Thursday, December 3, 2009

NEW Colors in the Classic Lines!!!

Well, it has been a long while since we have piped up with any news!

What a great fall & winter season it has been for our yarn. I hope that all of you have been appreciating the cool weather and doing lots of knitting!

We are pleased to announce a BRAND new O~Wool® color, French Lilac. She is a pretty new color and likes to snuggle up to other colors and blend right in! We have found that she can be more blue or more grey or more purple depending on who she is making time with.

Here we have featured the color in a new free pattern available on our web site at:

The scarf can be made from one skein of O~Wool® Classic and is suitable for all skill levels!

We have also added FOUR colors into our O~Wool® Classic 2-Ply line!! Anyone who has a love of fair isle and intarsia will be delighted to find an expanded pallet in this yarn.

There are a total of four new 2-Ply colors... the two mentioned above-
  1. French Lilac
  2. Evergreen
  3. Plum
  4. Mulberry
    This expands the 2-Ply pallet to 16 colors. (yay!)

We have a new pattern using all of the new 2-Ply colors. It is called the Stewart Thistle Tam:

This was inspired by Lynn Stewart-Parker... who requested a Scottish Thistle design. ~~Thanks Lynn!

We also had an inquiry for 4 colors of 2-Ply for a pair of mittens by the talented designer Nanette Blanchard of Knitting in Color. We offered her our newest colors and without even seeing them in person she was "game" to try them out.

She came up with a beautiful design she calls "Tijeras Mittens". She describes them this way:

'The color work patterns on these fun-to-knit mittens resemble cut-outs (Tijeras means scissors in Spanish). Four colors of organic yarn are used: Plum, Mulberry, Evergreen, and Lilac. The mittens are knit from cuff to tip and feature a peasant thumb and a ribbed cuff.' -Nanette Blanchard

You can see them here and also on!

Friday, October 2, 2009

More Great New Items in O~Wool!

Another beautiful book has come to our attention, Joanne Seiff has completed her latest effort, Knit Green. And has been gracious enough to include a beautiful project featuring O~Wool Classic. She also included a great quote in her recent e-mail to me:

"If you should have need of pattern support in the future, please let me know. Your yarn just jumped off my needles, I enjoyed it so much. How's that for gushing!?" - J.Seiff

The book provides both interesting projects and strong educational information regarding how to Knit Green. We are very pleased to be a part of this project.

Here is the sweater, shown in Saffron-

It does often strike us that we are lucky to work on such a wonderful mission with such talented and giving people. We are indeed very fortunate.

~Again, we must mention our KAL's on Ravelry~

We have reached October and have a brand new afghan square... Please join us before you get too far behind!

The sample show is in Tea Rose, O~Wool Classic.

There is also a second KAL going along on

This one for the Knitting Pure and Simple pattern by Diane Soucy. (see pictures below in the previous two posts)

We discovered a great stitch pattern, which looks fabulous in the Balance yarn while playing "knit-a-long" for this project. It is knit here in Agate, Malachite and Sunstone.

We think that we will have to come up with a nice design in Balance to incorporate this great looking stitch.

Don't you agree? Please let us know!!!

Happy Knitting~

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn has BEGUN...

Happy Autumnal Equinox~
It's time to snuggle down and knit away!

We have recently been lucky to be reminded how many talented people love to play with our yarn.

Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong have just begun singing about their beautiful book AwareKnits from Lark Books,
with an Oct. 2009 release date...

The design "Global Warmth" features our O~Wool® Legacy Bulky,
shown here in Natural (undyed) 100% certified organic merino wool.... YUM!

Quick KAL reminders....

Joanne Cole's Beautiful Balanced Bolero group on has begun... join in the knitting FUN and get a jump on a great Holiday gift...
we will be posting a link to make this fabulous matching button as well!

12 Month Aran Afghan continues on with September, Square Number 2, it's not too late to catch-up!!!

shown here knit in O~Wool® Classic, Oatmeal...

Special thanks again to Tammy E. Thompson of Woolen Collectibles for this pattern offer, we have many people enjoying this project and learning new techniques for cabling and the ease of chart reading. We are very excited to be able to offer this to any 'raveler' who wishes to play along.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here Comes FALL in Vermont!!!

