YARNMARKET.COM NEWS ISSUE #8|
In This Issue:
Seems as if we have a number of news updates this month, so let’s start off this issue with several news briefs from around the world.
San Francisco -- The Afghans for Afghans charitable organization based in San Francisco, California, announces its new partnership with Yarnmarket Inc. of Pickerington, Ohio. Afghans for Afghans is a not-for-profit group that collects newly hand-knit and crocheted blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters and vests for the men, women and children of war-torn Afghanistan.
Yarnmarket is proud to support these efforts with an incentive to encourage donations. Those who donate handmade items and have an e-mail address can enter the drawing for one of three $50 Yarnmarket gift certificates awarded every other month. As Founder Ann Rubin says, “The Yarnmarket drawing will help motivate people and that means more needy people will be warmed.”
London -- Hazel Tindall, a 52-year-old mother and school administrator from Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands, has been crowned the World Speed Knitting Champion of 2004.
As part of the same Knitting and Stitching Show, American author and designer Lily Chin successfully defended her speed crocheting title with a new world record of 86 triple crochets in three minutes.
Everywhere This Season -- Having trouble deciding on the best gift for those hard-to-buy-for teen girls in your life? Then consider the top picks from the website fashion.about.com when making your selections.
In the list of “One-Size-Fits-All Teen Gifts,” numbers 1 (Purse) & 2 (Hip Scarf) are items that can be easily and quickly handmade in your teenager’s favorite color and style. The experts’ top pick? A “statement-making” handbag ranging from cute to trendy.
As their second choice, the fashion mavens recommend a hip scarf ranging from warm and cuddly to chic and stylish depending on your teen’s fashion sense. They especially emphasize bright and whimsical in choosing the best color and style for most teens.
The added benefit to their top picks? As the editors put it, you can “give a stylish gift but don’t have to bother with figuring out exact sizes.” See the Projects section below for our Handbag and Scarf suggestions.
Following up on ideas for those teenagers, check out the wide range of featured scarf and bag projects. Our favorites? For scarves, take a look at the fun set Labyrinth Hat, Scarf & Mittens using a trendy new yarn from Karabella or the long, quick-knit Pia Big Wool Tuft Scarf or the easy and cuddly warm Super Easy Poof Scarf (this one even starts with a free pattern!).for a dressy, colorful option, and the Deco Ribbon & Splash Cell Phone Bag that’s just the right size for a cell phone and other essentials!
For the guys in your life, you’ll find nine sweater projects ready for you to knit this holiday season. Our first choice is the easy, attractive Moss Stitch Pullover with the simple rolled neck. For a little more of a challenge, try the Guernsey Cabled Sweater with a traditional turtleneck and modified cabling on the upper chest. And for that very special guy, create the fashionable Argyle V-Neck Vest crafted of wonderfully soft Handknit DK Cotton from Rowan.
Another great children’s gift is a winter sweater, and the Bounce Sweater is the perfect choice for your ball player, while the Gigi Girl’s Cardigan is ideal for that fashion conscious little girl or preteen. And we just can’t resist the Ruffle Edged Dress as an heirloom-quality, designer outfit for your little princess.
We have more projects for women’s fashions than for any other category, and our most recent additions are trendy sweaters and ponchos. Featured in Vogue Knitting, Karabella’s new Travelling Cables Cardigan is so spectacular your family and friends will be amazed by your artistry!
Also the Quest & Lavish Poncho will add a fun classic with a trendy asymmetrical twist to your fall and winter wardrobe, and even better, it’s an easy design as well! Or for those of you who love to crochet, create the Coty Crocheted Poncho as a feminine, open weave wrap from knitwear maven Kim Hargreaves.
The knitwear gurus haven’t forgotten your four-legged buddy, and we’re keeping up with those fashion trends as well! Check out the Viggeby Dog Coat, a stylish, double-breasted outfit designed by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton no less, exclusively for Noro’s multi-hued Iro yarn.
