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

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Friday!

And that means game night!  Last week we played Last Knitter Standing for the first time - it is a scream!  The winner of last week's game was Kathi Benedix; she won a wine glass from Crafty Glasses.  It has a purple stem and reads "Knit one, sip one".  This week we will again have munchies, limited adult beverages, and you may bring your own, of course.  The game starts any time after 5, and you can join in at almost any point once it's underway.

Just arrived this week - the Lavishea lotion bars I wrote about last week.  The lemongrass and lavender scents are selling fast, but I also love the pear and the ginger blossom scents. 

Also new this week - Chris Bylsma Designs patterns.  These are very elegant, classic patterns, and mostly very simple to execute.  One simple ribbed cardigan changes sizes simply by changing the number of stitches in the ribs: 7 x 7, 8 x 8, etc.

The Gift Enclosures by Heritage Fiber Publications arrived today, too.  These are attractive little cards with places to write care instructions, fiber content, and other important stuff.  Use these cards instead of putting an unattractive ball band in with your handmade gifts (you know they usually throw out the ball band without reading it, anyway).

Purls of wisdom:  the real reason Christopher Columbus didn't reach India in 1492 is because he was using a Garmin.  Recalculating.  Recalculating. Recalculating.  Recalculating.........

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

news, new yarn, new magazine....

Attention spinners!  I have just discovered that Brown Sheep sells wool top, superwash wool top (dyed and undyed), and mohair top (in black and white)!  Colors available vary.  The prices per pound are reasonable, and you can purchase bumps, often for less per pound. I will be stocking a bit of this to see what kind of demand there is, but I received a sample of the superwash roving, and it spins nice.  I think you'll like it.

New yarn: Universal Yarns' Classic Shades, a superwash version of Poems.  At $7.50 for 197 yards and colors to rival Noro, this yarn is a serious deal.  And it is soft, too.

New magazine: the summer issue of Interweave Knits Weekend.  Lots of really nice patterns, including the cover sweater which I may make out of Classic Shades (it calls for Noro).

Hypothetical commercial: "Today's thunderstorm is sponsored by The Yarn Gourmet, bringing you only the finest in yarns and atmospheric electrical discharges."  (If we are going to have a thunderstorm every day, sooner or later they are going to need sponsorship.....)

Purls of wisdom: Mind the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.  (This is from my great-grandmother, who dealt with the Great Depression much the same way she dealt with misbehaving children - very strictly.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tonight is game night!

It's Game Night!  Last Knitter Standing starts tonight!  Bring worsted yarn (about 100 yds should do it), #8 needles, and prepare to laugh yourself silly!  Oh, did I mention there will be a prize for the winner?

Also note - there are only 13 days left to buy your Stitches trip tickets for $45 - after 30 June they will be $50.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.......................

...from the trade show!  This was my second trade show, so I actually had some idea of what I was doing this time out.  I was considerably less overwhelmed, too.  Unfortunately for the vendors, the night before the exhibit floor opened there was a HUGE thunderstorm, which closed the airport, which meant that lots of displays didn't make it and lots of potential customers didn't make it, either.  It rained so hard for so long we literally could not see the buildings across the street from our hotel, even with their lights on, for almost an hour.

However - I found some outrageous new stuff.  I ordered a bunch of exquisite patterns from Chic Knits and Chris Bylsma Designs, and 24 tins of Lavishea, a lotion bar designed for knitters by a knitter.  It leaves no greasy residue on your hands and comes in wonderful scents, or unscented.

Friday night there was a program called "Sample It!" and I got some neat samples.  Indian Lakes Artisans makes hexagonal wood needles out of cherry, walnut, and birch with lovely copper sculptures on the ends, such as turtles, fish, cabins, arrowheads, acorns, and more.  I have a pair of size 10 cherry wood needles at the shop with some stitches on them so you can test drive these needles.  The hex shape makes a small gap on the underside of the stitch that the needle tip fits into nicely, perfect for those of us who knit very tightly.

