Friday, December 14, 2012

One and 0ne half weeks

Quick Christmas Gifts

One of the quickest gifts ever is a hand knit dishcloth. I often knit dishcloth patterns in quality cotton or linen and give them as face clothes. Ravelry has close to 8000 patterns for dishcloths .

The original design, one many of us have knit.

An interesting variation is a textured version called Eloomanator.

My current favourite is the picot edged version from Churchmouse Designs.

Knit up a couple either in craft cotton as dishcloth, or a better quality cotton or linen as a face cloth as a start to a gift basket.

With a face cloth, add a couple of bars of luxury soap, a good novel or magazine and you have a nice mini-spa.

If I might suggest, a local soap maker I have discovered at Aurora Farmers Market, has wonderful bath products - Kibo. The following link brings you to their website to view their selection and location.

Another nice gift package idea is to put together a little basket of kitchen based products; a couple of dish cloths, some hand cream and hand wash and maybe an aloe vera plant. My Mom always kept an aloe vera in the kitchen as first aid for burns or rough hands.
 If you receive a burn just clip off a piece of the plant, squeeze out some of the goeey sap inside and apply directly to the sore or burnt skin. It really does help take out the sting. This is a safe folk remedy that has been used for decades.

Gifts for Knitters

Elizabeth Zimmermann was a British-born knitter known for revolutionizing the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series on American public television. I find Elizabeth Zimmerman fascinating. Her designs are unique and timeless. Many are one piece with minimal seaming and fit together like origami puzzles. Early in her designing career, she became frustrated with all the changes magazine editors were making to her designs. She was ahead of her time and rather than appreciating that, editors were trying to hold her back. So she started publishing her designs herself and Schoolhouse Press was born. Her daughter Meg Swansen, also an accomplished designer, has continued the publishing company. Knitters continue to be fascinated by her designs today. Baby Surprise Jacket is the number one cardigan on Ravelry with over 18,000 posted projects. If you enjoy unusual or creative structure, you would love Elizabeth's designs and books.

The now famous Baby Surprise Jacket.
 A few of Elizabeth's many books.
Knit One Knit All is a recent Schoolhouse Press publication. Elizabeth's daughter,Meg has put together a collection of her mothers previously unpublished designs. Many have quite unusual structures.

I find this mitered cardigan very intriguing.

Pre-Christmas Specials

All books reduced 25%

Friday, December 7, 2012

2 and 1/2 weeks to go

This is embarrassing. I have done it again. I seem to have a problem reading calendars properly. Once last year, I announced a sale using the dates from an incorrect month. The first day of the sale came and went with hardly any customers. We were disappointed and surprised. Day 2 of the sale, same again. A customer came in saying she was just checking things out and would come back on Friday when the sale started. Light bulbs went on. Back in November I counted the Fridays until Christmas. There were 8, so OK 8 weeks to go to Christmas. Wrong, 8 Fridays means 7 weeks. Beth, you have done it again. Some one out there must have noticed I couldn't count. Couldn't you have saved me from embarrassing myself week after week. Like a couple of weeks ago when we were decorating the store for our Christmas Open House. Without me noticing, Gabriela clipped a Santa Claus clothes pin on the end of my pigtail. Then she let me go grocery shopping and doing various errands without telling me. I finally noticed it later than night when I was brushing out my hair before I went to bed. She thinks I have forgotten. I have not, I am just waiting for the right moment to exact my revenge.  Any way

It is 2 and 1/2 weeks to Christmas

Quick Knits for Babies

Minnow hat is adorable and a quick knit. Knit as written in sock yarn, it fits a newborn with a head size of about 14". The same pattern knit with DK yarn and you have an 18" size for somewhat older kids.  Other than the change of yarn to create the larger size, the only change I made was to increase the spacing between decrease rounds when you start the tail.

Minnow Hat in Sock yarn

Free pattern at the following link -

Easiest Ever Baby Blanket is just an over sized dish cloth and can be sized to use exactly the amount of yarn you have. Knit diagonally, you increase until you have used half your yarn and then start decreasing. 

