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Archive for July, 2013

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

alicia friend

This little number says Summer to me. How breezy it is. It’s East End, designed by Alicia Plummer. Worked from the top down. There’s a lot of stockinette stitch here, but just the right amount of shaping and seed stitch to keep the knitting interesting. Take a look at the shaping darts on the back (below). Love that there’s shaping on the sides and on the back, while everything in the front stays swingy.

Alicia bACK

Alicia, thanks so much for using little Sparrow.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013


Connie‘s been busy recently. Babies will do that. So happy to see that she’s still knitting. Somehow.

Here are two patterns, both made for daughter Olivia, who wears them with charm. Above is MacDougal, worked in Finch. I love the color combo, a subtle contrast, gently amplified with garter stitch. She used Chanterelle for the main color and Clay for the bit of trim. Note the simple stitch pattern and wrist details shown below.

wrist detail

Little cardi’s are great for cool summer evenings. Remember those? For warmer days and nights, knit up the Roosevelt Tank below in Finch/Bird’s Egg.

Connie’s designs always make use of interesting details. See the shaping in the tank’s body (below) and the neck button and loop. The sides seams feature miniature slits at the hem.

shell all

You can see more of Connie’s lovely work on her Ravelry page.


Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Congratulations to Shirley Griese who won our Quince blog-post birthday giveaway.

Thank you, thank you, to everyone who wished us well as we start our fourth year. So many good things to come. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as things unfold.

And send us your ideas, wish list, knitting tales, and, well, thoughts on what you wish we’d do differently. It all helps us to be a better company. We always love to hear from you.

One more thing: In my birthday blog post, I said we’d grown from two to four in our office. What was I thinking? We’ve grown to SIX. (Take note, Adi.)



Tuesday, July 16th, 2013


Good stitchers make good neighbors. So we’re helping to spread the word.

A Gathering of Stitches is a local project that we’d love to see up and running soon. Founder Samantha Lindgren describes it thus:

A Gathering of Stitches is a workshop, studio, and maker lab for fiber and textile artists, craftspeople and small businesses in Portland, Maine. Our mission is to share the modern and historical world of the needle arts through education, shared resources and equipment, small business development, and the creation of community. In simple terms, we’re going to teach people to:

sew : knit : dye : quilt : embroider : crochet : screen print

Instruction will be available at all levels. We’ll also supply access to specialized equipment, and provide a creative space for businesses to grow, all for the Southern Maine and Northern New England community.

They’ve launched a crowd-funding campaign, so if you’re in the area, even if you’re not, you might want to read more about it.

We love needle craft–yarn, fabric, threads, needles, the hum of sewing machines, the muffled clunk of looms. The more of all that, the better, no?


Tuesday, July 16th, 2013


It’s our birthday! We’re three years old. So much has happened since we launched. We started with two people and four yarns. Now we’re four people and eight yarns. We’ve moved  four times, weathered the closing of our dye house, and helped to get a new one up and running. We’ve designed our own patterns and published dozens of others’. When we started, you could only buy our yarns on-line, now you can find them in an ever-growing number of stores.

We wanted to make yarns in this country, not the easiest thing to do in an industry that shrinks daily. But we did it, we’re doing it, thanks to the expertise of people who continue to broker American fiber, spin, and dye it here. AND thanks to you. !

To celebrate, we’re hosting a giveaway. Between now and Thursday noon, leave a comment here and/or on our facebook page birthday entry, and we’ll add your name to the drawing. The prize? A handy Q tote, a digital copy of Prima, our original Quince collection, a bar of the hmmm-lovely Quince Lanolin Soap, and 10 skeins of Q yarn, your choice of kinds and colors.

At noon on Thursday, we’ll pick names at random, one from facebook and the other from the Quince blog, and announce the winners.




Monday, July 15th, 2013


We wanted to get our new Tern colors up and out the door right away, so we haven’t any new designs in them as yet. But we can easily imagine them in our favorite Tern patterns. Can you? Probably. If you’d like a little help, here are three versions of last week’s e-letter ‘Imagine’ that we didn’t end up using.


The Abigail Cardi.





And you might want to check our other patterns in Tern for your own imagining.

