Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homeward Bound


A man travels the world in search of what he needs,























                                         and returns home to find it.

-George Moore



Spread hither and yon,  our family prepares to gather together.  The present is the together part.  To reunite.  So many differences, so many miles that separate, but our Twelve Days of Christmas have begun and the journeys to "home" are in process.  Decorating began yesterday.  I lay my stitching down and I lit the candle and thought, soon they will be "home"  wherever that is, whatever that means...I think it simply means, wherever we all are...together.


I like the thought of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"...
starting with Christmas and each day having something meaningful and special taking place.  Since we were traveling during advent, this seems a way to participate in the festivities, although out in the world everything seems to be frantically disassembling.  For us, it means, no rush to take apart as we are just getting set up and the few simple crafts we shared at our Open House at the shop will be the crafts we will be making together as a family...



Button Snowflakes...





Pipecleaner Snowflakes




Glitter Mittens...



Mitten Garlands....



and more..   :)


How nice that it is not just a day and a distinct deadline.

It is not too late now that the actual  calendar day of Christmas has passed  to gather with children, no matter how old they have grown, to read stories,  make things, and continue to  enjoy each other's company.



As the days of 2012 draw to a close, here is hoping you continue to celebrate the joys of the season...

All the best to you,

Dotty
The Net Loft



ps...and sometimes, as we have known ourselves, Skype is  our means to gather together and be "home" with one another, and the company during these times is still well appreciated and treasured. There are many times I  have wished I lived in olden days, but  in this case,  I find myself very glad for these modern times and grateful for these amazing days of technology when we find ourselves hovering and laughing to and fro face to face on the computer...maybe not this year, but there have been years where I have been there too...


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day



Blessings to you
this Christmas Day. 
Peace on Earth
around & within  us all

with love
The Net Loft

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Winter's Light



David Rosenthal has a special way with paint and canvas..and Shelly Kocan has a special way with color and yarn.  Put the two together and you have a wonderful collaboration that reflects the unique beauty of the lovely winter's light at sunset on Sheridan Lake.  A beautiful painting and a beautiful interpretation in the latest Shelly Kocan Snow Capped Yarns Collection,  "A Winter's Light".  You can view the painting on Shelly's blog  http://southofultimathule.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/winter-solstice/.  LOVELY.   For ordering sake, we have included  details on our new yarn collection from Shelly and in Shelly's words.....

A Winter's Light Collection                                     from Snow Capped Yarns


While many people tend to think of the Northern Latitudes enveloped at darkness as we approach winter solstice...at 61 degrees north latitude we do have long hours of darkness but inbetween we are greeted with incredible long, low angle sunlight.

This collection is meant to encapsulate the feel of that Winter Light. At this high latitude the long stretching rays of the sun cloak the world in a beautiful pearly shimmer for long hours at sunrise and sunset.  David's painting captures this light beautifully with the lavenders and pinks reflecting off the blue ice, the greens in the glacier and the rusty browns on the hillsides.






Alpenglow




Alpenglow: 
This muted coral and golden peach cloaks our mountain peaks every morning and every evening during this special time of year.  This color is not pulled from this painting but rather from the glow off the snow capped peaks surrounding town.   It is the archetype of the Winter Light for me. 

Available on the following bases:
BUSBY  3 ply Fingering 90% sprwash merino, 10% nylon  125 g  480 yds $25

LATOUCHE      4 ply DK 100% BFL Wool   125 g    279 yards   $21

HINCHINBROOK   Bulky    100% Peruvian Wool   4.2 oz  130 yds   $18.95

Cashmere Silk Fingering  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  400 yards  $34.00

Cashmere Silk  DK  55% Silk/45% Cashmere    2 oz   200 yards  $34.00

Cashmere Worsted  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  135 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Aran  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  100 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Chunky  55% SIlk/45% Cashmere 2 oz  66 yards  $34.00
Alpenglow Snowflake Lace Scarf  (one skein Cashmere Silk DK)  $3.50




















Glide





Glide: 
in honor of the epic ice skating of early season, that draws the painter and so many of us out to explore.  This is not the ubiquitous turquoise of the frozen lake, but the minty aqua light reflecting back out of the glacial ice, that you just might catch out of the corner of your eye.



