Friday, April 30, 2010

Critter Emergency!!! Help save wildlife with Dawn Detergent

Yes, I know I'm a loon when it comes to animals. I'm glad to report that Alex has succumbed and is now just as nuts as I am.

We were outside speaking to our neighbor a couple of hours ago when we saw two geese and their four little goslings walking along the subdivision sidewalk toward the main road -- a road that is very busy. When we realized they were going to try to cross that road to get to all the other geese who've made a home in a field there, we knew we had to do something. So Alex and I stood guard over the geese as they slowly made their way up the street. It was so funny to see the little goslings tripping over their own big feet while the Daddy and Mama Goose urged them to keep up. When they approached the edge of our subdivision, they quacked like heck as they went through a split rail fence to get to the road. It was a challenge for the little guys. When they all reached the side of the road, Alex and I stopped the traffic in both directions to let them get across.

Drivers must have wondered why on earth two crazy people were waving their arms to stop traffic when there was no sign of an accident or obstruction. But I did see the lady in the first car grinning from ear to ear as she saw the geese walking across the road in front of her. And another car gave us a little honk and wave as they passed by after we'd re-opened Highway 204. We were so happy that we saved the goose family.

And that reminds me of what's going on down south. The oil spill is huge, and there's little doubt a lot of wildlife is going to be affected. Did you know that Dawn Detergent is the one used to clean oil off of birds and other animals that get covered in oil? I always buy Dawn just because I know it's the one that helps save the birds and critters.

Dawn is giving $1 for wildlife protection for every purchase of their detergent. But you've got to register online for them to make the donation. So please go to your cupboard and check to see if you've bought Dawn. If you have, visit their website so you can help contribute to a very, very good cause.

If you haven't got Dawn already, you might want to pick some up. It's the best grease-cutting detergent I've found so far...which is probably why it's been chosen to clean the animals.

It looks like we might have a nice weekend here for our Open House at Yarnmarket. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by. I need someone to help me eat all the cookies.

Open House at Yarnmarket, May 1 from 10 to 2

Please join us for our May Day celebration! We'll have some goodies to eat...and lots and lots of yarn to enjoy.

Yes, you can shop the warehouse and BargainYARNS will also be open.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Find this fantastic Abbey Collection pattern in Cast On magazine!

We're tickled pink that an absolutely gorgeous sweater created with our Abbey Collection yarns was selected for the front cover of the recent issue of Cast On. Have you seen it?! The pattern was created for Cast On by Suzanne Bryan.

We really love the yoke and cabling on the back. The cuffs have the same pretty cable pattern.

Not only did Cast On develop this fantastic sweater with our Abbey Collection yarn, they also wrote about how the yarn came to be.

If you don't already have your copy of Cast On, be sure to pick one up! I'd love to know if any of you create the sweater.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Light, airy mohair is perfect for soft, summery styles.

Today we released the April issue of Just My Type, where you'll find some fabulous fashions for multi-seasonal mohair yarns while you learn about the history of the fiber and what makes it so very, very special.

Be sure to look at your copy of Just My Type for projects and patterns in mohair yarns and blends by top manufacturers like Alchemy, Artyarns, Berroco, Crystal Palace, and other fine makers.

One of my favorite yarns that is featured in Just My Type is Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. Well, it's not only my favorite, it seems to be the favorite of a lot of knitters! I also lust after the aptly named Lust by Twisted Sisters.

Monday, April 26, 2010

For $50, tell me about your mother.

It's that time of year when we all have a chance to say, "Thanks, Mom, for everything you've done for me." This year, I've decided to give a $50 Yarnmarket Gift Certificate to one of our readers who posts a tribute to their Mom. So, loosen up your fingers and start writing! To get you motivated, I'll tell you a bit about my Mom...the woman who made me what I am today.

A curious loon.

(That's not me in the photo. It's Alvin, one of my Mom's chipmunks. He comes to the door for peanuts and has trained my Mom and Step-father to leap from their chair to hand him three at a time. Alex took the shot. I swear, animals actually pose for him.)

Those of you who've read this blog might have some idea of what my Mom's like. I've posted photos of her award-winning gardens. And I've published pictures of the critters in her yard -- everything from her pet tree toad to wild turkeys who tap on her kitchen window for food. You already know she loves flowers and critters. But there's a lot more to my Mom than that!

To say she is not like other Moms is an understatement. Not only is she not like other Moms, she's not like most other humans. She's the most interesting person I know.

Before the advent of Google, I had Mom to answer all my questions. I swear to God that I'd be sitting in business meetings and a subject would come up -- like maybe plate tectonics -- and we'd have a question that needed answering. It could be on any topic. I'd say, "Let's phone my Mom!" and we'd get on the speaker phone.

"Hi, Mom. I'm in a meeting right now. We need to know what happens when continental plates collide."

