I heard this morning on the news that the Duchess of Cambridge plans on resting her ninth month of her pregnancy, stopping all royal engagements, and knit! So, I started to think about which yarns she might use.
She possibly could use the new Erika Knight collection…especially the British Blue Wool DK that is washable and has loads of gorgeous baby patterns. The Erika Knight yarns are dyed with environmentally friendly dye stuffs to European standards. Our British Blue Wool has just arrived and will be at the Yarn Cupboard retreat and market the weekend of April 19th. The Erika Knight collection is using all British wools and are milled in the U.K as well. The beautiful fibers may very well end up on the royal baby!
Other British companies, like Rowan, are probably on the Duchess’ list as well. They have gorgeous baby books with very cute patterns. The Rowan Handknit cotton is one of Rowan’s workhorse yarns. Garments are easily washed and keep their shape. Rowan’s new Soft Cotton is also wonderful for baby as well as the All Season’s chunky. We have a new baby blanket pattern the Duchess would love in the chunky.
Of course there is Colinette from Wales….the Duchess may want to make a gorgeous baby jacket in the Jitterbug. Or maybe a pram blanket in the Hullabaloo.
Just as an aside- both Isager and Tahkistacycharles have just come out with their new baby books.( I think the Duchess would like those as well.)
I better not forget Maggiknit .from Ireland-Maggie Jackson also has great toddler patterns that would be perfect for a future Prince or Princess.
When I last visited Denmark to knit with Marianne Isager, she had just finished sweaters for all the royal children of Princess Mary.(who actually is Australian.) I wonder if Erika Knight or even Maggie Jackson might be whipping up something just for the new baby? I will call Maggie next week!
As a LYS owner, I am very proud of the efforts that make possible our Retreat this coming April 19th. It is not an easy feat and requires the work of a very dedicated few. I would like to mention Julie Mattina or as many of you know her as, Juliecazknits. She has been the one to compile all the information concerning the teachers and to make out all the class lists. She is also the one keeping tabs on me on which of you are staying the weekend and what classes you will be attending. We have not gone the automated route-we have continued this year to keep it personal and Julie is instrumental in that endeavour.
Nancy, Chris, Kristen and I are fortunate every day to meet new people and to help with their fiber arts needs. This retreat is an added bonus to us in Upstate New York with this wonderful roster of teachers attending. Many of these teachers are now the rock stars of the designing world and are very well connected to other leading designers. This is a great opportunity for you and I hope many will take advantage of them coming to Syracuse.
I will say, we are very lucky with the wonderful teachers that are part of the Yarn Cupboard family. I have watched many of you grow in your abilities under the watchful eye of many of our teachers. And that teaching roster is growing as well.
With a shop brimming with yarn and fibers, and dedicated teaching staff, we hope to continue to partner you and your fiber needs. Of course, what else would you be doing these past nights but watching the beloved Downton Abbey. What will we do without our Matthew? And who would of thought Thomas had a heart? I was knitting faster when he was being pummelled — and Rose- I don’t think she can replace Sybil–but we shall see.
One thing I do know, Downton will be one of the big conversations at the retreat. WE are all hooked.
Another storm is on its way. We have done all our grocery shopping and I have stocked up on my projects so tonight I will be all set to watch the snow fall. I love knitting in front of the fire (well- its gas but I still like it.) Many of you are coming in with your holiday gift certificates today to start a new project. .You all have very generous families! We are fully stocked with sweater quantities in many of our yarns. And we have new patterns and great ideas to find that winter project that will keep you busy on these wintry nights.
I want to mention we have project based classes that may appeal to you coming up in January and beyond. The Dale of Norway knitting class is a fantastic colorwork class that will also include steeking. This will be a small class for intermediate to advanced knitters.
Well-in a few hours we are expecting 15 inches of snow. I will be using the shovel in front of the shop tomorrow! Come and see us soon if you have found yourself without a project or just need something for a new diversion. You may need your snowshoes however.
