The Yarn Gourmet Important Information

Location: 2915 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend IN 46615 (across from River Park Furniture)
Phone: 574-232-9276

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 - 5
Friday: 10 - 8
Saturday: 9 - 3
Closed Sunday & Monday

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good news for Maggiknits fans!

First, I would like to thank everyone who attended the Maggiknits fashion show and workshops - I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.  I will have LOTS of kits and yarns in the shop until September 12, so if there is anything you want I probably still have it.  After that if I don';t have it I can special order it - Maggie is only 1 1/4 hours away.

Second - Maggie is introducing two brand new, never been taught before workshops this November, and I will have her back here to teach them in March!  Workshop 1 is "to Be, or Not To Be...a Button!"  22 ideas to design with buttons!  Recycle old buttons from shirts, jackets, whatever, in creative ways.  Some will be used with buttonholes, others will not.  You will work in squares, rectangles, and triangles, but in a simpler, designer-influenced way.  It is about creatively incorporating buttons with your knitting, not just simply sewing them on here and there.  Think outside the box - or button!  Buttons will be provided as part of the class pack.  You will need size 8 needles, scissors, sewing and darning needles.

Workshop 2 is "Looping, Ruching, Pleating, and Weaving in the Maggie Jackson Way".  You will work in squares and rectangles, although these will be reshaped by the techniques you will learn, along with design ideas to pursue other projects.  The ideas can be used on purses, cuffs, shawls, and more, giving everything a new look.  You will learn about mixing heavy yarns with light yarns, textures, knitting with sewing elastic, and creating holes with colors behind them for a unique look.  Think outside the box the Maggie way!  ideas covered can be worked on old or new projects.  You will need size 8 needles, scissors, and a darning needle.
Fees for both workshops will be determined later, and will include the class materials. 

Now for the best part - we are looking into doing this as a weekend get-away with a murder mystery theme!  We are just beginning to look into the details needed, so stay tuned!

Purls of wisdom: never try to teach a pig to sing.  It will waste your time, and sound like Yoko Ono.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fashion show report

If you missed last night's Maggiknits fashion show, you missed a real treat!  Even people who had been to her shows and / or workshops before were surprised with some of the amazing new designs Maggie brought out.  There are lots of garment samples to look at and try on - over 40 total.  She also brought plenty of yarns and kits, so if there is anything you were wanting, it's probably still here.  There are some free patterns with yarn purchase, and lots of Maggie's books as well - come in today or tomorrow, buy a book, and have Maggie sign it. 

Many thanks to last night's models, all of whom did this at the last minute: Marisa, Andrea, Sue, Amy, and Kelly.  Photos of these beautiful women in Maggie's beautiful garments will be posted in the shop soon.
And there is still room in both workshops, so if you thought it was too late to register, fear not - just come in and have a seat!  Knit Happy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I need models for tomorrow night's Maggiknits fashion show.  Maggie tells me the models need to be between size 6 and size 12, and over 5'5".   Any volunteers?  I need 5 models - any age - and may have 1 lined up.

Yesterday I was perusing the weekly ad on-line for Meijer, looking to see if there were any lamb chops on sale.  Alas, there were none, but Meijer does have two items described as "chipped meats".  Could that possibly be any more ambiguous?  Lots of things can be described as "meat".  Shades of Soylent Green....I'm sorry, but I would like my food description to be a bit more specific.  Could we at least specify the phylum from which this "meat" is derived?  In truth I would like to know the genus, but one must start somewhere.

I need lamb chops for the dinner I am going to cook for Maggie Jackson Saturday night.  I will make the chops with a bordelaise sauce, and serve them with truffled mashed potatoes, green salad, and for dessert a chocolate almond praline creme brulee.  There is a reason I didn't call the shop "The Yarn Picky Eater".

This morning as I turned onto 30th Street the railroad crossing signal was flashing, and the barriers were down.   Did that stop one particular member of Mensa from driving around the barriers?  No it did not.  For a minute I thought I was going to get to see Darwinism in action, but the train missed him by about 25 feet.  Too close for my personal comfort, I can tell you that.  Note to the idiot who drove around the barriers:  never argue with a train - the train ALWAYS wins.

Purls of wisdom: if something sounds too good to be true, shoot it just in case.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Maggie's fashion show on Friday and workshops on Saturday and Sunday are still ON!  There is still room in all three, so if you were waiting to register you can still get a spot.

Purls of wisdom: never, ever take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night (apologies to Ron White).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

By popular request....

...I will be adding an Intro to Knitting class weekdays on Fridays at 11 AM.  The dates for this class are October 1, 8, and 15.  Each class will run 90 minutes, and the class fee is $60 plus a $20 class pack of knitter's tools.  This class is ideal for moms without child care after school and weekends, or anyone who has a work schedule that conflicted with the other class times.

Maggie Jackson's knitted models have arrived, and they are delicious!  There is a pale pink tunic-length sweater, a brown and bronze V-neck sweater that is to die for, a two-piece red suit with fake fur collar (yes, it's knitted!), a red ensemble of V-neck sweater, scarf, and purse, and two shrugs, one gray tweed and the other in blues.  You have got to see these to appreciate them, but as good as they look hanging, it is amazing what they look like on a real person!

Remember the Great American Aran Afghan knit-along begins this Saturday, and continues every third Saturday of the month except December.  You don't have to come to every meeting, but if you can make it to some of them you'll have a blast!

