Playing With Yarn Looking Ahead
End of 2009 and looking towards 2010

Plan Now!

Galina will be here Sept 16 - 19, 2010
We have people signing up already
so if you are
thinking about
making this the year to study lace with Galina Khmeleva it's time to get your name down.

A Christmas Blizzard
   Our Christmas came and with it the 5th biggest snow fall storm in Duluth's history going back to 1850. Away from the Lake the totals ranged from 24 to 26 inches of snow. Along the Lake we didn't get the huge amounts of snow but we also got rain - then ice. Christmas still came of course, but we didn't get to celebrate it with family. Instead it will be New Year's Day for opening gifts, eating and jigsaw puzzle doing.
    I don't know how many knitters are finishing up knitting Christmas gifts but I am. Daughter Elisabet may have her scarf by New Years' Day. But daughters Marion and Penny will have to wait until theirs are knit and blocked. I am doing some beaded, lace scarves in Zepher Laceweight from Fiddlesticks - a wool/silk blend. I am using #10 seed beads and a Clover Soft Touch  #14 0.050 mm
crochet hook to place the stitch through the bead. They are not difficult patterns and they are not all that time consuming to knit but they kept getting pushed to the back burner of knitting projects and got left to the last to do.

   I had some Christmas socks to knit on commission, something that I try not to do much of as I just don't have all that much time from shop models and family gifts. Then I had some last minute grandchildren requests for slippers. Lucky for them the Monday Night Group had decided to knit the Knit Wits Elf booties as a group and I could whip out a couple of pair of those. Natalie had requested another pair of 'TV Slippers'. She has outgrown the last pair that were actually her older sister's and had been passed down to her and will now go to Little Bo in Texas. The yarn that I had used really held up and is no longer available - I do have some left but not in the white that she wanted - so I found a substitute yarn. I put ears, more and eyes on them so they look like mice or what ever animal the child wants to think that they are and that's what Natalie had requested. In my youth, in the 50's, we called them
TV slippers, other people may have called them something else. But they are easy and fun to knit. So I quickly knit up a pair for Natalie.

  Then because Natalie loves baby dolls, I decided, at the
last minute, to knit and crochet doll clothes for a 5" itty bitty Baby for her. We carry the dolls and pattern books here. I had such a good time creating the doll's wardrobe. The doll and all of her clothes fit into a shoe box size locking plastic container from Target. It was so fun that only the need to get it into Christmas wrapping paper stopped me from doing more clothes.
     In the shower one morning I thought what a good project it would be for people to get one of dolls and knit and
/or crochet clothes for the doll during the coming year and then turn them over to Flock*  or other such groups to be given to little girls for Christmas. They would be especially nice for children in shelters as they don't take up much room and can be contained in a shoe box. We have dolls in the 5" size and the 7" size - $4.99 & $6.99 respectively. The 5" dolls take fingering weight yarn and the 7" use sport weight.
    *Flock is a local area organization started and run by Julie Kubala. Knit and crochet items are collected by numerous local businesses, including Playing With Yarn.Then Julie collects and distributes them to area organizations that see that they get to people who need them. She also collects yarns, needles and hooks and gets them to people willing to make items. Flock is a labor of love started by Julie when another organization quit and she saw the need left vacant.


  Classes coming up!
I wish that I had a list for you but along with the knit scarves, that got put on a back burner. I do know that we have some rigid heddle weaving classes planned for January and February as well as some spinning and fiber preparation classes. And we have classes planned for hats, mittens and socks. Another class that we want to offer is for people who want to knit a very easy sweater. Carolyn and I are very taken with the idea of these 'Turtleback' jacket style sweaters. We think that they are great first sweater project.
It would help us a great deal if we knew when you want classes and what other classes that you would be interested in taking. Don't be shy about calling or emailing us with suggestions.

  Fantasy from Dark Horse
We are happy to announce that we have added all of the colors of this very nice nylon/acrylic blend yarn. 75 colors both solid and variegated.I am knitting a doll sweater - another last minute Christmas gift - using a new pattern for 18" dolls from Judith Shangold. I am using a pink and a variegated of pinks and roses. The yarn is very nice to use, soft and cuddly. It will be great for baby blankets and afghans. The solids are $5.35 and the variegates are $5.35 for 205 yards. It knits at 5 to 4.5 stitches per inch. There are also great patterns that are free with the yarn purchase.

We now have all the colors of all three of Dark Horse's basic yarns, Rhapsody the 100% Merino wool, Fantasy and Desert Flower the beautiful 100% sport weight cotton.

  My New Favorite Socks!
I have to share with you my favorite new socks. They are knit in Tuffy from Brigs and Little. The yarn is 80% wool and 20% nylon. There is 215 yards in a $5.85 skein and comes in 11 shades - most of which are solid colored or heathered. I chose one of the rag style colors for my socks which I knit on size 3 needles. I have one free pattern available for socks with the yarn purchase and hope to have this one available soon. My daughter brought me a wonderful pair of socks back from Ireland a couple of years ago and I adapted that pattern for these socks. It took two skeins to knit these socks but I think that I could get two pair out of three skeins.
    Now the best part and one that I can't guarantee, this pair have been through my top loading washer and dryer three times and have shown no sign of shrinkage. The first time was one of those 'ops' accidents and when I saw that they came through the washer okay, I decided to let them try the dryer with no problems. Since then, I have just thrown them in with the rest of the wash. They are wearing wonderfully and I am hard on socks, they are very warm and extremely comfortable.
    I just need some time to knit up a few more pair but I don't know when that will be. Elisabet will not get her scarf for New Year's. I discovered a problem in the doll sweater and had to reknit almost all of one half last night. But I highly suggest this yarn for comfortable, warm socks!

You have made our year 2009 a bright and cheerful one!
We thank you for being part of our extended Playing With Yarn family.We wish you a healthy, busy 2010! As we start our 11th year in business, we know that without our wonderful customers Playing With Yarn would not only not exist but that our personal lives would not be as full without the individuals that come to visit, call or email us. We like to think of ourselves as not just a neighborhood yarn shop but as good neighbors, whether you are next door or miles away and may even see us on a computer. It's important to us that we don't just leave you with yarn, pattern and tools but that you leave knowing that we are here to help you turn that yarn into a successful project. Hopefully, we help you grow in your knitting and crocheting skills.

Happy New Year!
Unraveling yours,
Judy, Bo and the Yorkie Girls, Emma, Lilly, Winnie & Jossie

Contact Info:
Playing With Yarn
Judy Casserberg
276 Scenic drive, Knife River, MN 55609
218 834 5967   877-693-2221