. Ain’t we got fun.


Ain’t we got fun.

Here at Over The Rainbow Yarn, we like to have a good time while we work.  But we also like to have a good time when we don’t work.  I love my minions.  They are without a doubt or an exception brilliant, talented, creative, hard-working, honest, team players with a wide streak of whimsy running through their collective heart that thrills and humbles me.

I set them a work goal for the month of September and told them that if they achieved the goal, I would throw them a party.  Well, they did achieve it and when I asked them what kind of party they wanted, they chose bowling.  So, on Sunday last, just ahead of the storm, bowling we went.

The first thing they had to do was check out the Pizzaz-O-Rama vending machine to get appropriate temporary tattoos.  Allison got roses.

Then, of course, there were the stylish shoes.

Don’t they remind you of The Mod Squad? (Am I dating myself with that reference?)

Preliminaries also included riding the virtual snowmobile.  I think it was a dead heat between Jennifer, Corwin and Believe.

It was a family event with partners and children.  We even had birthday cake!

Justine and Theresa racing
Kaila giving it her all.
Nathan and Corwin going head to head.
Happy Birthday, Corwin.
We had a great time and I think at the end of the evening everybody won.
And Today is Halloween.  Another day for whimsy and fun.  So here we are in our glory…well some of us anyway.
Yup…we love fun and whimsy.  We take every opportunity to let our inner children play (Ask me some day about step stool soccer or laughing hour or spanking each other with the wig forms…or…well…maybe don’t ask me about that.)  But could some one please help me wrap my brain around the chicken hat?
Oh, Kristin, for this among so may reasons I am deeply grateful you keep coming to work every day.  Imagine what Halloween used to be like without the Chicken Hat.


There’s a party in my shoes.

Fun socks make me really happy.  They can be utterly ridiculous and no one will know unless you share the news or they’re lucky enough to get a unintentional sock show when your pants swish over your shoes just right.  Whenever I need a pick me up, I go for a pair of crazy or hand knit socks and have a little party in my shoes.  Today is a party in my shoes kind of day….

Here are my feet looking very normal and uninteresting as usual.

And here are my party socks in all of their awesomely fuzzy holiday glory.


On an even more random note, I’ve run into some shocking things this week that I’m having a hard time believing are real.

What would one use Justin Bieber duct tape for?  Perhaps to hold on the bumper of ones car?  A customer who requested that she remain anonymous, suggested Justin Bieber pasties (we have fun customers here at Over the Rainbow Yarn and we love them).  That might lead to a “Party in my shirt” blog post… hmmmm.  I’ve decided that like regular duct tape, there are endless uses for duct tape plastered with smug poses of The Bieb.

And for the random stuff finale… the Maple Bacon Milkshake from Dennys!  Thank you Denny’s for throwing some cured meat into this classic treat, my slowly clogging arteries want to high-five you.








What I’ve been doing instead.

I’ve been gone a long time.  Did you miss me?  We’ve been working on the Community Blanket and I had so hoped to get it completely done so I could show you pictures of the whole Knitting Marathon process, including a finished product.  *sigh*

So here are the highlights…

It was raining on Friday morning and we anxiously watched the radar images on the weather sites.  We knew there was a possibility of a clear window between bands of rain.  But we also knew we had to start knitting at noon.  The rain stopped at around 11am and we headed to the park to begin setting up…only two and a half hours late.  Still, we figured if we scrambled, we could still be on time.

That’s when we discovered that no one there knew how to put the walls onto the EZ-up tent.  Keystone cops were never more graceful than our intrepid set up crew as we moved large sail-like piece of fabric around and around.  Finally, Kristin resorted to drastic measures and read the directions.  She’s clever like that, and we finally got the tent up…only three hours late.  But we figured all we really needed were chairs and the blanket itself and we could start knitting.

We were placing chairs and hanging banners when the first shift of knitters showed up.  They slid into their chairs and started knitting at 12:02pm on Friday, October 12, 2012 for our first ever Community Blanket 24 Hour Knitting Marathon.  We kept on working around them, hanging banners, placing and plugging lights and small drawer/table things, pouring coffee, and arranging heaters.  And we witnessed what would become the first common theme of the marathon.  The first four knitters had never met before and had nothing that they knew of in common except that they had each independently signed up for the first shift.  But, in about a minute and a half, they were laughing and trading stories like old friends.  In the midst of distributing extra balls of yarn and stashing longer needles into drawers, Kristin and I looked at each other with big sloppy grins on our faces.  This thing that had been just a series of ideas was actually happening and it was going to be alright.  Well, actually, it was going to be better than alright; it was going to be great!

