Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lori creates a gorgeous sweater with Fabulous Felines yarn

Lori, who entered her beautiful pussycat Fidgesaurus Rex, into our Fabulous Felines yarn naming contest is not only the owner of a prize-winning pussycat, she's also an extremely talented knitter.

Using her luxurious Fidgesaurus yarn, a sumptuous yarn hand-dyed by Iris Schreier, she created this gorgeous zip-front, hooded sweater.

She tells us that she loves the sweater, and that the yarn is warm and soft. It sure does look cozy, doesn't it? But I can see by all the greenery in the background that Lori's lucky enough not to be enduring the winter storms that have hit us here in Ohio!

I love the way the variegations in the yarn show off the beautiful cable-work Lori has done. The shape is really flattering, too.

Here's something funny: this yarn is the same color as her cat. So when she's holding Fidgesaurus he'll be camouflaged! (And if he leaves a little of his fur behind, who'll know?)

Lori tells us that she used Ysolda Teague's "Vivian" pattern for this yarn. She did a few modifications to the sleeves and hood, to change the shape of the hood and to lengthen the sleeves.

Lori has also developed a pattern for a kitty condo cover which she's been kind enough to share with us. We'll be making it available for free in the upcoming issue of KnitchMagazine, so be sure to subscribe so you can get this and other free patterns along with fashion news for knitters.

Many thanks to Lori for sharing her Fabulous Felines creation with us.

New Yarns at Yarnmarket, including three new Noro yarns!

We've just added five terrific new yarns to including three new Noro yarns you're going to love!

Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama for $7.85
KFI Baby Kids Rock for $8.85
Noro Aya for $9.85
Noro Furin for $9.85
Noro Sekku for $14.85

We've got lots of colors to choose from, but shop early because these are going to be very popular this season.

Also, we just released our newest edition of Just My Type. This issue presents luxurious cashmere and angora yarns. If you want to learn about the yarns you love, be sure to sign up online to receive this informative monthly newsletter.

Be sure to visit our online shop to see what else is new for spring!

Monday, February 15, 2010

See CAT's interview with Veronik Avery

This episode, CAT interviews the fabulous Veronik Avery, popular designer and author of Knitting Classic Style. She tells us what motivated her to begin creating knitwear and how she transferred her existing skills into design expertise.

It's an interesting interview with a designer who creates gorgeous classic patterns with a modern interpretation.

After you learn about Veronik, be sure to see the soft, luxurious yarns CAT presents plus some great pattern ideas for the fabulous fibers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Contest: What do you really want?

This is to follow up on my Valentine's Day blog posting that's right below this one...and it's one of my crabbier rants.

Here's the contest: What would you and your beloved rather have for Valentine's Day?

I want a good grout cleaner and Alex would like a ham and Brie sandwich.

Sasha says her husband would like Kona. (Sasha...send me your contact info at deborah at and I'll send you a Yarnmarket Gift Certificate just for agreeing with me!)

Post your idea of the perfect Valentine's Day Gift and I'll select a winner on Valentine's Day. The award will be a Yarnmarket Gift Certificate for $25.

Have fun!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wake me up AFTER Valentine's Day

Okay...maybe I'm just getting old and crabby, but I'm getting to the point where I want to turn off my TV and hibernate until Valentine's Day is over. Why? Because I cannot stand those stupid, juvenile commercials for pajamas and teddy bears.

You've seen them. Some simpering idiot is talking about getting his wife or girlfriend a teddy bear or some dorky looking pajamas with a hood and feet in them -- because he'll get a reward afterward. Oh, gag me!

I've got to admit the stupid teddy bear ad is better this year than last. Remember those? The girls in the office are saying, "Oh, I just want to touch it," and other moronic utterances while the guys who can't see them are imagining exactly what it is they want to touch.

I would have fired the ad agency the minute they held up their storyboard outlining that idiotic scenario. But, lo...there's an old advertising adage: A client gets the advertising he deserves.

Locally, one of our more popular spas runs the same sort of drivel on the radio. "Give her what she wants and she'll give you what you want."

In my case, I want a good grout cleaner and my beloved would really like a ham and brie sandwich like the one he had on Rue Cler.

I don't need a dumb teddy bear or a pair of pajamas to find him attractive. And the concept of "giving him what he wants" because he's given me what I want smacks of prostitution. Why not just write out a check for $49.95 and hand it to your beloved in exchange for her favors?

Ah, well...I'm an old fogey whose idea of romance is not trading my affection for something delivered by a UPS guy...even if it is our beloved Marlon who we all adore.

I'm sure there's someone out there who thinks those ads are cute. But that kid ought to be in bed because he's got to be up at 6:00 a.m. for his school bus.

