Reading your knitting

This week in the newsletter, I encourage you to take the Reading Your Knitting class this weekend.  It is so empowering to truly understand not only what happens to your fabric, but why.  I am big into the why of things.  As a little girl, I always hated that ubiquitous adult rejoinder, “Because I said so!”  As if I wasn’t smart enough for the reason.  If a kid is smart enough to argue with you, she is smart enough to deserve an honest explanation.  Most knitting patterns don’t have room to explain the why of every direction, but assume a certain level of confidence.  As a new knitter, I followed patterns exactly as they were written – I didn’t know any better.  Good patterns helped develop my arsenal of effective techniques, and poor patterns showed me what not to do – after it was too late, of course.  What a painful and frustrating way to learn!  How I wish there had been a resource like Sally Melville’s The Knit Stitch and The Purl Stitch when I was learning.  I love Sally’s approach to knitting – she always tells you why!  Her books are a perfect marriage of pattern, teaching, and resource.  She gives you a terrific pattern, shows you all the techniques you’ll need to follow it, and explains how each thing you’re doing affects the outcome.

In our classes we use the same approach.  We focus on teaching you the skills you need, but also on why certain things are done certain ways.  This approach allows you to extrapolate and apply what you learn to a variety of situations.  We want to give you the confidence to decide that “Because I said so,”  is simply not a good enough reason, and the power to choose the path you like for the results you want.

Sound intriguing?  Here are the details about the class in La Plata and Leonardtown.  Hope to see you there.

Simply beautiful sweater

Several of our La Plata ladies are in love with a classic sweater by Sally Melville from her book, The Purl Stitch called the Simple Cardigan. I know, not a glamorous or exciting name, but like everything in Sally Melville’s books, it is exactly the kind of thing you want in your wardrobe.  Very wearable and comfortable, it’s a garment that fits into your life and makes you wonder what you ever wore before you knit it.  Here it is blue.

This sweater’s simple styling is enhanced by a beautiful pattern stitch that’s easy to do and makes a wonderfully plushy fabric.  Lynne swatched the pattern (actually the entire left front in miniature), in gorgeous Aurora 8.

The fabric is so beautiful and plushy, it made me remember why this is one of my favorite yarns.  I love the way the twist of this yarn makes even plain stockinette look interesting.

Knitting at the office?

Sure, why not?
Barbara Butterfield was in today admiring the new praying mantis yarn bowls.  We were talking about how she needed one for her office.  It needs to be filled with beautiful yarn and luxury needles.  It makes perfect sense.  The bowls are a piece of fine art that just happen to be useful.  Much better than the run of the mill office accoutrement.  And when are you more in need of the calming focus of knitting than during a stressful day at work?  Rather than running for a cup of coffee or some junk food, just close the door, pick up your luxury needles and work a few rows on a simple scarf in an indulgent fiber.  Before you know it, your mind will clear, you’ll relax, and you’ll be able to function better overall.  

Just try it and see if a few minutes of knitting at work doesn’t make you a calmer, more productive person.  I bet you’ll be amazed. 

News Flash!! Sweet New Sale Bin Bargains!

Okay, everybody, here’s some excellent news:

We’ve just refreshed the Sale Zone in both shops with some delicious bargains!
All remaining stock of The Fibre Company Acadia and Terra (alpaca, silk, and wool blends) are 40% off. We have terrific scarf and shawl patterns for this wonderfully textured and luxurious yarn.
The beautiful baby alpaca with subtle sparkle called Orielle is on sale for 40% off. We’ve got a sophisticated grey, a rich purple, and a fresh turquoise on the shelf in LaPlata. Helen Harrington just came in and got four skeins of the purple to make a Henslowe wrap for cozy shoulders however crazy the air conditioning may get at the movies, in your favorite restaurant, or at your desk.
If you’ve been eyeing some of those designs that call for a long-color-repeat fingering-weight yarn, you’ll want to check out Amitola. It’s a 50% wool, 50% silk single in super-wearable shades, with 273 yards per ball, and it’s 40% off.
Finally, the cuddly, washable Spud & Chloe Sweater, 50% cotton, 50% wool blend is on sale for 40% off. We’ve got some great colors, from brights to neutrals.
So come on in and check out the bargains! Ever since our big, big sale last May, we’ve been working hard to keep the Sale Zone fresh and appealing; but I have to say, this may be the best sale batch yet.
Don’t miss it.

Who Has the Best Customers EVER?

Check this out:

The multi-talented Amy DiMisa came across some adorable knitting-sheep fabric, and decided that it needed to be turned into a couple of even more adorable tote bags, and so she made them. With all kinds of special details, as you can see above, and beautiful workmanship that you’ll have to see in person to appreciate. And what did Amy DO with these fab bags after she finished them, you ask? She brought them to the La Plata shop as gifts for me and Ellen. How amazing is that?

And while we’re on the subject of wonderful customers, please let me acknowledge the incredible outpouring of sympathy and support that has come to me after the passing of my beloved dog Samantha. Lovely cards, thoughtful phone calls, kind and eloquent emails. One of our newest knitters even made a special trip to the shop last Saturday, because she was worried that I might be sitting at the table alone, missing my sweet pup. In fact, I had a shop full of dear knitting pals, all there to buoy my spirits and make sure I knew that they missed Samantha too.

Everybody who works for Crazy for Ewe knows that we have tremendously talented and generous customers. It’s not news. But I’m especially aware just now of the special gifts you all bring to us.

Thank you,