Worldwide Knit In Public Day: A Recapitulation

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WKIP with Yankee Yarns at The Redgate Inn 10/06/17

There is no way of sugar-coating it. We dropped the ball of yarn. There is no sense in making excuses. Before you read on, know that there is a slightly inappropriate photograph coming up later in this blog. If you are an individual of delicate sensibilities, you may want to stop reading when you get to the group photo.

All others, carry on… And Carry On Knit In Public Day!

“It kind of snuck up on us,” said Resident Designer Jenny as I walked into the shop last Friday afternoon. “Worldwide Knit in Public Day. It’s tomorrow. We kind of forgot.” She giggled. I put my things down, pulled up a chair and gazed at her.

“It’s not too late, though,” I said. “It’s tomorrow. I can be there. You can be there. We can call up the troops, surely?” We both looked at each other then looked out the window across the street from the shop. We both smiled and said in unison:

“Pub?”

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Redgate Inn, Ladybrook Mansfield Notts

Ok, so yes. It was most certainly a last-minute event for us. We basically just picked up our stuff and met at the Redgate Inn at 2pm on Saturday 10th of June. There were six of us including a newbie we wrapped up into our colourful abyss of madness.

Danielle Landes started World Wide Knit In Public Day in 2005. It always takes place on the second Saturday of June every year so how it snuck up on us, I have no idea. I mean it’s only just the greatest, knitter-run, global knitting circle EVER! The event began as a way for knitters (and hookers, ) to get together, enjoy each other’s company, ideas and hints. But it is also to show off our obsession. Knitting and crochet are usually very solitary endeavours. So it is so nice to see all the images of knitters getting together in town centres, national parks, city parks, city libraries, street parties, university campuses, restaurants and…. pubs.

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Left to right: Julie, Janet, Angela, Our Fearless Leader Sara & Resident Designer Jenny

For it to have been a last-minute thing, it really did turn out rather well. We came prepared with all the yarn to make poppies for our event in November. But there was a lot of wine, cider and beer. Another diversion was the strange phallic bottle opener that took us a bit by surprise. There was a fair bit of laughing over it. Afterall, we are jolly good sports and women of the world! Bottle openers come in all shapes in sizes. Who are we to judge! Mind you, it was quite a gratuitous tool and perhaps rather awkward to handle. However such things like this are rather necessary to our requirements and we made use of the wood…. to open bottles… Moving right along…

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The less said the better…

The Redgate Inn is a welcoming place. It is dog friendly so it really is a great stop after an evening walk. This has been our Knit In Public venue for two years now. Last year, we had been more prepared. There was a raffle and more people knew about it so more people came. But we thank the pub landlord and staff for making our small group feel at home!

Our Fearless Leader Sara bought the first round. I started with wine but being a newly installed member of CAMRA , I moved on to beer. It was a half pint of Prior’s Well Brewery pale ale named Incensed. Absolutely lovely!

As Yankee Yarns Resident Writer, I began to document the afternoon. As the hours merged into one another, I rather lost my way. I am not sure if there was a whole lot of knitting going on but it was a great afternoon. Had it not been for other commitments like Angela being summoned home to feed Baby Ezra (to be fair, Daddy did not have the proper tools for this, if you get my meaning), we may have all stayed on into the evening. We may have even closed the pub! I slammed down the remains of another swift half,  collected my knitting de trucs,  and skulked off home with my WIP poppy. I sat down to finish the poppy but instead polished off a lovely 2015 Bordeaux Blason de Montbelly whilst listening to some bluegrass music and scribbling down notes about the afternoon.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

I look forward to next year’s event. It will not get lost on our radar next time. We have just had so many planned events in the diary as of late. This is great news for Yankee Yarns!

One of those events a repeat of the Sock Clinic we had a few months ago. This one will be delivered at our second site, Unique and Beautiful, at 30 Outram St, Sutton-in-Ashfield NG17 4FS.

The two-part Sock Clinic will be on 22nd July & 5th August from Noon to 2pm

It was such a successful event last time when we held it at the Yankee Yarns HQ in Mansfield.

