Monthly Archives: August 2013

It’s Back to {Yarn} School Time!

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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

It’s Just Knitting! Or is it…

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Every so often, a knitter walks through the doors of Stash, and she is terrified.

She is a competent knitter, but somewhere along the way she learned not to trust her instincts, to second guess herself, and to question everything about a pattern. She looks to us with pleading eyes, seeking permission, reassurance, and sometimes even step-by-step advice so that she can continue on.

We’re here to help, of course (and we have classes for these sorts of moments).  We want to reach new heights in our knitting, and getting through the tough parts is part of the adventure.  Yet I can’t help but wonder why the stakes are so high for some knitters.

It’s just knitting, after all! 

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And that’s the thing, I think, that seems to create a divide. For some of us, it’s just knitting: an activity to enjoy, play with, and feel challenged by. It’s nothing to get so upset over. It’s yarn. You can pull it out and start again!

That said, knitting can certainly be an emotional endeavor.  We are putting our time and emotions into each stitch, and that naturally creates a loaded situation.  For me, knitting is often the thing I turn to for comfort and a sense of control when other parts of my life feel hectic or upsetting.  I can create something from nothing, and more often than not it is beautiful.

Knitting can be challenging, for sure, and that’s part of the fun.  But unpleasant, confidence-shattering, endlessly frustrating?  No. Life’s too short for your hobbies not to be insanely fun.

Whenever I meet someone who’s not having fun with her knitting, I just want to hug her and tell her to start a new project.  A really, really fun one.

Is there a technique or situation in knitting that scares you?  Is it just yarn to you? We’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below!

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Filed under Knitting, Stash, Stash Knitting

Meet the Samples :: Mix No. 24

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DSC_0542When there are so many amazing new patterns sprouting up, we ask you this: why knit the same old beanie this fall?

A playful bonnet may be just the thing to wake up your winter coat, make someone smile on the slopes, or simply warm your noggin’ with whimsy.  And who could resist those braided ties with pom poms?!

DSC_0541The Deets

  • Pattern: Shibui Mix No. 24 by Alex Tinsley
  • Yarn: Shibui Merino Alpaca in Jumpsuit + Shibui Baby Alpaca in Jumpsuit, 1 skein each (or
  • Project notes: available on our Ravelry project page.

This zesty little bonnet was a juicy piece of knitting. Two strands of different yarn are held together throughout: one is an aran weight merino alpaca blend, the other a 100% baby merino dk weight. They combine to make an ultra squishy, slightly haloed fabric that is heavenly against the skin.

We love how Shibui is playing with texture and gauge in their Mix pattern collections. Two seemingly disparate yarns can come together to create an entirely new fabric, one that is often more interesting that its individual parts.

Here are some other favorites from the Shibui Fall/Winter collection, all available in the store now.

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There’s a Mix No. 19 on the needles as we speak… keep your eyes peeled for a new sample shortly!

Which pattern is a must have for your fall knitting queue?

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

Crafty Times:: Pom Poms

We have a bit of a love affair with the humble pom pom. Plush, bouncy, and playful, the pom pom is a yarny symbol of happiness.  I dare you to try not to smile while holding one.  Impossible.

They make whimsical additions to knits, finish off a gift with a flourish, or make flouncy cat toys.  We also like to hang them wherever we can at the shop (have you seen our awning lately?).  Did I mention you can make them using leftover yarn to bust stash like a boss?

Our favorite method (and we’ve tried quite a few) is using these funny little gadgets by Clover (available at Stash, of course).  They are a little tricky looking at first, but after your first go at pom pom making, you’ll be a pro.

>>> Pom Pom Pictorial <<<

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Pro tips:  

  • Use a lot of yarn.  The more densly you wrap each arm of the pom pom maker, the more plump your pom will be.
  • Have fun with it!  Hold multiple colors/textures of yarn together.  Wrap each side in a different color.  See what happens!
  • Triple tie the center so it’s nice and tight.  You don’t want your pom to start shedding its fringe at an awkward moment.

Now it’s your turn!  What you’re favorite way to use a pom pom?

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Filed under Crafty Times, Tutorials, Yarn

We’re Jumping for Joy!

There’s something very special about this time of year.  Fall is a fresh start full of new sources of inspiration.   We can hardly keep our hands off the wool and the urge to start dozens of new projects is mounting.

For me, fall means sweaters and tights, hot mugs of coffee, and a renewed sense of motivation to learn all I can about the things I love.  No matter how long I have been out of school, this time of year beckons me, calls me back to learn something new.

At Stash, our classes aren’t only about learning a new technique.  They’re about challenging oneself to step outside the limits of what is known into the realm of possibility.  They are about connecting to a community of like-minded people who encourage and inspire one another.  They are about exploring the world of knitting in new and challenging ways.

As the new knitting season begins, we are beyond honored and excited to share our biggest lineup of events ever.

With that in mind, brew a cup of something tasty, find a comfy seat and read on.  When you find a class you’re inspired to take, simply pick up the phone at give us a call.  Or you can come on down to the shop, too.  Either way, we’ll get you on the list!

Early Fall Classes at Stash

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Filed under Classes, Knitting, Spinning, Stash

New Gallery Exhibit :: Miriam Morrissette

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If you’ve been in the shop in the last few days, you’ve likely noticed some dramatic new artwork on display.

We are pleased to be hosting the paintings of local artist Miriam Morrissette for the month of August. Miriam is a delightful young woman who is not only a talented painter, but an exceptional knitter as well!

Here Miriam explains her intentions behind these pieces:

This show at Stash entitled “Emotional Wave” is a culmination of work from the past two years. As a person with Aspergers syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, I have trouble expressing my emotions verbally, and am often unaware of them.

I decided two years ago to start exploring my emotions in paint and my goal ever since has been to convey various emotions through color, line, and shape. I believe that this has helped me to recognize my emotions better and has been truly profound experience to see how others responded to them.

I am often asked if the “Round object” in my painting is an eye and I think that it should be up to the viewer to decide what it is and how it fits into the various scenes I put it in.

I love texture and the tactile experience and try to bring this to my paintings by layering paint, scraping, and through use of various palette knifes to create a tactile experience for the viewer.

I hope to inspire the viewer to slow down and internalize their own emotions a little bit more in the fast past world that we live in and just be.

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Emotional Wave 

a Reception with Miriam Morrissette

August 17th, 2013

12-2pm at Stash

Join us for some tasty treats and a chat with a local artist!

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Filed under Art Gallery Exhibit, Local Products