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.

23 December 2011

Awesomeness Incarnate

The Winter 2012 Vogue Knitting has just arrived at the Bay, and boy oh boy is it fabulous! This issue is definately a home run, loaded with designs we've all been waiting to see: capes, capelets, fingerless gloves, terrific new skirt patterns , and absolutely amazing wraps. After a few seasons of punting, our favorite knitting magazine has knocked it out the park! Pick up your copy today!

17 December 2011

Brown Sheep Wildfoote

This just in: a great selection of Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn. Fabulous varigated colorways as well as terrific solids. Two mini skeins of Wildfoote will make you an awesome pair of socks that are comfortable to wear, are machine washable, and that will last you practically a lifetime before they need mending. All those brilliant varigated sock yarns are fabulous for sure, but sometimes you just need a pair of socks in a good, sensible, solid -- especially if you're knitting dress socks for a guy. If you're making argyles, Wildfoote is your yarn. Stop in soon and choose your colors!

15 December 2011

Return Policy

Just a quick note to review how VBYC accomodates returned merchandise. The entire policy statement is printed above in the general shop info section of the blog. The policy itself sounds a bit officious and sterile, but it's one of those things like on the old Dragnet TV show: "Just the facts, ma'ame." Back when VBYC opened three years ago, I was able to express this policy simply by word of mouth, but as we continue to grow, it's become necessary to present it in written form.

Living Social!

Are you signed up for LivingSocial.com? Great deals from local business throughout Acadiana, including The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company! There's one day left to take advantage of the beginning knitting class deal -- $27 for class and materials. Can't beat that for an excellent stocking stuffer or a perfect teacher gift! Click here to view the deal and to purchase! We've already had an overwhelming response to the deal, so take advantage of it while it's still available! Let's get the list of new knitters growing to over 100! Let Vermilion Bay Yarn introduce those special to you to the wonderful world of fiber arts! Once you've purchased your deal, stop by the shop or call to schedule your lesson(s)! Be sure to bring your voucher with you to your lesson, or have it available on your smartphone!

09 December 2011

Christmas News!

As Christmas Day approaches our schedules get busier. Here's the Vermilion Bay Yarn Company schedule for Christmas and New Year's: Saturday, December 24: 10am-4pm Sunday, December 25: Closed Monday, December 26: Closed Saturday, December 31: Closed Sunday, January 1: Closed Monday, January 2: Closed Tuesday, January 3: 10am-8pm, Knit Cafe 6pm-8pm. On the days that aren't listed here, we will be following our regular schedule. On Tuesday, December 13th, we'll have our annual shop Christmas party throughout the day! Bring your favorite Christmas party food and/or drink item(s) and join the festivities. Sign up any time during the day for an opportunity to win a VBYC gift bag full of fibering goodies! Be sure to ask Santa for gifts from The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company! We'll see you soon!

21 November 2011

Thanksgiving Week Schedule

I've posted the Thanksgiving schedule on the top of the blog page, but it's probably not a bad idea to write it again in a regular post. VBYC will be closed Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after, but will re-open on SATURDAY at 10am! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Fabulous white bronze and rosewood shawl sticks from the fall/winter JUL collection have arrived and they're waiting for you at VBYC! JUL's ultra creative pieces are truly unique and exquisite -- and I might say, rather popular because of it. You've more than likely seen several pictures on Facebook already of these awesome works of art. Among our favorites: the Twig shawl stick and the pewter Swirls. Something completely new and different are the French Curve leather closures. Those of you who (like me) find that sewing on buttons is a giant pain in the posterior will ADORE the French Curve closures. They're go anywhere closures that are easily attached and detached right where they're needed. Wear it as a closure or as a unique accent. Jul accents make perfect Christmas gifts! Stop in today and take a look!

18 November 2011

Thank you for your patience!

As many of you know, I have been in the process of a giant residential move and the tedious process of sifting through years of accumulated artifacts and treasures with the purpose of downsizing and simplifying. Although this change has all for the better, it's nonetheless very stressful, time consuming, and physically exhausting. If the move weren't enough, I must report the sad news that my mother (whom many of you have met in the shop, and several of you remember her from last year's knitting cruise) was recently diagnosed with the onset Alzheimer's, necessitating her move to an assisted living facility equipped with the properly trained care-giving staff. This week was the designated "move date" for my mother into her new apartment. So in the midst of my own upheaval, I made the trip up to Arkansas to help with my mother's transition and to get her "settled in". I thank you all for your patience with me for not being in the shop while I see about these rather weighty personal matters. My number one priority has always been to you, the VBYC community, and I am pleased to announce that these extra activities are soon concluding so that I may once again devote my undivided attention to VBYC. Tremendous thanks to Ethel for her unwaivering willingness to come in extra time to cover for my absences and for maintaining the top notch customer service and the friendly atmosphere you have all come to associate with Vermilion Bay Yarn. In order to play "catch up", as it were, with the newsletter, I will be writing a "Holiday" edition that combines both November and December, so be looking for that in the next week or so -- and I hadn't mentioned that we've been having some prolonged computer issues in the shop as well (all cleared up now!), which further hampered my attempts to print documents and use the internet. Again, I thank you for your patience with all this and for continuing to stop in at your fiber arts oasis. We'll see you today when you visit!

03 November 2011

OMG, the new fibers!

Yesterday we celebrated shipment 1 of the fantabulous new fall winter yarns from Cascade. Today will be just like yesterday, as we await the second box of goodness. Fans of cozy and luxurious softness hurry on in! With this delightful wintery cold front, you'll have just what you need to settle into your favorite knitting chair. Venezia worsted, that amazing silk blend yarn that guarantees a high end feel and look, is waiting for you! And the colors! Rich and bold! The winter white is absolutely gorgeous! Mother Nature is the mistress of color, and she shows her expertise in the yarn that captured our hearts and our needles last fall: Eco Alpaca and Eco Duo. All natural, undyed alpaca fiber in solids and marls. Picture a vest in the buttery bliss of Eco Alpaca. That's a Christmas sweater he'll want to wear every day! Many more fall and winter wonders await your next visit to VBYC! Want patterns to use some of the fantastic new fibers? The newest "Quick Knits" book from Cascade is here too: 60 More Quick Knits contains page after page of small-scale projects smartly designed and fashion forward. We'll see you today at VBYC!

28 October 2011

Holiday Vogue Knitting!

Many of you have been asking when the Vogue Knitting Holiday 2011 would arrive. It just did. Hurry on in and get your copy while supplies last! It's time to get started on Christmas/Holiday knitting. Pick up your Vogue today!

27 October 2011

Favorites for Fall and Winter!

In the next few days, your favorite winter yarns from Cascade will arrive at The Bay. Venezia Worsted, Pastaza, Lana Bambu, and many others. Sock knitters will be happy to greet the new colors of Heritage handpaints for their cooler month projects. And if that weren't enough, the delicious Eco Alpaca we all fell in love with last fall will be making a spectacular return to the VBYC bins this season. Who can resist that buttery softness of 100% alpaca? All these fine yarns just in time for Christmas knitting! In the meantime, stop by and take a look at the terrific colors of Tahki Boulder -- an ultra soft super chunky yarn. Grab a pair of 19's, a ball of Boulder, sit in your favorite knitting chair and get up with a stunning, finished project in no time! Boulder looks just as great in simple garter stitch as it does in cables. You just can't go wrong, regardless the pattern you choose. It's awesome. The appeal of chunky and bulky yarns is right on trend this season -- just take a look at the new Knitters' Magazine, packed with a host of fashion forward bulky knits. Visit VBYC today and see whats going on! You don't want to miss out!

