Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas Special ... Everything Rowan!

Click Here to shop Rowan for Double Rewards!
Did you get a FiberWild! gift certificate, a Visa / MasterCard gift card, or good old-fashioned, always-the-right-color, cash for Christmas?  Get the most bang for your buck during our After Christmas Special running December 26th through New Year's Day (January 1st) where everything Rowan earns double Rewards!

The sale includes all of Rowan's awesome yarn and their pattern pamphlets and magazines.  The double rewards points is like getting cash back in your pocket!

Not familiar with our new Rewards Program? Just shop online, over the phone, or at our store in Galena and you'll earn account credit.  How much?  That depends on how much you spend . . .
  • Earn 5% account credit on orders up to $74.99
  • Earn 10% account credit on orders from $75.00 to $149.99
  • Earn 15% account credit on orders over $150.00 
You can use the rewards like cash on any online order.  Want more details?  Check out our Rewards Program page ... and start racking up your Rewards with double rewards points on everything Rowan!

So why are we running a special promotion on Rowan yarn and patterns?  Because our new kitty is named Rowan!

Scout loves the new kitten, Rowan
Also, don't miss Michelle Hunter's new Progressive Needles Knit AlongThis KAL is a toe-up sock called "Crimple", and Michelle promises a beautifully crafted toe and heel.There is still time to purchase your yarn before the start on Thursday, January 3rd. 

You'll need two skeins of CoBaSi yarn for the project.  We have every color to choose from (that's over 20 colors!)- and right now it's all on sale at 20% offYou can find all the supplies you need for this Knit Along at our Knit Along Central!

I hope you had a great holiday, and I wish you Happy Knitting in the New Year!

Amy


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It's snowing in Galena, actually it's a Blizzard!  The pretty white flakes make our entire town look like it's covered with buttercream frosting, kinda like a Norman Rockwell Christmas painting.

I knit all year round, but fresh snow puts me in the mood for winter knitting!  What is better than curling up in a rocking chair by the fire and knitting with a steaming cup of hot chocolate beside me and Scout on my lap. 

Winter Wonder Cap & Mittens
Do you have your winter accessories done for this season?  The Winter Wonder Cap and Mitten Set is super soft with a delightful snowflake motif, and the Diamond Band Convertible Mitten is a great pick if you can't decide between mittens or gloves.  The fleecy warm Thrummed Mittens have a wonderful wool lining that will be the envy of all your cold-fingered friends!  Keep your neck warm with the quick and easy Pin-Me-Up Scarf, or take on a challenge with the Color on Color Scarf Kit. 

If your needles are cold, you can knit while wearing wristlets to keep your hands warm!  Knit yourself a pair of my latest free design, the Garter Cable Wristlets, just published by Classic Elite Yarns, or add some flair by crocheting the Ruffled Crocheted Wristlets.  Both are also great to wear while texting or typing!

Diamond Band Convertible Mittens
The first snow always inspires me to take on a Winter Project - something that will keep me cozy sitting on my lap as I knit.  Have you tried a Swirl coat yet?  The redefined Plum Perfect is the talk of the season, and the Coat of Many Colors and the Coat of One Color are long-time favorites.  Looking for a cozy sweater?  We have hundreds of sweater patterns to choose from. 

Enjoy knitting (and wearing!) your warmies while the weather outside is frightful!

Happy Holidays!     Amy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Garter Cable Wristlets FREE Pattern!


Garter Cable Wristlets in Fresco Strawberry
Trying to keep warm this winter? Have a cell-phone addiction? Here's your solution: knit a pair of the Garter Cable Wristlets to keep your hands warm while leaving your fingers free to text! 

My latest design was just published by Classic Elite Yarns ...  and the pattern is FREE!  The wristlets are knit flat in garter stitch ... leave a hole for your thumb on the inner seam.  The yarn is Classic Elite's Fresco - a wonderfully cozy, wintery yarn in solid colors.  It is a blend of 60% wool, 30% alpaca and 10% (yummy) angora ... we are talkin' soft! You will need just 1 skein/164 yards of Fresco for these wristlets. We have over 25 colors in stock, so if you want to match your coat, you have lots of choices!

