Monday, October 31, 2011


We’re delighted to announce that we’ve added several new shipping options to Yarnmarket that make it possible for us to offer free shipping on any order over $59 (in the continental US). These orders will be delivered via 3-8 day FedEx Economy Ground Shipping.

We are also now offering $5.99 flat rate for 3-8 day delivery on orders under $59.

We have many new options you’ll want to read about on our site -- each one giving you a choice in cost and length of time it takes to receive your knitting and crochet supplies.


A lot of knitters order something very simple, like a single skein of yarn, one set of needles, or a pattern booklet. In these cases, we suggest that you consider low-cost United States Postal Service.

Please call us if that’s what you’d like to do. We’ll package up your order, weigh it and let you know the postage.

All other options are available easily online. If you want to read about everything we now have available you can see it on our site.

Oh…for knitters in the military we offer shipping to EVERY APO address.

Belated Happy Birthday to Maureen Moffat of Buffalo

I was going to send a note to Dave Thomas so he could read her name this morning on Rocketship 7. But then I remembered that it went off the air about 40 years ago. And Commander Tom's not around anymore, either!

Happy Birthday from Yarnmarket, Maureen!

A Hallowe'en Poem from Jackie Awerman

You may recognize Jackie's name from one of the many articles she's had published over the years. Jackie is a talented knitter and a writer who we're very happy is a loyal Yarnmarket customer. She sent us this poem to celebrate Hallowe'en and I thought I'd share it with you.

By Jackie Awerman, October 2011

Out of the blackish haze
Of a swampy daze
Cuttin’ through vile green smoke
This ain’t a joke:
A frog cries warnings with a mighty croak
And you see the flash of purple britches
The orange petticoat
Then you hear the nuck, nuck of an old, old
Very old billy goat.

There’s a whir and a whistle
A screech and a click
You’re quite sure that it isn’ couldn’t be
St. Nick.
Nope not his kind of deed. Not at mach speed…
Not whoopin’ and hollerin’ “ I need…I need…”
So you look up in the trees…you look down by your knees..
It’s …OMG! Bats almighty!
She’s out in her nightie…
The Wonder Witch!

Yup. Here she comes…Varooming through…
Incantations blasting…
And so darn skinny she must’ve been fasting
…Getting ready…
Oh so hungry
For your treats.
Up to her amazing broomstick feats.
Oh! Oh! Say it isn't so
Wonder Witch
Has the candy 'n yarn itch!

Oy. Hold on to your treat & knitting bags
Don’t …please don’t let that greedy hag
Grab your candy, grope your stash…
There’s another solution—you can do in a flash!
I swear...Hallowe'en salvation is almost here!

Here’s what to do instead:
Wrap a skein of glorious yarn around your head
You know…from your special stash under the bed.
Then cast a spell so all will be well:
Wonder Witch will lose the itch for your yarn and candy
It's guaranteed. It's gonna be dandy.

C’mon. Get to it at full speed. Pick up your favorite knitting needles
And recite the Knitter's Moon spell with me:
Cats MEOW.
Monsters BOW.
Away Candy ‘n Yarn ITCH
Take this Gorgeous yarn instead
From my heart…off my head
And I’m giving you candy—plenty of that
Enough to stuff your knitted hat.

Now, pointing your knitting needles straight at
The Witch,
Take a deep breath and finish the rhyme:
Oopsie, loopsie glittery slime
Jittery cats sipping wine
My treats are mine.

Candy 'n yarn itch...Wonder Witch
You're outta here...outta here...
So there.
Amen! Whew! And hurray!
Now if I can knit in peace this Hallowe'en Day!

Smiles and laughter...Yarn Dancing aroudn the bonfire of old dilapidated knitting books and patterns gone awry.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Miracle of Jack the Cat

Today, the happiest guy in the world is a man named Gerard J. Arpey. He's the CEO of American Airlines, the airline that lost Jack the Cat. It was their fault, no question about it. An airline employee put Jack's cage on top of some other luggage, it fell off and must have broken open. Jack escaped; his devastated owner had to fly to her new home in California without him; and through very clever use of social media, Jack's plight became known around the world.

