Saturday, February 26, 2011

What's so important about a LYS????

Recently a man asked me why did I have a yarn shop when there were so many places on the internet to buy yarn? My response required no thinking. I have The Yarn Cottage because I needed it. First and foremost, I have a difficult time buying yarn from the internet. I can't feel it, touch it, feel it's touch in my hand and it's really hard to get a true color from a computer monitor. Enough said? I don't think that even scratches the surface about why a Local Yarn Shop is important to "yarnies". We need the sense of community that our shops offer. We share knitting news and progress on projects. We help each other with problems both yarn oriented and life oriented. In a yarn shop you will meet people that you would have absolutely nothing in common with except a love of yarn. And guess what, that person could become your next best friend. We have been known to grieve with each other when bad things happen and to laugh extensively when life gives us funnies. Red, yellow, black or white. Doctor, lawyer, indian chief or chief cook and bottle-washer. We are all one in a yarn shop. Everything else is left out on the side walk as we share our common interest of all things string.

Something else important about Local Yarn Shops are that you can't really get classes off the internet. Yes, you can learn on YouTube but for every quest there are 50 different ways to do something on a 3 minute video. And that person doesn't guide your hands through a difficult move when you are first learning to knit. They don't wait for you to get the "aha" moment before going on. They don't give a high five when you get it. We do. We laugh with you when you make mistakes that no one has seen before. And then we help you fix it. We teach classes not for the money but because of the love of the knitting. We are here to continue with something time honored. Knitting and crochet are skills. They are learned skills and should be appreciated. There is not a thing in the world wrong with someone knitting scarves all their lives, but if you want to do more, we are here to teach you.

PLEASE don't get me wrong, I am not against the many websites that sell the same thing that I have here. They have their place in our lives. The question was, "why did you open a yarn shop?" Again, I opened it because I needed it. I opened it during a recession but the time was right for me. I had a huge fear of failure and the ever pressing question of 'will they come?' The answer from my daughter was this. "So what if it fails, you'll go home with more yarn." Kinda glib but true. The second anniversay of The Yarn Cottage is coming up and I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. I can't believe how many new friends I have, I am amazed at how many beginners have become such fabulous knitters. And I am saddened by some of the losses we have share amongst us. But without this shop I wouldn't have experienced any of this. And This is why I think LYS (local yarn shops) are important..

We knit, we share, we laugh and we become friends in our local yarn shop and you can't do that with a computer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all of us. My knitting bag is bursting at the seams with all the projects I want to do and need to do ( for Christmas of course) and I can't wait until after Thanksgiving dinner to sit down and knit off my 'turkey buzz". Do you know the feeling????

Knitting is so exciting right now to me because of so many new yarns in our shop. Malabrigo worsted and silky marino is to die for. Cascade's new line of washables are fabulous. Classic Elite has some luscious fibers and the dye grabbed the fiber just right to make a really good clear color. These are just a few of our new offerings. The Addi Lace Clicks are on reorder ( the first order of them flew out the door within a week). You really owe it to yourself to knit with an Addi lace if you never have done so.

The cutest things in the shop right now are the tooth fairy dolls for boys and girls. You knit and felt the cutest ballerina or skater boy. Come see the sample we have knitted up.

Our Sugar Maple KAL is coming to an end. Everyone has something different. It has been done in chunky to sock yarn and it looks great in each yarn. I have a shawl in all three weights. We will get another KAL going after January 1, so if you have any ideas for something let me hear from you.

Happy Day to you and yours. The Yarn Cottage is thankful for everyone of you that has kept us in business. This was a hard summer for alot of people, us included, but we are still here with the doors open and the yarn jumping off the shelf to go home with you.

See you soon,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's Knit.....

Even though it has been longer than I realized since my last blog, never fear ! I have been knitting. I have completed several projects. A SKIF sweater that I thought would be the death of me, it just went on FOREVER... A couple of really, I think, cute tanks to end out the summer. But, now it is going to be cool soon (really it is one day soon, huh?) and I have 2 more sweaters on the needles. I am almost finished with a Clementine Shawlette made from Tilli Tomas and a wrap called the Springtime Bandit made with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca. The cast on for that one was a real challenge. Last night I was trying to decide about a Christmas present for my mom. Remember last year and the year before? She puts these gifts in a drawer saying they are too nice to use. Should I take that as a message or is this just a generational thing?

We have a new person working here, Eebie Cheshire is with us. She is the lovely model in the Zalea ad for The Yarn Cottage wearing the blue sweater that she knitted. She is a very skilled knitter and can answer anything that comes her way about knitting. She's a great addition to the shop. She had a fun first day. We had sales people here and she loved helping choose yarn for the coming season. It is on the way already.

The shop is coming along. We have some of the summer stuff still on sale while trying to make room for the winter things. Have you seen the great retro ponchos in the shop???? Think glamour. Think movie stars from the 40's. I want to do some really cool stuff with you this winter. We have novelty yarns back in the shop, we have several superwash wools and blends of. The fibers for the fall are wonderous. Come see and feel. We are knitting.......

