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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Let me make this perfectly clear.....

Those of you who know me - even if you don't know me well - know I do not pull my punches.  I say what I mean and mean what I say.  I did not hide behind some made up, politically correct reason for closing the shop, I told it like it is.  On Monday 25 November I received the following anonymous email:

I’m sorry you are closing your business.  It would have been a lot classier had you just said you were closing due to the economy or other circumstances beyond your control instead of trying to make a political statement by blaming your failure on the government and imagined new taxes.  If your taxes go up next year, blame the obstructionist Republicans who don’t give a crap about you as a small business person.  They would much rather let your taxes go up than those of the millionaire and billionaire investment bankers and corporate CEOs who contribute millions to keep them in office and keep their loopholes in place.  If you only watch Fox News, you have a very distorted view of the real world.

Good luck.

I have a few things to say in response to this individual.
  1. I did not fail, nor did my business.  It is called common sense.  I am getting out before the economy goes back to the Carter years, which is where it is headed.  When you see a train heading directly for you,  you can hope it misses you, but if you're smart you get off the tracks.
  2. Obamacare defines a full-time employee as one who works 30 hours or more per week.  For that reason many employers are cutting people back to 28 hours per week, and/or laying people off so they do not have >50 employees.  This means people will have less money to spend at the shop, which means I will be taking in less but paying more in taxes.
  3. I did not imagine the 20 new taxes imposed by Obamacare, nine of which are already effective, and they will affect every single citizen of this country, regardless of economic  standing. 
  4. You have no idea what news sources I watch/read.  
  5.  You, on the other hand, are obviously watching too much MSNBC, speaking of distorted views.
  6. If you are going to write critical missives and call someone a failure, have the stones to use your name and real email address.  It is not your criticism of me I object to - it is the cowardice of doing it anonymously that is so obnoxious.  You apparently do not have the courage of your "convictions".
I stand by my reasons for closing the shop, and if my reasons offend anyone, bear in mind that there is no Constitutional right to never be offended.  "Saying you are offended is the same as saying you cannot control your own emotions, so someone else should do it for you"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This just in....

....a high-speed police chase is on in Los Angeles, involving a man in a Chevy Volt.  Police say the chase has reached speeds of up to 40 mph.

Yesterday I received a  lot of new K1C2 patterns for both Geologee and Linus.  There are two beautiful men's sweaters, and five beautiful designs for women.  There are also some very good patterns available for free at the K1C2 website, one of which I am knitting.

And the Alchemy Yarns order is in!  This yarn is too decadent for words - if it was chocolate it would make Godiva look liked SlimFast.  I have already ordered more, as the lead time is 2 - 3 months.

Enjoy the cooler weather, and remember - 97 knitting days to Christmas!  Knit faster.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Tuesday after Stitches Midwest

Greetings my fellow fiber fiends!  If you didn't get to Stitches Midwest this year - especially if you didn't ride the bus with us - you missed a rockin' good time.  There were more vendors this year than in recent years, and more unusual stuff.  An excellent example of this is JazzTurtle Creations, handspun fibers that are incredibly exotic.  No two are exactly alike - some have found objects spun into them (e.g., Barbie shoes, bells), some are undyed mohair goat locks, some are all cellulose fibers.  Her colors are intense and seductive.  Skeins are small in yardage, but this is not a yarn you use for a whole sweater - this is accent yarn, best for trim, incorporation, or scarves.  Esther's work is also in HAND SPUN - New Spins on Traditional Techniques, by Lexi Boeger (a book I will be getting in soon).

Bling is very in this year, if the Stitches market floor is any indicator.  Some of it is better than others (seriously, few people can carry off the Liberace look).  One company that does bling brilliantly is Tootsie Yarns.  The real genius of the founder, Virginia Gibbs, is that all garments can be made with one size kit, called an Artistry Box, and the kits are intended to work with common stash yarns when larger sizes are made.  The prices of the kits varies slightly depending on the type of fiber in each kit.  It is also worth noting that although Virginia does use Trendsetter and Prism yarns, she also adds a considerable amount of her own hand-dyed yarns to each kit.  None of the photos on her website actually does justice to her amazing products.

