Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What's New? - August 2017

Fall is right around the corner, and new yarns and products have been pouring in.

It’s almost time for sock season and Regia’s Pairfect yarns are our new fun, and funky favorite, with colorways designed by Arne and Carlos.  Pairfect yarns promise you a quick way to perfectly matched socks with their unique yellow indicator.  All you have to do is find the end of the yellow yarn, cast on, and knit your sock.  After you have finished the first sock, you pull the yarn until you find the next bright yellow indicator and repeat the process for your second sock.  Pairfect skeins have 459 yards and are 75% wool, 25% polyamide, machine washable in cool water, and dryer safe on low.

Baby Blossom Yarns have returned!  Our first order disappeared so quickly it had to be brought back for an encore.  This time we are offering it in DK and Chunky weights and more colorways.  These yarns feature long color changes and bands of instant flower fields. Both weights are acrylic/polyamide blends that are washer and dryer safe.  Baby Blossom DK has 362 yards. Baby Blossom Chunky has 170 yards.

We’ve found a new, buttery cotton with a huge palette of vibrant colors for you.  This may be your new favorite! Butterfly Super 10 is a DK weight, with up to 50 different colors.  If we don’t have your color in the store, we can get it for you.  This is a machine washable,  dye-fast, unshrinkable cotton with a subtle shine that won’t pill. Each hank is 250 yards.

Not all of our new items can be knitted or crocheted.  We have some other goodies too.

Love + Leche lotion bars and anywhere balm is here! These all natural
products are made with pure beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil, calendula flowers, and essential oils, that smell amazing.  The lotion bars are amazing for dry hands, feet, elbows, anywhere that can use some softening up.  The anywhere balm packs the same punch in a smaller tin perfect for tossing in your knitting bag for dry skin, and chapped lip emergencies.

You know all of us crafty folk are always looking for places to jot down quick notes while we work up our latest creation.  We have several notebooks and notepads featuring your favorite fiber art.

 If you're using your notebooks for tick-marks there may be a better solution.  How about a knitting abacus?  These handmade bracelets will keep you on track.  Adjust it to fit and then use the super-strong magnetic clasp to take it on and off.    

It’s also important that we stay hydrated during our long crafting binges.  Check out these reusable water bottles!

But wait, there’s more! These are the perfect wine glasses for those “stitch n bitch” sessions with friends.  A few of us are always at their Knits End.

We hope to see you soon!  Keep an eye out here, as well as the Yarn Rhapsody Facebook page for events and announcements.  We're planning an exciting fall for you. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Calling All Knitters and Crocheters

Once in a blue moon a spectacular act of craftivism will pop up.  It’s our opportunity to break out our needles and hooks and bring awareness to causes we love and support.

Over the past couple of weeks one of these amazing acts of craftivism has popped up, and we’re joining the cause.

Click for Babies is a grassroots campaign that invites knitters and crocheters across North America to make purple colored baby hats that will be delivered to families in November and December to bring awareness to the period of purple crying.

What is the period of purple crying?  It is the time when a baby will cry more than other time in their life, and is difficult to soothe.  Some babies will cry more, some less, but all babies will go through this period of increased crying in early infancy.  It is during this time that children are at the highest risk of shaken baby syndrome.

Why make hats?  These little hats will be given to infants with instructional materials about purple crying and how to cope with this often stressful time period.  They are a physical reminder that the period of purple crying is normal, it's no one's fault, and it’s not going to last forever.

It is the hope of the Click for Babies campaign that bringing greater awareness to purple crying will lessen the numbers of children that are impacted by shaken baby syndrome.  In the United States, shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases.  About 30 per 100,000 children under the age of 1 suffer from shaken baby syndrome each year.

Starting today and through the entire month of September we are encouraging our friends to join us in knitting and crocheting these amazing little reminders.  We are offering 30% off all purple yarns and free patterns for those interested in this act of loving craftivism, and are also inviting those that don’t know how to knit or crochet to join us, by offering free lessons to get you started.  Will you join us? 

