Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let's Go (Yarn) Bowling, Shall We?

Oh boy, we just got in a shipment of gorgeous yarn bowls from Pawley Studios. Not familiar with yarn bowls? They are an excellent way to a) keep your yarn from rolling all over the place and b) make your house even prettier than it already is. These bowls are gorgeous. Check 'em out:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last Buzz of the Year: Don't Miss It!!

Buzzzzzzzzzzzz on by the BUZZ!
It's the last BUZZ for 2010! (we will buzz back January 2011)

October 29
6:30 - ??

Dutch Treat Pizza!

Bring your Appetite
Bring your Friends
Bring you Knitting
Bring your Cricket KnitBuzz (behind hill country weavers)
Call 512-707-7396 to RSVP by 3:00pm Friday
to be included in the pizza order !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Zebra in Time for the Chill!

Hey Y'all,
Valerie just finished a very groovy scarf that she's calling Forever Zebra. I sent her a quick note to ask her for details and here's what she had to say.

Q: Did you come up with the pattern or use someone else's?
V: It's a pattern by Marggarete Dolff, a designer from Bocholt, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, called Zebra Scarf.

Q: Where can we get our hands on the pattern?
V: It can be found in the Yarn Forward Magazine No. 25, June 2010.

Q: Tell me about the yarn?
V: The magazine listed 3 yarn alternatives to what the designer used her scarf :
Save- Kauni Effekt
Spend - Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn
Spoil Yourself - Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball

Q: What did you wind up picking?
V: I decided to treat myself and went with the Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in 2 contrasting colorways. Really happy I did, it was a joy to knit with and fun to see how the colorways worked against each other.

Q: What was the process like?
V: It is all done with short rows which I love to knit. Very easy once you get going and setting up a series of stitch markers helps you not have to ever count, but the first time you do a section. I always look for ways to make the process easy and fun to knit with any project I work on.

Q: At what temperature can you start wearing this?
V: I can start wearing it now. It's very lightweight. And it's always cold at work. I Plan on wearing the scarf tomorrow for the first time since the weather is really suppose to be changing....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just In Time for the Holidays: Spike's T-Shirts

Hey Y'all,
Spike here. Suzanne has graciously agreed to carry my t-shirts at the shop. As you can see, they say TAKE ME BACK TO AUSTIN TEXAS (Right Now). They come in black with white text and white with black text, printed right here in Austin, TX by a local independent silk-screener who used 100% cotton, Made in the USA t-shirts.

I'd love for this to become Austin's new big slogan (with all due respect to Keep Austin Weird, I say it's time for a change). The story behind the slogan is this: When my son, who is about to turn 20, was a little guy, I'd take him on lots of trips. I'd march him all around until he was worn out. On one trip, to NYC-- I think he was about three-- he had about enough of my sightseeing plans and said to me, "Take me back to Austin, Texas RIGHT NOW!" It was a phrase he would repeat often enough, and I took it to mean, "I am so tired and I really want to be home, in my bedroom, playing with my toys." Sometimes, he'd even say it when we were in Austin, which really cracked me up.

I have since adopted the phrase myself and use it regularly. I've had the pleasure of traveling all over the world in the past ten months: France, Argentina, Mexico, Israel and-- closer to home but still outside the city limts-- Big Bend, Marfa, Galveston, and lots of little Texas towns. I love visiting other places for all sorts of reasons. One of them is so I can say, "Take me back to Austin, Texas RIGHT NOW."

These are funny to wear in town. They're also great gifts for students going to out-of-town colleges. Heck, if you ask me, I say they're great gifts for everyone. There's a really limited supply right now. I hope you'll swing by and grab one and be part of the early adopter crowd that helps this slogan take off.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh Yes, That's Right: More Classes!

My Fellow Fiber Comrades,
Tis the season. Weather's cooling, holidays are coming. How about learning some new crafts so you can make yourself cozy garments for our upcoming, two-week winter season and also make gifts for your friends and families for the holidays? Here's some info on upcoming classes. Call the shop to hold your spot.

Learn to Weave
Date: October 23 10-4 & October 24 9-1
a 2 day class Fee: 70.00 plus materials

Learn how to plan a basic weaving project and weave a project on a four-harness table-loom. This two-day class is offered on a Saturday and Sunday and will introduce the student to basic weaving concepts as well as allow them to experience the weaving process.
Instructor: Suzanne Middlebrooks

Knit 101

Oct 27, Nov 3, 10, 17 (a 4 class series)
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Fee: $67 plus materials

Knit 101 is a comprehensive beginner level class designed to teach you the basics you need to get started!
Knit 101 headband
Skills Taught:
  • Cast on
  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • Knit 2 together
  • Bind off
  • Weave in ends
  • Working flat
  • Working in the round
  • Garter Stitch
  • Stockinette Stitch
  • Basic pattern reading
  • Fixing common problems
  • “Right Side” & “Wrong Side”

Learn how to use:
  • straight needles
  • circular needles
  • double pointed needles
  • stitch markers

Knit 101 WashclothClass Projects:

1. Either a headband or a washcloth
2. Your choice of 3 hat patterns
3. A scarf (to be finished after class)
Plus you’ll receive 7 knitting patterns to knit again & again!

