Monthly Archives: January 2013

On The Needles

The Stash Enhancers have been busy little lambs this month, stitching away on some new shop samples.

In the works:

September Circle Cowl in Zauberball Crazy

Strictly Knit Flower Headband in Simpliworsted in Goldcrest

Cabernet Hat in Hazel Knits Artisan DK in Bloom

We’re working to keep our StashLocal Project Page on Ravelry up to date, so feel free to browse over here to get all the details.

What’s on your needles this week?

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Filed under Featured Yarn, Knitting, Meet the Samples, Yarn

Stash Flash:: Sydney

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There are two things you should know about me: I’m an obsessive collector, and I spend way too much money for a college student. You can imagine that this is not a good combination. It just so happens that one of the things that I collect is yarn. I have a problem with going through phases of color with yarn, and end up collecting skein after skein of that certain color, then, when I am ready to finally knit from it, I move on to the next color! It is a vicious cycle that I can’t tear myself from (currently, I am on robin’s egg blue).
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We often joke in my dorm building that my room is actually a yarn shop/craft store. But from the photos, you can see that this is not much of a joke… Yes, I have a lot of yarn. But I can’t help it! I love yarn!! My roommate also moved out a few weeks ago, and hating the white, barren wall on her side, I decided to turn it into a crafting station! So really, my room is my own yarn shop/ craft store.
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The top right shelf is home to my favorite (shh, don’t tell the other skeins!) yarn babies: Madelinetosh. Yes, that is all madelinetosh. I have my own inventory of my madelinetosh, and mark off when I use a skein so I don’t forget what I’ve used. The two shelves below are mainly miscellaneous sweater quantities. And let me tell you, these shelves have depth; there is yarn behind some of this yarn… I will reiterate: I have a yarn buying problem.
The left side top shelf has a bit of my madelinetosh overflow, and hosts the select knitting books that I brought to college. The shelf below has select Rowan books, and all my vintage and antique pattern books and yarn for vintage knitting! My very favorite thing to collect in the knitting world is vintage patterns. I only started about 8 months ago, but it is growing quickly!DSCN2868
And then, there is my treasured yarn trunk; it was the first place I started stashing yarn. It holds a lot of one skein wonders, and remnant balls or cakes already wound.  You see, the yarn is literally overflowing from the trunk and shelves. I have squeezed it in as best I can, but if I move one skein, there is an avalanche of wool (I’m not complaining).I think this means I need to stop buying yarn for a little while, but knowing myself well, this probably won’t happen. I hope seeing my stash has helped you all feel better about your own stash sizes!

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Stash Flash, part 4!

As you may imagine, working in a LYS has been pretty good (Or bad? Depending on how you look at it!) for my yarn-buying habits. I did some decent destashing before I moved to Oregon two years ago, but now I’m back up to acceptable levels again, especially in single sock skeins (Which, from my New Year’s resolutions blurb, is part of my problem!). While I’ve been knitting on-and-off for almost 15 years (!!), only about 4 of those have been spent cultivating an actual stash and frequenting Ravelry, so I’m still trying to figure out what my best storage and record-keeping options are.

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(Right next to the hooch rack, too, just as nature intended.)

…That’s it! I know. Living in about 400 square feet, a cute little Ikea bookshelf is all I can do for my poor stash at the moment. But it’s right by my spot on the couch, and there’s even enough room for my boyfriend to keep some of his skeins on there (He’s not helping re: sock yarn.). I like to keep things set up by color rather than weight, and I think it looks fun that way since it’s all out in the open.

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(Some odd skeins, wee WIPs that need some finishing, and some supplies.)

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(A box of leftovers and my very special collection of Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller mini skeins and ends. These will be going into a scrap project soon!)

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Also, you may have noticed something, um, different about my stash… have I mentioned that winding yarn is one of my favorite things? It’s nearly impossible for me to resist having a neat stack of little yarn cupcakes on my shelf, and they’re so easy to organize! Whenever I drag the swift and winder out, I know I’m in for a calm evening of winding and sorting. Definitely one of the most useful crafting investments I’ve made.

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(A few that haven’t made it to the winder yet.)

Since I had a good excuse to go through my stash tonight, here’s my basket of let-’em-go yarns; may they soon find loving homes. All I have to do now is get my woefully neglected Ravelry stash page updated and I’ll be all set for 2013.

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(Anyone need to crochet a banquet-sized table runner??)

And look, I’ve already started a selfish project. 🙂

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Cheers!

~ Kathryn

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Meet the Samples:: Rustling Leaves Beret

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Our newest sample is the Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos.  You know we love the book Coastal Knits around here, and could no longer resist the allure of this sweet beret.

