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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christmas in July!

Yesterday I received the Elegant Heirlooms and Googleheims trunk show!  These intarsia Christmas stockings are in kits (several of which I have on hand), and the required skill levels range from intermediate to advanced intermediate.  What really makes them lovely is the embellishments applied after the knitting is done, all of which come in the kits.

The exquisite Elegant Heirlooms stockings are highly embellished with details in crystals, glass beads, and even miniature toys for the gifts.  The Googleheims are less embellished, but still lovely.  With 53 designs to choose from there is something for everyone - even golf and football stockings!  And they are big enough to hold lots of stocking stuffers.  The trunk show will be here until 15 August.

Purls of wisdom: read your pattern all the way through BEFORE starting your project.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New loot!

Ho boy, Boris, do we have new loot!  (Apologies to Natasha, Rocky the Squirrel, & Bullwinkle.)  Yesterday I got a HUGE UPS shipment - 43 new books, plus 2 DVDs, and 70 pounds of Cascade yarns.  Not only did I add colors to the 220 selection, I have added 220 Superwash Sport.  There are several more colors of the worsted 220 Superwash, too.

The DVDs are Laura Bryant's Knitter's Guide to Color.  In case you aren't familiar with Laura, she is the genius behind Prism yarns.  I just ordered more DVDs, as well, covering topics such as crochet, rigid heddle looms, spinning, and of course, knitting.

AND TODAY I got a shipment of Feza Alp Premier.  Some of you have seen the blue/pink/multi sweater I made with Alp Premier; I have gotten in 10 additional colors (of the 40 available colors), and this stuff is nice.  The Alp Premier is 210 yards of hand-tied yarns in mainly worsted to heavy worsted weights.  It is similar to the popular Alp Light I have been carrying for the last year, except it has more bling and more texture.  This is nice scarf yarn, to be sure, but there is SO much more you can do with it than scarves.  It can be used as a component in a crayon box sweater or the crayon box wrap pattern by Chris Bylsma; it can be used as a front panel on a dressy shell for holiday/evening wear (156 days to Christmas); it can be combined with complimentary solids (such as Cascade 220) to make a sweater with just a dash of novelty yarn.  The only limit to what can be done with this - or any - yarn is your imagination.

Purls of wisdom:  maybe a person's time would be as well spent raising food ans raising money to buy food.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's cool in the shop

It only feels like it is too hot to knit!  Seriously, it is dangerously hot out.  If you do not have AC, or know someone who does not have AC, come into the shop and sit a while.  Especially older people without AC are at risk in this heat, so bring your nana or your neighbor to the shop to chill for a while.  I have seating, magazines, filtered water, Goldfish and chocolate.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pictures at last!

FINALLY!  I have images to post.  I may legitimately be called a life sciences geek, but a techno geek I am not.  The borrowed camera I have been trying to use since mine developed senility has refused to upload photos for me.  This morning I surrendered to the inevitable and bought a new camera for the shop.  I know I am lots of images behind, but for right now, by request, here is an image of the new wineglasses.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New at the shop

The wine glasses have arrived!  Purple stems, purple lettering, and these are some rugged glasses - no padding in the shipping carton and every one was intact.  I would recommend hand-washing them solely due to the lettering, though. 

I also have gotten in 3 more scents of Lavishea, plus an unscented bar.  You may recall that Lavishea is a lotion bar designed by a knitter (in her basement for 18 months) for knitters.  The new scents are Cucumber-Melon, White Lily Amber, and Citrus Basil.  This stuff works so well my husband took some of the unscented home.

There is a reason the shop is called The Yarn Gourmet instead of, for instance, The Yarn Fast Food Junkie.  I love food (as you can tell if you have walked behind me), and I love to cook.  Last night Bob and I tried a new restaurant near us, La Nortena (the "n" is pronounced like in jalapeno).  This place is located on Portage Road in the Council Oaks Center, next door to Belmont Liquor.  The requisite chips and salsa were placed on the table, but this is no ordinary salsa - they make it there, and it is excellent.  Not so heavy on cilantro that Bob wouldn't eat it, not so light on cilantro that it couldn't be tasted.  Nice heat, and enough salt.  I would go there again just for the salsa.

