City Knitting was a brick and mortar yarn shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although the shop closed in 2009, this website lives on to keep you informed of classes from Lorilee, as well as knitting events she hosts. See this page for Lorilee’s personal knitting blog.
Peruse your options in the Navigation Bar at the right. If you’d like to receive updates about City Knitting events or Lorilee’s projects, you can sign up for the City Knitting newsletter. I am currently sending about two to four e-mails per year.
Click here for “Know Your Cuts of Lamb” gear on CafePress! New, August 2012!
Hold on to your knitting needles - have we got something fun for you!
We have been (very!) excitedly planning a weekend of learning new knitting tricks and techniques for spirited and adventurous knitters also known as Plucky knitters!
Your Friendly Vendors ~
Sarah Dimond, owner of The Plucky Knitter, has been dyeing like a madwoman since 2007. Her love of color and her obsession with all shades of gray keeps her very busy and highly entertained.
Hayley – Sarah, along with her sister, Hayley, will be your point person(s) and hostesses for the weekend. You will see Hayley’s smiling face upon arrival and if you need anything at all, she is your gal!
Your Teachers ~
Sivia Harding learned how to knit in 2000 and has been churning out patterns since 2003. Her work has appeared in publication under her own name, plus being featured in online magazines Twist Collective and Knitty, various subscription clubs, and in many knitting books. Sivia is known for her work with exceptional beaded knits. She joins us from Portland, Oregon. Read more about Sivia.
Lorilee Beltman happily sees no end to where one’s knitting curiosity can take them, so she enjoys helping knitters make new discoveries. Although she considers herself primarily a teacher, 2012 will see her designs popping up in a few public places. When not traveling to teach at national knitting events, she has enjoyed tent camping at nearly twenty National Parks with her all-boy family. She joins us from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Your Location ~
Downtown Holland, Michigan is a lively and lovely area for shopping, dining and strolling. Enjoy the fresh spring landscape and perhaps some early tulips before the rush of visitors arrive in early May for the largest tulip festival in the U.S.
City Flats Hotel, the first LEED Gold Certified Hotel in the Midwest, will host our group for two nights. Consider coming a day early or staying a day late to enjoy more of what Holland has to offer, including miles of sandy Lake Michigan beaches. Please do not book your room just yet. A block of rooms is already reserved, and you will want to use the registration code provided later in order to get the block discount. What you can do is make plans to pair up with a friend to share a room, so that you can be ready when registration opens.
Your Schedule: Friday-Sunday, April 13-15, 2012 ~
Dates- Join us beginning Friday, April 13. Arrive any time, but you’ll want to aim for early afternoon to shop the Plucky Knitter Open House at the hotel. Our first group gathering will be a cocktail party and welcome reception at the hotel on Friday evening.
After fueling up on breakfast Saturday, enjoy the day with two class sessions separated by a generous lunch hour to shop, dine and relax on your own. Classes will feature Sarah’s yarn and Sivia’s and Lorilee’s instruction, as we aim to make your hands and brains happy. The group will dine together on Saturday evening.
On Sunday we offer a more relaxed pace with a leisurely breakfast, final access to the Plucky store, and a two-hour “Favorite Tips and Tricks” class co-taught by Sivia and Lorilee.
We plan for this to be an intimate event with 20 - 32 participants. All the Plucky details will be provided on Monday, December 19th, including cost, transportation, event registration, and hotel booking.
Sarah has started a thread on the Ravelry group “Plucky Knitter” where you can feel free to chat. Stay tuned!
-Sarah and Lorilee
Your Event Planners
In the boiler room at our house you’ll find my childhood dollhouse (long out of use considering we have all teenage boys), camping gear, my grandma’s quilting frame, house paint, Christmas decorations, and a studio. In the center of the open floor is a small table, lights, video camera, and custom built gizmo for holding the camera above the knitting happening below. It’s a quiet part of the house where we can control the light, and to a point, the noise. Occasionally I’ll have to do another take because the dog trots across the floor above my head.
I’ve been working on an in-depth continental knitting tutorial which will be available in DVD form. I am happy with the results so far and hope to have it ready by the end of the year.
This, combined with traveling to teach has been taking up my working hours since closing the shop. In the spare hours, I’ve been making use of the time to relax and enjoy my family.
Also, when out and about, I get to run into so many former customers. It’s always nice to catch up and hear about your knitting and adventures as well. Happy knitting.
Many of you remember the lovely hand dyed Yarn Hollow yarns, rovings and kits we used to sell at the shop City Knitting. Well, proprietress Rita has been continuing, and growing, and expanding her offerings since you saw her last. If you’d like a chance to catch up and see all the new goodies, you’ll want to stop in at her open house- “A Yarnie Winter Holiday”. Read on to find out what other shopping treats await you. If you are out on errands, plan to stop. You’ll be glad you did!
When: Saturday, December 4 · 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Yarn Hollow Studio, 3041 Broadway SW, Grandville, MI
From 196 take Chicago Drive east toward Grandville. Shortly on your left after a light or two you’ll see an Adobe restaurant. Turn left or north onto Broadway just past Adobe. Cross the tracks and turn left at 3041, a series of white buildings with big red door numbers. Hers is #41.
Here’s what you’ll find there, in Rita’s work space all decked out for the holidays.
Lynn DT Hershberger
Color Joy by LynnH
Lynn will be selling polymer clay work, knitting patterns for her colorful knitted creations, as well as her new cookbook, which you can read about on her blog in the link above.
Kristin, who spends a lot of her time working at Redux books, also sews fabulous bags for knitting. You will want to see two of her latest designs- a zippered padded case for transporting your current hand spindling work in progress, as well as a nifty wrist bag perfectly sized to carry your iPod or iPhone along with a few necessities.
Finished felted items such as hats, nuno scarves, ornaments and purses- all ready for gifting!
Dyed yarns commercial and hand spun, buttons, cool shawl pins made with sliced wool beads, and stained glass ornaments.
Hand dyed yarn, fiber for spinning and felting, silk for nuno felting, bamboo socks, wool socks, knit and crochet kits, new patterns, silk hankies and felting kits. (Comment from Lorilee- I really like the commercially knit bamboo and wool socks that Rita buys plain then dyes. My son and I each have bamboo pairs that get lots of use.)
Eclectic fiber arts accessories.
Get your hands on a “Know Your Cuts of Lamb” t-shirt ($15), or some patterns Lorilee has worked on since closing the shop. From her most popular Felted Loafer Slipper to the newest Strap Happy Slipper, you’ll find about ten patterns to choose from. Samples are displayed along with the pattern, many in Rita’s yarns, so you can put the two together and get crackin’ for the holidays.
Grab a few friends and pop in, or make it a special outing for just you.
It’s our favorite time of the year! Crisp, cool mornings really stir up the knitterly urges.
Summer flew by, filled with lots of family time, some travel and lots of knitting. As you may know all too well, especially if you are a member of the ravelry.com community, the much anticipated UK Knit Camp in Stirling Scotland provided some people with great learning opportunities with fabulous tutors. The event was so much less than it should have been, however, as organizers broke many promises and simply did not do the organizing needed. When I arrived at the Glasgow airport, I learned the required work visas were not “sorted out” for me nor any of the non-UK tutors. I was returned back to the US the next morning, after being detained and fingerprinted. It was one of those protracted unpleasant, unreal experienced that one can manage to go through once shifted into third-party observer mode. That is how I felt, anyway. A lot of people had disappointments and financial losses. I did not get to teach and reconnect with some knitting buddies. I know I missed out on meeting so many cool people over there- their humor and grace showed through hundreds of e-mails and ravelry messages I received that week. Knitters are good.
Here are a few pics from Scotland- I did have the afternoon in Glasgow, so I made the most of it. My priority was to tour the Art School of Glasgow, a Rennie Mackintosh work I’ve wanted to see. The sunny late afternoon tour was all I had hoped it would be. My only souvenir is my Mitchell Library card, Glasgow, which I had to get for internet. It’s now my bookmark.
Fortunately, I was able to throw all my pent up teaching desires into Stitches Midwest at the end of August. This was my first experience with Stitches, and I was so pleased. What a great time with students and tutors alike! I am not teaching at Stitches East, but will be happy to see some west coasters at Stitches West in February. The rest of my traveling schedule is posted here, and includes a talk at Mid-Michigan Knitters Guild, Minnestoa Yarnover, Stitches, and Sock Summit, and an Alaska knitting cruise with Craft Cruises co-teaching with our friend Jared Flood.
This fall, I will continue to teach privately in my home and offer group classes. The fall list is now current and posted here.
