Where are we?

Monday, December 15, 2008


Just wanted to let you spinners know that I've just gotten in some of the really cool SpinOlution drop spindles. Email me if you're interested!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What NOT to put in a news letter

Over the years, I have tried to teach my children to be kind and giving. I try to also be and hope that what I do and how I help others will reflect in the actions of my children. I think all mothers feel the same way. Recently the number of hungry people in our area came across my desk. Statistics of people in this area needing help and I felt sick. The numbers have grown and have continued to grow. As a family, we have participated in all the local food drives and this year that has not been enough it seems for the growing need in our community.

When I was approached and asked if my store would become a drop-off location for one of the homeless shelter's food collection drive I pondered the idea. Of course this wasn't any problem!

Still I wanted to help make a difference. I knew that in my own pantry were many items bought with every intention of being used however these items had for some unknown reason had not been and were sitting there hiding behind the newer items. Cleaning out these items would help but if we all did that would it really be enough?

So I made one of those executive decisions....Why not send the info out in the news letter and instead of a discount coupon inserted, give a discount of 20% off any item of your choice when you bring in a food donation? And do this year round, not just a certain time of year.

So I put that in the newest news letter with the little bit of new yarns info and a reminder that we have a new and wonderful supply of gifts and stocking stuffer. Much to my surprise, we had someone complain!
Oh well....Cant please everyone.

I still think helping others in any way I can is a good thing to be doing.

Friday, November 28, 2008


My suggestion for any type berry that's ripe, or even a day past prime, is Cobbler.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Melt one stick butter, no substitutions, in 9x12 glass baking dish.

Mix well together
~one cup self-rising flour
~one cup sugar
~one cup milk
~one tablespoon baking powder
~teaspoon vanilla OR almond - both taste wonderful with berries

In sauce pan, heat one quart berries - black, blue, rasp or mix berries until you've got a quart

Pour flour, sugar, milk mixture over melted butter.
Pour heated berries over all and bake about twenty minutes or until brown.

This is really, really good with ice cream while looking at a beautiful knitting book.

BTW, Fiber Femmes blog has some great book reviews today.

My stove is a 1914 Acorn and to say the ovens are cranky is to put it mildly. I've learned to bake visually.

Sandra @ Thistle Cove Farm

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We're making our flight arrangements this weekend. Can't wait to see you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

*** Holiday Mail for Heros ***

The American Red Cross is sponsoring a national "Holiday Mail for Heroes" campaign to receive and distribute holiday cards to service members and veterans both in the United States and abroad.

The goal is to collect and distribute one million pieces of holiday mail.

"As we enter this holiday season-a time to celebrate with family and friends-it's important to remember the thousands of men and women who serve our nation in harm's way and those who are recovering in military and veterans hospitals," said Army Col. Norvell V. Coots, commander, Walter Reed Health Care System. "The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is a wonderful outreach effort and a great way to acknowledge the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform."

Holiday cards should be mailed to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 10. Cards should not be mailed or delivered to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

For more information, visit www.wramc.amedd.army.mil or www.redcross.org/holidaymail for Holiday Mail for Heroes program guidelines.Walter Reed is not accepting mail addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier."

If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these people, who have sacrificed so much, would get.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday's child

Congrats to Olivia's family - she has a brand new granddaughter today - Bryer Elisabeth came into the world at 8:19 am. She weighed in at 7 lb. 9.5 oz, 21 inches long, with reddish brown hair. I am sure she is a beauty!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe Receives 2008 Best Award

U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., October 20, 2008 -- Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe has been selected for the 2008 Best of Yorktown Award in the Yarn category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)

U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grow your stash without feeling guilty!

Here at Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe we are helping you save money and continue to knit without worrying.

Has your yarns stash built up?
Does it contain yarns that you have not used for those projects the children have out grown?
Do you still have projects planned you know you will never get to? A lonely ball of this or that?

Here is a wonderful idea for all that sad, unused yarn just sitting around waiting to be worked up.

We are having two STASH BUSTING EVENTS!
Bring your clean, unused yarns in on either November 1st or December 1st and trade them for store credit during normal store hours.

That’s right. We will be giving store credit of $1.00 for each pound of clean, unused yarn of an type.
The Coupons will become raffle tickets when you redeem them.

Each coupon will be eligible for not only the $1.00 store credit but also for
entry into a drawing for one of two kits.

From acrylic to wool, labeled or not, all can be traded in.
The traded yarns from your unwanted stash will then be donated to local groups doing charity work. It’s a win/ win situation.

Even your DH can’t complain if you are “trading” for new yarns now.

Saturday, November 1st and Saturday, December 1st are the big days to remember.

Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe
2703 George Washington Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693


Wear all Your Rainbows !

Friday, October 17, 2008

Invitations to blog

I recently sent out invitations to some folks I met last winter at the Knitters at the Lake retreat... I hope they will join us and blog with us! Olivia and I would really like to stir up some creative juices here and get folks to blog more... comment more... communicate with each other... c'mon! share, dog-gone-it!!

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival

Is anyone planning to attend this festival next weekend (25-26th) in Berryville, VA? I cannot go on Saturday, as the studio is open and I have a wedding to officiate, but I intend to be there on Sunday with my DH Sherpa. :-)

http://shenandoahvalley.tripod.com/ is the website. I've never been to this one; it usually falls on the weekend I have family in for my mother's and my joint birthday dinner, but this year it's the week before. So I cannot vouch for how good it is, although I do know some of the vendors are good quality. However, a friend of mine who's been liked it.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stitches East / Baltimore Inner Harbor Bus

Bus Trip to Baltimore Harbor Saturday November 8th
Reply to: anon-880203322@craigslist.org

A local knitting guild has chartered a 44-passenger bus for a day trip to a knitting convention on Saturday, November 8TH taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For detailed info on the Stitches event, go to http://www.knittinguniverse.com/flash/events.php and click on "Stitches East." This trip is for knitters and non-knitters alike. You can bring snacks/beverages to share if you want to; bottled water will be provided. The bus will depart promptly at 7:00 a.m. from the Park ‘n Ride lot located at Parham and Fordham Road, and will leave the Baltimore Harbor at 6:00 pm for the return trip to Richmond, arriving back approx. 9:00 pm.
Your price is $30, payable in advance. Please contact Diane (378-6299) for more information.

* Location: Park n Ride Fordham & Parham Rds
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Original URL:http://richmond.craigslist.org/vnn/880203322.html

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

River City Knitters' bus trip to STITCHES EAST

River City Knitters is hosting a bus trip to Baltimore on Saturday, November 8. The charter bus still has some room - so, if anyone would like to attend Stitches East and you want to come along, please drop me an email. I will direct you to the person coordinating the trip. We will be leaving the Park N Ride on Parham Road @ Fordson (west end Richmond) at 7:00 a.m. and returning to the lot at 9:00 pm. The bus ride is $30 (can't beat that deal with gas prices like they are!); the fee does NOT include Stitches tickets, etc., but you can purchase your ticket online at the Stitches website above.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Montpelier Fiber Festival

We've had so many aborted trips lately, I didn't want to post until I was sure we were on the way. We will be there today. If any one else is going to be there be sure to find us. I will be there in total VT regalia (NOTE from CAT: despite the fact that she'll be with the token Wahoo)...Orange pants maroon shirt and maroon jacket. My hair is twisted up in a clip.

We have neighbors who raises Alpaca who were at the fair last night. I have met her and not him. He found our site doing a web search. I am assuming about the National Alpaca Day event in Goochland last weekend. He'd asked his wife if she knew me, so was thrilled to met me.

I have promised her a spinning workshop, so someone/s be thinking about it.
(reposted by CAT for the olmommee)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fiber Arts Show and Sale

Bay School of the Arts is having a Fiber Arts Show and Sale in late Nov.
Here is a link to the registration form:
The folks there are wonderful, and a group of my fiber friends and I will be entering, and traveling down together for the opening.
This post is to encourage you to enter also.
There are cash awards!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reminder of the Fiber arts Show and Tell Social tomorrow night

Just a reminder that I'm hosting a Show and Tell social at my studio (213 Roseneath Rd.) tomorrow night. It's open to all of you. Bring some of your work to show and inspire others with.
There is ample parking in the alley (lot is well lit) and we use the alley entrance. My studio is at the top of the stairs #205. Your arrival will be anticipated between 5:45 and 6:45. After that, the Roseneath students would like the studio to be theirs to weave in. The rest of the group can socialize in the corridors for a while. Hope to see you there. If you have questions, call me at 687-0543.
Cherri Hankins

Monday, September 22, 2008


Our weekend here with Melissa was wonderful. The Friday Night knitting group did more talking (this week) than knitting as Melissa and others shared about themselves and asked questions about Melissa. People wandered in even up to 10:00pm. Books were signed and we all got a glimpse of how this self proclaimed house wife from Massachusetts became so well know around the world's knitting tables.