This is where all the miracles begin...and I think this is a great example of humanity at its best.

Miracle 1
Someone who loved the cat and its owner, Karen Pascoe, was brilliant enough to set up a Facebook page to tell the world about what happened to Jack. Through the miracle of social media, the problem with Jack became so well known that American Airlines, who'd initially bungled their response, was forced to man up.

Miracle 2
American Airlines created a page on Facebook so they could tell their side of the story and assure angry cat-lovers throughout the world that they were not a corporation of cold, heartless, animal-neglecting pigs.

Miracle 3
People were touched by the story. AA employees, JFK employees, travelers...anyone who ever loved a pussycat felt tremendous empathy for Karen and for Jack. They imagined how they'd feel if their own pussycat had been lost in an airport...right before a dreadful hurricane.

Miracle 4

People actually cared enough to show up. They put posters up around the airport and the local neighborhoods. They came to search the airport. They didn't just sit around and say, "Oh, how sad." People actually showed up to find the cat. As a result of their efforts, several other lost pussycats were recovered and given to animal shelters where -- we can only hope -- they'll be adopted.

Miracle 5
We didn't give up hope. People are pretty cynical these days, so it was very heartening to read stories on Jack's Facebook page about other pussycats who'd been found after an extended period. Every day, people were there to let Karen and whomever was behind the search in NY know that they cared and that they weren't going to give up hoping that Jack would be found.

Miracle 6

This is the best one. He was found. It sounds like a customs officer found him (I read that he'd fallen through a ceiling tile!) and Jack was taken immediately to a veterinarian's office in Queen's where he's now recovering from his adventure.

Miracle 7
This incident, that is now being reported around the world, has raised awareness of the dangers of flying your animal in the cargo bay of an airplane. Perhaps it will lead to a better system for transporting beloved family members who just happen to be covered in fur. I've heard that cats are lost all the time by airlines (like George who was recently lost by Air Canada on a flight in Alberta) and I remember a few years ago a woman in the US had to get the courts to force an airline to stop flying the plane her cat had been lost on so she could go in to look for it.

The big difference in this incident is that the owner's friend was very determined to use social media to keep AA's attention on the matter and to encourage others to help in the hunt.

I think it's a miracle that Jack that Cat has been found and that he'll soon be safe home with his brother, Barry, and his owner, Karen.

I can only think that it was the collective prayers and efforts by everyone who was touched by the story that kept this pussycat safe and alive for two months.

And I'll be that there's no one in the world happier about the outcome than the CEO of American Airlines who, I'm certain, never learned in business school what you do when you lose somebody's cat.

Jack the Cat has been found!

I'm elated to announce that Jack the Cat has been found in the Customs Area of JFK Airport. He's now at a vet and receiving an IV with fluids.

It's wonderful that this pussycat survived TWO MONTHS after being lost by American Airlines. Thank goodness no one gave up the search and Jack is being returned to his owner.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hurry! Save 41% off Schulana Cortina and Cortina Nuvole

Tomorrow's Just My Type newsletter is going to be about chunky yarns so we thought we'd drastically reduce one of our favorites.

Schulana Cortina and Cortina Nuvole are light and lofty yarns of merino wool and nylon. They're regularly $9.95 but we're now selling them for only $5.88.

Order quickly because at these great prices they aren't going to last very long!

You'll want to knit Barbara's latest shawl

Readers of know Barbara Rottman from her wonderful reviews of yarns and patterns and her column, "Purls of Wisdom." Barbara's been knitting a very long time and is one of the most talented knitters I know. She really knocked me out with the gorgeous shawl she created for her son's bride. Shelli is of Indian descent, so Barbara made a magnificent lace shawl in the traditional bright red worn by Indian brides. I'll have to post a photo of it when I get one.

Today Barbara impressed me with her latest creation: a shawl for Shelli's birthday. It's a pretty piece called Tasha Tudor that was designed by Nancy Bush and can be created using any nice worsted weight yarn. It's available free online.

