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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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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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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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

New & Noteworthy:: Patterns to Stalk for Fall

Fall tends to be the official start of knitting season, but we’re getting an early start with fall issues of magazines and online publications. There is so much inspiration around us right now!  Here’s a peek at three of our favorites.

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BT Men: Volume 1

One of the most exciting things to come out this summer has to be Brooklyn Tweed’s collection of knits for men.  Rugged, rustic, and classic at the same time, these designs are fit for men of all ages and stages.  Remember friends, this collection is about the knitwear, but the beards and wistful gazes don’t hurt, either.

Individual patterns available at Stash!

Slade by Michele Wang

Timberline by Jared Flood

The Brooklyn Tweed Men’s collection includes patterns for 8 garments and 5 accessories.  With designs from Jared Flood, Julie Hoover, Veronik Avery, and Michele Wang, there’s sure to be something here to inspire your knitting fantasy life.   These are definitely patterns you will knit for him and be tempted to keep for yourself.

Click here to view on Ravelry.  Visit us in store to purchase your copy

Knitscene Fall 2013

The Fall issue of Knitscene came out in June (how’s that for planning ahead!) and was an instant hit.  With stories on reverse stockinette, colorwork, and chevrons, there are loads of patterns to inspire your fall/winter knitting.  Here are some of our favorites:

Penny Candy Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle in Fibre Company Acadia

Emmanuelle Sweater by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

June Mitts by Cassie Castillo in Dream in Color Smooshy

Click here for a pattern preview.  We’ve already sold out of this magazine at the shop; a second shipment is on its way!

The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits special issue.

Ginny’s Cardigan by Mari Chiba

I keep watching the window for owls, and have been daydreaming about these mittens:

O.W.L. Mittens by Celeste Young

Mermaid’s Song by Susanna IC

Modern Stripes House Scarves by Kim Haesemeyer in The Fibre Company Organik

Click here to preview all of the patterns on Ravelry.  Then click here to watch Harry Potter on Netflix. You know you want to!

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Now that your queue has expanded (you’re welcome), let us know what you’re planning on knitting up this fall.  Daydreaming and planning can be half the fun!

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting, Products, Yarn