Because of your continuing interest in our Free Patterns and especially the free ones from our Yarnmarket designers, we’ve added even more freebies for your knitting enjoyment. You’ve told us how much you love Magic by Karabella, so check out the latest Yarnmarket free pattern “Magical Poncho”. You can even order everything you need for this project all at once and get started right away.
We’ve also added three free patterns for one of your all-time favorite Crystal Palace yarns Splash. Take a look at the Splash & Fizz Scarf that combines two of Crystal Palace’s most popular eyelash yarns into a furry, feathery, high-fashion accessory.
Then the Mikado Ribbon & Splash Scarf is a lovely, decorative scarf for a year-round accent to your favorite jacket or coat. And we can’t leave out the truly special, easy-knit Quick Splash & Squiggle Scarf that gives you a unique blend of textures and colors in a long, garter stitch design.
We’ve expanded our Knit One Crochet Too line with four new yarns – the ultimate in the whole Gourmet Collection, super soft Temptation; airy, fluffy, shimmering Jam, a delightful novelty yarn; ultra soft, brightly colored Fleece, ideal for sweaters, jackets, scarves and hats; and Sprinkles, the feathery soft, short eyelash yarn with lots of sparkle.
Adding to our designer-quality yarns are two new ones from Stacy Charles. Cabaret is a fun, variegated, baby loop boucle with oodles of texture and variety, and Rialto looks like silky pieces of multi-colored confetti alternating with eyelash flags and slubs of fuzzy color.
Of course, we haven’t overlooked your other favorite yarn manufacturers and have added gorgeously metallic Soiree from Crystal Palace, superbly luxurious Silk & Merino DK from Cherry Tree Hill and Kujaku, a uniquely designed, variegated wool blend yarn from Noro.
Also look over the new baskets we now carry from Lantern Moon because these are truly spectacular gifts for your family and friends: Silk & Seagrass Drawstring Box, Coil Rattan Container, Bowl Basket, Square Nested Boxes, and Twisted Palm Basket.
Take the exquisite lace designs of a well-known knitwear designer, combine them with the yarn knowledge and expertise of a yarn company founder, and what do you get? What is sure to become the standard reference book on lace knitting, Lavish Lace by designer Carol Rasmussen Noble and Cherry Tree Hill founder Cheryl Potter. Because of the authors’ enthusiasm, detailed explanations and insider information, Lavish Lace is both a wonderful introduction to the art form of lace knitting and a way for experienced lace knitters to expand their repertoire. Well-known knitwear specialist Carol Rasmussen Noble has designed 13 scarves, shawls, wraps and stoles for your knitting enjoyment, so you have plenty of choices. Also the book is organized to start you off with simple patterns and then build on your skills with more challenging lacewear approaches in later chapters.
We’ve created online projects for all 13 of the designs featured. Some of our favorite projects include the lovely, delicate Ocean Moods Scarf with its easy-to-follow, repeating pattern; the beautiful Falling Leaves Shawl combining extraordinary fall colors with a diamond/stockinette design; the Parrot House Stole, a larger, gorgeously hued wrap we can just imagine keeping us warm this winter; and the spectacular Season of Mists Shawl, the perfect accent to any elegant eveningwear camisole or dress.
Of course, we’re always excited about all the new things arriving every day – new yarns, new needles, and new accessories. Be watching for lovely new GGH yarns – Amelie, Coco and Soft Kid – and from Noro check for Lotus, Transitions and Yoroi. Also we’re expanding our Lana Grossa collection significantly by adding four new yarns soon – Caldo, Colore, Pepe Blocco and Fumo.
We’re particularly excited about the new yarn manufacturer we’re adding to the store – Southwest Trading Company. We’re introducing three Southwest yarns to Yarnmarket as soon as they arrive – Bamboo (yes, it’s really made of bamboo fibers!); the premier soy silk yarn Phoenix; and the cashmere-quality, merino yarn Optimum.
