VBYC, YOUR Local Yarn Shop: The Fiber Arts Trendsetter in Acadiana!

21oo Verot School Road, Suite 8 Lafayette, LA 337-216-4564
To send email, write to: vermilionbayyarnco at Yahoo

M: noon-6pm; T: 10am-8pm; W: 10am-6pm; Th: 10am-8pm; F: 10am-6pm; S: 10am-4pm; Sun: Closed


Beginning Knitting and Crochet: Beginning classes for knitting and crochet are scheduled one-on-one at your convenience during business hours. You may schedule lessons just for yourself, or for yourself and a few other friends. In beginning knitting, you will learn your stitches while you create a beautiful chunky yarn scarf. At the end of your mastery period, you'll have a fabulous accent you can actually use!

Classes a la carte: If you weren't able to attend a specific class, or you missed out entirely on one, here's your chance! Simply schedule the class topic of your choice at the time that's convenient for you.

How Much Do Classes Cost? At Vermilion Bay Yarn, we're all about getting you moving on your fiber projects and getting you going with new techniques. All classes (including beginning knitting and crochet) at VBYC are $20 plus materials. You do not pay each time you come in to continue the same class.

What's Available At Vermilion Bay

The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is your local source for the fine yarns of Rowan, Classic Elite, South West Trading, Cascade, Plymouth, Schaefer, Malabrigo, Muench, GGH, Brown Sheep, Lana Grossa, Tilli Tomas, Universal, and many others! We offer high quality needles and hooks from Addi, Chiaogoo, Hiya-Hiya, and Brittany. Vermilion Bay Yarn (YOUR local yarn shop) is YOUR one stop for all your knitting and crochet notion needs: counters, holders, markers, darning eggs, tapestry needles, etc.

Knit Cafe: The Evening Fiber Art Group meets on Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm at the shop. Bring your project(s) and sit for as long as you like. Food, coffee, and soft drinks are always provided, and everyone is encouraged to add to the buffet.

Need something repaired? Favorite sweater with moth holes? Heirloom lace with a snag? Bring it in for an estimate.

Don't have time to knit or crochet it? The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is your only local custom fiber art source! Please visit the shop for an estimate.

Knitting Parties at VBYC: Gather together 10 of your friends or colleagues and set a date/time for a knitting party at Vermilion Bay Yarn! Beginners and seasoned knitters can participate in the same party! Folks who've never knitted before will learn how and the experienced knitters work their own fun project! Contact the shop for details!

Our Return Policy

Now and then we purchase a bit too much, or decide that a different yarn might be better for a project than the one we selected. Here's how VBYC accomodates merchandise returns. This policy is also clearly displayed in the shop by the register. Thank you for your business!

Merchandise purchased at The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company may be exchanged/returned for shop credit only. No cash refunds. No exhanges/returns on special orders. Gift Certificates may not be redeemed for cash. Yarn presented for exchange must be odor-free and in new condition with the yarn band intact. Yarns wound into skeins are not accepted for exchange.

Knitting Rescue and Project Help

We are most willing to assist YOU, our customers, with quick help or to fix minor blemishes in your fiber work at no charge. As I see it, that's all part of what YOUR local yarn shop is about, especially if your project originated from VBYC. If you find yourself in need of frequent coaching on a particularly challenging project, or if you require detailed assistance with a project obtained elsewhere, we encourage you to make that project into a class ($20 fee applies) for the duration of your work.

31 May 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Vermilion Bay Yarn is open today, 11:30am-8pm! Men's Knit Club meets tonight 6pm-8pm.

28 May 2010

Garden Gnomes, Hollyhocks, and other Magical Creatures

Welcome to the world of Cat Bordhi. A few of you have already discovered the magical art of Moebius knitting -- a loop with a gentle twist: a curved plane. Mathematical minds love the Moebius. It's magical, you see, just like these magnificently creative pattterns. The book has been in print for a while, since 2004, but that doesn't mean that everyone has been inducted into its magical secrets. Not only is it an outstanding pattern anthology, it's also a most enjoyable piece of writing that sets the stage for the endless hours of calming and enchanted knitting that awaits. Felted socks, cozy pet beds, fairy tale capes. Find inspiration on its pages!

