Too much to do (but that's no excuse!)


I wanted to upload an image of some buttons to explain that, aside from being away on holidays last week, I've spent this week catching up and researching new things to bring in for the fall, including these great new buttons. So I uploaded the picture and voila: it's a slide show... how cool! A selection of these great buttons will be in the store by the end of August.

Anyway, I hope that flashing buttons will impress you enough to forget that I've been falling down on the blogging tasks. I did however finish a baby cap with the hand painted yarn that I made with 4 colours of Kool-Aid a couple of weeks ago. We will be featuring the FREE pattern for the hat on the August newsletter so don't miss out. It will be available on the pattern site before August 1st.

By the way, if you don't get our WOOL-TYME KINGSTON MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, don't wait another moment but go to the location on the side bar of this site to sign up. There's always a few tips and interesting pieces of information from the fiber world, great news about what's new, what's hot, what's happening and what's on sale too.


Here's a little peak at what we will be covering in the newsletter next week (and a few extras too). A new batch of 4 ply self patterning sock yarn, new colours in SMOOTH, LANDSCAPE: a great DK, new colours in the self striping TOSCA (& the whole series of 10 sample scarves to drool over), the new colour range in WOOLY-BULLY and best of all, Estelle's new ALPACA CASHMERE TWEED which we have in stock in 9 gorgeous colours.

Click here to go to the Estelle site to find out more.


See you soon.


Blue Jays Stitch N Pitch Game

Okay all you Blue Jays fans, here's your chance to stitch away while enjoying the game (perhaps with a break for popcorn and hot dogs at some point.)
Important information for you to know:
What: The poster describes this event like this:"Come to a baseball game and knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch and needlepoint. Sit among friends, family and colleagues and cheer on your Toronto Blue Jays. Attendees will receive a Blue Jays knitting tote bag."
Who: Blue Jays VS Anaheim Angels
When: Wed. Aug 15th 2007, 7:07pm
Where: Blue Jays stadium 200 level outfield.
How Much: just $20.
WOOL-TYME Kingston is proud to participate in the Stitch N Pitch project. We will be taking orders for tickets beginning Wed. July 18th until Tues. July 7th. Tickets will be available for pick up at the store on Tues. Aug 14th or at the Call Window at the stadium before the game.
If enough interest is shown, we will look into transportation with McCoy's so let us know if this would be of interest to you too. Get some friends together and make a day of it.


See What's cooking

I got brave yesterday.

With the Kool-Aid dyeing experiments that I've been doing over the past few weeks, after you've been through the process a few times you no longer really need notes. So when one of my customers was in a couple of weeks ago, I cavalierly gave her my copy of instructions that I had downloaded from KNITTY.COM re the dyeing process.
Yesterday morning I decided that I would arm myself with a foil oven liner, a whole box of latex gloves, disposable cups and a pastry brush to try the "hand-painted" version of Kool-Aid dyeing that was described in the Knitty directions. At one point I thought what a good idea it would be to go to the computer to reprint a copy of the directions, just to review this new process but that sensible thought quickly got lost in the scramble to get myself ready and off to work.
I followed what I could remember of the directions, using 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 cherry, 1 tropical punch. (Don't be fooled, fellow fibre fans...although tropical punch comes in a beautiful deep blue envelope, it is RED and nothing but red.) I painted the dyes onto a ball of Mission Falls wool that I had wound (not very proficiently) into a skein. I then gingerly lowered it all into the crockpot, waiting for my lovely creation to turn mud brown. As you can see in the pot above, it looked weird but it did work. Despite the fact that my inadequate camera shows a blurry version of the finished product, you have to admit, it is fun. I can't wait to knit something up with these wild colours.

In another vein about fibres changing colour -- as those of you who get our newsletter will know, we have just started carrying Fiddlesticks' Ecoknit organic cotton. Although I love wearing cotton, I am not a great fan of knitting with it as I, the laziest knitter on earth, would prefer not to have to worry about such things as keeping stitches even, and wool does so much to help me out in that area.

However, when I was knitting up the swatch of organic cotton for the new display, I was quite surprised at how much body this fibre had. I'm serious, it actually springs back when you stretch the swatch. And the stitches looked really uniform, even for me.

