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Sparkly? It's only natural

I love sparkly things.  Everyone does, to one extent or another.  We're drawn to things that are sparkly, shimmery, and shiny, but why?  Is it a vain kind of "look at me" preference, or is it something deeper?  Turns out, the preference for sparkly things is in our nature.  In 2010 researchers conducted experiments in which they gave very young children a variety of plates, some shiny and some matte.   To an overwhelming degree, the children preferred the shiny plates and put these plates to their mouths significantly more frequently than they did the matte plates.  The researchers believe that the appeal of shiny and sparkly things has to do with our primitive need for water, and that the research results " might characterize the precocious ability to recognize the glossy and sparkling features of water long before this information is useful later in development. "  You can read the entire report here.

What, if anything, does this have to do with yarn?  Well, lots actually, particularly Stacy Charles Yarns.  These fibers have long been among my favorites because no one does sparkly as well as Stacy Charles.  My favorite are Gioiello, Adele, and Ritratto - glistening strands of multicolored viscose, soft mohair and sparkling metallic thread. 

In the skein, they really catch your eye, but  it can be hard to visualize them in an entire garment.  At Tnna, Ginni, Mary and I had the opportunity to see the yarns worked up, and we loved them.  Stacy graciously offered us a trunk show of the best of these beautiful garments for us to share with you. 

We have the gorgeous poncho in Adele (at the top) which is our First Friday knit along, as well as other beautiful sweaters in their lovely new (not sparkly) yarn, Lena. 

So come see the yarns, try on the garments, and started on your own Adele poncho, because it is most glamorous (and easiest) thing you'll knit all year.  Don't let the holidays to catch you without something new and sparkly to wear!

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That bad boyfriend

Have you ever had that boyfriend? You know the one - you have such a great time together and you can't wait to see him again, only you don't. He doesn't call. Then he does. You make plans. He's late. You're sure he's not coming, and if you do ever see him again you're going to slap him. No one treats you like that. Five minutes later he's at your door looking amazing. Just the sight of him, and your resolve crumbles. He gathers you close and kisses you hair - oh he's missed you, you're so beautiful, and damn if he doesn't smell so good. Yeah. There you go again. Just close your eyes and go with it.

That's how I felt when walked into the Malabrigo booth at TNNA. The yarn is so gorgeous. Rich intense colors and sumptuously hand. I know they don't deliver on time. I know they are always out of everything, but...OK, I am weak, and we placed an order. Everything is in stock, they said. We'll ship right away they said. That was May. Finally I get an email that yarn is on its way. I'm pretty torqued, but at least I'm not stood up.

The Mechita arrived Thursday. Honestly, I am weak in the knees. is even more beautiful than I remember. It's 420+ yards of hand-dyed merino single ply, and it is gorgeous. Is it everything I ordered? Of course not. Do they know when the rest will arrive? Not a clue. But these colors are here now, they won't be here long, and I don't know when they will be back. Choose your colors and figure out what to do with it later. It doesn't really matter - a few skeins of Mechita deserve a place in your stash. So if you want some, better drop everything and get in here.

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here.

Ellen

Back to 7 July 2015 Newsletter

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This weekend! Blue Heron!

It's that time of year again -- Blue Heron Yarn 3rd annual Trunk Show is this Friday and Saturday.  I swear this event gets bigger and more fun every year!  We'll showcase their flagship yarn, Rayon Metallic, but we'll also have lots of my favorite from last year, Soft Twist Rayon.  Both are 100% rayon, but that's where the difference ends.  Rayon Metallic is silky with a tiny filament sparkling throughout - very glam and sexy.  Think Marilyn Monroe in yarn form.  Like any Hollywood starlet, all it really wants to do is lounge around and be admired.  And everyone does, because Rayon Metallic is mesmerizing.  You just can't help yourself.  Step out with this beauty, and people stare.  Even non-knitters will ask you about your garment. 

Soft Twist Rayon is the more serious, hardworking sister.  Also beautiful, but with a more subtle shimmer.  Without the sparkle, you focus more on the colors and the lovely texture of this yarn.  It will be happy showcased in a special wrap, but it's also an excellent choice for a year round sweater.  Soft Twist Rayon would be comfortable under your jacket at work, and make a smooth transition to an evening out. 

Both fibers are best worked in a project that plays to their strengths - knit something that takes advantage of the beautiful fluid fabric they create - Something like Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier that drapes and takes advantage of how Blue Heron yarns flow.

 Chance of Showers

Or Louisa by CocoKnits that falls in graceful points

 

Whether you choose Blue Heron for a sweater or a wrap, you will love it because their yarns are really special, and whatever you make will be special too.  

Back to 16 July Newsletter

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Summer sun -- summer colors

We all know what summer colors are - they're bright, and juicy -- like the fruits of the season.  We've been stocking the shelves with summer yarns since February.  I love brilliant colors, but I have to admit,  at first all those summer colors seemed a little intense.  In early spring, the sun is low in the sky, and the light it shines is soft and gentle.  That's why spring colors are soft pastels.  Mother Nature knows this and paints the world with the pale muted palette of Lenten Roses. 

Come summer, though, the sun is a completely different animal.  Even now in early May, the sun is hot and bright, shining with nearly full intensity as we approach the summer solstice in just 6 weeks.  Those delicate spring shades seem a little drab against the summer sun.  Areas near the equator - Central and South America, Africa, and South Asia - where the sun shines at straight down all year long, are famous for bright red, orange, and yellows.  Softer tones would be completely washed out.  In very northern areas like Great Britain the sun's rays hit the earth at a greater angle, making the light much less intense, even in summer time.  The colors of those areas, affectionately referred to in the shop as "Rowan colors," are muted and soft. 

Here in the Mid-Atlantic region, our summer sun is even more intense than in the equatorial regions.  We need those bright colors to stand up to the light.  We crave those hot colors that symbolize sun and sand and surf.  Even if we spend our days inside at home or in the office, sunny colors are happy.  They're summer in a skein, and just knitting with them will make you as happy as a day at the beach.

Come see the brilliant colors of Tandem, Hempathy, Zooey, Modern Cotton, and Tandem.  Knit them up now to wear all summer!

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Blue Heron Yarns

I really love Blue Heron Yarns. Their fibers are beautiful and unusual, so your project looks special with very minimal effort. Who doesn't love that! Rayon Metallic, with its gorgeous hand and shimmery metallic accent give a glam fabric that feels beautiful against the skin. Rayon loop, a charming boucle, makes a gorgeous textural fabric with a terrific sheen and drape. Their new chenille is the definition of luxury - it feels amazing and knits up like velvet - you just want to stroke all day.

Another thing I love about Blue Heron Yarns is their color. They are, first and foremost, a hand-dye company, and they really get it. The high rayon component allows the fibers to really drink up the dye, so the colors are very saturated, but their color sense is sophisticated - dark jewel tones and luminous pastels as well as bright, playful multi-colors that are fun and playful without being garish. Take a quick look at their yarns on my Pinterest board.

Blue Heron Yarns come in big, generous hanks, so even one gives you enough to make a big scarf. But who can get just one? Pick up several different colors of your favorite fiber, or choose several fibers in a few coordinating colorways and get creative with texture. A few hanks of Blue Heron Yarn in your stash is an inspiration and a treasure

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