Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh my gosh it's the Holidays

Well, It's November 18th. Sounds innocent enough doesn't it. Well folks it's time to panic! Next week is Thanksgiving, followed quickly by Christmas. You were probably aware of that, and somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it too, but now it's really hitting me. I did cut back on my holiday knitting aspirations, but somehow that didn't help and I'm still woefully behind. I will push on though and get my 2 small and 1 big project done. (I'm not saying what they are, so as not to be held accountable if they're not finished) I'm particularly envious of our knitters( you know who you are) who planned well and started in July and are now coasting.
We also have another issue at the shop(besides my whining about not being done) and that is, now in our new shop we have windows. That means window displays!!!. So far it's been fun. Now it's time to put the tree in the window and we have no knitted ornaments. Last year we made a tree for auction for the the Alzheimers Association and all our wonderful knitters pitched in and made hand knit ornaments. WELL, CALLING ALL KNITTERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN FOR THE SHOP TREE. We will provide scrap yarn if you guys will help us knit ornaments again. This Thursday on our regular knit group night we will have treats and eggnog so that we can get you in the spirit and then spring the yarn on you. If you have any scraps your welcome to bring them too. The Lighting on the Square is Saturday so it would be great to have a presentable tree for that night. I know that all our wonderful friends will help us out and it will be a great community knitted tree.
This will be our 1st holiday season in our new store, and though we truly miss our little house around the corner it is exciting to be so visable and to have a fresh new place to make more memories. Hope to see you all soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It has been a really long time since I have written. The last couple of months at the shop have been crazy!. Sarah Jo told you about the move so I will try to update you from there. We are pretty well settled into our new digs and are loving it. The lighting is spectacular and I'm having a great time decorating the windows. The colors in the yarn seem to have taken on a new life and I'm inspired to start a lot of new projects (but please if you see me eyeing any new yarn in the next 6 months please stop me). I have several pieces started, all of which will hopefully work into great displays or workshops for the upcoming year. The highlight of the last couple of weeks was our day with the owners of OZARK HANDSPUN. They brought basketfuls of yarns and garments and spent the afternoon and evening inspiring us. (you can see some of us in the pic). I hope to see lots of hats and other garments on the streets of Fayetteville this winter in the funky and fun yarn. They showed us their new yarn that is a worsted wool that is dyed as a companion to the handspun that we all know and love(in fact it is called OZARK COMPANION. The colors are amazing! We bought several of the colors, so I hope everyone gets the chance to come see it before it's sold out.
Most of our Fall and Winter yarns have arrived though we are still thinking about some new ones. I'm very pleased with all the Harrisville Shetland that we have. It's such a versatile yarn and I like the fact that it's American made. We got quite a few colors and it will be used by Jane for her shadow knitting workshop. One of my ongoing projects is the Winged Shawl in Harrisville, designed by Vivian Hoxboro. It's on the back burner right now because of the all the other projects I'm working on, but everytime I see the one in the window that Jane did I'm determined to finish mine.
Next week I will be going to Colorado with my husband so I plan to check out the shops in Boulder and Minturn and see what they are doing in that part of the world. I let you know when I get back, Meantime Happy Knitting.

Friday, October 3, 2008

We Moved!!!!!

Hand Held has moved to 15 N Block --- to an actual store! Not that the house wasn't darling, but now we have display windows and fantastic lighting, so You can actually see the beautiful yarn.

It was a strenuous move, but there were lots of great helpers (thanks!)

Our new hours are 10-6 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10-4 on Saturdays, and 10-8 on Thursdays. Monday night knitting has been moved to Thursday nights.

Sasha has adjusted well, and really enjoys napping in the front windows and greeting customers, as always.

We're having a grand opening Celebration all day on Thursday, October 16th. We look forward to seeing our faithful friends, as well as meeting new ones, at our new location. Join us there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The power of friends, family and knitting

Good news! Saturday night my son was in a car accident near Denver where he lives. He has been in ICU since then - I arrived on Tuesday to join the on-site vigil. Everything, so far, is progessing in an amazing way. I'm so impressed with the medical expertise, the team effort, the miracle of the human body and the will to survive. He is on lots of pain medication and sedated in order to be on a ventilator (bruised lungs) but he had no general anesthesia today and he is actually communicating as of this evening. He was opening his eyes and acknowledging us, trying to smile with his jaw wired shut and mouthed "I love you". We are so encouraged and hopeful that this just keeps getting better and better.

