When you think of knitting, do you think of the many different fibers you can use for your projects? There are so many different types and fabrics of yarn that you may not know of them. We’re here to tell you not every skein is the same.
Yarn can be made from animal-based fibers, plant-based fibers, or synthetically-made fibers. We’re going to go over some of the most common fibers used for yarns.
One of the most popular types of yarn, wool is spun from the fleece of sheep. It’s durable, water-resistant, and great for keeping warm. It’s often mixed with other fibers to make it even more durable. The downside to wool is that it will pill over time.
This fluffy fiber is known for its softness and light feeling, although it is also one of the warmest fibers. Mohair is extremely stretchy so it resists wrinkling and sagging. It can be somewhat itchy to wear by itself.
This natural plant-based fiber is almost one of the most common. It is fairly inexpensive, though it is not very elastic and therefore prone to splitting mid-project.
Because of its quality, cashmere is considered a luxury yarn. It’s lovely to use for winter cardigans and accessories. Again, the downside to this wonderful fabric is the pilling.
No matter the type of yarn you use, it’s always best to ask and see what type of yarn is best for your projects. If you visit us at A Piece Of Ewe, we’d be happy to help you pick out the best yarn for your projects!
We’ve all heard about knitting during World War II. It was called Knitting For Victory, and there was even a Life magazine cover dedicated to teaching you how to knit! But how much do we really know about this craft during that hard time? Let’s take a little history lesson.
Knitting to keep soldiers warm during World War II was a major hobby for many Americans. More and more Americans were picking up their needles to knit hats, sweaters, scarves, and socks for soldiers to keep them warm during the winter months. When asked what they could do to help the war effort, knitting was always the most common answer. It gave people at home a way to help when all else failed. Many of the earliest knitters for the war were children or young adults who knitted during World War I. For them, knitting was a natural response to the war. Time magazine said “The men hardly have time to grab their guns before their wives and sweethearts grab their needles and yarn”, which proves the natural response that was had.
The First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, was often seen carrying her knitting bag. She effectively launched the Knit for Defense tea held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on September 31, 1941. It was wonderful to see the First Lady even participating in these efforts!
It was questioned why hand-knit garments were wanted in the first place. Well, these garments cost the military nothing during a time where money wasn’t the most plentiful, to begin with. These items also outlasted machine-made items time and time again. What was not to love about this? Knitting during World War II was a game changer and it will forever be remembered how our nation helped our soldiers during wartime.
Did you know knitting is good for your health? Knitting and crocheting produce the same effect practicing yoga or meditation does. The repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state. Once you get past the initial learning curve of knitting and crocheting, these hobbies are great for lower your blood pressure and your heart rate. The blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol can even be lowered as well!
What separates knitting and crocheting from the likes of yoga and meditation is the fact these activities will result in tangible items. Just seeing the items you’ve created by hand gives you a sense of accomplishment-- and something to show off to others!
Knitting and crocheting have long been used to help some smokers quit smoking, or help others in their journey of weight loss. While you are holding knitting or crochet needles, it is hard to hold other items such as a cigarette. Knitting is great for redirecting the pain of chronic diseases such as arthritis, to focus on the crafts as well.
With all the health benefits of knitting and crocheting, it’s hard not to pick up a set of needles and a skein of yarn and get started!
Did you know we carry Blue Sky Fibers exclusively at A Piece Of Ewe? We love this brand so much, we’ve decided to tell you all about it. Read on below!
Blue Sky Fibers originally started off as a small project. After the founder, Linda Niemeyer, graduated from college, her interest in alpacas led her to purchase one. Soon thereafter, Linda had a lot of yarn on her hands. What should she do with it? She took it to a local yarn store where they were willing to buy it from her and sell it. And so Blue Sky Fibers was born.
Blue Sky Fibers is a worldwide known brand of yarn, known specifically for their consciously-crafted wide selection of yarns made from natural fibers. Among their many yarns are ones such as Alpaca Silk, American Scenic, Metalico, Eco-Cashmere, and so much more. Stop by A Piece Of Ewe to see the lovely variety of Blue Sky Fibers we have available!