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Signing at The Yarn Cottage

We love to knit or we wouldn't be reading this blog, but when we aren't knitting we like to read about knitting. Am I right? There is a new fictional knitting series out by the author Terri Dulong. She lives in Cedar Key, FL and her first book is great. She sent it to me on Friday and I am finished with it already. The title is Spinning Forward and she already has two more set to be released by the end of this year. Her publisher must like her and I think you will too.

Cedar Key is a real town much like our little oasis of Fairhope. It is near and dear to my heart because I have lots of wonderful memories of spending alot of time there. My husband went to the Uof Florida in Gainsville and spent quite a few weekends there. We even thought about living there part time once but thanks to a hurricaine that deposited some sacred grass on out lots, we couldn't build on them. Oh well, another story there. Anyway, the story is really heartwarming and I think you will enjoy it.

Terri is coming to The Yarn Cottage on July 9 from 2:30 TO 4:30 sign her book for you. The book will be here for you to purchase. She seems really nice over the phone, I really shocked here with our common interest in Cedar Key. The town is a small fishing village on the Gulf side of Florida. My kids grew up during summers there learning to feel with their toes for sand dollars the size of sandwich plates in the mud when the tide was out. I saw my first live starfish there! It has undergone a uptick in recent years with restoration in the town, but the seafood is still great and it is the only place I have ever vacationed and come home rested. I am ready to go back today! Those fresh stone crab claws just can't be beat.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Home from Stitches in Atlanta!!!!! If you have never been to a Stitches, let me recommend to you that you GO. The classes are so good and just meeting and talking with other knitters from all over is so cool. I saw alot of people that I knew and met some new ones. Knitters, by and large, are a nice group of people. Saw alot of them that really like to drink beer, go figure.

The hotel we stayed in was very nice. It was connected to the convention hall so we never had to get back in the car once we arrived. And if you have driven in Atlanta before, you realize what a plus this is. It was interesting to see the bar and the lobby dotted with men and women knitting on projects and just visiting. And yes, I did say men. Leah took classes with Melissa Leapman on cabling techniques and her samples of what she learned is just incredible. I do believe she is a natural born knitter. I took classes on different methods of continental knitting and on Nups, bobbles and cluster stitches. My hands and wrists still ache.

We both hope to share with you what we learned so come in and see...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Who Dat.... what do you think, will they win?????The game is on now but I have to take a break from all the noise and especially my husband who is sooooo excited about this game. I am knitting on one of my three pair of socks that I have gotten started since New Year's Day. I made a resolution to learn new things in 2010 and socks are the first thing on my list. I have fiddled around with socks before, but I am now knitting them with a vengence! I am sick and tired of having to struggle with these little buggers. I have a pair on 2 circulr needles, I have a pair on double points and I have a pair going on my new exciting find of a new size needle. call me or e-mail if you want the skinny on this new bombshell in knitting socks. I am working in pairs because I refuse to knit the same thing after finishing one. So in total I have six socks going at present. I am going to determine my favorite way of knitting socks with this experiment. I will say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with Flat Feet yarn. No rolling off the chair, Cleo ( one of our cats) can't run to grab the ball and take off with it. She has yanked more than one project out of my hands and took off down the hll with it. She is a ball of fire to say the least. She was found in a dumpster at my husband's office a few months ago, of course he brought her home. Look at my profile and see the idiots we are for animals. Cleo got sick with respiratory infection a few weeks after we got her so off to the vet we go. She nearly died but I do believe she lives to make my knitting at home quite challenging. Bamboo needles are her favorite chew toy, you have to put them away or take them with you even on a quick trip, if you get my meaning. One little tidbit for you, she tested negative for Feline Leukemia when she went to the vet right after she came here, but when she was so sick, she got tested again and guess what. She is FLV positive. They said false negatives are not uncommon in these tests. Well you can see why she gets away with so much. She has to cram alot of living into what will be a shortened lifespan more than likely. We love her.

They say diamonds are a girls best friend, but whoever said that didn't know me. My best friend and four legged soul mate, Jubilee, died two weeks ago. She had pancreatic cancer and we knew it was coming, but it came quickly when she got sick. I left for work one morning and she was laying in the sunshine by the pool eating her morning snack and when I got home that evening she was fighting unconsciousness waiting for me to get home. She was on her bed and when I got to her, I swear she smiled and soon eased on in to doggy heaven while laying her head on my lap. She was 108 lbs. of the most beautiful Labrador Retriever you have ever seen. She was the greatest and one of the best things that has ever happened to me. If you missed me in the shop for a couple of days I was at home grieving. I'm still alittle off, but she was very important to me.

At The Cottage we are getting ready for some fabulous spring knitting. I have new yarns already and I need a happy! SWTC Phoenix is on my needles at the moment turning itself into a great ribbed and lace shell. This soy tape is great. Next will be some organic cotton from Blue Sky and a good looking top down raglan from their pattern collection. We are racking our brains for a new KAL project for the spring. I have some ideas, as does Melissa and Nancy, but we would like your input. What do you want to do and do with us???? KAL's are great fun, and inexpensive way to learn new things and it's just fun to do something together.

Let us hear from you, what do you want to learn this year, where do you want your knitting to take you? GO FOR IT.