When the second shift knitters began to show up, we thought they were arriving early to watch for a while.  But no!  Two hours had flown by and they were on time.  Then we saw what would become the second common theme for the whole marathon.  The first shift didn’t want to leave.  We told them their time was up and thanked them for their work.  We pointed out that the next shift had come to take their places.  We finally wound up gently and subtly taking the needles out of their hands and nudging them out of their chairs so the second shift could begin.  

Time after time, knitters met as strangers and bonded as friends…and didn’t want to leave when their time together was finished.  it turned out to be the coldest day of the season, but they came with their jackets and hand knit hats on.  They brought extra fingerless mitts to share.  They helped each other over the rough patches and kept each other fed. They put the most cold sensitive ones next to the heat sources and wrapped blankets around each others shoulders.  They sat knee to knee with the blanket spread across their collective lap and knit and knit and knit.  Through the afternoon and evening into the wee hours and towards dawn.

When things began to go wrong, as things always will, there was a solution ready to hand.  We had one no-show, and there was a knitter who really didn’t want to leave who knit on through another shift.  We had a knitter call to cancel for health reasons and another who wanted to come back in the middle of the night for the adventure of it.  We lost electricity just at sunset, and Steve the Wonder Husband came with a generator and an extra can of gas.  When the generator ran out of gas and needed to be filled and restarted, it was on the shift that the women in my family were knitting…and if ever there were women who know how to work a generator it’s my mum and my aunts.  Even the small adversities were over so quickly that they just added to the richness of the experience and, as they say here in Maine, it makes a better story.

And if the good will and good cheer of the knitters was not enough, we had folks coming with their non-perisbable food items to vote for their favorite charity and we had folks stopping by to bring food and warm drinks for the knitters.  Strangers dropped in to ask what we were up to who stayed to chat, and some even sat down for a minute to put in a few stitches.  We even had one man who came to say his wife and he were driving by and his wife made him turn around and come to take our picture.


On Saturday morning, I had agreed to give a talk on The History of Knitting at another venue and I was racing to get back to the park in time to blow the final whistle when I ran out of gas.  Don’t worry; there was extra gas in the generator can and Kristin came to my rescue while the last shift laughed at me and kept on knitting.

They finally reached their original corners and stopped knitting at 12:15 pm, Saturday October 13, 2012.  Over 24 hours from the time we started.  And it’s beautiful.

New Hope For Women won the non-profit voting and as we raffle the blanket all the proceeds will go to them to help women in domestic violence situations.  Area Interfaith Outreach receive 216 pounds of food for their food pantry.  We’ll be selling raffle tickets until the drawing on Saturday, November 24, 2012 so you can have a chance to take this blanket home with you.  And we got all the knitting fun.

What an extraordinary experience.  We have folks already asking to sign up for shifts on next years blanket because they are thinking that once word gets out about how much fun it was, there won’t be any slots left.  And we have a community brought together by this Community Blanket and the simple act of knitting together.  We had no idea what we were creating when we got the idea to do something for I Love Yarn Day.  But I am firmly with the crew who are eager to sign up for next year.  I can’t wait to do it again.


Last but not least…

Good morning, my lovelies.  We are full on our knitting roster, the non-profits are decorating their voting boxes, we’re assembling our tent and chairs and lights and heaters. I’ve posted 12 lovely prizes that will be given to one knitter in each team.  Tomorrow is Go Day.  I can’t tell you how humble I feel at the turn out of people willing to give of their time and energy and skill to this project.  We have 42 people taking 48 shifts to have continuous knitting for 24 hours.  It’s amazing…and humbling and exciting.  I can’t wait to see it happen.

And to express our gratitude, Over The Rainbow Yarn is putting up a $1oo gift certificate to the store for one of the knitters who has so graciously agreed to join this mad adventure.

Really, thank you from the bottom of our collective heart.     xo


And in further news…

Todays installments are delicious, and remember any two hour shift will get you a one in four chance to win a prize.

First up today is a silk notions purse from dellaQ.  At a moderate but still useful 5 inches by 7 inches, this pretty stripe-ey thing will delight you every time you reach for a stitch marker.  It will also add brownie points to your karma since, as it says on the package insert, “a portion of your purchase trains low-income and rural Vietnamese women in the art of quilting.”


Second, we have a luscious skein of Araucania Ushya in Platinum Gray.  This chainette, 98%merino/2% polymide yarn is soft as a cloud, and at 114 yd/100gm, it will make a scarf, cowl or mitts that will go with everything you own.