Summer had finally arrived in full force of heat and humidity here in Vermont, and almost as quickly we are receving possible frost warnings... bring on the knitting weather.

We have been delighted at the reawakening of our shops' thirst for wool. The slow days of summer are transitioning to the brisk days of fall, and the approach of knitting weather. We have a little bit of news regarding Knit-A-Longs on
and a couple of new patterns we are offering from an independent designer.

We will be following this with some exciting news about a couple of new colors in our Classic 2-Ply, fingering weight. And a free pattern for Christmas! I hope you all are doing well and looking forward to fall.

Knitting Along with O~Wool

12 Month Afghan "KAL"
I am amazed that we were at the magic number of 99 members on our KAL in less than one week. Thanks for so much enthusiasm for this project, let's see how many more people will join and how many of us we can get knitting together!
Here is the first square of a free project generously offered by Tammy E. Thompson of Woolen Collectibles (scroll down to see a couple of new patterns of hers we now carry).
I knit this August square up pretty quicky in Robin's Egg and I think it looks wonderful. This square, aptly named, "August Aran Afghan Square" took about 3 ounces of wool and is about a 12" square.
I have started a Ravelry Knit-A-Long for this pattern. I realize I am a bit late for August, but we will have to catch up over time!!!

And speaking of "KAL's" on Beautiful Balanced Bolero

Bolero Adult or Child's version

FROM: Knitting Pure Simple

is being hosted by Joanne Cole, one of our wonderful sales reps. She works in MI, IN, OH and Western PA. If you do not know her, this would be a great way to 'meet' a retired engineer from the American Auto Industry who has transferred her brilliance and energy toward the hand knitting yarn industry.

She is welcoming anyone interested in knitting this pattern in either our Classic or Balance yarn.
We are coming along for the ride to help her get her version, in Balance 'Lapis', done for her daughter this Christmas!

Let's put our sticks together and make a great sweater for someone we love; a family member, a best friend, or... ourselves!!


by Woolen Collectibles
We have added two great new patterns from Tammy E. Thompson to our independent designer collection. This elegant cabled swinging sweater was designed to be knit up in Classic, and is shown in Natural... here is a detail of the beautiful cable patterning:

Stor Mo Chroi
Treasure of My Heart
From Woolen Collectibles
This beautiful new pattern features our Legacy DK yarn and uses one skein of 2-Ply Classic on the lower border and neckline. She used Legacy DK 'Russet' for the Main Color, 'Gamboge' for the patterning and 'Slate', Classic 2-Ply for the lower border and collar.

Tammy Eigeman Thompson has done a lovely modern piece steeped in the tradition of Scandinavia and updated with modern touches. Named after a traditional folk song, it is sure to be a great gift or wardrobe addition!

We are working on a knit-up to lend to shops in a slightly different colorway...
I am using Legacy DK in 'Clay' for the Main Color, 'Lava' for the scroll patterning, and 'Rose Gold' in Classic 2-Ply for the lower border. It is lots of fun to knit. The pattern works in the round with steeks for the sleeves and a break in the work for the collar.

Friday, July 24, 2009

O-Wool's Marin goes for a visit

Last weekend Marin made a trip to southern Vermont to visit Knit or Dye at Rachel's request. Located right on Main street in beautful historic downtown Brattleboro, this light airy shop has been a popular spot for local knitters and tourists to Vermont alike.

Rachel opened her shop last fall, and has been experiencing quite a steady flow of business despite the economic slowdown. Her focus is local, sustainable and organic yarns with classes and projects in knitting, felting, crochet, spinning and dying.

She has devoted this quarter of her store to an O-Wool display area, and has a number of knit up garments on display as well.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's crafty and everpopular Baby Surprise jacket is here ...knit up in O-Wool Legacy DK. (There are over 8,000 projects listed in this pattern on ravelry!)

So Lets join in with Marin and Rachel! Say O-Wool all together Now!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

O-Wool Balance Pattern "Andy"

In the spring issue of there is a free downloadable pattern of this sweater known as the "Andy". It is made with the O-Wool Balance, (50% organic Cottton and 50% Organic Wool) which is a light weight worsted yarn. I think most men who would find a heavy wool sweater too warm for indoor wear would really appreciate this comfortable sweatshirt like garment.