Mom could happily explain it to us...complete with names of the different plates, what direction they're moving in, and how it's all going to end up. She could start from Pangea and work her way up to the most recent quake along the Ring of Fire.

Or, maybe I'd be in a meeting and someone would look out the window at the gardens in our corporate campus and say wistfully, "A host of golden daffodils." Someone else would ask, "What's that from?"

We'd phone my Mom and she could recite the entire Wordsworth poem for us, "I wandered lonely as a cloud..." and she might even tell us where he was when he wrote it. (Dove Cottage in the Lake District.)

Over the years, Mom answered a gazillion different questions for us.

Who sang the song, Runaround Sue? Dion. In what year did William the Conqueror conquer? 1066. Who were Northern Dancer's parents? Nearctic and Natalma. What are all the inert gasses? Helium. Neon. Argon. Krypton. Xenon (my favorite). And Radon. How fast does a Cessna 150 have to be going to lift off? 100 km per hour. Which oil well in Texas was shut down this month for repairs? Lambert 6. What did Alan Greenspan say this morning that caused the Dow to plummet? He's holding the Fed rate. What did Zarathustra spake? It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right. How do you install a light fixture? First, turn off all the electricity... How does photosynthesis work? Carbon dioxide plus water and light energy from the sun create carbohydrates and oxygen. How far can a turkey fly? About a hundred meters. Where can I find an igneous rock? Beside a volcano. Is it normal to have white spots on the back of your throat? No. Gargle with salt water. How much gold can be found in a ton of rock in Kuhn Zone? 12.10 grams.

There is no end to the information my Mom keeps stored in her head. And, as much as she already knows, she always wants to learn more. She's constantly tackling new subjects and, fortunately for me, she loves to talk about what she's learned. Her curiosity has introduced me to science (she gave me her copy of Rupert Sheldrake's New Science of Life in the 80s), literature (she bought me a complete volume of Shakespeare when I was 14), music (she turned me on to Supertramp in the 70s), philosophy (mostly Objectivism), economics (global currencies are her favorite) and religion (influenced by Herman Hesse and Joseph Campbell). And in between all that, she taught me how to bake a really good butter tart.

People used to laugh when I said that my Mom is the one to watch for trends, but she proved me right enough times that we used her as our weather vane at several ad agencies where I worked. We even made her a "Test Market of One" in the 1990s when I was at CompuServe, the first online service. 99% of our members were men. The execs weren't convinced women would want to go online, so I offered my Mom as our guinea pig.

We set her up with a computer and a modem and -- well, Mom was in seventh heaven. She got onto CompuServe and she stayed there. We monitored her usage and, I'm proud/mortified to tell you that in one year, she racked up $10,000 in usage. In those days, we charged by the hour.

Mom hung around the political forums, the science forums, the news wires...anywhere she could find interesting information and conversation. She never joined in on the online chatter, but she absorbed it what these brilliant CompuServe members were saying about a tremendous variety of topics.

I knew that something had changed in the online world when I went to visit my Mom and she greeted me at the door, asking, "How do I get the Internet?"

This was long before the Internet was popular, and most of it was in ASCII.

"Why do you want to go there?" I inquired.

"I don't know. But I want it."

We got her a 9600 bps modem and a better quality computer, and off she went...never to be seen again. The worst thing is that up until very recently she still had dial-up access only. That meant that you couldn't telephone her most of the time. My brothers and I used to laugh.

"She has two states of being. Online and not home."

Google was made for my Mom. And, with her encouragement, my step-father has also gone online with his 80 gazillion questions. Ralph can also answer practically any question you throw at him. And if he doesn't know the answer, he'll find out.

They're an interesting couple with their huge range of interests, and they've always got a lot to talk about -- whether it's the recent discovery of a two million year old homonid or the newest photos from Hubble. And in between that, they'll tell you about old movies, sun dogs, and the best place to get fish and chips.

So this Mother's Day I want to thank my Mom for keeping my brain active and keeping me on my toes. Thanks, Mom, for learning how to fly an airplane when you were in your 30s. Thanks for having your own chemistry set when you were in your 40s. Thanks for interpreting Greenspan when you were in your 50s. Thanks for learning how to defrag your hard drive when you were in your 60s. And thanks for sending me the digital videos you create now that you're in your 70s. I don't know what you're going to be doing when you're in your 80s but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been invented yet. it's your turn. Post your Comments about your Mom and I'll award one lucky knitter a $50 Gift keep or to give to your Mom.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CAT shows us the 2009 winners of Rhinebeck

In this episode of Let's Knit2Gether, CAT shows us the winning entries in the 2009 Rhinebeck competition -- and tells us which one is next on her project list. I was knocked over by the socks that won because they're really different. I hadn't seen anything quite like them before...and I guess the judges hadn't, either. The pattern is really clever.

