I'm super excited about the Aalta Yarn Trunk Show this Saturday! Christine Forester, owner of Aalta Yarns will be here to talk about the company and share with you her vision and some of her fabulous products. You already know Aalta Truth, the delicious blend of merino and baby alpaca. She's launching a line of Truth Hand-dyes that are just beautiful. She'll have some on hand that will be moreContinue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Welcome Sweater Weather! Fall fest is a celebration of comfy scarves, snuggly sweaters, and fabulous fall fibers - it's pumpkin spice and everything nice! Think Spring Fling, only cozier! The big news is that Crazy for Ewe is one of the very first shops to host the brand new Shibui Fall/Winter 2017 trunk show.
This collection really knocked me out - every thing in it is a wardrobe must-have! We ordered every single yarn featured, including their new fiber, Birch. Birch is a single-ply Extra Fine Merino that pairs beautifully with Cima, Lunar, Pebble, Silk Cloud, and more. On its own, it's a heavy fingering/light sport weight. Mixed with other fibers it's a nice dk - with Maai, it makes a gorgeous lightweight worsted fabric. The garments above are just a few of the designs you'll see at Fallfest - come take a look at the entire line - and the samples Ginni, Jenny, Mary, and I are making to have in the shop all season.
We also have beautiful new accessories from Lantern Moon in rich new colors, and a new crop of yarn bowls fresh out of the kiln.
This is a great opportunity to try out the new fibers from Berroco, Mirasol, Shibui, and Willow Tree Yarns - we have sweater quanitities of everything in stock with yarn tastings every hour. See a blocking demo with our new Cocoknits Blocking Set, and have a look at the brand new Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit.
We'll have pumpkin spice refreshments and door prizes all day long. Don't miss the fun!
Saturday, September 23rd - from 10-5
Also, be sure to stop by Home Elements next door for a taste of his new biscotti and flavored pecans (praline is my favorite!)
It's going to be a fabulous day!Continue reading
We are starting to receive the Prism Trunk Show peices and yarns. Laura Bryant, owner of Prism Yarns, has pulled together a fabulous selection of gorgeous new garments and supporting fibers, and I truly cannot wait to share them with you! Heck, I can't wait to get my hands on them myself!
You remember last year's trunk show, I'm sure, so when you think of Prism, it's probably Wild Stuff and Plume that come to mind. Prism does a terrific job with those splashy yarns, but they're really so much more. It's Laura's command of color that sets Prism apart from other hand-dye companies. Her gradient kits have rich and saturated colors throughout, moving from one shade to the next with incredible subtlety. Her semisolid colors are complex, and her variegated fibers are colorful without being garish.
Prism is the home of the most luxurious fibers the industry has to offer. Heavy on merino, cashmere, and silk, Prism yarns feel as good as they look. I am a huge fan of Merino Mia, a tightly twisted sport/dk weight yarn, and Saki, a hardworking sock yarn that combines luxury and durability. I have recently fallen in love with Petite Madison, a delicious fingering weight blend of merino, cashmere, and silk, and her dazzling sister, Radiant Petite Madison which is the same fiber with a subtle twinkle running through. My daughter, Elizabeth, just finished a lace-trimmed tank in the Radiant Petite, and it is gorgeous!
We'll have samples in these and other beautiful fibers for you to see this Friday - it will be a fun and glitzy event, so feel free to wear something a little sparkly! I look forward to seeing you at the Prism Trunk Show, in the shop, and around the table. You are always welcome here.Continue reading
Join us at Crazy for Ewe First Friday for the Prism Yarns Trunk Show!
This week kicks off the glitzy and glamorous holiday season. Festive events call for things a little more sparkly than you might wear other times of the year. A gorgeous wrap or glittery scarf is a great way to look and feel dressed up and ready for the season. Come see all the beautiful yarns and get started on your stunning accessory.Continue reading
We had a lovely evening last Thursday at the Shibui Trunk Show opening reception. With such special garments, we wanted the shop to look equally special. Duffy made two dramatic Ikebana arrangements, there was wine and sushi -- standing room only.
It really did look very elegant in the shop, and I think everyone had a great time. On an average day it's a little messy - there are projects on the table and knitting bags on the floor. The tools of our trade are out and in use as we teach and swatch and fix and block in the process of helping you knit beautiful things. I like this environment, but every now and then it's nice to tuck away the tools and focus instead on the beautiful end products. You know, be a little glam like Thursday night. One customer that evening came into the shop and said, "Wow - you clean up pretty good."
When we knit a sweater, it's kind of the same. You pull out this curled up strip of fabric that's been wadded up in your knitting bag. It doesn't look very special. Non-knitters look at your work in progress and politely ask what your are making. They seem interested, but honestly, most of them are silently thanking God your project is not intended for them. What do they know anyway?
