Tag Archives: 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

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

Inspiration Hunting :: A Confession.

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I’m about to tell you something I don’t talk about very often.  It may be a bit controversial, but it has to be said.

Opening a yarn shop has really cut into my knitting time.

Imagine immersing yourself in the world of fiber arts, a world you’re already spending most of your free time in.  You obsess over patterns, yarn, colors, and tools, playing and dreaming up the perfect combinations.  Your heart feels light and your mind inspired when you pick up the needles to being a new project.

Soon your dream starts to grow and you imagine filling the shelves of an empty store with just the right materials.  Yarns you know and love, as well as new-to-you colors and textures swirl in your mind.

One day you find an empty retail space and your dream quickly proceeds into reality and it is amazing.

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But there’s a dark side.  A side people in the industry rarely admit to.

Sometimes when you’re living your dream, you stop dreaming.

What once was nothing but pure joy has changed.  Sometimes knitting feels like work.  Not all the time, but in small ways.  Yarn can become a widget if you’re not careful.

It’s a continual challenge to stay inspired, to not let the dream be replaced by rote repetition and paperwork.  It is so important to keep dreaming, to feed the dream you imagined with new ideas, people, and adventures.

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Our mission at Stash is to cultivate an inspired knitting community.  We actively hunt and gather the most beautiful and unique collection of inspiration for our tribe (psst…that’s you).  But it’s also important that we work to stay actively inspired ourselves.

To that end, we are working on an all new lineup of classes and events that we’re super excited to take ourselves!  We’re also taking Stash Enhancer field trips, dreaming up new yarn + pattern combinations for fall samples, eating a lot of ice cream, and working on other big new projects.

We’re so thankful that you’re along for the ride.  YOU are a continued source of inspiration and love, and we wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you.

As a maker, how do you stay inspired? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

xo

Sonia

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Filed under Knitting, LYS, Stash, Stash Knitting, Yarn

A Wonderful, Wooly Time

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Rock Island in Sweet Georgia’s merino silk lace

Our second trip to the Black Sheep Gathering was a lot different than the first.  This time we knew a little bit more of what to expect from the experience, and were able to adjust accordingly.  Pack snacks and antihistamine (all that hay from the sheep barn!).  Focus on indie dyers.  Bring lots of patterns for our samples.  You know, the basics.  But we’re perfecting this whole taking Stash on the road thing, and it is getting easier!

Black Sheep is right in our backyard, which makes this show all the more fun.  We got to see a lot of familiar faces and meet plenty of new ones.  A special thanks to listeners of The Knitmore Girls podcast who came to the shop and our booth!  After a show like this we all come home feeling pleasantly exhausted and full of inspiration.

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We had a special order of Sincere Sheep‘s Treble yarn dyed up especially for the show.  Made by hand in the Napa Valley using natural dyes, this yarn is truly something special.  We are in love with Brooke’s soft yet saturated hues and the feel of this 100% superwash merino.  This yarn is at Stash for a limited time only, so if you’re eyeing a skein you better act fast!

Were you at Black Sheep this year?  What is your favorite part of attending a fiber festival?  Let us know in the comments.  We love hearing from you!

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Filed under Festivals, Knitting, Local Products, Meet the Samples, Stash, Yarn

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.

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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…

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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!

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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

Featured Dyer:: Anzula

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Today we are pleased to feature one of our shop favorites, indie dyer Anzula.  Inspired by their upcoming visit to Stash (read on for details), we wanted to take a moment to bask in Anzula’s broad array of colors and get inspired by the story behind the yarn.

Anzula specializes in bringing you luxury fibers. You will find beautifully hand dyed and yarns and spinning fibers carefully selected from the best sources in the world. They are passionate about the crafts of knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning their yarns into heirloom works of art to be cherished for a lifetime.

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Stash: Can you tell us a little bit more about how Anzula was founded? Sabrina, what inspired you to take the leap into dying yarn as a business?