PREREQUISITE: No previous experience required.

IMPORTANT: Come early to select yarn for the first class. Class size is limited! Call 512-707-7396 today to reserve your spot.

Wet Felted Nuno Scarves
October 24
2:00 - 5:00

Fee: 30.00

Celebrate the fall in a wet felted scarf class. You will love the outcome of the time you spend having a creative workout through rolling your scarf. If the weather is nice we can work outside.
Your scarf can be made with wool fleece attached to a silk lightweight scarf. This is called "nuno" and you can apply whatever lightweight natural open weave fabric you have to wool fleece. You will need some open weave silk fabric. (If you don't have something like an old scarf in your closet already you can find one at a thrift store.) If you can't find any of this type of silk I will bring some extra fabric.
Another type of scarf will be made with just wool and silk fleece, which is embellished in the felting process. This could be a whole collage of wooly things.
The idea of making wool scarves this time of year may not appeal to you, but the magic of the process more than makes up for the wooliness factor.
You may bring your own fleece or purchase what you need at HCW.
Instructor: Mary Macaulay


October 23/30 November 6

1:00 - 3:00 pm

3 class series

Fee: 60.00

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Brenda has created a class for anyone who has always wanted to learn about crochet, but was "afraid to ask". Join her as you learn basic stitches, pattern reading, and crocheting in the round. Optional final project can be Queen Anne's Lace or Tunisian crochet (aka afghan stitch).

LEVEL OF CLASS – beginner, no experience required

MATERIALS and SUPPLIES: We will discuss yarn at time of class. Student will need Boye crochet hook size H and N.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Stuff Happening This Weekend!

Hey Y'all,
Some great knit-related things are happening this weekend. Actually, they're happening all the time, but today I want to tell you about a couple of classes that are coming right up. But first, I want to tell you about a most excellent opportunity to knit, do a good deed, and enjoy this fine weather all at the same time. I met a wonderful woman named Dana last week when I was down at the shop for the Yarn Crawl. She told me about a public knit event she's hosting on Saturday down at Lady Bird Lake, knitting scarves for the homeless. I'll post that info first and then you can scroll down for info on classes.

Austin Scarf Project
Benefiting Austin's Homeless

Knit in public Sat Oct 16th
Auditorium Shores near the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue

Bring a hat or scarf, create something at the event or just drop by to show your support.
Bring your own lawn chair, refreshments and knit/crochet bag.

We will donate all the contributions to The ARCH for Austin's Homeless.

Visit us on Facebook Austinscarfproject
call 512-217-3082



October 17, 9:45 am - 12:45 pm
Price: $40

Think brioche is just for dessert? Learn to knit this yummy stitch!

In this class you'll learn brioche rib & brioche stockinette while making this beautiful hand towel. This intricate looking stitch is not as hard as it looks—it's just hard to describe in written patterns. Let's take the mystery out of those tricky-sounding brioche directions. After this you'll be looking for more brioche patterns that tickle your fancy. Hint: this stitch has a cuddly texture that makes it perfect for baby blankets and washcloths too!

PREREQUISITES: You must be able to look at the stitches on the needle and know what each stitch is (knit, purl, yarn over, etc.). Yarn overs should be second nature to you before tackling Brioche Stitch.
MATERIALS: 2 skeins of Blue Sky Cotton or other worsted weight cotton and size 7


October 17, 1:30-3:30 pm
Price: $30

Ever heard of a Mobius strip? Seen a knitting pattern for a Mobius? Maybe you've even created a simple one by sewing the ends of a scarf together with a twist? In this class, we're going to do things the hard way! Have you tried to make sense out of Mobius cast on directions? They may sound crazy, but it works when you do it right. In this class we'll walk you through a Mobius cast-on step-by-step while creating a cowl/cape-let that knits up fast and beautiful.

PREREQUISITES: Students must be very comfortable working with circular needles. The Mobius cast-on requires patience--be prepared!
LEVEL OF CLASS: intermediate
MATERIALS: 150-200 yards of Blue Sky Brushed Suri or fluffy mohair yarn, 40" or longer size 13 circular needles, and stitch markers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now THAT Was Fun-- Yarn Crawl Wrap Up!

