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Crazy for Ewe

Need a haircut?

Need a haircut?

So much fun stuff is coming up, I don't know where to start.  It seems like we jumped right into warm weather this week and our collective mood shifted to summer mode.  We're kicking things off with a great First Friday project for June, a simply shaped top modeled after so many I've admired from classic designer Eileen Fisher.  

Later next month, Mary will be kicking off our summer shawl Mystery Knitalong in beautiful Pima Kuri from Mirasol.  Also this summer I'm introducing a fun new class format called Knit One, Sip Too.  These are evening classes with wine - perfect for a girls' night out.  And finally, I'm  excited to announce that Jenny May is back on the Crazy for Ewe team with fun sock classes and knitalongs.  She'll also be stepping up the shop's presence on Ravelry, giving you another way to be part of the Crazy for Ewe community.  Remember that you can comment on the blog or the newsletter, and you can follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.  Most importantly though, you are always welcome to come into the shop and sit around the table to knit or just to visit.

The importance and value of our time around the table struck me the other day when I saw this TED talk by Dr. Joseph Ravenell about a Harlem barbershop.  The men go there about every other week for a trim, and lots of them stop in more frequently just to hang out and visit.  They've been coming to this shop for years and years, and it's more than just a place for a hair cut. It's a place where they talk about things - sports, life, health.  It's a safe space, and the men share more information about their health with their barber than they do a doctor.  Dr. Ravenell explains, "The barbershop is  a place of connection, loyalty, and trust"  where men are comfortable talking about difficult topics, like high blood pressure, a leading killer among his demographic.  Recognizing this phenomenon, Ravenell has helped this and other barbershops offer free blood pressure screening and has probably saved the lives of many men.  It all started by recognizing where the men gathered and shared their lives.  Ravenell ends by asking, "What is your barbershop?"   

My barbershop is around the table at the shop.  It too is place of connection, loyalty, and trust.  It is a safe space where we talk about our lives, our health, our families, our jobs, our relationships --the experiences women experience throughout their lifetime.  There is a wide range of ages around the table, and we can share the changes we experience in our bodies and in our lives.  So many conversations start with, "So, this thing happenend..."  or "Is it weird that I've been feeling....,"  and to hear from the mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends who've gone before say, "No, that's perfectly normal," or maybe, "You might want to have that looked at."  

In this disconnected world where we share more personal data than we should in social media, but find that we cannot or do not take the time for actual conversations in real life, it's nice to know that there is a place where can come and be part of the sisterhood of women like you who care for each other and about each other.  I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here.   ~Ellen

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Dangling Conversation - May First Friday

Dangling Conversation - May First Friday

This week is First Friday!

Dangling conversation at Crazy for Ewe

Our May First Friday project is Dangling Conversation, a lovely, large scarf worked in a silky soft self-striping cotton. Shimmering beads at the cast on and along the edge give the scarf a subtle gleam and provide just the right amount of weight to help keep your wrap in place.

Don't worry about choosing colors - the yarns bring their own gradient palette - there's a very summery aqua and peach combination as well as one in sophisticated shades of charcoal to pale silver.  Mary did the sample using two different coordinating colorways.  Isn't it gorgeous!

If you're on top of Pantone's spring color forecast, you'll love the Rosy Quartz and Serenity (rich pink and soft blue) option - my favorite! It's a fun and easy pattern and the beads are a snap to add as you knit - no need to thread them ahead of time.

Join us First Friday to get started - 5-8 p.m.  Pink drinks as usual.  :)

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Easy knitting

Easy knitting


I've been working on a couple of different projects lately, but over the past few days I find that I've been reaching, almost compulsively, for Surf and Sand, our March First Friday project.  It's easy as can be, and lately that's exactly what I've needed. 

I have a monkey mind.  I wish it weren't so.  I would love to be someone who could sit quietly and mediate on the nature of the universe with a serene smile, radiating peace and tranquility, her mind a tranquil pool.  But that is not me. My mind is more like a hurricane, or a tidal wave that threatens to drown me.  I can't sit quietly, but bounce up as I suddenly remember what I was doing before I sat down.  Or I'm doing what I should be doing, but never finishing because...oh - look, that other thing that needs doing.  Then I am distracted by -- oh, look something else over there.  As a child there were exhortations to "work on your own," while another group was doing something ever so much more interesting than writing my numbers to 1000.  What purpose that particular aspect of arithmetic torture served, I still fail to see. 

Anyway, back to the whole calm, inner peace, sitting still thing.  Knitting.  Knitting is my meditation.  As I give in to the repetitive motions, my monkey mind begins to settle.  Even just a moment makes a difference.  Insert the needle, wrap the yarn, pull it through, and off.  Over and over and over again.  My hands know what to do, and my brain seems to tell them, "Okay - you've got this.  I'm going to ease up for a minute."  Little by little, as my brain lets go, I begin to relax.  All the generalized anxiety of my world lifts, stitch by stitch, breath by breath.  I can see what to do, and I know how to begin.  I am calm. I am knitting.  

