Monday, May 23, 2011

Fantastic news! Our fabulous Nicky Epstein pattern with Aslan Trends and Namaste Farms yarns is now available!

We've been so excited about this project that we could hardly wait to get it online. And Stef has just told me that it's up and running and you can now obtain it for FREE on

It's the gorgeous "Andean Jacket" by Nicky Epstein. She used Aslan Trends Del Sur and Royal Alpaca yarns for the main body and then trimmed it with the exquisite Charmed yarn from Namaste Farms.

The jacket is big and cosy and unbelievably soft and warm. Sure, you might not be thinking about autumn this minute...but as soon as the nights begin to get cool again, you'll want to have this jacket. I think it's a great summer project to work on. Don't you?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this piece. It's the first time we've collaborated with Nicky, Aslan Trends and Namaste Farms. Should we do more together?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yarn is More than Yarn. Guest Blog by Jackie Awerman

Today, I'm delighted to share with you an article written by one of our very loyal, and extremely talented, Yarnmarket shoppers. Jackie Awerman is a very creative knitter who has been delighting us with her stories for years. When I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago, I suggested she might want to write a little blog item for us.

Jackie did more than that! She also sent me a pretty little purse she'd knit. She calls it the Kokoro No Te (which in Japanese is a thank you). For those who'd like to know more about her, Jackie calls herself a Knitting therapist & story teller (cantadora). She is the Creator of Knit2Quit© and Knit ‘n Nosh© fundraisers and A founding momma of Cactus Needles Knitting Guild, TKGA, Phoenix, Arizona. USA.

If you'd like to support Jackie's many, many efforts to help others through knitting, please contact her at yarndances at yahoo dot you-know-what.

I hope you enjoy Jackie's story as much as I'm enjoying her gift!

Yarn has always been more than yarn for me… it’s my paint…my delight in texture…my passion for color…my view of the world… my yarn fairy’s naughty sister’s challenging tangles …my material for sharing love and joy with family and friends. Then there come the times — and lately, they are coming all too frequently — when I turn to yarn to try to express comfort and compassion for our global family caught in sadness, in misfortune, in epic disasters.

Recently, it was tornadoes in the Carolinas; then it was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan followed by tornadoes in Alabama and other southern states. And Yikes! Floods! The Mississippi has gone over the top.

When I say that, “I turn to yarn,” that’s not just me… not just my heart. And thanks to Yarnmarket, it’s not just “my yarn!” There are people passionately knitting and crocheting their prayers into blankies and accessories for those hit hardest.

I want to share a secret with you: What thrills me the most is what recipients have had to say…the delivery angels have told me that the hear things like,“This is so special. The yarn is so soft,””I am overwhelmed that someone did so much work to give this to me,”or ”I feel so blessed to have something handmade after losing everything my mother and grandmother made for me." And that is KOKORO NO TE straight into my heart.

If you'd like to knit one of Jackie's Kokoro No Te change purses, you can find the pattern on Yarnmarket.

Learn all about our newest yarns in Jan's latest Yarnmarket Bulletin

Jan just released her May Yarnmarket Bulletin featuring lots of new yarns plus new colors from Noro, Tahki, Fiesta, Debbie Bliss, Prism, Gedifra, Jojoland & Anny Blatt. She's also included the latest fashion trends in new warm-weather hues, and new projects for your summer wardrobe.

In this issue, you'll also want to learn about terrific new books, patterns, tools, magazines and more to inspire you! Be sure to read your copy, and if you don't subscribe you can read the bulletin online.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This is love.

Our airplane was late arriving in Charlotte, NC on Saturday when we were on our way home from Paris so we missed our connection to Columbus. After some discussion with the clerk at US Airways, we were given a coupon to cover a night at a local hotel.