Available on the following bases:

KNIGHT  Worsted 100% Superwash Merino  125 g   230 yds  $21    ( $42  one double skein available in KNIGHT)
HINCHINBROOK   Bulky    100% Peruvian Wool   4.2 oz  130 yds   $18.95
MONTAGUE   100% NZ Corriedale  100g  77 yards  $18.50  (works with "Matt's Hat" free pattern)




Cashmere Silk  Fingering   55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  400 yards  $34.00

Cashmere Worsted  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  135 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Aran  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  100 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Chunky  55% Silk/45% Cashmere 2 oz  66 yards  $34.00

Sheridan Slouchy Pom Pom “Skater’s” Hat  Pattern (one skein Hinchinbrook) $3.50






Sheridan Pom Pom Slouchy Hat...
A warm cap in knit-purl patterning with an optional fold-up brim & pom pom.


Winter’s Light






















Winter's Light: 
a tribute to the overall feel of David's painting, "Sheridan Lake Sunset," lavenders, smoky blues and an intersection of gray and rose.



Available on the following bases:

BUSBY  3 ply Fingering 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon   125 g   480 yds

LATOUCHE         4 ply DK 100% BFL Wool   125 g    279 yards  
KNIGHT    Worsted 100% Superwash Merino  125 g   230 yds
MONTAGUE   100% NZ Corriedale  100g  77 yards  $18.50  (works with "Matt's Hat" free pattern)
Cashmere Silk  Fingering   55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  400 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Silk  DK  55% Silk/45% Cashmere    2 oz   200 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Worsted  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  135 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Aran  55% Silk/45% Cashmere  2 oz  100 yards  $34.00
Cashmere Chunky  55% Silk/45% Cashmere 2 oz  66 yards  $34.00

Winter’s Light Headband and Cowl Pattern  (one skein Latouche)  $3.50









Snow Capped Yarns are available in a variety of bases with varying fiber content and yardages.  For the wool and mixed fiber collection, the bases are named in an orderly fashion after islands in Prince William Sound,  with the size of the island corresponding to the size of the yarn.  The bigger the yarn, the bigger relatively is the island which that base is named after.  Our  luxurious Snow Capped Cashmere Collection is simply listed according to weight.   Not every colorway is dyed on every base, so we listed above under each colorway are the bases it is available on and prices for each. 

This is a select limited edition collection and subject to availability. Some of the bases of certain colorways  which were released this past Sunday have only one skein left so if you are interested in anything you see that you might like, get in touch right away.  Although we will not be shipping until after Christmas, we can process your order so you will have the yarn you would like to secure before it is sold out. NOTE:  the word “ply” in listings below refers to size/weight terminology not actual number of strands plied together. 

Each yarn has a pattern available for $3.50 per pattern. From now until Christmas, these will be complimentary with a coordinating yarn purchase for mail orders and in store  if you mention you saw this promotion on the blog.  This special also applies to any previous stock of Snow Capped. If you purchase the coordinating yarn before Christmas, mention the blog and the pattern is free.

We also have available some of Shelly's previous colors that would work with her new patterns.  Check for availability, but some of these include:



Tulip, Evergreen and Ice Worm Queen






Concerning shipping: US Freight is free with $100 purchase and International free after $150.  Up to three quartets $3.95, International  by weight and country exact postal fee. 

For mail order, please contact by email  thenetloft@gmail.com with name, specifics of order, or phone number if you have questions and best time for us to call.
We accept visa over the phone or can do paypal for payment. 


We hope you will enjoy Shelly’s latest collection of Snow Capped Yarns as the winter ‘s light reaches it’s transition time, and as family and friends gather to celebrate the Season's Festivities.

All the best to you,
Dotty
The Net Loft  




Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snow Capped Preview

Preview of new Snow Capped Yarns and Patterns!
Take a peek!  More to come...but here is a quick look at the premiere today...

http://southofultimathule.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/winter-light-yarn-release-teaser/

Enjoy!!

New Snowcapped Yarn...

There is a great presentation happening upstairs at The Net Loft this afternoon, December 16, at 3 pm featuring Shelly Kocan and her trip to Italy and the Shetland Islands. She will be telling tales and sharing photos of her travels and knitting courses with Ysolda and Gudron Johnston. She will also be releasing her new yarns and free patterns will be available with purchase for today as well.  She has designed some lovely patterns for this yarn release which is inspired by a David Rosenthal painting.  