The wristlets can be knit in two finished sizes: either a 7" or an 8" cuff circumference. The size change is made by selecting your needle size. Choose either a Size US 3 needle to make the 7" wristlets, or a Size US 5 to make the 8" wristlets.  You can use either straight or circular needles ... the circulars will need to be at least 24" in length. I prefer the addi Turbo 24" circulars (very fast!). You will also need a cable needle and a couple of stitch markers. So just measure your hands and get knittin'!

Can't get enough Fresco?
Check out the Winter Wonder Kit
You can post your pictures, share your thoughts, and ask questions about my “Garter Cable Wristlet” pattern in my FiberWild Ravelry Group!

Checkout two of my other designs in Fresco: The Winter Wonder Cap and Mittens Kit and the Modern Cloche Ensemble (Hat & Mittens) Kit. Keep yourself warm ... or they make great gifts!

Happy Knitting!
Amy

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Hints - And Free Shipping on December 17th!


Carolers dressed in Civil War clothing
take a break to shop at Fiber Wild.
If you've been running yourself ragged this holiday season then this Saturday is a great chance to unwind and relax.  December 15th is the Night of Luminaria in Galena.  Galena is a scenic town anyway, but add over 5,000 candle-lit luminaries on the historic streets, steps and sidewalks and your eyes behold one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year.  Galena doesn't look much different today than it did when General U.S. Grant left to fight in the Civil War, so it seems natural to see carolers in 1860s clothing singing from store to store on Main Street in their hoop skirts and top hats.  The luminaries will be lit from 6 pm to 9 pm, and the event is free. 

Visit Holiday Central for
great gift ideas!
If your fingers get cold while walking the luminary-lit streets, you can warm them up by knitting!  Are you knitting gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?  Are you still undecided about what to knit for who?  We've put together a list of projects you can make for men, women, children and fun stuff for around the home.  If you're really in a crunch, we also have a list of 24 quick projects to knit.

Do you have non-knitters shopping for you?  Recommend that they visit our Gifts for Knitters page for a list of ideas organized by price.  Or suggest a Gift Certificate - they are always the right size and color!  Gift Certificates can be snail-mailed or e-mailed, and they can be sent to the gift-giver or the gift-receiver. 

The Loop Top Hat
knits up fast!
Bonus:  If you shop our the website on Monday, December 17th you'll get FREE shipping to the continental United States!  We always offer free shipping for orders over $75, but on Monday the free shipping will be for orders of any size.  If you're not paying for shipping, that means you'll have a little extra cash available to buy something extra for yourself, right?  Don't forget to check out the Gifts for Knitters page to pick out something special for yourself. 

Happy Knitting!     Amy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Horseshoe Cable Hat & Wristlet Kit

Horseshoe Cable Hat & Wristlet Kit
I'm really excited about our new Horseshoe Cable Hat & Wristlet Kit!  We've got a bunch of hat and mittens kits, but this is our first hat and wristlet kit!  Wristlets are fun, fast to knit - and you don't have to take them off to send a text message!

These wristlets are knit in the round.  There is a cable in the center with patterning on either side, and the hat has a matching cable pattern.  The band of the hat is knit first, and then you pick up stitches and knit the top. 

Horseshoe Cable Hat & Wristlets
The kit includes Mountain Colors Alpaca Blend yarn, a yummy blend of alpaca and wool available exclusively at FiberWild!  The kit comes in four colors, Bozemill Spring (blue/green), Sugared Violet, Cedar and Ruby River.  My favorite of the four color choices is Bozemill Spring, a new FiberWild! exclusive color inspired by a magical location in the Mark Twain National Forest.  If you like the Bozemill Spring color, be sure to check it out in two other Mountain Colors yarns; Winterlace Jr and Crazyfoot!

Kits make great Christmas gifts - especially when non-knitters are shopping.  Don't be shy - send them link to this page and they will get the hint!

Thanks to Jillian and the whole crew at Knitty for the review of our new kit in the new winter edition of Knitty!
Bozemill in the Mark Twain National Forest

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Toe-Up Sock KAL - And the Yarn is 20% Off!


It's time for another one of Michelle Hunter's Progressive Needles Knit Alongs!  This KAL is a toe-up sock called Crimple, and Michelle promises a beautifully engineered toe and heel.