Knitting saves me through all these fearful times. I ask questions, take notes, pass information on the others that wait and I wait and knit. Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let's Dye!

This is from Juliann, the dye lady here at the shop. We are having a dye workshop on June 22, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. Last year we had so much fun. We played with Gaywool dyes, and did a little bit of Kool-Aid. This year we are going to play with a new dye called Culinary Colors. It is an easy dye to mix and does not make a huge mess! It is set in a microwave, and is kitchen friendly! I will set up a crockpot for some Kool-Aid, but we will spend our time with Culinary Colors.

So please sign up now and get on the list. We will be having a great time playing with color, eating, laughing, and making ourselves turn special colors. Be sure to bring rubber gloves and an apron.

And be prepared to HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Quick Note

Just a little note about the World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday,June 14th (also Flag Day). We don't have anything formal planned but if anyone feels like coming to the shop and knitting outside in our yard they are certainly welcome. We have some chairs though if the weather is wonderful and the word gets spread you might want to bring your own chair or a blanket. Again we don't have anything planned but the lawn is open. I hope to be back(if I get out tomorrow) from New Orleans. Of course the airlines might screw me up again( today I got to the airport for my 11:50 flight and it was delayed and we couldnt find the right connecting flight so I ended up at home). Don't you just love flying these days? It just makes a person just sit at home and knit. Well I'm off to bed as I have to get up at 4:30am to make the flight they promised me for tomorrow. Wish me luck

Our entire line of Mirasol yarns are now 25% off!

Are you familiar with the Mirasol line? Well, it's a neat story and wonderful yarn. So, we bought into it - too much so. But, it's to your advantage on many levels - price, quality, designs and giving back.

Here's the deal - it is luxurious Peruvian fibers, cotton, merino, baby llama and alpaca, spun and dyed in Peru. A portion of every purchase is dedicated directly to the funding of a school in the remote Munani region in Peru. Go to http://www.mirasolperu.com/ for beautiful photos and more details of this fairtrade endeavor. Jane Ellison is the designer for the line and has created some wonderful pattern books - she is highly envolved in the project. "Miralsol" is the name of one the children that lives in the highlands. She and her brother are responsible for 350 alpacas and a local school will enable them to get an education.

We have five different yarns in good quantities and two pattern books. And we are selling it at 25% off. We will have it in our webstore this week so you can see colors and of course at the store store so you can touch it -
Miski is 82 yards of 100% baby llama on sale for $6.67,
Sulka is 55 yards of 60% merino and 20% silk on sale for $5.81,
Hacho is 137 yards of 100% hand dyed merino on sale for $6.67,
Cotanani is 90 yards of 60% pima cotton and 40% merino on sale for $5.36 and
T'ika is 91 yards of 100% pima cotton on sale for $5.36.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New for Fall!

First, I'd like to say, "be in the present and enjoy summer." But, because life never stops, Colleen and I are planning some fall activities that we hope you’ll really like - we're excited. And we’re buying our new fall inventory!

Here are a few of the details so far- Our favorite sales rep visited this week. And as far as the Rowan line is concerned - we're on it! Kim Hargraves is designing fabulous stuff for them and even has her own colors in about six of current the yarns. She has a new book out for Summer which is on it's way and two new for fall. We're replenishing our Cashwool colors and got bunches of lucious Kid Silk Haze. The preview of the fall magazine looks wonderful.

Stephanie had real live Prisim models that we got to try on. The two models were sooo wearable - a swing jacket that covered the derierre and a boxy jacket with curved front panels. We are debating about the line - it is very unique, high-end, luxury hand dye line. See http://prismyarn.com/ which does not do it justice. What do you all think of this line of yarn? How would you like a fashion show and kit sale evening? Any feed back is welcome.

Next, Mission Falls is introducing their wonderful washable wool in a lighter DK weight. We are getting it in all the current colors with a new pattern book. This weight will be so good for our climate and for children's things! Can't wait for that to come in.