Barbara used a Paton's yarn in this version, but she suggests Caledon Hills worsted would be terrific. I think so, too, because Caledon Hills comes in so many gorgeous colors. We have 68 shades to choose from so you're bound to find one you love. I really like the Peacock because it's a shade that is really popular this autumn...and I always like teals and turquoises anyway. (Oh! I see we have more of the Peacock on the way. And the Slate, too. They're very popular this season.)

Another yarn Barbara suggests is Filatura Di Crosa's Zara Chine. She recently reviewed it in Knitch Magazine thought it was fabulous. It's a fingering weight yarn so Barbara suggests it be combined with a nice sock yarn. A variegated one would give a great effect.

If you want a really warm and pretty shawl that is youthful in style and not difficult to make, I suggest you follow Barbara's advice and give this one a try.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet Vincent Van Gogh, the Yarnmarket Squirrel

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you'll know that we're all a little goofy when it comes to animals. I'm the worst. Injured ones find me. (Mercedes the Cat and Scarface the Cat both come to mind immediately.) Well, the other day I pulled up to the shop and I caught a glimpse of a little squirrel darting amongst the shrubs. Something about him just wasn't right so I thought I'd better investigate.

I can now tell you one thing you may someday find useful: Chasing a squirrel and calling, "Here, squirrel" doesn't work.

I hung around outside until I saw the little guy run up a tree. The poor little thing was missing an ear, had a little stump of a tail, and was slightly crippled. He sort of hobbled when he ran. It was really sad.

Not long after I saw this squirrel, Alex was on his way to The Anderson's to buy a big bag of peanuts to shut me up. He knows he won't have a minute's peace until I'm satisfied that the poor little squirrel has lots to eat so he can become healthy enough to survive.

Since then, Yarnmarket customers who come to our shop have been crunching over a pile of peanuts at our door as Michele, Stef, Lisa and I have been trying to attract the little guy so we can feed him. Yesterday, four perfectly good squirrels came for breakfast. That's nice...but they're not our top priority.

Today, in the pouring rain, the little crippled squirrel finally showed up.

I tossed out peanuts and Michele grabbed her camera. She got two pretty good shots of the guy, but complained that she needs to bring her other lens in to the office so she can get a better photo of him. I'll bet by tomorrow we have breath-taking portraits of him worthy of National Geographic. (I have no idea how Stef is going to do his make-up and she does for our other photo shoots.)

If you're coming to Yarnmarket over the next few days, please forgive the pile of peanut shells at the door to our showroom. And say hi to Vincent, the Yarnmarket squirrel who's missing an ear, because he'll be in a nearby tree to welcome you...before he returns to gather his nuts.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You could win 2 balls of Snow Leopard Camel Hair yarn

Just vote for the Snow Leopard Trust in the BBC World Challenge by November 11 and then post here to say you've voted, and you could win some of this truly gorgeous Snow Leopard Yarn.

Please pass this along to your friends so they, too, can vote for this very good cause.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Please help Snow Leopard Trust save these endangered cats! All you need to do is click a button to vote.

Snow Leopard Trust is a wonderful organization that helps protect the endangered cat by encouraging locals not to hunt the animals. They work to retrain them so they can earn a living by other means, thus enabling the cats to live and breed in the wilds.

Yarnmarket is very proud to support this group through their yarn sales. We urge you to please help them, too, simply by voting for Snow Leopard Trust in the BBC World Challenge. It's fast. It's simple. And it could help save the life of a beautiful cat.

Really, it's not much effort to do so much good. Please show BBC that this very worthy cause deserves their support.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anarchists of the world unite!

For most of my life I've been looking forward to retirement. And to support my retirement, I've been looking for that one really big idea that'll make me rich enough to hand in my resignation and spend the rest of my life in leisure. Problem is that the cost of retirement has skyrocketed in recent years so the revenue I need to earn from my one big idea has increased exponentially. It's gotten to the point where I fear I may need to come up with TWO ideas.

Here's the way I'm seeing it:

Let's say you and your spouse want to retire at...oh...$50,000 per year. In a few years that will be just enough to pay for your taxes (unless you live in CA, NY, or NJ), and your car insurance (unless you live in CA, NY, or NJ), your food and maybe some heat in the winter, but probably not air conditioning in the summer. If you're smart, your retirement home will be a cave so you can save money on heat and air conditioning. (Don't worry...your cave is going to be a comfortable 55 degrees F all year round if you make sure it's at least 4 feet underground.)

