Archive for October, 2006
We just got in the new Holiday Knits special issue of Interweave Knits. It’s chock full of great projects for every member of the family.
Here are some samples of the projects along with some yarn suggestions:
Backyard Leaves: This scarf uses the 4 balls of the store favorite Karabella’s Aurora 8. It originally appeared in the book Scarf Style and has become a classic.
Boudoir Socks: these would be gorgeous in our laceweight Misti Alpaca. Depending on your gauge, you might need only one skein.
For those of you looking for a unique and fun Christmas stocking, this one is for you. As you know, we’ve got 100 colors of Cascade, which is perfect for this project. We have a customer who has knit this, and we can tell you that the picture doesn’t do it justice. It is absolutely adorable.
Finally, for the felting fans, Nicky Epstein has this project. It’s great for using up your stash of Cascade 220, which may be left over from other projects. These would make a fabulous centerpiece or mantle decoration.
October 24th, 2006
As you may know, Afghans for Afghans is an organization run out of San Francisco that arranges several large donations a year of knitted items for Afghans. This time around, the goal was for 900 sweaters to be sent by the beginning of November. A number of our customers have generously joined us in participating in Afghans for Afghans during this donation cycle. So far, Nine Rubies working with the San Mateo Library and its customers have knitted at least 10 sweaters. Here’s a sample of what our customers have done:
We received a notice from Afghans for Afghans that they are running well short of their goal of 900 sweaters. We are hoping that some of you might be able to squeeze in a quick, big-needle sweater in the next couple of weeks so that we can give an even bigger donation to this worthwhile group. As an added incentive, we are offering 10% off yarns that are used for donations (15% off to store members). Here’s a link to the organization’s site for more information on the yarn requirements and more details: http://www.afghansforafghans.org/afghansforAfghansflyer.pdf . To hear more about the organization, it’s goals and inner workings, the San Mateo library is presenting the final knitting circle at the library on Sunday, October 29th at 2 pm. Member of the Afghans for Afghans organization will talk about their work with other relief organizations.
October 23rd, 2006
We love, love finger-knitting for all those little hands which aren’t quite ready for the rigor and rhythm of knitting. We’ve had some great results created in our shop by people participating in the Knitting 101 sessions.
What is Finger Knitting, you ask? You use your fingers as holders for your stitches and loop the stitches through each other. Which means you can only make something about 4 (5 if you use your thumb creatively) stitches wide. Yeah, you kind of need to be there to learn how to finger knit. And then you can teach all who are younger than you and use up your stash of novelty yarns that you don’t know quite what to do with.
You start off wiht a tutorial on Finger Knitting from the Kids Can Make it website. It’s even easy to print out if you cannot be in front of a computer when demonstrating.
Knitty, one of favorite websites, also has a great tutorial.
Then you find a big, bulky yarn and start right away and less than 20 minutes later you have a scarf or headband or whatever you want it to be. It’s a great rainy day activity for the youngsters (and cheats them into practicing their finer motor skills).
October 20th, 2006
The Domiknitrix is coming!
We are delighted to announce that The Domiknitrix AKA Jennifer Stafford, will be coming to Nine Rubies on Saturday, November 25th from 3-7 pm. Nine Rubies is honored to be her first book signing event. You’ll have finished Thanksgiving dinner and will be spending the weekend wondering how to get your knitting time in with everyone crowding you out. So, come pick up copy and then you can go home and show the family how cool knitting really is.
The Domiknitrix is a blogger friend of Nine Rubies and has been a supporter before the store opened (she told me not to name the store after sheep or ewe; important advice). Her designs – the Devil Hat and Noro Felted Purse have graced the store since the very beginning. Sudha knitted one of the samples in the book in Crystal Palace Shimmer – even she was amazed at the stylings of the Domiknitrix.
Jennifer has a unique, fun and funky approach to knitting. She is also the most adventurous knitter – hates those seams and will do anything to avoid them altogether. Those of us who don’t like seams will love her. Her designs are very San Francisco hip – parents and teenagers are going to argue over who’s wearing this look. And you’re going to love making them…
The book teaches the basics of knitting, purling and finishing, but Jennifer’s real talent is apparent in the more than 20 great patterns.
