Yarn Crawl Season

Where I live (which is in the Pacific NW) there are 3 major yarn crawls; one down in Portland called the Rose City Yarn Crawl, the LYS Tour on the Seattle side of the Puget Sound, and the PNW Yarn Crawl in the south sound (which happens twice a year).  The Rose City Yarn Crawl happens in early March every year, the LYS Tour is mid May and the PNW Yarn Crawl happens in early May and again in October before the holidays begin.

It’s so much fun crawling from shop to shop.  Each shop comes up with a pattern, that they are offering up for free.  You get your passport stamped and they offer the yarn for that project at a discount.  They have daily prize winners and a gift for finishers, plus one grand prize winner.  It’s a great way to get inspired if you are in a knitting funk.  The yarn crawl is also a fun day out with friends, doing what we all love, ‘going to the yarn shop’.

I first heard of this concept years ago from a quilter friend of mine.  I’m so glad that the yarn shops are now on board.  It’s a fun outing to look forward too.  We can get so mired in our daily routines of life… work, the kids, homework, meals, errands… that’s its fun to plan a fun day out or a weekend away possibly.

This year, my friend Jana and I charted our route and hit the road – she drove.  We did the PNW Yarn Crawl, made it to all the shops in one day, and even stopped for coffee and lunch.  I think I bought something at every store, but you don’t EVEN need to do that.  It’s so fun to see what each shop comes up with for a pattern.  We took some pictures, and posted on social media – it was a blast.  We even ran into a few friends at one of the shops.

If you are wondering, if your area has a yarn crawl, get to know the folks at your local yarn shop.  Use our shop finder to find a yarn close near you.  If you knit solely on-line, you are really missing out on a wonderful and fun community, just waiting for you to join in.  Your best friend is waiting!! *You can click on any of these photo to see a larger version~


Stitches West 2017

Every year, Stitches is held in various parts of the country.  Stitches is a huge knitting event full of classes and a vendor market.  We have one here on the west coast, and someday, I will attend.  In the mean while, Yvonne, a regular contributor attended this years event, and here is what she has to share with us!

During the weekend of February 23rd to the 26th, Stitches West was in Santa Clara, CA and so was I. Luckily I only live about 20 minutes from the convention center where the event is held.
I spent the week before the show going through my Ravelry queue for yarn needs for patterns I wanted to knit. I went through my stash and accessed what I lacked (dk and worsted weight yarn). I followed the Stitches West forum of Vendor Previews to see who was bringing what. I marked my show floor map with which vendors I wanted to go to first to ensure I got a chance to buy their special yarns.
When the doors opened at 5pm on Thursday night for the Market Preview, only attendee’s taking classes are allowed into the Preview. We took a one hour Market Class on Friday on Invisible Joins.  Map in hand I dashed to my first Vendor, Magpie Fibers in the YOTH booth. I was after their DK yarn in the color Woodsmoke, for the show. They had said they were bringing in a limited amount. SCORE!! I got a skein and a contrasting color to make I don’t know what yet! Then it was on to look for a yarn that Mary (America’s Knitting Mary) wanted me to get for a friend. Again, it would be available in a limited amount, so I wanted to make sure I got it. SCORE! When I went back on Friday she was out of that color way.
Friday, we (my friend Carole from Santa Barbara was up for the weekend) headed back to the convention center for a day of walking the floor and shopping for goodies. One of our favorite vendors turned out to be Stunning String Studio from DeKalb, IL. They had lots of samples of their projects with kits that included the yarn, pattern and the number of stitch markers need for the project. I purchased the kit for Interpolate Shawl in green and purple.
We continued to walk the show floor, oooh and awe over all the beautiful yarns, mostly hand dyed and all the lovely samples that showcased specific yarns. I made my way to The Knitting Tree LA (Los Angeles) and discovered Woolfolk Yarns. Oh My Gosh, their merino is as soft as cashmere. I bought two skeins that will be scarf/shawl at some point. We made it to Webs and I found  Madelinetosh dk for one project and Madelinetosh sock for another project. Carole and I combined out purchases and managed to get a 25% discount!! We went home exhausted, thank goodness I started dinner in the crockpot that morning.
Saturday we spent with our husbands going wine tasting and having dinner in San Francisco.
Sunday after church, it was back to Stitches to see if we “needed” anything else. Carole bought another shawl kit from Stunning String Studio and I bought 3 more skeins from Woolfolk to make the 3 Color Cashmere Scarf from Joji Locatelli. We also stayed for the Grand Prize drawing but didn’t win one of the three $400 cash prizes they gave away.
We had a great time and are looking forward to 2018 and doing it again!! If you want to come with us next year, bring an air mattress and sleeping bag and you can crash at my house and we’ll shop till we drop.
Yvonne*

