A Rainbow-licious Giveaway!

We interrupt our virtual shop-hop to get prepped for TNNA 2016, AAAAANNND…to introduce you to a new item for Mini Skein lovers. We’re so excited about it, we want to give one away!

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To enter the giveaway for our new 20-Skein pack, So Fond of Rainbows, please visit our Facebook page for official entry (click on the “Giveaway” tab if you don’t see the post) after you comment here!

In about a month, we’ll be hosting a design contest with this pack, and there are big prizes to be had! $300 gift certificates for winning patterns, as well as publication in a rainbow-centric pattern e-book for fall. Stay tuned for details!

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Dashing in to Yarn It & Haberdashery!

Road Trip Day 7

Today we find ourselves in Columbus, at Yarn It & Haberdashery, a community resource for yarn and fiber lovers located at 1093 W. 1st Avenue in Grandview Heights, OH. Welcome!

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FF&WY: Why/when/how did your shop come to be?

YI&D: I’ve always been into knitting and crochet since I was 8 and even focused on knitwear when I did fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The big turning point for actually opening a store was after many years of working the craft circuit with my own handmade goods and going onto TLC’s Craft Wars hosted by Tori Spelling. You had to have some big catch for what you would do with the $10k prize money. Mine was to open a store. Although I didn’t win my episode I kept the dream alive and I did open my dream store several years later with the full support of my husband.  I did a podcast with Tara Swiger about it here: https://taraswiger.com/podcast96/

FF&WY: What makes your shop unique?

YI&D: I like to think we are finely curated because we pay attention to what is around us and what is missing. We seek out brands and colors that other stores aren’t carrying in our area to bring a fresh breath of air to our local market. We are huge suckers for color so we are known for being a color store and getting people to think outside of the box. We don’t have all your typical classes either like some other stores. We encourage our beginners class to dive right into a project. We also let the teachers decide what to teach because if they’re passionate about their class or project it shows when they do their classes and makes for a happier environment. We have open knitting all the time and don’t have restrictions on using our store yarn or winding yarn not bought from us. We figure why close out a possible connection? We are also confident that once you come in you’ll find it very hard to leave without picking up something new.

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FF&WY: If a visitor came from out of town, which places near you would you suggest that they visit?

YI&D: In Columbus, we have such a great mix of everything: art, music, indie scene, FOOD. We love our food here and have tons of great restaurants and food trucks. We have a cute shopping boutique area of all small businesses and art galleries called the Short North. Just down the street from our store we have a plethora of great restaurants ranging from pizza to fine dining, Mediterranean, Indian and Italian and traditional Chinese soup dumplings. Of course, they have to get our locally roasted coffee next door at Luck Bros Coffee. Where we are located is the perfect little retreat for a day, since you can get food, fiber and coffee with a place to sit and enjoy.

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FF&WY: Do you have regular social meet-ups, like a knit night or KALs?

YI&D:  We have several social events every month. We have our regulars that come in to sit and knit on Mondays and Thursdays. Sundays are a great random sit and knit day since most of the other yarn stores in the area are closed Sundays. The last Thursday of every month we run a UFO (Unfinished Objects) Club where we play a little lottery for all the people that finished their project that month. At the beginning of each quarter we pick 4 UFOs, write them down and laminate the paper and each month we do a different one. Everyone puts a $1 into the pot whether they finished it or not and the lottery winner gets the pot that month.

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FF&WY: What’s your best “Yarn Emergency” story?

YI&D: I can’t think of any specific one but we have a lot of conferences that come through here and multiple times we’ve had ladies take Uber down to us to pick up a new project because they forgot their knitting at home.

FF&WY: What are the most popular patterns/yarn bases/colors among your customers right now?

YI&D: Stephen West is always hot in our store because we cater to the “neon realness” that he boosts.  Fingering and sport have been our most popular weights and pretty much anything rainbow or neon gets snatched up pretty quickly.

