Monday, December 1, 2014

Now we are six

6 years! Yes Six years ago this journey began.

'The Girl' loved being six.  She oftens wishes she was that age again; old enough to look after yourself, read stories, get ready for bed and school without help, play with friends and no chores!

At Six Soper Creek Yarn is becoming more 'independent'. Days are becoming more routine and we are getting to know what kind of things that customers would like to see in the shop.

The journey to Six has been filled with a few ups and downs, but on the whole I have learned a lot about myself.

As we head into Seven we look forward to offering some new lines, perhaps expanding some learning oppotunities.

some  memories of the shop as it 'grows up':

The first windows:

First Day:
First Yarn Challenge

 Filled to the brim:

Royal Family Fun!

 Just before we move into next door!

The only time 'The Farmer' uses knitting needles:

Shop expansion 2013!

This week Friday is Moonlight Magic, one of my favourite downtown events.

The shop will open until 10 pm on Friday, stop in anytime on Friday for some treats and cider! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Muggles: Non-magic people (more commonly known as muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it."

—Excerpt from A History of Magic, by Bathilda Bagshot[src]

Sometimes I like to call those who don't understand why we knit or crochet: 'muggles'!

They don't get it.

Why do I knit?

1. I am not a patient person, waiting without something to do is just wrong.
2. I like to multi task, why do one thing when you can do six?
3. I like to create.
4. I love colour, and texture and fabric.
5. Knitting helps me think.
6. Knitting helps me to stop 'thinking'.
7. Knitting allows me to justify watching 'crappy' television.
8. Knitting is therapy!
9. But mostly:.


We all have a need to create and be creative, knitting, weaving, crochet and all those other pursuits are just part of being human?

Plus knitting keeps us warm, wool socks, wool blanket wool scarves!

Go create something beautiful!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


When did that happen.

I was informed the other day that again it's been well over a month since I posted anything.

Let's just say that there has been more than a lot going on.  Don't worry no one is ill and we are just going through a few bumps in everything we do as a family.

'The Farmer' has new equipment at the barn and its not going well, we are working on it. (It has taken most of my extra time to deal with this!) 'The Boy' is travelling around North America doing a really cool job as a co-op student.  I am getting really good at driving him to the airport at 'way to early' o'clock. 'The Girl', drops home more often and is helping with the heavy lifting!

Summer was quick, we got to enjoy some of it.  The trailer sits on our front lawn waiting to be used again but that didn't happen so soon we will put it away for the season.  Next Year!

We have promised each other (The Farmer and I) that there won't be any renovations, upgrades or  expansions next year!

The shop? The shop is great, we have moved things around; purchased new gift lines and added a couple of new brands to the mix.  Customers have responded well to our new choices.

Did you know that we are just about to celebrate our 6th Anniversary?  6 years ago I was purchasing yarn this weekend. On the way home, after spending a huge amount of money, the news reports that we were heading into the worst recession ever.  I was hoping that people would knit their way through it and they did!

This week, October 18th,  is Bowmanville's Apple Festival and Craft Sale, one of my favourite downtown events.  We know that some of you don't like the crowds but want a chance to purchase the clearance yarn that will be outside, beginning on Thursday our class area will again be filled with yarn on Sale! You just never know what goodie you may find in the mix!

See you Soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

And we are Back!

What a crazy summer, nothing major just a whole bunch of stuff. 

You may have wondered why blog posts were scarce this summer.  There were a few reasons, mostly our internet at home was terrible for months. The service provider installed a newish dish, which I paid for, then the new dish wouldn't speak to the old equipment on the tower.  Convincing them that it wasn't us was almost impossible, until we plugged a computer into the cable and what do you  know, "we can see that it works but clearly our equipment isn't responding".  "We will get parts" The new parts made it worse, there were different new parts ordered.  Then I threatened with changing internet providers and today everything is normal.

The only time to write the blog was either at the shop or when I was somewhere else with Wifi.

