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Thursday, December 25, 2008


What an amazing year!
Since the beginning of winter last year, my life has grown in so many new dimensions.
I became a married lady, made wonderful new friends, improved my communication skills and became a better person for my human family and my planet.
Somewhere along this path I became a Knitter (uppercase) real and capable. I can knit most anything I want, teach, design and find my way out of many messes; my own and others, real and imagined! 
I have been blessed worlds over with the best people to resource for any task I would like to take on, blessed with friends and family that appreciate, request and praise my knitted accomplishments and most of all BLESSED with the most supportive and phenomenal husband ever!
I will call on all of your help as I am expanding my skills again... my super husband is so many things to me and he is also an instigator, a troublemaker and an accomplished expander of my world!
So here I go, back to kindergarten again...

I am NOT good at this, but it sure is FUN!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Solstice, Wonderful New Year and THANK YOU to you all!
Life is so rich and astonishing, I am grateful!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like .....

It is looking like Christmas at my house! I have pulled all the Christmas decorations out of the boxes and am trying to remember where everything goes and how DO we hang all  those lights?Among our most precious holiday decorations are our Christmas Stockings.
This is my Christmas stocking that was made by my mother in 1962. It is a little faded  and has been repaired over the years but it is still a good stocking and holds many memories. All of my brothers and sisters had this same style stocking and we loved imagining what Santa would fill them with. We would hang them on our door knobs when we went to sleep and we would wake up throughout the night to check if they were filled. We all tried to stay awake to catch Santa filling our stockings but we never caught him.

In the morning we would all get up and open our stockings in bed. It was a delightful half hour or so to share what surprises we each received. We all had tangerines and bananas, chocolates, and for some reason we always had Kumquats. We never saw them at any other time of the year and I don't really remember eating them but it would not have been Christmas without them. We all had special surprises in our stocking that I realized later would occupy us for awhile before we woke our parents.  

All of my extended family has Handknit Christmas  Stockings. There are many traditions involved in who makes them and when someone who marries into the family gets one. 
When I was first married and needed extra money someone  asked me to make them a Christmas Stocking. I was excited that someone else's family had the same tradition. Over the years I have made dozens of stockings. Last year I think I made 12 for the holiday season.
It is part of my own holiday tradition- to make stockings for others in November and December.   

Here are 2 for a new baby Richard and a new daughter-in-law Weezie.

We had 2 new grand baby boys in our family this year. My mother knit the stockings and I sewed all the sequins on them.
This is my fireplace with all the stockings hung by the chimney with care. It really feels like Christmas when the stockings go up! 

I still get special surprises in my Christmas Stocking every year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sally Melville Workshop

We were so fortunate to have Sally Melville here for a weekend full of workshops and learning opportunities. Sally is a great teacher who inspires all of us in our knitting projects.

Sally is the author of 4 knitting books and has another due out in March. We are eagerly awaiting new ideas and designs from this new book that Sally is writing with her daughter.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the workshops and a big Thank You to Sally who came from Canada for the weekend to inspire us all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cool Tool

These are really cool tools!  

A sales rep recently showed me this really cool tool that I can't figure out what to call. It has a crochet hook on one end and a knitting needle on the other.  It is an essential tool for your knitting bag.  
You can use the crochet end to pick up dropped stitches and do simple crochet sts. With the other end you can do cables or hold stitches in place. I bet there are many more uses for this tool. I liked it so much that I asked the nice folks at Twin Birch to make some in a little larger size in their nice Birch wood.

This is a great, inexpensive gift to give a knitter friend - or a fun little addition to your own knitting tool kit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crochet Tea Set

If this isn't a Labor of Love for one little girl I don't know what is!
This whole tea set is crocheted out of  thin cotton and a little metallic for the spoons. This creative mom even made sugar cubes for the pretend tea! So special! 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Charity Knitting

There is lots of Charity Knitting going on in our community and we are so fortunate to be able to see how people are participating with their varied talents.
 A very creative knitter made these children's sweaters out of leftover bits of wool yarn. She created little masterpiece sweaters for Children in Common-  an organization that provides warm sweaters for children all over the world.

Another knitter was also very busy making all these wool raglan pullovers for the same organization.

 We also get lots of Linus Blankets dropped off at yarns etc.. and Great Yarns. We are happy to get them in the right hands so they can be distributed to children in out community.

Some other charity knitting projects we have seen lately have been for Afghans for Afghanistan, The Prayer Shawl Ministry, Hats for the Homeless, Caps for newborns, Helmet Liners for the soldiers in Iraq and many more local and national organizations.

There are so many charity knitting projects to participate in. If you aren't able to do any charity knitting and want to participate by donating unneeded yarn or needles we can make sure it gets to the right people. Please let us know some of your favorite organizations by leaving a comment on this post and we will include the information in a future post.

Thank you to all of you who donate their time and talents to those in need.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Felting Fun!!!