We shouldn't be too hard on them, though. It's not easy to envision the end state of beauty we're working towards. You have to look past the stitches scrunched up on the needles, the curling fabric, and the strings hanging off everywhere. It's hard enough for a knitter, and darn near impossible for a non-knitter. Thank heavens for patterns with a beautiful photo of the finished item. We hold up the folded and crumpled pattern and say, "This. I am making this," thus reassuring our dubious neighbor (and possibly ourselves) that the wad of fabric emerging from our bag can, and in fact will, be something lovely.
Sometimes even with a picture, it's hard to imagine that your project is going to turn out. Especially if it's lace, like the Noro Mirai Crescent Shawl, which needs a good hard blocking to look its best. Or if you're playing with colors and stripes, in the Balmy KAL. Any time there are aspects of your own creativity that have yet to play out, it's scary. But it's going to turn out. It is. Please don't decide too soon that you hate it. Yes, there's an element of faith involved. It's like life. You do your best, and you make what seems like the right decision. Then you just have to trust in your choices and give your project a chance to become the beautiful thing you envision. When the stitches are bound off, the fabric blocked, and the ends woven in, your project will clean up more than pretty good - it will be fabulous.
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen
I can't believe TNNA was only about a month ago. So much has happened, and it's all good stuff. One of our prime mission objectives was to take the plunge into the fabulous world of Shibui, which we did. As I said in the last newsletter, I've spent a fair amount of time in the past kind of drooling over this line. It's such a beautiful aesthetic, with its clean lines and luxurious fibers, and now that we've committed, I couldn't be happier. Shibui is about forever sweaters. There is a very modern edge to their designs, but they remain timeless and elegant. Everyone who has seen the trunk show has commented on this aspect.
Mary and Ginni and I each fell for a different design from the fall line - Mary is in love with Truss, a flattering turtleneck tunic,
and Ginni picked Inscribe, an easy-fitting v-neck pullover.
I was all about Trace, this beautiful oversized pullover with ribbed trim at the sides and hem. Of course, this model is tiny tiny tiny, so there's a lot more ease in the garment on her than there will be on me, but I'm super excited about it anyway.
The original yarn for this design was a baby alpaca that has since been discontinued, and they've reworked the pattern for Maai. the original yarn was nice, but to be truthful, I'm really glad for the change. While Maai is also primarily baby alpaca, it's spun to have lots more bounce than the original yarn. That spin also makes Maai much lighter and easier to wear. It's a joy to knit, and my Addi Turbos glide through the stitches with no problem at all.
I've been working on Trace for a little over a month now, and am on the home stretch. I can honestly say that I'm even more in love with it than when I started. Although it's a large sweater, and I'm making the second size, it's going really fast. Just one last sleeve to knit.
Saturday I gave it a good steam blocking which flattened out the edges and accentuate the softness of the Maai against the crispness of the Pebble/Cima trim. Everything about this sweater is just lovely, and I can hardly wait to wear it. I may just turn the air conditioning down to 65 degrees or so, just so I can. Who could blame me?
The Shibui Trunk Show is here through the August 13th. Stop in and see it.Continue reading
The Ripple from Tahki Stacy Charles is coming next week. I cannot wait. You probably saw in last week's newsletter that we're doing a class on Remsen, a stunning twist front top that flatters every figure. Stacy and I were talking about Remsen, and he said that he would also pull together a trunk show of other garments featuring Ripple. I checked on Ravelry to see the garments he was sending, and they all looked nice.
It's really hard to capture the beauty of hand knits in a photograph. As I said, the garments on Ravelry looked nice. So, I was expecting nice. What arrived was so much more than nice. It was fabulous. I was blown away by how beautiful the garments in the trunk show actually are. The fabric you can create with Ripple is just amazing -- light and textural and lovely. I can see why Eileen Fisher bought it for her spring line too.
Here are a few highlights.
The Philadelphia Duster is a long open cardigan with a deep pleat in the back that gives it a very flattering silhouette.
Ginni and I both tried on and liked the Boston Pullover
This simple three quarter sleeved pullover has a contrasting stripe up the sleeve and at the neckline. Really smart and comfortable -- good length on both the body and the sleeve. I like our sample which is worked in the cream colored Ripple.
Another fun one is Post Card.
It's worked by picking up stitches log-cabin style, so you don't have to seam all those little pieces. It's a fun garment. We all agreed that maybe the sleeves could be a little longer, but a playful knit.
There are several others, but these are my favorites. Come see the garments - try them on pick up your favorite colors of Ripple before it's sold out again!Continue reading