The shop is trashed! New yarn arrived all at once.  There was a mix up with some dates on orders and the only solution was to take everything.  (Why would I book 2 large orders  5 days apart?  The Sales Rep told the company that's what I wanted?)

We are re-organizing and moving furniture and installing some new fixtures.  The Farmer helped, so did The Boy, The Girl and The GBF (Girl's Boy Friend?) not to be confused with The BGF  (The Boy's Girl Friend).

I have an amazing support system around me and even though life has been with many ups and downs this summer they have been wonderful.

We are looking forward to a busy fall season as we head into year 7 of this Yarn adventure!

Happy Knitting,

Thursday, August 21, 2014

You can't see...

When this new yarn arrived into the shop a few months ago I knew that this would make a lovely something? Every evening as I left the shop it was one of the last things I noticed.  We were heading out for a 2 day holiday and I needed, not wanted, needed to start something new.

This travelled with me to our campsite. While 'The Farmer' read I wound it into a ball, all 500 meters. I had decided on the pattern but I couldn't decide on a needle size, I wanted the project to have a good stitch definition but be light and drapey at the same time.  

I wasn't happy with the needles I brought so I took it into the shop when I arrived back.  Those that saw the ball wound up were amazed how different it looked from the skein, 2 went home with them! 

A few days later I began the project, the pattern is 'Bottom up Birch' a free pattern on Ravelry.  I made a mohair version a couple of years ago.  The pattern is simple and engaging.  Knit rows are a simple leaf design, purl rows are plain, you get to coast back.

Admittedly you really can't see th lace design in the shawl until you look.  the colour way reminds me of the fall colours and the leaves in the design add to the total picture.  

The whole project took just over 3 weeks to make, and I used every inch!

I blocked it on Sunday, it's light and soft and perfect! (Sometimes I get it right!)

The yarn is by Fleece Artist, the colour is called 'Tiger'

Fall yarns are arriving weekly and the shop is planning a fall pre-view night in September.  More about that when we get it figured out,

The summer was chaotic and crazy, this project helped keep my sanity in tact. 

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time for a break!

The Farmer and I took a few days off! Getting away is tricky as there is so much to cover.  Make sure everyone knows! Find people to mind things while we are out of town.  That sort of thing. We can't go too far as stuff happens and when you have only a few days its not worth spending all the time getting somewhere. 

We have a trailer, so we took it to Emily Park, not too far. We hadn't been there for years, 14 to be exact.  The trees have grown so much that what once was an open area is lovely private campsites.  We discovered the Trans Canada Trail!  The weather was lovely, if you remembered last years vacation we were camping during the hottest week of the summer.  After re-reading that one I realized there wasn't any point in telling you about the things we forgot as they are pretty much the same.  The only difference is that we remembered the fan and forgot the sleeping bags! (We did have a lovely wool blanket that proved to be a 'marriage' saver!)

One thing I never forget is my knitting.  You must travel with at least 3 projects and one just in case ball of yarn.

The main project was a lace shawl using the new Madelinetosh Prairie.   It is something that has been on 'the bucket' list for a while.   Then there is a little scarf that I started using Manos Alegria.

If you are like me and just like to knit, no purls please, you will like the clever designs created by Martina Behm.  She  designs projects that are easily adapted to any yarn, and they are mostly just knit stitches.  (plus she has some cute videos on how to wear her designs)  A couple of us are contemplating the design Viajante.  It's lace weight, a lot of it, and if my 'bucket list' project is not doing what I want, this  is the 2nd option for the yarn I wound up.

We did have a lovely couple of days and I worked a few shortened days at the shop.  We plan another little trip next weekend which means the shop is closed on Tuesday July 29. 

More later....too busy enjoying the sunshine!
See you Soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Learning curve!

