It’s time again for Fiber Expo! and a note to weavers!

In the mood to fondle some yarn and bond with it?

Well, duh. Of course you are.

If you’re anywhere near Ann Arbor this weekend, you can come to our big booth o’ happiness at Fiber Expo and do just that! You’ll find some brand new colorways that I haven’t had a chance to add online yet, like this one.

 

Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock in "Cherry Float"

Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock in “Cherry Float”

I’ll try to add the new colorways to the store in the next week or two, but no promises since I’m recovering from not one but two viruses.

Attention weavers! If you bought yarn to make a shawl like the one I wrote about in Adventures in Fibonacci Weaving (or even if you didn’t), you might want to take a look at the helpful footnote I added to that post!

 

New Yarns!

Hey! I started writing this post a week ago, but then I got the plague and had to sleep 20 hours/day. I’m not completely over it, but I’m a lot better than I was, so let’s see if I can finish it today!

I’ve been wanting to introduce some new yarns for a while now, and now that the Local Wool Project Yarn is almost gone (seriously, there’s hardly any left. If you want some, grab it now) there’s some space freed up.

So we are introducing not one but TWO new base yarns! Both are 100% US-grown merino, and both are millspun here in the US.

The first is a fingering weight yarn, Merino Mono. It’s a superwash merino singles. I am in love with it.

merino mono

I may want to marry it and have its babies. I’m working on a scarf pattern with it.

The second is a DK weight yarn, DK Merino. It is NOT superwash. It IS delightfully squooshy, and I’m looking forward to making a sweater with it.

dk merino

Ok, several sweaters actually.

Speaking of freeing up space, did you miss my Fiberganza sale and wish you could have come? Or did you come but wish you would have bought that bag of red alpaca? Well, we sold more than half of what we had out, but that means there’s still an incredible amount left. I’m doing an auction on Facebook, listing several things every day, and wow, there’s a lot of stuff. As of this writing, I’ve got the first 57 lots up. I might be about 20% through…

The auction ends Sunday, April 5 at 11:45pm. And yes, there’s red alpaca.

 

Plan B: Fiberganza! The destash of the decade!

Remember that grant I applied for that would have allowed me to buy a bigger house with a much larger studio space?

I didn’t get it.

So, I wallowed in self pity for about 3 seconds, and then started forming Plan B.

Plan B is making more space in the studio I have. There’s a lot of stuff in here. I use most of the stuff, but there’s some stuff I’m not using so much anymore. I decided I need to focus and not try to do everything. So I’m not going to make art batts anymore. This means roughly 18 linear feet of wall space full of fiber can be destashed.

 

A small fraction of what needs to go.

A small fraction of what needs to go.

And there’s other stuff too. A lot of other stuff.

So.

You are invited to the Destash of the Decade!

FIBERGANZA!

The Happy Fuzzy Yarn studio is bursting at the seams! We need to get rid of some of the really cool stuff we’re no longer using (we love it all, but we can’t do everything, and we NEED THE SPACE)!

What has to go:

  • Washed fleeces (natural and dyed)
  • Slightly felted dyed combed top (it was queued for art batts)
  • Roving
  • Undyed combed top
  • Dyed fiber (some carded, some not)
  • Novelty yarn (also queued for batts)
  • Silk fabrics / damaged and undamaged garments (yep, for batts)
  • Damaged cashmere sweaters (you guessed it! Batts!)
  • Wool combs
  • Wool picker (cradle type)
  • Spinning wheel (Thumbelina)
  • Harrisville Designs 4 harness loom
  • And more!

When: Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10am – 4pm

Where: The Happy Fuzzy Yarn studio in southeast Ann Arbor. If you already know where this is, great! Just show up! Feel free to bring friends! If not, sign up for the newsletter and you’ll get the address the day before the sale. (I’m not going to publish my address because crazy people.)

Yes, we take credit cards!

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Look Inside a Local Yarn Store: DocKnits in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada

storefrontDocKnits, on the shores of Lake Huron, is a cheerful, friendly local yarn store for the beach community of Port Elgin in southern Ontario — a great place to take a vacation and buy some vacation yarn!  Owner Dr. Sue Gundrum shares her LYS story with us today.

Happy Fuzzy Yarn: What did you do before you opened a yarn store?

Sue: I am a family physician who has loved knitting and crocheting since I was a child.  My grandmothers taught me the craft!  I worked in a yarn store when I was a teenager in the 80s when fair isle and chunky sweaters were popular.  The store I worked in was very fashion forward (for our small city of Owen Sound) and carried “exotic” lines like Phildar and Annie Blatt…unheard of in the world of Paton’s 100% acrylic!

HFY: How did you get into the business of owning a yarn store?

Sue: I have three growing sons and a husband who is a dentist and coaches A LOT of volleyball.  As the boys have grown, I started to find myself alone more and more.  My immediate circle of friends do not do anything creative (we bond over wine!) and I was missing women who love fiber.  So, as a “prevent the empty nest syndrome” project, I decided to open a store.  I still work full-time as a physician, but sneak into the store on weekends, evenings, and my day off.  I have two wonderful women, Peggy and Jeffi, who basically run the store.  I do orders, pay the bills, fondle the yarn, and knit samples for the store.  I love coming to Friday night “open knit” and try to come to Thursday afternoon “open knit” if I don’t have to do my other (not so much fun) job.  As a result, we have cultivated a real community at DocKnits and they feed me emotionally and spiritually, as much as I feed them with yarn!  I think this is the best part of owning a yarn store.