Convert to Continental Knitting- Sunday, October 24, 1 - 4
Felted Loafer Slipper- Saturday, November 13, 9 - 4
Great American Afghan Square-of-the-Month- the third Monday of each month, 7 - 9 pm
Fingering Weight Fair isle Wristers- Sunday, November 14,1:30 - 4:30
Magic Looped Toe up Socks- Saturday, December 4, 9 - 4
Knitting Night continues on Tuesdays from 6 - 9 pm. We have a great time together and invite you to join us. Here is a schedule.
All the best!
Knitting Nights Schedule
Knitting days and nights on Tuesdays at my house have been great fun, and well attended. Now that Spring is here, I am going to tweak the times just a bit. First off, I am canceling for the first two Tuesdays in April. We will resume on Tuesday, April 20, when Shirley will bring the snack. Also, since the days will be so nice outside, and the garden will be calling, we will be skipping the afternoon hours. So, to recap: no open knitting until Tuesday, April 20, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM. After that, every Tuesday, same time.
Ramona Lace Helmet
My most recent pattern is available for download. It’s called the Ramona Lace Helmet, and here’s how it came about. While at the Visionary Retreat, a large bag full of Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns was unloaded onto a table for dividing up. We nearly calmly took turns selecting. One of the skeins I got was a brick-colored ‘Socks That Rock Heavyweight’ merino. (One skein makes two hats.) With a borrowed Japanese stitch dictionary from Sivia Harding, I knit a version of the hat with a ribbed brim that I did not like. So instead, I started with a Channel Islands cast on which gives a decorative picot edge, built garter stitch up from that, let the garter feed up into the voids between lace motifs, and had some fun decreasing at the top.
The unintended consequence was the way the lace motifs bossed the border around a bit, creating curves that pull back at the temples and swell to cover the ears. How perfect! So the result is a helmet- shaped lace hat. It’s named “Ramona”, half in honor of Mona the camel who took a liking to Sivia, and half for Ramona Park which used to be the play hub around Reed’s Lake near my home. It’s the location we chose to shoot the photos of the hat on Jessica, who also test-knit for me. Thanks Jessica!
Cat Bordhi’s Fall Visit, Classes on September 24, Retreat September 24-26
I am happy to say the details are all decided. I am at this moment working on downloadable forms for you.
Tri-fold Brochure: a-shore-thing-reduced-pdf-2010.pdf They may take a few days to finalize, then they will be listed in this very post, to which I will add an update. I’ll also send and e-mail about it, so if you receive them, you’ll know. If you don’t, sign up for them, or just check back here. I am very excited about some Michigan-specific treats for attendees! Stay tuned.
I’ll be teaching two project classes at Stitches Midwest / Chicago, August 19-22. Details will be announced soon. I hope to see you there!
U.K. Knit Camp and Ravelry Weekend, August 9 - 14, 2010
Jo Watson, event organizer, has released the details of the Ravelry Weekend, including mini-classes. I’ll be teaching some of those on the heels of the full camp week. Great classes, teachers, side-trips (whiskey, lakes and fiber), dances, record breaking attempts, all the Rav folks- this promises to be an exciting week, so if you can join us in Scotland, sign up soon and start shopping for tickets.
Maybe you can help me.
One project I am working on really depends on all you charming folks out there. Not wanting to create a dry and boring DVD of just me Continental Knitting (yawn), I have decided that you will be the stars of a great portion of this project.
Here’s what I need. Some of you have already learned to continental knit from me in the past. If you have, and whether you have grabbed onto all of it or not, if you are willing to be videotaped for this project, please contact me. OR / ALSO, if you want to learn from me as a total newby and are willing to be videotaped, contact me. I want a cross section of skill levels, genders, ages, you know, the City Knitting crowd we all love. So, please don’t be shy. Get in touch. (Threat: or else I may be calling you.) It will be an enormous help to me.
Also, if you have an endorsement or criticism for what continental you learned from me either in person or from the youtube video, send me an e-mail. Feel free to be honest- anything from “I can’t get it” to ” “this changed my life” will do.
CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Mona of Friday Harbor
Meet Mona of San Juan Island off Washington’s coast. She’s the friendly sort that comes over to greet you at the fence. She got a hold of my wrist and gummed it up a bit, but she really had a thing for Sivia Harding whose legged got nibbled on. [pictured in back: Miriam Felton, Amy O’Neill Houck, Jeny Staiman; front: Mona (Mona has a youtube video!) & Sivia] Mona lives down the road from the lakes where a group of us gathered last week to collect wisdom and guidance from each other and from our mentor Cat Bordhi, who plays the role of midwife to a number of designers hoping to give birth to their book ideas.
You Grand Rapids Yarnies sent a couple of gifts I was happy to deliver. Cat plans to put the peppermint bark from Shirley in her book storage building. When she goes there once a week to fulfill orders, the candy will be her reward. Jared Flood is so appreciative of the set of felted coasters from Ursula, and says the palette is perfect for his apartment. Cat, Jared and Cookie A all send their greetings to you.
On the day we arrived, Chrissy Gardiner took her Gardiner Yarn Works partner Donna, Carson Demers, and me on a tour of the island. I love her van because the back windows are plastered with her kids’ little fish and flower stickers. She also has a child protective lock feature in the back- it worked on me, too. See, Chrissy knows where the eagles are. We watched some adults and juveniles soaring and perching in the trees- look closely to find two. Then we made our way around to the Lime Kiln lighthouse, with long views toward Victoria and the Olympic peninsula.
The lodge had a great room with a fireplace and enough room to hold all twenty-five of us in a big oval. We ate all our meals together at one loooong table. Debbie our cook provided exceptional meals and desserts. One night she used the salted burnt sugar ice cream that Jeny made, served aside a ginger cake. We had jerusalem artichoke soup, salmon with capers, roasted beets, excellent salads- all so good. The cabins were cozy with a flip-the-switch fireplace we used often. A little porch overlooked a small lake with mergansers and other fowl. Fishing bobbers hung from the trees, past accidents that frustrated young fisherkids but lent some charm.
The retreat was an experience difficult to describe with words, and since we are sworn to secrecy anyway, I haven’t much I can share. Instead, I’ll share some memories that have nothing to do with anyone’s projects.
Sage Judith MacKenzie took some folks on a lichen collecting walk around our cabins. She knows more about fiber, plants, history and science than is humanly possible. You just wish you could be constantly by her side, not missing a thing she says. From the collected lichen, she made two dye pots on her stove. As the crispy bits of lichen deliquesced over two days, fibers took on an earthy tawny color. (Yes, learning that word was a highlight.) I tossed in the lightest-colored thing I had with me, a skein of Blue Moon STR lightweight in one of the Spirit colors, and let it cook. If you come to knitting on Tuesday, I’ll let you see and smell it. Did you know lichen is a key ingredient in Chanel Number Five? Later in the week I had to confess to Tina that I over-dyed her yarn; good thing she liked it, too. Another skein from the pot was team knitted into a cowl for Judith.
Judith also had with her a centuries-old sock from the Spanish Conquistadors. She confessed to wasting a lot of time looking for what they could have used to dye the medium tone brown stripe. Then one day she flipped it inside out only to discover it was a common darker brown that had just faded over the years.
To everyone’s delight, a number of dyers in the Northwest had donated garbage-bags full of yarn to the Visionaries. I’ll have that for show and tell Tuesday as well. To Stitch Jones, Abstract Fiber, Blue Moon, Pico Accuardi Dyeworks, and Lantern Moon - Thanks! The Pico Accuardi 100% superwash merino, dyed with both acid dyes and natural dyes, became a hat with a stitch pattern snagged from Sivia’s dictionary, and the Lantern Moon button. I knit most of it on the ferry departing the retreat. (see at show and tell)
We had very little free time, mostly due to the fact that you would not want to miss the opportunity to spend some time with another attendee, to get to know them and learn from them. On our final night of polishing off (or spilling) half bottles of wine, Cat scooted home quick to pick up the card game Quiddler, which five of us played until nearly midnight. Jared, Cookie, Jeane DeCoster, Amy Houck and I played. Bonus points were given for yarnie words like “diz”, which under normal rules would not even be accepted as a word. I have the score sheet so you can see who won. (Not me.)
Also on the last day, I gave the lodge’s aluminum rowboat its maiden voyage for 2010 so I could take some photos out on the water.
I have a renewed and increased respect for many of these people’s talents and work ethic. Many treats are in the works for all of us.
As the Visionary Retreat ended, we said some goodbyes, but many of us headed south together to the Madrona Fibert Arts Winter Festival in Tacoma, Washington. After one last ferry ride with more Quiddler and knitting, I rode with Sivia and Carson and our baggage in Judy Becker’s talking car. After all those fiber gifts, coupled with the event of Judith opening her trunk for a fiber sale, we had little room for our bodies in the car on the way back. (I bought a skein of bison dyed by Judith- come to show and tell.) From the car we caught a good view of the clouds of migrating trumpeter swans.
