FO Friday: Laura’s Yarn Crawl Blanket

yarn crawl blanket

Last year, Laura wanted to go into the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl with a plan and not buy yarn willy-nilly. Instead, she decided to buy a skein of sock yarn from each store and incorporate it into a blanket. Laura has named her blanket “Fallingwater” since it is based on the colors of the Fallingwater house. The border is Socks that Rock in Sockigheny, the special yarn color dyed for the crawl for us by Tina Newton.

The dates for the 2015 Steel Valley Yarn Crawl are July 31 – August 9! Follow the yarn crawl’s page on Facebook for the latest information.

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Jack’s Year of Knitting Dangerously: April

Greetings Dangerous Knitter,

I hope you all are still easin’ on down our dangerous knitting road. You didn’t swatch, did you? Believe me, I was tempted. Everyone here at the shop has been keeping me honest (grumble). They know how much I stress out about accurate gauge, but it has been really awesome having such great accountability partners. If you need someone to share your dangerous knitting experiences with, don’t forget that I am here for you (but only on Mondays and Fridays from 5-9P.M. Eastern Standard Time).

Last month’s Really Warm Hat by Melissa LeBarre was a hit with all of my friends. They really love how quick and easy it is to knit with Franca from Manos del Uruguay! If you didn’t have a chance to see it knit up, it is still here in the shop for your visual and tactile pleasure.

Dangerously yours,

Jack

April Pattern:

The themes for this month are quirky construction and quick knitting. The Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm fill both of those bills. The mitts — a free pattern on Ravelry — could not be easier to knit, but that doesn’t mean boring. Several new and quirky techniques are here for your knitting pleasure. First off, the mitts are worked in two directions. You do a provisional cast on for the hand part and then graft the two ends of this garter stitch section together. Stitches are then picked up along and edge to knit the rest of the mitt in rounds. The unique thumb gusset is done in conjunction with this step by casting on extra stitches and then using mirrored decreases to create the shaping over the next several rounds. The icing on the cake is that using worsted or aran weight yarn means that one can easily knit the pair in an evening.

dangerously april 1

I chose to use a yarn from Lorna’s Laces called Cloudgate. It is brand new to Natural Stitches and it is a welcomed addition to our chunky weight yarn selection. Cloudgate is a variegated yarn with a very unique construction. It has been hawser plied, which means that several individual 2-ply strands have been plied together to create the yarn. In this case it was four 2-ply strands for a total of 8 PLIES!!! What does that mean for you, the knitter? It means that you get a yarn that is amazingly round and sproingy (yes that is the technical term) and has great stitch definition. Two caveats…we do not have the yarn in the colorway pictured as that was a sample color, and I knit the mitts with a size US 9 needle to match the yarn. As always, folks, stop in to see and feel them for yourself.

dangerously april 2

dangerously april 3

 

 

 

 

 

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FO Friday: Rachael’s Chevron Baby Blanket

crochet

Isn’t this a nice baby blanket? Rachael crocheted it out of Universal Cotton Supreme and Cotton Supreme Batik. The pattern, Chevron Baby Blanket, is free on Ravelry.

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Andrea’s Abingdon and more from Kirsten Kapur

andreaabingdon (2)

We had such a good time with our Abingdon KAL! Here, Andrea shows off her snazzy Abingdon in Mountain Meadows Jackson and Stone Soup DK. We’re really enjoying pairing the neutrals of the Stone Soup with the colors of the Jackson, and they knit beautifully together in part because they are made at the same mill!

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We’d also like to remind you about pre-orders for Kirsten Kapur’s Shawls Book One! If you liked Abingdon, you will love this collection of Kirsten’s most popular shawl designs. Give us a call at 412-441-4410 or shoot us an email to reserve your copy. (Photo used with permission of Kirsten Kapur and Gale Zucker.)

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FO Friday: Bill’s House Socks

When we started carrying Cloudgate from Lorna’s Laces, we wondered what the best projects for this chunky wool could be. The 10% nylon content suggested socks, and that is exactly what Bill did, using basic sock construction to create snuggly house socks. One skein of Cloudgate makes one sock.

house socks

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WIP Wednesday: Lee’s Cap Shawl

Lee is making the Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today for a family wedding. (Click on the link to see how amazing this looks as a finished object.) For now, this shawl is steadily growing in Cascade Alpaca Lace.

capshawl

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Epiphany 2015

We did Epiphany a little differently this year. In the past, we’ve put a skein or two of yarn from our stash into a sealed bag. Then we all picked a bag and knit (or crochet) for that person with their yarn.  This year, we decided to shake things up and use things from our own stash so that the gift would be a complete surprise.

At the beginning of March, we met for dinner at Church Brew Works to exchange gifts.

naturalstitchesstaff

Over the weeks to come, we’ll show the gifts modeled by the recipient here on the blog.

David knitted a Gridelin from Hunter Hammersen’s Curls. David knit this out of one skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Peru, a silk, alpaca, and merino blend, and the kicker about knitting this from your own stash is that David knit on this in front of Emily and everyone else and we all had no idea it was for Epiphany.

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Christiana spun and dyed the yarn she used to make this Maja for Julie. Maja is available for free on Knitty.

julie (2)

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FO Friday: Stephanie’s Kowloon Cardigan

Kowloon Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio is a perfect transition garment. Stephanie knit hers in Louet Euroflax, which blocks like a dream. Isn’t it beautiful?

kowloon

 

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WIP Wednesday: Socks that Rock Obsession!

Since we started carrying Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, it has been our #1 go-to yarn for socks. When I asked for WIP photos, everyone recently sent me pictures of their Socks that Rock projects! All linked patterns are either free or available as Ravelry in-store download purchases.

Shani’s The Weasley Homestead Socks in Hobbit Garden:

weasley

My one million UFOs (I have issues, ok?), from top Marooned in Who-Ville, Couplet in Flambeau, a plain ribbed sock in Scumblebee, and Copper Penny Socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn:

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Jack’s Manly Socks in River Rocked:

manly socks

Emily’s plain vanilla socks in Samhain:

sahmain

Yvonne’s toe up sock in a mystery colorway: toeup

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Leslie’s Happy Sweater Face

When we put on a completed CustomFit, we call the look of joy our “Happy Sweater Faces.” Leslie demonstrated this phenomenon when she showed us her completed pullover in Woobu.  The pullover is a standard template in the CustomFit program, with three-quarter sleeves and a seed stitch trim. Woobu — a sportweight wool and bamboo blend — is perfect for a winter into spring transition garment.  I now want to make one for myself in every color! Want to find your own Happy Sweater Face? Give us a call at 412-441-4410 to set up your consultation.

leslie (4)leslie (9)  leslie (12)

 

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