27 May 2010


Come and get 'em!

The Mini Clutch from Namaste

Aren't these just the thing? First you have the fabulous Namaste knitting bag, and now you have a fine matching Namaste mini clutch to keep all your "purse things" organized and away from your Addis, Chiaogoos, Rowan, and Schaefer. The Mini Clutch features a twist closure on the main compartment and an entire fold-out section with pockets for other necessary items you'd rather not have mingling with your knitting and crocheting bits. Available in several highly and most extremely nifty colors. Show your fashion groovulence and step out with a Namaste Mini Clutch!

19 May 2010

Hiya-Hiya: Puppy Puppy and Dumpling Dumpling

What will they think of next, these Hiya-Hiya people? Not only do we enjoy their fabulous bamboo needles, and their enormously groovy and highly beloved dumpling marker pouches, but now this: Puppy Snips. How cute is that? And if you're a dog lover like many fiber friends, these little puppies are just the thing to add to your notions kit. The key chain ring at the top makes your puppy snips mobile. Now you can be fashionably snippy regardless where you park your knitting bag or your crocheted afghan! In the next few days, follow the trail to VBYC and pick up your sensational new pair of adorable puppy snips. At the moment, they are available only in trendy and upbeat green. Are they available in red? No. Trendy, upbeat green. How about magenta or cerise? No. Trendy upbeat green. The thought of a green dog is so absolutely endearing. How unique! Look for them in the next couple days! Also, be on the look out for your favorite dumpling pouches! New colors and patterns!

The Namaste Needle Case

If you missed the Namaste needle boxes, here's your second chance! These clever hard-sided items keep your circular needles organized in large interior pouches (they fit zip-lock needle packages). Get one to match your fabulous Namaste knitting bag! The squared off shape make the Namaste needle case easy to store and easy to carry. Look for them at VBYC on May 25th!

18 May 2010

Just say no to knots!

I just completed finishing work on a sweater that involved reworking shoulder seams and setting in sleeves. That was all fine, but there were a few danger points around the garment that made me worry, and I think it's important to mention them for when you're working on your own garments. The danger points involved knots. My rule of thumb has always been this: never, never tie knots in your work (and that goes for crochet just as much as it does for knitting). When you make a yarn join from a spent skein to a new skein, carry both yarns and work them together in 2-3 stitches. Let the yarn tails hang on the wrong side and go back afterwards and hide the tails, weaving them in along the path the stitches take in the fabric. DO NOT tie yarn ends together in a knot. Why? Knots will come untied (regardless how skilled you might think you are in tying them), then the tails will start moving and your fabric will unravel. In the process of today's seaming work, several of these knots in the garment worked themselves undone, and of course the ends of the knots had been trimmed short, necessitating some quick reinformement to secure these precarious areas. Can you imagine what knots can do in the regular course of wearing? Avoid knots. Weave in ends -- not only for a more professional look, but also for security.

15 May 2010

You Rock, Tilli!

Tilli Tomas Beaded Plie is the yarn of choice for this project. It's 100% silk with glass beads strung right in the plies. It's fantastic to work with. The pattern here is the Tilli Tomas "Beehive Lace" scarf -- downloadable from the Tilli Tomas website. A number of you (including me) have worked it in Lana Grossa Chiara, as well as in this beaded silk. The pattern works up in turbo speed. The length of fabric you see here is about an afternoon's worth of knitting on size 10's. One hank yields a piece about 31 inches long. Two hanks does it. This item will be donated for an event next month whose proceeds will help those in Acadiana living with HIV/AIDS. Until then, the scarf will be on display here in the shop. Look for information soon regarding ticket information for this event. I'll post it here as well as in the shop!

13 May 2010

An intriguing focus or beguiling fetish?