Hikoo's New Yarn - CoBaSi
The pattern sounds intriguing!  Michelle will be using HiKoo's new fiber, CoBaSi.  The sock weight yarn is a blend of Cotton, Bamboo and Silk (get it? CottonBambooSilk), with a generous amount of elastic, resulting in surprising spring and superior stitch definition.  If you have been looking for a wool-free sock yarn, look no further!  This soft yarn will not irritate or overheat, and it's machine washable. 

You'll need two skeins of CoBaSi for the project.  We have every color (20+) to choose from - and right now it's all on sale at 20% off

Never done a KAL?  It's easy.  Michelle will reveal the pattern on her website in four segments, one each Thursday in January starting on January 3rd.  Have a question?  No problem.  The pattern includes photos and online video instructions.  It's like having a knitting tutor right by your side!  How much does it cost?  Nothing!  You don't have to register or pay any fee to participate. Bonus: you may even win some cool prizes from Skacel.  What will the finished product look like?  We don't know!  That's part of the fun.  Michelle will reveal a photo of the completed project with the last step, until then you watch your knitting grow and wonder what it will look like.   

Along with your two skeins of CoBaSi you'll also need size US 2 / 2.75mm needles. PLEASE make sure to order a 2.75 mm needle! The addi US 2 is a 3.00 mm needle, so you will need to choose the 2.75 mm size, not the US 2! As always, adjust the size you need to achieve a gauge of 8.5 stitches per inch in stockinette (if necessary). The socks may be knit with double point needles, or (2) 24" circulars (for two circular method), or (1) 32" circular or larger (for the Magic Loop method). You can find all the supplies you need for this Knit Along at our Knit Along Central!

Need help deciding which yarn color to choose or which size needle to get? Give us a call at the shop at (815) 777-3550. We're happy to help!

The KAL starts January 3rd.  Buy your yarn now so that you can look forward to relaxing after the holidays with your new yarn and the first segment of the mystery sock pattern. 

Happy Knitting! 

Amy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Shopping!


FiberWild! will be closed on Thanksgiving Day so Sean and I can stuff our faces with turkey and spend time with family and friends.  We'll be back at the store and open our regular hours on Black Friday ... so, once you have recovered from your (4:00 am) big-box shopping spree, settle in and take a look at our "Double Rewards" Everything Addi sale!
Earn Double Points on Everything Addi at FiberWild.com
Click to Shop
We also setup a Holiday Central section of the website to make all your Christmas shopping easy.  Yes, you still have plenty of time to knit some great gifts - and it's so much more personal than a store-bought gift!  We've put together a list of our favorite gifts to make, then narrowed it further with a special section of gifts for children, women, men, gifts for the home and crocheted gifts.

Child and Adult Flap Hat
We also have a section called Quick Gifts, or as I like to call it, "Gifts for Procrastinators."  Sure, we'd all like to knit a cable knit sweater and a queen size afghan for each and every one of our family members and friends before Christmas (2012), but we've put together a list of 24 easy hats, scarfs, mittens and mitts that can be knit up quickly - a much more realistic endeavor. 

Maribeth's Lacy Hoodie
But what about gifts for YOU!  Do you have a non-knitter shopping for you? Have them check out Holiday Central for great ideas.  And don't forget that you or your shopper are always welcome to call us at 815-777-3550 for help with your special holiday gifts. 


Have a great Thanksgiving - and Happy Shopping!    Amy

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feeling Thankful

Once a year it does us all good to sit back and think about what we really are thankful for.  For me, I'd have to say sheep, alpacas, goats and other furry creatures that help keep us warm, modern medicine, good friends that love us despite ourselves, cats and kittens, and, of course, my husband Sean.
The newest addition to FiberWild!, Rowan!  

Walking around the shop I asked the rest of the crew what they were all thankful for:

Wendi is thankful for a great job in a knitting store where she gets to play with lots of yarn ... and for plenty of cuddle time with the office kitty! 

Nicki is thankful that she lives so close to work that her "commute" is a 30 - 60 second walk, especially since her new boyfriend lives an hours drive away.  She's also very thankful that her dog gets along with cats!

