Aug 1, 2017

Birthday Sale Time!

It's another birthday and Maisie is 8 years old today! That's a lot of candles on the cake.  

Maisie loves cake and a party....so put on your party frocks and join us. It's a big Birthday Sale! 

 Just throw on your favorite hat & dress. Sale Party runs Aug 5-15th, 2017. 

Ah....here's a vintage birthday photo of Maisie's favorite dress. Just a little something she tossed on. Nothing fancy of course....
Here's her favorite outfit when she's ready to get stuff done! Like when prepping for our sale. So much stuff to mark down, displays to build, signs to make....that calls for her Super Girl togs.


Hopefully once all the prep work done.....she can don her party dress and have fun!


 And eat cake!

Come shop our sale as we make room for new stuff coming at summer's end (which is right around the corner). It's a good time to snag great deals and stock up for your holiday gift knitting and buying! 

Sale Dates: Aug 5 - 15th

Open daily 10 - 5pm
 Thanks for your wonderful patronage these past 8 years. We have awesome customers! 

See you soon, 

Kim and Megan


Jul 21, 2017

Christmas in July: Kit #2 Wesley Bobs

[Click to see video in your browser if viewing in our email newsletter. Link at the very top]

You read it right. I said "Wesley Bobs" but you're thinking Wesley Who?! And what does he have to do with christmas? Believe it or not it's a long-standing advent tradition from Yorkshire:
....it was the custom...for children to go from house to house singing and carrying what they called a "wesley-bob." This they kept veiled in a cloth till they came to a house door, when they uncovered it. The wesley-bob was made of holly and evergreens, like a bower, insido were placed a couple of dolls, adorned with ribbons, and the whole affair was borne upon a stick. Whilst the wesley-bob was being displayed, a song or ditty was sung. At Aberford, near Leeds, two dolls are carried about in boxes in a similar way, and such an affair here is called a wesley-box.[British Popular Customs Past & Present]
It's still a custom today except that over the years it's gone from a special advent box to mean christmas tree ornaments. Which fits since we still buy boxes of christmas balls which is sorta, kinda like what the sweet children of Yorkshire would carry around during Advent!

I stumbled across Wesley Bobs while searching endlessly on Ravelry for "christmas ornaments." Once I found Ann Kingstone's Wesley Bob pattern I knew this was the pattern for our Christmas in July extravaganza. Her pattern is easy to follow and has six motifs, charted out in both color versions. Then reading about the old-fashion tradition behind the unusual name.....I knew it was a done deal! Thankfully our shop elf, Catski whipped out several in record time too.

https://squareup.com/market/maisieblue-inc/item/week-wesley-bobs

Originally I planned to use the Norwegian Julekulers made popular by those fun guys, Arne & Carlos. They even have a great little video on how to make little mini versions....and it's worth a watch. Seriously they make using 0 dpns look easy! They're fingers fly around using those toothpick-sized needles. But once I found the Wesley Bobs I jumped off the Norwegian ship and swam ashore in Yorkshire! (Ah Yorkshire....home of the Crawleys of Downton Abbey.....sigh......I miss them.....can't wait for the movie! But I digress.....) 


Kits contain the pattern and 1 ball ea of two colors: Red & White, Green & White or Blue & White. We used worsted weight (vs. fingering as in pattern) which make a ball about 4" diameter and the yarn should yield 2-3 Wesley bobs. 
https://squareup.com/market/maisieblue-inc/item/week-wesley-bobs
 
As with toys and ornaments use a smaller needle for firmer fabric, like a US 4 or 5 set of dpn's (or circulars if you prefer magic looping it.  Order kits here.

Happy Wesley-Bobbing!

Apr 18, 2017

Mystery Box Time!

Technically it is our Spring box...because it's technically Spring....at least according to the calendar it is Spring. Weather so changeable this year never sure if we're still in winter or finally spring. Things are blooming....but then there's rain, snow, frost and tornado sightings! We break out the sandals, then it's back to galoshes a few days later.
Don't get me wrong....we LOVE the rain and snow (hurray to the end of the drought!). But all this changeable weather made the decision of what to put in Mystery Box tough. Hard to get excited about "Spring" when it is torrential downpours and our heater still kicking on throughout the day. Must remember the old adage....


Since Mother Nature having hard time deciding the season...we're passing the buck.  This Mystery theme is "either-or" choice because frankly...it's too hard to decide which option to use!

Choose Your Season
Warm & Cozy? Do you fancy days burrowed in front of roaring fire, all bundled up nice and snug, hot mug nearby and projects at the ready? Want to work on a project for next fall so on first crisp morning you'll have the perfect accessory to keep you toasty & warm?

Cool & Breezy? Are spring breezes, warmer temps and plenty of flowers more your thing? Longing for light, flirty projects that float in the breeze? Dreaming of hours spent in sunny garden working on a new project as bees buzz, flowers scent the air and trees whisper on the wind summer is around the corner....?

