All the yarn that's fit to knit!

Come on in, the yarn's fine!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Mother Ship Has Landed!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy
oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!


I love it when big boxes galore show up at Yarns Etc.

Some bright, pretty colors for the upcoming spring season!!!

Ohhhh wouldn't that make a pretty little flimsy, frilly accessory for a sundress?  Spring, where are you?

Mmmmm, wall o' wool.  Yummmmm.

PS:  Mary showed me how far she's gotten on her sock for the knit-along:

I so know the feeling!

Knit-Along Part One

How's it going out there, peeps?  Are you having fun on the Relevé socks?  I admit, when I first saw the socks, I thought 'oh boy, this is going to be so hard and I'm going to fail just trying to knit after the cuff ribbing is over.'  I've never knit anything other than straight vanilla socks.  I have been known to get Jiggy Wit It and do 1x1 ribbing all the way down the sock.  Just once, though, with size 1 needles, and I'm never doing it again!  So when I saw cables and lace, I thought I was toast, and I have been so very pleasantly surprised.  This pattern is a delight to knit. 

The Shibui sock yarn I am using, aptly named "wasabi" is also a delight to knit.  I'm having quite a lot of fun here, folks.  After years of only knitting one kind of socks one way, this is a breath of fresh air.  The color and pattern (and this gorgeous weather) are making me feel like spring is right around the corner. 

Wasabi.  Wasssaaaaaabi. 

Here is one helpful tip I'm going to throw out there (just in case you didn't know this...or maybe you do something different, or better, who knows?).  When casting on for a sock, you almost can't cast on too loosely, however, it's lousy when you cast on too tightly.  Lousy like a tight rubber band around your calf, am I right?  Not that did that...before.  What can a knitter do to combat this serious issue?  One tool I use is to cast on holding two double-pointed needles together, like so:

This insures that the stitches are nice and loose for the top of my sock, but not so loose that it will fall down my leg when I wear them.  Once I've cast on enough stitches, I remove the extra needle and reposition the stitches around three DPNs (some people like to use four, I just use three so I can pretend I have a "spare" DPN if and when I lose one). 

 I just want to say, to any people out there who are skittish about using DPNs, please don't freak out.  Seriously.  It may look like knitting trigonometry to you, and it did look like that to me before I tried it, but really this is super old school knitting.  This is what was used before circular needles were invented.  You may have more needles, and they may have two pointy ends rather than one, but you only use TWO at a time, not all of them at a time.  Just like regular knitting.  It's in the wording, I think.  You hear "double pointed needles" and think it sounds much harder than it is.  I felt the same way.  In fact, I was so worried about the concept of intarsia...because it sounds like a communicable disease (!), that when I finally sat down with Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book and a blanket I was working on, I was stunned at how easy it actually was.  It's all in how you perceive it....let go of your fear, young Skywalker, and you too can use the force....

In the meantime, here I am, cruising to the heel. 

And I tried to stretch it out over my hand to fully show off its gorgeousness:

What colors are you using?  What yarns?  Heck, what are you knitting on right now? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drumroll, please....

Welcome to the first ever Great Yarns/Yarns Etc SOCK Knit-along! 

It took lots of Ravelry window-shopping, blog comment reading, and an exciting seven coin tosses (like the World Series, to be fair) and, my friends, we not only know what article of clothing we are knitting, we also know what pattern we are knitting, and we are in for a real treat!

May I present to you the Releve Sock  from our local designer KT!

This is a top down sock, with cables and lace (never fear, we're all in this together), in a fingering weight yarn.  The yardage required (depending on foot size) is 375-425 yards (343-389 meters). 

KT is a local designer, and has had patterns published not only on Ravelry, but in KnitCircus, Interweave Knits, and 101 Luxury One Skein Wonders, among others.  Her blog is here.  She very kindly offered a pattern of hers up for our knit-along.  I feel so fortunate!  Thank you, KT!

In order to get the pattern, you will need to go to this link, and when you check out, use YARNSETC as the code in order to get the pattern for free.  I had a little trouble with the code this morning, so email me (ellarine23ATyahooDOTcom--replace the AT and the DOT with the @ and the .) if you also are noticing trouble.  I have shot off an email to KT to double-check whether or not I just maybe did it wrong.  We'll get it hammered out, no worries.   

So...I'm gonna go sock yarn shopping this morning.  It's all for educational purposes, right? 

Oh yes, that's very nice.  What else have you got?

Oooooh, me likey.  Got anything else?