20 October 2011

Happy Birthday, VBYC!

Three years ago today, October 20th, The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company marked its first day bringing the finest fibers and supplies to the hand knitters and crocheters of Acadiana. When I was first making plans for Vermilion Bay Yarn, I envisioned a warm, friendly, and welcoming place filled with a diverse group of friends and neighbors all united in a similar interest: fiber arts. I envisioned a place where creativity could thrive, a place to exchange ideas and to find inspiriation, a place to learn new things. Thanks to all of you, The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is such a place. Every day we enjoy the company of long-time friends and are happy to meet new ones. YOUR local yarn shop is much more than just a store: it's a place where you come to relax from your day or find a few moments of tranquility in the middle of a hectic week. VBYC is a place to refresh and revive. As artforms, knitting and crochet offer vast potential for creativity and for constant learning. It's always a joy to teach the basics to new knitters and crocheters as well as to tackle advanced technques with folks ready to challenge what they know and develop their fiber skills. Countless persons of all ages have discovered their love for the craft at VBYC, and I look forward to many more years of passing along that joy. I never tire from saying that YOU, all of you come to knit, crochet, find projects, seek help with difficult patterns, those who take classes, and even those who just stop in to sit and unwind, are the ingredients that make The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company so very special. Without you, without that magical mixture of voices, personalities, faces, joys, laughter, tears, triumphs, victories, and love, there would be no VBYC. I sincerely thank you all for helping make that special vision a reality. Thank you all for three amazingly fabulous years, and I look forward to serving you for years to come! Stop in today at VBYC and help us to celebrate the joy. Celebrate this special community that is so dear to all of us -- The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company: YOUR local yarn shop.

12 October 2011

The October Vermilion Bay Light: Gift Ideas for Christmas

By now, you all have received your copies of the October Vermilion Bay Light. I changed things up a bit for this edition and focused more on project ideas for the fall and winter -- thinking much about projects that don't take a lot of time to complete, that make great gifts for the upcoming holidays. Among the top project ideas this season are the fabulous Stella Shrug in Kidsilk Haze and hat/scarf ensembles made of Rowan Big Wool and Drift. This Christmas there is a distinct trend toward giving handmade gifts. Quality handmade items created for someone specific make for gifts that are distinctly personal and special. Stop in at Vermilion Bay Yarn and let us help you plan out your Christmas list. We thank you in advance for supporting Acadiana by shopping local!

06 October 2011

Fixation is here!

VBYC has received several new colors of fixation, the curious yarn with elastic. It's a great choice for baby things -- many use it for headbands. Fixation has also been known to become socks and other things that benefit from just the right amount of stretch. Fixation is easy to knit or crochet.

04 October 2011

October Classes!

Two great technique and project classes are scheduled this month: Crochet for Knitters and Fingerless Gloves. How many times have you had to rethink a knitting project because it involved crocheting an edge around the neckline or armholes? This is the class for you: learn the basics of crochet to add expert crochet finishing! Fingerless gloves are right on trend this season, and many of you have been asking how to make them. Here's the class where you learn the basics of glove making, but without the fingers. Sign up today and pick up your materials!

28 September 2011

Long Thursdays at The Bay!

A little reminder that the VBYC hours have changed slightly: YOUR local yarn shop (the Fiber Arts Trendsetter in Acadiana) is now open until 8pm on Thursdays! Two extra hours on a week night to come relax, knit, crochet, and visit. As a trade-off, VBYC will be closed on Sundays.

Comes Autumntime!

It's here folks! The equinox has passed, and (although the temperatures aren't yet here) that means it's high time to start focusing on Christmas gifts and such -- for yourself and for all your special people. Three months is plenty of time to complete several smaller projects, and some larger projects too! VBYC is ready with the supplies you need to complete your holiday gift list. Your gift list might also include non-project items too: shawl sticks, bags, notions, books.... Browse the selection of items from Namaste, Amy Butler, and Hadaki! And of course there's the stocking stuffer that's always appreciated by all fiber fans: the VBYC gift certificate! Not a knitter or crocheter? It's time NOW to place custom garment orders for Christmas. Let us assist you in selecting the perfect design and finding the best fiber! A handmade garment from Vermilion Bay is a unique, one-of-a-kind gift as special as the one who receives it!

14 September 2011

Schedule Change. Sunday Tea takes a Hiatus

Last week was the last scheduled Sunday Tea. As a trade-off, The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company will open an extra two hours on Thursday nights starting on Thursday, September 29th. Although I wish I could maintain the 7 days/week schedule in order for VBYC to be available to you every day of every week as it has been, such a schedule is unbelievably exhausting, and leaves me with very little time for myself to re-energize and re-charge. Although our Sunday Tea offered you an extra day of visiting VBYC, my being able to have a Holy Day of Obligation each week will enable me to serve you even better Monday-Saturday! We'll see you today at VBYC!

The Newsletter Has Been Sent!

Great news! Newsletters! I've just sent out the final copies of the September Vermilion Bay Light, so you should all have yours in your email inboxes right now. So, let this be the plan for today: open your newsletter, make a list of all the fabulousness you need to start your fall and winter projects, and hurry on over to VBYC! This morning on Facebook, I posted a thank you note to all of you for your business, and I'll repeat that same thank you here. I very much appreciate your patronage and support, and I hope that you continue that support. Your valued business is what keeps our doors open and what keeps you supplied with the finest fibers and supplies in Acadiana for all your fiber projects. We'll see you today at VBYC!

31 August 2011

Labor Day Schedule

This coming Monday, September 5th is Labor Day. VBYC will be closed that day, but we will re-open on Tuesday, September 6th at 10:00am. The weekend schedule remains the same.

Blocking Wires, Frogs and such...

Rejoice, you lace knitters and knitters of things adverse to T-pins! VBYC now carries blocking wires to make it easier to stretch and block your finer things without having to deal with those accidental "pin peaks" that tend to form when tensioning lace fabric. Blocking wires provide an overall uniform tension on your piece to open up your lace for a perfect finished look. Be sure to pick up your set the next time you're in!
One of the most practical tools in our notions box is the counter, and a whole new squad of frogs just arrived yesterday. If you've misplaced your favorite counter, or if your counter(s) is/are counting other things, you need additional ones!

30 August 2011

Knitters and Debbie Bliss!

Two popular magazines have arrived for fall: the next edition of Knitters' as well as the fall edition of Debbie Bliss. Both have many terrific designs to add to your fall/winter wardrobe. Cute tops and shrugs in this season's Knitters', the magazine known for its clear, and easy-to-follow pattern instructions. The designers at Debbie Bliss present a great fall line of patterns for garments and accents, especially a fabulous collection of children's wear. On the top of Ms. Debbie's children's list is a cute cute top made with three balls of lace weight mohair and silk. I suggest Rowan Kidsilk Haze for this. Several knitters are already making it for their well dressed toddlers. Christmas is coming! Fair Isle knitting is all the fashion this season. It's big, folks, really big. Debbie Bliss includes an amazing spread of black/white fair isle knits that will rocket you to the cutting edge of fashion. Be the first in Lafayette to sport the newest looks in knitwear!

27 August 2011

Ripple and Bandel

We've been waiting for these yarns for some time...and at long last our number has come up, and they're in stock. Ripple is the 100% cotton thick/thin ribbon that knits up into an amazing fabric. VBYC also stocks the pattern book for this magnificent yarn. If you've been waiting for Ripple, stop on by and procure your garment supply. Replenishments of Ripple come as often as 60 degree mornings in a Louisiana August. My suggestion: strike while the iron's hot.
And then there's Bandel. Many of you have asked for a yarn that, when knitted, creates an interesting ruffle effect. That's Bandel. You knit through the openings on one side of the wide ribbon (with another yarn) and the result is a ruffle! A Bandel scarf is a quick and easy project for yourself or as a gift. If you're looking for a unique twist in knitting, try Bandel.

