Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Issue Preview, Yarn Crawl Scavenger Hunt!

As Val is getting ready to send things off to the printer, I've been able to sneak a few pictures off her desk long enough to upload them here. These designs are all by Margery Winter of Winterdesign for Filatura di Crosa. The Fall Issue has many more classic sweaters for Men, Women and Children, as well as trendy, eye-catching designs for the more daring. It will be available online October 5th and finding it's way to print subscriber's mailboxes the same week. Bookstores should have it on their stands the following week.

I also have an update from the NYC Yarn Crawl coming up on Columbus Day Weekend: they've added a Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Mason Dixon Knitting and Blue Sky Alpacas. Kay will stash a dishcloth in plain sight in each of the participating yarn stores. The first person to email a correct list of the exact placement of each dishcloth in every store to will win a Blue Sky Alpacas Knit Quilt Kit. 28 skeins of bulky alpaca/merino yarn to make a 45" x 66" quilt. That'll keep some keen-eyed knitter busy and warm for a while! I'm planning to prowl the yarn stores myself, taking pictures and meeting people. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Peek, Greenberry House review

The Fall knitting season is upon us, I've just got my first glimpse of the Fall issue and it's a beauty! The subscribers only designer interview and pattern for this issue is the incomparable Kaffe Fassett, and I've managed to sneak a picture of the pattern from Val's desk to show you here.

I've actually been doing a fair amount of lurking around the office, looking for interesting things to put up here while we wait for the Fall issue to be ready. Watch this space for more pictures and other goodies.

The NYC Yarn Crawl is getting closer. If you're going to be in the NYC area over Columbus Day Weekend (a beautiful time to be in NY) you should check it out. We have over a dozen yarn stores participating (some of them truly amazing, but I won't name names) where you can enter to win a gift basket with enough knitting goodies to keep you busy all winter.

And while we're on the subject of amazing yarn stores, I'd like to share one I found over the summer. I was driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped in the tiny town of Meadows of Dan Va, because I liked the name so much. For the record the Blue Ridge Parkway is strung with interesting names like beads in a lace shawl: Banner Elk, Peaks of Otter. It's like poetry on the map! In any case, dinner time was approaching and the farmer's market beckoned. On my way across the street I spotted a little shop with that dangerous word, YARN, on the window. So I stuck my head in the door long enough to interrupt the knitting group and know that I needed to come back the next day for a longer visit.

I love to visit local yarn shops when I'm traveling because they're always so individual in their selections, it's more like visiting a friend than shopping. Even when the yarns are more or less the same ones I can find at home, their arrangement in the store is usually so different, not to mention all the demonstration pieces on display, that I get new ideas just looking around. Whomever's in there is usually very friendly and I've gotten some great tips for other places to visit or eat locally from fellow knitters. No online experience can really come close. So when I looked in the door, I had expected a yarn shop with an assortment of yarn that reflected the sensibilities of the owner and the people who shop there.

But Greenberry House is a different animal entirely. Here Leslie Shelor has created a true gem of locality in her corner of the world. All the yarn and fiber is the work of local artisans and farmers from Western Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. It is an inspiring collection of fiber. Spinners will find everything from raw fleece to hand dyed roving ready for the wheel. Knitters and crocheters will find hand spun yarn in a glory of colors and weights. Leslie Shelor is a spinner herself, raising her own Angora rabbits whose fur she spins into lovely hanks of yarn. Because she is a fan of Bluegrass music all the colorways are named after Bluegrass songs.

I couldn't resist and came home with all there was of "Mary Ann" a seductive blend of Angora from her own rabbits, dyed in variegated purples and blues and plied with natural black Shetland wool. It will make something lovely when I find just the right pattern. In addition to a temptation of yarns she has fiber working tools from spinning wheels to knitting needles and crochet hooks along with needle cases, notions and almost anything else you are likely to need to play with your yarn.

Any knitter planning to leaf peep along the Blue Ridge this fall will be well rewarded by a trip to Greenberry House. And if you can't get to Meadows of Dan yourself, surf your browser on over to her website where you can learn more about the artisans and farmers she works with as well as buy yarn and spinning fibers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Please Stand By...

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