Also, we have some ideas for classes and workshops. The Sunday workshops have seemed to work for you all so, we'll be doing more of those. Look for this one - a workshop on the corelation between Good Health and Knitting, yoga for sitters/knitters and how to use the incredible website Ravelry to your advantage and connect to the knitting community "out there".

Another class idea we are planning is a fantastic designer project that uses up your stash yarn. Good, huh? 'Cause you might have some yarn stashed away and might have some small amounts of cool stuff that you don't know what to do with. So, you and a few folks with similar issues, could get together with us and knit Chris Bylsma's fabulous Crayon Box jacket - mitered squares of combined yarns, in colors you choose that is so fabulous. She even has a girl's sized version.

And, we are going to do a Christmas stocking class using the very cute, popular Minnow Knits pattern. If you have never knit socks this is a great intro - first off, it is only one large gauge stocking, not a pair and second you do a real heel flap and turn!

Cynthia Parker is going to teach intarsia knitting - a beautiful Kaffe Fassett knock off pillow top and Jane Foster is going to show us shadow knitting ala Vivian Hoxbro.

Sound like a good start? Let us know what you think and if there is anything more we can do for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hi, All. We've been really slow in posting about our fabulous Knit Out that we had May 10. Lots of us showed up to knit in public and we attracted some good attention. We have photos and everything. It started to rain for the last 1/2 hour but, we had great fun. The other neat thing is we gave away door prizes by selling raffle tickets for $1. The money we raised, in 1.5 hours mind you, was over $100 for local Meals on Wheels program. We found it very sad that the program can no longer provide meals on the weekends for folks due to lack of funding.

I had an idea - it is quite half baked and needs some work. It may not even be possible to access the names/addresses of the participants but, what if neighbors/neighborhood associations/neightborhood churches could pick up some of the slack? I would be willing to make sure one of my neighbors had, at least, peanut butter and crackers to eat. What do you all think?

Also, how about we knit together again on Saturday morning, June 14, Fayetteville Square for World Wide Knit In Public day?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A. N. Avery

Hello, fellow Hand Held knitters!

My name is Nicole and I've been wandering in and out of Hand Held for about a year and a half now. My grad school program (MAT) is finally over and school is officially out for the summer, so I can once again get my knit on without too much interruption. In addition to a deep and abiding love for my knitting, I also enjoy reading just about everything and blogging about what I'm reading and what I'm knitting. Please take some time and stop by my knitting blog Sticks and Tomes. Feel free to comment on any of the posts. You can navigate around by clicking on the links under the "Categories" section or select a type of project from the "Sticks and Tomes Tags." I'll also be making appearances here on the Hand Held Ladies blog since they were kind enough to allow me on as part of their writing contingency.
My summer project is Nora Gaughan's Tilted Duster from Knitting Daily. I officially cast on this morning and I'm already loving it! The yarn feels wonderful between my fingers and the color variation is intriguing. There will be more pictures as the jacket grows, but for now, here are a few starters:

I hope that your summer has started off well and I hope to see you around the shop some time. I'll be the mysterious woman with the bag of purple yarn... Cheers!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh what a lovely afghan

This is one beautiful Great American Aran Afghan. A picture can't do it justice but we had the privledge of having Nancy bring it down to the shop to show us. We remember when she started it 2 years ago and of course all of us said we wanted to knit one at the time. But only Nancy perservered and it is well worth it. It has gotten me inspired again and I hope that in the the not to distant future I will start. As you can see Sasha likes it too. She just had to lay on it. She circled the table several times and we wouldnt let her on it, but when we had our back turned she slipped in and hunkered down. Needless to say she was very disappointed when Nancy took it home. It is wonderful to see what some of our local knitters have done and as I said inspirational. We hope that all of you our there don't get discouraged on any of your projects and give them up. Sometimes just putting them aside for a bit can give you the perspective you need to get back to it.
Now that I'm done waxing philosophically I will celebrate Spring. Finally it seems we are there. The dogwoods are beautiful and the recent freeze hasn't seemed to cause too much damage. We had a great day at the shop Sunday knitting our market bags and though it was pretty chilly that day and the next, I can see all of us on the Square soon with them at the Farmers Market.
Speaking of the Square I want to remind everyone to come to the 2nd annual Knitout on the Square on May 10th. We had such a great time last year and I'm sure it will be just as much fun this year. Just bring your knitting and a chair and meet us in front of the town center at 10am.
We are so pleased to have others adding to our blog. It's great to have customers who have become knitting friends and are willing to add their voice to our own in promoting this wonder ful craft. It's amazing how diverse the group is. We even taught our UPS man to knit with his wife last week. There's always something to learn in knitting! So jump right in and start that new project and come see us.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

