Friday, December 19, 2008

Ok, like reeeally last minute knitting!!

So, the kiddies are napping (finally) and my needles have been burning since 6am, so fast I can hardly feel my fingers! I figured, if I type a bit with a quick blog post, maybe I'll regain some of my circulation. I've been wanting to throw some last minute knitted gift ideas your way for a while, but as you can imagine, now that I'm back to work, and the baby, and yadda yadda yadda... time is rather hard to find these days! At any event- I started a really quick knit this morning for my mom, who has been working so hard lately, and then racing to our house on her days off to give us a hand. She mentioned to me that she needed a new pair fingerless gloves, of course she tells me this 3 days ago (keep in mind I'm no where near finished with my holiday knitting)!!! So, yesterday on the way out of the shop, I grabbed a couple of balls of cashmerino aran in a charcoal grey. Of course, I would love to knit her a pair out of some fabulous hand dyed merino, but she's a simple lady when it comes to color (black, brown or grey- I don't really know if you call that simple or what)... I just followed the La Dolce Vita pattern I wrote for Tilli Tomas last year, but with a 4x1 rib, since my mom isn't one for ruffles. Another simple and quick pattern for fngerless gloves, that uses Cashmerino Aran is Fetching from Knitty. Fetching is a super quick knit, however it calls for 1 ball, and I don't know anyone who has gotten away with only one ball of Cashmerino Aran for the pair, so grab two balls - or approximately 140 yds to play it safe...

This neck warmer is an oldie but goodie in my shop. Most importantly, it's the quickest gift ever to knit! A US 17 16" needle, one hank of yummy Blue Sky Bulky, and a skein of Colinette pt 5 is all you need to knit this must have winter accessory- perfect for a day like today. This is a gift that you can knit in one sitting! Cast on 34 sts, join in the round- careful not to twist, and knit knit knit. You can stripe it or design it however you'd like. If you come by, you'll see the store sample- EASY!!

Foliage!!! I love this hat, I knit it in 2 nights, but for anyone who can knit uninterruptedly, 1 night is all you need. It calls for one skein of malabrigo worsted- which I did, however, the pattern also offers a chunky version, which would obviously go quicker..It's adorable on, a great gift!

Then there's the Cabled Hat and Scarf pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas, oh before I forget, there's a great little trunk show in my shop right now, with samples from Blue Sky, that I really do NOT want to return. This pattern calls for their hand dyed Worsted- an absolute luxury to knit with, and those who dare to knit with it, return for more every time. This hat is for my brother, oh I guess he's worthy of my favorite yarn in the world, but he's another one, black, brown, or grey. Maybe it's a hereditary defect...

I figured I would add this one to the list of mindless and speedy gift ideas. It's the award winning suri cowl that we all drooled over last year, and is still so retro and fabulous. One skein, US13 16" circ. Cast on 60, join in the round and knit the entire skein, it really can't be easier. It is so soft and cozy, and I promise you, whoever you knit this for will absolutely love it (and you) forever!!!

Here are a few of the samples that Blue Sky sent over to us to admire and be inspired by.

Two Button Hat Set...

Hat & Wristlets...
Fair Isle Hat Set...
And there's more, see you in the shop!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby Wes got Thorped!!

On Thursday, I brought the baby by to meet the girls and pick up some yarn for more Christmas gifts. Bev and Ko split the shifts on Thursday, and have been doing a dynamite job- thank you! We were all passing the baby around (lots of oohing and aahing) - it's so nice to see everyone welcome baby Wes with such loving arms. Ko handed me a gift bag, and I believe her words were- "oh, here's a little something I knit for the baby". A little something? It's the cutest hat I've ever seen!! EVER!! Wesley got a Thorpe, the best Thorpe on the planet! We were dying, it looked so adorable on him, he looks like a little elf!

She knit his Thorpe with a handspun yarn, however- much to my surprise, the braids and pompom are my very own hand dyed silky merino- yippee!! I love it, it's perfect. It's funny, because I had just printed her pattern for the Thorpe hat, to knit for a few friends- maybe even one for Scarlett, check it out, it's a free pattern download! You'll find her pattern store more than a treat to browse through, and I promise, there will be many designs that will make your mouth water - one of my favorites, are the Genmaicha cabled mitts. I've been delighted and honored to have Ko help out at the shop while I've been home, enjoying the baby. Thanks Ko , not just for the Thorpe, but for inspiring us with all that you do!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Erika's been knitting on the lamb...

