From all of us at Stash: Merry Christmas and happy holiday crafting to you!
We’ll see you in the new year.
Kathryn, Liz, Sonia + Sydney
As told by Sonia, Kathryn, and Sydney
With less than a week until the Big Day, we are all in various states of frenzy. There are inches more to knit, dozens of cookies to be baked, and presents to be bought, wrapped, or shipped. Or perhaps you’re waiting anxiously for that cabled sweater you blocked last week to dry already. Whatever point you’re at, the fact remains: 3 days till Christmas. Breathe.
We understand how you feel. We’ve been there, too.
Let us share our 2012 Holiday Knitting Tales…
I don’t mean to sound too smug, but my Christmas knitting is finished (shields eyes from pointy needles). That is, if you don’t count the last-minute thought that maybe I could finish a pair of socks I started back in August. I quickly abandoned that thought as soon as Wool People 4 was released. At this point, I’m coveting lots of new projects and planning a selfish knitting binge in January.
Fortunately, I kept myself to mostly small projects this Christmas. (I may have started a crocheted blanket for my mom, in a holiday burst of what-the-heck-am-I-thinking, but I talked myself out of that one real quick.) And my little pile of hats and cowls is … mostly … finished! The highlight project was definitely a Slouchy Hat Of Luck And Bravery in woodsy green for a friend who may be asking their significant other an important question during their holiday travels…
Like Sonia, I’ve got a nice long ‘selfish knitting’ stretch planned for January and February. Time to finally invest in a big cozy sweater project, I think. And then I’ll start Christmas 2013’s gift knitting in May or something, so you won’t see me scramble to finish this time next year!
Every year I tell myself I am going to cut down my list. That I will only knit for my close friends, and select members of my immediate family. But for some mystical reason, my list GROWS every year!
This year, I am knitting for 15 people. Yes, 15. How does that happen? After (and during) every project, every hat, mitten, leg warmer, and cowl, I find myself staring at my jumper yarns, my sweater’s worth skeins, nearly drooling at the idea of knitting a sweater. I am definitely a big project type of knitter. Instant gratification knitting does nothing for me. Curse you whoever decided that knitted headbands were “in” this year!! They’re lovely, but now I have six to make. Please, make it stop!
We hope that whatever stage of Holiday Making you are in, you are also taking care to daydream about your own projects for the New Year. It’s a tradition of mine to cast on a new project on January 1st, something just for me.
Your turn to share!
How do you make for the holidays? What are looking forward to doing for yourself in January?
Every once in a while a yarn and pattern combine to make knitting perfection. There’s something just so right about the combination, like peanut butter and grape jelly, and everything goes better than you could have imagined. The Romney Kerchief + Gradient yarn was one such combination.
Knit from the center back out, this small shawl is quite addictive. You see progress immediately and regularly; with the addition of a long color-repeat yarn, that effect is even more powerful. I just wanted to keep knitting to watch the colors dance and play with the pattern. You know the drill: “Just one more row…”
If you’re looking for a lovely, simple pattern to show off that special skein of worsted weight yarn, look no further. You can make this shawl small, as I did, or keep going and make it even more generous. Jared Flood gives you all the maths you need to completely customize your shawl.
I also fell in love with this yarn. Gradient is a new yarn for us at Stash, and I am pleased to say it was a delight to knit with. It is a single ply merino, and the yarn is so incredibly soft and lofty! The colors are fresh and vibrant, with smooth and gradual transitions.
Apparently we’re not the only ones who like this yarn. As with many of the Zauberball yarns, it is in high demand. So if you like a skein, you should grab it because we don’t know when it will be coming our way again!
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We hope you are having a happy and peaceful weekend. Our thoughts and hearts go out to all those affected by yesterday’s tragedy in Connecticut.
Sonia + The Stash Enhancers
As gift-making time dwindles, we like to choose quick, almost-instant-gratification projects. Thicker yarns + small projects are your friends now!
Here are a few favorites we’ve knit up and would love to give (or receive) any time of year.
Arctic Circle Cowl:: Tundra by The Fibre Company We can hardly say enough good things about this new yarn! Baby alpaca, merino, and silk combine to create such a light and luxurious bulky weight yarn. This cowl is surely a knit you’ll want to keep for yourself!
Pocket Socks:: Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere The ultimate luxury: cashmere on your feet! This is also a new yarn for us, and we are smitten. It’s a bit of a splurge, but that’s what one-skein projects are for! These socks can be knit with one skein, as can a hat, fingerless mitts, or a small neckwarmer.
Luscious Mitts:: Caress Luxury Yarns Luscious royal baby alpaca Another one-skein project, these sweet mitts knit up in a flash. The yarn is lovingly hand-dyed and made in Albany, OR with local alpaca. The royal baby alpaca knits up like a dream, feeling soft as cashmere.
Windschief:: Spincycle BFL Worsted This cowl is fast and easy, coming out looking more complicated than it actually is. Bonus: the pattern includes instructions for the cowl and a matching hat, perfect for the guy or gal on your list. We knit ours out of one skein of Spincycle BFL worsted, a hand-dyed hand-spun wool from Washington.
Retro Thrummed Slippers:: Columbia by Imperial Yarns + Bellwether Wool Co. Roving Cozy hand-knit slippers are the perfect antidote for our damp winters. Made out of 100% Oregon wool, these would make a thoughtful gift indeed. Offer up a pair to a houseguest after forcing them to take off their muddy shoes, or gift them to a neighbor. Chilly feet will be thankful.
We hope you’re feeling inspired to make and give this holiday season. And yes, giving a little something wooly to yourself this time of year is okay too. Happy knitting!
We love festooning the shop with festive decor this time of year, and are always looking for fun ways to incorporate yarn into our decor.
My favorite new project has to be these wee yarn-wrapped trees. All it took was a quick trip to the craft store and a search through the leftovers bin for some green yarn. In a few minutes we had these delightful trees. And because I love a bit of sparkle (and an excuse to get out the glue gun), we added sequins in Stash colors.
Add a small dot of glue at the top of the cone to secure the end of your yarn. Begin wrapping the yarn around the cone, beginning at the top and working your way down while making a single layer of yarn. Continue until you get to the base of the cone. Add another small dot of glue at the bottom and wrap yarn over it. Carry the yarn to the inside of the cone and secure with more glue or a piece of tape. Cut. Decorate your wee tree with glee!
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Now it’s your turn.
Have you made any holiday decor for your home or workspace? Share a picture with us on Facebook!
It’s been a little while since we’ve shown you some of our own works-in-progress, hasn’t it?
This fall has kept all of our needles busy knitting up samples in some of our newest yarns. It’s a tough job, but the Stash Enhancers are always up for a challenge!
Currently on Sydney’s needles is the Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos. This has been a popular pattern since its release in Coastal Knits last year, and for good reason. It knits up in just 175 yards of fingering weight yarn, and the leaf motif is addictive and fun to knit.
Here we’re using Caress Luxury Yarns Alpaca Sock in Denim, a locally sourced and hand-dyed blend of superfine alpaca, merino and nylon. We just love supporting our local fiber artisans while making something beautiful and cozy!
The colors change slowly, effortlessly, and you’re guaranteed to want to knit until the next color change. If you receive our newsletter, you know that Sonia can often be heard muttering “Just one more row…” as she compulsively knits on this project!
So what’s on your needles this week? Are you busy with holiday projects?
Remember, if you need a break from the hustle and bustle, you can always join us at Stitch Night on Wednesday evenings. We’re here with tea, support, and a few good laughs.