Madrona is an extraordinary knitting conference that should be on every knitter’s bucket list. Mostly, I could soak it all in and enjoy the market and the many people I met. I even had time to visit the Tacoma Art Museum. I taught just one small mini-class in grafting, and enjoyed it so. My roommate Anne Berk taught classes in argyle-knitting, both flat and in the round. Her book Shibui Argyle will be out soon. Look for it. I got to pet the pretty samples in Shibui’s yarns.
Jane Pauley and a film crew walked by as I was winding a hank. She was there to interview Betsy McCarthy for a AARP series on switching careers later in life. Betsy said once she reminded Jane how to hold the needles, she remembered from her youth and got a skein of Felted Tweed to knit on the way home. See Jane knit.
“Knit-ting stret-ches.” That is just one memorable comment from Mary Scott Huff, who is breathing new life into fair isle knitting. She’s a hoot-and-a-half. If you get a chance to meet her or learn from her, take it.
At 4:00 a.m. Sunday, I met Linda Cortright of Wild Fibers Magazine in the hotel lobby to share a ride to SeaTac for our early flights. She was a guest speaker at the conference who, through her magazine, lecture and slideshow pressed upon all of us the importance of supporting nomads who care for their herds of cashmere goats. As their lifestyle is threatenend, they and we all may have a lot to lose.
Now I am home, and the kids have the day off school. My youngest is learning the piano intro from Billy Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing” because “it’s just so cool”. My middle needs me to cut his hair so he can look respectable for interning tomorrow. My oldest sounds like he could use a care package from home. Snoring dog doesn’t need a thing. Husband has the house clean. But we all need food, so, back to real life pushing a grocery cart. Meijer, see you in a few. Great American Afghan knitters, see you tonight. Yarnies, see you tomorrow. Then, here’s my homework. I may be at about step 6:
Knitting together was fun last night, with the usual mix of fine folks, humor, impressive projects, impressive mistakes. I was in a mistake-knitting groove, stupid stuff with just myself to blame, when Shirley suggested I switch to something else. (Offending project- blue sock with brown heel, can be seen in time out in the photo above.) I switched to the sunflower.
It’s been four months since I worked on Jared Flood’s Girasole. The time away was due to a mistake that, given four months, I decided I could live with. Here’s the mistake. See in the picture? Double click on the photo to enlarge.
I missed one of the b-o-r shifts, and have the last two lace motifs off-center by one stitch. I see it clearly. But really, on 640 stitches, if I am off by one stitch, it’s not even one degree off. So there. I talked myself into that decision and am so glad to have it in hand again. It’s a great pattern, clearly written with nice transitions to each new section- so pretty. It won’t be long until the final bit is worked.
There are a couple things I did differently that I’d like to share with you. Personal choices are allowed, so I worked a centered double decrease. (sl 2 sts tog kwise, k1, psso; instead of sl 1, k2tog, psso) No big deal. But the following I think is pretty clever:
In this and many lace patterns there are rounds with ssk’s, yo’s and k2tog’s alternating with knit regular rounds. On the knit regular rounds, I would identify the two stitches that were to be ssk-ed on the next round. When I got to those two stitches, I’d knit them but wrap them the wrong way. Why?
Two reasons. First, I could use the rhythm of the knit regular round to check my count. For instance by repeating knitting some, then knitting 2 with a wrong-wrap, and by keeping my eye out for this to be happening in the right place, I could be alerted to mistakes like missed yarnovers on previous rounds. Second, by wrapping those two stitches backassward, it changed their seating on the needle. See the photo where I am trying to point with two needles.
Then, on the action row, when I came to those obviously backward stitches, instead of ssk-ing them, now I could just shoot through the back loops of both of those, as in k2togtbl, because they were already reoriented in the previous round. I hope this makes some sense to you. It really helped me a lot in terms of speed and keeping track of where I was.
Good News out of Haiti
Caroline and family are rejoicing in the news that Lourdie survived the quakes in Haiti. They are hoping to be united with her soon. I’ll keep you posted.
The former City Knitting phone number is now my personal cell phone number. It’s alive. I thought it would be handy to keep it. Thanks, Liesl, for pointing out that it’s more like four-five-forNOMOREYARN. Sorry.
Help and lessons
Lessons at my home have been going along nicely. People are making appointments with their help cards, and this week I had two brand new knitters join the local yarnie force. Use the number above for a private appointment. I like being your knitting doctor-on-call.
This is just a little lesson about working with yarn you love. For this simple project I chose a very showy yarn. Pricey, but lovely. It’s Rowan ‘Colourscape Chunky’ used to work Zimmerman’s ‘Mystery Blanket’, the April project from her Knitter’s Almanac. I got a compliment this week from someone whose opinion matters to me, making the blanket warm me in a new way.
Edited to add:
Head over to ravelry.com to see what clever knitter “Nanook” did with the Felted Loafer Slipper pattern. She made herself some bright blue smurf boots. I like them a lot. Some of you may want to give them a try. (My always-cold-without-slippers feet are 9.5 inches long.)
To all, best wishes for a very happy year.
I hope your knitted gifties were well received. I bet the focus will now shift toward knitting something for yourselves.
The Madrona Fiber Arts folks accepted a teaching proposal for a mini-class on grafting for the Winter Retreat in February. It’s just a quick little bit of teaching, but something I am really looking forward to, as I have heard great things about the event and venue. They won’t be opening the min-class signup until mid-January. The event is in Tacoma, Washington, and will follow on the heels of a retreat I’m attending in the far northwest corner of our lower 48.
Tuesday knitting starts at my house this week, Tuesday the fifth, 2:00-9:00. Kristin is bringing the evening snack. Those staying the day will have to leave to find supper, then return after, as I do have my family living here. You may stay and knit through the supper hour, but just know I won’t be feeding you.
I sincerely apologize for the confusion over claimed shop cubbies over the holidays. To make matters worse (or better for you, depending on how you look at it), as of yesterday, I now DO need to get rid of all the fixtures in the space. So, if you want anything, call 616-454-9276 and leave a message. I’ll call you back.
There is room for one or two more of you to join the three session Classic Socks Class beginning this Friday afternoon. Details are on the classes page. To sign up, call 616-454-9276 or e-mail me at Lorilee AT city-knitting DOT com.
I’ll see some of you tomorrow.
Today was the last day at City Knitting- the last day to enjoy each other, which we did. Thanks to the many who came, young friends and old (and injured.)
Thanks for all the cards, thoughtful letters and hugs. Thanks, Cathie, for the wine you brought, four “flavors” in all!
Thanks, Carol, for sharing your sofa with my family. It made it home and will never be put to such good use again. I believe there are three boys on it now, playing video games. I know, it’s a cryin’ shame.
At least Carol won the “guess how many balls of yarn are left contest”. Her guess was 60, and she was off by one, winning herself two hanks for socks. Kim won the spending contest- an amount frighteningly close to her paycheck totals.
Leslie, the last yarnie left in the store, turned out the lights then snapped this shot. In my arms on the way out are a half-bottle of wine, an almond cake, letters, a heart ornament, and my last bit of Christmas knitting. My mom-in-law requested a Holey Squares Scarf as a momento. Since it’s my eighth one, I found myself doing an occasional (p2tog, yo) on the purl rounds, just to keep it interesting. Four hanks of Berroco Jasper were used in this one. Pattern is here.
A moment with the tea kettle to relax the seams, and presto! One more present to wrap tonight.
So, goodbye for this year. I’ll see some of you in the new year at my house for social knitting, or for classes. Appointments for help and class signups can be made after January 4 by following the contact info on the classes page.
A knitting related story that may not interest you.
My husband stayed home from the band concert last night to diagnose and hopefully fix a problem with our landline phone at home. It has been failing intermittently for the past week, and died completely a few days ago. We suspected it was not the line outside the house, because internet still worked.
When we got home from the concert, “ta-da!”, the phone worked. He had a smirk on his face which made me ask, “Either it was something stupid and quick, or something really complex, and you are brilliant. Which one?”
“Neither, it’s better. It’s your yarn’s fault,” he said.
So, try to figure that out, or read on.
One of the telephone wires added for the kids Wii travels across the perimeter of the carpeted tv-room. The tv-room is the only room without basement beneath it, just a crawl space, which gets cold. And it has recently gotten very cold here in Grand Rapids. The wire got trapped in the corner of the room beneath my knitting basket, which is full of wool with all its insulating properties. The wool prevented the heat from the room from getting to the space below the basket where the wire was trapped. The carpet elevated the basket just enough for some air to flow just a bit- enough for condensation to occur. The condensate accumulated, wetting the carpet and shorting the wire.
