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Monthly Archives: August 2014

  • All Because of a Shawl: Semi Tropical Shawl

    This story is from our newsletter called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We're sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

    Megan loved the irony of living in Maine and knitting herself a "Semi-Tropical Shawl."

    "I'm about as far from a semi-tropical climate as I am from winning the lottery," she laughed as she and Val, her best friend, sat at an outdoor café in downtown Portland, knitting and drinking iced tea. "But it's such a beautiful design."

    Val said, "Well, someone always wins the lottery. Maybe this shawl is telling you something...like, maybe you'll go somewhere semi-tropical."

    "It's telling me that I picked a great project," Megan replied. "I just adore the yarn—it's so soft; the colors remind me of sand dunes and sea shells." She admired the swath of lace cascading from her needles, a rich interplay of openwork stitches and soothing colors. The genius of the Semi-Tropical Shawl, Megan decided, was its alluring combination of beauty and comfort.

    Continue reading

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  • Me want new "Out of the Loop," the comic for those who love to knit and crochet ...

    We've teamed up with Todd Clark, creator of the ever-popular Lola series, to bring you "Out of the Loop," a regular one-panel comic featuring humorous takes on the world of yarn.

    Enjoy and please share widely!


    toiletseatcover*** *** ***

    Inspired to go retro and knit your own toilet seat cover? We found this Potty Mouth Toilet Seat Cover by Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun pattern - it's FREE and it uses Lion Brand yarn!

    *** *** ***

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  • Hand Carved Amish Looms: The End Of An Era

    32 inch amish loom Amish Loom 19 inch
    32 inch Portable Amish Loom 19 inch Portable Amish Loom

    About 12 years ago I received a call from someone who wanted to help an Amish friend sell his hand crafted looms.  It sounded like an interesting and unique way to use yarn so I decided to get in touch with him.  I was told that Joe was a carpenter who lived and worked on a farm in Mio, Michigan, where the population was somewhere under 2,000.  Joe did have a phone and I was able to call, but the phone was in the barn, since the Amish are not permitted to have telephones in their homes. So I had to call many times and let it ring a lot in order to reach Joe when he happened to be there.

    Joe built his entire home himself, with help from neighbors, and made his living as a carpenter.  As a hobby, he started crafting looms from local wood.  They were beautiful works of art.  Eventually a few of his neighbors started using the looms to make shawls and blankets to sell.  The women who used the looms loved to work with Homespun® because of its silky feel and the fact that it worked so well with the loom.

    Over the years we bought the looms to sell online, although the supply was not always easy to get.  There was the fact that Joe made every single one himself, which meant there was a limit to how many we could purchase, and there were life events that interfered.  One year there was a fire in the barn that put him out of commission for 6 months and one year his wife was ill so he stopped making the looms.

    Joe is retired now, so there won't be any more looms. We're selling the last of the inventory, although we'll definitely be keeping one as a keepsake.  If you'd like a piece of history and a beautiful object crafted lovingly by hand, now is your chance. One of a kind made by one person in the world doesn't last forever.

    (If you're interested in other looms, we have a selection which you can find here.)

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