The I-75 Yarn Crawl is here! We’ll be having a few awesome things going on here at the store during the Yarn Crawl from August 7th - August 12th. We’re about 10 minutes off the highway, so we’d love for you to stop by and make us one of your stops during the Yarn Crawl! Three shops had to drop out for various reasons, so your passport will already have three shops stamped! That means you’ll only have to visit us and one more store, and you’ll get the first level prize already! It’s that easy.
So what are we doing for the Yarn Crawl? Well, we have a few new products in the store that we’ve never had before! We’ll also be having a Blue Sky Trunk Show and Yarn Tasting during the Yarn Crawl! With the Yarn Tasting, we’ll be holding a Fastest Knitter Contest on Sunday, August 12 at 1:30 PM. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to A Piece Of Ewe!
So come on out and visit us during the I-75 Yarn Crawl! We can’t wait to see you!
Watch Video Here
Back in the day, cartoons associated balls of brightly colored yarn with white-haired ladies in rocking chairs and their mischievous kittens, frolicking by the fire. Fast-forward a generation, and you can find a fiber artist just about anywhere – she’s the fifth grader in your dentist’s waiting room, the chatty group in the good corner at Panera on Wednesday nights, that 20-something guy at the student union who somehow manages to stitch and study at the same time.
I could never do that!
I hear it every time I KIP (knit in public). “You’re so talented!” they marvel. “I tried to knit once, but I just couldn’t do it.” They tell me about their great aunt, who could make anything except a knitter out of them. They’d love to learn, but their fingers get all tangled. The patterns are all gibberish. And who can keep all that lingo straight? They don’t really know anyone who can help them.
And I smile at the classic struggles of the fledgling fiber enthusiast: clumsy hands’ learning to allow the yarn to wrap and pass at just the right tension to achieve gauge; the age-old debate between charts and written instructions; the thrilling intimidation of that one technique. (Mine’s steeking, in case you wondered. #bucketlist)
It’s true, really. If you can tie a shoe, you can learn to manipulate fiber. The real question isn’t can you do it but how should you learn?
My grandmother, deciding age 8 was high time, bought 2 skeins of purple variegated yarn (bribery – purple is my signature color) and boxed it up with a set of needles and handwritten instructions. Then she sat me down at the foot of her mother’s rocker and started to teach.
In my 20s, I decided life could not go on without a doily. (We’re blaming an adolescence riddled with Anne of Green Gables marathons.) Armed with an illustrated Oh My Stars, I Can’t BELIEVE I’m Crocheting! book, I chained and triple crocheted and ripped and restarted until it finally happened.
These days, I often consult YouTube videos or online forums for advice. In the back of my mind, though, that steeked fair isle cardigan lurks. The time will come that its clarion call will not be denied (remember the doily demand of ’96?), and I’ll be heading to a class at the local yarn store for plenty of expert advice and moral support from the professionals.
Whether it’s learning the basics, getting yourself out of a pickle or tackling a new technique, you just can’t beat the connection that happens around those big tables at the local shop, surrounded by knitters and crocheters, weavers and spinners – artisans, all – joining creative forces with a common thread.
We're already on Day 2 of our Christmas In July event! Can you believe it? For today, we're offering cute stemless wine glasses for $12.50 each. Or you can buy two for only $20! The more you buy, the more you save! These glasses are perfect for the gorgeous weather we're having. Imagine lounging around knitting a cute pair of socks with this sassy wine glass by your side. Perfection, isn't it?
Watch Video Here
This deal is for today only, so come and get yours while supplies last!
Are you looking forward to Christmas as much as we are? Well, you’re in luck! Start making your list and checking it twice because we’re going to be holding A Piece Of Ewe’s Christmas In July!
For this awesome special event, we’re going to have one deal for each day from July 16 to July 28, excluding July 22, as we are closed as usual. Each of our items or deals will be for that one day only, so come in while supplies last to get your deal! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for hints and details for each deal.
We hope you all enjoy this exciting event as much as we do! We’re so excited to be able to give you all great deals and surprises throughout this event. And remember, stay on the nice list!
When you make your way to Michigan, there are plenty of things for you to do, and plenty of places to stay! Bay City, Michigan is divided by and located on the Saginaw River. We’re going to give you some things to check out while you’re here, and places to stay!