More on the insulating properties of wool
The shop cubbies are pretty bare (actually, not a pretty thing). It sounds and feels chillier in the shop. We’ll keep the heat up to compensate, to try to keep you cozy while knitting. Tonight is the last knitting night. Saturday is the last day. Most of the furniture is still here for you, but since all our folding chairs are gone, Saturday folks will want to bring a chair.
50% off & $1 patterns
Friday, all remaining merchandise is 50% off. Also, individual patterns are $1.
Saturday will be 50% off as well. If I add more to that, I’ll hop back to edit this post. You’ll have to check.
This is our final week together at the shop. Before I go over the schedule for the week, here are a few things to share.
Hearts for Haiti- Thanks, everyone.
We reached the goal of 120-130 heart cushions, thanks to many hands. We especially want to thank Cathie R, who is personally responsible for knitting over 50 of them.
Last Sunday, we cut them all down from the rafters and used them to surround Caroline, QiQi and Stephen with some hand-knit love.
In February, they will be delivered to the orphanage in Haiti, where Caroline will meet her new daughter Lourdes. Congrats and best wishes to the entire family.
Click on the classes page at right to see a list of classes for 2010. “Become a Better Knitter” filled quickly, so another date has been added.
Tuesdays in 2010
Click on the events page to see a schedule for Tuesday get-togethers.
There’s an echo.
A lot of yarn has left the building, leaving an echo-y space behind. What we have left is 40% off through Friday, with a new discount level to be announced for Saturday. Knitters, there are still some beautiful future projects on the shelves, including yarn and books for future knitting plans. Crocheters, grab some great books and a comfy crochet hook. Spinners, there is a nice adjustable niddy noddy from Nancy’s Knit Knacks, and a portable lazy kate, at 40% off. Dyers, we have pots of dye and some good color books. Fans, we have Know Your Cuts of Lamb Gear.
For gifting, we just got more Knitting Answer Books. Since we just got them, they are not discounted, but they are great stocking stuffers even at full price.
Stuff that stocking with knitting help.
Many of you have asked where to go for help once we close. The idea of a knitting help punch card was well received as we talked with you about it this week, so they are now available. Here’s the deal: Lorilee will offer help by appointment in her home, which is just a half-mile south of the shop. You can now buy a card at the shop for $25, good for an hour of help in 15 minute increments. Details are on the card. I am sorry I can no longer help you for free at the shop, but at least this is an option for those who want it. (Put it on your wish list, and make sure sure Santa sends an elf to the shop before the 19th. After January 5, you can buy them from me directly.)
Schedule for the week:
Tuesday 12 noon - 9 pm. 40% OFF. Knitting night IMPORTANT: The sofas and about 6 chairs are there, but most of the folding chairs are gone, so, BRING A CHAIR. It’s too difficult to knit with another knitter on your lap.
Wednesday 10 - 5. 40% OFF
Thursday 10 - 9. 40% OFF
Friday 10 - 5. 40% OFF
Saturday 10 - 4. T.B.A.% OFF.
I was asked the following about the last day. Can we bring food? Can we bring some wine? Can we stay after the doors close at 4:00? I answered “yes” to all. So, while CK is not planning a party, it sounds like some of you are, which will be great, thanks. (AGAIN, BRING SOMETHING TO SIT UPON.)
The City Knitting website will continue on, so we can continue to keep in touch. I am planning to continue teaching, both in my home and on the road. (If you are not in the Grand Rapids area and want to take classes, ask your LYS to contact me.)
The website will also keep you informed about retreats. I plan to organize one or two per year. (See events page at right.)
My schedule, whether on the road teaching, or on the road selling Cuts of Lamb gear at festivals, will also be posted here.
So, stay in touch. Many thanks.
It’s cold, snowy & dangerous out there. Today, Thursday, we just closed the shop early at 4:00. See you tomorrow.
At the moment, I am frozen out of my car, but hope to make it home to coziness soon.
Ironically, I just bought ice cream at the CVS, and it’s melting in the shop. So, if you see a parked car running with peppermint chip ice cream on the roof, leave it alone.
The final Late Night Yarnie Party is tonight form 7 PM until midnight. Please bring a chair, as we’ve sold a few, and we may have some out of town guests. Bring a little something to share if you have time. We also have plenty of food, so do not feel obliged if you have had a busy day.
Classes for 2010
Sign up sheets for the new classes posted on our website are now ready for you at the shop.
We are open Sunday
We’ve never opened on Sunday, but this Sunday is exceptional. Join us between 11 and 2 for a light brunch to celebrate Hearts for Haiti. Caroline and Stephen, who will be adopting a little girl from Haiti, and delivering all the heart pillows to the orphanage, will be there. Come say hello so they have the opportunity to thank you for your knitting. We have reached the goal, so just come socialize, knit whatever you like, or just hang out.
Yes, we are still expecting a few shipments. Some special orders should be arriving any day, as well as some new Berroco (which will not be discounted) and yet more chunky wool for those clogs.
Generally, we are not accepting special orders, but still try to reach us quickly if you want to order a special book, or swift or winder, or other notions. Some of these items are a local pick up, and very easy for us to get for you. They will not be discounted, but at least they may still be available to you.
Following is a message I received from Shine, who I first met during the earliest CK days. She’s allowing me to share this with you. It’s an e-mail she sent me last week. From Shine:
I started my blanket on July 4, 2008. Currently, it is 72″ wide and 28″ long. As you know, once a month I allowed myself the treat of some of City Knitting’s nicest yarn. 20 yards went to the blanket, 20 to swaps, and the rest went to socks. I cheated sometimes and didn’t count the yarns from the sale rack. Aside from the yarn that Cookie A gave to me, when I met her at City Knitting, the yarn from City Knitting in the blanket includes the following:
Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock (in four colorways)
Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering (in two colorways)
Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5 Solid
Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi
Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Solid (in two colorways)
Knit One Crochet Too Soxx Appeal
Lana Grossa Meilenweit 50 Seta/Cashmere
Louet Gems Fingering Wt.
Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend
Noro Kureyon Sock (in five colorways)
Noro Silk Garden Sock (in two colorways)
Punta Yarns Feather Space Dyed
Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK
Skacel Collection, Inc. Urban Silk
Yarn Hollow Andromeda
Yarn Hollow Elemental
Yarn Hollow Sliver
Yarn Hollow Summer Love
The socks I’ve made with these yarns include the following:
Argyle Socks by Jacquelyn Smyth
bmp by Aija Goto
Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran
Lolita Legs by Amy King
Q by Aija Goto
Vinnland by Becca Compton
and more than one pair using the Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula
by Amy Swenson as well as a couple pairs of Saartje’s Bootees by Saartje de Bruijn, two pairs of Lace-Up Fingerless Gloves by Leigh Radford, and a set of Cigar by Kerri Cadd
This doesn’t even take into consideration the yarns that I didn’t
include in my blanket.
I wear City Knitting. My brother wears city Knitting. Several of my friends wear City Knitting. City Knitting will carry on with my family in this blanket.
Thank you, Lorilee.
As soon as Thanksgiving is over, we all feel the pressure to get those gifts knit. Please let us know how we can help you select a project, or get you past where you are stuck midstream. We are happy to help.
if you happen to run into Rowan…
Rowan, whom some of you know from hanging around the shop, has just completed Level II of the Knitting Guild of America’s Master Knitter program. He shared his gorgeous notebook with me, and I noticed the letter to him read, “This is one of the finest entries we’ve seen.” Also, they asked him to submit his cabled vest to Cast-On magazine. Rowan strolled in here a few years ago, when I taught him to make loops and pull more loops through those loops. He taught himself to be excellent, by devouring books, taking classes, and working at it. Congratulations to Ro!
Wall of Shame
Indulge me in a little stroll down memory lane. Do you remember the Wall of Shame and Wall of Fame we had in the shop the first couple years? It was always fun to know we could laugh at our failures (or do we just call them “fails” now?). Anyway, I re-displayed everyone’s favorite fail for you all to enjoy- Josh’s Felted (as in felted shut) Mittens.
Here’s the schedule for this week.
Tuesday, December 1, noon-9.
20% off storewide. (Note: I have ordered four new colors of Berroco ‘Jasper’. When they arrive all fluffy and new, they will not be included in the sale. I also have two Addi Click needle sets coming which will not be discounted. Call to claim one.)
Thanks for sharing your socks for the Fest. You may pick them up anytime.
Some new classes for 2010, which Lorilee will hold in her home very near the shop, are posted on the website. More will be added this week.
