Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Closing the Shop

It's been a sad, difficult, very stressful few weeks. The Yarn Shoppe is closing and the last day will be the 29th of December. Naturally, no one wants us to close. We don't want to close. But I need a paycheck. Sad, but there ya go. And this recession is hitting us hard with sales being incredibly low these last 6 months. Even the Fall/Winter months did not pickup this year.

On the bright side, we'll still be doing knit togethers on Saturdays from 2-5pm at Mugshots which is right next door to the Yarn Shoppe.

I've been working on the Dickinson sweater lately from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits. Well, mostly the sleeves most recently. I haven't been able to do much since the end of November because people are being very lovely and buying up our yarn at the 40% off closing-sale prices. But isn't it lovely? That's the model, obviously, but I can't wait. I actually am kinda making it up in a very similar color for a change. And I'm using Cascade's 220 Superwash. Mmmmm. I'm knitting this in the round, and the body is on hold at the point where I need to start the raglan and I've got about 16" of the total 18" of the sleeves done. Yummy. I'm trying to match the sleeves with the body on the pattern, but we'll see. :)

Someone asked if I'll continue blogging. Surprising, really, since I don't post as much as I should. I probably will.

I've also been asked what I'm going to do now. Well, as I said, I'm going to job hunt. And I'm not even seriously dealing with that until after the 29th. I can't leave the shop until then. Heck, I'm having trouble having lunch right now at the shop. So while I appreciate the care behind the suggestions, I can't DO anything about them until later.

So hugs to all . . . and I hope your holiday knitting is either done or at the last stages!

Mine's wrapped. (Ducking the rotten fruit)

~Happy Knitting all!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Raptors, oven mitts and feathers

This afternoon felted oven mitts were used to help catch this beauty -- apparently a Peregrine Gyr Falcon who has escaped his falconer. The dark bands on his legs are his jess. He has a band too.

The falcon was eventually rescued by other falconers who can get his infected toes cared for and get him back home.

Isn't he a beauty? That's Pam Alley in the last two pictures holding our visitor above a rather large box in the back room of the shop. He spent some little time inside the Yarn Shoppe waiting to be still working on the pigeon he caught outside and was loathe to give it up. And we were loath to do anything to make him any more stressed out than he already was. Pam has this expression because she was recently buffeted by wings. Actually we were both really stoked about the whole thing.

It was quite a nice addition to the day. Pam rescued a bird, and we were able to help. And hand knit felted oven mitts were able to substitute as falconer's gloves -- in a real pinch.

Sadly said mitts are not in any of the above pics.

More on actual KNIT stuff later.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We got a new camera battery!

Whee! We got a new camera battery! Yes, I know I am overexcited, but I get excited easily and I am very happy about finally being able to take pictures.

So, first, some of you know I fell in love with the cover sweater of Interweave knits summer issue:
So I am making it out of Cascade Yarns Sierra which is a cotton wool blend. Which for me means summer tops only because it won't keep me warm enough in the winter. By the by -- it is lovely and smooth to knit with. I am not noticing much splitting even with my cable needle-less cables. I love how it shows up pattern.
Of course I am making changes. Mostly, I am shortening the sleeves to begin just before the cables.

Ok, so last Saturday I was here. The color is Pewter by the way. I love it! Like a lovely grey sage green.

And today I am here

And here is a close up of the cable pattern. I was told that this is similar to what was probably called Wheat Cable. I don't know. But I love it!!

So I did finish the Debbie New square. I am NOT happy with my seaming job at the end. But I pulled it out 4 times and this is as good as I can do it. Somehow I was where I should not have been to match up with the tutorial picture and I simply could not reverse things in my head enough to fix my trouble.

I may make it again, though. FUN square!

Here is something I started probably around early fall/late summer of 2005. I got the ribbing done then. And the first bit of colorwork. This is my very first color work. And I reworked the chart off XRX's Hats: A Knitter's Dozen. I changed things off of it of course. I think my gauge shifted too,

fairly massively because this is NOT workable as a tam. I see myself wearing it in the winter when I walk my dog in the mornings though. Anyway, I picked this back up earlier this summer (2 years later, ahem). And I finished it Friday night! It is now washed and oh so soft!! Oh, I made this out of a collection of sock yarns -- mostly Lorna's Laces, but I must admit I raided (with permission) Chrisanne's Mighty Stash for Wildefoote for the white.

