Monday, January 30, 2017

The Joy of Knitting - Subversiveness Allowed But Not Required

This past week we have been astonished, amused, and confused, by the reactions to the Women's March the previous weekend.

Who knew that wearing knitted pink cat hats and marching peacefully for equal rights around the world, which participants reported back was very uplifting and inspiring, would result in so much controversy?

One LYS owner in Tennessee posted after the fact (when she had already made money from selling pink yarn), that she did not want to support the march,

"With the recent women's march on Washington, I ask that you if you want yarn for any project for the women's movement that you please shop for yarn elsewhere. The vulgarity, vile and evilness of this movement is absolutely despicable." 

She says other stuff too but you can look that up for yourself.

She also has a policy, even though she claims she has family values and her hours are only in the daytime, that children are not welcome.

As an American citizen with first amendment rights she is perfectly within her rights to do this. She can post her policies and even who is welcome into her store. Whether she is allowed to follow through and discriminate against certain people, I doubt, but she is allowed to say who she wants in her private establishment.

I think it's great that she has made her position clear for all to see. It's too bad she didn't state it before the march when she was making money from selling pink yarn.

There's been an incredible amount of reaction on both sides. If she wanted to get her shop known, she certainly succeeded. Bigly.

So let's be clear where we stand.

We are quite happy when you show us what you did with your yarn. If you're excited about a new pattern, finding the right yarn, and who you're making it for (including yourself) then we're excited too. We love it when you bring your finished projects in to show us, when you win ribbons for your work, when you create a successful pattern and when you come in wearing your creations.

We're also here for you when you get stuck and are pulling out your hair (knitted hair into your project is not a thing right now).

But, when you buy it, it's your yarn. You don't have to tell us what you're doing with it. No one is going to tie you to a chair and tickle you, pull out your teeth, shower you with ice cold water or make you watch Barney episodes over and over again. It is not a requirement to reveal what the purpose of the yarn is. We're not going to follow you home and dictate to you how to use it. You can hide it in your closet, knit it to cover a bus, give it to your lizard to play with, put it in a pile and jump in it, or make a cat hat. It is yours. It belongs to you. As long as you don't go the serial killer route and use it to tie up your victims, we're cool with it. We all have our own personal stashes that we have trouble controlling, we really don't need to control yours.

Further, we welcome all people in all kinds of hats. Pink hats, blue hats, brown and yellow and red hats, rainbow hats, purple hats with orange spots, come on in. You can even bring in your cat wearing a cat hat.

Even if you don't believe in equal rights for women, we will still serve you with dignity and sell you yarn or anything else you need that we carry.

We love our customers and as Christian women we are inclusive to all faiths and non-faiths, all political beliefs and non-beliefs. We may not agree with you politically or religiously (we don't always agree with each other) but we all believe in love, we find joy in knitting, and you are welcome here.

We also welcome children because we think they are people too. We expect them to behave just as we expect you to behave, but we think it's wonderful if you come with your children and share with them the things you enjoy doing. I have had many lovely conversations with your children while we sat on the couches together waiting for you to make your selections. We aren't your babysitters, but we certainly don't mind helping you out while you shop. Young mothers and grandmothers are important to us and what kind of knitters would we be if we didn't want to pass along our love for yarn and knitting to the next generation.

Furthermore, not only are the three of us crafters, we are each artists. Lori is a knitwear designer/,singer/musician, Margaret is a fibre artist/writer/singer, and I am a writer/actor/director. We recognize that throughout history the arts have been used to make statements politically and culturally much of which we still enjoy now. Johnathon Swift, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Anderson, Jane Austen, Judy Blume and even Dr. Suess have used their talents to express their outrage, and shine a light on current events and culture. Women have also made statements and taken stands through knitting and other "feminine" arts.

Subversive Knitting

The point is, we support you whether you want to make a pink hat and march in parades or sit by the fire knitting something for your new granddaughter (by the way, I got a new granddaughter this past week. She's sweet and lovely and she has a strong opinionated mother).

