Monday, 14 May 2018

A New Artist

Hey everyone πŸ˜€
GBOW has some new Art this month! Check out this gorgeous table by Roger of Twig and Timber Designs! This piece is a one of a kind original design. It's twenty years old. Well seasoned with a gorgeous patina that only years of oil and love can produce. Quintessential west coast wood working with love and attention to every detail. Roger was reluctant to part with this beauty but I talked him into letting us put it in the store for sale for a little while. It's a personal favorite of his. I don't think he really wants to sell it. πŸ˜‰ I wouldn't either. It's just lovely. This kind of furniture just gets more gorgeous with age. The more you touch it. The more you oil it. The softer, silkier and more lustrous the patina becomes. It's west coast wood furniture at it's finest. I think that any furniture lover world wide would take one look at this beauty and know it comes from the workshop of someone on the west coast of British Columbia Canada without even asking. To me it is a classic example of the unique style that BC is famous for.

 If you think the table is special then I have to show you this. It is made out of a yellow cedar birds eye burl. If you look closely you will see it is all covered in faces. You might have to come in and look at it in person to really see them. It is a difficult one to photograph effectively. It's spectacular. I absolutely love it. The beach stones are all subtle colors and the tiles around the edge are blue and green mottled together. In between the stones is beach sand. Uniquely and beautifully West Coast Art.
 The following are two more of Rogers pieces. On the left is a little hanging carving that would be good inside or out in the garden. We have a few of these. Each one is completely unique. On the right is a beautiful shelf that hangs on the wall. I think it would be great with a hurricane oil lamp on it. In case of a power outage you are good to go! Candles would be nice too if you are uncomfortable with oil lamps. I know oil lamps scare some people. Or you could just put interesting seashore finds on it. The possibilities are endless. It has a tree carved into it that blends into the natural colors of the wood.
 We have some other new things as well. We have now got all natural handmade soaps by Ondine. They smell divine and make a great little addition to a gift or for a friend.  We also have some very pretty jewelry made by Belinda Fogarty. The copper disks in these earrings are hammered pennies! Cool huh? I love them. There are silver ones too.
Here is a close up of a bar of Peppermint soap so you can read the ingredients 😊

Well 😌 that's about it for this week! I hope you will come by for a visit and see our beautiful shop in person. We have all kinds of knitted Art, Art and of course wool of all kinds. 

Have a great day!
Enjoy the sunshine!
And as ever
πŸ’–Happy KittingπŸ’–

Monday, 7 May 2018

New window display!

Hey everyone!
Today we have a new window display πŸ˜€
I tried to get some nice photo's of it for the blog today but it was tricky. The window has a reflective film on it to keep the display cool. It is not easy to get pictures through it. Mostly you just get a reflection of the street. So I took a photo from inside as you can see below. We have some great paintings in the window this month. Adam Cramb, Felicia Joseph and Belinda Forgarty all have work on display in the window this month.
 It's a very colourful collection of art wool and Roisin's  knitted goodies. If you can come by and check it out it looks much better in person! Things are starting to come together in our new location. The Sockista class on Tuesday afternoon has been rockin busy. Lots of new people and some long term sock knitters too. It's a rollicking good time. Lots of fun had by all. If you have not knit socks yet you should come by and join in! It's a real favourite. Thursday night drop in knitting for fun and relaxation is super busy too. We have been having a great turn out! Feel free to drop by and join in the fun. It is on Thursday nights from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. So on Thursdays the shop is open from 10:00 am in the morning strait through until 8:30pm at night! If you have a need for yarn after dinner on Thursday evening feel free to drop in and pick up something. We are open for sales during Thursday Knitting Night hours too.
This is one of the display cases inside GBOW. It's focused on shawl making. Here you can see two examples of Roisin's design called Texada Time Wrap. It's a fun knit. It is knit flat and then sewn up. You can knit it with or without the collar. In the window are three examples of Roisin's "Whats the Point"poncho too. It's a shawl month this month. Because it is warm enough now to get away with just wearing a shawl. No more winter coat. The whats the point poncho is gorgeous too and can be knit with or without a collar as well.
 This display case is all about Roisin's Zevelution J sweaters. It's a gorgeous thing. The painting you see there is one of mine. It's called "Harwood Rain Storm" and I painted it when I had a panoramic view of the ocean here in town. Also in this display you will find examples of all of the wool we carry for knitting Cowichan Style sweaters. We have various styles of Custom Woolen Mills yarn for this purpose. Custom Woolen Mills is a ethically minded Canadian woolen mill that takes fleeces from Canadian farmers and turns the fleeces in yarn and roving. The mill keeps half of the farmers fleeces to sell and gives half the finished product back to the farmer. It's a fantastic product that you will give you hours of pleasure and give back to the woolen community at the same time. Ethical with an environmentally friendly footprint.
 This display has a collection of Belinda Fogarty art and is focused on hat making. There is a rack of all kinds of different hats for inspiration and examples of all different kinds of yarn that you could use to make your own gorgeous hats with. Lot's of people come in looking for hat yarn. Kitted hats are incredibly popular and a favourite gift. To give or receive. If you would like to learn to knit a hat is a great place to start. Roisin will help you pick out a pattern, yarn and needles and get you started and on your way to knitting anything you can dream up!
Today is Monday. That's the day I blog on and in case you don't know the shop is open from 10:00am in the morning until 5:00pm in the evening. It's just me here hangin out all by myself. I'd love company! If you want to come in and shop or just hang out and knit you are more than welcome. We also have crochet lessons available by appointment on Monday afternoons. Lindalu will teach you anything you want to learn. Just call in and book ahead. 