Bob ordered a steak fajita, I ordered camarones con chipotle (shrimp in chipotle and garlic sauce).  The flour tortillas were the hottest I have ever had; we had to let them cool a bit.  Bob pronounced his fajita to be quite good, but my shrimp was verging on divine.  How divine, you ask?  Had I not been in public I would have licked the plate.  Bob tasted my shrimp and said he will definitely order it the next time we go there.  There were several items on the menu I have not seen at other local Mexican restaurants, too, (which means a scientific study must be undertaken to assess these dishes). We have both always wanted to try fried ice cream, so we split an order.  I was underwhelmed - I think the fryer oil needs changing, there was a slightly rancid flavor to the fried tortilla and cornflakes.

Service was very friendly, but slow, mainly because one small woman was trying to handle everything while another one sat and played games on a computer.  I thought the portion sizes were perfect - not so much that we had to take boxes home, but enough that we definitely felt full.  Dinner for two and one dessert, with tip, cost about $38.  They serve breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, offer take-out, and are open 7 days.  We  will definitely go there again.

Purls of wisdom:  Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I may just have seen everything now

First off, I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable weekend.  I know we did.

We did a lot of yard work this weekend - moving mulch to flower beds, assembling a new grill, and replacing soaker hose.  In case you were  wondering, no, this is not the ideal time of year to replace soaker hose, but it was absolutely necessary.  In our backyard we have stone terraces that are heavily planted and get a fair amount of sun.  For years I have used soaker hoses on timers to water these terraces, as well as the front gardens (in full shade) and the vegetable patch.  Being terraces the drainage is excellent, but the water retention - not so much, even with 4 inches of wood chip mulch.  Nothing lasts forever and soaker hoses are no exception - they had dry rotted to the point that every time we turned them on we got at least one geyser somewhere.  When it got to the point of the hoses having more compression fittings than actual hose, we decided we had to replace them.  My plants were becoming desperate for water on days when it didn't rain (which haven't been many of late).

If one replaces soaker hose in the spring, it is easy to weave them around plants.  However, if one replaces them in early July, the difficulty level increases dramatically.  Leaves and branches have to be held out of the way, rose bushes are large and aggressive, and the terraces are hotter than a pizza oven in the desert due to the heat sink effect of the stone.  Navigating around the plantings is challenging to say the least, especially if one happens to have the balance of an egg, as do I.  Let us not omit the constant presence of mosquitoes, either.  Between trying not to step on plants nor be impaled by them, trying to control 75 foot lengths of hose that had its own ideas about appropriate placement, and attempting to fend off the vampiric horde of mosquitoes, I suspect I looked rather like I was having some sort of seizure.

So there I was, doing soaker hose ballet on the terraces, when I heard my neighbor call me - in a whisper.  I extricated myself and went over to her, and she points to the mulberry tree that provides so much food for the squirrels (and thus entertainment for us).  Sitting on one of the lower branches is a woodchuck.  (For those of you not familiar with regional rodentia nomenclature, a woodchuck is often called a ground hog, and occasionally a whistle pig.  Where I grew up they were woodchucks or whistle pigs, so named for their whistle-like alarm call).

Woodchucks are burrowing animals; they do not normally climb trees.  According to Wikipedia, they can and will climb trees if threatened, but are not recreational arborists.  I have no idea what may have motivated this burrowing rodent to take up arborial habits, and the woodchuck wasn't about to divulge this information.  I did not see any particular threat to the woodchuck prior to its entry into the tree, but what I perceive as a threat my not be the same for Marmota monax.  Yet there s/he sat, hale and healthy, enjoying being the center of attention and eating a few mulberries to boot. 

Being a reasonable person, I explained to the woodchuck that we would leave it to get down on its own, but if it had not done so within an hour, we would assist it.  Being a reasonable rodent, the woodchuck departed the mulberry tree shortly thereafter. 

I resumed soaker hose replacement, and by then Bob had finished what he was doing and came to assist me.  We finished up the west terraces and moved on to the east side.  I have three levels of terraces; on the lowest level on the east side is a large rugosa rose bush that Bob has dubbed Beelzebush, or Devil-bush for short.  I think Bob genuinely believes that Beelzebush is a carnivorous plant, but that is because every time he gets within five feet of it he loses a few ounces of flesh.  He actually will not get within five feet of it if he has any kind of choice at all, so I had the pleasure of weaving the soaker hose around Beelzebush.  To Bob's great amusement, I patiently explained to the rose bush that I was bringing it water and it was not to bite me.  To his great disgust, Beelzebush did not stick a single thorn in me. The moral of this story is that it pays to talk to your plants.

Purls of wisdom: When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.