SPRING!

We are really feeling the spring, with hints of summer. So beautiful. Time for working with cotton and linen, and we now have lots of it. New projects, news classes, new ideas. Look for an email next week about our new classes, and check back here for updates.

We are now OPEN ON SUNDAYS! For now the hours are 11-3, though we are judging the traffic to see if these are the best hours to be open. Always love to hear from you about this, or anything else, so feel free to comment below.

The Long Island Yarn Crawl (April 7-10) was fantastic. We met lots of new people and said hello to old friends. It was so much fun. Thank you to all who came by the shop. Thank you to Kerry Weatherhead for organizing this event; amazing work. Thank you to the many people who turned in preemie hats and blankies. There were over 100!! (I'm looking forward to learning how to add photos to this blog. The one I took of all the hats is a picture of abundance that I would add for sure.) And thank you to all who liked our FB page and posted lovely comments and good ratings. We appreciate this so much.

Do you follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook? It's another way to stay in touch with us between newsletters, and to see the pictures I can't post on this blog (yet)!

Happy stitching everyone!

TIME TO RE-BOOT!

A smart person once said, "there's no time like the present." And so it is. Now is the time for us to update and rearrange and get ready for spring and summer. To be efficient about it, we are going to be CLOSED on MONDAY, TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 15, 16.

If you are desperate for supplies, and you know what you need/want, we will not deny you. Probably we will be doing most of our work in the shop, so bang on the door and if we are in, we will help you out. No lessons, groups, helpful hints or advice, though. Amy and Stacy will both be out of town anyway!

The most exciting part of this (for me, the shop-owner) is the long-awaited implementation of our new POS system. That means we will soon be able to keep better track of the inventory, and classes, and all the numbers associated with running a business. That means we will be learning how to use a computer rather than writing our receipts on charming old fashioned tablets. That means it might get ugly, by which I mean slow. But we should be up to speed before "the busy season," or at least that's the plan.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience; it just has to be done.

BONUS! Keep your eyes open for a FLASH SALE coming up, and for a fun CONTEST we will run when we are up and running again. It will be worth the wait, I promise.

Thank you for understanding and supporting us so well, and for making us so busy that we have to upgrade. Your business and friendship is very much appreciated.

Stay tuned to this blog, or our facebook page, for up-to-date goings-on about the shop.

HINTS OF SPRING

The little purple crocuses are peeking out from the ground cover, and I see the tiniest little bits of green forming along the forsythia branches. Spring is coming!

With the new season we have new classes and new events coming up. We are putting together an exciting schedule and should be ready to post it next week.

In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars for the 2nd annual LONG ISLAND YARN CRAWL April 7-10. We will have extended hours to make it easier for everyone to participate. Find more info at http://longislandyarncrawl.com/  There is a list of all the participating shops, maps, prizes, restaurant suggestions and more. Fingers crossed for better weather this year - it snowed last year! We still had a lot of fun, and this year should be even better. 

 

AND WE'RE BACK!

The shop will be open today, with semi-normal hours (10-5). That is, closing one hour early.

Come in today before 2 to meet Shestin, our wonderful new knitting expert and friendly helper. She'll be working alongside Amy today, learning the ropes. Don't panic. Amy will still be with us for months to come!

IT'S SNOWING AGAIN...

We are having another snow day today, Monday. The roads near me haven't been plowed yet, so the shop is closed. We expect to be able to open tomorrow. It wouldn't be crazy to call ahead.

The snowed-out First Friday SOCK CIRCLE has been postponed to Friday Feb 12, assuming it won't snow again that day. Please join us if you like to knit or crochet with sock yarn. We are seeing some very cool socks and shawls at these gatherings. It's lots of fun, and it's free! Drop in any time between 5:30 and 8:30pm.

Happy stitching, wherever you are, sunshine or snow or in-between.

IT'S SNOWING....