Sydney knit this one up in 2 skeins of Caress Luxury Yarns’ alpaca sock.  Locally raised and dyed alpaca + sweet beret = luxurious winter knitting style! This pattern takes just 175 yards of fingering weight yarn, making it the perfect project for that luxury skein you have been saving, or to use up the rest of the yarn after making socks.

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A little bit more about the yarn from owner/dyer Ingrid Remmers:

Caress Luxury Yarns developed out of a love, and appreciation, for alpacas and their luxurious fleece.

Caress Luxury Yarns buys high-end alpaca and cashmere from local breeders. Our yarns have been spun from alpaca that we hand selected. The roving and yarns are dyed in small artful batches.

Just when you thought hand-dyed alpaca yarn couldn’t get any better…it did! Caress Luxury Yarns now own and operate their own fiber mill where they can control every aspect of their yarn production.  That makes them  a 100% Oregon product. We couldn’t be more honored to carry Ingrid’s yarns at Stash.

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Featured Yarn, Knitting, Meet the Samples, Stash, Yarn

Resolutions for the New Year

With the start of each year, one cannot help but think of new beginnings.  Now more than any other time of year, we feel inspired to make changes, clean slates, and start anew. The energy is ripe for making declarations of grand change!

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As crafters, our resolutions often tend to focus on restrictions or limitations.  How many of you have ever gone on stash diets, vowed to knit socks all year, or only work from patterns you already own?  These are just a few of the popular resolutions we’ve heard about.

This year, we’re all trying to focus less on restrictions and more on expanding our horizons, working with beloved materials, and challenging the status quo.

Curious what the Stash Enhancers’ resolutions and goals are for 2013?  Well, let us tell you…

My biggest crafting resolution this year is to dye more blank skeins and get my Etsy store really up and running. I’ve been practicing all sorts of dyeing techniques and playing with color all year, and I think I’m finally ready to start sharing my skeins with other people.  This is surprisingly difficult: I want them all to myself!

For my own knitting, I’m trying to buy fewer single skeins. I’m a sucker for hats and mitts, but I want to start making larger projects, and having nothing but mismatched skeins in my stash is kind of limiting (unless I want to do stripes of epic clown barf proportions). More sweater quantities, please!

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In the past, when I’ve made a crafting New Year’s resolution, I can never seem to stick to them! For example, one year I vowed to knit 1 pair of socks per month for the entire year. I think I knit one pair of socks in January, started a very complicated pair in February and only made it through the first sock!

This year, I’d like my resolutions to be a bit more broad. In 2013, I would like to step outside my comfort zone and attempt some new techniques. In my sewing world, I really want to make an effort to make a few garments besides a simple skirt, and finally finish that queen sized duvet cover I started over the summer!

As far as knitting goes, I really want to knit a fair isle sweater in 2013, but need to become more comfortable with the technique (fair isle accessories, here I come!). I should probably also include another stash reorganization and make a better effort to log my stash on Ravelry!

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In 2013 I’m planning on excavating some deep stash. I’m sure I’m not the only one with several single skeins rolling around that are more than a few years old… Since opening Stash in 2011, I’ve almost exclusively knit with new shop yarn.  This is a dream come true, but it has left my beloved, well-curated home stash a bit neglected.  I did most of my holiday knitting from stash yarn, and it felt really good. I have held onto most of these yarns because I love them, so why not knit with them already?!

So this year I’m going to attempt to cast on a project from deep stash every 4 weeks.  I’ll be doing this along with the Use it or Lose it group on Ravelry.   Along with that, I’d also like to knit a Fair Isle sweater and, like Liz, may work up to that by making some accessories first.  This may help move through some single skeins… That said, I am putting no limitations on acquiring new yarn.

~Sonia DSC_0557

I’ve always had generic New Year’s knitting resolutions – knit only one project at a time, knit more for other people, knit more from yarn I already have (that’s a lost cause), but this year I decided to aim a bit higher. In 2013, I will only be knitting from vintage patterns.

The majority of these will be from the 1930’s-1950’s, but some may be from before. I only have two exceptions: knitting for work and gift knitting. Besides that, all it will be for me is 4-ply wooly jumpers, cloches, and hard-to-read, fragile, old patterns. I am actually rather excited to take this plunge, I have been collecting old patterns all year and now I get to organize who is coming first and what yarns I get to knit! If you want to follow my progress I will be blogging at theivoryneedles.wordpress.com

~Sydney 009_medium2

Now it’s your turn: do you have any goals, resolutions, or changes you’d like to make in 2013?

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Filed under Crochet, Fiber, Knitting, LYS, Stash, Yarn