Welcome to Heavenly Socks Yarns!

The Heavenly Socks Yarns storefront

Our shop on Lower Main Street

Books, patterns and magazines on sale this month at 20% off (click to zoom)

Books, patterns and magazines on sale this month at 20% off (click to zoom)

Written Word Sale

On Saturday, May 7, Belfast will be celebrating the return of the Belfast Bound Book Festival. We have included a separate article about it below.

In celebration of the written word on paper, all books, patterns and magazines will be on sale this month at 20% off. Though many of us have grown to love the incomparable resource of Ravelry, we also from time to time cannot express the joy we have at opening a tangible book. We still have books here at the shop -- mostly reference types, which are useful when you are knitting and do not want to stop and research on a computer.

We also find joy in reading a magazine once in a while on a quiet day with a cup of coffee or tea. There are often lots of patterns in a magazine for a reasonable price. Treat yourself this month. We will include Ravelry patterns in this sale, but we will not be printing them in color at the sale price.

Bouquet image from 1850s English botanical book, courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Bouquet image from 1850s English botanical book, courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Happy Mother's Day (Plus History)

To all the mothers out there, we wish you a day of love and peace. We love the story of the origin of Mother's Day and so again we would like to share it with you:

The idea of an official celebration of Mother's Day in US was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. An activist, writer and poet, Julia shot to fame with her famous Civil War song, "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2 be annually celebrated as Mother's Day and should be dedicated to peace. She wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war in her famous Mother's Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870. She also initiated a Mother's Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June in Boston and held the meeting for a number of years. Julia tirelessly championed the cause of an official celebration of Mother's Day and declaration of an official holiday on the day. Her idea spread but was later replaced by the Mother's Day holiday now celebrated in May.

Copyright Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India (SCFI). All Rights Reserved.

Silk needle cases from Lantern Moon (click to zoom)

Silk needle cases from Lantern Moon (click to zoom)

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Here at the shop, we have lovely fiber and fiber-related items that those special people in your life will love to receive as a gift. No matter your budget, we can help you with some ideas that will make her smile. (We even have some fabulous items at 40% off -- like Lantern Moon needle cases -- and she will never know the deal you received.)

A unique gift would be a subscription to Fiber of Maine. Since Fiber of Maine is a new website this year, this is a gift she has not received before. A personalized message can be included in your gift, and the timing of the May mailing will put it in her mailbox that Friday or Saturday.

Pink Onyx, knitted in Cotton Denim DK (click to zoom)

Pink Onyx, knitted in Cotton Denim DK (click to zoom)

Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim DK

Helen knitted the free pattern Pink Onyx in Debbie Bliss' new Cotton Denim DK and reports that both are individually great, and they are a perfect match together.

First, the pattern: This pattern is a topdown pattern with a provisional cast-on and some short rows to build up the back. Helen actually followed the pattern for our store model down to the underarms, except that she stopped the lace work when it got down to the bra line. After getting this far, she started another one, but this time she did a simple longtail cast-on and did not build up the back. Although she wasn't quite done with her second "shirt" at the sending of this newsletter, she says the top fits perfectly without the short rows and provisional cast-on. In her second shirt, she is knitting the same amount of lace in the back as she did in the front and is making a 3/4-length sleeve all in lace. The lace is a simple four-row repeat. Stop in the store when you are nearby to see if she is wearing her work.

Second, the yarn: Helen reports that this 100% cotton yarn is springy and a pleasure to work with. It doesn't split and it flows softly through your fingers. Although it says that the yarn is a DK weight, it really knits closer to a 5 sts. = 1" worsted. The colors are happy summer colors. You won't be sorry if you choose this yarn for a project. We are thinking a throw or baby blanket would feel lovely knit up in this yarn.

If you don't want to knit Pink Onyx, or some variation of it, we have a booklet that supports this yarn here at the shop, which includes these patterns.

This 100-gram machine-washable ball of yarn has 218 yards, and retails here for $11.95.

Striped Summer Shawl in Tern (click to zoom)

Striped Summer Shawl in Tern (click to zoom)

Striped Summer Shawl in Tern

If Tern (75% American wool /25% silk) from Quince&Co. has interested you, it's time to dive in. Cheryl used two skeins of the colorway Back Bay on #4 needles to work up the free pattern Striped Summer Shawl by Anna Schurmann. The open eyelet pattern was fun to work and certainly does speak to summer evening breezes. The pattern called for two colors, but our sample is worked in a single color. The stitch repeat is worked over four rows.

Cheryl found it easiest to tick off the rows. If you decided to work it in two colors there would be nothing to slow you down, as it is very easy to memorize. This yarn is such a pleasure to work with! There are only seven projects using this pattern listed on Ravelry. Don't let an unfamiliar designer name throw you -- this pattern was flawless.