Next we have a skein of Berroco Voyage in color Mossy.  Another chainette yarn, this one in a worsted gauge.  I wouldn’t call it “Mossy” exactly; it’s a lovely, tweedy balanced blend of green, teal, red, yellow, green and purple with bits of blue and brown that picks up whatever it’s next to.  Alpaca with a touch of polyester give it a soft but bouncy hand you’ll enjoy working with.


And last we’re offering up a skein of Schaefer Anne in color Clare Boothe Luce.  Schaefer names all their Anne yarns after famous women.  In case you didn’t know, Clare Boothe Luce was an author best known for her play, “The Women.”  You can read all about her here, and maybe you can tell us why she is represented in these bold peacock colors.  With a generous 560yds/4oz, this 60% superwash merino/ 25% mohair/ 15% nylon blend has a subtle sheen that will make a super fancy shawl.


Tomorrow is the deadline for signing up for your 2 hour shift.  We really hope to get as much of our community as possible to work on this project.  And it’s going to be such fun!


Ooo…Aaah…Fabulous prizes!

We’re still hoping knitters will sign up for a two hour shift for our Community Blanket Knitting Marathon on October 12, 2012.  (See I Love Yarn Day page for details)And we’re hoping some prizes will entice you.  Yesterday we promised three yarn items and a book.  Today we have even more goodies.  First up…

This is a big fatty hunk of loveliness from Malabrigo called Rasta in Purple Mystery.  Photos don’t do justice to this kettle dyed pure merino beauty but, at a gauge of 2 stitches to the inch on size 17’s you’ll fall in love.


Second, we go to the other end of the spectrum with Ella Rae Lace Merino.  We have fallen in love with this delightful 100% Extra Fine Merino, tightly spun sweetheart.    The stitch definition is amazing and it’s bouncy hand is a dream to knit with.  And with 460 yards, there’s enough to make a pretty scarf or shawlette.


And then there’s Baby Alpaca Chunky from Cascade.  Soft.  So satisfyingly soft you’ll want to roll around on it.  We’re thinking fingerless mitts…or a hat…or a snuggly cowl you’ll want to wear every day.


And last up for today, a Fiber Trends Needle Felting starter kit.  If you’ve been meaning to take up a new hobby…and really, which of us hasn’t contemplated yet another way to bring fiber into our lives and homes?…this kit has everything you need to get started.  You’ll be making felted christmas gifts before you know it.

We’ll be posting more enticements tomorrow.  And we still have openings for two hour shifts. Surely there’s something here that would make it worth your while to come knit on our Community Blanket.


On your marks…

Okay, my lovelies…  Today is monday and four days from now we will be celebrating National I Love Yarn Day by knitting a Community Blanket in a 24 hour Knitting Marathon.  We have had a lot of folks enthusiastically interested but not enough committing to actual knitting shifts.  We still need 30 knitter to make this idea a reality.  Now my staff are all good knitters and we are doing our part, but we can’t do it alone.  So, in order to entice you to sign up for a two hour shift, we’ll be offering a prize at the change of every shift.

Every time we seat a new team, the four names from the outgoing team will go into a hat and we’ll draw to see who get the goodies for that shift.  That’s a one-in-four chance of taking home something great.  Then, at the end of the whole thing, all the knitters names will go into the hat and we’ll draw for one big Grand Prize.

For the rest of this week, I’ll be posting what the prizes will be…  First up is the lovely skein of hand-dyed, hand-spun from Rachel at On The Round.  It’s a merino wool, Rambouillet fleece, firestar, mylar, flax, bamboo and silk noil so it has some sparkle and some soft, some bounce and some drape.  It is all the best things we like about yarn all spun up into one magic skein.  Single ply, 240 yards.


Next, we’re offering a brand new copy of Debbie Bliss’s new pattern book, Blue Faced Leicester Aranwhich supports her new Heritage Breeds BFL yarn.  Thirteen designs, mostly in textured stitches, showcase the yarns traditional wool qualities.

Pretty, right?  Debbie does great designs and we carry the yarn.  Speaking of which, next, we have three balls of Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester yarn in a lovely blue called “Denim”


And last for today, we have a pretty project bag from Pipsqueaks.  These darlings are big enough for most things and have nice pockets on the inside for notions and such.  The vintage inspired fabrics are adorable and we especially love the polkadots.

I’ll be back tomorrow, posting more prizes to entice you.  Meanwhile, let us know what two hour shift you’d like to knit.  It’ll be fun to celebrate I Love Yarn Day together as a community.