For further information about the period of purple crying, shaken baby syndrome, the purple hat campaign, free patterns, and participating hospitals in your area can be found at clickforbabies.org.   For patterns only follow this link. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

August Classes, KALs & CALs

There’s a mixed bag of projects coming up for August.  Winter is coming.  (Ha! Successful Game of Thrones Reference) The holidays are coming too, it’s time to get to work on those gifts and some of these projects may make a great ones.  All of our offerings for August will be lead or taught by Candy.
Please sign up at least 48 hours before classes/KALs/CALs begin, by phone at 770-563-3130, in person, or through the pay pal link below at the end of this post. This will guarantee your spot.  Space is limited.  Yarn and patterns for each offering must be purchased at Yarn Rhapsody.
By popular demand we are offering  Building with Lace by Michelle “Knit Purl” Hunter.  This is Michelle’s third publication featuring patterns that build skills along the way.  By the end of this KAL you’ll have an amazing lace shawl featuring nine different lace patterns.  It’s a sizable and beautiful piece of work.  This KAL has a couple of options.  You have a choice of how many sessions you would like to attend, the full KAL is 18 sessions for $80, or you’re welcome to attend 9 for $45. You will be required to purchase the book for this KAL.
Session Dates: August 12, 19, 26 – September 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 – October 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 25
Saturday Session Times:Noon – 1pm Wednesday Session Times: 6pm – 7pm
Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner (really, this can be your first lace knitting these books are designed to be fully educational)
Are you looking for a unique crochet shawl? Well, here you go.  Hotel of Bees is an interesting and subtly complex piece that will keep you on your toes.  Featuring overlay, open, and filet crochet techniques with a modern twist this isn’t A 1970s thrown back.  Because of the complexity of pattern this one is a class offering.
Class Cost: $60
Session Dates: August 5, 19 – September 2 from 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Skill Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Fall in Georgia is one of those odd in between times where a heavy shawl is way to warm but something lightweight is perfect.  Reverse Psychology is perfect for fall and early winter here in the south.  It begins on the bias and has a wonderful abstract shape with several partial bind offs.   The pattern features beadwork but can easily be done without.
KAL Cost: $30
Session Dates: August 5, 19 – September 2 from 3pm-4pm
Skill Level: Intermediate
Gainesville seems to be just as obsessed with elephants as it is chickens.  For you out-of-towners that don’t get that joke, Gainesville, GA is considered the chicken capital of the world.  Loxodonta & Elephas the African Flower Elephants can be your next stuffed animal friends.  Crocheted and then joined in multiple pieces these guys can be made using any yarn weight creating tiny elephants to giant ones.  The color possiblities are endless here.
Class Cost: $60
Session Dates: August 12, 26 – September 9 from 1pm-2pm
Skill Level: Intermediate
And bringing up the back of the line, because slow and steady wins the race, there’s Sheldon the Turtle.  This is a cute one for the little ones, or for us big ones that just like having a stuffy here and there.  Sheldon has a removable shell, so if you’re so inclined you can make different colors and patterns for any occasion.
KAL Cost: $30
Session Dates: August 12, 26 – September 9 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Skill Level: Intermediate
There it is, an action packed offerings schedule!  Keep in mind, if you don’t feel like you are ready for a group class we do offer individualized instruction for $40 per 1 hour session.  We hope to see you in our upcoming offerings. 

August Classes, KALs and CALs



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Edward's Menagerie Crochet Kits Are Here!

Summer has definitely arrived, or has it? The general consensus has been that it’s been the wettest spring and early summer anyone can remember.  There’s been many an outdoor event canceled over weather conditions lately.  Oh well, that means more knitting and crochet time right? Besides, the lake right down the road still looks a little low so we can use the rain.

Before we get much further there’s some business we need to get out of the way first before we can get to the fun in this post.  Yarn Rhapsody is closed until July 11th for a summer holiday.  We’ll be back July 11th with shortened hours, from 11am - 3pm, until July 15th.  Normal hours will resume on July 18th.  Any classes during this period will be held as scheduled.

Now to the fun stuff!
Edward’s Menagerie Kits by Toft has arrived at the shop. 

Edward’s Menagerie is a series of crochet patterns designed by Kerry Lord and featuring 40+ animals and birds. We’ve picked up a sampling of this large collection.

