Monthly Archives: March 2012

Meet the Samples: Bonnie Jean

We have a brand new sample at Stash to go with our Kollage Feed Your Creativity kits! Meet the Bonnie Jean shawl:

Pattern: Bonnie Jean by Jen Lucas

Yarn: Kollage Yarns Riveting in Night Denim

Mods: None! I had plenty of yarn left over (enough to make a sizable swatch and still have a little yarn nugget left over) and followed the pattern exactly as written.

Kollage Riveting is a sport weight yarn made from recycled blue jeans. It has a softer hand than many other cottons I’ve worked with and wasn’t at all hard on my hands while I was knitting with it. The yarn has a little bit of texture to it, but it still creates a smooth fabric that incidentally looks a lot like a pair of well worn blue jeans! One great feature of Riveting is that it’s machine washable and you can also feel free to toss it in the dryer. Due to the lace edging, I did not put mine in the dryer because I wanted to make sure that the lace edging would lay flat. It blocked out very nicely and dried much more quickly than I had anticipated!

The pattern has written instructions and charts for both pattern sections of the shawl. There is some errata for the pattern, but if you purchase the kit at Stash we’ve already printed out the errata and tucked it in with the patterns. I do love the little bit of lace on the edging that gives the shawl a little something extra. Bonnie Jean was a fairly quick knit since it’s a narrow shawl that can be either draped over your shoulders or wrapped like a scarf. It would be the perfect little shawl for cool summer nights!

The Feed Your Creativity Kits come with a pattern, skein of yarn to complete the project, and a clear project bag. We have several different colors of the Riveting yarn to choose from!

Happy Crafting,

Stash Enhancer Liz 

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Filed under Knitting, Meet the Samples, Products, Yarn

On the Needles

Wednesday at Stitch Night several of us cast on for the Spring Shawl Knitalong.  Some chose Ishbel by Ysolda Teague, other opted for Dancette by Irish Girlie Knits.

I was in the mood for the bold stripes and zig-zags in Dancette.  It took me a few tries, but I finally settled on a color combination that I love.

  • Top: Siren Two Sock by Pigeonroof Studios in Orchid Thief.
  • Bottom: Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine in Riptide

It’s not the most bright and spring-like shawl, but I am loving the way the lavender, brown, cream and deep teal are playing together.  And both yarns are merino, cashmere, nylon blends which is such a treat to work with.  I’m convinced yarn with cashmere knits faster…

What’s on your needles this weekend?

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Filed under Knit Alongs, Stash Knitting, Stitch Night

Book Review: Juju’s Loops

We received several copies of Juju’s Loops at Stash a couple of weeks ago, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are incredibly excited about this book. I immediately purchased a copy and have been pouring over it every night since then!

My first impression of the book was that it was gorgeously photographed and that there were many patterns that I was interested in knitting. As I spent more time flipping through the book and looking more closely at the patterns, I fell even more in love! Like I said,  the photography is gorgeous. I’m a total sucker for beautiful photography and these ladies really knocked it out of the park. Each pattern is photographed from several different angles and scattered throughout the book are photographs of charming corners of the authors’ yarn shop, Loop. One really fun feature of the book is a “in case you were wondering” page in the back of the book that lists some of the intriguing items (or skeins/balls of yarn) that appear in the photographs.

Of course, I’m sure you’re all wondering about the patterns! Juju’s Loops has a variety of knitting patterns including shawls, a baby sweater, a couple of adult sweaters (a lace-weight one-size fits most type and a dk-weight cardigan), and a few smaller accessories. I couldn’t resist the urge to cast-on something from the book, so I chose one of the smaller accessories:

Cedar Shake Fingerless Gloves

I had a skein of Becoming Art Cielo Sport from Stash that I had been dying to knit up. I thought it would be perfect for the Cedar Shake Fingerless Gloves from the book, and I’m immensely pleased with how the first mitt came out!

The patterns are well-written and give both written instructions and charts. The charts in this book are FANTASTIC! It might seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but I love that I didn’t have to enlarge the charts to actually read them. You can see a little corner of the fingerless mitt chart in the photo above, and while not all the charts in the book are quite as large as that one, they’re all readable without the use of a magnifying glass. Another great feature is that all of the abbreviations and chart symbols are on the front and back flaps of the book so that they’re easy to find.

Several of the patterns in the book are knit in more than one weight of yarn or give you several options to choose from, which I love. At first glance, I dismissed one of the sweater patterns because I didn’t think it would be flattering on me. But when I was looking more closely at the book, I realized that there were 2 versions of the sweater and now it’s in my ever growing queue.

Honestly, I could go on and on gushing about this book. But how about I show you a couple of the other patterns from the book, instead?

Sprinkle would be adorable in any combination of sock yarns, but I think it would be especially cute in the Shibui Sock or Staccato we have at Stash.

How cute is Bertie for all those scraps you have lying around?!

I also really love Brown-Eyed Susan (the shawl on the cover), Cinnamon Girl, and Elk in the WoodsAlright, I love them all.  Come on into Stash and check it out!

Happy Crafting,

Stash Enhancer Liz

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Spring Shawl Knit-Along

The Spring Shawl Knit-Along starts tomorrow; are you ready for some spring knitting?

It’s another choose-your-own-adventure KAL, with two options: Ishbel or Dancette.

Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. Can be knit in laceweight or fingering weight.

Dancette by Irish Girlie Knits knit in fingering weight.  Liz and Sonia are planning on this one, and are still playing around with possible color combinations.  It should be fun to see what everyone comes up with!

We will be casting on March 21st, the first day of Spring.  Anyone can participate; you need not be a local knitter to play along with us.  Just hop on over to the shop Ravelry group or stay tuned to this space to see what we’re up to!