What is there to do in Bay City? Check out these attractions below:
If you like museums, try checking out the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. This is a Vietnam Era Forrest Sherman Class destroyer is one of only two left in the United States. About 95% of the ship is open to the public for a self-guided tour.
The Bay City Riverwalk is a beautiful place to take a walk on a lovely day.
If you like antiques, check out the Bay Antique Center! This is an antique wonderland for antique collectors of all sorts.
For more places to check out while you’re in Bay City, check out our rundown of what to do in Bay City while you’re here: http://www.apieceofewe.com/going-up-north-michigan---check-out-bay-city-and-our-yarn-store.htm
There are plenty of hotels to stay in while you’re in Bay City, but one of the most interesting places to stay in is the Historic Webster House. This historic bed and breakfast is anything but ordinary. Each guestroom is uniquely designed. This bed and breakfast offers modern luxuries with the feel of an old-fashioned home. Each room has cable TV, WiFi, and Netflix to make you comfortable during your stay. Check out a few more places to stay in Bay City while you’re here: http://www.apieceofewe.com/places-to-stay-in-bay-city-michigan.htm
While you’re in Bay City, make sure you stop by A Piece Of Ewe! We’ve settled at 506 Columbus Avenue in Bay City now. With a beautiful variety of yarns of all different weights and colors, there’s something for everyone. We’ve got the accessories you want and the help you need here at A Piece Of Ewe. We offer classes, open knitting, and a genuine love of knitting and crocheting! Stop by while you’re in Bay City-- you won’t regret it!
Remember our World Wide Knit In Public Day event on June 9th? Of course, you do! Our goal was to bring knitters together in public to meet other like-minded knitters, and we had a grand time minus the rain. Well, now we’ve got a new idea to get knitters together in public once again.
On July 5th and 6th in Bay City, the Bay City Fireworks Festival will be going on! Why not knit or crochet while you watch the gorgeous fireworks? Maybe you’ll even get a few ideas or make a few friends while you’re at it! Here are the details. On Thursday, July 5th, at the East side of Wenonah Park from 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, festivities will be taking place. There will be music and fireworks. On Friday, July 6th, head to the East side of Wenonah Park once again for more music and fireworks from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM!
Why would you want to knit or crochet while you watch? Well, think of it as a movement. We want to normalize knitting and crocheting in public! We want to meet like-minded crafters like ourselves. What better way to gather new friends and ideas while watching a gorgeous fireworks event at the same time? We hope to see you there!
Find more info here: https://baycityfireworksfestival.com/
Join us, and Olive Knits, for the Four-Day Sweater Challenge! This year the sweater is called the Beekeeper Cardigan. The pattern is online on Ravelry, and the challenge actually begins July 1. Get your pattern, buy your yarn, create a swatch (yes, you really need to do one!), and get ready to knit with us. Please share your progress on our Ravelry page or follow along with us on Facebook by using the hashtag #KAL.
From July 1st - July 15th, we will be taking part in this challenge! We will be knitting the Beekeeper Cardigan in FOUR days! Put yourself up to challenge and knit along with us. Pick four days from July 1st until July 15th and knit this sweater. Susan is already working on this sweater challenge so that she may help you if you have any issues.
So, what if you don’t finish in four days? That’s okay! Take the time you need. This challenge is just for fun and by no means absolutely has to be done in four days. We want to challenge ourselves and gain experience with this challenge, and we hope you will too!
Share your progress on our Ravelry page: https://www.ravelry.com/people/apieceofeweMI
Get your pattern here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/beekeeper-cardigan
Have you ever wondered where yarn came from many years ago? No, we’re not talking about alpaca or sheep! We’re talking about where the idea of yarn came from! Let’s dive into this one, shall we?
Birth of spinning.
The art of spinning fiber into yarn is such an ancient art that the origins of it are truly unknown. In fact, the oldest known artifacts made with yarn were string skirts that dated back around 20,000 years ago. Around 5,000 BC, spindles started popping up. Even this was estimated to be around 1,000 years before the wheel was even invented! Do you see how ancient this art is truly is now? Though the first spindles were nothing more than straight sticks to wind the yarn onto, it progressed.