Free Pattern at the following link -

One Piece Top Down Cardigan from Cabin "Fever Need A Baby Cardigan" is quick and simple. This pattern book allows you to use any weight of yarn from sock to chunky to knit a basic cardigan for age newborn to 18 months.  The DK or worsted version knits up in a couple of evenings and no seams. When you are finished knitting, sew on buttons and you are done.


Gifts for Knitters


One of our favourites collections of instructional knitting DVD's are Lucy Neatby's. Her teaching style is clear and entertaining. She has an extensive selection of topics. The full listing can be viewed on her website at the link below.
We always have a small selection of Lucy's DVDs on hand but if you want a particular topic, if you place an order by December 15th, we can have it in time for Christmas.

Pre-Christmas Specials


While supplies last, all magazines reduced 25%.


Friday, November 30, 2012

4 Weeks to Go



Are there any pets on your list?
This is my gang -



For your cat, you may already have a gift ready to go. Do you faithfully knit your gauge swatch and sometimes not bother unravelling it? If you have some swatches hanging around, you can easily turn them into a catnip toy for your cat.  There are lots of cute catnip mice in pet stores or patterns on line, but with the 6 cats I have owned, they all liked something flat they could smoosh into their face. One of our cats, Lucy, was an outdoor cat. We always kept a catnip plant in the garden for her. She would roll around on top of it or bury her face in it.
Waiting To Harvest Spring Cat Nip

The indoor cats all enjoyed little flat pillows stuffed with catnip.  One Christmas I got behind and I tried stuffing those cheap little stretchy mitts you can buy at the dollar store. Last year I experimented again. I put some old swatches in a jar with some dried catnip and left them for a few days. After they had absorbed the aroma, pulled one out, threw it on the floor and the cats were on it in seconds. They loved it. Once it was all soggy and gooey, I retrieved it, gave it a quick wash, let it dry and threw it back in the jar for another day.

I buy my catnip at a local health food store, Nature's Emporium. It is less expensive than the stuff in most pet shops and seems to remain potent for a long time. I refresh my catnip toys once a year at Christmas when I make cat toys for friends and family.
The link below will take you to their website for directions. It is a huge fabulous health food store.The catnip is with the dried herbs in the far back left corner where you find all the supplements.

If you have a little more time available, how about a cat bed. I am sorry to tease you with the cutest cat nest I have ever seen because we do not have a pattern for it - I promise, Gabriela & I plan to figure it out in the new year. We will let you know.

Cat Bordhi's Treasury of Magical Knitting has several cat beds and nests.

I love this crocheted cat nest from Ravelry - Free Pattern at the following link

Gabriela knit this felted cat bed - Very Cute. Free Pattern from Ravelry at the following link-

We have sold literally dozens of copies of  DRESS YOUR DOG.  Several adorable sweaters for petite canines.

My favourite is the shrug!!!


Last Christmas Gabriel discovered the cutest little dog toy at Wallmart. It is Lambchops and she comes in 2 sizes, very small for little dogs and normal size here with Stitches. I was in Wallmart on Wellington in Aurora a couple of weeks ago and they still had some.

Just a warning; amaryllis is toxic to both dogs and cats. I know they are beautiful, but having lost a dear friend Flip who was accidentally poisoned by ingesting lily pollen, I don't think it is worth it.

The following link to American SPCA offers a thorough list of plants dangerous for your pets.

Gifts for Knitters

We have 2 book series that are very popular. Every knitter is always looking for good patterns. The 60 Quick Knits series are a fabulous resource for the very popular Cascade yarns we carry.

60 Quick Knits features patterns for worsted weight yarn - Cascade 220

60 More Quick Knits focuses on Sport weight

60 Quick Baby Knits uses Cascade 220 Superwash, a DK

The 101 Series are a gold mine of patterns for knitters. 



 We have sold more of 101 Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders than any other book we have ever had in the store.
All these books are reasonably priced in the low $20's 

Pre-Christmas Special

When you don't have a lot of time, chunky yarn to the rescue. Ravelry has several patterns suitable for just one skein of Rowan Colourscape. We also have a couple of Free Store patterns. To help get through that Christmas knitting list, we have Rowan Colourscapes on sale discounted 25%. We have pretty good stock in over a dozen colours.
There are many patterns on Ravelry using Colourscapes. The following are some of my favs.




 Hope you have found some inspiration.