Fall 2013 Knit Along – Amy Herzog Designs

Last year, many of you joined us for our “Fall in Love with Sweater Knitting” KAL and some of you completed your very first sweaters. This year, let’s take it to the next level and achieve a perfectly fitting sweater.

Amy Herzog is passionate about helping women create well fitting sweaters. Her Fit to Flatter blog series was immediately a huge hit in the knitting world when she wrote it in 2010. Soon after releasing the tutorials, she started offering classes at yarn shops teaching knitters how to determine their body shape and create well-fitting sweaters. Earlier this year she released the hugely anticipated book, Knit to Flatter, which includes all of the incredibly useful information from her blog series plus a whole lot more!

From Amy’s website:

While I love all knitting, and do occasionally design all kinds of knitted things, my true passion is for sweaters. It is my intent that all of these sweaters should be wardrobe staples for you–things you love to pull out of the drawer and wear again and again. It’s crucially important to me that they fit you well.

To that end, I recommend you choose a size that fits your shoulders properly and make modifications from there. I’ve created lots of resources to help you do this! Please start by visiting my fit to flatter page, and I look forward to seeing what you create.

Amy Herzog DesignsFrom top left going clockwise: Trimmings, Jackaroo, Asilomar, February Fitted Pullover, & Afterlight

Want to take full advantage of Amy’s knowledge about fit and making modifications to achieve a perfect fitting sweater? Stop in and pick up a copy of Knit to Flatter and if you already own a copy, bust it out and start reading! Sonia and Liz have both been pouring over their copies and plotting ways to flatter their shapes.

Amy has over 60 published patterns, truly something for everyone! All of Amy’s Ravelry patterns are available here at Stash through the Ravelry in-store download program, and we also have several copies of Knit to Flatter at the shop, which contains 18 of those patterns.

The Knitty Gritty:

  • The Fall 2013 KAL begins on September 21st (no better way to celebrate the first day of fall than casting on a new sweater!) and ends December 21st.
  • Pick any Amy Herzog sweater design.
  • If you’re feeling really ambitious, pick up her book, get yourself measured and get to work making some modifications that are going to make your sweater fit perfectly.
  • Join us for a special monthly edition of Stitch Night to get support and cheer each other on! September 25th will be the first KAL focused stitch night! Need help getting your measurements? We have a tape measure and are happy to help. Let’s all support one another and encourage each other make the best sweaters possible!
  • Need a review from last years tutorials? They’ve all been compiled into one Googledoc or you can view them on the blog.
  • Now, get swatching!


Filed under Books/Patterns, Knit Alongs, Knitting, Products, Stash, Tutorials

Simple Love Spot Blog Tour

Today I’ve been invited by Kathy of Bliss Beyond Naptime to share a spot in my home that I have lovingly lavished a simple, less cluttered serenity to.

A spot that I love because of its simplicity and its reflection of a feeling I cherish.

That feeling?



I love things that remind me of a place in time, a mood, a person. Being transported back in time by a color, shape, or scent of an object is a magical gift, and one I hold dear.  I don’t keep a lot of extra objects around my home, but each piece that is there speaks to a cherished memory.

Everything is  here for a reason.

When I look at what I lovingly refer to as my Stash Cabinet, I am reminded of a time where life was pretty simple.

This cabinet reminds me of a carefree drive up the New England coast with my sweetie. We were living in Connecticut at the time, and loved to explore the area on day trips.

We were meandering along, checking out beaches, fried fish stands, and flea markets when we stumbled upon a promising craftsman. He was selling furniture pieces made from rehabed doors, windows, and other architectural remnants. I had never thought about needing an entire piece of furniture devoted to my yarn, but as soon as I saw this, I knew I would soon have one.

It seemed extravagant, optimistic, and unneccessary.  And yet I knew it was right for a number of reasons.


Buying this piece of furniture was an outward commitment that honored my creative self and my love affair with knitting. I now had a dedicated space for those treasures I had been collecting.

Wherever we go, I know my yarn has a home, and my heart has a place to daydream.

There’s almost nothing happier to me than a skein of yarn; all that unwound potential just sitting there, waiting to become whatever you dream.