Monday, I stopped into the shop to pick up some roving for a Christmas project that I'm working on, grab some yarn and visit with Erika. She had just finished the Bobbled Tam from the most recent issue of Vogue Knitting. Knit with 2 skeins of Manos silk- wool blend, and I have to admit- I'm a little jealous! I think if she wants to be a really good friend, she should either knit one for me or stick this perfect, silky blue tam in my Christmas stocking (hahaha-hohoho)... It came out really cute, love the color and it fits a bit looser than the one in the magazine, which I like better, I think she likes it better too... It's the perfect accessory for the winter, so soft- and the silk blend will keep her nice and toasty. Erika tends to gravitate toward this beautiful teal color, when the new Namaste Zuma bags came in, she just so happen to grab one in "peacock" for me to photograph. We LOVE these bags!!! The limited edition of Zuma bags in eggplant are on their way as well.

When I brought baby Wes over to meet Erika and her mom last week, Erika surprised me with the most adorable baby sweater!! When did she knit this? Keeping secrets are we? The Pima Tencel she used from Cascade is a perfect choice for a spring sweater and I can't wait to see him in it! I know our friendship is really something, since she made a special button trip to M&J just for me (sigh).

The pattern came from the Debbie Bliss Essential Baby book. I love it- big huge thanks to Erika!! And a big huge to Lindsay who surprised me with a yummy crocheted baby blanket that we use every night!! All of those ends to weave in? That's love!! It's been keeping baby Wes warm and snuggly in his bassinet...

Speaking of crochet, I felt like crocheting from one of my Ondori books. I haven't had a chance to play with the Eco Andaria- Japanese yarn, so I figured I would give it a try. I decided to crochet a few doilies, either for my living room or maybe do a few to give to my mom for Christmas- they're a quick gift idea and I think they're pretty. The yarn is very cool to work with, totally different than anything I've ever used before. It's a good thing I took this picture as soon as I finished them because...
bad dog #1 pulled them off of the kitchen counter, then bad bulldog #2 slobbered all over them and chewed them into tiny bits. Thanks, I love you too guys. They spared me the largest one, so I guess I can add that to the list of things I'm grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all, I have so much to be grateful for- my family, great friends, a beautiful healthy baby boy, and wonderful friends who I've made through my shop who are loving and supportive- and a special thank you to the ladies who have been watching over the shop - and allowing me some quiet time with my new baby.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Wes loves his blanket!

Someone so sweet is still napping all curled up in his blanket. It's heavy and warm and cozy, perfect for a long nap! Thanks again for this gift!! As you can tell, he loves it too!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Double Whammy!!!!!!!

Ok, so if there's one thing that I'm not so good at, it's surprises!! So what happened this past Saturday? Apparently, the ladies had a covert operation going under Carolyn's instruction to get together and knit squares for a baby blanket, (out of my favorite yarn in the world, Blue Sky Alpacas worsted). Carolyn had directed each of the ladies to knit a certain size square and then she assembled the most beautiful loving, warm blanket in the world. One of the gals took pictures along the way so that I could see the process- here they are putting their hearts to work on their squares...

Here's Carolyn working on the layout..

And here you have it, the most thoughtful, kind, warm and loving gift that anyone could give. I had to run into the bathroom, just to take a few deep breaths not to cry. This was the sweetest gesture and we will truly cherish this blanket forever. After I opened the blanket, it all started making sense- how a few of the ladies had been me about the colors of the room, and what my favorite yarn was for baby blankets- a ha!!

Here's the blanket in his crib, I love it- thank you so much ladies, it means so much!!

And here is big sister Scarlett's pillow- she loves her new pillow- how thoughtful.

And here's surprise #2!!!!
As I was typing the blog post that you just read (on the 5th), I started having UNBEARABLE contractions. Technically the baby's due date wasn't until Dec.1, and I was scheduled to have him Nov. 24, so almost 4 weeks early- hmmm, I don't know. I knew in my heart I wasn't making it until the 24th, but the 7th? This boy wanted out. Well, after 1 night spent in the hospital and a day of the most terrible medication ever, to try and buy us one more week, baby Wesley Julian decided it was time to make his debut into the world. I'm so relieved it's over and that he's a healthy little man. He weighed 8 lbs 4 oz, yes, that was his weight and if he had waited another 3 weeks, he would've been close to 10 lbs. Ouch!! He's the sweetest baby and we're all doing great. Scarlett is totally in love with her little brother and has more than a help to me. Her behavior and reaction brings tears to my eyes, I couldn't ask for more. Here are some pictures of the baby- beware- he's pretty cute, I can barely stand it.

