Friday, July 13, 2007

We've Moved, Ya'll! Update your Blogfeeds!

Hey Ya'll, I got us a brand new spiffy place over at wordpress.

C'mon over!

Besides, if you want to see any photos from the Sleep Over they're all over there. How's that for an incentive?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Movin' Right Along, Footloose And Fancy Free

Two weeks ago, Hannah and I decided to visit some yarn shops after our shifts were over so we hopped in my little car and headed first to Mabel's. Who should we see when we arrived but our mutual friend Larissa typing away at her laptop. Larissa has a book about knitting and the communities that keep it alive coming out next spring. There are lots of innovative patterns, most of which have the aim of connecting knitters with each other through their work. Hannah actually has a pattern in there for a baby blanket which is meant to be knitted in strips by several knitters and then sewn together. It's awesome.

Also? Mabel's has some yarn that I love. Bartlett's is woolen-spun yarn, so the texture is not as smooth as the yarns you're probably used too but there is NO DOUBT that it is just as lovely. I think that my hat of woolen-spun yarn is warmer than any of my other hats that I've knit. I wore it frequently over the winter. Someday I will take out the shoddy crochet crown, get double points and end it properly. Anyway, give it a try, and if you think it's too itchy to wear next to your skin, just imagine all the lovely jackets and hats you could make. Mabel's has 2 weights, I think, and a good selection of colours.

After that we dropped by CloseKnit for knit night and saw our friend Stephanie who used to work at Abundant with us. CloseKnit was having a sale and I picked up two balls of Noro Sakura in mostly-Green and mostly-Purple colourways. I'm making another sideways hat. Because I think it's fun. Short-rows are more fun when you don't wrap-and-turn, which is a lot of hooey and bull if you ask me since there are several good ways besides that are easier, neater, and less of a bitch to work. My personal favourite comes from an Elizabeth Zimmermann book. Perhaps I will attempt a tutorial sometime, if anyone's interested.

P.S. The sleepover was AWESOME, but Heather has all the pictures on her camera so a post will probably be coming later in the week.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wanna Have A Sleepover?

Holy Crap.

Vacation feels niiiiice. Sorry for the unexplained abscence. I was caught in a whirlwind of packing up my dorm life, moving home, and then an unplanned weekend at a beach house with a big group of friends. Now I'm excited for this weekend.

Saturday night at the shop we'll be having a Knit All Night Marathon. There will be workshops on needle felting, drop spindling, and crochet. It's a potluck dinner, but we'll be providing breakfast. It starts at 7 PM Saturday and goes to 9 AM Sunday. It's the shortest night of the year, and what better way to spend it than by knitting with fellow insomniacs? There is a fee to help pay for staff and the food. But really, 30 bucks for 12+ hours of knitting help, workshops, and great company is a steal.

I had an unfortunate mishap with my bog jacket. The yarn and I have decided that this project has abused us both beyond our tolerances and will soon be relaxing in a nice frog pond, hopefully a little woolwash and lanolin will revive us both to tackle something healthier for us both.

Until then, some Shepherd's Worsted in Baltic Sea has been treating me very nicely in a ribbed cardigan pattern that I am making up as I go along. There will be extensive finishing, and we are both looking forward to the time together. He's a very cozy knit, and his strong ribs have soothed my betrayed knitter's heart after the scorn of the Bog.

Pictures soon, and maybe a better recap of my Week O' Sleep And Other Stuff.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Sweater, A Harlot, And A Rockin' Good Time

I finished the sweater.

And here it is doing what sweaters do best.

Being worn.

Pattern: My Own Design, Shawnathan's Sweater
Yarn: Galway Plymouth, a Heathered Brown and Chocolate Brown
Design Elements: Drop Shoulders, Half-Underarm Gussets, Tunic Flaps, Shaped V-Neck
Gauge: 4.77 Stitches Per Inch
Chest Measurement: 34 Inches
Ease: 0
Start Date: November 2006
End Date: May 2007
Needles: Size 3 Inox Circulars, 24 inches.

Today the Yarn Harlot visited Portland and came to Powell's. Here is a graphic representation of how Powell's still hasn't learned about knitters. Spanning a time from 4:30 to approximately an hour before Yarn Harlot.

