Here's what's new at the shop
I keep hearing the phrase, “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” With the upcoming Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I find myself intermittently knocking at the closed door (and jiggling the handle) as well as heading over to check out the view at the many windows that are opening for Wae and I. I think I’m finally at a point where I acknowledge, for us this year, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival “door” is closed. It’s time to look toward the light, locate the open windows and rejoice in the clean air and opportunity afforded by this new “view”.
As MDSW approaches this year and customers are brewing with excitement, I hear the question every day, “are you getting ready for Sheep and Wool this year?”
It really touches a sore spot. I know you don’t know it does, so that’s ok.
We didn’t get in. We really thought we would, but we didn’t.
We’ve known for awhile but we haven’t spread the news outside of our local circle.
I’ve been upset: We bought this business last year. That’s sort of a big expense. Part of that final amount included the idea that the Sheep and Wool booth (and income) would transfer along with the rest of the tangible items. I shouldn’t have been so naive. I made the assumption that the booth would transfer to us the way it had over the past 4 owners. The prior owner never had to reapply as a new vendor. We had it in the bag right? Shame on me. It wasn’t going to be so easy or straightforward. I didn’t do my research and I am responsible for my own disappointment. I took for granted that Cloverhill’s reputation for offering awesome indie dyed yarns was enough to secure our spot in the festival. I took for granted that Cloverhill’s long-held double booth at the festival was amazing enough to impress the group that would decide our involvement in the festival. Shame on me. After we bought the business and looked forward to applying for Sheep and Wool 2014 it came to my attention that the previous owner would be applying as well and we would both have to apply as new vendors. How about them apples?
I’ve been sad: After getting the news that Cloverhill would not be attending Sheep and Wool this year, we had a few people to notify. It’s easy to think that by rejecting Cloverhill Yarn Shop only two people are affected. Not true. Last year Cloverhill brought more than 10 indie dyers’ products to the show all under one umbrella. Just about half of the vendors at the Cloverhill Booth have businesses within 50 miles of the shop. Most within 100 miles. One vendor (not counting us) is practically in our back yard! There’s this feeling that we’re letting people down. We don’t like that.
I’ve been annoyed: There’s SO MUCH GOSSIP in this close-knit community. Pun intended. There is so much speculation as to the “real” reasons Cloverhill can’t be at the show. Who knows what’s true and what’s not? Definitely not me. I can’t help but to listen, but not knowing what’s true or not is seriously frustrating.
I AM hopeful: We can reapply, reapply reapply.
I AM happy: In an effort to replace the lost income from MDSW, we’ve found some great events to attend year-round. Did you see us at the Alpaca Festival in November? Wae and I had a great time meeting new customers and talking about dyeing and showing off all the pretty yarns. Karida was awesome enough to let us showcase her Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn at our booth last year. We also brought Alpaca yarns from Sugar Magnolia Farm and Roving and Batts made by Liz of Hobbledehoy Fiber.
If you missed us at The Alpaca Festival last year, please be stayed tuned for the fall (and comfortably smaller) fiber fair held at Howard County Fairgrounds.
Homespun Yarn Party – As a dyer for Tempting Ewe Yarns let me tell you how happy it made me to have a booth dedicated solely to our hand-dyed yarn and rovings!
Homespun Yarn Party is a great place to see many local dyers and fiber artists right in your back yard! I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to attend and for Cloverhill to participate as a sponsor of the event.
I AM thankful: I saved this one for the end for a reason. It’s the most important!
You ladies and gents are AMAZING! A moment of truth here before I tell you why you are so amazing. They all said this fiber community is catty. They said the women are mean. I’d really like to know who “they” are because in MY fiber family, there is so much giving and supportiveness and sharing going on I don’t think there’s room for “catty and mean.”
From day one, I have seen complete strangers (who I now know better) offer up the whole of their Saturday to move the shop next door. Ladies stopped in that first weekend when we were setting up shop, to help count and sort inventory. That is neither mean, nor catty. That’s just plain awesome!
I’d like to say thank you to all the lovely ladies and gents who make my job so enjoyable it pretty much brings me to tears from happiness of a regular basis.
You made the move easier
You make my Thursdays funnier
You make my spinning Fridays more relaxing (when I let myself)
You make my Sunday more like a family get-together. Many of you remind me of my sisters, my mother, my aunt and my grandma. I love it!
You bring cookies and cakes and treats and pickles and cheese and lotion and even stickers for Charlotte.
You donated almost 200 pounds of food this winter to the Maryland food bank. You continue to donate yarn for schools, churches, women’s groups and others in need. This community is full of givers! It’s truly amazing to find as many fantastic people under one roof and quite often several at one time!