 

 

 

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Middle right photo: Resident Writer Ann. (Me!) “I had every intention to get going with the poppies. Then beer happened.”
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clockwise: 1. Angela’s creation. 2. Angela smiles!  3. Janet and daughter Angela
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Remains of the day!!!!!

Cherry Leaf Lace & A Pretty Face…

 

Yvain modelling WoollyElly’s Cherry Leaf Shawl

 

I agreed to meet my daughter for lunch in the historic Lace Market in Nottingham. Since coming to the UK, I have been a fan of the old Victorian and Georgian architecture of this protected heritage area.

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Nottingham Lace Market

I mused over the beauty of the old brick juxtaposed by the hip and fashionable décor. I tried to imagine these buildings as warehouses and workshops when Nottingham was the centre of the world’s lace industry during the British Empire.

 

These renovated buildings are now luxury apartments, high-spec offices, academic buildings and restaurant/bars. This day, I was sitting in the trendy Annie’s Burger Shack. My daughter was running late but I had a nice drink and my knitting to keep me company whilst I waited.

Musing about the history of the lace and hosiery industry in the area got me to remembering my own great-grandmother working “lace” doilies out of silk yarn using only her fingers. lace machineShe did it as a hobby and I marvelled at her patience with it. She could do other things but it took ages to wait for anything bigger than doilies. I loved these little things but found myself shopping for machine-manufactured items because I was impatient. This was how the lace industry changed in England. The lace machines pretty much wiped out hand-knitted lace industry. But now, the mystique of hand-made pieces of art make me want to learn lace making like my great-grandmother did— Not to sell but to create beautiful lace things for my own joy. However, the task seems daunting!

Our Fearless Leader Sara, as if by magic, came up with a most agreeable solution! Why not knit up the lace as they did before the invention of the lace machine?  Yankee Yarns will host a Lace Workshop featuring local dyer, Woollyelly, who will be teaching the art of knitting her original design pattern Cherry Leaf Shawl.

Woollyelly, AKA Ellena Kirk, is an accomplished knitter. She started knitting 37 years ago as a child. As she grew older, she grew bolder venturing into the world of crochet in 1997. Then she got adventurous with her knitting. After watching a hand-spinning demo in 2007, she joined a local guild and began spinning.  Her passion for dying her own yarn and weaving with it brought her to Yankee Yarns. We have some of her 144 hand-spun works of wonder in our shop.

Our Fearless Leader Sara said Woollyelly designed the Cherry Leaf Shawl special for our workshop. The pattern is on sale on Ravelry for those of you who are already accomplished or unable to make the workshop at our shop in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

You can attend the workshop at 11 am over three Saturdays: June 17th, July 1st and July 8th. Each session costs £20 but if you block-book, the whole workshop will only cost £45. The price includes Woollyelly’s Shawl pattern, two balls of Rico Superba Superwash in your choice of 17 colours, refreshments and hours of lovely company. So join up as soon as you can as space is limited!
To learn more about the history of lace in Nottingham, please click here! 

 

Magic Heart With A Heart

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I woke up at 4:30 am on 23rd May to a message on my phone from my friend, Rita, in the States. “Are you ok. I heard there was a bombing in your area. Are you ok.” I was still half asleep and my mind raced at the thought that I might have slept through a national disaster. It’s odd how we seek news and information these days. In my morning haze, my fingers went immediately to the social media of my choice.

And there it was. A bomb wreaked havoc in the foyer of the Manchester Arena following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. There were parents and children, brothers and sisters, cousins and friends all making their way out from what had been a most enjoyable concert. It was tragic news.

Later on my commute into work, I heard on the radio that it had been a suicide bombing. The Greater Manchester Police declared the incident as a terrorist attack. It was the deadliest attack in the United Kingdom since the 7 July 2005 London bombings. But I call it a Sad Misguided Act that senselessly killed 23 adults and children, including the suicide bomber, and injuring 116 others. It’s sad and misguided because of the people behind this all lack love and compassion. They lack beauty and happiness in themselves. They are brainwashed into thinking this life is a stop-gap to a better one. To be honest, they do not seem to see that they are actually robbing themselves of a happy and profound existence by committing these cowardly acts of violence on their fellow human beings.

