Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Y'all wanna learn some stuff?

We teach stuff! How convenient.
New classes for November and December are as follows:

Fear Not the Circular Needle (or, Free Yourself From the Straights! my suggestion, which got vetoed)
Thursday the 16th of November from 5-6 pm, $40 includes materials
Learn how to use circular needles to either knit in the round (i.e., make a tube) or back and forth, just like you do on those pesky straight needles. What's the point of a circular, you may ask? Well, the top five reasons to use circular needles are:
1. You will never lose one
2. You will not injure your neighbor on public transportation
3. You can knit in a lazy boy recliner more comfortably
4. It keeps the knitting more centered with your body, putting less strain on your wrists.
5. Your knitting will immediately look more complex and therefore more impressive.
What else could you ask for?
In the one-hour workshop you will be given yarn and needles to make either a scarf or a pair of legwarmers. No real knowledge or expertise required; just know how to cast on and knit.

Fixing Mistakes (or, What to do Now I've F-ed it All Up, also vetoed)
November 19th from 10am-noon, $40
Learn what to do when your knitting looks crazy. How to pick up dropped stitches, un-knit, avoid making holes, cover up your mistakes when it's totally too late and avoid it all in the first place without resorting to not knitting at all. We can make it better, I promise. And would I lie to you?

Baby Sweater Workshop (or, My Friends and Relatives Won't Stop, How About Yours? also, Surprise Surprise, vetoed)
I don't know about you but I can't make baby gifts fast enough this year and frankly, I am sick of making simple boring baby blankets. A sweater is cuter, more appreciated, and FASTER to knit!! Especially for a newborn -- I mean, they are TINY! This class will meet for three consecutive weeks:
December 1, 8 and 15th from 5-7 pm, $60 plus cost of yarn.
We will all make a simple baby cardigan out of lovely soft yarn of your choice. You will love it, you will make it over and over again and it will be great. Really.

Top Ten Reasons Why the Saturday Crew Will Miss Tina Dreadfully

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Tina's Saturday shifts at the shop. We always knew she would move on some day, and it is with great regret that I tell you that last Saturday was Tina's last day.

Here are the top ten reasons why the Saturday Crew will miss Tina dreadfully:

10. Because her energy and enthusiasm make even the grayest rainy day fun.
9. For introducing us to the wonders of Borat.
8. Her always funky and creative sense of style.
7. For managing to look unbelievably great no matter what knitted item she models.

6. For telling us humorous stories of her encounters with the famous and near-famous (Adrian Brody, anyone?).
5. For teaching us how to yell "DOG!" in Vietnamese.
4. Because she's always ready to order lunch, thus saving us from Wawa food.
3. Because no one can take ten bucks' worth of crap from Target and turn it into a spectacular window display like she can.
2. For knowing exactly where any particular skein of yarn is at any given time. ("Have you seen the apple green Naturewool?" "Bottom shelf, A section, right under the Cascade 220.")
1. Her lessons in urban street slang gave these wannabe crackas mad street cred.

I know, right?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Unclaimed Freight

Somewhere in the last two weeks, the shop acquired a navy or black London Fog windbreaker. It doesn't belong to any of us. If you think it might be yours, please call or stop by to identify it!

And will the person who called me last week (or possibly the week before) to ask if we'd found a bag with brand-new shoes in it, please call again? I was mistaken when I said we had not. (All those of you who didn't leave a new pair of shoes behind, don't get excited: we'll be asking callers to identify the shoes in question, and besides, they're probably not your size anyway.)

Didn't Freud say that leaving things behind was the sign of an unconscious desire to return to that place?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I love it when these things happen on Wednesday.
Brace yourselves!
We have Anne--in matching lots of 10 skeins!!
Oh yes, you heard me right. Not two or even three the same. 10.
Get your butts down here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Well, things are gearing up around here for Stitches, which is at the Baltimore Convention Center this year. It'll be interesting to see which of our Philly die-hards will make the trek now that it's not a quick train ride away! It's always insane trying to figure out what to take and what to leave here and all that is compounded by the fact that once we're in B'more that's it. Odds were that at least once, if not five times during Stitches someone would leave the floor that night with a list of things to pick up at the shop and bring with them the next day. No such luxury this year. Many lists are being made in preparation for the mass forgetting of important things. The saying goes something like:

People who want to appear clever rely on memory, people who get things done make lists.

Emphasis on the word appear. I don't know who said that but I always liked it.
OH! and we have those $2 off Stitches coupons so get yourselves in here and pick up a stack. We've had the most redeemed coupons for a few years running, I think, and I don't want to loose my title. I never played sports so I have to get my dose of healthy (or absurd) competitve spirit somewhere.

