Back issues of INTERWEAVE KNITS magazine.

Just a note that I received that may be of interest.
Interweave KNITS magazine is by far the most popular magazine we carry, often selling out within days of its arrival.
The Knitting Daily newsletter announced that they were making back issues of this great publication available for sale.
Just click on the title of this post to take you to the order page.
By the way, you will be able to subscribe to the Knitting Daily newsletter from that page as well. It's a great little resource that comes regularly and keeps you in touch with the knitting world.



Just wanted to show you a picture of some of our bags of yarn on sale. There are actually way too many to put in one picture.

This is such a great week as it allows people to really get the best deals on larger quantities of yarn that they love. These yarns are like our pets for whom it's time to send them off to good homes where people will cherish them and use them well.

In addition to our storewide 20% discount on bags of yarn, we actually have some that 30% and 40% off, and great deals on books, needles and gadgets throughout the store too (including all our in stock Lantern Moon baskets).

Don't forget, if you live out of town, please feel free to call us to see if we have a yarn that you're looking for on special. (613) 384-3951.

Also, next Sunday, being July 1st will see the launching of the new e-newsletter. If you haven't signed up for it yet, please send me an email at wooltymekingston at gmail dot com and we'll be glad to add you to the list.

Enjoy the summer, wherever you are. Stay cool.



The wonder of magazines

I was telling the ladies at the Knitting Circle get-together last Tuesday that I had had such fun a couple of weeks ago, looking through the magazines at Chapters. I was shocked when I went to the cash and realized that I had racked up $40 in publications that we often flip through in a waiting room without paying too much attention.

For me however, this really is money well spent on hours of perusing. I love magazines. All magazines. I remember going through a copy of "PIZZA TODAY" magazine in a little diner in New York State while we were waiting for our lunch. Who knew such a publication could exist?

Anyway, this is one of the new knitting magazines that is making a name for itself. For years, we had the same 3 or 4 publications that each catered to their own group of knitters with very little overlap. With the advent of so many new, fashion conscious young knitters, there has been a turn to meeting their needs in some new magazines.
I love this edition of Knitscene. I probably wouldn't knit much from among their patterns, but they give me ideas, they show me how creative today's designers are (many of whom are Canadian, by the way.) They introduce me to new people in the fiber world, and new products and gadgets. Knitting magazines aren't just pattern books, just like cooking magazines aren't only cook books, or meditation magazines (see right for one of the interesting magazines I bought last week) aren't just how-to manuals. For the price of a few bucks, they let us see what other people find important and worth being passionate about.


Colours Galore

Last Saturday was quite quiet in the store, as Saturdays often are in the summer, so I got a chance to play. I brought in my embarrassingly beaten up crockpot and some Kool-Aid (4 packs of cherry, for those who want to try it too) and followed the directions for Kool-Aid dying that I had printed from Knitty.com and spent the morning watching the whole mess do nothing much...until it obviously hit the heat level that was needed to absorb the dye. Then like the magic that can come from Hermione's wand, the water was suddenly almost clear and the the red dye was in the wool.
The picture of the skein hanging is not really all that accurate as to colour, it's actually quite a lovely uniform very rich coral colour. Next Saturday I plan to try Topsy Farm's premium super fine wool and Blueberry. It's really fun to find things that can astound you, just like when you were a kid.
As I mentioned, the crockpot's contents didn't do much of anything for the first couple of hours so I was working on a pattern that I had seen before and had intrigued me for quite some time. "My So Called Scarf" comes from the Sheep In the City site (you can link to it from the "Other great blogs & links "section to the right) but from her description of its origins, it sounds like it might have come from a Barbara Walker collection from way back. The scarf from the site is done with Manos del Uruguay wool but I had one last skein of this great colour of Wooly Bully left and wanted to see if the thicker yarn would look good in the woven texture. Well as you can see, it's a great combination. One of the nice things about this stitch is that it keeps you focused without requiring too much brain power. The other great thing is that although both sides look quite different, there really isn't a right/wrong side, and better yet, it doesn't curl as most stocking stitch derived patterns can.
The customer who sent me the pattern had used this stitch for a band around a hat. It would work equally well as the cuff of mitts or as a purse, or anything. It's a great pattern stitch.

Despite the fact that the weekend can be a bit relaxing at the store at this time of year, we've been busy during the weeks with the pre-inventory sale and next week we get to prepare for the Big Count after our final BUY THE BAG sale week.
But more about that later.


Quick Note

For all of you who await this news: The new KNITTERS magazine has just arrived. It always sells out early so...get 'em while their hot.



With our new counter system on this site, I've been able to watch how many have been coming to visit, and although I don't know who they are, I do know that many are from away...and can't come into the store to take advantage of the sales that we offer.

Never fear, you who are not lucky enough to be in the Kingston area. We do have a way for you to take part in our annual inventory sale. Just call the store during the sale period and we will be glad to let you know what we have in stock and take your order with your credit card. We will ship it off in the blink of an eye and it will be in your expectant hands before you know it.
(**See the end of this post for contact details.)