For a few days it will be on the front head in the shop, and then it is coming home with me again.

So that's me! I have exactly 3 projects (that I have found) at home. One pair of socks that lives in the car, one pair of socks that live in the house for house knitting and finally that tablecloth I am making in modules which is also in the car. The car projects live in a sack from Nancy's Knit Knacks -- -- which in turn lives in a large zippered bag that lives in the trunk. I have a small zippered pouch in the glovebox for knitting tools, although what I immediatly need lives in the sack -- clover yarn cutter (no outward blades), tape measure, notes for project, crochet hook (I drop more stitches away from home . . . ) and stitch markers.

This way I can grab the sack, click it around my waist and knit while walking around or waiting for a seat at a restaurant. KIP (Knit In Public)on!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Edit: This is an afghan square by Debbie New in the Great North American Afghan book by XRX. This is my square for August. Yarns used include Cascade 22o superwash, Plymouth Encore AND Cleckheaton country 8ply. That's right. 100% wools with an acrylic wool blend. Heresy to some. Cool colors and different textures to me. Anyway. So top pic: the First completed coil. The next -- what the whole mess looks like. And yes, I do mean mess. Looks like a headache, right?
Really, it's not. It's controlled chaos. :) I started with that sage green border. That was irritating. Lots of casting on (hard to do with constant interruptions) and the first set up rows (those sage green triangle things) were tricky for the counting (again because of interuptions). The coils are pure fun after the picking up (yeah, a trend -- I can't count past 3 well with interuptions. I mess up). Really fun! And plus, how cool is it that it spirals!? Don't get me wrong -- I love the source of said interruptions -- someone walking in the shop, questions or pleas for aid, etc. It's just why I get less knitting done now than I did pre-shop. I love helping people, I love hearing comments, answering questions, finding that pattern or yarn that speaks to someone. It's fun -- sometimes a whole lot of work -- but usually fun. I started this square a bit back . . . and tend to do between 1- 1/2 coil a day now. Fun. I'm on the third. And I've have a blasted picture if my camera's battery would charge. It charges for 6 secs (literally) and then stops. Argh! But still, I had the older pics. I get points, right? Happy Knitting Everyone!! ~Briony

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cat Bordhi's New Book!

Well, I have to tell you Cat Bordhi's new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters is so cool! I LOVE the different ways she creates room for the arch expansion. I made the two baby socks yesterday and they are adorable! Chrisanne is throwing herself into the adult size right off the bat and I'm eyeing at least one pattern in there for my DH's next pair of socks and perhaps mine too.

We got the book in the day before yesterday and copies are looking slim here -- partly because one was preordered and one other was immediately marked Shop Copy! This book took quite some time to get to bookshelves and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't last on the shelves.

By the way, it clearly states it is Book One of three. I can't wait to see the next two and I haven't completely finished reading Book One! My fave so far? The Coriolis. I simply adore the way the increases slowly rotate and spiral around the foot and that you can easily do opposite spiraling socks.
Happy Sock Knitting!

Summer Knitting

Well, I've finished a few things. I know I should put pics up of things in progress and beginning but I tend to launch into new things and then don't think of taking a picture until it is nearly done and then I wait until it IS done usually. I'll try to beat this bad habit.