With your $50K per year retirement money, you and your spouse will be able to buy clothes (if, like me, your wardrobe comes from Sam's Club) and maybe every few years you can save enough to go on a little trip. Plan on staying at a friend's house. Someone who'll feed you, if at all possible.

It won't be a difficult lifestyle to adopt as long as you haven't set your retirement expectations too high -- and you don't expect to do things like travel and explore new hobbies. You really won't have time for these little luxuries because you'll be busy drying peat moss so you can have a fire and making your own soap out of bacon grease...assuming you can steal your neighbor's pig.

Just think of what a happy, simple life you'll have! No worries about the cost of your cell phone service. No wondering which new movie you'll rent on Pay-Per-View. No fretting about who's saying what about you on Facebook. You'll be contentedly living out your Golden Years without a care in the world.

Except, maybe, whether the berries you foraged for breakfast were poisonous. But don't think about things like that. Be optimistic that you -- as a baby boomer -- are on the leading edge of another cultural shift.

That is, of course, if you've saved up enough money to earn you $50,000 per year in retirement.

By my calculations, with the current interest rate of about 1/2% on savings accounts, you'll need to have saved $10,000,000 for this frugal, but fulfilling, retirement. Ten million dollars. Ten million. Let me repeat that...TEN MILLION DOLLARS!!!

I've calculated everything I've saved, and I'm afraid I'm a few million dollars short. To be honest, if you round off to the nearest million, I'm about $10 million short. It's not that I've spent my money foolishly. Oh, no! I saved. And saved and saved. I actually paid off my house mortgage! And my car. And everything else I've ever bought. And I put my savings into a 401K. And then something horrible happened and I had to look up the term "over-exhuberance" and people talked about bubbles and I said to myself, "I remember something about the South Sea Bubble in economics class." And then I thought about the Dutch Tulip Bubble and I said, "Boy, I should have paid a lot more attention in economics class." But our professor, John Hughes, was dreamy and who could think about money when he was standing there looking all cute and available to the seven dorky co-eds attending Ryerson's business college?

Anyway, I've come up with my big idea that'll make me millions of dollars so I can retire to a hole in the ground (but not in CA, NY, or NJ) where I'll eat stolen pigs and make soap out of their fat an then go to mooch off my...I mean...visit my friends every couple of years.

I'm going to design and sell what every anarchist needs: a balaclava. I mean, just about everyone these days needs their own balaclava. Who wants to be recognized when they're storming the Bastille? Not me! And not any of those folks who are protesting in Athens, Rome, Cairo, New York, or any where else in the world. (I understand that the protesters in Paris have the month of October off.)

With a balaclava, you can protest anything, anywhere, anytime without fear of being identified by people who may not like that you're ripping things up or burning things down or just hanging around hoping you meet someone nice at the protest march.

I'm going to decorate my balaclavas so there'll be a little bit of variety and people will really want them. You can order yours to look like a cat face or a Schnauzer face, or a lizard face...or you could get the ever-popular Pig Face and look like someone you're probably protesting against: a CEO, a politician, a lousy choreographer, a cruel make-up artist, a waitress who forgot to re-fill your water glass, a kid who annoyed you by talking in the theater, an ex-spouse, your boss, the greeter at Sam's Club who insisted you turn your card over so he could make sure the photo matched your face, that young girl who sat beside you on a recent US Airways flight and rolled her eyes when she looked at you because she thought you were such a dork and she wanted to sit beside a cute guy she could someday sue for child support.

So, there you go. I'm now in the business of selling, "Deb's Original Balaclavas." They're energy-efficient, biodegradable, gender non-specific, fit any size head (except maybe Michele Pfeiffer's head) and are non-denominational. Perfect for the modern marching protester!

If you'd like to obtain your "Deb's Original Balaclava" please send $1 million to me c/o Please indicate whether you want the cat face, dog face or pig face. All orders will be shipped via Federal Express with a hand-written thank you note and the promise of a free bar of pig fat soap as soon as I figure out how to make it.