The new yarns are BEAUTIFUL and the patterns are quite a nice collection of designs.

Hope you will join us.. Spread the word!! Not just for knitters only.  Have a favorite knitter??  How about a one of a kind yarn gift with a yarn that has not been seen before?  New yarn and new pattern design... a perfect combination.

Come join us for a lovely afternoon!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just Needed a Little Nudge...


The only thing I like better than starting a new project is finishing a project that has been lurking in the “started but not yet completed” basket.  Somehow, someway, the project began with all good intentions, but somehow dropped its status  in the queue.  Usually, it is some minor detail that holds the project up…Stitched but not framed, stitched but not bound off, started but ran out of certain thread,  started but separated from threads somhow, buried in the stitching pile when some new enthusiastic project came up or a gift for someone needed to be made and took priority. 

Whatever the case, there is nothing like a deadline to spur one on.  The little button tree below sat stitched yet incomplete for a couple of years. Meanwhile, we discovered a jar of old buttons in an unopened box from my husband's Bob's mother (another Dorothy Widmann) that had been sitting for over 20 years since she passed away.  Seeing that sweet old jar filled with mother of pearl buttons coincided with my rebumping into the incomplete tree stitching . The collision of the two events was just enough for me to go to it,  and 30 minutes later, the design was completed, yet still not quite finished. I was quite busy after that with shop business and so it shuffled along with me in my tote bag waiting to stitch the ends up to create a hanging.  Months later…the holidays rapidly approaching  the incentive to have it up for this year and not miss the holiday season  was just enough to nudge me to take the mere 30 minutes required to stitch up the ends and braid linen for the hanger. 



I love using the linen banding which we have in the shop  for projects such as this, as it does not require framing and makes for a simple finishing (when you take the time to actually do it! )   We carry it in several widths and in natural as well as white, and you can take any design and just center it within the width of the bands.  Some have the border design woven into it but you can also get it plain with no design. 

This was one of several projects I tucked into a zip case for traveling.  We are  in New Zealand right now, staying with  our friends Greg and Steph Buck.   



Greg and Steph  are apple growers and have a new apple they are developing  called the Premier Star.  http://www.premierstar.co.nz/



They just  have passed certification in the United States, which enables the trees to be grown in the United States, so the fruit will be grown on domestic soil.  Hopefully  you will be seeing  them soon  in the States.  They are a bright and beautiful brilliant crisp lipstick red apple, and would be great if you asked for them at your local store as well as friend them on facebook  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Premier-Star-Apple/136923413044862.  They are fine folk and could use your support.

Why do I mention this?  The final touch for my hanging was what I would use for a hanger... I thought it might be a good idea  and a special touch  to use a couple of their pruned apple tree trimmings for the hanger, and  so that is how I finished it off and it worked perfectly!  I then unraveled some of the excess linen that had been cut off when folding over the ends and braided it for the hanger,  and my project was completed at last!  Hooray! Finished in time to hang for Christmas!  


Having packed my bag with several of these lingering projects,  I  also have been able to complete a nice holly wreath wool appliqué.  Once again the looming deadline date of Decemebr 25 nudged me on  to steadily work on it in the midst of traveling.  I had already precut and ironed on the pieces from a Primitive Gathering s Kit at the shop.  I brought along Valdani handyed pearl cotton in matching colors and only needed needles and scissors and thread as everything had been started just not stitched.  

It was an easy carry along with only a few Valdani spools and the wool folded up in a little bag.  A tidy travel project and now another finished project to set out for holiday décor.  I love the Valdani threads.  The subtle variegation just make the final piece a little more interesting with the varying color change.  They seem to be slightly more fragile than DMC, but their dusky tones are what set them apart.  These wool appliqué projects are easy stitching and with the leftovers I am making a little wool apple appliqué ornament to give to our friends the Bucks when we leave. Once I got started I was surprised that I was able to complete all the stitching in just a couple of days, so if you are looking for a quick holiday stitch, these kits are great.




Last, but not least, also in lieu of the impending holiday, is a gift I had started months, maybe even one year, maybe even OVER a year ago.  I think somehow it just got shoved to the bottom of the pile as I had only done a couple of petals of the center flower.  I think this is one where the threads got stuck somewhere apart from the project and it was dead in the water.  Anyway, threads and project were reunited and placed in my project bag and  I was back in business.  Once again, holiday close at hand was just the extra push I needed to  get the needlepunch in gear.