Her talk covered a range of topics, including an informative section on the newest threat to knitters. C.H.O.K.E. Cultural Humiliation Of Knitters Everywhere. C.H.O.K.E. works in ways both irritating and threatening, ranging from snarky comments to actual interference with business transactions. Tell your friends, call your congress people, and above all be sure to fight C.H.O.K.E. at every opportunity. Be Proud, Be Loud, And Knit.

The lady looking my way in the read Green Gable sweater? That's Heather. She's the new owner of the store, she's fabulous, and I believe that she is going to do great things with the store. Do not fear the red-garbed woman, for she will bring you many pretty yarns, an extensive class list, and she's keeping us all.

Yeah, that would be nearly half of the crowd in that last. The rest is wound around the back of aisles, through the store, and standing against the back. Stephanie was an intelligent, articulate woman. Her sweater was faaab. So much love for that lady.

My friend took a picture as I held her sock. And she took a picture of the sweater I knit for my friend. Somehow, that seems right.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I hope I can actually give it to him

I finished it.

It's done done done.

YAY for Brown Lump Sweater being DOOOOONE.

w00t, yay, and other exclamations of pleased knitterliness go here.

Pictures today or tomorrow, when I give it to him and make him try it on and do a Rowanesque photo shoot.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's Not That Hard

For real, it's not that hard to design a sweater that a dude will like. Here you go, basic Man Sweater Rules.

  • Neutral Colours, Unless Otherwise Specified.
  • Medium To Oversized Fit i.e. Comfy.
  • One Colour, Unless Otherwise Specified.
  • Do Not Succumb To Cosby Sweater Syndrome.
  • Do Not Try To "Inject" our "Wardrobes" with a "Vibrant New Colour" Without Asking First.
I saw a sweater recently with a checkerboard and a hood AND wide vertical stripes on it, plus it was WAY HUGE on the dude what was wearing it. Honey, ain't 1 man in 50 gonna want that sweater. Being "Interesting To Knit" and "Pleasing To Wear" aren't always mutually exclusive. Unless you're knitting this sweater. Knittah, pleez.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Done Up Purdy

Pre-Hammer And Drill

The store got a facelift this past weekend. I like the new look and the new feel, even though I sympathize with ya'll that have walked in and been vaguely stunned by the rearranged layout. Here's a brief photo montage of the whole ordeal.


Oh eff, they ripped the counter apart!

And then somebody stole the bloody thing. Sod.

Oh, they're just moving it. Nobody tells me anything.
Left to Right:
Rob, Frank, Mike, Andres

Good job guys!

Also, all the shelving units now vaguely resemble giant blocky sheep just waiting to get pushed around. There are these caster things on the bottoms of all of them. Also, we attatched pegboard to the backs of all of them so now we have more flexibility in display and store configuration.

Turns out that a dude only gets more attractive with a power tool in his hands. Go figure.

The new flock of Blue Backed Shelves.
Note the vague bluish hue surrounding the posteriors of each shelf.

And then the dear little one that was wondering about thought to herself, "My God, Daddy is making this place an pigsty. MUST CLEAN!"

Seriously, friggin' cutest kid I've ever seen that I'm not related to.
Everything she does sparkles with Cute Sequins(tm)

And that's pretty much all there was, I'm going to be putting the rest up on my flickr account.

A big stinkin' huge thanks to Frank and Harry, without whom the whole thing woulda been a bunch of knitters and their associated menfolk goin' "Eh, what?"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Almost There...Al-most theeere...

If Luke Skywalker had knitted, he would have noticed that the feeling of knitting down the last sleeve of a friend's sweater that has to be finished before the start of summer is much like trying to bullseye an exhaust vent on a Death Star.

I'm almost there.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Morning: A WIP

I had such a restful nap yesterday afternoon that I woke up at 4 this morning. I opened the window and dozed, listening to the sounds of lonesome cars going by one by one. At 10 to 5, I got out of bed, booted up the computer, and sat down to read the early-morning bloggers. At 5:30, I began to take pictures. This is the rest of my morning.

I have been slogging along on a friend's sweater. I finally completed the body last night, for the second time. I had just picked up for my sleeve and decided on a garter-stitch treatment involving short rows when I looked up and saw this huge, flawless patch of light on my bedroom wall.