We welcome you no matter what color you are, or what color you wear. We welcome you whatever your political or religious persuasion is. We welcome you however you choose to identify yourself.

And yes, we would even welcome the yarn store owner who would not welcome you.

Because we really do believe in the joy of diversity, the joy of love and the joy of knitting.


This week we have Balpetegi which is Turkish for honeycomb. The honeycomb is the result of a community of bees gathering together and creating something both useful and delicious. Seems appropriate.

75% OFF

Himalaya Balpetegi
80% Acrylic 20% Wool
100 g/180 m/196 y

Regular Price: $6.00
Sale Price: $1.50

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who happens to like pink a great deal - and hats - and even cats as long as they belong to someone else, and getting together with other women)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Everybody Sing: Sunday, Sunday

So I'm looking up Sundae for the purpose of this post.

I know, you're all puzzled. What has a sundae got to do with knitting? We're getting there.

Anyway, I find a list of all the different types of ice cream sundaes that there are. This makes me start craving a sundae which is a very bad thing because I'm trying not to eat things like sundaes and chocolate and brownies and anything that tastes good.

So our of curiosity I look at what a Korean sundae is.

It's not an ice cream dessert.

But it does take the craving away.

Now I like sausages, but having them described as pig intestines stuffed with noodles and pork blood does not send me into rapturous glory like a chocolate caramel ice cream brownie sundae does.

And the fact that there's a neighborhood called Sundae in Sillim-Dong that sells Korean sausage, is not winning me over.

So let's talk about the ice cream sundaes because they're evil and evil is good. At least that's the message I've been getting lately but we won't talk politics.

The legend is (and yes it's not an old legend just over a hundred years), that laws were passed that drug stores, which had ice cream counters (why I don't know), couldn't sell ice cream sodas on Sundays. An owner decided to create an ice cream treat that he called a Sunday, so he could sell it on Sundays. Only some people got upset that he named an ice cream treat after a holy day so he changed the spelling to sundae and created a market for the maraschino cherry. Apparently the law was specific about ice cream sodas only. I guess the devil created those and angels are responsible for sundaes so he could sell sundaes on a Sunday, he just couldn't spell it with a y because y's are righteous and e's aren't.

Hey, I don't make this up.

Now I will remind you, it's not easy to eat a sundae and knit at the same time, although I guess it's possible to skewer a Korean sundae on your knitting needles.

Which leads me to this weeks sale. (And you thought I would never get there.) It's a bulky yarn so you can knit up cozy hats and scarves to keep you warm while you eat an ice cream sundae.


Berroco Sundae
50% Wool, 50% Acrylic
100 g/62 y/57 m Bulky (6)
This is not the color in stock. 

Regular Price: $13.00
Sale Price: $3.25

We don't have a lot of this and we have it only in one color. So if you want it, come and get it. You can go to DQ after.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who's seriously thinking of having a sundae for dinner. Not desert, dinner.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Are You Ready? It May Be Coming

Imagine this...

You're safe and snug in your little house/apartment. You made it home from work safely which is always a challenge, but you're grateful that you have work because not everyone does. There's some food in your fridge and cupboards  and your indoor garden is supplying  you with fresh vegetables and herbs. After dinner you make a cup of herbal tea and decide that you would like to start a new project because you've finished all your other ones. Besides, people are clamoring for your knitting and offering you large amounts of money for it which you need because everything is so expensive.

You look out the window and see the gangs roaming the neighborhood, smashing things, but you know you're pretty secure, because...well...

You go to your stash and discover....

It's all gone! Aaugghhh! How could that be? You stocked up! When you saw the apocalypse come you figured out how to be prepared. You have a stash of books and movies and you thought you had enough yarn to last a good long while. You have a skill that not everyone you know has, and you are happy that you've been able to give away hats and scarves to those who have nothing.

