Nancy is a familiar face here at Woolstock. She is always around with a friendly smile and ready to answer any knitting questions. After many years as a customer, she was officially invited to join the Woolstock family because of her amazing knitting knowledge and her caring heart. You can often find her cleaning up the shop or sitting at the table knitting samples, always ready to top what she is working on to give some assistance or provide some knitting wisdom.
We are here at the end of July. That means there is just 6 months until Christmas and Winter Solstice, 5 months until Hanukkah (it is crazy early this year- Dec 6), so it is time to start making lists and crafting. It seems strange to think about the winter gift giving season when it is too warm to go to the pool, but sometimes big crafty things take time. Sweaters, blankets, quilts, all take a bit of time and planning.
Brother makes a multi-purpose screwdriver that is a blessing to any sewer. You don’t realize how often you need a screwdriver when you are sewing. Every time you change a needle, change the needle plate, switch between sewing and embroidering, or hoop fabric, you could need a screwdriver. Consider the different angles you need to maneuver into so you can make these changes and –oh my. It is enough to make you crazy.
When I was a kid, I often dawdled over breakfast reading. I read anything; cereal boxes, cookbooks, wildlife guides, birding books, etc. Now as an adult, I tend to still dawdle over my cereal. I still read anything I find close at hand. Currently I am working my way through all my old knitting books and magazines. These older patterns still inspire me. When I was a new mother, what attracted my knitting attention was very different than what attracts me now as a parent of teenagers. It is funny. When the magazines came out, some of the styles were too different from what I normally had seen. They might be too forward thinking, I guess. But when I re-read the magazines months or even years later, I see how some of the styles are now part of my wardrobe or styles I see on everyone. That magazine had predicted the future!!!
I learned to crochet the wrong way from a book when I was visiting my grandmother in Texas. I was just a kid and I couldn’t read a pattern, I didn’t learn how to do any of the stitches the right way, and all I was able to make well was circles and trapezoids. When I thought about my time crocheting, all I could remember was the cramp in my hand at the end of making whatever thing I was trying to make. The palm of my hand would cramp, and it would take ages to massage that cramp out. Continue reading
As I was walking to lunch, I cross through a tunnel underneath a major road. The salt from melting the snow has formed stalactites along the underside of the bridge. Looking upon them made me think about when I taught my kids how to tell the difference between stalactites and stalagmites (stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, stalagmites might trip you) and how each drip of salt from the road contributes to the growth of these interesting geological formations. Knitting and sewing are much the same. Each stitch, each piece of fabric, each minute devoted to a craft develops not only the item being made but you as a person. Just like that old joke about the only way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice; the time we put into creating, learning and growing inside our chosen craft defines us as people.
A few weeks ago the Noro dealer came in with all his yarn books and balls. You would have thought it was Christmas as excited as everyone was to see what the dealer brought. The chance to touch the new fibers and inspect the new colorways was so much fun!! He brought a copy of the new Noro magazine (#5) which when we saw the pattern for the Garter TriangleShawl, we knew we would have to make this as a sample. I volunteered to do the knitting. We picked Janome # 1 as the fiber of choice for this project.
The other day there was a story on Yahoo News about a man named Gregory Patrick whose knitting literally saved his life. He was homeless and by using his knitting skills, he made cute little teddy bears which he sold on Etsy. The proceeds of these sales have helped him afford a place to live and food to eat. For the whole story click here. But I was thinking there was more to this than just what the story said.
An exclusive afghan kit only from Woolstock!! These blankets are great as a decorative touch for a living room or a bedroom. We designed a pattern so easy that a child could make them. There are a few tricks in the pattern to enhance some of the special yarns, and a way to distribute the many yarns we have included, but this really is an easy and elegant throw to place in a special place in your home. Don’t think these are delicate as they might appear. They can withstand whatever the family might do to it. Most important is how they can bring the colors of your room together and, if you snuggle under it, bring a few people together on that cold winter’s night. You have to sit really close though. Continue reading
Lately I have taken an interest in foundation piecing. For those who don’t know, foundation piecing is sewing fabrics onto a template that is made from cloth, interfacing, or paper. There are quilt blocks which are built using foundation piecing priniples. One of my favorite ones is the Harry Potter quilt along that is going on now at Fandominstitches.com . Continue reading