I know it may seem early, but for knitters and crocheters, if we are going to give handmade gifts, we need to start thinking now. My plan is quick and easy: hats with pom poms, fingerless gloves, mittens in chunky weight, headbands—you know—items I might actually finish by Christmas. Maybe an ornament? Socks are definitely out by now, but perhaps slippers in chunky weight? That sweater I wanted to start? On hold until January. That afghan? Binned forever (or maybe that is just a baby blanket? Car seat size?). So much yarn. So many projects. It can get overwhelming. The good news is, no one knows what my plans were. No one knows they received a bottle of wine instead of a felted wine coozie or a pair of machined alpaca socks from Imperial Yarns—very nice, by the way—instead of homemade socks, or Joseph Thomas coasters instead of hand crocheted coasters (also available at the shop). Ah, us knitters, we begin the holiday season way before Walmart, don’t we?
We are looking for uplift in our lives: some of us by joining a political campaign and attending speeches with like-minded people, some of us by posting and re-posting funny or touching stories on social media, some of us by playing music together or attending live musical events. I came across this piece about geese and the lessons we can learn from their social behavior. https://www.theflockjwr.com/lessons-from-the-geese.html. I hope by sharing it, you feel the uplift of being part of a flock.
My uplift comes from nature, yarn, and the people with whom I knit. The colors right now are vibrant and varied and will continue to be so for several more weeks. They remind me that we live in a beautifully complex and fascinating world that is forever on the move. My knitting project, the log cabin blanket, reflects my celebration of color and flow. My only decision is, “which color next?” There will be time for neutrals soon enough when winter puts so much of nature to sleep, but for now, gone are the greys, whites, and blacks that are trending in interior design. Colors are bursting out everywhere and they lift my spirits.
This Saturday at Love.Yarn.Shop., we’ll be on the sidewalk knitting, crocheting, “intel-sharing,” and watching the people and parade go by. Join us! The best part of being in a little town is the easy come and go, wandering around, poking your head in the shops, sitting on the park benches that line the street, visiting the pool and playground, listening to music at the gazebo while checking out the vendors, catching lunch at Rek Lis, Cold Mountain, or Maia Papaya. You’ll be able to do all that on Saturday. In addition to the events listed below, there’s a pool party at 5:00 at the town pool. Here’s the schedule of the other events and for a clearer picture, a link.
The 4th Annual Great Northern Yarn Haul begins Friday, July 12th and ends August 4th. With 23 yarn shops participating, a number of new ones, this is a fun way for knitters to explore not just new shops, but new towns and areas in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Day-tripping, or staying overnight, knitters receive give-aways from the shops, get to meet other knitters, and are introduced to new yarns, patterns, and products. The Yarn Haul celebrates the fiber arts and promotes a culture of sharing. Love.Yarn.Shop. will kick-off the Haul on Friday, the 12th from 5-7 with door prizes and nibbles and sips.
Having a yarn shop next to the artistic gardening of Lars Shick at Yonder Mountain on Main Street in Bethlehem, makes everyday in the summer both a joy and education. One day he’s putting in a new stone wall, tucking in chunks of Peach Citrine he recently acquired. The next day he’s poking little succulents into a rock garden. Then this morning, on the way to the shop, I spot curved iron rods spanning from the house to the shed, getting ready to support some climbing plants (maybe Hardy Kiwi or Honeysuckle?). Then the plants! The native Showy Lady Slipper; an unusual Chinese hydrangea, Deinanthe Caerulea; native Twisted Stalk (Varigated Streptopus); the intersectional Peony, Itoh Peony, a cross between a Tree Peony and a Herbaceous Peony. Lars is into edibles, also: he has American Chestnuts, fruit trees, Skirret (a sweet white root crop that was popular in Tudor England), Hardy Kiwis, amongst others. The rock gardens, the ponds, the chicken coop, even the old bus, make exploring his gardens a requisite when visiting Bethlehem. So if you are my customer, I’ll be asking, “Have you been next door?”
