Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A bunch of us have been working on the Crackerjack scarf, a conceptual project that celebrates baseball. The knitter (or crocheter) chooses four different colors and assigns them to home wins, home losses, away wins, and away losses.  This free Ravelry pattern is really a worksheet that lets you customize your scarf to use any weight of yarn that you choose.

I am making mine for my seven year old son, who is a new baseball fan, and so I am keeping it simple by doing two rounds per game with Cascade 220. My home wins are white and losses are black. Away wins are gold and losses are gray.

Former manager Melissa’s Crackerjack is done in linen stitch. She reports that taking the actual scarf to the game works really well for winning luck.

Jenn is inserting a fair isle stripe between series.

White and gray are Jenn’s losing colors, and as Jack said, that is a lot of losing. But last night was an exciting win, and to quote our dear Elizabeth Zimmermann, we will “knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.” It’s applicable to knitting, and applicable to our Pittsburgh Pirates.

And Amy is knitting one for the Cincinnati Reds, but we love her anyway. Amy is using Cascade Heritage fingering weight and adding textured stitches.

Won’t you join us? It would be easy to catch up at this point!

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Epiphany 2014: In which one of us gets crabs

Crocheted crabs that is!

Elise knit some Alderman mitts [FREE PATTERN!] for Jenn with Lana Gatto Feeling, a DK weight yarn. But she had a little bit left over, so, being Elise, she thought, why not crochet some crabs.

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FO Friday: Candace’s Hat and Shawl

Candace made a coordinating Houndstooth Slouch and Color Affection for the slumber party at the Knit and Crochet Festival out of Frolicking Feet. She reported back that she won a prize! Congratulations, Candace!

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Epiphany 2014: Shawls ‘n’ at

Shawls are a really popular choice for our epiphany knitting, and this year, we had some stunners.

Kelli and Martha, in a nice twist, drew each other’s yarn out of the box.

Martha knit Kelli a Marin out of Socks that Rock in River Rocked.

Kelli knit Martha a Dinner in the Eiffel Tower out of Plymouth Mushishi.

Both patterns are available as Ravelry in-store download purchases.

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Natural Stitches Celebrates Earth Month with Whole Foods

We are very excited to partner with Whole Foods in celebration of Earth Month! Whole Foods has been asked to choose one of three themes (plants, pollinators or people) and create an arresting art installation in their store’s cafe. The goal of the installation will be to “disrupt and engage passerby.”

After some brainstorming, it was decided that we would create a garden loom (or maybe two). The loom will be warped with Euroflax and then participants will use roving, bits of yarn, plants, strung popcorn/cranberries/apricots and other items to weave a “fabric” that will be used by birds and insects for food and nest building. The loom will be moved to the Whole Foods garden and rewoven as needed.

piiiiiiiiccccnic

For fun, we’ve also decided to wrap sticks and hang them, similar to Anna Hrachovec’s Wooly Woods Pictoplasma display in Germany last year. (Yes, she knows what we’re up to and has said it’s okay!).

Dessicated items will return to the ground, fertilizing the earth for the next round of plantings. We will also hang pompoms, not only as decorations but also for birds to use the yarn for building their nests.

Join us at Whole Foods on Saturday, April 26th, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to weave into the loom and be a part of this community project.

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FO Friday: Marla’s Oak Trail Hat

Marla brought in her Oak Trail Hat from the first Botanical Knits book by Alana Dakos. Knit out of Dream in Color Classy, it is living at the shop for a little while if you’d like to take a closer look at this interesting construction.

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More questions about CustomFit? Keep on asking!

We’ve received so much great feedback about the new CustomFit program. Recently, I blogged about how the $18 measuring and consultation fee includes a $10 coupon toward a sweater lot of yarn. A few customers have called or emailed, wondering if it is okay to use yarn from stash for CustomFit.

ABSOLUTELY! So many of us (ahem, me) have random sweater lots that we purchased on vacation or at fiber festivals, without any specific plans for the yarn. Or we have bought it intending to make one sweater, and then months later, when you look at the yarn again, realize that sweater is all wrong. CustomFit is a FANTASTIC way to take yarn you’ve fallen in love with and make a garment you will love equally as much. CustomFit allows you to take the yarn you have and make a sweater that fits you perfectly without the hassle of trying to match a specific gauge or the worry of calculating the appropriate ease.

The $10 coupon toward a sweater lot that comes with your consultation doesn’t expire for three weeks after your appointment. Many of our customers are so excited that they are planning multiple CustomFit sweaters, so if you too catch the CustomFit bug (and we bet you will), you have time to use your coupon.