This was his first photo op at about 20 minutes into the world...

1 day old and beautiful....

Home in the arms of big sis!!

Thank you for all of your kind emails and wishes. It all means so much to us. The shop is open, the hours are the same. Feel free to email me while I'm home if you have questions, otherwise the girls at the shop will be happy to help you. I'll be back mid December- being that I went a lot earlier than planned, but I'll be popping in and out to say hello and to shop for yarn!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, it's a good thing I decided to crochet my little lady bug the Anne scarf out of cozy malabrigo worsted this week. We left the house this morning, and she said "but mom, my scarf!!" That's my girl!! So quick and sweet, I am planning on whipping one up for myself in Jade Sapphire 6 ply, why not. This oh so pretty scarf is spreading like wild fire. Girls around the shop are crocheting it out of everything from one skein of Blue Sky Suri Merino to Tilli Tomas' Disco Lights. It's finished in almost a single sitting and you may want to consider it for a gift idea- it's quick quick quick!!

One of the ladies stopped in today and mentioned that she would like to sign up for our mitten class, so just a reminder, the Cable and Bobble mitten class is scheduled for November 13th and the 20th 7-9PM. You'll have a ton of Manos colors to choose from for these warm yummy mittens, plus you'll be learning how to cable and make bobbles- so much fun!! Feel free to call 604-4294 to sign up!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crazy kiddies!!

This past week was Scarlett's 4th birthday, I know- for all of you who have been part of the Angelfire Studios' family since the very beginning and knew me when I was pregnant with her, it's a bit hard to believe- time flies fast when you're raising babies, knitting, and having fun. She had all of her friends from school come for a pottery party this Sunday, and boy was it a blast! The girls painted pottery, ate lots of pizza and ice cream cake, and then opened a mountain of presents. I'm so relieved that they had so much fun, especially since she's about to be a big sister in a few weeks.

Jumping to stay warm and posing together- so adorable...

In the meantime, I have been knitting, I just haven't been too good about blogging or taking pictures (been a little tired to say the least). This is the Shawl Collared Jacket from Debbie Bliss that I knit for the baby. I need to knit more, I know- but I've been knitting for the holidays- wanting to get a few gifts out of the way before the baby comes, etc, etc... I used 3 skeins Koigu Kersti for the 3-6 month size- this is the softest yarn in the whole world and knits up like a dream. I love this colorway, I'm really hooked on these greens lately, not sure what that's all about, but for whatever reason, I love it! I have some cargo pants in brown in mind to cast on for, a pattern from Knitty- also so cozy and adorable....

I finished a pair of Malabrigo Loafers from Coco knits for my grandmother, a set of oven mitts and potholders from Noni for my mom,(both of these patterns are available at the shop btw), so I decided what the hey- I'm starting the February Lady Sweater for myself out of yummy Blue Sky Suri Merino- (of course we need some Moving Mud buttons too). It's the perfect sweater for me to wear now and after the baby is born. In fact, what caught my eye when I looked at it originally on ravelry was how cute it looked on a lady who was about as preggo as me!! So there you have it, I have been knitting!! Lord only knows, I'm NOT sleeping!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Knitting and Crochet for fall...

Hey everybody, there have been a few updates to the fall schedule, here they are... For any further questions, or if you'd like to sign up, please call 908-604-4294.

Learn to Knit 2 - The next class after Learn to Knit! Learn to: increase and decrease for shaping; use yarn overs for decorative stitching; create an I-cord for handbag handles; weave various seams for joining pieces together; pickup stitches for neck edges or decorative stitching; make a buttonhole, and more. Skill Level: Intermediate; must know how to knit and purl Sessions: 1 2 hour session Homework: Each student must come to class with 3 4"x4" swatches created using stockinette st (knit one row, purl one row, repeat) on size 8-10 needles. Leave the last swatch on the needles. Student responsible for bringing needles, yarn, tapestry needles, and scissors.Nov 12 7-9PM