Oh Mary, you speak-a my language.
In other news, I have a slightly embarassing story to tell you.  Yesterday I was super-klutzy, and ended the evening (after stepping on a few children's toys and saying bad words in many languages) falling down the stairs!  Not all of them, really only about 4 or 5, but I feel strongly that they were perhaps the pointiest and most brutal of all the staircase (wah).  As I lay there, stunned, at the bottom of the stairs, I realized I had hit my hands and wrists all over the place while I'd tested out gravity.  Since I have a slight dash of hypochondria, I immediately had a teensy freak out that perhaps I had hurt my hands and...(gulp)...might not be able to knit!!

I immediately set to doing in-air, invisible knitting gestures to see if anything hurt.  I am pleased to say that I've been cleared for playing with yarn, still.  However, my husband and children think I should be benched for obsessive knit/yarn-intoxication.  Game on!

PS:  Forgot to add!!  I took the liberty of setting up a discussion thread on Ravelry for the knit-along.  If you need help for a part of the pattern, or you want to share about how much you love it, or just want to chat, we're there.  Just look for the Yarns Etc/Great Yarns board, and the thread should be at the top.  See you soon!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Results Are In!

I was so pleased to see several comments from knitters after last week's blog post.  It looks like we're going to do a knit-along, folks!  I'm very excited, as it's my first knit-along.  Details are still coming together, and in a day or two I will present the pattern we will be knitting, along with some yarn options.  Seems like we're all split down the middle on the whole sock/shawl debate, but no one is threatening to unleash the clothes moths on us if we pick one and not the other (knock on wood).  Yet another reason why I love knitters, we're all pretty happy and laid back, so long as you don't take our yarn away!  I shall determine what we will do by scientific method.  Are you familiar with the Flip-a-Coin Research Institute?  Just kidding (sort of). 

In other news, have you been by your lovely local yarn store lately?  If not, you have got to see this:

Yarns Etc did a little shuffling of their chi recently, busted out the feng shui manual and aligned their chakras in a most pleasing manner.  Seriously, have you seen how gorgeously the yarns are displayed there now?  For instance:

I had to mosey through and appreciate all the yarns in their new cubbies...heck, I appreciate the yarns every time I go, new cubbies or not!  In one such cubby, there was a new kid on the block: 

Some people think I'm an enabler...I just laugh and laugh....
This is Malabrigo Arroyo, which is a sport weight, superwash merino from Uruguay and it is hand-dyed in batches of only five (FIVE!) skeins...which would make a beautiful project, as colorful and unique as a stained glass window.  

I also have finished another project here on the home front. 

This is the Landscape Shawl from Evelyn Clark.  I've had pictures of it up on the blog before, and while right here it isn't looking its best, try as I might to make the camera do it justice (it looks like oatmeal hurl here), it does look very nice in person.  Each band of the shawl is done in a different stitch.  Garter, seed stitch, stockinette, moss, etc.  It also has a lovely picot edging along the sides of the shawl.  I sized it down a little bit, since my mother-in-law, who requested it, did not want it to be overly large. 

I still am chugging away on my Pi Shawl as well.  It is much, much more colorful, thanks to the rainbow Kauni Effektgarn I'm using.  You may need sunglasses for this next picture:

I'm very close to knitting on a border, and then I will be faced with a quandary.  What am I going to do with this shawl?  Not exactly working as a blanket, too scratchy for my baby daughter (sorry, Kauni, but you know it's true), not sure if a circle shawl is my thing...I was drawn in by the slowly changing colors that make Kauni so cool though.   I'm a simple creature...some days I'd call my friend and say, "I was on yellow-green earlier today and now I'm almost to purple!"  It's the little things in life, I guess. 

So, to finish up, please feel free to add your two (or ten) cents in about the upcoming knit-along!!  I'd love it if we could get a bunch of us together working on something, helping each other along!  Keep coming back, too, since the pattern and yarn will be up in the next day or two!  See you soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Call yarns etc to sign up today 919.928.8810

Learn to Knit       $25
Always wanted to take up knitting? Now is your time, come learn from the best! One time class.
7- 9 pm
Thursday, May 3
Thursday, June 7

Mini Classes- (sign up for 1 or all 4)
Tuesdays 10-11:30
May 1  Reading patterns, getting gauge, abbreviations, charts.

May 8  Learning fancy sts, cables, traveling sts and more.

May 15  Finishing techniques- different seaming techniques including 3 needle bind off.