There was a great deal of fiber for spinning / felting at Stitches this year, too.  I could easily have spent my entire year's budget on braids of fiber, but showing some self-restraint (it is SO over-rated), I only bought one and got business cards for those vendors who sell wholesale.  One of the nicest was Knitty and Color, with some very unusual jewel-tone colors.  They also have a Batt of the Month Club, which looks like an amazing deal.

WORTH NOTING - the Allegan Fiber Festival is this weekend.  Not only is it well worth the drive to the festival, this past weekend the Food Network featured a restaurant there, The Grill House.  It is reputed to have some of the best steaks in the entire country.  

Purls of wisdom:  What goes sis-boom-bah? [scroll down]

An exploding sheep

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Fall Class Schedule is done!

Greetings, yarnlings!  The fall 2012 class schedule is finished and posted on a separate page.  I am offering several "old favorites", as well as a new class on knitting with beads. 

If there is a class you want to take that I did not offer this fall, the new year is not (really) that far away.  Let me know what you would like to see offered next year and I will try my best to get it scheduled.

Meanwhile - Bon tricoter!

Purls of wisdom: never squat while wearing spurs (Will Rogers)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Confessions of a yarn addict

As I'm sure you all must have guessed, I am a yarn addict.  I started out with inexpensive, gateway yarns and gradually moved up to the hard stuff - silk & cashmere.  I have roughly a three skein a week habit, only because I am so busy.  Otherwise it might be as much as a 3 skein a day habit.  "Idle hands do Zimmerman's work."

There is no 12-step program for yarn addicts.  There is no rehab for fiberholics.  Interventions do not work, and besides, what sane family member would try to take yarn away from an addict with sharp pointy sticks in her hands?

Should the unthinkable happen and a yarn addict be unable to get a fiber fix, withdrawal symptoms are imminent, and NOT pretty.  Withdrawal symptoms include muttering, searching every little space in the house in the hope of finding yarn, short temper, and brief, irrational spending splurges.  These are also the symptoms of patternitis (def.: frustration with a pattern the knitter is determined to make, regardless of how screwed up it seems).  The only way to distinguish withdrawal from patternitis is the presence of yarn in the latter.

Another syndrome common to yarn addicts is WIP syndrome.  This syndrome manifests itself in the form of multiple projects underway at the same time, but none ever getting finished.  This is the most common sign of yarn addiction.

Unfortunately, yarn addicts are prone to denial, as well.  The types of denial may vary somewhat, from denying that there are too many WIPs at any given time, to denying that there isn't enough time to finish 6 projects by Christmas (this usually occurs on Christmas Eve).  And of course, there is the pernicious denial that the yarn addict is actually addicted.  Excuses often include "I don't have nearly as much stash as [blank]"; "it was all on sale"; "I could take up drinking instead"; "I feel morally obligated to support cottage industries like alpaca farms"; and "What yarn?  I don't have any yarn."

How does one tell a yarn addict from a newbie knitter?  When asked a foolish knitting-related question by a non-knitter, the newbie will get defensive.  In the same setting, the addict will smile and nod, realizing the truth behind the old adage "If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand".

Like some other types of addictions, yarn addicts tend to gather together regularly.  Usually they gather in packs in a comfortable location, sometimes known as a knitting den.  Regardless of whether the den is in a home or public space, the floor around the yarn addicts is quickly littered with with the detritus of the craft: ball bands, extra skeins, WIPs, and project bags.  Non-knitters rash enough to approach a knitting den without making appreciative sounds and expressing understanding words are seldom seen again.

Yarn addicts even have their own yearly calendar, with their own holidays.  Some they have in common with the general population, such as Christmas.  Others are unique to yarn addicts, the highest holy days of all being a three-day festival known as Stitches.  The specific Gregorian calendar dates of this event vary from region to region and year to year, but it is the most sacred of events in any yarn addict's year.  A pilgrimage is made to a central location in each region.  Conflicts are suspended, vacation days are taken, and budgets are sacrificed.  The central location for each Stitches event is loaded with hundreds of altars.  The yarn addict's equivalent of mass, known as a "fashion show" is held at least once during the festival.  There is much rejoicing.

All in all, yarn addicts are a relatively harmless strata of society.  Unless a non-knitter is foolish enough to actually handle a WIP or scoff at the yarn addict's choice of substance.  Then all bets are off, the yarn addict reacts aggressively, and it may be days before she can be safely approached again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Special Treat!

