Archive for the ‘Misc Musings’ Category

Skin a Bear?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016


Quick Bulky Mitten

Quick Bulky Mitten


Our first Quick Bulky Mitten class of the year finished up yesterday!

Great comments from our stellar students…

“I love taking classes here.  If DKA had a class on how to skin a bear I would take it.”

“These mittens should be called SuperBulkyFabulisticExpialidocious Mittens”

Both are great suggestions and are seriously being considered!

Wanna take the class?  Click here.
Wanna download the pattern?  Click here.
Wanna buy the yarn?  Click here.

It’s not a competition

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

I know it’s not a competition, but I totally won the baby shower.  Well, almost.


Here’s the background.


Our cousin Bridget had a baby a few months ago…sweet Liam was born 6 months ago.  We had a baby shower for them, the first baby in our family in quite awhile.


I spent a lot of time, and yarn, on this great chevron blanket.


baby blanket


It got a few oohs and aahs and Bridget loved it.  I was happy, she was happy.


Then she opened Carly’s gift.  The Baby Sophisticate sweater. I can’t seem to find the picture of the one she made, but it’s not important for you to see it here.  Trust me, it was cuuuute. What is important to the story is that I can still hear the oohs and aahs and “oh my gosh how cute”s.  It was the winner, no doubt.


Lucky, another baby will soon be joining our clan and so another shower was on the horizon.  Our cousin Jake and his wife Ruth would be having a boy.  Jake’s sister Katie was throwing the baby shower.


I was not going to let Carly win this one.


There was planning involved.  Many shop debates about cutest patterns and yarn colors.  Oh the decisions.  It was settled.  I was going to knit Jerry the Musical Monkey.  Man did he turn out cute!


Jerry the musical Monkey


Carly was going to stick with the proven winner, Baby Sophisticate.   Carly’s gift was the first to be opened.  Ruth, the mom to be, loved it.  It was cute. No doubt.  Here is the pic.


Baby Sophisticate


Then came the moment of truth. My gift:)


me winning


This photo is from Carly’s camera.  It is not staged:)  If we could have figured out how to download an mp3 you could have heard the “oh my gosh so cutes” for yourselves!  Just look at the look of amazement on the faces of the crowd.


Anyway…I thought for sure I was the winner!  I basked in the glow for exactly 30 seconds until Ruth opened up the last gift of the day, Katie’s.  It was a hand knit sweater white sweater with blue trim.  What WHA?  What’s this last minute entry into the shower gift contest?  This wasn’t in my plans.  Katie doesn’t really knit?!  I wasn’t expecting to have another competitor.  RATS!


Then Katie told this story and it was all over.


Katie is much younger than us and when Nanny’s health was starting to fail she feared that maybe Nanny wouldn’t be around when Katie had kids of her own.  So she asked our beloved Nanny Jean to knit her a sweater for a future child.  This gift was that very sweater.  Katie told Ruth that it was on loan to her new baby until Katie needed it back for a future baby of her own.


FOR REAL!!  How can I compete with that?  The sweetest most lovely thing and all of us were crying.  That’s the reason for no picture of it.  We were all overcome.


Katie played the Nanny card.  Wasn’t counting on that.


Here’s to hoping for more babies in the Doyle clan, doesn’t get more fun that this!


2015 Wrap Up

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

New Years 2015/6


Let’s face it, this is what we’ll all be writing in the for the next 2 months right?  At least I know I will!


As we do every year, we like to wrap up 2015 by telling you about our year at the shop.  We did it last year, and in 2013.