Thank you for making my day, daily.
by Cloverhill Yarn Shop
A fast knit for yourself or as a gift. Simple yet impressive! With two sizes small and large. Our pattern is a 4×4 Diagonal Rib Stitch, inspired by a pattern found in Barbara G. Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns”
Any worsted weight yarn. 218 – 436 yds.
US 9, 24 (32)inch circular needles.
The top picture is using Amanda’s handspun yarn, the lower picture is using Malabrigo Twist.
This pattern uses multiples of 8 + or – 1 stitch. You can alter the pattern to suit your needs or creative tendencies. If you’d like a 2×2 rib, you’d multiply 2 by the number of repeats you’d like, for our pattern we’ve used (16 repeats of 8 )-1. The long size is simply doubled. Try a 3×3 rib or a 5×5. The possibilities are endless.
Cast on 127 (255) and join in the round.
Row 1: Knit all sts.
Row 2: Purl all sts.
Row 3: Knit all sts.
Begin working in pattern as follows:
K4, P4 for 7 inches or to your desired width.
Repeat rows 1-3.
Bind off loosely and enjoy!
PDF : Diagonalribbedcowl
This KAL will have prizes! WHAT?!?! I know right? So how will this awesomeness work out? We will have 3 milestones during our KAL in which we will pick a randomly generated winner. Amanda and I will also throw in a giveaway of our own, but we’ll let you know which week that will be during the KAL.
With 8 new free patterns (including 2 sweaters!) and clear tutorials, the collection is perfect for newer knitters building skills and confidence; and also a treat for knitters who enjoy modern lines an
1. Please leave a post on our ravelry group’s forum with your name so we have a name with your ravelry ID to associate with it. We need your Ravelry names so the prizes can be gifted to your account.
2. As the KAL progresses we ask you to check in on the assigned check in dates. If you can’t make it to the store on the assigned KAL meeting dates it’s ok as long as you check in with the forum! If you want to be entered for the milestone giveaways you need to be actively participating, so a picture of your progress is enough!
3. Please post pictures or questions in the Harvest -KAL- thread.
To all our wonderful friends who stopped by and said hi at the festival, Amanda and I feel truly blessed with all the love and support. So truly and deeply, thank you all. The MD Alpaca Festival was great and we will certainly continue to vend for years to come.
Many people saw me supported spindling during the festival. I wanted to share the name of the artisan who makes my prefered spindles. His name is John and his shop is Straddle Creek Spins on Etsy. I recommend the removable whorls spindles they are fantastic!
This is what John has to say about himself on Etsy:
Hello! I’ve been woodworking for over twenty-five years now and find nothing more fulfilling than taking a hunk of wood and making a thing of beauty out of it. I began dabbling in making spinning tools for my wife many years ago when she became interested in hand spinning. I have since made my wife a spinning wheel, a drum carder (my favorite project so far), many varied spindles of one type or other, skein winders, and the list goes on and on. What started out as fun little side projects quickly became an obsession on my part, to the point where all I wanted to do with wood was make spinning tools.
I enjoy the entire process of making spinning tools. From selecting the wood, to designing and turning as well as the final rubbing of beeswax. Each of my offerings is tested by my wife or one of my daughters who are all accomplished spinners. Your spinning tool will not be shipped to you unless everyone here is in absolute love with it! (-:
We’ve got a lot planned for the shop so lets get started!
Amanda and Wae are excited to announce that we will be vendors at the MD Alpaca and Fleece Festival!
Spend time with us at the Maryland Alpacas and Fleece Festival where Neighborhood Fiber Co.
will make a special appearance as our featured local dyer. Stop in to say, “hello” and pick up some of Karida’s amazing yarns and kits! We are also bringing with us a new batch of freshly dyed Tempting Ewe Yarns, Sugar Magnolia Farms Alpaca Yarn,
Hobbledehoy batts and Rovings, and a some gorgeous Hipstings products.
We’re happy to say Maryland finally has its own Fall fiber festival and this year the Alpaca Festival opens its doors to more than only Alpaca Fiber.
Look for us in the Bingo Hall!
Date: November 16 & 17, 2013
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Location: Howard County Fairgrounds
2210 Fairground Road
West Friendship, Maryland 21794
Come join us for a fun-filled festival!
Dozens of Maryland breeders will be exhibiting their beautiful alpacas. Get up close and personal with the animals while learning about the benefits of this eco-friendly livestock opportunity. But beware… alpacas are addictive!
- SHOP early for unique holiday gifts!
- WIDE variety of fiber products from Huacaya and Suri Alpaca
- NEW! Select Alternative FiberProducers and their products
- Now accepting 2013 VENDORAPPLICATIONS!