Everyone enjoyed the Saturday workshop. I for one learned that 2 at a time magic loop was not really the same as Melissa's 2 at a time method. The are differences and Melissa's method is far simpler and easier to manage. After she showed me where I was messing up, it was smooth sailing for me from then on.

We spent Saturday learning Melissa's well know way to do socks, sharing stories about other known knitting authors and really getting to know Melissa. She is a light hearted enthusiastic person with much to share.

Melissa's new book " 2 at a time Toe Up" will hopefully be out in the fall of 2009 and she will be back to do that class right after the book premiers. I have already begun to make plans for that weekend as well as put in a pre-order request for the book that hasn't even been published yet.

I do hope that Melissa will take my request "to co-author "I'm Walking Around in Circles". Oh well, the title is a good one anyhow.

Melissa will be publishing in another new book soon to be in our shop, Luxury One Skein Wonders and we still have the SWTC Karoke Hat Book in stock. Melissa's pattern is the one right after the design I did for the SWTC's 1st book.

Signed copies of both the Hat Book and the 2 At A Time Socks book are still available in the shop this morning but won't be for long. We have had a couple of calls about them already this morning.

Thanks to all of you who attended this work shop. Each person added something special to this day and that is the reason it became so special to all who attended.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spinners/ Felters Demo for Alpaca Roving

This lady is still looking for demonstrators for their Farm Festival. If any of you could help her out or know someone who might please contact her. Cat and I have her home # if you need it.

Attention Hand Spinners - Free Fiber 2 Trade We're a small alpaca farm located in Chesterfield. We've been unable to process much of our annual alpaca fiber. If you're a spinner, you KNOW how awesome this stuff is and how expensive it can be to get ahold of it! Especially prime blanket and cria fiber - which we have on hand! Would like to have a spinning demonstration, a dry felting demo and a wet felting demo for a farm event we're hosting in late September. Need someone to do the demo and want several samples on hand, perhaps some yarn or even felted products. Also interested in just having our quantities cleaned and skirted for larger production projects. Plan to have roving and batting for the open house too, but it needs to be sent off. We don't mill or spin here ourselves. If you want to consider trading service & production for some prime fiber, please contact. Open to letting you sell products, free advertising with ours and perhaps even entering shows if you're interested. Let's talk!Location: Chesterfield

fiber arts social

I'm holding a fiber arts social at my studio building on 10/1. The studio building is 213 Roseneath Rd. We are meeting to hold a show and tell of our recent work. It's mostly my weaving and spinning students, but we would love to show others our work. We willl be meeting at 5:450, and will ask that we have the studio back to ourselves by 6:45, as that is our regular work studio and class time. The studio has 4 students on an ongoing basis, and they are producing beautiful work. In addition, my students from the Visual Arts Center of Richmond will be there, as will my students from the studio at Glen Allen (4-6 students).
In addition to our own work, we welcome you to bring some of yours, and show us what else is going on in the fiber community in Richmond and the surrounding area. Because the studio is currently at capacity, we can overflow into the corridors. e-mail me for directions, or more information if you need it.
The attached picture is one of my commissions of hand-spun, hand-woven dog hair.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pat Kirkland/ Design Class in Ashland

Pat just sent me the following note:

Just to let you know I will be teaching an all day design class in Ashland on October 18th...of course they have sent me no details...what else is new!

Pat KirtlandYarn Barn
5077 Andersonville Rd
Dillwyn, Va 23936

I am assuming she means the Hanover Knitting Guild meeting as before. They met at the Atlee Library on 301 last time we went.

If any of you can make it, I think Cat and I will probably be there Maybee we could have lunch somewhere afterward ad get to know each other better.

What a Morning!

So many knitters have been signing up at the last minute for Melissa's workshop! We do have the ability to add few more seats if friends need to sign up together. We did make plans in case that happened.

The Country Inn & Suites has a beautiful decor and the meeting room is very clean and comfortable.

It's always great to meet others from different places and I am sure we are all going to have a very good time.

I did get the supplies in and people are for the most part, waiting until Friday night to get theirs.

Melissa won't be in until 8 PM so we will be here until 10:00.

There still is a lot to do but it's all the fun things like shop for goodies to go with the coffee in the am.

I'll post more after the workshop and with pictures too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sunkist Cardi update

See Tinker Belle's Needles for update on my progress...
Oh, and ask Olivia-lee how hers is coming along!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Is anyone else planning to go? They sent out an update this morning and there is still room for a few more registrations. Cat and I have opted to carry our lunch, but there are boxed lunches available if you sign up by Sept 15.

Cat and I are signed up and we'd be glad to take along another couple of passengers. I have a nice roomy Camry that knows the road well and it gets good gas milage.

http://www.thinkingknitter.com/NoSo2008.htm .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Melissa's Book is Number One

The number one selling book in the country is 2-At-A-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes!

Melissa will be with us the weekend of September 19-20th.

Come get your books signed by the author of the now Number One Selling Knitting book in the country!
Friday night the shop will be open till approximately 10PM.
Drop by and say “hi”.

You are also welcome to take her wonderfully exciting class as long as there are seats remaining too.

Call or visit:

Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe at Yorktown
2703 George Washington Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693


Monday, August 25, 2008

Can I come in?

I'm Cherri, a rare knitter, but a fiber artist in other ways, as I weave, spin, etc.
Will you mind if I mingle, glean a little inspiration from your work and warbling?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

08.23.08 River City Knitters guild meeting inspires me

RCK had a really informative meeting yesterday. The topic was top down sweaters. Andrea M. prepared a wonderfully understandable talk that got me motivated to take out the cardigan patterns again and figure out what to knit next. One site she recommended is the Knitting Pure & Simple tutorial. It is really a good one to visit because it takes you from casting on through binding off. I made their wrap cardigan (my first sweater ever, and so far my only sweater ever) and wish I had known about this tutorial before!

Of course I also had to dig into the stash to see what was there that I love that I have not knitted yet! I decided to knit the Sunkist cardi (from Through the Loops but before I can cast on, I need to do some (dare I say it?) math. You see, my bust is not 34" anymore. I am going to try to combine what I learned yesterday with my math skills and see if I can calculate my way into knitting that sweater to fit a more solid, forty-something figure! I will keep you posted.

As a funny aside, my friend RC and I were listening intently as Andrea explained techniques and threw out pattern and website names. Two names cracked us up - the 'sunkist party' and something from a site called 'cosmo bluto'. Well, as you may have surmised, the first one was actually the Sunkist Cardi and the second turned out to be a website called Cosmicpluto Knits. Doesn't seem as funny now; guess you had to be there!

At the end of the program, we pulled out our Riverdance Stoles (the mystery stole's new name) and compared. A huge thanks to Robin Hasty for taking this photo! I hope she does not mind me copying it here.

Orkney Pi Finish

I've finally done it. The Orkney Pi cast off is finished. Now I have to find a place big enough to block it and I am going to need more T pins. I'll try to get Hannah to show me how to post a picture. It ended up being about 5 foot across unblocked. I will try to block it as softly as possible, yet, get all the ruffles smoothed out. I am very happy with the way the tips worked out. They were supposed to be scallops, but they ended up being points....I could have omitted that last row of increases. A happy mistake that will be easier to pin out... I haven't done the exact math but I think there were more than 5000 stitches in that picot edge and lots of those were done twice...

Friday, August 22, 2008

TinkerBelle's Needles

I updated TinkerBelle's Needles with photos etc. from my trip to southern, central Pennsylvania a few weeks ago ... my son, our friends and I had a great time! Come by for a visit, ok?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here’s something I found on Lizard Knits

SCATTERGORIES …it’s harder than it looks! Erase my answers, enter yours and post it to your blog or this blog. Let me know when you have done it and I will come check it out!

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following.
They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up!
Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial.
You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

VEHICLE: Chevrolet
CITY: Charlottesville
BOY NAME: Charles
FOOD: cheese
YOU SHOUT: chit!

Here’s a category Lizard Knits appropriately added – Yarn Name: Cestari

I wonder what you guys think about me after reading this... post a comment, OK?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Virginia Secret of the Stole

I know many of you were working on one of the first two stoles and that is where we met. For those of you working on this KAL (#III) I wanted to let you know that CAT and I have recently taken over ownership of the yahoo group. VASotS : VA Secret of the Stole (I was previously only a moderator). We are hoping to revive the chat there and update the site. DK will be drifiting by on occasion and we hope she will drop anchor often....