Scout's not sure he's thankful for Rowan yet ...
Vera is thankful for juicy slices of turkey, a steaming blob of garlic mashed potatoes, all with rivers of gravy flooding over it.  Yummy food coma ... Ice cream, definitely ice cream.  Maybe cookies, too ... and kittens ... and cats that act like kittens!

Suzy is thankful that she can spend her days tending to her children and her sheep - and still do her Fiber Wild! database work after the barn is quiet for the night and the kids are in bed!

Karen is thankful for her new grand-baby.  Wanna see some pictures?

Sean said he was thankful for good friends, warm kittens, single malt Scotch, cold beer, low maintenance employees, being able to live in the country, ageing very very very gracefully, and his lovely wife.  Funny how he listed me last!  This caused some back-pedaling and protests of "But not in that order!  You didn't say to put them in order!"  I should be getting some flowers or a really nice dinner out soon.

Have a great Thanksgiving!    Amy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Plum Perfect . . . .Redefined! (And the Book is FREE!)

The pleasantly purple Plum Perfect Swirl jacket.
The start of November means it's time to pick a Winter Project - and what could be more perfect than Plum Perfect!

Sandra McIver's book of unique swirl jacket patterns, "Knit, Swirl!" continues to be a store favorite, but the yarns for the popular Plum Perfect jacket were discontinued.  What to do?  We worked with Sandra McIver and our friends at Mountain Colors Yarns to create a new "Plum" color and redesigned this amazing jacket in two Mountain Colors yarn combinations.

Which yarn pair is perfect for you?  Choose Mountain Colors' “Alpaca Blend” and “Twizzle” yarns, a wonderfully soft alpaca/wool blend and the unique look of Twizzle - and at a great price at $199.95 - $217.00.  Or pick the perfectly divine Mountain Colors' “Mountain Goat” and cashmere/silk blend “Jeannette” yarns - the definition of luxurious for $248.00 - $320.00.


Plum Perfect . . . Redefined!
Don't like purple?  You don't have to knit in "plum" for it to be Plum Perfect.  We have the Plum Perfect yarn kit available in four versatile colorways:  Plum Nuevo (purples), Evergreen (greens), Deep Forest (browns) and Ruby Gems (reds).

Bonus:  When you buy the yarn kit, available exclusively at FiberWild!, you also get the book for FREE plus FREE shipping!  A $50 value!

Not familiar with this wonderful book? “Knit, Swirl!” is a remarkable knitting book that contains 18 patterns for unique swirl jackets. The basic concept is a series of concentric rings that create the collar, lapels, front and lower back, with one seam that runs from cuff to cuff to create the arms, front bodice and back neck.  Check out what fans of the book are saying on Ravelry!

Which color is perfect for you?
 Have a perfectly pleasant day!  Amy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Deserve a Reward!

I think loyal customers should be rewarded, don't you?  So we've developed a Rewards Program at FiberWild!

Scout, the Idea Man
Our first task was to decide just how we would reward our customers.  Scout suggested we give out catnip or dead mice.  But I thought our human customers would prefer "CASH"!  We took a vote among the staff, and cash won.  So here's how it works:

Just shop online, over the phone, or at our store in Galena and you'll earn account credit.  How much?  That depends on how much you spend . . .
  • Earn 5% account credit on orders up to $74.99
  • Earn 10% account credit on orders from $75.00 to $149.99
  • Earn 15% account credit on orders over $150.00 
Your points become active as soon as your items are shipped - usually within three days, and most of the time within 24 hours of placing your order.  You can use your rewards on your very next order - no waiting!

Your points equal money - a penny per point - so 2,549 points equals $25.49.  You can use the points like cash on any online order.  Can't decide what to get?  You can even use your points to buy a gift certificate - treat yourself, or give it to your favorite knitter! 

Want more details?  Check out the Rewards Program page for more information and frequently asked questions.  And then start racking up your rewards!

(And if you'd really rather have catnip and dead mice you can e-mail Scout at Scout@FiberWild.com.  He's starting a petition.)

Happy knitting!  Amy

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

The Connecticut Pumpkin
When is a pumpkin a Great Pumpkin?  When it's hand knit by YOU! 

Your Halloween decorations will stand out with a hand knit, homemade felted pumpkin.  At about eight inches high, it is the perfect size for a table centerpiece or on your front porch.  The Connecticut Pumpkin kit includes the pattern plus just the right amount of the orange and green wool yarn you'll need.