While I was taking various photos, it occurred to me that my sweater looked kind of...arty. Hangin' up there on the wall, in the light.

I wonder why it is that we so infrequently look at our knitting and see the art in it. Maybe it's because we know all the hours, each stitch, each frustrating moment, the thrill of correct stitch counts, and the crushing defeat of gauge failures. But when I pinned that sweater up on the wall, and the needles dangled just-so, I admit that I thought it was beautiful.

Even if it did look pretty funny without some sleeves.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Such Great Yarn..

Quick bit of shop news: The Skacel and Bryson orders have been placed. Vast quantities of needles should be arriving by the end of the month, maybe a little after. If they don't, I will resign myself to knitting with fallen sticks from the trees across the street and will personally give a class on how to prepare them for such usage.

I finished my sideways-short-row-garter-stitch-sport-weight hat and it's sooo beautimous that I am loathe to put it on, because then I can't see it. This photo has washed out the green and made the blue more prominent. The effect is much springier than aquatic in real life. This yarn is some hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester, sport weight. Yay for yarn swaps!

I modified a pattern I had already knit to knit 8 smaller wedges instead of 4 larger ones. I like it, because the way the colours striped mimics the appearance of 8 decrease points around the crown of the hat, even though the grain of the fabric is obviously sideways.

I was asked for a pattern. And the truth is, I'm not sure I could write a pattern for this. It's very simple. I would leave things out because I would constantly be thinking "Well, of course you do this next - What else would you do?" I knit very intuitively, and I don't actually like following patterns because I find that they frequently contradict what I feel to be the natural progression or growth of a project.

For instance, I am knitting little building blocks which are constructed of mitered squares all knit off of one another. The direction that the pattern tells you to pick up in had me tearing my hair out, and finally I gave up and just did it the way I thought would work. It did, and it looks fine. I am sure that the pattern works, but it doesn't work in my head, which is unaccustomed to following a pattern anyway. I'm sure that Hannah or Jenna or Stevanie could pick that pattern up and knit it beginning to end without any moments of frustration.

There is a moment where the construction deviates from one of my practices for my own designs in order to preserve a certain appearance. There are two ways I would have done it, one to preserve the appearance and one that would have one face of the block looking different. Either way, I think it would look fine.

The point is that this is my weakness in knitting: I don't like patterns, and I don't like fussiness without reason, and I especially don't like needless seaming. I can do all of these things, because I believe that there should be nothing that I cannot do - Only those things which I choose not to do for my own dislike of them.

I would be very curious to know what other people feel about patterns, or their own weaknesses in knitting. I don't consider ignorance of a skill or method to be a weakness, we all learn things as we need to.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day/Spring Cleaning Sale

We've placed several large orders recently, only to realize that we don't really have all the room we need for them on the shelves.

So, we thought maybe ya'll would like to buy some yarn on sale.

Here's the low down.

  • All Debbie Bliss - 40% off
  • Lanna Grossa Gala - 30% off
  • All Anny Blatt, including kits - 30% off
  • All Cleckheaton - 30% off
  • All Bouton d'Or - 30% off
  • Pakucho Cotton - 20% off
  • Rowan Ribbon Twist - 30% off

Yarn is better on sale. Everyone knows that sale yarn doesn't count towards stash.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Store Ho

Hannah and I were on shift Tuesday, and she was writing the new store hours in the front window. Her first try yielded an interesting sign.

I was in a yarn swap that ended recently, and I got a skein of the most beautiful hand-dyed Blue-Faced Leicester I have ever seen. Blue-Faced Leicester is a wool from a breed of sheep which has a natural blue tint to its fleece. This affects the dyeing process, usually to the good. The colours you get usually have an extra depth and they are quite rich, without being intense. Oh heck, here's a picture so you can see for yourselves!

See the pretty? It's a happy, happy yarn. In the skein, the colours were restful and soothing, now with them all mixed together it's more energetic.

I love it.

It is going to become a hat, which I am knitting sideways, using short-rows to shape the crown.

Just a reminder, we're going to be closed the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of this May to rennovate the store. I think ya'll will like the new look - I know that all of us are excited about it! The whole idea behind the rennovation is to make everything more accessible and easier to see. I'm looking forward to the whole thing.