You don't really have to be actively working on the stole to join there. We can't share any of the official SOTS files with you. You have to go to the parent site for that and membership there is unfortunately closed. The pattern will be available for sale October 17 so if you are following along here or on Ravelry or elsewhere and like what you are seeing some of us may be finished by then and we can help you along. DK does keep her discussion groups open way after the completion of the KAL because she knows some of us are slower than others and stuff happens sometimes that keeps you from completing on time. We likewise opened with SOTSI and we 're still there....and this blog was a result of friendships formed there and elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Hello, my name is Robin from the Roanoke Valley of our great state. I was invited to join after I over committed signed up for yet another Stole KAL -- SotSiii!!

I'm currently up to my neck in the Ravelympics working on Nicole by Bonnie Marie Burns. I'm using Mirasol Sampa cotton purchased at On The Lamb in Staunton.
I have other projects on the needles, I'm yet again focusing on the finish line to grab a gold medal!

I'll continue to sign off just as I do on my own blog...

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!


Cat and I have signed up. (see prior post for details) We have room for two or three more in my Camry. I'd love to carpool...


Olivia-Lee invited me to join your happy group after I "met" her in the Secret of the Stole iii group. I see a few familiar "faces" on the side bar, but an introduction is in order...

I'm Channon, aka: Chan. I live east of Charlottesville, but belong to the River City Knitters. I knit (and knit!), am enjoying crochet more these days after a couple of classes with Edie Eckman in June, and I finally ordered a wheel a couple of days ago, after taking spinning lessons in the late winter/early spring. I blog almost daily, sometimes more than one post per day, but not all things blogged are fiber-related.

Works in progress? Well, I swore I would tackle one project at a time, and I think that lasted a few weeks. (I also swore I'd never spin, so I should quit swearing.) Currently, I am enjoying the last skein of my Voyager stole in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK. I also have cast on for the Blue Jay shawl from Wrapped in Comfort, in an alpaca laceweight custom-dyed by a friend, but I can't seem to stop working with the Debbie Bliss! There are also a few other projects in bags - the River City Knitter's stole KAL, the Bigfoot shawl from Wrapped in Comfort, and the Lace Ribbon Scarf, which is my travel project when I'm not more interested in something else. There's also a crocheted cap languishing, and I have three (!!) hats to knit for the Ravelympics. I think that's it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Roanoke NoSoKnit - Sept 08

The 11th Annual Roanoke NoSoKnit is on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from10 am to 4 pm at the Claude Moore Education Complex of the Roanoke Higher Education Center. Please see the website for more information and to register; the location is limited to one hundred people.

This is a great knit-in and run, entirely, by volunteers. Donations are gratefully accepted and, generally, everyone receives a donated gift. If you're able, please send a small gift with a blurb regarding your business or spinning, yarn, etc. It's a wonderful way to get the word out to other Virginia knitters although knitters come from all over. Sue E., the founder, is a great gal and also runs a Caribbean knitting cruise every year.

All you need to attend is fill out the registration form, send in with $5 and, one the day of the event, take a donation for a charity. Boxed lunches are available for purchase or you may bring a bag lunch or go out for lunch. It's rather near the downtown square and there are many restaurants in the area. Most people tend to either bag or buy lunch so they won't miss out on any knitting fun. Several local knit shops are vendors so there will be buying opportunities as well.

Knit happy, ya'll!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Spinning Success!

I just wanted to report my most recent success with spinning - actually, my ONLY success with spinning. I've managed to spin some singles on my Cascade spindle that look like they might 2-ply into nice fingering-ish yarn. I am so excited.

I've also been given a lovely silk hanky (not the kind you carry to wipe your nose) and am learning how to get silk rov/Users/Iris/Desktop/DSC00039.jpging out of it. It's fun, but really, really hard on the hands.

I've also purchased this lovely yarn from Chimera on Etsy. It was a special commission, is bulky (thick/thin) with felted leaves and teensy tiny little ladybugs plyed in. I love it sooooo much!

It's true what they say about spinning: You'll pull your hair out and curse and scream. All of a sudden - CLICK!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you for inviting me

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of this blog.

I'm 62 and looking for my first Social Security payment at the end of August. For now, I'm investing the money. Jim's still going to be working for the foreseeable future, so we figured I could actually come out with MORE $$$ by taking the benefit now and investing it in a combination of ROTH and regular IRA's. Cool!

I've been knitting for about four years and have, recently, started to learn to spin (well, sort of).

I have one husband who's a psychologist at Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute here in Marion. We have one son, John, who's 32 and a graphic designer. We have two parakeets, Skittles and Poppyseed, and a semi-wild cat, Jasper, who actually tells US how things are going to be.

I'm involved in a KAL at Mosaic Yarn Shop in Blacksburg of the Central Park Hoodie. I've almost finished the back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thistle Cove Farm

From the left...Abigail, Grace, Sandra, Sibley being bottle fed, Trouble nursing Energy and Shadow on the far right.
Samuel, a Romney Shetland cross, is always available to showcase my patterns. He's a willing model just as long as the whole corn treats are forthcoming!

Thistle Cove Farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, is home to rare breed Shetland, Romney, Merino and cross bred sheep. Rare breed, hypoallergenic American Curly horses also live here and the requisite dogs and cats share living and bed space with the humans. It's a peaceable kingdom where wool and Curly fiber are, sometimes, blended then spun and knitted into warm garments.

I'm Sandra and interested in All Things Fiber and Textile...hmmm...that would be a great blog name! I've always got a skein on the spinning wheel, yarn on the needles, a quilt on the frame and a rug on the loom. Every now and again, I'll take a walk on the mountain to gather dye stuff...walnuts, lichens, Queen Anne's Lace and more. It's all hand fodder and all destined to become something beautiful.

Lately textile post cards have greatly interested me and there are several being made for exchanges or to send friends as notes of encouragement. Who among us doesn't enjoy receiving a small gift in the mail that says, "thinking of you"?My fiber and textile business, Appalachian Wool Works: Happy Sheep Make Beautiful Wool, offers one of a kind goods from my pet woolies. The creamy white yarn is 50% Shetland 50% Angora and gently flows through the fingers on the way to a sweater or scarf. The heathered brown gray yarn is from down breed sheep and makes sturdy socks that show stitch definition quite well. The roving is a blend of 80% Merino 20% Romney and this years' wool clip is being made into blankets and will, God willing and the creek don't rise, be available for Christmas. Needless to say, everything is 100% virgin wool, fleeces are generally available but yarn, roving and blankets are one of a kind from each year's wool clip. The shimmery silver gray fleeces accept dye beautifully and cast the eye to and fro allowing no purchase. I've discovered silver gray fleeces make the Most Beautiful dyed yarn due to the depth and richness of color both in the fleece and in the dye portions.Cathy and Olivia - I'm grateful to you for the opportunity to blog on Virginia Knits; it's always a delight to meet fiber folks, especially when so close to home.

Please visit Thistle Cove Farm whether on a pre-arranged visit or on Sheep Shearing Day every April. The humans, critters, beasts and varmints adore visitors and I can always be persuaded to make a pan of shortbread or a cobbler.

Blessings ~ Cathy ~ Olivia ~ Virginia Fiber Folks ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ the yarn that knits us together

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What is every one working on?

I have almost finished my Orkney Pi. Just a few more rows to go and then I have to decide on the finish. I am thinking perhaps a picot edged bind off. Any suggestions. It must be stretchy.

I have knit quite a few 5 hour baby sweaters this summer and haven't gotten it down to 5 hours yet.

Addison is filling out...Hannah is filling out more (she is due in November) FC' son Ben's baby is due in December and another daughter Sandy is expecting in January/February. Not to mention the two great nieces tha I still owe something. I expect baby things will be my top priority for awhile. I did sign up for SOTS3, so I guess we will keep that group open for a while. If you all haven't checked it out yet, the signups I believe close on the 12 of August.

A "good" (!?) friend and I recently took a trip to see Pat Kirkland at the Yarn Barn. (Pictures to follow) Ever heard the expression "You can't judge a book by it's cover"?...No not Pat... but you would never guess what a lovely shop is hiding in that rustic building. Your first response when you walk through the door is "Oooo" and your second is "Ahhhhh"... There is so much to see and feel and watch the drool! I have never seen so many lovely resources, as in, books and pamphlets and scores of shop samples. She also has a collection of some lovely unusual buttons and a very large yarn selection... some I have never heard of before. If you do decide to visit Pat I have two suggestions. Do NOT use mapquest or google maps...Get your directions from her website.... and second pack a lunch.

From Pat's we took my two bunnie girls to be bred. Hope it took... and I picked up two darling white angora babies from Sally just below Farmville. Sally will be joining the group soon. What a lovely lady she is. We had such a good time visiting with her and her critters on her little farmette.

Work on cleaning the basement out to set up a workshop is going slowly. We need to shift my stash down there so that there will be room for Hannah's baby this fall....and we need a place to work that we can spread out in and be able to leave things out. I have a huge stash of upholstery type materials I hope to turn into totes and accessories for sale.

