Saturday, April 25, 2009


Just in time for spring, I'm pleased to announce our newest crochet pattern, the elegant "Jane". Designer Jennifer Benson created "Jane" after her pattern "Miss Austin" was received with such enthusiasm. "Jane takes" less yarn (only two skeins of Tinsel Toes) and is faster to crochet than the full circle "Miss Austen", but has the same drape and sophisticated style.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Cont.

We want to make sure you figure The Unique Sheep into your festival budget, so here is a summary of what we will be bringing to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend.

We are sending a variety of single skein yarns in various colors. This will be a great
opportunity for people to try Unique Sheep yarn and use a base yarn that they may not have tried before. These skeins can be used for socks or other small projects.

We are sending a variety of kits:

--The Coffee Cozies always seem like a winner for an “end cap” or by the cash register. They are inexpensive and a quick knit. The colors are “Coffee House" (kinda like Starbucks colors :)) and Sinful- which looks just like a yummy latte.

--The Todos throw kits give a sampling of various yarn bases while using a simple lace pattern to knit a lovely blanket to show off in the Family Room.

--Todos scarf kits—another popular seller, and a mini version of the throw. This time the knitted result is a fun, textural scarf. This is the pattern that we used for our recent Knit-a-Long/ Purl-a-Long

--Crochet Baby Shoe—is hard to resist for those who have babies in their lives

--Crochet Adult Slippers—a quick project to keep the toes toasty.

--Crochet Baby cardigan—This is a crochet version of the famous “Baby Surprise Jacket”. It is a very fun project to make.

--Quatrefoil—a shrug that is perfect for this time of year! We have an updated pattern and some fun colors.

--Estonian Embrace—Estonian stitch work is HOT! There are 3 different cuff choices included in this pattern. There is enough yarn in the kit for most men’s sizes and these are made with Super Wool, so perfect for a house sock, a clog sock, or a boot sock. And they knit up fast!

--Lacey Yug—This shawl is incredibly easy to knit and can be done VERY quickly. It is a great option for those who want to knit a shawl as a “comfort” gift. I receive tons of compliments every time I wear mine.

--Into the Woods—We had the guys in mind when this pattern was developed. It features a very unique pattern stitch. (of course the ladies are welcome to make if for themselves :)) We included one in House Blend in a single colorway and 2 in Super Wool from yarns from our Gradiance Collection. The pattern also is written with instructions on when and how to change skeins for use with Gradiance sets.

The rest are things from our Gradiance Collection:

We have worked over the past year to develop pattern support and color options for this line of yarn that is exclusive to The Unique Sheep. .

--Gradiance Sock sets in Tinsel Toes, Sushi Sock, Verve and Luxe. These can be sold as yarn alone, or paired with our free Gradiance Sock patterns that explain how and when to change skeins. The Slipped Ridges patterns are available for people to purchase with Verve or Luxe. That pattern features leg and arch shaping and also explains how to use the Gradiance yarn sock sets.

--Gradiance Scarf kits- This simple lace scarf pattern was written to show people how to use the Gradiance sets and end up with a really fun scarf—since not everyone loves to knit socks! It also included Luxe, a merino/silk yarn base developed exclusively for The Unique Sheep.

--Syncopated Lace Shawl—this pattern is not for the faint-of-heart, but the resulting shawl is worth every stitch. A 16 page booklet with written instructions AND a 12 page booklet of charts is included in each kit.

--Lepidoptra—This pattern was designed by Laura and is a stunning use of our Gradiance Shawl sets.

--We have also included 11 Gradiance Shawl Sets in various fingering weight yarn bases. These are all 6- 50 gram skeins for a total of 300 grams of yarn. We have found that lots of shawl patterns call for about this amount of yarn and most of our shawl patterns are made with 300 grams of yarn. Other than Lepidoptra, we do not have a shawl pattern specifically written for Gradiance yarn, but an adventurous knitter could easily adapt these yarns to use with a shawl pattern of their choice. Just follow the instructions on our website.

