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Crazy for Ewe

All about the color

All about the color
This month is all about Color. Between Socktoberfest with all the beautiful hand-dyed yarns and our annual Noro event, I am in color heaven.  Color is a powerful force. It is what first attracts us, evoking an involuntary emotional response. We see the color and there is a sudden slight intake of breath. Our pulse quickens. Our eyes dilate, and our blood pressure rises a bit. It's like love - or lust anyway. The first words out of our mouth are "I love this color--what can I make with more Continue reading

Circe goddess of the swatch

Circe goddess of the swatch

For the book club this month, we're reading Circe, a novel by Madeline Miller, based on one of the lesser goddesses of Greek mythology.  A textile artist who wove on a loom built by the legendary craftsman, Daedalus, Circe is best known as the witch who lured sailors to her shores and turned them into swine. In more

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Inspired by Nature

Inspired by Nature

Life is full of beautiful moments, from the exciting new experiences to special times spent with loved ones.  But what makes those times special?  Certainly, the emotions involved are a big chunk of it, but I believe it's more than that.  I think it's the rarity of an experience that makes it special.  The thrill stands out against the everydayness of our lives.  It is when we don't see someone we love for a long time that the time spent together is all the sweeter.  It's the contrast of the ordinary against the spectacular that highlights the beauty of our day -- of our lives.  We especially treasure those events all the more because they are rare. 

I've been thinking a lot about Noro lately, and wondering why I like it so much, and why it inspires such strong opinions - both positive and negative - in others. Noro detractors often point to that random "ugly" color that they'd like to just cut out of the skein.  When you take that color out, though, the yarn loses much of its beauty and interest.  Noro yarns are inspired by nature - their colors are drawn from the palette of the environment which, like life, has brilliant and dull in equal measure. The dull makes us appreciate the bright even more.  The rich brown earth sets off your beautiful garden.  A black sandy beach makes the the Caribbean Sea that much more dazzling. That contrast is what Noro colors are about, and why I love them so much.  Here are some photos to show you what I mean. I'm sure you can think of hundreds more. If you do, please share it with me.  I look forward to seeing you at the Noro Trunk Show Sunday - 12-4

 

The sea
Silk Garden 08 and Sea Turtle
Spring Flowers
Silk Garden 87 and spring flowers
Autumn
84 all
the power of a volcano!
341 and the volcano
an azalea garden
355 all
a glorious sunset
357 all
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Out of your control

Out of your control

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.  We're ready to hit a fast ball, and hit it hard, so when that curve ball comes and smacks us in the face, we go down hard.  You probably remember the curve ball that hit my son, Johnny four years or so ago when a traumatic elbow injury and surgery derailed his plans for a career as a Marine Corps officer.  It was devastating for him.  Looking over the smoking ruins of his plans he had to plot a new course to keep him on track to graduation and a successful future.  He had some missteps and false starts, but here he is now, graduated, interviewing for jobs, and excited about his new path.  In life there are no guarantees, and the only thing you can be sure of is that you can't really be sure of anything.  You can only be ready and try to find the positive in whatever life presents you. 

That's a hard concept for most of us.  We like things the way we like them; we want things to go as planned, and when they don't we get irritated.  Even little things.  I am reminded that the unpredictability of Noro is one of the things its detractors mention and point to as justification for their dislike of it.  "There's a knot in the yarn in the middle of the skein at a different color!"  True.  There often is, and it can be frustrating. But that's life.   I don't mean in any way to sound cavalier, but the more vibrant a thing is, the more impossible it is to control.  And the more exciting it is.  The unexpected can turn out wonderfully, and we have to embrace it.  While that idea is hard for many westerners, most eastern philosophies are perfectly comfortable with it.  The Tao - that concept of the nameless, unknowable, ever-changing force of the universe - is, I believe, part of what makes Noro so addictive for those of us who love it.  Noro yarn is a flowing river, a fading sunset, an ephemeral blossom.  If you can, for a moment, relax into the yarn.  Let the beauty of the colors wash over your knitting and go where they will.  Enjoy the morphing colors and textures.  They might take, at some point, a random turn, and lead you to a new place.  Different from what you expected, but joyful and every bit as nice. 