NEW - Fiesta Feet -
Based on Lucy Neatby's design, this incredible sock will be the coolest thing you ever slip onto your foot. Kick your sock knitting skills up a notch when you combine several pattern and 2 different color sock yarns together, you won't be disappointed!! Homework for Fiesta Feet – 2 – 50g Main solid color and 1 50g Variegated, needles size US# 1 or 2. Prepare one cuff before the first class. Waste yarn cast on – With a contrasting color similar weight waste yarn, cast on 15 sts, work 6 rows of St st beginning with a knit row, cut off waste yarn and temporarily knot on Color V (variegated).
Or Cast on 15 sts
Row 1: In Col V, k 15
Row 2: In Col V, k 14, p1
Row 3: In Col M (main), k 15
Row 4: In Col M, k 14, p1.
Repeat these 4 rows until the sock cuff fits gently around your ankle. End with Row 3
Oct 6, 20, & 27 7-9 PM
NEW - Broomstick Lace - This is a crochet technique that uses a knitting needle in conjunction with your crochet hook to creat a lacey effect. It has been around for centuries, and is still used by some of the most fashion foward designers today. We'll be crocheting a capelet that was featured in Interweave crochet using beautiful Rowan kidsilk haze. Oct 16 & 23 7-9PM

NEW - Filet Crochet –
Lace is everywhere this season. Make beautiful edging for a pillowcases or cuffs in time for the holidays. Uses small hooks and thin cord. Bring your glasses! Oct 21 7-9pm

Moebius Basket-
Learn how to make this intriguing basket based on the Moebius strip, a geometric figure that forms a continuous loop with only one surface. Learn how to cast on and knit this marvel from the middle out to the edge. Decorate it and, then felt it and watch your creation turn into a charm. You will be amazed and unable to stop yourself from making more. I've already made 7 uniquely different baskets. Oct 22 and 29 6-9PM

NEW - Double Kit Booties -
Tis the season for giving!! We'll be using angora or baby suri to knit the coziest, most adorable baby booties you've ever seen. These booties are created by double knitting- which means we'll be working both sides at the same time in the round- quick quick quick!!! Nov 17 7-9 PM

NEW - Catherine Wheel Crochet -
The Catherine Wheel is a fabulous stitch which allows 2 different yarns (or 2 different colors) to intertwine, giving each color plenty of room to shine. We'll be using this decorative technique of interlocking color wheels to crochet a fantastic hand bag from a Japanese crochet book, a must have accessory! You will learn how to read a crochet chart. Nov 11 & 18 7-9 PM

NEW - The "Luckiest" Entrelac bag - This adorable felted hand bag is created by modified entrelac squares. This bag doesn't use the triangles on the edges, which is used in traditional entrelac patterns. Nov 3 & 10 7-9 PM

NEW - Cable and Bobble Mittens –
Learn how to make intricately cabled and bobbled mittens with Stockinette stitch palms. Use double points or magic loop method. Use a vibrant color to pop against subtler outerwear for Fall/Winter. Nov 13 and 20 7-9pm.

Finishing without Fear -
Finishing is the most important, and sometimes referred to as the most challenging part of creating a hand knit garment. This course will teach you the basics in blocking, sewing seams and how to determine which method is best for your project such as, backstitch, mattress, kitchener, etc. Nov 19 7-9 PM

NEW - Crocheted Socks –
Why not! Simple, fun and great to wear with clogs. Make them for the whole family. Use solid or variegated yarns. Oct 28 and Nov 4 7-9pm

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy fall!!

Fall is finally here, and I am SO happy that it's cooling down outside. This is definitely my favorite time of year. The leaves are starting to drop and you may find yourself grabbing a sweater on the way out the door!! Yeah- it's sweater weather!! Customers are already starting to shop around for holiday gift ideas, and some of the gals are knitting from the Coco Knits patterns... It's funny, the same day that these patterns came, we got a Malabrigo shipment... Check out some of the patterns...
These are the Malabrigo loafers that are absolutely adorable, if you remember I featured Pamie's loafers a few weeks ago... She used the Colinette's new One Zero for the sole and the Malabrigo chunky for the upper. Then there are the Prairie Boots, another perfect project for the chunky as well- and with a few of the One World buttons? Too cute...

Now, if your brother is anything like mine, he's not going for the loafers or the Prairie Boots, so you may want to look for something with a little less of a fashion statement like the Felted Desk Accessories... Happy knitting!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to Nature...

