Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yarn Yummies

I leave tomorrow morning for TNNA (The National Needlearts Assoc) to buy more yarn, goodies and such. This summer it is held in Columbus OH and let me just say there is no easy route from Atlanta to there. The first couple of flights had me all over the globe - some flights taking as long as 6-7 hours from ATL to Columbus. Finally found one that connects in Detroit but the connecting flight has only 35 minutes between so it'll be tight! I'll make it somehow sometime though.

Some yarn yummies arrived today. A new lineup for us - Wooly Boully hand dyed sock yarn. I happened upon Jenny 's yarn and it is glorious. 80% superwash Merino, 20% nylon with a generous 440 yards per skein. I will be profiling Jenny and her yarns when I return but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek of just a few of the colors we ordered...

Ya'll have a great weekend. All orders we received this evening have been postmarked and are at the Post Office. Your orders this weekend will not be able to ship until Monday evening. I will have limited access to my email but will return all when I get home.

As I sign out, a big Happy 1st Anniversary to my son Chris and Cheryl on June 3rd.!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

3 Peas in a Pod

I just finished the Peas in a Pod hat by KidKnits which we have available in kit form. Fun, fast not to mention adorable. This is the second hat I have knit from KidKnits and I really like them. I am now working on number 3.

No, I am not nesting... merely making samples for Marketplace in the fall. So at the rate I am going I think I'll get them all done. Made with Peaches N Creme yarn, it is so soft and also offered in 2 sizes. This is the toddler size.

Now let's talk about peas for a minute. I love vegetables of almost any variety ... except peas. I dislike them so much that I was never able to feed them to my 2 babies. Green beans, lima beans, black beans, red beans, pink beans, etc. love them all... except green peas. I do not know to this day whether my kids have ever tasted them on their own. I have not asked. Weird, I know.

When I was 3 months old, my momma called my Aunt Ruby (who was a ob/gyn/pediatric nurse) and told her that I was spitting out green peas (no -not pea soup like a particular movie ) . My Aunt Ruby told her that was impossible - babies don't have taste buds.

Just curious, is there a food that you absolutely detest... by that I mean ... like me, can't even look at? I would love to hear from you if so. Leave a comment or drop me a line.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Princess Knits ... or plays with yarn

My daughter sent me these adorable photos of Cleo, short for Cleopatra, who loves to have yarn wrapped around her. Strange, but adorable... Stephanie says she poses and I believe it! She is a princess... spoiled rotten...

Hope all had a safe and fun Memorial weekend. We did. The Yarn Grove had a great sale and it was fun. Actually *is* fun because as I write this it is still going on...

And in the mail on Saturday came the most gorgeous piece of jewelry I have encountered in some time. It is the Celtic Broach from Celtic Swan Forge. Each broach is hand forged from sterling silver. Go to their website and read all about it. It took about 3 weeks. The one I bought is the lightweight version. They are called Celtic Broaches on her website. They have many other items as well... We will be searching for lace yarn while at TNNA so stay tuned.

I'm ponderin' the Celtic Swan DPNs. 6" size 1's sterling silver sound good to me. It just might be one set that my Junior cannot sink his teeth in. I'm embarassed to say just how many dpns he has snagged from me. Okay, the phone rings, I jump up to answer it, the oven timer is buzzing, etc. etc. and he snags the bamboo sticks! Oh well, confession time - he has destroyed 3 sets of 1s and 1 set of 0s. Yes I have learned. Finally. No one knew this until now...
And I'm dreaming up a contest so check back soon!

Friday, May 25, 2007

M R Ducks!

My daughter has babies! 12 to be exact. There is a little pond outside her condo porch and all of a sudden last week, 12 ducks showed up. She could not figure out where they came from although there are 2 mallard ducks who reside there. Maybe they were their babies? Regardless, everytime for a week, she stepped foot outside, they came quacking up to her. Precious little things. Well, Wed. night she was feeding them, and a voice from afar said to her, "are you feeding my ducks?". Stephanie said, No, sir, I'm feeding *my* ducks. He said, those are mine and I'm going tell you the story...