Tonight's SOCK CIRCLE is CANCELLED. As of this morning, which looks from my window like a vintage black and white snapshot of a winter scene, there is already a couple of inches of the 5-7" predicted for the North Fork. Not a raging blizzard, but still, not the best for driving around. We are going to be safe at home, and hope you will be, too.

It's winter, after all. It SHOULD be cold and snowing. Right?

CLASSES FOR FEBRUARY

Here's our offering of classes beginning in February. If the class you're waiting for isn't listed, please let us know so we can add it to the March list.

KNITTING 102: MAKE A HAT with Amy. Tuesdays 10am-12pm (2/16, 23, 3/1) You know the basics, or have learned them in Knitting 101, so now it's time to add new skills: Working in the round, increasing, decreasing, stretchy cast on, basic pattern reading, and how to fix mistakes. $75

CROCHET 101 with Claire. Fridays 10am-12pm (2/12 & 19) Learn how to start your project, sc, hdc, and dc, and you'll be on your way to your first crocheted scarf! Class project is a stitch sampler washcloth. $50

COLORWORK AFGHAN with Judy. Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm (2/10, 4/13, 6/8, 8/10, 10/12) Explore the dynamic world of colorwork as Judy takes you on a knitting adventure. Different methods of working with color will be taught, and by the end of the year you'll be a colorwork maven with a truly magnificent afghan to keep or to give. $100 for all 5 classes

MITTENS with Kerstin. Thursdays 10am-12pm (2/25, 3/3, 3/10) Winter is the perfect time to learn how to make mittens. Kerstin will teach a cuff to finger technique that includes a comfortable thumb gusset, sure to please everyone. $75

MACHINE SEWING AND BEYOND with Kate. Learn how to use your machine and essential foundation skills. Practice these while stitching up a simple and useful project. Classes are tailored to each student's needs. Lessons are available by appointment for individuals and small groups. For anyone over the age of 7.  $30 per hour.

COMING UP IN MARCH: New KAL with Judy, Beginning Socks, Baby Sweater, Needlepoint, Embroidery and more.

COMING UP IN APRIL: Evy Leonard will be back for her famous color crochet workshop! Get your name on the waiting list asap. This class is for intermediate crocheters.

Remember our SOCK CIRCLE meets the First Friday of every month. (February 5 is the next one.) Learn a new technique at the mini workshop ($5) or just stitch and visit with friends. FREE. 5:30-8:30pm

OPEN-TO-ALL STITCHING PARTY Monday mornings 10am-12pm and Thursday evenings 6-8pm. FREE.

Hope this list includes something you've been waiting for! If not, do give us a call and let us know what you are looking forward to learning. To sign up for a class, just call the shop (631-298-7181), drop in, or email us at altmansneedlearts@gmail.com. Happy stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

SNOW DAY!

Now that the power is back on, I can write this post to let you know that we are indeed CLOSED TODAY and tomorrow.

It was actually kinda nice being disconnected for several hours, so I think I'll go back to stitching by candlelight. (Nicer to do that when you know you have a choice.)

Wishing you all a safe and cozy snow day. Or two. Happy stitching!

WINTER

Winter has finally arrived, which means there might be some odd shop hours here and there, depending on weather. I will keep this blog updated with changes throughout the stormy months.

It's such a beautiful morning here right now, with bright blue skies and sun creating long crisp shadows, it's hard to imagine that a storm is right around the corner.

Snow (a blizzard!) is predicted for this weekend, with high winds and extra cold, so even if there's "only" 6-8" of snow on the ground here, it might be very treacherous on the roads, and outside under falling branches. (Much more snow is predicted for neighboring cities and states.) We want everyone to be safe, so let's take it easy and wait for better weather to do our running around.

If you are a stitcher, you are probably pretty excited to have an excuse to stay indoors and do some serious work, and maybe you've stocked up on your supplies. If not, today's the day!