At the end of her Rhinebeck presentation, CAT tells you how you can win a free skein of Cherry Tree Hill yarn, so be sure to watch and to enter her contest. Also, she introduces the "Yarn Substitution" capabilities of to those of you who haven't used it for that purpose.

If a pattern calls for a yarn that's no longer available, or you simply can't find it, visit and type in the gauge and fiber. Within milliseconds you'll be presented lots of similar yarns to choose from...and many have a link to a shop where you can make your purchase online. is one of our pet projects, and it includes all the specs you could want -- plus shade cards -- for over 4500 yarns. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to add it to your Favorite Places.

Here's the video! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

When the Turkeys Come Home to Roost

Here's something you don't see everyday. A turkey sitting on a deck. This is my Mom's deck...and my Mom's turkey, I guess. She and my step-father have named her "Ladybird."

Ladybird arrived a couple of weeks ago and has decided to move into my parents' yard. They rather like having a pet turkey.

The males used to show up all the time, but have moved on for the summer. They left their wives behind to fend for themselves, and this one decided she wanted a nice house on a hill, away from traffic and dogs, where turkey feed will be delivered to her twice a day by servants, one of whom also sings love songs to her. (My step-father can come up with a song for every occasion. I suspect he's singing Lionel Richie songs to Ladybird.)

Anyway, my Mom and Ralph have a turkey. They love their turkey and they feel honored to have it. This truck driver has a duck.

Maybe if more people had more fowl they'd be less...uh...foul. Sorry. I just couldn't resist.

Knitters Review looks at 60 Quick Knits with popular Cascade 220 yarn

Did you see the Knitters Review newsletter today? They mention their review of 60 Quick Knits that features Cascade 220 yarn. This is a popular book that we also reviewed in KnitchMagazine.

If you want to get your copy, you can find it at Yarnmarket for only $17.80.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New yarns and new patterns in our April Bulletin

Our new Yarnmarket Bulletin presents lovely new yarns for summer! New fibers, new colors and new patterns for you to knit up for warm weather wear.

Be sure to read your issue of the Yarnmarket Bulletin to learn about Crystal Palace's Cotton Twirl that comes with a free pattern, Tango Multi and Litoral by Aslan Trends, and Noro's glorious Shirakaba.

If you haven't already done so, sign up now to get onto our mailing list so you'll be among the first to know when new yarns arrive!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Necessity: Mother of Invention, Twin Sister of Insanity

It's a typical Saturday morning. I get up, toss the laundry into the washer, make myself a cup of tea and put on my headset so I can talk to my Mom while I do my housework. Alex runs errands, drops by Yarnmarket, and either glues himself to the computer or goes out to the yard to work in our gardens. We've got a lot of gardens...and they take up most of our time from April until September. (Yes...I clean my own house, we do our own yard work, and I even hang my laundry outside to dry if the weather is good enough. Some people think of me as "old fashioned." But I'm actually a cheap old fogey.)

As often happens, I run out of cleaning supplies and either send Alex to the store, or I figure out how to make do without them. Weak tea is terrific for cleaning windows and mirrors. The tannic acid in the tea wipes away any grease. Silver can be cleaned by lining a pan with tin foil, putting the silver on top of it, adding some baking soda and then pouring boiling water on it. In a few minutes -- voila! Your silver is shining and bright.

How do I know these things? I'm cheap and I'm old.

Today Alex was already working in the garden, and pretty dirty, when I realized I'd run out of vacuum cleaner bags. Rats. What's a girl to do? I couldn't empty it because I'd accidentally ripped it as I was getting it out of the vacuum cleaner, so I had to come up with a substitute. does it work? The air has to come into the bag, and be able to pass through it while depositing the stuff it sucked up. I needed something porous...but not too porous. I had a spark of brilliance/insanity.

If you every run out of vaccum cleaner bags, you can get one of those cotton recyclable grocery bags (the cheaper and lighter, the better) and put the opening of the bag around the hole in the vacuum cleaner where the proper bag goes. Attach it with an elastic band. (A rubber band to most Americans, I think.)

It's not going to be HEPA quality like my usual vacuum bag, but it works in a pinch.

While I'm doing stuff like this, I'm always thinking to myself, "I'll bet David Bowie's wife doesn't know how to create a makeshift vacuum cleaner bag." And then I feel oh, so superior in my short, squat troll-like way as I compare myself to one of the most beautiful women in the world.

After I finish catching up with my Mom, I begin to work on problems while I'm scubbing the toilets. Don't we all?

Today's problem is: How can I get from Columbus, OH today to London, England by April 19th to see Rupert Sheldrake in a discussion entitled, "Reinventing the Sacred" He's going to be having a dialogue with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk who also studies Buddhism. Can you imagine anything more fascinating? Me, neither!

