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.

29 September 2010

You saw them in Vogue. Pretty Nifty.

From our friends at Boye comes this interesting, simple device that can help demystify the magic of gauge. It's like having the knowledge of the entire Hogwarts School of Wizardry all condensed onto a simple rotary card. Well, maybe not, but close. What's the difference between Sport and DK? What the heck is DK? What crochet hook goes with what yarn? The 3 in 1 Tool will help you establish a general relationship between yarn size and needle/hook size. Now that I've lauded the virtues of this nifty item, I must say this: despite the tool's glorious and magnificent information, the ease to use it, and its magical ability to reveal about 95% of the hidden secrets of gauging knitted and crocheted fabric, the tool is just that: a tool. It has no brain and does not understand that it is possible to knit on lace weight yarn with a size 6 needle. So, in order to get that final 5% of the whole picture, it's necessary to be willing and open to experiment. The tool is a great item and will help make things easier for you, but it's not the Holy Grail of gauge. It's more like Merlin's hat. If you have trouble understanding how gauge works, this thing can help you figure out the basics.

27 September 2010

Sometimes it just makes you scratch your head

They call it a Chinese Fire Drill. Many of us have been in on such nutty capers at some point, usually back in the college days. The CFD falls into the same category as swallowing gold fish or cramming 50 bodies into a VW Beetle. Just to refresh, here's how it's done: the car pulls up to a stop sign or stops at a red light. The occupants (including the driver) pile out of the car, run around the vehicle as fast as possible and return to the seats they had filled before. It's nonsense, really. There's no purpose to it, other than to do it. The other day, we came across an interesting pattern at the shop. Someone had downloaded the thing from the net: a sock pattern. The pattern's owner had read through the instructions and wanted me to see whether it seemed kosher. Here lately, I'm starting to wonder whether pattern writers sit around a huge conference table somewhere, attempting to out-pattern each other. The one with most incomprehensible, vague, and ambiguous knitting instructions at the end of the day wins the challenge. Meanwhile we're left sitting in our knitting chairs reading something a bit less comprehensible than ancient Sumarian, yarn neatly in a ball, needles empty, our cat yawning at our feet waiting for the fiber action to commense. Come on folks, it's a pair of socks. Navel gazing. Seriously? The socks were made on 3 needles, 64 stitches total. Personally, I'd have opted for 4 needles, 16 stitches on each needle. This nifty pattern requested three: 1 with 16, the 2nd with 32 and the third with 16. You can just about imagine what sort of whackomatic angles that stitch distribution might produce. At any rate, the pattern master had the knitter boogying along down the leg to the heel flap enjoying the cramped comfort of an obtuse isosceles triangle. 16, 32, 16 for however many inches. The designer had envisioned the heel flap coming up from 32 stitches. That's fine, right? After all, the knitting was going on in the round (i.e. circle: no ending, no beginning), and there was already a needle with 32 stitches. So, just knit on over to the 32 stitch needle and make a spiffy heel flap, yes? No. Now, here comes the Chinese Fire Drill: the pattern instructed to work the 16 stitches of needle one, then turn, work the 16 stitches back, then work the stitches from the 3rd needle onto the first. Finally, with the free needle, we were commanded carefully to transfer 16 stitches from the original needle with 32 (the second needle) stitches in order to produce -- yes -- two needles with 16 stitches each. You've just experienced what it's like to be in the car behind the one in line at the intersection as its doors swing open, 4 goofs pile out, run a complete circle, then re-board, just in time to pop the clutch and be on their way. It's funny when we come across patterns like this, unless we're a relatively new knitter and are turned off by something that seems so terrifically complicated, but really isn't. Pattern reading often takes a bit of puzzling out if things seem vague. This is my suggestion: envision what it is that the pattern wants you to do. Figure out the knitting landscape. And don't second guess your gut feeling. If you think something might be easier to do another way, try doing it another way. The pattern is not a legal document. We can break those rules if they need to be broken. Just because someone in the car suggests a CFD at Kaliste Saloom and Ambassador, doesn't mean that you really need to do that. Experiment if things gets fuzzy. What's the worst that can happen? After seeing the Fire Drill sock pattern, I offer this great scarf pattern that you'll never finish. It's the ultimate navel gazer scarf. It's harder than anything you'll ever do, and you'll be guaranteed never to reach the end:
CO 25 Row 1: Sl 25 turn. Row 2: Rep Row 1. These two rows complete pattern. Continue in pattern until work measures 60" from cast-on edge. BO in pattern, fringe ends if desired.

22 September 2010

It's only appropriate...

