All the yarn that's fit to knit!

Come on in, the yarn's fine!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knit Christmas Bell

Knit Christmas Bell
Any size yarn and appropriate needle size. Smaller yarn and needles will give you a smaller bell- larger needle and yarn gives you a larger bell. This is a great project to use up leftover yarns.
Cast on 13 sts. Work the following 2 rows for 44 rows (there will be 22 garter ridges)
2-purl 3, knit the rest of the sts.
Bind off. Fold piece in half with knit edge on bottom-flaring out like a bell. Sew up side and gather top.
Make a crochet chain stitch hanger. Attach a jingle bell to the inside.

This is the pattern for the knit Christmas Bell that was sent out in our last e news-

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best Christmas Present Ever!

This is one of my favorite Christmas presents ever! It is a shadowbox with 4 pairs of antique knitting needles in it. It is special in so many ways. We just recently rearranged some pictures in our family room and I wanted to share how special this is.
I am really hard to shop for. I am also really hard to surprise. I make a lot of things myself so people rarely give me anything that they have made. My husband, Chris, is pretty handy around the house and can build things and figure out how to make things work. He  is not terribly creative but he does appreciate creativity in others. About 12 years ago,when SAFF was still in Winston Salem, I said I was going on a Sunday. He said lets take all the kids and go. I tried to talk him out of it because I was really looking forward to looking at everything on my own- not with 4 kids in tow. We went and had a lovely day. I couldn't figure out why he wanted to go so badly but he was working on an idea for this present for me. He found a vendor or 2 selling antique needles and bought them without me knowing!! I am usually paying attention to what he is doing but I must have been distracted by some pretty yarn or something. He then enlisted our friends at a frame shop in Greensboro to help him frame them. They suggested a shadowbox and helped him wire the needles in place and hot glue something and mat it with a nice green mat. He then kept it hidden from me until Christmas morning. 
I couldn't believe it when I opened it. I had no idea that he made it and how much effort it took for him to find the needles then put it altogether without me knowing. And, it really looks great!
 It really is one of my favorite gifts of all time.  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beautiful Colors

There is a parade of color coming in and out of  the doors of the yarn store every day. Big bags of all colors of yarn go out with happy excited people. We often get to see what fabulous ideas have turned into beautiful pieces of art.

This is a piece of Freeform needlepoint made by a favorite customer. We had no idea that those little skeins of needlepoint yarn could turn into this one-of-a-kind yarn painting.

This is made with a skein of handpainted wool sock yarn. The textured stitch makes it look like a complicated Fair Isle pattern.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the finished project of this crocheted afghan- I'm sure it was incredible! The colors and stitch combinations used were sure to make this a family heirloom.

This afghan took my breath away!
I had helped this customer pick out 
yarns and colors that went together.
I had no idea that THIS is what she as creating!
It was made with cottons, silks and 
linens in a Domino knitting technique. 

I think this is one of my all time favorite finished pieces. It is so rewarding to be able to help someone create something as beautiful as this afghan. 

(I liked it so much I downloaded it twice!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So Much Talent and Creativity

There are so many creative people who are or have been associated with Great Yarns and Yarns etc. Interweave Crochet Magazine has a new Editor- Marcy Smith Rice lives in Raleigh and is doing an excellent job at the magazine. Marcy wrote a crafts column for theRaleigh News and Observer before going to work for Interweave. In between jobs she helped us out at Great Yarns. We enjoy seeing each and every Interweave Crochet that has Marcy's creative touch.
A featured column in Interweave Crochet - Craftivism- is written by Betsy Greer. Betsy has been working at Yarns etc... in Chapel Hill for several months.

Betsy is also the author of Knitting for Good. We all know how much knitting and crafting have made our lives better. Betsy confirms that with her book about how the more we knit and craft the better off the whole world is. Thank you Betsy for putting this in print for all of us to enjoy

This is the latest issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts. The hat ON THE COVER was designed and made by Catherine Shields. There are 2 more colorways shown in the magazine. Catherine worked at Yarns etc... when we were still in Carrboro. She is in school in California and has obviously not been too busy to keep up with her very fine knitting- and now- designing skills. I know we will see more of her work in future publications.

Congratulations to all of you talented and creative ladies!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


For the past six or seven years, not only have I been knitting, but I've also been an advocate of the value of knitting and making other things by hand. A long time ago, in a knitting circle, I started talking about how craft and activism have an innate connection as passion for both can lead to the creation of items that express your values, views and opinions. Someone within the group piped up and said, "You could call it craftivism." And so I did.