He found these 13 (now 12) itty bitties behind a bank in a pond and their momma had been killed. He piled all of them in a box, brought them to his condo bathtub, raised them until they were strong enough to go to the pond. That's how they got there. He told her they are Muscovy Ducks. The one little fella fell in the mud and is covered in it! Too cute.

It reminds me of an old joke - years ago - that circulated in my office. I only remember a little of it - it's a southern *twang* joke... Sorta went like this...

M aren't ducks

M R 2

M R not



M R Ducks ! (it was funnier back when and probably would be if I could remember the whole *thang*)

Off the needles! A new indie dyer, Cheryl B - of Cheryl B Design Studios . Cheryl sent me a very large skein of hand dyed Louet sock yarn. Gorgeous stuff ... and here is the pair of socks I just finished. Yum ... She is one talented fiber artist ...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I've been trying to think of some fun 2 hours classes I can teach at Hancock this summer that don't require expert sewing skills. I don't remember when I got the idea for these espadrilles, but I know they were inspired by a knitting pattern. All good things come from yarn! I whipped up template, cut, stitched, snipped, glued...and voila! The base is a rubber flip flop and the fabric is a vintage linen. I think this will be a fun summer class for students of all ages!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lamb's ears

I find great joy and peace in nature. I wanted to share my Lamb's Ear with you but I only wish you could feel it. It truly feels like a lamb's ear. For those of you who have never felt it, check it out at your local nursery. I brought this plant with me from our old house 2 years ago and it is thriving.
It multiplies, blooms gorgeous purple stalk flowers and the bees love it. But best of all, it stays this way throughout winter. Okay, maybe without the flowers of course, but the ears do well - at least here in Georgia. It is a happy plant.
Yes, I talk to nature. And for the Lamb's Ear, I'm thinking.... if I talk really sweet to it daily ... it just might grow yarn? I mean, I am The Yarn Grove. Comments? Suggestions? No, I have not lost my mind... (kids, no comments please).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sewing Contest...and Conquest!

Every year, The American Sewing Guild and Simplicity patterns host the ASG Creativity Contest. Simplicity chooses 8 or 9 patterns, and guild members submit garments made from the selections. I chose a cool "Built By Wendy" top and a Simplicity Retro pencil skirt, and created an outfit, drawing only from what I already had in my stash (which mostly came from thrift stores and yard sales!) Everything from the thread to the zipper, I pulled from the overflowing shelves in my craft area. The zipper was actually dated- 1963! The skirt is made entirely from two old pairs of jeans that haven't fit since 6 lbs ago. I had so much fun participating in the contest...though secretly I desperately want to win!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's a go... as in Logo

Wow, we have a logo. It has been a painful internal process for us here at The Yarn Grove. We've played with many different ideas but decided to hire a professional and let me just say, her style suits us to a *t*. Who is it? The ever talented artist herself, Cynthia of Hula-la Design Co . Cynthia is truly amazing and fun to work with. She is currently working on another project for us so stay tuned!
Big thanks to our whole *fandamily* who certainly helped in the character building of our logo. We had seen 4 prelims and while we liked them all, we took all feedback and decided to build on this one. When I heard the words, Mom - that is *so* you I knew we were on track.
Cynthia was spot on! We did not give her a lot to work with and asked for her ideas as well. Did I mention that she is an incredible, talented artist? Did I also mention she made it very easy?
Why do you not see it on our current website? Because we are building a new one and will launch it there... You will begin to see it today in ads on KR and other spots.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Graphic Knits

Every Friday night, Chris and I go on a "date"- out to dinner, watch a movie, wander through a book store. This weekend, we cashed in some left over Christmas gift cards at Barnes and Noble. I'd been saving mine for just the right treasure- and on Friday, I found it!!!

Hip, Graphic Knits by Rochelle Bourgault and Lisa Evans gives instruction on how to incorporate graphics into your knitting, or onto purchased knits. They even tell you how you create your own graph from a photo or illustration. There are several patterns, as well as a gallery of graphs you can use on a whim. My favorites include, the Eiffel Tower, a peacock, and Audrey Hepburn's face.

I'm considering putting this sophisticated portrait of Spottie on a sweater. Thoughts?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monica - she's finished .