Each skein of yarn in my Stash Cabinet has a story to tell.  Precious skeins picked up on vacation.  Yarn bought when I was celebrating something or consoling myself during a difficult time.  There’s yarn I’ve received as gifts, in swaps, and in yarn clubs.  I remember the story behind each skein, and that is only the beginning.

Once I choose a yarn to work with, its potential is unwound and worked up into a new piece that will have its own story to tell. And because I have this lovely Stash Cabinet, I have a place to store all that potential.  A place that also reminds me of our time spent living in New England.  Of the days when my stash fit into a shoe box.

> > >  < < < 

Kathy is the Mama Bliss Coach and Simplicity Parenting Group Leader over at Bliss Beyond Naptime. She offers online Simplicity Parenting workshops for each of the four levels of simplifying found in this epic, must-have parenting book: the Environment, Rhythm, Scheduling and Filtering. 

Starting September 16th, Kathy’s offering a group study of the environment module so you too can design a home that echoes your carefully chosen values while exuding peace and harmony.

Kathy is also thrilled to offer one our readers a copy of the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, because really, it’s a must-have. This book blew her Mama mind in a good way and she hopes the same thing happens to yours! Simply leave a comment on this blog post by Friday 9/20/13 and you’re entered to win.


Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting, Stash Knitting, Yarn

Special Guest Classes: Michele Bernstein

We’re very excited to announce that Michele Bernstein (Pdxknitterati) is returning to Stash on September 21st to teach 2 great information-packed classes!


These classes are filled with tips and techniques that every knitter should have in their bag of tricks. Michele’s first class of the day focuses on fixing common knitting mistakes, while the second class will teach you a variety of cast-ons and bind-offs. Each of these classes offers valuable information that can help you navigate the crazy fun world of knitting!

Each class is $40 or make a day of it and pay $70 for both classes! Call the shop (541-753-9276) or stop by to register. Space is limited for both classes.


TINK, DROP, FROG: HOW DO I FIX THIS with Michele Bernstein

September 21  l 10:30-12:30pm

Does your knitting come to a screeching halt when you discover you’ve made a mistake? Learn how to fix (and notice!) common knitting mistakes!

Skill Level: Beginner- students must know how to cast-on, knit, purl and bind off. Skills Learned: Picking up dropped stitches, unknitting stitch by stitch (tinking), tearing out several rows at a time (frogging) and other common mistakes. Materials: One skein of bulky-weight yarn (plain, light color is best), a set of 10.5 needles and one crochet hook in size G, H, or I. Homework: Knit one flat, stockinette stitch swatch. Cast-on 20 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for 16 rows. Leave your swatch on your needles and bring it to class!


CAST ON, BIND OFF with Michele Bernstein

September 21  l  1:30-3:30pm

How many cast ons do you know? Why do you use the one that you use? Tired of running out of yarn with your long tail cast on? Come to class and learn some new tricks! We’ll cover long tail, knitting on, cable cast on, crochet provisional cast on, and maybe more depending on time. We’ll also talk about when/why you might choose one over another, and some bind offs that go well with your new cast ons.

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials: Smooth, light colored worsted weight yarn and straight or 24” circular needles in the appropriate size for your yarn.


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Filed under Classes, Knitting, Special Guest Classes

Making & Mothering :: Sonia Ruyts



IMG_3024It’s 8:30 pm and I’m just sitting down at the end of a long day.  The couch has been whispering to me for hours, but the energy of dinner prep, cleanup, after dinner playtime, bath and bedtime have kept me moving.  By now my daughter is sleeping soundly in her bed, and the rest of the night is mine.  Unfortunately for me, I have always leaned toward an early bedtime which means I now have an hour and a half at most before I’m asleep with a book on my face.  These 90 minutes are precious.  This cannot be the only time I give myself out of a total of 24 hours.   I need this block of uninterrupted adult time to focus on my knitting, my wife, and a good movie (or a bad one.  I’m not really that particular these days).

That said, I’m finding that it’s important to fit in small pockets of time throughout the day to create.  To connect. To feel inspired.  I have to take breaks at work to play with the yarn, to make a new display, take a few photos, move a table.