Needle felting is really taking off around here. People are creating the most amazing things out of felting needles and different colored balls of fluff. The little boy-above- and his pets were made by one very creative lady, Jean Melton! A few days later she brought in the very realistic cat. I love the expression on the 2 dogs faces. You can blend colors and shape the fleece so your dolls and animals have lots of character. 

Another customer brought in this assortment of Fall decorations. We all love the pieces she made and we finally convinced her to do a class for us.  Jan French is teaching 2 different needle felting classes just in time for making holiday gifts and decorations. They start this Wednesday(10/29) night. Call us for more details-919-929-6782

You can learn to make this cute Pumpkin Gnome! His hat is the top of the pumpkin. 
We would love to see what you can create.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall FO's

We love it when you show us your finished projects!
 This is a really lovely Shrug made by a talented Great Yarns  knitter. It will keep her nice and warm as we are finally having weather cold enough to wear it.

Here is a store sample made in Classic Elite's Soft Linen. It is the classic feather n' fan pattern with a twist- it is knit sideways. This is a great look for Fall.

This is the Angel Island Shell  made by another talented Great Yarns knitter. This will look great under a fall cardigan or jacket.

She is a prolific knitter with 2 Fo's this visit. This is a cute raglan pullover that was easy to make and will go with everything! Thanks for sharing!

Janis made this year round sweater from an old Classic Elite pattern out of  Provence-a great cotton with an amazing color palette. Janis has shown amazing skill with her knitting over the past year!

This is a fun scarf made out of Tango. It takes 2 skeins to make this scarf . It takes a special technique that is simple once you learn how to do it. 

Lucinda designed and made this lacy scarf out of Berroco's Seduce. Seduce makes nice a nice drapey fabric that looks great in a lace pattern like this scarf.
This is a great Fall Pullover made in Harlequin from Dale of Norway. It is a soft tweed wool with 10% cashmere that makes it feel like you never want to take it off.
This wool vest is made in Waterlily from Classic Elite. It is a very soft merino wool  that comes in several wonderful colors. Once you use it it may become one of your favorite yarns!

We know you have projects you are finishing up that we would love to see!!! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


What an exciting time to work with such wonderful fibers!
As the chill just begins to settle into the air my excitement for knitting is refreshed and renewed!
I'm knitting a dozen things right now, mostly things that require a bit of thought or planning, so what have I done...

something simple, mindless, bright and beautiful!
Garter Stitch Baby Blanket, knit in seven strips of seven colors rotating one block on every strip to make a diagonal stripe pattern, made it before , will make it again, love it! Knit in Rowan Wool Cotton. We have some exciting new colors in the shop, Mary always picks the best stuff, she is such an inspiration to me!

One lovely surprise showed up at my house, my Mother wearing the vest I made for her!
Great Cascade 220, so many delicious choices!

The best way to get more Handknits? Wearing them and flattery! That's why these socks are for her, Shhhhh don't tell her, I'm not finished yet! Three Waters Farm Superwash Sock in none other than "Late October" I hope to finish by then!

Even our pumpkins are knit-themed! The original neon sign!  Thanks to my awesome Husband for helping me pull this off!

By the way, roasted pumpkin seeds make an excellent snack for knitters!

Make sure you come by and see what other trouble I'm getting myself into and please come and show off all the goodies you've been working on.
We've got great classes at both locations right now and wonderful news that 
Super Knitter, Sally Melville is coming to town! 
Check out the schedules on our website;
I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to my students for making my first class so amazing!

See you all at the shop!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Parking Lot Blues

In case you haven't been to Yarns etc... lately - This is part of the  parking lot in front of the store. This is Phase 4 of the parking lot renovation and it is a big mess.

There is still plenty of parking on the other side of Whole Foods, behind the building  and a huge parking lot where the old movie theater used to be. They are working as hard as they can and the parking lot really is going to be very nice when it is finished.

Meanwhile, If you really can't find a parking spot, you can see Michael in the Valet parking booth right out front. I bet we are the only yarn store in the country who has valet parking!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's finally Scarf Weather again!

Last year, I decided to knit a cotton scarf out of some Goddess Yarns Carmen, but I didn't have enough, so the scarf was WAY too short! It has been sitting in my closet, just waiting for an excuse to be ripped out and made into something else. Last week, I found many more skeins of Carmen hanging out in the sale basket in Chapel Hill and knew the time had finally come. Hannah helped me pick out 3 colors that would go beautifully with the pale blue I already had - puce, orange, and lime green.
This scarf was just begging to be knit sideways, but I didn't want to settle for a plain old garter stitch. I added some variety by using one size 13 needle and one size 10! Each color is knit for 3 rows, and whenever I joined a new color, I slipped every other stitch. This scarf was so easy, anyone can do it! And since I hate finishing projects, the best part is that the loose ends were tied in knots and incorporated into some fun colorful fringe at each end!
I'm not really sure how many yards I used, but I started with 4 skeins of 90 yds each and have plenty of each left over. The scarf is about 77" long (it was meant to be 60" and stretched - but who's complaining? I love long scarves!) and 4" wide.
What lonely old project will you rip apart this year and make into something new?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Stray Socks Around The House.

