Heavenly Socks Yarns

January 2010

Thorndike Journal quote, May 1898

We begin by wishing you health and peace in the new year. Shown above is a quote from an 1898 journal: "This Book which is opened in war I hope will be closed in peace." (I read the above passage last spring when reading a collection of journals written by a Thorndike farmer. This collection, which spans approximately thirty years, documents life in rural Waldo County. When I was thinking about the new year, and my wishes for everyone, I remembered this passage and wanted to share it with you. -- Helen.)

Hand-Dyed Yarns

This month all our hand-dyed yarns, with the exception of the yarns in our sock area, will be on sale at 20% off. Also, look for an overflowing sale area.

Shown at right is Upstairs Shawl. This is a free pattern from Ravelry. Helen used Swan's Island Blanket Company fingering merino (one of the hand-dyed yarns on sale this month) and knit it as a scarf (61 sts./inch, #5 needles), and embellished it with beads.

Upstairs Shawl

The hand-dyed yarns that will be featured at 20% off include, but are not limited to:

  • Araucania's Panguipulli (worsted merino), Pomaire (worsted cotton) and Rucca (sugar cane)
  • Colinette's Isis and Fandango
  • Done Roving's Kidding Ewe and Frolicking Feet
  • Dream in Color's Baby Lace Weight and Starry
  • Ester Bitran's Olume (sport cotton/rayon)
  • Hope Spinnery
  • J. Knits' Superwash Me
  • Malabrigo's worsted and fingering wool
  • Manos del Uruguay's worsted wool and worsted cotton
  • Marisol's Hacho (dk wool)
  • Mountain Colors' River Twist and Silk & Ewe
  • Nature Wool (chunky), Nature Cotton (worsted)
  • Schaefer's Susan (sport-weight cotton) and Laurel (worsted-weight cotton), and Kathleen (super-chunky wool)
  • Sheep Shop Yarn Company's Sheep Number Three
  • Tilli Tomas' yarns: 100% spun silk, some with delicate sequins or glass beads
Crock-o-Dye sock yarn

New Yarns

  • Crock-o-Dye (shown at left): a sock yarn with silk, by Knit One, Crochet Two (a Maine company), that comes in tonal colorways.
  • Galway Marl and Neep: Plymouth's 100% worsted wool. We brought this in with felters in mind, but it's certainly not limited to felting! It is very similar to Cascade 220, with some color interest and a slightly lower price.
  • Goby: a worsted cotton and viscose blend with a sheen, by On Line, in saturated colors.
  • Nazca Wind: an alpaca/silk/nylon blend. This yarn is a mini bouclé that will give you texture without the frustration of needles being inserted into loops!
  • Worsted Merino Superwash: This is "select" yarn by Plymouth in saturated colors. Machine washable and soft!

We expect new yarns all month including Noro's new lace and cotton yarns!

In recognition of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 10% of our sales on Monday, January 18, will be given to Waldo County Community Action Partners -- or any other local non-profit of your choice -- whose work helps improve the lives of people.


Seaming with Sue Wright: Saturday, January 9, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Learn two methods of connecting your shoulders with professional-looking seams. Connect your side seams with a mattress stitch that looks so good you can't tell where your seam is! Cost: $20.00.

Introduction to Lace Knitting -- Start Your First Project with Julie Rose will be offered on Thursday, January 14 at 10 am. Never tried lace knitting? Think it looks too hard? It's easy. If you can knit, you can knit lace. We'll learn new ways to cast on, how to read knitting charts and the different ways to decrease stitches. Bring a project, yarn and needles you already have, or choose them at the workshop. If you are planning on choosing a project during the class, please bring an assortment of knitting needles with you, either straight or circular, depending on your preference. Cost: $20.00.

Space is limited, so please call ahead to reserve your seat at 207-338-8388.