Enter the whorl.
According to CrochetRevolution.com, “A whorl is a weighted disk was added to the bottom of the spindle to make it spin longer and more steadily.” The whorl was an important advancement because it allowed you to spin longer strands of yarn before having to wind it up.
The invention of the spinning wheel really revolutionized yarn and textile production. No one knows when spinning wheels were truly created. It’s believed they originated in India between 500 AD and 1000 AD. These early spinning wheels are still used today, even! The invention of the spinning wheel sped up yarn production from 10 to 100 times.
Fast forward and we’re in the 1760s, where rapid innovations allowed for the first textile mills to be created. By 1780, steam power allowed these mills to be semi-automated. Of course, this grew and grew and spinning mules with 1,300 spindles at piece were at work.
We’ve come quite a long way! Now you don’t have to rely solely on mass-produced yarns. Crocheters and knitters alike can buy yarn from small, independent businesses, like A Piece of Ewe with the ability to spin yarn. We always love diving into the history of our craft, so stick around for more fun information soon!
June 4, 2018
A Piece of Ewe is very excited to launch your new customer loyalty program. It is a way for us to show appreciation to you, our customers for continuing to shop with us.
How The 6-Box Program Works:
Stop in and shop. When you bring your items to the register, we will sign you up using your loyalty program sign-up sheet (see image below).
We will put your name on your loyalty program card (Last Name, First Name - see image below). Once your information is added, the card is filed in alphabetical order in one of our card files.
Your new loyalty card contains a gift from us -- $25 purchase in the first box (see image below). We really appreciate your business! In addition, if you have a punch card that isn’t finished, don’t worry we will give you a credit for $10 for each punch on your card!
Initially, you will get a WHITE card. Once filled out, the card is filed in alphabetical order in one of our card files in store. Stop in and make your purchases. Grab your card and bring it up with you to the register. You will get one box filled in for every time you shop. We will fill it in with your pre-tax purchase (Includes classes and sale items) amount. Once all six boxes have been filled out, we will total your purchases and you will earn 5% back.
For example, your first box is $25 (our gift to you), second box purchase is $30, third box purchase is $20, fourth box purchase is $50, fifth box purchase is $25 and sixth box purchase is $50. Your total purchases equal $125, you will receive a gift certificate attached to your card for $6.25 for your next visit to our store. The more you spend the more you earn!
Once you complete the white card, you will earn the BLUE card to complete six more boxes to earn 8% back on your purchases. You are moving up!
But wait there’s more...once you complete the first two cards, you will receive a special gift from us! This super cool A Piece Of Ewe Bag (see image below)! And...if you complete three cards you will become one of our exclusive VIP members with private invitations to preview nights, special sales, and more. Keep an eye for more details in the near future!
We are hosting our 1st World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday, June 9, 2018, from 10 am - 2 pm. Bring your own chair (there will be benches and picnic tables) and KNIT, CROCHET, WEAVE OR SPIN! COME HELP US TAKE OVER Battery Park next to City Market in Bay City!
There will be coupons for local food vendors and giveaways.
In 2017, there were 1125 Worldwide Knit in Public Day events in 54 countries. World Wide Knit in Public Day was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
Knitting can be such a solitary act that it’s easy to knit alone somewhere and sink into your work without thinking about all the other knitters out there. This day was set to get out of your house and go to a local event (with your knitting in tow) just for you and people like you.Come to help us celebrate knitting and show others how fun it is!
May 16, 2018
Now that winter’s finally leaving The Mitten, it’s time to get out from under those wool sweaters and blankets and throw lighter, cooler projects in the go bag. For warm-weather stitching, a great cotton yarn is hard to beat. Breathable, durable and hypoallergenic, cotton can be worn next to the skin without aggravating sensitivities, and its easy-care fabrics get softer with every wash. Every stitch pops brilliantly, and you can find dye lots in nearly any color under the sun.
Working with 100% cotton doesn’t limit you to dishcloths and coasters. A Piece of Ewe’s line of Ella Rae Phoenix DK Prints comes in fun self-striping colorways that make adorable baby sweaters and soakers, fun summer pouch purses and more. It also works well with the Knitted Knockers prosthesis pattern.