But thanks to some stupid volcano in Iceland, I think it's pretty well impossible for me to get to it...even if I pull together all my air miles and ask a friend in London if I can visist for a few days. Maybe Rupert will post a video of it on his web site. I hope so.

Isn't it fun to be alive and to have to make choices like: If I had to leave my husband, would it be for David Bowie or Rupert Sheldrake? Both are brilliant, talented, and British. David Bowie can sing and dance. Rupert Sheldrake can tell you about morphic resonance. David Bowie can whisk you away to Corsier-sur-Vevey and serve you the finest champagne. Rupert Sheldrake can go for a walk with you in a forest in British Columbia while he tells you about morphic resonance. David Bowie can introduce you to Arcade Fire and the beautiful people and talk about the modern art scene. Rupert Sheldrake can introduce you to his research assistants and tell you about morphic resonance.

I hate to say it...but I think that when push comes to shove and I have to choose between David and Rupert, I'm going to go with with Rupert.

I don't think Mrs. Sheldrake will mind. I'll be the one cleaning her house each week and pulling the weeds in her gardens.

Which one would you choose?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Handsome Hamlet ponders the meaning of life...and yarn.

To be or not to be. That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrow of outrageous fortune or to take paws against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.

Alas, poor Hamlet...the worried little pussycat. His owner said, "It's funny you mentioned his worried look. He gets a little bump on his forehead that makes it look like he's knitting his eyebrows, and, of course, he doesn't have eyebrows because he's a cat!"

Well, that's what we think. He knows he's a nobleman.

Emily got Hamlet from a co-worker who bumped into her in Wal-Mart and said "Hey, do you want a kitten?" Instead of sensibly responding "No!" Emily asked, "Are there any black ones?"

Hamlet was the only black kitten in a litter of five; all his siblings were gray.

It turns out he comes from a shady past: his mama had sneaked out for a romantic evening before her people thought she was old enough to have babies. She was spayed as soon as the litter was weaned.

When Emily picked him up he was seven weeks old, fit in the palm of her hand, and screamed the entire twenty miles home in the carrier, until she let him out. Once freed from the carrier, he climbed right into the pocket of her hooded sweatshirt and went to sleep.

On his first vet visit a couple of days later the vet told me she'd never heard a kitten yell as loud as he could. Emily named him Hamlet because he wears a black suit and whines all the time. Isn't that a riot? True to his Shakespearean personality, his favorite thing to say is "No, no, Oh no!"

Hamlet is almost exactly twice as large as the other black cat in the household, Buena Suerte. He weighs about thirteen pounds, and likes to sleep either on Emily's feet or on her pillow. Like my old Hannibal, Hamlet drools when he purrs. And like Fabulous Feline, Truffle, his tail is bizarrely flexible. He can twist it into a corkscrew shape, a big loop, or something that looks like a periscope.

A glutton for affection, Hamlet has figured out how to be patted whenever he chooses. When Emily got her spinning wheel he figured out that if he leans into the drive wheel it acts like an automatic cat petter.

His greatest wish is to someday catch a butterfly.

Emily told us that Hamlet had a perfect set of black-on-black tabby stripes as a baby, but now they can only be seen in direct sunlight. Thus, his Fabulous Felines yarn is shades of black and gray.

Congratulations, Hamlet. You're a Yarnmarket Fabulous Feline!

Introducing Truffle...the piggly puss formerly known as "Simply Red"

When I first looked into Truffle's eyes, I swear he hypnotized me. He made me select him to be a Yarnmarket Fabulous Feline. Melanie, his owner says that we made a good choice in Truffle because he's a good color example for a pure ginger cat and he has a "big personality."

I can believe it. I've seen photos of Truffle snuggled up against Melanie's boyfriend, and I can tell would be hard to find a woman on this planet who wouldn't want to trade places with Melanie right now. She's got the cat and the guy...and the guy who likes the cat. Life is beautiful.

Melanie fell in love with Truffle as often happens in the modern world -- by Internet dating. She saw him on the homepage of the rescue center. Little is known about his past, but he was found abandoned in the streets of Flensburg, Germany and due his magnificent color the staff at the rescue center named him “Simply Red." One look and she was spellbound, not only by his color but also by his bossy personality.

After a couple of days Mr. Simply Red was given the first name Truffle because his appearance is reminiscent of a piglet. His tail is never straight and he has a very pink nose. Since Melanie loves both the fungal and the chocolaty truffles, the cat was named after truffle pigs. Little did she know then that his piglet appearance was mirrored by his bad habits of snoring quite loudly and well, let's just say he has digestive issues. (I suggested to Melanie that it may be the boyfriend, and he's blaming Truffle...sort of the way Alex tries to convince me that there's a duck living somewhere in our house. But I digress...)