Fixture sale begins. All our cubbies and any other store fixtures will be marked for sale. Some are cash and carry. Other things you buy may need to be borrowed by us until after the 19th.
Sample sale begins- great bargains to snatch up.
Wednesday, December 2. 10-5. 20% off storewide.
Thursday, December 3. 10-9. 20% off storewide.
Friday, December 4. 10-5. Closed from 5-7. Then, join us for the final Late Night Yarnie Party, 7-midnight. 20% off storewide. Bring your own chair. As usual, the register will be open, but knitting help is not available.
Saturday, December 5. 10-4. 20% off storewide.
Sunday, December 6. Special event for Hearts for Haiti, hosted by Caroline and Lorilee. Brunch from 11-2. All are welcome. We have reached the goal of 130 knitted hearts! Come, sit, relax, and knit whatever you like, because Caroline has enough hearts to take to the orphanage. City Knitting is not normally open on Sunday, so feel free to take advantage of an additional time to enjoy each other.
Yes, it is flying off the shelves here, but there are still so many sweaters in those cubbies. Yesterday we removed some of the dividers so you can better see some of the larger quantities available. There’s a gorgeous batch of Nashua ‘Creative Focus Superwash’ in natural, a beautiful plied washable worsted wool perfect for an afghan, aran or otherwise. And it’s 20% off. Hurry in if you don’t want people picking it up a ball at a time.
Now, about Ironstone ‘Harmony’- you crazy cloggers. Yesterday I ordered once more. Three colors are arriving at the end of the week- dark blue, burgundy, and the greenish gold color. Get what you can of what’s left while you can.
I have labeled fixtures for sale. I will be putting out some more things as time goes on. Most of the cubbies are already spoken for, but I believe there are large dark cubbies left, as well as the units in the sock room. Cash or check only, please.
Store Samples for Sale
In the middle room you’ll find a display of shop samples for sale. Cash or check only, please.
Cat Bordhi’s Fall 2010 Visit
I am still working out the details for this event. Here’s a sketch of what that weekend will look like. Friday, September 24- all day class in Grand Rapids. Friday night through Monday morning- a more intimate retreat at the Lake Michigan shore. For now, just mark your calendars. I am aiming to have details posted in January, and registration is to begin on March 1.
The tutor and class lists are now posted. If you’d like to join me in Scotland, go to that website’s “shop” link and start by reserving a place to stay. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to this event, and all the great company. Plus, I’ll be surrounded by heaths and heathers, and rocks and lichen. Happy days.
The current issue of Cast-On has an article by Jaycee Boggs on spinning coils. I gave it a try and have a small skein on the desk. I share it showing its mixture of success and failure, but as usual, trying something new was fun. I used Yarn Hollow dyed merino/silk to make my thick and thin, and plied it with a single lace weight wool from Isager, which had the proper twist ready to go.
Schedule for this week
24 Tuesday. 12-9. Sockfest reception 7-9. TONIGHT 10% off storewide.
25 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
26 Thursday. Closed for Thanksgiving Day.
27 Friday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
28 Saturday. 10-4. End of Sockfest. 10% off storewide.
What’s new in the shop
From Interweave Press, the new issues of Interweave Knits and Cast-On magazines are in. Also, a great accessories pattern book for making things for our beloved pets. This is not the usual doggie-sweater book; it’s more fashionable, and so darling.
Although we are trying to sell all our inventory, I have ordered some things I know you will need. For example, I ordered more Ironstone Harmony for clogs, in the colors currently available. The shipment came in on Friday and was quite wiped out the next day. So, I have just placed a much larger order which should arrive by early next week in about ten colors for those of you who buy it by the armload.
Please note new policies, and thanks for understanding.
NEW SPECIAL ORDERS.
We can no longer take special orders, with the following exceptions. Needles, notions (ball winders and swifts for gifts!) can be ordered, if you get right on it, but will not be eligible for discounts.
OLD SPECIAL ORDERS AND HOLDS.
If we have ordered something special for you, and we have called you to let you know it’s in, you must come pick it up ASAP. If we are holding something for you, you have been called and asked to pick it up by this Saturday after Thanksgiving. Please understand that if we have been holding that for you, you can not purchase it at sale prices. That is only fair. If you can not physically get to the store by Saturday, call us with a card for payment, then pick it up at your leisure.
We are no longer selling gift certificates, and are trying to reach those who are holding them. If you have given a gift certificate to someone, remind them we are closing and that they need to pop in to spend it.
If your sales receipt has a message on the bottom that reads “Thanks for shopping at City Knitting”, and it is not older than three months, you may make returns using our old policy. Last Tuesday we started a no returns policy. If your receipt reads “Thank you for your patronage. ALL SALES ARE NOW FINAL”, well, then, that sale is final.
Classes for 2010
A new batch of classes will be posted here soon on the classes page.
Folks accustomed (addicted) to our social time together are welcome to continue to gather. Between closing and the end of the year arrange your own get-togethers. After the New Year, we will resume Tuesday knitting time in my home very near the shop, from 2 - 9 PM. Please pick up an address card now available in the shop.
Folks accustomed to getting knitting help are certainly encouraged to patronize our Grand Rapids yarn shops. I am sorry I can’t offer our great staff to you, but if you need me, I am willing to help. I will have to charge for the service, selling a punch card good for $20 for an hour in 10-minute increments. This will be available after the New Year. You may want to pick up the same address card mentioned above. Come by the shop to grab one for your wallet to keep it handy.
Thank for your many sincere notes, folks. The recurring themes are shock and sadness, plus some “do you hafta?’s”, all wrapped in kindness, gratitude and understanding. Edited to add: the initial announcement is in the November 14 post below.
Sockfest and Cast On Special
Before I fill you in on the subject on our minds, I have to remind you we still have some fun stuff going on. It’s Sockfest time! We really need those socks to pour in to display through Saturday, November 28. Those of you who bring us a sock (singles only) or two (or as many singles as you care to show off) will get a 3.3 ounce bottle of Eucalan wool wash to caring for your handknits. We want everything from first socks through your own designs. Be sure to tell us about them when you drop them off. We only ask that they are made from City Knitting stuff. Everyone enjoys a 10% discount on sock books, patterns and yarns for the event, our Cast On Special. New stock of Berroco sock yarns, including the sparkly kind, will be arriving on Thursday the 19th.
Extra challenge: enter your own design for a chance to win free yarn for two pairs of socks. The winner, decided by popular vote, will be announced during this event’s reception on Tuesday night, November 24, 7 - 9 pm.
Now, back to the topic of the store closing. Please help us spread the word. Since only one third of our customers receive these announcements, we’ll need your help. Following are some things that will necessarily change.
Gift certificates- we will no longer be selling certificates. Please help us pass the word that it’s important for certificate holders to redeem them ASAP. We have some recipients’ phone numbers, but not all, so I worry about some slipping through the cracks.
All sales will now be final; we will not be able to accept returns. This will be posted in the store.
If you have special orders being held for you, please come pick them up right away.
We will announce sales weekly. Discounts will grow as the weeks go by.
The City Knitting website will be changing but remaining active, keeping you up to date on classes, workshops, festivals and retreats. Lorilee’s patterns will remain for sale on there as well.
These events and percentages may change, but here is the current working plan for our remaining days:
17 Tuesday. 12-9. We need your socks for Sockfest. Bring them in!! 10% off sock stuff.
18 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off sock stuff.
19 Thursday. 10-9. 10% off sock stuff.
20 Friday. 10-5. 10% off sock stuff.
21 Saturday. 10-4. 10% off sock stuff.
24 Tuesday. 12-9. Sockfest reception 7-9. 10% off storewide.
25 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
26 Thursday. Closed for Thanksgiving Day.
27 Friday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
28 Saturday. 10-4. End of Sockfest. 10% off storewide.
1 Tuesday. 12-9. 20% off storewide.
Begin picking up your sockfest socks.
New classes for 2010, which Lorilee will hold in her home very near the shop, will be
posted on the website.
Fixture sale will begin. All our cubbies and any other store fixtures will be marked for sale.
2 Wednesday. 10-5. 20% off storewide.
3 Thursday. 10-9. 20% off storewide.
4 Friday. 10-5. Final Late Night Yarnie Party, 7-midnight. 20% off storewide.
5 Saturday. 10-4. 20% off storewide.
6 Sunday. Special event for Hearts for Haiti, hosted by Caroline and Lorilee. Brunch
from 11-2. All are welcome.