Each high-quality kit comes with a soft 100% wool yarn, hook, stuffing, yarn needle for sewing bits together, and pattern, all packaged into a resealable pouch.  You just need a little know how and a stitch marker to get going.

We would consider these advanced beginner level projects.  All you need to be successful is a single crochet stitch, and very basic increases and decreases.  Directions for special techniques and stitches will have short instructional videos on Toft’s website.  These guys work up pretty quickly.  The chameleon featured in this post was complete in about 4 hours at a leisurely pace.  The same maker finished a Pegasus that is a little more involved in about 6 hours.

We have a couple of tips for these project kits for you.

Stuff lightly!  This is mentioned in the videos but we can’t stress it enough.  These guys will look a bit odd overstuffed and they were designed to be a bit floppy. Let the density of the single crochet fabric do most of the work for holding the shape of the animal.  The only exception to this would be an animal that needs to stand and then the extra stuffing is only needed in the legs.

Keep your pattern! Toft has included notes on recommended yardage and hook sizes to make larger versions.

These kits can be found on the right hand side of the store near our community knitting table and range in price from $15 to $36.  These would make an excellent gift for a new crocheter, made up for your favorite munchkin, or you can embrace your inner-child and just keep it for yourself.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fall & Winter is Right Around the Corner

Prime knitting season is right around the corner, of course we think prime knitting season lasts all year long, but traditionally fall and winter is when most folks dust off those knitting needles and begin to knit holiday gifts and comfort items for cold days. 

Claudia recently made a pilgrimage to the TNNA Summer Trade Show in Ohio to scope out and purchase the latest in yarn, notions, and knitting goodies and it's begun to arrive at the shop but first we need to make a little room for all the new products coming in before the new products can be sold.
We began our annual MEGA Summer Sale on June 20th.  There will be a new special available every day until July 1, ending in an Independence Day celebration. 

Everyday Bargains: 10% off all yarns and needles, 15% off notions, bags, and yarn bowls, and a special 75% off basket featuring a different product every day.

Tuesday, June 27: 50% off Addi needles and crochet hooks

Wednesday, June 28: 30% off all Takhi St. Charles yarns

Thursday, June 29: 30% off all Juniper Moon yarns

Friday, June 30: 30% off all KFI (Knitting Fever Yarns)

Saturday, July 1: 30% off all Feza yarns

With every purchase, you will get a raffle ticket, for a big drawing at the end of July 1!
Raffle Prize 1: Crochet Holiday Braided Cable Stockings Class
Raffle Prize 2: Knitted Holiday Mini-Stockings
Raffle Prize 3: Knitted Holiday Blue Birds & Gingerbread Men
Class fee is included in your prize, you’ll have to purchase materials at the shop

Our Independence Day Celebration will be from 12:30-4:30pm on July 1st!

We have begun to sneak a few new products into the shop this week, that we’re pretty excited about.

MochiMochiLand – new kits have arrived featuring gnomes, tiny burgers, tiny pirates, tiny robots, tiny ninjas, and tiny sushi.  Yes, there is a tiny theme going here.   All you need for these kits are a set of size 1 double-pointed needles and a tapestry needle the kit includes, yarn, patterns, and stuffing.

Soak Laundry Soaps – we spend too much time on our knits and the fibers we use are often more delicate than store-bought garments, gentle soaps are almost always recommended for hand-knits.  Soak is perfect for these items, featuring a gentle, rinse free and environmentally friendly formula.  It also smells great with several scents to choose from, but if you’re the unscented type we have you covered.

Diamond Luxury Llamasoft – When this was being unpacked Candy (our knitting teacher) touched it and froze, the softness was almost too much to handle.  She made have spent the rest of her time in the shop insisting people “pet the llama”.  Llamasoft is 100% baby llama, worsted weight with 164 yards per skein.

