"I am fearless"

Don't you love this logo. It is part of the new theme of Interweave Press's "Daily Knitting" email series. Today's post has a great, if mortifying story that we can relate to about stupid mistakes that come from over-confidence. Check it out http://www.knittingdaily.com/?ET=knittingdaily_blog:e967:27727a:&st=email

I think that "fearlessness" would be one of the main qualities that I try and share with students when they come to classes at the store. Sometimes I think that the new knitters think that I'm kidding or even patronizing them when I point out certain likely pitfall in their projects, and add that the reason that I point these out is that I myself have done it all... Every possible error in the book has flown through my fingers at some point in the past 40 years. ( Yes, that's right, I started knitting before I was born. Ha!!) But the truest and saddest fact is that I am living proof the "pride goes before the fall". About 90% of the knitting errors (and other types of errors, too) have come from being overconfident.
...like the time I cast on a beautiful mohair sweater that I was doing in the round while I was at the Drive-in movie and it wasn't until I was shaping the last shoulder that I realized that I had cast on an extra 25 stitches!
...like the time -- oh never mind. One doesn't need to humiliate oneself completely in public.

But talk about your fearless knitting! Don't you love this knitted motorcycle, and the fact that it's PINK. Link to more information at http://www.loopyyarns.wordpress.com/

And look at these great mittens! One of our customers made these mittens as a sculptural art assignment. They are 4 feet tall and are beautifully supported by stands that her husband contributed to the cause. The hands were knit on 20mm circular needles while the thumbs were knit on double pointed dowels.

The plaque bellow speaks of the artist's pleasure at being surrounded by knitted garments in her childhood and dedicates the piece to her mother who inspired her knitting.

She has generously offered to allow us to display the mittens when the art show is over at the end of the month. I'll post more details as they arrive.


I have a "code" (in my nose).

We, the staff of WOOL-TYME Kingston have been plagued with illness (nothing too serious, thank heavens! Mainly sniffles) since October, and although I've been able to dodge the germ-laden bullet until now, I've finally succumbed.

A delicate sniffle would be one thing to bring to work, but full blown hacking would be quite unwelcome at this afternoon's class. So while Jan is meeting with the Tuesday afternoon class, I get to stay home and read Vogue Knitting and chat with you.

This particular edition of VK (winter 2007/08) is really a better than average one. It netted me a dozen new products/web-sites/patterns/ideas that I want to look into. I usually only average 2 or 3. In fact I was so taken by Elizabeth Zimmerman's (at right) "EZ as Pi" shawl that I had to start it right now. Now that involved using 14" straight needles as I didn't have any circulars of the right size at home. This is no mean feat for a shawl who's back is a complete semi-circle. My impetuousness also means that the likelyhood of me actually finishing said shawl is only about in the 30% range, but the construction seemed so simple and interesting that I wanted to lose myself in it for a few hours. I am however using SUBLIME DK, a blend of wool, cashmere and silk. The name says it all and if anyting gets me to the end of this project, it could be that I've become clinically addicted to using this gorgeous yarn and that the pattern is so virtually mindless once you've worked on it for an hour or so that there may not be any reason not to get it done.

One of the other things I've gotten to do today in my forced isolation is to check out and sign up on the Ravelry site: http://www.ravelry.com/about How silly, I really should have done it months ago when I first heard of it. It's very exciting. A cyber community of knitters and crocheters who can encourage and inspire each other. The stats are that there are about 7000 people on the waiting list to join and they are inviting about 500 per day so, really that's not too bad. I'm looking forward to the "call", kind of like flying up to Girl Guides after years as a Brownie...I'll be joining the community of cyber-crafters after decades of relying on face to face interactions for my fibre fixes.

I thought it was interesting, although not surprising, that according to their blog, http://blog.ravelry.com/ the average and median age of members is mid 30's. I'm almost surprised that it isn't younger but there must be a few of us old-timers there to tip the scale. Anyway, check it out...it's quite interesting and you could open up a whole new world of friends & projects.

One of the otherother issues of having a cold is that one's resistance is down and last Friday when I met with my sales rep from Diamond Yarns, I was joyfully seduced by the gajillion gorgeous things that they have to offer for spring (and year round) knitting, and our customers will get to have the fun. Those of you who don't get our monthly newsletter may want to sign up through the link at the right as there are so many great new products coming ovwe the next couple of months, you'll want to know about them as they arrive... (Here's a teaser: yarns of 100% soya, 100% linen, and self-patterning cotton DK for garments -yes, just like the socks do.)

So my box of Kleenex Ultra Soft and I bid you adieu, and I'll be sure to take pictures of the EZ Pi shawl as/when/if it grows.