We're also placing several orders that will be coming in over the course of the summer as we try to gear up for fall. It seems like not that long ago we were trying to get in the summer stuff. You may have noticed that the inventory is low, rest assured that we're getting new things to fill those empty places on the shelves.

I got a new knitting book, I pre-ordered it months ago on Amazon and it showed up today. Here is a small sample of the cover - Can you guess what it might possibly be about?

It's quite charming, lots of good kids projects. I will definitely be making a few things out of here - In my size!

Edit: P.S. We just got a bunch of Koigu and STR in, plus Shepherd's Worsted from Lorna's Laces in four different colourways, all of which are absofrigginglutely gorgeous. They're hanging out front, next to the Purple Lotus.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Okay ya'll, I have the patterns formatted. I have them ready to go. But.

Yeah, but.

The free one is available! Yes, that is true! I dropped it into Stev's e-mail mere moments ago.

But the store will be re-formatting our patterns and I don't know how that will affect the second pattern, which will be for sale. When we get that sorted out, it will also be available. I am SO sorry guys, I never thought it would take so long for this to all fall into place!

Here are some pictures to help soothe you.

This is one of our customers and when I bemoaned my inability to find a friend to model the shawls, she and her mother were sitting nearby in the cafe and her mother instantly volunteered her for the job, which she gracefully accepted.

Sezession I and II from behind

Sezession I

Sezession II

We've also changed our hours. The store is undergoing some changes, all of which are being made by smart and clever people who are working behind the scenes to make the store better.

New Hours
Monday, Tuesday: 10-7
Wednesday, Thursday: 10-9
Friday, Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

The cafe is still open at 7 Monday through Friday, and store hours on the weekend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Summer's Below The Surface

I have to admit to being a summer child. I was born in spring, and Christmas is my favourite holiday, but summer is the season that always feels the best to me. Like putting on a comfy t-shirt, summer lays next to my skin and makes me smile. Spring is always a temptation to spring out into my summer gear without regard for the rain and hail that peppers a Northwestern spring.

I finished my wristwarmers, and I am entranced by the tiny stitches and the fluidity of the fabric They couldn't be more prefect for the kind of weather we've been having.

Yarn: Socks That Rock, mediumweight, in Covelite. From Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

Pattern: My own design for a top-down wristwarmer with a thumb gusset and an afterthought thumb. In the next pair I will probably alter the thumb process to make it more similar to a traditional gusseted thumb.

The shop will be closed May 20th through the 22nd. We are reworking the layout and overhauling the general look of the store. We will be open bright and early on Wednesday so that you can see what we've done. I think it's gonna be great, and of course I'll take pictures of the whole messy ordeal.

Today I will be taking the pictures of the shawls that are on display in the shop to put to the patterns and Sezession I and Sezession II will finally be available. We will be having a class on these shawls at some point, but I don't know when.

AllHemp6 in Deep Sea

By the way, if any of you are allergic to wool or know anyone that is, I can highly suggest the book No Sheep For You by Amy Singer. Amy is the genius behind which has been online for a few years now and is a major force in the on-line knitting community. We don't have the just yet, as we're getting our orders together to send them out but I've been bugging Stevanie to get this book and some of the yarns out of it. I'm starting a sweater out of some beautiful hemp yarn as soon as all my other two sweaters are off the needles. I did sneak in a swatch, and it's truly a magnificent fiber.

Now it's time for class, and I've gotta run. See ya'll in the store.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Slogging? You Betcha!

I recently joined Mason-Dixon's Slog-A-Long and if you've got that project that you're "just trying to get through" or it's "killing me a little bit with every stitch," then this is the place to find solace and comfort that you are not the only one who slogs, but that there are people who find enthusiasm in that Long-Haul project. :D

I am slogging on these size double zero needles and Socks That Rock mediumweight in the colourway Covelite. They are so purdy. I had them done, but discovered that in my Design It Yourself Way I had forgotten to note how frequently I increased and ended up with 10 extra stitches which contributed to a drastically different feel and fit. One that did not please me. RRRRIP! Out came the ends, undo the short little seam, and then unravel a good four inches of knitting. Basically, everything I'd done that day. But that's the beauty of it. Now I can fix it and do it right.