Anyhoo -- I finished another summer top. I really like it. The top half is knit and the bottom is crochet granny squares.
Now I started this ages ago and I was a slightly larger size then so the granny squares are a tad loose and since they are so structured it may not be the absolute height of flattery but I still really like the overall look.
I was fighting a top down seamless saddle shoulder idea from Barbara Walker's book Knitting From the Top for a sweater for my DH and it wasn't really entirely sunk in my brain so I did it again for this top. I think I have it now. I rewrote the directions in my own private language and put it into my knitting notebook. Fun to do really, once I finally understood. Since I had saddle shoulders I put cables down those and continued them down the short sleeves -- and I was playing so I didn't border the cables with purl stitches. I like the more subtle effect for this top.
I finished the sleeves with small 1.5" granny squares to pick up the bottom half.
The neck is a V and instead of ribbing I did more small cables.
As usual with my incredibly poor photography skills this looks better in person. Well, I think it does. There is a stretch in the stitches which this pic oh so cleverly picks up in a lovely spot light kind of way. I'm not exactly sure how I managed to get that . . . I seemed to be picking up evenly and when I worked that cable nothing seemed tight. Ah well.
Oh! The yarn!! I made it out of GGH's Safari. It's a very unusual yarn really. It's kind of tubular and knits up a tad open. Very airy and soft. Linen is coated by acrylic. A bit different to knit with too. No life or spring of course and that throws me for a bit until I get into the groove. After that it all flowed nicely. It is one reason why I didn't purl much though. I hate to rib and my ribbing usually shows off that dislike. :) The sample swatch I made for the shop shows that the yarn really shows up texture pattern well. The color I choose hides rather a bit, but then I don't like paler shades in general so I force the dark shades to have pattern anyway. :)
Overall it is a lightweight top. The crochet bottom is heavier -- partly because it is crochet granny squares and partly because I wanted it dense so I used a C hook and made them, well, dense. The top was done to the 5spi gauge -- and the sleeves a bit looser since I am playing with doing sleeves on one needle larger for a lighter, cooler feel.
Off I go back to work and I promise to take more pics (IF the camera and I are still on speaking terms).
Happy Knitting and keep cool if possible!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer Shorts!

Hello Everyone! My husband was able to take a quick little pic of me in my summer shorts that I finished ages ago and that some really wanted to see . . . well, I am very odd in some ways and I don't like wearing shorts out and about so this is really the only way most can see these on me. I generally put these on when I get home from work, and before work in the mornings. They are based off a Knit 1 Vogue Magazine pattern. Only those had much, much wider leg openings which I didn't like and I think a wider hip and waist measurement. These are in a 50% cotton 50% acrylic blend -- Samoa by Muench. Very smooth to knit with. The bottom inch is garter, rest is stockinette. Elastic is hidden in the waist band. I also did these in the round as much as possible -- original pattern had it all flat. I don't like flat knitting if I can avoid it. But that's just me :)

Summer is now really, really here. I am feeling a little low about it because last night was the first night this summer when it didn't get any cooler than 80*F outside my house -- so my house is 80*F downstairs and 86*F upstairs. It needs to be much, much cooler outside for my upstairs to cool off at all. :( I feel too warm. Now, I know I am really very lucky actually because lots of people can't have any a/c at all or are much, much warmer than I am. And for many it is an actual health issue. So even though my a/c is very old, very inefficient and we get too warm in the summer, at least I can keep it at or below 90*F inside. So, we're lucky. :)

Take care, stay cool, and happy knitting and crocheting!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day for those of us in the USA! I read somewhere that a news reporter said it commemorated our victory in the war for Independence which makes me worry about the education that reporter had -- ah well. Happy Commemoration of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. I hope everyone gets a great view of the fireworks at the Dam tonight! I'll be in bed trying to get to sleep :)

Anyway. Updates. I've been extremely remiss in pics ( I won't bore you with the list of troubles the camera and I have with each other). So here we go:
Here is the Sun Hat I began on, oh, Thursday? I ripped out most of it on Friday and here it is near the end of Friday. I had a deadline -- I was to go to a birthday party in a park on Saturday. I had no 'nice' sun hat. My older 'nice' hats have begun to look like **old** gardening hats. Complete with discoloration. So, as I said. Deadline. So not many pics. I was crocheting at warp speed. It is black so you can't see much. It is the pattern our very own Mistell West wrote -- Euroflax sport linen with Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille for a brow band and two rows on the brim -- I only have a tiny brim at this point.
Ok, here is a pic that my friend most kindly took of my husband and I at the park birthday party. I'm wearing my hat, my summer top made of SR Kertzer's Sari and Rani -- and my black linen skirt that you can't see. I finished the hat Friday night at home. There is plastic corset boning in the brim which holds it up. I crocheted the cotton chenille around it. All black. Because I like black. :) And yes, I choose this one because you can see the hat . . . but not us very well. Told you I don't like cameras. :)

