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Crazy for Ewe

Got cabin fever?

Got cabin fever?

The snow was beautiful and cozy, but I'm ready to get out of the house.  Although my driveway is still covered, the main roads are clear and dry, and we will be open and ready for business today!  Good thing too, because we have two fabulous projects happening - first is the Messy Bun Hat Crochet along.  

If you are comfortable with single and half double crochet, come whip up this little project that went viral a week or so ago - everyone wants one, and you can make it in almost know time.  That's the beauty of crochet - it's so fast it feels like instant gratification.  Not quite there with the crochet techniques?  Sign up for our awesome beginning crochet class

Second is this beautiful infinity cowl "That Nice Stitch" in Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere - Just one skein is all it takes.  

Whether you're knitting or crocheting, I look forward to seeing you around the table this afternoon!  Knit cozy my friends!

 

 

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Experiencing unabashed joy

Experiencing unabashed joy

One of the most fun things about being around small children is seeing the unabashed joy they find in the simplest of things.  Everything is new, and mastering each skill delights them.  You can see it on their little faces as they try and try, finally learning to crawl and then walk, or figuring out how to put a puzzle together or build a tower that doesn't fall.  Children experience the world with a unique sense of wonder and thrill of accomplishment.  As adults, we hardly ever get that same rush of excitement - the challenge of most new physical skills is far behind us. 

But you can create that rush.  As you know, we've been having some beginning crochet sessions for our Uplifting Designs entry.  I have never known how to crochet beyond the bare minimum.  But for this little project, Antonella designed a little flower that includes all the basic crochet techniques: chain, slip stitch, single, double, half-double (who knew), and triple crochet stitches.  I learned how to crochet in the round and more.  In making these little flowers, I can truly say that I learned to crochet.  Not just blindly following someone standing over me saying, "Okay, now wrap the yarn around the hook, and pull it blah blah blah."  I actually knew what to do.  I could read the pattern, look at my work, and know where I was and what to do next.  And you know, it was pretty thrilling.  I felt this goofy smile on my face and that childlike thrill just took over.  "I get it! I see it!" The words just tumbled out, and I didn't care.  I was excited about proud - not just proud of my creation, but proud of myself for learning this thing.  It doesn't sound like much, but it's actually huge.  That kind of learning - - combining visual cues, intellectual understanding, and physical skills, is powerful.  Whether it's a child learning how puzzle pieces fit together, or you and me learning to crochet a flower or knit a sock, the experience is a thrilling rush!

There are lots of opportunities for you to experience the rush - I think sock knitting is a perfect example of where you'll find it.  Following along the pattern and doing what it says (with or without someone standing over you) is one thing, but truly having that Aha! moment is quite another.  The rush comes with independent mastery - when you see why things are done the way they are and you know when to do what you have to do, and you know how to do it.  That's what we're going for.  Jenny has a wonderful beginning sock class starting this week, toe-up, worsted weight.  Toe up is great for lots of reasons, but from the learning perspective, it's an excellent way to kind of unpack sock construction, look at it from another angle, literally, and really get a feel for what's happening.  Whether you're a beginning sock knitter, or a cuff-down devotee, I encourage you to register for this class and experience the excitement and joy of learning something new.

Join us for a class that thrills you - I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here.  ~ Ellen

Back to 20 September 2016 Newsletter

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Crochet Geometry - a must have crochet book

Crochet Geometry - a must have crochet book

This is the book we'll be using for our Crocheted Vest class, and for several other crochet projects in the future.  There are 15 different designs, all of them cute.  Next to the one we're doing in the class, this one is my favorite.  Don't you just love the draped front on this cardigan - very on trend!

This circular top is very sweet with its graceful open collar and scalloped hem.

I think this one is really smart - wear it along as great summer shell, or layer it over a blouse or under a jacket.  Terrific wardrobe piece.

 

If you crochet, this is book you should have in your library.  If you don't crochet, these designs will make you want to learn!  

I'm not carrying the book in the shop, but you can order it on Amazon through the link below.

Crochet Geometry: Geometric Patterns to Fit and Flatter  

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Crochet - Polly Poncho for First Friday

I'm a knitter to the depths of my soul, but you know, some crochet projects are just so compelling that I vow to learn. Take for instance, everything on my Crochet Pinterest board. Isn't it interesting that Dionne from the Berroco Mixer trunk show is right there too!

My other current crochet crush is the Polly Poncho that Mary designed for May First Friday.

Named for her beautiful and trendy California daughter, the Polly Poncho is stylish and fun. Perfect over a tank or a tee with fringe that is current and modern. It's that third layer that makes an outfit and adds a splash of color to your look. 

