Welcome to Heavenly Socks Yarns!

The Heavenly Socks Yarns storefront

Our shop on Lower Main Street

Even un-knit yarn can provide a dash of much-needed color at this time of year.

Even un-knit yarn can provide a dash of much-needed color at this time of year.

Creative Stashbusting

We begin this newsletter by wishing peace, love and health in the new year! We also would like to thank you for another year of your support.

If you have time to be creative, now that the holidays are over, it is a great time to come into our shop. Let us explain:

First, new yarns will be arriving weekly now.

Second, we will be clearing out whole lines of yarns to make room for our new yarns. You will find these yarns on sale at a great price. In many of the discontinued lines, there will be quantities enough for large projects.

Third, we always like to help you stashbust. There is a sweater made by Helen (featured in a separate article below) that explains what she did to knit something easy, creative and stashbusting. Feel free to bring in some stash yarn and let us make suggestions on the best use for it, or find an additional skein of yarn here that will really set your project on fire!

Striped chevron sweater, knit by Helen in a harmonious mix of yarns and tones

Striped chevron sweater, knit by Helen in a harmonious mix of yarns and tones

Knitting a Sweater: Same Simple Pattern, but with Dramatically Different Results

Do you want to knit a sweater, but you really don't want to sew it together in pieces? Are you afraid that when you get it sewn up it won't fit well? Or do you have lots of different colorways of yarn in the same gauge and can't bear to buy more yarn till you use what you have? Or, do you just want to be really creative? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, we would like to suggest that you consider knitting a top-down sweater.

Helen knit two very different styles of sweater using the same pattern. With the purple colorway sweater, Helen saw JG Bryant's handspun and just had to knit it. She knew she didn't have enough to make a whole sweater so she decided to begin to knit a topdown sweater. She made a simple pattern using our Sweater Wizard software; she could have just as easily used a Pure and Simple Pattern. As she got close to "breaking off the arms," she reserved some of the handspun yarn to knit the top of the sleeves. After she was almost done with the handspun, she knit three rows of garter. Then she went into her stash and the shop shelves to find coordinating yarns, and began the chevron stripes. She used some mystery yarn, Berroco's Folio held double and their Lustra, Briggs and Little's Tuffy, and Jaggerspun's worsted-weight Zephyr. She trimmed the sweater in Zephyr.

Panguipulli sweater with mock-cable rib

Panguipulli sweater with mock-cable rib

While stocking the shelf and needing another sweater -- though she had just finished her striped chevron sweater -- Helen said, "I need to knit this yarn." It was Araucania's Panguipulli. It happened to be the same gauge as the striped chevron cardigan. With enough skeins to use all the same colorway, she just knit not knowing what to do to make the sweater uniquely hers that would be interesting, yet simple. After knitting almost to the breaking-off point of the arms, the yarn spoke to her. She broke off for the arms, then added a 22-stitch mock cable rib to the sides. After knitting it for a while, she loved the results and incorporated more of the body stitches into the mock cable rib. She used this stitch for the ribbing and the button bands.

Camden Cowl, designed by Mary Jane Mucklestone, knit by Liz

Camden Cowl, designed by Mary Jane Mucklestone, knit by Liz

Camden Cowl; Pixelated Hat and Palms

If you haven't seen our Maine yarn section in a while, this is a great time to stop in. We've just added Owl, a worsted-weight wool/alpaca blend from Quince and Co., and Washable Merino DK from Swans Island to our selection of great yarns from Peace Fleece, Good Karma Farm, String Theory, Jaggerspun, Done Roving, and Quince and Co.

This month, we have a couple of new shop samples that feature yarns from our Maine section.

