250 lbs, Granola Bars, Lights and Checklists. della Q Prepares for Knitting Events and Festivals.

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Have you been to a knitting event such as VK Live or Stitches?  Do you sometimes wonder how it all comes together?  If not, close this post and go do a few rows on your current knitting project. Otherwise, I thought I would share a behind the scenes look at how della Q prepared for VK Live Pasadena which is this coming weekend.

The first must have is a check list! This is the one I created.

Checklist

Before I start packing, though, I need to make sure I order electricity and tables from the decorator.  I make a note on my calendar to be sure I order in advance so that I can get a bit of a discount.  BTW – how much do you think it is to rent a table for three or four days?  You’ll never guess.  It is generally between $150 and $200 per table!  No, it doesn’t have gold on it.  No, it doesn’t set itself up.  Yep, I can buy one for less than that!  But, then I would have to ship it.  Or, rent a car and make a trip to Ikea and then pay for parking to park the car at the hotel.  These decorators know they have you hostage!

Show Details

Ok, now that I have my electricity and tables ordered, I need to make sure I have room in the studio to sort and pack.  Here is Lucky ensuring the space is clear.

Before Packing

I start by packing my lights, display materials (generally collapsable cubes, back drapes), signs, etc.  I can’t forget the granola bars!  Since I am usually the only one in the booth, I sometimes don’t get lunch.

Once I have done that, I start pulling stock.  This is the fun part!  I try to do my best to figure what customers will want.  I can’t bring everything.  Nor can I bring 50 pieces in every color.  It is a guess sometimes.  I hope I am bringing the right things for this weekend!

Picking Stock

Now, I have to make it all fit into my shipping boxes.  Packing, packing . . .

Packing 2

Packing

Sometimes I have to move things around a bit as my cartons can’t weigh more than 60 lbs or UPS will charge extra.  Depending upon the show, sometimes the decorator won’t allow my cartons to weigh more than 50 lbs.  So I weigh each box to make sure I’m under the appropriate limit.  The boxes are HEAVY!  BTW – I make sure I don’t wear a dress or flip flops on packing day.  I wouldn’t want to drop one of these boxes on my toes.

Weighing Boxes

Before I tape the boxes closed, I double check my list.

Completed Checklist

Looking good.  250 lbs all ready to go to Pasadena!

Boxes Ready

Will I get to see you in Pasadena?

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Where to Find The Newest Knitting and Crafting Supplies

If you are a knitting or craft store retailer, you often are looking for the newest knitting and crafting supplies to offer to your customers.  One of the main sources of finding new knitting supplies is by attending a trade show once or twice a year.  In the US there are two primary trade shows:  TNNA (The National Needle Arts) and CHA (Craft and Hobby Association).  In Europe, there is one primary show, the H+H (Handarbeit and Hobby) in Cologne, Germany.

If you are not a retail store owner, you may not be familiar with a trade show.  Trade shows are large events hosted by an association in a particular industry in which retail stores can “shop” for product to carry in their stores.  Vendors (e.g. manufacturers), like della Q, host a booth that displays their products for the shop owner to see and test.  If they like the vendor’s product they will place an order for delivery to their store.  In general, to attend and buy at a trade show, you must  be a retail store owner and place a minimum order that can be anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand per vendor.

The booths at TNNA and CHA are considered “pipe and drape” which means the walls of the booths are separated by curtains.  See the photos below of a the della Q booth at couple of the TNNA shows.  Depending upon the show size, I either ship a pallet of my tables, lighting and samples or do something smaller where I bring all my samples and lights in suitcases (you would be amazed at how I can maneuver three large suitcases through an airport and convention center)!

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I just returned from the H+H show a couple of weeks ago.  These folks REALLY know how to host a show!  Granted, it is much more expensive to attend this kind of show, but if you are a knitting or craft retailer looking for the newest knitting and crafts supplies, you need to see this show to believe it.