This Thursday 12 July Diana Harker will be here on a routine yarn rep visit.  She will have with her some cash & carry Blue Heron yarns!!!  Diana will be available between noon and 3 PM, so if you have time to stop in and snag some Blue Heron, this is your chance. 

This does not replace the Blue Heron Trunk Show in October - it's a little supplement.

Purls of wisdom: some days it's chicken, some days it's feathers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The Frabjous Fibers shipment is in!  The colors are amazing! I have hand-painted AND solid color silk hankies, cashmerino fiber, Merino Sparkle (nylon gives the sparkle), BFL-Silk, BFL, and Opulence!  If I didn't need to get the newsletter out I'd be sitting at a spinning wheel all day.

Purls of wisdom: happiness is not having what you want, it's wanting what you have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Off their rockers

A new magazine by Interweave Press just arrived today - Knit Wear. I didn't even know this one was coming, but I'm glad it did.  The sub-title of the magazine is "simple handknits for the thoughtful knitter", and that is a very accurate description.  I will be writing it up in the newsletter Yarn Exchange, but believe me - it is worth looking at.

Last night I watched a couple episodes of Betty White's new show "Off Their Rockers".  The premise is simple - senior citizens playing pranks on younger people, a la the old "Candid Camera" show.  This show is hilarious!  Each episode begins with a brief scene of old ladies hanging a banner on a highway overpass.  One reads "got prune juice?"  My favorite (for obvious reasons) reads "will knit for sex".  Ya gotta love Betty White.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Patterns Just In

Greetings  and defibrillations!  I have just gotten 7 new Fiber Trends patterns!  There is something for almost everyone in this batch:

The Tulips & Rosebuds Baby Blanket is definitely a potential heirloom  Knit in fingering weight yarn, this would be a perfect project for Cascade Heritage - which is machine washable.

The Country Weekend Sweater takes excellent advantage of self-striping yarn.  This project would be great in Crystal Palace Mochi Plus, Wisdom Yarns Poems, or Classic Shades.

The Walking the Dog pattern is designed to use odds and ends of left-over sock yarns - very efficient. 

The Swirls Hat is beautiful, but a small enough project it can be made up rather quickly, and carried to appointments so you have something to do in the waiting room.  It takes three colors of worsted weight yarn, creating endless possibilities.

Lupine Lace Socks are elegant and beautiful.  These socks would be best made in either a solid color, or a very light variegated colorway, such as Pagewood "Pretty Pastels" or Tosh "Blue Gingham".

If there is a grandmother out there that can resist the Patrick's Pumpkin hat, I've yet to meet her.   Knit in worsted weight yarn, it could even be part of a Halloween costume.

The Animal Friends Felt Booties remind me of the pink bunny suit in the movie "A Christmas Story" - but I digress.  They would make excellent Christmas gifts.

Purls of wisdom: when walking through the house in the dark, if you step on something cold and wet, just tell yourself it's only a bad dream.  Repeatedly.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cool New Tools

Bryson Distributing recently added some new tools, and I had the (amazingly) good sense to order some.  The Gauge-O-Knit is a ruler that automatically indicates your gauge - no figuring it out, no multiplying, nada,  For those of us who have experienced mathphobia, this is a godsend.

But wait!  That's not all!  There is also the Calc-O-Knit, for when you want to use yarn of a different gauge than the pattern calls for, or use a different needle size.  This gadget tells you exactly what you need to cast on, based on your gauge (determined with the above gadget).  You can change a pattern you like to fit you, easily and without errors.

Purls of wisdom: The value of an idea lies in putting it to use.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The Principles of Knitting, 2nd edition, has arrived!  The first edition of this book has sold on eBay for years at a range of $150 to $400 - the new edition is a steal at only $45.  I have 3 copies on hand, but can get more, if needed.

Also new - One + One, by Iris Schreier of Artyarns fame.  This book is filled with small projects that take only two skeins of Artyarns.  Iris's designs, as usual, are stunning.

For the crocheters - The Happy Hooker is also in!  I am told by some of my crocheters that this is an excellent reference book (I don't crochet, so I cannot offer an opinion).

I am pleased to say I have also received more copies of One Skein Wonders and Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders.  These two books are very useful, especially when you have one skein left from a project and cannot face making another scarf.

Happy Thursday!

Purls of wisdom: you can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.