Much to my surprise, in uncovering more about this connection inherent to craftivism, it led to charity knitting, a MA thesis on how crafting can facilitate community development, essays, blog posts, and a book! It's called Knitting for Good: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social and Political Change Stitch by Stitch and was published by Shambhala last November. Since then I have also started writing a Craftivism column for Interweave Crochet, which is edited by the very talented local crafter, Marcy Smith! At one of those book signings last year, Mary said she needed some extra help in the shop some days and ever since I've been filling in here and there, as of August, every Friday afternoon and on occasions when there's an open shift.

But what about this craftivism thing? What is it all about? It started with the realization of how handmade items touch us in a completely different way than mass-produced ones. Items made by hand not only feel different, but are different because they are made from two hands and not a production line of machines. Wearing something made specifically for you, versus wearing something made for the bottom line, are two completely different experiences. With this in mind, I started knitting scarves, hats, blankets, mittens and vests for different charities that were collecting handmade pieces for various drives or collection. I liked that I could take the strength of knitting, that one has complete control over a garment's construction from design to size to color to gauge, and make something special for someone...especially for someone who desperately needed a vest to keep warm or could be comforted through difficult times by snuggling up with a cheerful blanket. I also liked that I could, in my own small way, fight against homelessness, war, cancer, or other injustices/causes with little else but my own two hands, some sticks and some string. It reminded me of how we're all connected when I felt overwhelmed that there wasn't a magic pill that would save everyone. It reminded me that maybe I couldn't help save a whole country of children, but that I could make a few children's days better by putting my knitting needles to good use.

In allowing the dual effects of knitting (process and product) to resonate, I've found the spot where maybe I'm not so technical, but I am constantly inspired to keep creating. I love that whether I'm waiting at the doctor's office or watching a movie or talking with friends I can be simultaneously working towards making someone's day better through knitting, whether it's my grandmother's or a stranger's. At first, my mother was worried about the "activism" part of craftivism, as didn't that entail lots of waving banners or breaking windows or something else not so positive? In time, however, she came to see how "activism" is not rooted in negativity, it's rooted in kindness and care and action. Positive action towards making the world a better place to be. That kindness and care is the heart of craftivism, uncovering how we can take our individual gifts and talents and use them to help others. And it's at the heart of knitting and creating, as we make items that are beautiful and sustainable with our own two hands, embracing the past and welcoming it into the future.
What is your favorite way to express your giving spirit?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baby Gifts

We have been noticing a lot of mothers-to-be lately. And along with that goes lots of knitting for babies. This beautiful blue and brown seed stitch blanket was made for a special California baby by his excited Grandmom. We worked together to embroider the initials and birthdate.

This cute flower sweater was made for a lucky little girl out of the ever popular 1824 cotton. I love this color combination!

This Big Sister shows off her cute green cotton sweater with a drawstring neckline. So Cute!!!
This 3 button raglan is made in super special Koigu superwash merino. It will keep some little one warm and snuggly -not to mention quite fashionable- this winter.
And the ever popular Layette set is always a special baby gift. This set has hat, booties, sweater and a blanket.  They were all made in the same Peter Pan Baby Yarn. That is a lot of knitting!!!
We love to see what you make for all your special little ones. We especially love to see your little ones in their special hand knits.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Busy Saturday

We had a busy Saturday in the Chapel Hill store this week. Not a busy day helping people pick out new projects but a busy day organizing. This is the "move-in " Saturday at UNC . We know that students and parents are busy moving into their dorms and the Chapel Hill natives are staying home away from traffic. We also had ominous dark clouds hovering and I knew all of those factors would make it a great day to rearrange the store.
This is Sarah building new shelves to put all the new Fall yarns in. This grid  shelf system is great for our displays but it is tedious to put together. We knew we just had to keep building it then secure it with tie wraps to make sure it didn't fall apart under the weight of the yarn.

We were rewarded with our hard work when we got to arrange all of the new yarns on the shelves. We got to fondle all of the new wool/silk blends, the alpacas, the tweeds, the new lace weights, the colorful sock yarn. I was sure I would have so many empty shelves to fill up with all the yarns that haven't arrived yet. No- I'll have to find some room to build some more shelves!

We finished putting everything neatly on the shelves and cleaning up right at 5:00. It looks great and I even had time to pick  a  project from the new yarns and patterns to take home and start last night. 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Sale

Happy Dog Days of Summer to you all!!!