Mini Nat

My girlfriend Erin, that lives in California….she’s a regular contributor — she has her Granddaughter Natalie, but she’s affectionately called ‘Mini Nat’.  Erin knit this ADORABLE little dress for her.  Not only is it amazing, but it fits her so well.  I love it.  Here are the deets: the dress was knit with Anzula Squishy in color Mauve.  The pattern was inspired by Erika Knight’s book Natural Nursery Knits, but Erin made adjustments to a pattern inside.  The dress doesn’t look much at all like where I started… says Erin!  However/whatever, it’s great!  Thank you Erin~


Zuzu’s Petals

Hello everybody!  Tomorrow launches our Spring Fling KAL featuring Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer.  Start date April 1, finish date April 30.  Our prize will be drawn from finishers May 1.  Please join in the fun and enjoy the launch of Spring.  Pattern available on Ravelry!

Here are some of our finished Zuzu’s.  I thought y’all might want to see how everyone’s turned out.

Do you need a ‘Sweet Distraction’? …another project to knit?????

Jennifer Weissman, or shadystroll, as she’s known by on Ravelry, is a designer.  She designs cowls, shawls and hats.  I am in love with her latest design, Sweet Distraction….now that winter is over.  BUT, fall will come around again, and we’ve all got those gradient kits.  This calls for fingering weight yarn on this cowl.  So if you’ve got fingering weight yarn and aren’t into socks, or need a break from socks — this is for you.  OR, you’ve been wanting to purchase gradient, but don’t know what to knit — this is for you.  LOVE!!  Jennifer used Mariantated Yarns Six Pack Gradient for this project and you can find shadystroll on Instagram, ShadyStroll Knits group on Ravelry, ShadyStroll Knits on Facebook, and here is a link to her patterns on Ravelry! Jennifer is offering a 20% discount on her latest pattern over on Ravelry, using code DISTRACTME at checkout – thank you Jennifer~

Hat For Baby

A hat is one of those things that we can whip up and knit rather quickly for a quick gift.  I have always loved the Cascade Yarns Fixation for baby hats.  It’s cotton and it stretches.  It grips baby’s head but also gives and grows with baby.  The colors are fun and there are so many to choose from.  I love the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas hat pattern Easy Roll-Up Hat: DK Version.  It’s well written and has options for larger sizes.

This hat has traveled “across the pond” as they say to England.  I hope they love it!!

Ewe And I

I am *knot* a monogamous knitter, and I’m *knot* a monogamous shopper!

I love yarn shops — HELLO — that’s why I’m America’s Knitting.  I’m all about the yarn shop.  So, a couple posts back, I visited Loose Ends Fiber Arts.  They had asked when I was coming to Centralia, and I finally went.  Well that’s like a two and half hour drive for me.  My husband kept me company, and we brought our dog Mae.  We started off with coffee, made a pit stop, and had lunch after visiting the yarn shop.  Wes walked the dog while I was shopping in the yarn shop, and taking pictures.

Well, not even half an hour down the road is a town called Chehalis.  There is a yarn shop there too, and it’s called Ewe And I.  How could I drive all that way, and not slide into that store?

It has a super fun back story, and unique too!  So, There are two businesses really inside the store; Ewe And I ‘yarn shop’, and Black Sheep ‘Creamery’!  Meg Gregory with her husband Brad Gregory have a farm, and they have sheep, lots of sheep.  So, with the sheep, they get milk and make cheese.  They also get wool, and make yarn.  It’s a going concern, they’ve won awards and you can find their cheese other places besides the yarn shop!  You HAVE to check out their website to really see it all. 

The yarn shop is very nice, they carry lots of yarn, and brands you know.  Notables that I saw… Rowan, Knitted Wit, Jamiesons, Opal, Brown Sheep and of course their own yarn in the natural shades of the sheep.  I did purchase some Knitted Wit, as I have never owned or knit with that yarn and it felt like a special treat.  The store is what I would call full service, in that, they sell yarn and knit, but they also spin and weave.

