sock-crazy

A blog about Main Street Yarn, the shop I opened in Rebersburg, PA in which April 2013. I will keep it updated with the latest and greatest new items, classes, and other things of interest in the fiber world. I love knitting socks, shawls, hats, fingerless gloves and other items so I will often post photos and information about my knitting adventures. Golden Retrievers and kitties will also find their way into my discussion. The shop website is www.mainstreetyarn.net

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Shawls from New Yarns

July has flown! I apologize for missing two Monday posts but the days and weeks have just gotten away from me. Whoever said summer is slow never had my schedule...

Main Street Yarn will have a booth at the FarmFest in Centre Hall at the fairgrounds this Friday and Saturday, August 1 and 2. There is lots of fun for the entire family. Admission and parking are free. Stop by and see the fun new things I will have at the show.

This past weekend I decided to cast on 2 shawls ... yep, 2...I have two new yarns in Main Street Yarn and was anxious to use both of them in projects.

The first is a simple side-to-side shawl called "Simple Sideways Triangle Scarf" from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. It is a free pattern and could be knit in any weight yarn. It is an easy, basically mindless, project. I love to knit at least a few rows before bedtime and to me this is the perfect way to wind down from a busy day.

Since it is knit sideways you will need a small kitchen scale to measure grams so you leave plenty for the second half of the shawl. This pattern comes with two sizes and I decided to knit the larger one so I can use up all my yarn.

I'm using Mrs. Crosby's "Hat Box" yarn which is a lovely sport weight. I currently have a dozen colors in the shop. There arer 317 yards per skein and the pattern calls for a yarn with 330 yards...close enough because of the sideways design. No risk of running out before I'm finished.

Here is the progress so far...I'm not sure the tonal elements will show up, but trust me this is a lovely yarn...



A 25-pound box of Silky Wool yarn in 20 colors has been sitting in my living room for a few weeks. It will be in the shop within the next two weeks once I rearrange and make space for it.Silky Wool is just that -- silk and wool -- in a DK weight. It is sturdy yet drapes beautifully in shawl, sweaters, vests and other garments. To me it has a bit of a rustic feel yet a classy look. I think it is a yarn that will appeal to most knitters and crocheters.

I have only knit two rows in the 3-color "Flying Duchess" shawl. The pattern can be purchased and downloaded on Ravelry. I plan to have it in the shop soon. I will have a photo to share next week. Well, I have one now but this silly blog program will not let me download it. So, next time hopefully there will be more to show to you.

See you next Monday ...

Monday, July 07, 2014

Off The Needles and On The Needles

As one project ends another begins. The delight of knitting, choices of yarn, needles sizes, and patterns. Just an hour ago I finally finished "Wild Cherry" which is a delightful pattern designed by Melissa Goodale. It needs to be blocked when I return home. I am very pleased with the result.


I knit mine (which will be used as a model in Main Street Yarn) in Kenzie which is a delightful DK weight yarn. I chose a color I refer to as "paprika" and am very pleased with the results. it took two skeins of Kenzie which makes this a very economical project to knit. I love this yarn and am already contemplating my next project in Kenzie...I do suspect a multi-color next time.

Before this project was off the needles I had already cast on for a worsted weight project on straight needles. A much desired change. However, that project with 4 colors of Berroco Vintage worsted weight yarn just didn't work out. I was trying to adapt a pattern and the color joins were not as smooth as I prefer. So it was frogged. There I was, on the road, with 5 skeins of worsted yarn, size 8 needles in straights and circulars (also used 8's on the shawl) and no project to knit. Oh no! What to do?!

I sped to Ravelry for a simple pattern. I was in luck and came up with "Baktus" which I knit several years ago in a skein of fingering weight. A nice side-to-side shawl that adapts to almost any weight yarn. I'm not sure I would use heavier than worsted.

So, again, more improvising. Stripes to incorporate all of the colors that remind me of Autumn. This too will be a shop model. There are lots of ends to weave in because I'm only carrying the beige along the edge. Each of the other 3 colors  -- gold, forest green and pumpkin -- are cut when their 4 rows repeat is completed. I'm looking forward to getting back to this fun project tonight. Oh how I do love garter stitch.