These moments of creating something, beautifying the space around me, or of feeling connected to my creativity are critical.  Without them I would be a frazzled shell of myself.  Without them, I would not be happy.  So why do we sometimes feel that these moments come last in the hierarchy of care?  Why do some of us put our personal needs after everyone else (even the dog’s)?




Before my daughter was born, I could knit pretty much whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted.  I made her dozens of things, things I could make while she was around, then plop onto her as soon as they were off the needles.  When she was a small baby, I still got in a lot of time with my yarn and needles; she was a great napper!  But as time has passed and she’s grown and our work lives have changed, that isn’t possible in the same way.

I keep my knitting out and work on it throughout our time at home.  I bring it with me in the car, and to work.  And when knitting isn’t possible, I’m creating in other ways: writing, cooking, taking photos, rearranging the mantle…

Making something with my hands every day is a priority.

How do you make time for your creative pursuits? Do you treat yourself after your family has been cared for? Do you fit bursts of making in throughout your day?

To help answer this question, we have invited some other women who have been down this same road as mothers and makers.  Once a month we will be sharing this space and having a conversation about what it means to be a creative person, how we find creative bliss in a busy day, and how we incorporate (or don’t) our little ones into the making. Our first interview is with knitter + mother Susan B. Anderson and comes with a book giveaway!  Be sure to stay tuned to this space.

Some of the best conversation happens in the comments, so please feel free to share what has and hasn’t worked for you. We’re all doing the best that we can, and to hear support and ideas from one another is invaluable.


Filed under Baby Knits, Interviews, Knitting, Making & Mothering Series, Yarn

Cooperative Press Trunk Show at Stash





Ever dreamt of taking matters into your own hands and publishing your own knitting patterns? What about starting a publishing company?

Cooperative Press was created “to reflect the relationships we have developed with authors working on books.” Shannon Okey, who acquired the business and is responsible for the renaming, rebranding, and forward vision of the company has this to say about the business:

We work together [with authors] to put out the best quality books we can, and share in the proceeds accordingly.  Although working with traditional, large publishers can be very rewarding, there are some books that fly under their radar. They’re too avant-garde, or the marketing department doesn’t know how to sell them, or they don’t think they’ll sell 50,000 copies in a year.

5,000 or 50,000. Does the book matter to that 5,000? Then it should be published. 

We lead, we don’t follow.

We love that statement so much!  If you’re as intruiged by Cooperative Press as we are, please venture over to Stash this weekend for an exclusive trunk show of over 2 dozen titles.


Why shop for books at a trunkshow? Easy:

  1. you get to touch and flip through all the books.
  2. you’ll get a free digital copy with each print copy (this only happens when you buy in-store!)
  3. you’re supporting & a great indie press and your local yarn store.
  4. it’s FUN!

We will have the books on display at the shop this Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 each day. We will be taking book orders all weekend, which means you will get the book + a digital copy with no shipping!

Click here to check out Cooperative Press’s amazing selection of diverse knitting books.  Pick your favorites to order, and you may be able to walk away with a copy this weekend, too!

See you this weekend!


Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting, LYS, Trunk Show

WIP Management :: A Peek Inside How We Knit


Last week we talked about our different perspectives on knitting.  It’s amazing how many different perspectives there are when it comes to how we approach this beloved activity.

Just as we all think of our knitting journey differently, we all seem to have our own approach regarding the handing of wips (works-in-progress). We each work at different paces and in different ways.

Some of us work steadfastly on one project at a time, stoically suppressing all urges to cast on the shiny new patterns with that springy new yarn.  We want to give our full attention to the task at hand and bask in the feeling of accomplishe=ment once it is complete.  Only then may we line up the next project.

Others cast on with abandon, eagerly gobbling up new inspiration and churning out more wips.  Why deny yourself the pleasure of that thrill that comes when you cast on for a new project?!  We enjoy knitting for the process, and may or may not be bothered by the fact that finished objects are few and far between.

A lot of us fall somewhere in between, working on projects until something more interesting comes along.  Then we eventually start slogging through the older projects because we want that finished sweater before it’s summer, dang it!

Want to know how the Stash Enhancers handle wips?  We’d love to share.