I'm also slogging on a brown-sweater for my friend Shawnathan. He has been patiently waiting since NOVEMBER. I feel guilty, because he paid for the yarn (mostly.) I am never allowing somebody to pay me to make them a sweater ever again. It's too much pressure, and it's too much guilt. I will make sweaters for people how and when I like.

Some brief shop news. I will be writing up some crochet patterns, including a variation on the triangular Silk Garden shawl you see in the shop now. The triangular version will be free with the purchase of yarn, while the variant will be available for purchase. They both take 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden. I will be bringing in the variant sample on Saturday, so ya'll can see it starting Sunday.

That reminds me! We will be closed this Saturday (i.e. Tomorrow) because we are doing another inventory. We're going to be trying to do these about every 6 months in the future, but we really needed to do this one going into the summer season so that we have a better idea of what to order and what maybe we ought not re-order.

I was reading a blog post written by Laurie of Crazy Aunt Purl today wherein she talks about her inability to comprehend the shootings that have taken place recently and all the other events which are connected to the deaths of the people at Virgina Tech. I share this sentiment with her, and like her I will not be writing a great deal on it just because I cannot encompass it in my head. I cannot possibly articulate myself. I feel a deep regret and sadness for the loss of the students' families, friends and colleagues.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


In case ya'll didn't hear, our Brandon passed the Bar Exam and is now all Laywerly an' stuff. Go figure, right? I always knew knitters were the smartest people.

Real post coming in a few days.

- Rodger

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


The past month has been a tiring one and I am looking forward to when things settle down at the shop and we can really get into the groove of doing what we do best: Providing for our customers.

I think it is important in every business to know the people you serve, and know them well. When you're having a bad day and you want to go home, it is much easier to enjoy work when you genuinely care for the people who come into your establishment. When the first thing you want is for them to be happy, then it is that much easier to go the extra mile for them and to have fun doing it.

So it's frustrating when you can't do everything you want to do for your customers. When they only need one more skein of that perfect colour. When a gal needs the one size of needles that we're out of. When the last stitch markers just got bought and somebody wants to start an epic piece of lace.

I just want to say thank you to all the people who come into the store, even just to check us out, and I hope that someday I will know all your names, have all the answers, and always, always have that last skein that you need or the last set of double points in town.

Until that day, I hope that you will have as much fun coming into the shop as I do working there. I feel lucky every time I talk about work with people, because I don't have a job. I have a beautiful community which I feel privileged to be a part of.

I think I speak for all of us when I say,
Thanks to the Carols, Larissa & Martin & Sebastion, Surena, Suzanne, Kim, Betty, Victoria, Michelle & Isabelle, Jan, Kabira, Heather, Donovan and her girls, Mary, Suzie, Marnie, Kathy, Ellen, Momma's Night, Tuesday Night SnB, Thursday night SnB, every guy who ever came in to pick up a pair of needles for the first time, and every knitter that I've ever met. Y'all are the best people I know.

- Rodger

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Finding Time

A customer in a sock class during our Green Sale on St. Patrick's Day

I woke up today and realized that I, literally, had nothing to do. So of course I did my errands, and I'm doing my chores. I don't work today, finals are all over, and I basically decided that it was the day to be a Good Boy and do everything that I put off all week because I have work or school or something. Days like today are when I am possibly the happiest, just running my life and making sure that everything happens the way it ought to.

But! The shop, oh yes, the shop. We have been busy this past week. On Saturday we had a green sale, which gave me an idea for bi-monthly, year-round'll see, 'cause the wrinkles are waiting to get ironed out and that will have to wait until we get our April-May-June class list into action.

By the way, Earth Day is in April and we are considering a series of Sunday or Saturday classes to follow the themes of Reclaiming and Recycling for our knitting and spinning, so watch for those on the website and if you have any questions please come ask us!

We also had a trunk show with the girls of Zephyr Style and they were SO friendly. I asked them a few questions, but neglected to really write anything down so I will tell you what I remember.

The girls do the layout of all the patterns themselves, and as they are both graphic designers in Real Life this is pretty easy and makes for a fantastic finished product. Their patterns are clear and concise, with schematics to show the measurements and proportions.

