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A chat with my mother.

When I was 12, I  had too much time on my hands. I spent a lot of time at the library, poking around for books on topics that interested me. When I hit on something, I would check out every book they had that even remotely related, and carry them all home in my backpack. Among such topics were:
  • Christmas around the world
  • The Amish
  • Ancient Egypt and mummies
  • Nearly every country in Europe
  • Cross stitch patterns
  • Hair braiding
  • Castles
  • The Loch Ness monster


This last topic was of particular interest, as it incorporated several of my interests, like hair braiding and cross stitch.


As I read page after page of eyewitness accounts, my curiosity was piqued. Why would thousands of people -- some including doctors, police officers, and the like -- make up stories of seeing something strange in the Loch?


How many people believe in the Loch Ness Monster now? I wondered.


A poll was in order.


Surreptitiously, I began randomly calling people. I generated a report with charts and graphs of the poll results. I displayed it during one of my parents' dinner parties.


This morning, my mother and I began a chat about this very topic, although she didn't know what she was getting into at the time.


It is endlessly fascinating, and highly pertinent to the challenges facing today's knitter. Here is the actual transcript of our chat. I am me, and my mother is yarnistasmama.


Because I'm certain that would never have occurred to you.


me: Hello, it's me.

  We are here in the same room together, typing on separate computers.

 yarnistasmama: I am in my attractive flannel plaid nightgown, you are in your celery colored robe and now red hair.

 me: Yes. We are a sight for sore eyes.

 yarnistasmama: Maybe we need to get our husbands some medication for their sore eyes.

 me: I'm not sure they manufacture the kind of medication we would need.

 yarnistasmama: Probably not, but I'm sure with all your creativity you can whip something up down at the shop and yet another branch of TIG will blossom and flourish. Three Irish Girls Eye Medication.

 me: So anyway, the reason I brought you here today, on this fine Saturday morning, where we are both in our pajamas with uncombed hair, is to talk about something very important.

 yarnistasmama: Okay. I'm willing.

 me: I would like to talk about the Loch Ness Monster.

 yarnistasmama:  How much time do your readers have?

 me: Why do you think scientists have not found Nessie yet?

 yarnistasmama: First, if we're going to talk about the Loch Ness Monster, maybe you should start setting up the new wing of Three Irish Girls, called Three Scottish Girls, because the Loch Ness Monster lives in Scotland. And I don't think she's been found yet because she died long ago.

 me: People from the Emerald Isle can enjoy their Nessie pursuits. Don't discriminate, GOSH.

 yarnistasmama: Okay Napoleon. But if Nessie ever existed (which after visiting Loch Ness, I suspect she did not) she probably died from stress once she found out a school girl in Minnesota was making hundreds of phone calls about her.

 me: So then, you acknowledge that Nessie had magical powers?


 me: Hello? 

 yarnistasmama: That last comment was reminiscent of your childhood. I would say, "Please empty the garbage, Sharon" and you would respond with something like, "So you really don't like me, do you?" But back to Nessie - I'm not sure she ever existed so I don't know about magical powers.

 me: I do NOT read into things. Nobody else thinks I read into things. Just because I had a couple of moments as a child where I made a few sarcastic remarks does not mean I read into things.

  But why do you dislike me?

 Is it because of the whole Loch Ness Monster poll?

 yarnistasmama: Actually, that whole telephone poll thing is a funny and sweet memory to me, and so characteristic of who you are and what makes you tick and why I love you so much today. And why I think we semi-understand each other, because we sort of think alike. I plan to write a blog post myself about your Covert Loch Ness Monster Telephone Poll someday. Are we going to tell the story here?

 me: Seeing as no one has any idea what we are talking about, it could be useful.

  But are we going to tell it from my perspective or your perspective?

  They are different.

 yarnistasmama: My perspective. Because that's the one that's always correct.

 me: Why do you hate me? Are you still mad about the red hair?

 yarnistasmama: Three Irish Girls readers: welcome to my world.

 me: So, one day, when I was left unsupervised, I discovered a large book in the nightstand of your bedroom. Curious, I opened the book and discovered it was full of tiny names and numbers.

  Was it a code of some kind?

  What could all of this mean?

 yarnistasmama: It could mean that you found our address book. But you didn't just stick with names and numbers in our address book, did you?

 me: This was a huge book. How many people do you know?

 yarnistasmama: I used to know approximately seven hundred forty-six people. Some have died now, some hate me because my oldest daughter now has red hair, and some I have forgotten because I have menopausal memory issues. Let's say I know about seventeen people at this point in time.

 me: That sounds extremely accurate. I am glad we're relying on your memory to tell this story.

 yarnistasmama: But even though you thought I knew a lot of people, our address book was not sufficient for your covert poll. You then pulled out our local telephone book. And we live in a city of approximately 80,000 people.

 me: Yes. I located the telephone book. And I started calling people. At random. Because that is how proper polls are conducted. Do you remember what the poll was about?

 yarnistasmama: Of course. At age twelve, you decided to call hundreds of people so you could conduct a poll to ascertain 1) if the person who answered the phone believed the Loch Ness Monster exists, 2) if the person who answered your call did not believe the Loch Ness Monster exists, or 3) if they had no idea.

 me: I think polls are an important social science tool.

 yarnistasmama: Yes, I saw the recent one on your blog so figured this was the case.

 me: Perhaps deep down, I knew that I would become a government teacher.

 yarnistasmama: Perhaps.

 me: I wanted to obtain 200 responses to the poll.

  I pretended to be an adult from a research company, so people would not think I was trying to prank them.