H+H hosts 400 exhibitors from 43 countries.  The show is about six times the size of TNNA.  It covers four separate floors which makes finding your way back to your booth a bit challenging.  Thank goodness for their navigational app (yes!  for INSIDE the show).

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Do you see that last photo?  It is a booth that has a restaurant/bar in it!

One of the main differences with this show is that it is “hard wall”  rather than “pipe and drape”.  Look at how different my booth is for H+H.

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This show costs me more than twice as much to have a booth, but what a difference in presentation.  I also don’t really have to do anything to set up.  Before the show I work with the staff on the layout and lighting.  They build it.  I simply show up with my samples.

H+H also includes quite a number of special exhibits.  Check out this “butcher”.

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Of course, TNNA also offers a fashion show, but the H+H fashion show makes you feel like you are at Fashion Week.

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So, what do you think?  If you are a retail store owner, is H+H 2017 on your list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seeking home… Nominate your LYS!

Sheep with Waiter

Last fall Della made a trip to Vietnam to visit her sewers and to choose fabric for the Spring 2016 line.  While there she spotted this sweet little sheep and knew he had to come back to the United States with her. (The sheep, not the waiter.)  Knowing his final destination should be to live in a yarn shop, she has enjoyed his company for the past several months. Now is the time to let him go to his Forever Home. Here is the best part…You get to help us decide exactly where he will eventually claim as home.

Yes, he has traveled many miles and is ready to settle in and love his new family.

Brick and mortar yarn shops are like finding a precious pearl in a field. They are a place of refuge for the lonely, resources for wonderful fiber and instruction for knitters and crocheters, a meeting place for charity minded artists who wish to share their talents and efforts with people they may not know or may never meet.  Owners often work countless hours to run a small business that mean so much to the folks lucky enough to find them.

For this reason, to honor those places and the people who work and support them we are sharing this wonderful work of art.

It is as simple as going to our Facebook page, tagging your favorite LYS and mention the  city in  which it is located. Each day a new post will be up and ready for your tag. Only one tag per day, please. Don’t be sheepish!  Share this information with all your knitting friends (as well as your LYS), the more people who offer up their favs the better the chances.   It’s a win for the shops who are mentioned too! Before long we will welcome the vacation season and what is better than poking around a new yarn shop upon the recommendation of fellow fiber enthusiast?  We know, not much!

The adopted shop will be announced April 1. (No kidding!) Posts must be dated March 24-March 30.

Have fun with this…and good luck!

https://www.facebook.com/della-Q-Knitting-and-Sewing-Essentials-109579535734938/?ref=hl

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Guest Post: How To Choose The Right Yarn For Your Knitting Project

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Ariel Altaras of Stariel Knits shares her thoughts on how to choose the right yarn for your project.

Working at a yarn store, people often ask me how to pick yarn for their project. Sometimes the suggested yarn isn’t available, or isn’t exactly what you want. There are several things you need to consider when substituting yarn for a project.

Yarn Weight and Amount

Many patterns will tell you the weight of the yarn you should use. In this case it’s pretty easy to make sure the yarn you substitute is the right weight. But, if the weight isn’t given, it isn’t always easy to figure out the weight of a specific yarn mentioned. The gauge is a good place to start, but sometimes yarns are knit tighter or looser than the recommended gauge to achieve a specific type of fabric. Ravelry is a great resource for looking up yarns you are not familiar with.
Similarly, the yarn amount may be given as number of balls, grams, ounces, or yards. To substitute, the number of yards is the most accurate. If possible look up yarns to determine how many yards per ball and grams or ounces per ball.

Fiber Content

Once you know the amount and weight of yarn to buy, the next thing to consider is the fiber content. Different fibers have different properties. A garment knit in wool will be very different than one knit in cotton – the cotton garment will be heavier, not as warm, more likely to stretch out, and generally not have as much stitch definition. The wool garment will be warmer, lighter, keep its shape better, and show a stitch texture better. But there are less obvious differences as well. Alpaca, even though it is an animal fiber, doesn’t have the same springy quality as wool and may not show a cable or textured pattern as well. Fibers like silk and bamboo can give a yarn both drape and shine.
For a larger project, it’s ideal to swatch a yarn at the recommended gauge, and make sure you like the fabric you’re getting. But for a quick substitution, a yarn that is similar to the recommended one will be the most likely to give you a finished project like the pattern sample.