The ever so funky Eco Andaria yarns from Japan are now out on display in the shop- and I love having them here. The ladies have been oohing and aahing at the sheen and the amazing colors. From deep chocolate browns to bright golds and reds, one ball is more gorgeous than the next. We will be ordering more books and more Andaria along the way- be sure to check out our Catherine Wheel crochet class offered this fall. We'll be crocheting a must have hand bag with 2 fabulous colors of Andaria. Very exciting!!

This past weekend (I have to use code names here and I'll reveal why later), Peanut butter stopped in with her Christmas present to her sister Jelly -ALREADY FINISHED!!!!! (Did I mention that this is a Christmas present, what a nice sis!) Power knitter on fire, how does she do it? We'll never know- it was done in just a week or two!! This is the Nordic Tradition sweater featured in the current issue of Vogue, however, Peanut butter used Manos wool classica. Take a look- I can't get enough, if I could try it on right now secretly, I would, but we all know it's not fitting over my baby bump! Jealous? Me too, but I have a few little baby sweaters I need to knit from now until November.

So, this is what Peanut butter's been knitting, and here's what I've knit this week- yeah ha ha I know, it's just a Little Lesterella for Scarlett. It's not much, but she's pretty cute. I haven't sewn her eye lids on yet, but I'll get to them. I have to say, this is a really cute gift, done in almost one sitting. Especially, if you have that one skein of Ozark Handspun lying around forever and you don't know what to do with it, well here you go. I'm sure this won't be the last Lester I knit... ps, rereading this blog post, I realize that my code names may be a bit revealing as to what I'm really thinking about as I type...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eco Andaria

is just about the coolest fiber ever to be unpacked in this shop!! The colors are unreal, and I seriously can't even wait to attack one of these balls with my crochet hook!! Eco Andaria is an eco friendly fiber made from wood pulp. You see these fibers used in the Ondori crochet books. We are one of the only shops in the US to carry the Eco series, so come over over and check it out, you'll love it. I'd blog more, but I need to shuffle yarns around to make room for my new favorite.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One sweater down...

about 1000 more to knit QUICK before the baby comes... Now that all of these great fall yarns and patterns are starting to arrive, I'm getting a little anxious with my knitting. Check out these new patterns from SKIF that are coming in this week...

and I love this one- oh yeah, it comes with a closure. All of the SKIF's come with hardware, how cool is that?

I wish the pictures would have transferred a bit bigger, but at least you get the idea, funky right? Really looking forward to those. We also have patterns from Wendy Bernard and did you see the new Malabrigo loafers from Coco Knits? Here's Pamie's pair, this pattern is on the way too. I'm telling you, there are so many things for me to knit right now, my mojo is on fire, and I can't click clack those addi turbos fast enough to keep up with myself.

Seriously, can you stand these? She used the new Colinette One Zero for the base and the flower, I love them.

Here's my Road to Golden sweater finally finished (well- technically I knit it 3 times, before I could commit to the color combo, and boy do I love the colors I chose). I love it so much, I just wish I could try it on, but the baby bump is in the way at the moment.

Let's see, hmmm, what is the most exciting I have to share, oh yeah- it's ECO ANDARIA!!! It should be here any minute, and we'll be one of the only shop's in the country to supply it to all of you crazy japanese crochet enthusiasts!! We're getting in everything you need to crochet these...


Be sure to check out our new knitting and crochet schedule. There have been a few updates and classes added to the list as of this morning, and we'll be using the Eco Andaria for the Catherine Wheel crochet class. Carolyn and I are so excited to teach everyone how to crochet these Japanese patterns with confidence.

Last but not least, we got in a nice juicy shipment from out friends at Ozark Hanspun. Both, the original and his new creation- "Opulence", which is a bit thinner and with more yardage. The colors are so great, I have to knit a "Lester Sheep" for Scarlett asap. Maybe one for me too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I could wrap myself,

in anything knit in Cocoon!! Yup, it just walked in the door- the new colors, well half, I guess the other half is on it's way and the new "Cocoon Collection" by Marie Wallin and Sarah Hatton is here too. Very cool.

I love the book, but I just stumbled across this on Ravelry, and I think my growing belly needs to pop out of it this fall- check it out. I would love to knit it out of cocoon. I'll just adapt the gauge a little. Move over Eva, my belly needs some room here.

Here's the link to the pattern...