The discussion went like this:

: Here's a discount coupon for a hotel in Charlotte.
Me: I thought you would pay for our hotel.
Clerk: Why should we?
Me: Because it was your airline that made us miss our connection.
Clerk: What makes you think that?
Me: The fact that our flight was almost an hour late and we weren't even out of Customs by the time the gate to our connection had closed.
Clerk: I don't know why your flight was an hour late.
Me: Neither do I. But it's why we missed our connection. I think you're supposed to cover our hotel.
Clerk: I have to check on that.
Clerk: We don't know why the flight was late.
Me: Neither do I. But it made us miss our connection.
Clerk: I have to speak to my manager.
Clerk: We don't know why your flight was late.
Me: Neither do I. But it made us miss our connection.
Clerk: Here's a coupon for a hotel.
Me: Thanks.

Not riveting. But a good example of how airlines like to make you squirm a lot, and become a little bit stubborn, to get what they really do owe you.

Oh, yes...they gave us each a $10 voucher for dinner. I wonder if the CEO of US Airways can eat dinner at a hotel for $10?

Anyway, we got to the airport, ate a meal, and went to bed so we could be up at 4:00 a.m. to get to the airport by 6:00 a.m. for our 7:36 a.m. flight.

But before I went to bed, I had to wash out some underwear. I'd planned for 7 nights away. Not 8. And that meant I was short a pair...and you know how I am about underwear. Obsessed. I think it should be a Federal Law that everybody wear underpants...and there I was -- woefully, and almost criminally, short a pair.

I washed some out and hung them up to dry.

When I awoke in the morning, Alex had already showered and announced to me, "Your underpants aren't dry yet."

But knowing how I am about underpants, he added, "I'll take care of it."

Imagine how elated I was when I got out of my shower, and he was standing there holding a hairdryer in one hand, blasting hot air at the enormous underpants he held up in the other. They flapped madly as he diligently blasted ever inch of them.

Yes. That's love.

Any guy who'll dry your underpants with a hairdryer while you're in the shower is a keeper.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Enjoy the new fashions featured in Jan's May Yarnmarket Newsletter

Yesterday, Jan sent out her May newsletter to Yarnmarket shoppers and we know you'll want to have a look at it if you don't already subscribe. She shows lots of fantastic patterns that are going to be big hits this season...and she gives a great rundown of what's happening on the fashion runways of the world.

You can read the Yarnmarket Newsletter here.

Jan also reminds everyone that Mother's Day is moving up quickly on us and if you haven't already ordered a gift you can still buy a Yarnmarket Gift Certificate online. The best part is that it can be delivered immediately! No muss, no fuss. Always the right size and perfect color!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day. Alex and I are off to Paris to see the new Anny Blatt collection. I'll be sure to write about it online when I return.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend Wildlife Adventure

Alex and I have been working in the yard this weekend to prepare it for summer. There's a lot of weeding and planting to do before mulch season begins. I hate mulch season. We typically buy about 90 bags of the stuff and I'm covered head-to-toe in mulch until we've finished all the beds. This will teach us for trying to grow our own Garden of Eden.

Alex got a couple of really great shots of critters living in our yard. Yesterday he caught a photo of the kit and today he got the Pileated Woodpecker. The kit is really sweet and playful. He has two siblings and they frolic together like puppies. There are two adult fox parents who guard over them. When you get close, they make a funny little yipping noise and then try to head you off in another direction away from their babies. I'm not crazy about having foxes because they're bad news for the squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks and groundhogs in the yard. (I saw two groundhogs climb trees on Friday. I didn't even knot they could do that!)

Mr. Pileated has been in our yard for a while and we can always tell when he's around by the rat-a-tat-a-tat in the forest. Isn't he beautiful? We put suet in the bird feeder for him. The other morning I filled up a few of the feeders closer to the house and I was shocked to see four different birds having breakfast together at the same time! There was a European Starling, Cardinal, sparrow and finch.

Gotta run. Alex has lost something and I have to find it. I think I spend most of my free time trying to find things he's lost. Anyone who's ever had a husband knows exactly what I mean.