Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowbound in Seattle

This is my dear husband shoveling the snow in a Yarn Lady approved hat. He is wearing it backwards, but it does help to keep his face warm. We started this snow season with a hat I thought was too small--didn't cover his ears. Then I made him one that was too big and now this one is just right.
We are loving this since the windstorm didn't hit Seattle.
The store is open and I'm stuck at home--it's so good to have really wonderful employees.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So You Got Too Much Yarn

Ruth has done it again. She can think with her needles and create really amazing sweaters. But, it is really hard to get a written pattern out of her. When she was in third grade, her teacher said that all Ruth needed was a good secretary to succeed. Give her a call if you can help.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Celebration

Catarina made friends.

Ruth and Marguerite helped customers throughout the day. 

People brought pictures of loved ones and shared their stories.  

We'll do it again next year.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Lovely Catarina

We think she's great. Lia put the flowers on her head, I found the t-shirt and made the shawl in primary colors and our Catarina does a great job of greeting all our customers. (One even talked to her for a few minutes, until she realized that this girl is a real dummy.)
On Thursday Lia and Ruth made the sugar skulls, on Friday they decorated them and I worried.
Whenever we do something new, I worry. Who will show up--how will we interact--will we have a good time and will we want to do it again. From the response of our customers today, it seems like a good idea. It's been a tough year for a lot of us and now that the economy has joined the grieving, we might have a very strong turnout. Come join us if you can. I'll post more pictures from our party tomorrow.

The New Garlic?

A very nice lady came in on Thursday. She was happy to shop for yarn while her husband hit the hardware store. While she was checking out her purchases, her husband stuck his head in just to let her know he was there. Come on in she said--he just pointed to the Obama sign in the window and shook his head. "Sorry," she said. "He's one of five Republicans who live on Vashon Island. I'm not a Republican, but he's a great guy."
I assured her that I like Republicans, too, who are fiscally responsible.
We laughed and she went on her way.
I was sorry that I had made someone feel uncomfortable--the best retail shops make everyone feel happy. Later that night I realized that the Obama sign had done something for me. It had kept the Republican away--maybe this is the new garlic for people who are hungry for change.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Day of the Dead Celebration

Ten years in the shop have shown that yarn brings us together during all of life’s transitions. Together we rejoiced when you created your grandchild’s first sweater, we held hands and cried when your project helped you through an illness, we helped each other find projects to keep us sane in this crazy world. Now we want to acknowledge that death is also a part of life. Join us to listen, to laugh, to eat and to cry. Bring pictures, stories, and food to share. Help us spend the day celebrating life.

Saturday, November 1, all day from 10 am to 5 pm. Come for a few minutes or for the day.

We have never done anything like this before so mistakes will be made including this one. Sue went to Georgetown and brought this beautiful candle to the shop for the celebration. Lia pointed out that this was not a normal Day of the Dead candle, but we felt it fit into the theme of the day.

We also have another more normal candle--to celebrate our handiness.

The Yarn Has Come Home

These are a few of our skeins of Lambs Pride Bulky--but we also have mountains of other yarn. The novelties seem to be gone from most shops but I do have some since I like the stuff--I have always loved the stuff man can create. But most of the buying was in the wonderful yarns which give you great stitch definition and great hand. Silks, cottons, alpacas, corn, soy, cashmere, merinos, bamboo, blends of the above, more washable wools and lots of organics.

We've expanded our crafts to include rolls of wool felt, roving, finished bags you can embellish, new embroidery transfers and lots of kits in crewel, needlepoint and counted cross stitch.

If you can't find it elsewhere, don't hesitate to ask me to order something I haven't thought about since that's my only marketing plan--you tell me what to get and I buy it.

