Friday, September 11, 2009

Prize Matrix for the 2009 Cable Challenge

Unless you have the eyesight of a bald eagle and can read that tiny type, click on the jpg above to enlarge.

In addition to the $195 worth of prizes listed in the matrix, we also have a $45 Gift Certificate to be awarded for the single project including the most cables.

The way to count cables for this challenge is the following: Every instance the cable needle is required to manipulate stitches in a project (3 or more stitches involved) counts as one. So that great hat Marie made [my design for Simply Shetland ; ) ] counted up to 812.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Linden Hills Yarn presents The Cable Challenge

You know I love a challenge. As soon as the last Linden Hills Yarn challenge ended, people began asking about the next. So here it is. With this challenge, we wanted to energize non-cablers to expand their skill set. We also have fabulous new yarns and patterns to be used for cable projects. The prize structure is intended to entice you to try new yarns, but this is not a requirement. There is a time limit on finishing the project for this challenge. This may help you with goal setting and achievement if are making seasonal gifts.

Cables are a great way to add texture and interest to a knitted object. They are not difficult. We can teach you to knit a cable in about two minutes if you wish to learn. We can not only teach you to read cable charts but also give you tips to make the charts even easier to follow and show you fixes for common cabling mistakes. Consider cables for your next project and join in all the twisted fun!

A few rules to follow:

To enter your project in the challenge, your work must be completed and brought to the shop to be photographed for inclusion on the Linden Hills Yarn website no later than December 25, 2009. Why December 25? Because, it is Chris’s birthday.

You are welcome to enter as many projects as you wish, but you may enter each project only once. Prizes will be awarded by random drawing from all entries in a category. There are several categories which I will expand upon later.

To qualify as a cable for this challenge the crossed stitches in question must contain at least but is not limited to three stitches. For a chance at winning the grand prize you must provide a count of the total number of cables executed in your project.

The yarn must have been purchased at Linden Hills Yarn. If you have a huge stash and are not sure, pick something else. You know you’ve got something. We don’t feel this is too much to ask, do you? ; )

If you choose the Yarn Group Other category, then you cannot have made more than a gauge swatch or two (or four) prior to August 15, 2009. We know you had the best intentions when you purchased that yarn. Maybe now is the time to follow through!

A Grand Prize of one Forty-five Dollar Gift Certificate will be awarded for the single project including the most cables (3 or more stitches as described above.)

Details of the Prize Matrix

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

sicknesskneesocks & The Tradeshow

Well, Jan and I conquered another TNNA trade show or succombed to the beauty of new yarn. I'm not sure which. The whole thing was fabulous!

We began with a class taught by Marianne Isager. She is such a lovely person and is passionate about her work. She began serendipitously in the business nearly 30 years ago by taking over a yarn business from an ailing mentor/friend. She still loves the yarns (with good reason) and creates her exquisite garments by hand.

Samples of the children's garments from her upcoming book based on Hans Christian Andersen fables were available for us to see and touch. If you don't have a child to knit for in your life, I suggest finding one now. You will want to knit these. We also received handouts and practiced swatching some of the texture and color patterns from this book. Jan learned to double-knit!

We were able to flip through her daughter Helga's book which will be coming out in the coming year as well.

We've purchased a wide array of DK to worsted weight yarns for fall. Hand dyed, eco friendly, and Made in the U.S.A. will all make their mark on our inventory in the coming months. Pattern support is on its way as well. We combed through several independent pattern companies' stock to select just the right designs to go with the new yarns. Jan went crazy over hand dyed lace weight silk and we both drooled over Tonos - a new yarn from Misti International.

If I ever get over the sickness I picked up on the plane on the way back from the show I have some work cut out for me. I'll be rearranging the inventory to move the wool stock to be more by gauge. And I've begun building a new system for organizing the leaflet patterns.

