Category Archives: Hogwarts Effect

n. the unnerving ability of a part or the whole floor of ThreadBear Fiber Arts Studio to be completely rearranged between one day and the next.

see also Where’d My Freakin’ Yarn Go?

Slowly but surely…And don’t call me Shirley!

You know, this business amazes me every day. We just got in our fall order of Manos del Uruguay, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.


Manos del Uruguay Wool

I’m known around the shop for working with color, and I’ve just got to say that this stuff is out of this world. Their colors are always amazing, and if you’re familiar with their palette, you’ll notice the two new shades… the bright acid green solid in the top left corner and the coordinating multi in the top right. They definitely weren’t what I would have expected from Manos, but they’re certainly brilliant.

As for my knitting, most of my recent work has been associated with classes that I’m teaching this summer. I’ve done tons of swatching for my Sock Options class where I go over several techniques of use to sock knitters from using circulars to knit one or more socks at a time to heel and toe options to various ways of getting started and finishing off. I’ve also been developing a pattern for the toddler coat that I posted photos of recently for a class I’ve dubbed DIY Victory Coat for the V-shaped construction and the ease of varying the size to suit your intended wearer.

Later this summer, I’ll be doing an intarsia class, and I’m really looking forward to working through the SWAK Intarsia Workshop book in preparation for that class, but I’ve also just placed orders for some intarsia patterns and yarn that I’ll be working on for shop models later this fall.


I’m doing the and the Karma Throw (left) Bloomfield Throw (right).

In the meantime, I’m finishing up the pattern and model for my Traditional Fair Isle Techniques class that I’m teaching in July. The pattern is ThreadyBear, and those of you who’ve been around for a while will remember that I actually started writing this pattern while we were still in the old Indiana shop.


Body of ThreadyBear Teddy Bear Fair Isle
with two more panels before the shoulders.

Personally, this is the one I’m most excited about at the moment. As I said, I started the pattern over a year ago in Indiana, and I used it as the class project in my Intro to Fair Isle [ultimately named Traditional Fair Isle Techniques] class there. There were too many colors in the original, though, at least for such a small project for beginners to the technique, and I broke up some of the dual color changes that confounded some of my folks back then. It’s been nice working on this little guy, though, because it’s been like having those folks with me again. Hi, Margaret! Hi, Monica! Hi, Mary and Pat and Melissa and everybody else that acted as my guinea pigs for that class. What a hoot! You can see pics of some of their accomplishments in my archives.

It’s a fun class, and I’m really looking forward to working through the project with a class again, but if you’re not in the area, you may want to bounce over to Yahoo! Groups where we’re about to start test-knitting and finalizing the ThreadyBear project for learning Fair Isle knitting at a distance.

Visit the ThreadyBear Yahoo! Group

So that’s what’s up. Other than that, I’m still tearing the shop apart and putting it back together again to make room for yet more new stuff coming in.


The front counter is now in the middle of the front of the store facing the front door so that you’re not forced to walk all the way around the far side of the counter or stumble through our mail station (which, I might add, is now completely out of the public space and behind the counter).


Official Olympic Norweigian Ski Sweaters and Ingeborg.


Our big wall of DiVé at the black tables (our standard classroom and technical help area). That’s a huge wall of Lana Grossa behind there.


Cha-cha-Land includes Trendsetter, Kertzer, Crystal Palace, Ironstone, and several others.

So now what? Oh, there’s always more coming in the back, so I’m sure it will all shift around again soon. *sigh*

Much love, folks.
-Matt.

P. S. By the way, check out our new patterns from Trish of Bloomin’ Knitiot.

Once again into the breach

There’s no one any more aware of how sketchy my posting history has been since we opened ThreadBear’s first retail location than am I. Regardless, things are starting to settle down a bit… well, we’re starting to get caught up a bit at the shop, and I’m going to make an attempt at spending a little time with the folks that encouraged us to get this business started in the first place. Also, I think it’s about time we actually shared a few photos of the monster herself…


No! Not that monster!
Sorry, girl.


This monster. This photo was taken as we were laying the laminate flooring, and that’s our good friend and Philosopher’s Wool sales rep Marcia Bailey back there in the knee pads. No comments, Joe.


This is the same space two days later.

And this is how she looks today…

Yeah. It’s taken a little effort.

Yeah. It’s a little overwhelming.

And yes. Hallelujah, YES! It’s together. It does sort of make me think magnum opus. Hopefully, I won’t keel over like Charlotte afterward, but we’ve had our moments.

On a more realistic scale, here are a few more manageable shots.


This is the primary seating area, and of course, that’s our girl Connor on the ottoman.


One of our staff brought in these gorgeous pussy willows from her yard in Battle Creek. That’s Colinette behind the table and Dancing Cat Bags on the table.


This is a shot from our classroom area through the Hearty Wool Straits (between Jamieson’s and Philosopher’s) past SockLand, Great Adirondack and Mountain Colors, under Ingeborg and Stars to PlasticLand.


And in the back of the shop, we have another seating area with a fireplace, coffee/tea bar, and spinning fiber and equipment.

Of course, I haven’t shown you half of what’s going on. Rob jokes that the walls of yarn shift like staircases at Hogwart’s every time we get new merchandise in, but for the most part, things are unpacked and we’re in the process of gearing up for a website revamp. I’m hoping to get the new Colinette Firecracker up tonight, and Rio de la Plata wool up later this week. I won’t be doing major updates on the front page until there’s more content to back it up, but we’re here, we’re alive, and we’re trying to get our ducks in a row to rejoin the living outside of Lansing.

And how has all of this left Rob and Tate?


Let’s just say they’ve put in more than their fair share of effort, too.
Good night, boys. Shh…