Monday, June 29, 2009

How much Panda Silk Does it take... make a pair of Mock Cable Footies?

Just one ball! At least if you have a sort of average size woman's foot and knit at my gauge. (And no, I really don't know what my gauge was on these socks; don't tell!) What you see is what I had left when I finished my pair.

I had just one ball of "denim tones" Panda Silk and it was calling my name. I harassed Michelle for the pattern even before she had it written up. Now that it has been officially available for about a month, I finally got mine done! I love them!

But what's new at River Knits?
Well we are keeping the UPS man busier & busier these days as new goodies from TNNA begin to arrive!

I wanted to find something with a little sparkle while at TNNA but I wasn't looking for something over the top. What I found were two lovely yarns from Kraemer , a company that still spins its own yarn in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

The first new Kraemer yarn is Fountain Hill, a lofty acrylic/mohair blend that comes in both sparkly and matte versions. Would make a lovely wrap in many gauges.

The other new Kraemer yarn at River Knits is Sterling Silk & Silver, a very elegant fingering weight yarn that actually includes little bits of silver to give it very posh look. This beaded scarf and fingerless gloves set would look beautiful in Sterling.

Additionally we received several new pattern booklets from Berroco.
Norah Gaughn vol 5, Norah Gaughn Men, Comfort Book for Girls, and Family Comfort.

Spinners will be delighted to learn that Ashford is now producing a Sliding Hook Flyer, that eliminates the need to move your yarn from hook to hook as the bobbin fills. Update your Ashford Traditional, Traveller and Elizabeth spinning wheels.
The flyer is available in natural or lacquer and includes one bobbin.
Prices are as follows:
single drive: 62.50
double drive: 75.00
jumbo single drive: 75.50
jumbo double drive: 89.00

single drive: 78.00
double drive: 93.50
jumbo single drive: 89.00
jumbo double drive: 105.00

I will take orders for these if any spinners would like to update their flyers on their Ashford wheels. Please email me or call the shop if you would like to order a sliding hook flyer.

Did you see the Entomology Shawl in Knitty? It uses one or two skeins of Schaefer Anne (or probably any of the other sock weight Schaefer yarns).

Don't forget that Knit Night is kind of late this month since the 2nd Monday doesn't roll around until July 13th! Hope to see you there.

Knit on!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Needle Arts Market Show

Beth and I recently journeyed to Columbus, Ohio on a business trip for River Knits. This was my inaugural Needle Arts Market put on by The National NeedleArts Association. This is THE place to see the newest yarns, gadgets, books,and supplies for the industry. First of all, I am Beth's husband, and any trip with her is fun. Second of all, I'm the "behind the scenes" guy at River Knits...recycling the large boxes that the new yarns are shipped in to the shop, taking out the trash, putting up shelves, designing and managing the oft neglected River Knits Website. I actually can knit a bit. I've done several pairs of socks, a few fingerless mitts, part of a sockcap, and a water bottle cooler. With River Knits nearing six years in business, and my job at Purdue on the ropes, I thought it might just be a really good time to better understand the knitting business, and help Beth out however I can.

After a quick drive over to Columbus, Ohio...a city almost the same size as Indianapolis, we entered the show just in time for the retailers luncheon. The keynote speaker, Jim Dion, was actually quite good and talked about how to thrive in the current economic times. They did door prize drawings and to our surprise we both won...then they chose my ticket again (some people were looking at me suspicously)! After this, we each attended a class. Mine was all about Web stuff that I won't go into here. Following the two hour class we walked to the vendor floor. I was simply not prepared for the army of yarn and needle arts companies displaying their wares. The vast sea of yarns stretched further than my eye could see...those of every color and fiber called out to be seen and touched and talked about. My role was to help Beth in thinking about the selections of winter yarns for the coming season. We did a quick run through to prepare for the Saturday onslaught, then sauntered over to the North Market where yummy cuisine and local foods and products could be tasted.

After an early morning Saturday class, we hit the vendor floor with map and strategy in hand to see the best of the best. Saturday evening we invited Nancy, the owner of Knit On! near Bellevue, KY to come to dinner with us at Schmidt Haus in the German Village. Because we had such a long wait, we walked five blocks to a unique bookstore known as The Book Loft. It has 32 rooms of books. Pretty cool place. Back at Schmidt's, the food was excellent, the beer even better, and the company was superb.

Sunday was D-day, and we headed back to the convention center for another class on marketing, and to the floor to select new yarns to bring to River Knits. Below are just two selections:
AslanTrends Hand-dyed and a sample project out of Jared's new book "Made in Brooklyn". There will be some very cool, and warm, fun yarns and surprises coming to the shop later this summer! Stay tuned for updates on the new arrivals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Good Time to Knit Hats and Mittens

Nordic Knitting Club is going to meet through the summer this year, and members of the group are making some great mittens, wrist warmers and hats. These are the perfect projects for summer because they are small, the yarn is light (not too hot to knit with) and they are very portable. They are really great projects to knit in the car while on vacation trips (as long as you aren't the driver!), if you don't have to take part in thoughtful conversations or navigate. That seems to be too much for me to do, while working on complicated patterns. Pictures here include "The thumb trick" from Elizabeth Zimmerman, worked and modeled by Peggy. The thumb is closed up now, but there is waste yarn in the stitches that will opened up to add the thumb later. Stay tuned to see how this works! Ann is shown below left with the start to the mittens to match her hat shown in the blog in January. Prella is on the right, holding up the sweater she is working on and she has just joined the sleeves to the body to start the yoke. It was an exciting meeting last week! The last picture shows Shirley working on a hat, which is much further along now, I just didn't have a more recent picture of it. It is really a beautiful Norwegian pattern with blues, reds, oranges and gold.

We hope to see anyone interested in Nordic Knitting at our next meeting - July 1 from 7-9 pm at River Knits. Other knitters in the group are also working on sweaters, both large and small. If you aren't sure what to work on, come to the meeting and we will help you get started. Happy Summer and Vacation Knitting!