Therapi, I Need Therapi

I'm working on a store project right now that is really fun to make. I would want to make it even if it wasn't a work project :) As a matter of fact, I might make more than one of them. I want one for me, and it is also a great gift idea.

I got these kits for a Braided Wrap, which is like a shoulder shawl that is joined in the middle with a braid. It is a continuous loop. It's a great design, but what really makes this wrap beautiful is the lovely yarn, called Therapi, from Southwest Trading Company. It feels so soft! The way it feels reminds me of the Tencel Wool yarn from Plymouth that we used to get. It is soft and yet silky all at the same time, but it has the springiness of wool, too, which makes it fun to knit with. One interesting thing about the yarn is that it is made with jade. Yup, that jade, the semiprecious stone. The fiber content of Therapi is 30% bowlder (jadeite) fiber, 50% fine wool, and 20% silk. I love the color I chose, a pretty periwinkle blue, but we have the kit available in lots of colors. The colors are luminescent and practically glow. You can get the kit at Unique One for $52.95.

Here is what I am shooting for (this is the picture from the inside of the kit):


The picture on the outside of the kit has a great picture of the model's face, but not so great a picture of what you're making. Silly editors.

Here is the wrap I am making, a little more than half done:


The method of construction is,  you start with a provisional cast on at the center back, knit around to the front, separate the piece into 3 parts, knit each of the 3 parts to a certain length and then braid them together to form the front of the wrap, put the 3 pieces back on one needle, and then knit merrily around to the center back. You join the ends together with either Kitchener stitch, or a three needle bind off, and voila! a seamless loop of a wrap. Very easy, very fun :) 


Here is the same piece, braided together. Notice the lovely purpleheart size 7 needles I am using, with pretty purple Swarovski crystal tops, from Autumn Hollow :) Let's have a close up of those needles:


This is the crochet provisional cast on I used, but you could use whatever provisional cast on method you like, really. You probably could just cast on regularly and bind off at the end, and just sew a seam together, if you didn't mind having the seam down the middle of your back. It will be interesting to Kitchener stitch it together, since the edges are in garter stitch and the middle is stockinette, but I will do my best.

I placed a pin to mark the row I joined the pieces on. I know how many rows I knit before I separated the piece into 3 strips, so now I have to knit that same number of rows, Kitchener stitch it together, weave in the ends, and stand back as the crowds of people flock to the store to buy the kit! I might have to wear this wrap a lot, as it quite appeals to me :) 

This Braided Wrap is a very easy and fun and very, very quick thing to knit.   



Carding Wool and Getting Good Karma

I've been resting today, trying to fight off a cold (which I think I have succeeded in doing, yay!), but I did manage to card the wool for my Knitting Olympics project. 

Here is the BFL (pink) and nylon (orange) that I started with:

It's 4 ounces of wool and 1 ounce of nylon. I dyed the fibers a couple days ago.

The first thing I did was to divide both fibers into 16 separate but equal pieces:

See the striped toes on the left? Nora had to help.


Then I divided each 1/16th of wool and 1/16th of nylon into quarters:


My pieces are getting itty bitty. 

Each 1/16th got attenuated and layered:


I think the secret to successful carding is to make the wool wispy, very very very wispy, and to turn the drum s-l-o-w-l-y...


You have to build the fiber up, a quarter of a sixteenth at a time.... and then you have to take it off the carder and card it again, a quarter at a time. I could have carded it a couple more times but I wanted to keep the orange nylon a little bit visible, not entirely blended in.

Then I had a lovely teeny batt of fiber:


So pretty. Here's a close-up:


Then I rolled it up like a little sausage, and it is ready to spin: 


Lather, rinse, repeat, and after fifteen more times, here is my wool for my Olympic Knitting event:


It was all I could do not to start spinning them immediately, but I refrained. I really really really want to spin them now. Even though they do look like pink insulation.

 Oh, and at the store? Yesterday I met Jim from Good Karma Farm in Belfast, Maine, who stopped by to show me some of his yarn. I bought all he had on him, about 23 skeins, and he promises to make more soon. I love that Good Karma Farm uses fiber from local animals, spins the yarn on their own farm, and dyes it there too. This yarn is 60% Secret Island Sheep fiber and 40% Good Karma alpaca fiber from their own farm. And yes, the sheep are on one of the Maine islands, and it is a secret where. So just knit, and never mind :) 

Here is what I got:


I wish you could feel how yummy this feels. I would say it is between a worsted and a bulky weight, a chunky weight along the lines of Classic Elite's Montera. I have not yet swatched with it to find out. Each skein has 200 yards and retails for $16.00.

I plucked out two skeins to use for a modular knit scarf I am thinking of designing for my Modular Knitting class later this spring:


I can't wait to start knitting with this stuff :)


Olympic Training, and Things That Glow

I am working toward my Olympic spinning/knitting event! Last night I dyed 1 ounce of nylon orange, and 4 ounces of BFL fiber hot pink. I used Gaywool dyes, in the color "Madder Orange" and "Orchid". They came out the exact perfect colors, both of them! 

I am going to card the nylon in with the BFL. My hope is that the 20% orange will give a little depth and interesting orange sheen to the 80% hot pink, and it will end up a nice bright mostly hot pink color which will be fun to spin and then knit. 

I think the Ancient Oak sock pattern will be a good choice because the stitch pattern can be memorized pretty easily, so I won't have to read a chart (which would slow me down), yet the stitch pattern will not only be more interesting to knit, but it will help keep track of progress. And after all, its the Olympics, so I had to challenge myself to do something more than just a stockinette plain old sock. 

