Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Released! Just My Type Eco-Friendly Yarns

Now you can enjoy knitting while you take care of Mother Earth! Jan has just released her latest issue of "Just My Type" with some very helpful and important information about eco-friendly fibers. She discusses the difference between Readily Renewable, Organic and Recycled yarns and gives some fabulous examples of each.

She also provides a great variety of summery patterns for each of the yarns she presents, so you can select easily select a project using one of these environmentally responsible fibers you'll find at Yarnmarket.com

Be sure to sign up for Yarnmarket's newsletters so you'll receive your issue of "Just My Type" each month. You'll want to collect them all so you can create your own library of information about the yarns you use.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Louisa Harding Event at Yarnmarket

On Tuesday night we hosted an event for all our Yarnmarket knitters in the mid-Ohio region -- plus a few from Michigan! This was the first time we'd invited a designer to our shop so we were all a little nervous. But it turned out to be a wonderful evening and the ladies who attended asked when we'd do it again. Isn't that great?

The presentation by Louisa was to start just after 6:00 p.m. so we figured we'd better provide food for our hungry guests. Devin, the event coordinator at our local Panera delivered sandwiches, salads, chips, cookies -- and we had lots of candy around so people could munch as they listened to Louisa and then did a little shopping.

Guests started arriving as early as 5:00 p.m. -- and the first was a lovely designer who was visiting town for the TNNA Conference. Ysolda is from Edinburgh (one of our favorite cities) and she was meeting her friend Erin here. Erin's the lady who organizes the Sticks 'n Stitches events in Columbus and brings members of his various knitting groups to visit with us on occasion. You probably see her a lot on Ravelry.

We were also delighted to welcome our longtime friends from Nationwide's Head Office. What a terrific group of ladies they are! It's always so nice to have them visit us because they inspire us to do things like buy couches for the showroom so people can relax, paint it so they'll think it's pretty, and add a nice new seating area with a table so they can spread out their yarns and patterns. Thanks for joining us Margie, Susan, Fran, and Karen. (Sure do hope I haven't forgotten anyone.) Let me know when you'll be coming for your annual autumn shopping excursion. I don't know what I'll do this time to spruce the place up for them. Maybe install a hot tub?

Ann Smith, who won First Prize for her "Ladybugs for Lesa Shawl" in the Yarnmarket/TKGA knitting design contest, was here and we introduced her to all the other ladies who thought her entry was gorgeous.

We were happy to welcome lots of ladies who'd never shopped at Yarnmarket before. Some of them were surprised that we're open to the public. We've heard through the grapevine that there are local folks who think we're Internet only. Au contraire! We love to have visitors! We're running an ad in the local newspaper next week just to be sure everyone knows.

By the time Louisa began her talk the room was packed and we had standing room only. (Don't worry. All our knitter got seats. YarnMartians stood at the back of the room.) Louisa spoke for quite a while about her beginnings with Rowan, her family life, her success with those absolutely wonderful Miss Bea books. It was really inspiring to listen to her and to learn about how she gets her ideas. I particularly enjoyed the parts about her family: her husband is the photographer, her kids and nieces and nephews are the models. Everyone pitches in to help.

Louisa has been in the U.S. for the TNNA Show, and to promote her new book, Bizoo Bizu #21. We feel really honored that she'd come to Yarnmarket to show our knitters the designs they'll find in her newest collection.

After the presentation, Louisa signed copies of her books in our showroom and chatted with knitters who also shopped, knit and talked together about knitting, motorcycles (?!) and life.

If you'd like to attend an upcoming event, be sure to sign up for the Yarnmarket Newsletter where we'll be sure to mention what's happening at the store. You might also want to become our friend on Facebook or follow us on Twitter where we're now posting and Tweeting to our heart's content!

Many thanks to Louisa Harding and to all our knitting friends for making this a truly wonderful evening!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hurray! TNNA!

Well, it starts tomorrow and we're almost ready! Not only are we very busy with our booth for Yarndex (the online yarn directory) and YarnMerchant (the site for yarn stores), we're also planning oodles of meetings with manufacturers and the media. What fun! While Alex and Jan are out shopping for gazillions of balls of yarn for our Yarnmarket shoppers, I'll be visiting the publications to see what's new with them, and I'll also be interviewing industry dignitaries for KnitchMagazine.com.

