Monday, January 23, 2012


There is nothing so satisfying and rewarding as a finished project…especially when it has been hanging around for awhile. I am more hesitant to take on a big project these days knowing what is lingering in my started-but-not-yet-finished pile. I don’t mind taking on extra spur of the moment short projects, but I have been making an effort to work my way through my basket of bigger project tasks before I get the reward of planning and choosing another long term knitting endeavor. Long term to me might be short term for you, but I have come to know what it takes for me to get something finished... In a way it is my incentive to keep moving forward on the fresh picks of yesteryear. With so many patterns to choose from these days and so many wonderful yarns out there to choose from, it certainly creates an incentive to keep the fingers in motion and get things completed, as well as the sheer joy of getting to finally wear or see someone wear what one has been knitting on for quite some time.

That being said, I am always amazed at how far the finer yarns go. One skein of luxury yarn in a finer weight provides hours of pleasant knitting, with no joins to worry about and a delicious feel of fine yarn between one’s fingers for those hours upon hours of knitting.

This summer Nancy Davidson, a knitting instructor from Fairbanks, brought a group of knitters for a Fiberarts Retreat Weekend at The Net Loft. We had a wonderful time with this very nice group of knitters and one of the courses offered which she taught was a lace knitting workshop featuring her original lace scarf pattern, "Floral Lattice Scarf", and one skein of Three Irish Girls McClellan Yarn.

McClellan is a wonderful bamboo/merino blend and knits beautifully for lace.

The bamboo provides a silk like sheen and drape. Soft and delicious when knit, this yarn is one of The Net Loft’s many hidden treasures. The color of the sample scarf is “Underbrush” a, a tonal compliment color for our custom color, “Seaweed”. It is a perfect Eileen Fisher style color with warm neutral tones to compliment any wardrobe. The McClellan skein seemed to go for miles and miles. The completed scarf provides adequate length to wear doubled over and through the loop, or wrapped around several times for a cowl like look.

McClellan comes in a variety of shades. There are 400 yards in this Fingering weight superwash yarn whose fiber content specifically contains 60% merino, 30% bamboo, and 10% nylon. We carry an extensive selection of colors, many in our unique colorways, in this Three Irish Girls yarn base, many of which you can see on our Flickr page . It is interchangeable with Three Irish Girls Adorn and in the shop it is kept in the same storage cubbies.

Although I didn’t officially take the Lace Knitting Class, as I seemed to be running around a lot with shop logistics, I chose yarn and began the scarf with the group, and continued kntting on it here and there when I had the chance this past fall. I had finally finished knitting it a few weeks ago, but it was waiting for me to block. With the blocking completed today, I can now say those wonderful words…the project is finished! And of course the wonderful words that always come after those other wonderful words…Ok, who (they do have a personality) is next?

If you are interested in a Net Loft retreat, you can contact us at thenetloft at gmail dot com. We can arrange a weekend of classes for your group. You can combine knitting with sight seeing and outdoor activities if desired. Nancy will be leading another group this summer, dates to be announced. She is a wonderful instructor and her retreat features classes offered by her as well as The Net Loft.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Stitches

With holiday projects behind me, I have had the opportunity to focus primarily on my mother's birthday present. Since she is a kindred spirit, when it comes to needlework, I love thinking about and planning projects for her. Cross stitch and needlepoint are old friends and bring me back to my needlework roots. And so, the post holiday dig into the project basket bore its sweet fruit. The Danish Handcraft Guild Blueberry Wreath Cross Stitch with Danish Flower Thread on linen fit perfectly in one of our fuschia cut crystal and sterling silver jars I had chosen this past summer for her. These jars are made by the same company who make the round and oval porcelain boxes we have sold for the past 26 years, and are known for the ease with which they snap into place to create a beautifully finished end product for your needlework.

To accompany this, I completed a pattern darned chantelein with a handmade pin cushion and a needlepoint scissor case from one of our needlepoint kits that we carry at the shop. Needlework tool cases and accessories make wonderful gifts for fellow needleworkers, and this was a pleasure to put together for her, first, because these are fun to stitch and second, there is the satisfaction of knowing it will be put to good use. Birthdays make wonderful opportunities to stitch these small projects which can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

The Net Loft has a variety of lovely needlework kits and leaflets, as well as small boxes, well crafted wooden trays, bookends , and other needlework ready products by Sudberry House for you to fit your projects into for gifting that special someone with something you have had the joy and pleasure of stitching yourself.

Needlework is peaceful, calming and very satisfying. It's kind of an old fashioned "thing", but it's a good old fashioned "thing". In simple words... I really like doing it. Let us know how we can help you find just the right project to get yourself into the stitching mode and enjoying a little of that needlework stitching bliss that many have come to savor and love.