DKU student identification card

Nanny’s ID


595 Class Registrations!
Yeah! We are so, so happy about this. And there are even more chances for learning this coming year. If you know a friend that is ready to learn, we have learn to knit options almost every week through April! And remember, every registered student in this trimester earns 10% discount on any purchase through the trimester.  So that’s a 10% discount through April!
bead happy necklace
Our most popular kit – by far – this year was Diane’s Bead Happy Necklace Kit.  If you didn’t make one yourself, you are missing out.  It’s so fun!  Click here to get registered for a class to make the kit, or stop in and buy one.  So fun and easy!
The misc item in the shop we sold the most of?  Our Blueq gum is the winner this year again. So funny and fun.
uptown spirit stripes scarf
Our most challenging project this year?  You’d think it was a hard fair isle hat or a sweater?  Nope it’s a simple knit 2, purl 2 scarf.  Who knew this one would be so challenging!!  This project required patience and flexibility for knitters this year:)  The yarn, Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes in the Packers color was our top selling yarn this year.  The Vikings color was a close 2nd!
One of our most popular yarns and colors?  Hikoo Simplicity in white:) This yarn, in this color sold more than just about any other yarn.  Cream color was a close second.  We LOVE this yarn and the worsted version, Simpliworsted. Two of our most favorite yarns in the shop. You must love it too!
Our most popular brand of yarn, Quince & Co.  We sold more skeins of Quince than any other yarn brand.
cotton lustre wrap DKA_Linen_Stitch_Cowl_medium2
These two projects were our most popular of 2015 in the shop.  Carroll’s Cotton Lustre Wrap and Carly’s Linen Stitch Cowl. 
Thanks so much for another terrific year.  We feel lucky every day to get to do this job!  Here’s to a happy, healthy and blessed 2016 for all of us!

Wondering about Wonder

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

I’ve wondered about my kids on this blog before.  I’ve wondered if you can teach optimism?  Turns out I don’t think you can:)


I’ve been wondering lately about wonder.  Can you teach a child to wonder about the world. To ask questions, to inquire, to be curious?


I don’t live in a family of talkers. Which is weird, because I am a talker.  When you come into the shop and I ask where you are from or what you are doing in town, I genuinely am curious.  But my family…we could be driving down the road and I’ll exclaim “Oh my gosh”.  It wouldn’t be strange if no one even acknowledged my exclamation.  Where is the curiosity? Didn’t they wonder what I saw or thought?


I’ll give you a few recent examples.


A few months ago, we had an extended family party at a park.  We loaded up the truck with our beanbags game, baseball mitts and coolers and backed down the driveway.  We got to the road and my husband unexpectedly pulled back into the garage.  He grabbed a pitchfork from the garage, put it in the truck, got back in the truck without a word and we backed down the driveway again.


Now, we don’t normally go around carrying pitchforks, so this is strange. I thought, I’m going to let someone else ask about the pitchfork. Even though my mind is screaming “WHAT IS THE PITCHFORK FOR?!”  Both kids saw the pitchfork.  No comments from the backseat at all. Didn’t the even wonder what the pitchfork was for?


I let the drive go on for a few miles until I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I say to my kids “hey guys, could someone craft a question for Dad about the pitchfork?”  Maggie says “Hey Dad, what’s with the pitchfork?”.  Jason says “we’re doing pitchfork throwing contests at the party”.  Obviously a joke, because that’s crazy. Neither kid bats an eye.  Oh. Of course. Pitchfork throwing contest.  As if we are in the habit of throwing pitchforks.  Not one follow up question or comment or even “come on dad”.  GAH!!


Another example happened a few weeks ago.  I was felting a bag in my front loading washer.  I was sitting in front of the machine looking in through the closed door.  Now, I don’t normally sit in front of the washer, in fact, I don’t think I have ever really looked at the wash as it was washing.  So this is unusual.


My son Max walked past the laundry room, looked at me, and kept on walking.  I didn’t get a “hey mom, whattcha doing there watching the washing machine”.  Seems an obvious question to me.  I would wonder.  So I say to him.  “Hey Max, come on back here and take my picture”.  I hand him my phone and he takes this pic.






He doesn’t ask why.  He doesn’t even seem to wonder why his mom just asked him to take a picture of her on the floor in the laundry room watching the washing machine.  How is that possible?


I say take another.


Please wonder

Please wonder

Nothing.  He hands me back the phone and off he goes.


I call him back.  “Hey buddy, did you even wonder why I was sitting on the floor in the laundry room looking at the machine?” He said “I guess.  What are you doing?”.  So I tell him and he asks a few more questions all on his own and then wanders off again.  Leaving me to the floor of the laundry room with my wonder about wonder.


The bag turned out great by the way.  In case you wondered, you can felt in a front loader. Oh and the pitchfork…it was borrowed and he was simply returning it;)


Kool-Aid Yarn

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015


We cleaned out our storage room a few weeks ago and found a gem.

On a way high up shelf, way in the back we found a mason jar with some yarn in it. It brought back some memories.

A few years ago, we did some kool-aid yarn dyeing classes with kids…

kool aid dye

Our long lost mason jar must have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Anyway, it turns out that leaving a skein of yarn in a mason jar, on it’s side, with a package of cherry flavored kool-aid and water for 2 years is a good thing.

