Two for Two!

30 Jul

Second week that I am posting BEFORE the KAN/CAN.  Wooohooo!  Only 28 more successes and I’ve created a habit or so it goes.

I’m liking my decision to only photograph FOs because it feels very doable for me.  However, it does mean that the post is much shorter than it might normally be.  In any event, let’s begin:

Cathy came in with an FO last week that is just all kinds of yummy!  She has been diligently working through her stash making sure NOTHING goes to waste.  She has made a multitude of tiny sock and mitten ornaments which I think I’ve shared and then she brought us this!

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I love how the band of multicolored yarn looks like confetti or sprinkles.  Who doesn’t love at least the idea of sprinkles!

Our next FO is not from a Tuesday night knitter but a regular customer of SRY.  Tuesday nights are not always open on everyone’s schedule but I love to share what you make so feel free to send me a photo or come in and let me see what you have created.

I have known Tammy for many years having originally met her when her son (now 20 yo) was one of my Cub Scouts.  What I know about Tammy is that she is multicraftual.  Here is a shawl she made out of Berroco Weekend to accommodate the chilly air conditioned environment of her office.  It took her only two weeks to create this beautiful self-designed shawl.

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So there you have it.  Even on a quiet week, we still have beautiful things to share and inspire others.  I would love to showcase yours so send them along.

A reminder that we will be starting our sock KAL the first week of August.  I will be posting the pattern soon!

23 Jul

The Tuesday night knit/crochet group are a devoted and hearty lot and will brave all kinds of weather to come and visit with me.  Last Tuesday, undaunted by the high heat and humidity, they came to sit, knit, crochet, drink iced tea and share their projects with the rest of the group.  Among these projects were two finished objects (FOs).

IMAG0117Lucille finished her Imogen tee.  Knit out of Quince & Co. Tern in the Bird’s Egg colorway.  This was a big project for her and with a little guidance and support from the group, she is happy to report it fits perfectly!

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Lois also finished a pair of socks in a really GROOVY colorway!  The photo doesn’t do the purples, blues, and greens of the yarn justice.  Like these socks?  Been thinking of maybe making some of your own?  Despite last weeks heat and humidity, we are more than halfway through the summer season.  And today, July 23rd saw local temperatures just barely creep into the 70s.  Summer in Maine can be tricky and fickle.  Handmade socks are always squooshy and warm.  But for first time sock knitters, the hardest part of making socks is getting up the courage to make the socks!  Sooooo, Saco River Yarns is going to be having a Tuesday night KAN/CAN KAL  (Knit-At-Night/Crochet-At-Night Knit-A-Long).  A KAL is a project that the group decides to do at the same time.  The benefit of a KAL/CAL is that we are all there to support one another, answer questions, share in frustrations.  August 6 is our official start date.  I will be posting more information about the KAL/CAL on this blog, our Facebook page, and our Ravelry group.  There is no cost to join, just the cost of the materials, unless you have yarn you can use on hand.

 

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Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

16 Jul

I have been berating myself for not getting the FOs and WIPs from Tuesday night up in a timely manner.  I have the pictures but as the shop is getting a little busier day by day and week by week, writing time is relegated to my home and well you know how that goes…

So I want to get caught up and move forward but do so in a way that does not dismiss all the amazing things that have been done by the Tuesday night group.  Today I am going to treat you to a gallery of FO’s:

 

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I’d like to introduce you to Jeanne.  Jeanne has many of the knitterly qualities I aspire to have.  She is never challenged by a yarn or pattern and will make lemons out of lemonades at every turn.  Jeanne is sporting her very own version of a short “Snuggy”.  This was actually supposed to be a large, felted tote bag but…it didn’t quite turn out.  Ever had that happen to you?  I have.  Jeanne simply looked at the project, saw its new purpose and now uses it to keep her warm during the cold Maine winters.  Remember those? 😉

 

So there you have it!  The gallery of FO (or mostly FOs).

One final note, we have a lovely group of people who come on Tuesday nights and share their ideas, their projects, their opinions and their laughter.  It is truly the highlight of my week.  A conversation has begun among us about knitting socks as a KAL for the Knit-at-Night/Crochet-at-Night group.  I would like to extend the invite to anyone who follows Saco River Yarns whether it is on Twitter, Facebook or this blog to join us.  If you are interested, leave a message in the comments.  Start off by introducing yourself and maybe let us know if you are a beginner (never made a sock), novice (maybe you’ve made one sock but no the other), intermediate (you’ve made at least one pair), or advanced (you’ve never met a sock pattern or technique you couldn’t conquer).

