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, October 27, 2011

It's here!

The Madelinetosh sport weight yarn has finally arrived!  I have 15 colorways left, and it is selling fast.  I have already re-ordered as the lead time is 12 - 16 weeks, but the good news is I have ordered an additional 15 colorways!

Also worth mentioning: the magazine Jane Austin Knits is in.  I have not had a chance to go through it thoroughly yet, but what I have seen looks very promising.  The next shipment of Pagewood Farm sock yarns is on its way, too - might be here tomorrow.

Purls of wisdom: smile - it drives people crazy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New stuff at the shop and a reminder

Good morning  yarn-aholics everywhere!  I have just received the newest yarn from Cascade: 220 Fingering weight!  This yarn is NOT a superwash, but it IS perfect for fine stitch detail in colorwork, such as Fair Isle, and a perfect higher quality substitute for a less expensive catalog fingering weight yarn (which shall remain nameless).  There are a total of 57 colors available, of which I have 17 currently on hand.

The Matchless spinning wheels that arrived last Thursday have sold out already, but I have more scheduled to arrive in mid-November.  The Matchless wheel is sweet - I had never spun on one until last week.  The best way to describe the experience is that this wheel is to spinning what a featherbed is to sleeping. 

I have also ordered some really neat goodies for the Christmas season, including tree ornaments from Pet Sheep Ranch - little wooly sheep (made from 100% wool) that are perfect for putting on your tree. 

As a reminder, this coming Saturday is the Feza Trunk Show and Hollowe'en party at the shop!  There will be lots and lots of luscious yarns, patterns and inspiration, as well as lots of food & wine & door prizes.  (I had intended to cater this myself, but the best laid plans of Arv have met their reality check, so I will be relying on some excellent local food purveyors.)  Costumes are optional, but what the heck, it's only once a year!

Purls of wisdom: laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Madeline Tosh update

The nice folks at MadelineTosh just called, and they are ready to start dyeing my order.  The bottom line is 10 to 14 days from now they should be shipping!

Purls of wisdom: you get what you settle for.  If you aren't getting what you want, stop settling for less.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Butin Necklace and new stuff at the shop

Greetings, fellow knitterati!

I took one of the Butin Necklace kits home this weekend to give it a test knit.  First off, the small device included in the kit to string beads, referred to as a dental floss bead stringer, is one of the most useful tools I have ever seen come in a kit.  It is rigid enough to pick up beads, yet flexible enough to pull the yarn through the beads with nary a tug.  It took me less than 15 minutes to string the beads at 7 AM yesterday.

The cast on called for in the kit is a reverse loop cast on.  I am not a big fan of this type of cast on, especially with a very non-stretchy yarn such as the yarn in the kit.  It makes the first row of stitches very difficult to knit, and that creates a messy looking cast on edge, so I decided to use a knitted cast on.  After I cast on 66 stitches the directions call for 13 beads to be slid into place, and another 66 stitches to be cast on.  The first stitch after the beads has to be a reverse loop since there is no stitch to knit into, but the rest can be knitted on.  This cast on changes the look of the edge slightly from what is pictured on the package, but I think it compliments the necklace, nonetheless.

The next thing I felt needed amending was in rows 2 through 8 (the whole project is only 8 rows - how many things can you say that about?).  The directions read "...knit x stitches, k2tog, slip y beads, SSK, knit x stitches..."  I found that the k2tog just before slipping the beads was OK, but the SSK afterwards looked sloppy and was more difficult than it needed to be, so I amended this to "...knit x - 1 stitches, k2tog, k1, slip y beads, k1, SSK, knit x - 1..."  This gives the same result but a neater edge on either side of the beads.

The other thing I question is the "clasp".  This is a piece of metal with three loops on each side to attach to the ends of the necklace.  The problem I have with this is the necklace really isn't stretchy enough to go over my head once joined.  What I think I am going to do instead is I-cord and simply tie the necklace on.  I still have to block the necklace (yes, it needs to be blocked), and will let you know how this works out.  But overall, the necklace took me only 2 hours to knit, making it a quick and sophisticated Christmas gift.  And it looks great.

Last week I received a shipment of Lantern Moon products: drawstring baskets, fan cases (for your DPNs or shorter circulars), Mindy cases (for tapestry needles, cable needles, and other short tools), and really roomy 4-pocket bags that not only have 4 large pockets on the outside of the bag, but an additional 2 open pockets and one zippered pocket on the inside. 

There are also several new colors of Poems and Classic Shades this week, and several new books.  And as of today there are 69 knitting days to Christmas.

Purls of wisdom: tough times don't last; tough people do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You are invited... the Feza Trunk Show / Halloween Party on Saturday 29 October from 11 to 3!  The local Feza Rep, Diana Harker, will be here with LOTS of Feza yarns and patterns, and knitted models to inspire you.   There will be lots of refreshments and door prizes, too!  (As a matter of fact, it is my intention to cater this affair myself.) 

Finally - a  photo of Igor's face!  I probably took about 40 shots to get this one; he is really quick and I had lots of pictures of his tail leaving the frame.  Elwood is always up for a photo shoot, tho.  Igor was a bit sickly this past weekend, and had to go to the vet yesterday.   Over the weekend he became depressed, for lack of a better description, would not play or run, and would not eat.  Igor not eating is front page NY Times material.  We still don't know what was wrong, but the vet gave him a saline subQ injection and gave us some antibiotics to administer at home, as well as some kitty laxative (in case it was a recalcitrant hairball).  This morning he was his old hand-chewing self.  He is also eating a blend of baby food and canned Friskies, but at least he's eating.

Purrls of wisdom: if Mama comes at you with a syringe , RUN.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New arrivals this week

Greetings from technological hell!  As you may know, I was without internet AND credit card machine Friday and Saturday due to Friday's wind storm.  I finally am back on line!  During the Great Outage I received Pagewood Farm Kugiak Sock yarn and Laura Nelkin Butin necklace kits, photos of both to the right.  Half the Kugiak is already sold, but I have already ordered more, so stay tuned!

I also am posting progress shots of Igor.  He is gowing like a weed, but that may be because he is eating anything that cannot get up and run from him.  I am trying to get a face shot, but he's shy.  He comes to his name (most of the time) and is using the big cat litter boxes now insterad of his kitten-size box.

Purls of wisdom: Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.