Being a very independent, intelligent and strong-minded tomcat, Truffle spends most of waking hours with outdoor hobbies like ornithology, gardening and, of course, charming the female felines in the neighborhood. Although he's a ladies' man, he prefers to restrict his affection to his own species. He can run quite fast when approached by his human aunties for some hugs and kisses.

Like any pussycat worth his tuna, Truffle has trained his owners quite efficiently in promptly opening the apartment door for him -- preferably in the early hours of the morning -- and locking it quite properly when they leave the apartment. Otherwise, the door would be gaping wide open all the time because Truffle has mastered the art of door opening.

Although Truffle is a "man about town" he's very obedient and comes when Melanie calls him from the kitchen window on the 2nd floor of her apartment block. Then he suddenly appears jumping the high wall from the neighbor's yard, and she hears him running up the stairs to her apartment loudly announcing he's on his way -- well knowing that a delectable cat treat is awaiting him. Truffle quite literally climbs walls to get to his treats.

This clever pussycat has a regular job assisting Kristian (the very handsome boyfriend) as he prepares his lectures in English and History by taking his nap right on top of the pile of essays that need to be corrected. Kristian has tried to convince Melanie that Truffle is actually helping him by doing the first perusals.

We're delighted to welcome Truffle, Mr. Simply Red, into the highly esteemed order of Yarnmarket Fabulous Felines.

Gaze into Evie's Eyes

Evie's owner, Bes, told us that this pretty pussycat is a blue tabby bi-colour ragdoll who has recently become a first-time mother.

On January 30, 2010 she gave birth to six gorgeous kittens: four blue colorpoints, one blue tabby colorpoint and a blue tabby bi-color -- the image of herself. She has done a wonderful job of managing a large litter as an inexperienced Mother.

Bes says she's really proud of her.

I'm always amazed at what good mothers pussycats are. Nature is a miraculous thing!

When I received the photos of Evie's babies I immediately took my laptop to Alex to show them to him. His response was, "No! I don't want any kittens!" and then he looked at them and after a few seconds he said, "Though they sure are cute."

It's a darned good thing that Evie and her babies are in Derbyshire, England. Otherwise I might be tempted to take one...or all of them.

Congratulations, Evie, on being chosen as a Yarnmarket Fabulous Feline!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New from Artyarns and Yarnmarket! Introducing a pussycat who made a magnificent impression...Monsieur Monet!

Isn't this the most beautiful puss? Look at those gorgeous colors! We could hardly wait to see what Iris Schreier would do with the lovely Monet...and she created a masterpiece in merino!

Monet's owner, Diana, first met her when she was an hour old because her friend owned the pussycat who'd given birth to what started out as an "ugly kitten who grew into a very beautiful cat."

Monet joined the household where there was already a dog. Initially, she was wary of the Airedale Terrier, Libby, but she grew to love her and later adored the newer additions, Blue and Annie. She would often greet them with trills and walk between their legs jumping up to scent them with the side of her face. This is one cat who not only liked dogs, but marked them as her territory!

As many cats do as they get older, Monet suffered kidney failture and developed arthritis. I went through kidney failure with both Hannibal and Kim so I know how difficult it is for everyone.

Fortunately, Monet really enjoyed the last seven months of her life at a new home Diana moved into. She spent a lot of time in the garden, snoozing in the sunshine, catching mice and chasing birds and squirrels.

Eventually she stopped eating and a very difficult decision had to be made. This is always a devastating blow to the people who love their pussycats so much. But eventually you know what you have to do...and, sadly, you alleviate your pussycat's suffering.

Diana told us that Spooky was a very loving cat who'd fuss around her humans, lick their hands and eventually dribble when she got too excited. But she wouldn't tolerate anything that constituted "fiddling" including flea spray, the giving of tablets or any other unwelcome attention. So she had to smile when her cat managed to bite the vet as she inserted the 'lethal injection' despite having being given a sedative beforehand.

Monet, we hope you're in Pussycat Heaven now, with Kim and Hannibal and Rajah...and that you're all chasing butterflies when you aren't dining on tuna fish or snoozing in the warmth of the sunshine.

Monet's Fabulous Feline yarn has her beautiful rich browns and orange, plus the riot of turquoise you see in her eyes.

Love is kinda crazy with a Spooky little girl like you.

Here's a yarn and a pussycat you'll fall in love with. Not only is she beautiful, but we're told she's sweet, feisty, and 110% loving.

Spooky is a gorgeous brown tabby her owners call their "tiny tiger" due to her vivid black stripes against her grey-brown fur.

What captured our hearts here at Yarnmarket are her beautiful green eyes which we're told are the color of fresh Thompson seedless grapes.

