Category Archives: Baby Knits

Making & Mothering :: Sonia Ruyts

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IMG_3024It’s 8:30 pm and I’m just sitting down at the end of a long day.  The couch has been whispering to me for hours, but the energy of dinner prep, cleanup, after dinner playtime, bath and bedtime have kept me moving.  By now my daughter is sleeping soundly in her bed, and the rest of the night is mine.  Unfortunately for me, I have always leaned toward an early bedtime which means I now have an hour and a half at most before I’m asleep with a book on my face.  These 90 minutes are precious.  This cannot be the only time I give myself out of a total of 24 hours.   I need this block of uninterrupted adult time to focus on my knitting, my wife, and a good movie (or a bad one.  I’m not really that particular these days).

That said, I’m finding that it’s important to fit in small pockets of time throughout the day to create.  To connect. To feel inspired.  I have to take breaks at work to play with the yarn, to make a new display, take a few photos, move a table.

These moments of creating something, beautifying the space around me, or of feeling connected to my creativity are critical.  Without them I would be a frazzled shell of myself.  Without them, I would not be happy.  So why do we sometimes feel that these moments come last in the hierarchy of care?  Why do some of us put our personal needs after everyone else (even the dog’s)?

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Before my daughter was born, I could knit pretty much whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted.  I made her dozens of things, things I could make while she was around, then plop onto her as soon as they were off the needles.  When she was a small baby, I still got in a lot of time with my yarn and needles; she was a great napper!  But as time has passed and she’s grown and our work lives have changed, that isn’t possible in the same way.

I keep my knitting out and work on it throughout our time at home.  I bring it with me in the car, and to work.  And when knitting isn’t possible, I’m creating in other ways: writing, cooking, taking photos, rearranging the mantle…

Making something with my hands every day is a priority.

How do you make time for your creative pursuits? Do you treat yourself after your family has been cared for? Do you fit bursts of making in throughout your day?

To help answer this question, we have invited some other women who have been down this same road as mothers and makers.  Once a month we will be sharing this space and having a conversation about what it means to be a creative person, how we find creative bliss in a busy day, and how we incorporate (or don’t) our little ones into the making. Our first interview is with knitter + mother Susan B. Anderson and comes with a book giveaway!  Be sure to stay tuned to this space.

Some of the best conversation happens in the comments, so please feel free to share what has and hasn’t worked for you. We’re all doing the best that we can, and to hear support and ideas from one another is invaluable.

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Filed under Baby Knits, Interviews, Knitting, Making & Mothering Series, Yarn

On & Off the Needles: Recent Stash Enhancer Knits

Here ths Stash Enhancers share a little of what we’ve been knitting (and finishing) this summer.  No matter the weather, we are always clicking our needles.  Some of us finish things faster than others, but that just keeps the rest of us motivated!

The minute our last shipment of Hazel Knits DK arrived, I snatched up the colorway Heartthrob to CO for Neon. Featuring an all over lace pattern, Neon keeps the knitting interesting, but not too complicated. I don’t want to wish away summer, but I can’t wait to start wearing this cheerful cardigan this fall!

It doesn’t look like much yet, but hopefully this sweet little summer top will be finished in time to get some wear this summer! The Riverine Pullover is from the most recent Pom Pom Quarterly and I’m knitting it some top-secret yarn that will be hitting the shelves at Stash this fall!

~Liz

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The summer heat hit with full force this year, so I have stuck to small fingering weight  projects until I can shut myself in a dark, air-conditioned room and pretend it’s winter in Iceland. This pair of socks is knit from a beautiful hand-dyed merino yarn that our very own Kathryn dyed! The pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks and is the first of many that I will knit from this book.

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As far as works in progress, I have a few vintage blouses going at the moment that all seem to be at a stopping point. This one, knit in Knitted Wit fingering, is one of those oops-I-should-have-bought-more-yarn projects. I’m currently awaiting a skein of white fingering weight to use as a contrast color so I can get it finished!

~Sydney

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I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but… I haven’t finished any knitting projects this summer.  Yet!

These two projects are so close to being finished.  I just need to spend some quality knitting time with each of them and we’ll be in good shape.  I especially want to finish this red Lobelia cardigan.  It’s been on my needles since April!  I started it intending to layer over dresses and skirts, so the sooner I finish the more wear it will get.

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This little number is the Sweet Bunting cardigan.  I just joined the sleeves to the yoke and am poised to being knitting some sweet pink bunting flags.  I am loving working with the slightly rustic texture of this very luxurious yarn from The Fibre Company.

So, that’s what’s on and off our needles!  Now it’s your turn.  What have you been knitting (and finishing) this summer?

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Filed under Baby Knits, Books/Patterns, Knitting, Stash, Stash Knitting, Yarn

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:

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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

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yarn Edition

If you’re like us, you’ve been saving tasty tidbits of yarn and fiber from projects since the beginning of your crafty career.  Those partial skeins are insurance against damaged knitwear, reminders of projects past, and a bit of an albatross.  What is one to do with all those partial balls of yarn?

Leftovers aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.

We’ve put together a handy little list of some of our favorite ways to use up those stray balls of yarn and possibly kick-start your holiday crafting.  We’ve also created a board on our Pinterest Page for further inspiration!