We are also accepting new artists into the Gallery if any of you have things you would like to have here on display come on in and show us what you have got! Is there any specific thing you would like us to offer a class on making? You can leave a comment telling us what you would like to learn or come by and tell us in person.

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having!
Until next week,
or until you drop by...
πŸ’–Happy Knitting!πŸ’–

Monday, 30 April 2018

Spring Knits!

Hey everyone! πŸ˜€ So it looks like Spring has finally Sprung!Isn't the sunshine glorious? I know I am happy to see it. Time to get into the spring knitting spirit! We have tones of stuff out now that we have more space. Feel free to come in just to look at what we have. Today I thought I'd just give you a bit of a tour around the store just in case you might not be able to come here in person for some reason.

 In this first photo you can see our display of knitting needle sets. We have a nice selection of interchangeable knitting needle sets for you to choose from. We have full sets and half sets available for you. So if you already have a set and say you just want a half set of bigger needles to add to your selection of needles or a half set of smaller sizes we have that too. We also carry a variety of extra cables and needles in all sizes. If you should need just one more of a certain cable length or needle for your project. For instance I am knitting two sleeves from the top down on my sweater right now. I am doing that on two sets of interchangeable needles size 4.5mm on 80cm cords. I had one set of 4.5mm needles and an 80cm cord that came with my complete set. Then  I bought a second set of 4.5mm needles and an 80cm cord to go with it. If you want to see what that looks like there is a picture of it on my last post about the Wilingdon Beach Sweater.
 This is our new sock yarn display. It took us a bit of organizing but we now have everything out for you to see. Everything is labeled and organized by brand so it's easy to see what we have got. We have got a lot of sock yarn!!! Plenty to suit every taste.
 Here you can see one of our Boutique displays of Roisin's original design called the Zevelution J sweater. She has reinvented the Cowichan Style sweater using techniques by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Jude Skeers to make a whole new design. It is knit all in one piece so there are no seems to come apart. Feel free to come in and try one on. It really hugs your figure in a unique way and is incredibly flattering on.
 This is our selection of Malabrigo Rios right next to our selection of Galway. Both super deluxe favorites that get a lot of attention. We have a wide selection of colors and varieties. We also have some other Malabrigo varieties such as Mecha and Rasta.
 Check out these next two pictures of our gorgeous needle and notion display organized by Brenda. Now there is a hook for everything and everything on a hook. So you can really see whats here. No more hunting through a tone of stuff to find what you are looking for. It is all clearly displayed right at your fingertips.
 We have tones of needle felting notions too. There are a variety of stitch markers to be had. Darning needles. Stitch holders. Point protectors. Even some unusual notions like pom pom makers and sewing supplies.
 Last but not least I thought I'd post some inspirational photo's of a new project I just started. This is the begining of a sweater I am designing with Roisin's assistance on some of the technical aspects that I am just learning how to do. I thought I'd tell you a bit about what I am up to so you can see the sort of thing you can get help with here in Friday afternoons and Saturday monring during HELP time.
 So what you see here is a Provisional Cast On that Roisin has taught me. It is the begining of a little Bolero style sweater I am designing out of my own hand spun. This sweater will be knit using the basic skills used to knit a Cowichan stlye sweater but will look nothing like that when it is done. However the skills used are exactly the same. It is going to be knit in pieces out of bulky yarn then sewn together. The provisional Cast On creates a hem line of live stitches that I can pick up again later in order to knit on the ribbing around the bottom last. 
 Here you can see the back that I have about half finished. To get the gauge and figure out how many stitches we needed to cast on I knit a large swatch then Roisin took a stitch count in a few different places to make such we got a good idea of the stitches per inch. Then we took a measurement of my body factoring in Ease to get an idea of how many stitches wide it needed to be in order to fit me comfortably.
You can see here the resulting back piece knit up to about where the armpits will be. Now I need to consult with Roisin again to get an idea of how to do the shaping for the arm holes. I already have the arms made. This is being remade out of a sweater I knit out of my own hand spun. So I salvaged the arms from the sweater. All I have to do is make them a bit longer for this new design. I will show you the arms in a future post when I get to the part where I work on them. I also have a drawing I am working from and it would probably help you see this more clearly if I post a picture of that too!

