Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I blame Leah

A little over a month ago Leah arrived at the shop and made me watch this video by Stephen West!  I loved it, it's fun! I began looking into his other designs.  I had been tempted to make last years project. The more I thought the more I thought what the heck! When no was was looking I played with the colours in the shop.  Wanting to be a bit frugal I began with the leftovers from a previous project.

I decided on 2 colours and waited for the first clue! (It was a mystery knit a long ) 

Setting aside all other projects this took over all the knitting time available.

I got a little behind when the 2nd clue appeared but caught up quickly as it didn't require as much time.

Clue 3 arrived and it was another big section of knitting, I had barely started when the final clue was posted.

Fortunately we travelled to see 'The Girl' which meant there was plenty of time to knit while 'The Farmer' drove.

It took over 4 hours to do the I-cord bind off!

A quick bath and I left it to dry all day Thursday and it came to work with me Friday.  

Leah was in the shop that day! I told her I blamed her for this, it was a great challenge!

Time to get back to my regularly scheduled knitting!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Life has been more than a bit hectic.  The shop is busy. I am seeing less of 'The Farmer' as his days are exhausting.  Crops have been good and we are into the last weeks of corn harvest.  Hopefully the weather co operates and he can slow down a bit.

I was going to write about all the projects I have been working on.  I seem to have a serious cas of startitis. New yarn needs a sample or at least a swatch; new patterns appear on Ravelry. 

Sometimes one crosses my path and it's instant love at first sight. Winterlong was introduced to me by Yarn Harlot's blog.  It's clever and I loved the design and the construction.

So I began

I am not very far along but I am in love with the combination of the yarn and the pattern.
See you Soon!

Monday, October 12, 2015


When did that happen!

We have just wrapped up a lovely Thanksgiving weekend with The Girl and The Boy (and the Puppy!).  Both of them have busy lives and it was nice to have 4 cars I the driveway, Just like many families time together is rare and precious, so I tend to hog them when they are here.  The dishwasher seems to run constantly.

The added bonus that happens when The Girl arrives is that she is able to bring home some of the pottery we have in stock.

The shop is getting ready for Applefest this weekend.  We will be sorting out the clearance yarn and filling a couple of baskets with $2 yarn!  

This Wednesday is Kntt'n Night and we have a couple of spaces left in the Knitting Clinic, contact the shop for more information!

In my knitting this week I finished 1 mitten and 1 slipper! More about those next time!  

Time to check on the turkey stock I am making, I think turkey soup is on the menu for a couple of meals!

See you soon?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Knock your socks off!

When Soper Creek Yarn opened in 2008 we started with one small space.  it didn't take long to fill the space with yarn, needles, patterns and a few baskets.  In 2013 we expanded by taking over the space next door as well.  The added space was wonderful, but slightly larger than I really needed.  To pay the extra expenses we added some felting supplies. Then one of our suppliers offered knitted socks done with some of the yarn we sold.

The socks were popular. One of our bag suppliers introduced a line of socks, then I found some socks knit in wool from a nice lady in Quebec and this week we received an order of socks made with recycled cotton.  

These are designed by a knitter and resemble many of the popular knit patterns found in hand knit socks!  Comfy and soft and made in the United States.  

These are come in three sizes and will fit most women and men! In the box there were a few pairs of fingerless mitts and lined mittens.  

I think I may to re name the shop? Soper Creek Yarn and....

See you soon!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fair Time

This past weekend was our local Fall Fair. The Orono Fair has been a big part of my husband's family for over 50 years.  Local families work hard to organize this 4 day event.  They Volunteer hundreds of hours to ensure that the event is popular, safe and family friendly. The weather has a huge role in its success.  This year it rained, poured really, most of the day Saturday and Sunday. Crowds we thin but the events continued!