4 days off, well kind of off.  There was laundry, groceries, a tiny bit of cleaning, paperwork, research a new stove and this:
Almost three years ago I was hunting a little on Kijiji and found this loom. 
It was old, older than me, but it came with a lot of extra accessories.  It seemed to be owned by a Doctors wife who purchased it in the late 1950's and was still using it in the 70's.  There is a binder of notes from a course she took in the 60's and a project binder.  Then I think it sat in storage for many years.  We picked it up on our way home from moving The Boy to school.

The Boy put it all back together and got everything adjusted to work.  (I don't know how he and The Farmer can do that but this may explain some of it)

Then we moved it into the tiniest room in the house, which I use as a closet/storage room. This week we dragged it out into our family room.

Tuesday I measured out the warp and The Farmer helped wind onto the loom, yesterday I threaded it up and started to weave.

The learning curve is huge.  Math is important. I was following a pattern that suggested each warp be 5 yards long, I choose to do it  8 yards to give me extra fabric to play with. I wound one ball onto the warping board only to find myself 1/2 a yard short. I now know how long it takes to unwind a warp!  Then I ran out of heddles as I was threading up, you can undo them too!  The loom is a counterbalance loom and so the instructions for the course will not work as the set up of the treadles are completely different; I have kind of make it up as I go along.

When I am done there will be pillows, how many I am not sure.  I do have to go and find some more yarn as of course I ran out.  

Good thing the Yarn shop is open again today!

Thanks for letting me have a break, it's good to challenge yourself!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canada Day!

July 1st Canada's Birthday!

It's hot and humid in Ontario and I am celebrating the day indoors, trying  to teach myself how to weave on the floor loom.  Let's just say the learning curve is pretty steep!

No matter how you are celebrating, take time to remind yourself the this truly is a great country to call home!

Just a reminder that the shop is closed tomorrow, which is a good thing as the shop in not air conditioned and it looks like the humidity will stick around?

Happy Canada Day

See you Thursday.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Taking a break!

Summer is here! Finally!  We have waited a long time for this.

It also means that many of you are off on a vacation from your Knitting or Crochet.  Days at the shop are quieter, its nice to have a slower season to take time to catch up.  Like you Knitting doesn't take up as much of my free time, there is a bit of Gardening to do and time to enjoy the outdoors.

July is holiday time for 'The Farmer' and I.  We haven't planned anything just yet, even though we live  in the same house we haven't had much time to figure out our schedules.  (He was off doing Hay one night until just after 11 pm..a 17 hour day!)

This weekend is the first long weekend of the Summer so I have added an extra day for me!  The shop will be closed for 4 whole days!  What do I have planned?

Well I think I might do something with this:

The shop is closed Tuesday July 1st and Wednesday July 2nd!

Have a Safe and Happy Canada Day!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


This weekend is the start of  Summer!

The Yarn shops of Durham have planned a Yarn Crawl!

Celebrate Summer
with a
Visit the wool shops of East Durham
Saturday June 21st
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sales! Specials! Fun!

Wool Queen
182 Simcoe Street S.
Oshawa, Ontario

Wool on William
5 William Street W.
Oshawa, Ontario

Myrtle Station Wool
9585 Baldwin North
Oshawa, Ontario

Never Enough Wool
26 Water Street
Port Perry, Ontario

On the Lamb
66 Brock Street
Uxbridge, Ontario

Soper Creek Yarn
80 King Street West
Bowmanville, Ontario

We decided to run the event for 2 days, Friday and Saturday!  We have put together some door prizes!  With a purchase of $25 you receive a gift package. There a limit of one package per person, quantities are limited for each day.  (Value $10)

The Sale area has been tidied and today further markdowns are being made, there are some lovely yarns just waiting to go to a new home!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Summerfest is this weekend. It begins with a Sidewalk sale on Thursday, the shop is open from 10am - 6 pm.  Then continues on Friday and Saturday  when the street will be closed to allow for the Food Trucks and Vendors. Weather Permitting the Sale buckets will be outside a great time to stock up for summer knitting.