I'll card my wool and nylon together, maybe tomorrow, and I will get pictures then. Right now they are both drying on a rack by the woodstove. 

And in Non-Knitting-Olympic news, I got some new needles at the store the other day. You know me and my attraction to things that glow in the dark, right? 

heh heh heh 

Yes, I got SmartGlow needles! They glow in the dark! They are pretty much useless as far as light generation goes, as they don't create enough light to knit by, but hey! THEY GLOW IN THE DARK. They are awesome and also not too expensive, about $6 a set. So if you want inexpensive plastic needles that glow in the dark, I got what you need right here....

My batteries were low and therefore my pictures came out kinda blurry, but here is the packaging:


Here we are in the light.....


.... in the dark!  



Boatloads of yarn

It's been a great yarn sale so far, but it is an even better one now! I got more yarn. Kind of a lot of yarn.....

 So now I have new Frogtree Chunky Alpaca, and 12 new colors of Peruvia, and about 10 new colors of Montera, and 10 new colors of Inca Alpaca, and some new Lush, and some new Plush, and a dozen skeins of Schaefer's great "Anne" sock yarn (which makes fabulous scarves and shawls too), and my order of Lorna's Laces also came in. All that, and before the end of the yarn sale, too. 

I am still waiting for the Donegal, Christopher Sheep Farm, Shibui Sock and Alchemy Haiku to arrive; those will all arrive over the next couple of weeks (Haiku might be a bit longer; they just started painting my order today. I am so excited!). 

 I have updated both my blog list of my current knitting projects and also my Ravelry projects page, so those of you who might be keeping track of my knitting can know what I am really up to. I will try to get pictures sometime. 

Really, though, I haven't been handknitting much. I have been just trying to run the store and trying to get all my sweater orders done for customers. I have about a dozen more sweaters to knit and then I will be all caught up, and then I can start on stock.... unless more people order sweaters! I would love that :) 

Yarn Sale At Unique One!

Yarn is 20% off Jan. 21 through 31! I have a lot of yarn that is ordered, that will be arriving periodically throughout the sale, so keep stopping by to see what just came. My winter hours are Monday through Friday 12 to 6, Saturday 10 to 5, and Sunday 12 to 4. (Yes, I know I have to change the web site.) 

A funny thing happened when I was ordering the bulky weight alpaca that we usually carry. I was ordering 10 colors, so I listed them for the lady on the phone. Then I asked her to tell me how many were back ordered so I could fill in with other colors (I wanted to have a lot of colors available for the yarn sale). There are usually a few colors that are backordered because they are out of stock. The lady paused and said that they were all backordered. Huh?? ALL of them? So I said, what colors do you have in stock, I can pick from those.... well, it turns out they didn't have ANY bulky alpaca in stock. None. They expected their shipment in mid-February. 

So I called a different company that sells bulky weight alpaca, and it turns out there is some kind of chemical spill or something near some port, so a bunch of ships are hanging around waiting to get into port to unload their cargo. The 2nd alpaca company is switching their packaging of bulky alpaca over from small round balls (which is convenient but doesn't have the oooooh factor when you feel it, like a soft hank does) to braids (which has more oooooh factor.) I ordered the 7 colors they have available right now in braids. They will have a lot more of their bulky alpaca colors available in braids, as soon as the darn ships can get into port :) 

I have lots of yarn coming in, so be on the lookout for more Donegal, Schaefer Anne, Inca Alpaca and Montera, Plush, Peruvia, Lush, and more to be coming in during the yarn sale. Keep checking back, there is something new nearly every day :)

Christmas trees and hats and knitting, oh my

A few days ago I mentioned some little Christmas trees that we have for sale in Unique One, with handmade ornaments made of applesauce and cinnamon, and garland and red bows. Here is a picture:


I wish TypePad would hurry up and activate that scratch 'n sniff feature, so you could smell how good and Christmasy these little trees smell. They are handmade by a lady right here in Camden, they are about 15 inches tall, and they are $24.00. Can you believe all that handwork for only $24? It is really beautiful. 

Also, Chief Knitter Susan brought in some very cute earflap hats. They come in both adults size ($52) and kids size ($42). They are made of 100% wool but they have a 100% cotton lining inside, so they are not as itchy when worn:


Susan has been busy! Call me if you want any more information on the hats or the trees, or want to order one. 1-888-691-8358!

And in other knews....

I worked on my Trekking socks... I like them a lot now, they are pretty:

I think I was just tired of making socks when I started them before. I like the yarn a lot now :) 

I found my red cashmere scarf! It was hiding inside another knitting bag that is holding "upcoming" projects, so I figured it would not be in there, since it is already started. I haven't worked on it for about 6 weeks, but here is what I have so far:

 I wish you could feel how yummy this cashmere is. It is my next to the last SPA project that I haven't finished. 

The only other SPA project that is still sitting untouched is the BFL in color Galaxy, that I got from Spunky Eclectic. However, I have made progress, even before casting on: I have decided what to do with it. I was originally going to just spin it into sock yarn, but now I have decided that after I finish the Bermuda socks, I will hand-spindle the BFL as a laceweight so I can make one of the lace projects in A Fine Fleece. I love that book and I still want to make everything in it, and I will.... over a period of several years, I am sure.

