Introducing our New Blog!

Jun 26, 2009


We are Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre, co-authors of the upcoming book New England Knits. We both live in Massachusetts, but at opposite ends of the state. We've known each other since before knitting ever took over our lives, but our shared love of the craft has made us a team.


Hello! Welcome to the New England Knits blog!

We started this blog to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the making of our knitting book, New England Knits, due out in Spring 2010.

A little over a week ago, we flew to Ohio for TNNA and a taping of Knitting Daily TV about our book (for Series 400, which will air next year). Working with Interweave is like a long-distance relationship, so opportunities to chat in person, rather than exchange e-mails and phone calls, are always fun. We also had the chance to spend time with some of our knitter friends from around the globe.

Ever since we've returned it's been a whirlwind of last-minute details as we approach our final deadline. Even though we both live in Massachusetts, we're still a good 2-hour drive away from each other. At our homes, we're inhaling wool fumes as we do some last-minute blocking, stabbing our fingers as we furiously sew on buttons, and making ourselves cross-eyed checking pattern numbers. Still, there are some things that we need to do together.

Last week we had one last meet-up. We organized some text, named some sweaters, and made a list of anything that was missing. It was exhausting, but productive.

New England Yarn Shops

In the madness of our deadlines, we still found time to visit some of our local yarn stores. We thought we'd profile some New England yarn shops in upcoming posts, but when it came down to which one was first, Melissa decided it should be where she purchased her very first ball of yarn. So she thought she'd take you to the very lovely Northampton Wools.

Melissa:  I learned to knit on musty donated yarn while working at a nursing home in the mid-90's. Once I got the hang of garter stitch, I ditched my practice yarn and headed to the only yarn store I knew about at the time, Northampton Wools. I remember being intimidated by the vast selection, kind of like a woolly library with walls of color and texture. I forced myself to just get exactly what I had planned: something 100% wool and navy blue, enough for my first scarf. That scarf lost its life to feed hungry moths years ago, but I'll always remember my first wool.

Although I have a healthy stash already, when I'm in Northampton, I still find myself wandering in and picking up a few skeins. Linda Daniels, the owner, is clearly a lover of beautiful yarn, and her store is jam-packed with it.

Northampton Wools is located at 3 and 11 Pleasant St. in Northampton, Massachusetts. You can visit the website at

Have other New England Yarn Shop Recommendations?

We're looking for other New England yarn shops to profile in future blog posts, so leave us a comment here or email your suggestions to us at

We'll be back with more about the book process as it unfolds. The photo shoot is in the not-so-distant future and we look forward to showing you a little from behind the scenes.

Happy knitting!

Melissa and Cecily



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RobinG@5 wrote
on Sep 26, 2010 8:20 PM

New England Knits -- I've just read through the book and I love the design sense of the authors -- these sweaters are interesting and innovative, but wearable.  

A couple of questions plague me, however:

Why are almost all the sweaters so cropped?  Aren't many folks most comfortable in the hip-length about 15" to the armhole sweater?

Why are almost all the yarns used for the sweaters worsted-to-bulky weight?

And most of all, why did they do such an appalling job in sewing up the fronts of the adorable Providence Hoodie?  There is at least an inch difference in the width of the right and left front hip bands!  It is sacrilege!

But I reiterate, the designs themselves are clever, pretty, and useful.

Lee wrote
on Mar 23, 2010 8:18 AM

Seed Stitch Fine Yarn in Salem, MA is awesome! Also, Cranberry Fiber Arts in Hamilton is a must-visit.

KatieK@2 wrote
on Jan 21, 2010 6:36 PM

I think Northampton Wools is a great shop and I'm glad to hear they're still in business.  

There are a lot of great yarn stores in Maine, but this one is very special:

Purple Fleece

103 School St.

Stockton Springs, ME

Phone: (217)-323-1871

TraceyB wrote
on Aug 13, 2009 11:42 AM

Oh boy I have a number of great LYS

Sit n Knit Bloomfield and Wetherfield CT.  Great yarns and lots of help

Creative Fibers Windsor CT  Great yarn, good classes and lots of help

The Lilac Lily - Southwest Harbor ME I always stop in on vacation.

cindyss wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 6:05 AM

I second the vote on Patternworks in Center Harbor, NH.  I live in Moultonborough, right next door.  It's not only a great yarn store with great ambience and a catalog but the location can't be beat for a beautiful visit, especially now that we've had some nice weather!

There's also a fantastic quilt shop next door for your quilting buddies to come along for the ride!


TammyE wrote
on Jul 2, 2009 6:11 PM

I would add Patternworks in Center Harbor NH.  I visited there while on vacation in Oct 2007 and have since continued to order from their catalog.

WandaO wrote
on Jul 1, 2009 2:56 PM

Hi---I lived in Central Maine for several years and there is a wonderful yarn shop in Waterville called "Yardgoods"-everyone there was so helpful and they were never too busy to help!!  There are many wonderful yarns..Its were I first discovered knitting socks!

I look forward to your book!