SATURDAY: We will be open the usual hours (10-5) UNLESS the storm is truly stormy, meaning I wouldn't want Amy or Judy or Stacy to be driving to and from work because the roads are even slightly unsafe. So if you're thinking of coming in, please give us a call first (298-7181) to be sure we will be here for you. We always want to be, but nature is a crazy mama.

SUNDAY: Reminder - we are closed on Sundays until April.

Wishing you a safe and cozy and craft-filled weekend. See you soon.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Welcome, 2016. Glad to see you. 2015 presented some difficult challenges, but the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to sort and reset. Here's some of what's in store at Altman's this year.

VISITING TEACHERS and SPECIAL EVENTS. We are lining up some interesting and exciting teachers for the special workshops we will have every other month. During the months between, we will host yarn tastings and trunk shows, so there will be something new and inspiring to participate in during every month of the new year.

MORE KAL's. Everybody enjoys stitching a project together, but not everybody needs a class. So we are lining up bi-monthly KAL's (planning to add CAL's too) to knit or crochet together, and maybe learn a new technique or trick along the way.

THE SOCK CIRCLE. This new group meets the first Friday of each month, and it has been a big success after only 3 months. In addition to the free get-together, we also offer a $5 sock technique workshop. Our monthly Sock Circle newsletter contains lots of patterns, so be sure to scroll down when you get your email reminder.

CLASSES. New projects, more technique workshops, plus our new Cast-On Class, where we will help you get started on your new projects. Also new: SEWING instruction for adults. Learn-to-sew plus project-oriented classes will be offered.

SEWING CLASSES FOR CHILDREN: Learn-to-sew classes have been so much fun and will continue forever. Kids come after school; home-schooled kids can attend morning classes, too. My new syllabus is looking good. As always, these classes are by appointment.

SEWING: I love to sew and will be doing a lot more of it this year. I resolve to make and wear something new every season! We already have some great sewing patterns for women's clothing, and notions, too. I'm planning to expand on this!

NEEDLEPOINT AND EMBROIDERY: New classes, materials and projects will fill out this department. I've been working on my own kits, and I have my eye on some great new needlepoint canvases.

FUNCTIONAL THINGS THAT WILL MAKE SHOPPING EASIER:  NEW P.O.S. SYSTEM. I know so many of you like our quaint hand-written receipts. Me too. But so not efficient! To keep better track of inventory and make bookkeeping faster and more accurate, a computerized P.O.S. system is a must. This might require a week-long closing to get set up. Will keep you posted, of course.

ONLINE SHOPPING. Slowly but surely we will have our products available for you to purchase online at our website. 

NEWSLETTER. In addition to our class schedule, we will be sending a brief newsletter every month, to keep you posted on news and specials.

Wishing you an inspired and productive year ahead, and, as always, happy stitching!

Kate

LOVE LANE FIRST FRIDAY BLOCK PARTY

The Love Lane First Friday Block Party has been a popular event since early summer (see the FB page Love Lane First Fridays) and we are happy that this event will continue through December. The next one will be on Friday, November 6, from 6-9pm.

This month we will again be hosting Southampton Soap Co. INSIDE the shop, if it's too cold outside. We will also have hot cider and other refreshments, and the shops up and down the block will each be doing their own thing and hosting guest vendors. Lots of food, music and beverages!

At the same time we will be introducing The Sock Circle. If you're on our mailing list, look for our email announcing the official kick off of this new group, which includes a mini-tutorial from 5:30-6:30pm. Amy will be teaching a great cast-on for socks. After class, join the party!

If you're not on our list, you can join from this website. You can also check back here next week, when I will be posting more details about The Sock Circle.

I know it's not even Halloween yet, but Christmas is coming, and maybe you'd like to shop in this festive atmosphere. It's really not too soon to start collecting gifts, or materials if you're planning to stitch your gifts. We have lots of ideas, materials and kits for quick and fun projects.

Hope to see you soon!

NEW HOURS!

It was so nice 'n easy to say "Every day 10 til 5" but that just doesn't make us available to anyone who works every day, which is more than half the population. (I know I'd like to be able to shop here if I worked somewhere else!) So, starting October 20, we are expanding our hours to be open until 6:00pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. These new hours make an easy and logical segue into our evening classes, which always start at 6:30, and I hope will make it easier for our hard-working customers to get the goods and support they need.

We will continue to be open until 8pm on Thursdays. That's when we hold our popular open knit night (6-8pm), during which you can also crochet, needlepoint, embroider or sew. It used to be called The UFO Group, to help people get those unfinished objects completed, but now it's just a happy free-for-all, and we've adopted the generic LYS name of Knit Night.

No change for Friday and Saturday: 10-5. We'll be open Sundays 11-3 through the end of the year. (Sundays will get a winter break January-March, reopening in time for the next YARN CRAWL April 7-10, 2016.)

A shout-out to Stacy, who was, with Amy, one of our first-ever UFO Group participants. Stacy came in that snowy night in 2013 with a needlepoint project she began in 1987, and last month she finally finished it! (In fairness, she picked up knitting along the way and has become a mad knitter of super tidy stitches, like her needlepoint work.) At Knit Night last night we gave her a pillow we had made with her needlepoint. It's beautiful! Congratulations, Stacy!

 

 

WHY LEARN TO KNIT?

It's a scientific fact that knitting can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and give a feeling of comfort and satisfaction. Once you've learned even the simplest basics of knitting, you will benefit from time spent with your yarn and needles. The key is to develop good skills by practicing. The benefits aren't about the stitches; it's about the process. Our Knitting 101 students make a ribbed scarf, utilizing both knit and purl stitches, but even a garter stitch (knit every row) scarf can be beautiful and functional, and it's a good way to get a lot of practice with the knit stitch.

When you get enough practice to not have to re-think the movements to make a stitch and can let muscle memory take over, you are already on the way to experiencing the great benefits of this ancient craft. Then knitting becomes like meditation, where you stop thinking about everything going on in your world, focusing comfortably on the one thing you're doing: knitting. There's a reason why so many people are addicted to knitting.

In our Knitting 101 class, we teach the basics: Cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. Our classes are small enough for personalized attention, and large enough to enjoy the camaraderie. We teach both continental and English style, and yes, left-handers can certainly knit very well.

Our KNITTING 101 class is three 2-hour sessions. The cost is $75. The next class will be on Tuesdays, Sept 15, 22 and 29. We have classes in the morning (10am-noon) and evening (6:30-8:30). Please call us, email, or stop by the shop to sign up.

And just FYI: KNITTING 103 (aka My First Sweater) starts Monday, Sept 14 at 6:30 pm. The morning class starts Friday Sept 18 at 10am. It's four 2-hour sessions (skipping a week to let you get your knitting done). This project is a comfy top-down pullover, designed by Amy Sment, and will be a great all-purpose addition to your wardrobe.

And KNITTING 102 (aka Make a Hat) starts Tuesday, October 6, a natural segue from the Knitting 101 class.

Practice makes better!

 

 

COLOR CROCHET COLOR by Evy Leonard

We are happy to announce a TRUNK SHOW by crochet textile artist Evy Leonard, coming up on the weekend of August 29-30. Evy will be here showing her new work, selling her work (special prices!), and taking commissions for pieces in colors just for you.

And on SUNDAY Evy will teach a workshop from 11am-3pm. This is designed for people with a firm knowledge of crochet, but the class is as much about COLOR, and her amazing sense of it, as it is about crocheting interesting blocks.

Sign up by calling the shop (631-298-7181) or emailing us (altmansneedlearts at gmail) or stop by the shop!

You can see pictures of Evy and her work on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

CLASSES STARTING IN JULY (and August 1)

TWO-AT-A-TIME SOCKS begins Wednesday July 22, 1-3pm. 4 sessions, ending August 19.  Learn how to do two things at once! You can apply this useful technique to sleeves, sweater fronts and more. This class is for intermediate knitters, but can be first-time sock knitters. $85.