1MCRBut we do not retaliate. We reach out to those in pain and try to help. Yankee Yarns has come up with a pattern to support the victims and survivors of the Manchester bombing.  The #HEART4MCR pattern is on sale on Ravelry for £1.20. All proceeds from the pattern will go directly to the WE[HEART]MCR Emergency fund.

You can also find a couple of video tutorials to learn new techniques and crochet along in real time. Obviously, the YouTube tutorial is free. You can get the pattern there. But the one on Ravelry is just a simple way for people to donate and show support for the people and families affected by the bombing.

 

 

Get Your Crafting Freak On

Being Yankee Yarn’s Resident Writer, I love going to the shop every Friday to get my next topic from Our Fearless Leader Sara for the blog. We usually sit, catch up, talk about all the “cray haps” and brainstorm business ideas with a “spontaneous” cup of coffee (and sometimes a vegan treat.)

Booyah, baby! Corporate as you like!

Last Friday was a little different. When I walked in, there was already a full-blown meeting taking place. I got to be the proverbial fly-on-the-wall during a visit with The Yarn Sales Santa! Our Fearless Leader Sara and Resident Designer Jen were all abuzz and grooving on the exciting new patterns and yarns that will be coming into our second site in Sutton-In-Ashfield,  Unique & Beautiful.

Unique & Beautiful is a new venture in Sutton-in-Ashfield offering handmade crafts from over 25 local artists. Yankee Yarns sells a very small range of end-of-line and discounted wool at that site. But now, we will exclusively be selling our new line of King Cole yarn there!
“We are getting lots,” said Our Fearless Leader Sara. “We are getting ‘sick’ wool!” There will be 4 ply, baby wool, Aran and a very exciting yarn — Tinsel Chunky!

 

“We are getting every single pattern available for it!” she said. This really is fantastic news. Over a year ago, I became enamoured with this yarn and made a dozen owls and hedgehogs as presents for just about everyone I knew. 

Our Fearless Leader Sara will be knitting the dragon pattern when the yarn comes in. When she finishes it, she will exhibit it at Unique & Beautiful. I cannot wait to see it! Better yet… I cannot wait to knit it. It’s time I get to crafting again!

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Resident Designer Jen, Mansfield Market May 2016

Speaking of crafting, Yankee Yarns is at the Love Your Local Market event today, May 26th, from 11 am to 2 pm along with other arts and craft presenters. The market will be a cornucopia of homemade products, crafts, gifts and food.

We will be offering free crochet sessions and teaching folks how to make a poppy. We are encouraging everyone to be a part of the Mansfield Poppy Parade because raising money for the British Legion is something near and dear to our hearts! If you are in the area, pop in and meet us! If you are not local, you can still take part by knitting the Poppy Pattern found on the Mansfield District Council website and sending them to us.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

 

 

 

I Dream Of Jeanie

 

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Stitch marker found on ETSY

 

Going into the Yankee Yarn shop is a little like going over to my cousin’s house. Our Fearless Leader Sara is from Louisiana and I am from Texas. We are kindred spirits not only bound together by our birth nation or the fact that we boldly set out to make our ex-Pat existence nothing short of awesome sauce. Of course, we have the whole knitting connection and we are both Mums of crazy dual national children. But our easy friendship sparked because we recognised we were both surreptitious rebels.

 

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Resident Experimenter Nori & Resident Designer Jen

In fact, Resident Designer Jen and even our lovely, serene Resident Experimenter Nori have a maverick streak in them. Most of the ladies that come into the shop have a bit of an untamed flair about them, to be fair. The knitting shop is like an outlaw’s hangout and we are all like wild, Wild West gunslingers— only our holsters hold balls of yarn and we are armed with hooks and needles.

 

 

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Stylecraft Pattern

So when Stylecraft came out with an exciting, new yarn “that captures the spirit and heritage of the denim” that is, incidentally, the trend this season, it made all of our eyes big with wonder. Jeanie Denim Look is inspired by the timeless and classic hues of denim. It is available in 100g balls in four shades: Dixie, Memphis, Delta, and (to my heart’s joy) Texas. The colours go from the retro 70s indigos to lighter blues like the stonewashed fashions of the 80s. Imagine the pieces you can make! Whatever your denim style — country western, rocker, chic, student-look—it is all up to you!