Next up: Summer top. I did this rather some weeks ago. It is out of Posh by S. Charles. A 4 spi gauge and done in diamond modules. Very cool. I didn't do much of a neck border because I like my necks very open in the summer -- makes me feel cooler and the way I am built means I can have a lower neckline without showing cleavage. The sleeves are a modification -- just straight (as in no increases or decreases) on a few sizes larger needle to be more airy and open. I don't do sleeveless. :)

A close up of the yarn and a module which you can't see. Come in sometime -- I wear my two summer tops as much as I can. I feel MUCH cooler in them than my commercial summer tops. Maybe it's the texture. Not sure. But I LOVE my hand made summer tops!

Ok. Here is something I picked up partially out of guilt. This is a sweater for my husband made from Cascade's Bulky Leisure which is an alpaca cotton blend. VERY yummy to work with. Shows pattern nicely too. The cables are pretty big --8 stitches and I think 10 or maybe 12 rows apart (notes are at work, I'm at home). There are cables down the front just in a bit from each shoulder and down each shoulder and sleeve. This is a Barbara Walker Seamless Saddle Shoulder from the neck down. I need to do another before I get it in my head. I don't like learning techniques from books -- which is ironic since it is mainly how I do learn them. I simply LOVE this thing. Of course the 3 stitches per inch gauge helps :) I haven't touched the neck yet. I want to do the sleeves and then I'll do the neck and then steam on down the body. I'll be doing a small cable for ribbing I think -- like a 4 stitch cable. We'll see. The sleeves are being worked at the same time on two 24" addi turbos and the body stitches are on a cord from the Denise Interchangeable Needle set. Which I am finally playing with myself. I have heard wonderful things about them, have sold them for over 2 years and only now am allowing myself to have a set to play with. Sigh.

I hope to see everyone at our Annual Summer Sale this week! Remember -- the whole shop is on sale -- ranging from 10-60% off!

Take care and Happy Knitting and Crocheting!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Skirt continuation and Summer Top

So I've got a few more pics of the skirt and then I officially stop :)
It really does look better in person and I'm just not that great at taking pictures. Obviously.

So this first pic is my best attempt to show how I got that elastic in there. A dear friend suggest crocheting a chain, slip stitching down a little (to hold the elastic) then chaining again to slip stitch near the top.

Anyway, here is the summer top I finished this week. It's in SR Kertzer's Ranee and Sari. I believe this was 4 skeins of Ranee and 4 of Sari. The Sari is the ribbon and the Ranee is the softer railroad type yarn. They are the same colorway. They are not, however, the same gauge (Ranee is about 4.25 sts/in and Sari around 3.75 sts/in). So I split the difference and worked it at 4sts/inch. The pattern is Heartstring's 3-to-2 Any Gauge Sweater. It is worked from one bottom corner to the other upper corner. I used the Ranee as the sleeves because it is much airier and softer than the Sari -- at least when the Sari is knit up a little tightly for its liking. The top is very cool, very light weight and has incredibly drape. I love it. Dries every quickly in this heat too, so I was able to wash it the night before, lay it flat on top of my drier (the main function my drier has as I mostly line-dry) and by morning I had a dry top. :)

This second photo shows how sheer the Ranee is when knit so loosely. Yes, this is one where I wear a camisole underneath. :)

But did I mention how cool it is? And very versitile. I could put this on for an evening out or pair it with jeans for a more casual look. And I love that kind of flexibility.

~That's all for now! But -- I'm nearly done with a gift! Unfortunately, it's a Christmas gift so no pics for quite some time. I still claim full points for finishing it though!!