Cotton blends beautifully with other fibers, natural and manmade. Adding wool brings more memory to the fabric while keeping cotton’s stitch definition and pilling resistance.
In the store, look for:
Sublime Eden DK (55% wool, 45% cotton)
Silk lends its shine and drape to reinforce cotton’s strength.
in the store, look for
Berroco Summer Silk (DK: 45% silk, 43% cotton, 12% nylon)
Noro Taiyo Sock (fingering: 50% cotton, 17% wool, 17% nylon, 16% silk)
Noro Taiyo (Aran: 40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool, 15% nylon)
Noro Kagayaki (worsted: 40% wool, 24% cotton, 18% silk, 18% viscose)
Synthetics add stretch, helping fabric keep its shape. They also lower the fabric’s weight and reduce drying time.
in the store, look for
Berroco Modern Cotton (worsted: 60% Pima cotton, 40% modal rayon)
Katia Top Rainbow (DK: 50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Stop by A Piece of Ewe and let us help you find your perfect project for knitting through concerts-in-the-park, ball games, or the drive up north!
Use bamboo needles to keep slippery stitches in place while working.
Work a tighter gauge to create a denser fabric that’s less prone to sagging.
Take breaks and stretch hands and wrists to prevent fatigue.
Wash your swatch to predict fabric behavior and color bleeds – especially in stripes!
Split yarn and weave plies in several directions to hide ends.
Do you dream in color? We do!
Come into our yarn store from May 8th until May 14th to check out our Dream in Color Trunk Show! We have so much beautiful yarn in that we can't fit it all in one spot in the store!
Join us at A Piece Of Ewe to see Classy and Classy with Cashmere, which is worsted weight yarns. Worsted weight yarns are fairly easy to work with!
When you walk to the left room, you’ll see Everest, which is a chunky yarn, and it’s actually a very fun yarn we’ve never had in the store before. Also on the table with Everest is Cosette! This is a DK weight yarn that we’ve also never carried at the store! Both of these yarns are super squishy and soft. So amazing to feel!
In the middle room, where we usually keep our cotton and whatnot, you’ll find the Smooshy sock yarn, Smooshy with Cashmere, BFL sock yarn, BFL with Camel and Silk, and even some BFL Cashmere and Silk!
When you walk out of the cotton room towards the middle of the main room, we’ve cleared off a display for more Dream yarn! This display has Jilly yarn, which is a fingering lace weight yarn. We don’t usually carry lace weight yarns. We’ve also got the Jilly with Cashmere. Some of these have cashmere, and some do not. Along with the Jilly sits the Dream In Color City yarn, which is a heavy worsted weight. We kept them in the packages for now, but don’t feel forced to buy them in the package! They come separately so you can get only as much as you want.
We have plenty of yarn, and so much more than we expected! We love the variety we’ve got, and we know you will too! Stop by until Monday, May 14th to check out all the amazing Dream In Color yarns! There’s a little bit of something for everyone.
Susan soon found out that one of her friend’s nieces had a pregnant cat. Not too long after, her friend Michelle brought over two of the kittens for a lovely visit. Curious, Susan brought the orange female kitten down to Squeaky’s hiding spot in the basement. The tiny kitten climbed right into Squeaky’s hiding spot and snuggled up to Squeaky, who didn’t mind this new furry friend at all! Susan had thought she needed to get a male kitten for Squeaky instead of a female, so she brought down the male kitten and Squeaky-voiced his disapproval with a hiss. Susan gave both kittens back to Michelle because again, they were just fine on their own.
Later on, the little female kitten had no takers for adoption. Susan tried and tried to find her home. She found one, but it, later on, fell through so Susan decided to keep the sweet girl for her own. She deserved a loving home too, after all! This adorable kitten is now known as Elizabeth Grace, but you can call her Lizzie! Lizzie is full of energy and loves to climb whatever and whoever she can. She learned a new trick Susan calls the Superman, in which she runs and leaps at you with all four paws outstretched.
This sweet girl won’t be a shop cat, but she’ll be happy to keep Squeaky and Susan company at home!
April 12, 2018
Calling all knitters and crocheters!