Enjoy your fiber pursuits this week.

See you next Monday....

Monday, June 30, 2014

Not Much Knitting

Good morning -- Last week just flew and knitting progress was minimal. The shawl is almost done with 1 1/2 repeats to complete, then bind-off and blocking. I am determined to have it done by mid-week. Seriously.

It is being knit from Kenzie (see post from two weeks ago) and I love it. I am now contemplating socks from Kenzie. The popularity of this yarn is growing steadily. I will be reordering colors already in stock and adding a few to boost the array of 10 colors already in stock.

The hat has not had even one more row added to the needles. The pattern is one where I need quiet and there wasn't much of that in my life last week. I'm also working on a knitting bowl/pot from 100% cotton yarn from Cleo. My plan is to use that as a "Thrifty Thursday" post on Facebook...I'd better get moving on it!

In shop news: a 26-pound box of yarn for fall is due to be delivered today. It is a new yarn for Main Street Yarn and I'm quite excited about adding it. Fingering weight yarn from the Folk Art Collection of AncientArtsFibre is to be delivered late this week or very early next week. This color collection is amazing. Watch for photos here.

I was looking online at blogs from people who are well-known in knitting circles. One of those is Sally Mellville. Here is a well-written posting from last year. As a yarn shop owner I think it hits the mark...I also really like the comments. If you have time, take a few minutes to read it.

Please let met know what you think...

http://sallymelvilleknits.blogspot.com/2013/05/saving-world-one-yarn-shop-at-time.html


See you next Monday...

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Hat Box "Hat"

I love the new Mrs. Crosby Hat Box yarns. A lovely sport weight in a fabulous fiber combination. I wanted to knit a shawl. I love shawls! But right now I cannot decide if I want a 1-color or multi-color shawl. All I knew for certain is that I wanted to knit something from the yarn and I wanted to knit it now.

The yarn has a fabulous stitch definition, as you can see in this photo. I also really like the very subtle changes in color tone. It just adds to the fun of knitting.



I am not yet revealing the hat pattern -- hopefully I will have enough knit by next Monday for you to see the texture and how it "works" with the pattern I chose. The hat ribbing is a 1x1 and only needs to be 1 inch wide. It would have been done, except Whitney decided she wanted to "knit" which means I had to pull out all the stitches and begin again. I've been very busy this week so haven't made too much progress. Hopefully that will change.


See you next Monday....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Updates

Good Morning! This is the first of weekly blog posts about what is new in Main Street Yarn, what fiber festivals we will be attending as a shop and what I'm knitting. So tune in on Mondays for the latest chapter.

I would bet there will be some mentions of the Golden Retrievers and the kitten, along with baking, cooking and traveling. Primarily this blog will focus on what is on my needles and/or suggestions for projects that hopefully will interest you.

Kenzie is a lovely DK weight yarn that is a combination of merino/nylon/nylon/angora, alpaca and silk. It is very reasonably priced at $9 a skein for 160 yards. There are 20 gorgeous colors available. It is perfect for sweaters, scarves, cowls, shawls, hats, mitts/fingerless mitts and earwarmers. There are colors to please men and women.


Luckily, I came across a pattern called "Wild Cherry" by Melissa Goodale. I knew I had to knit it and that I wanted to use Kenzie. It is an easy 16 row repeat with various lace patterns added into the mix. I think it is a delightful knit. I'm just about finished with the first skein of yarn -- this is a 2 skein project. The pattern calls for 12 repeats and in a few more rows I will have marked off the 9th repeat. I think I am adding a few more sections to the shawl. I will have extra yarn available. No reason not to make it a bit larger.

This shawl would also be a gorgeous knit in Hempathy. I think that version might be next on my needles. I'm hooked on this pattern.

There is a cute pair of "Welted Fingerless Mitts" by Churchmouse in the shop. They are such a fun knit and only require one skein of Kenzie.