Ok! That's about it for this Monday Blog post! Hope you found all of this interesting enough. Maybe my sweater experiment will inspire you to start that project you have been thinking about trying 😍 It's all fun and creative. If you decide you don't like it one of the truly great things about knitting is that you can rip it! Rip it! Rip it! and reuse that yarn for something completely different. No so much the case with sewing huh? πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

So never fear trying something adventurous. 

Until next week...
πŸ’–Happy Knitting!πŸ’–

Monday, 23 April 2018

Willingdon Beach Sweater

Hey everyone 😁 Things at the new shop are coming together really well! Lots of great feedback πŸ˜€ People love the new location and lots of people have been by to have a looks and see what things look like! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time out of their busy days to come by and say HI! We love to hear from you. 

So today I thought I would write about the new sweater that everyone is making πŸ˜ƒ It's a variation on a Purl Soho pattern and we are calling it the Willingdon Beach Sweater. Each one is so different from the last you would not believe they are all the same sweater! Everyone has different taste and a different body shape but this sweater has fit and look great on every single person who has tried it on. We encourage people to try on the sample sweater that Roisin made up to see how it fits and then Roisin can tell you what size would be best for you to make. People are changing the pattern to suit themselves also so all the sweaters are very unique. Some people want it longer, some want it over sized while others want it to fit quite close. A couple people are changing the neck to suit their personal taste. Others are changing the sleeve length. What ever alteration to the pattern you might like to make Roisin can walk you through it. 

So the original is in the window of the shop. You can see it in the photo above. It is the very largest size. It fits everyone though. It really does you would be surprised. The first example I have to show you is below here and it is Patti Newbury in her sweater. She is the first to finish and is modeling it for you to see here. She made it in Noro around the yoke and Diamond Tradition in the body. You can see one of Adam Crambs paintings in the background. We noticed how the colors of the sweater and the colors of his art were very complimentary. We have matched a many paintings here to complimentary pieces of knitting πŸ˜„

This next one below is a new one that Roisin is knitting for herself this time rather than for the shop and it`s knit out of Linen. It is super gorgeous so far. Everyone who sees it loves it. It will be the first summer weight sweater in this pattern. I`m loving this pattern so much I`m thinking of doing abnother one right away after I finish the one I'm currently working on. After seeing Roisin`s Linen one I am seriously considering doing a summer weight sweater in the green linen in this line of yarns. It is a Katia yarn called Linda. Very beautiful. We have three colors of it.

This is Tiana`s variation on the Willingdon Beach sweater. Tiana is just amazing. She is an accomplished crocheter who has just started to come here to learn to knit on Friday and Saturday drop in HELP! days and has just been doing fantastic! On her first day she knit a hat. She came in to her second drop in and had taught herself Brioche stitch using Youtube. And for her third project... the Willindon Beach Sweater. We are all very impressed by her work. You can see the colors she chose in the photo below. The wool is called Merisoft.