Our friend Mary Jane Mucklestone, Maine knitwear designer, has released a few great colorwork patterns this fall. One that caught our eye is the Camden Cowl, which she designed for Vogue Knitting Destination Experience in Camden last spring. The cowl, a great stranded project for both colorwork beginners and those with more experience looking for instant gratification, uses two skeins of Swans Island Organic Washable DK, a next-to-the-skin soft and lovely merino yarn naturally dyed in gorgeous tonal colorways. It's the perfect yarn for those who love the properties of wool but are bothered by the itch (this yarn is as itch-free as cotton!), and those looking for a sustainable product, as it's 100% organic and naturally dyed. Swans Island DK is $14.00 for a 50g, 140-yard skein.

Pixelated Hat, knit by Liz

Pixelated Hat, knit by Liz

The Pixelated Hat seemed like a good match for Jaggerspun's Zephyr Wool-Silk, a worsted-weight 50/50 merino/silk blend. This yarn is, in a word, luscious. The Pixelated Hat comes in two versions: slightly slouchy with a contrast edging on the brim, or less slouchy with a longer folded brim. Liz opted to knit the one with the contrast edging, and declares it has just the right amount of slouch. The yarn itself was a delight to knit with and we have a feeling that it will wear well. (Liz used this yarn for another project before settling on the Pixelated Hat, and the yarn held up beautifully.) If you really want to coordinate your winter accessories, there are even matching mitts, Pixelated Palms! Jaggerspun Wool-Silk is $11.00 for a 50g, 124-yard skein, and our hat took one each of two colors.

Josh modeling our Stash Buster Super Bulky Fun Earflap Hat

Josh modeling our Stash Buster Super Bulky Fun Earflap Hat

Stash Buster Super Bulky Fun Earflap Hat

Now that the cold weather is here to stay for a while, here is a reminder of a warm hat which you can make that can be fun and stashbusting. If you don't want to stashbust, we have a selection of super bulky yarn that will work great with this pattern.

This hat is knit on #15 needles with three skeins of worsted held together (or any combination of yarns that equal approximately 2.5 stitches per inch). Stick to a colorway or go wild and have fun! It can easily be knit in one night for a quick gift. Click Stash Buster Hat for the free pattern.

New Year's By The Bay 2015 admission button

New Year's By The Bay 2015 admission button

18th Annual New Year's By The Bay

The 18th Annual New Year's By The Bay 2014 will take place on Wednesday, December 31.

New Year's By the Bay is a yearly town-wide grass-roots celebration that takes place on New Year's Eve. Chem-free, family-oriented and affordable, it is held mostly in indoor venues within walking distance, and showcases a wide variety of live performances, as well as dance bands.

For more information, visit the NYBB Web site; please check in regularly for ongoing updates.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Donation Day

In recognition of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 10% of our sales on Monday, January 19, 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.

Gawler Family Megaband

Gawler Family Megaband

Gawler Family Megaband to Light Up Belfast Flying Shoes Contra Dance

On Friday, January 2, join Belfast Flying Shoes 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. The contra dance begins at 8 pm and runs until around 11 pm.

This month, Belfast's own Chrissy Fowler will call the dances, with music by The Gawler Family Megaband. The Gawler Family Band is Ellen and John Gawler -- leading lights of Maine's traditional music and dance community -- and their multitalented daughters, Molly, Edith and Elsie.

The Gawlers have charmed audiences across the Northeast with their sparkling musicianship and irresistible good cheer. Now joining this fun-loving, footstomping, folk-singing string band are Edith's husband, Bennett Konesni, on guitar, and Elsie's partner, Tyler Yentes, on fiddle. The result is a seven-piece powerhouse of danceable joy: the Gawler Family Megaband. Drawing on an extensive repertoire of Down East, Scots-Irish, Swedish and French-Canadian tunes, the Megaband will put wings on your feet and a smile on your face.

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

Lydia Ievins and Andrea Larson, Scandinavian fiddle duo

Lydia Ievins and Andrea Larson, Scandinavian fiddle duo

Träd Weekend: Scandi Music for Dancing

An intensive workshop for dance musicians in Scandinavian fiddle traditions in Belfast is in the planning stages. Scandi fiddlers Lydia Ievins and Andrea Larson are willing to come up and teach one if there is enough interest. Click mini-survey to help choose a date to bring this program to midcoast Maine.