Other samples include two skeins of yarn from Alisha Goes Around, an independent yarn dyer in south Texas who makes luscious colors and fiber combinations, and two skeins from Done Roving, a company whose color saturation is probably three times the legal limit.

Yarns I did not get samples of, but which I plan to bring into the shop, include Hand Painted Knitting Yarns (HPKY).  HPKY puts together several skeins of different yarns and then dyes them as a lot, resulting in perfectly matched combinations for sweaters, throws, or anything else you can imagine.  A really nice feature of their yarns is that all colorways come in an intense shade and a pastel shade, creating endless options in color selection.  But what drew me into their booth to begin with is how they put up their skeins - huge braids, 3 to 5 feet long, depending on yardage.  HPKY also has excellent pattern support. 

Another cool sample that I intend to get into the shop is Gift Enclosures - cards that let you list fiber content, care instructions, and your own personal message when you give a hand-created gift.  An excellent idea.

Spinners rejoice - I have found an incredible source of dyed roving!  Frabjous Fibers has marvelous colorways in their roving (put up as wool tops). 

New at the shop while I was out of town: leather mitten palms in large and medium sizes; small are available if requested.  Hold onto your steering wheel while your hands are warm.  Also - the summer issue of Knitters' Magazine is in!

It is never too late to start knitting for Christmas - there are only 192 knitting days left.

Purls of wisdom:  In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Last Knitter Standing

Just in from Universal Yarns - "The Last Knitter Standing".  This is a game somewhere between Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, but everything is knitting oriented! 

The object is to be the knitter with the most knitted rows at the end of the game.  All knitters start out by casting on 10 stitches and knitting two rows.  There is a spinner with 8 possible results: two knitting challenges, two knitting questions, one knitting pass and one "lose a turn".  A knitter spins and the person to the left draws the appropriate card and reads the question / task.  The game lasts for a pre-established amount of time, which can be anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.  At the end of the allotted time the knitter who still as 10 stitches on the needles and the most completed rows wins.

The challenge cards consist of things such as unscrambling letters to form the knit-related word, knitting as many rows as possible in one minute (there is a one minute timer included), knitting with your eyes closed,  getting to knit extra rows if you are wearing something you knitted, etc.  The question cards consist of multiple choice or true/false questions such as "What does DK stand for?" or "What is the increase called in which you pick up the horizontal bar between stitches?"  The cards tell you how many rows to knit if you are correct and how many to rip out if you are wrong.  The Pass cards are kept to use if you don't want to answer a question, or don't want to rip out rows.

This game has the potential for a great deal of hilarity - and you might even learn a few things.  I have one for use at the shop and two more for sale (great fun for your knitting group!).  Starting June 17 Fridays will be game nights at the shop.  Any number of knitters who want to come in and play Last Knitter Standing are welcome.  Only two people are needed for a game, but there is no limit on how many can play. Winners will receive a $5 gift certificate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I just received a shipment of Wisdom Yarns' "Poems" - a felt-able, self-striping yarn that comes in glowingly rich colors.  Poems is an affordable version of Noro - it is only $7.50 per 109 yard ball!  Current MSRP on Noro Kureyon is $8.95 per 109 yard ball, making Poems 16% cheaper!

Speaking of prices, all Artyarns will go 5% up next Monday.  If there is an Artyarn ALREADY IN STOCK at the shop that you have been coveting, this week would be a very good time to get it.  I cannot offer the current prices on special orders placed this week.

I just received the Early Fall issue of Vogue Knitting; it is chock full of great patterns for garments that will provide the necessary warmth for Fall without being too warm.  For all you mohair lovers there are several patterns that focus on mohair, including one that I think could be adapted into a wedding dress.  I stock several of the yarns these patterns call for, too.

Purls of wisdom (from a yarn rep's newsletter):

You need to take care of yourself FIRST, in order to take care of business / life / family.
1. Know who you are.
2. Know what you need.
3. Know what you want.
4. Know your passions.
5. Take very good care of yourself.
6. Be kind to others from a generous heart.
7. Help others from a place of compassion and good energy.
8. Assume nothing.
9. Listen well and openly.
10. Understand that everything changes, including YOU.