Author Archives: greypoodledesigns

About greypoodledesigns

Knitters, spinner, and sewer

Hot off the Presses: New Books!

Some gorgeous and inspiring new books just hit the shelves here at Stash! We’ve also replenished our supply of Botanical Knits (review here). These are all wonderful in their own way, so let’s get to it and take a peek inside the pages!

Fit to Flatter by Amy Herzog

Knit to Flatter Collage

Amy Herzog’s  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!

If you’ve ever struggled to figure out what what style sweaters will flatter your figure, this is the book for you. Amy first gives instructions on how to determine your shape and then has a chapter on each shape category. These chapters give the knitter ideas about what will look great as well as things to avoid. Plus, there are patterns specifically tailored to each shape included in the chapter! There are 21 designs in all; truly something for everyone. The final chapter of the book is all about figuring out what modifications need to be made to a design to achieve a sweater that fits (that thing we strive for every time we cast-on for a sweater!).

Fit to Flatter was a huge hit at Black Sheep Gathering, so we’re planning another order! **Our stash of books is going fast! If you’d like to pre-order a copy, stop into the shop before July 15th to place a special order. As per shop policy, 50% of the purchase price is required to be placed on the special order list. Fit to Flatter retails for $24.95.**

Island by Jane Richmond

Island Collage

Island is Jane Richmond‘s first self-published pattern collection which is inspired by Vancouver Island. Island features 5 gorgeous patterns which are all done in Jane’s classic style. One of the things I love most about these patterns is that they really let the yarn shine. None of the designs are too fussy and have just the right amount of lace or cables. The patterns are beautifully photographed and will make you want to pack your bags and go visit Vancouver Island! Pick your favorite skein of DK weight yarn to knit Arbutus or grab that sweater quantity of hand-dyed sock yarn and cast-on for Grace!

Pacific Knits by Emily Wessel & Alexa Ludeman

Island Collage

Also inspired by life on the west coast of Canada are the ladies of Tin Can Knits! Pacific Knits is a collection of 18 patterns ranging from small accessories to sweaters for the whole family! One of my favorite features of this book is that all of the sweater patterns have a huge size range. Each sweater includes 15 different sizes ranging from 0-12 months to 4XL.

I love that I can pick up this book and find the perfect project to meet my knitting mood. In the mood for instant gratification? Try Main Street. In the mood for some fair isle knitting? Give North Shore a shot (confession: it is Stash Enhancer Liz’s dream to knit this sweater in Hazel Knits DK). Need a sweater for your loved ones? There’s Antler, Campfire, Low Tide, North Shore, and Urban Hiker. Stash Enhancers Liz and Kathryn have already knit the Antler Sweater and Kathryn’s is a shop sample knit in Dream in Color Classy:

antler collage

Antler is such a sweet little sweater knit with Dream in Color Classy’s colorway Morning Dove. The darling wooden buttons are from the collection of Wooly Moss Roots we have at the shop. We are also stocking the single print patterns for Antler!

Knit with Me by Gudrun Johnston

Knit with Me Sweaters

Knit with Me by Gudrun Johnston is a truly unique book. Many “mother-daughter” books offer patterns for woman and small children, but Gudrun has taken the theme to a new level. Knit with Me includes 7 sweaters and 5 accessories with sizes for teenagers and adults. Most of the garments have a range of sizes from a 30″-50 or 55″ chest circumference. Gudrun was inspired to put together this collection after her daughter had finished her very first knit sweater. She knit the same sweater as her daughter as moral support. The book includes a perfect pattern for the teen in your life to knit her first sweater. Granny Smith (also known as the Beginner Sweater) is a seamless top-down raglan style sweater with simple yarn-over increases. Even if you don’t have a teenager daughter or a teen in your life to knit for, this book is full of beautiful sweater patterns and fun accessories to knit for yourself!

Knit with Me Accessories

Fun Accessories from Knit with Me

Stop into Stash, check out these books and get inspired! What will you cast on for first?

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Filed under Baby Knits, Books/Patterns, Knitting, Meet the Samples

WWKIP with Stash

Worldwide Knit in Public Week starts today!!!

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Picture this: sunshine, knitting with food and friends, cheering on a local softball team.

Sound like fun? Excellent!

For the 2nd year in a row Stash has co-sponsored the most lovely softball team in all the land. These ladies know how to have fun, and they’re pretty darn good softball player too.  Last year they were even division champions!

Join us as we cheer on the Stash/Flat Tail team in person at their game while also celebrating Worldwide Knit in Public week.

The knitty gritty:
When: Tuesday June 11, 7-9pm
Where: Sunset Park softball field (4567 SW Country Club Dr. Corvallis, OR)

  • There are some bleachers and a grassy area for seating. Plan on bringing your own chair or blanket, snacks, and plenty of yarn.
  • There are nice bathrooms, a picnic shelter, and a play structure; feel free to bring the whole family!
  • The team has pink t-shirts, so it would be fun if you wore pink or red/aqua for Stash. They also do theme nights for their games and are planning their own knit night for this game! Hopefully it’s not too hot…

If you’re on Facebook, please head on over to our Facebook Event Page and RSVP to the event so we know how many people to expect!

