Category Archives: Crafty Times

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

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

Crafty Times: Wee Holiday Trees

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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.

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DIY Wee Holiday Tree

Materials

  • 50 yards medium-weight yarn (quantity may be more or less depending on the size of your cone). We chose green but think a snowy white would be lovely.
  • Cardboard cone
  • Glue; we used a glue gun, but Tacky glue would work well too.
  • Beads, sparkles, sequins, Pom poms; anything goes when it comes to embellishing your tree.

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!

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Filed under Crafty Times, Tutorials, Yarn

Duct Tape Dress Form DIY

Recently we hosted a new type of class at the shop: Crafty Times at Stash.  The idea is to facilitate a creative activity outside the comfort zone of fiber and yarn; from beads and wire to duct tape and paper, anything is possible!

For our first Crafty Times, we created a body double out of duct tape.  Why a duct tape dress form? you ask.  Well, your mini me can act as a close replica of your body, standing in when you need your own measurements, want to see what something looks like on, or need to drape or pin a garment in progress onto a body.  They can also act as sculpture, physical art pieces for you to embellish and display.

To get started you will need:

  • 1-2 rolls (60 yards each) of good old silver duct tape
  • an old t-shirt that will be cut up
  • scrap cardboard
  • polyfill, wool, bubble wrap, shredded paper, newspaper, or other stuffing material.
  • 1 hanger (optional)
  • a friend to help

Pre-cut some tape for speedier mummification.

Start out wearing that old t-shirt.  Stand with your feet hips-width apart; try to avoid leaning or shifting your weight as this will affect your finished dress form.  As you wrap the tape, keep in mind that it should be snug against your body, not just attached to the shirt.

Begin by wrapping tape horizontally just under the bustline.  Do the same around the hips; don’t go below the t-shirt hem.  Following the natural curves of the body, apply short sections of tape, taking care to smooth the tape down as you go.  This will make for a prettier finished form.

Make an x (cross your heart style) between your breasts or pecks.  This is your time to lift and separate, so go for it!  Smaller pieces of tape (4-6 inches) work well here.  Continue layering over all of your curves, around the arms, and neckline, following the hems of the shirt.

Once everything has been covered, do it a second time.  You want to create a firm shell.

Using sharp fabric scissors, cut up the back of the duct tape/shirt.  Be careful not to snip skin or undergarments!  Now breathe a sigh of relief–it can get hot in there!

Now you’re ready to seal, stuff, and decorate!

Cut cardboard to create a firm base.

Use a plate, cup, or other round container to create rounds for arm and neck openings.

Fill with shredded paper, bubble wrap, polyfill, scrap fibers, just about anything that can fill in those curves. We used scrunched up paper and bubble wrap in the bottom, filled the torso and bust with shredded paper from the office, and topped it all off with more bubble wrap. Then add your final piece of cardboard into the neck opening and tape into place. You can also add a clothes hanger before closing the opening, allowing you to hang your form for storage or display.

We added a strip of zebra-striped tape around the base of this form.  Others have completely covered their dress forms in decorative tape, fabric, or paint.

Have fun with this!

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Filed under Crafty Times, Tutorials