This next week I am transforming our church into the Hawaiian Islands for VBS so I won't be getting much done down ther this week. If anyone is not afraid to get dirty and sweaty come on down.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Making It - entire article from The Post

Making It
A Yarn Enthusiast Knits Together a Freer, More Flexible Life

By Vanessa M. Gezari
Sunday, July 20, 2008; W04

At sunset, Ellen Kardell gazes out over ponds, trees and the pasture where her sheep and goats graze, savoring what she calls "the particular quiet of a country evening." On Pocket Meadow Farm, her two-acre homestead outside the tiny spa town of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., the crush of Beltway traffic seems as distant as Mars. So does the graphic design job Ellen left behind when she moved here nearly two years ago to raise her own animals and sell their wool, along with other rare, local and hand-dyed fibers and knitting tools.

"It's a dream: Get fiber animals, have a little place in the country and spin from your sheep," says Ellen, 52. "Working in a corporate environment is so rigid. I'm kind of an anarchist and a free spirit, and I just couldn't do it."

Born in Washington, Ellen grew up in Kensington and returned to the District after graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York. For 15 years, she ran a glass-art studio out of her rowhouse in Shaw, making stained-glass windows for corporate clients and churches before switching to computer-based graphic design, ultimately landing a job as a senior designer at Geico.

Ellen, who is divorced, and her daughter Lily, then 7, moved to a "little brick box" of a house in Silver Spring. But the suburban aesthetic bothered Ellen. Working in an office wasn't for her, either; she felt "pinned down, like a butterfly on paper."

A knitter since she was 8 -- she made her daughter's baby clothes and even worked as a freelance stitcher for the Washington Opera -- Ellen considered opening a yarn shop in downtown Silver Spring, but couldn't find a business partner. She started looking for land in the country and found a quaint Craftsman-style house on a jewel-like parcel two miles from a renowned arts town. She bought it and raided her IRA to stock the shelves of the store she opened on the first floor with yarn and organic fibers. In all, she has invested about $60,000 in the business.

Ellen acquired four Leicester Longwool sheep -- the glossy, curly-locked breed once owned by George Washington and now raised at Colonial Williamsburg -- two mohair goats, a flock of chickens, a sheepdog and a ragged band of cats. She dove into the town's artistic life, opening her home for a studio tour, starting a spinning circle and curating an upcoming exhibit of wearable fiber art at a local gallery.

Ellen's store is open four days a week, and she has a Web site. She stocks alpaca fleece and hopes to sell wool from a neighbor's heritage sheep as well as her own (her first shearing will be available for sale late this fall). She also sells hand-dyed yarns, based on palettes she created, including shades such as "redbud," "melon" and "amber,s" and her own line of handmade felted bags and hats.

Her shop did about $12,000 in sales last year, which exceeded her expenses by about $7,000. She is growing her business through online advertising and lace-knitting seminars, among other efforts. And while she still does freelance graphic design to cover her living expenses, she hopes to earn a full salary from the wool business within the next several years.

Meanwhile, Ellen relishes the freedom to work her own hours without ever going into an office. "It's so delightful," she says, "to be sitting at your computer, watching your sheep."

article in the Post

Hey, thought you all might be interested:


Pocket Meadow Farm

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hi Everyone!

I'm Robin and located in Buffalo Junction, VA. I know, you're wondering where in VA is Buffalo Junction???? BJ is located between South Boston and Clarksville on Highway 58 which runs east and west along the VA-NC state line. Lots of history here - behind us is Buffalo Springs where there used to be a HUGE resort and they bottled the lithia water and shipped it out on the train. Our house was built in 1790 and after 24 years here, we're still trapped in renovation h***. I work as a medical case manager and drive a lot! to my claimants' medical appointments. I sit a lot in physician waiting rooms. While I sit - I knit! I enjoy other stuff, also -- spinning, soap making, watercolor painting, traditional rug hooking, gardening, photography, my kitty cats, etc.

Thanks to Cathy for the invite! I think this blog is a great idea for VA knitters! I would love to find VA knitters who are closer to me. You can visit me here at For The Love Of Fiber.

Welcome Buffalo (Junction) Gal

Robin Hasty has joined our gang - some of you probably know Robin, either personally or through reputation - she is a multi-talented fiber artist with knitting just a tip of the iceberg!

Check out her blog when you get an opportunity b/c Robin is also a talented photographer/writer.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I know several of you live in the Culpeper area. If any of you are going to be at the Culpeper Co-Op meeting July 22 please find us. My husband is being installed as one of the new directors.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where are we?

I have created the map above ... but I don't know where we all are from! If you're not there, please email me and advise so I can add your location... I am learning how it works and I want to make it able to accept your edits too --- if anybody knows about it, please advise so we can make it more interactive, ok?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Everybody Loves a Yarn Sale!! Yorktown / NN, Virginia

Just a few shopping days left.

Also during the month of July we are giving special discounts for those of you who sign up for a class together!

Yes, that is right. Sign up for any of our classes or workshops with 2 friends and all 3 of you will get a very special discount. Discounts range from $5 to $20.00.

Included in this is Melissa Morgan Oakes' 2 at a Time sock workshop being held in September.

Classes need not start right away. Working with your schedule has always been our goal. Schedule your class on the days offered that will best suit you and your friends.

We are having our very special Everything's On Sale Once a Year Sale through July 5th. Discounts will apply to anything and everything in the shop.

Ranging from 10% to 50%. Needles, books, patterns and yarns all will be discounted. Some yarns have been discounted even higher due to being discontinued.

As always we hope that you will come in early for the best selection. Store Hours for the Holiday are as follows:

June 31st (?), July 1st & 2nd Open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
July 4th closed
July 5th open 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe
2703 George Washington Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693


Wear all Your Rainbows !

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spinners: I saw this on craigs list

Attention Hand Spinners - Free Fiber 2 Trade (Chesterfield - 23832)
Reply to: sale-721675334@craigslist.orgDate: 2008-06-16, 1:07PM EDTWe're a small alpaca farm located in Chesterfield. We've been unable to process much of our annual alpaca fiber. If you're a spinner, you KNOW how awesome this stuff is and how expensive it can be to get ahold of it! Especially prime blanket and cria fiber - which we have on hand! Would like to have a spinning demonstration, a dry felting demo and a wet felting demo for a farm event we're hosting in late September. Need someone to do the demo and want several samples on hand, perhaps some yarn or even felted products. Also interested in just having our quantities cleaned and skirted for larger production projects. Plan to have roving and batting for the open house too, but it needs to be sent off. We don't mill or spin here ourselves. If you want to consider trading service & production for some prime fiber, please contact. Open to letting you sell products, free advertising with ours and perhaps even entering shows if you're interested. Let's talk!
Location: Chesterfield - 23832
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interestsPostingID: 721675334
Copyright © 2008 craigslist, inc.

Grandbabies and grandpuppies

Here are the promised pictures of the newest grandbaby and the grandpuppies. I think you can tell which is which, but just in case the grandbaby is the pink one...

Click here: Flickr: hmartin09's Photostream

I also have a prayer request. Hannah, my youngest, is having problems with her pregnancy. Her amniotic fluid is low. Luckily she is not leaking fluid, so it means the baby is not excreting enough fluid. This can cause all kinds of serious problems, if it is not resolved. She will be having a visit with a specialist on Monday. Pray please that the problem will be resolved on it's own. She is very young to be a mommy and very scared.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More than Puppies

Olivia-Lee has more than Puppies.

I have a brand new granddaughter, Addison Renee Martin, 5lb 10 oz and 19 inches. A perfect tiny pink bundle. Nursing like a champ. Mom and baby are doing fine. Dad claims to be exhausted.

She was just a few days early so the size is just her size. My first was about that size and is still petit, but my smallest adult daughter weighed in at 8 lbs when she was born.

Pepper and the puppies are doing very well also. They have grown considerably already. She has gotten over telling Rascal she is going to eat his face if he comes near them, but she still won't let him nuzzle them. He gets to do that when she goes out to piddle. She doesn't realize he has raised 3 litters of kittens so far and knows how to handle them better than he does.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Olivia-lee has grandpuppies! Their American Rat Terrier Pepper had five puppies on Monday - congrats to the whole Nuckols family!! (oh, and good job, Rascal)

Spinning Lessons

I will be offering free spinning lessons to our fledgling weaving/spinning guild starting in July. The Northern Neck Spinners and Weavers are located in Heathsville, Virginia and we will be meeting the 2nd Sunday afternoon of each month from 2 pm. until 4 p.m. (to start).