May 22 Finishing Techniques - picking up sts,button holes and button bands and more.

Learn to Crochet      $25
Here's your opportunity to get a beautiful start on your crochet adventures! One time class.
7-9 pm
Sunday, April 15

Sunday, May 20
Sunday, June 10

General Knitting      $60
Tuesday 7- 9 pm 
April 17, 24, May 8, 15, 22 & 29
Sunday 6- 8 pm
April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 20 & 27

Toe Up Sock Workshop     $50
From the tip of the toe to the top of the cuff, socks will have you hooked! Four sessions to sock Mastery! Seamless toe, Magic Loop and all the skills you need to use each of our amazing yarns to make a sock that fits perfectly every time.
6:30- 8:30pm
Monday, April 23, 30, May 7 & 14

Classic Knit Hat in Any Size      $50
Come pick out your favorite yarn in the shop and we'll create a great hat together. With a little expert guidance you can knit any hat to flatter. Raise the bar!
4- 5:30 pm
Sunday, April 22, 29 & May 6

Magic Loop         $20
A great skill to have in a pinch! Always wanted to try it? Learn this great method for knitting quickly in the round with a longer circular. Saves wear on your hands and wrists and improves the versatility of your knitting needle collection.
4- 5:30 pm
Sunday April 15

LEARN TO SPIN         $60
Introduction to spinning technique on the spindle and spinning wheel. A perfect activity for all! Includes Materials.
6- 7:30 pm


CALL NOW TO REGISTER  919.832.3599

BEGINNING KNIT CLASSES - $55.00 are available at a variety of times, both day and evening. Class includes your yarn, needles, instruction book, knit gauge and two, 2 hour sessions.  Choose from one of the following times and add a wonderful craft to your new year and an art you will treasure for a lifetime! 
Beg. Knit, w/ Ellen, Mondays, Jan 16, & 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
Beg. Knit, w/Justine, Friday, Jan 20 & 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.  
Beg Knit, w/ Ellen, Wednesday, Feb 8 & 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m.  
Beg. Knit, w/Ellen, Monday, Mar 5 & 12, 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
Beg. Knit, w/Ellen, Wednesday, Mar 21 & 28, 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
New! KNIT ALONG WITH FRAN- A beautiful all purpose sweater pattern, by Classic Elite Yarns created with Toboggan Yarn.  Four 2 hour sessions and you will have a brand new sweater for your wardrobe, $60.00.  
Mondays, Jan 16, 23, 30, & Feb 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. or 
Mondays, Mar 5, 12, 19, & 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m
BEGINNING CROCHET CLASSES - $55.00 are also available at a variety of times, both day and evening. Class includes your yarn, hook, instruction book, and two 2-hour sessions.  Choose from one of the following times: 
Beg Crochet w/ Pam, Tuesdays, Jan 17, 24 & 31, 9:30-11:30 a.m.  
Beg. Crochet, w/Pam, Thursday, Jan 19 & 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m. 
Beg. Crochet, w/Rebecca, Thursday, Feb 9 & 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Beg. Crochet, w/Pam, Tuesdays, Feb 28 & March 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
Beg. Crochet, w/ Rebecca, Thursday, Mar 1 & 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Beg Crochet, w/ Rebecca, Thursday, Mar 22 & 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
INTRO TO SOCKS ON DOUBLE POINTS:  Beautiful socks to knit with Liz. You will not be buying store bought socks after you learn how to knit your own!   Tuesdays, Jan 17, 24, & 31, 7-9 p.m. $50.00 
New! MIDNIGHT DREARY FINGERLESS GLOVES: w/ Ellen, Weds, Jan 18, 25, & Feb 1, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $55.00.  A little longer than fingerless mitts, includes a small cable technique adds to the fun!
New! BE MINE VALENTINE PILLOW: Designed and taught by Justine, sign up to make this special pillow and surprise your special valentine!  Weds, Jan 18, 25, & Feb 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $45.00. 
New! CROCHET STAR COWL:  Dazzle your friends they will want one of these too once they see it on you. Make this beautiful star cowl with Pam.  Only three two- hour sessions on Jan 31, Feb 7 & 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m.,  $55.00.
New! FADE TO GRAY PONCHO:  A really cool poncho and you can make it in any color! Select this class taught by Ellen and create a stylish poncho to wear with practically everything in your closet.  Two Thursday evening classes with a gap in between for knitting purposes-  Feb 2  & 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $45.00.