Next up? Why, another summer top of course!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Better skirt pics

Yes, I got better pictures. I'm wearing a light colored top, and it is showing through the top part of the skirt -- incidentally showing up the pattern a bit. I've got a black slip on as well to just past my knees.

I still love it. Very lovely and cool in the heat, lovely swish. :)

Looks better in person I think.

Now off to work on my afghan square! And then . . . maybe a swatch for a summer top.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Ok, sorry for the caps, but I'm so proud of myself. I finally finished the 40" long lace skirt I made in Euroflax Originals. In black. I was *so* glad I listened to one customer who reminded me to hang the skirt for at least 2 days to make sure I knew where I was with length. I knit the thing so loose, you see, and so lacey that it grew oodles -- but mostly on the second day!

Now, I'll back up.

Way back in February I knew I really wanted a summer skirt. Now, I didn't feel that I HAD to knit one. I just wanted a long summer skirt. Which is where I landed into trouble. I adore ankle length skirts. For me, that means about 40". And I couldn't find any. There may be tons out there, but I couldn't find one. And I'm hopeless at this time at sewing. So that left . . . knitting :)

My next plan of attack was to pick a summery yarn -- cotton or linen I thought. And I love black -- so Euroflax Originals won.

Now, I knew I wanted a fairly full skirt. And I didn't want it to bag out when I sat. I wanted to wear this one ALOT so that mean I needed lots of room for me inside the thing. Originally I didn't want to HAVE to wear a slip so I tried to make it all nice and dense . . . well I'm getting so blasted loose that I just couldn't get to gauge without using a 0 or smaller and that I didn't like. On a size 2 I was getting 7 sts/inch but it was still a bit see through. So I stuck with that, bought a slip, and figured on a 38" caston -- wider than my hips by a few inches. Linen won't stretch back and forth ya know. Elastic was added later. I moved up to a 3 after 3" from cast on (used knitted cast on). Then I started the lace (afterall, it was going to need a slip anyway!) from a chart in a book Chrisanne found for me which has feather and fan or old shale increasing along with the pattern (book was A Gathering Of Lace --a great book). I started way into the chart b/c I had so many stitches. I followed it until I had 27 repeats of 25 sts. It seemed enough. I ended with a skirt with about 18 or so feet in circumference.

At about 6.5" I went to a 4. Somewhere in here I started changing needles when I started a new skein (Euroflax Orig. has abou 270 yards) so I moved on to a 5, then a 6, then 7. The 5th and 6th skeins saw me working on an 8 only . At the end of the 5th, after it was soaked and left to hang, dripping itself dry was 23". Skeins 7&8 were on a 9. The end of the 7th skein gave me about 30" Un stretched as it were. After I finished the 8th skein I took it home and soaked it, spun it dry (yes on the needles, I wouldn't recommend this! not that I had troubles, but I had it rubberbanded all over those needle points) and hung it for 2 whole days. It dried on the 1st but I left it. Good thing. At the end of the first day it was about, oh 34"? At the end of the 2nd? 40". Wow. Nearly 41" but I tried not to see that number. Too far. Too far and I still needed to cast off.

Tinking. Yup, the glory. I tinked about 600 sts and then cast off WAY loosely with a crochet hook a la Crazy Toes and Heels.

And ran out of yarn.

So tink-tink went the cast on. And the next 2 rows.

And the cast off was successful this time :)

I finished it Sunday (all of Sunday was tinking and Casting off). I wore it to work Tuesday and so on. I love it.

And I got a lot of interest when I was working on it -- either because it was beautiful (I hope it was this option), or a huge project, or idle curiosity or just an insane project that would surely never work . . .

And here, drum roll please . . . is the skirt (yes I know, too dark, but you get an idea. Better piccys when I can get 'em): At least the second shows the pattern -- white sheet behind the work -- pre-hanging.
So that's what I've been doing. Next -- summer tops! ~Briony

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gifts and Beginnings

Chrisanne finished her white 'sampler' sweater out of Cascade's Sierra! We're all so proud! Don't come in hoping to see her in it though. It's too big for her. Not a gauge shift, just she over-guestimated how big she wanted it. We were dreading ripping it all out. Then . . . it found a new, happier, home. Isn't it wonderful when an "ooops" becomes a "great!"? Thelma's happy with her new sweater at any rate!