In order to get a sense of the quantities we need to order, we’re asking that you pre-order the book if you will be coming to the signing (or if you just want a copy). Please stop by the store or call us if you are interested. We’ll have extra copies of the book at the event if you don’t want to pre-order. Of course, you are more than welcome to come to the event even if you don’t order the book – Jennifer would be happy to help you boss your yarn around.
October 18th, 2006
We are thrilled to announce that Ann Norling, the designer will be visiting Nine Rubies knitting on Wednesday, October 25th from 6 to 8 pm. So mark your calendars and plan to be there early.
Ann Norling is one of our favorite designers at the store. One the main reasons we love her designs is because she does pamphlets as opposed to big books – customers find these way more comvenient. Another reason is because the designs are generally written so you can work them in different gauges and different yarns for different people in your life – think big and small.
Ann will talking about one of her latest patterns “The Perfect Tee” – which is all about knitting up the perfect Tee sweater for anyone, in any yarn, with or without sleeves. Dolores has been knitting it up in Debbie Bliss’ Astrakhan.
On the occasion of the Ann’s visit to the store, we will be providing 15% off on all Crystal Palace Yarns. We will also be taking special orders on any Crystal Palace yarns ordered by you, even if we do not carry that specific yarn.
October 17th, 2006
We are thrilled to have an exclusive here at Nine Rubies. One of our friends, san-mateo-knitter, mom and supporter of the store, Joanne Spetz, has started a small business of hand-dying yarn. You may have seen her vibrant colorways in the bassinet in our window. Her company is called Baywood Yarns, named after her neighborhood in San Mateo. She even has her own blog where you can follow her dyeing adventures. We recently sat down with Joanne to learn more about her inspirations and where she is taking her business from here.
Nine Rubies: How long have you been hand-dying yarn?
Joanne: Since March 2006.
Nine Rubies: What inspired you to get started?
Joanne: I’ve been interested in dying yarn since I started knitting about four years ago. I tried spinning, too, but I didn’t have enough time to dedicate to it. When I was young, my mom would give us cups of colored water to mix up and see what happened to the colors in each cup. Dying yarn reminds me of that. So, the principles of mixing colors (and easily getting brown!) goes way back for me.
Nine Rubies: Can you tell us a little bit about the process you go through?
Joanne: I use protein-based fibers like animal hair and silk and professional-grade acid dyes. That sounds scary but the dyes are activated with vinegar. The technique I use for dying the yarn depends on the end result that I want. If I want a clearly defined stripe, I spread the yarn out and paint it. Other times, I handpaint and then over-dye in a pot to get variegation. Another option is to put the yarn in a pot of vinegar water and pour dye over different sections. Finally, you have to steam it or cook it to set the color.
Nine Rubies: How do you choose your colors?
Joanne: I see colors that appeal to me everywhere. I love to cook, so food inspires me. Of course, in our area, there are flowers and plants with beautiful colors all around, so that is also a great starting point.
Nine Rubies: What has surprised you about the experience so far?
Joanne: That people like it! It’s been great to have Nine Rubies to encourage me to keep going and to try new things. I can’t wait to see everyone’s finished projects.
Nine Rubies: Do you plan on expanding your product line soon?
Joanne: Absolutely. I’ve got a number of new yarns coming soon. I have an Aran-weight silk and merino which is perfect for a Clapotis. It’ll be in approximately 200 yard skeins. I’ve got a bulky mohair boucle (135 yard skeins) which can be knit tightly as a purse or cuff and collar on a sweater. Other new yarns are a silk/wool fingering weight (300-350 yards) and a 100% DK-weight silk (200 yards). Of course, I’ll still have my sock yarn and the sportweight yarn that I started with.
October 16th, 2006
We wanted to remind you that we have two fun classes this week. One has four sessions and teaches intermediate crochet skills, and the other is a one-time class that will expand your knowledge of several important knitting skills.