The only other Fiber Frolic project left untouched so far is the yarn I got from String Theory. I think it contains some cashmere, it is a gorgeous blue color with a little purple and/or turquoise, and it is fingering weight.... I think I have around 400 yards or so, maybe more. So far I have not decided what to use it for. So I have to get the BFL lace yarn all spun by the SPA 2010, to be able to say I used up all my SPA purchases within a year, and I have to knit that one skein of String Theory yarn by the Fiber Frolic 2010 to say I used up all my Fiber Frolic purchases from last year. And if I hold myself back a little more at the SPA and Fiber Frolic in 2010, maybe I can start making inroads on all the stuff I have in my stash. I have stuff from several years of SPA and from my infamous "holiday" in Bar Harbor what, 3 years ago now? and from my Freeport trip last year too. This year's Freeport trip was just the blue silk SeaWool Shawl, which is already done :) 

I should go through my stash and just get rid of most of it. I have a lot of one ball of this, one ball of that. Maybe I will just crochet one honkin' huge granny square afghan. When I was in college I used to do that with all my leftover bits of yarn. I know it ate up the yarn pretty fast. 

I guess I better get back to work :) Sorry about the long-winded post.


Decorating for Christmas

This morning I went out and clipped boughs from evergreens around my house, so I could decorate the window boxes in front of Unique One. They are so pretty now! I filled them with balsam fir and pine, and then I went to a local garden center and bought a bundle of twigs with red berries on them, and put them in the window boxes too. They look so pretty! I'll post pictures soon. I also went to our local farm stand and bought a decorated wreath and hung it on Unique One's door, and replaced the fall flag with a holiday winter one. The flag has a really cute snowman holding a candy cane on it. Very festive! 

I put little white lights around the store windows and hung up our usual snowflake decorations from the ceiling, so now we are all decorated up for Christmas. It feels good to be ready. I think last year, I didn't even get boughs in the window boxes until the Friday of Christmas by the Sea, which is about a week late. And I didn't even try to decorate the window boxes, just shoved greens into them, in kind of a half-hearted fashion, at that. I am much more into the Christmas spirit this year than I was last year. 

Oh, and you should see the cute Christmas tree decorations we are selling! Little trees all decorated with red ribbons, and garland and a ton of handmade little "gingerbread" people all over them. The ornaments are made of applesauce and cinnamon, so they smell amazing. They are the most festive thing ever, and the best bit is, they are made right here in Camden. They cost only, $24.00, and lemme tell ya, the amount of handwork that went into each..... well, they're a steal, in my opinion. There are gingerbread boys and girls as regular tree ornaments available too, for $3.95, and we also have the ever popular (around here, anyway) Christmas belted Galloway cow tree ornaments for sale for $3.95. Again, pictures as soon as I remember to get my camera and my store in the same time/space continuum. 

AND I finished my Hanna Falkenberg jacket 10 minutes ago, and I finished a silk scarf tonight too. I started the silk scarf in Freeport about a week ago. It's pretty. Pictures soon. 

Yarn Booty

We got a crate full of yarn from Done Roving yesterday:


It's 2 kinds. One is Kidding Ewe, a blend of mohair and wool. The colors are so rich! It has a lovely sheen and a little fuzz, and it feels fantastic! It has 300 yards per skein and knits up at 5 sts per inch; I am not at the store as I post this, but I believe our price is $29.95 a skein. These hand dyed colors are unbelievable. As we unpacked the box, all 3 of us kept saying, this is my favorite color! No, THIS is my favorite color! 

The other yarn is called Wool 4 All. It is in a 216-yard 4 ounce hank and comes in 9 lovely colors! If you love the look of Kidding Ewe but can't take the mohair, this is a good substitute. I think Wool 4 All is selling at Unique One for around $13  a skein. I want to say $13.75. We shall see how accurate my memory is when I get to the store. 

Both yarns are great for felting, and we even have a sample felted drawstring bag model on display. I think these yarns have "potential Christmas project" stamped all over them. 

In other news, I have abandoned my Swirl Shawl project in Andrea !00% silk lace weight yarn. The silk yarn will be lovely in some other project, and the shawl will be lovely in some other yarn, but together, they are not really thrilling me. I think I will just set both the pattern and the yarn aside for awhile and stick to the 4 other projects in my list til one or two of them are done. And one of these days, the exactly right yarn for that shawl will come along, and I will discover the exactly perfect lace scarf pattern for the Andrea yarn. It gives me something to look for :)  

You asked for it....

... and now it's here! The Fall 2009 Interweave Knits magazine, of course :)


Everyone has been wanting one, and I finally have a few copies in stock now. It is a great issue this time, primarily because of the article about our own Mary Jane Mucklestone, who worked at Unique One, and who is now a fabulously famous knitting designer! We always knew she was talented. So come on in, if you still haven't found your very own copy of the Fall 2009 Interweave Knits magizine.

The Winter issue of Interweave Knits will be available just before Thanksgiving, and I plan to order copies on November 21. That is, unless the fall sales take a big nosedive like they did last year. Man, I can't believe how bad October 2008 was for me. Hopefully this fall will be better! So be on the look out late in November for the Winter issue of Interweave Knits.

I also got a couple of copies of the new Homespun, Handknit book and also of Amy King's new book, Spin Control: Techniques for Spinning the Yarns You Want.


Amy King is the genius behind Spunky Eclectic, and you all know how I love Spunky Eclectic anything. Her book is destined to be an instant classic reference for spinners everywhere, and you can bet I snapped my copy up right out of the box. It is everything you ever wanted to know about spinning pretty much any kind of yarn, and it really makes you feel very empowered.


The new Homespun, Handknit edited by Amy Clarke Moore is similar to the original book by the same name, showcasing great projects that can easily be made with handspun yarn, but you can, of course, use commercial yarn if you choose to. Both books are here -- I only have a couple of copies of each of them -- so stop by if you want to see them.