You can find this pattern at
The colors used in this model are agate (brown) and malachite (green).
Jillian Moreno has designed such an interesting garment. I love the leaf pattern, and the twisted rib that almost hides under the arms and against the sides of the body. The malachite bands are knit from another ball of yarn, with twisting of the yarn to prevent holes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Knitting Patterns from O-Wool

We are happy to share some new patterns!

The Elements in Balance pattern is now available. This lightweight summer vest is made with our 50% organic cotton and 50% organic wool yarn called Balance. When I was originally designing this vest I used 4 colors which represented the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. And as I knit I had time to contemplate the balance of these elements here on our own Earth.

For this pattern release we used a different "Fire" only version of the "Elements" as our photo shot.

We also have our first two Legacy Patterns available. We used the Bulky O-Wool Legacy to make this Fun Earflap Hat in the color Grove. This is a quick knit up, uses just one skein of yarn, and can be worn with flaps down, tied, or bomber style tied up over the top of the head. You can see Courtney of Rosie's Yarn Cellar wearing hers in the blogpost below.

In the DK weight we have Marin's beautiful new Entrelac Pillow. This "interwoven" design is knit in the entrelac style, doing successive small rows of knitting. The end result is truly wonderful. You can find more information about entrelac knitting at many sites such as this one:

The back of the pillow makes it possible to remove the pillow from its cover.

Finally, we are very close to releasing the pattern for a wonderful capelet which was designed by Joanne Cole and took first prize in our Danforth Button contest last year. It is knit using our Classic O-Wool worsted weight yarn, and uses three colors: these are willow, evergreen and rust.

The border of the capelet is finished in lacy crochet. Marin had never done crochet before, but found the crochet directions easy to follow, with great results.

Marin knit up the caplet in these colors: plum,sky and cornflower, which also look very nice. The beautiful buttons are Danforth Pewter, in a design called Celtic Knot. We are so very lucky to have Danforth Pewter as our neighbor!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Marin visits Philadelphia

Cathy Campbell, who has been our hand knitting yarn manager for the past 3 years has left us to pursue married life closer to her home in New Jersey. We will miss her wonderful loving style and wish her well in all her new projects. She is looking forward to staying involved (in a more part time way) in the world of knitting.

In the meantime, here at O-Wool in Middlebury VT, we welcome Marin Melchior to our routine. Marin is an avid (as in VERY avid) knitter who started knitting right after she learned to walk. Besides her great technical skills, she also has a vibrant, energetic sense of color. The one word I would NEVER use to describe Marin is boring. She always has a new project underway, (an older one to finish), a new idea, a pattern to tweak, a book to buy and a swatch to experiment with. She is a wonder, and it's great to have her working with us.

Last week Marin met with Cathy as they visited Caledonian Dye Works in Philadelphia. This is the dye house that dyes our yarn, and you can see Rick with his welcome smile outside the magestic entry way.

Inside the lighting wasn't really good enough for photos, but Rick gave them a tour of the large dying vats, and explained how the dye is washed back and forth through the skeins.

After the skeins are dyed they need to be wound into the right yardage for the small skeins that a customer will purchase. This winding is done by Bill Clemson, just a short distance away in another large cavernous building.

Here Bill is measuring out the correct yardage on some Classic Natural O-Wool yarn. Later these will be twisted and tagged by us here in Middlebury. Then they are finally ready for retail sale.

Speaking of retail sale, Marin and Cathy did get a chance to visit Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia where they were greeted very enthusiastically by Courtney!

Courtney modeled her new O-Wool earflap hat, and held up some of the cozy yarn.


The other day, after writing the posts below I had a definite "bookcrossing" experience at our local library. If you are not familiar with this concept, wikipedia defines a bookcrossing as "the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise". I guess technically a library is a pretty obvious place to cross a book(!) but the quality of the crossing is what I am writing about. I went to the library to return a couple of books, and without looking in any stacks, or on any computer search index, I crossed paths with TWO books about the healing quality of knitting. Yes, the day after I had been writing about that. Not any of the last 10 years. No, just that day. See what I mean? One was a shelf end display, and the other had been donated by the library patron just in front of me. Now, truly, what are the chances?

So, with my assignment in front of me (has anyone else gotten reading assignments dropped on themselves like that?) I headed home to do a quick read and review.