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Hollyhock - February First Friday project

Hollyhock - February First Friday project
Louisa Harding Hollyhock Cowl worn Long
Our February First Friday project is Hollyhock scarf Louisa Harding.  Mary finished the sample  last week, and it is utterly beautiful.  The candid pics I took in the shop didn't really do it justice, so I decided to take it home and do a few glamour shots.   It looks great worn long or doubled. 
Louisa Harding Hollyhock Cowl worn doubled
Hollyhock uses three different yarns in coordinating colors and a mix of stitches to make it interesting and fun to knit.
Louisa Harding Hollyhock Cowl closeup
Join us First Friday for pink drinks and to get started on Hollyhock with us.  We have Hollyhock kits made up in three different colorways: Hyacinth, Snapdragon, and Impatiens.  It will be hard to choose just one!.  The kit, which includes 5 skeins of yarn and the pattern, is $45.  Buy it on First Friday and save $5.  
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Mystery knitalong starts this Friday!

Mystery knitalong starts this Friday!

How did it get to be November already? I sure do feel it, especially now that it's getting dark so early. The good news is that this is prime knitting time, and we have so many fun things going on that you'll be glad for that extra hour to knit each evening.

We're continuing our two current knitalongs this week:    Wednesday is the Felted Eyeglasses case, and Thursdays is the Cavendish Throw.  The big news this week is the start of our first ever Mystery Knitalong. If you're not already signed up, there's still time.  The first pattern clue will go out Friday morning.You don't have to be local to participate -- we have several folks from our on-line community who will be joining us -- but if you are local, stop by Friday evening for a pink drink with your fellow mystery knitters.

I'm busy working up the sample for our entrelac class which starts November 14th, a week from this Saturday. This is a great introduction to entrelac. Not only is the process simplified a bit, the project is spectacular. I love the shape of this bag and the way it showcases beautiful Noro. I've ordered leather handles from Noni and Jul Designs because great hardware is what takes a felted bag from homespun to designer. This one in the picture was done by Lovetoad on Ravelry

The holiday season is creeping up on us. It will be Thanksgiving before you know it. For those of you who like to plan ahead, mark your calendars for a fabulous promotion Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We'll have big-ticket items for sale at very nice discounts, so if you've been thinking that you need a set of interchangeable needles, or a swift, be sure to let Santa know where to be those days! Of course, you'll want to scope out the options first so Santa doesn't screw it all up ;)  More on that later.  

In the mean time, I look forward to seeing you at least a few times this week - you are always welcome here!


Back to the 3 November 2015 Newsletter

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October 2nd - Pink Friday

October First Friday - Pink Friday!  This is the day when we paint the town pink -- literally.  Lots of us have been busy bees knitting up pink yarn for a Top Secret Mission to yarn bomb Leonardtown Square.  It's not too let to get in on the action - I have scads of pink yarn donated by the wonderful folks at Knitting Fever and Euro Yarns.  Come grab a skein or four and get moving.  more

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Please participate!


Hard to believe it's almost October First Friday, the most special First Friday of the year.  It's at this event that we focus all of our efforts on Breast Cancer awareness.  One of the main fundraising portions of Pink Friday is the St. Mary's Arts Council's Uplifting Designs program which showcases a variety of fanciful bras decorated in fun and creative ways.  First Friday visitors choose their favorite with cash votes.  Our own Sigrid Stiles has won in the past with a fabulous Halloween themed bra! 

Please consider submitting a bra this year - it's a fun and creative way to show your support for and reach out to the more than 230,000 women who experience invasive breast cancer each year. 

For more information or to register, visit the St. Mary's Arts Council

If you're not up to the bra challenge, you can still help - we're looking for knitters who would like to participate in a TOP SECRET mission for First Friday.  We'll provide the yarn - but we need an army of knitters and helpers the night of Thursday, October 1st.  If you'd like to participate please stop by the shop and I'll give you the materials you need!!!  Tell 'em you were sent by Joe  ;)


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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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Infinitely lovely

Our April First Friday project is this gorgeous infinity scarf.  Mary whipped this one up in just a couple of evenings (that Mary is something else, isn't she!)  

This little gem takes just one skein of Arona, a beautiful cotton tape yarn in bright spring colors.  Get started with us this First Friday, and you could be wearing it Easter Sunday!  The pattern is complimentary with the purchase of Arona now through this weekend.   


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November First Friday!

is today! There were so many fun project ideas for First Friday this month that I couldn't make up my mind - so I decided on all of them. First is this fun little capelet that knits up quickly in Noro Obi


or Cyochin, like Ginni's version!

2013-10-31 10.28.44

Another option is this gorgeous textured wrap Lynne worked up in new Mossa.  She added three large tassels that give it a luxurious feel and help keep this generous wrap in place.

Mossa shawl


Mossa is a gorgeous, textural yarn that works best in patterns with plenty of purl stitches (like garter) to show it off.  Here's a closeup of the fabric.



And of course, you can do one of the beautifully simple Noro ribbed striped scarves which make terrific gifts.  Whatever project you choose, we look forward to seeing you tonight at either shop for First Friday 5-8 p.m.

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