, for a little Boston trivia, check this out! Cracks me up!!!

If you take my lead and you go to Bite of Boston in University City, try the wicked awesome Chowdah which is made from the infamous Legal Seafood's recipe. At the counter to the right of where you order, is this crazy red lobster. Look for the small white button on it's platform and hit it. The lobster dances and you'll hear "Don't Rock the Boat Baby" and other oldies. I want that lobster so badly!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Knitting in La Jolla Closing

I am so sorry to write that Knitting in La Jolla is closing Mid-October. I got the news from a post on Ravelry. What it said was that Susan's lease is up and she chose not to renew saying it was time. It doesn't look like she has a web presence so it's probably best to check the San Diego knit groups on Ravelry for any sale information.

Heavy heart this morning.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I read. A lot. Not quite as much as I knit, but almost! At the Grove, I am always asked for book recommendations and it isn't often that I can make one without reservation. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is my current favorite. A good customer of mine, who is an avid reader, gave me her copy saying it was one of the best books she has ever read. Coming from Elizabeth, that's a Serious Recommendation! I have cherished reading it and just this morning finished the last page which was surprisingly happy (despite all odds). A perfect way to start out this chilly, grey morning. So if you're looking for a really good book to curl up with and read under a warm binkie with a cup of tea, this is the one!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Abundanza & Antonia

Wow! What a night it was at the Grove! Lisa Limber brought a boatload of gorgeous Schaefer yarns with all her magnificent samples. The warm night did not deter any of our many customers from fondling and purchasing the ever-so-soft hand-dyed silk, wools, and cottons. We had over 50 names in our drawing for the Butin Necklace and Beaded Cuff Kits.

As luck would have it, Antonia was one of the few customers left at the end of the evening so she was actually there when we pulled her name! Serendipity! She was so pleased because she said she never wins anything. Ah, the magic of the Grove continues!

And many thanks to my dearest friends, Marcia and Judy, who despite their busy schedules were there to help throughout the hectic evening. Just seeing those smiling faces makes any night manageable (never mind their incredible willingness to pitch in and their extraordinary competence).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Muslin Project Bags & Knitter's Sayings

I hear so many reasons for people to knit. Some knit so as not to eat. Others knit so as not to think. Some knit not to worry and some knit so as not to lose their minds. I have always loved ivory muslin and linens and I've always loved words (hence the banner on my blog!). All these things came together as I was whipping up some project bags for myself. And the sayings just kept coming! I got such positive feedback on these that I decided to make some available for purchase. They are modestly priced and make great bags because they allow fibers to breathe, they're washable, and easy to just grab and go. Next time you're in the shop, check them out. You might find you're favorite reason for knitting spelled out!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Purple Kitty Design Feature Saves the Day!

The Purple Kitty idea came about when Dee feared running out of yarn before finishing the sleeves on her sister's sweater. She came across the kitty chart in one of her books and since her sister's a Cat Lover, she decided to stretch the yarn she had left by inserting him on an ecru backdrop. We brought him to life using a combination of fair isle knitting and duplicate stitch. You will find that the absolute coolest pieces you will ever create come from addressing yarn shortage, a pattern flaw, or some other knitter's dilemma. When this happens to you, just remember the "Purple Kitty"!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Butin Necklace: Fun and Gorgeous!

This Butin Necklace by Laura Nelkin has got to be the best gift a knitter can make for herself or others especially for around $15! The yarn is Audrey by Schaefer made of 50% merino and 50%. Truly, exquisitely silky ... hand-dyed, of course, because that's all Schaefer does. The small glass beads are lined and the large ones are multi-colored copper. [Apologies to Marcia because I know there is a name for them that escapes me!]. All the beads are strung prior to knitting and pulled forward as needed. The set-up must be precise because if you miscount the beads, there's no turning back except to rip out at least for the middle tier section. Beyond that, this is an easy pattern to follow. I know about the precision part because I wasn't careful and misstrung. Ended up tearing it out and re-knitting it. Okay, I did that 2x because I was watching t.v. and not giving this project the attention it deserved. Don't do as I did!!! One of the outstanding characteristics of silk is its strength and as you can see, the yarn was no worse for the wear. We have the kits in 6 different colorways and plenty of long #2 needles. [Oh c'mon ... don't be a baby...#2 needles are nothing to be afraid of!!!]

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stylin' Bamboo Knitting Totes!

I'm always on the look out for good knitting totes. To me, a good knitting tote has a flat bottom so it can sit by your chair wide open without any closure or fold to prevent your working yarn from pulling easily. A good knitting tote has got to be fabric lined. A zippered inside pocket is nice. It has to be light-weight! It cannot have any velcro enclosures to snag yarn. And finally, it cannot cost an arm and a leg.

Well, these knitting totes fit the bill exactly! They are fabric-lined bamboo totes with handles long enough to put over your shoulder. The flat bottom can be manipulated so that the entire tote can be folded and stored flat. It is well-made, roomy and has a zippered enclosure. Best or all, they only cost $35!!! What a deal!!! Aside from the black and brown ones shown here, they also come in a natural bamboo color (due at the end of August). But if you want the ones that don't show dirt, we just got our shipment in yesterday. These are definitely worth checking out!