It's interesting to talk about socks, I think, if not just a little odd. Knitters and crocheters love sock gossip, sock stories, sock problems. They admire each other's socks and sock yarns, they espouse their own sock-making methods, decry those of others, and make claims about new and trendy ways to reinvent the wheel. They share rumor about strange new materials used for making a better mouse trap. Is it grandstanding or just a bit of latent fetishism? So what's the allure? We are all intrigued by socks, all of us, men and women alike. It's a fascination. I remember way back when long before my subscription to Men's Health ran out (some time in the mid 1990's), an article from that magazine about where guys should buy clothes (because we are by nature inept in such matters). The author had a minimalist approach -- buy a couple pairs of dress trousers, a few good quality dress shirts, a decent blazer. Not particularly bad advice, I'd say. Then, there was that part of the wardrobe that the author considered more "disposable". He recommended shopping for trousers and such at a high-end men's shop, but the disposables, socks and the like, according to him, should come from a box store like Target or Walmart, where packs of multiples are available at low cost. The reasoning? Socks wear out fast, in about 6 months, so why buy designer socks for 12 bucks a pair if you're going to pitch them out in 24 weeks anyway? Throw a 3-pack of 6-scheckel el cheapos into the cart along with the TV dinners and the cat litter. Fine. I suppose that's all pretty logical. After all, socks are really underwear of sorts, for the most part hidden from view. They're not like ties, or belts -- which all have a distinct purpose, of course. Without a proper necktie pointing the way, a man wouldn't have a clue where to locate his fly. A belt? A lady's handknit kimono needs an alternative closure just as dignified as her classy jeweled shawl stick! Socks: they're fabric padding that fits in between our feet and our shoes to make wearing footwear a bit more bearable. Both those frozen glacier people who pop out from the ice and into the news after having slipped, fallen, and snapped their necks while chasing down a mammoth a couple thousand years ago, as well as a few poor sots who had managed to fall into marshes some time back in the first century, drowned in the sludge to be preserved along with their clothing by earth gases and discovered centuries later by Northern Europeans digging giant cubes of peat from the ground have much to tell us about ancient sock wearing habits. One of the first sock concepts was simple: straw stuffed into footwear. As knitting developed, straw became less popular in favor of a cozier (and less itchy) fiber fabric. Socks are really old technology it seems -- and here we moderns thought we were the clever ones with all our magical looping and toe-upping Turkish two-timing on-casting. And so we realize, maybe even reluctantly, that making underwear for our feet is a practical activity that humans have been up to since clothing became required: back when eating apples was legalized (at least marginally), snakes lost their legs along with their reputations, and a naked woman was framed for misleading a silly guy lacking a rib with tales of opened eyes and eternal wisdom. Although socks are just as old, the knitted fig leaf never quite caught on. Throughout history, we have engaged in knitting various intriguing and sometimes questionable unmentionables -- whose patterns are still around and which surface now and then in conversation or as knitting novelties. However, I have yet to hear anyone seriously state she was going home to block a brand new pair of boxer briefs she made for her boyfriend, or someone looking for snaps for the rear hatch of her husband's Lacey Lamb union suit she had just bound off the size 00's. On the other hand, mention a pair of toe-up's made from recycled shrimp carcasses, and you'll have the room captivated. "DPN's or 2 on 2?" "Oooh, Magic Loop? How'd that work for ya?" "Can you actually feel the shells?"
So why do we do it, make socks? That article from the 1990's suggested it's cheaper just to buy them, wear them until our pigs pop out the fronts or until the back of the foot disintrigrates. Why spend about 15 clams on supplies, take a week of our time with thin-gauged yarn to sit with pointy toothpicks or toothpicks connected by a cable to create stylish knitted (or crocheted) tubes for the ends of our legs? First off, it's the appeal of puzzle construction. Who doesn't like a good jigsaw puzzle, a spacial riddle that captures our attention and keeps it? How can a tube mitre itself in such a way to turn 90 degrees? How do you do that? And a toe? How does a tube taper like that to a blunt point without a cast-off? Then there's the appeal of the creation itself. There are socks and then there are Art Socks. Some socks are meant to be worn -- like the ones the guy from Men's Health described -- the one's he thought should just come from anywhere. And then there are socks that are meant to be seen: the lace socks, socks with cables, socks with