And the sickness sock is nearly complete. I started it on the plane during my return flight. I didn't know it would be a knee sock. I adore Opal's Hundertwasser colors and started with a toe up sock from my head. As I spent more and more time in bed recovering from this horrid cough, the sock got longer and longer and I really like knee socks in the winter and wouldn't they look cute over the tops of the Pliner boots I acquired last season and the nylon in the sock yarn will keep them from wearing out too soon and I should really plan on a nice foldover at the top . . .

Toe up socks are cool because you can try them on and experiment as you go. I added shaping at the calf and about 4 inches of tighter ribbing at the top for a good supportive foldover. I don't think I'll use the same colorway for the second sock. Why should I when there are so many others out there from which to choose?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not only knitting, but Crochet help as well.

I once crocheted a bikini for the shop window. I added a beach ball and my husband made a sign reading NAUGHTICA in the same font as a major fashion design company. The thing turned out to be ginormous and the aha moment ensued. British & American terms for crochet stitches are not all equal. And I was using a British pattern with my Midwest American knowledge.

All this experience comes in handy when a customer calls up with a slight panic in their voice. After a jog of my withering memory, I recall the customer and the project in question. It was to be a wild crocheted baby hat for a photo op. The pattern to be used looked like it had been around for a couple decades and the yarn used was elusive. So, we took a small chance on a substitute yarn. Small because I had an educated hunch it would work. The minute she said the piece turned out way too tall, I asked about the pattern's publication location. She scoured the copy to find out that indeed it had been published in Britain. Per my instruction, crocheted conversions from British to American were googled and obtained. Rework occurred, and I received this way too funny picture of the successful outcome. I love a challenge.
Homer and the Baby's Hat

Here is a handy link to a conversion chart.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


N. came in the shop a few months back speaking very little English and a lot of Japanese. She is on an extended stay in the states as her husband is in school. Knowing knitting basics, she decided to fill some of her time here with the craft. Jan helped her through her first cabled scarf and hooked her up with another of our regular customers which she knew spoke Japanese. R. gets to work on her Japanese while helping N. with her English and knitting.

She has become a regular at the shop and is quite proud of her first garment. She should be. It looks great on her. So great that I had trouble choosing which of the many photos I shot to include in flickr.

Connections like this are made all the time at the shop. When you get to know your customers not only can you make educated suggestions for their knitting but hook them up with other people as well. We've had people get recommendations for getting into grad school as well as find employment. Opera students have found teachers and patients have found doctors. Mothers have found babysitters and artists have found buyers. It gives me warm fuzzies when I think of all the wonderful people that have come in to my life through Linden Hills Yarn.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fair Isle Challenge Finals

In case you are wondering about the winners of the Fair Isle Challenge gift certificate drawings, here they be:

IMG_20090313_3 having knitted IMG_20090313_8 has won the $25 gift certificate for the closest guess without going over of the weight of Jan's fair isle sweaters of which there were eight in the shop.

KinSumTweedMably having finished knitting IMG_20090313_1 had probability in her favor when her name was drawn for the fifty dollar gift certificate. K is very gracious and actually had the closest guess for the guess the weight challenge but resigned her second prize to the gentleman that was next in line.

If you look closely at the photos of the work you will see that although they chose to use different yarns, they are both knitting from same pattern.

The whole challenge was a blast! Thank you to all who participated. Especially those of you who climbed out on a limb and learned a new skill. If you didn't get a chance to participate but want to learn to knit with color the door is always open at Linden Hills Yarn for you to learn for free.

People began asking about the next challenge before the previous challenge was even over. I'm in the planning stages and will announce it in early April. If you have any bright ideas or requests for me to consider, please leave me a comment here on the blog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fair Isle Challenge Update

Another prize has been added to the Fair Isle Challenge pot! Those entering the challenge at the weigh-ins will have another chance to win. Jan is bringing in all of the fair isle sweaters she has knitted and still has in her possession. You will need to guess the total weight of all these garments. The closest guess to the weight without going over will be the winner of a $25 gift certificate!