Friday, July 25, 2008


I look forward to Thursdays because it's my day off to do what I want to do, all by myself, if you know what I mean! I had errands to run and then I took myself shopping. After walking around for awhile, I realized the time and said "oh, just one-half hour more." Well, that half-hour came and went and I couldn't leave because of the heavy rain. So, back to shopping and I want to let you know what I found.

Have you ever walked right by something and it called your name? That's what happened to me. As I was trying to kill time I found something that said "hey Ginny, come here, you can knit with me!" Well I listened to my colorful friend, who happened to have a lot of colorful friends by him, and proceeded to pick out what I needed, or what I thought I would need to make a knit project bag. I stopped knitting to write this blog to you all because I am having so much fun knitting my Clothesline bag. Yes, you heard right. What I'm knitting with is clothesline. It happens to look like I-cord, so I couldn't resist trying it out---and guess what, it is working out b-e-a-u-t-f-u-l-l-y!

So, wherever you go, keep your eyes AND ears open--you'll be surprised what you may come across. If you check our WALL OF PURSE-AN-ALITY you will see a white with silver eyelash purse---and it was knitted with white nylon twine. Why not!!? It looks very much like the original that's made up, except for the silver eyelash. The possibilities are endless.
If you have knitted OR crocheted with something that is NOT yarn, let me know. Just respond by clicking onto the COMMENTS section after the blog!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Most of what I'm writing is from experience, so I want to share with you what I normally tell my customers NOT to do! We have a program called SWEATER WIZARD and unfortunately I don't use it enough. Well, one of my customers, Linda Vespi used to work for a yarn shop in North Carolina and they used it a lot. So I decided to take her advice, plug in a repeat pattern and make a child's tank top. (Didn't want to knit too much---just wanted to check to see IF the computer program was going to actually work with a "repeat pattern.") Most of my knitting is done at the store, since my umbrella cockatoo, Angel, doesn't allow me to have lights on while I watch TV at night. I stopped in the middle of a row, left my work for several days, and when I came to knit again, all the stitches that were on one needle came off!!!! You should NEVER stop in the middle of the row for a few reasons: the first one is the obvious--stitches can come off, secondly, you may not know what row you're on and may knit in the opposite direction (almost like short rowing) and you wind up with a hole at that point. So, if you're really tired and you think you can crank out "one more row" --- don't. Leave it for the next time you pick up your "2 sticks." You will be refreshed to start a new day's knitting. You're not supposed to walk in the middle of the road, so don't stop in the middle of your knitting!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hook or by Crook?

Thanks for all the comments, either via e-mail or by blog on how you like the articles. In viewing my e-mails, suggestions were made that I shouldn't forget the crocheters. Fellow crocheters, I wouldn't dare think of forgetting you. Do you know that in certain stores, so I have been told, they don't carry crochet, but they do carry knitting. I'm sure you all know that we carry both. Because in my book, you can't have one WITHOUT the other!! One BIG reason is: if you KNIT, you MUST know how to crochet...and I 'll tell you why. There are times when a knit project may call for you to single crochet around the neckband, sleeve band, and down the front of a sweater. Ya gotta learn how to do it!!! Let's say you knitted a baby afghan, but you knitted it in stockinette only. Well we all know that stockinette curls up like a baby, so how do you get it to uncurl? Crochet a simple shell stitch around it. The afghan now looks like a million dollars. Don't know how to do it? Check our class schedule on our website OR look at our last newsletter we sent you--the class schedule is there.

So here's my hint for our crocheters, but I first have to tell you a little story. Many years ago, before I bought my shop, I wanted to crochet a Christmas ornament I found in a magazine. I hadn't crocheted in a lonnng time, so I went to mother-in-law. Her advice to me was: "Ginny, the way you read crochet patterns is from comma to comma. You don't read it like a book."
So, my advice on reading crochet patterns is what Mom taught me. Once you read it the way I was advised, you will read AND crochet like a pro. You can't take a cake recipe, throw all the ingredients into the bowl and expect the cake to come out right-----right? You read a recipe from comma to comma---cream the butter, then add the eggs, add flour and salt, etc.....
See--crochet is a recipe to read. You have your hook (by crook) and you add your heart, your soul, and lots of love.....but from comma to comma!!!

Happy Stitching, fellow crocheters!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To Gauge or Not to Gauge...that is the Question!

GAUGE.....most knitters or crocheters DON'T GAUGE. Why? I don't know. We have customers come into the shop and say 'my sweater didn't fit' OR 'why is this baby sweater so small?' Well, the answer is they didn't gauge their work. Steve took a crochet class last year and the question was posed to the teacher: "Is gauge important?" Her answer was: "If you want it to fit!!" Sometimes it's easier just to take the 2 sticks or the hook and stitch. But..will it fit? Get out your crystal ball and ask it because no one is going to know if it will until it's done. may be sorry that you didn't take the time to gauge it! So...what is gauge? For those who don't on! For those who do know...READ ON too!! Your project may read: 20 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches or
20 single crochets and 24 rows = 4 inches. Take the time to gauge it. The proper way to achieving gauge is to hang your swatch on a clothesline or onto something similar. Why? Because you don't wear your sweater lying down, so you don't check a gauge that has been sitting on a table. Others say that it should be washed AND dried so that you can see what happens to the yarn AFTER it has been laundered. Both make sense. Well, the choice is Gauge or Not to Gauge...will it FIT????

Monday, July 14, 2008

Frog-It (aka Rip-it, Rip-It, Rip-It)!!

I'm a believer that there's a reason why things happen. Several years ago, Steve (my husband) and I were on a plane to California to go to our winter trade show. Of course I had 2 sticks and lots of yarn!! I was working on the back of a bulky cotton sweater when I noticed that 3/4's of the way down I made a big boo-boo! So, instead of getting rabid mad, I frogged it: (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it). As Steve was winding up the scads of yarn that I unknitted, I realized I should of had a V-8!!! Instantly revelation set in! All I had to do was go to my boo-boo, take the stitch off the needle, rip it down and reverse the stitch. But....I had to learn, and really, it wasn't the hard way. I feel that a mistake is not always a bad thing--it's a learning experience. What I like to tell my customers is 'let this be the worst thing that ever happens to you.' So, my friends think of your boo-boos as being a teacher--you get to learn on your own sometimes, plus, Steve says that you get to knit again without it costing you any more money!!
Check out my website: for classes and more!