The first month is an introduction to spinning on a drop spindle. Second month is various ways to ply using a drop spindle. Third month we bring out the wheels. Fourth month is specialty fibers. Fifth lesson will be fiber preparation (from raw fleece to finished yarn). After that we hope to have lessons on Inkle weaving, various ways to warp a loom, guest lectures and eventually we want to install ourselves in a studio where we can have the public come and sign up for classes.

My email is CateK AT KaballeroDOTcom

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 Virginia Garlic Festival

I don't remember who I mentioned this to (and it might have been Saturday after the funeral), but here is some info about the upcoming Garlic Festival here in Virginia.

Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering

The First Annual Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Hoot 'n Holler took place this past Sunday. If you'd like to get an abbreviated version of all the fun we had, please visit my blog.

I'm so sorry Cat and Olivia couldn't make it, although I certainly understood. Plus, I got a couple of the plants MMario had earmarked for Olivia, so THAT'S a happy. LOL

Friday, June 13, 2008

I need riders from South or Central Virginia for Rustic Tarts and Old Farts. I will be leaving my house about 11:00. I must teach SS that morning ...It is a very important and timely lesson that I don't want to leave to a substitute. I have kindly been offered to ride with Eugenia, but I am bring home a bunny and a plant and so I need to drive my own car. It a Camry and is comfortable and gets good milage. I just need some company on the trip. About 2 hours 40 from here... We are only abut 12 miles off of I-95 at Kings Dominion...I can leave one of several ways to get there if you need to be picked up...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sincere condolences

CAT has tragically lost her 19 year old nephew this morning. Please keep the family in your prayers. There are two brothers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering

A reminder that the RT&OF 1st Annual Hoot 'n Holler is this Sunday from 1-6 in Martinsburg WV. Please join the Yahoo groups RusticTartsAndOldFarts if you'd like to come, or just hear more about it.

And we have a graphic, available on totes, tees and more. Enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fiber Arts Vacation... this looks interesting...

Fiber Arts Vacation
This looked interesting:

Sunday, June 29, 2008 - Friday, July 4, 2008
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Cherri Hankins Studio

This date is available for book. If you are interested in a vacation, in which you learn to weave, spin, felt, or otherwise engage in the fiber arts, e-mail me. We can get you booked at either of my Richmond Studios (Urban or Sub-urban), or my home studio in the rural countryside of Goochland, VA. Then we spend the entire week, working on your fiber arts choices. Available choices are: Weaving on the floor loom, weaving on the rigid heddle loom, tapestry, kumihimo (the art of japanese silk braiding), spinning yarn, wet-felting, silk painting, or some combination. Instruction is done in one of my teaching studios in the Richmond area, or at my home, in the country. Instructional hours are from 9 am - noon, and from 1pm - 4. Mon - Friday. A Sunday arrival is recommended, so we can get your project planned, and your yarn purchased. Students may provide their own materials, or materials can be provided. Projects should be discussed prior to your vacation dates.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Hi all. I'm de-stashing knitting and craft books here, and will be adding yarn later this week.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


2nd Annual World Wide Knit in Public Day Celebration

Hi there. Just letting you all know that we'll be sponsoring the Berkeley Springs, WV Knit in Public Day event on June 14, 6pm onwards. Here's the scoop!

• Location: Berkeley Springs park, near the bandstand
• Date: June 14
• Time: 6pm onwards 6/14

Bring: chair, project to work on, bottle of water and snacks

If anyone is looking for a WWKIP event, please feel free to pass along the information!

To be honest, I am ambivalent about the somewhat goofy name of this event. I always knit in public, everywhere. It’s not something that needs to be done “in private”! Am I over-reacting? Let me know your thoughts! But it will be fun, and we might get some new people interested in knitting (or crocheting)! We could also do a group dinner at Tari’s or Mi Ranchito later. Mmmm, margaritas!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering

A reminder...and news to those of you who've just joined...we are having a knitters gathering on June 15th from 1-6 in Martinsburg WV. I have set up a Yahoo group for those of you interested in attending.

This is a casual gathering of local and not-s0-local people who have a yen for knitting, spinning and/or crocheting. We'll be meeting at our photography studio, where we have lots of room both in and outside. We plan a potluck meal whenever we get hungry - the DH and I will provide beverages, plates, and utensils, you all bring food. There are plenty of stores nearby if you don't want to carry anything.

I can guarantee fun, and the designer MMario will be in attendance. Any vendors attending are welcome to bring their goods for sale. So if you're free that day and interested, join the group and all questions will be answered!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


My name is Linda. I was led to this site by Eugenia. Thank you Eugenia!
I like to do a large quantity of crafts. My favorites at present are knitting, spinning, and x-stitch. I was with Eugenia at the MSWF the other week. Enjoyed it so much that I went back again the following day with hubby. I mainly bought roving this year. If you want to see the roving, and what I have spun from it, you will find it here on Ravelry under "stash". I have two websites. These show all the crafts I do. ( At least the ones I have pictures of!) The websites are webshots and Multiply.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you all,


Hi my name is Cathy and I live in Southwest VA near VA Tech with my hubby of 18yrs and our son 13 yrs old. I love to knit and have been knitting lots of wedding and baby gifts for the past several months. There have been 2 weddings and a baby born since August of 2007 with two more babies due and 2 more weddings to happen. I help with two local SciFi conventions, one of which I am the Convention Chair and one I am the Dealers Chair. I have a blogger account called Windy Knits which is sadly neglected and I will try to be better at keeping it updated.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Introduction to new members and proposition

Looks like we will have three new memebers today counting Margaret. Happens like that. Cat is our technical director and blog mom since she has to do all the work. I'll let her add your links to the list. I am tend to be the one who gets all the credit while she does all the work, so I figure that makes me the blog daddy. We ae a very odd couple indeed. We have actually only physically met a couple of times but have been emailing for over a year now.

Please let us know if you hear of any great goings on in your area. I am also working on ideas for some kind of swap and a round robin and I will be re sending questionnaires soon as I can get the mailing list straightened out again. When I upgraded my AOL account everything changed and I don't know if it was deleted or just changed. I did however print all the responses I had so the information is not lost completely. I have several major projects other than knitting I am working on so I shouldn't be playing on the computer at all. ....Cat, I can almost get through the hall to the first craft room. Once I can do that the goal is to get both rooms organized so that I can work in at least one of them. Then it is on to the basement...but I stillhave to use the nice days to get the yard and downstairs ready for Jade's birthday party. Ladies I confess I am a terrible housekeeper...I'd much rather be knitting or gardening.

Ladies, besides two rooms full of craft stash, I have a huge basement with outside access. It needs a major cleaning out and dressing up, but it'd be a great place to meet for workshops on occassion. I'd really like to organize a multi craft cooperative and share some of my excess craft stash and equipment...I am in sort of eastern central Virginia. I am less than an hour from most of Richmond and Fredericksburg and only about an hour from Charlottesville/UVA depending on which tractor or school bus you get behind, which it seems I always do when I am in a hurry. Itt is a windy, but pretty rural drive most of the way. I am only about 15 minutes west of I-95 at Kings Dominion/Doswell the other way and it is practically a straight shot....

I am thinking perhaps we could make up and sell some of it on e-bay or etsy or craft fairs and provide us some kind of income to support our habits and maybe some charities. Cat and I have been tossing about the idea, but haven't been able to actually get together and work on it. It could be the start of a great cottage business if a few of us could really work at it....What do you all think. Ideas? Suggestions?

Intro - Margaret (LotsofYarn) in Charlottesville

Hi All! Thanks to Olivia-Lee for the invitation to join after she mentioned the blog on MMario's lace group.

I'm a knitter and spinner from Charlottesville, though we also spend some time in Mathews (down by the Bay). Most of my knitting and spinning adventures make it onto my blog, where I talk about lace, socks, startitis, some spinning, and lots of yarn. On Ravelry, I'm lotsofyarn.

We've got a weekly Wednesday night stitch-n-bitch/meetup in at the Hollymead Panera and all are invited to join us if you find yourself in Cville at mid-week. On Ravelry, we're Cville Knitters. Please get in touch with me if you want more info or links to our Yahoo group.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cross post from www.bonaircat.blogspot.com - MSWF

I was dismayed to read the following today:

Five minutes before the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival opened last weekend, someone stepped into the Brooks Farm Yarn booth and slipped the Optic Waves Shawl from my (Clara Parkes') book off its hanger and into her bag.

That theft kicked off a series of break-ins, thefts, and acts of vandalism that kept the Howard County Sheriff's Department busy all weekend—and that left a lot of knitters wondering what was happening to our once-sacred little community.

But the sheep were plentiful, the lines long, and the vendors well-stocked.

I agree with Clara - what in the world is going on? What is wrong with people?!