I headed down to HCW early Sunday morning to bid a bon voyage to the two Yarn Crawl buses that were heading out into the Hill Country full of fiber fanatics. And though I arrived not long after the ungodly hour of 8 am, I was hardly the first to show up. Oh no, things were in full swing. Inside the shop, Lindsay was holding down the fort, stamping passports, and entertaining the crowd gathered around her to get info on their free gifts-- a booklet of patterns designed by the HCW staff and yarn to go with it.

Outside, Pam, Latifa, and Val served as Ground Control, distributing box lunches, getting folks situated on the buses, and fielding an endless stream of questions. Suzanne shuttled back and forth, inside and out. Really, the whole scene was totally abuzz.

Last minute crawlers dashed for the buses already nearly full of early birders. In the end, about 60 enthusiastic stash builders set out with two brave bus drivers to conquer eight hours worth of yarn shopping at shops all over the place.

I captured some of the excitement for those of you who couldn't make it (and for those of you who could, and wish to relive the most thrilling weekend of the year):

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Today is Saturday, Day Two of the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. I just got back from a visit to the shop and believe me it is CRAWLING with folks shopping for yarn, collecting free gifts, and getting their passports stamped in hopes of winning some of the many excellent prizes. I'm going to head back down tomorrow morning at around 8 am to send off the bus that's departing from HCW. I think there might be a couple of seats left so call the store if you want to go on the crawl. It's about shopping, sure, but it's also a thrilling ride through our gorgeous Hill Country with lots of fellow fiber fanatics. Plus, unlike ACL, there's air conditioning.

Not that you really need further enticement, but here are some shots I took today. Just LOOK at all the great stuff there is. I confess-- even though I "just went to take pictures" I wound up with just a little more to add to my own stash. (Noro, of course).

Happy Crawling Y'all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's First Thursday AND It's Yarn Crawl Eve!!

Hey Y'all,
Oh yeah, the Hill Country Yarn Crawl starts TOMORROW morning. But we're celebrating early. Since it's First Thursday HCW is featuring special sales on yarn from folks who donated to our Yarn Crawl Prizes.

Here's the skinny:

Get a jump start on the yarn crawl and meander through the store this FIRST THURSDAY and get a glimpse of things to come. As a special thank you to our Vendors who have generously donated to this year's YARN CRAWL, we are featuring their "goodies" for this month's FIRST THURSDAY!!
Spud & Chloe
Blue Sky
Classic Elite

Fiber Isle
Misti Alpaca
Fibre Company
Be Sweet
Addi Turbo Needles

20% off the above fibers
15% off the above bags and accessories

Remember to sign up for the YARN CRAWL (October 8 - 11)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Get Your Yarn Harvest Knit Kit-- Special for the Yarn Crawl

Hey Y'all,
Can you feel it? Can you? The BUZZ... yes, that's right, we're counting down the minutes til the Hill Country Yarn Crawl kicks off on Friday, October 8th and runs on through Monday, October 11th. I've already told you some of the great things to expect in an earlier post. And I told you about the bus schedule and the prizes you can win in another post. Can you believe there's still more good news? Well, there is.

Some of you might already know about Yarn Harvest, a great company born right here in Austin. In case you haven't heard, Yarn Harvest collects used wool sweaters, unravels them, washes them, weights them to straighten them, then re-skeins the yarn. Yep, that's right they're recycling perfectly good wool that otherwise might end up who knows where.

I met Greg, who heads up Yarn Harvest, awhile back and I've been keeping up with YH's news ever since. The company is just now launching two new exciting products and, guess what? You can get your hands on these new releases during the Yarn Crawl. Yarn Harvest will have a table set up at HCW featuring their new Knit Kits and their new harvested cashmere yarn.

I got samples of both last week. The Knit Kit is SO cute! You get a skein of yarn, a pair of Size 10 bamboo needles, and a tapestry needle. The packaging features patterns for three super easy, fast projects: headband, scarf, or smartphone sleeve-- take your pick. You'll also find fun yarn facts printed on the packaging, a link to online video help and-- SO CLEVER-- a built-in ruler. I knitted up a headband lickety-split and asked my son to model it (see picture below-- aren't they (headband, son, dog) great?) I teach a lot of folks to knit in any given year and until now I've sort of cobbled together a makeshift kit. Now I'm going to just have them pick up a Knit Kit-- it's ready to go and a mere twenty bucks for everything needed to start and finish a cool beginner project. Nice.

The cashmere yarn is a 75/25 cashmere/merino blend, spun by Sustainable Fibers in Elgin. So when you buy Yarn Harvest Cashmere, you're recycling and you're keeping it local. This stuff is super soft. I picked up a skein of blue and it's easy on the eyes, too. In case you miss Yarn Harvest at HCW, you can also find booths set up at ACL Fest and the HOPE Farmers Market, which happens Sundays on the East Side.