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
is the story of a mother, Mary, who has just experienced the sudden loss of her only child, and has found it impossible to continue finding comfort in the activites she used to. She is depressed with grief, and has trouble following her husband's lead to acknowledge, and then move on to once again regain the joy in life. At her mother's suggestion she (very reluctantly) takes up knitting, and then joins the local knitting circle. Mary meets a group of women with their own stories and each one teaches Mary a new technique in knitting. Through this process Mary is able to finally share her grief, and find the spark of life again, supported by her new friends and the rhythm of knitting.

Knitting, A Novel by Anne Bartlett
is a wonderful book written by an experienced Australian knitter. Again the subject includes grief over the death of a loved one. Sandra, who is studying textiles from an academic viewpoint, has just lost her husband to cancer and feels like she lives life from within an ice cold glass bubble. By chance she meets an eccentric woman who is her polar opposite, Martha. Their lives start to overlap, and Sandra persuades Martha to help her mount an exhibition of retro and contemporary knitting. What begins as a professional collaboration becomes a deeply personal and transformative experience. This is a wonderful quirky story in which knitting plays a very important part in the healing process.

Friday, February 27, 2009

For people that like lists

This is such a perfect list that I couldn't resist sharing it.... Perfect for persuading your professor to let you knit while in class perhaps?

What do you think of this list? Where would you post it? Can you add anything?

This is straight from the Stitchlinks Website:
Copyright Stitchlinks November 2007


 Slow down thought processes enabling you to think more clearly
 Stop cycles of stressful thoughts – useful to use before sleep
 Enhance problem solving enabling you to look at problems from all angles
 Facilitate mindful meditation – you don’t worry about the past or fret about the future
 Facilitate relaxation – necessary for bringing down high levels of stress hormones
 Distract – focus your mind away from problems
 Enable you to escape into the sanctuary of a quiet mind, giving your mind a break
 Encourage positive thought cycles helping to break negativity
 Improve mood and help to manage the worry associated with stress
 Improve feelings of loneliness/isolation if you've been over working
 Teach patience and perseverance – you don’t have to rush at everything
 Improve feelings of helplessness – stress is greater if you feel there’s nothing you can do
 Raise self esteem and confidence so you feel better equipped to manage stress
 Enable you to experience excitement, anticipation and achievement again
 Teach planning and goal setting so you become better organised
 Involve you in the outside world – opening up an alternative avenue away from stress
 Take them anywhere – their portability means you can deal with stress any time
 Improve communication skills – build communication networks at work and outside
 Help in peak stress times before deadlines or presentations
 Introduce enjoyment and fun into life, so life becomes more than work and stress
 Enable you to make friends at work or outside through groups
 Occupy you on your commute to work, so you arrive calm and collected
 Put you back in control
 Calm – great tools for workplace stress
 Encourage you to look forward to tomorrow

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Therapeutic Benefits of Knitting

Just recently I learned that a friend has received notice, and will become unemployed shortly. Most likely a change in lifestyle will follow, and I have been thinking about her lately. I wanted to acknowledge the situation, but how? Then I remembered that before this job she used to knit beautifully and prodigiously. I found myself putting together a small care package for her.

For me this would be a good consolation package: some beautiful organic O-Wool classic yarn and a pattern.... and some chocolate. There is the immediate remedy of chocolate to scare the demons away (or dementors just as professor Lupine knew in the Harry Potter series.) Then there is the immediate project, an activity. It feels intuitive that hand work would help her feel better. I have always felt that the process of knitting had that power. I remember coming to some conclusions about knitting in college. (not an arts or crafts college by the way!).

I started knitting seriously in college, and liked it for a number of reasons. One important reason was that it made long stressful car rides tolerable. Being a member of several athletic teams, I was often on the road heading to a game or race, and then heading home again. The knitting helped tremendously with all the negative aspects: the length of the drive, the case of nerves, a depressing performance, and side dramas with teammates. Instead the result was a great creative challenge, a finished garment (usually a hat) and later, pocket money as I started to sell them. I loved coming up with new color combinations and charting designs. I loved that knitting was portable. I loved that wool was a natural fiber. And oddly enough, I also appreciated that I could be comfortably warm when others were chilly in our underheated group house. The act of knitting seemed to raise my temperature just a bit, and engage my metabolism. (This led me to think it burned calories as well)

Lately, while listening to all the dire news about the downturn in our economy, I have been reflecting that hand crafts like knitting provide a wonderful combination of lifestyle benefits for a wide variety of people. I decided to look into this subject online and found a number of interesting sites. Betsan Corkhill of the UK has been interested in the therapeutic benefits of knitting and has developed a whole website which helps foster support and positive development in the face of life's changes. All the stitch arts: needlework, knitting and crochet are included.