 

Summer Knitting Had Me a Blast…

6 Jun

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INVITATION TO A KAL

So my friend, Erin from Knitting in Beantown has invited us to join the Ravelry group East Coast Knitters in a summer KAL.

For those of you who are still uninitiated, Ravelry is the world’s largest social media gathering place for fiberistas.  Membership is free as are many of their patterns.  That alone should encourage you to give it a good look.  There are so many things that you can do on Ravelry that I am thinking of offering a class to walk new member through the site.  What do you think?

To find The East Coast Knitters, you can either click on the hyperlink above or go to the group tab on Ravelry and search “The East Coast Knitters”.  To join the group, just click the “Join this group” button on the upper right hand side of the page.

KAL is short for Knit-A-Long.  It is when a group of people decide to work on the same pattern at the same time.  The pattern the group has chosen to do is the “Sanibel cowl”, a free pattern from Classic Elite.  For my crochet friends, perhaps this one is a suitable substitute?  Or if you have another idea, please share it in the comments.  I want my crocheters to feel welcome to come and play as well!

What is the purpose of a KAL/CAL?  One reason they are done is to have fun working on a project as a group.  It is always interesting to see the same pattern interpreted in many different ways due to choice of yarn or “creative license” that translates into slight changes made to the pattern (length, stitch count, embellishments) to accommodate individual preferences.  Sometimes the biggest reason to do a KAL/CAL is because there is widespread interest in doing a pattern that might be difficult or incorporates a new technique or construction.  By doing the pattern together, participants can work through the tricky parts.  I personally, love the group bonding that happens over a KAL.  And at the end there is a tangible, wearable memory of the project (often with many, many stories to go with it.

I am personally joining this KAL to give me a break from shop sample knitting and because I like to make new friends!  I’m happy to help you get on Ravelry if you need help, to get the pattern and of course, to help you select some yarn.  If this is not something you are up for right now, I hope you will consider joining future KALs.  There is already one brewing in the back of my brain thanks to one of our Saco River Yarns friends. 😉

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Wow!   Talk about positive response!  Since “teasing” the upcoming “Knit to Flatter” workshop with Amy Herzog, I have been getting phone calls and e-mails and visits from folks wanting to sign up.  While all the details have not been completely ironed out, I think I have enough basic information to allow folks to register for this special event.  Here they are:

Knit to Flatter Workshop and Book Signing with Amy Herzog

Saturday July 13th from 10am-2pm (the time has not officially been verified but it will be a four hour workshop)

At Saco River Yarns in Biddeford, ME

Cost:  $80.00

Maximum enrollment:  20

Nibbles and beverages will be provided by SRY but if you have special dietary requirements feel free to bring your own.  I do not know if you will need to purchase your book beforehand if you hope to have one signed (still to be verified).

Now…registration…  I will open registration for this event at 10am tomorrow, Friday, June 7, 2013.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  I cannot process class payments online so you will either need to stop by the store or call me with your credit card information so that I may process it securely through Square.  Per the store’s class policy, class fees are non-refundable unless the class is cancelled by the store or there is someone on a waiting list who can take your place.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity to learn so much about how to create pieces for ourselves that show us to our best advantage.  Knitting garments is an investment in time and money but it is also an opportunity to create something that is uniquely us.

CLASSES

As of this morning no one has registered for the sock class which is to begin this Saturday.  If you know someone who may not be a follower of the blog or FB page but wants to learn how to knit socks, please share with them that they have until tomorrow by 5pm to register for this class.  I know that summer is busy for so many of us, so don’t worry if this does not work for you and you wanted to come, we will offer it again late summer/early fall.

FINALLY

Don’t forget we are knitting in public (but probably in the shop due to Tropical storm, Andrea) this Saturday from 9-2pm.  Stop by for the entire time or just for an hour and join the fun.  I am hoping we will have enough people to play a couple of games.  Coffee and tea will be provide as well as bottled water.  Parking is available in the mill parking lot (disregard the scary “permit only” parking signs).  Feel free to bring a bag lunch or bravely head out in the rain to get something at one of the wonderful downtown restaurants.

Oh, the pic at the top of the post…in case you didn’t notice from the title of the blog, sometimes song lyrics pop into my head as I write.  Apparently I was channeling John and Olivia this morning.  Have a great day and don’t forget the shop is open from 10am-5pm today!

KAN/CAN Update for the Week of 5/19 and Some Interesting Bits…

22 May

Well last night was another exciting and busy night with old friends and new gathering for some knitting, crocheting and lots of laughs!  Here is a brief rundown of what everyone is up to both with FOs and WIPs…

Helene finished this beautiful baby sweater set a Cabin Fever pattern called Sam, Sadira and Katie.  She used the same pretty variegated cotton yarn her sister Marie was using to make a baby blanket in a previous blogpost.