Not only is Polly adorable, it's a perfect introduction to crochet. Nothing too complicated, just chain (which you probably already know) slip stitch, single crochet, and triple crochet. That's it- that's all you need to know.

Smooth Modern Cotton is easy to crochet, light and cool to the touch, and machine washable to boot. The hardest part will be choosing from the dozens of mouthwatering colors.  Mary will be on hand to help you get started this First Friday, May 1.  You can whip this up in no time flat. Pattern is complimentary with 2 skeins of Berroco Modern Cotton.  Bring, or buy at the shop, a size G hook and some locking stitch markers.  See you then!

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Beverlie's Cather


Lovely Bev wore her newly completed Cather crochet top in to the shop today.  She added two full repeats to the length.  The yarn is lovely Manos Serena in a very subtle variegated blue green.  Perfect.  Nice work, Bev.

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VK Crochet 2013 is a winner

The new VK Crochet magazine arrived yesterday, and my goodness, is there some beautiful stuff in there.  I picked out four favorites.  This lacy spring top by Charles Voth is my number one pick, and not just because of the color, although it is a gorgeous color. The simple shaping allows the feminine floral stitch pattern to take center stage, and the slightly bell shaped sleeves look very modern and pretty.  The lace collar is a nice touch, but you could leave it off if you prefer a cleaner look.


I also like this cardigan very much.  A bit more tailored than the tee, I like it for many of the same reasons: simple shaping, floral stitch pattern and  modern styling.



This one is nice too--simple shape done in Tunisian stitch.  The yarn is a lovely metallic mohair blend and the color is, well, very pink.  3>


And I like this wrap.  Both the large motif and the rich color make it a very dramatic accessory.  Hairpin lace and broomstick lace are the techniques used on this one. 



Available in both shops now.  This is truly one of the nicest crochet magazines I've seen.  Pick up your copy this week because this issue will sell out. 

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Manos Serena Trunk Show

Last Friday, William, our UPS man, brought in an armful of boxes.  I was surprised and delighted that one of the boxes was full of sample garments in beautiful Serena from Manos del Uruguay.  I hadn't expected the trunk show until next week but, what a wonderful surprise!   We get to have it for a nice long time, which is good, because I really want you to have a chance to see it.  There are seven garments in the show, and they are all just terrific. 


I love Chopin, an open stitch tunic which is fun belted over black leggings. 




I also love Wharton, a beautiful swing cardigan with a leaf pattern at the top and a smart back pleat;


and Kashmina, a drape-front cardigan with set in sleeves and an all-over lace and cable pattern. 


Ginni was there when the box arrived, and she liked the two short-sleeved sweaters, Alcott and Stowe.




A surprise for me was the beautiful crocheted Cather, which we'll be featuring in a beginning crochet class this spring.


We'll be doing the trunk show this Friday, February 9 in Leonardtown from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday, February 10 in La Plata from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Don't miss your chance to see these and other beautiful Serena garments in person. 

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Crazy for Crochet!

Beatrix the Sheep rocks a new Manos Silk Blend cowl!

I love crochet. I learned to do it long before I learned to knit (which may be why I carry my yarn in my left hand when I knit: crochet hook in right hand, yarn in left, easily became needles in both hands, yarn in left.) 
Lately I've been searching Ravelry for great crochet patterns, and found the "Calm Cowl," a free download. It calls for about 400 yards of a DK-weight yarn. Ellen suggested the Silk Blend, and picked out the lovely earthy blue/turquoise/gold blend. The cowl worked up quickly and easily on a 5.5mm hook (size I). I'm really happy with it!
Next up? There's a really sweet shawl that's on my mind, and may soon be on my hook!




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Annie Modesitt Crochet Shrug

Okay, so it's been a month since any posts. Sorry. It's not that stuff hasn't been happening at the store - truth is that somehow my digital camera software isn't on my laptop anymore. No clue how it got wiped, and the worst of it is that I can't find the original CD either. I'm sure I put it in a safe place so we're unlikely to see it for some time. So, you'll just have to wait to see Duffy's prize-winning Clapotis, Carol's baby sweater, and the luscious new Silk Rhapsody from Artyarns. I promise this last will definitely be worth the wait.

In other news, the very talented MaryJo taught me to crochet - and you know, it's not too bad--kinda fun even - actually, I really liked it. I've always known that I ought to learn, but I needed the right motivation. And here it is:

This fabulous design from Annie Modesitt is a crocheted version of her popular Cocoon Shrug featured on the cover of Vogue Knitting last fall. We 'll be scheduling a class on this soon, so check your newsletter or the shop site. Annie's pattern's in the current issue of Interweave Crochet Spring 06 which has many other wonderful projects as well. Knitting will always be my one true love, but I'm itching for a little fling with crochet. Now, do I want mine in crisp white cotton, or in something pink? How about you?

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