Project Update

I have updated my Beth's Current Projects list on the left sidebar of my blog (scroll down). I now have 5 projects listed there, even though it looks like 7. Two of the projects kinda fill two categories each. I also have one store project that I am not putting in as a project of my own, because I hope everyone at the store will help me knit it. Its a model of a stockinette scarf made in a new yarn called Gioiello, which replaces Ritratto, but I need to make the sample out of Gioiello; it is a simple thing, cast on 50 sts, knit a row purl a row till you run out of yarn. I think the model is in 'Coral Reef', a really pretty pink color. It makes a lovely long scarfy shawl (if you shake it out sideways, holding the long side, it widens into a shawl). I think among all of us who work at the store, if we all work on it a little, it will be done pretty soon. And if you want to just come in and knit on it for a while to help us git-r-done, come on by and I'll set you right up on the back porch!

Sheep, Rattle & Roll!

We got some friendly new faces at Unique One today:


This is a very cute little pottery sheep .... and she's a rattle, too! These adorable little guys are made by Linda Frahm, in Massachusetts, and I love them. When you shake them, they make a charming little chime-like rattle that is so magical.  I tried to capture the sound with my cell phone, but it just sounds like a normal rattle, but here it is anyway, if you want to hear me shake the sheep:

Download Sheeprattlesound

The best thing about these little sheep is written on the card that accompanies each one:

The Story Behind the Sheep Rattles

"While some people count sheep to sleep – others dream of them. My desire to make these sheep rattles originated from a dream about a beautiful white sheep that was comfortably curled in my lap. I told a friend in my dream that I wanted to keep this sheep. She said, “Linda, a sheep is not like a dog. You can’t keep a sheep in your apartment!” I told her that maybe I’d buy my sheep a pasture. She said, “Oh, that’s silly. You won’t buy a pasture.” To persuade me to come to my senses, she introduced me to a family who owned a farm. When I met with the owners and they mentioned their deep green pasture, my sheep’s ears perked up, and I felt bad. I was being so selfish. And yet, my heart wouldn’t let me part with something so special. I wrapped my arms around my sheep and held on tightly. Then I woke up. I’ve been holding onto the dream and making sheep ever since. Each sheep rattle is filled with tiny beads of clay and a little heart. Simply shake once a day to keep your dreams alive."

I love that each little sheep has a tiny heart inside it as part of the rattle. Didn't Raggedy Ann have a little heart sewn inside her too?

These little handcrafted sheep sell for $30 in Unique One. You can also look at Linda Frahm's website,, for more pictures and more information.

We also got a large order of Encore worsted weight yarn today, and while it does roll around, it does not rattle. I guess that's a good thing.

The Story Behind the Sheep RattlWhile some people count sheep to sleep – others dream of them. My desire to make these sheep rattles originated from a dream about a beautiful white sheep that was comfortably curled in my lap. I told a friend in my dream that I wanted to keep this sheep. She said, “Linda, a sheep is not like a dog. You can’t keep a sheep in your apartment!” I told her that maybe I’d buy my sheep a pasture. She said, “Oh, that’s silly. You won’t buy a pasture.” To persuade me to come to my senses, she introduced me to a family who owned a farm. When I met with the owners and they mentioned their deep green pasture, my sheep’s ears perked up, and I felt bad. I was being so selfish. And yet, my heart wouldn’t let me part with something so special. I wrapped my arms around my sheep and held on tightly. Then I woke up. I’ve been holding onto the dream and making sheep ever since. Each sheep rattle is filled with tiny beads of clay and a little heart. Simply shake once a day to keep your dreams alive."

Some new stuff at the store

I got some new stuff at Unique One recently... Last week we got a shipment of beautiful summery Anne Kilham design notecards. Anne is a local artist, from Rockport, Maine. She has some lovely new images for this year's notecards. Here are some pictures of the whole display and then some spotlighted (spotlit?) newer designs:


AKcards1     Akcards2

Akcards3     Akcards4 

The notecards come in a pack of 8 notes with envelopes, blank inside, and cost $6.50 for the pack. 

We also got a big shipment of Shibui Sock yarn and Bartlettyarn, but my camera ran out of batteries, so no pictures. 

Odds & Ends, Catching Up

We got some new stuff at Unique One while I was out cruising, and today:

We got new summer clothing in a nice sunshiney yellow.

We got new Bartlettyarn. 

I finished my Mystery Sock #1 on Monday and have worked through clue 2 on the second Mystery Sock. Here is a picture of what the Mystery Sock looks like:
It has beaded butterflies on it :) 

I have a great coffee cup cozy that I put on coffee cups to prevent my hands from burning as I carry it back to the store from the Deli; it was lovingly crocheted for me by my dear friend Peggy (I think it was a free pattern on the Berroco website). I love it very much. Peggy made it from handspun yarn that she spun; she got the fiber from my friend and coworker Tracy, who dyed the fiber for her about 3 years ago or more. Here is the cup cozy. 

About a month ago, Tracy decided to dye some yarn and make herself a shawl/blanket from the book A Gathering of Lace. Here is her shawl:

So when I came in this morning and set my coffee cup down next to her shawl, it was kinda funny, because my coffee cup matched her shawl:
We decided Tracy must really like those colors! They are a good match, especially for hand dyed fiber and yarn, dyed 3 years apart. I told Tracy she should give me the shawl. 

More New Yarn

I got new stuff at Unique One yesterday! 

