Sebastopol Knitting Classes

Surviving the Holidays with Friends & Yarn

Knitting & Friends During the Holidays

Good Morning,

How are things? Did you survive the Holiday? Is it diet time? Did you enjoy all your friends and family being around or did you manage to get some R & R away from holiday madness?

Sonoma County Yarn Shop

The Joys of Friendship

Sonoma County Yarn ShopWe had a house full this year, 17 for dinner. We had to do some rearranging of furniture, changing our family room into a dining room and the dining room into a cozy sitting area. We managed with help from friends to seat everyone all facing each other. Two dining tables put together, both extended, two very large table cloths, and a whole lot of food and beverage. It is amazing what we can do when we all pull together.

We used to have large gatherings at Thanksgiving in Santa Rosa until about three years ago, when some of our very best friends had to move away to take care of an aging parent. The last three years were pretty quiet for us, just our own very close little family. But now the friends are back and it was a very joyous celebration. It is amazing to see everyone come together again after being spread far and wide for a few years. Last year we only hoped we could all get together again, now we are again.

We never know what might happen in the future, the best we can do though is carry on, always keep in touch, even if it isn’t as often as we would like. True and dear friends will always be there for us even if we don’t get to be together or talk as often as we would like. I am so thankful for my friends.


Gratitude Brings Happiness

I am thankful for so many things in my life. When I look back over my life so far, it has been truly amazing. There were times, I wasn’t sure I would be able to get through another day. Now though, I realize in the grand scheme of things, they were such a very small percentage of days like that. I never gave up, and I hope I never will.


Surround Yourself with People That Believe in Your Dreams

Sonoma County Knitting ClassesThere were people who told me I was crazy to open a shop at ‘my age’. Some even said it wouldn’t work. There were several times I wondered about that myself, what had I been thinking?

I really had no idea what I was in for. That was then, this is now. Soon I will be celebrating six years. Six years of wondering if I was doing the right thing.

Six years of meeting wonderful people. Six years of wonderful stories, and six years of exciting new and improved skills.

I sincerely hope that your Thanksgiving was as good as mine and you have as many things to be thankful for.


Sebastopol Knitting ClassesKnitting Helps Destress Your Life

During the uncertain times, my knitting was a safety net. Helping me to keep my sanity, what sanity I had in the beginning that is. It still is my way of relaxing, a way of leaving the stress of the day. It also helps me enormously to remain calm when I am waiting for appointments etc. I am not the most patient person when it comes to waiting.

Are you able to relax and destress when you are knitting or crocheting? If your answer is ‘no’ just give it time. Try something simple if you are stressing over a pattern. Try something more difficult if you are just not able to leave the stressful thoughts out of your mind for a while.

Let the rhythm of the hook or needles and the softness of the yarn envelope your world for just a little while, you will be so glad you did.



Connection & Stress Relief-A Story of Healing

Sonoma County Knitting ClassesJust recently I had a customer come into the store. I hadn’t seen her for a while. Actually, I hadn’t seen her since the day she was scheduled for a lesson and was told just before the class that her sister had stage four cancer. She was pretty upset back then as I am sure you will understand. She said she would like to make something for her sister, perhaps a prayer shawl.

So, we found some lovely soft wool and she left the store with a project in mind. That was some time ago. This time she came in though, she was happy, smiling she told me the good news. She told me of the effect knitting that shawl had on her. How she had prayed and thought of her sister the whole time she was making it. She then told me about as she put it, the Miracle. The prognosis for her sister was very good. The fact that she was in such good health otherwise and with new drugs it wasn’t the death sentence that she had feared. Doing something therapeutic had given her a sense of peace and calm and now hopefully her sister will be around a long time to appreciate and be surrounded by all the love that went into that shawl. I wish them both health and happiness.


More New Yarn Arrives


Sebastopol Yarn ShopSebastopol Yarn ShopWe have recently acquired some more yarn. Surprise, surprise ! Wonder colors, easy one and two skein projects. Many new free patterns with purchase. Check these out.

Put this together with a skein of solid color and watch the magic happen.