A special Knit in Public Event includes knitting a Community Blanket.  We need 4 knitters at a time to knit a blanket to be donated. 

See you Soon.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Diversifying my Portfolio

When the shop opened in 2008 we approached this as a business.  Business is math and money and percentages and accounting.  I had been working in retail for almost 30 years.  I understood about mark-ups and trends and paying bills.  There are lots of bills.  Last year we added 2 more monthly invoices to the mix, more rent, more hydro!  Keeping them paid through the summer is a challenge.   I could fill the shop with more yarn, but sometimes even the Yarn shop has too much yarn. So I added Baskets, Bags, notions, cards you know that stuff.

This year I travelled to the Gift Show and spotted a few interesting lines of product that if stretched could be knitting related, or they are just fun to be around.

New to the shop today are Arterro kits. These cleverly designed kits contain all the ingredients to help creative juices flow!  They are design for kids 8 and up!  Most contain renewable fibres and recycled materials.  A needle felting kit, a wool felt jewelry kit and my favourite a wool felt bug kit!
These Puppets by  Cate and Levi are were just too cute to pass up.  They are made from recycled sweaters and knit fabrics.  Each is totally unique and charming! 

Last week with our Briggs and Little order we received some of their knitted socks,  made with Durasport yarn from a manufacturer in Ontario.  Canadian fleece, made into Canadian yarn, knit into Canadian Socks!  Wooly and warm, but only in men's size right now?



Then there are the Freakers.  they were just too much fun to miss.  Designed by a quirky guy, with a great story.  'It all began at a Stitch and Bitch' he says!  How could I resist!
There are a couple of orders in the future one of them may be a yarn company the we have been watching for a few years now! 
Come and visit! 

Monday, May 26, 2014


Helen and I had a discussion about being faithful.  We are both happily married women, but we struggle with monogamy.  Not with our 'life partners' but with our yarn projects.

This week I announced that I was choosing a monogamous relationship with one project.  That meant even having to look away from the new yarn that arrived this week.  I had come to the point in this project where the relationship was 'do or die', finish or it will get trapped into in the UFO basket.

I began this lace weight project with good intentions, This was going to be another of my favourite summer scarf patterns using the new Noro Taiyo Lace.

It began last summer, I took it with me on holidays.

It grew a little after Christmas. then finally this week I stayed true to only this knitting.  Fortunately being Noro the colours were keeping me engaged.

Finally after 4 hours of knitting on Sunday the last few stitches were cast off and I was free!   I removed the cardboard center of the ball and there are still 30 grams, that's almost 200 meters remaining!

I blocked it last night, today it's drying.  It measures just over 100 inches long!
Done on 3.5 mm needles and used 700 meters of yarn.  That's a lot of knitting for $25 worth of yarn!

Today its on to another project, but again I am going to stick with that one until its finished.  There are too many UFO's in my knitting basket.

See you Soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We all have wish list, yarn we have admired and hoped to use one day!  Sweetgeorgia is one of those for me.  This Canadian dyed yarn started small and has gained quite a reputation for their quality and bold colour choices.  It was March when I decided to take the plunge and place an order.  It was difficult to choose. There were so many colours and you can only see them online.  The staff at Sweetgeorgia  were very helpful giving me suggestions of popular colour ways.  

Last week an email to the shop sent  a tracking number to follow, all week we waited for the box to arrive, it finally arrived today.

You might be wondering about the samples already knit?  After placing the order I asked if they could send me a skein of something to create a sample for the shop, they sent 2.  The shawl is made with the tough love sock and the hat is made with the DK.  The hat was finished on Sunday! 

I can't wait to show you the next new line to come to the shop in July!

See You Soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Helping others, help themselves!

Helping others is a good thing!  We all need to help people.  It makes us feel needed, grateful and inspired.

Knitters (and those that crochet) are very generous people, some have been know to give someone the pair of socks that they just finished because they thought that person was in need of a cheer up! 

