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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gorgeous George update

George came to the shop two weeks ago to be a shop cat.  At first everything was fine, but Friday and Saturday he made two very serious efforts to get out the door when customers were leaving.  He really misses his previous staff, and I think he thought he could get home to them if he got out.  I simply cannot take the risk of him getting out on Mishawaka Avenue, he would probably be hit by a car in the first few minutes.  So Saturday after work George came home with me to be a house cat instead of a shop cat.

So far the other cats have done a little hissing, but overall it has been a relatively peaceful transition.  I think George will eventually end up as alpha cat, but he isn't pushing the issue.  Mainly he just wants the other cats not to bother him while he checks out the new digs.  He does enjoy sleeping on the bed with us, and apparently all cats recognize the bed as neutral territory because everyone slept close together peacefully.

George will miss his adoring fans at the shop, especially those who brought chicken, turkey, cheese and tuna  for him.  He is a much safer cat now, and does not have to sleep alone in a cold, lonely shop.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Noni Felted Bags Trunk Show

The Noni Felted Bags Trunk Show has arrived at the shop!  There are 9 bags so far with two more coming from a different location, including the huge and multi-pocketed project bag.  These bags are gorgeous!  The small red bag in the photo is crocheted; the rest are knitted.  There are two size options for most of the patterns, as shown in these photos.  Speaking of patterns, I have patterns for all these bags and more on hand.  No special yarn is required, as long as it will felt.

Now for the hardware - Noni has a very large selection of hardware available.  I feel that the hardware is a very personal choice, and it may be best made after the bag is felted.  So when you buy your pattern and yarn you may order hardware then, or wait till the bag has been felted.  Noni is not far away, so it won't take long to get here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A rose by any other name....

I am not entirely sure how it started, but Saturday afternoon some of us in the shop began "re-naming" some classic movies and operas with knit-related titles.  Submitted for your consideration are the following:

"Knitter of the Opera"
"The Knitter of Seville"
"The Good, the Bad, and the Acrylic"
"A Fistful of Needles"
"The Wizard of Alpaca"
"The William Tell Yarn-Over"  (yes, I know the difference between an opera and an overture - humor me)
"True Knit"
"Harry Potter and the Sweater Stone"
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Acrylan"
"Harry Potter and the Half Linen Stitch"
"Easy Knitter"
"Five Easy Stitches"
"The Shearing of the Lambs"
"Strangers in a Yarn Shop"
"The Thin Yarn"
"Acrylic and Old Lace"
"Inherit the Winder"

If you wanted to register for Knitting Boot Camp but thought you missed it, there is still time tor register for the Friday sessions.  Due to a scheduling shift the first Friday evening session will begin on 28 January at 5:30 PM.  (The Saturday morning sessions are already underway.)  This course is worth it - you will come away with a wealth of knitting knowledge, improved skills and some new ones, too, and a reference library of swatches and notes you will be able to use for a lifetime.

Recently in: Mochi Chunky - same luscious colors as Mini Mochi and Mochi Plus, in a chunky weight.  Also recently arrived - more colors of the divine Fiesta La Boheme and Knit Collage's Pixie Dust.

Coming to the shop this week: the Noni felted handbags trunk show!  I have patterns for everything in the trunk show, and suitable yarns.  The hardware used in these items may be special ordered, or you may select your own.

Also coming to the shop: Wisdom Yarns and Universal Yarns!  Wait till you see the colors!  Even better, wait till you see the prices!  If you can get something the equivalent of Noro Kureyon for 22% less, why not? 

Purls of wisdom: some days you're the needles, some days you're the yarn.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fractured Fairy Tales

Once upon a time there was a woman who liked to knit.  She had been knitting for years, but carefully avoided any patterns that were not rated "beginner" or "easy".  She loved the look of more complex patterns, but was afraid she might make mistakes or get in over her head.  She always used cheap yarn because she didn't want to "waste the good stuff on my level of knitting".  Her Fairy Knitmother tried to encourage here to branch out, but she was too afraid of making mistakes.

So one night her Fairy Knitmother found several patterns she knew this woman liked, but was afraid to try, and with a touch of her magic wand changed the difficulty level on them to "easy" and the required yarns to higher quality.  The next morning the woman found these patterns and was delighted.  "At last", she said, "patterns I like that are at my skill level."  And she began to knit.