How do you plan on coming out as a knitter or crocheter this week?

 

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Filed under Festivals, Knitting, Stash

Behind the Scenes:: Shibui Headquarters

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Earlier this week, the Stash Enhancers hit the road for a field trip to Shibui headquarters in Portland. Our tour started in the building where all the yarn is kept.

swoon. 

Shelves full of beautiful yarn surrounded us as we talked with Sandy about what happens when a shop like Stash places an order.  They seemed to be very organized and genuinely excited to be at working fulfilling our yarn fantasies.

While we were chatting, FedEx arrived with a long anticipated order of Shibui Linen (we’re talking 2 pallets of yarn-they were huge!). It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones that scream and jump up and down when new yarn arrives! We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at a new Shibui yarn that will be debuting at TNNA in a few weeks.  You’ll be seeing it at Stash someday soon…

photo-85The Stash Enhancers pawing at a huge pile of swatches in a new Shibui yarn!

Once we finished drooling over all the yarn, we walked over to the Shibui design studio to take a look at some new designs, some of which will also be debuting at TNNA. We learned that the Shibui design team typically works on designs about 18 months before they are scheduled to be released. A few of the pieces we saw will be for Spring 2014!

We felt extremely lucky to get to touch and try on garments and accessories before the official pattern releases. I think it’s safe to say that all the Stash Enhancers fell head over heels in love with at least one of the pieces and our ever growing queues grew larger.

It was incredibly inspiring to see new designs and meet the faces behind Shibui. I think we’re all even more excited about Shibui yarns than we were before!

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New yarn samples, Stash Enhancer Kathryn trying on a new design & Stash Enhancers squishing samples.

Of course, no field trip to Portland would be complete without good food and a bit of shopping!

PortlandFood

The Stash Enhancers hit up Salt and Straw for lunch and yarn talk. One of the perks of being an adult: ice cream for lunch. A little bit later we stopped by the Grilled Cheese Grill food cart downtown for a super yummy 2nd lunch. Some of our other favorite stops of the day were Radish Underground, Magpie, and Tender Loving Empire.

There’s nothing more refreshing and inspiring than a change of scenery, don’t you think?

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Filed under Knitting, Products, Stash, Yarn

Hot Off the Presses: New Books and Magazines!

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A few gorgeous new books and magazines have arrived here at Stash over the last couple of weeks! All the Stash Enhancers are incredibly excited about them, and our Chief Stash Enhancer even makes an appearance inside the pages of one!

Botanical Knits

Bontanical Knits Collage

Botanical Knits is the eagerly anticipated, self-published book by Alana Dakos. The book features foliage-inspired patterns including 4 beautiful sweaters and 8 accessories. Botanical Knits has gorgeous photography, beautiful patterns, and some fun little details that really make the book special. The table of contents not only lists the pattern names with page numbers, but also has photographs of all the patterns with the page number next to them. A small detail that makes it incredibly easy to find the pattern you are looking for at a quick glance. Each pattern contains several photos of the project, a schematic, and detailed knitting instructions. There are also beautiful illustrations (by Neesha Hudson) of leaves and foliage throughout the book. It’s hard to flip through Botanical Knits and not be inspired to grab some needles and yarn and cast-on for one (or all) of the beautiful patterns immediately!

Pom Pom Quarterly

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It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Pom Pom Quarterly here at Stash. And yes, that is Sonia, our Chief Stash Enhancer, gracing the pages of Pom Pom’s First Anniversary issue! The Summer 2013 issue includes 7 gorgeous patterns, a s’mores brownie recipe (yum!) and a few fun articles. I’m particularly smitten with the Riverine Pullover and Mountain Moss Shawl.

Knitscene Accessories

Knitscene Collage

The newest issue of Knitscene is packed with 33 gorgeous accessory patterns ranging from simple hats to complicated colorwork mitts and cowls. These would be perfect projects to work on as the weather gets warm or while traveling, since they’re small and portable. Also included are a few great articles on embellishments and fun edging ideas.

Which patterns are catching your eye? 

Happy Crafting!

 

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting, Products, Stash

FO Friday: Robin

Our newest shop sample is a perfect pairing of yarn and pattern: Knitted Wit’s Welterweight Rambouillet &  Lee Meredith’s Robin. It’s no surprise that we’re huge fans of Lee’s innovative patterns and Lorajean’s unique and beautiful yarns, and the marriage of these two makes for one amazing shawl!

One of my favorite things about Robin (besides the incredibly fun and addicting short rows!), is that it’s designed so you can finish the shawl at virtually any point to maximize your available yardage. I was able to make the most of my 350 yard skeins and knit until I was almost out of the Raspberry Milkshake color. There is also a 3-color option available and Robin can be knit with any gauge yarn.