 

It is aran weight yarn, but its cotton acrylic blend means you can throw it in the wash and tumble dry without ruining the garment. It is soft. One of our customers said it was like working with chenille. Another said it was like working with velvet.

“Fuzzy feel good to the touch,” said Yolie Hume. “I am working on a cable sweater and it just feels so lush!”

“On circulars, it doesn’t snag,” said Becca MacDougal. “It does not split either. “ The yarn keeps its integrity even after you have to pull it all back and start over.

“I wish I could blink like I Dream Of Jeanie and have a sweater,” Said Our Fearless Leader Sara.

We have the patterns in the shop and will be getting more. I am thinking of challenging Our Resident Designer Jen to whip up a western style cardigan to go with my sundress, cowboy boots and Stetson. Watch this space.

Following the Flock

One lovely June day last summer, I went for a ramble. What Can I say? I lost my way. I found myself in the most romantic of settings— A lovely little B&B in Locharbriggs, Scotland. To be honest, I did have an agenda. 

I went to commune with nature and fell into the company of some very friendly Valais Blacknose Sheep at Whitehall Farm in Dumfries and Galloway.  They were adorable and I felt like I was going to pull a Wylie Coyote and pick one up and run off with it!!! Not that I could have done! They were bigger than I imagined them to be and had minds of their own! One of them took to leaning on me and most of them nibbled my sundress. It was the funniest thing I have ever experienced. I truly did feel like Little Miss BoPeep!

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Nibbling on Bo Peep…

Aside from the obvious which was going to Whitehall Farm near Duncow and becoming pals with the dreamiest little sheep, there was a fair bit of longing for simpler joys. There was also a fair bit of port, snowballs (basically sponge cake sandwich with jam covered in coconut… a MUST when up in Scotland), good food and hot weather up in sunny Dumfries & Galloway.

The flock I met was of Valais Blacknose Sheep variety. I bought a bag of wool. I believe it’s about 200g. So now I need to learn to spin it. The sheep themselves were just the friendliest sheep I have ever known. It was as if they knew I was there just to see them. They did not disappoint. They came up to me, leant on me, nibbled and my dress and genuinely just made me happy just to be surrounded by them. The wool itself is not very soft, though. I am not sure what I will make from it when I finally wash and spin it. I may just make a little sheep toy. I do have a pattern I can use!

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Unfortunately, I did not go on the hunt for wool shops like I usually do on excursions like this. This is mainly due to me answering my more shocking desires of cake. Nevermind. Next time I will stick to business. Maybe…wp-1465825771026.jpegI got quite a bit of knitting done and finished the kitty cat hat I was working on. The fact that I finished it ON THE MOTORWAY was a bit shocking… The M6 was closed down for hours. There was not much for it. I was alone, the engine was off and I had no one to talk to. I related all this to the ladies at Yankee Yarns. They came up with an even better idea that would not involve the motorway!!!

Our Fearless Leader, Sara, organised a road trip to visit the sheep at Hooligan Yarns! This was over the May 1st Bank Holiday Monday. Resident Designer Jenny got up close and personal with the animals and is now coming up with interesting ideas inspired by the flock! Stay tuned! She will, most likely, be posting them soon!

sara sheep!!!

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May The Wool Be With You

Yesterday was May the 4th. Star Wars Day! It is a quiet little celebration for a special brand of people. I am happy to say I am aligned to this particular group. You see, one fine summer day, an 11-year-old, frizzy-haired girl entered the cinema to watch Star Wars with her cousins and emerged a full-fledged Jedi Nerd. I am that nerd. I had my mother wrap my ponytails into Princess Leia-esque twirls on the side of my head. I ran around making vvvvoom-vvvvoom noises with my makeshift light sabre that I fashioned out of the cardboard roll from the toilet paper. I rolled up light blue construction paper, stuck it into the cardboard roll and taped it into a point. Little did I know that film was my gateway into nerd-dom for the rest of my life.

From there, I quickly fell down the rabbit-hole into Dungeons and Dragons, video games, Star Trek re-runs, new Star Trek movies, Doctor Who, Firefly, painting Warhammer miniatures… and then crochet and knitting. It was only a matter of time until all of these things came together like the BIG BANG to create my multiverse of passions.