8 Tuesday. 12-9. 30% off storewide.
9 Wednesday. 10-5. 30% off storewide.
10 Thursday. 10-9. 30% off storewide.
11 Friday. 10-5. 30% off storewide.
12 Saturday. 10-4. 30% off storewide.
15 Tuesday. Final Tuesday, 12-9. 40% off storewide.
16 Wednesday. 10-5. 40% off storewide.
17 Thursday. 10-9. 40% off storewide.
18 Friday. 10-5. 50% off storewide.
19 Saturday. Planned final day, 10-4. ??% off storewide.
As I mentioned earlier, the City Knitting website will remain to announce classes, retreats and the like. Since my greatest love is teaching (the people part), I am going to continue to offer classes in my home. I’d also like to find a way to offer quick help, a sort of “knitting doctor on call”, but I need to work out the details of how to do it, and determine whether any of you would use it. We will also still offer retreats.
With complete agreement from my family, starting in January, our home will be open to the Tuesday knitters. I’ll be giving out my address at the shop, or send me an e-mail request for it.
5, 12, 19,… Tuesdays. Knitting at Lorilee’s house 3-9 pm. It’s a small measure of consolation.
We appreciate your concern, but…
As you can imagine, it will be very hard on all of us if we have to spend too much time talking about this all as you come in. So, I have an alternative activity planned for you. There is a station set up with 11″ x 14″ drawing paper. I’d like you to have a seat there and write your thoughts, or not, but then you must take up the blindfold and the pens and draw. Blindfolded, draw me a sheep, or alpaca, or bamboo grove, or someone knitting or crocheting, or a spinning wheel, or Carol on the corner of the red sofa. Be creative. Take the blindfold off, have a chuckle, sign your name. I will bind them into a memory book. This is all I ask from you for me, and I will treasure it.
For my staff, if you wish to write a note of appreciation, leave a tip, or a restaurant certificate, or the keys to your timeshare on the Riviera, please do that. There are named baskets on top of the cubbie as you enter on the ramp.
See you Tuesday.
Dear, dear City Knitting Yarnies,
This post is not a regular newsletter, but instead is a personal letter from me (Lorilee) to all of you. When you consider all the great relationships we enjoy at City Knitting, you’ll realize what I convey here now will be exceedingly difficult. I am closing the store by the end of this year. I will do my best to convey the closing plan to you next week so there will be no more surprises.
Six years ago, when I began researching locations for this “possible” shop I was planning, the first thing I always did was grab the graph paper and sketch out the area. If there was not enough room for a 10′ x 10′ space for sitting and knitting, that location was off the list. Period. On my graph paper, it was a square of just about an inch and a quarter or so.
Just think of all we have fit into that little square since September of 2005! We’ve learned so much about knitting and met so many new friends. I want to thank you for all you have taught me, most importantly that nearly anyone can enjoy nearly anyone else’s friendship when we just spend the time getting to know one another. You are a welcoming, accepting, joyous bunch I am honored to know.
Indulge me in some stats and walks down memory lane.
Number of items you have made for charity. That’s 450 hats for the Red Thread Project, about 220 hats for Knit Michigan cancer patients, about 180 items for the DeVos Children’s Hospital, and 100 Hearts for Haiti.
number of unique customers, which is why, forgive us, we can’t always remember your names
number of students in classes
questions answered/ dropped stitches picked up/problems solved, estimated
about 30 =
percentage of questions preceded by, “This is a stupid question, but…”
highest attendance at a Late Night Yarnie Party
number of different restaurants we’ve seen on the other side of the needle wall
number of part time employees since 2005 (K,M,D,R,M,J,K,S,A,S)
Approximate number of cakes/pans-of-bars/tins-of-cookies Ursula has brought nearly every Tuesday night (picture them lined up for a moment)
number of states containing CK customers
number of countries containing CK customers
number of bathroom keys lost (not bad)
3, out of 3 =
number of times we won the Townie Gold for Best Yarn Shop, out of number of times it was up for voting
number of marriages resulting from people meeting at CK
age of our eldest customer, Hank, knitter/cyclist who has a great knitting name. We may have customers older, but they keep it secret.
number of youtube views of the CraftSanity video of Lorilee continental knitting
3 months =
length of time the seating area sat empty until people started believing the space was for them
number of transactions since 2005, which is why we cannot always remember what you bought last week, much less what you bought two years ago
number of hours commonly worked (by me) during peak season
less than 50 =
number of days in which we did NOT greet a new customer
Maybe an hour, maybe a few times =
Longest length of time the shop was open without customers in it
often our busiest and most fun day, due to the fact that we haven’t been open since Saturday
the only day we are not happy to see people knock on our door. We’ve been closed on Mondays for four years, yet people still come. Knock it off!
2+ months ago =
time when I made these closing plans
Why? Well, beside the obvious secondary reasons such as stress, and missing Saturdays, and wanting to say “yes” to things I’ve said “no” to for four years, the main reason is that I’m tired. I am certain that is easy to understand.
What is incredibly difficult is to think about how much I will miss all of you customers, co-workers and friends. I’ve said all along that the yarn is secondary, but I’ll miss that, too. It’s been a real joy to serve you all for four years. Please accept my thanks.
Thanks for being patient and nice to us all of the time. Thanks for clearly expressing your gratitude countless times. Thanks for letting me know what you think of my awesome staff, by saying so often, “Do you know how lucky you are to have such outstanding help?” To which I reply, “Yes, I do, and you are right.” Thanks for buying stuff; you’re all very good at that, good enough to have made it worthwhile. Thanks for the 10# I gained with all the food and treats you bring. Yes, thanks a lot. Thanks for making such cool stuff and sharing it with us. Thanks for respecting your co-knitters, being willing to share in fun and hard times, while respecting privacy and refraining from gossip. Thanks for hopping up to help us help customers when we are swamped. Thanks for making a cool place for us to all be together. Many, many thanks to Kathy, Marilyn, Ruth, Darlene, Margaret, Jessica, Kim, Sophie, Amy, and Sara.
Please understand I’ll be reading but not replying to all e-mails. And, just so you know, I am neither sick nor moving, just, as I said before, tired, and ready for a change.
Before Tuesday, I will post again, laying out some details about the schedule for upcoming “everything must go” sales. Please note that all events posted on our site, including Cat’s visit in September, are all on. There will also be upcoming opportunities to learn, socialize, and retreat in 2010 and beyond. When I next post, I will have some favors to ask regarding ways I want you to help me remember you, so stay tuned.
Cast On Special
This week our Cast On Special is buy a City Knitting tote bag at regular price ($12), fill it up with yarn and books and get 10% off as much as you can pack in the bag. You can guess where we got the idea if we sing “ you save big money”!!!
Come see Marilyn’s knitting
A love for fiber is the heart and soul of all knitters. Marilyn has encyclopedic knowledge of yarn, especially sock yarn. No plain Jane socks for her; color, pattern and cables are what you will find on her feet. Her garments are gems, stop by the shop to see them this week.
Sunday Brunch for Hearts for Haiti
For those who want to celebrate the project, Hearts for Haiti, join us for a Sunday Brunch.
Come if you knitted hearts and get our heart felt thanks for your wonderful contributions:). Come if you didn’t knit but still want to celebrate with us. We are drawing to a close this project, anticipating to bring all these wonderful Heart shaped pillows to the children of the orphanage in Haiti very very soon.
We have 74 hearts. The goal is 120.
We will have some munchies and coffee while we visit and knit even more hearts.
Date: Sunday, December 6th, 11am to 2 pm.
Place: City Knitting, 423 Norwood SE, GR MI 49506.
New Books and Yarn
A new shipment of books has arrived with lots of new titles. For those of you interested in using color in your knitting The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques (Margaret Radcliffe $29.95) will give you the confidence and direction needed. Radcliffe examines color in relation to stripes, pattern stitches, multicolor yarns, stranded knitting and Intarsia. This large format book is a great addition to any knitter’s library.
Another color book is The New Stranded Colorwork (Mary Scott Huff $24.95). This book features colorful updated Nordic patterns for everyone in your family.
For all the men out there who are passionate about knitting and knitwear, Men’s Knits (Erika Knight $21.99) is now on the shelves. This book gives classic patterns an updated look.
We also received three new sock books. The Joy of Socks (Linda Kopp $22.95) features 30 sock designs by 20 different designers and has lots of witty anecdotes in the margins as well. Knitting More Circles Around Socks (Antje Gillingham $24.99) is the second book by Gillingham and has patterns for the whole family working two at a time, toe up or cuff down. The Big Book of Socks (Kathleen Taylor $24.95) is “the ultimate beyond-the-basics guide to knitting socks”. It has 75 patterns ranging from basic socks to socks with lace designs.
Haiku Knits (Tanya Alpert $29.99) showcases beautiful knitwear inspired by Japanese design. There are 25 patterns for simple yet elegant garments and accessories.