Sue, Peggy, and Jeffi

Sue, Peggy, and Jeffi

HFY: You created a community! That’s great! What is the hardest part about running a yarn store?

Sue: The most difficult part of running the store is not being able to be here enough!  It takes hours and hours to keep the store up and running, but it is such a passion that I really don’t mind the extra time.  I wish we could knit samples faster because people really need to see the end product, but there are only 2 or 3 of us who knit for the store (sample knitters are welcome anytime!).  The money is always a stressor as well as I seem to have to buy every yarn, in every colour.  I don’t have a very good filter. However, our clientele is growing and we may supplement our “off season” with some online shopping.

HFY: How do you choose which yarns to carry?  And then how do you choose which colours?

Sue: I try really hard to get a good mix of yarns in different weights, colours, and price ranges.  I use to buy every colour of the rainbow in every yarn, but now I focus more on specific colours.  Despite the fact that I love golds, greens, and oranges, not too many people can rock those colours.  I love buying North American and home grown yarns, and shun anything from countries that abuse human rights and provide cheap products.  I was so proud of Rowan for discontinuing their angora line when they discovered the rabbits were terribly abused.  I really love natural fibers.  I just sourced out a local sheep farmer who has about 2000 oz of bare 2 ply yarn from his sheep, languishing in his attic!  I will have this dyed for the store.

docknits-interior

HFY: Good for Rowan! Bunnies should be pampered and loved! What is the strangest thing that’s happened at your store?

hfy-at-docknitsSue: I was in the basement stocking yarn and heard an awful sound upstairs.  It sounded like a very loud fire alarm.  I ran upstairs to find a very embarrassed lady, paying at the cash register.  Her husband was parked outside and STARTED THE CAR ALARM because she was taking too long.  I would like to have pelted his car with a paintball gun, but didn’t have one handy and thought better of it.  The poor thing…. I should have given her a big discount for having a spouse like that.  She admitted that he was SERIOUS and not joking.  How sad!

HFY: How awful! What is the most popular Happy Fuzzy Yarn colourway with your customers?

Sue: Undulatory and Petrified Forest (my personal fave) have sold well.  We just don’t have any other colourways like Happy Fuzzy Yarn’s in our store.  They are so unique and appealing. We have a large tourist base from May until October as we live on the beaches of beautiful Lake Huron and there was a lot of ooohing and ahhing over the yarn last year!

Thank you for taking the time to share your story and your shop with us, Sue!

 

My Sheep Tattoo

Last night I did something I’ve been meaning to do for the last few years.

My sheep tattoo!

I got a tattoo of a sheep on my left arm. A Cotswold hogget to be precise.

Doesn’t she have a sweet face? (At least I think it’s a she.)

I’m so happy!

For the curious, the tattooist was Zera Anderson of Brite Idea in Ypsilanti, MI.

 

Two new cowl patterns!

It’s cold and dreary here, the kind of weather that makes you want to wrap yourself in wool. Lucky for you, we have two new cowl patterns!

Angelia Robinson‘s Jasper Cowl is our first crochet pattern!

jasper

This cowl is designed using controlled pooling. Angelia shows you how to work with hand dyed yarn to plan pooling so the colors stack in this artful crochet cowl she designed using Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock (shown in Sulfur Springs).

REQUIRED SKILLS
basic crochet skills (chains, single crochet, skipping stitches, slip stitch, joining new yarn, fastening off)

crocheting in the round

crocheting into a chain space

Buy the PDF for $6.00 at our online store or Ravelry.

 

doubled

Twice as colorful, twice as squooshy, the Twice as Nice cowl is knit with two strands of Happy Fuzzy Yarn Superwash Sport held together throughout, in two different colorways (shown in Papaya and Sugar Plum Fairy). The pattern stitch is the same on both sides, so when you put it on, you don’t need to take extra time fussing with it. Just put it on, wrap it around your neck once or twice, and know you look good.

longresizedsm

REQUIRED SKILLS
basic knitting skills (casting on, knit and purl stitch, slipping stitches, binding off)

knitting in the round

Buy the PDF for $6.00 at our online store or Ravelry.

 

A new feature for local customers

We’ve added a new feature to our online store for our local customers.

pick up

Now you have the option to pick up your order at our studio and save on shipping costs. Just choose “Pick up at our Ann Arbor studio” as your shipping method when you’re checking out. We will notify you when your order is ready and let you know when you can pick it up.

If you prefer to have us mail it to you, that’s fine too! But now you have a choice.

 

Year-End Sale, a Knit-Along, and a Spin-Along — What’s Not to Love?!

