News from Double Ewe - Issue 20

November 2008

Wow…it’s already November 3rd. October just flew by - it seems like I JUST sent out the October newsletter! And what a month it’s been. On the personal front, I got some awesome news from my son and daughter-in-law: I’m going to be a grandma! I can’t even tell you how excited I am!

The other news is: Double Ewe is two! We opened two years ago on November 1st, 2006. What a great two years it’s been. We’re planning a little “Double Ewe is Two/Fiberpalooza” thing later this month, but we’re still ironing out the details. You’ll be getting another note from me when it’s closer.

Last month, our Guest writer wrote about a number of knitting podcasts. It would have been the perfect opportunity to put a little plug out for one of our local podcasts: Knitter’s Wading Pool. Some of you may know Beth from the Baby Surprise Jacket class, and she puts out a very pleasant podcast to listen to. Check it out: www.knitterswadingpool.mypodcast.com

And finally, I wanted to put a little plug here for our newest open knitting time: Saturday mornings. It started out as the Great American Afghan Knit Along, and it’s kind of morphed into general open knitting. Some of us are still working on afghans, but other projects get worked on as well; so I thought it would be fun to just open it up to everyone. We start bright and early at 9 am, and we go until around noon-ish...or whenever I have a class starting. It’s a fun way to start off your weekend. Open knitting times are a great way to get away and work on some gift knitting.

In this issue:

  • New Stuff
  • Charitable Knitting: What we sent to Iowa
  • Guest Writer – The Comfort of Knitting
  • Book Review: Favorite Socks
  • Make a Wish List
  • November & December Activities

New Stuff

Brushed Suri from Frog Tree Yarns
I’ve been wanting to get this yarn for a while now, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a brushed suri alpaca in a fingering weight. Especially lovely for accessories. Soft and pretty.

Suri Merino from Plymouth yarns
While this yarn isn’t new to the shop, I wanted to mention it because I recently added a BUNCH of new colors – I really oomphed up my inventory – lots of solids and now handpaints as well. Suri Merino is a lovely worsted weight yarn, 55% suri alpaca and 45% extra fine merino wool at a great price: 50 grams (110 yards) just $5.70 for solids, $6.50 for handpaints.

Pattern: Kyler’s Kardigan from Cottage Creations
This is the newest pattern from Cottage Creations, and it’s a cute one. Sort of like a Wallaby, but it’s a cardigan, knit from top down, and it’s in garter stitch. Pattern goes all the way from kid-size 2 to adult XXL. It’s definitely on my list of “gotta knits”.

CocoKnits patterns
Now you can get CocoKnits in the shop (previously they were only available as a download). I especially love her slipper patterns: Malabrigo Loafers, Prairie Boots and Pleated Ballet Flats.

Shawl Pins & Buttons
Just in time for the holidays I’ve got some nice shawl pins in either ceramic or hammered copper, as well as some cool buttons in glass, ceramic, wood, bone, and buffalo horn. Great accents for bags, scarves and shawls, even slippers. (The buffalo buttons are great on the Prairie Boots in the shop.)

Ashford Knitter’s Looms
A great way to introduce yourself to weaving: compact, folding, easy to use rigid heddle looms. Currently I don’t have an inventory, but I’m able to order and get them pretty quickly. I got mine last week and spent the weekend playing with it. I may have kicked off a new obsession for myself! They come in two sizes: 12” and 20”. Oh my gosh…it’s so fun. Check mine out in the shop.

Charitable Neighbors

Iowa Flood Victim Relief
For the past couple of months, in response to a request from Cottage Creations, we collected items for folks impacted by the flooding in Iowa. All the items have been delivered, and I just wanted to share the amazing totals we sent:
Hats: 8
Scarves: 39
Dishcloths: 17
Slippers: 1
Blankets/Afghans: 11
Mittens: 29
Shawls: 1
Sweaters: 1
Socks: 8
Booties: 2
Isn’t that just incredible? Many thanks to everyone who participated!

Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish…

Before I had a yarn shop, I remember the only things I really wanted were fiber related: needles, yarn, books, swifts, ball winders…I was a little obsessed, and I’m sure a few of you are the same way. ;-) So, I thought it would be a good idea to offer a Wish List service for the holiday season. Come fill out a wish list, and I’ll keep on file here at the shop. Then drop hints to your loved ones to come here. How cool is that! Plus, if you fill out your wish list early, I can make sure I have what you’re yearning for on hand. Needles, patterns, bags, notions, books, swifts, ball winders, blocking wires, gift certificates…and YARN. There must be something you want…

Guest Writer

The comfort of knitting….   by Amy Hawley
Like many of you, I have fond memories of learning how to knit. I am in good company when I say I learned from my grandmother. Sitting next to her on their couch at the farm, trying to perfect the simple knit stitch which was complicated a bit by me being left and her being right handed, but she never lost her patience. It was amazing as a young child to look at her weathered hands with the veins poking out from under her thin skin and the ease of how she handled the needles in her hands

Years passed and I never took to knitting, however, when my grandmother passed away one of the items I always cherished and displayed was her knitting needles. Three years ago, out of the blue, I decided I would try my hand at knitting. It is my belief my grandmother was sitting next to me, only this time it was on my couch, casting on with little trouble and the knit stitch rolling off the needles. Within two hours one fall afternoon, knitting became a passion. The click of the needles, the sense of accomplishment of completing a row and then a project was satisfying. I challenged myself with new classes and techniques to keep the knitting interesting.

The comforts I came to enjoy would be challenged eight weeks ago. It was 1:12am in the morning and I am driving down 35E going to my parent’s home. The sky is dark but I do not see much of it through my tears, focusing on getting there is all I can handle. Just twenty five minutes ago I found out my brother, Brad, and only sibling, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Two of the things I remember on the ride over, the song on my I-pod and wishing for my knitting.

Just the day before I was in the shop getting help from Kelly on how to knit a sock and signed up for the Hemlock Ring Blanket class. When I went to pick a color I just could not think of which color to use, who to make it for and just why I want to take a blanket class, knowing I have three projects to finish before Christmas. Kelly’s suggestion was to pick out a color I like and make it for myself. I rarely make anything for myself, picked bright red and was sure I just hadn’t found the person I was to make this for yet.

Twenty days after his death, I walked into the shop for the Hemlock Ring Class, my mind already made up that “this is not a good idea and I am not up for it”. The class begins with a crochet cast on that I just cannot get the hang of. I am seriously deciding to get up and walk out of class when a fellow classmate can see my struggle with the crochet hook and offers to get me started. She finishes up putting the cast on stitches and I am left with putting eight stitches on four needles. I have to literally do one stitch at a time with all four needles lying on the table. As I work each row it becomes more stable and I am better able to handle the four needles. The pattern is challenging but it keeps me focused on counting. There is playful banter amongst the class and for two hours I am doing something familiar. The next week I show up and hardly say a word for fear I would start crying. It is really a class with few questions but a lot of time to knit and the peacefulness of completing each row helps with the grief. The course ends with my doing the edging with a crochet hook and learning to do something I have never tried before.

One of the cards I have received over the last few weeks reads “Have courage to travel where there is no path”. For me, I am on a new path, not one of my choosing without Brad, but a path that will always include a knitting project and the bright red Hemlock ring blanket that I made for myself.

In memory of my brother, Bradley Charles Boyle
By Amy Hawley

Book Review

Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave Press

Reviewed by Sharon Knutson

I have only been knitting about a year or so. I gravitated towards socks because they were small and portable projects, my investment in money was relatively small as I could make something with one or maybe two skeins of yarn, and they just seemed fun to do. This was the first book of knitting patterns I bought. Since I was new to knitting, I had not seen the patterns in the Interweave magazine so they were all new to me. The designs are varied in style and ability level. Some were easy for beginners like me, but I could also see more difficult designs I wanted to try as I became more skilled in my knitting.

One of the best parts of the book is its design. The spiral binding ensures the book will stay neat and usable for a long time. I wish more publishers realized this and made the same accommodations for us.