 

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Getting Started with CustomFit

We had an amazing opening weekend with our CustomFit program, with over 25 people measured and ready to begin. You’ve been following the blog and looking at the CustomFit projects on Ravelry. Ready to get started? We have five CustomFit specialists on staff ready to launch you on this exciting adventure.

To get started, check our our calendar to see when a CustomFit specialist is available. You may schedule an appointment ahead of time, or, you may come in during a designated CustomFit drop-in time.

The cost of the multi-part consultation is $18. That fee includes the initial measuring service and a second consultation in which we will design and generate your unique pattern (read more about consultations here). You will also receive a coupon for $10 off a sweater lot of yarn. The CustomFit pattern itself is $9.99.

One of the best parts about CustomFit is that once your measurements are in the system, they stay there permanently, so we may generate patterns for you without having to do the consultation again and again. Each pattern is $9.99, and the more I learn about CustomFit, the more I marvel that this is a bargain price.

We are really excited about this program. Now that I’ve started, I honestly cannot see knitting sweaters any other way! I spent the weekend ripping out a raglan that I know won’t fit me and planning out three other CustomFit sweaters in addition to the one I have on the needles now. It truly is an exciting new way to knit for yourself!

 

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Epiphany 2014!

Our winter was jam-packed with travel and other issues, and so our annual staff gift exchange was a little late this year. Every fall, we all put a skein or two of yarn from our stash into a sealed bag. Then we all pick a bag and knit (or crochet) for that person with their yarn. This way, we can give a gift of our time without spending money. It’s one of my favorite things about working here, and I love marveling at the beautiful things each year.

I’m starting with what I made for Jessica, because she was the first person I photographed in her gift. Jessica put two skeins of Canopy Fingering in her bag, and I chose to make her two cowls, the Quinta Cowl designed by our own Amy, and a Pretty Thing, designed by the Yarn Harlot. Both of these patterns are available as Ravelry in-store purchases.

David knit an Iron Maiden for Shani out of Malabrigo Sock in Rayon Vert. (This is also available as Ravelry in-store download purchase.)

Over the weeks to come, we’ll be sharing more of what we made for each other.

 

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Spring Fling 2014: Did We Mention SIVIA HARDING?

Even though as I write this it is dark and dreary outside, the promise of spring is there…and our spring fling this year is with visionary author Sivia Harding!

Sivia will be teaching three classes during her visit.  The first is the Heart to Heart Beaded Scarf.  In this class, students will learn the sideways shawl construction that accommodates any amount of yarn, some unusual lace stitches, encounter tips for chart reading, receive strategies for keeping your place and reading your knitting, and practice placing beads with the versatile and no-fail crochet hook method.

This class is 3 hours long and will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 10:30 – 1:30.  Students need to know how to knit and purl, perform basic increases and decreases including yarn overs, and be comfortable with working from knitting charts.  Cost of this class is $75 plus materials.

The second class is the Harmonia’s Rings Cowl.  Learn Cat Bordhi’s Moebius cast on and create a beautiful cowl which features a stitch pattern that creates concentric rings reminiscent of ancient architecture. This cowl sits cape-like over the shoulders, and suits a wide range of body types.   You’ll learn many techniques, including the Moebius cast on, shaping and texture within the Moebius structure, and the charming beaded picot bind off. Customize the shape to fit any body type; even go on to create a tunic or a sweater!

This class is 3 hours long and will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 2:30 – 5:30.  Students need to know how to knit and purl, perform basic increases and decreases, and will have worked a knitting project in the round.  Cost of this class is $75 plus materials.

Annette models her Harmonia's Rings Cowl which was knit by Emily.

On Sunday, June 1, Sivia will delve into sideways lace design.   As Sivia says, side-to-side crescent shaped shawls are great fun to knit, and provide an easy introduction to designing. You will choose between a few basic options to begin your crescent shape, then explore side-to-side knitted lace edgings and choose one to showcase in your shawl.   Students will discuss lace edgings, rates of increase and decrease, and charts.  There will also be instruction on adding beads to lace, how to choose the perfect bead, and placements for beads within your lace design. Sivia promises that she presents a no-fail method of producing a striking and unique lace garment!

This class is 6 hours long and will be held on Sunday, June 1, from 10:30 – 4:30.  Students need to know how to knit and purl, perform basic increases and decreases including yarn overs, and must be comfortable with working from knitting charts.  Cost of this class is $135 plus materials.

Consumable materials should be purchased at Natural Stitches.  We will give you 10% off of things used for your class, and have partnered with Crystal Bead Bazaar for 10% off your beading needs for the classes!

We would love to have you join us!  Please call us at 412.441.4410 to register.

*Thank you to Sivia Harding for providing us with the class descriptions!

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