I filled in my much-depleted stash of Done Roving's "Frolicking Feet" sock yarn in all the luscious colors, and I also got a new Done Roving sock yarn called "Tapping Toes", which is a bamboo blend:

Tapping Toes is a superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend, and it is a heavy fingering to sport weight yarn. There are 434 yards per skein, easily enough for a pair of socks. It has such a fabulous bamboo sheen, and it feels great in the hand. One of the colors is called Champagne Melon, and I love it very much..... a skein of it came home with me. Also, one of the new Frolicking Feet colors, Starry Starry Night, came home with me, too. Starry Starry Night looks like a solid dark sapphire blue/purple, but there are small bits of much lighter purple/blue spread through the skein, so when you knit it up, it looks like little stars...... 
I get myself into so much trouble owning a yarn shop. Sigh.

Spinning My New Fiber

All day yesterday, my finger hurt. Part of it was the gigantic mosquito bite, but it hurt inside too. It is my left index finger, and it hurt a lot by the first joint, like I had sprained it. I didn't want to even think it could be arthritis, although that will probably show up in due course. 

I am trying to get back to my ten minutes a day regimen for spinning, so I dutifully pulled out my spindle and fiber to spin for 10 minutes after breakfast. And lo and behold, I discovered that my finger hurts from spinning. Day before yesterday, I was deep in the throes of New Spinning Project Syndrome, and I spun on my new spindle with the tencel/merino fiber for over an hour. This morning when I picked it up again, I discovered that my finger hurt because I have to pinch more when drafting out the fiber, because the tencel is slipperier than plain wool. I have spun this 50/50 tencel and merino fiber many times before, but always on one of my wheels, and I guess I didn't run into the problem. I was just glad my finger hurt from spinning and not from something else :) 

This new spindle is a production spindle; I could not believe how much I can spin in just ten minutes. I think I will be able to spin and ply the first ounce of fiber in only 3 or 4 days, which is awesome. I will probably spend more than 10 minutes a day to do that, of course, but the ten minutes gives me a base from which to work. 

Here is a picture. It is not well lit and it's a little out of focus, but at least it gives you an idea of how much I have spun so far. I will try to get a better picture soon; this fiber is so much more beautiful than it is in this picture:


Have a good day today, wherever you are! I am off to work shortly; I have a new helper starting with me today, a lady who like most of my employees, started out as a customer! She is a wonderful person and it will be great to have the help. Things are starting to get busy at the store again, which is fantastic. I hope the rest of June continues to be as good as the first week has been, I hope this hasn't been some cruel joke.

Oh! Hey! tomorrow I will post about the NEW knitting cruise I am going to do! My knitting cruise schedule just went from 3 cruises this year to 4! Yayyyy!

Future Incoming...

I have another great new yarn coming from Knit One Crochet Too that will ship in early August. It is called Geologee and it is a fabulous multicolored heavy  worsted weight single ply yarn. The salesman stopped by on Thursday and left me a sample ball: 

Geologee  Geologee2
If anyone wants to come by the store and feel the sample ball, or the knit swatch if I actually get it knit, come on in.

Also I ordered a Great American Yarn company yarn (yarns made in the USA!). It is a silk/merino blend and comes in totally yummy colors, and it's shiny! I like it. It will be great for sweaters or for accessories like scarves, because it is so soft. It will ship in August, so keep an eye out :) I got it in both solid colors and variegated colors too.

I ordered a novelty-ish yarn called Lustro, which is 3 strands of yarn, two strands of light mohair in two different colors, and a gold colored chainette strand. It makes a beautiful scarf with one ball, and the pattern for a scarf is printed on the inside of the label. It will sell for around $10 a ball, so it will be great for gift scarves in the late fall. 

And finally, I broke down and ordered some wool/bamboo roving from Frogtree, for spinners. It comes in great colors and feels yummy :) It is coming in the fall. 


We got new stuff at Unique One. Yay! 

Summer hats and bags:

Bigstrawbags   Smallstrawbags

Beadedbags   Stripedbags

And yes, I got some new YARN too! 

Ty-Dy Socks is a fantastic sock yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too, which has the added distinction of being a Maine company!!! This sock yarn feels great, very soft and silky feeling. It is a little thinner than some sock yarns, and I recommend using a size 1 needle on it rather than a size 2. It is going to be very very very very difficult for me not to set aside the Wandering Path socks and start a new pair of socks with this, abandoning my SPA-finishing goals and just going off the wagon all together. Sigh...... someone, please push me off the wagon.....

Ty-Dy is 80% superwash wool and 20% nylon (Yes. It is perfect.) and has 436 yards per ball, so one ball makes a pair of socks. And it is $15.95 per ball. Did I mention, it is perfect?? How can I resist this stuff? 

Here is another new yarn:

Brae Tweed, also from Knit One, Crochet Too, is the yarn that settles the tweed question. People love the look of tweed yarn, like Donegal Tweed, but they don't necessarily love the 100% wool feel of it ... it might feel a little scratchy next to the skin for them. Brae Tweed is the answer! I wish you could reach through the monitor and feel it. You know how some yarns make you want to take all your clothes off and submerge into a tub of yarn? Well, this does that. It is a tweed that consists of 60% merino wool, 20% baby llama, 10% bamboo, and 10% donegal tweed bits; it is handwashable. It feels heavenly! And its from a Maine company. I love this stuff. 

I ordered a bunch of colors; about half of the colors came so far, and actually, by the time you read this, the rest of the colors might be here too. Brae Tweed knits at a gauge of 18 sts = 4" on a size 8 needle; each 50 gram skein has 109 yards. It costs $7.95 per skein. It would be great for yummy-feeling scarves, mittens, hats or socks, but you should see the very cute sweater patterns I got for it too: 

Cara Cross-Over Cardie

Kelly Pullover

Come on by, and check stuff out :) 

We Got Needles

Not much of a blog post today because I am sick.