The ladies were very nice and told me all about the store.  I encourage you to check out their website and of course, the creamery website too.  They are on Facebook as well, so you can keep up even if you can’t make a visit.  Thanks for showing me around Meg and allowing me to take some pictures … I’ll be back~ **you can click on any photo to see it’s larger version**

Brioche Knitting 101

HUGE in the knitting world now…Brioche!  Not to be confused with the bread!  Brioche knitting is not new, but it certainly has had a great resurgence.  I believe in large part, it’s popularity could be due to designs by Stephen West, and his way with color.

Now, yarn shops are jumping in with classes to support this popularity.  I have even seen some retreats surrounding this technique accompanied with some notable knitterati teaching.  These retreats go for big money.

To be honest, when I first saw Brioche knitting, it sort of scared me.  I thought, no thank you, I’ll just sit here and finish what I’m working on.  But, as more patterns were introduced, my interest peaked.  I wasn’t in a position to spend big money on a retreat weekend for this, but Pinchknitter yarns advertised a class on Facebook for $30, and I said “SOLD”!

I thought it would be a fun team activity, so I signed myself, Diana and Carmel up to take the class.  It’s winter here in the pacific northwest, and that translates into gray skies, chilly temps and rain.  Carmel drove — we got there early and all had lunch together.  We arrived for our class, and met our instructor Sarah.

The class wasn’t project based, it was swatch based.  Now, I know why.  There was a lot to unpack for this new technique.  There were four of us in the class which I think was perfect.  Anything larger may have required a second teacher.  We got handouts and great instruction, and I believe we all ripped out and started again.  Carmel was the advanced student, as she was able to proceed to increases and decreases.  I learned a lot and am just working my rows for practice.  It may turn into a scarf, I just don’t know for sure.

After class, I took some pictures of the store, because, you know me.  I’m all about the yarn shop and I am sure you want to see the store.  Pinchknitter yarns is located in Stanwood, Washington and owner Sirkku Bingham is a lover of baseball, hence the name Pinchknitter.  The store used to be a clock store/repair business and there are clocks around the store including a cuckoo clock that sounds off on the hour.  There is also a nearby train track with trains bustling through town not far away.  It’s like a step back in time.  And these days, a slow down is lovely and soothing, right along with our yarn and knitting….brioche knitting!  …you may click on any photo to see it’s larger version…

Pinchknitter owner Sirkku Bingham with America’s Knitting owner Mary Neill

…”I’m not going to a yarn shop, and I’m not buying any yarn”…

FAMOUS last words!

My friend Ann was visiting her daughter Molly in San Francisco, California.  Molly is a traveling nurse.  I had never heard of this before, but it’s a thing.  And why not….Molly’s young, not married, no kids.  These are the times of her life, and she finds herself in San Francisco, California.  So of course Mom has to go visit and check up on the daughter.  San Francisco is a fun town with awesome weather.  Lot’s a great restaurants, good chefs, and hello…the wharf!

So, being the enabler that I am, I told her to go to America’s Knitting to see where the nearest yarn shop was.  Ann says, “I’m not going to any yarn shops, and I’m not buying any yarn!”  I’m thinking (okay)!  So, she checks in at the airport, she’s posting pictures daily on social media, and texting kind lovely words about Molly, and pics of her walks and shopping.  Then….BOOM, she’s at ImagiKnit!

Turns out, Molly has a friend that’s a knitter, and knowing that Molly’s Mom knits, she tells Molly that her Mom has to go to ImagiKnit because it’s the best yarn shop.  So, they get address and directions from America’s Knitting and voila they are visiting a yarn shop.

Ann told me that the shop was very interesting, and that they had a lot of yarn.  The folks that worked there were very nice and greeted her when she arrived.  She looked about, and took some pictures for me.  San Francisco has some very old buildings chock full of charm and that is how I would describe this store.  If you click on the photos you can see larger photos, better able to catch details.  The store was busy with shoppers.  Ann noticed brands such as Madeline Tosh, Malabrigo, and Cascade.  She thought the store was unique, but she didn’t make a purchase.  It’s ok to look, seek inspiration, or just be in the company of fiber.  I really appreciate the pictures, because I don’t know when I will get there, but I love yarn shops and hearing all about them.  Thank you Ann for sharing, and thinking of America’s Knitting with your pictures, they are great!