24 August 2011

Classes this weekend!

This weekend VBYC is offering two very valuable classes for knitters of all experience levels: Gauge and Fixing Mistakes. Saturday morning brings a fun hands-on seminar that transforms the shop into your yarn selection playground! You'll find out that the mystery ratio of stitches to inches isn't really a mystery at all. We'll discuss the various yarn weights we use in fiber arts, as well as selecting the right needles for your project. Questions regarding selecting yarns, quantities, and determining the factors that ensure a garment's fit are many of the obstacles that keep talented knitters stuck in the boring scarfnhat rut. This class will help you break the cycle of the two skein wonder-scarf.
In the afternoon, we'll tackle some strategies that will help boost your knitting confidence so that you can identify and correct many of the common blemishes we all make in our work from time to time. Many of the solutions are far simpler than they might seem! At the heart of this class is an analysis of exactly what it is that we are doing: how are stitches made? How does the working yarn become a knitted fabric? Join us this Saturday for either or both of these important classes!

Heritage Sock and Ultra Pima

Fabulous new colors of your favorite 100% pima cotton yarn are here! Ultra Pima is an amazing item from Cascade lauded for its ultra soft feel, and ultra luxurious sheen. It's the next best thing to working in silk -- and Ultra Pima boasts a hefty 220 yards per hank, which translates into fewer yarn joins in your garments. Ultra Pima is a multipurpose cotton workhorse with an upscale, high-end look. At Vermilion Bay Yarn, we've seen Ultra Pima transformed into many things: countless baby blankets, all seasons tops, jackets, shrugs, wraps, Baptismal gowns, and even a stunning custom designed wedding dress. If you've not yet used Ultra Pima for your projects, it's time to experience what all the buzz is about!
Sock knitters will be happy about the arrival of a few more colors in Heritage Paints. My favorite in this batch is a smart multi-color of reds. Delicious! More colors in Heritage are due in soon, having been relegated to the dreaded "backorder" list. Until then, there're plenty of colors to choose from, so get going on a new exciting sock project!

18 August 2011

Wine Sleeves!

Sure, you can go to a box store and buy a nifty paper bag, chuck a bottle of wine inside, and fill the open gaps with colored tissue. We've all done that, and that's nice. This weekend, you have a chance to create interesting wine presentations for your host or hostess using Rowan Big Wool and Drift. Knit a wine sleeve to dress up your gift! These projects all use chunky yarn on size 15 needles, so you won't be tied up for very long. These are easy afternoon projects, but they're loaded with techniques all knitters ought to know: short row shaping, button holes, knitting in the round, and more. What's really exciting about these projects is that your design ideas are practically limitless. From a basic bottle shape, you can add or subtract various design elements to make your creation your very own. There are two Wine Sleeve Classes this weekend, one on Saturday at 10:30am and one on Sunday at 1:30pm. Each class will focus on a different design. You can take one or the other at the standard class fee, or you can take both for $30. Each design requires one ball of Rowan Big Wool or Drift. Sign up and select your colors!

10 August 2011

Interweave Knits

The latest edition of Interweave Knits has arrived -- full of terrific designs for the fall and winter. It's time to get a good head start on Christmas gift projects! Start your list today with the fall Interweave Knits.

06 August 2011


I was just thinking about the little puppy snips, and I thought about the classic German children's book that taught good manners and discouraged bad habits -- Stuwwelpeter. The book isn't namby pamby by any means. It's brutally honest and rather graphic at times. The story of the thumb sucker is one of my favorites. The story is that the mother told her son that while she's away, he is not to resort to his silly comforting practice of sucking his thumb. True to form, the unfortunate boy's thumb when straight into his mouth as soon as his mother left, but then the door burst open and a tailor jumped in and cut off both his thumbs with a giant pair of scissors. Had that tailor burst in armed with puppy snips, the boy would still have had both thumbs, and the only thing he'd have to contend with would be terribly crooked teeth as an adult.

Adorable Notions

The adorable snipping sensation is back, and this time in even more vibrant colors than before! Puppies had taken a hiatus for a while at VBYC, but they're back in technicolor! Add a bit of snippy adorableness to your notions bag with a few new colorful sets of snippies!

02 August 2011

Rowan Alpaca Chunky

If you're a Rowan Lima fan, you're going to flip when you encounter the luxurious poshness of Rowan Alpaca Chunky. Same chain construction as your favorite Lima, but in an ample Chunky weight. Compared to other alpaca yarns, and especially the chunky ones, the Rowan variety is superior. None of that aggravating shedding that usually accompanies working with this butter soft fiber. And, the chain construction of this amazing yarn helps you avoid yarn splitting. So why no picture of this fabulous yarn? Well, it's so wonderful, you'll just have to come in to see it (and feel it) for yourself. Rowan Alpaca Chunky. Experience it.

27 July 2011

A Cascade of Cascade

New Cascade yarns for the fall will start pouring in in two weeks! Among our favorite quality yarns from the Cascade company are: Ultra Pima (pima cotton with a fantastic sheen), Venezia (the luxurious silk and merino blend), Pastaza (a cozy, bullet-proof Llama blend with a great feel and a high-end look), Heritage sock yarn, as well as a few shades of Heritage with silk. Several other yarns will also be arriving as well as some fantastic pattern anthologies, including the new 60 More Quick Knits. It's time to start planning out your fall and winter projects and checking off Christmas gifts from your list!

Yarns for All Seasons

Two of our favorite all seasons yarns arrived yesterday in an explosion of color: Grass and Vita. These yarns from Plymouth are terrific blends that look great and are comfortable to wear 12 months of the year in Acadiana. Grass is an earthy hemp and cotton blend that works up in a light-weight, classy tweed. Vita is made of recycled cotton and cashmere. It's cotton, but with the soft luxury of cashmere. Both Grass and Vita are just as home in fall sweaters as they are in spring and summer tops. There are several colors in both to choose from. Make your next garment project in Vita or Grass!

25 July 2011

Rowan for the fall

The new yarns and design collections from Rowan arrived with much fanfare last Friday! I started getting the word out earlier in the week, and the buzz spread, resulting in a quite a sizable welcoming party Friday afternoon. With all due respect to my other yarn lines, there's just something special about Rowan -- colors, textures, quality, design. I always say "The sun never sets on Rowan fashion", and that's the truth. All these things are what makes Rowan so special. Plus, Rowan patterns and yarns are available nowhere else in Acadiana. They're exclusive to The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company! If you've not yet tried Rowan, it's time! Check out the new colors of Kidsilk Haze, Felted Tweed, Summer Tweed, Heritage Tweed, Kid Classic, Big Wool, Drift, and many many others! When you're here, be sure to pick up your copy of the 50th edition of the Rowan Magazine! I know there are many of you have collected all these amazing books. Add the anniversary edition to your set!

08 July 2011

Colorful Class Schedule!