intricate colorwork, socks with amazing stitch patterns, socks in intriquing materials and fabulous colorways, the socks "too pretty to wear", the socks with "lace too intricate to hide in a shoe." The brain teaser socks that are worthy only to recline on the mantle upon a velvet platform domed by a glass bell like grandfather's antique pocket watch. Sock folks produce their share of these Art things, yes. But the majority of the sock children one sires are practical, everyday affairs. They're the one's whose betters are said to come in multi-packs. Why do we make them? I'll tell you this: it's not because sock yarn is overabundant, and it's not entirely because there's sock yarn made of seafood waste, plant pulp, adobe, or bat dung. It's the process and rhythmn of the knitting that keeps us motivated. There's something about knitting a sock that's different from knitting anything else. I'm talking about knitting a plain old stockinette sock here, not a super-charged intarsia cabled zippity-wizbang runway model stocking. A plain old single-colored sock destined for a plain old comfortable pair of loafers worn with jeans or a slouchy pair of corduroys on a Sunday afternoon. Miles and miles of garter sitch worked flat can seem boring, but for some reason knitting in the round -- I mean literally making Knits in the round -- is so mezmerizing and calming, the time flies between the cuff and the heel, if time even continues for that distance. While knitting in silence, free from distraction, the knitter becomes intoxicated by the rocking motion of the repeated stitches, the quiet "sh-sh-sh" of looping loops becomes a mantra. It's meditative, this sort of knitting, interrupted only by the heel turn, at which point the mind is held captive by the sheer magic of the construction, the knitting of a flap, the short row turn, the picking up new stitches, the working of the gussets -- the wizardry how the stitch-count increases and then mystically returns to the same number as the leg, all very smoothly. Sock shaping is simple and fluid. The basic concept can be committed to memory and repeated over and again. Most of us harbor a specific and unique sock pattern in our heads. One we learned from a book, one we learned from someone else, one we combined from patterns suggested by others with patterns we've read. Sock knitting -- plain old sock making -- is like making a gumbo. We just make it. Period. There are plenty of recipes around in books and that, but when it comes to making a roux, we do it the way we do it. And it works. Sock knitting is about entering a meditative zone, creating something utterly usable and beautiful in relatively little time -- something that's ready to wear moments after the final thread is hidden. Despite the advice rendered by some detatched fashionista, a hand-made pair of socks lasts for years before -- are you ready for this concept -- mending is required. Those box store sox I mentioned earlier only cost a few cents a pair, but can you ever really repair them? Not really, not when the mended portion is nicer than what remains of the old sock. It's really not worth saving them if they're worn. Hand-made socks? Mend them, wear them a few more years, then mend them again. They last and last. Who made the Target specials? Some machine in a country unknown: clone socks made by the hundreds of dozens and shipped out around the world. And that raises perhaps the most appealing aspect of sock making. Our interest in being asked, "Who made those socks you're wearing?" They were hand-made for my own feet by a friend of mine, by my husband, by my partner, by my wife or my girlfriend. They are my socks because someone I know made them. They fit my feet because they were made to, and when they fray, they will be fixed like new and I will wear them still. Knitters and wearers of hand-knit socks know that it's all about the soul. Things made by human hands for humans to use are special -- and these days, quite rare. They have personality and are unique, and besides that, they tend to outlast their mass-produced counterparts. Socks fall into their own category: partially visible partially intimate, and as a result, they double both as undergarment and accessory. There's an allure to creating something that will be hidden, yet is still privately beautiful. Hand-made socks might seem archaic, but to those who wear them, they are a timeless piece of humanness, an ancient invention that re-invents itself daily. We have been continually fascinated with them ever since that infernal proto-bison labored into view of our tribal hunting party and made us slip into the lake as the temperatures dropped. Our ancestor wore them that night when a flair of methane bubbled up through the murky swamp, flashed momentarily ablaze, causing him to mistake the witch-light for a lonely dwelling to take refuge from the darkness. Being able to say "I made them" or "she made them for me" establishes a link between them to us and between us to each other. Socks combine the public and the private, the seen and the hidden: naughty piety and pious naughtiness. And nothing's more human than that.