And last but not least, the latest publications from Knit Purl Hunter have arrived!  Please call to reserve your copy of Building with Lace it’s proving to be a popular purchase.  We will be scheduling an 18 session KAL beginning in August, with two sessions a week on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays.  Pricing for all 18 sessions will be $80.  Don’t want to do all 18, that’s fine, you can sign up for 9 sessions for $45 and come to either one of the sessions each week.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

July Classes, KALs, and CALs

Summer is practically here, and Christmas is only five months away! Take a bit of stress off of your holiday planning and begin working on gifts and decorations now with our Christmas in July promotions.

Please sign up at least 48 hours before classes/KALs/CALs begin by phone, in person or through the PayPal link below. This will guarantee your spot!  Space is limited.  Yarn and patterns for each offering must be purchased at Yarn Rhapsody.  It's okay if you want to bring stash yarn, you'll have to add $30 to the original class/KAL/CAL fee.

Knitting Classes
Elijah the Elephant – 6-7pm, July 12, 19 & 26 - $60
An adorable elephant toy knit without seams on double pointed needles. Elijah was designed to be round and cuddly but still easy for little hands to grasp. He knits up quickly.  Elijah would make a wonderful gift for any kid – or adult.  Instructor: Candy Skill Level: Advanced Beginner, Intermediate

Reyna – Noon-1pm, July 15, 22 & 29 - $60
Can’t figure out what to knit with that single skein of sock yarn in a variegated colorway that you’ve been eyeballing at Yarn Rhapsody. Here’s the answer! This pattern was specifically designed to work with the variegation of colors. One skein of fingering weight yarn is enough to complete a shawl. Instructor: Candy Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner

Holiday Mini-Stockings – 1:30-2:30pm, July 15, 22 & 29 - $30
Looking for a unique set of handmade holiday ornaments?  Mini-stockings can fill that niche.  Make one for every member of the family, or give to friends.  You can certainly make a tree full between now and Christmas if you wanted to. KAL Leader: Candy Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Holiday Blue Birds & Gingerbread Men – 3-4pm, July 15, 22 & 29 - $40 – yarn kit included
These fun little toys make excellent stocking stuffers or additions to wreaths and holiday displays.  Both patterns use little yarn and work up quickly, so yarn is included with this KAL.  KAL Leader: Candy Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Pacificus Top – 10:30-11:30am – July 22 & 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26 - $60
We may be kicking into gear for holiday knitting this month, but there’s still plenty of summer weather left.  Constructed in one piece, it’s perfect for a KAL spread over six weeks.  You’ll be more than prepared for those last hot, summer, evenings.   KAL Leaders: Claudia & Candy  Skill Level: Intermediate

Crochet Classes
The Evelyn – 3-4pm – July 18, 21, 25, & 28 August 1 &4 - $60
Who said crochet doilies had to be boring?  This doily would be a beautiful addition to nearly any home d├ęcor, and a challenging, but not difficult project.  Instructor: Claudia Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced.

Holiday Braided Cable Stockings – 11am-noon - July 18, 21, 25 & 28 - $60
Who said all holiday stockings and cables where only for knitters?  Not us!  You can crochet a unique holiday gift to be used year after year for all the members of your family.  Instructor: Claudia Skill Level: Intermediate

Crochet Jewelry – July 21 – 6-8pm - $45 – Supplies Included
This unique no-skill level required class will teach you how to make and design custom crochet and beaded jewelry.  Instructor: Danny Skill Level: No prior experience needed

Don't miss out! Reserve and pay for your spot today!

July Classes, KALs and CALs



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sticks & Cables: Knitting Needles

