february 15 blog (late again)

i have been crazy busy with classes here at the shop, getting prepared for the upcoming pittsburgh knit and crochet show in march, and taking online felting classes.    also trying to keep up with the shoveling and today trying to knock huge icicles off the roof tops!

well, i got my maple trees tapped.  that’s a relief because
 i missed it one year due to warm temps in january.  the temps have to be above freezing in the day and below freezing at night for the sap to be running. i will be collecting sap at least this upcoming week and if the weather turns cold again, i will have to get the sap cooked up before it starts to run again, as you can only store it so long.

most people don’t know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.  REAL syrup i mean – NOT pretend syrup.  now you know why its so darn expensive.  to me, it is worth every second of trudging through the snow twice a day to empty buckets and carrying full five gallon buckets that weigh at least 40 pounds back up to the house.  the best part is cooking it down, which needs to be done outside over an open fire, as it takes about an entire day for the water to evaporate and for it to cook down to syrup.  well that’s probably more than you wanted to know.

back to shop business:  i’m really excited about the upcoming knit and crochet show.  please mark you calendars for march 14-16 and try to make your way to the 4 points sheraton north.  check out their website at pghknitandcrochet.com for more info as well as class information.  it is well worth the trip!

70 never looked so good!

lets start with second half february birthdays:
holly h (feb 16); cathy r (feb 17 a BIG BIG one);
trish f (feb 17 NOT a big big one).  cathy r was at
the shop for a knit along on the 17th, so we sang
happy birthday to her and had a little boston creme pie.

                                                                         
                                                                         
my first KAL (knit along)!

cathy, maia, ardis, and beth are working on a baby sweater pattern which is virtually seamless.
pictures in march when everyone’s is complete!

WHAT’S NEW?
i just received a shipment of nicky epstein’s “knitting in circles” hardcover book.  this book retails for $29.99 and sells on amazon for $23.78.  however, i am selling this book for $20.  this book contains 100 circular patterns for sweaters, bags, hats, afghans, and includes twenty of nicky’s original designs.   you gain an understanding of the fun and possibilities a knitted circle can offer.

ALSO NEW is some luscious roving i received just today from the lavender fleece in michigan.  my friend, laurie ball-gisch, raises icelandic and leicester long wool sheep, which i am happy to say, i will be getting lambs from her this summer (one of each).  her well cared for flock produce a most luxurious wool.  pictured below:  the white in the back is a blend of icelandic lambswool, alpaca, and silk; the royal purple ball in the middle comes in leicester long wool as well as icelandic (laurie dies them herself); and the white with yellow in the forefront is icelandic lambs wool mixed with mohair.  they are so soft to the touch – they feel like a cloud.  all of these wonderful rovings felt like a dream!

cathy rosensteel’s ‘confident color’ class was so
educational. we learned how colors work
together – what does and what doesn’t go together and WHY!  this is a great class for all your knitters out there who have that problem.  cathy is going to offer this class again soon once the weather breaks and will be offering a sequel to the class as well having to do with design.  stay tuned for more info!

NEW CLASS COMING SOON:

FINISHING WORKSHOP*
at LONG LAST!  this class is designed to help those who have a completed garment but are afraid to finish it!!  OR you are afraid to start a project you will have to finish!  you will learn to give garments a professional seam, how to pick up stitches, gauge, blocking, and more.
instructor:  nancy premoshis
cost:  $25
materials:  complete list will be given at registration
when:  wednesday march 26 OR wednesday april 2 from 1 to 4 (choose ONE date)
where:  raggz

UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER:
wednesday feb 19 class:  on again/off again*
wednesday feb 19 close knit girls meet at panera
thursday feb 20 purlin girls meet at the bean
tuesday feb 25 1-6 knitters anonymous at the shop
wednesday feb 26 1-4 class:  from wool to wonderful felted lights*

*as always pre-registration and prepayment is required to hold a space in the class.

this is a picture of a beautiful vest monte made for her beautiful daughter, wendy, in colorado.  monte knitted it with Brae Tweed yarn by Knit One Crochet Too.  it is so lovely and is the same seamless vest pattern most of the purlin girls were using with the plymouth bonsai.  but of course monte had to add her own flair to it.  i’m sure wendy just loves it!

just to give you a heads up, due to the frenzy i figure i’ll be in getting ready for the show – what to take, how to display what i take, packing, pricing, etc etc etc, the SHOP WILL BE CLOSED MARCH 1 and will reopen friday march 21st.  i hate to miss out on two fridays and a tuesday afternoon, but i will be using my dining room area of the shop as a prototype for my 10×10 set up at the show.  you are welcome to give me a call and pop in if you need something but we just won’t be sitting around the table as we usually do on fridays.  sorry for any inconvenience but we’ll get back on track on the 21st hopefully.  i hope i have sold soooo much that the shelves will be bare and i will be busy re-ordering!  (wishful thinking).
below are a few photos i wanted to share with you all of various happenings:
maia modeling diane’s recently finished scarf with about a foot of yarn left over!!!!!!
marlene and another of her beautiful creations!  she said she is SICK OF WINTER and is hoping by dressing in springy clothes, it will coax winter to go away!
thea was nice enough to make a sample of Noni’s Lipstick and Change kit.  isn’t it adorable?
a tunic i made for myself.  i’m thinking of offering this as a knit along in the near future – this is a great spring project.  mine is knit out of JoJoLand Fantasia super wash and is very soft and comfortable and very washable!  
this is called ‘upwolfing’ and is a dutch method of felting.  i stumbled upon it and had to try it out.  check it out in person at the shop.  i am currently working on a few other samples as well.  very unusual!  i was so excited when i finished it and showed it to tom and he said ‘what do you do with it?’  i had to laugh because i don’t know!  i suppose it will be a wall hanging!  i’ll figure something out…
ok that’s all for now ladies.  please check out the class schedule on the website:  raggzfiberart.com
for more info.  looking forward to seeing you all very soon!  i hope the next newsletter will include photos of lambs and kids!
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