Thursday, December 20, 2007

Office Christmas Traditions

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas luncheon. We usually go to Diana's home and have goodies from a local coffee shop/bakery/caterer. This time we had two kinds of delicious quiche, a green salad, a pasta salad and then for dessert we have a cookie exchange. We may be dyers by day but boy can everyone bake a great cookie by night!! We had 12 different kinds of cookies...4 dozen of by the time I went around the table sampling and exchanging I had a HUGE plate of goodies to bring home. When my boys were younger they always looked forward to cookie exchange day. Now I will have to track them down in Missoula where they live and go to school so that I can share the wealth.

Our other tradition is to have an ornament exchange. It is simple and fun. Its amazing how beautiful some of the ornaments can be. Some folks make them; some purchase them at craft fairs; some purchase them at local department stores. I have received some very nice decorations for my tree over the years.

This year we are adding an extra event for those who can make it. We are going out to dinner and to a local Christmas choral concert. Mountain Colors is sponsoring the Snack table (seems we have a sweet tooth). Everyone gets so busy with friends, family, club and guild obligations but this year we are trying to make time for ourselves too!

The nearby mountains are getting lots of snow for skiers but so far we don't have any here in the Valley. That would make it perfect.

Have a wonderful holiday. I give thanks for all my family, friends and the folks who work to make Mountain Colors a possibility.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Last Minute Knitting!

I found a great quick project for a last minute gift! A store owner told me that Wine Covers were popular this year and I found a pattern for one in the book Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living by Barbara Albright. I used Mt Colors Homespun but you could use any bulky yarn. It is done on double point needles and has a neck of ribbing and a body of stockinette stitch. It looks like a bulky turtleneck! It's fun and you can hang a ribbon or a few beads around the neck. I already gave one to my Aunt and she loved it. I actually attached a moguls flower pin and a little ribbon. It might have been a little over the top but it was festive!

The great thing is that it only takes about and hour and a half to make one and not too much yarn. I think I'm going to adapt my next one to a shorter fatter bottle of Bailys Irish Creme.

We are wrapping up the year here at Mt Colors. We have 2 more dye days before we break for the Holiday. We are looking forward to a few parties next week and a lot of nice family and friend time.

More later I've got to get back to my knitting.........

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Moguls Flower

Here is the knit flower I promised yesterday. It was designed by one of our sales reps and uses scraps of Mountain Colors Moguls. For the leaves you are on your own. They are knit with some sort of very soft fuzzy yarn and the designer didn't tell us how she knit them. Perhaps one of Nicky Epstein's books would help. Or leave out the leaves all together.

So here is how to knit your very own flower to pin on your winter coat or add to your next knitted hat!! We would love it if you would share photos of your Moguls flowers!! Our email is for those inclined to share!

Needles: US size 9 or 10

Yarn: Mountain Colors Moguls....about 1 ounce.

Cast on 6 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Inc 1 st in each st (total 12 sts)
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Inc 1 st in each st (total 24 sts)
Row 5: Knit
Bind off. Decorate with bead and attach a pin back.

For a very small flower skip Row 1.

Seasons Greetings!!

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone. Before we know it 2008 will arrive. Time is flying by here in Western Montana. We had a wonderful BIG snow (over 10" at my house) a few weeks back and everything looked so nice. Then it rained. Now everything is muddy and we are eagerly awaiting fresh new snow later this week. It makes me feel very festive when the trees and fields are snow covered.

We have been selling a new Homespun Throw kit to our suppliers and it has been very well received. If you need a last minute, very quick to knit gift these throws might be just what you are looking for. See a photo on our website under patterns and then under Throws. We have been dyeing lots of our Homespun wool/silk blend yarn for this project. It comes in all of our colorways!!

We are also in the process of developing a new yarn. It is taking longer than we thought to get the test yarns from the mill but we are so excited about what we have worked with so far. The final yarn won't be available to yarn shops until late this Spring but it gives you something to look forward to!!! Meanwhile we will be busy dyeing yarn, getting some designs made up, taking photos, etc. Hint...the fiber is merino wool.

We hope to be posting to this blog about once a week. As the holidays approach we may run out of hours in the day to say much but we will try!! I have had a wild couple weeks with a septic flood in my basement. Not good. None of my yarn stash was damaged but I had to pack and move ALL yarn, fabric, basketmaking, weaving stashes, plus books, etc out of the area overnight. I had everything organized before it was thrown in I will have to start over. Sigh. Maybe I should take this opportunity to weed out some of my stash and decide whether sorting by color is best or sorting by fiber type and size is best. Hmmm. Any suggestions are welcome!

We have a sales representative in Northern California who has designed flowers knit with remnants of our Moguls yarn. I will run home tonight and take a picture so that tomorrow I can post a photo and directions. They are so cute and look great pinned to a hat or coat!

I'm off to dye yarn today.....