The class schedule for July has been finalized! It's Color Month at The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company. In this month's edition of The Vermilion Bay Light you'll read about the colorwork challenge: it's time to incorporate colorwork techniques into your knitting using different yarns! All this month, there are specific classes designed to help you master these important and valuable techniques. VBYC will support you every step of way. One of the most difficult stages of a colorwork project is selecting a collection of yarns that's most suitable -- colors that both work together and that make you look your best. On Sunday, July 24th, stylist and color expert (and knitter!) Blaine Guidry will conduct an informative one-time seminar on selecting colors that will compliment your look. He will discuss hair color, skin tone, and other factors crucial to color selection. The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is honored to host this unique, one-time seminar for the benefit of the fibering community. Do not let this exclusive opportunity pass you by! Sign up today and take part! Once you're armed with the practical knowledge and countless great fashion tips from the Color Seminar, it's time to dig in to the color technique. The following week, you'll have a chance to practice both the Fair Isle and Intarsia, the two ways we paint pictures and insert color patterning into our fabrics. We'll make some simple projects to get you started working with color.
A number of knitters have asked about making gloves, so on July 23, we'll show you how. You'll have the option of making yours with either double points or two circulars -- that's up to you. You'll need a large hank of sock yarn or two smaller hanks to complete this project. We'll be using U.S. size 2 needles.
Acadiana Profile recently listed The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company among the top 13 places in Acadiana to learn new things. Each month VBYC offers classes for fiber folks -- sign up today and experience what it is that makes us the best!

06 July 2011

You need this Moebius!

Moebius cowls are really cool. What are they, you ask? When working things in the round, the pattern instructions will generally warn you explicitly "be sure stitches aren't twisted before joining." But cool your jets, and don't let these ominous words scare you away from circular items. The sky won't fall, and neither will you spontaneously combust if you join a ring of stitches that's twisted. If you're making a sock or a glove, you'll have a little problem trying to wear the finished product, but if you're making a cowl, twisted stitches before the join will create a pretty cool, and rather elegant, permanent "bend". Without twisting, the result will be a knitted tube -- that's what you need for a sock leg or a glove or the beginning of a hat. A Moebius is a tube with a contour, a twisted section where the outside curves and swoops to become the inside. While you're knitting, you don't notice the twist. It's gentle and slides round and round silently. The new magazine Interweave Weekend features a brand new design for the popular Moebius. This month it's time to get creative with color and texture! Select something not so monochromatic and colorize your autumn look! When the magazines arrived yesterday, a few knitters already started planning out their Moebius -- or Moebii in a couple cases. So, you're going to let them get started and have a fabulous new cowl for the fall?? Cowls are the look -- both for women and men (ours are called "circular scarves", but let's face it: it's a cowl) -- they're easy to make and can transform a look with just a few seconds of styling! Stop in today for your magazine and 400 yards of fabuliciousness!

01 July 2011

July 4th Schedule

Please take note of the VBYC schedule for the Independence Day weekend: Friday, July 1: Open 10am-6pm Saturday, July 2: Open 10am-4pm Sunday, July 3: Closed (no Sunday Tea) Monday, July 4: Closed Tuesday, July 5: Open 10am-8pm (Knit Cafe 6pm-8pm)
Thank you everyone for making VBYC YOUR local yarn shop! We are open practically every day of the year to serve you, but now and then, we must take a holiday to recharge so that we can serve you even better! Without your continued support and patronage, VBYC could never exist. It is thanks to you that we can provide you your favorite fibering oasis in Acadiana. Have a safe and fun July 4th weekend!

27 June 2011


Looking for a fun party experience for friends, a cool theme for a birthday celebration, or just a reason to get together? Here's the answer: a Vermilion Bay Yarn Company Knitting Party! Talk up your friends -- 7-10 or so of them. Stop in at the shop to set a date and time for one of the most interesting and fun 3 hours you'll have had in a while! Everyone gets a project -- either a first time one or a simple afternoon project. Potluck party food items create the perfect snack buffet for your group, and VBYC provides the set-up's. Last Sunday VBYC hosted a terrific group of first time knitters and few seasoned fiber folks for "knitting with a twist". Group instruction with individual help ensured that everyone who came in never having knit left a knitter, and the people who already were knitters left having learned something new and exciting about an art they love. A VBYC knitting party is perfect for groups of friends, office groups, or any group of people who enjoy sharing each other's company and are willing to try something new! Take a look at all these happy faces enjoying fiber arts success at VBYC! And there's one more face who isn't in the picture because he's behind the camera: Blaine. Many thanks to him for assembling this fabulous bunch of knitters, mixing the Happy Raspberry cocktails, and sharing his brilliant creativity with us all!

24 June 2011

No Sunday Tea this Week, June 26th!

Just a quick note to folks who regularly attend Sunday Tea: There will be no open Sunday Tea this week. VBYC is hosting a knitting party for a sizeable group this Sunday. If you would like to plan your own knitting party, gather together at least 10 of your friends and book the date! Contact me at the shop for booking details. Look for pictures of Sunday's Knitting Party on the blog and on Facebook!

22 June 2011

Bat Wing Shawl!

It's been one of the hottest European Knit-Alongs on Ravelry. Designer Jana Albrecht has created a simple, elegant, and utterly clever wrap with a beautiful shape inspired by nature. The German name for the piece is the Fledermaus-Tuch. Fledermaus is the German word for "Bat", hence our Anglicized name for the garment. Regardless of the name or how you feel personally about bats, it's a pretty darned cute garment project -- and not one that breaks the bank or one that'll cause you to abandon it in utter disgust. This pattern is perfect for folks who have never followed a lace chart. Yes, it does have a chart, but it's limited in the lace operations it demands from you. Just the thing to get you comfortable reading charts. Your success in knitting this and completing it are absolutely guaranteed. Plus, if you were bitten by the beading bug (and I think we all were) last month after working up all those Jeweled Cowls, you can up the ante so speak and set a few beads into your bat wing as well! We'll be starting off this bat wing shawl as a class on Saturday, June 25 at 10:30am! Join the class today by stopping in, selecting your yarn, and -- if you want to make it shimmer -- head over to Bella Beads and let Rae fix you up with the perfect gems! Classes at VBYC are selected and planned for YOU. I pay attention to what it is you all like to knit, the concerns you have in the projects you select, and I hunt out possibilities that you will both love to make and that will expand your range of experience to tackle more and more complex projects in the future. Be sure to take advantage of class offerings at VBYC. A missed class is a missed opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and most of all to challenge yourself to open up new avenues for fiber creativity. We'll see you Saturday!

Habemus Nomen!

The voting has closed, and we have a name! Our little adorable dragon is named Oscar! The story how he came about is currently in preparation and will be posted here and linked to facebook in the next couple days. In the meantime, Oscar will be living at VBYC until July 2. Stop in an be sure to say hello! He doesn't bite, but he sure does have a wide, welcoming smile!

21 June 2011

Early Fall Vogue Knitting!

Vogue Knitting for early fall 2011 is available now at The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company! Like cowls and capelets? Quick, fashion-forward projects that will make your fall wardrobe pop! Many of the projects this issue are perfect for gifting! Pick up your copy today! While you're browsing through the pages, be sure to take a look of this terrific top made in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride! VBYC is proud to offer the best knitting magazines/literature to the local and extended fiber arts community. Thank you for supporting YOUR local yarn shop and making VBYC your source for these fine publications!