Anzula: Anzula grew from a hobby, from owner Sabrina Famellos’ love of crocheting and spinning.  She started selling crocheted accessories and handspun yarn at farmers market, and in a yarn shop and a record shop. She then started dyeing the fiber she spun. She spent a couple of years focusing on her career teaching massage, and when the economic downturn came in 2008 and she was laid off, she jumped into dyeing and got a booth at Stitches West selling hand-dyed yarn. It was well received, so she did Stitches South and Sock Summit that year. Encouraged by the interest, she signed up for a booth at TNNA and the yarn was picked up by 14 new shops.

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Stash: How do you come up with color stories and choose such interesting base yarns?

Anzula: The colorways that Sabrina creates come from her experience. From snapshots, mood boards, or recollections, she recreates ideas in the fiber. When creating the yarns and fiber, the focus is always on creating an heirloom quality product. She chooses only bases that she would knit with herself, and she also keeps an eye out for special blends.

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Stash:  At Stash we believe happiness is living in the potential–what a yarn could become, what a color can make someone feel.  How do you find happiness in the potential?

Anzula:  Potential is Anzula’s playground. Our warehouse is located in downtown Fresno, so our neighborhood itself is full of potential. The team always knows what our goals are, both as individuals and as a company, and we are very aware of what we are capable of achieving. This focus on productivity and goals actually allows us plenty of room for a positive, fun environment, and allows us to bring a lot of joy to our jobs.

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Help us celebrate and support Anzula this Friday for their special trunk show event at Stash.

Trunk Show Event Friday 4/26, 11am -2pm

We’re also kicking off our next Crochet & Knit-Along with their yarns on May 1st, so this is the perfect time to see, feel, and experience new colors, bases, and samples in person.  Anyone is welcome to join in the Anzula-Along; simply pop into our Ravelry group to get in on the conversation!

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What is your favorite yarn or color from Anzula? Let us know in the comments below.

If you liked this post, be sure to share it with your friends by clicking the social media icons below this post so we can spread the Stash love.

See you Friday!

 

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Filed under Featured Yarn, Knit Alongs, Knitting, LYS, Stash, Trunk Show, Yarn

Stash Flash:: Sydney

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There are two things you should know about me: I’m an obsessive collector, and I spend way too much money for a college student. You can imagine that this is not a good combination. It just so happens that one of the things that I collect is yarn. I have a problem with going through phases of color with yarn, and end up collecting skein after skein of that certain color, then, when I am ready to finally knit from it, I move on to the next color! It is a vicious cycle that I can’t tear myself from (currently, I am on robin’s egg blue).
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We often joke in my dorm building that my room is actually a yarn shop/craft store. But from the photos, you can see that this is not much of a joke… Yes, I have a lot of yarn. But I can’t help it! I love yarn!! My roommate also moved out a few weeks ago, and hating the white, barren wall on her side, I decided to turn it into a crafting station! So really, my room is my own yarn shop/ craft store.
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The top right shelf is home to my favorite (shh, don’t tell the other skeins!) yarn babies: Madelinetosh. Yes, that is all madelinetosh. I have my own inventory of my madelinetosh, and mark off when I use a skein so I don’t forget what I’ve used. The two shelves below are mainly miscellaneous sweater quantities. And let me tell you, these shelves have depth; there is yarn behind some of this yarn… I will reiterate: I have a yarn buying problem.
The left side top shelf has a bit of my madelinetosh overflow, and hosts the select knitting books that I brought to college. The shelf below has select Rowan books, and all my vintage and antique pattern books and yarn for vintage knitting! My very favorite thing to collect in the knitting world is vintage patterns. I only started about 8 months ago, but it is growing quickly!DSCN2868
And then, there is my treasured yarn trunk; it was the first place I started stashing yarn. It holds a lot of one skein wonders, and remnant balls or cakes already wound.  You see, the yarn is literally overflowing from the trunk and shelves. I have squeezed it in as best I can, but if I move one skein, there is an avalanche of wool (I’m not complaining).I think this means I need to stop buying yarn for a little while, but knowing myself well, this probably won’t happen. I hope seeing my stash has helped you all feel better about your own stash sizes!

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Knitting, Stash, Yarn