Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crochet Tutorial...Grandma Square

I found this sweet tutorial on making a Grandma Square Crochet Blanket.  There are so many options for making these Blankets.  We have a number of very talented crocheter's that visit the shop regularly that can help you with any of your design or technical questions.  If you are an avid knitter, perhaps a change in pace might be in order for you...try a crochet blanket for yourself or as a special gift for the person in your life that loves vintage. Michelle over on theroyalsisters guides you along with a beautiful tutorial for the grandma square.

                You can check out the Grandma Tutorial Flickr Group for lots of photos and inspiration...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dreamy...fix up a corner

Take some time to fix up a little corner for your knitting or crocheting.  It doesn't have to be big or fancy.  Find a favorite piece of fabric and cover a little table.  It could even be a little flea market find or a card table.  Pull up a comfy chair and cover with a cozy afghan...preferably colorful.  Mix your favorite ice tea drink and put it on a little can find vintage on the cheap.  Place a couple of projects nearby to choose from so you keep yourself engaged.  You are well on your way to a special little retreat to sit at and enjoy in between all the moments of a busy summer schedule. Even if you can't get away for a'll feel like you have your own retreat you can go to anytime that you like.  Send us photos of your retreat corner so that we can share your workspaces if you feel inspired to do so...we'd love to see where you sit and create.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Etsy Fiber Art & Tools

It's a rainy morning here in Northeast CT.  So, what does a fiber artist do when it's raining...well, there are many options...we know this.  One option is to look at Etsy and find fiber related items that any artist would love.  While the shop is closed we want to keep you inspired.  Here a few finds...

Yarn Holder

Gorgeous Tool Box

No more worrying about pulling from the center

Yarn Bell
Nostepinne (Center Pull Yarn Winder)

Jelutong Darning Egg
Knitting Spool

(and of course crocheting...)
While we don't carry these items in the shop...from time to time it's fun to look at what lovely art & tools are available to fiber enthusiasts.  We hope you enjoy any moments you find to work with fiber today...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet crochet

Mary E crocheted this lovely baby set using Comfort yarn for its soft qualities.
Lucky baby!
She used an old pattern which originally only cost 29cents!

Crochet Inspiration

Deb was looking through a book today and she highly recommends this crochet book...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lizard Ridge Finale...

Christiane has completed her SECOND Lizard Ridge Afghan!  It is absolutely stunning!  She knit up another one over a year ago for a niece as a wedding gift.  This second afghan was done for her husband as an incredible labor of love.  She used the rich and vibrant Noro yarn for this piece.  While this afghan is not difficult to do, it does involve a continuous amount of wrap & turns to keep track of to give it that rippled lizard ridge effect.  You can also view this over at Christiane's blog, Lismiknits.

Lizard Ridge draped over the treehouse

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Bike riding is a new talked about subject around here at the shop.  Sandee is loving riding her new bike.  We like that we get to hear your bike traveling stories.  So, here are some fiber creations to cozy up your bike found via Threadbanger, who shares an array of links she found to create things for your bicycle...including how to make a crocheted seat cover.  Summer...knitting...crocheting...biking! We fiber artistst can find a way to turn anything into a project.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Knitting Retreats...

We are closed for a couple of weeks beginning July 25 and we will reopen on August 10th.  You have all gotten your newsletters and have seen the class listing.  This has been a summer for catching up on projects, learning to make socks with a new technique and visiting in the shop with all of our friends that knit and crochet.  We love having you with us!  We know that many of you are off traveling and enjoying your friends and families on vacations and far flung adventures.  When you're back from your travels come by the shop and share your adventure photos and of course any of your fiber projects that you are working on or have completed.  We get inspired by what you are doing with your knitting and crocheting!  So, here is to hoping you enjoy your time off this summer...however that looks to you and your travels and peaceful knitting and crocheting to you!