But I did want to tell you that I got a large-ish shipment of needles and notions today. The needles are the pearl gray finish aluminum needles, Inox/Prym brand; I got double pointed needles in 6" and 8" lengths; filled in both 14" and 10" single point needles, and got circular needles in several lengths. Also I filled in the notions wall with Clover and Susan Bates products, including stitch holders, markers, yarn needles, felting needles and felting wool in a variety of colors, coil-style dpn holders, point protectors, cable needles and the like. Yay :)

Bamboo needles are ordered and should be here in a few days, and I have a small book order of the classics coming as well, to fill in the book shelves a bit. I did try to get Wendy Knits Socks from the Toe Up, and Sock Innovations, but both of them were sold out. I will try again the next time I order. 

I  have 12 colors of Encore worsted weight about to ship, so the empty Encore bins will soon start to look happier. 

Things are starting to roll for summer. Let's hope we can get some momentum going! Come in and buy a sweater, that's the best thing you can do to help me... or persuade your friends and relatives to come buy them, since I KNOW that my blog readers can knit their own sweaters, very well!!

The Perfect Knitting Bag

I have found the perfect knitting bag. And now we sell it at Unique One!!

It is from the Nantucket Bagg Company (you can go check them out on their web site). I really love these bags!

The bags are available in a smaller polyester model, which is the perfect size for knitters, and also a larger canvas size, which is good for power knitters, knitters going on long boat trips, and the larger bag is also good for carpentry tools and stuff. 

I got 5 of the smaller polyester bags in natural, hot pink, and black, and we currently have one of the larger canvas bag, which is only available in natural canvas. The polyester bags are $41.50 and the larger bag is $71.50. 

You can zip the bag together so that your tools and pockets are all on the inside:

You can zip the bag together so the tools and pockets are all on the outside:

You can unzip the bag entirely so you can lay the whole thing out flat:

And here is a picture of the larger canvas bag:

These are awesome bags!!! And I noticed on their website that they have an offer right now, that if you send them a picture of you using your bag, you can potentially win a free bag too! They make great gifts :) 

If you see one on the website that I don't have in stock, I can order them. I am thrilled with this new find!

Bully Woolies kits!!

I love Bully Woolies kits! Stacy makes such great products, with excellent packaging and clever, colorful designs. Here is what I recently received:


You can click to make big..... also I photoshopped the prices onto the kits so you can see how much they are, if you want to order one. 

These kits are fabulous! The catnip mice kits have Maine wool and Maine-grown catnip, and jingle bells, and are sure to make any cat leap for joy. The squeak toy balls for dogs are cute and they come with squeakers and dog treats!

Also I have a NEW wallet kit from Bully Woolies that is awesome. It is about twice the size of the coin kits, and it would make not only a good wallet, but also a nifty knitting notions bag. 

The coin purses are cool, and there are some cool new colors, too! Come by and check them out :) 

Unique One Web Site Changes

Exactly one year ago, on April 30, the server that my website was on was shut down (actually it was to be moved to a new server). Very sad. Even sadder was the fact that my shopping cart software, CFWebstore, was based on Cold Fusion, which is no longer supported, so the new server could not run my online shopping. The reason why I had chosen that particular hosting provider was because they could host Cold Fusion.

I figured if I couldn't have my shopping cart software, I might just as well put my website back on the Midcoast Internet Solutions server, since they are more local, and I like to support local business if I can. The move went well, and I had a notice on my website about the server move and the resulting lack of online shopping. I figured I would get the online shopping part back and re-do the website soon. 

Well, it has been a YEAR. Funny how I can't seem to get anything done. But on Monday, before I geeked out on GeekTool, I finally finished adding online shopping to my website, and revamped some of the menu items. So now you don't get a message saying we moved our server on April 30. Yay!

It still isn't done, of course; I have more plans. I need to add the kids' sweaters, and make them available to buy online, and I need to add a couple pages at least stating that we do sell knitting supplies and gifts, although I doubt I will be making any of them available for online shoppers until I get my stock whipped back into shape and have enough money to be able to order things for people if things are out of stock when people place their online orders. That might take more than a year, and that is IF the economy improves at more than a snail's pace. But at least it's a plan.

One thing I planned to do when I was redoing the website was to delete the link to Our Current Newsletter. I used to do a great newsletter every quarter, but then I let it go because it was far too expensive to print and mail, and then I let go of the online version too. Then I deleted the content when the current newsletter was two years old. However, I couldn't make myself delete the link to the newsletter; I want to start doing a quarterly newsletter again, online only. 

One reason the newsletter got to be such a monster was that I felt I needed to have a free pattern, designed by me, in every issue, and you know what? It takes a lot of time to design and KNIT a whole new thing every 3 months. It's crazy. So when I get the newsletter going again, there will not be too many free patterns in it, maybe one a year. MAYBE. Sorry, y'all.... but if you're only here for the free patterns, my condolences. However, I do think newsletter readers might be able to scarf up some coupon codes to use for online shopping to get discounts on things (I will figure something out for my local shoppers to get discounts from the newsletter as well). 

Another thing about the newsletter:  while the last newsletter I wrote was 100% about knitting and not sweaters, this new newsletter will be about the sweaters we sell as well as about knitting, because hey. I gotta sell the sweaters to have money to have the yarn shop. And I make damned nice sweaters here! People should buy them. 

I hope to get the first newsletter up and on the website by July 1. If you want to be emailed when the newsletter comes online again, please email me so I can add your email to my notification list. The email link is in the upper right corner of this 'ere blog  :) 

Change is good.