Friday, May 18, 2012

River Park Day!

Tomorrow is River Park Day!  We will have the "Ping Pong Ball Discounts" - after your order is totaled you draw a ping pong ball with the discount you receive written on it.  Discounts range from 5% to 30%!  (You may not add to your purchase after drawing - additional purchases require a separate drawing.  Already discounted items are not included in the ping pong ball discount.)

ALSO - we have some great door prizes this year!  Door prizes will be drawn at 11 AM, noon, 1 and 2 PM.  We have tickets for the Firefighters' Blues Fest on 28 July 2012 - two for couples and one for a family - and one ticket to Stitches Midwest 2012!

Purls of wisdom: some days it doesn't pay to chew through the leather restraints.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't miss out!

On the HPKY trunk show!  Today from 5 - 8 and tomorrow from 9 - 2!  Kits & yarns for knitters & weavers, and fiber for spinners!  Freshly baked snickerdoodles, too!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


TODAY ONLY!!!!  25% off ALL yarns, patterns, and books!  Does not apply to already discounted items, spinning wheels, or needles.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This Friday night from 5 - 8 and Saturday from 9 - 2 is the HPKY Trunk show!  There will be lots of wonderful yarns and kits, including kits for weavers and fiber for spinners!  Refreshments will also be served!

Purls of wisdom: illegitimati non carborundum.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Me again....

Greetings, knitterati!  This week I have received both MadelineTosh Sport and Pagewood Chugiak (sock yarn).  The colors of both are delicious, as usual, and they are selling like hotcakes, so if you want some I urge you not to dawdle.

I also got in more of Pagewood's Melange, a collection of fibers and fabric scraps for spinning and other fiber art activities.  This stuff is like a new box of crayons - I just want to play with it in a corner until my tuna sandwich is ready.

Last week I got some new, mostly one-of-a-kind dichroic glass buttons.  These buttons are the perfect finishing touch for a special knitted article, be it a sweater, wrap or even a hat.

I seem to have hit a plateau in the healing process, which by all accounts is normal.  I am trying to strike a balance between using my arm enough to get it working 100% again, and trying not to overdo it.  Sometimes I lose my balance.  Typical, I must say.

On days when the weather is like today I ache from my neck to my fingers, like an abscessed tooth.  I hope I'm not going to end up with a large barometer on the left side of my body for the rest of my life.  I can imagine my husband poking my shoulder on Tuesday to see what the weather will be like on Wednesday....

Purls of wisdom: an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Purls from the crypt

Greetings!  It is I, Arv the Missing!  I had surgery on my left shoulder 02 April, hence my silence.  I must say it went better than I had thought, as there turned out to be no need to cut tendons and re-attach them with screws, but it still is a bit painful.  My surgeon was good enough to give me a CD with before & after photos of the inside of my shoulder, but I'm not sure these are worthy of going on my Christmas cards.  I have a fearsome tendency to bruise, and I currently am black and blue and several other colors from my neck to my left elbow.  I look like an art class cleaned their paint brushes on me.

One thing about this kind of surgery - you get serious pain medications.  I am told that some people can function almost normally on these pharmaceuticals.  Not this little black duck, no siree.  Usually the pain meds just put me to sleep, but sometimes they provide entertainment, and not just for my husband (who finds me hysterically funny when under the influence).  Lately the nice folks of the pharmaceutical industry apparently slipped Roger Miller into one of my pills, because I keep hearing his songs in my head.  "Chug-a-Lug", "The Streak"...  Sometimes Roger takes a break and Ray Stevens fills in for him.  I have spent a lot of time listening to "Guitarzan" and other Stevens' hits.  And all in the privacy of my mind....better living through chemistry.

Nonetheless, I am healing physically, although I tend to wonder about the long-term psychological effects of Miller and Stevens as my personal background music.  (Thank heaven it's not Madonna.)  I am doing my exercises regularly, to the great enjoyment of my cats, who like to "assist".  I am going to try being back at the shop next week, limited range of motion and all.  I have tried knitting, but it still is uncomfortable after about 10 minutes.  I will persist, however.

Well, I hear Jerry Reed calling me..."When You're Hot, You're Hot....."  see you next week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More new stuff at the shop, etc.