We're almost finished putting the final touches on the summer edition (which is really sort of an "addition" because we're adding a lot of new articles to the spring issue). It ought to be out next week...so be sure to keep your eye out for it.

We're also putting together articles for the autumn issue. We started on it months ago and gathered a lot of great fashion information while we were in Paris in May. I always love the autumn fashions -- probably because the cold weather sets my frosty little Canadian heart aflutter. II'll be taking lots of photos at the TNNA show and presenting them in the magazine so you can see what the manufacturers are promoting this season.

Don't forget that we're hosting the lovely Louisa Harding at Yarnmarket on Tuesday, June 16. If you want an invitation, send me an email at deborah@yarnmarket.com

Classic Elite Sprout and Crystal Palace Mini Mochi Plus are here!

We've just added a couple of wonderful new yarns that you're going to want to know about.

First, from Classic Elite -- the gorgeous Sprout that's part of the earth-friendly "Verde Collection." This heavy-worsted to chunky-weight, 100% organic cotton yarn has terrific texture & nubbiness thats' sensational spring and summer sweaters, cardis, tops & accessories.

Also today, we've added Crystal Palace's Mini Mochi Plus -- a yarn you'll want to buy before it becomes hard-to-find. Building on the terrific success of fingering-weight Mini Mochi, Crystal Palace has developed the auto-striping, worsted-weight version -- Mochi Plus. This soft-as-a-kitten yarn is now available in the bright rainbow colors. Later in the summer, a wide range of others will be added including baby & unisex choices. I really love this yarn -- the colors and the feel of it. It's beautifully crafted of 80% merino wool & 20% nylon. Really, this yarn is exquisite and I can't say enough good things about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Change at BargainYARNS

Over the past few months, Alex has been very busily purchasing value-priced yarns to include on Yarnmarket's Sale Site, BargainYARNS. Now, with the addition of Red Heart and Kertzer, we're happy to announce that BargainYARNS not only features ends-of-lines, discontinued yarns and special buys, it also presents a terrific selection of value-priced yarns.

We think this change to BargainYARNS is going to be very popular amongst knitters looking to knit more and pay less. If you haven't yet subscribed to the BargainYARNS Alert, you'll want to do so immediately. That way, you'll be among the first to know when new value-priced yarns or special buys are made available online.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Join us for an evening with Louisa Harding!

On June 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., we're delighted to host the phenomenal Louisa Harding at a special event at Yarnmarket. She'll be presenting her new fashions and signing copies of her book for our invited guests.

It promises to be a fun evening with refreshments, a tour of YarnMartian World Headquarters, and even some shopping, if you're so inclined.

If you'd like to receive an invitation, please email me at deborah@yarnmarket.com

Space is limited, so please let me know right away if you can make it. Oh...and if you don't know where we are, we're just a few minutes off of Highway 70, the second exit east of 270 in Pickerington, OH.

You don't know where Pickerington, Ohio is? Well, geez...it's right beside Reynoldsburg, birthplace of the modern tomato. (I swear this is true! Or, at least, the people in Reynoldsburg claim it's true.) Reynoldsburg and Pickerington are

Getting ready for TNNA

This is a busy time of year for us at Yarnmarket. YarnMartians are scurrying about, preparing for TNNA next week and ensuring that we've got all our ducks in a row for the show. As you may know, this is the big industry trade show and it's where the manufacturers present us with the upcoming season's yarn fashions. We meet with our good friends from Berroco, Rowan, Crystal Palace, South West Trading Company, -- and oh, so many more -- and we decide which yarns we'll be offering to our beloved Yarnmarket shoppers.

Alex and Jan do the heavy lifting. They go from booth to booth, checking out the yarns and the pattern books that support them, and working with vendors to determine the best selection for our shop. They're absolutely slammed throughout the event, gathering materials and negotiating deals while I have the easier task.

I get to attend at a more leisurely pace, saying hi to friends like Iris and Elliot Schreier from Artyarns, the wonderful Della Quimby, and the beautiful Twisted Sisters. (Whenever I can't find Alex, I head over to the Twisteds booth.)

When I can, I steal a few minutes from Casey, Jessica and Mary-Heather from Ravelry, mostly to thank them for so graciously taking my ad dollars throughout the year. Mary-Heather and I have gone through a lot together.