FF&WY: What is your favorite yarn brand (yes, this is a trick question)? 🙂
YI&D: It’s so hard to choose but Wonderland is definitely in our Top 3 brands that customers just can’t wait to get. The Pack of the Month almost always sells out the same week we get them in!
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FF&WY: Also, we love hilarious, heartbreaking or hilarious AND heartbreaking knitting stories. Entertain us!
YI&D: I think the most heartwarming thing is that we have truly built up a community in our store. People who never knew each other before are now hanging out here and making plans outside of the store. When someone is going through a rough patch (cancer, divorce, loss of job) we all pitch in together to help them feel better whether it is helping to buy them some yarn for a new project, bringing meals to them, or just a warm hug before they leave for the night. Its much more than just a store or business, for some of our customers it is a sanctuary to get a little relief and happiness at the end of a hard month, week, or day.
Well, you know what to do now when you’re in Columbus. Thanks so much Yarn It & Haberdashery!

new releases and a *giveaway!*

As we gear up for TNNA 2016, we’re rolling out the new additions to our collections a little bit at a time, each week as we chug along towards the big weekend of June 11 – 13. This year’s event is in Washington DC, and we are incredibly excited about showing our fresh colorways and bases in a new venue. There will be some surprises at the show, for sure, but we’re making most of our 2016 collection available in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

This week’s new release is a Mini Skein Pack for our Color Morph collection. Allow us to introduce #39 The Walrus & the Carpenter!

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We love this pack, morphing from a rich, butterscotch brown to deep, forest green. We also love YOU, and don’t you think it’s about time we have a giveaway?

Click on this link to enter to win the above colorway in your choice of yarn weight!

Good luck!

Pulling in at Main Street Yarn!

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Today, we’ve landed in Rebersburg, PA, at Main Street Yarn, located at 121 E Main St.

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FF & WY: Why/when/how did your shop come to be?

MSY: Main Street Yarn will be celebrating its 3rd anniversary on April 11. We are partnered with my husband’s shop, Forefathers Books Shop, in a former brick bank building in Rebersburg, PA, which is a very small town in Centre County — definitely a destination stop. Keith and I have kept the integrity of the building from the high pressed tin ceiling and gorgeous bank vault in the book shop area to the crash bar bank door which is the entry from the parking lot to Main Street Yarn. We looked for several years for an appropriate location that would be large enough for both shops and sturdy enough to hold over 30,000 hardback books. We work together in the business, although Keith is there much more than I, because I continue to work fulltime for U.S. Senator Bob Casey in a regional office in Bellefonte, PA. Keith or one of his staff handles yarn shop business when I am not available. Over the years there have been a few texts or quick telephone calls to clarify something. Fortunately, I have very understanding customers.
I learned to knit at age 4 and stopped at age 6! I picked it up again in college in the early ’70s but moved to counted cross stitch for 20 years. During a break in University employment I went to work in a local yarn shop and loved it. I learned so much — including how to knit socks, which are my knitting passion. I haven’t stopped knitting and the rest, as they say, is history.
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Kim and Charlie
FF&WY: What makes your shop unique?
MSY: My portion of the building was renovated with white walls and natural ceiling lighting to show off the colors of the yarn. I try to keep the atmosphere homey from the electric fireplace to coffee and snacks which are always available on Saturdays. I am an avid fan of hand-dyed yarns and I estimate at least 60% of my inventory is hand-dyed fingering weight yarns with a bit of DK and Worsted tossed in for variety. Some of my customers favorite dyers are Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns (mini skein sets are growing in popularity); KnitMona; Unplanned Peacock; Meadowcroft; Nooch Fibers; and Wandering Wool. The latter was the first hand-dyed in the shop and it will always be a staple (along with Wonderland Yarns, of course!)
Getting known is difficult in a rural area, so I started setting up at local/regional fiber shows. I love meeting new people, “selling” my yarns, and building a customer base. Each is a different venue and often different people, but I’ve never had a bad time at a fiber show! My newsletter is  gaining readership as is the Facebook page. If someone wants to sign up for the newsletter go to the website and register. Also, for those who are on the internet but do not have a personal Facebook page, my shop page scrolls in the middle of the website, so you can keep up with the latest.
This year I hope to do 5 shows and the first is tomorrow — For The Love of Fiber in Bellefonte, PA. It is hosted by the Centre County Knitting Guild and is a very nice event. I have some new items for shoppers and lots of mini-skein sets. I will be displaying WIP samples to provide ideas and insight into how to work with a mini-skein set. I recently wrote a post on my blog Sock-Crazy and several shops have shared it.
I will again be doing a Knit in Public event this summer and hope to see growth from last year. We have lots of fun and as always, there are door prizes.
FF&WY: Do you have regular social meet-ups, like a knit night or KALs?
MSY: The Penns Valley Area Knitters, a group I formed 10 years ago, meets in the shop two Saturdays a month. It is a very casual group and not a dues collecting organization. We share projects, offer help to each other, and snack. I always make sure there are goodies for everyone. They can range from cookies and punch in warmer weather to dip and crackers along with soup in the winter. I have my first KAL planned but can’t reveal quite yet (however it does involve yarn from your company!) We strongly believe in charity knitting and annually donate at least 100 hats, scarfs, mitts, mittens, lap robes, etc. to the local community outreach center. They are distributed with the Christmas food baskets and are so appreciate. It warms our hearts knowing we are helping others ward off cold temperatures.
FF&WY: What are the most popular patterns/yarn bases/colors among your customers right now?
MSY: The majority of my customers are sock and shawl knitters so fingering weight yarns are a large percentage of my inventory. Superwash merino with a nylon additive and great yardage makes them smile each time they look at a new indie dyer product. Many are also hat and cowl knitters and like more commercial yarns for those projects, although the multi-color worsted weight yarn I recently purchased from Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns is very popular.  I carry a nice selection of commercial yarns from Berroco, Plymouth and Universal yarn companies. These are good, solid basics which everyone needs at some point in their knitting.
I continue to knit shop models which help people with ideas. I have learned that creativity needs a little push sometimes and I am trying to help people with color combination and pattern choices.
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FF&WY: What is your favorite yarn brand (yes, this is a trick question)? 🙂 
MSY: Personally, I’m hooked on your Mini Skein Packs in Cheshire Cat fingering. I also really like yarns from KnitMona and Wandering Wool.
Thank you so much, Kim!
Next stop, as we knit on down the road is: Natural Stitches in Pittsburg, PA.