17 June 2011

Oscar the Dragon: Love and Inspiration

The ancient Greek myth of Prometheus attempts to explain how animals and living creatures of all sorts came to populate the earth, how they were formed from the mud, breathed full of life, and made to go on their various ways. Whether interpreted literally or as allegory, creation stories seek not only to identify the origin of living things around us (including ourselves), but also provide a contextual source for our own human ability to create. Art in any form, to those who do not practice it, seems like magic. We marvel at each other's ability to paint, sculpt, make music, dance. How is that people can do these things? My own skills in sketching objects with any modicum of realism is quite limited. I enjoy experimenting in that medium, but seriously, without the proper guidance, simple stick figures are often the best I can hope to achieve. Creativity comes in many forms, each a specific gift or charism. Some draw and paint, some make music, some write stories as realistic as vivid memory, while others inspire works of art.
Throughout my life I've been lucky to have been surrounded by some amazingly creative, colorful people. From the personal end of things, my family is one of musicians, my maternal grandfather and great grandfather played wind instruments, my grandmother was a cellist. My mother is a pianist. I'm an organist. Fiber art gets woven into that musical texture through my grandmother who was a master Belgian lace maker. Her husband, also a mathematician, designed some of the most wickedly complicated lace cards conceivable -- all of which Oma transformed into stunning lace. She's the one who taught me to crochet, to figure out patterns from sight, commit patterns to memory, re-create lace from mental notes, and deconstruct fiber work in order to make invisible repairs. Coming into contact with creative people fosters more creativity. This is one of the awesome benefits of my shop: every day I am privileged to meet and work with so many talented people. Some folks may be in Lafayette on vacation and visit only once, some come with regularity, some are here daily. Regardless how frequently they're here, their influence lingers in various ways: a shared pattern, a demonstrated stitch, a brief design suggestion, even a kind word, or a thank you for being able to sit and crochet.
As diverse as there are creative artists in general, so diverse are the various projects undertaken specifically by fiber artists. Some make only socks. Some knit a zillion fashion scarves, some make baby hats for hospitals. Some focus solely on Couture garments, some make comfy pullovers, some make afghans, some are lace makers. Then there are the ones who make things with really no purpose other than to provide a vehicle for love. Of course the knitter's personality and love are transferred, for example, into a sweater made for a spouse, but the sweater itself has both this intangible ability and the practical purpose of keeping the wearer looking good and feeling good. Some projects can't be used like this. You don't wear them, you can't use them as a pot holder or set a flower vase on top of them. These are the creations of the animal makers. Alligators, frogs, bunnies, turtles, lions, hedgehogs, giraffes, and so on for a unlimited zoo of fiber beasts, common objects, and anthropomorphs -- inanimate items like cupcakes created in fiber and equipped with human faces.
Among the regular fiber artists who visit the shop, there are two in particular who are well known for creating these little animals. They've made scores of them, and children have loved them just as much as the creators love making them. So serious are these two about their art that each of their animals carries its own adoption paperwork. The two are sisters. One a crocheter, the other a knitter. Although Karen had visited VBYC only a few times, her influence and love for her art will forever be a part of the shop and an inspiration to all who visit here. I had heard from her sister that Karen's stash of yarns destined in time to be transformed into more crocheted loveables was staggering -- all sorted by kind and color, a collection of materials assembled over many many years.
Karen had been ill for some time, and it was after a particularly frightening bout with illness that she came into the shop with her sister. Despite her health issues, she was a jovial, beautiful person, eager to talk about her projects, share stories about her creations, or relate the delighted joy in a child's face when his mama handed him a colorful turtle he saw in the sisters' craft show booth.
It was a shock to us all who remember Karen when we learned that she was diagnosed with fourth stage pancreatic cancer and that the outlook was grim.
Some weeks prior to this news, before her health had declined suddenly, both Karen and her sister decided upon a first birthday gift for Karen's granddaughter: a very special crocheted dragon by Argentinian designer Paola Navarro. Navarro is famous for her detailed, clever, and humorous animals. Karen went into her limitless stash and pulled seven hanks of Classic Elite Province cotton: 3 in red, one each in yellow, orange, black, and white. The first task of the 17-page crochet description of the dragon was his body, an irregular 24" tube that flared and tapered in such a way to define a snout, a head, a torso and a tail. "The stitches have to be tight, Sissy," Karen's sister reminded her, "so that his stuffing won't show." To ensure the look they both wanted for this special first year birthday gift, Karen used a size B hook on the worsted weight cotton. The result: a stiff, tough, but soft fabric perfect for dragon skin.
As her health declined, Karen would fall asleep while crocheting, be wide awake in the middle of the night, work tirelessly for a while, then fall back asleep. She was growing weak and unable to work on the special project for any length of time. The dragon sat with his yarn, the pattern, and the magic spell it took to bring him to life. "Take him to Jason. He will finish it." A few weeks later, Karen left.
A number of months passed, and Karen's sister visited and told me the plans of the special dragon, a gift for their granddaughter and niece's first birthday. Along came the yarn supply, the pattern, the counter and everything required for the project. Even a bag of stuffing. "You'll probably need more stuffing, and this is the yarn Sissy selected." Looking at the supply of yarn and reading over the pattern -- which oddly enough didn't indicate any yarn quantity -- I was quite sure I would run out of yarn, either yellow or orange, but I forged ahead anyway. Karen's counter was set at round 60, just past the head. In fact she had just completed the sixtieth round the last time she had set down her work, an indication that this would be a different project experience for me. I knew the circumstances of how the dragon came to me, but what I had in my lap was not so much a project packed away and brought out later, but rather an active, living project whose beginner simply set it down and left the room, and who had kindly left me in charge of carrying on her work. The dragon was detailed: underbelly, eyeballs, eyebrows, dorsal ridge, tale spade, 12 tiny toes joined together to become 4 little feet, legs, wings. "Be sure to embroider a little spark of life into the eyes. Karen always did that." That was the spell. This dragon would be canaille. And he had a special power to turn sadness into joy with the look in his eyes and a broad orange smile. I told Ethel as I worked that I was worried about the yellow and the orange. There just wouldn't be enough. When I started the wings -- two large swatches of yellow rounded off with orange, I began to think about ways I could use a different color or another cotton yarn to finish. These were the final elements before assembly would start. One wing done, then the other. Each piece was completed according to the pattern and came out to the proper dimensions. I had used two whole hanks of the three reds, and had approximately 1/3 of each color left after sewing all the parts together. And the bag of stuffing? Not even half was used, although both Karen's sister and I had believed I would well need another supply. This project was given to me with the supplies required, despite what my seasoned eye made me believe. It was to some extent a "blind project". I knew what I was making, but I wasn't always quite sure what each piece should really look like. I kept moving on, making piece after piece. It was a very unlikely project for me, but I felt guided by the crocheter who knew how this thing would work and showed me what to do with the bits I didn't quite understand. Now, you can take that any way you'd like. Some might say that I was clever enough myself to examine what it was I had and learned from the portion that was already worked in order to figure out the techniques for the unworked sections. Others might think this indicates inspiration. What I do know for certain is that what was in the supply bag shouldn't have been enough to finish. But it was, and so much that I had about 50 yards overage in every color.
For the couple weeks it took to finish him, he had endeared himself to the VBYC community, this little dragon. Everyone saw him in pieces. "Jason, what is that?" "It's a dragon." "Oh." As soon as I showed the pattern photograph, he warmed our hearts. Although the pattern indicated I should sew the pieces together as I completed them, I didn't. I just piled up the elements and took two days to assemble him at the very end. I wanted him to spring to life suddenly, just like Prometheus had done it in the ancient stories.
And spring to life he did! "Oh, he's finished! You finished him!" were the reactions as our wide-eyed fiber friend took his perch atop the center island in the shop. Although the pattern stated his name was "JJ", this was a different dragon from the one pictured. He would need a special name. A secret panel of dragon namers was convened to bring out a list of four possibilities. Folks from the community voted for their favorite, and Oscar was what we chose. Oscar the dragon: the special idea for an extra special gift selected and begun by an expert crochet artisan with a legacy of amazing, love-filled creations. Despite her having to leave, she ensured that her final creation would be completed and made sure there'd be enough to do the work, and that she had worked just enough to show how she expected the rest to look. But what a gift for us all is Oscar. Karen had brought such happiness to so many through each of her creations. But, I tell you, she saved the best for last. Not only will Karen's spirit live on through Oscar each time her granddaughter holds him, and as he watches out for her, but also Karen's magical ability to bring joy to others through her work lives on in the memories of an entire community who, in the process of Oscar's creation, have learned more about her and have been inspired by her work. What an honor it has been to be involved in the Oscar project! Thank you, Karen, for sharing your special gift with us, for bringing us joy, and surrounding us with your creativity!