  This is another Primitive Gatherings project.  It comes prepared with the design printed on the fabric.  You simply supply the threads.  Once again I chose Valdani, and this time I chose the handdyed 3 strand balls which are PERFECT for punchneedle embroidery as they just get threaded from one end.  No cutting and rethreading with a color as you just use the thread until you are done with that section.  It is really convenient and smooth and I love the effect of the hand dyed floss.   We carry these in sets or in individual balls.  




They are little more expensive than using the standard DMC but the finished effect of these threads on you final finished project is worth the extra investment. 

I do really like punch needle as it is like coloring with thread.  It doesn’t take as much focus and concentration as cross stitch, can be done while visiting and being with company, and the effect of the punch needle finished project is much like a miniature hooked rug.  All you need is a special gripping hoop, a needlepunch tool,  threads and your design, which we all carry in the shop.  You can design your own or there are many already designed projects preprinted on the fabric.  It goes pretty fast also as does the wool appliqué, so if you are looking for a quick hand made something, there is still time with both these types of projects as they finish up  quickly (once you are actually working on and finishing them!)  Sometimes they sit for quite a while in the unfinished basket and when I finally get to them I am AMAZED at how quickly I am able to complete them, and just how wonderful it feels when they are done.  

This piece I will be putting into a mat and frame. 






I guess sometimes I just need a little added incentive to put the pressure on and finish up some of these bottom of the pile projects and it especially helps around the holidays.  With just that little nudge, once I get going again, it is hard to stop, as  I love  the stitching and I love seeing them finished. Both are so very satisfying.

Here’s hoping you are getting time for holiday crafts and enjoying finishing up some projects that have been lingering in your project baskets as well.  The results are always worth the extra effort. Nothing like sitting and stitching, but also nothing like those great words... I finished my project!! and off it goes to a friend, on a wall, on a table...to it's final destination...
I love it.

All the best to you
with love
Net Loft Dotty


http://www.premierstar.co.nz/

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

They're here!




The Awesome Quartets and Mini Skeins Sets from Three Irish Girls have arrived and they are quite lovely and perfect for edgings and colorwork in sweaters, hats, mittens....
We have five different  sets: four quartets and one set of six miniskeins.  The quartets are the same total yardage as one skein and the Mini Skein Sets amount to one and half skeins.

The sets are available in yarn bases listed below.  The yardages listed for the quartets,  the Fireside Chat set has more total yardage, but same amount per individual mini skein.  Prices listed are for quartet/six miniskein set.  Supplies are limited and available to stock on hand.  As always, US Freight is free with $100 purchase and International free after $150.  Up to three quartets $3.95, International  by weight and country exact postal fee. CONTACT US AT thenetloft@gmail.com for orders with your name and phone number and best time to call if you would like us to call you.  We can visa over the phone or do paypal. 


Adorn Sock    80/20 Merino/Nylon, 435 yards total yardage  (108 yds per mini skein)  $27 / $38

Glenhaven FIngering   80/10/10 Merino/Cashmere/Nylon, 370 yards  (92 yards per mini skein)  $30  (Bellisimo, Fresh Earth)  $35  (Wonderland, Trip to Tropics)   /$50  Fireside Chat

Kells   Sport Merino Wool,  320 yards total yardage (80 yards per mini skein)  $27.00/ $38

Springvale Dk   Superwash Merino Wool ,  270 yards (67 yards per mini skein)    $26 / $36.50

Springvale Superwash    Superwash Merino Worsted, 230 yards   (57 yards per mini skein)  $26 / $36.50

Carys BFL    Blue Faced Leicester Wool  220 yards (55 yards per mini skein)  $26 / $36.50


Here are the Awesome Quartets!

The Bellisimo Collection Quartets






Fresh Earth Quartets






The Wonderland Collection Quartets



Trip to the Tropics Collection Quartets



Fireside Chat  Collection Set of Six




So there you are!  Hope you like them. Would love to see how you use them!
Enjoy...
Net Loft Dotty


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Traveling Nest



Minutes turn into hours and hours into days and days into weeks, then months….