Power up your knitting needles with TKGA -- The Knitting Guild Association

Here at Yarnmarket we’re really proud to be affiliated with TKGA. That’s why we work with them each year to present the Knitting and Design contest that awards several gift certificates including the grand prize of a $1000 Gift Certificate for Yarnmarket.

If you haven’t entered the contest, you’ll want to do so. Last year we received fantastic entries from beginners and professional designers, and it was nice to see some newer knitters join – and sometimes win – the competition. When the contest is over, we make the winning patterns available on Yarnmarket. Some of them are also being offered free on

If you aren’t a member of TKGA, you really do need to join. It’s a terrific organization that has guilds throughout the United States and Canada. This year, they’re celebrating their 25th Anniversary.

The purpose of the organization is to advance creativity, knowledge and the quality of workmanship in knitting though education and community. In other words, they help you learn more so you can knit more…and better!

When you join TKGA you receive a free subscription to Cast On magazine which was recently re-designed and offers really wonderful articles and patterns.

I urge all our knitters to take a good look at TKGA and how it can help you improve your knitting. The Guilds are just about everywhere, and they offer community and advice that will further your knowledge and make your hobby even more enjoyable than it already is!

Let the Games Begin!

We're really excited about the Olympics and are wishing we could send the snow that just dropped on Ohio up to my niece in Vancouver so she could take it over to Whistler. Looks like they could use it.

I have to share with you one of my family's big events that occurred a few weeks ago. My cousin, MaryAnne Morin, has been a runner for many years. This is what keeps her looking so much better than the rest of us! Yes, I'm envious. But I'm too tired/lazy/unmotivated/old (select one) to go out in the cold and do what she does. I really admire her dedication.

It was a great honor for MaryAnne to be chosen to carry the Olympic torch as it made its way across Canada. We all watched our computer monitors with excited anticipation as the event was presented in streaming video. My Mom had signed up for high-speed access in her home north of Toronto just so she could watch it. My Aunt Peggy, Uncle Mike and cousin Pauline were online in Thunder Bay. My cousin Mark, in Ottawa, my brother in Toronto and I in Columbus, were all online excitedly anticipating MaryAnne's run. We were so excited it was embarrassing! And, just our luck, the very bad weather that occurred just before she started to run prevented us from actually seeing her. It's probably a good thing. I would have cried to see my cousin with the torch.

When the event was over, her husband quickly posted to Facebook some photos of her...and I've grabbed them to share with you.

When MaryAnne finished her run, she went with torch in hand to visit the folks at the nursing home where her father lives. I thought it was awfully nice of her to share her moment of glory with the elderly folks who were so delighted to see the torch and MaryAnne in her Olympic outfit.

We're all very proud of MaryAnne. I'm not absolutely sure, but I strongly suspect that she's the only one in our family to ever run with the Olympic torch -- in the past two millennia.

PS -- Alex just added that MaryAnne is the only person in the family to run without being chased by a policeman.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

BargainYARNS Alert is loaded with values!

We released this month's BargainYARNS Alert this morning and we can't believe the positive response to Wisdom's Poems and Poem Sock yarns!

At only $5.48 per ball for Poems and $14.28 for Poems Sock, these are terrific deals.

We're also featuring in the Alert our newest Kertzer yarn, Down to Earth Cotton, for only $3.98. That's a $1 off the regular price!

One of our favorite items in this issue is the Amish-style ChaioGoo Wooden Swift. We've tested it here and it has quickly become the Swift of Choice! The price is exceptional for a swift of this quality -- just $35.88. If you want to make winding your skeins of yarns into balls a lot faster and easier, you won't want to miss this deal.

Be sure to sign up for the BargainYARNS Alert so you'll be first to know when new specials arrive!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Silent Auction for Rajah's Blanket is now over

I'm delighted to announce that the recipient of Rajah's blanket is Cynthia Landers who will be sending a check to Mary's Kitty Korner in Pleasant Valley, CT.

Rajah was adopted from Mary's Kitty Korner, and lived a long and happy life despite his challenges with epilepsy and catnip addiction. He recently passed away -- but not until he'd been selected to be one of the Fabulous Felines at Yarnmarket.

We'd like to thank all of you who participated, and those of you who wrote to pass along your condolences to Rajah's family.

Just arrived at Yarnmarket: Lang, Polarknit and Debbie Bliss yarns!

Jan's February newsletter has just been released and it contains information about several terrific new yarns and patterns now available at Yarnmarket.

First of all, from Nashua we're delighted to present Nashua Best Foot Forward and Nashua Champlain.

Best Foot Forward by designer Kristin Nicholas is a self-patterning wool blend for lightweight projects. Kristin has designed "Best Foot Forward" to mimic her Fair Isle designs usually knitted in various hues of her Julia yarn. This simple yarn that works up into clever patterns is crafted in Italy of 75% warm wool and 25% snap-back nylon. It's $13.80 for 459 yards.

