May 5, 2018

Waking up just like Rip Van Winkle

It's been ages since my last post. We finally invested in a new laptop before the holidays. Thought  to it would be easier to get out newsletters and blog posts regularly. Nope! Customers are coming in happy relieved to see we are still here because they'd feared something happened.  I better get a newsletter out pronto!

Spring Highlights

Noro Magazine

I'm a Noro nut and get ridiculously excited when the new issue arrives. This edition is chock full of great patterns. I'm loving the cover shawl. There's also fun blanket that is variation on the log cabin style: you knit a small square then pick up stitches on all 4 edges and work in round. I'm experimenting with a combo of Silk Garden and it's solid cousin, Silk Garden Solo. First tried using the sock weight version but that meant using double points. Now I've pulled out my worsted weight scrapes to see if that's easier & faster. Any excuse to play with Noro! 

 Warm Weather Yarns

Spring was reluctant to arrive and now the Summer heat is on the horizon. That calls for switching up projects and yarns. I'm a fickle knitter greatly influenced by the temperatures. As soon as it turns the teeniest bit warm I abandon all current projects in favor of lighter, brighter more heat-friendly projects.

Looking for pure 100% cotton? Berroco's Pima 100 is a amazingly soft sport weight cotton. The color palette is stunning with a soft, washed look. As cottons it's super soft to the touch so perfect for babies. Suggest to wash delicate and lie flat to dry approach to pure cotton.

Modern Cotton or Modern Cotton DK I grab for any and all garments. It's cotton/rayon blend is drapey, cool to the touch and feels refreshing against the skin on a hot day. It's washable and tumble dry low so perfect for babies, kids and blankets. It has a slight sheen that imparts a touch of elegance and swish-factor (thank you rayon)!

Speaking of great yarns for Baby projects: New this season is Cumulus Dappled - softly variegated colors that match it's big sister solids in Cumulus - a go to favorite in the shop. Generous yardage, super soft to the touch = perfect baby blankets. It's also perfect for accessories and garments with many wonderful patterns available. It's 93% mako cotton/6% nylon (helps keep its shape) and excellent choice for people not wanting wool.

Mother's Day Ideas

New adorable Tea Mugs: Sweet glass tea mugs with pretty ceramic infusers. A lovely gift with a few ounces of  tea for your favorite Mom. For the coffee drinkers there's generous and pretty porcelain mugs.




Bye-bye Bee House: With heavy heart we bid adieu to a beloved vendor. For 36 years Bee House has imported some of the best Japanese teapots. "Mr. Bee House" is retiring and we'll miss him terribly. Of course upon hearing I immediately went into hoarding mode and stocked up big time.

If ever you've wanted a Bee House teapot now is the time. At moment we've a variety of colors and sizes but eventually they'll be a distant memory. This is a tough one to see go. I so adore my Bee House teapots. (yes....I do get a touch sentimental about certain inanimate objects....)

On the Bookshelf: 
A few favorite books this spring 

Alice Network An interesting look at two stories and two wars interwoven together. I so enjoy a novel steeped in factual events deftly brought to life with blend of fiction. Makes for a great book-group selection with its rich basis in history not often highlighted in the history books.


It opens post-WW2 but looks back to events and a mysterious disappearance during WW1 and the Belgian resistance movements, majority of which were women. Historically it sheds light on a these little-known elements of the resistance efforts. The Alice Network refers to Louise de Bettignies, aka Alice Dubois, who was a French secret agent/spy for the British during WWI. She ran a vast intelligence network (The Alice Network) from her home in the North of France. Her network of a hundred members was so effective that she earned the nickname "the queen of spies." A second group, Dame Blanche was also very active, with an estimated 30% of the participants women. These two groups alone supplied as much as 70% of all military intelligence collected by Allies. At war's end 1,300 agents covered all of occupied Belgium, northern France. Truly a remarkable war-time achievement. Gotta love books that send me to Google to learn more about history or people.

Shadow Sister Lucinda Riley's popular Seven Sisters series #3 is out in paperback. This is probably our most popular selling book lately and customers can't wait to get next installment. #4 Pearl Sister is just out in hardback.
The author designed each book as a stand-alone but thematically linked to the others. Her hook is the Greek myth of the Seven Weeping Sisters. The Pleiads, or "doves" were the seven daughters of Atlas, and Pleione. Each of Riley's books devoted to a sister and different location. Great for those needing engaging series to binge read! Ideal for fans of Kate Morton and Kristin Hannah.


In This Grave Hour The thirteenth installment of Maisie Dobbs opens Sep 3, 1939 as Britain declares war against Germany. As the country prepares for war, Maisie investigates a possible serial murderer targeting Belgian refugees who fled the previous "Great War" decades ago.

As always a consistent, gentle mystery that unfolds carefully, yielding up new insight historical moments: plight of Belgian refugees in the first war and the new flood of refugees in form of London children sent to live in the countryside away from the expected bombs. Jacqueline Winspear consistently delivers-a rarity with such a lengthy series.  I'm enjoying a return to Maisie's world, that is sadly on the brink of the next great upheaval that's is WW2.


In the Kitchen 
Cookbooks make great gifts anytime but especially for Mom's Day 


Magnolia Table Joanna Gaines has a new cookbook and it's great. Great classics but not fussy. Good homey cozy recipes. Makes a great gift for any fan of delicious easy meals that also perfect for casual gatherings. 

Dish of the Day New addition to this favorite Williams and Sonoma "Dish" series. As with other there's 365 recipes, one for each day. I love how it's based on calendar so you can pick based on the season or whatever sounds good. Covers variety from soups to meals to desserts. A great all-round extensively illustrated cookbook for the shelf. 

Time to stop here or I'll be talking non-stop about Instant Pot cookbooks and recipes....don't want to totally bore everyone! (But if you ever want to talk Instant Pot...I'm your gal!)

Happy Late Spring and Early Summer! 


Sep 12, 2017

Remember tomorrow.....

Back to our regular hours Sep 14th: Open daily 10-5. Come by and see the shiny clean shop!

Aug 25, 2017

Mystery Box Summer 2017

 [shop closed Wed SEP 13th for a facelift]


Time for our Summer 2017 Mystery Box. Let's make this easy-peasy. Same price $50 + shipping and click here to buy. Boxes ready on Aug 30th to ship or pick up!

KNIT: Project is a fun knit using simple techniques in two ways to yield a mighty impressive end result. It's an accessory but as always box includes options....because we love options. Two different yarns: a stripy Aussie and a solid Peruvian. And that's all the hints you get!  (Well one more: I'm loving the pattern so much I have two going at once.....which is no surprise actually....and bodes well that it's a fun project!)

KNIT box option: pick the color palate that calls to you!










But wait.....there's more! 









Whew! Can you tell I had fun with a color palette generator app I discovered?! I took photos of colorways then bim-bam-boom a pretty palette for you choose. Without giving away which yarn is in the box!
(If you buy on website click on the main photo > to scroll thru all 10 options)

Come by the shop or buy online!
ps-if you already bought a box....email your color choice! 

Happy Dog Days of Summer! 

Sep 13th Shop Closed

Head's up:  
Closed all day 

September 13th

Image result for closed  sign vintage photo

Megan's itching to remodel displays and do a big Tidy Up. Kim will be home hiding in a closet because rearranging furniture and displays frightens her.....she is literally banned from the premises on remodel days! 

We reopen Sept. 14th at 10am (sharp because Mom works that day and she's always on time....unlike someone else who shall remain nameless....but her name starts with a "K") Come by and check shop out then. Everything will be fresh and tidy....and probably in a different spot!

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