16 June 2011

Patterns for all Seasons!

Books, books, books! Today's big box from Rowan included supplementary fabulous colors of Summer Tweed (silk/cotton) as well as a number of top-notch design collections. Among them are two titles by Kim Hargreaves. If you haven't yet experienced the Hargreaves designs, this is your chance. These books do not arrive in huge quantities, and they generally do not last very long on the shelf. The Hargreaves designs are stylish, fashion forward, and upscale, yet quite wearable and absolutely very knitable. Each of the collections uses your favorite Rowan yarns. If you knit for children (toddlers and up), Miniature Classics is a must. Complete knitwear wardrobes for children in classic designs. These and more titles from Rowan and the designers of the Rowan family are available now!

15 June 2011

Baby Garment Challenge: Ditch the Pastels!

Sometimes I really wish babies could talk -- just for a few minutes -- in order to share what they really think about what folks usually refer to as "baby yarn". "Little, guy," I'd ask, "what do you think about that sky blue and mint green pastel jacket and soft yellow hat you're wearing?" Now, I grew up in the 1980's, and Miami Vice was the look. We sported our V-neck t-shirts with cream mega shoulder-padded blazers, chinos, argyle socks and penny loafers -- everything but the loafers were done up right in soft, beachy pastels (and sometimes even the shoes weren't immune: I also owned a pair of boat shoes of which each leather panel was dyed a different pastel color). I'll tell you, I was proud of my light grey, mint green, pink, and yellow diamond socks. Trendy. In the 80's we wore pastels because pastels were cool beans. Just like ultra narrow knit ties and parachute pants. For generations babies have worn pastels (or forced into it) because the adults in charge of dressing them thought pastels somehow defined "babiness". And they do in a way, as long as the baby is going trick-or-treating for the first time, and his costume is a roll of sweet tarts.
Back in the day, when the best we could ever hope for was big box store acrylics in worsted weight "adult colors" and sport weight "baby colors", the pastels were actually the best bet for miniature humans, since those shades seemed to be the only choices that didn't have that trademark Brillo pad softness against the skin. That old fashioned baby yarn was smooth as an emery board. Heavenly. Nowadays, there are options beyond the cliche boy-blue, girl-pink, don't-know-yet-mint, and can-I-dress-a-little-boy-in-yellow-yellow. American babies have for generations been doomed to dress up like Valentine's Day candies because someone somewhere had equated the sweetness of a sugar treat to the sweetness of an infant and someone else believed her. Mass hysteria followed. Cute outfits start with innovative, vibrant color palates. Select yarns for infants in the same way you'd select yarns for your own clothing. If the baby is already here, consider colors that go well with baby's skin tone, hair, and eye color (by the way, the "blue for boys, pink for girls" thing isn't color matching. It's gender profiling). If he's still under construction, consider his parents and consider which colors look good on them. Little Oscar after all will be a happy blend of both. After you've thought of color options (and thrown that pastel color wheel into the dumpster), think about fibers. There is no rule somewhere in a some book of baby laws that requires baby articles to be made from acrylics. In fact, natural fibers make more sense coming into contact with baby skin (and adult skin too), as they tend to be more comfortable to wear and breath, well, naturally. For us here in South Louisiana the most logical choice is cotton: year round comfort and washability. And add to that that yarn dyes love cotton and create bold colors in cotton. Think about what garments you own that you love to wear. Look in your closet and see what they're made of. Find any acrylic pastels you just can't live without? Planning to wear that fabu mint green shell to the company party next Friday? How about that pink cardi? Nothing makes a girl sweat more in the Louisiana heat than a pastel yellow jumper in scratchy acrylic! Sheer comfort. And we wonder by little Hypolite is so fussy. But hey, at least we can wash that sopping mess at the end of the day, right? More on the washer myth in a bit. Other fiber options: linen and linen blends, silk (yes) and silk blends. Bamboo (amazingly soft!), and of course the old stand-by: wool. Let go of your pearls, June. Yes, I said wool. Of all the fibers we use, wool has earned a bad reputation. Wool is neither hot nor "picky" as they say. It's just not. It's not scratchy. Wool is available in all weights, and has the ability to wick moisture from the skin. In the warmer months, lighter weight wool is good. Heavier gauges are better in cooler temperatures. Wool is a great year round fiber. Have you considered using sock yarn for baby garments? Great weight for little people clothes, great colors too. Ask folks who wear their handmade socks all year (including me). Just as comfy in August as they are in January. Now, sit down, catch your breath and think about this: yarns and fibers that make our adult clothing interesting, unique, trendy, and luxurious are just as interesting, unique, trendy, and luxurious in miniature. Here's one example: mohair. It's always nice. Mohair is one of the softest, coziest fibers on the planet. Use a beefier mohair or mohair blend for winter things, or use a single strand of lace weight mohair (like Kid Silk Haze) along with another yarn to blend colors and to enhance softness of the base yarn. Many of you have heard the story how the author of this article was brought to his first doctor's visit shortly after birth in a layette of lemon yellow mohair. Amidst a sweet sea of newly born pastel candy sours, the mohair model was by far the best dressed in his cozy matching outfit of breathable natural fiber. The acrylic babies, as the story goes, couldn't wait to get out of their plastic-spun onesies. But weren't they cute....in their mint?
"I want something washable", is usually the next concern when making things for babies. Perhaps this reasoning is what has made the pastel acrylics so popular. Easy care. But don't think of non-machine washable fibers or fibers that don't stay happy in the dryer as non-easy care. Instead, think of them as "different care". Refusing to make a silk garment because you can't pitch it in the machine with the jeans is like saying "I don't want carpet in my bedroom, because I can't mop it." In the time it takes to load the washer, let it do its thing, unload it and pitch the clean and fresh smelling fabrics into the dryer along with a Snuggle sheet, the hand washables could already be lying out flat and drying. It's not an issue of convenience, really, but rather an issue of time perception. It's really not any more time consuming to wash a few items by hand than it is to operate a washing machine. We've just convinced ourselves that the 5 minutes it takes to manipulate the machine is shorter than the 300 seconds it takes to wash a non-machinable woolly. The same logic is employed by the people who call church offices each Christmas Eve to ask when Midnight Mass starts: "Madame, Midnight Mass begins punctually at 11:60pm." Time perception.
So here's the baby garment challenge: when preparing to dress your own infant, an infant relative, the infant of a friend, or really any infant, think outside the typical cliche options of 4-shade pastels. Consider a little human for what she is: a little person who wears clothes just like bigger persons wear clothes. Keep your options open to the full host of fibers, fiber blends, colors and color combinations. Step back and think about what's practical and what's really just hype. Machine washability and hand washability both mean "washable". One uses a machine the other uses the bathroom sink. Dress your miniature human to be fashionable. A downscaled vest in a silk/cotton blend is adorable! How about a bright fire engine red? And blue? No, not that washed out sky-meadow-angelwhisper-cloudy blue. Vibrant, electric blue. Use color. Don't fear it. Baby Harold looks striking in that mauve cover-all. Colors expand options. They should never define limits.

Ripple, Baby!

