Thistledown Shoppe
October 25, 2009
Thistledown Shoppe Newsletter
Giving Back
In This Issue
Knitting for Our Children
Free Patterns
New and Updated
Ravelry group for the shoppe
Join Our Mailing List

As our season continues, I find many reasons to be thankful.  And in that tone, I also find many reasons to pass that thankfulness on.  This newsletter sends you information about one of our community projects, Knitting for Our Children.  While putting this together I contacted our Parenting Communities folks and ask them about us contributing to families in this area.  Their response was that they service 700 families in Leelanau County.  There is no way that we can make enough items for that many families.  So, we will pass on the items to Parenting Communities and they will decide where they are the most needed.  If you can find four hours to make a hat or mittens or more time to make a sweater, scarf, or blanket, please do so.

Our next newsletter will be talking about a project for the youth that have aged out of the foster care system.  Last year we donated over 95 items to these children.  I am waiting to hear the date of their holiday party and will get back to you when I have more information.

Thank you for sharing my wish to give back to our community.
Knitting for Our Children

One of our community projects this year will be knitting for our children.  I am actively involved with the Leelanau County Family Coordinating Council (we catch folks who fall through the cracks) and after some prodding the other day by Mary, over at the Benzie-Leelanau Health Department, we decided that our families could use some goodies for the cold weather.  We are thinking hats, scarves, mittens - you get the idea.  Being the fiber snob I have become, I like wool, but I also realize that not everyone agrees with that.  So whatever you choose to knit, label it for fiber content and care.  We will take  donations until the end of November, actually the sooner the better.  And let me add that we will also happily accept items for the children's older sisters, brothers, and parents. 

Below are suggestions for some free patterns that you can use.  We also have some good patterns in the shoppe.  I love Ann Budd's book  The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.  She has mittens, hats, scarves, gloves......  You take your gauge and she will tell you how much to cast on and then go.  Cottage Creations has many pattern books for a reasonable price:  Projects for Community Knitting, More Projects for the Community and Family, Still More Projects for the Community and Family, Comfort Gifts for Community and Family, A Baker's Dozen of Warm Scarves, and Mighty Mitts and Flap Caps.  We also have about five (trying to remember how many and can't) books on quick gifts and single skein patterns that would work for this project.  If you want single patterns, Lisa Knits has a good one for mittens that work for different gauges and sizes.  And our binders are full of many patterns for hats and scarves, or if you want to - sweaters for the little ones.
Free Patterns

In keeping with our theme of knitting for the children (and their families)  here are some good patterns.

Child's Tassel hat  And if you are like me and do not want to have seams, I would knit this in the round.
Madison's Hat  An easy Fair Isle hat for all ages.  If you have problems with keeping your stranding loose, knit with the inside out and that will help. 

Hats, Sweaters, mittens, blankets  I went to this site to get the pattern for a cute baby fair isle hat and the page is full of sorts of patterns.  So look at this when you have time.  The child's patterned hat is about halfway down.

Scrap Happy hat  This is great to use your left over worsted weight yarn.

And don't forget Fetching and Dashing.  These are from and folks love the patterns.  We have samples of both of these in the shop - one made with Mission Falls 1824 and the other with Lamb's Pride Worsted.

Yikes!  This will teach me to spend time on  Check out the three fingered mitten, Tridactyl.

Whoo hoo!  Folks finally found time to teach classes.  Betsy and Ruth have put together a great lineup for you folks.

Beginning Knitting
Basketweave Cowl

Wednesdays, November 11 and 18.
10 AM to noon
Register by Saturday, November 7

Ruth will be teaching a beginning knit class, using a pattern that she has modified from Crissy Graham's Basketweave Cowl.   Crissy has given us permission to use her pattern and we are excited to be able to offer you this chance to learn how to knit.

If you have never knit or "kinda/sorta" know how to knit, this is your chance to learn more.  Topics to be covered include cast ons, cast offs, knit, purl, and what to carry in your knitting bag.  Ruth is a great instructor and has some wonderful tips and ideas.

You will need yarn and needles purchased before the class.  When you register, we will give you a flyer specifying the materials.

Contact us for further information.

Socks - knitting with one long circular needle

Sundays, November 8, 15, and 22
2 pm - 4:30 pm
Register by Thursday, November 6

Betsy will teach you the method of knitting a sock on one long circular needle.  You will knit a training sock and then start a sock of your desired size.  If you prefer to knit in the round using double points, 2 24", or 12", etc. you may do so. 

Basic knitting skills of cast on, knit, purl, and bind off are required.

When you register, we will give you a list of the materials that are needed for the class.

Mittens - Thrummed or Felted   
Thursdays, December 3 and 10
6 pm until 8:30 pm
Register by Saturday, November 28

Learn how to knit thrummed or felted mittens. You need to know basic skills such as cast on, knit, purl, knitting in the round, and bind off. Betsy, your instructor, will guide you through the basic construction of a mitten and give you specific tips on felting and thrumming.

Materials needed for felted mitten: Knit One, Felt Too book, 200 to 220 yds. of Lamb's Pride Worsted or Elegant Kaleidoscope, US 11 and US 13 needles (dbl. pnt. or one long circular needle length)

Material needed for thrummed mitten: Newfoundland Thrummed Mitten pattern, 215 yds of Lamb's Pride Worsted or Elegant Kaleidoscope, roving, US 3 & US 6 needle or whatever will give you 5 sts to an inch on the larger needle.

Knit the mitten cuff prior to class (on felted mitten, the cuff is the one that is felted).

  New and Updated


The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber by Clara Parkes   Clara Parkes is the author of Knitter's Review.  If you are not yet signed up for her weekly newsletter, I highly recommend it. I am adding this book to my personal library, as I did with her previous one, The Knitter's Book of Yarn.  I have just started to read it, so here is a link to what Clara has to say about her book.

COLOR BY KRISTIN How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits

Vogue Knitting

for Modern Babies vintage baby knits

More Designs from the Green Mountain Spinnery

Insouciant: That Cheerful Feeling you Have When Nothing is Troubling You
Cat Bordhi

50 Brand-New, Groundbreaking Stitch Patterns + 20 Projects from Top Designers
Lynne Barr

Classic and Modern Designs in the Scandinavian Tradition

Swedish knitting

Paula Hammerskog & Eva Wincent

  Thistledown Musers

More exciting news!  Susan, of the blog A Few Stitches Short, started a Ravelry group for the shoppe. If you would like to join us, please go to our group and start out.  You do not need to join to read the posts or to post to the group.  This is something I have wanted for a while, but never felt I had the time to do.  Susan took the bull by the horns and did all of the hard work for me.  Thanks, Susan.

By the way, Susan is an accomplished knitter and designer.  We carry several of her lace patterns at the shoppe and have had some of her samples displayed.
Thistledown Shoppe
Suttons Bay, MI  49682
231-271-YARN (9276)

The Wee Shoppe with a Big Heart

Mon through Sat 10-6  Sun 12 -4

Yarn Lover's Night: every Monday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Kathy Dawkins, Betsy Eike, Ruth Ziter, Diane Cavagnini, Doreen Tyrell, and Susan Curtis