There are several pages of quotes from people who attribute their ability to cope and thrive with their habit of knitting, or doing other stitch work.

Karen Zila Hayes of the Brainwaves School of Creative Arts has also written at length about the incredible therapeutic benefits of knitting, and has devoted herself to this mission in Knit Magic.

Apparently knitting has been known to help people with chronic pain, ADD and ADHD, cancer recovery, Post tramatic shock syndrome, grief related disorders, motor skills impairment and possibly more. I'm not really surprised to read this list. And I don't credit knitting alone perhaps. But knitting can help in so many situations. It can help lower blood pressure (and get you through a stressful family gathering), it can make you feel engaged instead of bored....I know I have felt these things. Why wouldn't others have their stories too.

Knitting is also being used by a network of voluteers to increase the positive quality of life for cancer patients. This group is called Knit for Life and has the following mission statement:

To support and enhance the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers while going through the process of treatment and recovery by the gentle and healing experience of knitting. This program enables patients and caregivers to come together and share experiences and concerns in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Their website is complete with news events, testimonials, support, and sponsors

In our overall economically stressful times, or in a particularly challenging time in a friend's life, maybe we should make a special effort to remember that hand work like hand knitting can actively play a positive role. Maybe now is the time to send out a care package, or start a new knitting group at your library, senior center, church or community hall. Or maybe now is the time for you to pick up a new knitting project; something that will calm, soothe, and engage you. A simple repetitious movement, with a natural wool organic yarn, (with or without a circle of friends,) can slow life down and remind us of connections that bring joy to life and help us remain resilient in the face of challenging change.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I had been wanting to try a felted piece for quite a long time, and when I saw this felted braid...I felt a spark.
And an idea started growing for a felted bag made of our new O-Wool Legacy bulky yarn. I had also seen a classic elite pattern that showed a cable bag, though not felted.

So I began casting on, and soon found out just what it feels like to knit with size 15 needles, the largest size in my KA interchangeable set. What a sloppy feel! You could see through the net bag I was making. I started to lose faith that it would ever look nice. This was the type of project I felt a bit embarrassed to take out in public...I did NOT want to hear the interested passerby ask "What are you making?" Actually, after awhile I caught on, and just brought the swatch along to show people. Knitting in public (KIP) really is a conversation starter. I'm sure other people have noticed that fact. Haven't You?

So, then came the moment when I had to drop this piece of knitting into the washing machine. I found this rather difficult to do. It really went hard against all my instincts. I actually had to go psyche myself up to the task by viewing a step by step on the computer, even though I knew the process.

After this helpful nudge I managed to drop a pillowcase of my knitting into the machine with a pair of sweatpants. I went through 3 cycles of agitation, checking in after each one, and ended up with a wonderfully soft piece of fulled wool. I really was surprised to feel how soft, and pleasantly dense the wool had become. The organic wool was looking its best...I think even the sheep would be proud!

Next came the sewing, which proceeded pretty quickly. I forced the top of the flaps through the handle slots, and sewed them down onto themselves on the inside. I will definitely also be making lining, after I find the perfect material of course.

Since this is just the first model of the bag, I decided to keep things interesting by making each side a different cable pattern. I was hoping that I would like one alot more than the other, and then choose it for both sides in the future. Actually though, I think I like them both. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, in her Yarn Harlot blog recently mentioned knitters' inability to have a matched set of knit wear.

the child told me that she has noticed something about knitters. She says that she can spot them in a crowd because their hats, mittens and scarves don't match.

I most definitely fall into that category ....heck I can't even seem to manage two matched sides! It is just too much fun to knit different designs all the time.

Well, I still need to get serious about this project, because the top opening needs some designing work, as does the bottom. I have plans to make another one. Like most everything else in my life, it is after all, still a work in progress.