And the best part?  You don't have to pull out all those slimy, stringy pumpkin guts and seeds!  Ewwwwww!
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Get Twisted with the KAL Cowl - And save 20% !

I always have fun with Michelle Hunter's Progressive Needles Knit Alongs.  The next KAL is a cowl called Intertwisted - so I'm looking forward to a lot of twists and turns in this one.  But I'm just guessing here, I don't really know.  Nobody knows!  At least not until the first portion of the mystery pattern is revealed at 9 am on Thursday, October 4th.

Save 20% on SimpliWorsted!
I think cowls are sexy and fun.  Who doesn't look good with the soft folds of the hood framing your face?  Michelle promises stitches and techniques designed to expand your knitting skills.  And while she suggests a gauge, it's not really critical.  Gotta love that!

Never done a KAL?  It's easy.  Michelle reveals the pattern in four segments, one each Thursday in October.  Have a question?  No problem.  The pattern includes online video instructions.  It's like having a knitting tutor right by your side.  How much does it cost?  Nothing!  You don't have to register or pay any fee to participate, and you may even win some cool prizes from Skacel. 

You'll need two skeins of SimpliWorstedBonus:  We have over 50 colors of SimpliWorsted to choose from and it's on sale for 20% off!   You'll also need US #10 (6mm) straight or circular needles (any length) and one set of double points, plus stitch holders

Make it for yourself, or get a jump start on your Christmas knitting and make one for a friend! 

Happy Knitting! 

Amy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cheer for 20% off SimpliWorsted Yarn and Free Patterns!

Rah! Rah! Rah!  It's football season - so let's all cheer for 20% off SimpliWorsted yarn and free patterns!

Double Coverage Mittens
Football season is in full swing, and before you know it, it's going to be frosty!  With memories of last year's crisp winter wind in mind, I knit a simple two-color hat and scarf set to go with the warm, buttery-soft SimpliWorsted yarn.  Then I got carried away and knit a matching mitten pattern! The Double Coverage Hat, Double Coverage Scarf, and Double Coverage Mittens each require two skeins of yarn, one of each color.

We carry over 50 SimpliWorsted colors - but choosing your team colors has never been easier! The creative team at Skacel have matched the great SimpliWorsted colors to your city's team colors, so getting the right colors is a snap!  The numbers in the swatches on the cheat sheet match the SimpliWorsted yarn color numbers.  Scroll through the SimpliWorsted page, or search "SimpliWorsted" and the color number in the search box to go right to your color.
Double Coverage Hat
and Scarf

Bonus: Get a free "Double Coverage" pattern with purchase of two skeins of SimpliWorsted yarn!  Let us know whether you would like the hat/scarf pattern or the mitten pattern in the "Comments Section" during checkout! We will e-mail you the pattern of your choice when we ship your yarn. Free patterns are available through the end of October!

So what are our favorite colors?  We have a rather intense in-store rivalry!  Nicki, Vera and I knit with Green Bay's green (SimpliWorsted color 50) and gold (57), Sean and Karen prefer Chicago's blue (55) and orange (51), and Wendi stays out of the feud by knitting with Kansas City's red (16) and gold (57).  Suzy always thought the Rams was a silly name for a football team, since her sheep are so docile ... until the first time she was hit by a ram and was very sore and bruised the next day!  Now she thinks the Rams must be very tough!

Happy Knitting!   Amy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Coat of Many Colors OR Coat of One Color - Plus a Free Book - Kits Start at $179!


The classic Coat of Many Colors
in Mountain Goat yarn
Last summer we announced an awesome deal - buy the Coat of Many Colors yarn kit and get the book "Knit, Swirl!" by Sandra McIver for FREE plus shipping for FREE!  The Coat of Many Colors kit has been so popular that we're making that deal even better!

This summer we worked with author Sandra McIver and our friends at Mountain Colors Yarns to take one of the most popular jacket designs in the book to a whole new level.  We are now offering three great options for the Coat of Many Colors pattern - and they ALL include the FREE book and FREE shipping:
Not bold enough for you? . . . . . 
Create the coat in one color for a
simpler, more tonal colorway.