One More Day!

We’ll keep the guessing game open for our fiber giveaway until tomorrow night (that’s Wednesday, March 18th!).

Oh, and since it’s proving to be difficult, we’ll put everyone’s name in the bucket for at least venturing a guess, with additional entries for correct guesses on the fiber types. Sound good? Now, head on over to comment on the Giveaway Post and we’ll announce a winner on Thursday!

In other news, there has been shawl progress:

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Are you working up a LightWaves shawl, too? Keep up with our intimate little KAL on Ravelry. I’m starting in on my Too Much Pepper waves today, after I peruse videos on the German short row technique.

Which short row technique do you like best?

We Want YOU! (to test-spin)

We’re hard at work on new offerings for Fall 2015, and there are fiber bases among the newness.

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Feedback wanted!

We’ll give away a 4-oz. braid of this Top Who Must Not Be Named to a randomly drawn winner. The catch? You have to guess the fiber blend. Hint: there are three fibers in this blend. Get at least two of them right (be specific with wool breed guesses), and we’ll enter you into the drawing for one braid in our Chocolate Cherry colorway. The other test-braids are in the hands of staff, but we already know we love it. We want to know if you love it, too. Comment on this post to enter! 

In other news, it’s time again for a seasonal, limited edition colorway in our Three Feet of Sheep. Your LYS can order it for just a short window of time, so put in your requests now!

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Our first Knitalong is small and informal, but we’re plugging away at our LightWaves shawls, and it’s about to get real with some wave action. Melody has been making progress:

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…and I’m ready to start on the waves. I’ve been charting it out and not really coming to any decision, but I’ll force myself to do that and post pics to the Rav group ASAP.

So, here we go:

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Three fiber types.

Get two of them right.

Win fiber.

GO!