Last week there were a couple of patterns I showed you from Louisa Harding, made with Amitola Grande, we now have this in the store, along with Trenzar, Ella Rae, Lace merino Chunky, Juniper Moon Moonshine. We also have now received two more colors of Berroco Milefiori, one color in particular that I have been waiting for Viola, its amazing. The Sunset over the badlands is also ready for you to take away with yarn purchase.


Sonoma County Yarn Store


Next week—–how to fix those troubling knitting boo, boos.




Sonoma County Yarn Shop

Gauge Swatches & Other Tips

Remember to Breathe & Take Time to Slow Down

Good Morning, How are things?

Happy Thanksgiving

Can you believe its Thanksgiving? I hope you will have a wonderful holiday. Only a month and it will be Christmas!!!! So much to look forward to at this time of the year. Unfortunately, though sometimes we just get so busy with our daily lives that we don’t take the time to enjoy it. My wish for you this week is, that you can slow down just enough to savor the moment. Take time to breathe. Even if you can only spend 30 minutes or so, reach for something that gives you a sense of calm and be in that moment.


Sebastopol Yarn ShopSonoma County Yarn ShopKnitting is Relaxing

Thinking of rushing, do you get so excited to start a new project that you just can’t wait to get stuck in and have time to knit?

Picking up those needles or hooks grabbing for the yarn and pattern and you are off.

Well that brings me to a topic suggested this week. Gauge swatches and why they are so important. The ‘Gauge Swatch’ isn’t just to measure gauge.  This is probably one of the most important aspects of knitting that can save you hours of heartache and projects that just don’t turn out right to projects that turn out just like the photos and put a smile on your face.

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Why Do Gauge Swatches?

Why do we need to do a gauge swatch? I know I have been guilty of not doing one. I have learned many a lesson from this fact too. Half way through a pattern I may suddenly decide that I don’t like the way it is draping or perhaps the fabric is just becoming very stiff, or lifeless. All those things could have been avoided if only I had taken the time to swatch.

So it really isn’t a waste of time to do it, rather a waste of time not to. In the picture on the pattern it is sometimes difficult to see the exact detail. Sometimes there is a new stitch pattern that you haven’t tried before. Before you start with the whole thing, take a little time to try it on the swatch. It is after all still knitting. So apart from the fact that the pattern says make sure to check your gauge, it really is a benefit all around.

It’s also important to check the gauge of the pattern with the finished schematic measurements to make sure their math is correct also before you invest your time into knitting up a project. It only takes a few minutes do a math check to make sure that the pattern is correct, then knit up a gauge swatch to compare your knitting to the pattern gauge so that you know all will turn out correctly.

Sonoma County Yarn Shop


Gauge Swatches Save Time & Frustration

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Wouldn’t you rather find out after knitting your swatch that the stitch you think is beautiful is one that will drive you crazy? Wouldn’t you rather find out that the swatch looks nothing like the fabric in the picture? Not to mention “how in the heck is this supposed to fit me” “this could fit a horse” So, take a little extra time to knit a swatch. Feel the way the yarn works up. Although you love the yarn, will it really work for this project.

It isn’t time wasted but a time to learn if it would be better used for something else.  It may be as simple as adjusting the needle size, but unless you take the time to learn about how it will work out, it could just end up as a project you never finish, or a garment never worn.

But isn’t a gauge swatch a waste of yarn?


Sonoma County Knitting ClassesThink about it? Sometimes we run out of yarn before we complete a project.   Doing a swatch will enable you to see how far a certain amount of yarn will go. You can measure and weigh it.

You may need another skein, isn’t it better to know then rather when you can no longer get any more? “but if I do a swatch wont I will need more yarn?” You can always undo the swatch and use it in the project if it is that close.

You can wash a swatch, or clean it the way it is suggested. How does it hold up? Will it still look good? Does it stay true to size? Block it, see how that makes an amazing difference in how the finished project will look.

If you are going to spend hours making something, isn’t it best to know after a few minutes if it is going to work out the way you want it to?



Creative Swatch Ideas

Some great ideas for what to do with your swatches, if you don’t end up using the yarn in the project. You could keep a catalogue of them. Label them so that you can see what you used, needle size, content etc. the project you ended up using it for. Perhaps what this would be good for in the future. You could see how the yarn holds up over time. Create a history of yarn and projects. Depending on the size of your swatch you could piece your swatches together for a one of a kind piece of art, a dolls blanket, all sorts of things. You learn so much from making your swatch and measuring gauge. After all it is all knitting………………..