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Its that time of year again, when knitters and spinners from all over the east coast trek to Maryland for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. And guess what? This year I'll be there too!! I (Laura) went for the first time a few years ago and loved it. Now this year a group of my knitting friends at Knit Picky Yarns is taking a bus up together. This means that we get to hang out and knit the whole way there!

And in case my presence isn't enough, our YARN will be there too! Once again Cloverhill Yarn Shop is filling their booth with yarn and fiber from over two dozen indie dyers and artisans (click the link to find out who). The list of names is impressive and we are honored to be listed amongst so many talented men and women. The booth is located in the Main Exhibition Hall D2 and D3 (click the link for a map of the fairgrounds). I won't be working at the booth, but I'll be stopping by to see how things are going and maybe giving the volunteers working there a break or two. And I'll be bringing samples! If you are going to be there and have a particular sample you'd like to see, just let me know and I'll add it to the suitcase.

Speaking of suitcases, I need to decide what to pack. And most importantly, which knitting projects I want to bring...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Introducing...Harbor Tweed

Have you ever noticed how some men can be such princesses when it comes to their feet? These socks are too scratchy, those don't fit right. The heels on these are two baggy, the toes on those too pointy. Though my husband appreciates any socks I knit for him, I'd never made a perfect pair until I knit this pattern for him. Finally, a sock that fits "just right".

Harbor Tweed was originally published as part of the Ram Club and was designed by Stitch Stud.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Introducing---Two New Colors for a Cause!

Here at The Unique Sheep we love our pets. Both of us spoil our dogs rotten and can't imagine our lives without them. And like any proud parents' we think that our dogs are the BEST dogs ever. And there is something special about our dogs. They were all rescued. My dog, Avi, was discovered by neighbors after a family moved away and left their dog and her brand new litter of puppies locked up in a small cage in the backyard. In February. In the snow. Now she lives a much more pampered life, though if you came for a visit she'd insist that we never fed her nor gave her any attention.

When I was coming up with my colorway, Unconditional, I thought about all the animals that have been part of my life. I thought of the brilliant blue eyes of the neighbor's Malamut that I befriended as a child and so I put in a bit of blue. Growing up my family had cats and several had the most beautiful orange coats, so in went some orange. Green was added for the eyes of those orange coated cats. All mixed in with a background of brown because regardless of the pet, mine always end up leaving muddy paw prints on my life!

Now I'll let Kelly tell you a bit about her pets and the inspiration behind her colorway, Rescued:

I found Bradly (aka: Lovey) wandering in the middle of a very busy street on the way to work one morning. I knew if I did not stop to try to help him, he would not make it. Luckily, he let me capture him, and off we went to the vet to make sure he was healthy enough to bring home. I figured we would foster him til his owners called for him, but after leaving a description at animal shelters in 4 ajoining counties and 5 area vets, no one claimed him, so he quickly became a permanent member of our family.

Last October we lost our beloved little Min Pin, Spike. We have been a two dog family for many years, and knew we would eventually get a new dog. Spike was a paid for "Blue Blood" and we loved him so much, but after bringing Bradley into our home, we knew any dog that followed would be a Rescue Dog. Our wonderful pet sitter told us about an adoption fair that Ruff Love Rescue was having on Valentine's Day. After watching 20-30 dogs run around the play arena, I picked out Sam (on the right). He is the perfect size for a playmate for Bradley. He is full of energy and has already adapted to his new home very well.

I came up with a Gradiance colorway that is almost a literal translation of the colors that are in the two amazing dogs we have. They both have a brindle coloring so the Gradiance transitions from brown to almost black. The red throughout represents the collar. (another color could be substituded for the red if you like).

These color ways will be part of our Yarns for a Cause collection, so half the proceeds from sales will go to local rescue organizations.

New Retail Partner

You can now find Unique Sheep Yarns at another great online yarn shop: Simply Socks! Simply Socks has JUST posted a bunch of our Gradiance Skein Sets and Gradiance Scarf Kits. You know what would make us feel REALLY good? If they sold out. Because then they would order even MORE Unique Sheep yarn, and we'd be one step closer to taking over the world and covering it in a huge, colorful pile of yarn.