Dear Mary-Heather, Why won't my ads upload?
Dear Deb, They're the wrong size.
Dear Mary-Heather, Oh...sorry. I don't understand this new-fangled technology. I long for the days of manual typewriters that gave me enormous finger muscles, carbon paper that I invariably got all over my hands and face so I looked like a Smurf, and faxes that whirred around madly for three minutes making a crazy screeching sound until someone in another city received a dark, smudgy, slippery illegible copy of a document that would have been sent via Fedex if Fedex had existed at the time.

You know, I'm starting to enjoy this old and crabby thing that's been happening to me lately. (Why can't they make potato chip bags you can open with your teeth? Whatever happened to Koratron, that space-age fabric you never had to iron? Why hasn't David Bowie called? Can't he see that I'm getting old and tired of waiting for him?)

Okay...enough ranting. Back to work.

One reason I particularly love the TNNA show is that I get to speak to Penelope and Jennifer from Knit 'n Style, Tiffany from Interweave Knits, Rose Ann from Vogue Knitting and all the other media folks who help me place magazine advertising for Yarnmarket and BargainYARNS throughout the year.

I love advertising...so I love buying it. Which means I love spending money that Alex loves forcing me to justify with algorithms and spreadsheets with CPM, COGS, ROI and other neat little acronyms that prove the money is well spent. (I'd like to thank all those wonderful, brilliant computer geeks who invented Excel because it saves me hours and hours of number tumbling. If it weren't for you, I'd still be doing calculations on our 2007 media buy...with a calculator the size of a toaster that chugs along slowly until it prints out my answer in dot matrix on a thin strip of paper.)

We not only attend the TNNA show as a yarn shop, but we also have a booth there for Yarndex, the online yarn directory, and YarnMerchant, our special service that helps local yarn shops when they quickly need to fill a customer order for something they don't have in stock. They go online to YarnMerchant and quick as a wink, we get the yarn out to them. That way, they can keep their customers happy without having to buy the manufacturer's minimum quantity which sometimes can be expensive.

Sue and Marianne man (or "woman") our booth and answer questions about Yarndex and YarnMerchant. So if you happen to be at TNNA and you see them, please stop by and say hi. I'd hate to think that they're lonely.

When it's all over and we return to the thriving megalopolis of Pickerington, OH, Alex and Jan will give me lots to write about...and I'll probably have stories about how many times I had to go to the Twisted Sisters booth to find my husband. (I've got to admit it: If I had a choice between me and a Twisted Sister, I'd pick the Twisted, too!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TKGA Event is a big hit in Portland

In May, I was delighted to attend the TKGA Knit and Crochet Show in Portland, Oregon. What a great show that is! I had a wonderful time meeting knitters from all over the country. And what was really astounding was the skill level of these attendees.

TKGA is The Knitting Guild Association and has guilds throughout the world. They charge a very reasonable annual fee to be a member, and membership provides some terrific benefits like a subscription to Cast On, their quarterly magazine, plus free patterns, lessons and eligibility to participate in the Master Knitter program.

The event in Oregon was just packed with Master Knitters or Master-Knitters-In-Training. Everywhere I looked, ladies were displaying their creative masterpieces and sharing information with others. And, as expert as they were, they were in Portland to learn even more about the craft. Dozens of classes featured industry dignitaries like Lily Chin giving instructions on a variety of interesting topics.

One of the highlights of my visit to the Knit and Crochet Show was the chance to meet some truly wonderful people who run afghans for Afghans. We sponsored a booth for them so they could attend the event to increase awareness of their organization. Founded by Ann Rubin, an amazingly energetic woman, the group supports humanitarian and educational projects, and knits and crochets wool blankets and garments for the people of Afghanistan as a gesture of friendship and respect. They sold raffle tickets for baskets and a $100 Yarnmarket Gift Certificate.

I had a wonderful time at the show and am looking forward the the upcoming event in Buffalo, NY. Check out the site because if you're in the area, you'll want to be sure to attend. There will be some terrific classes, great shopping in the Exhibit Hall and lots of knitters who share your enthusiasm for the hobby.

Photo shows Chris Motley, Maye Thompson, Barbara Levin and Franny Heald (who baked cookies using a recipe from Afghanistan.)

If you'd like to read more about TKGA and other interesting events be sure to subscribe to KnitchMagazine, the online magazine for knitters.