Gramcrackers Mitts, knitted in Mousam Falls (click to zoom)

Gramcrackers Mitts, knitted in Mousam Falls (click to zoom)

Gramcrackers Mitts

The Gramcrackers mitts pattern knits up a pair of fingerless mitts with a fantastic fit that hugs your hands. The pattern is well written, has a nice little twisted-stitch detail, and uses worsted-weight yarn for a quick knit. Although there are many free patterns out there for mitts, we have a customer who has knitted this pattern multiple times and it is her "go to" mitt pattern for ease and fit -- with a bit of style. The designer, Dragonfly Designs, has Maine roots and is currently on active duty in the Navy. Stop in and try them on.

The shop sample was knitted with the new worsted yarn from Maine's JaggerSpun called Mousam Falls. The yarn is easy to knit with, has nice stitch definition, and is a superwash, which makes it a great choice for knitted gifts. We have a limited number of colorways in Mousam Falls but we are slowly adding. Try it and let us know what you think.

Tape measure image from rare antique printer's book circa 1880s, courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Tape measure image from rare antique printer's book circa 1880s, courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Industry Standard Sizing

Often, knitters like a certain yarn that doesn't match with the intended pattern. If the yarn is in the "ballpark," simple adjustments can be easily made to make a proportionally sized garment. This is especially true with knitting for babies and young children. The link below gives the lengths and widths of sizes according to industry standards. It is worth printing out so you can feel more comfortable knitting slightly different gauges than the pattern calls for, and so you will easily know what to do.

Standard Body Measurements/Sizing

Help preserve and clean up Penobscot Bay by crafting and donating sea creatures(click to zoom).

Help preserve and clean up Penobscot Bay by crafting and donating sea creatures (click to zoom).

Craft a Sea Creature

The KnitMaine-ia gang is teaming up with Friends of Penobscot Bay to hold a silent auction at their summer show. The event is being planned for the Stockton Harbor Yacht Club and will include the sea creatures as adornments (date to be announced). All proceeds from donated critters will go to efforts to preserve and clean up Penobscot Bay.

There are many patterns available on Ravelry, including Spiral Shells. Donations of items will be accepted through mid July. For more information, email Jillian: jillianliver@gmail.com.

Spiral Jetty, by Robert Smithson, image by George Steinmetz

Spiral Jetty, by Robert Smithson, image by George Steinmetz

Waterfall Arts Events

Art Salon

On Thursday, May 5, Waterfall Arts will hold an art salon as part of its current open call show, Keen Observation. All are invited to attend and discuss how closely observing a subject affects the creative and art making process. Salon, from the French word salon (a living room or parlor), means a gathering for conversation and discussion.

The salon will be moderated by Martha Piscuskas, Director of Programming at Waterfall Arts along with other contributing artists. The discussion begins at 7 pm.

Troublemakers Screening

Waterfall Arts is delighted to screen the new film Troublemakers on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm. The film gives the history of land art in the 1960s-1970s and its larger-than-life practitioners with their colossal artworks, like Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in Salt Lake.

Director James Crump features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest.

Waterfall Arts is located at 256 High St. in Belfast. For more information, phone 207-338-2222 or visit Waterfall Arts.

Larry Unger

Larry Unger

Tuneship at Belfast Flying Shoes

Join in on Friday, May 6, for an evening of contra dancing at American Legion Post #43, 143 Church St. in Belfast. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a community dance called by Chrissy Fowler. The contra dance begins at 8 pm and runs till around 11 pm.

This month's caller is Syracuse, N.Y.-based David Smukler. He will share the stage with Tuneship, which features the delightful twin fiddling of Cedar Stanistreet and Karina Wilson, backed by the rocking guitar groove of Larry Unger. Sound provided by Eric Weest Johnson.

For more information, phone 207-338-0979, email belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com, visit Belfast Flying Shoes or find them on Facebook.

More Contra Dance Fun

Callers Chrissy Fowler, Audrey Budington and Clayton Clemetson will call the following contra dances in May:

Friday, May 20: Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St, Bangor. Beginners' session at 7:30 pm, dance at 8 pm. $8/person. For more information: 207-941-9727, Bangor Contra or bangorcontra@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 21: East Concord Community Center, 18 Eastman St., East Concord, New Hampshire. 8 pm. For more information, visit Concord Contra Dance.

Sunday, May 22: 6:45 pm beginner workshop, dance 7 pm. Brattleboro, Vermont. For more information, visit Brattleboro Contra Dance.

Author Elizabeth Peavey

Author Elizabeth Peavey

Belfast Bound Book Festival

After a two-year hiatus, Our Town Belfast, in partnership with the Belfast Free Library and Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, is bringing back the Belfast Bound Book Festival on Saturday, May 7.

Belfast is home to a high density of booksellers given the size of the population. In the downtown alone there are four bookstores with many other retailers selling books as well. The festival aims to celebrate this, as well as the bounty of avid readers, writers, poets, and book artists among the community. Events include signings, book talks, a poetry reading, workshops, an art show, and activities for children as well.

Archivist Abraham Schechter will do free book repair at the Belfast Free Library throughout the day. Author Elizabeth Peavey will present a talk entitled The Best Truth: Honesty vs. Truth in Memoir as well as a workshop on Memoir Writing. Other presenters include Miriam Nesset, Michael Alpert, Allan Whitmore and Tom Furrier, who will present a public Type Out for typewriter fiends. There will be a children's book presentation at the Green Store and a poetry reading at Left Bank Books.