Review written by Candy Bailey, knitting instructor, and blogger at Coffee & Wool.
When I began knitting a little over 10 years ago, my teacher bought me a set of size 8 Takumi straight bamboo needles, and I'm convinced most of us that have started knitting in the past decade probably started on those needles, others started on aluminum, some on plastic.  Those sticks with capped ends got us through those first projects, and either made us or broke us as knitters.
Then, inevitably we begin to get adventurous and begin to look at projects that require a size other than an 8 and we start buying our own needles, and find that materials and options are endless.  Bamboo, wood, plastic, carbon fiber, straight needles, circular needles, interchangeable sets, double pointed, and on, and on, the options can get a little intimidating.  But we get over it and eventually find the combination of materials and needle type that fit our own knitting styles the best.  Then we all eventually get adventurous again and start find what preferences fit us best depending on what we are actually knitting or to fit yarn preferences.  I'm sure you get the idea by now, we can be a fickle band of people when it comes to the bits of sticks we work with.
Over the years, I've been trying to assemble my own master set of workhorse knitting tools, and with the arrival of a surprise gift yesterday think I may have filled the stable, with virtually every size I could need.   Am I saying I will never buy another set of needles again? No, of course not.
Picking out needles boils down to personal preference more than anything, but here are a few options to consider if you are on your own mission to build a master set of tools.
My personal preference has led me to appreciate interchangeable sets, tons of options, plenty of cables, all wrapped up in a cute little package that's easy to keep all the bits organized.  After switching to circular needles, I use straights once in a very blue moon.
The ChiaoGoo 4" Twist set is a stellar set for someone that's getting serious enough about knitting to invest some cold hard cash.  This package comes with a lot of bang for the buck with stainless steel needles ranging from sizes 2-15, a wide range of cable lengths, tightening keys, end stoppers, needle gauge/ruler, and stitch markers, pretty much everything you would need to start any project.  I've owned this set for a little over two years, and have put a lot of yardage on it.  The points are sharp, making them great for lace work, or yarns that have a tendency to split.  Being stainless steel, I think they are less slippery than aluminum, but still slippery enough that yarn will move easily for tight knits, and the tink tink of metal hitting metal doesn't seem to be as loud on steel.  The cables are flexible, and have "no memory" they can stay wound up in the case for months, and will lay flat as soon they are pulled out of the case, so there is no frustration caused by a cable wanting to stay curled or not move freely.   The joins where cables and needles meet are smooth and stay connected well.  It's a very rare occurrence when I can feel the cable beginning to loosen up from the needle, but always in ample enough time that I can pull out the tightening key and set things right again.  If I could recommend one set of interchangeable circulars for a knitter looking for their first set ChiaGoo Twists are it. 
Now on to the newest addition to the knitting arsenal, a surprise gift, and what I fondly call knitting porn because these needles are bee-you-tee-ful, it was love at first sight when I saw them at Yarn Rhapsody.  These are the Lykke Interchangeable Circulars.  Even though the ChiaGoo set is extremely versatile, wood has a very different feeling to them, as odd as it sounds they feel alive and feel warm.  As soon as I was off  work yesterday I switched out the ChiaGoo set that was in my current project over to the these just to see how they felt, and yep, birds sang, the sun rose, and love happened.  But like I said wood needles are a different monster from metal ones.   This set ranges from sizes 4-17 and comes with cables, tightening keys, and end stoppers.  The cables are a little less flexible than the ChiaGoo cables but it's barely noticeable.  The joins are the same size from 4-17 which I think is a plus.  This set is made of birch and stained to look like driftwood, they are very smooth but "grippy" stitches aren't going to slide off this set unless you intend for them to  but the yarn moves on and off of them well.  These are functional pieces of art, which I will use quite often, but they probably won't be my go-to-set for more advanced pieces.  These are great and gorgeous, but a set that may not be the best option for a newer knitter.
img_0753And last but not least, double pointed needles make it into the discussion, and this set is the Knitter's Pride Karbonz.  Personal preference has left me making socks and small toy knits on DPNs instead of circulars.  This set ranges from sizes 0-3 in groups of five for each size.  After snapping a few wood needles or finding flaws that caused snags while working, and loathing metal DPNs (tink scrape tink scrap ughhhh sound) I thought I would give these a shot and went all in on the full set, and didn't regret it.  The body of these are carbon fiber, the sharp tips are nickel-plated brass.  So you have the benefit of a sharp metal point where you need it, the grip of wood in the body, and Herculean strength.  The size 0s can be used without fear of them snapping like little toothpicks in your hands.  When you break a needle mid-project and drop a bunch of stitches broken needle phobias develop instantly.
No matter what type of needles you prefer, my greatest recommendation is get the best you can get within your budget, like most tools, the better the quality, the longer it will last.  Claudia can order any of these sets for you if they aren't already in stock.  

What's New? - August 2017