But now you are out of yarn! You throw yourself on the floor, crying. How absolutely awful! How can you keep the zombies away now? How can you pay the gangs to leave you alone if you haven't a hat to give?


It could happen. So we have a solution for you.

Bearing in mind that things may not be too pleasant in the coming years because of what is happening down south this week with he who must not be named, we have decided to hold a pre-apocalypse celebration just in case after this week there will no longer be anything to celebrate.

We have some beautiful chunky acrylic wool blend in several different colors including red, white, and blue - or just red and white, to make your declaration of independence. Unfortunately we don't have pink in this for a pussy cat hat, but we do have plenty of pink yarn in the store for one. But you can make a Canadian or American hat with these colors. And if you don't want those colors, we have others. Maybe we have the colors of one of your countries (we all come from several). Or the colors of your favorite school or sports team. Or maybe you just want green so you can blend into the forest while tracking down zombies to shoot.

75% OFF

70% Acrylic, 30% Wool
50 g/55 m Chunky (5)

Regular Price: $4.50
Sale Price: $1.13

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is almost ready for the apocolypse with crafts, books dvd's and music and only needs unending money)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Under the Boston Sun Just Saying No

So what are you doing in 2017? Have you made plans and set goals (not resolutions). Is there something you're looking forward to? A long term project that will be done?

For me 2017 already looks like a busy year. There's a new grandbaby, another graduation (for me too, I will be officially done with raising kids), and another wedding. I also have three books planned for publication, two books to write, a play to direct, and a major move which involves decluttering fifty years and seven kids of stuff.

I don't make goals or resolutions about knitting.

Why? Because it's my hobby. I do it because I love it, not because I have a list of things to achieve.

So many times we have customers in who have friends and relatives hijack their hobby. They have to make a dozen hats and scarves for the soccer team and because they started knitting an entire wardrobe for a grandbaby they have to do it for each grandbaby (I'll be up to seven this month and that's with only three of my kids). They have to make their husband six pairs of black socks and their friends shawls and they look at me and say "I can't wait until I can do something for myself that I want to do."

The hobby that they loved has become an unpaid job.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad thing to knit or crochet for other people. By all means if it brings you joy then go ahead, knit up a storm and give it to appreciative recipients.

But when was the last time you made something for yourself? That gorgeous cabled sweater you've been admiring in the last knitting magazine you bought. Yes, you can make a sweater for yourself. It is not selfish to do so. What about that beautiful beaded shawl that has been calling to you? Have you splurged on silk yarn for a scarf? Maybe it's time to do so. Those funky intarsia mittens you been salivating over - go ahead and make them and keep them. Want a wardrobe of hand knit socks? Yes, you can have that.

Other hobbies don't get hijacked like knitting does. People golf because they want to golf. They do jigsaw puzzles because they like doing jigsaw puzzles. They go larping because it's fun. No one makes demands on their hobbies. No one says "can you put together this 10,000 piece completely red jigsaw puzzle and frame it for me? They don't say "I need some exercise - could you take my place and run for me?"

Yet knitters are inundated with requests for knitted goods.

So if you are one of these people who are feeling overwhelmed by your hobby, it's time to reclaim it. Time to say "No, I don't have the time." "No, I have a million other projects to do." "No, but I'll happily teach you to knit so you can make it yourself."

I mean really, if someone said "Can you come over to my house and wash my dishes, clean my windows scrub my oven, declutter my kids' bedrooms and in return I'll appreciate it - would you do it? Well maybe. But only if there was a real reason for it, like they couldn't do it themselves, or they were moving or you really really love doing it and your house is immaculate.

But mostly you would be trying to think of a way out of it and be shocked by someone having the audacity to ask.

Honestly, it's not selfish to want to have a hobby that helps you relax and eases your stress. So why are you making it stressful?