Another good feature is at the back of the book where there are diagrams and explanations for abbreviations used in patterns, stitch patterns, how to kitchener the toes (the clearest directions I have found). All the things new knitters want at their finger tips.

I have used this book extensively over the last year, made at least 5 pairs of socks and have more in my queue.

Overall, the book is well worth paying for and having in your personal library. I often get books from the library to use just for one or two ideas, this book is worth spending money that I would normally use to get more yarn.

November & December Activities

While we’ve pared down our class list during the busy holiday season, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things going on at Double Ewe! Please call ahead and register for activities marked with an asterisk.

Knitter’s Choice
Ongoing: Tuesday mornings 10:30 – 12:30 -or- Thursday evenings 6:30 – 8:30
Price: Pay as you go for $10.00 per class session, or $48/6 session punchcard
Instructor: Kelly
Description: This is an ongoing class; jump in whenever you want! Knitter’s Choice is just that - YOUR choice: you pick the project, we provide the support. Even if you’ve never knit before, we can teach you! Mittens? Socks? Lace? A sweater? Knit what YOU want, but if you get stuck, don't worry, we can guide you along the way. This is a great option if you want to take a class with a friend, but you knit at different levels. Come to just one or all of the classes – knitter’s choice.

Flutter Scarf (Instructor: Kerri)
3 weeks: November 17, December 1sts & 8th (no class November 24th), 6:30 – 8:30
Price: $35 plus materials (pattern included in class fee)
Description: With a simple lace pattern which is easy to memorize and easy to work, you can knit this lovely scarf from Mimknits in fingering or lace weight yarn. It’d make a beautiful gift for someone on your list, or for yourself. We have a sample at the shop knit up in Misty Alpaca fingering; beautiful in either a solid color or a handpainted yarn.
Supplies: about 440 yards laceweight or fingering weight yarn; needles depend on yarn choice. Pattern is included in class fee.

Knitter’s Help (Instructor: Kerri)
December 15th & 22nd, 6:30 – 8:30
Price: $10 per week – come just one week or both
Description: It’s holiday crunch time! Last minute gifts to wrap up but you’re stuck on the pattern? Need time away from the recipient to knit? Let Kerri help you out! With her knitting expertise and some dedicated knitting time, you’ll be able to wrap up those gifts just in the nick of time!

Knitting with Ewe – free, no-strings-attached open knitting
Join us for a fun social time while working on whatever you want. No registration required – just show up. We now have three times each week you can join us:

Tuesday evenings: 6:30 – 9:30
Friday afternoons: 1:30 – 4:30
Saturday mornings: 9:00 – 12:00

Mother Bear Project
The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit bears. Join us as we knit bears for Mother Bear Project – we get together twice a month. We have yarn available, so you’ll just need to bring your size 7 needles. No registration required – just show up.
When: The first and third Thursday each month, from 2:30 - 5:00
This month’s dates: Thursdays, November 6th & 20th
Cost: Coming to our group is free. However, we need to contribute $3.00 to The Mother Bear Project for each donated bear. The $3.00 goes directly to Mother Bear Project, where it goes directly into shipping the bears air-mail through the US Postal Service and taxes and duty on the receiving end in Africa. For more information plus some cute pictures of kids with their bears, visit: www.motherbearproject.org

*To register for classes: stop in, send an email to kelly@double-ewe-yarn.com, or call 763-780-2465. If you need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible.

Private group classes: If you and a few friends are interested on one of our classes, we can set up a private class for you that fits your schedules.

Also fun for Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, 4H-ers, Homeschool groups, etc!

Private individual lessons: If you’d like to schedule a one-on-one lesson, just ask!

Hours

Tuesday 10 am - 9 pm
Wednesday Noon – 8pm
Thursday 10 am - 8 pm
Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm
Sun-Monday Closed

Once again, I want to thank y'all for your support!

Kelly Judson

Double Ewe Yarn Shop
9201 Lexington Ave N #5B
Circle Pines, MN 55014
763.780.2465
www.double-ewe-yarn.com