They actually started out making stitch markers before branching out into designing. When I asked about their inspiration, they said that it varied for each sweater and that certain garments started out in the sketch stage and were altered radically before the end while others were more organic, progressing naturally.

I really liked a sweater that I saw there called The Tree Jacket, which is NOT yet available. I think I'm going to make a men's version, or at least a sweater with a squared-off, garter-stitch yoke.

Talking with them was very very easy, as both are very personable and I hope to see them in the shop again! If you're interested in buying their patterns, you can find them by going through this page and order them from Abundant Yarn, or you can look at the list of retailers on

Many of you have been asking where all the neeldes have gone, and here I must apologize. We have been having some difficulty with several shipments lately which will be resolved shortly and hopefully we will be able to have needles on a more regular basis from now on.

Speaking of shipments, we just received part of our Noro order and it is proudly displayed near the front of the store, where we can gaze longingly at it from the register.

I also took a decent picture of Hannah. Who found time to knit on one of the prettiest days in the past two weeks.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Things at the shop have really been crazy lately - Stev is now managing both the yarn store and the cafe, which means more work than ever. Fortunately the cafe crew is pretty good at maintaining the place on their own so Stevanie isn't totally overloaded. See how calm she looks in the photo?

We've gotten some new yarns in in the past few weeks. The Cascade 220 Superwash, some new colours of Cascade Jewel which is a deadringer for Rio De La Plata, Nikki a thick/thin yarn from Cascade. We like Cascade, they have nice stuff for low prices. They fit nicely into my budget.

This is Nikki in one colourway. You can see all of the ones we carry on our website, and then there's always Cascade's website for all the colours.

We're talking about carrying a fingering weight alpaca, but nothing solid yet.

Also! We're planning a few retreats for the next coming months. There may be one during the summer, and we're thinking one the weekend after Mother's Day. Annie Modesitt is going to be teaching at one of them, so be sure to keep an eye out for them!

As an aside; Annie is one of the knit designers that I have a great deal of respect for even though her designs are not usually to my taste. Her dedication to technique is incredible, and I think that her repertoire of skills is amazingly varied. If her class list is anything to go by, then she's definitely one of those people who is always trying to look at knitting from another angle. I like that.

I'm really excited about the fiber festival that's coming up on the 15th. It's the Ides Of March Fiber Festival, and it will be from 9 to 9, regular store hours. It should be really awesome, a lot of our own customers will be showing their best stuff.

Portland has been abso-fricking-lutely gorgeous lately. I have taken lots of pictures of the sunrises over the past few days when it has been shockingly clear. They're the kinds of mornings that make me WANT to get out of bed and have a good day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

When a knitter's brain implodes.

Maybe some of you are familiar with the Imploding Brain phenomenon, wherein there is so much inside the brain at one time that it collapses in on itself, leaving a mere shell where once a functioning cerebrum was. I am a firm believer that if this does not place you in a mental institution, that you are either
A) A mother, who is used to this kind of thing and has a back-up copy of the really, really important stuff (like kids' names) written down somewhere.
B) A knitter, who is used to this kind of thing and hasn't got a written, typed, or photographic record of a damn thing and has to figure it from scratch.

Frequently, mothers who knit will find that they remember their child's birthday, but not which row they last decreased on. This shows that the Knitting part of the brain, while distracting, does not normally impair function of the rest of the neural functions.

Back to my point. Which I do have. Somewhere.
When a knitters brain implodes, and all pertinent knitting information has left them in their time of need, it is important to sit down with three things.

1. The knitting. (A friend's V-Neck Pullover)
2. A good reference book. (My favourite knitting book ever, actually.)
3. A calculator. (Because it's always the effing numbers.)

My book of choice is Knitting In The Old Way, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts. All of the sweaters in this book are designed around percentage systems, which is how I design all of my sweaters.

Right now I'm figuring out the rate of decreases for a friend's V-neck pullover. That number on the calculator is how many stitches I've gotta decrease total.

At least I've got the shop sample of the Pageboy Hat to knit out of Nikki. It should be good bus knitting, since the sweaters have become so unwieldy. I'll have a picture of that when there's more than 2 rows of ribbing on it.

