Friday, December 30, 2011

Knitting Horoscopes for 2012!

Greetings Fellow Knitters,
Herewith is your Knitting Horoscope for the New Year! One thing we can promise for ALL of you-- you'll be getting 2012 off to a MAGNIFICENT start with our Blowout First First Thursday of the Year Sale on January 5th. Stay tune for details!

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19)
Cappy the goat is known for patience, resourcefulness, setting big goals, and reaching them. But reaching these goals can, goat-style, require climbing the mountain slowly. Toward that end, you'll be taking on at least one or two projects this year that will require paying close attention and dedicating untold hours to getting things done. From start to finishing, hang in there-- that cable sweater or lace shawl is worth it!

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18)
The symbol for Aquarians is the water carrier, and those born under this sign are known to be a little kooky (in a good way of course), super-creative, and dreamy/floaty. 2012 is going to be a very colorful year for you Aquarians! Think hand-painted sock yarn, lots of Noro, and maybe even some Knit Collage yarn, too. Plan for a summer of water-carrying now: make a cool felted cozy for your favorite water bottle.

Pisces (Feb 19 – March 20)
Greetings my fishy Pisces friends. You fish are known to adapt well to whatever water you swim in. Sky's the limit for you in 2012. If you can dream it, you can knit it. Don't be surprised if you're drawn toward ocean blues and soothing greens as you explore your own possible sea of possibilities.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Once again it's time to put that hardheaded tenacity and incredible enthusiasm of yours to work in 2012. This is going to be a Super Classy year for you rams, by which we mean plan on signing up for lots of classes. Time to get out of your comfort zone and charge full speed ahead into cables, sweaters, spinning and maybe even some weaving!

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Feeling bullish about a new year of knitting, Taurus? You should be. Time to stampede into the shop and stock up on patterns. This could be the year you get so inspired you start creating your own designs. You'll need to study up a bit first, though. Figure on spending as much time in the book section of the shop as you do over on the yarn side.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Geminis, symbolized by The Twins, will once again find themselves hard-pressed to knit just one of a project. This could find you, once again, knitting socks and gloves and other paired items. More likely though, you'll come across some patterns you love so much you'll just have to make two. Consider this an opportunity to test your color sense-- be playful with color combos. Try the first item in classic color schemes, then go wild with the second one. (We dare you to make a sweater in Manos Highlighter!)

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Cancer you kind and patient teacher, you. You spend so much time guiding others but this year it's time to teach yourself some new tricks. You've been hanging out in your knitting comfort zone for the past year or two. Now it's time to bust out of those boundaries and figure out how to move to the next level. If you're a beginning, why not try learning to turn a heel? If you're advanced, why not plan a trip to Scotland where you can take a workshop with some ancient master knitter?
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Leo you are just going to ROAR into the new year. You'll want to start off with five projects at once and devour them-- such is your nature. This year, though, we challenge you to slow down, loll about, and just focus on one or two things at a time. We're seeing a lot of black and white for you, too-- could this be your love of zebras coming out in the new year? Possibly. Stalk down only what you need for a couple of projects, knock those out, then come on back in for stash building. We'll be waiting.

Virgo (August 23 – Sept 22)
Dear Controlling Virgo,
No big surprise here-- 2012 is going to find you downloading still more apps for your smartphone, apps to help you organize and reorganize your needles and your stash. But you can't knit on an iPhone, at least not yet. You'll need some actual tools to go along with your virtual tools. We see at least one set of interchangeable needles in your immediate future. They are self-organized so they're totally suited to your need for order. Last year you might've found yourself organizing your stash by color. This year, go crazy and come up with a new system-- by weight, by amount, by country. Sky's the limit!

Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22)
Libra, don't ask us why but we are getting the feeling that this year might be the year you take up spinning. Probably has to do with the fact that it'll give you an opportunity to use the scale to weigh out your roving. And also, you can play with more weights as you learn to spin out that roving into different plies. Even if spinning isn't on your immediate horizon, there's a good chance you'll find yourself knitting with roving, using massive jumbo needles. Now that's a weighty experience. Fun, too!
Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Scorpions, you are going to really feel the sting of inspiration this year, and it's a sting that's going to last. You'll have a hard time keeping up with your own desire. You'll see projects you want to knit and you'll come up with plenty of ideas for your own knitted designs. Be sure to keep an ideas notebook close at hand to capture all these amazing ideas. You'll get through lots of them in 2012, but chances are good you'll have plenty leftover to ring in 2013, too!