We know yarn stimulates your senses: soaking in the entire spectrum of color, sinking your fingers into decadent skeins of the softest fibers, settling into a cozy chair to page through the latest patterns. We also know the only place to get the full experience is in the store.
Come celebrate everything you love about yarn at our Local Yarn Store Day event, featuring many items from your favorite yarn companies and designers available only at brick-and-mortar local yarn shops. Have friends who'd like to learn more? Bring them along! Remember to check in on social media and share your excitement.
A Piece of Ewe
506 Columbus Avenue
April 21, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Makin’ Bacon Food Truck will be on site. We will offer a $1 Bacon Buck to be used for food for every $10 you spend in our yarn store.
Limit $5 Bacon Bucks per person.
Makin’ Bacon Menu:
Whole Hog Special (WHS) choice of entree, side of bacon-topped Mac and Cheese, and a dessert
Street Style Steak Sandwich
A 5 ounce ball-tip steak, served on a Barney’s Bakery bun, with mayo, cheese, grilled onions, and bacon. $9.50 WHS $14.00
Street Style 1/4 pound Bratwurst, served on a Barney’s Bakery bun, with mayo, cheese, grilled onions, and bacon. $6.50 WHS $11.00
Street Style 1/4 pound All-Beef Dog, served on a Barney’s Bakery bun, with mayo, cheese, grilled onions, and bacon.
$6.50 WHS $11.00
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Slow roasted pulled pork, piled high on a fresh bun, topped with BBQ sauce $6.50 WHS $11.00
Pulled Pork Street Bowl
Creamy Mac and Cheese, topped with pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and grilled onions. Regular $6.50 Large $8.50 Add bacon $1.00
Five cheese, Bacon-Topped Mac and Cheese. Regular $4.50 Large $6.50 X-Large $8.50
Chocolate Bacon Brownie $2.00
Join us for a fun day with some baconlicious food, while supporting A Piece of Ewe!
April 9, 2018
It happens all the time. You’re sitting in a public space, hook in hand, and the voice of a stranger breaks through your reverie: “Hey! What are you knitting?” (Knitters’ work gets confused by non-yarnies, too, although maybe not as often.)
At this point, a discussion can become an enthusiastic, even spirited, defense of one needle art or the other, but what’s “better” tends to be determined by a stitchers’ personal history, aesthetic preference or range of comfortable physical motion – not to mention what kinds of projects they enjoy.
Knitting vs. Crocheting
Both arts have a lot going for them. Crochet’s textural interest and inherent sturdiness make for beautiful and practical versatility – the same stitches that create intricate lace also shape lovable toys and durable, trendy baskets and rugs. Building with a single stitch at a time gives the artisan ease of free-form design and more flexibility in sharing hooks among multiple projects. True, finding a great sweater pattern can be a challenge, and you do need to pay attention to US vs. British pattern language. But, overall, the projects work up quickly, and the coziness of a crocheted afghan on a chilly evening can’t be denied.
Knitting uses only two kinds of simple stitches to make rows of loops that interlock. Working with many loops at a time (instead of just one) creates a finer, softer fabric that lends itself more easily to modern-looking wearables – and the problem isn’t finding those patterns; it’s choosing which one to make first. Of course, working with so many live loops increases the opportunity for errors that may not be as easy to correct. However, the sheer number of knitting resources is staggering in comparison, and standardized pattern language minimizes confusion.
But why stay rooted in one spot?
Why should knitters learn to crochet?
Shaped edges clean up beautifully with a quick slip stitch border. Chained loops make great buttonholes, and that lace we mentioned earlier can take your work up several notches. Many knitters swear by using foundation chains for provisional cast-ons. And nothing picks up stitches – dropped or deliberately added – like a hook.
When would a crocheter use needles?
Your flowers and other appliques shine on a field of stockinette. Color work is possible with crochet, but you can tackle more intricate detail with knitted fabric. Good-looking socks can come off a hook, but their knitted cousins have the edge on stretch for an even more comfortable fit. Finally (for this post, at least), many stitchers alternate with knitting or even switch arts altogether because crochet’s repetitive motions caused discomfort or aggravated arthritis or other injury.
The real question isn’t which needle art is better – it’s which one suits your purpose today?