brave and bold knitters

So I'm a knitter, as one might expect. I learned the basics in high school from my mother, and then kind of let it slip through most of college. I did a scarf or two and a hat my first year, and then would pick it up sporadically thereafter, but I was too lazy and intimidated to get past marking thumb stitches on a mitten.

Then I graduated, went to France to teach English, and found myself with a lot of time on my hands to sit in the teacher's lounge between classes. So I started knitting again. Just easy little ribbed hats, because I had a limited stash of needles and yarn (the yarn shop near my house had mostly acrylics and novelty yarns). When I got back to the States, I was itching to knit for real, and fortunately, Mom had discovered the Monday night knitting at Handheld. The pink shrug above was my first big project. I'd never knitted lace before, but I thought, okay, I'll try it; after all, I loved the sample that was hanging up in the shop. Instead of the suggested yarn, I used some anonymous fuzzy pink stuff that I'd inherited from my grandmother's sizable stash of weaving yarn. The other knitters at Handheld were immensely helpful, cheering me on through the whole process. Even as they're trying patterns I'm still only dreaming of, they make me feel accomplished and brave. Monday night knitting is now permanently written into my schedule; more than once, I've turned down other engagements because I can't miss it.

Hooray for the knitters of Handheld! And, of course, the yarncat.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Introducing Sarah Jo

Hi! This Sarah Jo! Hmm... about me? Well, i love to knit! i learned at Hand Held 4 years ago and i've been exploring the wonderful world of knitting ever since.
The photo is of me in my latest big project (which i normally don't do - i like little stuff): a formal dress for a dance in May. i sort of made it up because i couldn't find a pattern i liked. Thankfully, it worked out.
i am willing to try anything once, as far as knitting goes, and i'll usually follow the pattern the first time, but i'm big on modifying to taste.
i inherited a monthly Teen Knitting Group at the Fayetteville Public Library (third Thursday of every month from 5-6:30pm, beginners welcome) where novices are taught, intermidiates can expand their skill, and all the experts pitch in and confuse the first two groups with good advice and lots of "help".
Oh, i can also crochet (my great grandmother taught me) but i prefer knitting. Unless it's a coaster or some other round, flat object - then i prefer crochet.
So now i work at Hand Held two days a week and love it! i'm learning everything i can and getting lots of practice and good advice.
And that's me. But not the end.

Monday, March 31, 2008

one of my favorite places, and some of my favorite people

I'm so pleased that I've made the time to join the knitting nights at Hand Held. I enjoy seeing what everyone is making, I almost always learn something, and we laugh-- which doesn't come up as often in life as I'd like. Oh-- and they have among the books some of Elizabeth Zimmermann's! My favorite knitting author. Thanks!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

sasha modeling baby cap

Though it doesn't look like it Sasha rather enjoys the attention. One of our Monday night knitters needed a model for her darling baby cap and Sasha jumped right in.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hello from Colorado

I'm in Colorado with parts of my family and am having a relaxing and somewhat productive knitting time. The rest of my family are expert and obsessive skiers so that leaves perenially beginner me much time to myself. I have my projects laid out on the footstool in the living room and will begin a morning of knitting soon. I cant wait. I do have to take my daughter up the lifts this afternoon(she's sleeping in) and will do a bit of town wandering but it then is back to the needles until my husband and I go to dinner tonight at our favorite restaraunt. Sounds like heaven doesn't it? I've started my market bag project that we are very excited about at the shop. Depending upon the outcome we will do a class on it later in the Spring. I found this great pattern in Bag Style that screams Farmer's Market so we hope that everyone who is being ecologically smart will knit one and take them to the Farmer's Market this summer. I'm so excited about all the colors of pima cotton we have in that I may have to have several.

