News from Double Ewe - Issue 24

March 9, 2009

In these strange economic times, people are still knitting; perhaps even more than before. Even if you’re knitting with a luxury yarn, when you calculate the cost per hour spent blissfully knitting away, it’s a pretty inexpensive pastime. Way cheaper than going to a movie! What is it Elizabeth Zimmerman said? “Knit on, with confidence, through all crises.” Yup, she had it right.

I’ve noticed a lot of interest in learning to knit lately, probably because it’s such a great “hunker down” activity. So, I’m offering another Knitting 101 class in April. If you know anyone that wants to get started, let them know. The more knitters, the better!

This month, we’ve got a couple treats: a Guest Writer AND a Guest Poet! How cool is that?!

And finally, the spring yarn has started arriving. Yay!

In this issue:

  • New Stuff 
  • Guest Columnist: It’s Life Changing… by Michelle Brooks
  • Upcoming Events in the Twin Cities
  • Guest Poet: Bob Richards (Pat’s husband, the knitting widower)

New Stuff

Malabrigo Sock from Malabrigo Yarn
A lot of you have asked about this one: the newest addition to Malabrigo’s line-up of luscious yarns, and it’s just as gorgeous as all of the other ones. The kettle-dyed colors are outstanding, and it would make a beautiful scarf, shawl, or lightweight top as well as socks.

Heritage Paints from Cascade
We’ve carried Heritage in solid colors for a while, and now it’s available in some beautiful variegated colors! Super soft blend of 75% Merino Superwash and 25% Nylon is an absolutely great choice for your next socks or lace project.

Cotton Tencel from Cascade
This light-worsted yarn has a lovely sheen and comes in soft as well as vibrant colors. A 50/50 blend of pima cotton and Tencel. Tencel is made from wood pulp cellulose and drapes and feels like silk – that’s where the sheen comes from! Ideal for lightweight sweaters, tops and shawls or any dressy casuals.

220 Superwash from Cascade
Big, soft squishy balls of superwash wool. I’ve heard such good things about this yarn, I’m very excited to have it in the shop. Machine wash AND machine dry, 100% Peruvian Highland wool, tons of colors (I’ve started out with 25, but plan to add more as we go), generous 220 yard balls, and it wears very well. What’s not to be excited about?

Cotton Fine from Brown Sheep
This is a fingering weight blend of 80% cotton/20% wool. Perfect for summer tops, lace scarves or shawls. Right now I’m working on a little lacey top using size one and two needles. Sounds daunting, but it’s going faster than I ever thought it would, and it’s turning out just lovely!

Guest Columnist

It’s Life Changing….

By Michelle Brooks

At one point my life was so simple, less complicated. It was so easy to predict what each day would ring. It was easy to plan, easy to do. And then it all changed.

But let me start from the beginning. Like I said before, my life was so simple, so uncomplicated. My life was just knit knit knit. There was a lot of garter stitch, a little stockinette - if it was in the round. I tried hard to avoid those nasty purls. Back then I didn’t even know what I was doing was called, I just did it. There were lots of worsted weight acrylics: Red Heart, Benat and Caron. Occasionally venturing off the straight and narrow and using a tiny bit of Lion Brand – 80% acrylic, 20% wool. Wool - what was that about? I did manage to add some excitement to my garter stitch with an occasional stripe, but not much more than that. There were afghans, scarves and a few hats, over and over the same things, just with a little color change. Life was predictable, comfortable, the same. And then my life changed, changed forever.

Suddenly I found myself introduced to self stripping yarns, wool’s, silk blends, and cottons (Ty-Dy!). Sock yarn, fingering, DK weight, lace weight worsteds, and bulky’s. I was led into the world of Ravelry – an addiction that is a part of every day (several times a day I must confess). There have been sweaters, lace, socks, bears, mittens, gloves, shawls, will it never end?? Sigh.

I used to have a monogamous life, one project at a time. Get one thing done then start the next one, no UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) in my house. It was a just little something I did while sitting and watching TV - just in the evenings. That’s all nothing more, nothing more was needed, nothing more was known. But then it happened; now there are at least 3 – 5 projects going at a time. I have the projects (yes more than one) for TV watching in the evenings and late, late into the night. A project to work on while on the computer (aka: while lurking on Ravelry), a portable project – yes I know, I now KNIT IN PUBLIC. Shocking, to say the least, and I wanted more, MORE. I was lured into open knitting, people actually getting together for the purpose of knitting. People, who tempt you with their different projects and yarns, people who talk to you about - knitting. Everything is now about the knitting.

So my life has changed, changed in way I couldn’t have imagined a little over a year ago. It’s so hard to imagine that life any more. That simple life. That uncomplicated life. That life before.

What is it, this thing that you obsess over, this thing that draws you in and takes over your life? This life changer, this thing that broadened my horizons with new kinds of projects, that opened my eyes to new ideas, that helped fill up every nook and cranny of my life with yarn and patterns and needles and knitterly people, that made me want to do more than to just sit alone and knit, knit, knit. I have been liberated, I am free - there’s no putting this genie back in the bottle!!! And I don’t want to; I never will go back to that old life again. That old way of thinking. That old me.

What is it, it is Knitting. Not just two sticks and some string, not just knitting, but Needles and Fiber – Ahhhhh Knitting.

Each month, I like to feature a guest columnist. I'd love to see your personal essays, technique articles, and book reviews. Tell us about your visit to a woolen mill or to an alpaca farm. Share your personal knitting trials and successes. I’ve gotten great feedback about this feature, so write on! If you're interested in contributing, just email me at kelly@double-ewe-yarn.com. Don't be shy!

Upcoming Events in the Twin Cities

Shepherd’s Harvest
Minnesota’s largest sheep & wool festival!
Mother’s Day weekend, May 9 and 10 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.shepherdsharvestfestival.org.

Yarnover by Minnesota Knitter’s Guild
April 18th, 2009
For more information, visit www.knitters.org

Guest Poet

Pat shared this poem that her husband wrote with me, and I just had to share it with all of you. Poor Bob, sitting all alone. But the good news is Pat finished his sweater, and it IS big enough around!

by Bob Richards

Mittens are nice,
Sweaters are, too.
You get patterns for both
At Kelly’s Double Ewe.

Needles are clicking,
It’s a knitting boom
Exceeded only by chatter
From the back room.

Different yarns and patterns
And ideas abound,
I only hope my sweater
Is big enough around.

‘cause those long dark nights
Are cold without two,
I sit by myself
While you’re at the Double Ewe.

Other Things Going On

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

Charitable Knitters – Please note schedule change starting in March
This group started out as The Mother Bear Project, which is a great charity. We’ve decided to branch out to other charitable knitting projects, such as The Snuggles Project. You can read about both of these projects at their websites: snugglesproject.org and motherbearproject.org.   If you have a charity you’d like to share with us, come knit with us! No registration required – just show up.
When: The first and third Tuesdays each month, from 2:00 – 4:00.

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