Here is Helene’s set:

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And Marie’s blanket…

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Helene also brought in a baby doll outfit she made using size 10 crochet cotton (almost thread thin!)

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This pattern was a combination of the top of one pattern, the bottom of another, the sleeves of another etc.  But I think the outcome is sensational!  Marie was “sick to death” of the baby blanket so she went for some immediate gratification knitting and worked on a dishcloth.

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One of our Lindas was working on the Horseshoe Throw.  Linda is using yarn she purchased from the “Wall of Yarn Adventure”.  It is in a lovely pale blue.

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Doris continues to work away at the coral afghan with the basketweave pattern…

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And daughter Christine, perseveres on the potato chip scarf.  With such tiny needles and such tiny yarn this scarf is a beautiful labor of love!

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Christine’s Aunt Jenine was also making terrific progress on her potato chip scarf…

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Lois finished Hannah’s jacket from What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  Didn’t it come out great!

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She also brought along an adorable market basket that has a felted bottom!

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Donna brought in a commissioned crochet piece to work on sewing the ends.  Since it is a surprise I have decided to withhold the pictures until I am assured that it is okay to share.   But one thing Donna made that I CAN share is this adorable hat using the rest of the Jaggerspun superwash wool I gave her to make the baby sweater shop sample.

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Linda H stopped by with two eagerly anticipated Finished Objects. The first is a sweater called “Move” made from yarn from “The Wall”.   I have been in love with the color combination and Linda has been in love with the interesting technique used to create this top down sweater.

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And…the anticipation is over.. the Icelandic zippered vest is finished!  Again using some of the yarn from “The Wall” with other yarn.  How GORGEOUS is this?  I think this will be the envy of all the other “Icelandians” when she goes there for a visit!

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In closing I want to offer a shout out to the new folks who joined us last night.   I forgot to photograph their works in progress but hopefully they will come back next week and I can introduce you to them at that time.

NOW for some interesting bits!!!

First of all, last week a representative from Angus King’s office came to our neighborhood for a tour of the dye house.  Bonnie Pothier, visited along with Elaine Palmitessa of Goodwill Industries.  It’s always fun to have company and they were so enthusiastic about the yarn!

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Second:

Remember this from the FB page…?

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On May 30th, the Saco River Dye House will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for some equipment that will allow them to expand the type of dyeing they can do.   Many of the KAN/CANers saw a preview of the video footage a couple of weeks ago.  I will let you know as soon as it goes live!

Third:

The Mittens for the Maine Children’s Home

are knitting away furiously to get 1600 pairs of mittens done for the Christmas boxes.  If you are interested in helping out, please join their FB page.  They are also on Ravelry.  Mittens of every size and color are more than welcome.

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h, last but not least…Saco River Yarn’s hours are changing!!!  I will now be open Monday 10-5, Tuesday 10-8, Wednesday -Friday 10-5 p.m. and Saturday 9-2pm.  I hope that these extended hours will help you to find time to stop in and say hello or stop by, grab a seat on the sofa and work on your project for a bit.

What are the KAN/CANers Up To?

20 May

As promised Tuesday, here are the amazing projects both finished and in progress that our Tuesday night knitters/crocheters were working on this week…

Kathy has just recently moved to the area from out-of-state.  We are so happy that she has decided to join up on Tuesday nights.  This week she brought a beautiful scarf that she had already finished.  Kathy took an interesting stitch pattern that she liked, expanded it to scarf width and went to town!  The yarn is a mystery… (stash busting and all that jazz).

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But she was not done!  Kathy loves to make “wristers”, a.k.a. fingerless mitts.  Her favorite pattern is from Fox Geese & Fences. The blue stripe is Brown Sheep but the rest…you guessed it…stash busting mystery yarn.

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Marie was happily engaged in mindless baby blanket crochet using a cotton yarn in springy greens, yellows and white.  This is the kind of soothing, project that is perfect for knitting groups because they don’t require a lot of concentration.

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Lucille, my mom and the face of the shop on Thursdays, is working on secret Christmas knitting using a combination of yarns from the “Wall of Yarn Adventure”.  It may be secret but I’m going to show you anyway.  She has adapted the Berroco pattern Maracajau that I made in a very Berroco Origami a few summers ago.

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We joked that Lucille dressed to match Marie’s blanket since her sweater was in the same colorway.

Lorraine, Lucille’s sister and my aunt, has just taken up knitting again.  She is making a cowl that I loosely designed for her in Jojoland Rhythm.  I think she’s really having a good time with it and we love having her come knit with us!

