. A new approach


A new approach

So, tell me if I’m crazy.  There is so much going on in our vibrant Mid-Coast area that folks are having a tough time committing to classes.  Oh, there are lots of folks who want to learn lots of stuff, and we have scheduled some great classes in response to requests.  But when it comes time, we’ve had to cancel most classes for lack of people.  We get it.  We all have really busy lives and there are so many wonderful things on offer.  It’s hard to choose.

The one area we’ve had success and a meeting of the minds is in our Beginner Drop In classes.  Every Monday evening from 5-7pm, there is someone here to teach beginner knitters and beginning crocheters their first stitches.  Then, since Stitch and Spin night overlaps from 6:30 to 8:30, the brand new knitters and crocheters can join the regulars and practice what they’ve just learned.  Neat, hunh?  It seems to work well for everyone.

So…we’re going to do the same with Intermediate Drop In.  Every Thursday evening from 5-7pm, we’ll be available for folks who are ready to move beyond the scarf.  Increasing, decreasing, yarn overs, traveling stitches and other intermediate techniques will be on offer.  Then, since Stitch and Spin overlaps from 6:30 -8:30, folks can join the group and practice their new intermediate skills.  If it works for Beginners, we’re hoping it will work with Intermediates as well.

Allison is ready to have Intermediate knitters and I am ready to have Intermediate Crocheters any old Thursday evening you want to drop in.  Come on; it’ll be fun.


Pass it on!

This is the poster we’ll be plastering all over town.  If you feel moved to print it and pass it to you friends, we herby give permission…in fact we encourage you to hang it anywhere you think it would be good and give it to everyone you know.

Copy and past into any format that works for you and print at will.



And thanks for your help in getting the word out.


Do you love yarn?

October 12, 2012 is national I Love Yarn Day.  We want to do something big to celebrate and we need your help.  We’re sponsoring a 24 hour Community Blanket marathon.  Here’s how it works: a team of four people work in a circle, all knitting at the same time on four circular needles that make up the sides of a square.  It looks some thing like this…

There is a pattern on Ravelry here with a more in depth description of how it works.  Anyone can tap in to put in a few stitches…or rounds…or tap out to take a break.  The blanket grows four rounds at a time and makes a lovely concentric stripe pattern that looks some thing like this…

We plan to start at High Noon on Friday, October 12, 2012 in Winslow-Holbrook square in down town Rockland, Maine on the corner of Park and Maine streets.  (It’s the little one next to The Brass Compass.)

…and knit through the day and night until noon on Saturday, October 13, 2012.

What do we need from you?  We need you to make a two hour commitment so no one gets stuck and everyone gets to take credit.  You can come alone, or with friends, and if you want to advertise your group’s participation we’ll have opportunities to network, pass out business cards or brochures, and recruit other knitters.

We will also be donating the blanket or its proceeds when it’s finished.  We will have a list of possible recipients and ask people to vote for the organization they would like to see the blanket go to by putting a can or box of non-perishable food into a box with their favorite charity.  If you want your special non-profit organization to be in the running to receive the blanket, let us know and we’ll put you on the list.  Then you can get all your organization’s network of folks to come out and knit or vote or both.  We will be selling raffle tickets at the Marathon on the day of the event ,and in the store after until we draw the winner at Rockland’s Festival of Lights (which is Thanksgiving weekend) with all the cash going to the winning non-profit, the blanket going to the raffle winner and all the food donations going to the local food pantry.

So you have a bunch of ways to be involved:

*  Come and knit alone or as a team

*  Come vote for your favorite non-profit

*  Come pass out cards, brochures of other information

*  Come buy a raffle ticket

*  Get your friends to come watch you knit, vote for your non-profit group or buy a raffle ticket

It’ll be fun.  You’ll get to meet other knitters.  And you’ll get to show off your love of yarn.

To get involved, drop by or call the shop, or email or Facebook or comment right here on the web site and we’ll sign you up for your two hour shift.  Come on over and knit a while!  We’ll fill the square with yummy yarny goodness.



Meet my mystery friend

It’s time to bring out the shawls.  And I have one that has been waiting to be blocked since…oh…maybe last spring?  It’s a pretty blue…something or other.  Probably merino lace weight.  And the pattern is…ummm…something I got off Ravelry.  I think.  Maybe I could look it up?