Greetings!  Under the heading of "more new stuff at the shop", Thursday I got in the Schacht-Reeves spinning wheel.  Fairly easy to assemble (except they really need to update the manual to allow for what they are currently assembling at the wood shop that you don't have to assemble yourself), this wheel takes a bit of adjusting at first, but once it is dialed in it is very nice to spin on.  This is my first time spinning on a Saxony (actually, it's a Norwegian style) wheel, and it is more comfortable for me than the castle type, as I can hold my hands parallel instead of right in front of left, which makes my shoulders ache after a couple hours.

The wheel I have in the shop is a 24" made of ash, double treadle, with the flyer on the right.  I will be able to order a Schacht-Reeves for anyone who wants one, but I cannot stock them as there are sixteen different possible configurations when you allow for wheel size (24 or 30 inches), single or double treadle, left or right-hand flyer, and ash or cherry wood.  This would make having the right wheel for any given customer a bit tricky unless I carried one of each configuration, and you can imagine the cost of that. 

However, I now have at least one of each wheel currently produced by Schacht: Ladybug, Sidekick, Matchless and Schacht-Reeves.  Any time you want you can give any of the wheels a test "drive".  I encourage anyone considering buying a wheel to test drive it as much and as many times as necessary for you to be sure it is the wheel you want; my goal is to provide you with the right wheel, not just any wheel.

I also received a Navajo spindle - which is used for thigh spinning - and a pear tahkli for use with short staple fibers and very fine spinning.  I also stock extra bobbins, the Schacht adjustable niddy-noddy, wheel oil, and wool carders.  As always, anything Schacht makes that I do not have in stock can be ordered for you.

Worth noting:  I have brochures in the shop for the TNNA Weavers' Retreat at the end of April, if anyone is interested.  It is very reasonably priced.

Under the heading of "etc.", we have knitting superstitions, as posted in the Windy City Knitting Guild newsletter today (with my editorials in purple):

1. It's bad luck to leave a project unfinished. The intended recipient will get bad luck from the unfinished item. I think it is actually bad luck for the knitter, who will doubtless say "I'll remember where I left off" and we all know down that road lies madness.
2. Stabbing your needles through your yarn balls brings bad luck to anyone who wears something made from that yarn.  Not true - my ex-husband is still alive.
3. Don't knit a pair of socks for your boyfriend or he'll walk away from you.  No ring - no knitting, period.
4. If you knit one of your own hairs into a garment, it will bind the recipient to you.  Does this apply to cat hair?  Is that why they follow me all over the house?
5. Knitting for children you may have in the future, but before you are pregnant, is bad luck (it may prevent one from getting pregnant, or bring ill health to the baby).  Or it may be the only opportunity you have to knit without spit-up on your yarn.
6. Don't stop knitting when you are only on the cast-on row or the project will never be finished.
See #1.
7. Cast-on for your next project immediately after finishing one. It's bad luck for your needles to be empty.  I'm good with this one.
8. When knitting a pair of socks, the second sock must be started immediately after casting off the first and finishing the first must be postponed until the knitter has time to cast-off, and cast-on the next sock at the same sitting.  Matching socks are over-rated.
9. Knitting as a voodoo doll -- ripping out your knitting while picturing someone you don't like is a way to "hex" them.  See #2.
10.Never HAND knitting needles to a friend, they can stab the friendship. Put them down and let the friend pick them up.  This could become a source of misunderstanding - "I swear  I wasn't stealing your needles; I thought you wanted me to pick them up".

Knit / spin / weave happy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

this week at the shop....

Reminder: Friday 24 February is the Artyarns and Interlacements Kit Event, from 6 to 8 PM.  There will be kits from Artyarns for two types of shawls in an assortment of colorways.  From Interlacements there will be kits for beaded scarves and for a beaded cape (shawl) in two types of yarn and lots of wonderful colorways, including some new colors for this spring.  Refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be awarded every hour on the hour beginning at 4.

Due to insufficient enrollment to meet the minimum needed, the Melissa Leapman retreat has been cancelled.  If you have paid for the retreat you have your choice of a full refund or shop credit.

New at the shop and also from Interlacements - Lotus, a 100% silk lace weight yarn in all the fantastic Interlacements colors.  At 500 yards each skein is enough to make a small to medium-sized shawl.

Purls of wisdom:  The road to success is always under construction.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Awesome mittens!