This year I was inspired by a Ted Talk presentation made by the co-founder of Kiva.  Even the smallest amount of a loan  will help someone gain independence.  This year we are asking those that attend our Knitt'n Nights to bring a toonie to help raise a some funds to support an entrepreneur.  The nice thing about this organization is that you can choose those that you would like to help.  Reading their stories is inspiring as they are trying to create jobs for themselves and others in their communities.  If you like to donate to the cause there is a place to donate your change and when we get $100 collected we can choose a person or group who can borrow the money.  The nice thing about these loans is that when they get paid back, you can re-loan the money to someone else.   This money will always stay in the system.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by kind and generous people who have come to recognise the importance of giving. 

Whether you knit for friends and neighbours, make hats for premies, make squares for blankets for teenagers in the Ukraine, slippers for the women's shelter, mittens for children in cold climates or hats for cancer patients, your work is important and those that receive your gift are grateful.


Kiva Logo

Friday, May 9, 2014

All right everyone back to your knitting!

It's been a hectic Spring? (If you could call it that!)  A lot of changes in our lives. I have felt pulled in every direction.  It's like everything got thrown into the air and the landed facing a new direction. 

The month of May looks like we are heading to a more normal life.  The printer at home is still not speaking to any of the computers, the email in the shop only goes to one computer so everything requires the use of both.  I really dislike being the IT person here, one of the joys of being self employed.

I am afraid that my knitting and blogging have suffered.

Remember a while back when I told you about the 2 shawls Regan made for us.  When we were discussing on which shawl to make we discovered this one:  Pendulum on Ravelry.  You should have seen the discussion as all three of us wanted to make the design.  I won!  Being the shop owner has its perks.  It took  just a week to make.  I will make it again as the design is easy, but I might tweek the pattern just a little.

 The colours are lovely together, but perhaps we should have used something with more of a contrast.

Did you notice that it is just garter stitch? Not a purl stitch in the whole project. 

The right design and a great yarn makes it look so impressive!

The yarn is Classic Elites Alpaca Sox, there is just enough left on each ball to make something else!

Squishy and soft,

See You Soon!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

All I want is a phone line!

(Warning this is a non-yarn post)

'The Farmer' is working on a big project?  Part of the equipment requires that there was a phone line installed.  Ideally the line should be a new line directly installed from the road to the barn.  Last Monday I went to our local Bell store only to be told that they could not handle that kind of situation and that we should use the online option.  Home I went and started to chat online.  After 1 hour and 5 minutes online I was assured that we could have a line installed directly to the barn from the road, even though it's over 100 feet from the road.  We would not have to find the electrical lines or gas lines as the technicians are professionals and they would handle the installation with no problems.

Before the installation they needed to run a credit check. The 30 years of Bell history that we have personally  and the over 60 years of Bell service to the property wasn't enough. I was told that I would receive a call informing of the results of the credit check within a few minutes.  I waited 3 hours. (it's Monday, my day off there are things to do) Finally I call them.

"We are sorry there seemed to be a slight technical problem but we can schedule your installation for Thursday sometime between and 8 am to 5 pm.

The next day I get a call, they want to know how they can install a new line when there is a line already to the property? How will they know where to go?

 "It is the same address: right for the house and left to the barn? It's a big building you can't miss it?"

4:30 on Thursday, still no Bell technicians. I  can see that there are going to be issues.  Technicians arrive, look puzzled, we are informed that the couldn't possibly do the job.  They don't have enough wire, the gas and hydro lines aren't marked and it's not their responsibility to run the conduit from the road.  Even though the transcript I have clearly states this is not a problem for them.

They arrange for a spool of wire to be delivered and show 'The Farmer' how to hook up the wire. The wire now runs under the busy driveway, something we were trying to avoid.

The conduit was purchased  and the excavator was put to good use!

Again 'The Farmer' has saved the day, the phone line works!  I bet we still have to pay the installation fee?