Every year for the past 10 or so I have been entering a few things in the Cultural Expressions category. Entering for me is about showing the general public that the crafts continue to be an important part of our culture and artistic expression,  (I began to enter again when I discovered the nylon slippers from that crunchy yarn from the 70's received a First prize ribbon)

It's always fun to see what the Judges think of my entries:

Some of the results surprised me again!

There are a few more local fairs happening over the next few weeks! We will more than likely visit at least one more!

See you soon!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Growing up!

Sometimes, well most of the time,  I wonder where the time is going.  The summer is flying by and we are having fun watching a puppy turn into a full grown dog in just a matter of weeks. It's forcing me to,be vigilant about my knitting and my shoes!  

Then I remind myself that the shop will be 7 years old this year and  tomorrow 'The Girl' celebrates her birthday! She is now 1/2 my age, yet it seems like just weeks since she was just a little girl.  'The Farmer' and I have loved watching her grow and learn and become a capable human being.  As our first born she taught us about patience, smiling and letting go of the small things!

Happy Birthday dearie!

Friday, August 7, 2015

It's a Small World!

Isn't it interesting how small the world seems to be getting.  Technology lets us interact with anyone on the planet.  'The Girl' is visiting friends in Western Canada, turns out one of the cousins has worked one of with her cousins here in Ontario?

In January I went to the Gift Show, trying to find new products to help round out the selection of the shop.  At the farthest part of the building, there was a booth filled with Felted Products from Nepal.  I was chatting with the owner, who in a way resembled me.  Long dark, slightly graying hair.  She spoke with an accent which didn't fit with the fact the she lives in Australia.  Turns out she is Dutch, born in a village not to far from where most of my relatives live.

Here we were in a building in Toronto, both from the same region in The Netherlands a chance meeting?  The 2 of us were speaking of our love of wool, colour and fair trade products.  If I was Anne Shirley I would have called us kindred spirits.

We built a lovely order, and after a couple of months the products arrived.  Felted fabrics, pom poms, flower shapes and interesting silk yarns and handmade felt birds and bird houses. 

The products are handmade in Nepal.  The tragedy of all this is that although the factory survived the earthquake in May but  40 of the employees have lost their homes, everything really.

The company has set up an account to help raise funds to help their employees re build.  During the summer I would like to provide a space to help these people directly.

Next weekend August 15 th is Bluesfest in Bowmanville.  We will have a bit of a fundraiser for the families that lost there homes.  Sort of a yarn sale, but it will be from personal stash.  If you would like to participate please contact the shop.

More details to follow very soon.

This week we received the first of many shipments to come for fall and winter!

One in particular features Canadian made goods, 100% wool.

I love the thrummed mitts!

I am at the car dealership again, stealing the internet again. The Internet at home is...well you know, so here I sit and wait and catch up.

See you soon!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Way Back Wednesday 5

There are no words, we have come a long way!

See you Soon

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Way Back Wednesday 4

We are lucky today.  We get to knit because we want to be creative, use great yarn and fibres and colours.  There was a time when knitting was part of your job as a homemaker or a member of the family.  You were required to knit to keep your family warm!

Sometimes they attempted designs that replicated the current fashion, did they succeed in making knitting fashionable?

See you soon!
Create something, beautiful?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Well, that was fun!

Late on a Saturday, I was heading out of the shop and just happen to glance at the sale buckets! There looking rather shop worn were a few balls of Berroco Quasar.  It is a lovely pure Peruvian Wool, lightly plied and with a long colour run. Instantly I thought of a project.  Just what I needed, a project to take with us on holidays as I was really only working on 3 already!  This would be my just in case I run out of knitting project!

It took most of Sunday to pack up and head out, with all my knitting with in arms reach in the truck we left the Farm! I was so inspired with working with the yarn I pulled out the needles and began right away.  By the time we reached our destination I was well into the project.  

I had only taken 2 balls with me hoping it would finish the project but I needed a full ball and about 20 yards of the fourth! Mostly because I decided to attatch the handles right onto the bag, instead of making an I-cord strand to attatch later.