I finished sewing up the straps, added just a little "flower" on the front edge and it is done. I love this O~Wool Balance. Not only because it is organic but because it knits beautifully. This pattern was one from Spring 07. It will go in our show... We just got more colors into our shop in Balance and we will be adding new colors in the Classic in the Fall when available.

OTN - Jaywalkers in a brand new dyer whose base yarn is soooo scrumptous. More on that soon when I have enough knit to show you. A re-stock of Cookie A bodacious sock patterns and I almost forget, this morning I added more colors of Louet that had been on backorder...

Debby's gone. Yep, she flew the coop this morning. Out west visiting one of her 3 daughters and family. So chickadees, it's just me! Woohoo... As long as I don't have to produce an ad for any magazine we're in, I'll be just fine...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Just what I need, another bag...

But how cool is this. Recycled from reclaimed and washed rice bags, which are quite colorful and interesting. The rice bags are from Vietnam and they are made in a Fair Trade environment in Cambodia. Simply delightful. I love unique items. I love those one of a kind, different, eclectic things ... Reminds me of myself! Check them out at The Yarn Grove .

On the knitting side - almost done with Monika from . The ever fabulous, Donna, whom I met through Noble Knitters, is a genius at finishing. I took my *two-piece* to our group on Wednesday night and she helped me seam it. Unbelievable. Noble Knitters is a group who meets Wednesday at our local Barnes & Noble. Such a fun, great group. I think I spent more time laughing than knitting but I did learn some great tricks from Donna. A big shout out to ya'll. Lots of laughs with Diana and Ellen too!

As for my Motorcycle Chica Gloves from IK, currently I am thinking some very bodacious gardening gloves would work just fine for my new cycle (whenever). Seems as though I started on the *right* glove but as I am finishing it up, it's actually the left one. I have no idea what the hell I did. I did get a chuckle out of it though.

Speaking of Junior, here's a photo of him from the groomer the other day. Remember my naked dog walkin' ? Well, I requested a mini-groom so they did not shave him. He came out wearing a Motorsport bandana. I've decided I will make a quilt for him out of all the bandanas I save from his grooms... He is my baby, *broken ear* and all... We love him just the same...
He now has graduated from his *crib* (my mom's words) to our bed. Yep, we bought a gigantic bed. A king size. And he is now right there. As for Lucy - she is content in her own bed right beside us and Wooley Bully - well he jumps up there all the time...

I remind my kids daily that once a mom, always a mom. Yesterday, my daughter was reminded to wear sunscreen. I don't care if she's 28. I'm still her mom. I heard a gentle *sigh* and I smiled to myself. But more importantly, they know they are loved. And that goes for my 4-legged kids too. Wooley Bully (my now 24# cat), Lucy (our 13 yo lab) and Junior (my juvenile pup). Happy mom's day to all you mom's of kids and various legged creatures. Enjoy the day... Sending my hugs to you all ...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gone Fuzzy

When people find out you know how to sew, they'll ask you to make all kinds of things. Pictured here is a lion puppet. Yep, a poly-stuffed, moving mouth, lion puppet. Well, she's actually a lioness. Her partner doesn't have a body yet. She's modeling the micro shrug I just finished for myself. Its little, but it adds just enough color to a boring tank top. (Oh, by the way, I dyed the yarn myself!!)

I just started on a red tank top. Little you won't see it for a while!!!!

A *two- piece* dress and some socks

I'm done with the little O~Wool(tm) Balance dress I knit from the Monica pattern at . In its current state of affairs, it is a *two-piece* dress. I have not sewn the front and back together but will soon. The socks in the photo are still the Neopolitan flavor from Woolley Boulley yarns that we have on order for you. Well, not just for *you* per se, me too! I love this yarn... Not sure when it will arrive but will certainly let ya'll know... Ya gotta try it...

I cast on a new project last night. It is the Motorcycle Chica Gloves from IK Summer issue. I am doing mine in Nature's Palette Hydrangea. So far, looking good... Now all I need is a motorcycle. Oh yeah, I could just see me on one, flapping in the breeze. Of course, I'd love a Harley. Maybe an orange one for Clemson University of course. Hmmm, I hope my hubb is reading this. He probably wouldn't go for the orange but maybe ? I've already got my helmet designed in my head. Hell, what am I saying? When I was growing up, my parents only gave me one roller skate for fear of major injury.