Even if you're not a Noro lover (yet!) join us Sunday for an amazing trunk show - the largest collection of Noro garments outside of their US headquarters in New York.  It's a rare and special treat.  I look forward to seeing you then.  You are always welcome here.

Back to the 17 October 2017 newsletter

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Noshes with Noro - Noro Event 2017

Noshes with Noro - Noro Event 2017

October is traditionally Noro month at Crazy for Ewe, so mark your calendar for Sunday, October 22 for "Noshes with Noro" from noon to 4 pm.

I'm super excited this year because the folks who distribute Noro in the US have a new staff member, Gina, whose job is coordinating trunk shows.  You know that I am all about trunk shows - there's nothing that quite compares with having the actual garment to see and touch and try on.  Although they invest in good photography, no picture can really do justice to the colors and textures that are Noro.  You'll have a chance to see the largest Noro Trunk show ever with dozens of their most beautiful samples from the Knit Noro Accessorie books, Noro Lace, the Silk Garden Anniversary book, and more. 

We've been working with Gina for months and months on which garments we want, which are available, and when.   We have quite a list from the wildly popular Noro Magazines too!  Plus, after 13 years of carrying and loving Noro, Ginni, Mary, and I probably have at least as many Noro garments in our wardrobe!

 Have a Noro sweater you're proud of? Bring it along and get 10% off your purchase at the trunk show. 

Light refreshments will served, and wine will be available for purchase.

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The Next Noro Knit Blanket

The Next Noro Knit Blanket

Noro Mitered Crosses afghan promo

This time last year I was finishing up my Cavendish throw in Noro Silk Garden.  Then I started in right away on my 64 Crayons Blanket.  I had never been much of a blanket knitter, but somehow with Noro it was different.  Everything is, I suppose.  I love having those throws tossed on the couch as if begging me to come snuggle.  Now that it's getting cold, I am getting the urge again to knit a Noro blanket. 

My friend Dollyce on Ravelry did one that I've loved for a long time.  From Kay Gardiner's book Mason Dixon Knitting, it's worked using mitered squares in various colors of Noro with borders of creamy Silk Garden Solo in between.  It's so beautiful.  Here's a shot of her afthan - it's been favorited some 2300 times.

No wonder, huh?  It's spectacular to behold, but it's also terrific to knit.  

Here are my top 7 reasons for loving this pattern:

  1. You get to use whatever colors of Noro you like
  2. It's modular, so you can take it with you and work it whenever you have five minutes
  3. It's a simple pattern that you can easily memorize so it's very relaxing
  4. Each square has its own completion reward - you get that little thrill each time you do a square
  5. You work a double decrease every other row, so the knitting accelerates as you go
  6. You pick up and knit each color, rather than seaming each little square.
  7. It's totally spectacular, and you will be so proud to say, yeah, I made that!

I'm going to get started on it this Saturday, November 5th.  Come join me! We'll start at 2, but come a little early so you can pick out the colors you like.  If choosing colors is hard for you, no worries -- I'll help -- that's my favorite part!  Can't wait to get my colors going --I'm super jazzed!  See you then!

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Noro Show and Share Brunch

Noro Show and Share Brunch

Every year about this time I get anxious for the colors  Yes, of course, the trees, but mainly, it's the Noro I'm waiting for.  There's nothing like it.  Nothing.  I always worry - maybe it won't be so fabulous this year.  Maybe the new colors won't really speak to me.  Maybe the old colors are boring.  And then it arrives and the colors wash over the shop - bags and bags of glorious shades. Unexpected color combinations that make me swoon and dream of all the dazzling things I want to knit with them.

