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.

30 December 2010

The Vermilion Bay Light

The draft of the New Year's Newsletter, the January 2011 edition of The Vermilion Bay Light, has been completed. Just a few final touches and it will be ready to email. Be looking for your email from me in your inboxes in the next few days. Highlights include a review and description of new yarns, loads of fiber work tips, your favorite columns "A word from Jason about..." and "Ask Stuart", the infamous "Indisposed" picture, and much more! I am so happy that you all enjoy the newsletter, and thank you very much for the many kind words I receive from you each month. It's really a joy to prepare it for you. It is my hope that both the newsletter and this blog may be a way for you to experience, if only in part, the magic of The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company between visits! If you haven't been receiving your copy of the Light, it's either because your email isn't in the list, or because you've changed your email and forgotten to update it. There's one cure for that: email me with your new address or give me a call!

New for New Year's Eve

Haven't tried the Takhi Cotton Classic? This DK weight mercerized cotton is a fantastic choice for adult knits as well as items for babies and children. This yarn holds up to practically anything you throw at it. Many of you have seen my Pat O'Brien's vest made of Tahki Cotton Classic. I made it almost 12 years ago, and it still looks brand new. Great stitch definition, a dream to knit up, and best of all: a price that doesn't blow the project budget. The colors are vibrant and bold. My favorite is this red. The color in the picture reads a bit lighter than reality. These hanks are a bold, rich, dark, piercing red. Start off your new year with a smart sweater project in Takhi Cotton Classic!
Fans of the adorable Dumpling Pouches: More are here, and in completely new colors and prints. Every knitter needs a set or three. Stitch markers with a flair.
Hiya-Hiya needle fans: The needles you love for socks and lace are here waiting for your cast-on!

29 December 2010

As they say in high dollar French...

"HOLY CRAP!" That's actually what slipped out of my mouth yesterday as I completed the finishing work on a fantastic new garment for a client. All the seaming was done, and I had carefully woven in all the tails. The piece was ready to wear. I held it up, and there it was. Right in the middle of the yoke. A hole about the size of a nickel. Not an eyelet, but an actual hole in the fabric. The stitches were coming undone. Already there were a few live stitches just hanging out, framing an empty spot in the knitting. What was that about? As it turns out, there had been a knot in the yarn, and, by manipulating the piece during the finishing process, the knot had worked itself open and caused the fabric to unravel. I've written a couple articles here on the blog as well as in the newsletter, and y'all have all heard me harp on it over and again in the shop: never, never, never, never tie knots in your yarn. "Well, I've always tied knots". My answer: Mt. St. Helen's was just a beautiful tree covered peak in Washington state, until the early 1980's. I can not stress enough the importance of taking the time to join yarn properly and to weave the ends into the fabric. Woven ends are secure. Knots are not secure. No knot, regardless how tightly tied at the moment, will remain a knot forever, especially in a garment that is worn by a human being (or even by a pet!). Normal movement of the body as well as the interaction of the knitted piece with other articles of clothing will....and I repeat: WILL eventually help the knot to untie itself. A woven end stays put and becomes part of the fabric, whereas a knot stays a knot (for a time), something foreign, apart from the fabric. The finishing job yesterday had a happy ending, thank goodness, because my client had supplied me with the remains of the yarn used to work the garment -- to complete the seams. Since the ends of the knot were so short, they could not be used to make the repair. So, I needed to make the gash worse at first so that there would be enough material to execute the repair. New yarn was required to replace the unraveled portion, and the old bit I wove in as a customary join. If you are in the habit of accesorizing your fabric with knots, stop doing that. Stop doing that NOW! Weaving in the ends of the new yarn and the old yarn is just one of the many little techniques that set a garment apart as an expertly finished piece. Here's how: Work your yarn until you have about 6-8 inches left. Take the new strand and lay it next to the old yarn with the yarn ends facing opposite directions. Now, work with BOTH old and new strands together for 2-4 stitches. The tails can hang on the wrong side to be woven in completely as part of the finishing, or you can work them in as you go. This same technique works for crochet as well. In knitting, when you return to the spot with the join on the next row, just remember that at the join, the stitches each have two strands. Treat these double stranded stitches as regular stitches: if you knit each strand by itself, you'll have a sudden unwanted increase. No more knots, folks! So you say the yarn came with a knot tied in the hank? That happens sometimes. But knots tied in the mill are just about as good as knots tied in your wingback at the house. If you come up with a knot, unknit your work until you have a good tail about 6-8 inches from the knot and untie the knot, or cut it out if the yarn is fuzzy. Join the ends as I've described. No knots. Take a look at our machete-prepared friend pictured above. You can think of him as the knitter and his long-toothed adversary as the knots you USED to tie in your fabric. Most of the time, all you see is nostrils and a pair of eyes on the surface of the bayou. But disturb that? Watch out where he might sneak up and bite you....

21 December 2010

It's the week of Christmas (but you already know that)

If you're anything like I am, as soon as the 4th Advent candle is lit, you get a little giddy in anticipation of the Christmas celebration. Throughout the pre-Christmas time we experience joyous preludes to the holiday: preparation of tasty baked items , decorating the house, getting things spruced up for festive gatherings of family and friends, finishing up Christmas gift projects for those we hold dear (and dropping vague hints here and there to help build the suspense). The closer we get to the 25th or even the 24th, the Advent wreath seems to fade away and the Christmas tree becomes our center of attention: what magic this season brings! May you all enjoy a blessed and happy Christmas celebration wherever you are, and may the hope of the Incarnation accompany you all throughout Christmastide and the New Year. Merry Christmas from The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company, YOUR local yarn shop!
Be sure to take note of the VBYC Christmas and New Year's schedule printed at the top of the blog page.

16 December 2010

Sliced Bread: Old School. The new best thing is here!

Forget buttons. Take a look at these! Fabulous shawl sticks with classy toppers! Choose your look: elegant, demure, whimsy, flirty, brash, understated, WOW! Each one of these lovelies is unique. Transform your wrap or scarf from the workaday to the wonderful! Don't know what to get your special fiber fan for Christmas? Right here. Stocking stuffer, or tie the little bag onto the gift bow of another gift as a Santa sussy. Look for the colorful Shawl Stick palm display the next time you're in. Scan the horizon for the neon ostrich plumes, and you've found the shawl sticks! The affordable price and great look of these awesome accents are perfect for any budget. Do you play Secret Santa or Kris Kringle at your office? Right here. My advice: if you're playing Dirty Santa at your office party, you'd better take two. One that you can keep for yourself, since these sticks will be the gifts that get stolen by all the players again and again. They're just that terrific!

15 December 2010

So Groovy!

We're counting down the weeks to Christmas, and maybe you have a couple gift projects that haven't come to mind yet. Problem solved: the Bouquet Scarf. While Santa's helpers are assembling the bicycles, setting up the doll houses, and filling stockings, you can be finishing up your bouquet scarves. This fabulously whimsical scarf takes no longer than 90 minutes to knit. Super Chunky yarn on size 17's with a one-row pattern repeat. The flowers are made of the same thick-thin roving-like yarn and are tied right on to the strand. Since you can move the little rose buds and pansies around on the strand, it's a snap to get all the blooms on one side of the scarf. One hank does it! There are multicolor options as well as solid background options for this really really neat item. It will certainly make you smile. If you've made last minute scarf gifts from Lana Grossa Ciao or SWTC Dream Big, cut that knitting time in half, and that's how long it will take you to finish your Bouquet. Hiding tails? Lord, it's easy! Two tails: what ever you have left from the cast on and the little bit from the bind off. No blocking required. My advice: you can wait till Christmas Eve to start this project, but if you want to make it, you probably need to put on the speed to pick up the best hank to make you grin! The Bouquet Scarf. Materials available NOW at VBYC, YOUR local yarn shop! Merry Christmas!

14 December 2010

Kudos, Blaine!

Kudos to Blaine from Men's Knit Club who put the finishing touches on the VBYC shop tree yesterday afternoon! Just in time for today's Christmas Party! The tree looks great! So festive!

Christmas Party!

Today, Tuesday, December 14th 10am-8pm is the annual VBYC Christmas/Anniversary party! Bring your favorite Christmas party food item and settle in for as long as you like! We're celebrating the season as well as two fabulous years of VBYC, YOUR local yarn shop! Many of you remember that cold, rainy day two years ago when we huddled out on the sidewalk with a 10' length of Nature Spun Worsted that I cut in half with a giant pair of scissors! What a magical, wonderful day that was! Thanks so very much to all of you who keep that magic alive! Merry Christmas to all of you!

10 December 2010

Leave the landing strips to the airport people..