Spooky is one of those cats that just appeared out of nowhere to join a family. About five years ago, her owner's children were in the back yard playing. One ran inside and said, "Come see this cat." Kristi went out, and there was the future Spooky, playing right along with her kids, and chasing butterflies through the garden.

She was young, thin, and homeless.

Spooky was immediately brought indoors and fed, and the rest is history. Here's one pussycat who knew a good thing when she saw it. She had found a home of loving cat fanciers, plenty of food, toys, and cuddly blankets. Let's just say in her mind, Spooky hit the jackpot!

Since her arrival, Spooky has become the queen bee of the house, even with the addition of two younger cats. Spooky's rules are THE rules, and she administers them with a heavy but loving paw. There is not a cat treat that she won't try; and if you're human, you come with a lap, which she will promptly try out when you sit.

Like any pussycat worth its tuna, Spooky "helps" Krisi with her knitting by sitting on the yarn to keep it from unraveling.

As highly regarded and pampered as she may be, Spooky does not consider housework beneath her. She likes to help unpack groceries by digging through every bag until the cat food or treats are found. At that point, we suspect she believes her work is done.

We're told that Spooky has learned to use the toilet. Yes, the human toilet! But we do wonder if she flushes.

Spooky's very lucky owners say they wait for the day when they come home and find that Spooky has prepared dinner for them.

Congratulations on being selected as a Yarnmarket Fabulous Feline, Spooky!

Our Noro contest is going strong. I'm getting goofy. And Mr. Ngumbo is getting rich!

Half the fun of having a contest is looking at all the entries we receive. Yes...I really do open and read each one just in case somebody asks, "Do you know of a cardigan pattern that has one short sleeve, one long sleeve, tuxedo tails and pom pom bunny rabbit tail on the back?" (Answer: Yes, I do. I designed it myself.)

It's great fun for me because not only do I get to see the answers, I also get to see where people are from. We've had a few entries from Australia, lots from the Scandanvian countries and many from the GWN.

I'm enjoying the signatures on the letters, too. This morning I found one from Amy Lynn. It said, "Veni, Vedi, Velcro. I came. I saw. I stuck around." That really made me laugh!

After reading over ONE THOUSAND emails, I thought I was almost finished. And then it hit me. My spam file.

You know the spam file...where the faint of heart should never venture. This morning, I opened it up and I found letters from:

a. 3 very friendly Russian girls who'd like to marry me;
b. 17 pharmacies in China;
c. A lady at Interweave magazine who wondered why I hadn't answered her;
d. 27 people who can help me increase the size of a body part I don't even have;
e. 6 people who'd like to help me reduce the size of the body parts I do have;
f. 8 offers for Rolex watches that have come down in price from $10,000 to $14.99 plus S&H;
g. Facebook because they think I've forgotten my password and they'd like me to send it to them;
h. A nice man in Nigeria who's going to share his inheritance with me as soon as I get back from my bank this afternoon;
i. A bunch of people who want to give me FINAL WARNING on something.

I also found a whole bunch of contest entries. Really, I don't think those knitters should be hanging around with the people in my Spam box because I have a feeling those people aren't very nice...even Svetlana who says she can't wait to meet me.

I've put all those entries into their proper place now.

Gotta run! I've got only one hour to get to CitiBank before the generous and soon-to-be-wealthy Mr. Ngumbo decides to share his good fortune with someone else!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Released! Spring Issue of Knitch Magazine with Stacy Charles, Tanis Gray, Penelope Taylor, Diane Friedman, and fantastic spring fashions!

We've just released our new issue of KnitchMagazine and it's jam-packed with great information for knitters and crocheters. This issue of the magazine features Stacy Charles, Tanis Gray, Penelope Taylor, Diane Friedman, and other yarn luminaries.

Jan offers her Spring Fashion Portfolio and Fashion Outlook with lots of great styles for summer sunsation. Barbara has provided some terrific yarn and book reviews you'll want to print out and collect. Kathy Blumenstock introduces Henry the Fiber Artist Cat and tells us about a great new career for those of you who are considering a change. And we introduce Hats for Heroes, Shannon Dunbabin of Cascade Yarns, Barbara's Purls of Wisdom and Wilma McQueen's Knitting My Way.

Yes, we've got some free patterns, too!

Be sure to read the latest edition of KnitchMagazine because it's got interesting fashion news, industry insights, and people who are fascinating to read about.

Jenny has toiled many hours to put this issue together. Thanks, Jenny, for all your hard work!

Be sure to sign up for the TKGA 25th Anniversary Conference

We love TKGA and we work with them to offer the annual Design Competition that offers a $1000 Grand Prize Gift Certificate. (If you've got an original design you love, you'll want to enter it!)

This year, TKGA is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a terrific conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. The TKGA Conference will offer classes, shopping and a gala banquet that you won't want to miss.