Isn't this fabulous? It's the Warren 2-Way Jacket from the new Tahki design collection featuring the terrific new yarn called "Ripple", a thick-and-thin cotton tape. What a unique item this is: an all natural fiber in a yarn type we rarely see associated with anything but acrylic. If anyone would do it, it would have to be Tahki, the masters of cotton! And back to the Warren Jacket. Awesome, isn't it? Wear it one way and get this look. Wear it upside down and create a whole new garment. Two garments in one. Picture your special person unwrapping this at Christmas. Upscale your gift giving with something completely wearable year round! And if you're the one on the receiving end, make two! You deserve it, Knitter!

14 June 2011

Name the dragon! Cast your vote!

Now that the crochet work is complete, and the assembly is about to begin, the adorable dragon needs a name! An esteemed panel of dragon namers was convened, and I asked them to compile a list of four possible names. This morning after long deliberation in closed session, the list has been published, and it's time for YOU to vote which one you like best! You can record your vote in the upper left corner of this blog. Be sure to vote!
Some of you know that the completion of this project is accompanied by a very heart-warming story. As soon as he's all assembled, I will tell you the whole story how this clever piece came to Vermilion Bay Yarn, and the interesting phenomenon of the never-ending yarn supplies, which I can not explain short of saying that a special person knew that this project had to be completed.

08 June 2011

Amy Butler and Hadaki!

You've just read about these fabulous items in this month's Vermilion Bay Light, and this afternoon, they arrived at VBYC! The Amy Butler and Hadaki bags are awesome! Bold and vibrant prints that make a statement. I had seen samples of these bags, but seeing them in person in all their glory as they came one after the next from the box, I was truly amazed. If you're awesomely unique, terrifically fashion-forward, have a cheery disposition with loads of personality, these are the bags for you. But wait, of course those wonderful describe you perfectly! Which ones will you select?

07 June 2011

VBYC: YOUR Fiber Arts Trendsetter in Acadiana!

Scooter is happy to announce that the June 2011 edition of The Vermilion Bay Light has been mailed! In anticipation of the arrival of the Rowan line for fall (including the fall Rowan Magazine No. 50), several new items from Rowan receive highlights this month! Our favorite is the brand new addition to the tweed offerings: Heritage Tweed, a terrific traditional DK weight yarn. You will all be elated to hear that VBYC is your exclusive dealer of Amy Butler's amazing line of bags -- cute, sassy, trendy prints and stylish designs. We're looking for them to arrive this very week. Plus, do you know Hadaki? You will in the next few days! Two yarn lines are priced for clearance: Debbie Bliss at 50% off and all remaining Universal Yarns (including Wisdom Sock) also marked at 50% off. Look for the fabulous replacement of Universal: Monsoon with its amazing varigated colorways. As we bid adieu to Wisdom Sock, we greet Regia, the company that's known for sock yarn. And what a way to do it: with a healthy supply of varigateds designed by the master of colour himself: Kaffe Fassett. It's no secret that The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is Acadiana's Fiber Arts Trendsetter. Stop in today and experience YOUR local yarn shop for yourself! We're still in full swing for summer, but we're also preparing for the fall!

06 June 2011

We're in the top 13 in Acadiana!

The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company (YOUR local yarn shop) has been named among the top 13 places in Acadiana to learn new stuff! Follow the link to Acadiana Profile magazine, pick up your own copy, then hurry on in to VBYC! Learning New Stuff - Acadiana Profile - June - July 2011 - Lafayette, LA

03 June 2011

Linen. Pure and Simple.

Claudia hand painted linen is in, and just in time for the start of summer. When it's 100+ degrees outside, you need something lightweight and breathable. Linen's the ticket, and this stuff from Claudia is the best. One of the most popular projects made up with this is a simple summer shell called "The Thing". It's a quick thing to knit, The Thing, and looks great on. The pieces are wet blocked to create an openwork fabric without all the fuss and muss of lace. No chart, no stitching sequence. And this: when working in 100% linen, the yarn seems stiff and anything but soft. But, after it's been worked and wet blocked, the texture is transformed into a gloriously soft and elegantly draping fabric. So stop slapping that linen hank against your neck to check for baby softness. This is what we call "A dream deferred." The reward comes AFTER you've worked it up. And you're going to love the result! Hurry in and ask about The Thing, pick up your Linen (2-3 hanks), and get started!

The Namaste Laguna is back!

You wanted it back, and it's back: the Namaste Laguna! The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company has them in stock now! (Along with your other favorites from Namaste). The fabulous Namaste line combines durability with practicality and seasons the whole package with a good measure of fashion sensibility. Although these lovelies work hard like a tote, they're smart and fashion forward.

26 May 2011

What Happened to Burda Verena?

Since VBYC opened its doors, I've offered Burda Verena, the top-notch magazine featuring the best in European knitwear and crochet designs. Sadly, I have decided to stop carrying the magazine due to the recent change in their format. Those of you who have joined the Verena group on Ravelry know exactly what sort of hot-button topic this has become. With one issue, Verena successfully upset (understatement) a major chunk of the English speaking knitting and crochet community by publishing the same fabulous spread of design photos, yet withholding at least half of their patterns for online download -- for a $5 fee. Even without the abacus, we can do the math that turns an 8 clam knitting mag into a minor investment. Knitters worldwide screamed foul, and well they should. As a result, VBYC joins many shops around the English speaking world in discontinuing Verena on its seasonal periodical stacks. There are still a few back issues (with patterns) on the rack, so if you missed out on a few of those over the seasons, they're now collector's items, so stock up! Will VBYC ever carry Verena again? I tell you what I told my distributor: If Verena cleans up its act and returns to the old format with loads of excellent photography accompanied by a complete pattern section, I will be among the first to offer the publication again.

Unique Design, Practical Tool, Work of Art

The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company is your exclusive dealer in these fine, Asian-inspired yarn bowls. Smooth contours, elegant shapes, peaceful and calming hues and one-of-a-kind shading cradle your fiber as you transform it into beautiful fabric. Just like the creative people who use them, no two of these works of art are the same. Passionate blues and greens, playful teals, earthy taupes, fresh and energetic corals. Setting your yarn in one of these vessels adds an extra meditative dimension to your calming work. Let one adopt you.

A Lana Grossa Classic!

Those of you who've worked with it know what I'm talking about: Chiara, a luxurious mohair blend in DK weight. It's a yarn that, when finished, provides a stunning metalic sheen to your fabric -- and looks fantastic both in knitting and crochet. Chiara is a yarn ideal for wraps and shells. The texture? Awesomely soft. And, if that weren't enough, each ball of Chiara offers great yardage, making it suited especially for garments -- fewer yarn joins, and fewer balls required to complete the project. Come see the Chiara for yourself. Need a pattern for it? Stop in and pick up all you need!

18 May 2011

Knit Scene
Now at VBYC!
(No need to find parking at box stores!)

Sunday's the big day!

You've all been reading about the Stella & Dot trunk show here on the blog, in the newsletter, you've heard buzz in the shop, and examined the look book to preview the upcoming fabulousness! This Sunday, May 22nd is day! We'll start off the afternoon at 1pm with mix and mingle (light refreshements will be provided), and then settle in to experience the splendidness of Stella & Dot. Hilary, our expert S & D stylist will be on hand to offer tips and suggestions to help you decide which designs are the best for you. Personalized service! This is a unique chance for you to compose an entire fashionable look, and select top notch accents to accompany your top notch knitwear projects. Yarn purchases of 600 yards or more will receive a 15% discount this Sunday. Mark your calendars if you've not done that already! You won't want to miss out on this event!