Next is Maria`s sweater. Hers is going to be made entirely out of Malabrigo! I belive the color way is called Polermo. But she bought all we had left in this colorway for her sweater so I can`t look quickly at the shelf to check... It`s it glorious! It is going to be soooo soft. Everyone who is knitting with the Malabrigo has been commenting on how soft it is. People are saying it is so soft it feels like silk or cotton rather than what you would commonly think of as the feel of wool. That`s because it is 100% Merino. Merino is named after the breed of sheep it comes from and is the softest wool you can get. This is because the wool has a very fine ``Denier`` which is the technical name for the measurement of the thickness of each individual fiber. Merino has very fine individual fibers that are very soft. It also felts very easily. However the line of Malabrigo in this sweater is Rios and it is superwash which means it is entirely machine washable. You would still want to block it to dry though. Although technically it should be safe to go through the dryer... it might come out a different shape than it would if you block it.

Ok so this is my one. As you can see I have finished the body now and have just picked up the stitches for the sleeves. Roisin teaches this method of doing sleeves. It is basically the same method that we teach for the Sockista Sock Knitting Method. As you can see the method is very versatile and can be used for much more than just knitting socks! Here I will be using it to knit two sleeves from the top down including decreases and when I am finished I will have knit both sleeves at the same time so they will be identical in every way except color should I choose to add different color design elements to my sleeves as I go. I will be doing this actually so that my resulting sleeves will have different color striping effects in them. Why be matchy matchy when there are so many possibilities. 😊

Last but never least I would like to share a progress update on Amanda`s sweater. πŸ˜€ She is not knitting the same pattern as the rest of the sweaters I showed you today. She is knitting a pattern that came strait from Roisin`s head and has no actual name. We will call it ``Easy Top Down Sweater Pattern`` This is Amanda`s first project and she is doing Amazing!!! She really is. It`s going to be a child sized sweater. It is soooo gorgeous. It is knit out of Foot Loose %100 Merino sock yarn. So it is a fine knit too. Not an easy first project at all. So she really is doing so well. Roisin is a great teacher. She can really teach anything you might want to learn and has a great sense of color and drape. 
Ok so that is about it for today! Hope you enjoyed this little peak at all the different Willingdon Beach Sweaters coming out of GBOW the last little while. This isn't even all the different colors and styles. I will have to do another post on this sweater I am sure. Once people start getting their sweaters finished and I can show you all the different design elements people are modifying this sweater to have. It would be great to get a photo of all the different Ladies wearing their sweaters at some point in the futureπŸ˜ƒ

You are welcome to come in and try on the sample sweater at any time if you think you might be interested in making it.

Hope to see you soon!
Until then
πŸ’–Happy Knitting!πŸ’–

Monday, 16 April 2018

The new shop!!!

We are open in the new space!!! πŸ˜€ We are now Great Balls of Wool but greater! Bigger! With more stuff! πŸ˜€ We are also Gallery 101 now too πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’› We have art! So far we have four artists showing and we are looking for more as time progresses but for the moment we are not going to put out a call for artists just yet. Soon. We have a TONE of wool to unpack and organize first. We moved in just two weeks altogether with the bulk of the move being done over two days. So as you can imagine we have so much unpacking and sorting to do still. However if you have art you think we might be interested in feel free to come and talk to us. So far we have these artists showing, Adam Cramb, Felicia Joseph, Belinda Fogarty and Katrina Marie Craig.

This is one of Felicia's paintings. You might recognize it from her recent article in the Powell River Peek. She is an up and coming young artist who paints abstracts.

 The first picture on the blog is of three paintings in the Loopy Lounge that are by Adam Cramb. He is also in the window. His paintings are multi-media pieces that incorporate many mediums and found objects to create, bright colorful dynamic abstracts.

Below you can see our boutique arrangements with art in them by two artists. The center window has gorgeous acrylic pour paintings  by Belinda Fogarty. The first and last windows have small multi-media landscapes in them by me... Katrina Marie Craig. I also have a four larger paintings in the shop. All of them multi-media landscapes.