Despite all the above, I had a wonderful time. My photos are posted here on flickr if you'd like to see them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Hello everyone,

Did anyone go the MS&W this year? I have been expecting to hear comments about your experiences. I went on Saturday,but couldn't walk for long, due to poor circulation in legs, but did manage to buy some yarn and a pattern. I attended the Raverly gathering. I was surprised at the number of members that were there. It was very crowded.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Tornado damage?

Do we have any one effected by the tornadoes today?
Tonight I was a at missions conference in our area and the area (Richmond/Fredricksburg) of concern was helping out refugees in our area coming from numerous areas.

One of the groups they are helping is the Burmese Hill People. These people are looking for someone to build them a loom/s like the kind they had to leave behind in Burma so they can continue to work their craft here. They are a very agrarian people and so that is the only skill they have. Here of course, with the language barrier and no other skills they have to work very menial low paying jobs. Nothing was said about they kind of fiber they were using or what it was spun on.

The speaker has no experience with any fiber arts at all but she wants to help these people practice their art. She was wearing and example of the cloth they wove and it is wonderful fine colorful cloth. I have volunteered to help with this project if I can.

I asked their director to email me more information and someone is going to try to get us some pictures of the looms. I don't weave and know very little about weaving. I am thinking perhaps there is already something already here that would be comparable. Would any of you have information that would help with this project... and while you all are at MDS&W and other local festivals, perhaps you could collect some information for us.

I am also going to try to contact the local weaving and spinning guilds. I think it'd be a great to get the two groups together. There may be similar programs going on in your area also. Some of you might want to check in on it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fleece to Shawl in Heathsville

On Saturday, May 17th at the Heathsville Farmer's Market, the Northern Neck Spinners and Weavers Group will be holding a fleece to shawl demonstration. The demonstration will begin at 8:30 and conclude either when we are done or 4 p.m. whichever comes first.

We hope to finish before 4...

We will be demonstrating and teaching how to flick and comb wool, spin it on both wheels and spindles and weave the finished singles into a shawl.

The shawl, once completed, will be donated to the Hughlett Inn - Rice's Tavern organization for either a raffle or auction to benefit this teaching and historic preservation organization.

What makes this fleece to shawl demonstration unique is that any visitor interested in participating will be brought in, handed and spindle with some fleece and taught how to spin. Your resulting yarn will be incorporated into the shawl.

That same day at the Farmer's Market they are also celebrating Crab Crawl and will feature food, organic vegetables, locally grown plants, local crafts persons, and more. The Blacksmith shop will be open and the members of that guild will be doing blacksmithing demonstrations next door to where we will be spinning and weaving.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

May 24 - Sedalia

Sedalia Fiber Festival is coming up quickly -- anyone planning on attending? It is near Lynchburg. I am open that weekend and would love to have a day trip... (hint hint). It won't be as exciting as MS&W, but it sure should be worth attending. I have not been before, but I hear it is a nice event.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Knitting Workshops in No VA

Sounds like it was a busy weekend for Virginia Knitters. Olivia-Lee and Cat, while you were getting good, useful information from Pat, I was taking classes from Margaret Radcliffe, aka Maggie's Rags. She presented three workshops for KANV (that's Knitting Artisans of Northern Virginia) in McLean on Saturday and Sunday. The 6 hour class on Sat. was Fantastic No Gauge Scarves and Shawls. On Sunday AM class was I-Cord Intensive, and PM was Lazy Knitter's Guide to Pattern Stitches. What a fantastic group of workshops. So much good information. I am currently suffering from information overload! I love taking classes like this because there is always something new to learn. Knitting is such an evolving craft. There is always another skill to master, other ways of acheiving unique knitted items.

Margaret Radcliffe has another book coming out this Fall on color knitting. Another example of Virginia knitters, as she lives in Blacksburg.

Hanover Knitting Guild

What a nice group of ladies / girls! Olivia and I attended the knitting guild meeting yesterday, albeit arriving a little late ... me due to back up on 95 and her b/c of a dog-gone circular needle disaster involving lace and rapidly dropping stitches! Anyhow we both made it (after going to the incorrect library location first), and arrived in time to hear Pat's talk on pattern basics for ample figured girls. When you have a chance to hear her, make sure you go - she knows lots of good stuff!! She also brought a small fortune's worth of yarn and patterns and sample sweaters from her store ... Olivia and I can't wait to visit her at the store and just wander through it all at our leisure. Pat seems to know more about pattern designing that I will probably learn and forget before I leave this world!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Event Reminder

This is a reminder fo all you who live in the Richmond, Fredericksburg and surrounding areas. Our own Pat Kirtland of the Yarn Barn in Dillwyn, VA will be speaking to the Hanover Guild at the Hanover Courthouse Library tomorrow (Saturday April 19) from 9 to noon. She will be instructing us on how we can adjust patterns to suit our sizes. She will also be bringing along "Stash Enhancement Opportunities" from her shop.

Cat and I plan to attend. Hope to meet some of you there.

We were unable to get to Pat's Enterlac Class at Grave's Mountain last weekend because Cat was sick, so we are looking forward to this opportunity to meet Pat with extra enthusiasm.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Shop!

Hey, I finally did it - opened a shop on etsy! I put ten items in on Sunday afternoon, and I've sold four - all handspun or hand dyed yarn. I will be adding more items soon. Check it out sometime: wildhare.etsy.com.

- Melissa

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rainy Saturday/

How is everyone this rainy Saturday morning? m I am neither knitting, gardening or cleaning house...all of which I am way behind on. I am going to Greenville, VA tomorrow to pick up yet two more (daddy) bunnies.

I heard from Pat Kirkland this morning from the Yarn Barn.

For those of you who are members of the River City Knitters, Pat is your instructor for the Grave's Mountain Retreat on the 12th of April. Cat and I are going to try up for just the day that Saturday.

The following Saturday, Pat will be speaking to the Hanover Knitting Guild at the Hanover Courthouse Public Library Meeting 10-12:00. If at all possible I will be trying to make that meeting too. I have scheduling conflict that I hope to be able to work around. Hope to meet some of you there.

I am not a member of either of these guilds ...yet.

Pat will also be returning from a Knitting Connections Retreat in Columbus the weekend of the Rustic Tarts and Old Farts so she will be stopping by that day also.

Perhaps if we ask really sweetly, she may arrange an activity for us at the shop when her garden is in bloom in Dillwyn.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Animal on the loose - 04.01.08

Posted as a community service:

Escaped Animal from the National Zoo

I want to alert all to a bulletin I just received:
A loof lirpa has escaped from the National Zoo. The animal ran out of its enclosure about 10 minutes ago when the zookeeper on duty was texting while the enclosure was unlocked.

The lirpa was last spotted heading north on Connecticut Avenue, and is probably in the vicinity of Porter Street and Connecticut Avenue about now. It may have stopped to snack on the vegetables at the outdoor carts at Magruder's.

DO NOT TRY AND CAPTURE THE LOOF LIRPA ON YOUR OWN. The lirpa stands about 4 feet tall, has a gazelle-like horns, weighs about 350 pounds, and comes from Patagonia. In other respects the lirpa resembles an alpaca. Normally the lirpa is gentle, but during its mating season (springtime, which is now), it can become aggressive. IF YOU HAVE A LARGE DOG, PLEASE KEEP YOUR DOG INSIDE. The naturally nearsighted lirpa may mistake your pet for its mate -- and it was the male that escaped. German shepherds, golden retrievers, and dalmatians are especially at risk, but even smaller dogs like miniature poodles and dachshunds may be a mating target, too, if the lirpa's sex desire is strong enough. Cats should be safe, unless they are abnormally large
and overweight.

The loof lirpa is a rare species and only about 12 zoos in the United States have one; half that number have a breeding pair, as the National Zoo does. Males in solo captivity lose their mating desire, but this male lirpa was planning to mate Friday or Saturday night (after dinner); its hormones are therefore likely to be at or near

If you're driving, please keep a lookout and drive carefully. The lirpa is quite a leaper. When a lirpa escaped from the San Diego Zoo in 2003 it caused a 7-car pile-up. The lirpa makes a clop-clop sound when it runs. Also, it has an aroma that can best be described a smelling like "cheap cologne," so you should be able to tell right away if the lirpa is or has been nearby.

The zoo has temporarily banned cell phone texting --for employees and visitors-- in the wake of this incident.

Please be careful. Treat the loof lirpa with caution -- it's a wild animal, and you can't tell how a wild animal will behave.

If you see the lirpa, please contact officials right away -- contact information here: http://zooalert.notlong.com .