The summer is flying by and school will be starting soon. The weather has been so beautiful and warm that I hope you have time to enjoy it. Summer in Syracuse is a great place to be. Lakes, rolling hills, state parks, rivers, reservoirs, golfing , kayaking, swimming, camping, hiking and of course knitting in our down time. We have been busy here with our annual Stitch and Pitch night at Alliance stadium, our MaggiKnits trunk show premier, our soon to be day of knitting at the beautiful Jephson Estate and our Shibui Mix brunch in September. Many of you are organized already for the holidays at the end of the year and have started great projects such as Shibui MIx poncho’s, MadelineTosh tea leaf cardigans, Rowan Big Wool cowls, and the Blue Sky Alpaca Metalico sweaters. Our classes continue to be busy with opportunities to learn new techniques and skills. As Fall yarns start to arrive, this is the time to make decisions and enjoy these beautiful fibers. August will be a big month in the Miller household as Mary leaves for college and my sons return from Australia. In between organizing bedrooms and packing Mary up, I am knitting my 2 MaggiKnits projects and starting a new one for Stitches East in October. We would love to help you pick our your next project. We have so many new patterns to choose from that you may find it difficult to make a decision! Nancy, Chris and I are here to help. See you soon.
The Yarn Cupboard Winter Retreat and Market (which was fantastic and more to come soon!) finished on Sunday and I left on Tuesday for Germany. I have just returned Monday from Cologne from the handworks show. It was a wonderful opportunity for me and the Yarn Cupboard to see this European show and to meet such great people along the way. David Codling, the distributor of Isager, was truly my guide through the maze of companies that exhibit. Of course, the Isager booth was beautiful and Helga, Marianne’s daughter, was there selling her new Amimono book.(in German!) We should be getting the English translation by Fall. The garments are gorgeous- the book is divided evenly into adult and children patterns. The Lang booth was also fantastic as they had a huge space! The garments for Fall will include quite of few with cables. And I loved the Opal sock exhibit- not only was the yarn displayed beautifully but they served cappuccino’s! (I manage to spill it of course) There were fashion shows which included many of the exhibitors every 2 hours which were choreographed with dancers and so much fun to watch. The Denkin’s from Unicorn books were also in our entourage. Thank God they can read a train schedule. Unicorn of course are the wonderful book distributors but also distribute the Yarn Cupboard favorite, Opal sock yarn. More to come soon on all my exploits in this past month. I feel very fortunate to have gone to Cologne thanks to my wonderful husband and daughter-and it is always wonderful to come home.
In one months time we will be sponsoring our second Yarn Cupboard Winter Fiber Art’s Retreat and Market. We are very lucky to have such wonderful instructors coming to Syracuse to join us.
I just hung up with Sharon McMahon from Three Irish Girls. Not only is she a fabulous dyer but she is wonderful to work with. Sharon is bringing a large trunk show with her besides teaching three classes. Sharon is in high demand and we are lucky she is coming to Syracuse!
Laura Nelkin will be joining us as well. Laura who is also a designer, will teaching some very interesting classes-Two classes with bead work. Laura travels and teaches at venues around the country.
Lisa Ann Merian will be teaching her needle felting class all day Saturday on a beautiful silk shawl. If you have wanted to know how to needle or wet felt, Lisa is a very talented teacher that will have you making something beautiful. Lisa will also be bringing all her gorgeous handdyed fibers, both batts and roving for the market place.Sandi Wiseheart, a Yarn Cupboard favorite, was formerly editor of Interweave Knits, will be back teaching her sweater class and a tiara class! This I can’t miss.
Jill Draper, dyer and designer, will be back with her yarns and will be teaching some very interesting classes. Jill is a joy to work with and you will enjoy every minute with her.
And Cal Patch, who will be coming as well as Jill, will be teaching her crochet classes. Crochet is so popular this coming season. If you haven’t learned to crochet-this is your opportunity. Cal is an amazing teacher with her own patterns.
Jennifer Van Calcar, from Holiday yarns, will be selling her beautiful yarns as well as teach. Jennifer is local to Syracuse and is a great friend to the Yarn Cupboard.
Shannon Adams is a Yarn Cupboard instructor and will be doing 2 different scarf classes. The techniques used in these classes will be very helpful in more complicated patterns.
Beth Coye is our Yarn Cupboard spinning instructor. Beth will be teaching both wheel and drop spindle. If you are new to spinning, and feel you are not getting the best from your wheel, Beth is your girl. We also have Kromski and Ashford wheels for sale if you are in the market for a spinning wheel.
All of us here at the Yarn Cupboard are looking forward to a wonderful weekend with very talented instructors, a fabulous market with gorgeous yarns, buttons, fibers and a great group of fiber enthusiasts!