Both options highlight a scrumptious yarn we adore. One is a warm and cozy yarn-soft and luxurious (oh so buttery to use). The other option is silky, cool and lightweight-perfect to work on when temps spike. Both patterns yield pretty accessories-perfect gift-knits or something truly heirloom for yourself or a cherished loved one.

As always we include alternative pattern suggestions, tips and advice, plus a perfect escapist novel to enjoy while sitting in sun or basking in front of a fire. Help us (finally) usher in Spring or anticipate the return of Fall.
Choice is yours!
 
Want to Join in the Fun? 
 
  • Select your Option: KNIT or CROCHET
  • Choose your Box Type:  Warm & Cozy   or   Springy & Breezy
  • Select your Color # (scroll thru photos to see options)
  • Hit Add to Cart. Next page choose from drop down menu: Shipping or PickUp
  • Click Checkout to pay up and Bob's Your Uncle and You're Done! 

Boxes ready to ship/pick up April 29st 

Color options are below:

Welcome to a new season everyone! And thank you for all your wonderful patronage these past 8+ years. 

Kim and Megan




Mar 17, 2017

springtime 2017

It's been too long since last post but my foggy brain finally sloughing off its winter hibernation. Ready for a shop update?

  
New Yarn: Lettlopi all the way from Iceland! 
Lettlopi, which is Icelandic wool prized for its warmth yet light weight properties. What people using to m ake all those yoked sweaters that keep popping up on Ravelry and Pinterest. And we have it! A real wool-wool. It's the national wool of Iceland (seriously!) and we've got it.

Long time no blog! Shocked to see it's been ages since last update (um....last year to be exact!). Trying a new method of getting photos out of my iphone into our blog-always a tricky issue. Until my 13 year old son pointed out I had created an instagram account for shop ages ago. Of course I'd forgot all about it! Our instagram maise.blue is dusted it off and active. Follow us to see photos of new arrivals in the shop before it reaches the blog. Thank you my lovely bright offspring!! 
Okay...maybe not too bright! LOL

Now I'm going to test my special app in hopes I can get the blog post up easier. We'll see how it goes! [Verdict: Days later and lots of strong language, way worse than just "meanie-head," I've determined technology never works smoothly. Pretty sure I was a Sailor in a past life based on my knowledge of creative swear words...luckily most are my Inside Voice.....]

New in the Shop

You saw the cool Icelandic Lettlopi at the top of the post. A great authentic wool! Read on for more warm weather inspired yarns.

Remix Light
Fabulous little sister to Remix. It too is recycled, non-wool, washable and oh so softly tweedy. Best thing of all..... put up in center pull balls! (and not those horrible round roly-poly tribble type balls like Remix that are impossible to shelve easily because they pop out of cubbies all on their own)

 
Painted Desert superwash fingering now in awesome tonals!

 
Nebula: gorgeous gradient fingering in silky extra fine merino

Ultra Wool by Berroco
FINALLY they launch a  SUPERWASH wool in great colors. Washable wool!! Zippity do dah! Hurrah! Best bit? center pull balls that actually work! Well that and the whole "won't shrink no matter how many times you wash it" is also pretty darn nifty. 

 
New Spring Berroco patterns here! 

On the bookshelf

 New Maisie Dobbs this month. 
We have the new paperback and the next installment in hardcover. Copies of both in stock.

 
Favorite author-Tracy Chevalier latest in paperback...and it's set right in our backyard. 

 
Hot Swedish author super popular right now. Customers rave about his books. (Disclaimer: "Hot" as in Popular. Not sure if "Hot" as in "Hunky Chippendale Dancer" is apt or now...)

 
My Current Discovered Gem of a Book!

Love finding an unheralded gem among the reams of backlist publishers produce yearly. Part memoir, part cookery book and a chronology of favorite books we all love. 

In the pretty gift department....new spring smelly things
 


Root Candles: Honey Blends
Root launched a new beeswax & soy candle line. Lovely cheerful packaging caught my attention immediately. The soft honey blends are fresh and yummy. Plus they donate % of profits to their bee farmer to help build bee habitats. Happy bees = Pretty Candles = Happy Customers

 


Michel Designs: Orchids in Bloom

Lovely new scents and designs this spring. Gorgeous packaging. Indigo and Earl Grey selling fast (already on reorder). Plus I re-ordered heavy on other favorite scents, especially the Foaming Soaps...which are our best sellers.[Just tripped over another box of Michel that arrived on my days off. So there's even more new scents waiting to be unpacked. Contains Nest and Eggs plus couple of older Rabbit designs....for those fans who seek out this line wherever they travel...because they're hard to find!]


 
Hydra Aromatherapy: More Shower Bursts & Pulse Point Balms

Fully stocked up on the Cold & Flu Busters. This stuff is a life saver for easing that awful "100 Day Cough" making the rounds this winter. Plus more Headache Busters and Balms. Good stuff! It saved us when my son had horrible chest congestion this winter. He used in shower and eased his breathing up right away. 

