Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lights, Camera, Action!!

We are all loving the toe up socks, especially with the Duet Sock Yarn. Many of us, however, are visual people. So, I had this bright idea of making a video clip on how to do the Magic Cast On created by Judy Becker. Judy is published on www.knitty.com. Well, I am here to tell you that this undertaking was not a walk in the park! First, there is the voice. The voice must be clear and concise - no frog in the throat please! Second, you somehow have to be in sync with the camera man. I can tell you that "lights, camera, action" do not work nor does "three, two, one, action" work. How about a slight pull of the hair (MY HAIR) by the camera man to indicate it is time to start - he's recording!!!

Watch for our very first production, coming to our website soon!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

March & April Newsletter is Online!!

The new class schedule is online! Be sure to check out the wide selection of classes and upcoming events that we have planned for the next several months. Class registration begins Tuesday, February 20th. You may register in person or by phone (253-852-9276).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rowan Has Arrived!!

Guess what Brown delivered today? You guessed it! Rowan!!!! We are so excited we can hardly stand it! Magazine 41 is the newest Spring/Summer magazine. I've never quite figured out why Rowan calls these 'magazines'. They are beautifully done and they definitely do not match my description of the term 'magazine'. Romance is in the air with the light weight lace wraps. Hence, introducing Kid Silk Haze. Kid Silk Haze is a blend of mohair (70%) and silk (30%). It is light and airy, perfect for the romantic look that spring & summer fashion trends are leaning towards. Lace Knitting is defintely in as well; we've noticed a fair amount of new releases coming in that feature lace. Here, you can see Anice, one of the designs out of Rowan 41 using Kid Silk Haze.

Looking for a solid, DK weight, 100% machine washable yarn? Meet Pure Wool DK. Pure Wool DK has a beautiful color palette, soft to the touch and knits up at 22 sts x 30 rows to 4" on a US 6.

Did you miss the Fall/Winter issue of Rowan (Magazine 40)? Don't fret! We have a limited supply of this magazine as well.
Happy knitting!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Surfacing for a Breath!

WOW! Today I realized just how infrequently I get out and about. I went to Macy's today to pick up a bottle of my sweetie's favorite cologne. Of course, the closest one is Westfield Shopping Mall (formerly known as Southcenter Mall). I was shocked to see the changes going on. I pulled into the mall proper (entering from the south end) and thought I just entered a disaster zone. The food court is closed and will be for 18 months. There is a parking garage south of Sears. There is scaffling all over the mall. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Williams-Sonoma. While on the subject of keeping my fingers crossed, still wiating for a book store to come to Kent Station. Third Place Books would be an excellent addition; don't you think?

A week since my last writing! I'd like to say I've been knitting like a mad woman; but not the case. We have been working very hard on the newsletter for March & April. We've lined up a few treats for you that I hope you will enjoy. Also, the website has been taking up a lot of time. Hopefully you are noticing the changes (hint: product pictures are starting to appear). Be patient, though; website design/maintenance if very time consuming. Oh, don't forget, I am a knitter, not a webmaster, so everything seems to take longer. If you see something you don't like or if pages don't load right, links broke, etc, etc. jot me an email. Have a suggestion? Let me know!

OK, off to put the finishing touches on the newsletter. I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing evening with their sweetie!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Lace Style, Favorite Socks and ????

No Sheep for You! You guessed it! No Sheep for You and Lace Style are the newly released books that we arrived today. Lace Style contains romantic, lacy styles and is nicely done (as we've come to know the 'Style' books). Interweave's Favorite Sock - 25 Timeless Designs flew off the shelf last week. I'm happy to say that we received a new shipment today and there should be plenty of this fabulous book to go around. If you are a sock knitter, this is a must have addition to your personal library.

Don't forget, starting tomorrow select yarns will be 25% off. Also, there are several books and magazines that will be 15% off. Frequent Buyers: enjoy an additional 5% off the sale price!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

We've All Been Waiting the Arrival of ...

Louisa Harding's yarns! Not one, not two, but three large boxes were delivered by Brown today! I find our handy box cutter and carefully open the boxes. What do I find? Glisten! The colors are gorgeous! There is a very soft, pale pink; an incredible pink, brown and tan, gold, champagne and several others. Then there's Flotsom; you might remember Ann modeling this piece the evening Louisa Harding was at the shop. What else? New bold, spring colors of Nautical Cotton, Sari Ribbon (including the rainbow colorway Louisa tempted us with) and Mariposa. I know, you're all wondering about the books. Well, we still have a little wait for Hummingbird and Swallowtail. But, Gathering Roses: Accessories is back in stock and The Magical World According to Miss Millie arrived.

Other exciting news! I'm happy to let you know that Rowan is on it's way! We've started small and will be getting several colors of Kid Silk Haze and Pure Wool DK. Rowan Magazine 40 & 41 are on the way as well. I expect these yarns & magazines to arrive mid to late next week.