I had the pleasure this week to speak to the Embroidery Guild in Manlius. As many of you know, I am an Asian Antique dealer and was on the board of The Asian Arts Society of Australia. With my limited knowledge, the Guild asked me to speak on Chinese textiles. My mentor, Judith Rutherford of Sydney Australia, is one of the leading textile dealers worldwide. Her expertise on Chinese rank badges is well known in the textile community. Judith graciously took a lonely American under her wing and brought her into the Chinese Arts community in Sydney.
On Wednesday, I spoke about one’s passions. Judith started as a collector, became a very respected dealer, author and even went on to be one of the curator’s of an exhibition at The Art Gallery of NSW for Chinese Robes. Judith’s mentoring not only gave me an exceptional education in her field but it also helped to shape my life.
Now, here in Syracuse, I see mentors every day at the store. I am always amazed how people are so eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Every day I see someone who takes the time to comment on someones choices of fibers or volunteers a pattern that would be perfect for that special project. I have watched people blossom into wonderful knitters and crocheters. Their understanding of fibers, color and design grows with their passion. And the community built within this fiber world is as important as any other.
I miss Judith and think of her often. But I am fortunate to have the wonderful people who are associated with the Yarn Cupboard now as friends and mentors.
How many days to Christmas?! Have you finished all the turkey from Thanksgiving? Have you done any holiday shopping? The parties are starting and I received my first Christmas card…and I have so many projects still waiting in my numerous knitting bags to finish.
Luckily there are some great small projects that should be quick to finish but look great. Our Christmasmini’s class on December 7th will have you making gorgeous ornaments from Arne and Carlos’ 55 Christmas Balls to Knit. They would be perfect gifts. I love ornaments as they are used every year and you always remember where they came from. I still have all my children’s macaroni ornaments that I hang every year. They are my favorites.
Another great idea new from Lorna’s laces is their sock kits with the new Solemate sock yarn with foot balm and soak. Solemate contains 30% Outlast which won the 2011 Techtextile Innovation Prize in the category “New Materials” for the development of the world’s first heat managing polyester fiber. Outlast® technology, developed for NASA, utilizes materials that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort. The kits come in four colors and the balms in four scents. We have new beautiful hat kits in Touch me and Jennifer from Holiday Yarns has new retro mitten kits which have just arrived. These all would be very welcome gifts. And there are many small gifts- stick pins, shawl pins, stitch markers, pretty scissors, new patterns, magazines and books- and if you still want to make quick items- we have all kinds of ideas. Rowan’s Winter Warmers has beautiful hats and mittens that should fly off your needles.
I think I will hunt down one of my knitting bags and finished the sweater that only needs that left front. I can start those mittens tomorrow at the shop!
This has been a beautiful autumn. The temperatures are so warm that it seems impossible that snow could be in our immediate future. I personally love the change of season. As the weather cools, I get anxious to use fibers that I didn’t use in the hotter weather. The autumn and winter patterns are now out, and there are always too many to choose from. The store is full of models- Rowan has just sent a box full, the Lang trunk show is on its way and is trickling in, Tahki and S Charles have arrived, as well as Plymouth and Berroco. We have also made up beautiful sweaters in Madeline Tosh, and Filatura. And of course another of my favorites, Isager. We have a baby dress, beautiful lace scarf, and a couple other shawls in the works. And don’t forget the MaggiKnit kits and books. They are perfect for Syracuse winters.
Shopping at your local yarn shop should be inspiring and full of great ideas. All the local yarn shops in Syracuse benefit from your buying in the area. That goes for our local communities as well. So thank you for your support and I will continue to bring you the best quality yarns for every size purse. We will see you soon in Jamesville!
What a fabulous weekend. We were so lucky that Maggie Jackson from MaggiKnits was here for a Friday evening fashionshow and then Saturday/Sunday workshops. Maggie is a terrific teacher, a great storyteller and now a wonderful friend. The Yarn Cupboard will be a stockist of all things MaggiKnits–and we will continue with new events such as a trip to Maggie’s warehouse and showroom in early July next year. Maggie Jackson is a unique award winning designer who makes knitting an enjoyable experience. We will be having our first MaggiKnits Knit A Long starting this week as well as on going classes. The MaggiKnits trunk show will be here through Saturday. Please come in and have a look at the wonderful yarns, kits, and books. We wish Maggie a safe trip to Ireland tomorrow!!