For more information, visit Our Town Belfast or find them on Facebook.

A Will for the Woods

A Will for the Woods

Green Cemeteries Film

If you're interested in green cemeteries and natural burial alternatives, join volunteers from Green Cemetery for Belfast Maine (GCBM) for a free screening of the documentary film "A Will for the Woods" on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 pm, at the Colonial Theater, 163 High St., Belfast.

In the film, Clark Wang, determined that his last act will be a gift to the planet, prepares for his natural burial while battling lymphoma. The spirited Clark and his partner Jane, boldly facing his mortality, embrace the planning of a spiritually meaningful funeral and join with a compassionate local cemeterian to use green burial to save a North Carolina woods from being clear-cut.

The film screening will be followed by discussion about GCBM. For more information, phone Alison at 843-441-7046, email fcamaine@gmail.com, or find them on Facebook.

Hip Hop Class, Dance Camp 2015

Hip Hop Class, Dance Camp 2015

Summer Dance Camp

A summer dance camp for teens (ages 11 and up) will be held at the Belfast Dance Studio on July 25-29, featuring a fun, noncompetitive and friendly atmosphere with instruction from the area's most renowned instructors. Learn the discipline of dance while building confidence, self-esteem, positive body awareness and connection with others. The camp is designed for dancers of all levels, and beginners are welcome.

The faculty of highly qualified instructors with professional dance experience will offer daily classes in Ballet and Modern (Sunny Hitt), Tap and Hip Hop (Jenny Cobuzzi) and Composition and Choreography (Shana Bloomstein). The week will culminate in an informal performance on Friday.

Classes will be held Monday through Friday, 9 am-3:10 pm, with pick up by 3:30 pm. Performance on Friday at 3 pm. Cost: $210 early-bird special if registered before June 15, $225 after June 15. Sibling discounts offered. Partial scholarships available; please apply before July 1. For more information and to register, phone 207-338-5380 or email info@belfastdancestudio.com.

Lead-poisoned Bald Eagle recently admitted to Avian Haven, photo courtesy of Avian Haven

Lead-poisoned Bald Eagle recently admitted to Avian Haven, photo courtesy of Avian Haven

Belfast Co-op May Events

Featured Artist

The work of Patricia Shea will be on display in the Co-op Cafe through the month of May.

May Common Cents Recipient

Avian Haven, a nonprofit wild bird rehabilitation center dedicated to the return of injured and orphaned wild birds of all species to natural roles in the wild, will be the Co-op's May Common Cents Recipient.

Senior Discount Day

Every Tuesday, Belfast Co-op customers 62 years young and up receive a discount upon informing the cashier of their eligibility. Co-op member-owners receive a 10% discount; non-member-owners 5%.

Perennial Plant Sale

Sixth Annual Organic Field-grown with Rebel Hill Farm: Catalogs available online at Belfast Co-op and outside Co-op's entry door. Monday, May 2, order deadline; Saturday, May 7, 9-11 am plant pickup at Co-op, extra plants available for purchase. All proceeds support the farm.

The Maine Conscious Consumer

Tuesday, May 3. 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library: Free presentation with author Samantha Ricker, who will discuss her book, which emphasizes why buying local matters. Co-sponsored with the Library and Our Town Belfast.

Member-Owner Forum

Wednesday, May 11, 6-8 pm, Belfast Free Library: Free screening of a short video about the Belfast Co-op's early history in honor of our 40th anniversary. All member-owners are encouraged to attend and bring a friend; all are welcome.

Tick Talk

Tuesday, May 24, 6-8 pm, Belfast Free Library: Free presentation with Lyme disease specialist Dr. Bea Szantyr, who will provide an informative look at ticks, the bacteria which cause Lyme disease, incidence of Lyme disease in Maine, difficulties of medical diagnosis and steps you can take to protect yourself. Co-sponsored with the Library.

Monthly Belfast Co-op Board Meeting

Thursday, May 26, 6 pm social time, 6:30 pm meeting, Waterfall Arts, 256 High St. Meeting minutes archived at Board of Directors page; agenda posted to Belfast Co-op homepage the week of the meeting.

Monthly Love LOCAL Day

Friday, May 27 (final Friday of month): Local vendor product samples, lunch special highlighting local ingredients, 10% off all Maine-made products all day.

Road Trip in Eastern Cuba, April 2015

Tuesday, May 31, 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library: Free presentation with Dr. Alison Dibble, conservation biologist, artist and fiction writer, who spent ten days exploring eastern Cuba. All ages welcome. Co-sponsored with the Library.

For more information about Belfast Co-op events, please visit Belfast Co-op.

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Our Shipping Policy

Even though our Web site is not designed with a shopping cart, we will happily ship anything to you.

At this time, we only ask for the exact cost of the shipping; there is no handling charge.

By the way, the man in the photo is our well-loved UPS deliveryman. He is always smiling and happy, even when hauling heavy boxes down the stairs. (He must be a secret wannabe knitter.)

Yarn customers browsing inside our shop

Inside our shop, with yarn lovers examining a tempting skein.