This promises to be their best event ever, so if you're a serious knitter you'll want to register now so you can attend from July 7 to July 10, 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Enter our Spotlight on Noro Contest to Win a $150+ Gift Package

This morning, readers of Yarnmarket's Spotlight Newsletter received our latest issue: Spotlight on Noro.

In it they not only found great articles about Noro yarns and designers, plus info on all the new yarns and patterns, they also were invited to enter our contest to win a $150+ Noro gift package.

If you haven't yet read your copy of Spotlight, be sure to do so. You won't want to miss this opportunity to win an autographed copy of Noro Volume 26, a copy of Noro: Meet The Man; 10 skeins of Furin yarn, a set of size 8 Lantern Moon blonde needles plus a deluxe Yarnmarket bag. This is a great prize for any Noro fan!

And a note to all of you who have already entered: Whew! I've read each and every entry and I'm so thrilled to learn how much you love the Noro yarns. Special thanks to those of you who over-achieved by counting every single color!

I am happy to report, thanks to our entrants, that Yarnmarket has 304 different colors of Noro yarns in stock!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alex took a Photoshop Class today

He says it's so he can edit the yarn photos on our web sites. But I know the truth.

He's learning how to remove wrinkles with Photoshop.

When he's finished this class I expect him to take me from this:

To this:

Just think of all the money we're not going to have to spend on my facelifts!

Save 50% off Tahki's Fabulous Baby Print 100% Wool Super Bulky Yarn

Here's an irresistible deal for anyone who loves the instant gratification of a super bulky yarn.

Tahki's 100% wool Baby Print is now at BargainYARNS for 50% off. That's just $8.25 for a yarn that typically sells for $16.50.

You'll also find some really good deals on Tahki's Flower at 30% off, Siena at 30% off, and Pansy at 29% off. There's also a little bit of the popular Bunny Print for just $6.35. That's 28% off the regular price...but there's only one color left. So if you want it, grab it now!

Remember, BargainYARNS has all the sale items from they come with the same stellar customer service and fast delivery.

Oh! Just in case you didn't know...tomorrow our Spotlight comes out. This month we cast the spotlight on Noro. This is a fabulous issue you won't want to miss. If you enter the Noro Spotlight Contest, you could win over $150 in Noro yarns and books plus a nice pair of Lantern Moon needles.

One of the books will become a collector's item because it's autographed by the famous Eisaku Noro!

Look at the New One-Click Projects from your Favorite Yarn Brands!

Stefanie is one of the fastest typists I've ever known. I can hear her clicking away furiously at the keyboard and, before I know it, she's letting me know that she's got dozens of new projects available for our knitters and crocheters. Over the past few days, she's been adding several fantastic projects from new pattern books from our favorite yarn brands and designers. You'll want to take a look at them because they're absolutely gorgeous, and it's so easy to buy everything you need on Yarnmarket with just one click of your mouse.

Stef has added one-click projects from the following books. You'll find them under the title, "Look inside this book." Click on any photo and you'll find the entire project with everything you need to complete it!

Tahki City Crochet: Spring/Summer 2010

Rowan Studio Issue 18

Noro Kids by June Ellison

Berroco #292: DK Baby

Rowan Casual Classics

Rebecca #41

Stef has also added lots of individual Sirdar projects, too!
Sirdar Crofter Patterns

A lot of our knitters and crocheters love the simplicity of our Projects...and we hope that you will, too!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The spring editions of your favorite knitting magazines have arrived!

You're no doubt scouring your favorite knitting and crochet magazines for great new projects to create. Each season, Stefanie goes through them to find all the projects using yarns we carry. Then, she makes it super, super easy for you to get everything you need in just one click.

Yes! It's true! I'm providing links to the main pages for magazine projects. You'll see the new projects you can buy in one click, plus some favorites from throughout the past years.

Each project includes the magazine (which you may already have), needles, yarn and accessories. If there's anything you don't need, just un-click it.

Now, that reminds me...what kind of a word is "un-click"? I love how words appear - out of necessity, I'm sure -- but when you think about them they're pretty goofy.

If Alex phones his lawyer and demands his freedom, is he un-marrying me? If he returns having decided to give me just one more chance, is he un-leaving me?

Ahh...if only etymology were as simple as buying Yarnmarket projects.

Creative Knitting Projects

Knitscene Knitting Projects

Interweave Crochet Projects

Interweave Knits Projects

Knit Simple Knitting Projects

Vogue Knitting Projects

Knit 'n Style Knitting Projects

Love of Knitting

Mark your calendars for May 1!

Not only is it my step-father's birthday, (Happy Birthday, Ralph!), it's also Open House at Yarnmarket. We've got lots of knitters coming, and we'll keep our doors open from 10 until 2...or whenever the last shopper is dragged kicking and screaming from the warehouse. (800 yarns, up to 160 colors do the math!)