Lydia and Andrea have developed Träd Weekend, slanted toward fiddle and nyckelharpa. The pilot run of this program, in Montague, Mass. in November 2014, was a triumphant success, and they are eager to share the experience with friends farther afield.

They begin with a Friday evening gathering and wrap up sometime Sunday afternoon. Attendance will be capped at 20 people, to foster the experience of a small class working together; if there is sufficient interest, a second weekend will be scheduled. Bennett Konesni has volunteered to serve as local coordinator/facilitator.

Aarhus Gallery interior

Aarhus Gallery interior

Into the Black: A Farewell Party for Aarhus Gallery

Please join Friends of Aarhus on Friday, January 9, from 5 to 9 pm, for one last gala at Aarhus Gallery. (In case of bad weather, the date will be Saturday, January 10.) Come celebrate their seven years of commitment to our community, thank them for sharing their dream with us, and send them off into the black -- i.e., unburdened by unpaid bills. There will be lots of good food and drink, live music and musing, tears and cheers, plus one last chance to purchase some Aarhusian art. If you cannot attend but would like to contribute, you may send a check (made out to Aarhus Gallery) to Aarhus Gallery c/o Into The Black, 50 Main St., Belfast, ME 04915, and the Friends of Aarhus will make sure it gets into the donation jar.

At work in the clay studio

At work in the clay studio

New Winter Classes, Workshops and Art Camps at Waterfall Arts

Classes, workshops and art camps designed to add creativity to the colder months begin in January at Waterfall Arts.

Abbie Read demonstrates her gelatin print technique at a Print Studio Open House on Thursday, January 15 from 5:30 to 8 pm. The print shop also offers monitored open studio hours for artists who want to work on their own prints.

Mike Fletcher will lead Drawing 101, an eight-week Monday evening class beginning January 19. The Saturday morning Life Drawing Group continues to meet from 9:30 am to noon every week.

The clay studio will be busy with ceramics classes for adults and kids. Adam Bogosian and Cory Upton-Consulich return as instructors for Ceramics for All. The eight-week class begins Tuesday, January 20. For kids 6 to 16, Linda Stec leads another round of the Wonders of Clay on Wednesday afternoon beginning Wednesday, January 21. Open clay studio hours with experienced monitors available for technical assistance will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

In February, Shawn Brewer leads a Saturday workshop, Screenprinting All Levels, on February 14 from 10 am to 2 pm. February school vacation (February 16-20) seems a long way off, but a special art camp for 7- to 12-year-olds is scheduled for that week: Art Meets Music, led by Bridget Matros.

For registration information, complete details on classes and instructors, scholarship applications, exhibitions, art events, studio rentals and volunteer opportunities, visit Waterfall Arts, phone 207-338-2222 or stop by Waterfall Arts at 256 High St. in Belfast.

Untitled by Pip McFaul, from The River School's Exploring Photography: River School, Belfast student art show

Untitled by Pip McFaul, from The River School's Exploring Photography: River School, Belfast student art show

January 2015 Belfast Co-op Events

Featured Artists

The River School's Exploring Photography: River School, Belfast student art show is on display in the Co-op Cafe through late January.

Round Up for Community Recipients

January 1-15 Belfast Poetry Festival; January 16-31 Waldo County Peace Activist Award

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%.

January 1: Closed for New Year's Day

Guided Store Tour

Saturday, January 17, 10 am: Belfast Co-op, 123 High St.: Meet near Co-op entrance. Guided store tours (every third Saturday of the month) which highlight the benefits of joining the Co-op and how to take best advantage of shopping there. All are welcome.

Tibetan Singing Bowls: Sound Healing Journey presentation

Thursday, January, 29. 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.: Lori LeBlanc will give a free demonstration of the unique harmonic vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls.

Love LOCAL Day

Friday, January 30, 11 am to 3 pm: A Maine vendor will provide free samples of their products, the lunch special will highlight local ingredients, ALL Maine-made products are 10% off throughout the day.

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

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.