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Imperial Yarn Review

Going through my inbox the other day, I found an email I had saved for later and then completely forgotten about (I’m sure many of you can relate).  It was one of Clara Parkes’ informative yarn reviews featuring none other than Oregon’s own Imperial Yarn, specifically the Columbia 2-ply (an aran or light worsted weight yarn).

When I initially read the review, I had not actually ever knit with any of the yarns from this local company.   As usual, Ms. Parkes did such a thorough job of describing the yarn; I was convinced to try it out.  Thank goodness we carry the Columbia 2-ply!

After swatching the yarn for myself, I went back and re read Ms. Parkes’ review.  The yarn is exactly as she describes it, and I found the softness of my finished swatch irresistible.  It made me want to cast on for a project right away and after a quick look through Imperial Yarn’s patterns, I found the Essential Sweater Dress, which couldn’t be more perfect.

Soft comfy sweater dress here I come!  Right after I finish the 40 other items in my queue….

P.S.  We also carry Imperial Yarn’s Tracie Sport Weight 2-ply, Bulky Pencil Roving, and Native Twist (bulky, soft-spun single), each of which have corresponding patterns and shop samples.  Come in and check them out!

~By Cinnamon S.

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Featured Yarn, Knitting, Local Products, Wow table, Yarn

Duct Tape Dress Form DIY

Recently we hosted a new type of class at the shop: Crafty Times at Stash.  The idea is to facilitate a creative activity outside the comfort zone of fiber and yarn; from beads and wire to duct tape and paper, anything is possible!

For our first Crafty Times, we created a body double out of duct tape.  Why a duct tape dress form? you ask.  Well, your mini me can act as a close replica of your body, standing in when you need your own measurements, want to see what something looks like on, or need to drape or pin a garment in progress onto a body.  They can also act as sculpture, physical art pieces for you to embellish and display.

To get started you will need:

  • 1-2 rolls (60 yards each) of good old silver duct tape
  • an old t-shirt that will be cut up
  • scrap cardboard
  • polyfill, wool, bubble wrap, shredded paper, newspaper, or other stuffing material.
  • 1 hanger (optional)
  • a friend to help

Pre-cut some tape for speedier mummification.

Start out wearing that old t-shirt.  Stand with your feet hips-width apart; try to avoid leaning or shifting your weight as this will affect your finished dress form.  As you wrap the tape, keep in mind that it should be snug against your body, not just attached to the shirt.

Begin by wrapping tape horizontally just under the bustline.  Do the same around the hips; don’t go below the t-shirt hem.  Following the natural curves of the body, apply short sections of tape, taking care to smooth the tape down as you go.  This will make for a prettier finished form.

Make an x (cross your heart style) between your breasts or pecks.  This is your time to lift and separate, so go for it!  Smaller pieces of tape (4-6 inches) work well here.  Continue layering over all of your curves, around the arms, and neckline, following the hems of the shirt.

Once everything has been covered, do it a second time.  You want to create a firm shell.

Using sharp fabric scissors, cut up the back of the duct tape/shirt.  Be careful not to snip skin or undergarments!  Now breathe a sigh of relief–it can get hot in there!

Now you’re ready to seal, stuff, and decorate!

Cut cardboard to create a firm base.

Use a plate, cup, or other round container to create rounds for arm and neck openings.

Fill with shredded paper, bubble wrap, polyfill, scrap fibers, just about anything that can fill in those curves. We used scrunched up paper and bubble wrap in the bottom, filled the torso and bust with shredded paper from the office, and topped it all off with more bubble wrap. Then add your final piece of cardboard into the neck opening and tape into place. You can also add a clothes hanger before closing the opening, allowing you to hang your form for storage or display.

We added a strip of zebra-striped tape around the base of this form.  Others have completely covered their dress forms in decorative tape, fabric, or paint.

Have fun with this!

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Book Review: Knit Local

If you’ve visited Stash, you know that we feature yarns, fibers, buttons, and other accessories created right here in the Pacific Northwest. The book Knit Local, published in 2011, by Tanis Gray fits in quite nicely here at Stash!

Knit Local highlights 28 different U.S. based yarn companies and gives a fun and interesting look into how these companies “keep things local”. Many of the companies, like Oregon’s very own Imperial Stock Ranch, raise their own sheep, while others source and mill their yarn from various places in the US. The introduction to the book is an interesting read. It poses the question, “Why Knit Local?” and goes on to explain some of the reasons why knitters should consider purchasing local products for their craft. The introduction is thought provoking, but not preachy or condescending in any way.

Here at Stash, we currently carry products from 4 of the yarn companies highlighted in Knit Local! Like I mentioned earlier in the post, Imperial Stock Ranch is included as well as Dream in ColorKollage Yarns (makers of the very popular square needles), and Knit One Crochet Too.

The yarn company profiles are fun to read through and are accompanied by gorgeous photography of the yarns, sheep, farms, and mills that are used. In addition to some really interesting information and gorgeous photography, there are knitting and crochet patterns! Each yarn company profile is accompanied by a pattern that uses one of their yarns. There were quite a few patterns that caught my eye as I flipped through the book, and I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites.

I’m a sucker for fingerless mitt patterns and I think Pike’s Mitts would look fantastic knit up in some Dream in Color Classy!

Looking for a shrug to go with all those spring dresses you own? How about Lily of the Valley in some Baah! Sonoma?

The Straits of Mackinac Vest calls for Imperial Yarn Pencil Roving!

I’m not a crocheter, but I think the Wildflowers Scarf would look beautiful in some Knitted Wit Shimmer Lace.

With all the great patterns, good reading, and gorgeous photos, I think Knit Local would be a great addition to any knitter or crocheter’s personal library!

Happy Crafting,

Stash Enhancer Liz

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Local Products, Yarn