Congratulations to Ruth Neiboer for knitting these amazing mittens, pictured at right.  She made the mittens for her husband who is going to Antarctica tomorrow!  (I am SO jealous!)  These mittens are based on traditional Norwegian designs; the pattern was designed by Ruth's daughter specifically for the occasion (she could make a living doing work like this).  The compass rose with the "N" for north also has the latitude of the northern-most point he has been; the "South" mitten indicates the latitude of where he will be in Antarctica. On the South mitten is the year in Roman numerals, and on the North mitten are his initials.

Ruth made these after taking our class on Norwegian mittens.  These mittens are completely one-of-a-kind, and will likely become an heirloom.  Way to go, Ruth!

Purls of wisdom: you can do anything if you believe you can do it. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

new stuff at the shop - yarn & wheels

Greetings and defenestrations!  In the last week at the shop I have gotten in a new yarn from Feza - Festival.  Festival is a fingering to sport weight yarn with a lovely haze and a twist of glitz.  It would be perfect for a slightly dressy scarf, but the white would be especially nice for a bridal shawl or elbow-length mitts.  At $6.50 and 280 yards per ball, this is an inexpensive way to get some dressy yarn into your life.

Also new - two Schacht Sidekicks have arrived.  It is absolutely amazing how cleverly engineered this wheel is - everything serves a dual purpose for the wheel's folded position and working position.  And it spins like a dream, almost as well as the Matchless.  The bobbins for the Sidekick are interchangeable with all other Schacht wheels, so you can spin on your Matchless at home and then take the same project on the road with your Sidekick.

New from Circular solution - Port-a-Pockets and Knitters' Nest.  The Port-a-Pockets are small pouches with an elastic strap that can be hung over your arm, or detached (velcro is wonderful stuff) and put through a belt loop.  Then you can wander around and knit on a small project, such as socks.  It has three outer pockets, too, so you can carry a few extra tools.

The Knitters' Nest is a bag with four compartments so you can place a ball or skein of yarn in each.  For instance, if you are making a school colors anything, you can have multiple balls of each color in the Nest.  Let's say you are demented enough to be knitting with four colors at once - this would be an excellent aid to that end.  Even if you are only knitting with one color, this bag will keep your yarn in one neat, clean spot.

Another new thing at the shop - the newest Interweave Knits has arrived.

Photos at right are of a woven color study my friend Karlyn did for me years ago.  I had seen one at her home and was so enamored of it that she made one for me that Christmas.  The warp is done in the color spectrum, and the weft is done identically.  The photos do not do the colors justice (cheap camera) but this is not only lovely to look at, it is also a great tool for weavers who wonder what two colors will look like woven together - with either as warp or weft.  (Alas, the website won't let me turn this photo 90 degrees to upright....)

Purls of wisdom: illegitimati non carborundum (come to the shop for a translation)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Please read

Apparently we cannot have champagne at the Champagne and Hotdog event on 24 Feb - someone "complained" to the local authorities that I am serving liquor without a license.  I could apply for a temporary permit for the day - even tho I am NOT selling alcohol - but I would need a Board of Health inspection.  So screw it.  I'll serve cider instead.

Purls of wisdom: when life hands you lemons, make apple cider

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Scarves in the New York Times

Dee just forwarded this link to me  The New York Times has a great article about the Super Scarves.  As usual, their facts aren't quite on the money (specifically regarding the reason for the color choice), but the important part is that these scarves are the most sought after souvenir of Super Bowl XLVI.  Those of you who contributed scarves to this effort can enjoy the knowledge that your scarf  may be around the neck of a Super Bowl-winning player.  Who knows - you might even see your scarf on TV during an interview....

Happy Groundhog Day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Due to the economy, enrollment for the luxury retreat has been low.  As a result, I have decided to have Melissa give her classes at the shop on Saturday and Sunday 24 & 25 March, which will significantly reduce the cost.  There will still be a minimum requirement of 20 registrants and a maximum of 35.  Registration minimum must be met by 21 February 2012 or the weekend will be cancelled (I must give Melissa 30 days notice of go or no go).  The cost for the weekend at the shop will include two lunches and is $275 for all four classes.  If you wish to take classes "a la carte" they are $75 each, no lunches included.  The class schedule remains the same. 
Retreat Details:  

  • Refund policy:  A 25% refund will be given after 01 Feb 2012.  If, for any reason, The Yarn Gourmet must cancel the event, a full refund will be given.
  • Classes only policy: A single class may be purchased for $75, no meal included.
  • Spouses or partners are welcome, but may not sit in on classes unless appropriate registration is paid.  If they do not participate in classes but wish to share lunch with us there will be a $10 meal fee.
  • No children, please.