Speaking of Spring. I can't wait for it this year. I'm sure I'm not alone. It's been a cold, unpredictable, and icky winter here and though that makes for good knitting it's feels like it's time to move on. We are getting lots of new Spring yarns and have many plans for all of it.
I hope that everyone visits us soon and sees that knitting isn't only for the winter.
Of course socks are a year 'round project and we are getting more sock yarn than we have ever had and plan to be a Hot Sock location for several of the different brands this spring and summer. You will be reading about this in the upcoming Knitter's magazine.
I guess I ought to get to some of these projects be for I get so far behind that I don't have anything to write about. Happy knitting from Colorado.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Great Day at The Shop

Like they say, "a bad day at the shop is better than a good day at the office". I love my job! I had a little time to think today since the sale is over and Sarah Jo is helping us out! So, if you come in to get some yarn before the predicted weather hits you'll probably meet Sarah and see a few sale yarns that are left TOTALLY marked down for your bargain of the day! Sarah is a great little knitter and so enthusiastic. She keeps the Teen Knitting Club organized at the Fayetteville Public Library and has taught at the Arts Center on Sang Ave.
Since I posted last, I haven't knit a stitch on the Dale of Norway Fair isle baby sweater, but finished my Koigu modular vest and a Mission Falls Trinket Bag (for this Sunday's workshop, started a men's Gansey out of Louet Gems worsted and made great progress on a Wagtail lace shawl.
I'm including a photo of some customers' finished products, too! A gorgeous Rowan Denim Gansey being sewn up and the classic Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted Cardigan. It is her own design. I love the cable detail and the metal buttons. Great jobs!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not doing too good...

I'm not doing very well on my New Years resolution to write every week on our blog and to post pictures. I can give you a lot of excuses but I won't. I'll just try harder. Nothing has slowed down in the New Year. Things are hopping at the shop. We are having a winter clearance sale this week and despite the " Icky" weather we have seen a lot of people. I always get excited with a sale thinking about what we can fill those empty shelves with. We have sock yarn from Mountain Colors on the way(bearfoot) and are looking at others. I would like to get more small mill things this year as well as some local goods. I'm also excited about the fiber festival being planned for this fall. Some lovely and industrious people are heading it up and have asked us to be involved in it. If anybody out there is interested let me know because I can tell it's going to be well planned and wonderful. I'm not sure what role the shop will play but we will do what we can to be part of it.
My husband and I took a short trip to Taos NM this last week (my first) and talk about being in "fiber heaven" La Lana Wools was inspiring and made me want to spend more time on all aspects of my craft. I came home with angora from a bunny named Chloe to spin and some fabulous handspun silk to make socks. I was so overwhelmed that I had to go back twice to just drink it all in. Besides that I spent a couple days just walking around the historic district and eating (way too much) My husband skiied and we spent our evenings in front of the copper fireplace in our room at a wonderful bed and breakfast. We plan to go back at another time of the year so we can get the full flavor of this charming Southwest diamond.
Well I promise again I will get this picture things figured out and start posting some of the shop and all that's going on there. Of course when we had our spinning workshop I was so caught up in it I forgot to take any. We are having a superbowl day on Feb. 3 and I will make up for it then. Got to go; I hear the dog drinking out of the toilet.

Friday, January 4, 2008

new Year, New Resolution

It's been awhile and I'm feeling the guilt. My promise to our readers is to blog at least weekly and let you know what's going on in our knitting world down here at Hand Held. I also will get this picture thing down and hopefully make this a much livelier sight. (Are you still with me?). Not a lot going on down here, though it's nice to see that people are moving on from their holiday knitting. Now is the exact right time to be knitting with the crazy weather and some slow down in our lives. We are very excited about the introduction of our once a month Sunday workshops and are especially looking forward to this Sunday's spinning time. I promise I will take pics and post them soon. We are anticipating a good turnout and think that this will be a good time to start carrrying more roving and spinning supplies. We also hope to start carrying more local fiber, as that is another one my New Years Resolutions. Well time to get that spinning wheel in the care and down to the shop. I'll let you know how it all goes.