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I am not the only nerd/geek/goober out there knitting and crocheting things inspired by my hobbies and proclivities.

Our Fearless Leader, Sara and Our Resident Designer, Jenny, are past masters at it! Sara made a Minecraft Creeper hat for her son and Jenny crocheted the Yoda (featured top photo). She all of a sudden pulled out of her bag of wizardry when we were talking in the shop last week about May The Fourth. We are all geeks at Yankee Yarns!

But I noticed something recently. At some point, being a nerd/geek/goober became fashionable! TRUE FACT! Once upon a time, I actually hid my geek hoping to be seen as one of the popular kids in school. I desperately lived in fear of being ridiculed for playing D&D with a bunch of guys in my mother’s front room. Now, characters like those in The Big Bang Theory have opened up the eyes of the masses to how cool it is to hang out with a bunch of egg-heads, wearing t-shirts with DC or Marvel comic book heroes on them and spinning yarns about the troubles we’ve been having with tribbles. It is also now considered cooler than ice planet Hoth to be an absolute legend with math!

Not a day goes by in my world that I don’t thank the old gods and new for my interests and creativity. Also, I am thankful for so many who are even more talented than I am who share their ideas!

I came across Knitting for nerds on Twitter who post a plethora of awesome projects and have given me such inspiration to create my own things.

I started off small. I made Star Trek potholders. Gradually, I became more and more ambitious. My most recent effort was a baby hoodie for my daughter’s friend. Years ago, she introduced me to the Mighty Boosh Show. She was and is a huge fan. Last year, she told us She she was having a baby so I magicked this baby hoodie up for her:

Incidentally, I introduced her to D&D and agreed to be the Dungeon Master for her, my daughter and all their friends. Crazy days!

17-03-31-05-50-56-110_decoBeing a Dungeon Master means I have a lot of spare grid paper lying about. With a bit of tracing paper, you can knock up all sorts of stuff, plot it on the grid paper and make knitting charts of all sorts of things. You can make Christmas jumpers with Daleks, Space Invaders or PacMan! But if this sounds daunting, I found a handy little site called Stitchboard where you can just upload a black and white “.jpg” of the artwork you want to use and BOOM! Personal geek stuff to make for your personal pleasure! I will caution, though. These cool logos are trademarked. If you are making them for yourself or to give as a gift, that is cool. But I think it would be bad juju to try to sell these off commercially. I did the Assasin’s Creed baby hoodie for a fellow geek when he found out he was going to be a Dad! He was over the moon!

If you want to knit your own design, go for it! There are tonnes of resources out there like The Knitting SiteStitch Fiddle, Annie Bee Knits, and the rest! Everything I have done is because I stand on the shoulders of giants! Getting the knowledge is the biggest part of the battle. Being creative is all yours!

At some point I will be making a hoodie for myself! But which design? WHICH DESIGN?!

Perhaps the real challenge is finding the time to make them all especially when you have a full-time job and other commitments.

Sometimes, I use the downtime at a con or whilst playing a tabletop game. The Malifaux bag I knitted was completed when I was “Hit Points” deep in a Pathfinder role-playing game. The bag was made for a guy who showed me how to paint the Malifaux miniatures.

So when you do find the time, it is like MAGIC! (See the picture below) You nerds might see what I just did there….. if you do, post a comment and I will tell you something about this particular skein of wool…

Obviously, if I need help to make something, I always go to Ravelry first. Remember, shoulders of giants!!!!

 

But for now, I am happy planning my future projects in between preparing for my next D&D campaign:

It will be another Dice Bag which I will be knitting for myself during the campaign I will be running. Yes… I am the Dungeon Master…

But getting back to the whole you can be a nerd, a hobbyist, a writer, a knitter and an armchair physicist, check out this cool article! For me, it’s the most exciting article I think I have read in a long time. It was written for scientists called Move Over String Theory, It’s Yarn’s Turn, by Stuart Fox on Science Line. This is the part where I “squee!” and most people look at me even more blankly as they did when I started talking to them about knitting… or Dungeons and Dragons.