Art Supplies!
 
Lots of fun colorful art supplies

Coloring book phase winding down to normal levels but people still enjoying and always wanting new art supplies. Got you covered. Another of my weaknesses and one can never have enough pens. These are set of fine felt tips (think super skinny sharpies). We also have plenty of color pencil sets, sharpeners and other fun supplies. Easter Basket season looming and we've lots of cute things for baskets.

 
Jolly Wee Elves 

Finally can't resist showing off my sweet little elves. Such a fun knit. I may not be good at finishing sweaters or socks, but I love me some little wee elves! Thinking about adding to my Elf village population with spring colors next.


Enjoy the ever changing weather that heralds spring is a'coming! Irish Days tomorrow and looks to be nice weather. Not too hot, no snow or rain. But more rain coming. Yeah....I love raining days! Because we get double rainbows over my house. ;)

Until next time!!




Oct 18, 2016

Mystery Box Time: Nov 2nd

It's Autumn and time for another round of Mystery Boxes! Let's see....I'm feeling like we need a dose of something new and different.... How about a new technique and a little arm-chair traveling? But first...some ancestral ramblings to get us in the mood....

I love to dive into our familial ancestral gene pool. Often I wonder, "did any of our great-great-great grandmas knit?" Here's our Norwegian g-g-g-grandma Margarete Jensdatter Mikkelson. She looks like she'd knit....maybe....
 
1) She is Norwegian, who are fierce knitters (who have hugely popular Slow TV and National Knitting Night show for hours on end-I kid you not!). 2) She's wearing little lacy fingerless mitts...But alas I've uncovered no concrete proof in the Mikkelson archives yet that she actually knit. Dang...

On the other side of our tree it's all Portuguese (specifically from the Azores, because according to Azoreans you always have to classify "Azorean" and not just Portuguese). They too are great knitters historically. So much so, they invented their own special style of knitting.

Hmmm wonder if g-g-Grandma Anna Silveira knit...

Or maybe our g-g-g-Grandma Mariana Francisca do Corao de Jesus knit. I bet she did!


Alas, it's impossible to find documented proof we come from a long line of knitters (big sigh). Instead I think I'll just pretend this woman is a long lost ancestor who charmingly knits in her kitchen.

Oh look...here's our very distant "Cousins" knitting  hearth-side.....
(before the days of winding machines)...

The Menfolk were kicked out of house...so they're happily hanging out in the pub!
"Uncle Frank" remembered to take his knitting!

How about these "relatives" in the fields! I can't see myself doing this.... ever.....

Or this!! But I bet some of our ancestors did. They had to make clothes, and you have to shear sheep to get the wool, to knit sweaters!

Don't think I could ever walk along blithely knitting, chatting and not fall off the pier!

This is just too much! Walking...with a huge, heavy basket on her back and knitting!!

Apparently it was common practice to knit while gathering up firewood....because that's what is in the baskets! Peat bricks..... Talk about multi-tasking!  


Our ancestors spent hours and hours of back breaking work involved in growing, chasing, herding, shearing, washing, carding, spinning, dyeing, winding just to to knit! I'm tired just thinking about it.

Don't panic!  
Your Mystery Box won't require any chasing or shearing of sheep, or spinning either. It's all done for you.

Many other hands did the hard work and we can cast on immediately (My favorite part). We jump straight to learning a new technique....and bless our lucky stars we live in a modern world where yarn is easily accessible! Just a quick trip to our shop or a mouse-click away.

Want to sign up? Call, drop into shop or click here to order your Oct 2016 Mystery Box . Select your Box Type: Make-Knit ($50) or Read-Books ($36) only. Then indicate color preference and pay. That's it. Boxes ready to ship/pick up on Nov 2nd and Sign up now for best color selections.

What's in the Box? 
Your box will be filled with lovely 100% pure USA wool dyed in gorgeous natural dyes all ready to knit the selected pattern. You'll be the recipient of truly unique yarns, currently part of a very huge renaissance in the fiber world. As usual, there's always additional pattern suggestions and extra tidbits to surprise & delight. This box will reappear as a class this winter so you're getting first peek too!


Color Options
Now these are not exact colors you'll get in your box, more like preferences. Select which palette you find most appealing, then we'll craft your box based on what you are magically drawn towards. Feeling daring? There's always Surprise Me! and let us psychically tune in to which is your perfect palette. :)

Mineral
Autumn Leaves


Borealis
Cozy Cuppa
Winter Bouquet
Frosty Buds
Golden Pears
It's again a thematic box (I just love coming up with new themes)! There's a bit of arm-chair traveling too....my favorite kind. We stay snug and warm inside though, curled up in our favorite chair with a hot mug.....rather than out trekking in the cold frozen tundra like these poor wee animals.
 



Want to join in the fun? Click here to buy your box, or just call/drop into the shop. We're open 7 days 10-5.