 I then carefully recorded each response before randomly choosing another phone number to call.

  You would not BELIEVE how many people did not want to talk about Nessie.

  It's a shame, really.

 yarnistasmama: Yes, and because your vocabulary was advanced by the time you were eighteen months old, this wasn't hard for you to accomplish. I think you got even more responses, didn't you?

 me: I called at least 1000 houses. Most people A) weren't home, B) hung up on me C) asked if this was a joke.

  You want to know a secret about this poll?

 yarnistasmama: Oh, I didn't know you encountered reluctant people. I thought they were all happy to have their opinions counted. And I certainly didn't know you called over 1000 houses! Please tell your readers that you conducted this covert operation over a number of days, not in one afternoon or evening.

 me: No, it took me weeks.

  I pretty much did it every time you left the house.

 But here's the secret: I called a lot of your friends.

  They didn't know it was me.

 yarnistasmama: WHAAAAAT!!!!!?????

To be continued...


I want to hold your hand.

Oh yeah, I'll tell you something.

I think you'll understand.

It's just that... when I say that something, I want to hold your hand.








I know. I'm sorry, I can't help it.

It's just that I'm excited about our new features, and I want to show them off. Will you let me hold your hand through a quick little tour?


Have you seen our updated retailer list? I think you should click the link and visit our retailers. And we both know you are under my complete dominion, so just get it over with and do as I say.


When you click the link in the right side bar, here's what happens:



I also added a new section  showing when our retailers will be getting new stuff in. I hope you'll find it useful.

New contact form!

Travel and teaching updates. Keep an eye on this section, I have several events currently in the works.


Important note: some people have reported difficulty with their previously established RSS Feeds. Try adding this site again using these new links.

Looking for an old entry from our previous blog? They're all here. You can also use the search box on the right to quickly find what you're looking for.

Let's discuss Carpe Yarnem. A stocking is coming. You would know this by looking here:

Look! A calendar!

And don't forget to add your projects to our gallery. I have a personal goal of having 1000 projects in the gallery. That would make me feel warm and fuzzy.

And while we're holding hands, I might as well update you about two upcoming things: one is Yarnover this weekend in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Our yarn (dude, it's a lot, and it's purty) will be in the Darn Knit Anyway booth.

And the second is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival happening in a couple of weeks: our yarn will be in the Cloverhill booth inside the main barn.


You can let go now.

Thanks for the hand hold.

Maybe we can do it again sometime.





Pressing matters


Yarn must have.

Must have: The Yarn Spot colorway.

Kettle dyed and hand painted to resemble a pansy.

A pansy flower for you boys reading this. 

You hire one boy and all of a sudden all of his friends are reading your blog, sheesh.

Boys, just to be clear: you're welcome to stay here, but there will be no posts about the following topics:

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Curling
  • Rock climbing
  • Sports of any kind
  • Beer

Back to today's real topic of Yarn Must Haves.

Victoria at The Yarn Spot yarn shop gave me this lovely ceramic pansy (flower) button and asked me to create a special Yarn Spot colorway using it as inspiration. I'm in love with this colorway, which is why I'm calling it this week's Yarn Must Have.

Their shipment arrived yesterday. If you want to get on this Must Have, I would suggest calling or stopping by as soon possible. (They also have some other awesome things in the shipment -cough-GeorgiaPeach-cough-.)

The Yarn Spot is a friendly shop, I guarantee they will not hang up on you if you call.  Unless you insult me, in which case they are bound by their blood oath to avenge my foes.

See how I worked in some male-oriented content into this post about pansy yarn?

I'm pretty proud of myself.

I made this colorway on several different yarn bases, including Glenhaven Cashmerino, McClellan, Adorn, and Kells.

See the difference in color between the top skein and the bottom two pictures? That's what a little bamboo does for you.

The Yarn Spot colorway is only available at The Yarn Spot! Imagine that!

To contact The Yarn Spot, in case you want to get in on this Yarn Must Have:


P.S. I mentioned the phrase The Yarn Spot nine times in one post. The Yarn Spot. Ten times. The Yarn Spot. Eleven.



Please help me find...

...blinds and a sign.

I am in love with these blinds. They're made from strips of layered fabric, and you can open and close them with a pulley. The curtains here at the studio are woefully inadequate and not at all befitting a fabulous yarn studio such as this one.

Dear neighbor with these blinds,

Please forgive me for taking pictures of your blinds. I want them.




The blinds have the appearance of translucence, but you can't see through them when you get up close.

Dear neighbor with these blinds,

I'm sorry that I tried to see through your blinds. I wanted to see if they were sheer.



See how they're kind of layered? I figured out that they're fabric, not plastic.

Dear neighbor with these blinds,

Please write to me and tell me where I can buy blinds like yours so that I can copy you and have blinds just like yours. Or, you could just give me your blinds.



The fabric appears to be fairly well starched, not too draped.

Dear neighbor with these blinds,

PLEASE! I will give you some yarn. PLEASE! My curtains pale in comparison to yours. PLEASE! please.




The next thing I need is a nice, handmade sign. Wood or metal or plastic? Something unbreakable, as I tend to break things. Which is why it's good I work with yarn.

I need the sign to be customized to my specifications, as we use it to direct the postman, the UPS man, the FedEx man, and the husband man where to make deliveries.  Can anyone direct me to a site (maybe something on etsy?) where I can order a sign?

Please? I'll be your Yarnista forever.

P.S. The blinds don't have to be made from this exact fabric, I just want something similar. Or something exact.

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