Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just Knitting, Video Blog Post, KNITLIT, Part 1

I'm doing a short series of posts in video, to share some knitting literature. Click on one of these links to be redirected. 

It took me a while to figure out how to make the post appear here, if it doesn't work for you, I'm hoping the other links will.

I can be found on Goodreads, find me as Tammy Burke there. This is a wonderful website for books. In fact, Find the the Cypress Hollow series at this link on that website.

Tammy's Disclaimer: I have not received any of these books as promotional materials from the authors or their publishers. I've obtained them on my own, by purchase or borrowing from the local library. The order in which they appear is not to be understood as a rating, but simply as an opportunity to share positive things about knitting. Please enjoy with me. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NEW Books!

Looking around trying to find something to chat with you about... HEY! I have new books to share!

First, I received Myra Wood's Brand New Book Knit in New Directions: A Journey into Creativity when I was at Stitches West in February. I guess you could say I've been fermenting on it. That's true because the more I look at it, the more I love it.

I think some of the most beloved quilts are those that are not constrained in pattern but are set free with color and stitches and fabric textures. I've heard them referred to as Crazy Quilts. I'm not so sure I care for that name, I wish it was something like Intuitive Art Quilts or something.

That's what Myra's book is encouraging us to do: Use your imagination, use the magic of your yarn, it's colors, the fabrics your hands and needles can create and create something that's sure to capture everyone's eye! Photographed by Alexis Xenakis, published by XRX publications, 168 pages, softcover, it's a beautiful and most inspirational book!

Here's the link to purchase it through Amazon:

If you're on Ravelry, check out the individual Patterns:

I've also received a book as a prize through the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird ( pretty much by accident. I was listening online with my computer and I lost sound. While I was rebooting, I dialed in so I wouldn't miss anything of her interview with Brooke Nico and my number was chosen from the queue. I had knitted one of Brooke's designs before, I appreciated how well thought out and evenly balanced it that pattern was, so I was very excited to hear she had a new book coming out: Lovely Knitted Lace: A Geometric Approach to Gorgeous Wearables. She uses FOUR shapes to create different projects ranging from accessories to garments, and gives you ideas for creating your own unique piece. Published by, a division of Sterling Publishing, soft cover, 128 pages I think it encourages people to think of knitting lace in their own way as well.

Here's the link to purchase it through Amazon:

And the link to the patterns listed in Ravelry:

I have signed copies of both book now in my library and I love them. I would recommend both to knitters ready to work beyond their own preconceived boundaries! Happy Knitting....

PS. I will be adding pictures of my copies at some point in the next couple of days!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Summer Knitting

Ooops! That month NEARLY got away from me.

I've been thinking about the upcoming summer months. I wonder sometimes if it's an addiction on my part, to not be part of the crafting crowd that puts off knitting in that time of year. What really concerns me is Local Yarn Stores (LYS) failing in Summer...

I realize I've been knitting for a long time, but there are things I would try to do in certain seasons. Afghans are awesome in winter! In fact, I've spent more winters plugging through an afghan while couch-bound with pneumonia or some other winter illness than I care to count. In Summer, I try to focus on smaller things like socks and hats. I understand that people are busier but don't you still find that when you are stuck waiting for a while EVEN IN SUMMER you wish you had your knitting?

I may not have enough of a background in operating a retail store, so I don't want to offend someone. I am very concerned about shops that fail in Summer, because that seems to be when a failing shop gives up. There's a lot of concern in the industry about shops failing because the shops blame the availability to purchase materials cheaper online, and the time of year doesn't figure into that problem.

As a customer or a supporter of LYS (that's where I want to focus this post) how can I make a difference for my favorite shops?
  • Are you on the Newsletter List? Do you follow them in Ravelry or Facebook? or whatever internet hangout you and that shop are in?
  • Do you share those with your other knitting (or other fiber crafty) friends?
  • Do you stop by the shop on a regular basis? or attend one of the weekly gatherings like Knit Night or Sit and Spin?
  • Do you ask if there's anything you can do to help and be OF SUPPORT?
I can understand shopping online for a large quantity of yarn, let's say a sweater's worth. A lot of shops only have shelf space for a skein or two of certain colors, NOT EVERYTHING every yarn company offers.  Have you asked if the shop can order for you a large quantity? Sometimes they can offer you a discount (don't expect wholesale, they need to make a profit, too!) because some yarn companies will discount a certain amount for so many skeins. This may help your shop get their foot in the door with some companies that wouldn't necessarily listen to your LYS, so don't hesitate to ask!

Being broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck can make you feel like you can't purchase something every time you stop in to your shop, and maybe your LYS owner knows you well enough after a certain time to be understanding about this. However, she may need help with creating shop samples and that would give you a great opportunity to knit with something you've not tried before!

It's always a good thing to just say to your LYS owner that you like the shop for (whatever) reason, and give them an opportunity to show they appreciate you, too!

While you're there this week, check her sales baskets for some sock yarn so that you have something to do this summer! ~ Happy Knitting!