Sunday, May 31, 2009

Frustrated but not stopping

I am working on the eyelet shruglet in the one skien wonders designer series. It's very cute but it is pissing me off because of all the pattern corrections. That aside I think if I make it again it will go much quicker.

I found double pointed needles that I love. Bryspun. They are inexpensive, have great points and are plastic so my knitting tension doesn't change from my plastic dense to the bryspun. My hands are happy. So the project is looking up... all I have left to do is the two sleeves and then block. YAYers...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Local Yarn Stores

When I was a new knitter I could not understand why anyone in their right mind would spend close to $100 on yarn to make a sweater when they could buy yarn at Michael's for a 1/3 of the cost. Two things happened during that transition period from new knitter to an intermediate beginner.

the first is I made my first sweater. It was out of lion brand fisherman wool that I hand dyed with koolaid. I thought I really knew something since I was making it out of wool. It was an Aran sweater with intricate cables and I pushed through it making the pattern which was on the ball band make more sense by writing it out completely on 5 pages of paper. I kept it up for around 7 months. Putting it down only for a moment. I brought it everywhere. Got compliments on how it was going. How talented I was.. yadda yadda... and then it came time to put the pieces together. I was lost. All the directions said were sew pieces together. Finish by blocking. What the heck did any of that mean? So I researched... and finally settled on using whip stitch (it was the only one I understood) and then I blocked it (by wetting it and pulling a lot then letting it dry on carpet). Finally the moment came it was dry and time to try it on! I put this itchy labor of love on and it looked horrifyingly bad. So I went to the boards and asked people what I did wrong. I showed pictures.. I was frantic. I didn't know how to fix it nor did I know what to make of the monstrosity I had spent so many hours on.

The second thing that happened was I walked into my first local yarn store and touched fiber that was what I consider at the time "snooty". That did not win me over. I didn't understand why the price. Why the local stores? What was the difference? I had to find out. So I purchased a cashmere wool cotton blend to make a pair of custom fit gloves for my then boyfriend and a pattern. The first thing I noticed was the yarn did not split. It actually made my hands happy and while the pattern was not that much of a challenge I was very excited about the results. (just a bit afraid to wash them). The first yarn shop I walked into did not have nice people. They did not look at me. They all sat at a table knitting. I thought it was weird. When I asked for help it seemed as if I was bothering them.

One thing a person has to understand that has not found their store is that like finding a shop that has the right pants cut a yarn store is the same. It has to fit your personal style. Some are cozy with helpful grandma like women, some have new and trendy things to look at, some will hook you with the excitement about knitting and will be eager to talk knitting and help you learn, some will be organized in interesting ways. 

When I finally brought up my courage after going through a lot of the wrong fits and found Mosaic Yarn Studio I was already a bit jaded. But from the first moment I walked in and was greeted like an old friend I knew this would be my new knitting home. I have loved the staff and the yarn selection for 5 years. I love that the store encourages learning and pushes for new skills. There is never a moment to be bored in the store. From the shop models (that everyone wants to purchase but can't) to the exciting pattern books and leaflets the entire store is exciting and fun. 

Now that I work there I have learned an unbelievable amount. Looking back I have learned a lot about my first sweater and how it could have gone better if I had found my local yarn store earlier. What is the largest difference about a Yarn store and a Michaels? The hands on passionate people that inspire you and help you create something beautiful and that will be wearable. A wearable work of art. You are only as good as your supplies and Mosaic gives you both the supplies and the know how to make your creations work. The best part? If you run into a snag the store will help you fix it, figure it out and you'll leave with knowledge.

I wish every knew knitter would not have to learn the hard way like I did. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Project Madness

So I have been trying to figure out a way to not add to my stash. It's rough working in a yarn store with all of the pretty yarn everywhere. But I am trying to just add up what I spent from the first couple of weeks working there and pay myself back. I think I have 2 more pay checks and then um... I want to buy the entire store. 

I would list the projects 
I have but out of embarrassment I will only talk about what I am either finished with or currently working on. 

I am making for work a cardigan called the fan. I am using Bouton D'or's Songe (I know this means nothing) It's a beautiful lace weight yarn with a bit of a shine. 
 This is what the fan looks like in the book. I am using lace weight yarn with tiny needles. I keep trying to tell myself to focus on the finish line cause I am only on the third repeat of the fan pattern after two weeks of work.

For the fashion show at work we are making a lot of stuff from the one skein wonders. These patterns are quick and you learn some great new techniques. I have so far made the bunny blanket, the cross stitch scarf and I will be working on the cowl and eyelet cardi.  If you haven't checked out the one-skein wonders designer series you are missing out. Buy the book. You won't be sorry. If you want to see some examples of the patterns or see how things look in different colors stop by Mosaic Yarn Studio in Desplaines, IL. We can help you pick out yarn and show you what we found to be the most popular patterns. :)

I need to take more pictures....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Cool New Job!

I am working my dream job at Mosaic Yarn Studio! I am so excited to be working with fiber on a regular basis. 

We have some really neat events coming up like on June 20th we are having "Just get me started" class offered for free. You can learn to knit or crochet. The best part is we are having a sale on beginner books. Check out our website for more info if you are interested.

Also we are doing a fashion show for knitting on a budget on July 18th!!!! I got the yarn today for two of the projects. It is so friggin awesome. We are using a lot of the one-skein wonder books. It's 20 dollars (down from 25 last year) and we are serving wine and appetizers. 

I love my job. :)