Intarsia fun!

This Saturday, May 15, 10:30am we'll begin a wonderfully fun class in Intarsia knitting. Intarsia is the technique used to make knitted pictures in which there are large areas of contrasting colors. It's different from Fair Isle knitting in that the yarns are not carried along the back of the work, but hang in butterflies or on bobbins from the back. This way, you have the ease of using several colors in the same picture without doubling or trippling the fabric and without the danger of nasty puckering. The project for our Intarsia course is the festive Santa Stocking pictured to the left. The VBYC Santa stocking was inspired by a vintage 1940's pattern kit that was widely available up into the 1970's. The yarn we'll use is Encore worsted. If you so choose, you may even use white angora to make Santa's beard fluffy. Sign up now for the Christmas stocking project and discover the joy of intarsia knitting!

10 May 2010

Yin Yang

What harmony! Asian mystique. Yin and Yang make up the fabulous yarn pair from SWTC. Both are bamboo/Silk blends, one with sequins, the other without. One Bling, the other Blingless, Use them together. Fabulous. Try the groovy scarf/wrap featured in our recent SWTC trunk show that used these mystical pairs. Light your incense, make a bow, ring your gong. Achieve a balance. Yin and Yang. Experience the calm.....

07 May 2010

Mother's Day is Sunday!

Don't forget Mom! Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday, May 9th! She'd sure enjoy a spiffy Namaste bag, a bag or pouch from Della Q, a nifty new project, a set of Addi Clicks, a new pattern book (like the new Sox book just published by XRX and reviewed on the sidebar of this blog). Maybe she'd like a project class or a technique class. If you're not sure, let her decide and get her a VBYC gift certificate. A really groovy gift idea: a yarn swift and winder. A word to the wise: forget Mother's Day, and you may very well end up like the poor fella to the right.

Jealous Lace

I am in the process of puzzling out a pattern from this season's Rowan Magazine (#47) for a knitter, the "Blithe" jacket, made in Rowan Summer Tweed. The fabric is quite lovely -- an open weave waffle pattern. The bottom edge features a gentle scallop achieved by slipping every 4th stitch on two consecutive rows. After that, the fun begins. The lace is charted out. The dilemma was this: the stitch count seemed to change after each pattern row -- not necessarily a lace knitting oddity to have stitch numbers fluctuate, but not in this case. Here's the verdict: there's good news and bad news. Good news is the pattern works. Bad news is....well, the pattern works. A number of factors make this particular lace pattern such a jealous lover. First off, it's not a talkie pattern, that is, if you let your focus wane just for a bit, gremlins can creep in. You'll know there's a gremlin if, in the final stitches, something's not kosher. The chart is Gospel. If your final stitches are not canonical, there's heresy in afoot. Go back and account for each of the stitches in the row and exorcise the demons. Since Blithe is jealous, there's no fudging or "making it work." Blithe, you see, is a binary lover: it's either her way or the highway. No in-betweens, no compromises. Also, unless you're making the largest size, you will have to do a bit of analysis. Rowan patterns are not only beautiful, clever, and utterly gorgeous and fabulous, they also make you do a bit of work (which is worth it in the end, really). In the pattern informational section at the start, there is a statement that the chart might need to be modified regarding increases and decreases and such and so forth. A bit vague, that. There's also a similar paragraph in the general information section of the magazine. What these statements mean is this: if there's an increase or a decrease that exist in a larger size (outside the portion of the chart that maps out the pattern for the size you're working), you must modify the accompanying inc/dec in order to keep the stitch count correct. Huh? Yeah. Remember that all knitted lace is just a series of decreases with accompanying increases (yarn over's). Whatever you take away (decrease) you must give back (increase). Every SSK, K2tog, etc. will have a cooresponding yarn over. The chart is mapped out for the largest size. Say you're making a size L, and an increase in size XL might have it's yarn over in the portion of the chart for size L, in which case, the yarn over doesn't jive with any increases in the stiches you have. if you make this yarn over, you'll end up with an extra stitch. In order to avoid that, just knit the stitch in the chart block for the yarn over you don't need. In order to determine what end stitches are valid for the size you're making, you will have to do this: take out your magnifying glass and account for each increase and decrease pair. Whatever edge stitches have no matching opposite operations (increase/decrease) are just knits.
Now, second off: If you are working this pattern in the recommended yarn (Rown Summer Tweed), I recommend that you use Addi turbo needles. Not because they're German and spiffy, and not because they come in a zip lock pouch, but because the slick nickel finish allows the Summer Tweed to move freely along the needles. I've worked Summer Tweed on the old metal needles as well as on wood and bamboo. The silk/cotton blend of the Summer Tweed tends to get stuck on needles without the slick gliding finish. And especially in this pattern where you have K3tog's, it's advisable that your stitches can move around some on the needles. Otherwise, you're in for a tough ride, and might need a hammer and wedge to get your working needle up through all those stitches. Also, this pattern features the excitement and adventure of double yarn overs. On the purl side, the doubles might bunch together. Pay attention not to purl these babies together or to purl one while mistakingly allowing the second to slip away. Be aware where these double things are. The same goes for the pattern rows. If you need a K3tog, be sure you're working 3 stitches and not two. My general recommendation is this: if you like the jacket, knit it! Don't be frightened of it, HOWEVER, as I said, the piece is a jealous lover and demands your undivided attention. It's just needy lace, and that's that. But once she's on your good side, things do get easier in dealing with her.