New Year's By the Bay

New Year's By the Bay (NYBB) has become a signature event and tradition in Belfast. If you haven't been before, you're missing one of the best (and most reasonably priced) First Night events in Maine, now in its thirteenth year. Performances for every age and interest sprout up at venues all over town, culminating with a raucous parade down Main Street to a bonfire by the harbor at midnight to usher in the New Year. From rock to bluegrass, blues to slow metal and low punk, Irish shanties to swing and jump, the performances will get you dancing. If music isn't your thing, stop by for some magic, storytelling and poetry readings. Oh, and the food is not to be missed! Sweet and savory crepes, specialty wraps and steaming bowls of beef stew and chili will keep you warm in between sets.

New Year's By The Bay is a stand-alone 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission is to provide the people of Belfast, Waldo County and beyond with a cultural, family-oriented, chem-free celebration of the New Year. The goal is to "Celebrate the Spirit of Belfast" by showcasing local Waldo County and Maine talent, promoting tourism, and encouraging civic involvement and volunteerism. The organization receives strong support from city government, local businesses, churches, service organizations and private citizens.

To date, close to 35,000 have participated in NYBB. To continue this tradition they need the help of the community and you, today! Every NYBB admission button sold helps to support the startup, production and performer costs of the event. There are no administration costs. Venues donate their spaces, businesses provide in-kind support, and many volunteers work tirelessly to make this event a success. Donors help support and underwrite this event to maintain affordable admission button prices.

For more information and to download a program go to NYBB.

Branching Out: Taking Wing Looking for Young Artists and Mentors

Waterfall Arts is looking for young artists and artist mentors who would like to participate in the 4th Annual Branching Out Residency Program. The young artists work with local professional artists in their field of interest for short-term mentoring, typically meeting six times over a six-week period starting mid-January. The program culminates in a collaborative or side-by-side piece of artwork to be exhibited in the Clifford Gallery during March and April, 2010. Past work has included sculpture, photography, drawing, painting, ceramics, performance, mixed media and more.

The young artist/mentor teams make art together, inspiring each other in the process. In addition, each youth artist/mentor team will be invited to make a public presentation of their work to a school or community group. Students will gain invaluable experience in the creative collaborative process, hanging a show and public speaking, all essential skills for any professional artist. An honorarium will be given to each professional artist to cover supply costs through a grant from the Davis Family Foundation.

"What an important program it is, and what a fabulous experience it was. As a professional working photographer/artist, with twenty years of experience to share, it was a joy for me to be given the opportunity to work one-on-one, with young artists, in my studio, to create collaborative works of art ... Professional artists like me are given the opportunity to leave both literal and figurative marks ... and inevitably, the children leave marks on us as well. I would go so far as to say that Branching Out is a program that should be implemented in every community in the country." -- Participating Artist Mentor 2007.

This year's Branching Out focus, Taking Wing, offers a hopeful and action-based theme, reflecting the broad array of community responses to climate change, habitat preservation and sustainability. Each pair will decide how to represent the Taking Wing theme.

Young artists age 12 and up are welcome to apply; applications are due on Friday, January 8. A Meet & Greet at Waterfall Arts for artist mentors, young artists and their families is scheduled for Friday, January 15. This meeting kicks off the six weeks of residency work time, where the pairs will meet a minimum of six times to work collaboratively. For more information on participating in this free program, contact Waterfall Arts by phone at 207-338-2222 or visit Waterfall Arts for more details and to download the short application.

Neal Parent Gallery

The Neal Parent Gallery is open this winter Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm or by appointment (call 207-338-1553).

Shown at right is Parent's black-and-white photograph Winter in Belfast, available in 18 x 24 inches, 26 x 32 inches, 32 x 40 inches and 40 x 50 inches, framed or unframed.

Winter in Belfast, by Neal Parent

Most galleries are staying open, don't forget -- it's a good time to visit them in the quiet of winter. when you can give full attention to the art.

Make sure to check the Belfast Downtown Business Group Web site for ongoing updates of local events.