I threw it into the washing machine, front loader, quick wash, medium speed, hot water.  It went through the cycle twice.  It may have needed a bit more felting but I didn't want to risk over doing it the machine and was not prepared to finish it by hand.  

I think it turned out pretty well. It's a pattern I developed using various elements in other felted bag projects available on line.  
It was so much fun! I am making another with the leftover yarn from the sale bin.  Just to make a few notes and develop the pattern.

See you soon!


Friday, July 3, 2015

BFL Love!

When you own a Yarn Shop it's hard to play favourites! There so many beautiful fibres and yarns.  Then there is the whole colour thing! Companies like Koigu, Madelinetosh, Sweetgeorgia and Fleece Artist do colours so well! It's hard to have a single favourite.

This weeks favourite yarn is BFL 2/8 from Fleece Artist. I have used this before in a shawl I made last summer.  There were a few skeins of a rather dull looking colour way that just needed a sample to show off its true beauty?  Pursuing Ravelry I found a pattern actually designed for the yarn.

Mairi has and interesting construction as you actually begin the shawl by making the border first and then pick up the stitches along the edge and knit the body of the shawl last, decreasing until only 5 stitches remain.  

I have to admit the lace pattern completely stumped me sometimes, it got to the point that I threw a lifeline in at the end of every repeat. It's not that it was difficult. It's just that because the lace is all garter stitch it was hard to read the design, following the written instructions exactly was important.  I am not good at keeping notes, a pencil and paper, a row counter one of those clicky counter things could be a great help. Many times I would begin the pattern determined to remember which row that I just finished only to be distracted and loose my place, but I persevered and once the border was complete the shawl was a pretty quick knit!

It's lovely and squishy and super soft!  I know just who will make good use of this once I decide that it's time in the shop is finished!

It took just about the whole skein of yarn almost 500 meters and at $24 for the skein an affordable luxury!

See you Soon!

Way back Wednesday 3

This weeks post is a bit late, we had a few days away!

Remember the eighties? There were a more than just a few really awful trends!  

These were pretty tame compared to some I found in the stack of old pattern books I have been accumulating.

I remember helping customers with our own variation of the pink vest.  The one we did used 2 balls of a mohair blend and a pair of 000 or 10 mm needles! Turns out my friend Julie, who I met 20 years ago, remembers going into Rickaby's and purchasing the yarn to many of those vests.   I probably helped her at least one of the times, we were both a lot younger then.

What does the Yarn shop owner do on vacation?

I started a new project!  

You know how when you pack your knitting and you take as many projects you think you can finish and then you add 'a just in case' project? What did I do? Started that one instead, leaving the others to be finished when we got home!

See you soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Way Back Wednesday!

This pattern was one of the most popular patterns in the late 70's and early 80's.  I sometimes think that it alone has given me a slight aversion to the 'feather and fan' or ripple design.  It's a shame really as the pattern is quite simple and done correctly can achieve a complicated design without much effort.

We sold a lot of that particular colour combination, 3 balls of 3 of the colours and 4 of the main colour. Back then, now I am sounding old, we hold some of the yarn in brown paper bags in the storage space in the basement. Every week customers would come and pick up what they needed or could afford that week. Every once in a while one of the staff would take on the job of spending the day sorting through the bags, putting yarn back into stock if it was past the 60 day time limit.  It surprised a few when they came back to finish their project that the yarn was put back out and they realize that they had been working on something for over a year! 

I wonder how many of those afghans are still around?

See you Soon!

Just a quick reminder that the shop is closed Tuesday June 30th and Wednesday July 1st!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer in a Yarn Shop!

Let's just say that some days it's tough to keep ourselves busy in the shop during the summer.  I suppose we could spend the free time working on some samples or perhaps catching up on paperwork.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been wandering around the space and trying to come up with a better way merchandising.  I started with kijiji, it's a great place to find reasonably priced pieces of furniture.  I found some plastic shelves that have totally organized the storage space in the very back of the shop!