05 May 2010

What a Show!

Thank you to all the many many of you who stopped in last night for the South West Trading trunk show. Thanks also to our fabulous SWTC rep, Sarah, who ran the fashion show. Didn't she do a marvelous job bringing the earth-friendly world of South West Trading to us? Also, I must thank our volunteer runway models who masterfully showed off all those the terrific SWTC designs. And a final thank-you to the folks who added to our magnificent "groaning board" by supplying all the edible goodies (the Danish butter was from Fresh Market, by the way for those who were asking, as were the mortadella, hard salami, rye bread, blue stilton, brie, and smokey ghouda. The fabulicious chocolate cake was from Champagne's in the Oil Center). And remember, every garment that you will make from the show last night, I will block and seam at no charge. When you're done, bring the pieces, and I'll get to work! And, as always, if you need any assistance during your knitting/crocheting journeys, just ask! Either Ethel or I will be more than happy to help out! Once again, thanks for attending, participating, and adding to a truly joyful evening!

04 May 2010


It's most superlative, this trunk show. You've read about it on Ravelry, you've seen it on Facebook and here at the blog! You've read it in the newsletter and you've heard about from friends and neighbors! And now, it's here, the big date: May 4th, 6pm, VBYC. Join us tonight for the splendiferous, super excellent and outstanding trunk show offered by South West Trading. You'll see 35 new and fabulous garments made with the amazing yarns of SWTC! Sarah (our extraordinary yarn rep) tells me also that there will be a couple men's designs in the collection as well -- for us men and for our salvation (considering that we knit too, and we also like to wear knitted things) . Plus this benefit of attending the trunk show: for every garment you purchase tonight and knit up with SWTC yarn, VBYC offers free (that's free, no charge, nada, zip, zero, gratis) finishing services (blocking and seaming). You knit it, we finish it. We'll see you tonight at VBYC: 6pm. Free parking.

01 May 2010

The Men's Knit Club
Monday Nights 6pm-8pm
In May, Men Learn to Knit for Free.

We'll be open on Sundays!

Sunday Tea is what it's called! VBYC will start opening Sundays from 1pm-5pm! Come relax on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the knitting circle! The first Sunday Tea will take place on May 16th, the Sunday after Mother's Day.