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Lois brought a new project that was nearly complete!  Hannah’s jacket from What to Knit When You’re Expecting.  She is using Caron’s Simply Soft baby, I think.  Adorable!!!

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Christine came in wearing Wendy Johnson’s mystery shawlette.  Christine cast this on in Quince’s Finch, in the Egret colorway that she bought with birthday money!!!!  Woohoo!  Christine is in many ways my knitting idol.  When she buys yarn it has a job.  She makes what she plans on making AND she wears everything she makes!  As a process knitter, I am truly envious.

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Remember Christine’s laptop case in alapaca from last week?  This week she is using the same yarn, size 0 needles and is making a potato chip scarf much like her Aunt was making last week.

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Once again, this post is late but FULL of great things.  I’m so lucky to have such a great Tuesday group.  I hope you’ll consider joining us sometime. 

Better Late Than Never…

14 May

For future reference, it is my intention to post FO (Finished Objects) and WIPs (Works in Progress) of our KAN/CAN (Knit at Night/Crochet at Night) attendees by Thursday of that week but last week it was simply not to be.  Please consider joining us on Tuesdays from 5-8p.m. at the store for some fiber crafting (all are welcome), coffee and a lot of  laughs!  Bring your FOs and WIPs and we’ll chat about them on the blog!

I have a HUGE amount of stuff to show you!!!  So get a reading beverage or snack of choice and I will stop rambling and get to the good stuff!

FOs (Finished Objects)

This first FO does not look finished, but it is.  Lois swatched some beautiful lambswool she acquired at a fiber festival from Longmeadow Farm in NY.  Is this gorgeous!

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She did not stop there however… Lois also showed off a beautiful “Simplest Baby Blanket” by Hannah Fettig using unknown stash yarn AND while she visited with us put the finishing touches on a sweet little tea bag holder, part of a project for the American Girl Doll Tea to be held at the Victorian Mansion in Portland, ME on May 19th.

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Priscille made a beautiful baby set as part of a KAL she started with her knitting a group in Florida.  It is just adorable!

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Pris also began working on a hat she was designing using a stitch pattern she liked from another project.

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Doris is well on her way to completing another baby blanket in her basket weave pattern using  stash yarn.

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Jeanine, one of our new members, worked on a potato chip scarf in gorgeous purple stash yarn.

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Carolyn was working on a market basket.  This is at least the second one she has worked on during KAN/CAN.

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Judy and Carolyn have been missed over the last couple of weeks but have not been idle.  Judy brough in a slew of completed projects. A beautiful crocheted linen doily in Quince’s Sparrow, the Rocky Coast Cardigan from Coastal Knits made in yarn from the now, defunct, “Wall of Yarn Adventure”, and a completed a beautiful beaded scarf.

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Christine continues to work on her market bag in an alpaca blend yarn.  The pattern is Felted Laptop Bag by Monica Nordgren.  She is making this for a family member’s gift.  Christine knows the yarn will felt well because of an unfortunate washer/dryer incident!  Once Christine is finished with the knitting, the felting fun begins.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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KAN/CAN is not open to just knitters and crocheters.  Louise, one of our newest attendees, brought her drop spindle and spun some beautiful blue merino from Louet while her daughter, Jenn began work on a “Mile-A-Minute” crocheted afghan strip that mother and daughter are making together.  How cool is that?!

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IMAG0237Linda brought along two Works in Progress, although one looked nearly complete.  Her first project is Nightlock by Lisa Mutch.  Linda is knitting this project in orange Paternayan yarn from the “Wall of Yarn Adventure”.  Normally a needlework or rug yarn, many gorgeous projects have recently been knit from this yarn since it was prominently featured on the wall in a variety of colors.  This is Linda’s project for the “Fat Squirrel’s Orange KAL”.  KAL is short for knit-a-long and is kind of like a craft book club where everyone does something that falls along the lines of some sort of “rule”.  This KAL’s rule is that the garment must be orange.  Yum!

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Linda’s other project is an adaptation of a short, fitted Icelandic cardigan pattern she had.  Linda decided she would knit this as a vest instead for an upcoming trip.  Here Linda is finished with the colorwork.  If you look carefully, you can see where she will (actually already did) steek the sweater.  Traditional Icelandic sweaters are knit as a tube in the round.  Steeking is essentially cutting the sweater to pick up stitches to add arms or in Linda’s case a button band.  This sweater was also made from “wall yarn”.

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As you can see, the KAN/CAN ladies are a very creative, resourceful and productive group who love to share their love of craft and fiber.  Feel free to come sit with us and work on a project or two.  If you get stuck or need some courage, there is lots of experience to help you get through it.  Oh, and if you need yarn, I have that too.

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