I have the ideal WIP line up at the moment. A lace project, a light fair isle project, and an auto-pilot project. I have a sweater going that is currently only miles of stockinette, so it’s been great when I need a grab and go project that I don’t need to concentrate on. Some of you know I’ve been on a sock kick, so I have a sock going that is just the right amount of lace where I will stay entertained, but don’t need to consult a chart for every row. And my final WIP is a 1940’s fair isle beret. There are only a handful of rows with fair isle; I’m knitting this to prep myself for an upcoming fair isle sweater, so the small bits of color work are perfect.



I like to have several types of projects going. Typically one complicated-ish project, one mindless project that I can pick up and still have a conversation, and possibly another project or two. Currently I have 4 projects on-the-needles including my shop project. The first and most complicated is a sweater for me that has cables on both the front and back. Sonia and I are doing a Happy Street KAL together, so my Happy Street is perfect for just picking up and mindlessly knitting garter stitch (though, whoa, those rows are getting long!). I also have a baby sweater going as a gift for a friend’s baby.
Some days I work on all my WIPs and other days or sometimes several days in a row I get obsessed with making a big dent in a certain project and the others are ignored for a bit. The only time my WIPs make me a little crazy is if I have deadline knitting (holiday knitting, I’m looking at you…).



Fun fact: I currently have just 1 wip, a rare occurrence! Oh wait, I do have a shop sample on the needles, but that’s been going for 4 months give or take.  Does that count?  Usually I have 2-3 projects on my needles at any given time.  Like the others I tend to have some auto-pilot project going alongside a larger or more involved pattern.  Add that to anything that’s serving time in exile or needs finishing, and the number is realistically 3-4.  After that I tend to actually feel a bit distracted and stressed by the unfinished-ness of too many projects.  And because I wholeheartedly believe knitting should be Fun, I will rip or slog through things to get back down to a comfortable number.

With only 1 project on the needles, I am spending a lot of time daydreaming about a Fall Sweater.  I have the yarn all picked out, and am stalking multiple patterns.  One day I will wake up and have that undeniable, gotta-cast-on-right-now moments, and then I’ll commit to a pattern.  Until then, I’m enjoying the novelty of being a monogamous knitter.

All of this is to say that we knitters are some interesting folks. We take something that is joy and function, art and craft wrapped into one cozy package, and we create a set of expectations  around it.  And that’s perfectly alright, whatever gets and keeps you excited about your projects.

Because without the thrill of discovering a new pattern and matching it to the perfect yarn, of stumbling through a complicated pattern and figuring out, and without creating something tangible from raw materials, what’s the point? You might as well go watch tv.

But while you’re at it, pick up some knitting, why don’t you?  You even have our permission to cast on something new for the occasion.

Everything’s better with a little knitting in your hands.

How do you handle your WIPs?


Filed under Knitting, Stash Knitting, Yarn

It’s Back to {Yarn} School Time!


I still get excited about school supplies.  The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, a new notebook, and the sense of a new beginning always get me feeling ambitious. Like clean the house, bake a pie, learn a new language and cast on 5 new sweaters ambitious.  While doing laundry and writing a blog post!

When you’re a grown up, there’s not always a chance to experience the thrill of going back to school. Sure, we get to feel the bittersweet and enchanting end of summer as it rolls over into the beginning of sweater season.  As knitters, the beginning of cooler weather is very exciting indeed.  It’s also a great time to treat yourself to the gift of going back to school.  Yarn school, that is!

September is the start of knitting season, just as it’s the start of a new school year for many.  We’ve loaded our calendar with classes and events just to be sure you get the chance to go back to school, too.

Following that theme, we had a blast creating our Back to Yarn School window display.  Vintage knitting patterns folded into paper airplanes.  A knit apple and paper.  Yarn-wrapped letters. The anatomy of a sock. It all helped get us in the mood for a shiny new season of knitting.  Of casting on for cabled sweaters, cozy hats, and endless eternity cowls.

Whether you’re able to get back to yarn school or not, we urge you to embrace the spirit of the season.  Indulge in some new yarn.  Cast on a flurry of new projects.  Study a new-to-you technique.  Try something you’ve never done before (in knitting or in life). If not now, when?

What gets you excited this time of year? 

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Filed under Classes, Crafty Times, Knitting, Stash, Stash Knitting, Window Displays, Yarn