Nashua Champlain is a 100% wool auto-striping yarn in pretty, muted colors. Perfect for warm weather projects like cardigans, scarfs and mittens. It's $7.35 a ball at Yarnmarket.

We're happy to have added three new Lang yarns to our ever-expanding collection: Lang Gina, Lang Lanalux and Lang Mille Colori Big.

Lang Gina offers the warmth of wool, the halo of mohair & the iridescence of synthetics. It's a chunky-weight gauge for quick-to-create projects for fall/winter/spring. This pretty blend is crafted in Italy. It's just $9.35 for 50 grams.

Lang Lanalux is one of the most interestingly constructed yarns we've seen in some time: a strand of supersoft merino wool encased in a subtly metallic mesh for elegance & sophistication. So soft and supple and spun in ever-versatile worsted weight, this airy yarn is a dream to knit & crochet. Beautifully crafted in Italy of 40% merino extrafine, 32% polyester & 28% nylon, it's available in six colors at just $6.85 a ball.

Lang Mille Colori Big can be knit or crochet on big needles and hooks. It comes in a large 200-gram (7 oz.) ball for fewer ends to finish off, and to get you started, each yarn label even has a free pattern for a chunky ribbed scarf requiring just one ball. A big ball of this bulky beauty is $29.85.

Debbie Bliss Eco Baby is crafted in Italy of 100% organic fairly traded cotton certified by BioRe. This soft yarn, in 16 colors, gives you the same terrific drape and superior stitch definition. It's just $7.85 at Yarnmarket.

From our friends in The Great White North we've received PolarKnit Worsted yarn for just $7.85 for 50 grams. It's available in 7 pretty colors for winter wear.

Be sure to visit Yarnmarket to see these new additions to our inventory of 800 yarns -- in-stock for fast delivery. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter so you'll be among the first to know about new yarns and patterns.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is there room in your heart for just one more act of kindness?

Everywhere we look, someone in the world is in need of a helping need of a helping heart.

Right now, people throughout the planet are generously offering assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti; help is arriving daily in the form of food, medical supplies, and brave strangers who are willing to leave their own comforts and safety to help rebuild a shattered nation. As we witness on our nightly newscasts, the people there are still living on the streets or in tents -- if they're lucky enough to have one -- and they are still in great need of food, water and shelter. Getting aid to them has proved very difficult, and still, we do our best. People from France, Canada, America, Britain, every good nation of the world are all working together to alleviate the suffering of others.

We may not be able to fix the problem entirely, but at least we're motivated to help.

I know that a lot of you have given as much as you can to assist the people of Haiti. And given the current state of the world economy, it's truly admirable that so many of you have been so generous when your own security and comfort have been put in jeopardy by the global financial crisis.

That's why I hope you can find room in your heart for just one more charitable donation. Please, please don't forget about the children in war-torn Afghanistan.

These boys are girls are victims of a terrible situation that, tragically, has fallen to the bottom of the news pages. The people there are still being threatened by brutal attacks; each week we mourn the loss of more troops who have been sent there to help bring peace; and today the children of the country face another harsh winter without enough warm clothing.

It's become an old war. A tired war. People are growing weary of our inability to win it while our death toll grows longer and longer.

If even we are despairing of the length and ferocity of this fight, can you imagine how the children must feel? How hopeless and lost and without future they believe themselves to be? Please, don't let them give up hope.

The people at afghans 4 Afghans work tirelessly throughout the year to bring warm sweaters and vests and mittens to these children. And their gift -- the gift of knitters who donate these items -- let the children know the world still continues to care. It is one small hope they have that somewhere there are people who know what they're enduring, and who want them to be as warm and comfortable as possible during the long, cold Afghanistan winter.

If you can please find it in your heart to knit a warm garment for donation to afghans 4 Afghans you could win one of the Yarnmarket gift certificates that is given away each month.

Details about the program and their current, urgent needs for their Youth Campaign can be found at

I know it's asking a lot. But I've always believed there is no limit to what the people of this world will give when they are moved to do so by the goodness of their heart.

See the Conclusion of CAT's Alaskan Knitting Adventure

This episode of Let's Knit2Gether features CAT's last few days in Alaska, and her excursions to a couple of local yarn shops. We also see her progress on her Qiviut Smoke Ring, a souvenir she'll cherish forever.

See her venture out to the glaciers, take a train along the trail that was followed during the Gold Rush, and enjoy the beautiful scenery -- albeit under mostly rainy conditions.

Be sure to watch to the end when CAT shows us the Fabulous Felines line with some terrific examples of yarns and the pussycats who named them.