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – December 21)
Mellow Sags,
Listen up-- we know you're easygoing and like to amble along. But this year, when you hear a little voice urging you to try out something big and bold, heed the call! Try knitting something super chunky, super bright, or both. You'll feel a big pull to knit in groups this year-- listen up to that, voice, too. Sure, you can still fit in plenty of alone knitting time, but think about signing up for classes and groups. Maybe you'll even start your own monthly Knit Night at your place. Who needs book club when you can be knitting with friends, right?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And The Winners Are...

Check out the free pattern for these little stockings at Little Cotton Rabbits
Hey Y'all,
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Sunday! Whatever you're into we hope it's a most lovely day for you. Thanks to everyone who posted comments on our Gift Certificate Giveaway Blog. Down at the store yesterday, we randomly picked one winner for each worker. So instead of giving away just one $25 gift certificate, we are happy to inform you that lots of you won. Below is the list. Come on down to the shop when we open back up and claim your prize. Thanks for participating and congratulations to:

Cyn Danielson
Anne Marie 66*
Tracie Vickers*
Le Ann

Happy New Year from All of Us at Hill Country Weavers,

Suzanne, Kathy, Lindsay, Kennedy, Emily, Connie, Warren, Renate, Spike & Debbie (Stella also says Fleas Navidad!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just a Few More Days 'Til You Know What-- Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Uh-oh, did you procrastinate? Not to worry! We have gift possibilities for everyone on your list-- knitters and non-knitters alike. For example, you could get a pattern and yarn for some lovely something, wrap it up for your beloved non-knitter and include a card promising to make the wonderful knitted whatever really soon. That is definitely a win-win since you get to knit and they can look forward to an after Christmas gift, too.

As for the knitters on your list, including you? Oh there is no end to the possibilities. Have you checked out the book room lately? There are plenty of practical options-- books that break down techniques, include simple or complex patterns, etc. But there are lots of whimsical book options, too. We recommend keeping a stack of both kinds on your coffee table so even when you aren't knitting, you can be scheming about your next project.

Along those lines, we've got Clara Park's new Book of Socks for sock knitters and the Haapsaluu Scarf for lace fans. Stitch dictionaries are always a good idea, and we have best of collections from Interweave, Austentatious Crochet and more .

We've also got lots of great things for stocking stuffers: Lantern Moon tape measures (they come in adorable forms like sheep, peppermints and turkeys), project bags, decorative stitch markers, notions cases, keychain needle gauges & shawl pins.

What if you STILL can't decide? No worries! We have beautiful gift cards you can give so the knitter/crocheter/weaver/spinner in your life can decide come on in and decide what to get.

Stay tuned for our big Christmas Day Drawing. It's not too late to enter. Just leave a comment at this blog post!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Now, Paintbrush Cowl! A Gift You'll Want to Give to You!

Hey Y'all,
Well, as you know there's no shortage of ideas down at the shop. Ideas for gifts you can make for others. And, of course, ideas for gifts you can wish and dream and hope and (gently) beg for for yourself.

Today we're just going to point you in the direction of one of the many, many wonderful possibilities. The Paintbrush Cowl Kit works great as a gift you can make for others AND a gift you can ask for for yourself. Or, heck, just buy two kits and give yourself one-- why wait until Christmas, right?

As you can see, it's gorgeous and it knits up fast and it's got a lovely texture to it. Come to think of it, maybe you'll want more than two.

Oh, and don't forget-- you can still leave a comment in the comments section of our last post-- that makes you eligible to win a gift certificate.

Happy Holidays, Y'all!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hey Y'all,

We do love the holidays, and we love you, too! So here's our special holiday treat-- if you'll post your favorite holiday recipe and/or fiber-related gift idea right here in the comments section of the blog, you'll be entered to win a Hill Country Weavers Gift Certificate. Just click on "comment" and tell us about your great-grandmother's egg nog, your favorite sock pattern, or the gift basket packed with needles & yarn & a swift you're hoping to receive. All holiday-themed comments are eligible. We'll do our random drawing on December 24th and post the winner's name right here on Christmas Day!

Once you've posted your holiday recipes and gift ideas, while you're waiting to find out if you've won, here's a way you can joyfully kill some time with us down at the shop:


Be our Guest as we Serve our Best
The HCW gang will be showcasing their favorite holiday
treats and recipes
so stop by for a nip and a nosh!
(feel free to show off your favorite sweets as well)


Post your favorite recipe for a sweet holiday treat at
the KnitBuzz blog!
You can start submitting your
recipes and patterns
by commenting on this post!