Learn about Debbie Bliss...and save 20% off her yarns at Yarnmarket

Today we sent out our monthly Spotlight, and this issue is all about the fantastic Debbie Bliss. You'll want to read it to learn about Debbie's life and travels, and to see all her new yarns and patterns for the fall season. It's in your mailbox if you already subscribe, but if you don't receive our informative and inspirational monthly newsletters, you can also read it online.

Right now, Yarnmarket is offering 20% off all of Debbie's yarns WITH NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED! You'll want to stock up because you know these are the yarns you always want to have in your stash.

To help you save even more, Yarnmarket has recently introduced lower priced shipping via FedEx Ground Economy. It's available to our US customers for just $5.99. We've also added several other options for our customers throughout the world so you can choose the price and delivery method that you prefer.

Be sure to see our Debbie Bliss Spotlight and don't forget to enter our contest. You could win over $200 in Debbie Bliss yarn and a pattern book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Yarnmarket presents our first feature video...A Trip to Yarnmarket!

Okay, so I'm not Steven Spielberg. But this is the first time I've ever tried to make a video by myself and I've learned a lot about editing, voice over and ambient sound. I filmed this when we had visitors to our shop in July and wanted to post it so you can see our showroom and warehouses.

Enjoy! (Note to Roger Ebert: I know...I know...two thumbs down for cinematography.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

What's in a name?

Alex and I were married about 25 years before he decided I ought to take on his last name. There were two reasons for this: first of all, we worked together and he didn't want people to think I got my job because of him. This made sense. Sometimes he'd go to a company and I'd follow him. Sometimes I'd be the first, and he'd follow me. We liked each other and have always enjoyed working together. Well, for the most part. When he phones me and says, "Come here," and hangs up, I'm not all that thrilled. Despite what he thinks, I am not sitting at my desk, staring off into space and contemplating the meaning of life. I'm not eagerly awaiting a call from him to say, "Come here," so I can obediently race right over to his office to find out whatever it is he wants.

More often than not, I'm dealing with some horrific time-sensitive issue -- like Amazon has just de-listed us because they think our photos have watermarks on them. They don't, but Amazon keeps thinking they do and they shut us down. More often than not it takes me three days to convince them that they're wrong. They apologize, of course, and turn us back on.

This has happened four times.

So, when I'm frantically trying to fix the problem with Amazon and Alex calls and says, "Come here," and hangs up, you can imagine what I'd like him to do with his telephone.

The second reason I don't use Alex's name is that no one can pronounce it. They look at it, get a quizzical expression on their face, and then begin to stumble.

"Nik...Niki...Nikif..." Invariably they'll decide the name is too long and that it's actually "Nicky Fortchuk" instead of "Nikifortchuk." I can't tell you how discomforting it is to be wheeled into surgery and the last thing you hear the doctor say as you start to go under is, "We'll take good care of you, Nicky."

I'm not Nicky! What if he has a "Nicky" patient who's going to have her nose bobbed or tummy tucked or boobs implanted? (Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't worry all that much.)

Oh! That reminds me of a third reason I don't use my husband's last name. I was once married to a fellow named "Knight" and if I ever turned out to be an ax murderess I figured it was better to disparage the name "Knight" than "Nikifortchuk." Any old "Knight" could deny being related to me. But a "Nikifortchuk"? Fat chance.

Oh, rats...that makes me think of a fourth reason why I've refused to use my husband's name. His father died while we were in the process of obtaining our US citizenship. When you become a citizen, you get to choose an entirely new name free of charge! Well, who could refuse an offer like that?

Alex's father had just died and we were all very sad about it. Once the old guy was gone, Alex's mother decided to tell us the truth: His father was Russian, not Ukrainian and his name was really "Nikifor." She said that his father had changed his name during the war because he'd gone MIA from the Russian army. Good story, eh?

Good enough that we swore to uphold the principles of the US Constitution with our brand new name, "Nikifor." I was transformed into "Deborah Knight-Nikifor" and I set about the task of changing my identity on credit cards, air miles cards, my driver's name it.