Yarn Construction

The construction of the yarn can also affect the fabric it produces. Tight vs. loose twist, plied vs. cabled yarns, single vs. multiple plies. All of these properties will affect the behavior of your knitted fabric. If you want your project to look like the pattern picture, try to pick a yarn with a similar construction.

Color

The color or colors of yarn can have a big influence on how the finished object looks. Here is the same pattern (Monkey by Cookie A) knit in solid, semisolid, and variegated yarns:

Solid Yarn Example

You can see with a solid color that the stitch pattern really has a chance to show off.

Semi-Solid Example

The semi-solid yarn still shows the pattern quite well, though not as well as the solid yarn.

Variegated Yarn Example

The variegated yarn distracts quite a bit from the stitch pattern.

Monkey is a pattern that I think actually works quite well with most yarns, but you can definitely see the difference in pattern visibility when using a solid vs. a variegated yarn.

Color choice is a matter of personal preference, but do take the stitch pattern into account when making your choice. Stockinette stitch, garter stitch, or simple textured stitch patterns are good choices for variegated yarns, since the stitch pattern is not intended to be the focus of the knitted item. To show off lace or intricate cables, solid or nearly solid yarns are best. Semisolid or tonal yarns are a good middle ground. Depending on the amount of color variation they can show off patterns quite well, and they pair well with less intricate lace and cables too.

But, in the end, the most important factor to consider when choosing yarn is whether you like it, and like the look it produces with the pattern you’ve chosen. When in doubt, swatch!

Ariel knits and designs socks and accessories in Seattle, assisted by audiobooks, Scandinavian cinema, and her cats.  She also works at her local yarn store and blogs at http://www.starielknits.com.

 

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Spring Forward with this free pattern!

There Goes Peter Cotton Tail
Pattern by Cornelia’s Granddaughter                                                IMG_5509

Materials needed:
• 110 yards of Cascade 220 yarn (worsted)
• Stuffing (poly fill)Spring
• 10 yards fingering yarn for pompom tail, eyes and mouth
• Stitch marker
• 1 set of 5 DPNS: Size 6
• Tapestry Needle
• Scissors
• Row Counter (opt)

Instructions:

Begin Leg:
CO 6 sts. Divide these sts evenly and place on 3 DPN’s. Join to work in round. Carefully (do not twist!)
1. Knit
2. Kfb all sts (12)
3-6. Knit
7. K1, k2 tog, k1 around each needle. (9)
8-20. Knit
Place these stitches on holder empty DPN. Break yarn, leaving a 6” tail. (This is the first of two legs and will be worked later.)
Repeat these 20 rounds for second leg. But DO NOT BREAK YARN, INSTEAD

Join Legs
Knit 5 sts (move remaining 4sts to 2nd DPN)
Knit across 4 sts from holder (9 sts will now be on front DPN)
Knit the remaining 9 sts (on 2nd DPN)
Begin Body:
Distribute stitches on 3 DPN’s as follows: (18 sts)
Needle 1: Knit 6 sts
Needle 2: Knit 6 sts
Needle 3: Knit 6 sts

Round 1: kfb, k2 around each needle [You will now have 8 sts on each DPN] (24 sts)
Rounds 2-8: Knit all stitches

Next you will re-arrange stitches on two DPN’s so that you have 12 stitches on each needle. The stitches on the 2nd DPN will be worked later.
Stitches will now be worked flat (no longer joined to work in round). You will be creating an opening for arms.