This week - until Sat. June 16th only, we have all of our summer yarns on special for 20% off.
Here are some of what we have:
From Estelle: 100% Aran Silk, Young Touch DK cotton, Mystic DK cotton/viscose,
From Diamond: Cantata DK crepe cotton
From Sirdar: Just Bamboo, Ocean, Surfer, Breeze, Denim Tweed DK, Denim Sport Aran, Denim Chunky
From Elsbeth Lavold: Hempathy DK hemp/cotton.
From Needful Yarns: Isis DK linen and viscose.
From Dale of Norway: Stork 4ply baby cotton.
From Basics: HP No 31 ( a weird name for a glorious DK crepe cotton).
From Mission Falls: 1824 cotton.
From James Brett: Kool Kotton.
From Cascade: Fixation cotton/spandex sock yarn.
2 other cotton blend self patterning sock yarns.
All of our Crochet cottons: Opera, Clea, Anne, Traditions,

** Contact Details
The store is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5:30pm, and on Thursday evenings, we are open until 8pm.
Phone: 613-384-3951,
fax 613-384-3137 (don't fax your credit card #, leave us your phone number and we'll call you back to get it.)


I remember when we were kids the Sears Christmas catalogue would come in the mail about the time of my brother's birthday, which was September 25th and it was so delightful to see the toys, the trees, the candy, the pictures of the (fake) snow when we had barely gone back to school.

I love it when we would go away with the kids for "spring" break with snow still to our knees, yet we could shop summer clothes in the stores.

Lately, I'm reminded of this slightly out of synch quality that delights us about the marketing world. That's what I am living now at the store. In early May many of our distributors in Toronto have open-houses to display what's coming up for fall. Then starting about now, the sales reps come around with their cases of samples that are set up for maximum drool effect.
But one of the great things about all this new "fall" stuff is that it will be actually coming to us relatively soon. In July there will be some new 6ply Jacquard (self patterning) sock yarn which is brand new for us. We've never carried this thicker sandal-sock weight of fancy sock yarn. It should be fun. Also in July, we're expecting new colours in some of our favourites: Country Style, Baby Snuggly, Super ball: YO YO. Early in August, there is an amazing selection of new yarns - both fancy and classic - from several suppliers to get us all revved up to get back into the knitting season. And I have new things coming regularly until October.

All of this selection can be a bit overwhelming but this year, I've decided that I will be vigilant, I will keep track of what is coming in, I will not order 3 versions of the same yarn from 3 different suppliers, I WILL BE ORGANIZED! Yeah, right.



Kingston Knitting Circle: meets each 3rd Tues of the month in the Community room at Chapters on Princess St (Near RONA) from 7-9pm. Everyone is welcome. Bring your knitting or your crochet and a friend.

Sleepless Goat: Knitting at the Goat on Princess St (near Tara Foods) each Wednesday from 7-9pm. Everyone is welcome.


Cranes for Peace

These are knitted/fulled (felted) cranes. There are 100 of them so far that have been collected for an art instillation for peace. The artists are looking for 1000 felted cranes, (although I believe that the deadline has passed for those who want to participate in the project.) The idea is to build a woolen version of the 1000 folded origami cranes for peace that came out of Japan after WWII. How wonderful to have that many people putting that many hours into focusing on peace. (Click on the link to find out more.)

I read about this project yesterday at work in KNIT.1 magazine and was intrigued. Later in the day when we were at the "Sleepless Goat", doing out bit to celebrate the: World Wide Knit In Public day, it occurred to me how much knitting, or indeed crafting in general, is a lot like the prayers invoked in the folding or felting of cranes. Whether in a group or by oneself, when we make things with our hands we are reminded to slow down, we think of the recipient, we think of how the exercise pleases our senses, we are thankful for our abilities, the materials, and in many cases, for the time to spend doing something that we enjoy so much.

Speaking of time, I notice that on many knitters' blogs, people have such a great selection of projects that they are working on. What a treat to see. But you may have noticed that that isn't the focus of this site. When I was doing an Entrepreneurship program before opening the store, they warned us that if you have a business based on your hobby, you no longer have a hobby. Unlike most of you, I knit because it's my job. Not that I mind my "job", in fact I love it. But it is a job nonetheless. I take it very seriously.

It's also my job to know about the world of knitting and knitters, to know what's coming that's interesting in that world,and what others are having fun with right now. It's my job to find teachers for new techniques and to introduce them to my customers. It's my job to keep the store stocked with lots of fun things, new things, enough things. But to be quite blunt about it, it's also my job to keep the store going for all you wonderful people who visit us and shop with us.
And now, by extension, I find that it's my job to stay in touch with all of you great crafters by bringing these things to you via this site. It's my job to report on all the fun that knitters everywhere are having, both here in Kingston and everywhere...how cool is that?
P.S. To help me in my "job", I'm always happy to plunder other people's research on the net (with their permission of course). If you find something that you think would be of interest to the knitters who come to this site...let me know. I'd be so grateful.


June 9th is knitting in public day.