We are getting ready for Autumn, so new yarns are beginning to arrive. There are some very exciting new companies who will find a home at Main Street Yarn this year. Keep watching this blog and Facebook for updates.

Have a great week. See you next Monday....Kim


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

After a Long Absence....I'm Back

I don't know where the months went. My last post was in early October right after Lily died. It was a gorgeous, although sad, Autumn without having her to share the days and evenings. Lily was a special SPCA kitty. I said no more. Never. Say. Never.

One day on Facebook the Clinton County SPCA popped up with a post about a kitten who needed a home. I saw that post on Thursday, Dec. 12. On Friday, Dec. 13 (no superstitions here!) I brought home this little bundle of energy and joy. We named her Whitney. No, she is not at all like Lily. I don't want her to be...she is her own bundle of joy.

If she grows into her ears she will be one very big kitty!
 
 
Now for some knitting content....recently finished socks. These are knit from a gorgeous skein of Opal DK. Great to keep the feet warm on these very cold winter days. Opal is probably my very favorite commercial sock yarn. I love sock yarn. Many of you know that but Opal tops my list.
 
 
 
I will return again soon. I promise....


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Lily -- April 2, 1999 to September 29, 2013

You were very much loved and missed even more. I love you. Your momma.


Lily was a great background for knitting


She had great fun using the boxes of yarn as a climbing tree. Opening them will never be the same.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Tweed Sort of Mood

I love rustic yarns and this season seems to have brought a bunch of them to the forefront in yarn shops -- including Main Street Yarn. We have an acrylic wool blend in worsted weight from Universal Yarn Company; a blend of New Zealand merino/nylon/angora/alpaca/silk in DK weight called Kenzie; and the newest addition is Blackstone Tweed in worsted which is a blend of wool/mohair/angora.

I have used the Universal Tweed for several years for hats and fingerless mitts. A sturdy, yet soft, yarn that wears well. It is a go-to yarn for me.

Today I finished these --



"Welted Fingerless Gloves" in  Kenzie. The yarn has a nice feel when on the needles and is soft on the hands. This pattern was reordered and will be back in the shop later in the week.

I now have the Blackstone Tweed on the needles for a two-colored hat. I just cast on but like the yarn a lot. There is nothing to show yet but will follow with photos in a few days. The pattern I'm using will be ordered tomorrow and hopefully will be in the shop this week. It is perfect for this yarn but would work with any other worsted of your choice.

What are you knitting?

Until next time....

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finally....a vest pattern

Those of you who knit with me or hear me talk about knitting may have heard (probably too often!) that I really want to knit a vest. (Insert whining...years worth of whining...)

But it has to be the right pattern -- simple, button up the front, worsted weight, and can be worn with some professional attire as well as casual clothing. Some of you are shaking your heads thinking, well that is a lot to ask of one pattern. I totally agree. However, I FOUND IT!! Yesterday I was leafing through the new Downton Abbey magazine. There is was "Chilly Morning Cosycoat." Woo-Hoo! I let out a cheer..

I'm was so excited that I actually knit a gauge swatch. Roberta probably just sank into a chair when reading that sentence. She knows my dislike for gauge swatches. But, I'm glad I did. I am between the small and medium sizes. According to the pattern directions, the small would "just" fit while the medium would be several inches too big around. However, my gauge shows that I should be knitting the small for the best fit. Edited to add that I went down a needle size to a 7 and got gauge. The yarn calls for a 7 and the pattern an 8.

So, I will. And if it doesn't fit me...well, I will have learned an important knitting lesson and it will make a great shop model!


Isn't is lovely? I think so. A simple Garter stitch with bands of Double Moss Stitch. Just enough to keep it interesting and make the project reach completion.
 
 


Vintage worsted weight yarn from Berroco. It is a deeper teal than this photo shows. I can't seem to get the right lighting to show it off.
 