No pictures today because we have been busy getting ready for our Summer Sale.

It is a traveling sale so come to both stores for some great bargains on yarn.

The Sale schedule is as follows:

Great Yarns: Saturday August 8th- Tuesday August 11th

Yarns etc...: Friday August 14th - Tuesday Ausust 18th

Stay COOL!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

If I were going to get a tattoo....

Seriously.... If I were going to get a tattoo I think it would be just like this. Cute little black sheep to show the world what you love. These fiber fanatic females came into the shop last week and I spied their tattoos and asked if I could take their pictures and post them here for everyone to see. Anyone else have any fiber related tattoos to show us??


Lots of great new patterns are flying into the shop right now. Some of these are even tempting me and my steely reserve not to MAKE NEW THINGS! Yeah, like I've never given into that temptation before! We have patterns from; Bekah Knits, Knit and Tonic, Coco Knits, White Lies Designs, Kate Jackson Knits and Skif.

Speaking of STEELy reserve, this little number has been inspired by "June" a wonderful pattern by Skif. I fell in love with the flexibility and options for this pattern and started last week. It is made in lovely eggplant colored linen with a sprinkling of leftover merino and silk/stainless steel from the Habu Textiles scarf kit- of course I made a few modifications just to keep it exciting.

So, thats what I've been working on this week. I'm off to the beach for family vacation, so I'll see you all here in two weeks. We'll see how much knitting I can get done between floating in the waves, eating too much, making sand creatures with my niece and nephew and staying up too late playing scrabble with my big brother. Jealous? My fantastic sister-in-law is also a knitter, so that should be knitting motivating! Have a great week.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Best laid plans...  not so much!
There are plenty of things that will just have to wait a little longer for my knitting attention. 
I happily knit this tiny little hat out of the leftovers from my blankie, walked right into that one folks! Stripes are so adorable on little baby hats... then you get caught weaving in 42 ends on a hat that is no bigger than 6 inches!

Here it is modeled with some yummy new yarn from Aslan Trends. It is called Los Andes, and it's a nice thick and thin super bulky wool with great colors.

We also got the Aslan Trends sock yarn Santa Fe, a beautiful kettle dyed wool in the same great colorways. Can you tell that I favor the greens? The best part is that both of these great new yarns are super soft!
We'll just see what goodies come in next week.
Be well and happy stitching!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I have to admit that I don't knit as much on the weekends as I would like. Weekends are actually "workends" for me and I am very busy or very sleepy in a fairly predictable pattern. However, I found this cute little cardigan, knit all in one piece and fell in love. I cast on Friday evening after work, and (almost) finished by Sunday night.

I would have completely finished, but I needed to come by the shop to pick out these perfect wooden buttons. That and it still needs a little steam, blocking will have to be for another day.  My favorite thing about this precious sweater is that it will be a fantastic wardrobe for a little one's teddy bear when they have grown out of it!

Both of these projects are knit with the great Mission Falls 1824 wool, superwash, wonderful colors and fast to knit!

This is just a taste of my next project... more to come! I hope to be finished by Sunday! STAY TUNED!

Friday, July 10, 2009


I am so happy to have sewn this beautiful blankie together...
I can hardly wait to see an adorable baby right in the middle!

too bad I have 84 MORE ends to weave in!

We'll see how I feel after weaving in all of those ends, but I'm fairly certain that every single step of this lovely blankie has been worth it.
See you next Friday when I'm sure to be finished, and on to the next adventure!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knit Summer Bags

Here is a great idea for a Summer knitting project- handbags!

This cute bag with bamboo handles is made from fabric strips. If you sew you can sew yourself an outfit AND knit a bag to match!

Here are some more  fun bags. I love the big buttons!

This is a cute knit bag- notice the knitting needles holding it together!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Now I just need to choose a button.
I have so many wonderful choices!

I think I'm going with the silver one, second down- just odd enough to suit me.
However, I cannot actually finish this because I haven't even got a scrap of this yarn with me to sew on the button. Believe that?

I guess I will finally have to start weaving in those ends on my baby blankie. 
OR, I could start something new...
What great things have you been loving to knit on lately?

We'll be closed this weekend for the Independence holiday, so we'll see you next week for more knitting fun!