Maybe it's best that, just like you shouldn't show off your stash (either people will think your crazy and have you sent to a mental hospital, or they'll try and figure out ways to have it), that maybe you should keep the knitting on the down low amongst your non-knitting people. It doesn't mean you can't knit in front of people, but when you're wearing your fabulous creations and people comment on them say "thank you". If you must tell them you knit it yourself, tell them how long it took you. In fact, exaggerate how long it took you. Say "this took me three thousand hours and my fingers bled." Don't say "I just whipped this up," because then they'll think that you can just whip up something for them.

So there's your knitting goal for this year. Reclaim your hobby. Revel in it. Throw your naked body into your mountain of yarn and say "mine, all mine." And learn to say no when you want to say no.

This week's sale comes with a one ball hat pattern. I'm trying to think of a way to tie in the blog post with the sale.

How about "may you one day be knitting a project for yourself in Boston with the sun shining down on you and your favorite drink by your side."


100 g/100 m/109 y chunky weight (5)

Regular Price: 10.00
Sale Price: 2:50

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who makes things for herself and would love to be in the Boston Sun.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

And You Think We've Got it Cold

"I'm bored," Nanuk said to his best friend, Jack, a white harbor seal who sat beside him on the ice.

"We could go sliding," Jack said.

"Did that."

"We could build a snowman."

"We have an army of those."

"We could build a snow seal."

"We have two armies of those."

"We could tease Clem," Jack said.

"Yeah, we could. Although the last time we did that he got really mad and almost ate us," Nanuk shivered remembering the incident with the polar bear.

"Yeah, and I got in trouble from my mom," Jack sighed.

"I'm going home," Nanuk stood up. "See you tomorrow Jack. We can get together and do nothing again."

Nanuk sauntered home to his igloo where his mother had just finished pulling everything out. She had cleaned the rugs and put everything back. "There you are," she said. "I have some soup for you."

"All right," Nanuk sighed.

"What's the matter, Nanuk?"

"I'm bored. Everything's the same. Everything is white and cold. There's nothing to do."

So Nanuk's mother sat him down with soup in the warm igloo, and after he ate his soup she brought out some buffalo yarn she had got in a trade, and some seal tusk needles she had made, and taught him how to knit.

Nanuk caught on quickly and happily knitted the rest of the day. The next day he took his knitting to show Jack and sat and knitted while Jack slid along the ice and into the water.

Nanuk learned how to make hats and scarves and took a hat and scarf to Clem and said he was sorry that he had teased him so much. Clem was so happy with his hat and scarf that he went and found female bears and showed off his new hat and scarf. The female bears oohed and aahed over them and they all wanted at least one set of their own. Clem came back to Nanuk with orders for the hats and scarves and promised to pay him in fish for his family.

Before long, Nanuk was helping his family by knitting warm pieces of clothing and trading them away for the things his family needed and for more yarn. The animals loved to pay in food and protection. He made a deal with Clem to carry him everywhere on his back and Clem happily sported Nanuk's knitwear.

Nanuk figured out how to do cables. Then he figured out how to take different colors and make pictures. Nanuk's designs became famous in his community and soon he was teaching others how to knit and selling his patterns to the new knitters.

When Nanuk grew up, the community got together and sent him to a university far away where it was warmer. He became a famous knitwear designer and sent money back to his community. Everyone was so proud of their Nanuk.

Nanuk found he liked the warmer weather better but he often came back to ride on Clem's back and go sliding with Jack, and then Jack got too old to slide and Clem got too old to carry Nanuk and eventually even his mother got old and soon there wasn't any more family to come back too even though the community still celebrated him.

Nanuk lived a very long life travelling the world and making knitwear designs. Long after he died legends were told about him and how Nanuk had helped his community building warm houses and schools by knitting.

This week's Nanuk! It's a textured yarn that's great for trims and on its own. 

75% OFF

Berroco Nanuk
67% Wool, 33% Nylon
70 y/65 m/50 g (5)

Regular Price: $12.35
Sale Price: $3.09

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is grateful she doesn't have to knit while sitting on a snow bank by a lake of ice).