This week I picked up a lovely bookcase, just the right size for a little 'bookstore'.  Shifting a few pieces at the front of the shop we managed to fit everything while still avoiding light switches and alarm system keypads.

The other inspiration actually came when I was visiting another Yarn Shop last week.  They had cleverly displayed the tubes of buttons in an IKEA CD cabinet.  I have one of those, problem was that the only space it fit was right in front of an electrical outlet and plugged into that outlet was the carbon monoxide detector! What to do? Sometimes the obvious takes several minutes, or years! The detector was moved to another outlet! It took three of us to shift the big cabinet the  two inches we needed to get the cabinet to fit!

Then while I was sorting I found a display for sock yarn from several seasons ago.  It now has organized some chunky yarn into a nice tidy display?

Now there are some plans to move more things around to makes better space for the felting supplies!

That involves, slat wall paint and a couple of strong backs!

See you soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Way back Wednesday!

Many of you know that I have been knitting for a very long time. When I was just out of highschool I began working in the shop just up the street from Soper Creek Yarn.  Rickaby's was a family owned small town department store. It carried a vast array of products: China dinnerware, figurines, business supplies, kitchenware and yarn.  Although I worked in just about every department, near the end of my career there you would find me mostly in the 'wool' department.  It was a busy place and I loved working and helping customers.  

Over the years my collection of patterns has grown and I have a bit of fondness for some of the more vintage patterns. I don't really plan on making any of them I just like the designs and history.

I may be breaking some copyright rules but every Wednesday I will try to post a couple of pictures of some that have made me smile, or perhaps even made.

These three just remind me of how bizarre some of the fashions were in the 70's!

Imagine trying to knit flared pants!

Or hot pants!

The Poodle sweater, to match the Poodle skirt?

That's just the start!

See you Soon!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Downtown events are always a challenge, I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with them! When the weather is great they are so much fun. People are happy and we can be outside! 

When the weather is crappy then this happens!

The street was pretty much empty on Friday night at this end of town, a few brave souls made their way to the shop and we were happy to see them.  Fortunately I had posted that we would only be open until 7 pm and I stayed until just after 7:30.

Saturday was so much better! We were able to put all the clearance yarn outside! We made sure we left room for the ladies that planned to come for a Knit in Public event.

We had the most perfect day!  We even got out the community blanket we started last year and found 4 willing knitters to knit on it! 

Thanks everyone that came to visit, for some it was a challenge as when the weather is nice parking can be an issue.  

So far this year we are 2 for 2 for perfect days for events!

See you soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family trumps Yarn!

I hope that not too many of you came into town on Thursday June 11 only to find that we were closed for the day.  It's not very often that the shop is closed within the posted shop hours, believe it or not it's impossible to be at the shop all the time.  

We close for holidays in the summer, a couple of days at Christmas and the Saturday of Labour day weekend.

We started closing that weekend when The Boy went off to University:

We closed this time to do this:

It took 5 years to complete, as he took a co-op program. He worked hard and did well and we are very proud!

Time flew!

Thanks for understanding!

See you tomorrow as we celebrate Summerfest in Bowmanville!
We will be open 10 am - 7 pm on Friday and 10 am - 5 pm on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


You know that phrase "when life gives you lemons make Lemonade"?

A while back we were given a lemon, a sock sample that was knit so poorly it was not suitable for display.  Even though you could say we received it as a 'free' sample, it still was not going to help us.

The nice people at Regia sell beautiful creative sock yarn.  If the shop owner orders enough a particular yarn you get a free sock for display. It makes sure that they sell a lot of yarn and because there is a sample already knit it makes it easier for the store to show customers how the yarn looks when knit.  (A win, win!)

This is the sock when it arrived:

Last week Betty showed us a sock she was knitting with the yarn at the right gauge!  Beautiful!