A special thank you to all of you who sang holiday carols
during our
First Thursday Sale!
See some of our favorite on


December 11

11:00 - 1:00


Regular hours through December 17
December 18 11:00 - 5:00
December 19, 20, 21 10:00 - 7:00
December 22 10:00 - 8:00
December 23 10:00 - 7:00
December 24 10:00 - 3:00
Will resume regular hours December 26
(including New Year's Eve, 10:00 - 6:00)


P.S. We're having some difficulty with the comment feature.
If you do not see your comment below please enter it again! Thank you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Boy Did We Get Off to a Great Holiday Start!

Hey Y'all,
Last week, in honor of First Thursday and the Holiday Season, we offered a discount for anyone who sang a holiday tune. We had tons of fun with it-- who knew so many of you could carry a tune? Here's just one sample of the silliness, plus some fun still photos, too. We hope your gift-knitting and holiday shopping are KnitBuzzing right along. Don't forget to come on down and sing for us sometime!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Tis The Season... Actually Every Season is Giving Season for Knitters

Hey Y'all,
How the heck the holidays showed up so soon this year we have no idea. Whether you get excited at the prospect or are feeling overwhelmed, we hope you have a splendid time this coming month and that you get to spend lots of time knitting great gifts.

As we at HCW think about giving this season, we're also looking back at a year that was really hard for some folks. We helped out with a Stash Sale/ Red Cross Fundraiser to show our support for folks devastated by the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Closer to home, y'all kicked in with tons of donations for knitters in Paige/Bastrop where fires destroyed so much land and property. Thanks so much for being part of that!

I recently heard from Jane King, an Austin knitter who founded Friends of Colombian Orphans, a machine knitting cooperative in Bogota. Jane says: "Our machine knitting cooperative in Bogota has been taken over by the administrators of the orphanage. We have been able to therefore let the program manager go (which saves us $300 a month). We pay for the knitting instructor, yarn and machines. Hogares Club Michin (orphanage) has plans to expand the space, so we will be able to buy them more machines. They have also partnered with a recent design school graduate in Bogota who is advising them on what to knit for the Colombian market. AND (this is a big AND) one of our knitters has recently interviewed at a knitting company for a job! We don't know yet if she got it, but the fact that she could interview for a knitting position is huge. knitting buddies in Austin supply me with cool knitted items to sell on ebay and at fundraisers (we just had one in Oxford, England, where we raffled off some cool scarves and hats made by my knitting friends.That's how we raise money."

Chemo cap knitted up in super soft, super fab, super washable Debbie Bliss Cashmerino

Jane also called our attention to another great project you might want to partake in. She says, "On Ravelry there is a group called Hats for Sailors. I've knitted hats for two years now: they are distributed to one or two navy vessels every year. Shanti Sethi is a knitter and a USN gal who commanded her very own ship last year! She asked her mom to organize Rav folks to knit hats, and the hats were given out on Christmas day. It was very cool and so successful, that two more ships were chosen this year."

I've been doing my own little knitting kindness over here-- I just cranked out a couple of chemo caps. One is for a friend who just wrapped up cancer treatment (yay!) but who still has a ways to go before her hair grows out. The other is for a friend who is about to undergo stem cell transplant. He needed a hat that could be washed regularly due to a compromised immune system. I used that as a chance to work with some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino which is ALWAYS a pleasure!

A chemo cap I made to celebrate my friend finishing treatment.

If you have some Knitting Good Deeds going on, please tell us about it. We'd be happy to share your good work with others.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Forget Black Friday Lines-- Make Your Own Gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!
News reports are showing that lots of people are already lined up, waiting to burst through the doors of big retailers for Black Friday bargains. But as you know, a hand knitted/woven/crocheted gift is far lovelier than some old store-bought item. Toward that end, we've tracked down a couple of one and two skein scarf patterns for you. They knit up quick so you can make one for everyone on your holiday list.

There's the Hitchhiker Pattern-- we made one using a single skein of Crazy Zauberball and another using two skeins of Freia Multi.

And there's the Francis Pattern. Emily knitted up one of these in just thirty minutes using some fun yarn from Berroco called Lacey. More great news? The scarf can be made with a single skein.

Enjoy your holiday knitting!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Kind of Needles You Want to Show Up Under Your Christmas Tree

We've got a bunch of cool new needles in stock. No, they don't smell all piney, but they are a lot easier to pick up than evergreen needles stuck in the rug. A lot more useful, too. And they're beautiful.