If you have not figured out what you'd like to do this summer,  here is an idea to inspire you.  Plan a knitting retreat with your friends!  Maybe it's too late to get it together for this summertime...but, you could pull it off for later in the year, the winter or even begin planning that fantastic getaway for next summer. 

Do Try This at Home: Tips for Starting Your Own Knitting Retreat

Dare to dream. Imagine what you’d most like in a knitting retreat, then brainstorm ways to make it happen. Ideas from friends and potential attendees are helpful, but if you’re the primary organizer, be true to your own vision. Susan Giacomini Allan’s advice: Just dream about the most possible fun you can have knitting—with your best buddies and favorite teacher—then invite them to your party!

Start planning (and publicizing) early. Finding and booking a venue and developing a program take time, particularly if you’re dreaming of convening in a popular spot or hiring an in-demand instructor. And don’t forget that your attendees need adequate notice to fit your event into their schedules and budgets. Every organizer I spoke with emphasized the need to plan well ahead of time.

Get help. There are myriad administrative details and other tasks involved in making an event happen; don’t be shy about delegating to friends who’d like to help you. The staff of your venue will help you with the logistics, particularly of catering and accommodations, so ask for their advice and employ their services to the extent your budget allows.

Be realistic about budget. Your attendees will be splitting the costs of the venue, instructors and presenters, and food—as well as paying their travel costs and lodging. Plan on a scale that you know your guests can comfortably pay for. Your attendees will most likely be drawn from your knitting peers, so your own financial comfort level is probably a good yardstick. Remember that limitations spur creativity; your budget could inspire you to dream up a fabulous new kind of retreat.

Size up your guest list. Two factors will decide how big your retreat can be: the capacity of the venue you choose, and the class size your instructor prefers. It’s likely that your instructor(s) will want small enough classes to allow for individual attention, and your attendees will appreciate it as well.

Show and tell is always a winner. Set aside some time to let people show off what they’ve been working on lately and discuss the new techniques they’ve learned. Make it a formal part of the program so that attendees know to bring something for show and tell. Sheryl Hill of the Minnesota Knitters’ Days says they have a Saturday night “show and share,” when everyone brings their completed accomplishments, which provides inspiration and ideas for everyone.

Plan for some variety, and leave some downtime. People have limited attention spans, especially for absorbing new information—so alternate workshop sessions with time for socializing, stretching legs, and unwinding. You’ll likely find, though, that your attendees will knit straight through meals and breaks! A field trip or presentation on a related topic, maybe history and lore of your retreat center or fiber animals raised locally, is a nice break from instruction.

Giveaways are nice but not necessary. People like souvenirs, and some retreat organizers put together door prizes or goodie bags for attendees. Mike Wade, who organized the Fall Men’s Knitting Retreat, solicited lots of donations from small and indie vendors such as Briar Rose Fibers, who were happy for the chance to publicize their products. Having prizes and goodie bags definitely added excitement to the event, Mike says. However, while it’s nice to have something to take home, it’s not the reason people are there. Don’t fret if soliciting giveaways isn’t your thing—but it’s a perfect task to delegate to a helper.
Rebecca Freed


We hope you enjoy your summer!  See you soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sale Yarn..

Yarns With A Twist has a great sale section in the back of the shop! We have a wide variety of yarns in many different fibers.  The yarn ranges from 10-50% off. All of this yarn is good quality yarn.  This has come from discontinued yarn and small amounts of yarn left certain brands.  We have found that when folks discover this little hidden treasure they are thrilled at the variety and savings available. We also have some knitting needles in limited sizes for your to browse through.  These are nice to have as an extra set-up of back needles for those projects you want to take with you on vacation.  Finally, don't forget to look at the sale pattern stash in the back stored in a basket...lots of styles available!

A variety of patterns are available in many different styles.
Jamieson Shetland Wool

We have a variety of needles in different sizes available.

So, we hope this lovely teaser will entice you to stop by and browse through all of our sale yarn.  Who knows...maybe you'll find just what you're looking for!