Category Archives: Shopping

Michaels Continues to Disappoint

In a previous post, I mentioned my disappointment at the recent reorganization of the local Michael’s crafts store and their lack of yarn in their new department. Not too long ago they had signs up that said “new yarn section coming soon.”

Well, I needed to purchase some sock yarn for a class I am taking online with Karen Ratto Whooley of KRW Designs. I thought I would stop by Michael’s and see what their new yarn section looks like. I can sum it up in one word — disappointment.

There were a few new signs describing the yarn types (basic, upscale basic and baby), they still have the “crochet needles” sign up and there is a new yarn label that I never heard of. It is still only two short aisles, so I really don’t understand what the improvements are.

A.C. Moore still has a better selection. Or even better, support your local yarn shop. Michaels is simply a waste of time.

Spinning Going Mainstream?

How do you know when something (anything) is going mainstream? When Wal-Mart starts to carry the products! A post this week on the New Jersey Fiber Fanatics Group on Yahoo found a few interesting items on the Wal-Mart site. Spindles and spinning fiber! I couldn’t believe it!

I have to admit I am not sure how I feel about this. I am happy to see that this wonderful process of turning fiber into yarn, but does it cheapen the process? I don’t know. They are also selling the fiber too. This I will admit, I will probably try the fiber. Some of the colors look really nice! But again, I hope it doesn’t hurt the prices of those who care of fiber animals and provide that fiber to the masses.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Enabling Alert!

As if we need help enabling each other to purchase items related to our fiber arts! I received an email this morning from Amazon regarding a somewhat new online store called “Warehouse Deals.”

This online shopping opportunity is managed by Amazon, so you know it is a reputable site and it provides open box, returns or slightly damaged items that cannot be sold as “new” as deep discounts. This includes a number of areas like books!

I did some searching this morning and found lots of books related to knitting, felting and crochet at more than half off! They also have others products like electronics and apparel at great deals, but let’s face it, we want stuff to help us with our fiber arts!

So I definitely suggest you check it out. I KNOW I will be ordering soon!

Lion Brand in New York

So, this past Friday I had a job interview in New York City.  While I was very excited to have a job interview at a great company, let’s keep things in perspective. I WAS RIGHT NEAR THE NEW LION BRAND STORE!

I was sure when planning my trip in, I arrived early enough for a quick jaunt to the store. Well, I felt like a kid in a candy store! The displays are beautiful and the store is very inviting. There is a huge table with yarn, hooks and needles out so you can just sit and play. They also have TONS of swatches made already so you can see how the yarn works up.

Their staff is friendly and extremely helpful. They also have several computer terminals in the shop so you can look up patterns and yarn requirements. They really thought about what a knitter or crocheter needs and provided everything possible! They also have the Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom. This is on my list of things to try at some point.

They have a “Sampling Wall” where you can take different yarns with you to try out at home. I picked up some Fisherman’s Wool and Sock Ease to try.

If you are in New York I highly recommend setting some time aside to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Store. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Where Does the Time Go?

Did you ever have one of those weeks that you felt like you were on a treadmill? Well, this has definitely been one of those weeks for me. There hasn’t been much crocheting going on, which I must admit makes me feel like I am missing a big part of my life. I am SO CLOSE to finishing my major winter project it is unreal! But there it sits on my couch waiting for me. I am hoping to finish it this weekend and post photos soon.

One thing I was able to do this week was start to read through a book I purchased quite some time ago. The book is Uncommon Crochet by Julie Armstrong Holetz and it is just wonderful! As I read through it I find myself nodding because this is exactly the way I work. It talks about taking a highly creative approach to your project by using alternative fibers and developing your own ideas. I am working on reaching out to Ms. Holetz for an interview, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I would love to hear how your winter projects have gone and how you feel when you can’t sneak in a little “project time.” What are some of the most creative ways you have worked to make time for your projects.

Jewelry to Show Your Love of Fiber

Once you begin your fiber arts journey, it is amazing how it takes over your life! I recently placed a custom request on Etsy for a piece of fiber arts-related jewelry. I received some wonderful bids from many talented artists! I finally settled on two. First a wood-burned pendant and three silver charms.

Tanja Sova is an incredibly talented artists in a variety of media. She does wood burning, origami and fiber arts. She made me an amazing wood-burned pendant exactly the way I wanted! We emailed back and forth and discussed what I was looking for and then she let her creativity fly!

I can’t tell you how happy I am with her work! She really took the time to help me discover and communicate what I was looking for. It never ceases to amaze me the talent and creativity of the artists on Etsy!

If you have never checked out Etsy, I highly recommend it next time you need a special gift. You will not only find an original hand-made item, but you will be supporting artists in hard economical times.

As soon as I receive my silver charms I will be sure to post them as well!

The Ultimate in Stash Management

I know this is a short entry, but someone from the New Jersey Fiber Fanatics discussion group and I just had to share! The Original Scrap Box  is the ultimate in stash management! Now, I know that it is shown handling scrapbooking supplies, but just think of the possibilities for your fiber, yarn, hooks, needles and more! The workbox and the MiniBox are just awesome! These are definitely going on my “when I have my own fiber room” list!

To check out the video display demonstration, go to: http://www.theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/.

Sale Alert…Flying Fingers Yarn Shop

OK, I have another important sale alert! Flying Fingers has introduced “Warehouse Wednesdays!” Every Wednesday yarns will be listed at up to 50% off to make room for new items. The yarn will change every Wednesday and when they are gone…they’re gone! These sale items will be available both at the store and online, so you can take advantage of the savings no matter where you are!

Happy Hunting!

Opening of The Great Goblet Gala 2008

I just got home a short while ago from the opening of The Great Goblet Gala 2008 at Peter’s Valley in Layton, NJ. I don’t mind admitting I was quite nervous about the whole event. When Glenn and I arrived I took a deep breath and ascended the stairs to the gallery above the shop. There it was right in the middle of the room! The best part of the evening was that as you looked around the room, you couldn’t really “tell” that this was my first gallery piece. I felt like it really belonged…if that makes any sense.

Glenn and I sort of stood back as people came to look, so I could observe their reaction. I saw lots of smiles and heard lots of positive comments. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel!

The show will be on until the end of September, so I highly recommend you go and check out all the great goblets. The room was filled with wonderfully creative pieces! For more information on the show, click here.