...that these fabulous Japanese inventions we all love receive a few laurels, and in a truly Japanese way too. Officially, they're called "Mini Kacha Kachas", but around here, we just call them "Frogs" because 1) they're green like many frogs 2) the face of the counter looks like a frog face, and most of all 3) "Frog" is easier to say than "Mini Kacha Kacha". I for one can hardly ever remember what they're really called. I always want to say"Mini Titicacas" when ordering them from Eric up in Portland (our friendly and knowledgable ordering guy). We love us some Frog counters. They're practical, they're not gigantic, they don't get in our way dangling from our needle or stuck onto the end of it, the numbers don't change while they're sitting in our knitting bags, and they're green. Little groovy things that keep us on the straight and narrow, as long as we can find them in our stuff. VBYC just received another shipment of Frogs the other day, and I came on the idea that it would be interesting to sit down and compose some Haikus about our favorite fiber work notion: Frog Haikus. Crazy fun. Here are three of them:
Cute, petite green Frog Hanging from his I-chord perch Counts all my mistakes. Frenzied knitter, lost. Knitting bag a mess with yarn. Frog is out to lunch. Amphibian face, Busiest of all my tools, Counts a different sock.
So now that I've confessed my ueber-nerdy affection for weird poetry genres, you may be digging around in your fiber bag looking for something to count rows, stitches, decreases and such, and all you come up with is a post-it pad and a pen. You need a Frog, my dear!

15 September 2010


Jane has emailed supplies information for all classes to be offered aboard Carnival Triumph during the knitting cruise. This is information regarding the classes I am teaching. I will be teaching a lace project as well as a technique class to fix common knitting mistakes. The lace class information included three (3) different yarns. These yarns are three possibilities that I suggest to make the lace project. You may select any of these three yarns for your project. You may select more than one or all three, if you would like to make several scarves using the same pattern. That option is up to you. It is not required that you purchase all three yarns, but of course you will need to select at least one. The Tilli Tomas is 100% silk with prestrung beads. The Rowan felted tweed is a DK weight tweed yarn. The Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace is lace weight yarn in a silk and alpaca blend. Both Tilli and Felted Tweed are DK weight, smaller than worsted, bigger than sock yarn. The Classic Elite is lace weight -- smaller than sock yarn. To help you decide: The silk will make a high-end, dressy and elegant piece. The beads catch the light and cause the silk to shine. The Tweed can be dressy or casual depending on how you wear it. It's tweed and goes anywhere, looks great with just about anything. It's a good everyday yarn, it's a good dressy yarn. Alpaca Lace will give you a true lace look. It's a fine strand, and you'll use smaller needles. The lace weight produces a piece that is light and open. It does just as well for formal ensembles as for a day-to-day look. So, when making your decision, think of this: what are you planning to do with this lace scarf? What would it accent? Where would you wear it? What sorts of accents do you usually wear? Do you dress up frequently? If you attend Mardi Gras balls, formal mixers, society events, formal supper clubs, or just like to make a bold statement, use the Tilli. If you need a good, all around, reliable scarf for cooler weather or just a little burst of color for a casual outfit to meet your friends for lunch at Chili's, use Felted Tweed. If you need a rather understated, elegant accent piece for day to day use, going to church, or even for some formal occasions, something light-weight that doesn't get in the way and has really no other purpose that to make you look fabulous, choose the lace weight. If you plan to give the scarf as a gift, consider these same things regarding the person on your gift list. Decide what sort of yarn and the look you'd like. Then, decide what COLOR or COLOR DIRECTION you would like. What colors do you usually wear? What colors are your other accent pieces? What colors look good on you? Are there particular colors that make you look good, go well with your skin tone, eyes, hair color? These are the colors you should consider. Colors that wash you out, or clash with your skin tone are colors you should avoid. Some people can wear orange well, but others wearing orange will actually look orange. The same goes for pale colors. Folks with blonde hair and fair skin may look like ghosts in some colors like pale yellow. Open your closet and pick the outfit that you feel looks best on you. Consider the colors in that outfit and make your color choice. This color choice and the type of yarn is the information I need to know. Before classes begin, you will be have plenty of time to purchase the supplies you need for your classes. Based on your color preferences, which you will have given me, I will have with me selections in all three yarns in those colors on board the ship . I will also have the needles you will need to use with each yarn. If you haven't done so, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you let Jane know NOW which classes you would like to take, so that I can finalize my on-board inventory. The closer we get to the cruise date, the fewer options you will have regarding colors of yarns. Regarding the Fixing Mistakes technique class: you will receive a supplies kit which consists of a portion of yarn and needles. This is what we will use for the class. The yarn weight and color don't matter for this, since it's not a project we're after, but fixing techniques. Bottom line here: don't stress out over all this. Pick your classes, select your color favorites and preferences and let us know.

14 September 2010

Kate The Great!

Named for the famed Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great is a Schaefer colorway with bold pinks, fuchias and forrest greens. What to do with this fabulous yarn? I suggest creating the fabulous criss cross wrap. First there was the Clapotis, now there this amazingly stunning and beautiful creation.

09 September 2010

Like she said...