- STOCK UP for winter fiber projects
- Raw fleeces and fiber, roving, yarn
- Alpaca pen sales
- EXPANDED SCHEDULE of craftseminars, workshops & fiber demos
Please leave family pets at home, as they are not permitted on the Fairgrounds.
MABA Alpacas and Fleece Festival is brought to you by all the volunteers, members and Board of Directors for the Maryland Alpaca Breeders Association.
Black Friday Sale + Cephalopod Yarns Trunk Show
If that’s not enough we wanted to let you know that we will be having a Black Friday Sale in conjunction with a Cephalopod Yarns Trunk Show! We will be open our regular hours, 10-8 pm. We know the rest of the world starts shopping early, stop by with us and save when you’re done at the department stores!
Although the trunk show yarns won’t be on sale, we will have several yarns marked down throughout the store including brands such as Mirasol and Juniper Moon Farm to name a few! Come by to see all of our Black Friday Deals!
Always modest about her talent Amanda works tirelessly to create yarns dyed from Natural sources like acorn, iron, poke berries, goldenrod, and walnuts. She also uses eco-friendly dyes by Greener Shades for colors that aren’t quite from nature. She also makes striping yarns and has played with and achieved gradient yarns as well as some awesome one of a kind skeins like the blue and white shawl below!
Behold her awesomeness!
The days are flying by like leaves caught in an autumn wind. Honestly, I can’t believe it’s already been almost 3 months since Wae and I signed the papers that made Cloverhill Yarn Shop ours! So much has changed in the shop and in our lives in those three months as we nurture the shop and watch it grow and thrive.
It’s Trunk Show Season!I just realized how very close it is to our first Trunk Show in the new shop. Liz from Hobbledehoy Yarn + Fiber is bringing some fiber goodies this Friday the 27th of September. I am excited to see what beautifully hand-dyed batts and battlings come through the door this Friday. I’ve been reading up on Liz’s blog and checking out her Etsy shop to give my eyes a taste of what might be coming and I just can’t wait! If you missed your chance to visit the Hobbledehoy booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year like I did, now is your chance to meet the owner and see what beauties she has to offer. Here are the details for the show:
Hobbledehoy Yarn + Fiber Trunk Show
Friday September 27th
If you can’t make the first night, the trunk show will carry on throughout the weekend. We also hope we can convince Liz to let us hold on to a few of her batts and battlings so that anyone who might be out of town this weekend will still have a chance to pick up some delicious hand-dyed fiber. Wish us Luck!
Yarn tasting at Cloverhill. Did you miss it? Mark from Cascade Yarns brought in the whole Cascade line and set up buffet style. Several happy customers had the chance to “taste” the yarns on display. Each guest was asked to select a yarn or two or three and knit a bit to see how she liked it. Mark also brought several door prizes along. They were all kits with yarn and patterns. The largest kit had an afghan’s worth of yarn, a pattern and a large project bag! I was a little jealous that I couldn’t get in on the door prizes, but I know a guy who sells yarn and I have WAY too many projects on the needles right now. Wae and I got excellent feedback and because of our customer input will probably be bringing yet another new line of Cascade Yarn into the shop! Next time we have a yarn tasting we’ll be sending out advance registration emails so keep an eye out if this sounds like something you’d like to experience in the future!
Saturday was interesting in that we had someone come in and hand me a brown paper bag. She was from somewhere that worked with Nuns and one of them had passed away. She said that they didn’t want to throw the contents away but she didn’t know what else to do with it so she brought it to us.
I open the bag and inside is this delicately knit lace scarf, knit lengthwise, with 7 stitches remaining to be bound off. She left right away so I couldn’t tell her how close to the end this nun had been. Upon further inspection I’m sure the needles and yarn were bought at our store year ago when it was called the Weavers Place.… anyway I bound them off and they sat on the shop table for the weekend. I had a chance to show people her beautiful work and tell them the story.
I’m going to block it, and put it up somewhere nice in the store. I imagine this nun knitting in an meditative/prayer like fashion, the lace repeats are simple but long due to the length of this narrow scarf. It’s pre blocked length is 110 inches long and 5 inches wide. I’ve got her handwritten notes, the pattern isn’t spelled out, like a puzzle you’ll have to decide how to knit what she’s written down. If anyone is interested I’ll have photocopies made and in the shop for anyone who wants one.
Welcome to the Cloverhill Yarn Shop Blog!
Cloverhill Yarn Shop is owned by Amanda Ko and Wae Wang. This is their new website and they will be blogging regularly to keep you up to date with current events, classes and new yarns in store. They are experts in all things “yarn” so stop by and ask them questions or even to just to say “hi”. You can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome!