sock-crazy

A blog about Main Street Yarn, the shop I opened in Rebersburg, PA in which April 2013. I will keep it updated with the latest and greatest new items, classes, and other things of interest in the fiber world. I love knitting socks, shawls, hats, fingerless gloves and other items so I will often post photos and information about my knitting adventures. Golden Retrievers and kitties will also find their way into my discussion. The shop website is www.mainstreetyarn.net

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Mini-Skein Craze

Knitting projects can range in size from a small simple cowl to a large sweater or shawl. Honestly, I don't knit a lot of larger projects because I get bored and often don't finish them. That is shallow on my part but it's just the truth.

However, since I opened Main Street Yarn I have discovered the fabulous mini-skein sets that range from gradients of one color to each skein being a different color, although workable with the others. Mini-skein sets can be scary. Seriously...but they are really mind-stimulating and will get your creative juices flowing.


This section of Main Street Yarn is devoted to mini-skein sets. When the box of yarn arrives tomorrow from Frabjous Fibers & Wonderland Yarn in Brattleboro, VT the new "Pack of the Month" will be added. The teaser photo posted on their Facebook page is amazing. I love it so much I ordered one for myself!

Mini-skein sets combine nicely with a full skein of yarn to make larger projects, add depth to a project or just make it something special that you like. Mini-skein sets from Frabjous Fibers are available in fingering, sport and worsted weights.

Look at patterns on Ravelry.com and let your imagination go wild. Here are a few that work great with a pack of mini skeins: Mad mini-wrap, Zeccola cowl, Kalari, Tessie, Brush Creek Cowl, Brush Creek Shawl, Deepend, Antarkis, Hitchhiker and Just Yarning Around.

Have questions? Want to show off a finished project? I can't wait to hear from you.

Next blog posting: What to do with Unfinished Projects (referred to as UFOs)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Socks, Socks and ... Socks

I love sock knitting. I am addicted to sock knitting. I have a drawer full of socks and recently cleared space in a second drawer. That's a lot of socks but I wear them 365 days a year. Yep. Every day.


Socks amuse me. The construction is interesting and knitting them is NOT as hard as most people think. Take a class in your local yarn shop and learn. Remember, I said sock knitting is addictive. You have been warned.


Socks are fun because of the wide range of available yarn -- solids, variegated, self-striping, and fair isle. Confession -- I don't own a pair of solid colored socks. Nope. I love the designs. Their changes keep me amused while knitting.




These socks are representative of my "collection." The top three are wool/nylon blends, while the lighted colored one on the bottom is a wool/cotton/nylon blend which I consider to be a "summer/early Autumn" sock.


Socks can be knitted cuff down or toe up. I prefer cuff down using 5 double-pointed knitting needles. Find your comfort level and learn to knit socks. There is a wide variety of methods including knitting both socks at the same time to help avoid the challenge of "second sock syndrome" which means -- never knitting the second sock. I recently finished 3 pair that were started a long time ago and now I allow myself to case on a few new pair. I keep one pair in the car in case I get stuck somewhere, have one pair at work to knit during lunchtime, and one pair at home for evening and weekend knitting. I'm never without a socks -- they are a small and very portable project.


There is a huge variety of commercial sock yarns which is what I primarily use for my socks. Some of the hand-dyed yarns are gorgeous in socks -- I have a pair on the needles right now using Holiday Yarns hand-dyed fingering weight. I urge you to make sure the fingering weight is sturdy and is a blend with nylon. Socks  are on your feet so get hard use. You don't want them to wear through quickly.


I wash mine in a mesh bag in the washing machine on gentle. I hang them over the bathroom towel rack to dry. I advise never putting them into the dryer or they very possible will shrink enough to be worn by a doll.


If you want to talk sock knitting, please stop at Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, PA. I'm there on Saturdays. I only knit cuff down on DPNs, so my assistance with other methods is limited. Here is a good link to check out for more information http://knitbettersocks.blogspot.com/p/assorted-techniques.html


Have a great week. See you next time.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Knitting Like Crazy


I haven't blogged in 18 months and I vowed this year to blog so even I can keep up with myself! 2015 was a blur and honestly, most of it I would never want to repeat. So...moving forward in our new year of 2016.