All Debbie Bliss Yarns in stock are 50% off while supplies last! Como, Rialto, Pure Silk, Prima.

It begins to tell....'round midnight....

And so begins the Thelonious Monk jazz classic. If you haven't heard Ella Fitzgerald sing it, you haven't had your soul melt, and you haven't experienced a jazzy musical winter. Pour a martini, sit back and take a listen. Smooth like Grey Goose and two olives. Jazz. Autumntime signals nature's winding down for winter sleep. What once was lush, green, starts to thin, fade. Soon, skeletal stalks and bare branches alone remain as nature slumbers. When Ella finishes those languid runs, our musical pulse is suspended until the voice comes to rest, the piano stills, and we're left gazing out into the distance. It's mystic, this gladsome sadness! Stacy Charles champions these aromatic autumn and blustery winter moods in the collection of the same name as the Monk standard: Round Midnight. When I first heard the title of the story, my first thought was New Year's Eve Party: a line of glitzy fabulousness intended for a sparkly, festive bash of sequins, diamonds, glitter, cocktails, counting backwards from 10, Moet 5 Star, slurred regrets, broken resolutions, running masquera, lampshade hats at dawn, and bleary-eyed Mimosas in the Quarter (it's a sin to waste half a bottle of Moet). However when I opened the book, what I saw wasn't this at all. Photographed on a backdrop of leafless trees, fallen and dry foliage, the collection is much more Ella's Midnight, than the other one of clanging cathedral bells on Jackson Square. The song, if you don't know it, is lonely, but not depressed. Love is gone, yet expected to return -- like the leaves in spring. The Charles designs inject color into a drab landscape. They catch your eye and, with their jazzy magic, keep you engaged. The Stacy Charles Round Midnight Collection. "Let our hearts take wings 'round midnight...Till our love is safe and sound. And old Midnight comes around."

07 September 2010

Mystery Lace Tips

Those of you who are working on the "Mystery Lace" piece by Julius Schuerer are more than likely nearing the end of the crocheted central netting and are about to embark upon the first of the knitted tiers. This pattern dates from the late 1940's or early 1950's. It is more than likely that folks who worked this amazing pattern back then knitted it using double points, enough of them to make it all the way around the oval. Don't worry. You don't have to do that. I'm not (yeah, I know. Jason without DPN's. Weird, but true). Use two circulars, one on each side of the oval. Length? Since we're all working the pattern in different yarn weights and using different size needles and hooks, you be the judge regarding the length of circular needle you'll require. I'm using a fingering weight yarn about the size of sock yarn, and I started on 16" needles. I'm seeing that I will probably really need to use 24" needles. Now, the knitting chart. It's accurate, but it doesn't reflect what the finished knitted tier really looks like (if you haven't gotten a picture of the piece yet, ask me for one). Disregard the open blocks in the chart. They don't stand for stitches. They're just open blocks. Hang a marker on the loop at the end of the crocheted oval to begin picking up stitches. Stitches are picked up THROUGH the loop, not from the chain stitches. In this case, you will need to "pick up and knit." Catch the working yarn, bring it up through the loop, transfer the loop to the left needle and knit it. Do this for each stitch you pick up. The key to following this chart is to focus and pay attention. I highly recommend running a life line through your work now and then, since this pattern is so jealous, it's really a bear to tink out, and if you get lost, then, well, you're lost, even if you leave breadcrumbs in your path. The beginning of the round isn't always clear, until you've completed the chart twice, but you'll know you're off, if you're off. As you move through the chart and around the oval, take mental note of the geography of the lace: where are the yo's, how many knits are there between yo's, etc. The long strands between the waves are created by the double yarn overs. When you're knitting in double yarn overs, you will knit the first yo through the front, then the second yo through the back. Otherwise, you will loose the second yo and your stitch count will go south. When you set down your work, leave some sort of specific record exactly where you are, so that you can continue where you left off. This pattern is a challenge, but the reward is really worth it! Keep knitting!

Filatura and Tahki

Hellenophiles rejoice! Xaire, Tahki! Lovers of things Italian join the strain! Salve, Filatura! Two wonderful yarn lines join the Vermilion Bay family this month: Tahki, 100% mercerized cotton spun in Greece, and Filatura di Crosa, one of Italy's leading yarn mills -- awesome patterns from Filatura!

The Newsletter is Out!

You all should have received your copy of the September newsletter sometime last Saturday. If you did not receive yours, or if you would like to receive it, but don't, please let me know. Be sure that you keep me updated with your email address changes. Also, the scheduled classes for the month have been posted here on the blog. There's a little description of each in the newsletter. If you can't make a scheduled time, schedule a time that works better for you. I know that you all will want to start on this fantastically terrific "Sean" scarf from the Rowan Lima collection (pictured to the left). The collection has been so popular, I will be reordering a supply of the books, so sit tight -- more will be forthcoming by the time the class is scheduled.