1. K12 on first DPN.
2. Turn work. (purl side will be facing you)
3. Slip 1 stitch purlwise, purl all stitches
4. Slip 1 stitch, knit all stitches
5. Slip 1 stitch, purl all stitches
6. Decrease: K2 tog, K1 around (8 sts)
7. Slip 1 stitch, purl all stitches
8. Decrease: K2 tog around (4 sts)
Break yarn, leaving a 4” tail.
~Repeat these 8 rows on the 2nd DPN.
HOWEVER, DO NOT break yarn after this decrease row. (It would be advisable to lightly stuff the body of the bunny at this time) *Note that for this pattern only the body and head will be stuffed. Legs and arms will look best without stuffing.

Head:
Knit across 4 sts, PM and join to work all 8 sts in round:
1. Kfb, k1 around each needle. (total sts, 12)

(Divide 12 sts on 3 DPN’s) Work the following rounds:
2. Knit
3. Kfb, k1 around each needle (total sts, 18)
4. Knit
5. Kfb, k2 around each needle (total sts, 24)
6. Knit
7. Kfb, k3 around each needle (total sts, 30)
8-13 Knit
14. K2 tog, k3 around each needle (24)
15. Knit
16. K2 tog, k2 around each needle (18)
17. K2 tog, k1 around each needle (12) ~stuff the head of bunny here~
18. Knit
19. K2 tog, all sts (6)
Cut yarn, thread through remaining sts and pull tightly, weave ends.

Note: Ears will be knitted and then stitched to head. Stitches will be picked up and knitted for arms. Pompom tail will be stitched to back side of bunny.

Ears (make two)
Cast on 10 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl (and ALL EVEN ROWS)
Row 3: K1, kfb, k6, kfb, k1 (12 sts)
Row 5: Knit
Row 7: Knit
Row 9: K4, (k2tog 2X), k4 (10)
Row 11: K3, (k2tog 2X), k3 (8)
Row 13: K2, (k2tog 2X), k2 (6)
Row 15: K2 tog 3X
To end: Slip I stitch as if to purl, p2tog, PSSO. Weave in tail.

Arms: (make two)

Beginning at the top of Armhole Opening:                                                 
With DPN pick up and knit 8 sts. BOR is at the top of armhole.

You will be knitting these stitches in the round.

1. Knit
2. K3, kfb, k1, k3 (9sts)
3-14 Knit all stitches. Bind off, cut yarn and weave ends.

With fingering weight yarn:
Tail: Create tail making a small pompom and sew to body.                  IMG_5513

Finish by sewing up the leg opening an adding facial features.

~Enjoy your masterpiece and Hoppy Knitting! ~

CO cast on stitches DPN’s double pointed needles
Kfb knit into the front and back of stitch
PM place marker BOR beginning of round BOR
P2 tog purl 2 stitches together K2 tog knit two stitches together
PSSO pass slipped stitch over

Cathi is a knitting instructor, retired yarn shop owner, and currently manages social media for della Q. She is also a wife, mom of two adult kids, nana to 5 busy grandkids and Cornelia’s granddaughter.  When she isn’t teaching classes or chasing grandkids, Cathi likes to use yarn creatively and dream up new patterns. Cathi lives in Columbus, IN, a wonderful Midwest community even though it is much too far from the beach.

 

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Meet Stephanie Dosen and smile…

“Tiny Owl Knits patterns are designed by Stephanie Dosen, an American singer who lives
in the mountains with her unicorn, puffy cat & a hefty yarn stash riddled with gnomes.
The Tiny Owl has lots of nests around the web.”

We caught up with Stephanie last fall and she agreed to take a minute from her busy, quirky, fun-filled life to share some personal stuff.  She makes us smile and think you will enjoy getting to know her a little bit better!

She’s charmed us since introducing the Bee-Keeper’s Quilt and has kept us happy with every design after…

 

stephanie Dosen

We couldn’t wait to hear her answers to our guest interview questions!