Baby Surprise Jacket--including a class

This is the Baby Surprise Jacket--I'll be teaching this class on Thursday nights from 6-8 pm. The design was created by Elizabeth Zimmerman--back in the 60's. The first time I took this class we had about 20 people in the class. Lynn was our teacher--she's a nurse and just loved this pattern. I was a teacher's helper and I was flitting around so I didn't learn much, but I continued to be a lover of this project because it has such a beautiful finished product. You follow a few esoteric instructions and you end up with some amoebic form which becomes a jacket if you sew two seams together. The buttonholes are also made while you create this wonder so you don't have to worry about boy sweater or girl sweater until you sew on the butttons.

So, this year, while my mother was dying and my daughter was planning her wedding, I decided to return to this project. But, my objects of affection had grown into three year olds, so I didn't need no silly baby jacket. Since I am lazy, I decided to see how a simple substitution of yarn would fit my three year olds. At three stitches per inch, I figured my baby surprise would fit my little twins. After the death and wedding I finished my first sweater with an added surprise--one side had 4 button holes and the other had 6! So I frogged to the point of error (probably the rehearsal dinner) and reknit the baby. Then I made two more just to show I could including the one in this picture which I had to recalculate since the yarn was way too big (2 st per inch). I did all three within ten days so now I'm ready to teach. I did start another one but I have to keep it at the shop and knit when Ruthie isn't around because all she can say is "Not another one of those."

I can hardly wait until she gives me a baby surprise. Sweet revenge.

A Great Class--Little Beaded Bags

This is an inspirational class with a great teacher. Jan Arkava is a weaver and a lover of beaded bags. She has a collection of beautiful bags she will show you as you learn how to make these lovelies.

I took Jan's class years ago--my bag is the top one in the photo--and it was a wonderful experience. You do have to know how to knit and purl, and how to count. Eyesight may help, but the counting is critical. My son Joe, called this bag "Sexy". That was before he had twin girls and an attorney as his spouse. Maybe he wouldn't call it "Sexy" now, but it does have a great hand and, of course, it is a pleasure to make it.

We put up Jan's class schedule right when America was financing Wall Street so we didn't get too many takers. (It's hard for knitters to worry about saving our economic system when we are trying to get perfect gauge.) So now Jan is back and she is flexible. Once we get three of you to sign up, she will patiently teach. Thursdays from 6-9 pm at $80 (which includes all materials including the needles) this is a bargain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Waiting for the Monorail

Last fall the grandkids went on the Monorail with me. The boys are hard to sweater, but the girls popped into their ponchos without hesitation. The goal this year is to get something the boys will wear. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Newsletter

The new newsletter is up and available for download. Just click here to see what we've got planned for the rest of fall.

And be sure and mark your calendars for our Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday, November 1. More details in the newsletter!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Wedding Shawl

What does a yarn lady give her daughter for her wedding? A shawl for sure.

This is not the bride--this is the proud father who happened to be home when the shawl was finally finished--about three days before the wedding. The poor shawl barely goes over his shoulders. LeRoy worries that Ruthie probably doesn't need a muffler for her wedding, but I assure him that it will be alright--just trust me.

First thing I did was wash the shawl, then I draped it wet over my blocking board.

Then I pinned it using rustproof brass pins. The blocking board has been in service for about twelve years and is made of standard size ceiling tile with contact paper--as you can see, I could only find one roll of the blue and white check paper so I added another country print to finish the board--very effective, but not too pretty.

After drying overnight, LeRoy once again models. He can now drape the shawl around his shoulders and over his hands with lots of ease--and you can see the pattern, too.

And finally, this is the happy bride with her shawl, her pearls and her husband.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Istanbul Knitter

A photo sent to me by my daughter, who's visiting Turkey right now. This knitter is plying her wares in one of Istanbul's back streets. Note the feral cat in the corner--the city is full of cats who belong to no one yet are taken care of by everyone.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We Stitched and They Pitched

On Thursday we celebrated the Fourth year of Stitch N Pitch in Seattle. There are Stitch N Pitches all over the country now, but we in the Northwest had the first one and the rest of the country is trying to live up to our original model. This year's event had 27 stores and knitting organizations participating in this great meet and greet. This has become an almost family event with most of us knowing something about most and some of us knowing too much about a few. The evening was beautiful, we had a great time and the Mariners won! Beer, hot dogs and chocolate dipped strawberries made for a memorable event.