Also, don't miss some of the great sites that Baltimore has to offer. I grew up in Maryland and spent many a teenage evening running the streets of Baltimore. Do try and squeeze in some of the more cultured sites like these.
See ya there, hon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Don't forget today's booksigning!

Shannon Okey and Kim Werker will be at the Cellar today from 4 to 6 to sign.... um, whatever books they feel like signing. See you there!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What Would You Do?

Suppose you had reason to believe that a yarn from a reputable manufacturer was mis-labelled as to fiber content. Suppose the inaccuracy was in a direction that would likely diminish the perceived value of the yarn. Suppose it was, no matter what the fiber content, a good-quality yarn: soft, easy-care, good stitch definition, good pattern support. A yarn that sold fairly well--not your best-selling yarn, but not your worst. (Oh, by the way--in this dream, you own a yarn shop.)

Now imagine that someone brings it to your attention that it's illegal to sell inaccurately-labelled yarn. Not just illegal like someone could sue you because they felt they'd overpaid since the yarn isn't "really" cashmere, but illegal like the government could fine you $5,000 for each skein sold.

What would you do? Sell it without labels, as "mystery yarn"? (Not strictly legal: yarn must be labelled for fiber content, weight, etc.)

Throw it in the dumpster out back? (Seems an awful waste: it's still good yarn.)

Donate it to the next worthy charity that comes knocking? (It's not suitable for all purposes.)

Take it home and add it to your private stash? (There's a space issue. We're talking about a significant amount of inventory. And do you want to knit at the same gauge for five years after you retire?)

Leave it on the shelves, on the grounds that experts are still debating whose fiber-content tests are more accurate? (Strictly speaking, it seems that you're liable even if nothing's been "proven" in court, as long as you had reasonable cause to suspect.)

Require each customer who purchases the yarn to sign a waiver of their right to sue, should the yarn prove not to be the stuff they thought it was? (Again, we're not just talking about civil suits; the long arm of the law could still come after you.)

In case you're wondering: yes, there are two ways in which the supplier could have assumed the responsibility for the situation: by providing a very specific legal warranty that the yarn is in fact accurately labelled, or by acknowledging that the yarn is not accurately labelled and providing replacement labels indicating the true fiber content. Let's assume for the moment that neither of these bail-outs from the supplier is forthcoming.

The really unfortunate thing* about this is that it's still good yarn no matter what its contents. But there doesn't seem any way to continue to make it available to customers without exposing the seller to potentially disastrous consequences.

So what would you do?

[*Note: I'd almost written "The tragedy about this is . . . " But then I thought better of it: this isn't a tragedy in any way, this is just some combination of greed, dishonesty, and pettiness. And one reason it's all going to go so badly--and stay tuned; believe me, it's going to go badly--is because so many people are going to behave as if 3% or 5% or 7% cashmere in a yarn, or not, is the equivalent of the Watergate coverup.]

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Good Knitting Weather

I find it harder sometimes to follow up on finished objects than to show works in progress. Here, for instance, is the completed hat made of unspun Black Bunny roving:

If you want to make one like it, come to the workshop tomorrow at 1:00. Bring a set of dpn in some large size (anything from 10.5 to 15 should be fine).

Carol gave me a whole bag of new rovings yesterday so everyone would have plenty to choose from, and they're gorgeous. (Big surprise.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let me be the devil on your shoulder

Trying to decide what to do with your evening? It's knitting circle tonight and we have new Anne.
'Nuf said.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We got workshops...

We still have a few spaces left in Brandon Mably's workshop, so call Rosie's ASAP if you want in. Bring scraps of miscellaneous yarn and medium-sized needles to swatch with. We also have a preview copy of Brandon's new book, which will arrive for sale in a few weeks. Cost is $125, for a 9 to 5 workshop (with lunchbreak, natch).

Please note: the shop will be CLOSED for most of the day Thursday to allow the workshop participants uninterrupted teaching time, EXCEPT for 12 to 2 and 5 to 6 p.m. Please plan accordingly!

If you can't make it on a weekday, consider taking our Knitting with Unspun Roving class, this Sunday, October 8th, from 1 to 5 p.m. You'll learn how to knit with all that yummy roving that has not technically been spun into yarn yet -- enabler alert: once you know how to do this, you can indulge in some of the gorgeous fibers you'll see at Rhinebeck and Stitches. Bring size 10 to 13 needles, double-pointed (or two sets of circulars). Skills needed are casting on, binding off and knitting in the round, so this is a great class even for inexperienced knitters. Roving from Black Bunny Fibers, too. $40. Call the shop to reserve a place.