Some New Books

We got a bunch of new books today at the store. I got a few from Skacel (in addition to a few more Addi Turbos): Socks Soar on Circular Needles, which is not new, but has been out of stock at Unique One for a while; New Pathways for Sock Knitters, which is new to Unique One and has been much-requested by customers for months. Both of them are by Cat Bordhi. Victoria took a knitting class with Cat a few years ago, and shared some of her new skills with me, and it looks like this New Pathways book uses these very unique and innovative methods of creating unusual sock "architectures". If you love to knit socks, but would like to try a few new ways of shaping and creating the sock form itself, this New Pathways book is for you. Cat also gives you the "big idea", the overall concept of how each of the new architectures work, opening up for the knitter all kinds of potential for designing your own patterns using these methods. Cat Bordhi is a genius with a golden heart.

Also in the Skacel shipment was a new (to me) sock book called The Eclectic Sole, by Janel Laidman. It is subtitled "Socks for Adventurous Knitters". If the subtitle does not scare you, if you love the ooh ahhh factor of say, Lucy Neatby's designs at her wildest, if you love working with color and texture and do not fear the knitting, you will love this book. It's a little pricey, at $23.95, but I think it is well worth it. Unlike Cat Bordhi's unusual construction techniques, Janel's techniques are more traditional (wellllll..... except maybe for the sideways socks with the holes, they are SO COOL), but the color designs and the use of cables and textures are to die for. I love this book.

We got a few books on autoship from Interweave Press, but more on that tomorrow. Stop by and check out these new sock books if you can, or look them up on Amazon or AT YOUR LOCAL YARN SHOP. [insert big smiley face here.] They are wicked awesome books and well worth looking at. Have fun!


New Yarn Arrivals

We got some new yarn and some restocked yarn and some restocked needles put out for sale yesterday! And just in time for the yarn sale :)

Here are the boxes:


First, we restocked all the Addie Turbos:


We got lots of sock yarn that customers have been asking for. Here is a big box of Trekking XXL:


We got another big box full of Step:


And the best thing is, not only did the Addi Turbos and the Step and the Trekking not go up in price at all, but also the Yarn Sale just started!!!

We got some new sock yarn -- but not much of it, because I wasn't sure how it would sell: the new Opal sock yarn, in the Harry Potter colors:


I actually ordered double this amount originally, but there was a flood or something at one of the mills or warehouses, so my order could only be half filled. I can re-order though, if this sells out quickly. I was concerned about the $23.50 price per skein, but Step is $21.50 or so, so I guess I shouldn't have worried. One lady who had never even read a Harry Potter book before, bought a Dumbledore skein right away, because she liked the color. One of the Tonks skeins is gone too, to somebody else who bought it as I was pricing the skeins. I think it is pretty ironic that the one character in the Harry Potter books who actually knits and who promotes knitting the most, Hermione, is not represented in the Opal sock yarn Harry Potter series. There is a color for Harry, and for Ron, and for Harry and Ron together; for Draco, for Tonks, for Lupin, for Dumbledore and for Hedwig. But no Hermione. That seems pretty weird to me, but who am I to say? I am sure there is some good story about why Hermione is left out, and if I ever discover it, I will share that. In the meantime, I will say to the angry Harry-Potter-fanatic sock knitters, get over it. Ooop, did I say that out loud? Sorry. But hey, look, you got lots of other fabulous colors for a bunch of characters. And at least Dumbledore liked reading the knitting patterns in the muggle magazines :)

I also got my size 2 double pointed needles from Signature Needle Arts!!! I am so happy!! I love these needles, love them love them love them. Here is a picture (all fuzzy because my hand was shaking with the excitement:)


I can't wait to cast on some socks! And wow, look at that.... two giant boxes of new sock yarn just arrived. Huh. Good planning :) It is more than I can bear.... I am going to break my not-starting-anything-new until the next 4 projects are done rule. I must cast on with my new pretty red sexy stiletto-point adorable fun size 2 double pointed needles TONIGHT. Or I will die. See? No choice :)

Oh and one more thing! We also got my autoshipment of new books from Interweave, five copies of the new Color Style book from Pam Allen and Ann Budd. It's great! Come on in, I only got 5 copies:


Happy knitting :) And I promise not to go farther than the ribbing on the sexy new needles :)

Signs of Summer & Yarn of the Month

Wooohooo! Yesterday they put the floats into the harbor:


That is a sure sign of summer around the corner! If the floats are there..... they will come...... and boy, they can't get here soon enough! I need customers!! :: grins rather desperately ::

Also, I got a newish product at Unique One, a tourist product, but if I had kids, I would want one. Years ago we sold wooden lobster pull-toys made by a very nice man in Sangerville, Maine, and they were a very popular item, not to mention a fun toy to play with when things were slow. Then for several years we couldn't get them anymore, but this year he called me and said they were available again, and would I like them? Yes, yes I would. :) So I got this box of 24 Larry the Lobster pull toys the other day, hand made wooden toys made right here in Maine! Only $25.95! No batteries required! Click here to see how fun they are (but you have to imagine you're only 3 years old, ok?).


Oh, and by the way, La Gran Mohair is May's Yarn of the Month! 20% off La Gran that I have in stock, all month long! Get fuzzy with it :)

Have a good day & happy knitting :)

New Sock Yarn :)

Hi! this is just a short post so I can get back to some knitting! woohoo!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I just got in a couple new sock yarns from Berroco! I literally just unpacked the boxes today, so they are not yet on my website, but until they are, you can stop by the store or call me toll free (1-888-691-8358) if you want to order any.

Due to the increased hue and cry for more more more more self-patterning sock yarns, I picked up Berroco Sox, a great wool/nylon self-patterning sock yarn. It is also great for fingerless mittens or hats, too. You can click here to look at the great colors that are available, but here is a little peek:


Berroco Sox sells for $12.95/100 gram ball. You can click here to get a Berroco Sox free pattern for a for a simple, easy to knit baby pullover!