Scarves are pretty nifty items, that's for sure. But, (and there's always the "but"), a scarf is an accent. It's not necessarily something you wear indoors. Yeah, I know. There're those particular scarfs you can work up in a novelty yarn that have Fake Fur, Zingly Dingdots, Dootlezoinks, and Fibblefloots, and those have their place, I suppose. Remember, Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias complimented the ueber-accesorized Annelle as she arrived at Mae-Lyn's Christmas party: "Our ability to accessorize is what sets us apart from the animals." But don't get a notion that creating a closet full of 6"X65" swatches of knitting is all there is. Knitting a fathomless quantity of landing strips is fine, if that's your thing, but at some point, it's got to get boring. Consider another project, something with a bit more of a challenge. Make a vest or some other sort of garment that's fitted. Something that has a pattern beyond "repeat rows 1-5 twelve million times until your knuckles bleed." Select a basic sweater pattern or a vest pattern that has, perhaps, a simple stitch pattern, or a modest Aran pattern like the one pictured here (this design is in the Filatura Lovely Jeans book, by the way). "But it's south Louisiana. We just don't wear that." What? And you make scarves for a blizzard, and 35 million of them, yet you wear, what, short pants and short sleeves in winter? No. Make a sweater. You don't have to use a big wooly wooly yarn either. Use a blend. Make it cotton. How about a cotton silk blend? A nice alpaca blend? There are fibers for us in the Deep South, fibers we can wear comfortably in our mild autumn-winter. No excuse. "No, that's just too hard for me." Honey, that's what I tried to tell Mrs. McNabb in second grade when I was quite content printing. With her help, I learned handwriting. Didn't like it at the time, but hey, it worked. At VBYC, YOUR local yarn shop, you have all the help you need for your sweater projects. You won't be flying without a net. Think past the scarf! What a great sense of accomplishment you'll have when you look at your perfectly fitted garment!

Fabulous. Just Fabulous. Absolute WOW!

Shawls, scarves and wraps need special accents, and The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company (YOUR local yarn shop!) has exactly the items that will add just the needed bit of Fabulous to your look. The handcrafted Jackfruit square pin is an amazing work of art that is sure to compliment your new wrap, or the the scarf of a special someone this Christmas. Elegant art deco styling abounds in the Calla Lily shawl stick. Rosewood, sterling, and pearl. Three of nature's most beautiful elements unite in this sleek, stunning piece. Classy! Hurry on in to VBYC, YOUR local yarn shop, to select just the right pin, stick, or other closure/accent for your holiday outfits.

08 December 2010

Special Guest at Knit Cafe!

Last night at Knit Cafe we welcomed Erin from the Independent and Deep South Magazine. She was visiting us in preparation for a fabulous article that will appear soon in both publications. There's buzz about VBYC, YOUR local yarn shop! If you've never been to Knit Cafe or any of the other knitting events here, or if you haven't just come in and sat for a while to work your projects, take some time to experience that magic! I know that many folks are on the go and may not have a lot of time to sit and linger. Regardless how much time you have, whether it's an entire free afternoon or just 5 or 15 minutes. Come in and have a seat, knit or crochet a row, half a row, or whatever. It's always a pleasure to see you and visit a little! Be on the look out for Erin's terrific write-up! The photo here I borrowed from Erin.

07 December 2010

YOUR local yarn shop!

You've probably noticed the new VBYC motto here on the blog and everywhere else where there's mention of YOUR local yarn shop. I say "new", but really, the motto isn't new at all. It's actually always been YOUR local yarn shop, because YOU are the the ones who make it what it is. Without YOU, there would be no VBYC. A couple weeks back, one of the knitters was relaxing in the shop working a baby afghan. She glanced down at her pattern and noticed a little reminder at the bottom, printed there in bold face by the designer. She was taken by it and read it aloud. It went something like "A local yarn shop is a treasure. Support your local yarn shop." What a fantastic reminder to all of us, both me and you. Seems to me the message from the pattern leaflet pretty much repeats our "new" motto. It's important never to take things for granted, especially these days. Also, it's important for us yarn folks to appreciate our local fiber community and to do that every day. In our work we support each other in our endeavor to prepare terrific fiber creations for ourselves and those special to us. What a joy it is to see a yarn that sits in the bin find a home to be worked into something that will be used and bring happiness to someone. Wearing a knitted or crocheted garment handmade by a friend, relative, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or partner is like being hugged by them all day long. You know they thought of you as they purled, knitted, trebbled, or chained. And when you see the stitches accenting your outfit for the day, you are reminded of them, their love for you, the time taken to select yarn, to create something beautiful with you in mind, and to give it to you to use. Our job, both yours and mine, is to foster the giving of self. And oh, the rewards that come back to us! It's hard work, that, and requires much patience. As the guys assembled last night for Men's Club, a little girl sat learning to knit. Brand new needles, brand new yarn, eager eyes, and fingers learning new movements, looping loops. A bit of frustration, a split strand, a few sighs. "It does get easier" came the encouragement from the guys, many of whom themselves had recently learned to knit. Patience. "And in the end, the reward is great." Vermilion Bay Yarn is YOUR local yarn shop. Support it and let it support you. The reminder printed on the bottom of the pattern spoke of a treasure. And it's right. Every person, regardless of age, gender, or whatever, who walks through the VBYC door is both a treasure and part of a larger treasure. YOUR local yarn shop celebrates community. There's no mold to fit, no dress code, no hairstyle requirement. Just be YOU. Embrace that. Celebrate it. VBYC does.