Seattle Yarn took Art Felt to the ball game. We've been enjoying this new art form this past year. It was a great hit at our annual trek to the Sewing Expo in Puyallup in March. So we invited the experts to help us present this art to the greater Seattle area.

Karin Skacel, owner of Skacel, and Joanne Ellis, sales rep for Skacel, joined us at the table. Skacel worked to create Artfelt and worked with vendors in Europe to create the supplies for this new felting method and finally imported this great product to America. Joanne has been selling and working with this art since day one. She teaches a great class and has made some incredible pieces.

If you didn't get a chance to see all the great samples at the Stitch N Pitch, be sure to come by Seattle Yarn to see the in house samples and pick up a starter kit, or sign up for a class with Lia, our in-store expert.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We Made Best of Seattle 2008!

Seattle Yarn scored a Best of Seattle 2008 profile in the Seattle Weekly's annual roundup of the very best Seattle has to offer.

You can find it on newsstands today, or click here to read the profile.

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Baaaaaaaaa-aaaack!

Our gigantic annual tent sale starts Thursday, July 31 and runs through Sunday, August 3.

Four days of incredible bargains to keep you knitting throughout the year.

Our new yarns arrive in September so we must make room.

Regular hours during the sale.

See you there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Seattle Yarn Presents Freeform Knit & Crochet Artist Prudence Mapstone

Book Signing & Demonstration of Prudence’s Legendary Freeform Fiber Techniques

Saturday, July 5, 2008
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Prudence Mapstone, fiber artist and international authority on Freeform Knitting and Crochet, is the author of "Freeform", "Never Too Many Handbags" and other publications. She is widely known as an artist, teacher and lecturer. Exploring form, color and texture, she combines age-old ‘domestic’ skills with new, fresh techniques, to create one-of-a-kind works of fiber art.Prudence’s work has been shown at fiber art exhibitions throughout the world. For her current art initiative, the Pink Project, she is gathering pink-themed freeform pieces from knitters and crocheters worldwide, to be assembled into a group of auction items for the benefit of Breast Cancer Research.

Read more about Prudence at:

Seats are limited. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance from Seattle Yarn by calling (206) 935-2010.

Already a fan? Bring a pink scrumble for Prudence’s Pink Project to benefit Breast Cancer Research

at Seattle Yarn, 5633 California Avenue SW

Monday, June 2, 2008

Willow Run--Away

The LYStour started with beautiful weather and a bit of a downer. Someone stole our willow tree.  
When I toured the Chinese Garden in West Seattle, I learned that these trees were called friendship trees.  After a visit, you gave your friend a snip of your tree, they planted it in their yard and as it grew they remembered you.  So sorry they have to take the whole tree--no friendship vibes for those characters as far as I'm concerned.

The rest of the day and tour turned out to be beautiful with wonderful people coming through our store.  We had 96 drawing entries the first day and 312 during the whole tour.  We hope you had a good time on the tour and look forward to doing it again next year.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best Wishes to Marguerite!

Looking forward to having Marguerite back with us on Saturday. She's a truly courageous woman and we love her and wish her the best.

~The Yarn Lady & Everyone at Seattle Yarn

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting ready for the 2008 Local Yarn Shop Tour, May 15, 16, 17 & 18. 

More info here:

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Things have been a little slow for the Yarn Lady. My mom is in the final stages of her life and it is very hard to concentrate on the day to day when one is focused on the hereafter--while the day to day of managing her care takes up more time than ever. Yesterday she went to stay with my sister for a week. A week of concentrating on something other than pills and nurses and direct worries about her condition may be a refreshing time for me and my husband.  Or I may just puddle into sleep for a few days and accomplish nothing during the break.  Either way, I'm ready for this change of pace. A lot of you are going through the same situation--dealing with death, illness and change. The good news is that yarn helps during this process.  Do come by and share your yarn and we'll share some of ours with you, too.