Thursday, July 11th, 2013


Remember those blogs you read here a little while back on our efforts to get a dye house up and running nearby? The plant in Massachusetts that we’d relied on when we started Quince & Co closed a little more than a year ago, and we were in a quandary over what to do. In an industry that’s steadily shrinking in this country alternatives are hard to come by. We were lucky, however, in finding partners as interested in resurrecting that dye house as we were. Together we managed to move the equipment (and master dyer, Don Morton) a few hours north and into an old mill building that had, not so long ago, been a commercial dyeing operation.

Since then, Ken and Claudia Raessler have taken on full-time operation of the plant, and we’re delighted that their kickstarter campaign is doing so well. We have great hopes for Saco River Dyehouse. How wonderful it would be to see a textile industry in the US rise from the ashes, literally. Doesn’t have to be what it once was, and doesn’t have to be like China, but we think mid-size industry might very well thrive again with all the support it’s getting these days. From people like you.


Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

If you live in the Philadephia, or close to, you may already know Hidden River Yarns. If so, we’re happy to say that HYR is a recent addition to the Quince-in-your-LYS line up. And we thank them greatly for providing us with such a lovely welcome, one that included cupcakes and sidewalk announcements. Not sure I have the order correct, but read the announcements below in order.

HR quince sidewalk 1


HRquince sidewalk 3

HRquince sidewalk 5

HRquince sidewalk 4

HRquince cupcakes


More: HYR is owned by Lisa Johnson. We asked her a few questions about what it’s like to run an LYS.

Pam: What’s the best part of your job?

Lisa: My favorite part of running a yarn store is being able to bolster the confidence of my customers. I like to help them stretch and learn new techniques that they thought were beyond their capabilities. I also like to help them shake up their ideas about color. My idea of a good time is all the color combinations possible on the table and embracing the unexpected pairings.

Pam: What are you doing that you’re especially proud of?

Lisa: A good friend told me when I was opening my store that I don’t have to be everything to everyone and to stay true to my vision. HRY is just as I envisioned it, a riot of color, quality natural fibers, and a warm welcoming environment that does not intimidate newer knitters and crocheters.

Pam: What do you wish people would understand about owning a business, particularly a yarn business?

Lisa: It takes an inordinate amount of self-control to keep up on the bookkeeping, answering emails, maintaining a website and an active social media presence, when all I want to do is cast on a project in Tern. (Note: On the needles already are Finch, Chickadee and Sparrow.) Frankly, I deserve a medal.

I have been knitting since childhood. Occasionally, I have put it aside for a few years while I’ve obsessed over other crafts, but I always seem to come back to it. I make mistakes, everyone does. I always use my grandmother’s rule of thumb, if you’re not going to see it all the time and worry about it, keep on going, no one else is likely to notice. Learning to be accepting of imperfection is healthy and helps loosen your tension. I have created my share of ugly, specifically a cotton tunic/vest with intarsia tropical fruit…well, it was from Vogue Knitting and it was the 80s.


Monday, July 8th, 2013

Way back (or so seems), when we started Quince & Co, the goal was to create yarns here, in New England, from materials sourced in the US. Initially, we planned to sell only through the internet for a simple reason: The bottom line. It’s very expensive to make yarn in this country. And we wanted Quince to be able to compete with imports. Selling directly to knitters seemed to make the most sense.

THAT SAID. Stores are more than middlemen (or women). They are repositories of knowledge, help, friends, inspiration, and so much more. After many requests and much head-scratching and soul searching, we decided it would be worthwhile to find a way to put real yarn on real shelves in real stores–without raising our prices. Happily, we think we’ve found the way. While we can’t be in everyone’s favorite LYS, we CAN be in a few stores who are willing and able to be a Quince flagship, so to speak, stores willing to share with us a bit of a hit on margins. There won’t be many of these stores, and they’ll be spread out–across the globe, in fact. But, as our inventory allows us to, we’ll be introducing you to Q stores as we add them, and they add us. We love seeing our yarn in the midst of the creative space that stores provide. If you happen to find yourself palming a skein of Quince in your LYS, think about thanking the owner. We’re all stretching here, but we think the stretch will be worth it for everyone.

The photo above was sent in by our most recent store addition, Hidden River Yarns in Philadelphia. They gave us a wonderful welcome, as you’ll see in the next post. We’re grateful to HRY for making a Quince & Co a  big deal Thank you, Hidden Valley Yarns!



And, though we’re slow to get going on this, we’ll be introducing you to Q stores as we add them, and they add us.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013


New colors. Coming next week. So, so pretty!