 Here you can see a lil peak at the window display I created for the shop. It's just meant as a teaser. To get the full effect I'm hoping you will pop by and check it out. Then maybe come in and hang out for a while in the Loopy Lounge. πŸ˜‰
Here is a peak at the all new and improved Loopy Lounge! It's much bigger. Please feel welcome to drop by and check it out. Maybe hang out and knit with us!

This is the view from the front door you can see the sock yarn display on the far right with the Malabrigo and Galway in the center.
This is a little snap shot of the front desk. Very colorful with one of my landscapes above the till. Also out beautiful shop warming plant given to us by Patti Newbury.
This is our new needle display that Brenda organized and put together. Plus all the notions. A peg for everything and everything on a peg! You would not believe how different it looks. Brenda did and outstanding job. It really is so easy to see everything now. Petra was a great help too, she unpacked a huge amount of yarn!

So that is a quick peak at the new shop! It's really great to have so much space. So much more stock on display. It's so much easier to see what we have. And we have a lot of stuff!

I'd like to take a moment to say a HUGE  Thank you to all of our lovely volunteers!!! You made moving a breeze. Without your help it would not have been possible to move so quickly. So Thank you from the bottom of our
We really have such a sweet, generous, supportive community. πŸ˜‰

So that's the low down on our new location!
Come see us!
Until then
πŸ’–Happy KnittingπŸ’–

Monday, 2 April 2018

Moving Day!!!

Hey everyone we are moving today!!! πŸ˜€
If you feel like dropping by to volunteer it the old Artique space on Marine 😘
Nothing heavy just bags of wool to organize. Any help would be deeply appreciated πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—
Lot's of it has been done already by Roisin's Grandson and his friends who came up for a visit just in time! πŸ˜€ Ten of them from his graduating class. We got a picture of them knee deep in wool. Many hands make light work.
In other woolly news Roisin finally finished her Purl Piccadilly scarf and it is glorious! You can see how the Easter egg colors off set each other beautifully. Here's Roisin camping it up as a model for a photograph so you can see it!
And here am I in some Bunny ears! Hope everyone had a Happy Holiday πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—
We had our own Happy Holiday here at GBOW with our needle felted Bunny class that Belinda taught. Here's a quick pick of the little guy himself all fuzzy and cute. I will get Belinda to text me a photo of the class work to put on Insta and on the next Blog.
Check out Kathy's Glorious socks!!! Are they not inspirational??? She did these one at a time but was saying next time she will do them two at a time using the Sockista method just because she thinks it would work good and wants to try it out.
Speaking of sock's here is a picture of my newest batch of hand dyed sock yarn. Lot's of bright colors and these are all brand new color ways that I am just trying out.
You don't have to make socks with it. Here is the Field of Flower's Hat pattern that Petra made out of my sock yarn and one strand of mohair.  I'm in love with it. I get so excited to see my yarn knit up by other peoples hands. She is so skilled! Such an inspiration to see what her imagination creates.
Here is another one. Totally different. This one is made with a Zauberball and one strand of Mohair. So beautiful. It's hard to see from the photo but the Mohair is sparkly so the hat shimmers! Gorgeous!
Alane's hat is different again. Same pattern different yarn. This one is made from Malabrigo. No sparkle, no fuzz. Super sleek and classic. Gotta love Malabrigo.
 Last but not least is this mornings update on my Top Down Willingdon Beach Sweater. I'm past the arms!!!!! Unbelievably exciting. This is my first time doing a sweater this way and I had a major catastrophic event at this stage. I was almost home free. I'd put all the stitches for the sleeves on holder yarn and I was doing the increases under the arms and guess what I did... I knit over the opening for the arm hole and attached it together!!! So that meant I had to pull my needles completely out and frog the thing back to the arm holes. Frog meaning rip out stitches. Rip it! Rip it! Rip it! That meant I had over two hundred loose stitches that I then had to pick up one at a time! Which I made a mistake doing. So I had to pull out half and do it over again! I tell ya. I was so tired by the time I picked up over three hundred stitches. But i did it. And I learn to cable cast on. And I am past the arm holes! YAY!!! Now it's just knit, knit, knit in the round to knit the body all the way down. I love this kind of thing. That's why I like socks.
Fun huh? I highly recommend it. Just don't knit your arm holes together. Not so fun. I'm totally loving this project. Really. I am. 