I hope the 4th was with you yesterday… but beware all you Jedi. Today is Revenge of the 5th.

My Bae: Knitting 

According to the Urban Dictionary, the  word “bae” means “before anyone else.” It is usually a pet name for someone with whom one would cuddle up.

Lately, the only cuddling up I do is with a hot water bottle, on the sofa, binge watching Prison Break with my latest W.i.P.  and a cup of mocha—

And this pleases me greatly.

In an age when instant gratification seems to be the end-all-be-all of our mortal existence, the sublime little happiness of spending days/weeks/months on a single garment is lost on so many people. Knitting socks or crocheting a blanket is a long love affair. Each stitch or chain grows with our affection for the person for who we are making the thing. But not everyone gets it.

Case in point, the following is a transcript of a conversation between me and an old colleague.

Roger: “YOU knit?!”

Me: “Yeah.”

Roger: “How many balls of wool do you need to make a jumper?”

Me: “Depends on the jumper.”

Roger: “Like… for me. How much?”

Me: “Depends on the pattern… depends on the size needles… depends on the yarn…”

Roger: “Guess-timate…”

Me: “Let’s see… for this pattern, your build would need something like 12 skeins with this particular wool would be about £52 maybe more.”

Roger: “How long would it take?”

Me: “Depends, again… I got work…I got stuff to do… books… kids….etc…”wp-1464102803138.jpeg

Roger:”So a long time?”

Me: (nods and makes an emoticon-worthy scrunchie face).

Roger: “I could just go to the cheap shop and buy one for half the price tomorrow.”

Me: “Yeah.”

Roger: “I don’t see why you would bother.”

Me:” I wouldn’t bother… for YOU anyway.”

Obviously, the guy I was talking to was not my “Bae”. People who mean the most to me are the ones who get showered with my time, affection and my knitting. I think of all the things I have knitted up since I first learned how to knit almost 10 years ago, I have only knitted a handful of things for myself. The rest go to those that come before anyone else. Which is a beautiful thing.

Of Knitting Circles, Eclectic Abyss & The Project of Shame

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Il Knitterati, IlumiKnitty & Knitting Knijas logo Sponsered by Yankee Yarns Stitch & Bitch courtesy @BakerHobbies

You would think one would be satisfied with being a member of one crafty club. After speaking to several of the ladies in my milieu, I realised I am not alone in the fact that sometimes one circle is not enough. Most of the ladies belong to spinning guilds, sewing bees, craft groups as well as regular knitting circles. The ladies I know may as well create some kind of logo inspired by the olympic rings with all the clubs and organisations they belong to! The knowledge and inspiration that comes from such associations are truely mind enhancing.

“I think my next thing is to get a loom,” said Rachel Williams of the Knitting Kninjas and W.I. I never thought about using a loom until just that moment. Rachel talked a bit about it as she crocheted, ruminating out-loud on where she would fit a loom in her house. Lizzie Vershowske, member of the Knitting Kninjas and The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers said she often thought of getting a loom. 20170215_185215However, as the owner of four spinning wheels and a handsome stash of yarn, she would not know whether she would be able to compete for space in the house she shares with her husband (who has his own sizable hobbies). These ideas flowered in my head rendering me into an eclectic stupor as I sat knitting my third pair of socks. The conversation meandered into knitting and crochet holiday destinations like Cornwall, Scotland and France. I snapped out of a dreamy trance, as I enthusiastically shouted “Let’s do this!” as if I was on some kind of adventure party. Roll that dice, we are on a side quest!IMG_20161019_142611

Of course not all the ladies were present that night. Sometimes life with its endless tug of responsibility does keep us from our crafts. One very lovely lady (who shall remain nameless and blameless) had a credible excuse for not being able to attend. She and her partner were to go car shopping because they have been cruising with the devil in their deathtrap of a car. However, she did drop in the fact that she hoped to attend the next months session with a different project and not the one that she has been working on for the last three knitting circles. Her Project of Shame is the one that she just cannot seem to finish for one reason or other.

“It’s only the tiniest of jumpers and I have only got this far,” she said indicating a measure of about 40 rows using her hands. I think we all have a project like this. Mine is wallowing in what I can only describe as My Project Oubliette.