New! GIACOMO’S BABY HAT (Fair Isle): Don’t be afraid of learning a new technique.  Have you ever knitted with two colors before?  Come take this class with Ellen and learn how to use more than one color in your knitting. This baby hat is too cute and you will be knitting more than one.  Three,  2-hour sessions, Mondays, Feb 6, 13, & 27, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., $55.00.  
LEARN TO KNIT CONTINETAL: Join Liz and relax! Knitting Continental, a different way to hold your yarn and perhaps relax those wrists! Ward off carpel tunnel syndrome, one, 2-hour session, $35.00. 
Tuesday, February 7th, 7-9 p.m. or
Friday, March 9th, 7 - 9 p.m. or
Thursday, March 15th, 7-9 p.m. 
GREEN APPLE FINGERLESS MITTS: The pretty cabled fingerless mitt, keeps your fingers warm without removing your gloves you can still text or type in these pretty hand warmers with cables.  Class is with Justine on Wednesday, Feb 8, 15, 22 & 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $55.00
LEARN ABOUT LACE KNITTING:  This class will introduce you to lace knitting lace techniques while creating a beautiful scarf for yourself.  Learn how to read patterns and charts with this simple creation. Taught by Liz, Monday, Feb 13 & 27, 7-9 p.m. $45.00.
QUICK AND EASY GRANNY SQUARES! Taught by Rebecca, this class will illustrate a wonderful way to create quick and easy gifts crocheting granny squares. Whether it is one continuous square or lots of little ones joined together you can create some wonderful heirlooms. Only takes one, 2-hour session, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $35.00.  
New! LUCY’S OWL This project class can either be a toy or a very friendly pillow in a child’s bedroom.  Let Ellen show you how to create Lucy’s Owl in four, 2 –hour sessions held on Tuesdays, Mar 6, 13, 20 & 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $55.00.

SOCKS FROM THE TOE UP! Here is a class where you can learn a new technique, socks knitted from the toe up using magic loop! Justine is offering this popular class again and students rave about this technique. Wednesday evenings, Mar 7, 14, 21, & 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.  $55.00.
New! ELISE SHAWL (CROCHET):  Crochet this shawl with Pam and create a topic of conversation! It’s beautiful and you will love wearing it.  Sign up quick- spaces are going! Three 2-hour sessions on Tues, Mar 13, 20, & 27, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $55.00.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Choice And A Challenge

Is there anyone out there interested in shaking things up?

With the coming of the new year, my mind is trying to rev in about four (or so) different directions at once, knitting wise.  Of course, none of this pertains to any of the knitting projects I currently have on needles.  So what if I tell you what I'm thinking about, and you guys see if you want to play along with me?

Idea #1:  A knit-along.  For something that a lot of us maybe have not done before.  Perhaps a sock?  Are you guys all veteran sock knitters out there?  Maybe a cool patterned sock?  Something like this, or this, or some basic socks for first timers? Maybe we could be optimistic and go for a whole dang pair of socks?  If not socks, maybe something else like....a lace shawl?  This would certainly be challenging for me.  Have I told you all about my (multiple) attempts to knit the Swallowtail Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark, only to go down in flames each time?  Am I nutters to think about getting back up on the horse again?  Maybe the Vlad Shawl?  Or Multnomeh, which seems slightly less intimidating, yet still beautiful?  Anyone??  Anyone??  

Idea #2:  This one is like "Fight Club" except, you know, with no fighting.  A secret, underground,
über-cool collection of knitters and crocheters, putting together scraps of knitting for the sole purpose of tagging/yarn bombing various stationary items around Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro. 

Bonus points to be awarded for originality, amount, and style.  Pictures are strongly encouraged.  Send them to me at the blog, and we'll revel in the fact that we are slowly making the area a bit more cushy and snuggly.  And colorful.  We could even make a contest of who can tag the most stuff in a day?  I could come up with a prize of some sort....Any thoughts?

In the meantime, life has ground to a bit of a halt here.  My son has been sick with a particularly nasty virus, and has been feverish and pretty much miserable since Wednesday.  Knitting time has been hard to come by lately, and can't wait for the usual grind to return so I can knit a bit more.  I've been knitting a little bit on a Pi Shawl, having some fun with rainbow colored Kauni Effektgarn.  I'd take a picture, but right now it's so bunched up on my circular needle that it looks like I took a rainbow and threw it in the blender.  Once it's off the needles, I will happily take lots of pictures, but right now it's just not the prettiest thing you ever did see. 

Please leave a comment and let me know how you want to shake things up!

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