Monday, April 24, 2006

We'd like to inform all our local readers of a great opportunity to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Centre Knitters, the local knitting guild, is sponsoring a bus trip there on Saturday, May 6, and we think you'll enjoy every minute of the ride and the festival. Nonguild members are welcome with open arms and can buy bus tickets at our shop.

You can leave the driving to the bus driver, win door prizes, eat a great dinner on the way home, and YOU CAN SEE MORE YARN THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE! In addition to shopping till you drop, there are lots of other fun things to do: watch sheep shearing and working sheepdog demonstrations, listen to music and storytellers and enjoy some good food. Also, from the Navajo Museum of Window Rock, Arizona, Navajo Men Who Weave will be demonstrating their skills and sharing their rich history with festival goers this year.
It's even more fun if you go with friends!

The bus leaves the Target parking lot in State College at 6:15 a.m. The guild is willing to pick up riders in Lewistown and Harrisburg if you live in one of those places.

Our store is helping the guild by accepting checks or cash for the bus ticket. (Note that we can't accept credit cards for payment because this trip is not through the store.) Tickets are $37.

If you want a ticket, call us or stop by the store!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Quilts have always used geometry to its best advantage, and many quilters we know have amazingly good spatial skills. (If you want to organize your house, ask a quilter.) From the earliest quilts, the combination of shapes and colors has created paths in fabric that the eye follows with interest. You might associate Lancaster with Amish quilts--or at least more traditional quilts, such as this one:

....but at the Lancaster Quilt show, many of the patchwork quilts were modern. Their use of geometry was a treat for the eye.

We were completely wowed by the quilting in this piece:

This piece made great use of optics:

Here's more great quilting:

And we fell in love with Carol Taylor's geometric quilts (look at the circles she quilted into this one):

Here's another:

We liked the artist's freedom with edges in this display:

Okay, this quilt does not exactly follow our theme of geometric--but it is amazing, and we had to show it to you:

Even if you don't quilt, we recommend going to this show. We couldn't even begin to show you all the beautiful quilts we saw. We spent just one day there, but next year, we think we'll get someone to watch the shop, and take a little 2- or 3-day vacation to Dutch Country!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

We were at the Lancaster, PA, quilt show last Thursday while Cynthia's mother graciously watched the shop. We saw many spectacular quilts. We can't possibly show them all to you, but in case you couldn't get to the show, we'll give you a glimpse. If you were at the show, these will give you memories--or maybe you'll see something you didn't remember seeing there.

Today's blog will feature breathtakingly artistic quilts that portray people, juxtaposed with impossibly cute animals. We'll show you some geometrics and nature quilts next time.

Let's start with quilts depicting people.... Remember, these are quilts, not paintings. Everything you see is made from little tiny pieces of fabric, the shading coming from light and dark choices of fabric, with some details coming from the threadwork:

Female figure:

Figure II:

And now let's have a complete change of pace!

Roll in the impossibly cute animals! Here is a detail of bunnies, made from threadwork:

An animal quilt....

A close up of a critter from that quilt:

Turtle action:


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Crossing the Olympic Finish Line!

Remember the Knitting Olympics? My plan was to knit this sweater in that 2 1/2 weeks. That didn't quite happen... but my Knitting Olympics sweater is finished, as of yesterday. I'm glad we have a little cool weather left so I can wear it this season, because I love this sweater! It's made from Mountain Colors Twizzle, which is a Merino wool, with subtle variations in color. This sweater is a comfortable classic that I will wear for many years.

The glaze you see in my eyes comes not from the exhaustion of finishing (nah--I don't work myself to exhaustion to finish anything), but from the waking up earlier with Daylight Savings Time.

Neither Kim nor I are morning people, and we have been embarrassed with almost every customer who has come in this week. We seem unable to do the simplest tasks, like adding numbers (that is a problem for each sale), or finishing sentences. Instructions swim on the pages for all but the simplest of patterns.

Bear with us for a little while until we adjust.