So many of us work on multiple projects. The thing is, eventually we are meant to finish them. I know that many of the ladies I know actually DO finish their projects to perfection. But then, here is me who has been working on the same sparkly gold Christmas jumper for the last three years. It has languished in my Project Oubliette all but forgotten as I go on to buy more and more interesting skeins of yarn and print out all sorts of someday projects. Yes. I have a Project of Shame.

I think it is time to go down into the dungeon and pull out the sparkly Christmas jumper and get working on it again before I start any more projects. I currently have three on the go as well as looking for time to knit poppies for November. I am now resolute to finish it at my weekly knitting circle. If you would like to check up on me and my progress, do come to Yankee Yarns on Mondays at 7:30. 

Let Them Knit Cake!!!

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There is not much I take seriously. What I do take seriously is cake. These days the cake has taken our shop by storm in the form of Caron Cakes.

The colours are so rich, you just want to eat them up. The best bit is there are no calories in this kind of cake.

Let me shoot you some stats on this multipurpose yarn:

  • Can be used for knitting, crocheting
  • Multi-Project Versatile that grows quite fast!
  • Variegated (five vibrant colours in each ball)
  • Weight: Medium Worsted ( like 10 ply, Aran)
  • Contents: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool
  • Skein Weight: 7.1 oz./ 200g
  • Yardage: 383 yds. / 350 m
  • Knitting Gauge: 18 sts – 24 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
  • Crochet Gauge: 13 sc – 14 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
  • Suggested Knitting Needle: 5 mm, US – 8
  • Suggested Crochet Hook: 5 mm, US – H/8

You can find lots of ideas and patterns to crochet or knit on Ravelry. Alternatively, you can just come into the shop and our Resident Designer, Jenny, will be happy to help you out.

Before I heard of this yarn, I had no idea that the term “cake” was in reference to the yarn ball type. Every day is, indeed, a school day! I found out on Interweave that yarn comes wound up in one of  11 + 1 ways! I had to look them up but here is a list with my take on each one.

YARN BALL TYPES 1

Hank– Sounds like a cowboy with a lasso. It’s basically just yarn wrapped around and tied. This is the best way to use it when you are using hand looms.

Folded Hank- a neater version of the cowboy. This cowboy is going courtin’. But when you need to use it, you will need a partner who will hold it for you looped on their arms while you gossip and wind it into a ball.

Twisted Hank or Skein the cowboy with his knickers in a twist because he needs the bathroom and has crossed his legs… Skein is the generic term we all seem to call any ball of yarn. But I especially like it when it is twistd up like this. The wizards who hand-dye sell their works in this manner. It really captures the colours and how they blend and work into

Pull Skein- Basically, these are ready to use as you pull the yarn from the centre and just knit. But they do get a little sloppy towards the end so you end up winding it into a ball.

Bullet Skien- quite possibly the most common way we see our yarn for sale. Incidentally, this is the best way to stash them in a pillow cushion so your husband has no idea how much yarn you actually stash…. shhh

 

 

YARN BALL TYPES 2

Ball-  In the words of William Butler Yeats from his poem The Second Coming, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” So you wind this sucker up tight, plop it in a lovely in a yarn bowl in a decorative part of your living room near your Yarniverse!

Donut Ball- I just got a mental image of two cops in their patrol car parked behind a billboard knitting away with fluffy cashmere doughnut balls in a box between them. Oh, the joy!

Hard Core Ball- So this type of yarn ball has nothing to do with Basketball’s Goon Squad like Chicago Bulls Dennis Rodman or Philly 76ers Charles Barkley. It has to do with skinny yarn like the kind used for making nets and wound up tight. Booyeah.

Cone- this is often associated with cheap granny yarn that you find up in the loft. You get lots and lots of yardage on this bad boy. It’s not old-fashioned anymore, however. Sugar ‘n’ Cream has lots of its cotton yarn in fresh new colours on cones with names like Ahoy or Faded Denim.

Cake- Ah ha!!! Remember those Hanks? Well, you get cakes from them when you wind them up. Click to see a video HERE!

 

These are the 11 types of balls. According to Interweave, there is one more that lurks at the bottom of your stash called the ***Hankenstien***

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