I hope this helps you to start knitting your swatches, I think you will definitely be happy that you did.

Some of the above photos in the newsletter this week show some Louisa Harding patterns.   The patterns are free with yarn purchase and we have a lot of new yarn which has just arrived that would be beautiful for these projects.


Happy Thanksgiving-Trudy


Sonoma County Knitting Classes

Jumbo Knitting Yarn Trends & Patterns

Time Changes & Holidays

Sebastopol Knitting ShopGood morning. I hope it is a good morning for you and that you have had a good week.

Has your body clock adjusted to the time change? Did you enjoy any extra knitting? I don’t know about you but I could do with gaining several hours.




Sonoma County Yarn Shop


Lesley & Lily Are At the Shop

Well what’s new and exciting this week? Lesley is back, with baby. So far she is only working a few hours at a time and mainly they will be on Wednesday from 2 – 7.30 and Friday from 12 – 5.30.

Everything has worked out fine so far so in time I am sure she will want to do more but for now this is when you are most likely to catch her. And Lilly of course, what a little cutie she is.


Sebastopol Yarn ShopNew Jumbo Yarn Knitting Patterns

Have you seen all the patterns in the magazines using the extra-large bulky yarns? They are calling them Jumbo yarns for good reason. Some people are now knitting with roving.

Although this isn’t my favorite kind of knitting, it does make for a change. It’s great for that last minute project as it can be knitted up in one sitting. Well in order to be there for our wonderful patrons we have got some in the shop.


Cascade Yarn Sebastopol3 Jumbo Cascade Yarns to Choose From

We have 3 types from Cascade yarns. Mondo, Magnum and Spuntaneous.

MONDO is just what its name implies, SUPER bulky and SUPER soft! It’s a soft blend of superfine alpaca and wool. This new yarn is best for quick and bold statement pieces and has a gauge suitable for arm knitting.

It comes in four colors we have one of them, in the store which is red we have two others coming but they are on back order.

Check out this pattern. This yarn has 3 stitches to four inches, how about that? This is a one skein project.


Sonoma County Knitting ClassesSonoma County Knitting ClassesThe second yarn we got in the heavyweights is Magnum.

MAGNUM is a 100% Peruvian Highland wool in a super bulky weight of 2 stitches per inch! Your projects will fly off the needles and you’ll be done before you know it. Our Magnum is a designer favorite with the huge color palette and is ideal for sweaters, hats, scarves, home decor, and more. Let your imagination run wild!

Here are a couple of one skein projects in Magnum.




Sebastopol Knitting ClassesOr four skeins will get you a gift for that friend who is always super cold, and is a gorgeous accessory.

Then for the third yarn in this series we have SPUNTANEOUS.

Spuntaneous is a super bulky, single-plied yarn that is buttery soft. Made with 100% extra fine merino wool, it’s design and texture will have you thinking comfort and favorite in a twisted hank. Spuntaneous lends itself to statement accessories like oversized cowls, hats and capelets.

How about these one skein projects for a quick Christmas gift.

Sonoma County Knitting ClassesSonoma County Yarn Shop

Just a few ideas for the last minute gifts, or for you to keep for yourself to wrap up in on a cold night.

Small Business Saturday-November 26

Small Business Saturday

We love that you help support small businesses like ours, and are so excited to share some great ways you can continue to show your love for small businesses this holiday season.


You could earn 2X rewards* when you Shop Small with an eligible and enrolled American Express® Card at qualifying small merchants – like us! You will not earn 2X rewards on any bonus you may already enjoy with your Card, such as when you spend on certain types of purchases or at certain merchants. *

To learn more and enroll, go to


Save the date! Small Business Saturday is on Nov 26. So get up, get out, and Shop Small for the things you love in the community you call home. Visit to find places to Shop Small on the day, and year-round.


Don’t forget to share your favorite #Shop Small finds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the Shop Small spirit!

I am not sure yet what special things we will be offering on this particular day but be assured we will be doing something special for you.

Take good care of yourself and I will be back next week.