I really don't have time to knit a sample, besides it would cost me a ball of yarn to knit a sample sock.  (Just because I own a yarn shop the yarn still costs me money, plus now I am short one ball to sell!)  Then I was inspired.  Rip out the sample and re knit the yarn into another sock, or at least start one.
I cut the toe, ripped back the sock and began.

I had planned to finish it over the 'weekend' but left it at the shop.  Last night I knit as much as I wanted and gave it a quick soak to remove the wrinkles left from knitting with pre knit yarn
That's much better!  Did you notice that I managed to centre the design of the pattern into the sample, totally by accident.
See You soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You know 'that one'

There is a newborn pattern on Ravelry called Puerperium Cardigan.  It's not easy to pronounce so one of the of our local Midwives and I have renamed it: 'you know, that one'.

It's been on my list to knit for a while, as its cute, top down and one 100 gram skein of something lovely will make it.

Last week we received and order from our friends at Fleece Artist and in the box was a yarn called Merino 3/6; 100% superwash merino, knits to a slightly heavy DK.  It would be a nice Canadian replacement for Madelintosh tosh DK.  (We will still get that yarn, but its becoming more difficult to get and the currency exchange is making it more expensive.)

I began knitting the cardigan while watching 'Call the Midwife' and finished last night.  It came into the shop slightly damp from its little soak I gave just before going to bed. 

'The Boy' noted that I am willing to make sweaters for random unknown babies but never for my own children.  Knitting for a human 20 times the size of a newborn is just too much of a commitment at this time!

Hopefully it dries before I leave tonight so I can add the buttons and tie in the loose ends.

See you soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer Knitting!

'It's interesting how we behave, we like to knit winter things in the winter and summer things in the summer.  We need our winter woollies when its cold why do we start to knit them when we are cold?  Same with summer things, we make them then, but there are fewer summer days?

It should be the other way around.  We should have been making our summery things in January!

I did start this wrap in April, I have been planning to make it since I was shown the yarn in January.

The pattern is Cordelia from Classic Elite Yarns.  It was an easy knit, but I have to admit that near the end I really pushed to get it done as the one row of K2tog, YO across the row was a bit of a drag!

The pattern does call for 4 balls of the Bella Lino yarn, but you could easily make it from 3.  Just remember to leave 25 grams for the last 2 rows and the bind off!

I think this will become part of my summer wardrobe!
How doI know that you need 25 grams for the last few rows? Its because I have that much left over.  I really liked using the yarn and thought I could do something else with what was left.  First I tried a cowl with an interesting construction, but it wasn't working out.

The I tried to make a triangle shawl, scarf thing but I wasn't happy with that either.

So then I tried something really radical, I got out the crochet hook and decided to attempt a summer cowl.  The 25 grams worked up really quickly, the pattern was okay. In my hurry to get something made I managed to create a loop with multiple twists.  

It really needs as second ball, but for now it's in 'time out' until I figure something else out.

I started this instead:

Biscotte & Cie sock yarn, the colour way is called 'Hallucination'.  It's lovely to work with I might try an after thought heel to keep the stripes even!
Go create something beautiful!

See you soon!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day!

Yesterday I received a lovely card from "The Girl'.  Handwritten and thoughtful.  We have been through a lot together, nothing nasty just regular growing up (for both of us!).

I adore my Children, they inspire me and sometimes frustrate me but they have grown into nice people!

I joke some days that the Shop is another Child, not as needy, but sometimes 'she' can be difficult!  Quiet days, busy days, paying bills, ordering stock finding time to fit it all in can be a chore.  But I am proud of what it has become; a place filled with colour and inspiration.

We are heading into the quiet season here.  Many of you will be out in the garden or travelling to the cottage and beyond!

The shop will change to summer hours beginning in June and even close for a few days in July.

To those who are Moms in any way:  Happy Mother's Day!

See you soon!