Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Green Spring Shrug

I’m making the Pimlico Shrug pattern found in Knit2Together, a book by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark. I’m using Brown Sheep Company’s Simplicity Tweed in ST12 Water Lily Leaves, which I bought at What’s Needlin’ Ewe in Mount Airy, N.C. a couple of years ago.

Green Pimlico Shrug

This yarn was selected for this cardigan pattern, but it turns out the yarn is way too big. Last year, I bought a bunch of yarn at the Knit and Crochet Show in Charlotte to make the Pimlico Shrug, but all of the skeins are too small.

Luckily, the Brown Sheep Company yarn works perfectly for the shrug though I was missing a couple of skeins. I ordered 2 skeins from Creative Yarns of Georgia. The new skeins aren’t from the same dye lot, but I think the colors match well enough for me to use them. Creative Yarns was the only place I could find online that still has Water Lily Leaves in stock.

My stash of Water Lily Leaves is from Dye Lot 003. The Creative Yarn skeins are from Dye Lot 005.

My stash of Water Lily Leaves is from Dye Lot 003. The Creative Yarn skeins are from Dye Lot 005.

While at the Knit and Crochet Show, my sister found Yarn Pro, an iPhone app that’ll help you find suitable substitute yarn for your projects. You plug in the yard/meters and oz/grams of the yarn called for in the pattern and the measurements of the yarn you’d like to use and the app will tell you whether it’s a good idea to use the yarn. The app also helps you compare your gauge to the pattern’s gauge and allows you to compare needle sizes.

The Brown Sheep Yarn happens to be a little thicker than what’s called for in the Pimlico Shrug pattern, but it’s suitable enough to use as a substitute. So far the app’s paid for itself by eliminating some frustration!

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FO: crocheted wool beret, other updates

I finished the beret in the past week but haven’t been home during daylight hours to snap a photo for you.

Here it is. Please forgive the poor lighting; the funny, close-up of my head; and the bad photo styling. I’m doing what I can with what resources I have!

I think this would look better with a lighter weight yarn. This is also wool, so I’m sure some washing will felt this right up.

The pattern is by Jennifer L. Appleby and is from Interweave Crochet’s Winter 2007 issue. I found it to be a fun, quick pattern, though there were a few mistakes in the pattern copy I have. Either that or I managed to create more treble crosses than the pattern called for, but that didn’t mess up any of the other steps and the pattern came out without much trouble.

Here’s a close-up of the brim and the treble crosses. I like the contrast between the two.

I would definitely recommend this pattern!

Using the same yarn (Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool) I’m making David A., a friend, a pair of fingerless mitts, using my Hubby’s Fingerless Mitts pattern.

David’s hands are longer and wider than my husbands, so I cast on 40 stitches (for a large size) instead of 36 (medium). I may knit more than 40 rows before beginning the thumbs and palm sections since David’s hands are somewhat longer. I don’t know how much longer I need to make it though.

A knitting/crocheting goal for the year: six sweaters! What’s Needlin’ Ewe, which I wrote about here, is hosting a 2011 Sweater Challenge and I think I’m going to participate!

The store is challenging knitters and crocheters to complete a sweater every two months through December 2011. That means six sweaters in 12 months. Only one of them can be a baby or child’s sweater; the rest must be adult-sized garments. They can, however, be summer, winter or fall garments and that includes tanks and cardigans!

I have several patterns running through my mind and I’m trying to decide which ones I want to tackle.

New Feature: Where to shop

Some colorful yarn found at What’s Needlin’ Ewe, a yarn shop in Mount Airy, N.C./ All photos by E.A. Seagraves

Go check out my feature on What’s Needlin’ Ewe, a Mount Airy, N.C., yarn shop owned by mother and daughter duo, Sharon and Natalie Johnson, on my blog Small Travels and Musings.

Where to Shop: What’s Needlin’ Ewe

Some colorful yarn found at What’s Needlin’ Ewe, a yarn shop in Mount Airy, N.C./ All photos by E.A. Seagraves

Mount Airy, N.C. is a destination for many folks, especially those wanting to see the city the fictional town of Mayberry, made famous in “The Andy Griffith Show,” was supposedly modeled after.