She made a cabled sweater, a Fair Isle hat, and slip-stitch mittens.  They were beautiful, and she was so proud of them.  There was a small mistake in each one, but no one but the woman who knitted these items could find the mistake, and since the patterns were rated "easy", she was not worried about these mistakes.  She gave the cabled sweater and Fair Isle hat and slip-stitch mittens to her loved ones, and they were thrilled.

Then the Fairy Knitmother told the woman the truth about the skill level of the patterns.  "You see," said the Fairy Knitmother, "you only thought you couldn't do these patterns.  You can do anything if you believe you can." 

"But there are mistakes in them!" cried the woman.

"Of course there are, my dear," responded the Fairy Knitmother.  "The only people who don't make mistakes are people who aren't doing anything."

The moral of the story is: believe in yourself.  You can do anything you want to do if you believe in yourself.  If you want to knit with silk yarn, do it - life is too short to knit with cheap yarn.  If you want to try a more complex pattern, do it.  You might surprise yourself with how well it comes out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Greatest quote heard lately

We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
Ronald Reagan

Free snow - U pick!

Greetings People of the Snow!  I hope no one was inconvenienced by the shop closing at noon this past Saturday - it just didn't seem necessary to be open when the only traffic on the roads were plow trucks and tow trucks.

I neglected to mention in an earlier post that anything in the shop with an orange slash through the price label is 10% off!  This includes the Heirloom Christmas stocking kits, coffee mugs, and several other items.

There are only 4 more days to register for Knitting Boot Camp, which starts this Friday and Saturday.  Intro to Knitting (Thursday evening sessions) starts this Thursday as well.  And also starting this weekend are Thrummed Mittens and Knitting for Lefties.  If you or anyone you know is left-handed and has had difficulty learning to knit from right-handed people, this is the opportunity to learn!

And my proudest new addition to the shop is Gorgeous George!  George is a 4 to 5 year old male orange tiger with an adorable disposition.  His previous staff had a child that developed an allergy to George, and it just seemed easier for George to move to new digs than to try to find his old staff new homes AND  replace them.  George knows he has a devoted staff at the shop.  No one will ever replace Katmandu, but George has promised to be the best shop cat he can be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Are you serious?

The Huffington Post has listed their picks for the 19 strangest social networks on the web, and as their #1 pick they have included RAVELRY!!  I knew these people were nuts, but they have lumped Ravelry in with "Lost Zombies", "My Free Implants" (where women who want implants look for men to pay for them), "Vampire Freaks", "fubar" (an on-line pub...seriously?), "Psychics and Mediums Network", "HAMSTERster" (a network for people who love their hamsters), and "Line for Heaven" a network for people competing to score points that will get them into heaven (beam me up, Scotty).

Not only has Huffington Post slandered Ravelry by including them in this list of substance-less networks, they have also smeared by inclusion other respectable sites, such as "myChurch" a social network for churches, "eons" a social network for baby-boomers who don't want to retire yet, and "cafemom" an on-line support group for mothers.  I always knew this Huffington loon was off the deep end, but how she equates "a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration" with "My Free Implants" is beyond human comprehension.  To add insult to injury there is a scale one may use to rate the 19 listed networks, ranging from "crazy" to "kinda mainstream".

In short, I think the Huffington Post missed their own point by not including themselves on this list.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Greetings!  I hope everyone's holidays were special and safe!
Just in at the shop - a new shipment of books!  Really cools stuff, especially the one on color knitting that has charts for all sorts of local birds, such as nuthatches, cardinals, etc.  And a new shipment of Fiesta's La Boheme has arrived, including some Starburst La Boheme, which has a twist of metallic thread through it.  I also have  some Lana Grossa sock yarns in, self-patterning and striping. 

I have been dealing with three different needle vendors since I opened, and have decided to streamline things by going solely with Addi needles.  Addi not only makes the Turbo needles we know and love, they also make Natura bamboo needles in straight, circular and DPN, straight and DPN metal needles in both aluminum and Turbo, and also in plastic.  To make room for the new needles I am having a 10% off sale on all Clover and Crystal Palace needles until they are gone.  Get 'em while they're hot!

If you did not receive your email version of the newsletter, please call or stop in so I can check to make sure I have your correct email address.  According to the statistics from Constant Contact, 23 of the January newsletters bounced back.  I found one typo in an address, but all the others look correct.

Thank you to the friends and customers who pitched in at the shop while my husband was in the hospital.  You mean more to me than you know.

Purls of wisdom: one out of every four people is mentally ill.  If your three closest friends seem OK, it's YOU.