Hope you all have a super holiday weekend and enjoy your projects!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's been a blur at the shop today, so I'm sneaking in a quick post until... off I go.
What a great day, so many wonderful people coming in to the shop and a great many boxes full of goodies arriving!

Oh, it's so exciting! This is just the beginning of all of the fun things that Mary ordered for the shop at market!

On a personal knitting note, Seduce IS seductive. I fell for it too and I am trying to make a little shrug as a coverup to go with a strapless dress for a wedding next month. So close! I am actually a little further along than this picture, but I hate to spoil the surprise.
Just sleeves and bands to go. I guess I can promise a modeled picture... but I'm not promising that I'll do my hair!

See you at the shop, we'll be here to show you all of the great new arrivals.

Friday, June 19, 2009


We just got word that Mrs. Alice Kimball passed away on Thursday, June 18th. Alice was the proud owner of Knit-a-Bit in Chapel Hill for over 40 years. She was a legend in the Needlecraft industry for decades. We should all be thankful that Alice was there to help so many pick a new project, get started with knitting and that she was so supportive of Needle Arts in our community.
At this time details about a memorial service have not been made.

So, our fellow needle artists... knit-on for a knitter lost.
See you next Friday.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Alas, I STILL have 49 ends to weave!
But I have been a busy bee. As you may know Rowan's Wool Cotton happens to be my favorite yarn for babies, great feel, super colors and washability that doesn't require a deal with the devil down at the crossroads.
With all of that said, it is certainly my preferred yarn for baby hats, and with a new crop of kids coming soon I have been preparing. I have so much fun combining the colors too!

Sometimes, I think that putting a spot of a different color on the crown decreases makes it even more tempting to kiss em' on the top of the head! I even  have a few different sizes, so I'm ready for anything! I'm thinking about some striped hats with the leftovers.

By the way, when you come by to see us, make sure to check the new buttons that Mary got for us! Great Yarns has always had a wonderful button selection and now we have some awesome buttons too! 

yarns etc... Great Yarns

That's just the beginning!
I'm "hooked" already! 

Make sure to check out both collections the next time you need great buttons for your favorite handknits!

So, I promised I'd write more often and here I am in the shop; filling you up on pictures, wishing I typed faster, and hoping you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 8, 2009


This Month brings us the annual World Wide Knit In Public Day!



Be sure to do your part and get knitting out there to be talked about and seen by all!

You can get together your own group and go to your favorite hangout, or join an organized group for a bigger event, but most importantly- get out there and have fun spreading fiber-arts!


The Ol' North State Knitting Guild Is hosting a big get together to celebrate.

Here's the details:

Location: Lake Crabtree Park, Morrisville.

Time: 11am - 4pm

Date: June 13, 2009

How to get there:

1400 Aviation Parkway, I-40, exit 285, ‘Beech’ shelter

Please bring: Yarn, of course! There are picnic tables, a kids playground and grills available on site. We are right at the lake if you want to swim. There will be vendors, door prizes, charity displays, and the opportunity to work on the World’s Longest Scarf in support of Keep the Fleece, a celebration of the International Year of Natural Fibres. Mostly - come knit and have fun with people who understand stash! Contact robin, As this is an all inclusive event, please feel free to bring your crochet, nalbinding, spindle or wheel.

The backup plan is: The Beech shelter is completely covered.

This KIP is not knitting exclusive

There are free bathrooms available nearby


Drop us a comment here on the blog if you wish to share some of your favorite places to Knit In Public. 

Friday, June 5, 2009


I've had so many things in the works, and of course, so many projects tempting me to take them on next! Remember this:

... I have finally finished all of the knitting, and all I have left are the 49 ends to weave and seven strips to sew! I promise that I will post again when it is completely finished. It is a Wool Cotton dream, and I love it!

So you all know that I've missed you and I am reaffirming my commitment to writing more often... look for me here every Friday posting LIVE from the shop!  

Now, what's next? A striped baby sweater?

OR, should I give in to the tempting colors in the Malabrigo basket... 
a scarf for me?

I'll have to get back to you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cool Socks

This looks like a lovely handpainted scarf... but no.... It is actually a Sock Blank that you unravel and knit into a sock. This is from Plymouth Yarn and comes in a variety of colorways.
You unravel one end and start knitting. It is really fun to knit because you don't know how the pattern is going to come out and you just want to keep knitting to see how it will look.

Here is the finished sock. I was really happy with how it turned out and like the way the finished sock feels. Now I just have to knit the 2nd one....

Sign up for our email Newsletter!