What am I knitting? Well, it is a secret for another 10 days until the pattern is released. I can safely say it is a sweater that will finish quickly and become a shop model in Main Street Yarn, my shop in Rebersburg, PA. The yarn is an awesome chunky weight in Berroco Vintage. It has a fabulous feel on the hands, provides awesome stitch definition and makes knitting such a pleasure. I can say the same for their Vintage in DK and Worsted weights, too.

I just finished two pair of socks (still my favorite project!) that have been lingering in the land of "second sock syndrome" for way too long. Now they are in their new home in the sock drawer with others I have knit for myself. It is time to start a second drawer for them! I'm thrilled. Why do I knit socks -- I know, they sell them at Wal-Mart... I'm going to save that story and some encouragement about sock knitting for my next posting.

I will be sharing my blog posts on the Main Street Yarn Facebook page. The blog also can be accessed on the shop's website at www.mainstreetyarn.net You don't have a Facebook page, well that's OK because the blog scrolls in the middle of the yarn shop's website so you don't need a personal page. The best of both worlds!

If you have questions for me about the shop the best way to reach me is by posting to the Facebook page or emailing me at luvsockknitting@hotmail.com

What else am I doing...well today I made homemade vegetable beef soup and am planning on baked potatoes and a meatloaf for dinner. Tomorrow will be a stuffed roast chicken. This snow and cold weather increases my appetite.

Take care and I hope to hear from you. Until next time....Kim

Sunday, August 03, 2014

UFOs and More UFOs


Earlier this week I was sorting through project bags I haven't opened in quite a while, in a small cupboard and other hiding places. I found a few things I was looking for (which was the reason for the search) and quite a few I had forgotten. The latter was a treasure trove of UFOs! The photo is just a sampling of the Unfinished Objects that surfaced.

The closest to being finished is the purple shawl with the variegated border. It will be worked on this week and should be finished quickly. I am planning on it to keep me warm in my office this winter. That was its original intention about 2 years ago when I started it! I'm using a lovely worsted weight yarn from Lorna's Laces.

At the right is a variegated yarn from Mountain Colors. It too will be a shawl. There are only a few rows knit but I think the yarn and pattern combination will be a great choice.

The purple and teal is also a shawl. I will finish it as a gift. I have the recipient in mind. At top is a ball of eggplant color yarn and a ball of gold/other colors. That project was frogged because I no longer like the pattern. I love the yarn so it will be a 2-color shawl whose pattern will be chosen at another time. I do have something in mind.

The brighter multi-color alpaca was also frogged. I'm thinking perhaps something in linen stitch. This yarn would make it very interesting. Also frogged was the project immediately to its left. A nice DK weight yarn...a pattern I don't like. Finally, at far left is a pair of socks from a Schaeffer Yarn Company fiber. I have no idea how long ago I started it...those socks are on Signature DPNs that I forgot I owned. They are an interesting pattern so I think I will knit a bit further before deciding if that project will be finished or frogged.

All of these yarns are  really nice. In my mind there is no reason to complete projects I don't like.

I am still working on organizing my yarn stash -- which primarily consists of UFOs rather than yarns in their original skeins or balls. It actually felt good to frog those projects. A sense of relief. And an opportunity to turn gorgeous yarns into projects I or someone else will like.

See  you next week....



Monday, July 28, 2014

New Shawls from New Yarns

July has flown! I apologize for missing two Monday posts but the days and weeks have just gotten away from me. Whoever said summer is slow never had my schedule...

Main Street Yarn will have a booth at the FarmFest in Centre Hall at the fairgrounds this Friday and Saturday, August 1 and 2. There is lots of fun for the entire family. Admission and parking are free. Stop by and see the fun new things I will have at the show.

This past weekend I decided to cast on 2 shawls ... yep, 2...I have two new yarns in Main Street Yarn and was anxious to use both of them in projects.

The first is a simple side-to-side shawl called "Simple Sideways Triangle Scarf" from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. It is a free pattern and could be knit in any weight yarn. It is an easy, basically mindless, project. I love to knit at least a few rows before bedtime and to me this is the perfect way to wind down from a busy day.

Since it is knit sideways you will need a small kitchen scale to measure grams so you leave plenty for the second half of the shawl. This pattern comes with two sizes and I decided to knit the larger one so I can use up all my yarn.

I'm using Mrs. Crosby's "Hat Box" yarn which is a lovely sport weight. I currently have a dozen colors in the shop. There arer 317 yards per skein and the pattern calls for a yarn with 330 yards...close enough because of the sideways design. No risk of running out before I'm finished.

