First-Annual Claddagh Yarns Giftalong!

I have yet to meet a knitter who knits only for herself or himself. Knitters are well known for spreading the love, and I'd venture to guess that many, if not most, of us knit more for others than we do for ourselves. Among the occasions for which we knit: birthdays, new babies, in thanks, to wish well, to prepare for the change of season, holidays.

I love holiday knitting. What I don't love is trying to knit two sweaters, three hats, and a pair of mittens in the space of ten days in December. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks, "What, socks? No problem. One today, the other tomorrow--they'll be wrapped and in the mail by Thursday." Friends, I've come to know that while a positive attitude is a wonderful thing, so is planning. So this year I'm planning to get a head start on my holiday knitting (and subsequently can plan to sleep nights, rather than knit maniacally into the wee hours, before Hanukkah and Christmas). This year, Anna and I invite you to join us in the first-annual Claddagh Yarns Giftalong! 

During the Giftalong, which starts today, Anna and I will be available to help you with a variety of projects that you can knit now to give later. This week we will be focusing on hats. Today and tomorrow Anna will be working fruit caps for babies and children (free pattern on Ravelry) at the shop from 1:00 to 3:00 and will be happy to help you with yours! They're quick and darling--blueberry becomes blackberry becomes pumpkin becomes peach with a change of color and a little texture, if you like. I will be working on Gudrun Johnston's Norby hat (below; pattern available at Claddagh).

Next week Anna and I will be making (and helping you make!) ornaments; the week after is mittens, mitts, and gloves; and then it's on to all manner of neckwear: scarves, shawls, and cowls. Our Knit Nights this month--for July only they'll be on the second and fourth Wednesday rather than the second and fourth Tuesday--will be Giftalong themed, too. There's much more to come, so keep in touch!

******Claddagh will be closed on Friday for the holiday-- Happy Fourth of July! ******

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Summer Mittens

"Mittens and socks knitted in the summer will be soft and have the warmth and strength of the sun in them," a Latvian proverb tells us.  Mittens and socks are quick knits and portable--excellent qualities for summer knitting--and the notion that the sunshine lends them warmth for winter tickles me. We've got a wide variety of handknit mittens on display in the shop for inspiration, and Kira will be teaching a toe-up socks class next month for anyone who would like to harness a little summer solar power for fall feet.

Have a lovely, warm weekend; see you soon!

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Sheep to Sweater

Hello! I'm back from vacation, and as wonderful as it was to visit with friends and family, I missed Claddagh, which is to say that I missed all of you! Thanks to Anna for opening the shop on the weekends, and thanks to all of those who stopped in to keep her company.

There was plenty of knitting and wool-related activity while I was in Germany, the result being that there are several new samples in the shop--the Vega hat, the Golden Child Dress, and some colorwork mittens from Churchmouse among them. (Anna's working on a few things, too, but they're under wraps for a bit longer--we'll keep you posted!) I was also excited to squeeze in a visit to Arche Ward, a nature reserve for rare and endangered domestic animals; nothing against the swans and geese, but friends, I was there for the wool. I got to visit with a number of sheep and goats (how sweet is that little guy, above?), observe expert shearing, and then my sons and I were lucky enough to see a sheep give birth to her lamb. This was a first for me, and I was so grateful to witness more of the sheep-to-sweater cycle.

And speaking of the cycle, of course spinning falls between "farm" and "garment." I'm happy to let you know that Claddagh has a selection of handspun yarns from our own Lauren Zimmerman, aka Red Duck Spins. Lauren has spun up a number of fibers and fiber blends for us (Merino, Cormo, Tencel, Corriedale, CVM, silk, and Bluefaced Leicester among them), and each hank is beautiful and unique. I admit that I nabbed one for myself, but I hereby promise to share the rest with you!

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Claddagh Yarns

1506 Walnut Street

Berkeley, CA 94709



Tel: 415.316.4276


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