One of my favorite places to visit is What’s Needlin’ Ewe, owned by mother and daughter duo, Sharon and Natalie Johnson, natives of Mount Airy.

Sharon Johnson adjusts some yarn in a suitcase she found at a thrift store and had refurbished.

What it is
What’s Needlin’ Ewe is a new yarn shop, celebrating its sixth month anniversary this Sunday. Happy anniversary, Sharon and Natalie!
The walls of the shop are lined with fluffy yarn balls of color and needles. Some of the yarns are so soft, you’d want to fill a bathtub full and climb in.
A couch and a table with chairs make a comfortable place for knitting gab sessions and classes.
On my visit for the interview, several spinners sat in a far corner. Not only does Natalie knit and crochet, she spins and dyes yarn. “I don’t know how to weave, but I want to learn,” she said. The shop recently hosted the Spin Off Fiber Guild of Winston-Salem.
Sharon is a knitter. “I can crochet, but it’s not my cup of tea.” She’s been knitting since a neighbor taught her how when she was 12.
Although Sharon taught Natalie some of the basics, Natalie is mostly self-taught and started dabbling in fiber arts when she was 10.
Natalie Johnson and son, Parker, 11 months, do a little spinning.
The Back Story
“This was on our bucket list,” Sharon said when asked how What’s Needlin’ Ewe got started.
“I knew we had talked about it, but I didn’t think it would be something we’d actually do,” Natalie said. She was 9 months pregnant last March when they decided to open the store.
“I sat down and said, ‘Let’s do it and stop talking about it,'” Sharon said. They researched yarn shops “from here to Colorado” picking out the elements of each shop that they liked.
Knit-N-Purl of Myrtle Beach, S.C., became their inspiration and model. “I said, ‘This is it,'” Sharon recalled when she first walked into the store. “We felt welcome. It was homey. We walked in at 5:55 p.m. and the store closes at 6 p.m. But they said for us to come on in.”
The Johnsons credit the South Carolina business with providing a lot of advice and tips on their business plan. “They’re very open and wonderful people,” Sharon said.
With their own shop, Sharon and Natalie strive to create a welcoming atmosphere where knitters of all levels can feel free to come in, sit and knit.
Sharon admits their customer base is not what they expected. “We thought we’d get people already knitting, but we found more of our audience is people who didn’t know anything.
“Some (people) come in here and don’t know what a knitting needle is, but want to look around,” Sharon said. “They say, ‘It’s so pretty in here.'”
Because of this, the yarn shop’s first advanced knitters classes didn’t draw any participates. So they went back to the drawing board and offered more beginners classes.
Since then, Sharon said they’ve built up a good group of core customers to whom they’ve taught most of their basic skills. Natalie said that core group is 30-40 people.
“We’ve been accused of classes being social time, but that’s not our fault,” Sharon said, laughing.
Plymouth Yarns are some of the products found at What’s Needlin’ Ewe.
What you can find here
Yarns: Fibra Natura, Berroco, Great Adirondack, Brown Sheep Company, Cascade, Plymouth, ArtYarns
Needles: Addi, Crystal Palace, Kollage square needles, Lantern Moon
Classes: beginners, advanced, sit and knit sessions, socks, spinning
From the Blue Ridge Parkway, head south on U.S. 52 from the Milepost 199.5 in Fancy Gap. Follow the signs to downtown Mount Airy. The store is located at 411 N. Main St., next to Leon’s Burger Express.
From the south, travel U.S. 52 North to Mount Airy. Follow the signs to downtown.
From the north, take Interstate 77 south to Mount Airy/N.C. 89. Follow the signs to downtown.
Here’s a map if you need some visual help.

Other places you can them
Besides the shop’s Web site, you can join the What’s Needlin’ Ewe group on Ravelry here.
Natalie can also be found at Knit Fit Knitting and Handpainted Socks.
Natalie also cohosts the Knitting in the Round podcast with Leslie Shelor, owner of Greenberry House, a yarn shop in Meadows of Dan, Va.
Know of any businesses, interesting people or places near the Blue Ridge Mountains and Parkway? If so, post a comment below or send me information for future feature possibilities.