Here is the progress so far...I'm not sure the tonal elements will show up, but trust me this is a lovely yarn...



A 25-pound box of Silky Wool yarn in 20 colors has been sitting in my living room for a few weeks. It will be in the shop within the next two weeks once I rearrange and make space for it.Silky Wool is just that -- silk and wool -- in a DK weight. It is sturdy yet drapes beautifully in shawl, sweaters, vests and other garments. To me it has a bit of a rustic feel yet a classy look. I think it is a yarn that will appeal to most knitters and crocheters.

I have only knit two rows in the 3-color "Flying Duchess" shawl. The pattern can be purchased and downloaded on Ravelry. I plan to have it in the shop soon. I will have a photo to share next week. Well, I have one now but this silly blog program will not let me download it. So, next time hopefully there will be more to show to you.

See you next Monday ...

Monday, July 07, 2014

Off The Needles and On The Needles

As one project ends another begins. The delight of knitting, choices of yarn, needles sizes, and patterns. Just an hour ago I finally finished "Wild Cherry" which is a delightful pattern designed by Melissa Goodale. It needs to be blocked when I return home. I am very pleased with the result.


I knit mine (which will be used as a model in Main Street Yarn) in Kenzie which is a delightful DK weight yarn. I chose a color I refer to as "paprika" and am very pleased with the results. it took two skeins of Kenzie which makes this a very economical project to knit. I love this yarn and am already contemplating my next project in Kenzie...I do suspect a multi-color next time.

Before this project was off the needles I had already cast on for a worsted weight project on straight needles. A much desired change. However, that project with 4 colors of Berroco Vintage worsted weight yarn just didn't work out. I was trying to adapt a pattern and the color joins were not as smooth as I prefer. So it was frogged. There I was, on the road, with 5 skeins of worsted yarn, size 8 needles in straights and circulars (also used 8's on the shawl) and no project to knit. Oh no! What to do?!

I sped to Ravelry for a simple pattern. I was in luck and came up with "Baktus" which I knit several years ago in a skein of fingering weight. A nice side-to-side shawl that adapts to almost any weight yarn. I'm not sure I would use heavier than worsted.

So, again, more improvising. Stripes to incorporate all of the colors that remind me of Autumn. This too will be a shop model. There are lots of ends to weave in because I'm only carrying the beige along the edge. Each of the other 3 colors  -- gold, forest green and pumpkin -- are cut when their 4 rows repeat is completed. I'm looking forward to getting back to this fun project tonight. Oh how I do love garter stitch.


Enjoy your fiber pursuits this week.

See you next Monday....

Monday, June 30, 2014

Not Much Knitting

Good morning -- Last week just flew and knitting progress was minimal. The shawl is almost done with 1 1/2 repeats to complete, then bind-off and blocking. I am determined to have it done by mid-week. Seriously.

It is being knit from Kenzie (see post from two weeks ago) and I love it. I am now contemplating socks from Kenzie. The popularity of this yarn is growing steadily. I will be reordering colors already in stock and adding a few to boost the array of 10 colors already in stock.

The hat has not had even one more row added to the needles. The pattern is one where I need quiet and there wasn't much of that in my life last week. I'm also working on a knitting bowl/pot from 100% cotton yarn from Cleo. My plan is to use that as a "Thrifty Thursday" post on Facebook...I'd better get moving on it!

In shop news: a 26-pound box of yarn for fall is due to be delivered today. It is a new yarn for Main Street Yarn and I'm quite excited about adding it. Fingering weight yarn from the Folk Art Collection of AncientArtsFibre is to be delivered late this week or very early next week. This color collection is amazing. Watch for photos here.

I was looking online at blogs from people who are well-known in knitting circles. One of those is Sally Mellville. Here is a well-written posting from last year. As a yarn shop owner I think it hits the mark...I also really like the comments. If you have time, take a few minutes to read it.

Please let met know what you think...

http://sallymelvilleknits.blogspot.com/2013/05/saving-world-one-yarn-shop-at-time.html


See you next Monday...

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Hat Box "Hat"

I love the new Mrs. Crosby Hat Box yarns. A lovely sport weight in a fabulous fiber combination. I wanted to knit a shawl. I love shawls! But right now I cannot decide if I want a 1-color or multi-color shawl. All I knew for certain is that I wanted to knit something from the yarn and I wanted to knit it now.