The harsh truth is that I am not as organized as I would like to think I am.  Nor is my memory as razor sharp as I would like to claim it is.  I have been collecting yarn from a myriad of sources for years.  Decades actually.  And I am forever taking a band off promising myself that this time I will remember what yarn this is: the brand, the fiber content, the yardage, the washing instructions, and the place I bought it.  Then I swatch or try out a new stitch pattern just for fun and put the darn thing back into stash to await further developments.  Or I happily knit up something and give it away or wear it myself without ever having to explain myself.  And none of that has ever bothered me because no one has ever really wanted to know.

Now, when I use a yarn from my personal stash and folks see me with it, they want to know so they can make one just like it.  And I have to say, “Oh, dear.  I have no idea what this yarn is or where I got it and the pattern is something I made up myself.  Write it down?  Why would I do that?”  I’ve already had to get better at pattern writing (see blog post “A little respect” for my travails with that.)  Now I have to implement some sort of system for remembering what’s in that stash and what I used to make the things that I wear or give away.

Okay.  I know what you’re all thinking.  I should have done that already.  Maybe even years ago.  Don’t judge me.  Maybe I should have gotten myself organized before now…you know, gotten on top of my stash.  But, my lovelies, I was too busy knitting.

PS.  BTW…the pattern is Simmer Dim and you can find it on Ravelry here.  The yarn?  I still have no idea…but I know we have something like it in the store.



Anyone knows an ant can’t…

Today is our 100th day in operation.

I had to take a breath when I did the arithmetic.  We haven’t been watching the calendar or waiting for this exact number of days so it came on me without warning.  And the number itself seem significant.  One hundred days.  In some ways it seems that we have been here forever.  And in some ways it seems all brand new.  We have settled into rhythms and habits, and we are still flying by the seat of our pants.

We’ve some so far.  We’ve come from Karla and Jen in the basement with boxes, notepads and a pen to share…

…to this on our opening day…

to being so fully stocked that we are bursting at the seams.

We’ve gone from and empty room…

To a growing community that gathers and shares a love of fiber…

When we opened, the accountants next door sent us a gift…

It’s a rubber tree plant.  Does anyone remember the old song?

“Just what makes that little old ant

Think he can move that rubber tree plant.

Anyone knows an ant can’t…”

Well, we had high hopes then and we have even higher hopes now.  And we know that you all are the ants who move our rubber tree plant.  So, as a token of our appreciation, if you’re in the store today and mention the blog, we’ll take $5 off your purchase.  And who knows…woops, there goes another rubber tree plant


Faster than you think

October is Comfort Knitting month here at Over The Rainbow Yarn.  It’s the time of year when everybody want to snuggle up with something cozy and warm, serious Christmas knitting gets under way, people feel ready to commit to big projects like sweaters and afghans,  and the basics like boot socks and mittens appeal to us again.  Like Mac ‘N’ Cheese or soup for dinner, your favorite throw blanket across your lap in the evening, the soft pajamas you lounge in on Sunday mornings, some things just whisper, “Come on; get comfortable.  I know you missed me all summer.  And you know it’s going to be a long winter.”

But it’s a funny thing.  In order to be ready for October, we have to get started a month early.  It’s an odd, slightly out of sync rhythm.  It’s a little like an echo effect on a PA system in a large stadium, or the way an Audience clapping along at a concert get a bit off the beat by the time the sound gets to the back of the hall.  To be ready for October Comfort Knitting, everyone here is creating an original knitted scarf.  With yarns we carry, an stitch pattern that is simple enough for advanced beginner or intermediate knitters, and a pattern written up to be published on Ravelry as the criteria, it has been really fun to see what everyone comes up with.  We’ll be introducing you to our creations when the time comes.  And it’s coming faster than you think.  We’re more than half way through September, and we’re more than half way through our scarves.  They will all come together October first.  You’ll have to come try them on…and knit them up to keep warn in the chilly days ahead.


So many loves

This is Marie.  She just finished her hat.

It’s really pretty and the braided cable was challenging and fun to work.  But the remarkable thing about this hat is that Marie started it five years ago.  I don’t know about you, but I find that inspiring.  As a process knitter who has been accused of fear of commitment, as a chronic sufferer of startitis who has more UFO’s lying around than I can even remember let alone count, I am always humbly amazed when people dig something out of deep stash and finish it.  It almost makes me what to go through the boxes in my attic…and my cellar, and my closet, and my stash room, etc…and find at least one thing that I used to love, and could rekindle an attraction to, and get it done.

Almost.  But I frogged my brioche stitch scarf because I made it too wide and I was running out of yarn.  So instead of looking like this…

it now looks like this…

Still pretty, just a different kind of striping/pooling.
Marie and her hat inspire me, but maybe instead of hauling everything out to find a forgotten love, I could just stick with the one I have?