Finding JOY with your next project -- and a word about next week

January 03, 2023

Finding JOY with your next project -- and a word about next week Yarn Folk

A reminder: I'm trying something new this year, and the shop will be closed for a few days while I do some planning for 2023. I will be responding to email and phone calls on a limited basis while I am away. 

I expect to mail out any orders received after 3pm on Saturday, January 7, late January 11 or on the 12th. Thanks for your support while I set my intentions for the new year! 

Current open hours are Monday - Thursday, 7am-3:30pm, Friday 8:30am - 5pm and Saturdays, 9am-4pm.

In-store shopping: masks are optional (but welcome and appreciated). 
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…to learn (and do)


Social Stitching

Every Saturday, 2-4pm

Join us around the big table for a couple of hours of convivial stitching.

Winter Challenges

Schedule changes related to winter weather will be posted on the door if possible, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Google. If roads are crummy on a Saturday, opening time will likely be delayed until 11:30.

January Planning Retreat

January 9-11 

Yarn Folk will be closed from January 9-11. Online orders placed after 3pm on January 7 will be sent out on January 11.

Gartergan KAL

January 14-February 28 

Pattern here, details to follow.

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Mmmm, how about a little yarn snack? We just received a taste pack of Uni Merino Minis from Universal Yarn! These are 25g, 109 yard mini skeins in dozens of colors, perfect for heels, cuffs, and toes of your socks. While it's not comprehensive, this Ravelry search filters for lots of fun options. And of course, you can use them to add a bit of contrast to other projects, or for amigurumi, or...or...or....
We also have Bright Future, the January 2023 colorway from Apple Fiber Studio's Pretty Pretty Yarn Club. I love this energy for the new year!  yarnfolk dividing line (2).png

…to inspire


At the beginning of the year, we're all usually aspiring a little bit, with or without formal resolutions. We definitely hear this message from all quarters: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! (Side note--you are worthy, as you are.)

One of the things that I aspire to, as a shop owner, is to help other makers find success--and JOY--with their projects. Sometimes this means I am saying things that are not in Yarn Folk's *short term* best interest. If I don't think a yarn is a great match for a pattern, I'll tell you and explain my concerns. If I have questions about a pattern, I'll raise them. I'll never tell you that only the most expensive yarn option will do. I try to be very upfront about when something is just my preference, and let you know that there are other options. 

Those are a few of the negatives; what are my positive recommendations? We are trying to find joy here, after all!

  • Find projects that inspire you! Whether you love the way a design looks, want to try a new technique, are in love with a particular color, or want to design something yourself, find a pattern that fits those desires.
  • Find good quality patterns. How will you know? Look at other user projects on Ravelry--how do they look? Are their project notes generally positive? (You can also get yarn substitution ideas here.) Figure out if a particular design has its own hashtag on Instagram to see other people's makes, or follow the designer's hashtag (not just their feed). Hashtags help you see what other people's real projects look like.
  • If you're substituting yarns (a perfectly valid thing to do), think about whether your substitution shares enough characteristics with the original to work as intended. And swatch to check!
  • Speaking of swatching...learn to swatch with an attitude of curiosity. You're not swatching to match someone else's results. You are learning about the yarn--how it feels to you, what it does with your needles or hook, and how it changes when you wash and block it. It's like learning about a new friend--is this someone who loves a long text thread, or do they just want to hang out in person? Will you have the most fun bowling, or going to the symphony? 
  • Knitting for others? Do it on your own terms. If you like firm timelines, cool! And if you don't, avoid them. Can you accept that the project is out of your hands when it is out of your hands? 
  • Accept your mistakes--and know when to correct them. You're off by one stitch in a long stretch of stockinette? Make sure there's nothing dropped, and if you just miscounted, add it back in invisibly, and carry on. Off by a stitch in a section of lace or a cable panel? Find it, and rip back or fix it in place. It's not going to get better. If it bugs you now, fix it now, so it doesn't  bother you later.
  • And give yourself permission to fail, mindfully. If a project isn't as you hoped, set it aside, and schedule a date to revisit it, and see how you feel about it then. Know you hate it? Frog it, and repurpose the yarn. Carry on with something that serves you better.
  • Last, make stitching a positive habit! Even a few stitches every day coaxes your projects to completion, and boosts your sense of accomplishment. 
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Pressed Flowers Cardigan: Well look at that. It's the fronts and back of a sweater, seamed at the shoulders, and ready to have the sleeves picked up and knit down. Woo hoo! Yarns are Lanas Light and Dulce, both from Berroco.
New Year's Cast On: Shop sample for the Gartergan with Lore in the Ambitious colorway. I am wild about the way this yarn feels while I'm knitting (it's just wooly), and while I didn't swatch for this project that is merely because I swatched on the recommended needles when I was evaluating the yarn before ordering it, and gauge matched with this pattern. (And that washed and blocked swatch tells me that I love the way this yarn blooms after a bath.) 
And a New Year's Progress Report: While I'd planned to finish the garter stitch heel of my current Vesper sock on New Year's Eve, I ended up asleep before the fireworks started in earnest, so I picked it up and finished it first thing in the morning on Sunday. Now we are back to the stage where I can knit a stripe every day, and maybe finish by the end of the month! Time to plan my next sock project!

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