BargainYARNS will also be open, and you'll want to visit if you can because we've got lots of low-priced "imperfect" books, and some really fantastic deals on yarns from companies like Needful, Cherry Tree Hill and Araucania. We've also got some great prices on Premier Coral Batik.

Don't miss our Open House. It's always a lot of fun and it's a great chance to meet local knitters.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Save 40 - 48% off Needful Yarns, Kits and Patterns

We were really sad when Needful Yarns shut down. They created such gorgeous yarns and patterns, and they were such wonderful people to work with.

As part of our spring cleaning at BargainYARNS, we're having a savings spree on Needful yarns, kits and patterns. Right now you can save up to 48% off the regular price! This is a great deal on some really wonderful products.

Yarns on sale are:

Soft Ceramic
Dubai Stretch
Extra Stampato
Van Dyck
Van Dyck Stampato

We have a lot of Needful pattern books at incredible savings, too!

And check out these complete kits. You never know when you're going to need a gift, so you might want to stock up on these while you can get them at great savings.

Cashmere Baby Booties $19.88

Cashmere Baby Cap and Mittens $32.88
Deluxe Angelina Tote Kit $82.88 (That's 45% off the regular price!)

The photo, above, shows the Angelina Tote. What a great bag for summer!

Be sure to check out all our great savings on Needful Yarns, Kits and Patterns. At these prices, they won't last long!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Perfect for spring! Noro's Silk Garden Cropped Cardigan

If you're reading your new spring knitting magazines, you may have noticed our ad that features the Noro Silk Garden Cropped Cardigan. This pretty cropped top is perfect for spring days and cool summer evenings.

We're big fans of all the Noro yarns because the colors are irresistible and the blends are magnificent. Silk Garden is a particularly popular yarn because it's a blend of silk, kid mohair and lambswool. With the spectacular Noro dyed-in-the wool shades, it's a truly magnificent yarn.

This pattern can be found in Jenny Watson's book, Noro Catwalk 2 which we carry at Yarnmarket.

Of course, if you want to buy this project the fast and easy way, you can purchase everything you need with just one click in our Projects area.

We hope you enjoy selecting your spring and summer knitting projects. Oh, for more ideas on what you can create, be sure to check out our brand, spanking new issue of KnitchMagazine.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Me 'n my Shadow...Knitting! CAT makes it look easy in this week's Let's Knit2Gether video.

With each episode she creates, CAT makes something very, very frightening look oh, so simple! I'm still amazed at what I learned in the riveting episode, "Eeek! It's Steek!" and now I'm doubly impressed with what CAT has to say about Shadow knitting.

Also known as Illusion knitting, this is a fun skill that you're going to enjoy acquiring. Just watch as our hero successfully creates patterns that are visible only from certain angles!

Oh, be sure to watch right to the end because CAT shows some lovely Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn -- one of my favorites because it's light and airy, yet wonderfully warm. Consider it for a summery shawl to keep you comfy when the sun goes down.

Introducing...Brittany Foster -- award-winning knitter and proprietor of Britt's Knits.

Brittany's Mom sent us this note with photos of Brittany's creation. Our congratulations to Brittany on her persistence and her skill in creating this gorgeous Berroco skirt.

I'll be sure to ask Norah Gaughan to check out Brittany's creation so she can marvel at the skills of a young fan.

Brittany Foster, an 11 year old 6th grader from Pueblo, Colorado is shown here modeling a skirt she made using Berroco yarn purchased from Yarn Market Knitting Store. After many, many hours and thousands of stitches she earned Grand Champion at the Pueblo County Fair in Pueblo, Colorado. She went on to win Champion at the Colorado State Fair. Brittany likes to make chemo caps for the children at Children's Hospital in Denver and has recently started her own knitting business, Britt's Knits.

Spring Issue of KnitchMagazine features industry luminaries, fashion forecasts and interesting occupations.

Just arrived for spring! This season's issue of KnitchMagazine is chock full of great project ideas, and loaded with interesting interviews with some of the industry's most popular people. Learn how Stacy Charles ended up in the knitting industry and how Diane Friedman was sharp enough to make him her partner. Read how Penelope Taylor gets out each issue of Knit 'n Style magazine, and how Tanis Gray has gone from Vogue Knitting Magazine editor to editor of a great new book using the ever-popular Cascade 220.

We're also introducing Shannon Dunbabin of Cascade Yarns and several Shepherdesses who help transform woolly coats into wonderful yarns.

Barbara Rottman, our resident reviewer, gives her opinion of 14 yarns, plus many new books and accessories.

While you're reading this new, exciting issue be sure to subscribe to KnitchMagazine so you'll receive an Alert when we send out our Summer "Addition."