--Bill Adler

Here is the response for the Commander of our local police station about the escaped animal:

Mr. Adler and community,
Thank you for this alert.
I would like to also alert the community that our officers are on the lookout for this animal. Our helicopter is up in the air right now, and we are responding to several lirpa sightings in the Cleveland Park community. Many of our officers who work near the Zoo are specially trained in animal capture and retention, and we feel confident that this situation will be brought under control at some point today.
Please go inside if you smell the aroma mentioned in the previous email. Our officers are also releasing a chemical which imitates the odor of the female lirpa when in heat, in order to facilitate capture, so the male's natural odors combined with the chemicals we are releasing produce an overwhelmingly interesting, and perhaps negative, smell. We ask that pedestrians who may see or even encounter the animal
avoid any sudden gestures which startle wild animals, and we ask that motorists
who catch a glimpse of this lirpa please alert us by cell phone only after
safely pulling to the curb. We will continue to provide periodic updates and I want to say again that we are committed to a speedy apprehension. I understand the
lirpa is normally subdued during evening hours, so if we are not successful in
assisting the Zoo with finding the lirpa today, I have the utmost confidence we
will probably get him tomorrow.
A. S., Commander, Second District

Monday, March 31, 2008


Hello, everyone! I'm CJ aka CraftyGryphon, and I wandered into VAKnitters via the Secret of the Stole I a while back. I'm located in NoVa, have only started three knitting projects in 2008 that I haven't finished yet, and one of my big resolutions for 2008 is "under 50 UFOs". I'm trying to post daily M-F to my blog CraftyGryphon Knits... mostly it works. Yay!

My Introduction - Melissa

Hello there - My name is Melissa, and I live in Front Royal, "Gateway to Skyline Drive," "Canoe Capital of Virginia," where the two forks of the Shenandoah River converge, etc. etc. I've lived here for nine years now - I'm originally from North Carolina, and I believe my love of textiles is in my blood. I learned to sew, embroider and crochet before I could read, from my beloved great-grandmother who was an avid quilter and crocheter (of the tiny cotton yarn bedspeads and tableclothes variety). I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have some kind of project going that involves a needle of some sort! I am also an artist in the more traditional drawing-and-painting sense, having majored in design in college (in the 80's).

My current main fiber interests are knitting (which I taught myself in middle school) and spinning (learned at a workshop in my 20's). I've rarely managed to follow a pattern without making major modifications, so for the last 15 years or so, I mostly design my own. For several years my goal was to make a sweater each year for each family member for Christmas, but as my family size increased (and I realized that I had no sweaters of my own!) I decided to give myself greater project freedom. I like knitting that looks difficult but has a simple logic behind it that makes it easy it knit (think domino squares, old shale lace, etc).

In the last three years, my life has changed dramatically due to divorce. I used to homeschool; now my children are in school and I am now a working single mother of seven! Knitting and spinning have been invaluable stress-relievers to me during this time!

My goal for this year is to expand my creative pursuits from hobby status to home business. I am working with a small-scale llama farmer to develop patterns/kits for yarns made from his animals, and I'm on the verge of stocking some of my handspun in an etsy shop. I've also promised myself that I will begin submitting some of my knitting designs for publication, and enter more contests (like Montpelier, where I received several ribbons last fall). And I've thought of combining my fiber loves with my art background to develop a line of t-shirts and notecards with fiber/yarn themes. As you can see, I've got the ideas -- the challenge is to find the time to carry through and still keep life running smooth everywhere else!

I look forward to getting to know more fellow fiber fanatics in Virginia. I am involved with a group that meets monthly in Luray (if anyone else is near enough to be interested, contact me directly), and in some online groups like EZasPi (where I met Olivia-Lee). Glad to meet you all!

- Melissa

Sunday, March 30, 2008


My name is Teri I live in the Northern part of Virginia.
I have been knitting since I have retired, my daughter wanted to learn to knit. She bought a learn how to knit kit. She was having trouble and ask me if I could help her. Well I haven't been knitting for a long time, funny it is like riding a bike. Once you learn ya never forget. So here I am trying to teach her the basics and it is not going very well.
She didn't do to well and so the story goes I am knitting and so are my grandchildren. They are ten and nine and doing very well at it, just a little gloating here.
I mostly knit socks, I just can't get into making sweaters yet. I do love lace knitting I am into a shawl now. I was in the Sotsii and love it. I haven't finished it yet but am making a good start on it. I am what they call a snail with it.
Right now I am going to go into surgery and hopefully this one will help my back and leg. So I don't do much driving right now.
So hello to everyone and hope to join you in the knitting get togethers.

Introducing Myself

I am Judy from the Northern Neck.  I have been a compulsive knitter since I attended a week-long camp that coincided with a week-long rain in the mountains of Colorado at the age of 12.  Knitting kept me sane through high school, college, a demanding job, and four children.  When the first of the children were reaching their teen years, I took up spinning.  That was even better:  spinning and knitting gave me lots of opportunities to relax.  My youngest son is now almost 16, and I have been weaving for about 4 years.  

I am now retired and have a lot more time to pursue my hobbies.  I enjoy lace knitting, colorwork, and socks.   I am an active member of the Five Rivers Fiber Guild and the Williamsburg Spinners and Weavers Guild.  We also started an on-line group Spinners and Weavers of the Northern News last fall.  (Hi, Cate.)   It is nice to share information with others.  

Judy from the Northern Neck

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What a lovely day

Cat and I met at Stir Crazy....and yes... I was a bit late... but there was some kind of accident on I-95 that slowed me down considerably. I was nice and called to say I was running late, but Cat didn't have her cellphone. It'll be a great place for future meetups as they have a nice private room with a good sized table we could sit at. Cat showed me around the site a little more and tried to teach me how to "do stuff" and I pretended to understand. We discussed several possibilities for additions to the site and corrected a few fauxpas. One thing we'd both like is for you all to participate more. Please! We want you all to feel like this is your blog also. I'll be sending out a questionnaire for you all soon...answer only what you want too and send it back to me. I'll keep this information private. None of it will be posted on the site except for your general location. I may use it though to make private introductions to others close to you or that have the mutual interests.

Margaret couldn't make it as she had her hubby finishing the deck. Beth had a minor fender bender on her way home from her third Drs. appointment of the week (I think she she was looking for an excuse to bow out on her hunky out of state blind date... but he showed up anyway)...so Cat and I went over and crashed the party (had to make sure he wasn't an axe murder now didn't we....What are friends for???) I personally checked her glass of blackberry wine for drugs and poison and there were no weapons in site. When we left they were going for a drive in her car and then to meet her family for dinner, so I am guessing she was safe enough.

Cat and I decided we make a good couple. We rummaged through several consignment shops on Lakeside and I came home with more treasures I thought I needed at the time....She showed me the house she may buy. It'd be nice to have her on this side of The River.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ok, fellow blog members - Olivia & I are about to meet for lunch. I am sitting at Stir Crazy, waiting for her to arrive. Neat place. If you're unfamiliar with the Bellevue area of Richmond, then you'll need to come by here sometime; if you are familiar with Bellevue, you've probably already been by here. The menu is somewhat extensive for such a small place and the coffee offerings are nirvana for a coffee-holic like myself. The walls are a lime green, there are local artists' photographs framed (and for sale) on the walls a la carte kinda. There are three upholstered sitting areas and about 10 tables that seat about 4 persons each. Some folks are sitting reading books or newspapers, others are visiting and others are working on a computer like I am pretending to.

Hopefully once O-L gets here I will have more to say... we were really hoping some of you would have come. You'll just have to read the blog and post, girls!, so we can all know what we are up to. Do you know how to set up a reader list of blogs you like to keep up with (please don't take that statement in a negative way - there is so much about this wonderful www that I don't know and I like to pass on what I find out so others can enjoy it more too)? If you don't, google offers a good one. Well it's 12:20 and no olmommee yet, but I'm sure she'll be along soon. to be updated later...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering

June 15th will be the date of the 1st Annual Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering. So here is the deal.

We will meet at my photography studio in Martinsburg WV. The address for anyone wanting to find out distance or directions is 3628 Winchester Ave., Zip 25405, and it’s a pretty straight shot off of I81. I am figuring we will begin at 1pm, and probably run to 5 or 6. Bring something for a potluck meal (a grocery store is nearby, as well as pizza places!), and the DH and I will provide beverages. Any crafting is welcome as long as it can be held in your lap or spun on a wheel...floor looms might not be feasible. If the weather is fine we have a shady front porch we can sit out on.

Now, one of the reasons we chose this weekend was that the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, one of the biggest on the East Coast, is that Friday through Sunday. This could give you a great excuse to do a mini-vacation, go to the festival Saturday and the RT&OFG on Sunday. There are tons of hotels in the area, and some wonderful B&Bs too. If history is your thing, Harpers Ferry and Antietam are both within a half-hour’s drive.