Here's an admission. I cannot ride a bicycle that has gears on it. I have an old Schwinn - with the basket on the front and a bell, of course so I can *honk* everyone out of my way. When my hubb and I were dating, he bought me a "mountain bike" for Christmas one year. It was a fan-dam-ulous shiny bike but I couldn't ride it. Never could figure out the gears. Now I know what you're thinkin' - I learned to drive on a 3-speed (yes 3-speed) car and have almost always driven stick shift vehicles. But on a gear bicycle, my feet just spin and spin. ( How did I go off on this subject? must be my sinuses...)

Back to IK - Summer issue - great stuff in it. Should be on your local newsstand now. I love knitting gloves. Probably the most fun ones I have knit to date are the Breakfast at Cafe' du Monde gloves from Hand Jive Knits. Great gloves... Of course I know where you can buy the pattern ... hehehe ... at The Yarn Grove !

Friday, May 04, 2007

O O O - Organic !

I've been longing to knit up something with the new O-wool Balance from the fabulous Vermont Organic Fiber Company and I decided to knit up Monica from Spring '07. It is an adorable little dress / tank top in several different sizes. After much perplexing, I decided to do the body in Natural and the ruffle in Periodot, a very soft green. Finished the front - over halfway done with the back.

O-Wool's Balance yarn is 50% organic wool, 50% organic cotton, all certified of course. For those of you who have never knit with organic, let me share some facts with you - directly from the *sheeps* mouth, Vermont Organic Fiber Company...

Certified Organic Wool Production Requirements

*Livestock must be fed 100% organically grown feed and forage

*Synthetic hormones and vaccinations are prohibited

*Synthetic pesticides on livestock and pastures are prohibited

*Genetic engineering is prohibited

Healthy livestock is promoted through good management

Certified Organic Cotton Production Requirements

*Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are prohibited

*Synthetic fertilizers are prohibited

*Toxic chemicals for defoliation are prohibited

*Genetically modified organisms are prohibited

*Healthy soil is promoted through crop rotation and nutrients

Organic Fiber Processing Requirements

*Organic fiber must be handled separately from non-organic

*Detergents for wool scouring shall be readily biodegradable

*Must practice appropriate treatment of waste water

*Oils used in spinning shall be of vegetable or animal origin

*All dyes must be free of heavy metals and aromatic amines

*Recyclable or readily biodegradable finishing materials are used

*Carbonizing fibers using acid baths is prohibited

*Organic facilities must practice structural pest management

Rest assured O-Wool(tm) Knitters are directly increasing acreage cared for under organic management and effectively contributing to a truly sustainable environment. On average, for every pound of organic wool produced, two acres of land are sustained under organic management. Feels good, doesn't it!

Why do I love O-Wool so much? Well .... see above. For all of our friends in the UnderCover Club, this is why we chose O-Wool Classic for your *cover*...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Knitting Green

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about ways that knitters incorporate the idea of recycling into their projects. I've found that knitters tend to be environmentally minded, so there are some pretty creative ideas floating around out there. Here are just a few green ideas:

~Support companies that use recycled silk, wool and other fibers in their yarn.

~Visit your favorite thrift store and pick up a few sweaters in colors or fibers you like. Then, unravel the sweaters and use the yarn for another project.

~Take a weekend to whip up a few dish cloths. Reusable clothes cut down on paper I've found that hot pink or lemmony yellow makes cleaning more fun!

~Cut fabric scraps into strips and use for a project.

~Here is a super cute pattern using recycled flip flops:

~Cut grocery bags into strips and knit a reusable tote:,2025,DIY_13768_3059465,00.html

~An empty plastic ice cream tub with a small hole in the lid is a great way to keep yarn balls from rolling around while you're working.

Unfortunately, I can't take any credit for these ideas. Please feel free post any other green tips ya'll know about. Together, we'll save the world one stitch at a time!!