This is a pretty skein of yarn, even if it smells like cherries:)
If you want to make some kool aid dyed yarn for yourself, click here to download the instructions.

Cherry Kool Aid

Cherry Kool Aid




Garage Sale Birthday Party

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

garage sale
It’s spring cleaning time at the yarn store!


We found so many things we just don’t need that we decided to have a garage sale.  We don’t have a garage, but we do have a big classroom that will be full of interesting finds.


This isn’t a yarn sale.  There may be a few random skeins of yarn in the sale and some yarn remnants, but it’s not a yarn sale.


There will be baskets, zippers, random sewing patterns, button tubes, shop display items, purse handles, duct tape and random containers…all priced to move:)


Like any garage sale, it’ll be CASH sales only:)


happy birthday

The other fun thing about Saturday is that it’s my (Aimee’s) birthday.  We love to celebrate birthdays!


So, to celebrate my birthday we are offering 15% off any regularly priced purchase that is over $43.00 when you wish me a Happy Birthday!  Cause yep, I’m turning 43.


Oh and we are opening at 8am on Saturday!  You’ll be able to get in and out before traffic gets crazy:)


If you get in early enough you’ll find plenty of free parking on the street in front of the shop.  If you prefer a lot, behind us in the Brick Alley Parking Lot is free to you.  You’ll need to bring $5 cash for the attendant and we’ll reimburse you in the shop.  This is only for the lot BEHIND the shop, we can not reimburse for the city lot.  More parking details here.


See you at 8am on Saturday!!!


Cotton Lustre Wrap

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Check out this fun new pattern! The Cotton Lustre Wrap.
Click here for the kit.
Click here to see the pattern on Ravelry.

cotton lustre wrap

Shop Hop 2015

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015


Wow!  What a weekend!


All we can say is thank you.

Thank you for all of your donations to our food shelf, Valley Outreach.  You raised $2,335.00 and 140 pounds of food!  Wow.

Total dollars donated to food banks around the twin cities was over $37,000! Fiber junkies are a generous lot. I speak for all the yarn store owners when I say thank you!

Thank you for playing along by putting our silly temporary tattoos in funny places:)

tattoo you customers
Thanks for taking pictures in front of our tree:)


Thanks for liking our yarn and pattern!  We have some skeins left if you want some of your own:)  Stop in or call us.  Oh and the pattern is currently free on Ravelry.  Here.

tattoo you

So, thank you.

We love MN Yarn Shop Hop weekend.  It’s always exciting, nerve racking, exhausting, exhilarating, hilarious, heartwarming and humbling.

It’s all those things because of all of you!

So, thanks.
If you didn’t hop and are on instagram…you can search the hashtag #MNyarnshophop and see lots of great pictures!

2014 in Review

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


Every year we look back at our top selling items, by quantity, in the shop.


This year’s list was so interesting!


The top selling item this year was…wait for it…


ass look big


Yep, gum.  786 packs of gum to be exact.  So funny!  We love watching people read the packs of gum and then look around to see if anyone else is looking so they can share the fun.  “Mary…you HAVE to come over here and read these”.   Lots of belly laughs.


We’d love to say our top selling item is really expensive yarn, but nope.  $1.50 packs of funny, irreverent gum.


Speaking of yarn, our top selling yarn this year was our shop hop yarn Sweet Georgia Prison Grey.  That yarn was sure a hit.

prison grey


The 2nd top selling yarn was Berroco Brio, color Whirl.  This Kinetic Cowl is still going strong.




The coolest thing we found out about 2014 was that we had 610 class registrations!  We doubled the number of class registrations from last year.  That is so cool and we are grateful you trust us with your fiber education!


Thanks for another fun year.  We look forward to what 2015 brings!


Color Infusion

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

I have put the socks in time out and am working on a new project.  I’m knitting the Color Infusion cowl out of Quince Tern.


It is so much fun!


color infusion tern


If you knit this you’ll need about 300 yards each of 3 colors of fingering weight yarn (at least that’s what the pattern says, I haven’t finished yet).


The inside is just about as beautiful as the outside!


color infusion inside


I’m using Quince Tern in colors Barnacle, Kelp and Wheeler Bay.  We have all 3 colors in stock now and we’re bringing kits to the Madison Knitters Guild Knit In!  Quince Finch would be an awesome choice too.

There are too many choices really!  Stop in and choose for yourself:)


color infusion option