I am having a ONE DAY SALE on Friday 03 FebruarySelect books will be 40% off, clearance yarns will be reduced 50% or more.  I need to move out the old so I can bring in the new, and my customers will receive the benefits of both.  Hours will be the usual 10 to 8; no coupons may be used for discounted items, and all discounted items are non-returnable.

But wait - that's not all!  (No, I'm not selling ShamWOW.)  I will be having a Artyarns and Interlacements
Champagne and Hotdogs Event on Friday 24 February, from 3 to 8 PM.    This event will feature kits from Artyarns and Interlacements.  The Artyarns kits will  include 2 mini skeins of Beaded Silk Light and 1 mini skein of Cashmere 1 Ply (Every Which Way Shawl Kit), or one 200-yard skein of Rhapsody glitter Light and 4 mini skeins of Beaded Silk & Sequins Light, approximately 80 yards total (Shawl for All Seasons Kits).  Best of all, some of these kits have a crochet option

Purls of wisdom: if you don't have confidence, you'll always find a way not to win.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The dates have been set: Stitches Midwest is August 9 - 12, 2012 at Schaumberg, Illinois!  I WILL be booking a bus again this year, but I cannot say what the tickets will cost until I speak to Cardinal bus lines.  I can tell you that I will be asking for a wheelchair-friendly bus, that it will depart from South Bend at 8 AM, and will depart from Chicago at 4 PM Central time

After last year's trip I received a lot of tremendously helpful feedback on what was great, what was good, and what was not-so-good.  I am still working on some of the things I intend to improve for this year's trip, but the first thing I have changed is the return trip departure time.   Most people said they would have been just as happy to leave an hour earlier last year - so be it.  I am also going to try to do something about the food situation, since that was the biggest complaint most people had.  So stay tuned!

Oh by the way - today I got 3 new yarns in - K1C2's Linus and Geologie, and Pagewood's Yukon.  Yesterday I got Berroco's Circus - come in and see!

Purls of wisdom: persistence is one of the keys to the kingdom.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaack.....

Sorry about the hiatus - things have been a bit hectic.

New yarn!  Berroco's Versa, a 50% cotton, 50% acrylic ribbon yarn that looks like it is hand-painted on each edge.  This yarn knits at a bulky gauge, and looks much better made up than it does in the skein - and the skeins look pretty good. 

The new Knitter's arrived today, and this issue is FULL of good stuff.  Normally I like half or less of whatever is in any given magazine3 (which means the publishers are doing a great job of addressing a broad range of tastes) but this issue is really, really nice. Come in and check it out.  We have hot coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate (see a theme here?) as well as red & white wines.

Purls of wisdom: no one ever excused their way to success.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

new arrival

Greetings!  I hope everyone is recovered from the holidays and ready to enjoy winter - what better time of year to knit?

Yesterday I received 8 colorways of HPKY's Precious: 60% silk, 40% merino.  This yarn has a sheen that any fiber cognoscenti can identify as silk from 30 yards away.  At 275 yards per skein, the price is quite reasonable.  There are many more colorways and kettle-dyes available, so if there is a color you want that isn't in the shop, just ask for it.

Good news: I have decided to replace most of the Malabrigo with Manos del Uruguay.  Manos has a worsted weight yarn called Maxima that is a dead ringer for Malabrigo Worsted, and the Silk Blend is a doppleganger for Silky Merino.  And the Manos lace weight is heavenly - a plied blend of 70% baby alpaca, 25% silk, 5% cashmere; put-up is 439 yards per skein.   I will continue to dye Yeti as a replacement for Rasta.  I will be getting the Manos in by mid- to late February.

The Berroco rep was here yesterday, and showed me some of the new yarns for spring.  Most notable and irresistible was Versa, a collage of two hand-painted ribbons held together.  This is an excellent warm-weather yarn.  It should arrive later this month.  I also ordered some new colors of Bonsai and Seduce.

Purls of wisdom: Pennies do not come from heaven; they are earned here on earth.