Two new yarns to ooh and aah about this week are Classic Elite Fresco (61/2sts/inch, 50g/164y, $8.50/skein) and Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace (81/2sts/inch, 50g/460y, $9.95/ball). Fresco is a soft wool, alpaca and angora blend and we have it in 13 yummy colors. It’s a perfect choice for Selbu mittens or tams.
Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace is an alpaca and silk blend in a lovely dusty rose color. It would be a lovely choice for knitting this shawl, which Marliyn blogged about here.
There is room for you in the Holey Squares Scarf Class his Friday, November 13, 2:00 - 5:00. Call us to sign up and get your small homework assignment. Here’s a photo of that scarf’s components ready to seam.
Cast On Specials
It truly feels like November with all the leaves down, the rain and gray skies. The anticipation of the holidays can’t be helped. So we have jumped into the holiday spirit with two Cast On Specials this week. First we will be offering holiday stocking, wreath and ornament patterns and the yarn for the project at 10% off. We are well stocked in holiday colors of Berroco and Encore Worsted.
If you’re looking for something unique in a stocking pattern, check out this free pattern at knittersreview.com. Cat Bordhi designed it for her grandson Charlie. It has nifty little built-in pockets so Santa can tuck a few extra goodies into it. Pattern is here.
If you know you will be doing holiday knitting, now is the time to start. Those who wait may find we’ve often run out of your favorite colors.
The other 10% off Cast On Special will be all things mohair. Mohair is the hair of an angora goat, a hip-looking goat with long curly hair hanging over its eyes. This fiber has been used for its warmth and durability for centuries. It takes dye well and we have it in magnificent colors. There are many samples on display from wraps and shrugs to hats and slippers. Come in and take a peek, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this fiber.
Kim’s Knits on Display
It is a given that you must be passionate about fiber to be a knitter. Kim is more than passionate; her exquisite attention to detail, color and design makes her knitting out of this world. She has many knitted items on display this week including an elegant mohair vintage wrap, a hoodie from French Girl Knits, an adorable elephant hat, trunk and all. Stop by the shop to see these sensational knits for yourself.
Some Woolly Ideas
A new yarn on our shelves is Berroco’s Pure Merino (50g/92y, 4.5sts/inch, $7.95). It is a beautiful yarn of 100% extra fine merino that drapes beautifully. Two colors are blended in each skein of this multi-ply yarn. Currently, we have the yarn in black, blue, brown and purple. Lorilee took the red, but will show you what she’s working on in case you want some too. We’ll order more.
Berrroco Booklet #276 with the ever popular hoodie is back on the shelves.
For those of you who subscribed to Knitters Magazine (we don’t carry it in the store) there is a great mitten pattern on the cover using Zauberball, which we do have in stock.
Plymouth Encore Tweed is an incredibly popular yarn that we can’t keep stocked. We have just learned that the most popular colors are on a huge backorder – we probably won’t get until December or later. The good news is that we just got four brand new stunning colors – a dusty plum, a pale pink, deep navy and black. We also have several other solid colors restocked, and a few others new to us.
The November 7 Magic Loop Baby Sock is full, but please call and put your name on the waiting list if you are interested. Holey Squares Scarf class on November 13 still has openings, as does the Great American Afghan class offered November 16. Classes are a great way to learn new techniques and brush up on old skills.
Alright, some of us can get a little obsessed knitting. Amy has been knitting like a maniac
since last spring. Here she is with a couple of sweaters for her husband (one she has her arm around in the photo) and way too many for herself. It’s hard not to when you work in a fabulous yarn store. Stop by the shop to see a few on display. We know of two more in the works that are nearly finished. And yes, she does have a life besides knitting!
Want to see more? Next week it’s Kim, then Marilyn on deck.
Lorilee is knitting at home evenings on a pair of pants- her son’s request. After he wouldn’t back down, she’s started with this:
….and, it’s a Calvin!
Sara and her husband Chad had a baby boy October 19. Calvin Robert is reported to have a tinge of strawberry coloring in his hair. All are well.
Cast On Special this week- Hats and Mittens
We are nearing the end of October and according the weather people in our community
we haven’t had one 70-degree day, a new record. It must be time to knit hats and mittens!
This week’s Cast On Special will feature hats and mittens of all sorts. They make great holiday gifts for anyone on your list. Stop in to see the many samples we have on display, including a new set by Kim. She made the cowl from Nicky Epstein’s new book Mother-Daughter Knits, and paired it with mittens from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves. For the cowl and mitten cuffs she used Yarn Hollow hand-dyed ‘Buzzi’, and for finishing off the mittens she used two different colors of Nashua ‘Paradise’ held double. Remember pattems, books and yarn for a hat or mitten project will be 10% off this week, through Saturday, October 31.
Hearts = Love
City Knitting customer Caroline C. is adopting little girl from Haiti after the first of the year. As she lives in an orphanage with 130 other children, Caroline has decided to deliver heart-shaped cushions to each child in the orphanage. And she requested our help. Already 70 colorful hearts are hanging from the shop rafters. Our customers are an incredibly warm and caring bunch. If you are interested in putting some of your stash yarn to good use, here’s a great way to do it.
Here’s one heart pattern link. If you are not on ravelry.com, stop in the shop for a pattern by Cathie R.
Return of Sockfest, November 17- 28
Sockfest returns- with gifts, a competition, and a prize. We’ll be collecting customer samples through Tuesday November 17th. Please bring in as many single socks as you like (okay, we can hear the sighs of relief, folks) to display. It must be from yarn purchased at City Knitting, or hand-spun from fiber from us. Everyone who loans us a sock or more will get a free 3.3oz. bottle of Eucalan wash for bathing their knitted goodies. We’ll have unscented, grapefruit, lavender and eucalyptus scents to choose from while they last.
Now for the contest part. Many of you took Cookie’s design class last year, or are just plain brave enough to wing it. We’d like to see what you’ve come up with. City Knitting customers will get one vote each, until the reception on Tuesday night, November 24, 7:00 PM. The top vote getter will be awarded sock yarn of their choice- for two pair!
We’ll also have socks as our Cast On Special those weeks.
We have some openings in upcoming classes. Check the classes tab at the right for full descriptions. Continental Knitting with Lorilee this Friday afternoon, October 30.
The Magic Loop Class with Kim teaching sock construction using the magic loop method of knitting in the round- so valuable for your whole knitting life- Saturday, November 7.
The Afghan Class on November 16 from 7-9 pm features a beautiful entrelac floral
pattern. Kim chose to do this square using several different colors and it is stunning (and on display on the class boards at the shop).
Call the shop to reserve your spot in one of these classes. Feel free to comment below if you’ve taken these classes already and can recommend them.
The clog class on Saturday is full with a waiting list.
Since it is slipper knitting season, we want to let you know what is going on with our favorite yarn for clogs. Ironstone has been advertising new Harmony colors, which we ordered for you back in June. They were delayed in August and again in September. Now we are told December. So, not willing to hold our breath for that one, we are stocking as many of the available colors as we can. In addition, you’ll notice the Nashua Creative Focus Chunky bins will be filling back up again this week or next. Although this yarn costs a bit more than the Harmony, the yarn content (alpaca & wool) and palette are spectacular.
Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy
All colors are back in stock. If you want to knit the cover mittens from the October issue of Knitter’s Magazine (which CK does not carry), we have that colorway in stock.
That’s one fine Hank
Lastly, some of you who’ve met him may enjoy reading this story about CK’s eldest sock knitter-man, Hank.
This week’s Cast On Special is a bit of a treasure hunt. We are offering 10% off any purchase of yarn that has alpaca in its content. Now for the treasure hunt part – find the yarn on the shelves! We have given a little help by marking some cubbies with a pink triangle stickie but who knows we could have missed a few. Alpaca is a South American animal that resembles a small llama. They have been bred specifically for their lovely silky fiber that is warmer and less scratchy than sheep’s wool. This fiber does not contain lanolin so it won’t repel water like wool. Many yarn companies are adding alpaca to wool creating a wonderful yarn to work with. Good luck hunting, and check our displays for project ideas!
Our book sale created so much interest that we thought we would offer another 40% off sale this week. This time it will be purse accessories and patterns. Yarn is not included in this sale but straps, snaps, suede bottoms and all of our patterns will be 40% off through Saturday the 24th.
Berroco Vintage Wool (100g/217y, 5sts/inch, $6.00/skein) has been restocked. This is versatile superwash wool from Berroco that comes in a wide variety of colors.
We are awaiting a shipment of Cascade 220 (100g/220y, 4.5- 5 sts/inch, $6.65/skein). It should be in today or tomorrow. Come in soon to pick out yarn for your holiday projects. This yarn always goes fast. [edit: arrived and stocked onto the shelves today by Kim.]