Well, I must close. I am working on Shilo's moebius bed and need to get the attached i-cord done. I am hoping that, at the end of the day, he does not chew this up. I am making Cat Bordhi's moebius nest; the pattern is found in A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. The liner is red (perfect for a black dog). There will be a Fair Isle nest, but haven't made my final color decisions.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sock Hop Yarn - Spinners Needed

A call to spinners - not just any spinner. As a lot of you know, I just learned to spin. I am getting into the spinner's 'zen' but do not qualify as experienced, consistent or efficient at this point. A lot of you also know that RoxieAnn and I like to keep things local whenever we can. You can see this desire to support our local artists when you look around Renaissance Yarns. You will find yarns by Handspun on the Web, Duet Socks by A Swell Yarn, patterns by Fibertrends (Wenatchee) and soon you will see drop spindles by Cascade Spindle Company (Kent) and lavender products to keep your stash fresh and moth free by Purple Haze Lavender Farm (Sequim).

What you might not know is I live this way as well. In 2006 at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, I met the husband/wife team (Klaus and Teyani) of Crown Mountain Farms. The farm is located in Yelm, WA. They raise goats and sheep and they both spin. In addition to managing the farm, Klaus does some woodworking and Teyani is a mental health therapist. Enough of an introduction; you can read more about Klaus and Teyani on their website. Anyway, their fibers are what made me think 'I have to learn to spin'! And so, true to form, when I was ready I called Klaus and ordered my wheel (Majacraft Rose). Here's the deal: they have come up with a fabulous sock yarn called Sock Hop. Teyani and company take the roving and hand dyes it. Oh, they also spin it. So, you can imagine how long it takes to make a skein. Naturally, this limits the quantity that can be produced each month. Hence - spinners are needed. If you are interested in a wonderful opportunity of 'playing' with beautiful hand dyed yarn and knowing that what you produce will be unique and treasured by any knitter, please contact Klaus via email crownmt@ywave.com or phone 360-894-1738 (8 AM - 5 PM). Like I said, they do raise animals, so if you get the voicemail; leave all of the pertinent details. Please do not call Renaissance Yarns with questions as we will not have the answers. I am, say the middleperson, hoping to put spinners in touch with Crown Mountain so they can continue to grow this wonderful line of sock yarn.

Oh and fellow sock knitters - no, I cannot bring this yarn into the shop at this time. Demand is high, supply is low, very low. Perhaps you might be able to see this yarn at the Seattle Knitting Expo (4/13 - 4/15) at the Seattle Marriott by SeaTac Airport. Remember, keyword is 'perhaps'.
Happy Knitting & congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts on winning Superbowl 41 and to Peyton Manning - MVP!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Duet Sock Yarn!!

Were you at the shop today? There was much excitement over the latest batch of Duet Sock Yarn! Angela delivered 16 different colorways and each one of them is quite beautiful. For those of you who haven't seen this yarn, Angela (the artist behind it all - www.aswellyarnshop.com) handpaints the yarn in beautiful colorways and then includes a matching solid (also handpainted) for the heel and toes. This yarn gives a whole new meaning to knitting socks! The yarn is eye candy and it makes you just want to keep knitting until you are done. Come in and check it out!! Check back often for this yarn as we have unique colorways planned for you throughout the year.

It's been a busy week for everyone. Several of you are working on socks (DPN method). Some have sizing issues, which has me baffled at the moment. Sharon has completed one sleeve! I am so excited for her. One sleeve down, one to go, then the front! We just might make Father's Day (2007)!!! The 2nd Fair Isle Sweater (a Louisa Harding design) kicked off today. There are 11 people currently knitting this sweater. I have never seen so many fair isle knitters at once - it is truly rewarding to watch how everyone's knitting skills continue to grow. Many of you are starting to challenge yourself with cables and colorwork. Is lace knitting next? Oh wait, we also started the Moebius Pet Bed (A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting) today; I think I'll include the MCO (Moebius Cast On) in the list of challenges. I think we all found that this method of casting on is relatively easy; that is, until we think about what we are doing. Then we lose it. My advice, anyone attempting one of Cat Bordhi's moebius projects - don't over analyze the cast on!!!

The swift and ball winder finally have a new home! I am so happy that this set up is out of the sitting room. I think it is so much more convenient for everyone. Thanks to Al Skorupa and Ann and Jim Stroup for helping RoxieAnn and I get the new table built and finished. This project was definitely a team effort!!

It's the night before Superbowl Sunday! Who's corner are you in? Will you be knitting? Crocheting? Or how about spinning? I will be putting the schedule for March & April together and probably working on the Dorothy Bag (entrelac bag done in Noro Kureyon). My household is behind the Colts all the way!!