PULL ME OVER SWEATER begins Friday July 24. Choose AM or PM. 4 sessions, ending August 28. This top-down sweater for women features a horizontally ribbed yoke with an interesting vertical rib through the body. Can be made with cap sleeves or long. We used Fibre Co's Acadia for the sample garment, but any light-worsted or heavy DK yarn will work. This class is for advanced beginners but fun for even the most experienced. $85.

NEEDLEPOINT 101 - 2 sessions: Wednesday July 22 & 29. Choose AM or PM. 2 sessions. A cool, lightweight and portable pastime. Learn the 3 basic stitches and when to use them, practicing with different fibers. You can make a pincushion from the sampler project. Suitable for teens and up. $65 Includes kit and instructional materials to keep.

BASIC EMBROIDERY - 2 sessions: Saturday, August 1 & 8, 10am-noon. Embroidery is showing up on everything from small objects to high fashion garments. Learn about fabrics, threads, techniques and practice at least six of the basic embroidery stitches (there are hundreds!) while stitching a colorful sampler. Suitable for teens and up. $65. Includes kit.

HOW TO FIX MISTAKES: Saturday, August 1st, 1-3pm. Everyone makes mistakes, especially in knitting! Learn how fix them and move forward. You'll also learn various ways to join different yarns. There's a little pre-class homework, so please plan ahead. $20.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Just call the shop (631-298-7181) or email us at altmansneedlearts@gmail.com or stop in! We are open every day from 10-5 at least, closing at 3 on Sundays.

SUMMER STITCHING

Summer knitting means lightweight materials, like linen and cotton. We have lots of options for tees and tanks, baby clothes, blankets, home goods and summer-into-fall sweater knitting. Come in and we will help you put together a project, or pick up one of our kits.

Needlepoint is perfect for summer. We just received new kits, small and large, as well as hand-painted canvases. You'll also find drawers upon drawers of threads, including not only good ol' DMC floss and perle cottons, but also hand-dyed floss from Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Arts and others, plus Paternayan Persian and Appleton's tapestry and crewel wools. Lots of shiny threads, too! (Think Christmas...)

We are offering classes for all levels of knitting this summer, including some wonderful sweater and blanket projects. Needlepoint and embroidery are hot topics, too! As always, private lessons are available at extended times most convenient for you.

Children's classes are by appointment; please call to book. We teach hand and machine sewing, needlepoint, embroidery and knitting to kids age seven and up.

We are currently updating the website calendar, and will have it back up and running soon. In the meantime, please call the shop or stop by for more information. Add your name to our list and we will be happy to email you the whole schedule every semester.

If you're looking for a friendly group to stitch with, join us on Monday mornings 10am-noon, or Thursday evenings 6-8pm. Free! Our newest group meets at 6pm on the First Friday of every month. It'd dedicated to SOCK knitting. More on that in our next post!

Happy stitching!

End of a season (almost), beginning of a new (soon)

My First Sweater AKA Knitting 103

My First Sweater AKA Knitting 103

While the winter marches on, we are working up a new schedule for spring with project classes and workshops for knitting, crochet and needlework. Knitters will especially like the lacey adult cardigan and short sleeved tee, both to wear this spring/summer. To make for children, a pullover, toys, a blanket, and more. We have a list of technique workshops to work into the schedule, too. And, of course, we will be running beginner courses pretty much non-stop. The new schedule of classes will be ready in time to hand out at the Yarn Crawl (see previous post) March 19-22.

But in the meantime, we have a few more classes to see us through the end of winter. (When I remember how to include pictures, I’ll post them, too.)