Happy Fuzzy Yarn is hosting a series of knit-alongs and spin-alongs in 2015 in our Ravelry living room — you should come join us! There will be chatting, and sales, and prizes! If you haven’t signed up for Ravelry yet, it’s easy to do and free. Joining the Happy Fuzzy Yarn group on Ravelry is also free.

First up, starting January 1st and ending February 28th, is a knit-along for socks and a spin-along for the Local Wool Project. To participate, you just jump in on the KAL or SAL topics on our forum, tell us what you’re going to make, post a progress picture, and, later, a picture of your finished project. For the knit-along, the yarn OR pattern (or both, if you are an overachiever) should come from Happy Fuzzy Yarn. For the spin-along, we’re delving into the Washtenaw Co. sourced wool and wool/alpaca combed top that Riin has dyed up in some of her popular colorways as well as some Local Wool Project exclusive colorways.

Orchid, a new colorway exclusive to the Local Wool Project combed tops!

Orchid, a new colorway exclusive to the Local Wool Project combed tops!

By the way, if you been waiting till one of these days to order some of the Local Wool, NOW is the time! There’s only a limited quantity left. It’s all been dyed, and it’s all in the store.

In early March, we’ll draw a random name of those who participated — and finished — for both the KAL and the SAL — and award prizes!

If you don’t have the Happy Fuzzy Yarn yarn or fiber in your stash that you need for the knit-along and spin-along, don’t worry, we got you covered. We’re having a year-end sale on everything in the store — 20% off with coupon code YEAREND. The sale runs from December 26th-31st. We’ll be spending time with our families so orders placed after December 23rd won’t ship until the week of January 5th.

If you’re not into knitting socks (no one said they had to be fingering weight socks!) or spinning, or know you’re already too busy with other projects, you are still welcome to come cheer others on. We’ll be doing these knit-alongs and spin-alongs all year so there will hopefully be something for everyone to try out.

Wishing everyone a happy, fuzzy holiday full of warmth and good-will!

 

Look Inside a Local Yarn Store: Yarn & Coffee in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yarn & Coffee, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the perfect combination for many of us: caffeine and wool…drinks and yarn…good cheer and warm fuzzies.  Call it what you will, owner Deborah Grossman calls it her local yarn store.

YC Store shot 1

Happy Fuzzy Yarn: What did you do before you opened a yarn store?

Deborah: I worked in a medical clinic in the IT department, but I crocheted every day at lunch and taught others at work to knit and crochet. I also taught crochet at a local bookstore.

YC store shotHFY: How did you get into the business of owning a yarn store?

Deborah: I was laid off from my IT job and, within a couple of weeks, decided to pursue the long-held dream of opening a yarn store/coffee shop. After five months of one-day-at-a-time, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other progress, I opened Yarn & Coffee.

HFY: What is the best part about running a yarn store?

Deborah: There are a lot of great things about running the store. The best thing I thought would happen–being able to knit and crochet all day long–is not happening, but there are plenty of others. My favorite thing at the moment is teaching people to knit and crochet. It’s a little like teaching someone to read–you see the light go on and the excitement build, and the person’s delight at stepping into a whole new world. That’s a wonderful feeling. I also love helping people put together yarns and patterns for that “just-right” project, chatting with the groups that come to knit and crochet in the store, and telling visitors about my lovely town.

HFY: What is the hardest part about running a yarn store?

Deborah: Not being able to carry every lovely yarn, every type of needle or hook, and every ingenious gadget that there is. There’s just not enough room! Also, walking that fine line between having a really good selection and having an overwhelming selection is pretty hard.

HFY: How do you choose which yarns to carry?  And then how do you choose which colors?

YC cup of yarnDeborah: Mostly, I buy what I love. It also must be soft to touch–the yarn might look beautiful and come in lovely colorways, but if it’s not soft enough, I won’t buy it. I choose colors I love, and I also ask my employees to choose colors they love, then I channel my customers and add in a few that might not be my favorites but that others like.

HFY: What is the strangest request you’ve had from a customer?

Deborah: Do you sell washing machine parts? (Our location used to house an appliance parts and repair store for about 30 years. They’ve been closed for over 2 and a half years now, but we still get people looking for them.)

HFY: What is the most popular Happy Fuzzy Yarn colorway with your customers?

Deborah: We sold out of Steel and Pearls pretty quick–but black and gray are really popular this season. We also sold out of Autumn Indigo. Now that we’ve knit up a shawl in Papaya, that color is moving as well.

HFY: Anything else you’d like to share with fans of Happy Fuzzy Yarn?

Deborah: Follow your heart. Don’t fight it if you always gravitate toward the same color palate. When you’re ready to branch out, you will. And with Happy Fuzzy Yarn’s unusual combinations, you can stay in your comfort zone while at the same time sticking your toe into another zone.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and your shop with us, Deborah!

 

An Interview with Riin

Want to read an interview with me? Penny Shima Glanz posted an interview with me on Little Acorn Creations. You can read the interview here.

 

shadow-and-blanket

Penny’s very attractive cat, Shadow, and the blanket she’s making out of Happy Fuzzy Yarn.

 

Speaking of interviews, we’re soon going to start a series of interviews with LYS owners who carry Happy Fuzzy Yarn. Watch this space!

 

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