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Archive for July, 2012

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Remember this limited-edition, hand-screened Q tote from our e-letter of a few weeks ago?¬† We had 50 bags to sell, and they were gone in less than 24 hours. We had many requests for more (thank you), so, with a little coaxing, we sourced another batch and they’re back in stock. Tada.

So why this long post about a little bag? Because we want to give you the full story here. If you’ve read the ‘our story’ section on our website, you’ll know that our goal is to source products (usually fiber) as much as possible from the US. That said, if we can’t get what we need, and we have to go global for it, we want, as much as possible, to know the origins of what we’re buying and bringing to you.

The current version of our Q tote is a little different than our first. The first batch of unprinted bags came from a local chain store. But this time around, we wanted more than the few we were able to find there. Unable to find an American-made version of a tote that fit our needs, we sourced new ones (in a slightly different shape) from a small company that offers recycled cotton* bags made in India. (Always a good idea to recycle cotton, a plant that requires more resources and pesticides to grow than is good for our planet.) The good news is that this bag company is SA 8000 certified, meaning that the people who make these totes are protected from the exploitative practices and unhealthy conditions we hate to read about.

This time, too, the bags are printed in Connecticut, and not by our master screen-printer Ethan, who (rightly) decided that screening 50 totes was fun. More than that, well, not so fun. These bags, too, are a little less expensive for us to produce, so less expensive for you to buy. And as soon as we can get around to it, we’ll have an updated photo on our website.

Anyway, for lovers of back story, there you have it.

*Recycled cotton is made from reclaimed organic and natural cotton scrap headed for landfills.

Friday, July 13th, 2012

When Paula Emons-Fuessle, sent in her pattern for the pretty Hyla Brook shawl, she included a Hyla Brook Check List to use as a handy way of keeping track of things. If you’re new to shawl knitting, and even if you’re not, I think you’ll find her checklist useful. Personally, I think it’s grand. I love feeling organized (a rare moment), and I think I may just have to find a way to use this checklist concept for some other projects around here.

Thanks, Paula.

And, I meant to mention, Paula is host of the podcast Knitting Pipeline. Read more here.

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Love the recent issue of Piecework, themed around the color blue. Especially taken with the cover photo of a stunning pair of socks designed by Nancy Bush. This pair isn’t worked in Q yarn. Nonetheless, the socks would work up nicely in Finch–River (or Delft) and Egret. Nancy’s written a number of sock books–all good additions to your library if you’re a sock knitter. My favorite is Folk Socks (Interweave Press, 1994). The copy on my shelf is bookmarked with post-its , tattered on the cover and at the corners, and some of the pages inside are wrinkled from an inadvertent water spill. But I still turn to this book for inspiration.

Friday, July 6th, 2012

So cute, these little guys. They’re Herring Gull babies who’ve recently hatched from a nest on our warehouse roof. Roof nesting has become a trend in Portland. Nests were spotted on the roof of the art museum, on our neighbors building, and across the street on the news center building, at the base of the satellite tower. Maine’s off-shore islands are the traditional natural habitat for gulls and their nests, so everyone is wondering why they’ve decided to opt for flat roof tops. Note the little ankle bands these little chicks are wearing. This adornment will help scientists to track the fate of these little ones, and the as-for-now unknown effects of roof-dwelling.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Meris designer Elizabeth Doherty will be hosting a Meris KAL starting July 9. If ever there was a sweater to knit in a group, this is the one. Its top-down, set-in sleeve construction is unusual. Not hard, just unusual. And it’s a sweater of many a lovely knitterly detail: Sloped shoulders via short rows, dart shaping, and I-cord trim. Elizabeth is an expert knitter and she’s already offering suggestions on fit and techniques on our Ravelry group. A great way to warm up for the project. You can also read her thoughtful comments on the sweater and her ideas on top-down fitting on her blog, bluebeestudio, and see more pictures of the cardigan and its details on our June 15 blog.

Meris is worked in Finch, a lanky 4-ply with great bounce and drape, in color Sorbet. But from a brief look at the starting discussion, people are planning to knit the sweater in Winesap, Peacock, Bird’s Egg, Crocus–and more. All great choices.

If you haven’t already seen Elizabeth’s exquisite neck piece Millrace in our scarf collection, you can see it here.

Many thanks, Elizabeth, for setting up this KAL–much appreciated!

 

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

A most unusual shawl—abstract leaf shapes overlapping in panels, falling to a flared, corrugated border. Foothills’ is ingenious designer is Marnie Maclean. And it’s drapey, oh so drapey, in Tern/Boothbay.

Worked, as are all shawls from last week, from a small number of cast-on stitches at the neck, down and out to the edges, each side mirrored along a center spine.

Detail, above, of the border and the drape.

And this photo because I love the sandals.

p.s. A note about Tern. We’re out of all colors except Sea Grass, Buoy, and Back Bay. Our apologies. We’re doing our best to get more on the shelves and hope by 3rd week of July to be able to ship. More on yarn supply soon.