Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ah, The Good Old Days!

This month, Yarn Market News has a nice feature called The Not-So-New Kids on the Block about knit shops that have stood the test of time. Not surprisingly, Hill Country Weavers made the cut, and Suzanne is quoted talking about the days, way back in 1981, when she and then-business-partner Marta Shannon opened up shop. Back then, they had this vision that they'd spend most of their time weaving in "a very mellow space" while sometimes waiting on customers.


Not to say that folks don't find their mellow when they pop into the store. But making that mellow happen for others meant Suzanne and Marta actually wound up putting a lot more time, effort and sweat into making HCW happen than they originally envisioned they'd need to. The hard work, of course, has paid off and here we are, THIRTY-ONE YEARS later!

A point the article makes that's easy for a lot of us to forget (or not think of in the first place) is that back in the day, starting a yarn shop was a whole different endeavor than it is today. There weren't specialty yarn shops bursting with endless fiber selections the way there are these days. The same article quotes Susan Bateman of the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas talking about when she tried to get a business loan and was practically laughed out of the bank.

Well three cheers for changing times and an abundance of options. And big thanks to all of the early believers who either saw the explosion of fiber arts coming or, perhaps more likely, just did what they did thanks to their own passion. Either way, we all have benefitted tremendously.

Here are some pictures from the '80s, taken from a slim volume of "archives" that Suzanne has-- because that's another difference between then and now. Then people didn't carry around digital phone/cameras and shoot 500 pictures a day. Which makes these already precious photos that much more special.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New for Summer! Shattered Sun Shawl and More...

As true knitters know, just because we're moving toward the triple digits, that's no reason to put down the needles. Sure, working on a full-sized afghan in 100% wool might not be advisable. But check out the new pattern we have for the Shattered Sun Shawl. It takes just a single skein of Sweet Georgia's Cashsilk Lace and would be a great summer project.

Summer is also a great time for sending cards to let your friends know how well your vacation or staycation is going. Toward that end, we've got some adorable notecards from Thomas Joseph. Truly something to write home about!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Musings from Mercury Hall Designer Profile: Carol Spurlock

Today we have yet another installment of our series of profiles of the designers who contributed to the wonderful Musings from Mercury Hall pattern collection. Today we present an interview with Carol Spurlock, who created the Cabaret Swing shawl.

HCW: How long have you been knitting?
I learned at about age 6. My mom considered it a household skill.

HCW: Your favorite part of knitting?
Beginning. I love choosing a yarn and seeing the pattern emerge.

HCW: What got you into design?
I thought I could bring in some income by selling shawls, but didn’t want to be selling someone else’s designs.

HCW: Describe your process.
CS: I knew I wanted to design a crescent-shaped shawl and other designers had already done most of what could be done from the bottom up, so I looked at what I could do from the top down. I scoured pattern books and antique tablecloth designs and charted several options. I love that the leaves have their points down.

HCW: Any funny knitting stories?
Not really, unless you count that the two tops I’ve made for myself have both been shrunk in the wash. I really should know better by now.

HCW: What do you do by day?
I’ve had a series of medical issues that have kept me from working outside the house. I have been gardening this spring and working at getting my health better so I can look for a job.

HCW: What else?  
CS: My Ravelry handle is ‘showingoff’ because I have been accused of doing so when all I do is prefer complicated things. I decided to own it. I do like showing my fo’s to people, but I think everyone likes that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Time for Another First Thursday Sale!!

We want to COLOR YOUR WORLD for spring!

Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's Party!" so we are celebrating!
Save 20% on all handpainted, variegated, and multi-color yarns!

More celebrating? You betcha!

We're celebrating the shout out to MUSINGS FROM MERCURY HALL in Twist Collective!

20% off all yarns featured in Musings From Mercury Hall!

Fibre Company
Classic Elite

First Thursday 
May 3, 2012

*sale does not include kits or already discounted yarns

Not local? Shop our website this thursday for 20% off any yarn purchased online.
Sale starts May 3 at 12:01 am and ends May 3 at 11:59 pm!
Just use code COLORYOURWORLD when you go to checkout.