Then last week I was discussing what an interesting yarn organic cotton produces with one of our customers and she asked if I had washed the sample yet. When I admitted that I hadn't, she just smiled. Yesterday she brought in a lovely tablecloth that she had recently completed of organic cotton. She also brought the cone of yarn from which she had made it. The cone was a light caramel colour with a slight green hue. The tablecloth, which had been washed, was a rich khaki colour which she expected would get even deeper with every washing. It was as soft and as full of body as any fibre I have ever felt. I was amazed. It would appear that natural cotton has a "wax" that acts somewhat like lanolin does with wool and that the washing process, in softening and removing this film, allows the colour to come through more deeply.
We consumers (and retailers) get to recognize that the world runs on waves of activities and styles (we won't call them fads, that would be a little tacky) that people gravitate to. I'm a relatively green-conscious person usually but I really did wonder if the whole organic fibre thing wasn't all just so much hype. I mean really...I'm not planning on eating my cotton sweater.
I no longer believe that to be the case at all. This is seriously beautiful stuff and I plan to learn so much more about it in the near future. I'll keep in touch.


Books for Blankets

As many of you would know, WOOL-TYME Kingston is the regional coordinator for PROJECT LINUS, an organization whose mandate is to provide handmade blankets to children at difficult times of their young lives. In order to help us, many of our customers donate yarn and old knitting books that we can then offer for a cash donation to support our efforts.

Lately, we've had a super collection of knitting and crochet books that have come in and are displayed for your perusal at the store. Come and check them out, and for a few bucks you may get to take home a real treasure. Plus it's so nice for people to know that the books and stash that they have cherished and donated to us are going to good homes and are also helping with the good works of Project Linus.

What else is happening at the store:
Being Saturday, I'm in a Kool-Aid mood as I've committed to trying a different Kool-Aid dyeing combination each Saturday that I work this summer. This was the colour that we got 2 weeks ago: the recipe=4 pkgs of raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid and 1 4oz skein of Topsy Farms premium lace weight wool. Now I must say that I've never seen raspeberries this beautiful aqua colour before but it is a great one so who am I to complain. I've started working it up into a simple "Feather and Fan" scarf pattern from Ann Norling designs (as this pattern only requires that 1 out of 4 rows has anything other than knit or purl. I truly am the laziest knitter alive.) I'm using needles that are fast becoming my favourites for all knitting: Addi Turbo lace needles. Their points make knitting a sheer delight when working with anything finer than a worsted weight.
Earlier today, I got brave and wound a ball of beige tweed LOPI into a loose skein and "cooked" it up with 5 packs of lime Kool-Aid. It's gorgeous and it was super fast. (I think that the extra bulk of the Lopi absorbs the dye faster than the finer spin I've been using before.)

What I love about dyeing is that you can't even pretend to feel any control at all. It's a great exercise in just letting go and allowing your creativity to reassure you that you will think of something to do with all of these great colours in all of these wools. Just imagine, for less than $10 you get a chance to take a real risk of creating a glorious combination of colours and textures. So what if on occasion it turns into a muddy brown mess; think of all the beautiful possibilities that there could be.


Happy 4th of July to all our American friends!

This is one of the most amazing pictures of the knitting world that I have ever seen.
A few years ago, Artist David Cole developed the idea of knitting a huge American flag following a week of doing search and rescue work in NYC post 9/11. The needles are made from aluminum utility poles (the kind used for street lights). The "hands" are 2 John Deere excavators. He had to teach his 3 friends who were already skilled in heavy machinery techniques how to knit so that they could understand the principles of what was needed.
He likened the experience to brushing one's teeth by remote control at a distance of 30 feet. But they persevered and in 2005, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams (home of the Yarn Harlot's publisher by the way - could there be a connection?) commissionned Cole to knit and install a huge American flag. The "yarn" was nearly a mile of red, white, and blue acrylic felt. Cole, positioned in a cherry picker and wielding a five-foot-long fishing gaff, would slip one very long stitch after another off the end of the needle. Working from the "wrong side" of the piece, he had to purl backwards, that is to say left to right as the work was too big to be turned at the end of each row.
And we balk at a little afghan now and then.
Click on the title of this post above to link to the project's website.
By the way, our most recent newsletter just went out introducing ECOKNIT organic cotton and featuring a 15% saving on Elsbeth Lavold's gorgeous Hempathy summer pullover, as well as other tidbits of information that we love to pass on to our customers. If you don't receive the newsletter and would like to, please click on the space to the right where it tells you to and you can sign up to receive it regularly (the first of each month.)



You've got to love Google Images. I typed in "knitted Canadian Flag" and -- Voila -- there you have it, a chart to knit our own beloved flag. (Click on the title of this post to link to the site where the actual chart is posted.)
I'm off to the store to finish the counting of inventory and to support the local Boys and Girls club by having my car washed at my favourite sport's bar - Jakk Tuesday's - next door to the store. (they serve the best pepper burger I've ever had.)
And for our American friends, I have a special picture reserved for you for a post on the 4th of July.
Have a great day everyone!