If you are a vendor, feel free to bring your wares. I’m sure everyone will be happy to fondle. We are working on a logo for this event that we may be able to make available on tees and totes too. Feel free to invite others that you know aren’t on this list, I just ask that people email me so I have an idea of how many will be coming. I’m also happy to provide as much info on the area as I can. Email Diana AT tlcphotography DOT com

In addition, March 29th is Irish Festival on Church Hill

Some folks are talking about getting together for lunch Saturday then attending the Festival ... any other interested persons ...? So far we have Olivia-Lee, Margaret and (possibly) me.... The suggested meeting place is Stir Crazy.

Camp Stitches... ever heard of it?

Check out this website for Camp Stitches - New York - it looks really wonderful. I wonder if anybody/anybodies could come up with a way to go...

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm Here.

hi, i'm nancy from vinton, va, new to this blogging business. I love to knit many things--at once--lol. I really like rug hooking, could say i'm obessed with it.
Would like to learn to spin, started once a looong time ago, will have to start all over again. I'm into Kal's doing the pi shawl, with some wool I bought on a cone, maybe dk weight, with 10 1/2 needles, will not be able to do all the pattern rounds.
Love socks, noro yarns.
This is a little bit about me. Nancy

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hi ya'll!

I'm Cate hailing from the Northern Neck of Virginia (Heathsville, specifically). I've been knitting for about two years, spinning for a year longer and just got a floor loom two weeks ago.

I am busy knitting a green pull over sweater for myself in the round from the top down, a pair of grey socks for the son of a friend of mine, a pair of purple socks for me (I'm on the second one and have managed to misplace the first one somewhere in this messy house). I'm planning to weave a wedding shawl for a dear friend (the big event takes place in August). I have yarn on hand for two more sweaters for me but I'm in the process of losing weight and hope to make a smaller size -- but have to finish the green one first.

I hope eventually to spin enough yarn to keep myself knitting and weaving. I'm having fun processing three fleeces just now.

I also have a full time job outside the home, two sons in college and one who just took the GED test and hopes to start college in the fall. No, I did not plan to have all three in college at one time but the oldest will graduate this Spring so I might catch a break.


I sent out invitations again for some of the people on our invitation list who do not appear to have joined yet. If I hit some of them twice, sorry, the blog kicked me off a couple of times when I went too fast for it...I am afraid maybe your first invitation may have gotten caught in your spam filter....or your significant other filter.... found a couple with misspellings. My fault entirely. I am still combing through my address lists.

If you are having trouble signing on just let Cat or I know and we will help you through it. Anyone can see/read our blog, but you have to be signed on to post....If you are reading our blog, but haven't gotten an invitation yet, just e-mail me (Olivia-Lee or Cat)...and if you know someone who would like an invitation...ditto....

If you have joined, but used another email address other than the one to which we sent your invitation would you please let me know. Our space is limited to 100 members so we don't want to be holding a space someone else can fill.

I am also compiling address cards for each of you in my AOL address book which I will share only with Cat. The purpose of this is so we can arrange introductions if someone in your area is asking specifically to meet you or someone like you and you won't have to post personal information on the blog for the world to see.....This is for your safety. E-mail me and I will send you a form. You can fill out only the parts you want to share.

I have found a map that will identify you by your zipcodes. May work for our interactive map. I turned that over to our technical advisor Cat to research.

I will also be sending out some group e-mail now and again. If you wish me to hide your screen name in group e-mails will you also let me know this.

Again if you all know something that would make our site better suggest away. This is your site too you know.

I'll let Cat post her address.

Mine is:

Clotho's Children Silent Auction and Tag Sale

I'm not in this guild, but saw an ad through the Fredericksburg Spinner's and Weavers. This is what I know.

Ashcake Rescue Squad Meeting Room
8375 New Ashcake Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116,

March 15, 2008

Viewing begins at 12:30.

Silent Auction begins at 1 and ends at 2.

Tag sales, “creations” and freebie tables open at 1:00 p.m.

Doors close at 4.

Might be worth checking out if you're in the area on Saturday.

Finally Set Up to Post

Hi, I'm Mary in Spotsylvania County (Massaponex area). I've finally gotten set up to post with Cat's help. I work in DC, so lately I'm not around much. On the other hand, now that I'm taking the train again I'm getting some knitting done! I think some of us have been emailing for about a year now and I'm thinking we're way overdue for a real get-together - maybe pick a Saturday or Sunday afternoon at a relatively centrally located Panera or some such location and see who can show up????

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New to Group

My name is Carlissa. I live in Hanover County also. I am actually in a little place called Studley, about 15 minutes from Mechanicsville and 20 from Ashland.

I am a homeschooling mom of 7 (ok one is in a private school) ages 17 down to 7. I also work 3 part time jobs to help provide for the little ones.

I have crocheted since I was 7 or 8 and tried knitting in the early 80's. Swore I would never do it again. Well, as luck would have it all my kids starting going to a free knitting class at the local library and since they only met every 2 weeks, I had to learn enough to help them out in between classes, or I knew they would lose interest. Now I am hooked.

I am on the EZ as Pi list (and several others but since time doesn't permit, mostly only reading the above list). I am working on my first Pi shawl. I love EZ's attitude about knitting, but need a little hand holding to tackle some of her patterns. I have wanted to do a Pi shawl since the first time I saw one. I am currently trying to do the knit along for the Orkney Pi.

For those of you in my area. It is a bit of a hike (and not the best selection) but the Unraveled is currently having a 39% off sale. I believe the shop may be closing or transferring ownership. I was there last week and got my 2nd son (age 11) some beautiful Angora/Cotton yarn so he can start a hat. I love this boy, he asked for some plain cotton to do a dishcloth first, as he has not knitted in about a year and wanted to practice before he opened up his new yarn.

Ok, rambled enough. It is nice to meet you all and perhaps someday will get to put faces to some of these names.


Monday, March 10, 2008

News Story: Knitters dress up trees for public art

Knitters dress up trees for public art

By JAMES HANNAH, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 10, 6:12 AM ET

No, that's not a hallucination. That pear tree is wearing a sweater.

Wrapped around the trunk is a colorful, crazy-quilt skin made up of panels of yarn knitted individually by residents and visitors alike. Good-luck charms cling to the yarn. Family photos, poems and jokes peek out of knitted pockets.

The art project in this southwest Ohio village, already known for its offbeat art, has become a conversation piece and even a photo op.

"What takes this to a different level is it is a community thing," said Corrine Bayraktaroglu, an artist who helped start the "knitknot tree" project. "People are really, really enjoying it. They're coming from towns to have their photograph taken with the tree. They're adding stuff to the pockets."

Knitters around the U.S. are dressing trees, street signs, benches, door handles and other objects.

Last month, residents of Columbus, Ind., knitted cozies for 33 ornamental pear trees that line the city's main street. One tree, called the People Hugger, has knitted arms.

Knitted coverings are showing up on trees and doorknobs in Charleston, W.Va. In Houston, knitters have dressed up park benches, car antennas, telephone poles and beer bottles.

"It's fascinating what's going on in the knitting world," Bayraktaroglu said. "Graffiti street art is going to a whole different realm. It's gone beyond just painting on sides of buildings."

Artist Carol Hummel is among the pioneers. She crocheted a cozy for a tree in front of City Hall in Cleveland Heights several years ago. It took her 500 hours and the use of a hydraulic lift to dress the upper branches.

The cozy has survived several winters and even a swarm of cicadas, which left their molted skins clinging to the material.

"There are a lot of copycats now," Hummel said. "A lot of people are getting into putting things on the trees. That's cool."

In Yellow Springs, the first knitted panel — a gold piece with the words "Knitknot Tree" and a smiley face — went up in October. It wasn't until early February that more panels began to be added.

"Then it just took off like crazy," Bayraktaroglu said. "People were coming from out of town and adding their own knitting."

Artist Nancy Mellon said people love to come up and touch the tree, and children like to check out what's in the pockets.

"There was a man — while I was working on the tree — who walked by, and all he said was 'Thank you,'" Mellon said.

Other residents in this village about 15 miles east of Dayton also seem to like the dressed-up tree.

"It looks like Yellow Springs; it's unique, it's colorful, unpredictable," said Lynda Sirk. "It makes me smile. That's what I like."

The tree is vulnerable to the raised legs of passing pooches. Because of that, the panels of yarn don't extend all the way to ground level.

As the panels spread up the trunk, the knitters had to follow, first standing on a chair, then a three-step ladder, a 6-foot ladder and finally an 8-foot ladder. They finally decided they had gone high enough after someone suggested scaffolding and village officials began to worry about someone falling.

"The fear factor has kicked in," Mellon said.

The artists who started the project tentatively plan to remove the knitting on Arbor Day at the end of April and give away the pieces of yarn.

But Bayraktaroglu has some reservations about that.

"People get very attached," she said, "and I think they'll be mad at us if we cut it down."

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.