All the best ~Trudy


Great Weather for Hand Knits

A Mug of Tea, A Warm Fire & Knitting

Sebastopol Kntting ClassesHi again, how are you doing?

Halloween is over for another year, now it’s time to turn to planning for Thanksgiving. I love this time of year here in Sonoma County. All the wonderful colors, the drop in temperature, snuggling up in our winter woolies.

OK, it’s not winter yet but a great time to wear our hand knits though and to snuggle up, or hunker down with a great new project. What could be better, a cozy chair, a warm fire, a cup of hot chocolate or tea and your hand in great, cushy fiber, bringing it to its new fruition? What projects are you looking forward to creating this season?


Inspired to Knit & Create

I am inspired every day. I am soooo lucky. Perhaps that is why I love the colors of Fall. I am so happy to be surrounded by color every day. I don’t think I would be happy living in Boston or somewhere that it tends to be grey all the time. Not that I have anything against Boston but I do hear that the winters are pretty awful.

Sonoma County Yarn Shop

Besides I can’t stand the cold. While looking for a picture, I found myself grabbing a sweater, my shoulders were tense and I was shivering………………….


Entertainment & Fantastic Patterns

Sebastopol Knitting ClassesSpeaking of inspiration, I have been checking out some on line videos by Stephen West. What a crazy unique fellow he is. He is living his dream. I have come to the conclusion we are of the same mind when it comes to knitting. Although as Susan said to me last night when I showed her the video ‘You’re a Knitter’ on You Tube, “please don’t get like that”.

He is just a little bit flamboyant, eccentric, over the top, but what a character. His designs are amazing. He believes in using his yarn in so many ways, creating new things from the left overs, that is like me. Having the yarn tell you what it wants to be. Fun, fun, fun.

He knits almost all the time, when he isn’t making videos, or sleeping. He has written a lot of books now but I think he dictates them all and has someone else put them together as he is knitting. Anyway, if you want a laugh or to get inspired check him out.


Amazing Selection of Yarn for the Holidays

Sonoma County Yarn ShopWe have received an enormous selection of yarn for the holidays. One skein, quick last minute gifts.

Gifts for your knitter friend or for yourself.

Yarn for sweaters and larger projects too.

Lots of bulky type wool for arm knitting, sparkles, silks, all sorts. Amazing!!!!! Excited, who me?



Exclusive Pattern in Fall Colors

Sonoma County Knitting ClassesI have finished the pattern for the “Sunset Over the Badlands Shawl” so that is now available.

I have also designed a pattern for a kit I will be offering. ‘Cashmere and Diamonds’ I will only have four of the original kits on sale.

They contain the pattern and a skein of Hand Painted, Mountain Colors 65% cashmere 35% silk yarn which is 158 yards of sport weight.

I am also working on putting together some other small kits that you can give as gifts or make for that special someone, yourself.



Gift Workshops-Saving You Time & Money with a Sprinkle of Inspiration

As I noted at the bottom of the last newsletter we will be offering some workshops every Saturday afternoon from now until Christmas. From 1 – 3pm, or longer if needed. Linda will be here to help you make a variety of gifts and ornaments, knitted and crocheted.

Sebastopol Knitting Workshop

Karen will also be offering some needle felted ornaments and center pieces. So we have got you covered.


Free Boot Cuff Patterns

Free Knitting PatternsCheck out these quick, easy and beautiful boot cuff patterns on Craftsy:

We came upon these when looking for a great fall image for the top of this week’s newsletter. Be sure to measure the circumference of the calf of the person you are knitting these for so they are neither too loose or too tight. But most of these knit up in less than a skein and in only a few hours, such a fun and good looking gift.


Project Finishing Classes

Sonoma County Knitting ClassesWe will also be offering a project finishing class. You know how you have that project that you put away, either finished but not put together, or almost finished and just requiring the final elements, collar, neck edge, or the like.

Well we will offer a time for you to bring in that project and work out how to put it all together so that you can finally enjoy the fruit of your labor.



Check out the classes link on our website for all of these and other fun activities.

Last but not least this time. Remember if you have an American Express card, that shop small is happening again. Make sure you register your card and stay tuned for specials.

Until next time then, take good care and enjoy your craft.

Have fun ~ Trudy