Yarn Leftover Remix

These are some of Sonia’s past Leftover projects.

  • Pom poms You know we love these at Stash!  They make great embellisments on knits, decor, and presents alike.
  • Ornaments: Deck the Balls, 55 Christmas Balls to Knit
  • Holiday cards (these are really cute)
  • Home decor This holiday wreath is so chic and easy
  • Embellish presents use yarn instead of ribbons to tie packages together.
  • Wrap  baby hangers to give with a handknit sweater or use to display of heirloom knits.
  • Make a toy use yarn for small toys + creatures (slugs!) or to add hair to sewn dolls
  • Make something big Knit hexi puffs or crochet granny squares and evenutally you’ll have something big to show for it.
  • Keep it small mini socks, sweaters and mittens make great ornaments, garland, and embellishments on gifts
  • For the little ones tiny fingers + toes small amounts of yarn are perfect for baby booties + toddler mitts
  • Put a stripe on it Use a small amount of an accent color to add stripes and colorwork: Leftie by Martina Behm
  • Get natural flowers + insects make great little decorations and embellishments.
  • Accessorize make jewelry:  10 yard cuffs, Beignet necklace, Crochet Ring Bracelet 

What are some of your favorite ways to use up leftover bits of yarn? Let us know in the comments below.

And if you liked this post, click below to share it with your friends!

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Filed under Baby Knits, Books/Patterns, Crochet, Knitting, Stash, Yarn

New at the Shop :: Coastal Kids

You may already know and love the popular book Coastal Knits by Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig.  Well we have something sweet to tempt you into casting on for something new: Coastal Kids.

This is a collection of 4 children’s patterns based on the popular designs in Coastal Knits.  Available in a generous range of sizes (6 months to size 14) there is sure to be something for just about everyone.  Knitting for little ones is a wonderful way to try new techniques or get a sneak preview of what the adult-sized sweater could be.  I could see knitting a Wee Wildflowers cardigan for my 2.5 year old and a full-sized version for myself down the road!

Little Oak

Based on the Gnarled Oak Cardigan

Tiny Rocky Coast

Based on the Rocky Coast Cardigan and knit in The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering, a yarn soon to arrive at Stash.

Mini Waters Edge

Based on Waters Edge Cardigan

Wee Wildflower

Based on the Wildflower Cardigan

What is your favorite pattern from the collection?

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Filed under Baby Knits, Books/Patterns, Knitting

Meet the Samples:: Chloe

Summer is almost here, and with it has come a little more sunshine and a lot more color.  We are surrounded by blooming flowers, floating butterflies, and blue skies (on the best days).

We recent;y recevied a large dose of colorful yarn in the form of Be Sweet Bambino, a playful yarn composed of 70% organic cotton and 30% bamboo.  I spent days looking at this yarn and imagining all of the patterns I could knit with it.  In the end, I decided it would pair perfectly with the sweet and playful Chloe cardigan by Alana Dakos.

this was pure fun, from playing around with different color combinations to the actual knitting.  And then I got to choose buttons!  This is the 12 month size, and there is definitely enough yarn left to make another card with a different main color.  Can’t beat that! Speaking of the yarn, it is a little bit rustic in texture, but oh so soft before and after blocking.

So what colors would you choose?

In the top photo you can also see our selection of Be Sweet Bambino Taffy, which comes in a self-striping ball of fun in the same bamboo/cotton blend.

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

Trending in the Fiber World: Kids Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post about some patterns that are hot in the fiber arts world. I thought it might be fun to do the same with some baby/kid patterns!

Probably the biggest and most exciting thing going on in the world of knitting for kids is the news that Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig are planning on releasing kid-sized versions of several patterns from Coastal Knits! The patterns aren’t released yet, but word on the street is that they’ll be coming sometime in May! Both designers have posted some sneak peeks on their blogs:

Rocky Coast Cardi for kids – Photo from Knitbot Blog

How sweet does this version of the Wildflower Cardigan look?! Photo from Never Not Knitting Blog

Oh, the cuteness!! Tiny Gnarled Oak Cardigan – Photo from Never Not Knitting Blog

Now that I’ve tempted you with patterns you can’t have yet, how about we look at some patterns that have been out for a while but continue to be wildly popular.

The Aviatrix Baby Hat is a great last-minute gift for a baby shower. It has gotten rave reviews from both knitters and Moms who have put the hat to use. Several of our customers have made this adorable hat and I think it would look especially fun in our bright colors of Knitted Wit DK or Baah! Sonoma. Pattern is available for free!

photo from ravelry pattern page

 The Milo Vest is another great pattern that is available in sizes newborn-6 years. The pattern provides several cable patterns to choose from and is a fun knit. It would look particularly charming in the new Be Sweet Bambino yarn we have at the shop! The Milo Vest pattern is available for purchase at Stash through the ravelry in-store pattern sales!

photo from ravelry pattern page

Knitted toys, especially those designed by Rebecca Danger are very popular. Her most recent pattern release, Basil the Boogie-Woogie Brontosaurus is no exception. You can choose any weight of yarn you’d like to make Basil and he’d be a great stash-buster project. The pattern can be purchased at Stash.

photo from ravelry pattern page

Happy Crafting,

Stash Enhancer Liz 

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Filed under Baby Knits, Books/Patterns, Knitting