November activities

Saturday, Nov. 3rd:
Introduction to
with Andrea Graham

Learn from the best: nationally recognized fibre artist and teacher Andrea Graham will share her techniques and inspiration. No experience necessary. Come and see our needle felting display at the store.
When: Sat. Nov 3rd 1-4pm.
Cost: Workshop $45.
Participants will require a felting needle and working foam, available at WOOL-TYME Kingston.

Saturday, Nov. 17th:
For beginners

The simplest way to discover the wonder of spinning fibres is with a drop spindle.
Try your hand at it this age old craft .
When: Sat. Nov 17th 1-4pm
Cost: workshop $45. Includes a spindle to take home and a selection of fibres to work with.

Free Demos!

Saturday, Nov. 10th 1-4pm
SOCKS ON CIRCULARS You've heard about it but it seems too strange to imagine. Come and see how you can actually knit both socks at the same time, using 2 circular needles.

Saturday, Nov. 24th 1-4pm
THRUM: unspun fleece in your mitts, hats, slippers & socks.
Free Patterns for all available at the Demo.


Rug Hooking in Chatelaine Magazine

Well, we at WOOL-TYME Kingston always knew that we were right in with the latest trends, but this is the first time that we were firmly ahead of the pack. Chatelaine's August 2007 edition claims that the the artful rugs that can be easily created by hooking may lure knitters away from their traditional needles. Last spring, Rhonda Kellett gave the first rug hooking class at the WOOL-TYME Kingston store and introduced us all to the great world of burlap and wool.

Those of you who saw us at the Sheep Dog Trials on the weekend would have seen Rhonda hooking a beautiful rug using 4ply Briggs and Little yarn. This was to show that not all rug hooking needs to be done with cut fabric. The picture here shows the glorious grading of colours that can be achieved using fabric strips or yarn that you can get at the WOOL-TYME Kingston store.

Today I've just spent some time on the phone with different suppliers to assure our new "hooking" customers and our regular knitters and crocheters who are interested in taking Rhonda's class in September (click on the class info in the list of Coming Events at the top of this page) that we will have a good supply of hoops, hooks, backing fabric and yarns to create your own hooked masterpieces.

Rhonda, who is a wonderful designer in her own right, (come and see her glorious wall rug on display in the store) has agreed to provide us with pre-drawn designs on burlap that will be ready for those of us who are a little nervous about creating our own outlines.

On the cyberspace front: It's a good thing that I don't have a weak heart. THose of you who are familiar with blogs will recognize that each of our sites has a counter that keeps a running tab on how many people have visited the site today, in total and how many pages they have clicked to. I look at this tally every now and then and have been so pleased to see people from all over the world visiting the sites (both this one and our free pattern site.) The pattern site used to get under 10 visitors a day but it was nice to see that it was being used and our customers can download their own patterns instead of having to ask us to email them.
Well, on August 4th, it would appear that Knitting Pattern Central http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/new_patterns.php listed our free patterns on their directory and the total visitors per day went into the hundreds with the latest tally being at 10, 766 as I write this. It reminded me of the story that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee tells of when she posted her "good idea" about knitting a special project during the Olympics and came back to her computer 3 hours later to over 1,000 comments. At least I don't have to respond to everyone who visits my site as Stephanie had promised to do.


Weekend at the Sheep Dog Trials

Well this is what the booth looked like at the Sheep Dog Trials. Thanks to Carolyn for the picture.

So nice to see so many of you there and to hear all the great feedback about the new newsletter format and the blogs. Your comments and ideas are always appreciated. Also, it's always so good to get out in the real world and see what other people find to be passionate about. It's easy to get caught up in our own little circle and forget that there are people out there who love sewing, pottery, photography, their animals and their music as much as the people that I see every day love their knitting.

Friday being a slower day, I was able to catch up with so many of the vendors (many of whom also happen to be customers) and just relax and listen to the excellent running commentary from the trials themselves. For instance, who knew that it was more difficult to run 4 or 5 sheep than it is to move 20? Or that some of the handlers were so taken by the quality of the protein rich dog food that Amanda Milliken was feeding her dogs, that they took to sprinkling it on their cereal in the moring?