  • What song best describes your knitting?      “She’s a maniac” !
  • Pick two celebrities to be your parents.   Why?    Snow White and Applejack (my little pony). I want to hang out and sing with forest animals, and who doesn’t want a pony?
  • If Della came to your house for dinner, what would you serve?     Lasagne.  (I’m better at making it than I am at spelling it.)
  • Who has had the most influence in your life?       In what way? So many people! But Amy Foster hooked me up in both of my careers. She got me into knitting and helped me get into the music industry. #sograteful
  • You are on ‘America’s Got Talent’ , what skill will you show off? (singing, dancing, magic tricks, etc)     Singin.
  • Mountains or beach?      I live in the mountains.. but I do love a midnight beach under a full moon!
 Thanks Stephanie!  You encourage us to dream bigger dreams and schemes.  We love following you:
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della Q Spring 2016 Collection

Austin

For those familiar with della Q, you know that this is the time that you can pre-order the new Spring collection.  Twice per year, I introduce two new cotton prints that are offered in my most popular cases to store your knitting needles and bags for your knitting storage.

Austin is one of our two cotton prints for the season.  It is PURPLE.  Right, I know, on some screens it looks blue.  Get over it.  It is PURPLE.  First, you will love it because it is PURPLE and second, do you see the cool yarn like print?  Yep, two for one.  Knitters love yarn and purple.

Trenton

Trenton is our second cotton print.  Not, second because of popularity, but because I found it after Austin.  This is more my style; a bit more modern.  Turquoise with brown and orange (love or hate it as you will) bead like print.  If you are FB friend you will remember you helped me decide on the coordinating turquoise fabric.

Ok – so here’s the deal.  My mobile site SUCKS.  Blame my website vendor.  Or blame me because I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars or time to change to another vendor.  The mobile site doesn’t allow you to see the different images when you change the fabric choice.  If you really want to see the choices, go to the old fashioned computer and not your phone or tablet.  Alternatively, here is the short cut:

Austin = Purple

Trenton = Turquoise + Brown/Orange

Ships in March.  Which is your favorite:  Austin or Trenton?

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Easy as 1-2-3…Really!

Last week  Della announced a Pinterest contest .  Two lucky pinners will win a $100 worth of della Q products of their choice.  Since there have been so many questions as to how one enters, we decided that a short explanation might be appreciated.

The contest runs through February 1st, so there is plenty of time for you to join in the fun.

All entries will be reviewed and judged on content and creativity.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Follow dellaQ on Pinterest
  2. Create a board called Why I need della Q
  3. Fill your board with pictures of why you need della Q including at least 3 images that reflect your personal favorite della Q products. Images can be used from www.dellaq.com. Use the hashtags #dellaqspree #windellaq #dellaqbags
All entries previously entered will be included in this contest, in consideration of the confusion.

It’s that easy! Good luck and get pinning!

 

 

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How to Organize and Store Your Knitting Needles

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First things first, I suggest organizing your knitting needles by type of needle. Separate your circulars from your double pointed (DPNs), from your straights (single pointed) and from your interchangeable tips.

Next sort your needle type by size. Put all of your fixed circulars size US 3 together and all of the fixed circulars US 4 together, etc. You get the idea.

Next do the same for all of your other types of needles. Sort all of your DPNs by size. Sort all of your straight needles by size and your interchangeable tips and cords by size.

This is a good point to assess your inventory. Are you missing any sizes? If so, keep a record so that you remember. How many times have you wanted to start a project and then realized you don’t have the right needle?  Right?  You thought for SURE you had it. If you don’t have a needle tracker to record your inventory grab our Ultimate Needle Inventory Tracker.

Next, find a storage system that allows you to store each type of needle separately. I know what you are going to say. “I want to store all of my needles together”. Sure, go ahead. That is called a “suitcase”.  If you store them all together, they are not very portable. What are you going to do when your knitting buddy asks you to meet her at the cool new knitting store. . . drag your suitcase? Wouldn’t it be easier to just grab something more portable? Honestly, how often do you really need all your needles at once anyway? Isn’t more likely that you need just your circulars or just your DPNs and a few notions?

The next question: Do you have a lot of one type of needle? If so, start there. Do you have mostly circulars? DPNs? Straights? Or maybe you have just a few of each.