In completely unrelated news: I started teaching my first class today. I am teaching the Advanced class at the shop, where people are making their first garments. We did swatching today, where I discussed swatches, and the importance of gauge. We also chatted about all other kinds of things, family, jobs, schooling.

Ronnie, a nice lady with the most delicious English/French accent, is making a drop-shouldered pullover. The style of construction and the yarn both put me in mind of traditional fisherman's ganseys, except that this pattern lacks the underarm gussets which are a part of the construction of most ganseys. Ronnie's pattern may be a bit too big for her, so I may end up helping her resize it - Her pattern is perfect for resizing using a percentage system, because it's all "Knit until work measures X from X." type of instructions, which means you can easily fill in X with whatever measurement suits you.

Elizabeth is a doctor at OHSU, she is making a neck-down cardigan that has an I-cord tie at the front. She's using the Cascade 220 Superwash in Very Berry. Her pattern's totally different from Ronnie's, but they're both highly adjustable. Elizabeth is in-between sizes on the pattern, but she said she likes a loose fit. I already had looked at that company's patterns and they are fairly true-to-size, that is to say that they are designed to sit exactly at the bust measurement that's given. I think that knitting the next larger size will give her the roomy feel she likes.

I think I'll ask them if I may take pictures of them during class as they knit and work on their projects, and I'll definitely be sure to put up pictures of their finished work if they don't mind.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Oh nooooo...

Last night I picked up a spindle, some roving, and made yarn for the 2nd time in my life.
I liked it. It was fun to see the twist go up the yarn, and to see-HEY I MADE YARN! *ahem* And then possibly my favouritest part is that this time did not end in a spindle flying across the room at high speed, lodging itself into a wall, with the twist slowly coming out of AN ENTIRE PIECE OF ROVING.

You know what this means? I'm going to have to halve my buget for yarn, and I will have less knitting time than ever, and I am anxiously eyeing a Fricke wheel.

I am largely amused to imagine conversations like the following:
Spinner: What kind of wheel do you have?
Me: Fricke!
Spinner: Is there a problem?
Me: No, I have a Fricke.
Spinner: . . . I think I'm missing something.

P.S. Pictures of the cafe are coming, but I am finding the cafe staff somewhat...difficult on the matter of photos. Look, guys, you're gonna end up in a crummy photo on the web in your life - Why not let it be on a blog that all of our customers can read and show their friends?

Friday, February 2, 2007


So, here's how it is. I moved to Portland 6 months ago to go to college and become a Grown Up. In the path to AdultHood, I have gotten myself a checking and savings account, a cell phone, a huge student loan, and a job.

My job. Well. I work at a yarn store. It's called Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks. It's pretty cool, 'cause there's Pat,

who owns the place. She also teaches a lot of the classes. We also have Stevanie and Suzie who are the managers. They're sisters. Also, they kick ass. You'll hear about them a lot on here.

This is Jenna.
Jenna does the plant-dyeing classes, and a lot of the hand-dyed stuff you see in the shop.
She's pretty much amazing.
This is her in a hat that Stev' made out of this yarn we got at the shop.
Jenna just got married too, which is really cool if you ask me. She also doesn't mind if I ask her tons of questions about dyeing or whatever she's doing. I like that a lot.

There's also Hannah - Who really, really likes yarn.
How much?
Uhm. Well. Let's just say she has a very close connection with our stock.
This is her Halloween costume. She's covered in her unfinished projects. Except she kind of does this a lot, the covering herself in yarn thing. Hannah's favourite accessory is a hank of yarn looped around her neck. I think it's pretty cool. Hannah's also a Knitting Geek like me. The hours we have spent pondering techniques and deducting the construction of garments from their finished appearance are only a drop in the bucket in relation to our relative obsessions with Learning Just One More Way To Do Things.

We've also got Brandon, who hates that I take pictures of him without asking.

He was unprepared.
I'm putting this up until he finds it. When he does find it, though?
Well. I probably won't be posting anymore.
Don't see why everyone's so touchy about getting their picture in the morning anyhow.

There's also me. Yes. Secret Ninja Knitter.

And that's just the yarn shop people. 'Cause the shop? We're not just a shop.
We also got a café. A BIG one. I'll show it to you next time. Unless you happen to come in before that and see it for yourself. You can find out everything about us at our webpage,