14 May 2011

Sacred Vessels

Fiber work is connected to the earth. Anyone who's ever spun fiber knows that, and anyone who's ever shorn and prepared wool really knows it. There're not many activities less humbling than preparing and washing a fleece that's just been shorn from the beast. From time to time, we encounter little brambles and bits of grass in our finished yarns, reminders of our material's rude beginnings. For most of us, this is our only encounter with the earthiness of our work. Modern convenience has afforded us the luxury of skipping the mucky steps and moving straight to the garment making steps -- and there's nothing wrong with that. Howevever, it's a good excercise, I think, to maintain to some extent, the connection our work has (like it or not) to the soil. Some prefer using needles and hooks in natural materials: wood or bamboo. Some -- actually many -- avoid man-made fibers in their work, opting only for natural plant and animal fibers. Those who prefer these beautiful reminders of the source of our art will enjoy using a yarn bowl. Most of us have some sort of project bag to hold our yarn supplies. A yarn bowl is a stable cradle for your yarn and features a side opening that feeds the strand smoothly from the ball to your hook or needles. The local potter who created these terrific yarn bowls was influenced by Asian styling and has included two openings for your needles to rest. The yarn bowls are individual and unique works of art, sacred vessels made from the earth for our creative use of fiber.

11 May 2011

Hat tips to Pearl Buck!

Just arrived yesterday from Tahki: Good Earth Cotton! If you're a lover of natural fiber (and we all are!), this yarn stands at the head of the line. Here's what Tahki has to say about it: "This cotton is harvested from plants grown without fertilizers or pesticides, in naturally-ocurring colors that require no dyeing. You can be assured that you have purchased a 100% natural product. Thank you for contributing towards protecting this wonderful world we live in." You might think that natural cotton comes in one color: fluffy white. It's amazing when you see the balls of Good Earth Cotton and experience the natural shading of undyed cotton: from light brown, to tan, to green. Awesome yarn. Come use it!

09 May 2011

Classes in May! Time to sign up!

The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company schedules classes regularly so that you have plenty of opportunity to learn new techniques to make your fiber work easier. Sure, we can look up many of the operations our patterns call on us to do, but the two-dimensional experience of an illustration or a video doesn't always clear things up adequately enough: you can't ask questions of the person in the video, and an illustration doesn't move, so it's rather hard to watch the target action in a still picture -- and all that is supposing some sort of explanation can even be found (often things aren't really explained anywhere. Have you ever tried to look up how to seam knitwear and actually gotten instructions that make sense?). When you take a class, you see things demonstrated in real time, you can try things out for yourself, receive hints and tips, and get your questions answered. This month, VBYC is offering Tool Box and Tool Box II. When we learn to knit, we learn the very basics -- a standard cast-on, a bind-off, and the two basic stitches. These basics are fine as long as you're just working up a simple panel. Tool Box and Tool Box II give you the next steps in knitting patterns: how to shape garments, create cable textures, and much more. Folks have been raving about our technique classes here at VBYC. Sign up and see what all the buzz is about. Want to learn how to make socks? This month on the 28th, you can learn by whichever needle method you prefer. "Socks Your Way" will give you the information to get you on track with sock making (one of the most popular knitting projects). The afternoon of the 28th marks the start time for the "Jeweled Cowl". What a stunner, this fine garment made in lace weight yarn on size 8 needles, and accented with almost 750 beads. The stitching pattern here is not difficult, but the beading is what really bumps this simple design up several notches. If you've beaded before, more than likey you have experience stringing all your beads onto your yarn, but this project is different. You'll learn how to set the bead into the fabric at precisely the correct spot without pre-stringing. This will save you the tedious prep work and will preserve your working yarn from fraying under the weight of those shifting beads. Insert each bead when it's time. So much more practical! Our friends at Bella Beads in Youngsville are as excited about this project as we are, and we have a few folks from the beading realm who will be participating. Rae over at Bella's has a fabulousicous selection of terrific beads for this project. Select which yarn you'd like to use, then bring it with you to Bella's to match your beads. Bella Beads is located on the Youngsville Highway (that's Hwy 89) on the left as you're driving into Youngsville (if you pass Nunu's, you've gone too far). Sign up for classes the next time you come visit!

07 May 2011

From the May edition of The Vermilion Bay Light

A word from Jason about re-claiming the calm… The overture to Franz von Suppe’s operetta Dichter und Bauer contains one of the most beautiful cello solos in the repertoire. Some time in the 1930’s the operetta was staged in Stassfurt, Germany, and my grandmother was in the orchestra. She was a cellist, and for this performance the job of rendering the famous solo fell to her. Oma took her musicianship as seriously as she did her lace-making. My Opa too was a musician, not a cellist, but a clarinetist, saxophonist, and perfectionist. Mathematical, precise. Although he knew little about cello technique, he had appointed himself my grandmother’s music coach for the Suppe. He had an idea how it should be played, what the proper phrasing should be. He was such a relentless and demanding music teacher he often reduced my grandmother to tears throughout her study of the work. But, as the story goes, despite the hard road, and perhaps even thanks to it, my Oma’s cello sang out with unparalleled passion that night as the orchestra quieted and she began the solo. The end result was well worth the tedious and turbulent work. Have you experienced a crazy knitting or crochet pattern that seems to defy reason? That chart that warps the plain and throws what’s logical out of kilter? What’s supposed to be calming and relaxing suddenly raises our ire and tempts us to crumple the whole fabric into a ball and pitch it out onto the lawn. I’ve been there too. When it comes to that, the best strategy is to let your misbehaving child sit quietly in the knitting bag. Get up, stretch, pour some coffee, eat chocolate. Do something else: knit on a sock, fold the laundry. Trust me, the dragon chart will still be there when you return to it, but its breath will be a bit less fiery later on. When the going gets tough (and sometimes it does) we have a tendency to go into fiber overdrive to find a far flung solution to a problem that seems even more complicated than the lace pattern we’re fussing with. No doubt our emotions have much to do with this. Art in any medium is a deeply personal expression. Instead of thinking the matter to pieces, do three things: Stop. Breathe. Relax. Like music, fiber art is supposed to be calming — and it actually is. After some fiber time-out, take up the problem child again and start fresh. It’s like seeing with a new set of eyes, and it’s then we come to realize that these challenges are precious gifts. These little troublesome spots are what make us grow in our fiber artistry. Not only do they teach us patience — both with our projects as well as with ourselves — but they also force us to take a more analytical approach to our work and teach us how to surmount future similar difficulties with an ease we couldn’t have imagined before. I wonder how my grandmother would have played the Suppe, were my grandfather not involved in her project like he was, had he not pushed and challenged her like he did, although he had elicited an emotional response that very well could have defeated a weary cellist. Take difficult projects one step at a time. Focus on the little picture and work bit by bit. After all, it’s a collection of little pictures that comprise the big one. Before you realize it, you’ll be done — and with your sanity intact, but your patience bolstered. Best of all, you'll have a terrific, new finished project of which you can say, “Yes, I made this.”

06 May 2011

VITA and others!

You read about it in this month's Vermilion Bay Light -- and it's here now (at least for the time being)! Vita is a cashmere and cotton blend that's just deliciously lucious! It's made for folks like us in mind who live in a climate that's relatively warm year round. This stuff is pleading with you to be made into a fantastic summer top or shrug! Other mid-season possibilities for you (and MOM this weekend!) are Plymouth Grass (hemp and cotton), Rowan Revive (the green's my favorite in the Revive: olivy and subtile), and the new wonderful shades of Cascade Ultra Pima (pima cotton, folks, top drawer stuff!). The yarns are waiting for you at YOUR local yarn shop! Stop in and start your next garment today!