I started a new sock at Knit Night on Thursday, something special for a friend's birthday coming up soon. I finished it last night, much faster than I had planned.  It is Three Waters Farm, but I can't tell you the colorway in case it would ruin the surprise.

I figure that I'm ahead of schedule, got me thinking about the socks that are already waiting for me, I could have a little affair with this flashy red sock that was already on the needles, right? 

Oh sweet, sweet Jitterbug, your bouncy and bright deliciousness!
I turned the heel and started the cuff!
In my search for this little temptation, I found another PAIR just waiting in my backpack... yes, the one I took to Maine... in July, and still haven't fully unpacked. Oh, the guilty feelings!

Three Waters Farm- "Late October" Ah, cool weather, Fall colors...!
I'm not even sure that this is all of them, there might even be more socks sneaking around my house at night! Just so you know that I'm not trying to fool myself, I have dozens of other beautiful skeins calling my needles, and that doesn't even include the new yarns coming into the shop that I must have! 
Hint- Misti Alpaca Handpaint Sock... OK, I already brought it home. 
It is hopeless, I've given in... 
Knitting, I'm all yours forever! 
At least my husband understands.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This week has been all about finishing for me. One spell of cooler weather and my mind is very  ready to start sharing and wearing wool! Warm, comforting, delightful wool!

The first thing I finished was a new hat for my handsome husband, that's my favorite stripe pattern... as you will soon see. It seems strange to me that I always love stripes that are worked in an odd number of rows/rounds, I would have guessed before I began to knit that I would be most attracted to all things "even"- boy was I wrong!

Something special for him, something special for me!

This is my new sweater, which I love! Knit up in Cascade 220 in the only pink I can wear without looking like a very tired zombie. I knit this sweater from a new Chic Knits pattern the Basic Chic Pulli. This is my sample sweater for teaching the pattern in the Chapel Hill shop starting October 13th. I am quite pleased with the results, love the top-down-round construction, the perfectly flattering fit and the ease in which this pattern takes minor modifications! As some of you know I can't knit without doing something "different" I'm sure that speaks to my true personality, Ha! 
The major modification that I needed to make was to add length to the pattern, so I chose a nice contrast color and introduced it with a simple and dramatic slipstitch pattern over two rows. This highlights the modification and gives a classic sweater a sort of "Bride-of-FrankenKnits" feel, which I just adore! I chose a lighter color to have a slimming effect on an area that I didn't feel needed any extra emphasis.
I'm so happy that my plan actually worked... whew!
I'll share a secret... I actually properly blocked this sweater, damp towel, iron, steam- the works! It was so exciting, Thankfully I had watched Mary do some significant blocking at the shop so I wasn't too scared!

The next things I needed to put the finishing touches on- new hats for my rapidly growing niece and nephew, when it starts to cool down here it's already getting cold in Maine. I knit these up fast and in matching patterns (notice the favorite stripes) but one has lighter stripes and darker main color, and the other is opposite- to try and keep the kids from being too matchy-matchy. T. will be very happy to know that his hat looks like Jon's!

The last thing I want to share today isn't finished, but I am dreaming about wearing it, that counts right? Scarf/Shawl in Kidsilk haze!

Just one more color...

So, there's where I'm at, come by the shop and show me what you've been working on!
Hope to see you at Knit Night tonight. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Reasons to Knit and wear Shawls

 Here are some of our favorite reasons for knitting and wearing a shawl:
 Take a shawl on an airplane trip and you can cuddle up underneath it instead of one those questionable blankets.
You can still wear a bare top or dress and cover up your arms -or other parts- with a shawl.
A shawl is the perfect coverup in the Summer in those over air-conditioned restaurants.
Knitting or Crocheting a shawl can test your skills. 
You can make a shawl for a friend and not worry about whether it will fit. 
You can make Triangular, Rectangular or Circular Shawls.
When you are not wearing them you can drape them across the back of a chair and decorate the room.
You can't have too many of them!!!

We have so many beautiful Shawls on display at Great Yarns.  Some are super easy to make and some are a bit more challenging. The shawl above is made out of Jojoland's Melody. It is a soft merino wool that gently changes colors to really show off the pattern.

The shawl below is an easy project that will go anywhere. It is made in Berroco's Suede.

This is the Angel lace shawl pattern from Fiber Trends. It is made in Naturally's Dawn -a luxurious   silk/wool blend.

The Brown Shawl below has little seed beads knit in. These 2 are for the more experienced knitter. 
Better take a "Learn to Knit Lace" class!

This is another Fiber Trends Pattern-Ruffles and Ridges. It is made in Manos' Silk n' Wool. It is a lot of fun to do after you cast on the 1,000 plus stitches for the ruffle.

This semi- circle lace shawl was made in Jitterbug from Unique Kolours. We have many more ideas for shawls  and lots of new lace yarn to make your next project!

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