Too bold for you? . . . .
Have you read "Knit, Swirl!" yet?  The book contains 18 patterns for unique swirl jackets.  The basic concept is a series of concentric rings that create the collar, lapels, front and lower back, with one seam that runs from cuff to cuff to create the arms, front bodice and back neck.  Sound complicated?  It's not!  Most of the designs require only basic knitting skills ... and the first couple of chapters are chock full of tips and tricks that will ease your journey.  Take a peek at the book at Amazon - but remember you need to order the kit from FiberWild! to get the book for FREE!

 . . . .  Already have the book?  Just call - we can give you store credit for your book!

The Coat of Many (or One!) Colors is perfect for your fall knitting!  Happy Knitting! 

Amy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

International Crochet Day - Put a Hooker on Every Corner!

The Melange Scarf Kit is
soft and light as air!
Hey crocheters - Wednesday, September 12th is International Crochet in Public Day.  Let's celebrate with a Hooker on Every Corner!

Here's your chance to flaunt your crocheting stuff!  

  • Crochet in public!  Just plop down anywhere - at the library, at the mall, or in the break-room at work!
  • Start a new project!  The Melange Scarf Crochet Kit is a soft blend of mohair and silk, and the Pin-Me-Up Scarf is a fun, quick project - plus it comes with a great shawl pin!
  • Teach someone else to crochet - or learn to crochet yourself!  I have beginning crochet classes every month.  There's still time to sign-up for the Saturday, September 22 class or the Saturday, October 27 class.  Or, get the Learn to Crochet Kit to teach yourself at home.  
  • Treat yourself to some new hooks!  I love the comfort of the addi Swing Crochet Hooks
  • Teach yourself (or someone else)
    how to crochet with the
    Learn to Crochet Kit
    Sharpen your skills or learn a new technique with a new crochet book!
  • Visit our Crochet Center for all kinds of crocheting loot!
Have a great day - and keep on hookin'!

Amy

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another New Exclusive Fiber Wild Yarn Color!

The jewel-like tones of the Bozemill pool.
Last August, Wendi and three good friends went down to the Missouri-Arkansas border for a raft trip on the Eleven Point River.  Located in the Mark Twain National Forest, the river meanders through the picturesque Ozark hills.  One of the many springs feeding this beautiful river is Bozemill, a sparkling turquoise pool that drops 45 feet below ground and is surrounded by aquatic plants in many shades of green.

The mill's former turbine.
The spring forms a deep blue pool as it emerges from underground, producing an average of 12 to 14 million gallons of water per day.  In the 1880s the strong current was used to turn the giant turbine of the Lucas Boze grist mill, and the area was an important center of commerce where farmers hired Mr. Boze to grind their wheat and corn into flour and cornmeal.  Today the skeleton of the turbine still exists; the wooden paddles have long since rotted away.
 
The Bozemill Spring Shawlette
The place is magical to say the least and is sure to leave an indelible impression on anyone who is lucky enough to visit it!  Mountain Colors captured the jewel-like hues of the spring and plant life exclusively for FiberWild! with three popular yarns dyed in an amazing river of blues and greens:

Alpaca Blend is a blend of alpaca and wool in a medium weight yarn perfect for hats, scarfs and mittens.  Bonus: Buy any quantity of Alpaca Blend and receive a free electronic copy of the Horseshoe Cable Hat pattern

The Fishtail Hollow Socks
Crazyfoot is a superwash wool and nylon blend - great for socks!  Bonus:  Buy any quantity of Crazyfoot and receive a free electronic copy of the Fishtail Hollow Sock pattern

Winter Lace Junior is a silk and wool lace weight yarn that begs for lace scarfs and shawlettes.  Bonus:  Buy any quantity of Winter Lace Junior and receive a free electronic copy of the Bozemill Spring Shawlette

Have fun knitting!    Amy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Grandma Meant by the Knitting Term "N"

My grandmother passed away back in the 1970s, but she recently reached out to teach me a new lesson.  This is the same grandmother that taught me to knit, tat and various other handicrafts.

Much of my grandmother’s craftwork treasures ended up in my aunt’s basement.  In my family, “The Basement” refers to that stash of stuff that ends up being collected for the life of the house - and sometimes longer.  My aunt and uncle had lived in their house for over 50 years, so you can imagine what treasures were found in their Basement!