How great to have a legitimate excuse to sit down after work this coming Saturday, with my green tea that a certain Barista has served me at The Sleepless Goat on Princess St, and do nothing but knit - in solidarity with other knitters who are doing the same thing around the continent. If anyone would like to join me, I plan to be there at 2:30pm on Sat.
I had the same feeling of sisterly kinship when I went for my first mammogram; but I believe that this will be a much more pleasant experience.
It got me thinking about knitting as the great multi-tasking activity. Although knitting a garment can be a pleasant and challenging experience that requires focus and skill, there is a lot of knitting that is, let's face it, just plain drone work if you are sitting there by yourself with nothing to distract you. Once you've got the pattern in your head, or if you have 4 inches of ribbing to do on a large man's fine knit sweater, or acres of stocking stitch with no shaping in sight, you need something to keep you from falling asleep.

Consequently, we spend relatively little time just sitting and knitting...we knit and watch/listen to TV, we knit at the hockey arena, we knit in waiting rooms, we knit while the kids are at their piano lessons. We knit on long drives (when we are the passenger), and we knit together when we go to Knit & Chat groups.

I've been to a few guild meetings (for knitting and other crafts) in my day and have enjoyed the stimulation of seeing the work that others have done. I've sat through my share of regular type meetings where agendas are important to keep you on track.

But my favourite of all my monthly commitments is getting together at Chapters' on the 3rd Tues. of the month (see coming events listing above) for the KINGSTON KNITTING CIRCLE "meeting" with a few women of all knitting skill levels, to natter and knit. It is truly a judgement free zone where everyone just seems to relax and let their hands and their eyes and their ears and their speech enjoy themselves. It's not exactly knitting in public, as we are in the back corner of the store, but it is knitting together...and I love it.


Spring Show & Share.

These are just a few of the wonderful and interesting projects that we had into the Spring Show & Share at the store a couple of weeks ago. On the left is Mary Jane's lined coat made of mohair in about 10 different colours. It really is eye catching and beautifully done.
Next we have a selection of scarves that Marion - the On-Line SOLO scarf fiend - has designed and made. I believe that she is responsible for at least 75% of the popularity of this interesting yarn/knitting concept in the city of Kingston.
Nicci brought in her gorgeous felted bag, which she artistically embellished with beads and wool, using the needle-felting techniques that she learned at our workshop with Andrea Graham last year. (By the way, Nicci, I've lost your email address in the transfer to gmail. Please get in touch.)
Finally Brandy's tatting is always a treat to see as the rest of us can barely distinguish the individual stitches, never mind imagining being able to do such lovely work.

I know that it takes courage for people to bring in their projects to the store. More courage for some than for others. Everyone is different. But we love to encourage people to let us share with our other customers the enjoyment that they get from working on (and finishing) a special project. I want to thank all of the 22 participants who brought in things for us to ogle, and hope that next fall, we will be able to entice even more of the knitters in the area to inspire us by their work and creativity.


Learning new stuff...

This is a picture of my "SIDEWAYS SOCK" that I love for a few reasons: I'm not a giant fan of rib or knitting on 4 needles. Because the leg of this sock is knit in garter stitch on 2 needles, grafted then stitches are picked up around an edge to create the basis for the foot of the sock, I figure that the sock is at least 1/3 done by the time I have to use the 4 needles and I never have to rib at all yet they stay up really well.

This picture is here to advertise the new segment of this site where you can click on to the title "WOOL-TYME Kingston FREE PATTERNS" to the right>>> to take you to a selection of free patterns that we have offered through the newsletter over the past year. Please feel free to print them, make the projects, use them with my blessing. But as it says at the top of the pattern page, please contact me for permission before using the pattern in a publication (paper or on the internet) or before making the items for sale. Please enjoy them and let me know if you come across any typos or cut&paste glitches. (I set them all up quite quickly. Some things may have gotten by me.)

One of my customers was in on Saturday after having seen the blog. While we were discussing it she said: "You're having lots of fun with this, aren't you?" And I had to agree.

But more importantly I was struck by how much I had learned about the world of blogs, digital cameras, high speed internet service and computer lore in general in the past month. Seriously, I was shocked to realize that it was on the first weekend of May when I was in Toronto on a buying trip for the store, that one of the other knitting store owners was saying how important her blog was to the life of her store and convinced me that it really was an easy enough task to squeeze into my overcrowded brain.

So how do we define the angle of a learning curve? There's no question that if I had run into half of the difficulties that other computer tasks have given me in the past (like learning the evil ways of a new accounting program, or even a clip art file for instance) I'm sure that I would have given up after an hour and missed out on how enjoyable this experience is. What makes something worth the effort if we don't know the outcome? I don't have an answer but it is an interesting question.
I'm always amazed by the people who have never held knitting needles in their hands before, yet decide that that is what they want to do...and do it ridiculously well from the very beginning.
However, I'm more awed and humbled by those who don't get it at all right at the beginning, who must struggle to remember to put the yarn to the front or to the back when going from knit to purl and back. The people who come back week after week with "design features" in their first projects that were not intended by the pattern designer, the ones who struggle with just holding the needles and yarn yet still persist: these are the people that I really admire. As I've learned this week, I'm grateful when a new skill comes easily, but I appreciate it even more (especially in others) when it's hardwon.