Rhonda Kellett, our traditional rug hooking teacher, joined me on Saturday and Sunday and got quite an audience for her demonstrations of this great craft. We are proud to be bringing in a good selection of burlap, hooks and hoops as well as the wool yarn that will make life easier for the area "hookers". We distributed so many pamphlets for our fall schedule of classes that I had to print off some more on Saturday afternoon. It promises to be an exciting season coming up.

By the way, for those who were wondering what the sideways sweater looks like that I was working on all weekend, this is a picture of it.

I'm knitting it in Tosca which is a 50-50 blend of wool and acrylic and is a wonderful yarn to work with. The pattern is quite fun too. For those of you who have ever been to the regular classes at the store, you will know that I'm a great fan of laying out a grid of rows that need to be repeated in a pattern and just checking them off as you go along. This pattern lends itself very well to that method and I was able to knit for hours without having to do anything more mentally strenuous than making a check mark every so often.
This week it's back to the real world. I need to sort out the new yarns that are arriving at the store and organize my "stuff" for the accountant to deal with the year end issues. I can't tell you how often people say to me that it must be such a wonderful life, to have a business where I can knit all day. As any of you who are in business will understand, only a very tiny part of my job involves knitting and that's one of the reasons that I like to get out and have some time at venues like the Sheep Dog Trials, because I can have hours of knitting time without having to worry about dealing with ordering, scheduling, reconciling, counting, and bookkeeping. It's a real treat, and I'm glad that I still enjoy it so much. But there's no question that if I didn't enjoy the business building side of things too it would be a very frustrating life. I'm here to provide you, the crafting customers, with what you need to enjoy your knitting experience. The fact that I get fun out of it too is a bonus.


October 2007 List of Classes & activities.

Saturday, Oct. 13th:
Learn to make a

Back by popular demand!
Go through all of the steps in knitting a sock in just one day. Also great for sock knitters who want to learn to adapt to any yarn/ foot size.
When: Sat. Oct 13th 10am-???
Cost: Workshop $45. Includes all
materials & handouts.

Join us for
Tues. Oct 23rd to Sat Oct 27th.

Bring in your favourite completed project to display for the rest of us to enjoy too. Participants receive a 15% coupon and join in the participants' reception on Saturday the 27th from 1-3pm. Don't miss the fun.

Saturday, Oct. 27th:
HOOKING Part II Finishing.
with Rhonda Kellett

Learn the basics of giving your rug hooking projects that professional finish.
When: Sat. Oct 27th 1-5pm
Cost: Workshop $45.
Participants will bring a piece that they wish to finish..


This picture shows the traditional craft of rug hooking as taught by Rhonda Kellett. Please read our exciting line up of classes, workshops and demos and feel free to contact us at the store (613)384-3951 or at wooltymekingston@gmail.com for more information.

Saturday, Sept. 15th 1-4pm:
Free Demo!
KOOL-AID Dyeing.
See a display of different yarns and techniques used to achieve a wide range of effects using Kool-Aid and a crock pot or the microwave oven for the dyeing process.

Saturday, Sept. 22nd:
Introduction to
with Rhonda Kellett

Learn the basics of this traditional craft using wool strips, yarn and burlap as taught by one of the areas finest registered teachers of rug hooking. Kit provided to create a beautiful wall hanging/ trivet .
When: Sat. Sept. 22nd 1-5pm.
Cost: Workshop $45. kit $45.
Also required: 14” hoop or scroll frame available at Kingston.


How we have changed.

I wanted to show you a picture of all of the new colours of fleece that we've just gotten into the store. Of course because they are in plastic bags, the picture doesn't do them justice. But as I was taking the picture I was going over all of the new things that we've brought into the store in the past year.