The Knitted Wit Welterweight Rambouillet is sport-weight yarn that comes in skeins with 350 yards and dyed in Lorajean’s vibrant colors, which are perfect for spring. So what exactly is Rambouillet, anyways? Rambouillet is a breed of sheep whose wool has a wonderfully springy crimp that creates a soft, squishy fabric perfect for wrapping around your neck. It’s excellent for garments and accessories worn next to the skin and the Knitted Wit Rambouillet has a great texture that is just perfect for squishy garter stitch knits.

Stop by the shop to squish the new sample and play with the gorgeous colors to come up with your own unique color combo!

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

Book Review: Cast On, Bind Off

If you’re anything like me, someone taught you a specific way to cast-on and bind-off your knitting. For the first year or so, I only used the Long-Tail Cast-On and the Traditional Bind-Off, since that’s what my Mom taught me for my first knitting project.

Eventually, I came across a pattern that required casting-on stitches while I was knitting using something called backwards loop….say what?! I went to the internet, typed in “backwards loop cast-on” and found some directions. Unless a pattern states otherwise, I still use my trusty Long-Tail Cast-On and the Traditional Bind-Off. Lots of times, though, a pattern calls for a specific type of cast-on or bind-off and I usually have to look it up.

Leslie Ann Bestor has complied 52 methods of cast-ons and bind-offs in this great little book to help you decipher a specific method stated in a pattern or to help you choose the best method for your project:

One of the things I love most about this book is that it’s spiral bound so it lays flat when you open it. There’s nothing worse than trying to hold a book open, look at the pictures, and use 2 needles and some yarn to learn a new technique!

I also love that there’s a table of contents of sorts in both the front and back (on the inside of the cover). The front cover lists all the cast-on methods by type: All-Purpose, Ribbing (moderate stretch), Ribbing (a lot of stretch), End of Row, Super Stretchy (socks, hats, mittens, lace), Decorative, Temporary & Hems, Toe-Up Sock, and Circular (center start). The back cover lists all the bind-off methods in the same manner: All Purpose, Lace, Decorative, Stretchy Ribbed, and Specific Use. It’s incredibly easy to glance and find the page number you need.

Each technique has been photographed from the front, back and edge so you can fully see what it will look like. The photographs are accompanied by the characteristics of the technique and examples of what it’s best used for. The directions are clearly photographed and the text is clear and concise. I used the book for one of my recent projects to do a new-to-me provisional cast-on and will definitely turn to it again and again.

Cast-On, Bind-Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods,” would be a great addition to any knitter’s library and is small enough to toss in your knitting bag to take with you! We have copies in stock to help round out your knitting library.

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting

Learn to Crochet!

Whether you’re a knitter looking to expand your skill-set to include crochet or someone new to the world of fiber arts, you’ll be sure to walk away from our Beginning Crochet class with some new skills! Saralyn will be teaching students the basics of crochet including how to make a foundation chain, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, and the slip stitch. She’ll also get you started on a granny square and show you the basics of reading a crochet pattern!

A little bit about Saralyn:

My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 8 years old.  I made a lot of brightly colored afghans, then progressed on to lace doilies in my teens.  In my early twenties I taught myself to knit from library books while I was expecting my oldest daughter.  I came to especially love Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s breezy style of “make what you want” knitting patterns.  I spent my children’s early years knitting and crocheting anything and everything that struck my fancy.  When no pattern suited my vision, I made up my own.  For a time I wrote a knitting blog, and posted a few original patterns.  The most well-known is the Reversible Cabled Brioche Stitch Scarf which currently has 497 projects on Ravelry.  In 2009 I took Abby Franqemont’s beginning spindle spinning class at Sock Summit, and began a love affair with spindles.  I’ve spun at the playground, walking the kids to school, in the car, at the Newport Aquarium, and anywhere else I can think of to pull out my spindle.  I enjoy sharing my love of crocheting, knitting, and spinning with anyone who wants to learn.

Join Saralyn on December 8th from 10:30-1:30 for our Beginning Crochet class. Cost is $30.

Once you’ve learned the basics, you can tackle some of these gorgeous patterns (or sign up for Saralyn’s other class: Intro to Crocheted Lace!):

We carry all these gorgeous Churchmouse Yarns and Teas patterns at Stash! Photos from Ravelry pattern pages.

Crochet is also handy skill for knitters to have in their bag of tricks! It’s great to use for edgings or embellishments on your hand knits!

Important Class information:

Skill Level: Novice
Skills Learned: Foundation chain, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, slip- stitch, granny square and a basic introduction to reading crochet abbreviations.
Materials: 100 yards of smooth worsted weight wool and a size H (5mm) crochet hook. Stash Recommends: Dream in Color Classy and Laurel Hill Crochet hooks! 15% off class materials purchased at the shop.

Spaces are limited so stop into the shop or call 541-753-9276 to reserve your spot today!

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Filed under Classes, Crochet