Another eagerly anticipated arrival is our shipment of Daisy knitting needles from Crystal Palace. These lightweight, resin needles with different colors for each size will add even more variety to your needle choices, and we expect them any day now.
We’re also stocking up on knitting accessories for your gift giving this season (or even to go on your personal wish list!). Watch for adorable sock-shaped needle point protectors from Susan Bates; the Wonder Knitter, a fun way to teach kids handcraft basics; double-ended stitch holders; and different types of stitch markers, just to name a few.
These traditional needles are readily available in a variety of sizes and styles, most commonly listed in patterns, make it easy to identify the beginning and end of your rows, and have the size stamped on the knob or the shaft. But single points hold a limited number of stitches comfortably and require the most “elbow room” of all the types, a fact you especially need to consider if you like to knit during air travel. You may also have sewing or seaming to do depending on what you’re making, and not everyone enjoys that type of handwork.
Circular needles, on the other hand, have the two traditional pointed needles connected by a plastic or metal cable. Circulars come in the standard needle sizes with various lengths of cables and are designed for knitting items in the round with no seams, ideal for making a hat or the body of a sweater. They can also be used for knitting flat pieces too large or with too many stitches to knit on single-pointed straight needles such as afghans, shawls and scarves knit horizontally. Circulars are more compact and require less elbow room, are less likely to need needle point protectors because stitches are less likely to slip off when you’re storing your work, and are less likely to get lost in your chair or sofa cushions!
Of course, circulars have their disadvantages too—the needle size is not usually printed on them so you’ll need to store them in the original plastic pocket or measure them with a needle gauge to check size, you have to mark the end/beginning of the row to keep you on track with your pattern, and you have to be careful to keep your stitches straight and even so that a row doesn’t twist.
You’ll also see recommended in patterns double-pointed needles, which usually come in sets of 4, 5 or 6 needles available in shorter lengths than most single-pointed straight needles. You divide the number of stitches over all but one of the double-pointed needles and use the remaining needle to work the stitches.
The double points work well for small items knitted in the round like socks, mittens, gloves and baby hats or for small, flat items made with just a few stitches such as I-cords. They let you knit small items without seams (imagine wearing socks with seams!). They even work well in conjunction with circular needles. For example, when you’ve started a beret using circular needles but have gotten to the decrease rows, you’d most likely switch to double points to finish the project.
However, with so many needles, you’re more likely to lose one in the sofa cushions and to need point protectors to keep your stitches from slipping off. Some knitters also find it awkward to have more than two needle points to maneuver, so you’ll want to keep in mind your preferences.
So now that you have the information you need to experiment, check out our Needles department and discover the rich variety we keep in stock just for you. Choose from straight, circular and double-pointed needles made of bamboo, ebony, rosewood, blond, coconut palm and plastic. We even have a set of interchangeable straight and circular needles by Denise for your widest range of options in one collection.
Once again we have a very talented customer to profile in our “Showcase Your Talent” feature. Congratulations to Roberta Knopf of California, our October Talented Customer of the Month. Roberta developed her own handbag pattern from the scarves she so enjoys making out of Cancun by Stacy Charles (she finds Cancun highly addictive by the way!). Here’s how she created the attractive handbag shown in color #79: “I knit three scarves then sewed them together for the exterior of the bag. Then I took two placemats and used that for a strong bag lining. I sewed everything together and added a button.”
You too can be selected as a talented customer of the month and receive a $30 gift certificate, but first you have to enter! Just send an e-mail to email@example.com with the details of what yarn, pattern, etc. from Yarnmarket you used along with a digital photo of the finished project.
At www.yarnmarket.com we pride ourselves on our customer service. Each order is packed with pride by Alma, Susan, Christine, or Phyllis – and we’re happy to say that although we have the occasional glitch, we have an almost 99% accuracy rate. And if something does go wrong, we’ll do everything we can to make it right for you…right away! Just send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 888-996-9276 and we’ll take care of the problem. Our Customer Service hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET Monday to Friday.