See you soon, thanks for the opportunity to vent!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


More catching up!

I went into the city one Monday a long time ago and picked up some of this lovely Malabrigo Mecha.
When I brought it in I immediately wanted to make something.  The skein was wound into a ball and we played with the gauge.  It looks like is should be a worsted weight yarn but it really is a chunky.  The ball lived at the shop and people played with the needles and yarn every once in a while.

Finally in January I found the right project and completed it quite quickly.  The pattern is 'Moonpath Cowl", a pattern available through Ravelry.  It's one of the in store patterns that you can purchase through the shop and then it goes into your Library and your computer!  It is a great way for me to offer almost 200,000 patterns without ever having them out of stock.  Plus the designer gets paid and then can spend more time designing other great patterns!

It took 2 skeins of the yarn to make this rather large cowl.   The Yarn again is Malabrigo Mecha , the pattern uses 8mm circular needles (24 inches works best).

It took 3 computers to finally get this posted!

There are a lot of things happening all over our lives this weekend.  'The Boy' leaves on another big adventure and won't really be home until December.  'The Farmer' is installing a huge new way to do his job.

We will keep you posted!

See You Soon.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blog silence

It was pointed out to me yesterday that the blog has been silent for a month!  There really isn't any one thing that has kept me from writing, it's been many.

The shop has been a busy place, but the personal life has taken on a whole bunch of activities.

 First 'The Farmer' is working on a big project that not only requires a huge commitment of time and money but it also affects the way we will continue to live on this property.   Days  start at about 5 am and he arrives home at just past 7 pm.  Once the project is complete the days will return to some sort of new normal.  You will be happy to know that this also means that Soper Creek Yarn is able to continue for at least the next 7 years.

This year I decided to tap our maple trees and make some Maple Syrup.  When we planted the maples around the house 28 years ago we thought that it would be nice to make our own maple syrup.  Our friend Ian sold us some buckets and taps, we found a way to start the process out on the front porch and I finished it on the stove.  Tonight I am making the last batch, we have about 3 litres altogether. 
Something off the bucket bucket list?

While I was boiling up sap I was also cleaning alpaca fleece.  Our friend Nancy at 1 stop alpaca wanted to get move some of the fleece she had stored to raise some funds for the re build of their barn.  I bought 5 fleeces and I have been washing and picking them and packaging them for sale in the shop.  The house had the unusual aroma of Maple syrup mixed with wet alpaca.

Then April was upon us 'The Girl' returned to her full time job; 'The Boy' was finishing another year at school.   We moved his stuff home last week, then there was Easter.  Family was coming, the house needed a good sort.  'The Girl' came home and said how organized things looked.  I told her not to look downstairs or open any closed doors!

What have I been knitting? Garter stitch lots of garter stitch.  It's my go to knitting when all is chaos.  Just knit, knit knit!


So that's me catching up, we will do this again soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A tale of two..

Regan is a lovely knitter; sometimes if I ask nicely she will make a sample for the shop.  One day we were looking through patterns and yarn and it was decided that she would make a sample using a relatively new yarn.  The label told us that the skein of Botany Lace contained 410 meters, we chose the pattern Henslow on Ravelry. (you can purchase the pattern through the shop) The pattern told us we needed 420 meters, close enough?

A few weeks later Regan returned , looking a bit worried, she told us we had a problem.  I expected some huge disaster, the yarn was flawed or the pattern was wrong or the needles broke.  Well, that pattern was right, it really needed 10 more yards, all that she need to finish was that last repeat of the applied border.  Regan even volunteered to rip,back all her work and start again, we considered a change in pattern to fudge the last bit of edging, but really the only solution is to use another skein.  

That meant we would have another 400 meters of leftover fingering weight yarn.  Surfing through Ravelry we found Clapo - ktus!  (its a free one!) 


 Two very different shawls from the same yarn, I really can't decide which I like better!

When I put them on it feels like summer!

See you Soon!