From KNITTER'S PRIDE we have the Symphonie Dreamz Interchangeable sets, crochet hooks, and a Sock Set of DPNs.

We also have interchangeables from Hiya-Hiya. The Hiya-Hiyas come in two size sets: 2 - 8 and 9 - 15. And you can get them in bamboo or metal tips.

Interchangeables are great-- you can really keep track of what you've got and it's easy to carry with you enough needles to do all sorts of projects when you're traveling so you don't have to pre-decide. (I don't know about y'all but I love to hit up yarn shops when I'm on the road and decide on a project on the spot that suits my travel mood and needs.)

There's been a lot in the news lately about how Black Friday is starting on Thanksgiving Thursday this year. We have a better idea-- don't be part of the madness. Come on in this weekend for a nice relaxing holiday buying session. And remember, it's okay to buy yourself a gift!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Check Us Out in the New Twist Collective!

Hey Y'all,
Twist Collective is an online mag that comes out three times per year. It's a cool concept, a way for designers to have their patterns beautifully produced and make fair money in the deal. We LOVE Twist Collective and we're happy that: a) the new issue is out! and b) we have an Ad on Page Two for our great Prairie Bliss Collection!

Speaking of the Prairie Bliss Collection, we also have a new gallery up on the website that will make browsing all the beautiful patterns even easier.

Follow your Prairie Bliss!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Better Than an Elephant Performance: Our Trunk Show Features Brooklyn Tweed!

Hey Y'all,
Time to hustle on down to the shop -- we have (for a little while) the Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show, featuring Jared's 2011 Brooklyn Tweed Fall Collection. The patterns we have samples for are: Ashby, Bedford Mitt, Flint, Irving, Lockhart, Ninian, Peabody, Rosebud, Tinder and Topiary.

And if you haven't had a chance to check out BT's new yarn, LOFT, well now would be an excellent time. Come on down and feast your eyes and hands on these gorgeous samples.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Knitting: What a Trip!

I've mentioned here in the past how I love to center my vacations around knitting, or at the very least track down knitting shops when I am on the road. I've been to yarn stores in Japan, Argentina, Israel, and all around the United States.

Last month, I took my annual trip to Maine, where I go to knit for a week every year. While I was up there, I took the world's fastest, most abbreviated tour of Swans Island. While there really is an island by that name, I'm referring here to the company that makes amazing blankets. I got to see their looms and their dyeing vats. And I had a good, if too-short, chat with Bill Laurita, one of the partners in the company.

If you'd like to know more about Swans Island, here's a post I did awhile ago, and it features some great pictures. For a history of Swans Island Blankets go here. Or, do what I did... head on up to Maine.

How about y'all? Do you plan knit related vacations? Where are some of the more interesting places you've knitted?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hooray! Brooklyn Tweed Unveils LOFT!! And We've Got Some!

Hey Y'all,
Last September we were so excited to announce the big news that Brooklyn Tweed (aka Jared Flood) had released his first line of yarn, SHELTER. And, also exciting, we were one of just seven stores nationwide carrying SHELTER.

Well here's more BIG NEWS!! As of today, Brooklyn Tweed is offering a SECOND line of INCREDIBLE fingering weight yarn. It's called LOFT and, as the name suggests, it's all floaty dreamy.

Don't get us wrong-- we still LOVE LOVE LOVE Shelter. But LOFT, we have no doubt, is going to lend itself especially well to lighter garments you can wear more often in Austin's CRAZY HEAT.

LOFT rhymes with SOFT for a reason. It's a lovely two-ply and its made from the fleece of Wyoming raised Targhee-Columbia Sheep. LOFT is also SPUN in the USA in woolen mills in Harrisville, New Hampshire that have been around since 1794.

There are THIRTY-TWO COLORS to choose from, a palette created from an ELEVEN COLOR base, so you get this terrific easy-to-mix-and-match opportunity, a promise of cross-range coherence as Jared puts it. Plus, like it's lovely cousin SHELTER, LOFT knits up great at a variety of gauges without losing fabric integrity. So whether you're working on a dense, colorowork piece at 10 stitches per inch, or something lighter and sportier at 6 stitches per inch, LOFT is going to make you very, very happy.

One more bit of great news for those of you who can't make it to the store today and/or those of you who live far away. You can order LOFT from our online store RIGHT NOW. Just click here to go straight to the online LOFT collection.

AND STAY TUNED-- We're going to have a new batch of Brooklyn Tweed patterns really soon!