It has also been brought to my attention that the link in the blog to subscribe to the newsletter is not working.  bear with me - I'm trying to get it fixed.  If you don't want to wait for it to be fixed, you can call the shop and give me your email address.  :-)

Purls of wisdom: having birthdays is GOOD - it means you're still alive.  Knit happy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Free at last!

I have my cast off and my stitches out (insert roaring crowd here)! My wrist is sore, and I am not supposed to lift more than 3 pounds with it (a half gallon of milk, per my doctor) for a month, but at least the damnable cast is OFF!  I can take a proper shower again! 

I am pleased to inform you that Maggie Jackson is sending some models of her knitted designs to the shop, should be here Wednesday.  You'll get to touch and try on these gorgeous items, and see some yarn samples as well.  So come in and see what you'll learn to do in the workshops!  There will also be books to look through.

Vicki Mikulak of Simple Knits brought in a pattern and a model of a scarf made with the Tonalita Fusion.  The Fusion version of Tonalita has more gradual color changes, so you get a sort of dip-dyed effect, instead of actual stripes, and it is lovely.  The pattern is free with the purchase of any Tonalita yarn.

That's all for today - wrist still doesn't like typing. Purls of wisdom: never believe anything that you hear, only half of what you see, and only two things you read - "men's room" and "wet paint".

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lefty here...

Some of you may be aware that on Monday I had minor surgery on my right wrist.  I now have a hard cast on my right wrist, from knuckles to mid-point of my forearm, and it is making life interesting, to say the least.  It will come off this Tuesday - thankfully - but until then I will have some issues with typing and a few other things.  Like washing my left arm, hooking my bra, and writing legibly.  BTW, Glad Press 'n' Seal is great for water-proofing a cast when you shower.

Yesterday I got a new yarn in: "Rodeo" by Schulana.  "Rodeo" is a bulky weight mohair and wool blend, with flags of contrasting colored mohair along the yarn.  It knits up beautifully, creating a lot of visual interest.

Remember to sign up early for any classes you want to take this fall.  You receive a 10% discount on purchases at the time you sign up, and then again each day of your class. And come in and sign up for Maggie Jackson if you intend to come to the workshops.  There will be NO last minute sign-ups unless I get the minimum number of attendees by 20 August.  Maggie is worth every penny of the fees - you will learn more than you thought possible and laugh till your sides hurt, too.

Enough typing one-handed for one day.  Purls of Wisdom: Taking oneself too seriously takes all the fun out of work - or art.  And knitting is art, whether you are Maggie Jackson or a grandma making mittens.  Knit happy!

The newsletter-from-hell went out on time.  It was very, very lengthy due to the class schedule.  Future newsletters won't resemble War and Peace in size.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

By George, I think I've got it!

I think I have finally - emphasis on FINALLY - figured out how to add a link to both Facebook and Ravelry for people who want to subscribe to the Yarn Gourmet monthly newsletter!  It took me a couple hours, 4 Advil, and numerous prayers to the patron saint of knitters, Saint Al of Paca.  Because clicking on a link to myself could make me go blind, I need someone to test the links for me, but I think I did it right.

Reminder - Tuesday August 10 is the last day you can receive early registration discounts for the Maggie Jackson workshops.  You can register right up to the day before - if there's still room - but I recommend registering early to save money and definitely before August 20, because if I do not have the minimum number of registrants Maggie will accept by then, the workshops may have to be canceled and you could lose out.  The early knitter gets the yarn....

Fall class registration is also open.  Each class has a slightly different deadline to register, as it is unfair to ask people to register two months in advance for a class to be held in November.  Check your newsletter for the full class schedule, fees, and deadlines.

Next week is supposed to be blistering hot again, but the AC at the shop works great - c'mon in, cool off, & knit happy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Greetings one and all.  After a few days of low-level insanity while I got the e-newsletters out, I am now working on getting the hard-copy newsletters done.  The August newsletter was much larger than normal newsletters will be, as it has a complete class listing for the Fall, plus the Maggie Jackson information.  I have been doing everything I can to shrink this issue down to fit on less than 5 pages (printed on BOTH sides) so I don't go over on postage,as I am mailing out over 60 hard-copies.  I have shrunk the font down to the point of micro-fiche, but I have finally shoe-horned everything onto 4 pages.

This week or early next week I will be getting in "Rodeo", a new yarn from Schulana.  It is 55% kid mohair, 23% ultrafine merino, and 22% nylon, bulky weight yarn that comes in 109 yards per ball.  It is lush and lovely.

Also - towards the end of September I will be having a one day only trunk show of Helen Hanaan's designs and yarns.  This trunk show will be absolutely FREE, you will be able to try on the garments, and order kits for anything you see, in any color you want.  Helen is responsible for the decadent Aztec Gold yarn - 100% baby alpaca, that comes in lace-weight and sport weight.  She also has ELATION, an 85% Pima cotton, 15% baby alpaca yarn that is positively delicious.  Her design for a reversible cardigan won Best of Show at the TNNA trade show in June.  She also offers trips to the mountains of Peru, where you get to see how the fibers are harvested and how yarns are spun and dyed by local people.  As a bonus Helen throws in a trip to Machu Pichu!  Check Helen out at

I am starting to assemble the appropriate shades of Cascade 220 for some team colors, both college and professional.  I cannot possibly have them all, so I am focusing on the midwest teams.  I found out yesterday that the 2012 Super Bowl will be held in Indy!!!!  FYI.

That's all for now - knit happy!