The yarn has a fabulous stitch definition, as you can see in this photo. I also really like the very subtle changes in color tone. It just adds to the fun of knitting.



I am not yet revealing the hat pattern -- hopefully I will have enough knit by next Monday for you to see the texture and how it "works" with the pattern I chose. The hat ribbing is a 1x1 and only needs to be 1 inch wide. It would have been done, except Whitney decided she wanted to "knit" which means I had to pull out all the stitches and begin again. I've been very busy this week so haven't made too much progress. Hopefully that will change.


See you next Monday....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Updates

Good Morning! This is the first of weekly blog posts about what is new in Main Street Yarn, what fiber festivals we will be attending as a shop and what I'm knitting. So tune in on Mondays for the latest chapter.

I would bet there will be some mentions of the Golden Retrievers and the kitten, along with baking, cooking and traveling. Primarily this blog will focus on what is on my needles and/or suggestions for projects that hopefully will interest you.

Kenzie is a lovely DK weight yarn that is a combination of merino/nylon/nylon/angora, alpaca and silk. It is very reasonably priced at $9 a skein for 160 yards. There are 20 gorgeous colors available. It is perfect for sweaters, scarves, cowls, shawls, hats, mitts/fingerless mitts and earwarmers. There are colors to please men and women.


Luckily, I came across a pattern called "Wild Cherry" by Melissa Goodale. I knew I had to knit it and that I wanted to use Kenzie. It is an easy 16 row repeat with various lace patterns added into the mix. I think it is a delightful knit. I'm just about finished with the first skein of yarn -- this is a 2 skein project. The pattern calls for 12 repeats and in a few more rows I will have marked off the 9th repeat. I think I am adding a few more sections to the shawl. I will have extra yarn available. No reason not to make it a bit larger.

This shawl would also be a gorgeous knit in Hempathy. I think that version might be next on my needles. I'm hooked on this pattern.

There is a cute pair of "Welted Fingerless Mitts" by Churchmouse in the shop. They are such a fun knit and only require one skein of Kenzie.

We are getting ready for Autumn, so new yarns are beginning to arrive. There are some very exciting new companies who will find a home at Main Street Yarn this year. Keep watching this blog and Facebook for updates.

Have a great week. See you next Monday....Kim


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

After a Long Absence....I'm Back

I don't know where the months went. My last post was in early October right after Lily died. It was a gorgeous, although sad, Autumn without having her to share the days and evenings. Lily was a special SPCA kitty. I said no more. Never. Say. Never.

One day on Facebook the Clinton County SPCA popped up with a post about a kitten who needed a home. I saw that post on Thursday, Dec. 12. On Friday, Dec. 13 (no superstitions here!) I brought home this little bundle of energy and joy. We named her Whitney. No, she is not at all like Lily. I don't want her to be...she is her own bundle of joy.

If she grows into her ears she will be one very big kitty!
 
 
Now for some knitting content....recently finished socks. These are knit from a gorgeous skein of Opal DK. Great to keep the feet warm on these very cold winter days. Opal is probably my very favorite commercial sock yarn. I love sock yarn. Many of you know that but Opal tops my list.
 
 
 
I will return again soon. I promise....


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Lily -- April 2, 1999 to September 29, 2013

You were very much loved and missed even more. I love you. Your momma.


Lily was a great background for knitting


She had great fun using the boxes of yarn as a climbing tree. Opening them will never be the same.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Tweed Sort of Mood

I love rustic yarns and this season seems to have brought a bunch of them to the forefront in yarn shops -- including Main Street Yarn. We have an acrylic wool blend in worsted weight from Universal Yarn Company; a blend of New Zealand merino/nylon/angora/alpaca/silk in DK weight called Kenzie; and the newest addition is Blackstone Tweed in worsted which is a blend of wool/mohair/angora.

I have used the Universal Tweed for several years for hats and fingerless mitts. A sturdy, yet soft, yarn that wears well. It is a go-to yarn for me.

Today I finished these --



"Welted Fingerless Gloves" in  Kenzie. The yarn has a nice feel when on the needles and is soft on the hands. This pattern was reordered and will be back in the shop later in the week.

I now have the Blackstone Tweed on the needles for a two-colored hat. I just cast on but like the yarn a lot. There is nothing to show yet but will follow with photos in a few days. The pattern I'm using will be ordered tomorrow and hopefully will be in the shop this week. It is perfect for this yarn but would work with any other worsted of your choice.

What are you knitting?

Until next time....