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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Episode 10: Win Free Yarn!

Yes, I said it. Free yarn! Although I am pretty sure most of you already have a housefull of yarn, can you really resist being in the running to add one more skein? I didn't think so. Read on for details...

In this podcast episode:
1) We share our latest projects, including a scarf I designed that was inspired by a fabric scarf.
2) Learn how yarn prices can at times differ so much from one store to the next.
3) Check out 2 more How-To Videos: picking up a dropped stitch, and using duplicate stitching to embellish your knitwear.
4) And a free scarf pattern!

If you thought spending most work days with me would be quite enough, think again! Joyce apparently never gets enough of moi, and even dragged her husbeast to join in the fun. Eight of us spent last weekend communing with nature (and I really mean that, as in no electricity and well appointed outhouses!). The place is very picturesque, and fall colors were in full bloom. Of course, we did get some knitting in, too.

Joyce, who is always on a quest for new yarns, news fleeces, and new knitting gadgets, will be once again doing her yearly pilgrimage to the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY. Dates are: October 15 and 16. Get more info here. She describes the experience as a walking fashion show, where fondling each others' sweaters is totally acceptable, and often encouraged. One of these days I'll get to I, too, can do some fondling...and watch the sheep dog competition :-)

On a more serious note, Joyce and I conversed about why similar yarns are often priced very differently. And there are many reasons: Is one retailer a HUGE company that buys directly from the factory and bypasses a distributor (like Knit One, Crochet Too, aka us), and the other a small, one owner operation, that offers you a large variety of yarns to select from? Are both yarns really created equal? They may look the same and share the same fiber content and yardage, but are they coming from the same factory? And how much do those factory pay their employees, do they offer benefits, etc? All of that becomes part of the pricing structure of a yarn.

When I bought the company almost 9 years ago, I was a real babe in the woods about this part of the business. Fiber content? Got it. Designing sweaters? No problem. Finding a shipment consolidator and a customs broker? SAY WHAT?!! Now, I just get the invoices and sign the checks...and try not to dwell too much on the $$$ in fees that gets tagged on to the base price of a yarn. And don't get me started on the EURO vs US dollar. Aye, aye aye... The things one will do for a yarn addiction...

Last time, we promised you some 5-minute videos (or less), so here are a couple:

1. Picking up a dropped stitch using a crochet hook:

2. Using duplicate stitching to add touches of colors to your knitting:

So, now we come to the free yarn section. Here's what you need to do. Join Ravelry, if you are not already a member, then subscribe to the Knit One, Crochet Too group. Once there, read the directions in the post titled "We're giving away a FREE Skein of Crock-O-Dye." We'll select the winner on October 17.
You can see some of the available colors above, and you'll get to pick the one you want. Oh, and the secret word is "Ravelry."
Here's the free pattern for the Picot Tricot Scarf. It features a ruffle at each end, and make-as-you-go picots on both edges. And it takes one skein of Crock-O-Dye. Fun!

That's all folks. Enjoy the beginning of fall and the start of a fruitful knitting season!