Partnering with Quince & Co. to carry their yarns has been one of my goals since opening LYS. I had already fallen in love with the simple, wearable designs of Pam Allen, so when she founded Quince & Co with values I shared—maintaining a low carbon footprint by sourcing wool and spinning it locally, encouraging quality and sustainability over quantity and disposability—I knew I wanted their yarns in my shop. I was able to carry their linen at first, and after three years, I am now able to carry their other yarns. I have started out with Lark, Owl, and Puffin. Lark is 100% wool, worsted weight, with good definition…perfect for a piece which is rich in stitch texture. Owl is 50% alpaca and 50% wool, and also worsted weight. The colors have an added depth from being dyed over one of the darker naturals. Puffin is a single-ply bulky; warm and squishy, it makes great winter garments and accessories. At the Yarn Tasting on February 8th from 5-7, we’ll be knitting with Puffin, then on Saturday at 10:30, I’ll be teaching a class on a simple brioche cowl using Puffin. Customers will receive a 20% discount on Puffin and the class on Friday night. Come in the shop to feel and admire these fabulous yarns.
Read more about Quince & Co.’s story here.
I am a shop that specializes in New England and American yarns. I use what little purchasing power I have (as a 500-square foot shop) to support and promote the yarn industry here. But I have an admission to make. I ordered Noro’s Kureyon from Japan. Some yarns have no domestic competitors and Kureyon is one, so when we scheduled a class on the Syncopation bag, which looks best with Kureyon, I gave in and ordered it. Do I feel guilty? A little. Can I wait to knit with it? Absolutely not! Kureyon is not everyone’s favorite yarn. It can be rough, it can break (which is annoying), and worst of all, it can sometimes have knots (naughty, naughty). But the color combinations and changes have won over the hearts of many knitters. So if you want to check it out, come on in.
Recently I finished A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penney, and have been haunted by the image of ugly Mr. Finney down at the lake “doing his sums.” The reader assumes the wealthy Mr. Finney is taking account of his financial assets, but as it turns out, he is counting his blessings, every single one.
It’s easy to forget, when all is going swimmingly in your life, that the holidays can be difficult for people who are ill, grieving, lonely, or afraid. So, I am asking you to participate in our project to partner knitted, crocheted, or bought stuffed toys with children’s books for the children who will be at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth over the coming holidays. Volunteers use these in the Pencil Partner Program, giving them to the children after a tutor session. You can donate a book and manufactured stuffed toy, or knit or crochet toys to partner with a book. My goal is to have 40 to deliver before Christmas. Village Toy and Book Shop in Littleton is generously offering 20% off children’s books and stuffed toys for the project. You can buy them and leave them with the book store, or drop them off here at Love.Yarn.Shop. We also have a collection of yarn here at the shop that is free for the taking to knit up a toy, or if you buy a skein for the project, it is 20% off.
If you knit a square or rectangle in stocking net stitch, casting on 24 or 32 stitches with any weight yarn, I can make it into a bunny or mouse. Just mail it or drop it off! I’d like to make the delivery on December 17th.
Here is a site that has a lot of links to free patterns: http://knittedtoys.blogspot.com
This past Monday, I travelled into the hills of Bath, New Hampshire, to pick up yarn for the upcoming Yarn Tasting. The Farm at Woods Hill sits on over 260 acres of rolling hills with a stately farmhouse that sleeps 20, a huge barn that was relocated from Lang Farm, an open-plan lodge, and then all the animals–cows, chickens, ducks, pigs,–and, of course, sheep. The farm produces the meat and vegetables, honey and jam, for Woods Hill Table in Concord, Massachusetts. The owner is Kristin Canty, the filmmaker who produced Farmmagedon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms. Our guide was Chelsea, who graciously drove us around in a Wrangler to see the sheep and pigs, and guided us through the rooms of the farmhouse, with 18-inch planked floors, and sumptuous carpets, ending upstairs in the high-roofed attic at the top of the house which is used as a yoga studio. Check out their websites and come check out their yarn on Friday the 12th from 5-7.