The other new Berroco sock yarn that came is called Comfort Socks. Here is a sneak peek at what Comfort Sock looks like:

Now you KNOW that I am a natural fiber fiberholic. I love love love wool and alpaca and cotton and all that. But!! I am not the only knitter in the world (yeah, I know, hard to believe, eh?) and I actually get asked relatively often about sock yarn that doesn't contain any wool. Either the knitter can't or doesn't want to use wool, or the sock recipient can't or doesn't want to wear wool. Comfort Sock solves that problem! It is a sock weight/fingering weight yarn that is 50% nylon and 50% acrylic, and it is as soft as the proverbial baby's bottom (or any other baby's bottom, for that matter). It will be great for socks of course, but it is also fabulous for baby and kid things or anything that you want to be in a fingering weight, very very very soft, machine wash and dry, did I mention how freaking SOFT it is??? and cheap, too: only $7.95 per 100 gram ball. I'm not usually a big fan of synthetic yarns but wow, is this stuff nice. Hmmm it would feel quite lovely as a knit 2 purl 2 ribbed scarf around my delicate neck, hmmmmmmm..... and the colors are great too! I got 4 solid colors (white, navy, red, black, grey) and 5 variegated colors which are muted like a soft spring morning on the water.

You can look at Comfort Sock by clicking HERE and you can get a free doll pattern that uses Comfort Sock by clicking HERE. But be careful, you will probably want to knit Victor a whole wardrobe of doll clothes to go with him, too! And he could become Victoria instead of Victor pretty easily, really.

Have fun knitting and I will let you know about my project creep problems soon!!!


Spindle Porn & Glass Lust

[edit] For some reason Typepad insists quite obstinately on putting in a football-field parcel of white space above each of my tables that I want to display my pictures in, in this post. Sorry. Just scroll down a bunch... pictures will eventually be found!

Wow, new stuff keeps showing up at Unique One all the time, lately!!

Today was a very very very good day to be a yarn shop lady. I got to play with some of my favorite things in the whole world: fiber implements of creation, made of lovely, sexy glasssssssss..... :-)

First of all, I got glass hand spindles, works of art; Sheila & Michael Ernst, the creators of these lovely items, call them "Don't Drop" Spindles. They are made of Pyrex, so they are relatively durable, but you wanna bet I would have a nice thick pillow ready to catch these incredibly beautiful spindles. They are gorgeous, and when I set eyes upon them, for the first time in my life I really understood what my friend Kristin meant when she said that feeling the beautiful softness of cashmere makes her cry.... these spindles are so perfectly lovely, it bends my mind to look at them. And yet I cannot stop looking at them...

I only got 4 of them, two .75 ounce spindles, one the most delicate of pink and one a lovely, earthy blue. These retail for about $65 each (dang, I forgot to write down the prices of the spindles for my blogging later); two are 1.25 ounces, one clear with green and purple, and one clear with a gorgeous, deep, dark red. The heavier spindles sell for around $85. Here are the promised spindle porn pictures for you to grow weak in the knees:











Note this last picture .... the charming small glass balls on the rim of the spindle not only create weight, but they also keep the spindle from rolling around when you set it down. Great design!

In addition to glass spindles, I also received MORE glass implements to make my heart beat faster.... I have had glass circular needles for a while now; today I not only received a full shipment of more glass circular needles (they retail for $30.95), but I also got a brand new product: glass double pointed needles! The double pointed sets retail for $48.95. Here is more visual imagery to make you gasp:







In addition to the glass shipment, I am happy to tell you that we have the new Spring 2008 Interweave Knits magazine in stock:


Also, I got a shipment of the absolute newest Heartstrings Fiberarts patterns from Jackie E-S!!! Heartstrings fans, you have something to be thrilled with: here is a sneak peek at what new items Jackie has designed for you:

Lacy Wraps:



Beaded Socks:



That's it for now! Have a great day, and happy knitting! Oh, and by the way, if you are going to see me at the NETA Spa Knit & Spin in Freeport in a couple of weeks, I do plan to bring my glass collection with me! However, if you see anything in my pictures that you absolutely MUST HAVE, and are afraid someone else might snap it up before you can get to it, call me toll free 1-888-691-8358 and you can purchase it ahead of time. I will bring it to you at the Spa!

Hugs and wooly kisses :)

I Love Gadgets!

When I go to a yarn shop, I always look at what they have for knitting gadgets: stitch holders, row counters, tape measures, pins, and on and on. I love that stuff. I love to see the new, pretty colors of plastic; I love the funny little shapes or new kinds of materials that the gadget makers come up with. Knitting gadgets are like the pickles and olives of the dinner table.

Sooo..... we got in a shipment of needles yesterday, and it included some new -- to me -- gadgets, most of them from the KA company. You may have seen these in other shops, and they are probably widely available. But I never had seen them before, so they excite me!

Just in time for Valentine's.... heart-shaped stitch markers!

Sewing up your sweater might just be more fun with these bamboo needles!

And in the same bamboo vein.... bamboo marking pins! You could use these to pin your sweater together before you sew it up. :-) They also could make wicked cunnin' miniature yarn ball & needles Christmas ornaments.


You may have seen that bright green locking row counter? Well this is like if you mated it with the traditional red Katcha Katcha (non-locking) row counter. It is shaped like the Katcha Katcha but it locks like the green machine, and best of all it is pink pink pink pink PINK!!!

It's the little things in life that make me happy :)

Happy Knitting!