Many of you know Linda Alvarez as the knitting wizard leading the Fair Isle Bag classes later this month (and another one in November). Not only is she a fabulous knitter, but she is also a great crocheter. She crocheted the beautiful rust-colored shawl in the window. Linda is teaching Crochet 102 beginning Tuesday, and you will learn the skills you need to crochet that shawl yourself. Linda used Rowan’s Kid Silk Haze double- stranded to knit the shawl, and we have a great range of colorways in that yarn. Please see the class listing for more details on the possible projects, and book that will be used in the class.
Here are the details for Linda’s Crochet 102 class:
When: Tuesdays, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 6:30-8:30 pm
Another of our great instructors is Julie Montanari. She has a hands-on, one-session class on Thursday called Skill Building. It’s an excellent opportunity to explore basics like casting on, binding off, increasing, decreasing and more in more depth. You will definitely appreciate having more tools in your knitting arsenal as you get into the busy knitting season this Fall. Please bring a light colored, worsted weight yarn with the needle size suggested on the yarn wrapper.
Here are the details for Julie’s Skill-Building class:
When: Thursday, 10/12, 1:30-4:30 pm
We are sure that you will find both of these classes very worthwhile. Please call the store at 685-6205 or stop in to reserve your spot.
October 9th, 2006
So, I have been participating in the Sock Wars started by the Yarn Monkey. This was a crazy idea where you assasinate targets by knitting them a pair of socks. Sometime in August, I signed up for the war and anxiously awaited news of the assigned pattern, the materials required, and most importantly my target.
Well, mother nature did not cooperate with the Yarn Monkey and a hurricane ripped through Northern Ireland and destroyed quite a bit of her infrastructure to support the war. Yes, she needed “infrastructure” – there were more than 700 signups when I last checked. The competition had a rough start and I started knitting the socks on a Satruday night (yup, me and my exciting night life). On US5 needles (mandated by the competition), I was done about 16 hours of knitting time later. I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks that Rock yarn – loved knitting with it BTW. The socks were a little bulky but even if I say so myself, looked very nice. For those of you that want the pattern, it’s on the yarn monkey website.
That’s when the madness started. My target decided to “opt-out” because she hadn’t heard on time that the sock war had started. Her target’s email bounced. I posted on the sock war forum to see if I could find her and went after her target, who was very nice and was willing to be assassinated. But then the sister of bounced email saw my post and helped me assassinate her sister – are you following this?
Either way, my finished socks are on their way to Canada right now. But yesterday, I got killed because I got my socks from SpindleRose in Ohio. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful pair of Mountain Color socks and a Fallen Comrade of the Sock Wars. And here ends the saga of the Sock Wars!! Who knew wars could be fun.
October 4th, 2006
Many people have bought the fabulous beaded scarf kits that our instructor Julie Montanari has put together. Julie also has great ideas for adding beads to fringes and many other cool options for endings to scarves and shawls.
These tips and techniques will be explored in our new class called Happy Endings this Thursday from 1:30-4:30. It’s a one-time class for $45. You will be able to put your new skills to good use right away when you knit up scarves for holiday gift giving.
Think of the effect of this scarf on your friends:
October 3rd, 2006
The Customer Appreciation Party at Nine Rubies on Saturday, September 30th was HUGE!! The store was rocking all day - the customer trunk show was incredible. The food and the drinks in the evening were fantastic.
Before we started this knitting store, I was in high-tech, enjoying my career. My parents had moved from India about five years ago to be closer to me. I thought opening the store with my Mother would be a rewarding experience because I would get to spend more time with her – after all this was the reason they had uprooted their lives to come be with me. My Mom and I have certainly enjoyed each other’s undiluted company but what we did not expect was the community that sprang up around the store. It’s been an amazing experience to make so many friends in the relatively short time that the store has been open. Thank you for making us a part of your lives!!
For those of you that don’t know, the entire event was orchestrated by the Friends of Nine Rubies. The Friends set up the window display, organized the food, wrote the press release, put on the slideshow and organized the scrapbook. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The Staff baked, helped customers, lent their knitted wares and worked themselves to the bone on Saturday. Thank you Dolores, Jocelyn, Maggie, and Melissa.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you that participated and came to the store on Saturday. An amazing amount of yarn was bought on Saturday – Happy Knitting to all of you!! Thanks to all of you we’ll be here if you need any help along the way.
October 2nd, 2006