Just as I was finishing this lengthy and cumbersome process, I decided to do a little research. And guess what I found out? "Nikifor" is not a last name. It's a first name. Like "Bob." There was no way his father's name was "Sergei Bob."

When I thought about it, I felt like an idiot. Nobody, but nobody would escape from the Russian Army with the name "Nikifor" and then change it to "Nikifortchuk" and think, "Whew! Now they'll never find me."

So I asked Alex's mother, "What's our real name?"

She wouldn't tell me. I pressed. Surely to heaven she knew what the real name was. To this day, she refuses to tell me.

"I forget," she says. "I'm old. I forget things."

I can remember the name of the dog we had when I was four years old. I can remember the name of the guy who lived across the street when I was three. I really cannot believe that anyone, anywhere can actually forget their name. But she's tight lipped and I'm married to a guy whose name I don't even know. Could be "Stalin." Could be "Kruschev." Could be "Rimsky Korsakov." But seeing as how he shows no sign of musical genius, I figure it's more than likely "Stalin."

I sleep with one eye open...just in case.

Why am I writing this? Because a few weeks ago our niece, Sasha, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her "Tatiana Irenya." "Irenya" is the name that Alex's mother uses, but I haven't a clue if it's real.

Already, this little baby who is only a few weeks old is being referred to as, "Tatiana," "Tatya," "Tasha," and several other variations I cannot remember. Alex's sister, Lucy (Ludmilla) said that she didn't think it was odd because she was called by EIGHT different names as she grew up. EIGHT!!!

I've decided that this is a strange Russian thing where the instant you're born, you start accumulating aliases. Throughout your life you have so many names that nobody really knows who you are. That way they'll never find you.

Who? Who knows?! But they're out there and they're looking to find all these Russian people who have eight or ten different first names and last names they can't remember.

Well, I've tricked those cagey "Stalin-Nikifortchuks" because I got their DNA and I submitted it to National Geographic and FTDNA. There's a big database out there searching to match up my husband and mother-in-law's DNA with some other person on the planet. Someday I know I'll receive notification of a match and I'll finally know what my last name is.

And do you know what? I have more than a hunch my name isn't going to be "Romanov."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Look what I made!

As many of you know, I love Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It's got everything I want in a yarn: softness, color, an ethereal halo. Ahhh...

When we were at VK Live working with Linda Pratt on our online fashion show she showed me how to knit the new Rowan Kidsilk Creation yarn. It took her about twelve seconds, so it's not very complicated.

I grabbed a ball before we left for the airport to come home and I started on my scarf while we waited to board the craft. By the time they announced our group could be seated, it was finished! When I got back to the office I gave it to Stef and Michele so they could take a photograph.

Isn't it beautiful? (Oh, that's not me in the photograph. That's someone who's professionally pretty.)

Imagine making this mohair and silk scarf for only $24.80 in about an hour! If you're starting to think of holiday wear or even holiday gifts, this is something you'll want to consider.

I love my twirly, twisty, pretty scarf. I think you'd love one, too. We've got six beautiful colors for you to choose from.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

See the fashions, reviews, and interviews in the FREE Online Knitch Magazine!

The fall edition of Knitch Magazine, the online fashion magazine for knitters has just gone live and you won't want to miss it.

This season's issue features interviews with Benjamin Levisay of XRX and Jay Opperman of Knitting Fever. It also present fantastic articles about the autumn fashions, great reviews of yarns and books, and some of the highlights of the recent VK Live Event in Los Angeles.

Best of all, Knitch has lots of free patterns!

Be sure to read Knitch Magazine and subscribe to the Knitch Alert so you'll know whenever there are new articles and reviews to see.

October newsletter has just been released!

If you want to know the styles and colors that will be big this autumn, be sure to read our new Yarnmarket Newsletter. In this month's issue, Jan presents yarns and patterns from many of our favorite brands: Anny Blatt, Artyarns, Debbie Bliss, Berroco, Rowan, Filatura Di Crosa and more!

If you don't subscribe, you can read it online.

We send out FREE newsletters to our subscribers every be sure to subscribe today so you'll be among the first to receive our informational and inspirational publications. We promise we'll never sell or share your email address.