This hand painted roving in the picture represents a lot of these changes in that our customers have discovered so many things to do with it: spinners use it of course, but also a lot goes to needle felting and wet felting to accompany so many of the exciting new books that are available for this craft. Customers have also discovered the gorgeous multicoloured thrum mitts and slippers that can be made using this fleece. And in the fall, we will be featuring a mitten pattern that can be knit from the unspun fleece itself.

Another aspect of bringing in this new locally produced roving is that it also represents all of the local artisans and producers that we are able to support. Topsy Farms' worsted yarns and wraps as well as their new premium lightweight yarn that is spun right down the road in Wilton are great additions to the store. Rita Young, one of our customers, sells her stunning carry bags in the store as they are just the thing for transporting craft projects (or anything else for that matter- I have 2 of them that I use all the time). Another customer creates our popular elegant stitch markers using beads of the most glorious hues.

We're also proud this year to continue our association with Rhonda Kellett, registered teacher or traditional rug hooking. We will be featuring beginner and finishing classes in this beautiful craft and will be carrying a stock of necessary supplies for those who love "hooking".

Beginning this fall, we will be carrying a selection of drop spindles and will host a class on Sat. November 10th for those who want to try their hand at this too.

In the spring I hope to introduce into the store the new Ashford Knitting Loom, which comes from one of the most trusted names in spinning and weaving and introduces the beginner to more great fun things to do with their stash or yarn frrom home, and all of the in-store yarns that they drool over but aren't quite sure what to make with them.

All this to say that it's an exciting life at WOOL-TYME Kingston, and certainly one that is only made richer by the presence, the encouragement and the enthusiasm of our great customers. Thanks to all of you!


The August Newsletter is on it's way...

I was born to be a teacher. It's a good thing that I was the eldest of a family of 5 kids, because I had lots of things to teach them all.

What this also means is that I am an insatiable learner as well. I love to learn new things, anything. I love trivia. I love listening to different kinds of music that are unfamiliar to me. I love watching TV channels that I've never seen before. etc. etc. etc.

BUT when I am faced with a steep learning curve and a time component is factored in, I am not the happiest camper in the tent.

I love putting out our monthly newsletter (and those of you who haven't yet signed up for it, you can do so to the right of this page.) but I'm still not overly familiar with the new program that I'm using to get it out. Today as I was putting the finishing touches on the last few sections, I wanted to verify something on the Internet and I went up to the "home" icon at the top of the screen. This did indeed bring me to the Google home page, but much to my horror it also kicked me out of the program where my newsletter was. As we all know, closing a program before saving it causes all your changes and additions to melt into cyberspace. An hour's worth of work, gone...poof.

I suppose that if that's the worst I have to deal with this week, I can suck it up. But my point is that although I hear constantly how patient I am with knitting projects that have gone amok, or with students who are having difficulty grasping a particular knitting technique, there are other areas of my life that leave me with a significant irritation factor.

Anyway, the newsletter is finished and scheduled to go out tonight, and I am free to start planning for our booth at the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials that we will be attending (as craft sellers, not as competitors) next weekend. This is such a great event. 3 days of great fun, the greatest collection of dogs in any given park, great people from all over the world, great food from all over the city, great crafts from all over the county, and lots of time to knit and chat with customers who are passing by.

It's just down Hwy 2 between Kingston and Gananoque, past the Joyceville Rd at Grass Creek Park. Drop by with your lawn chair and we can knit and natter for a bit.

BY THE WAY, you're probably wondering who the kid is in the picture. I DONT KNOW. He's some kid from New Zealand who happens to be modeling this month's featured pattern made of BUTTONS yarn from the Naturally company. I put him there because I wanted to tell you about some of the things that are featured in the newsletter, then I got distracted by my rant about loosing stuff on the computer.

Well, back to the task at hand: I'm so glad to feature this yarn and pattern this month. I loved it so much that we had the sweater made up as a store display. This is one of the nicest yarns we have. Machine washable wool and great kid colours. It took me a while to be convinced of it's desirability as a kid's yarn but now that they have such great adult colours as well, I'm right in there with the rest of the knitting world who loves it. Try it out on this sweater during the month of August and save 15%.