Grandma's Pattern Book
One of my older sisters went to help clean out The Basement and was bequeathed several boxes that were originally my Grandmother’s.  In one box was one particular treasure: a packet of 3 x 5 notebook papers pinned together, obviously an old set of knitting patterns.  Some of the patterns indicated a source, some included dates and others had no references at all.  The gem was the very first pattern, which in my grandmother’s handwriting was the “Five Petal Doily,” dated July 24, 1942.  Each line of the pattern was written out and included some very strange knitting abbreviations, including an unfamiliar “n.”



Detail of one petal of the Five Petal Doily
I immediately started knitting the doily (fortunately, I had my Addi Click Lace Long Tips with me!).  I became obsessed with it.  I read the instructions over and over and tried to make sense of the term “n” that was often used.  I knit and ripped and graphed and knit and ripped some more.  Well, it turns out, 70 years ago “n” meant “narrow,” which was actually a “SSK.”

The doily was knit, and I am adding my legacy to it … it will eventually be a large circular shawl.  Thank you, Grandma!

Amy

Monday, July 9, 2012

Progressive Knit Along Pillow - And the Yarn is On Sale!

Pillows are a perfect summer project!  They're a great way to try a new stitch or technique, and they're sized just right to fit into your travel bag.  So I'm excited to join in with Michelle Hunter's latest Progressive Knit Along - The Independence Pillow!

While knitting the pillow you'll learn how to cable without a cable needle, create better buttonholes and increase your finishing skills with both written and video instruction.  Michelle reveals the free pattern over four Thursdays in July so that you and all of your KAL pals will be working together.

You'll need two skeins of Simpliworsted yarn - and we've got over 50 colors to choose from!  Plus, the yarn is now on sale for 20% off! 

If you like this Knit Along, you will definitely want to check out some of Michelle's other KALs, such as the Disappearing Act Socks, a toe-up sock that has fun with two colors of Royal yarn, or the Winter Buzz Mittens, a lattice work mitten knit with Simpliworsted

Michelle's new book "Building Blocks" is another great tool to help build your skill set while creating an awesome afghan or several pillows! 

Call or drop me a line if you need any help! 

Amy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meet and Greet the Sheep - At Suzy the Shepherdess' Farm

Me and my new friend.
I've known Suzy the Shepherdess for many years, and we carry her 100% wool yarn in our store, but I just recently went out to her farm to meet her sheep!

Suzy is a knitter and a historian.  She knits with vintage patterns, and when she wasn't able to find historically accurate wool yarn to recreate historic garments, she got some sheep and made her own yarn!  She raises historic breeds of sheep on her small farm using 19th century farming methods, and then the wool is processed on a mill made early in the 20th century that uses the same milling methods that have been in use since the 1760s. 

The Shepherdess Shawl
The result is a 100% wool yarn that works great for historic projects and modern items both.  I just designed a new shawl pattern (called the Shepherdess Shawl, of course!) with Suzy's fingering yarn.  I love the way the fine wool drapes!  Bonus:  You get the pattern for free when you buy three skeins of Suzy's fingering yarn before July 31st!  The Shepherd's Hat is a worsted wool hat great to wear while hearding sheep - or while doing anything on a cold winter morning in the midwest!  We also have two of Suzy's historic pattern kits - the Pennsylvania Mitten is based of a pair of mittens originally knit between 1750 and 1820, and the Shepherdess Wristlet (a fingerless glove) is based on a pattern published in 1838.  We've had the Stockton Socks kit for many years - no lace, no scallops, just a good honest sock! 

You can see some awesome project pictures made with Suzy's yarn on Ravelry


Suzy's natural wool colors.
Suzy's yarn is undyed - the white, gray and oatmeal yarn is made by blending together the wool of her white, gray, black and brown sheep.

I love the artistry of dying wool, so I dyed some of Suzy's.  While supplies last, we have Suzy's yarn hand-dyed in earthy Terra Cotta, Copenhagen Blue, Orchid, Purple, Gray Grass and Golden Brown.  Yummy!

Drop me a line if you need any help!

Amy

The Fiber Wild! crew - Karen, Vera, Wendi, Nicki (holding a black lamb),
Sean (the only one with a beard), Me and Suzy.