SO here I am wondering if I should fill in the gaps or just leap forward.
Amidst the days, I filled pages in my mind.  Something would be going on and I would think to myself, “ I would  REALLY like to write about this…” and then the memory of it would  escape me, being too tired or  too busy to take time to write.  But too much time has passed already and so … I will just jump in with one of those thoughts and then proceed with more current thinking and happenings around the shop..

and so we shall tell the tale of...

The Traveling Nest

(Or How can I be everywhere and do everything I want to get done all at the same time and still feel home…when going a million directions at once...)

Have  projects, will travel.  If  I had my druthers, I would be nestled in a cozy spot, curled up in a ball with feet tucked beneath, fire in the wood stove, flowers in a vase,  needle in hand, blanket on lap, teacup by my side, with some delicious homemade sweet on a little handpainted china plate close  beside me.






I held  this thought in my mind this fall as I tried to keep up with my husband's traveling binges while operating the shop long distance.  Instead of the cozy couch,  I attempted to find comfort in an airplane seat with needle in hand and my carryon and suitcase compressed  to its maximum capacity with handcraft projects and shop paperwork.  In all my travels over the years I have found a simple principle to be true.

My “Home”, as in my "Nest",  is to be found when my needlework  is close at hand. 

Stitching settles my heart and soul and  provides me that quiet place of calm and repose as the world spins by, or in this case, as I  frantically spin like a whirlwind past the world.  As a traveler, it is my nesting place, even if it be in the caverns and corners of my mind.

And so,  filled to the brim with every kind of project imaginable (lest I be caught empty handed and projectless, nothing worse...) , I laughed to myself as I wondered what the TSA agent thought of my featherweight Singer sewing machine tucked into my rollerbag so I could quilt along the way.  This little traveling nest in a suitcase gave me time each day to feel the home I was longing for far from my brick and mortar structure.  I could watch the linen be filled with color as I cross stitched, the patchwork pieces come together for my son's already late college quilt,  and the periwinkle silk and alpaca knit Christmas cowl  for my mother grow in length. And, in the midst of all the stitching,  I could feel the presence of my nest, even if it be in a migratory state.  In regards to missing the shop, the folders of paperwork and computer helped me to stay closely connected, and  I generally find a visit a to local yarn shop does wonders as well, and I always feel a little closer to home surrounded by cubbies of yarn in rainbow order...



The truth be told, I am a drifter.  It is the nature of how my life has unfolded, but as long as I can have my traveling needlework nest, I will be at home.  I have stitched around the planet, filled in with bits and pieces bought along the way as needed.  It is what grounds me  at 10000 feet in the air. I have so many thoughts, so many dreams, so many ideas, so much to do all the time running the shop, running businesses, planning for the weavings in and weavings out of my grown kids, projects, husband, etc etc. etc...    In my head I am everywhere at once planning and doing everything at the same time.  As I stitch it slows me down,  and reminds me what the shop is all about.  “Blessed are the works of our hands”  We put them to work to do things, to make a brighter and better life. We make things for those we love and if we take these projects along with us, it is as though our loved ones are right there alongside us wherever we may be as we work away with needle and thread, yarn, paper, paint, buttons, floss, or scissors in hand.  It is what cares and nurtures  my frayed constantly uprooted life and the raw threads that dangle constantly from the act of living a migratory lifestyle and having a family that is so spread apart. 

    I thought about all of  this as I calmly completed a cross stitch that I had worked on amidst the latest bout of travels.  It had visited old college friends of my husbands, couches of his cousins, his childhood neighborhoods,  long drives with autumn leaves on New Jersey backroads, a New York subway,  and  later a wedding in Montana.  As I glimpsed over at my mother as she sat listening to the bustle of family chatter following the wedding of my niece,  I noticed that we share this traveling nest of needlework. I think of her travels and all the needlework that has followed her around as well. What a wonderful kindred spirit she is and grateful for this legacy she has shared with me.   Always armed with a stash of needlework, we stitch away as life goes by wherever we may be...




And so, as the upcoming season of sharing and potential travel approaches, may your days be filled with the joys of needlework, friends and family. Wherever YOU may be my kindred spirits, may YOU find that wonderful "nesting place" of calm and repose often found with needles, hook or needle in hand whether it be hither or yon...

          "Bless the work or our hands".



with love to you from 

The Net Loft 
 & me...Dotty