Not everyone gets Noro, and that's okay. It isn't for everyone.  But for those of us who understand and embrace its aesthetic, this time of year is the most glorious.  One customer, Aimee, who's as addicted as I am said, "Noro sweaters knit up so fast.  I don't know why, but the do."  I know why.  It's the colors.  They're compelling. Just one more row so you can get to the intense shade that was the reason you chose that colorway.  Knitting with Noro is thrilling

There's an energy to Noro yarns.  Certainly the interplay of colors are part of it, but there's an earthy aspect to the yarns that gives them vitality.  They haven't been worked into perfect smoothness with processing or chemicals, but rather retain the look and feel of the materials that went into them.  You can tell that Kureyon is made of wool.  It's bouncy and retains much of the natural crimp of its fiber.  It's more loosely spun than most other fibers, giving it an organic appeal.  Silk Garden retains visible strands of silk and mohair alongside the wool.  The three fibers take the dye differently giving Silk Garden a complex depth of color you won't find in any other brand of yarn.  Plenty of companies have tried to duplicate their appeal, and no one does it like Noro.

If you're a Noro devotee, or would like to be, please join us for a show and share brunch Saturday, October 22nd from 10 am to 1 pm.  Bring any and all of your favorite Noro projects and see what fabulous things other Noro lovers have made.  Get inspired for your next Noro projects and enjoy 10% off all Noro yarn that day!  It's going to be a fabulous and fun Noro celebration.  

I look forward to seeing you at the brunch and around the table. You are always welcome here.   ~Ellen

Back to 11 October 2016 Newsletter

 

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July First Friday Project

July First Friday Project

It's First Friday this week, and we have a great project planned for you.  This beautiful wrap in Noro Tokonatsu is part shawl, part capelet, and totally fabulous. 

Noro Tokonatsu Lace edge Shawl from Noro Magazine Issue 8

 

Noro Tokonatsu Wrap

It's just what you need to keep your shoulders covered in those frosty, over-air-conditioned spaces we brave all summer - the grocery store, the movie theater, and most restaurants.  It's even a nice way to keep the blazing sun of your shoulders when you're out and about.  The clever use of two increase points makes this shawl look like a trendy capelet and keeps it on your shoulders without any fiddling or fussing as you go about your busy life, so you look and feel relaxed, comfortable, and pulled together. 

Noro Tokonatsu wrap on model

The shawl features a simple lace edging that's modern looking and easy to knit.  It takes just 3 skeins of Tokonatsu, so it's a fun and quick project.  Come see how beautifully soft and wearable it is. We have lots of colors, but they're going to go quickly, so come choose your favorite and get started with us First Friday. 

Can't make it into the shop?  Order the kit on-line here and we'll pop it in the mail to you.  Depending on where you are, you should have it in a day or two, so you won't miss out on the First Friday fun!

 

 

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Soft delicious....Noro

Soft delicious....Noro

There's a beautiful Noro yarn on the shelf unlike any Noro yarn you've seen - or touched.  Soft and silky, it's a lightly spun blend of cotton, silk, and viscose - and it doesn't stripe.  What kind of world is it where we have a solid color Noro that feels as nice as it looks?  A lovely Tokonatsu world! 

 Tokonatsu first appears to be a solid color yarn, but as you look more closely, you see tiny flecks of coordinating colors - almost, but not quite a tweed.  The silk gives it lovely sheen, and the overall effect is subtle and beautiful. 

In the skein, it has a nice feel, but you need to knit with it to really appreciate what a lovely hand Tokonatsu has.  The knitted fabric is baby soft with subtleties of color and texture that make it perfect for next to the skin garments and accessories.  This drop stitch yoke tee from the Noro Magazine is really nice.

I think this one, by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, is spectacular.  Worked in one piece, it's sexy and very current looking.  I think I might have to start swatching for this today.

If you're more of an accessory type, the current Noro magazine features this gorgeous wrap in Tokonatsu. 

 

Mary whipped up our shop sample, and it's been super popular.  Takes just three skeins, and is the perfect thing for cool evenings and over-air-conditioned days.  It's generously sized and has a straight edge at the back, so it sits beautifully on your shoulders and stays there.  You can also wear it like this!

Tokonatsu will please Noro lovers and non-Noro lovers alike.  Just come see the sample and touch the yarn.  You'll be enchanted. 

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