Here's a hat made of about 160 yards of Encore Colorspun Worsted. I had to use a 4 to get 5 sts/in. Anyway, I was inspired by Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and knit it up in a tube, and then, without decreasing or casting off, cut the yarn and pulled it through the stitches on the needle. I think she's right -- this is a much better learner/beginner project than a scarf.

Oh, and I finished my first Afghan Square. I'm not entirely content with the tension shifts, but I did get cables without a needle down in addition to learning how to read the cable symbols. I hope my next with cables (but no cable needle) will be smoother. So here it is, blocking on the sofa in the back room :) And I bet you thought the sofa was for sitting on! HAH!
Happy Knitting Folks,

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Odd Socks

. . . And that's what Chrisanne has been wearing on purpose for the last few days. She gets SSS (second sock syndrome where you get bored with the yarn/color/pattern after the first sock) bad so she has lots of single socks. And she's decided it's OK to wear them. I agree. I think it's great. So does Mistell ;)
And do you see? They even have different heels!

Sock on left: Shaeffer's Anne, a wool mohair blend. Great hand dyed colors.

Sock on Right: Opal

See? Different heels. :)

I'm working on the filigree ensemble wristlets in white prime alpaca. Yummy. I'm done with the lace bit and now have 5" of k1tbl,p1 to do.

Oh and finally a pic of me in my Cascade 220 Superwash - Bernat Illusions cowl neck, yoke sweater. I live in this lately. SO warm and cozy. I went a tensy bit overboard with the neck which hasn't come to fruitition yet in the pic but has now. Ah well. I still love it.

Chrisanne has pulled out her white 'sampler' sweater in Cascade's Sierra -- a cotton wool blend. Shows pattern beautifully and is a joy to knit with.

And that's all from the Shoppe today, m'dears! Coming up soon . . . a (gasp) finished afghan square from Briony!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Afghans and Things

I sometimes think only knitters really appreciate other knitted gifts. Happily, this is a rare thought as I click needles together for gifts. However, I got some nifty handmade goodies myself for my birthday recently. LOOKIE! :) Chrisanne made me these out of FurrYarns Mistral! Silk and wool at a DKish weight. Can we say soft? Can we say silky? Oooh yes! And toasty warm to boot. The gorgeous colorways in these yarns are simply more reasons to knit with them.

I also really love the cables she did all up the leg. These didn't even use up the 2 skeins -- Chrisanne thinks you might be able to squeeze a pair of baby socks or something from the leftover yarn.

I am also working on the Afghan squares for our shop's Afghan Knit Along. Here is my current one -- in Cleckheaton Country 8ply available through Plymouth Yarns. Yeah, it's not far along but I only started Saturday! I'm mid way through a cable (the purple needle thing you can't see). I'm fighting my dyslexia pretty hard trying to do cable sans needle but I'm loosing at the moment. :( I just get SO muddled!) Very frustrating. I will persevere, however.

Typing about perservering -- I finished my bulky sweater that should have taken me bare days to complete! Yea! I got it done on the 18th. No piccy because my camera just ran out of battery juice. I know.
Here is Chrisanne's project for the day: her coat out of sock yarns. All mitred squares (I just know I spelled that wrong and massive apologies all around).

Oh and I forgot to post about this last week. My darling cats made some rather large holes in my silk shawl in Dec 2005. I finally pulled it out earlier this month to survey the damage.
This is what the shawl is like now:
There was simply too much damage. Too many rows knawed through too much eaten off. I spent a long time Saturday doing this during the Knit Together. Rip, wind ball winder, yarn ends. Many of those balls are just under 2 rows long. Sigh.
I don't know the future of this yarn. Perhaps a tank top or sweater or something. I used to have roughly 1000 yards. But since I'm looking at only 3 good sized skeins -- who knows. The pain is still there. But the healing is ongoing.
~Happy Knitting,