 
The cover of the Fall/Winter "Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits." Get your copy today. The season begins in January, so get your knitting done now. Wear your Downton garments while you watch the new shows in 2014. There are gorgeous handknit garments for ladies and men.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

The days are flying so quickly that I cannot seem to get everything accomplished. I am very happy to say that my evening hours are generally filled with knitting projects -- some for models at Main Street Yarn and the others as Christmas gifts.

My husband returned home from a trip last night and walked into the living room that is filling with boxes of yarns for fall and winter. I am very pleased with the new lines that will be making their way into the shop right after Labor Day. Remember, if I have a yarn that interests you and the color you want isn't on the shelf, please ask. I can order it.

I am so enjoying knitting with Wandering Wool. I have restocked and added new colors to the fingering weight and in a month or so will be ordering worsted weight. The yarn bases are extraordinary and her color saturation is among the best I have ever seen. Rich, deep colors. Oh, but do they bleed when on the needles or being soaked prior to blocking? Not at all. I have knit with numerous skeins and earlier this week finished a shawl in a gradient blend, soaked it and blocked it. Not a bit of color in the water, either. Oh and this yarn blocks beautifully.

Heads up: Below is a photo of the shawl in a gradient. It was blocking at the time...obviously. Dyeing gradient colorways is a very time-consuming (translation time costly) process and at this point gradients are not available to yarn shops. You can get them from her Etsy shop. I will be getting solid color worsted weights. I will display this shawl/large scarf in the shop so people can ooohhhh and aaaahhh over the softness of the yarn and the color saturation.





Until next time....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Lesson Learned...and Some Unique (to me) Yarn

Keith and I had a great weekend at the LPGA in Sylvania, Ohio...near Toledo. The heat and humidity were intense so I opted to stay at the hotel on Friday. I almost melted on Thursday. Of course I had some great knitting hours. I started a pair of cabled fingerless mitts for a birthday gift for a friend. I completed about 2/3 of the first one on Friday.

Saturday I took my knitting to the golf course. I always take my knitting (used to be counted cross stitch) to the golf course. I was knitting on the mitt making the approach to the gusset increases when two guys plopped their chairs next to mine. They said hello. I responded. One had too many beers for any time of day, but considering it was before noon and his condition he must have started drinking the night before. He scowled at me so I ignored him. He then rudely said, "why are you doing such a ridiculous thing at a golf tournament." I said to pass the time and I went back to knitting.

They were quiet for a few minutes. I leaned down to the left to pick up my bottled water and I thought my knitting fell off my lap...that has been known to happen. When I straightened up I discovered the drunk had my knitting, had pulled out the double pointed needles and unraveled a good part of the project. I was furious but since there really weren't others around knew I needed to keep my cool.

I stood up and asked why he did that. Answer: So now you will have to watch the golf tournament. His buddy saw the look on my face and said he thought they better get out of there. I told him that was the smarted comment I had heard in the last few minutes. They left and I reported them to an LPGA official. But they were nondescript  so could not easily be found in a crowd.

The mitt is at the thumb gusset stage and will be finished by tomorrow. Then on to the second one. Knitting in Public can be hazardous to your progress.

On a happier note, today I was on the road working and saw a Farmer's Market with a sign "fresh lemonade." Wow I needed one. I pulled in, got my beverage and glanced around. Lo and Behold I came across this....

...worsted weight Llama yarn. It is so soft and the cream is gorgeous as is the medium grey. Now off to consider patterns. Happy Knitting....

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fabulous Grand Opening!

Several hundred people visited our shops today. Forefathers Book Shop and Main Street Yarn were kept very busy. Thank you to our new and not-so-new customers. We so appreciate you.

A big thank you to Celeste, Cathy, and Martha for handling the cooking of the hot dogs and pouring of the lemonade. People loved the free food and beverages on a hot day!

Katherine Dashner and Libby Beiler entertained and educated people about the process of yarn making -- from the sheep to the skein of yarn. They were in the shade but handle the hot outdoor temperatures with grace. They are members the team that won the 2013 PA Farm Show Sheep to Shawl competition. This team has won a number of times in the past few years. Quite a talented group!

Libby demonstrated carding
 
Katherine spins on her traveling wheel
 
Team members working together