Let the KnitAlongAgainstAlong Begin!

Oh, it’s begun.

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The above is Melody’s pick, which reminds me of iris and crocus. Sprriiiiing!!!

Below, is a possibly-new-for-fall-color that I begged for. No name yet, but Too Much Pepper gradient is tagging along for the waves. I’m getting all Queen Bee on this thing.

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Just a few rows at a time…

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Join us! http://www.ravelry.com/groups/wonderland-yarns

Stalling Out

So, what do you do when you’re nearly there on a knitting project and you just. lose. steam?

I read this satirical article, and nearly wept with maniacal laughter because all good satire has a kernel of truth that resonates in a universal way, and it is no stretch of the imagination to picture my current nearly-off-the-needles project becoming an unidentifiable monster mess as my mind wanders in the final inches.

It’s not my Enchanted Mesa…that pattern is far too engaging a knit for there to be any danger of wandering off. I had to stop knitting it, though, because the needle cable I need for the next step is currently stuck in another project, as I mentioned in the previous post. I know I could just put the stitches from Other Sweater on a holder, but there’s only a couple inches to go, and I told myself I must finish this long-lingering thing before I could let that cable loose to touch another project. But, it’s stockinette in the round, 250-ish stitches per round in fingering weight. No change in color, just around and around and around and I feel like every row takes three weeks to knit. It has crossed the threshold from meditation into tedium.

This is exactly the reason why knitters tend to have 500 projects on the needles at once, am I right? Maybe you have some advice for me, but my advice to myself is to start something new today; just a little something small to whip through and feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s how I preserve my knitting sanity.

Speaking of new projects, we have some new designs for Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns, and we have such a good time bringing them to life, there’s no strain to make it to the finish line. We’ll have cowls, a scowl, and some exciting new ebooks coming up very soon. Stay tuned!

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Buttons!

Before we get serious, we like to have a little fun while testing the light and getting in the mood:

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Or maybe we just really love mini packs and buttons.

Happy Thursday!

ps: Don’t forget to comment on our knit-along thread in our Ravelry group if you’d like to join us in knitting the LightWaves shawl starting on March 1st!

A Knit-Along: won’t you join us?

Good morning!

Have you joined our Wonderland Yarns group on Ravelry yet? We’re hosting a knit-along beginning on March 1st, and we hope you’ll join us. Really, we just want another excuse to play with mini skein packs.

We’ve chosen the LightWaves pattern by Susan Ashcroft of Stitchnerd Designs for our first go ’round with community knitting:

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photo by Stitchnerd Designs

Doesn’t it just scream for mini skein packs? The color combining potential is boggling my brain, and I’m glad we have a few weeks to decide on colorways!

We’re offering some incentive for participants and to grow our Rav group and community:

Let us know you’re joining in and which Wonderland Yarns colors you are planning to use, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win yarn for our next knit-along!

Share on social media when we post about the knit-along and we’ll enter you again!

Gain more entries into the drawing by sharing progress pics as we go, and of course, your finished shawl!

For those who would rather work on a smaller project, check out the link to the Wave Cowls pattern that the LightWaves pattern was inspired by. We think this would work well with a mini skein pack. LightWaves will require a 4 oz. skein in addition to a mini pack.

We’ll post more details about the drawing as we get closer to starting. In the meantime, watch our Facebook page for announcements you can share, and think about your favorite colorways!

In the meantime, we’re all trying to finish up some projects to free up needles for the knit-along!

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Melody’s $5 in Paris is coming along in Too Much Pepper and our Roses Red limited edition mini skein pack.

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I have to admit I’ve stalled a bit on my Enchanted Mesa, but mainly because I need to get something else off the necessary interchangeable needle cable.  It’s good incentive to get two projects done before the end of the month!

What are you working on?

Play Time

So, there was this one day, in between all the snowy ones, when I was handed a pan of yarn and told to “go for it.”

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After I went for it, Melody did, too, and she knit up this hat in about 2 seconds flat with one skein of our TweedleDeeDum bulky.

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We all kinda feel this way about it.

-shannon