A customer came in last week to make some baby things from some patterns that she found on the "Nitty Gritty" site from the DIY Network. These are called "Suede Booties" and they asked for a chenille type yarn. But when we looked at them in the picture, they just seemed to scream for our Ecoknit organic cotton. The customer brought the finished booties in on Monday and I couldn't get over how cute they were...I want some too. (Unfortunately they don't feature the pattern in ladies' size 9 1/2.) She used Paton's Allure for the "shearling" trim and they're just perfect. Link to the pattern site below for a quick baby gift. (Is it just me or do there seem to be a lot of babies coming in the next few months?)

You'll be seeing a new face at the store...Maureen has joined our team and is a fine knitter/crocheter and is a real "people person". We're so pleased to welcome her. Drop in on Monday mornings or Tuesday afternoons to say hi.
In showing Maureen around the store and in dealing with customer requests while training her, I was reminded how much of our activity and product involves sock knitting. It truly is amazing how many people cherish their time with socks and use it as a break from all other types of crafting. How many of us make socks for ourselves, I wonder? I only have one or 2 pairs that I wear of the ones that I've made (I'm a bit of an "odd sock knitter" though, as I often only get to make a single sock ... you only need one sock to show off how great the yarn is, and I'm usually seduced on to the next new colour group before I have the discipline to make the second one of any set.) Somehow our shelves seem empty if we don't have 4 laundry type baskets full as well as all the display cubicles designated for sock yarn.
The Arequipa sock yarn, of wool/alpaca/nylon, continues to be an amazing seller. Just before the Holidays, we had backup stock of about 80 skeins in our back room. Three weeks later, we're down to just 20 skeins of extras. I finished my single AREQUIPA sock during our "24" fiesta over New Years (see the previous post) and it truly is as lovely as the yarn on the skein would lead you to believe.
One last bit of housekeeping...I'm working at getting the spring lineup of classes and workshops organized and would ask you to let me know if there is anything that you would like to have offered in the near future to increase your knitting/crafting pleasure? It's nice to arrange classes in things that I think may be of interest to our customers, but it makes a lot more sense to offer what you actually do want. Please email me with any suggestions: wooltymekingston@gmail.com or just post a comment and I'll get it that way too.


Back to Normal...So what is normal anyway?

One of the reasons that I love the holiday season is that after all of the hullabaloo and special times and special treats, I enjoy being reminded of how much I like my mundane life too. It's good to have a few minutes to get back to thinking about knitting and what it means in my life.

I love this picture which appeared in Interweave Press's Knitting Daily feature, which is sent 3 times/week to anyone who wishes to sign up. It's a nice way to stay in touch with knitters all over America. This picture was taken at a Colorado Avalanche hockey game where a group of knitters gathered to cheer on their team and knit and share too. I love this "shadow knitting" technique. By combining strategically placed knits and purls in 2 colours you can build in a secret picture that is only visible from a certain angle. (Kind of reminds me of Mme Lafarge and her secret knitting...) Anyone who would like to sign up for this great feature can link here http://www.knittingdaily.com/cgi-bin/udt/um.register.account?ET=knittingdaily_blog:e944:27727a:&st=email

Any Jack Bauer fans out there? No, I'm not going to tell you that Keiffer Sutherland is a closet crafter, (although it would perhaps do him some good considering his recent escapades).

It has been a New Years tradition in our house to watch last year's entire season of "24" (a hit TV show where each of the 24 episodes represents an action packed hour in a single BAD day in the life of terrorist fighter: Jack Bauer.)

We don't watch them in 24 consecutive hours as we used to try to do, but it is done over 3 or 4 days, which is a lot of television by anyone's standards and consequently a lot of knitting time.

I was going great guns on a sweater that hubby keeps insisting that I had promised for Christmas but I say that it was intended for his August '08 birthday. Then between episodes, I took the ribs out of the oven (unlike in the TV show, we DO eat at regular intervals in a 24 hour period) and sloshed hot juice over my hand. Not a serious burn, but as you know, any fresh burn hurts like the dickens and interferes with one's ability to knit. So after supper, I spent the next couple of hours laying my hand on an ice pack for a few minutes until the pain subsided, then picking up my knitting to do a few more rows until the sting was so bad that I would need to return to the ice pack.
What struck me as odd when I look at this episode in hindsight, is that it never once occured to me to put the knitting away. How can I watch TV and not knit? It's unthinkable.
I recently had a new student come to learn to knit. She is a high energy, "DO IT" kind of person who had heard that knitting is a good right brain activity. When I saw her for a second class, she was telling me that for the first time in years, she actually sat down and watched television with her husband and she was able to do this because she had something to DO: she was knitting. Truly, what did knitters do before their was television?