Fixed Circulars

If you have mostly circular needles you will want to decide if you prefer to keep your cords straight rather than curled. If you prefer not to coil your cords, you will likely want to consider a case that allows you to hang your circulars. Our Hanging Circular Needle Case allows you to store US 000 to US 17 along with metric equivalents. You will notice that nearly all of our cases include labels for the needle size ALREADY SEWN into the case!  You want to be knitting, not sewing.  This type of storage is really meant for home storage. You can hang the case on closet rod, on the back of a door or in your living room as wall art.

If you prefer your circulars to be a bit more portable and f you don’t mind curling your circulars, we suggest storing all of your needles (wood, metal, etc.) by size. Look for something that allows you keep the needles compact and portable. Also consider the weight of the case or storage system itself. No need to lug around a 5 lb case before it is even full of needles! We offer two popular styles our Que Circular Needle Case and our Tri-Fold Circular Case. You can read more about the similarities and difference of these cases in our post on Comparing Circular Needle Cases.

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What about those DPNs?

Ok, how many times have you looked for that fifth matching DPN? Right? So annoying. Think of how many rows you would have completed in that time you spent searching. You can hold them together with a rubber band. It works. Sort of. Just throwing them in a drawer is a bad idea. See my first point. Wouldn’t it be better to keep them sorted (AND labeled) by size? Speaking of size. . .can you actually read those numbers on the needles? I need the extra strong readers for those things! Anyway, consider storing your DPNs by size in our Double Point Roll. You can store up to two sets of needles by size in nice, neat rows. Right, and there are extra pockets in case you have a third (ahem, or fourth) set of size 5.158_107_Duo1000px

Straight Needles aka Single Points

I get that these buggers look fantastic in a vase. Again, you have to find two matching ones (e.g. lost knitting time). Well, maybe it doesn’t take any time because somehow ALL your needles are size 7. Darn! How is it that you keep buying the same size over, and over, and over?? Wouldn’t be great if you could see what sizes you had (and length)? Do what works for you but consider our Straight Needle Roll. Oh? You don’t use straights? Cool. I get it. Do you have your mother’s or grandmother’s knitting needles? I do. Super cool and nostalgic to keep them. Keep them safe.

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Interchangeable Needles

Bummer! You just bought or received (lucky you!) your first set of interchangeable needles but it didn’t have a case. Why do you need a case? Well, play with your set for a couple of months and check back with me. First off, you have to keep track of the tips and now you have to add in the cords. Oh, your set came with a case? Does it have a space for your extra set of five’s you are going to buy?  ( You know you will). Anyway, totally sucks if you lose a tip or a cord. Store them in a case. A COMPACT one. Isn’t this why you bought interchangeables? To reduce the amount of stuff and amount of space you need? Check out our Interchangeable Case and Double Interchangeable Case. (Because we all know you don’t just have one set).

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Just a Few of Each?

Perhaps you are a new knitter, someone who wants to take a subset of your needles or maybe you just stick to the necessary few.

Make sure it is secure and allows you to keep the various sizes of circulars, DPNs and straights separate.  What good is a tupperware bin or a drawer if you have to dig out your needle gauge and find all the matching DPNs in size 7?  Or worse yet, you squint to try and read those tiny numbers printed on the needles (if they haven’t rubbed off).  Annoying.  Let’s say you have now found four DPNs in size 7 and can’t find that #$&)#(*! 5th needle because whatever storage system you were using wasn’t secure and it fell out. Again.  Annoying.  Consider our Combo Needle Case.

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Here’s the deal. Maybe you have the time to sort through your needles every time you want to start a new project. Maybe you don’t mind that part of “knitting”. But honestly, don’t you want to actually KNIT? Get your needles sorted! Then knit to your hearts content. . .

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8 Days until Christmas??

 

Last minute Shoppers!   Check out our You Tube Video Library and let us help

you choose the perfect gift for the knitter on your list!

 

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