The My First Sweater class, evening series, starts Wednesday, March 4. This is for people who have graduated from Knit 102, or have these skills, and want to move on from scarves and hats. Top down sweaters are the easiest, and we are going to make a simple straight-forward little pullover using a DK weight yarn. The small size means students can learn the techniques AND get their homework done. 4 classes, Wednesdays, 3/4, 11, 25 and 4/1 (skips 3/18), 6:30-8:30pm. $85.

Intro to Colorwork: Cup Cozy starts Saturday, March 7. Amy’s clever little project, knitted flat, will give intermediate knitters an introduction to slip-stitch, fair isle and intarsia. Our kit includes DK weight wool in the 3 colors Amy used for the sample, plus her original pattern. Saturdays, 3/7 and 14, 1-3 pm, $50.

For more info, or to sign up, please stop by the shop or give us call. (Still working on the new system…)

Hope to see you soon!

LONG ISLAND YARN CRAWL: March 19-22

We are so excited to be part of the first annual Long Island Yarn Crawl! Lots of fun planned for the long weekend, including a Manos del Uruguay trunk show, door prizes, a fantastic grab bag, special kits and discounts, and as always, camaraderie. Come to the shop to pick up your passports. There are 13 shops on the crawl. Hit 12 and you'll be eligible for the huge grand prize: $100 gift certificate at EACH of the shops. That's $1300 worth of yarn and more! There are great 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes, too, and on top of that, each shop has a big daily door prize.

For more info, check out LongIslandYarnCrawl.com

Hope to see you soon!

NEW CLASSES, NEW STORM

GOOD NEWS: The new class schedule is all set now, and it will soon be up here, under Classes, with all the details and links for signing up. Magically, it seems, we've already sold out of our Block of the Month classes, including the third one we added by popular demand. The morning Knitting 101 is also sold out, while there are still two spaces available in the PM session. More Knitting 101 will be offered in the near future, and there is always the private lesson option.

BUT UH-OH: There's a big nor'easter brewing, they say, which is hard to imagine right now as it's clear, sunny, and even kinda warm today. But the storm is supposed to hit tomorrow, Monday, voiding all plans for Tuesday. Did it have to come on the day when we are starting Knitting 101?? So those classes will have to be postponed to start a week later.

We will be open on Monday 1/26 from 9AM (yes, that's an hour earlier than usual) until about noon, depending on how the weather develops. (If nothing dramatic happens, we'll be open til 5 as usual.) We will be there for you because we don't want you to be stuck indoors without your stitchery stuff!

If you're in the storm zone, I hope you can be home, comfortably stitching away on your favorite project(s) until the roads are clear and the sun comes out again. Let's all take it easy and stay safe. Happy winter!!

NEW YEAR, NEW CLASSES, NEW HOURS

HAPPY 2015!

We begin the year with a new class schedule in the works, a big sale to make way for lots of new yarn and needlepoint coming in, and a winter-only change to our Sunday hours.

Today, Jan. 4, we are closed for inventory, and we will be closed on future Sundays until March 15.

The ever-popular BLOCK OF THE MONTH begins again this month. On the 3rd Wednesday of each month Judy will teach a new knit stitch, 12 in all plus how to join them and knit a border to complete a 44" x 60" blanket in time for Christmas 2015.  Make it one color, two, three, or more colors. The first class will be on Wednesday, January 15. Choose your best time: 10:30am or 6:30pm. The class is $60 for three, or $25 each, plus materials. Sign up by calling or stopping into the shop. Hope you can join us!

One student's blanket in progress. Nice work, Jen!

BEGINNING KNITTING starts on Tuesday, January 27, and continues on February 3 & 10. Choose your best time: 10:30am or 6:30pm. Amy will teach how to cast-on, knit, purl, and bind-off, using the continental method. Perfect for absolute beginners. Left-handers welcome! Small classes ensure plenty of individual attention. The cost for three 2-hour sessions is $75 plus materials. Please call or stop by the shop for more info or to sign up.

The rest of our extensive schedule will be posted next week, and if you're on our mailing list, you will receive a copy via email.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and inspired new year!