New books arrived last week and there is something for everyone! The Enchanted Sole – Legendary Socks for Adventurous Knitters (Janel Laidman, $25.95) offers “recipes” for whimsical socks. Another new sock book is Toe-Up! (Chrissy Gardiner, $24.95) is a collection of “patterns and worksheets to whip your sock knitting into shape.”
In preparation for the cold winter months we have available Hat Heads (Trond Anfinnsen, aka Knitkid, $22.95). This is a compilation of 50 hats for 50 heads with lots of design tips.
New Twists of Twined Knitting (Laura Farson, $26.99) offers a fresh look at the Swedish technique of twined knitting. Beautiful hats and mittens are featured in this book. Lorilee got to chat with Laura in Portland as she took Lorilee’s Seismic Socks Class at Sock Summit. The designs work up quickly in worsted weight wool and make such a stable, sturdy fabric. Try your hand at this technique, and, when you do, pick up the variety of bobbins Laura prefers. City Knitting carries them.
Back on the shelves is Twisted-Stitch Knitting (Erlbacher, $28.00). This book sold out immediately so stop by soon if you are interested in picking up this fabulous stitch dictionary.
Amigurumi Knits (Singh, $19.99) is a delightful collection of cute mini knits. From underwater creatures to miniature vegetables this book has it all.
Are you tired of knitting socks and sweaters? Would you like to give another garment a try? Handknit Skirts (Ward and Hiatt, $27.95) has everything from beaded skirts to skirts with a bit of flare at the hem. A great way to round out your knitted wardrobe this fall.
Don’t forget when you have a knitting question and it’s after hours our website has links to great help videos. Just look for the “Knitting Nuggets” tab on the right side of this page. If you can’t find the answer to your particular question there try Google-ing for helpful videos.
Dear City Knitting Friends,
Our book and sample sale continues through Saturday, October 17. We still have many great book titles and oodles of patterns and booklets as well as 10 samples eager for a new home.
Since some of you missed the e-mail news last week, we will continue with Colourscape as our Cast On Special this week. Colourscape is a beautiful striping chunky yarn great for many projects. We have several samples on display to get your creative juices flowing. Remember any Colourscape yarn and pattern bought this week is 10% off.
Its time to clear out our sale area! This week anything on the sale racks is 50% off. We have sock yarn, baby kid mohair, yak/bamboo blends, tweeds, linens and some really cool kits waiting to be picked up at great prices.
New yarn from Yarn Hollow is on the shelves. First we have Squish (4oz/434y, 61/2sts/inch, $20.00), a Merino superwash, bamboo and nylon blend in amazing multicolored hanks. You will want to add this one to your sock yarn stash.
Then there is Photograph (8oz/500y, 5sts/inch, $34.00). This yarn is 100% wool Blue Face Leicester and oh so soft. With all the beautiful colorways to choose from and the incredible yardage on each skein it will be easy to find a project for this yarn.
And finally, we have Buzzi (4oz/70y, 21/2/inch, $17.00) a chunky yarn with with lots of zip. A great choice for the Bette Hat, a free shop pattern.
Back on the bookshelves is the popular Natural Knits for Babies and Moms ($21.95).
For all of our friends in the Chicago area and those of you who may be in Chicago on Saturday, October 17 please come visit us at YarnCon from 10am-4pm. YarnCon at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse is a one day fiber event. We will be there with our Cuts of Lamb gear as well as patterns and books. As YarnCon’s website says, this is a place to promote, sell and celebrate yarny arts. If you’re in Chicago on the 17th, stop in and say hi. Just FYI, the shop will also be open as usual from 10-4 this day.
Thanks for all who made the LNYP last Friday so much fun. The yarn, the people, and the food were all great. And, no mystery plates were left behind, a first!
We are still awaiting news from Sara. She doesn’t know if its a boy or girl. We’ll let you know.
Dear City Knitting Friends,
We’ve had a little trouble being certain everyone who wants to
receive our newsletters is receiving them. (Gmail customers
especially, for reasons I don’t understand.)
Here’s what we’ve decided to do:
All newsletters can be found, from now on, here on our website
city-knitting.com. They will also begin to archive here.
We will continue to use our current mass mail system to simply send
you a notice that a new newsletter is posted on our website, where you
can read it any time. The newsletter content will not be in the mass
Those of you who like to print the newsletter will be able to
highlight it on this web page and choose to print the selection
Here’s what you can do:
Add Lorilee[at]city-knitting[dot]com (Replace [–] with the actual
symbols.) to your address book of your e-mail account, so we can be
accepted. Otherwise, your mail may reject us as mass mail spam.
Let us know how this works for you.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Dear City Knitting Friends,
Late Night Yarnie Party is this Friday the ninth, 7 pm to midnight.
You know the drill. Bring your own chair. (We have bum-holders for
about 20. Attendance is 30-50. Do the math.) Bring a small something
to share- please don’t everyone bring something, we’ll have too much
food. Doors open AT 7:00. I’ll open the lobby so you can line up
inside in case it rains. Register is open, but knitting help IS NOT
available from staff. It’s a party night for everyone. Nursing babies
and knitting children are welcome, kids running around are not. So,
there it is. We’ll see you. (I overheard Kristin threatening Shirley
for smoked chicken dip, just saying.)
We still have plenty of great books and patterns marked 40% off. Many
of our shop samples were claimed quickly, so a few more were added for
this week. This sale lasts through October 17 so there is still time
to pick up a bargain.
We also have some new titles on our shelves that you will want to
check out. Norwegian Handknits (Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel, $30.00)
is a collection of thirty patterns for colorful folk mittens, socks
and scarves. All of these patterns have been inspired by the
collection of traditional Norwegian knits found at the Vesterheim
Museum in Decorah Iowa. This museum has an extensive collection of
textiles and handknits made by Norwegian immigrants and their
ancestors. Not only are there great knitting patterns in this book but
there is also lots of cultural history including recipes. Fortunately
the authors left out the recipe for Lutefisk!!
There are two new books featuring lace patterns. The first is Knitted
Lace Designs of Herbert Niebling (Eva Maria Leszner, $28.00). This
book is loaded with exquisite knitted lace tablecloths and doilies.
The second is Knits from the North Sea (Carol Rasmussen Noble and
Margaret Leask Peterson, $27.95). This book features patterns for lace
scarves, shawls, and stoles in the Shetland tradition.
A must have stitch dictionary is Twisted-Stitch Knitting (Maria
Erlbacher, $28.00). Twisted stitch knitting provides incredible
definition and depth to knitted work. This dictionary uses black and
white photography so that the pattern design can be clearly seen and
the charting seems straight forward and easy to use. Edited to add:
Since writing this, we have run out. We are ordering more, so please
call to reserve one from the next shipment.
And finally, A Fine Fleece (Lisa Lloyd, $30.00) explores the
differences between handspun and commercial yarns. The book has over
twenty-six projects using the yarns side by side. Each project is
chosen to show the yarn to its best advantage.
Cast On Special this Week
This weeks Cast On Special is Rowan Colourscape yarn. We have two
Rowan Colourscape books with great patterns and several individual
patterns designed by Lorilee that are beautiful using this yarn. Buy a
pattern and/or the yarn for a project in Colourscape and get 10% off
Classic Socks, three sessions beginning Friday afternoon, has room
for one more student.
Holey Squares Scarf Class this Sunday has room for four more.
Sock Yarn Blanket (join the craze) has room for more.
Afghan Square Class on the third Monday night of the month has room.
Seismic Socks, learn to strand color vertically, has room on Saturday
Convert to Continental either Saturday afternoon October 24 or Friday
afternoon October 30.
Felted Clogs (Fiber trends) has room on Saturday, October 31. Learn
so you can make them for Christmas for your family and friends.
More details are on our website, or ring us up at 616-454-9276.
Thanks to a customer with whom we had this discussion this week, we
want to pass along a nice tip about Cat Bordhi’s new Personal
Footprints book. If you are someone who ruins socks quickly just by
wearing through the heel, you’ll want to try patterns from this book.
Since you first knit a toe to heel capsule, the heel is accessible for
reworking after the fact. So, you can do two things. You can either
rip and re-knit just the heel if it wears out. Or, you can add the
reinforcing nylon to just the heel. Many don’t like using the nylon in
traditional socks because it gets worked in the round, and shows on
the sock instep. Not true here, because the heel is knit independently
in the round. Cat also suggests knitting twisted stitches in those
hi-wear spots. Give it a try. We ordered more Wooly Nylon today, and
will have it soon.
This cool fall weather just begs for a knitting project, can’t wait
to help you find the perfect one for you.