Okay so that's about all for today. 
Shop is still open! All this week too. 
In the new shop ASAP!!!
Will try and give you an exact date as soon as I know. 
Until then...
πŸ’–Happy KittingπŸ’–

Monday, 26 March 2018

Monday and we are Packing to Move!!!

Hello everyone!πŸ˜€ Look at this! We have started packing! How exciting is that??? We are using black plastic bags for the wool as you can see by this picture of Mora here stacking them by the door. Roisin decided that would be easy, inexpensive, light and easy on the back for transport. I think it's brilliant actually.
 But we do have boxes too as you can see here. All stuffed with stuff and ready to go!
I'm super excited to get into the new space. It's going to be fantastic. We are going to change things up a bit. There will still be the yarn shop! Never fear! But there will also be a 
Gallery and Boutique πŸ˜€ I'm so excited I can hardly wait. This is going to be so much fun.
But before we can open lot's of work has to be done and we are not physically moving in until
πŸ’– April 1stπŸ’– 
Today the Telus guy is here trying to hook up Optic for us. Getting Optic has been a gong show. It seems one hand of Telus does not know what the other hand is doing. The call centers don't know what they technicians are doing. Our work orders are not on record anywhere. They keep sending out one man to do what is a multiple person job. They just told him today that the situation may not even have a solution??? Can you believe that? It's not that the job is to hard. It's that they simply cannot get it together to send technicians to do it. So that's been a bit of a game of phone tag the last few weeks. But there is one guy here today who is going to attempt to do it all by himself. He's our Champion!
 Here's a sneak peak in the store room at the boxes being packed and put in order for moving. We are going to have so-much-space! In the new shop we won't be having to have a backstock. All of our inventory will be on display. This will be better for us, and better for you. You will be able to see without asking if we have enough of what you want on hand to make your project. Also the Loopy Lounge will be much bigger and not separate from the store πŸ˜€ There will be lots of natural light for looking at colors when choosing yarn for your projects too.
Now that we will have a store front that is right on the street we will be open late on Thursday evenings for people to come in to sit in the Loopy lounge and knit this summer. We plan to have it Cheerfully lit until 8:30 PM every Thursday evening all summer for your knitting pleasure. And with all this extra space we will be opening a Gallery and hanging beautiful art as well as opening a Boutique of hand knit clothing too. It's going to be a beautiful, vibrant, cheerful, welcoming space. Just as Great Balls of Wool has always been πŸ’—
With all this exciting moving news it's time to talk some knitting! Here is Roisin's latest Purl Piccadilly  scarf nearly done now... Look at those colors. It's really beautiful. I love this one. Very Easter, Spring. It's definitely right on season. Makes me think of Cadbury Chocolate Easter Eggs.
And here is a weekly update on my Willingdon Beach Sweater Kit that I have been working away on. And OMG I am Loving knitting this. If you like a simple strait forward knit in the round  project that is easy to count I highly recommend this. So far I have found it so easy. I find I make few mistakes and when I do, because it's knit of such good quality smooth yarn that doesn't split in such strait forward knit in the round stitches, with almost no purl even,  I have been able to fix all of my mistakes and do everything myself and only ask questions. I have not had to hand this project over to Roisin once so far and say "Help!" And I like doing the increase rounds, they are easy too. So big thumbs up so far! As you can see in the picture I just finished the Malbrigio part of the yoke and am starting with the Galway part of the sweater now. I am on my third row of Galway which is also the next increase row.* Knit 6 stitches Knit front and back* repeat from star till end of row is, I think, my next part of my pattern. πŸ’—
Ok so that's what I've got for you for today 😍
Hope you enjoyed our post πŸ˜‰
Keep coming in while we get through our move!
Loopy lounge is still open!
We are still open right up until the LAST MOMENT!!!
I will keep you posted as to our progress in the days to come.
So do not hesitate to come in πŸ˜„
Hope to see you soon!
Until then...
πŸ’–Happy KnittingπŸ’–