Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nana's has talent!

Here are more pictures of the Talent Show. Wow. Beautiful things, aren't they?

Joanne C. made this beautiful wrap using FDC Nilo Cotton yarn.
Deloris made this great pullover from Cascade's Butterfly.
Anne B. designed this delicate wrap using Noro's Aurora and Silk Garden.

Ah, the Nantucket. Unbelievably, this beauty was Tracy's first sweater! Made with Tahki's Torino.
Here's Abby's spectacular Circle Vest from the book Silk Knits using Noro's Silk Garden.

Kamaca made these great socks toe up using Lorna's Laces.

Jennifer's cute baby hat was made with Cascade 220 Superwash!
Chris has been making these cool soap sacks from Cotton Rich. Put in a bar of soap and wash away!
Carolyn H. made this beautiful scarf using Tahki's Baby Tweed.
Ann O. created her own pattern to make this lovely poncho using Plymouth's Outback Mohair.

Linda T. made this great sweater from Filatura de Crosa's Nilo cotton. Nancy P. designed this vest and created it using Filatura de Crosa's famous 501 Superwash.
Kristen K. used Cascade's Pastaza to make these darling slippers.
Thank you to all who shared their amazing talents with us! It's been a great time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Talent Show!

As promised, the following are the first in a series of pictures from the Talent Show. I am awed by the talent and I think you will be too. Be sure to stop by to see all of the beautiful things that have been made.

This first lovely sweater was made by Joan P. and is Tahki's Monterey yarn in multiple colors.

Barbara T. created this spectacular intarsia felted bag from Cascade 220 in a class we had last Spring.

Jennifer G. made this sweater from last winter's KnitScene issue and we rewrote the pattern to fit the yarn!

Kathy M. made the elegant Evening in Eden Shawl from Fiber Trends from S. Charles very fancy Ritratto yarn.Isn't everything just beautiful! There will be more pictures next week.

My Huge Clearance Sale starts today and runs through Tuesday, July 23! Buy 2 skeins of specially marked yarn, get 1 free! Select books 20-30% off.

If you don't know about the sale, you're not on my mailing list. Sign up here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another Peanut in the Gallery

My dear friend, Neellie wrote this week's blog in response to my Sports themed blog last week. The floor is all yours, Neellie dear.

Did you ever try to choose between two patterns that you really like and end up buying the material for both? Sometimes in life you have the luxury of not having to choose.

I have had the good fortune to be mentored in both golf and knitting by people passionate and patient enough to share their favorite hobby. However, learning both as an adult I discovered that muscle memory is something best learned as a child or young adult. With encouragement, persistence and lessons, I will prevail and become even more independent.

Just think about it. Both golf and knitting can be learned by children and pursued well into our senior years. We can perform alone or in a group, make friends along the way, participate in charity events, and know that my fulltime job interferes with my pursuit of either. Yet, I’m not good enough at either to pursue it as a profession.

There’s no competition and my practice and repetition only better my skills. There’s the opportunity to strive for excellence: a mulligan in golf and of course, ripping in knitting allow me to try to attain perfection. Really, is knitting a row repeatedly so different than practicing before a round at the driving range? Practice, practice, practice…the mantra of a good golfer and a good knitter. Whether it’s when I finally hit that really awesome drive off the tee or have that “aha!” moment conquering a difficult pattern, I have that same level of excitement. Both can set off that “tuning fork in my loins” (Tin Cup) and keep me coming back for more. Not to mention, I can either wear a really cute ensemble on the links or create one of my own color and texture.

Golf and knitting can both be done at home or on vacation. There’s no limit to the miles we will drive to go to a “really awesome” knit shop or that golf course “you have to play”. Consider setting the alarm clock to pursue either of these activities. My early morning rounds of golf played with dew still on the course can set the tone for my whole day. Who hasn’t gotten up early in order to finish that gift made for a special occasion or to sneak in just a few more rows before work? In addition, both allow me to spend more time with my husband. We actually golf together on occasion and knitting allows me to tolerate his choice of entertainment on television.

Knitting and golfing both span age, economic, race, gender and skill levels. It can be mind numbing to choose a book, magazine or accessory. Each has their own extensive vocabulary and should come with a warning that performance is impaired when combined with alcohol, and may be addictive. But either way you look at it, I’m happy being a chick with sticks.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sports and Other Pastimes

Diane H. came to the Shop the other day and we chatted about the gansey she's making.

"I knit while I watch golf."

"Do you like golf?" I asked, "Do you play?"

"No, but I like Tiger Woods."

"Hmm." I said.

"The scenery is so beautiful and serene," Diane said.

"You know, that actually makes sense. It's not only beautiful scenery, but it's a really quiet sport!"

Which of course got me to thinking...

Sports are typically team efforts and they're always noisy. Baseball, football, and basketball are very noisy sports and they can't be played alone. I like baseball well enough, but I hate football and I can't even be in the room when basketball is on. I can't bear the sound of sneakers squeaking on the wood floor. To me, it's like fingernails on the blackboard.

Tennis is a relatively quiet sport. The announcers never yell like they do in the baseball and football, but those darn tennis players are always grunting! Every time they hit the ball, they grunt, particularly those Williams girls. Can they grunt or what?

And what about do-overs? There's no team sport that I know of that allows do-overs. Sure, you get three chances in baseball before you're struck out, but it's not really a do-over because every swing counts.

How do you play any of these sports without someone else? If no one will play with you, you can't play baseball, tennis, or football. I suppose you can play golf by yourself, but I'm not sure anyone does.

And what about a venue? You can't get in a good round of golf in your backyard and you can't engage in a rousing tennis game without a court.

Which, of course, brings me to knitting! With two sticks and some yarn, you can play to your heart's content. You don't have to beg someone to play with you, you can take it anywhere, and you don't need an arena, a court or a field in which to play it.

Like every sport, it requires planning and strategy. Like golf, it requires practice, calculation and patience. Like baseball, it requires aim and like football, it's centered around goals. And it's quiet! With the exception of the occasional curse, it's one of the quietest sports around. You can play when everyone else is sleeping, you can play in the car and not interfere with the radio, you can even play in the Library where silence is golden.

And most notable of all, it's a sport abounding with do-overs! They're expected, accepted and in fact, if you don't have do-overs, you're considered just a little too big for your britches.

I, for one, think it's the most perfect sport there is.

Don't forget! Bring in your finest work made from Nana's yarn for the Talent Show. You're masterpiece will be on display all month and you will be eligible for prizes to be drawn at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. This is not a contest, but everyone who brings in a project will be eligible to win.

I'm almost finished with the Lacy Kerchief Scarf and it's one of the prettiest things I've ever made. If you've never done lace before, there is still room in the class that begins on Tuesday, July 10 at 6:30. Even if you don't need the class, you've got to make it! It's fast and the yarn is gorgeous, mercerized cotton in the most sumptuous colors you've ever seen. Stop by the Shop to see it. Here are some pictures: