Our First Ever Instagram Photo-a-Day Challenge!

Natural Stitches has had an Instagram account for a while now, and we’re happy to say that (as of this writing) we have 334 followers and have made 393 posts!

As an individual, I’ve participated in several “photo-a-day challenges,” which is pretty self-explanatory. Post a photo a day (usually there is a list of things you are to post photos of), use a suggested hashtag, win prizes.  Our friends at Soak have done a couple of these challenges, and it’s always interesting, fun and inspiring to see what our Instagram friends post.

Last month, I asked Martha about doing a photo-a-day challenge, and she said sure.  So Anna and I put our heads together and made a list, and these are the things that we’ve come up with:

photochallengeFINALIf you’re not familiar with the photo challenge, here’s how it goes:  There are 31 days in March; therefore, there are 31 different photos we are asking you to post.  Let’s focus on Day 2, since it’s the second day of our challenge today.

Day 2 is Wool.  I put up this photo:

2I also wrote a little bit about why I chose this photo for “wool” (because the yarns depicted here are all wool!), and at the end of that description I wrote #NSPhotoChallenge (which is the “hashtag” for our game).

A fun fact:  Instagram users can click on the hashtag and see all of the photos that have that particular hashtag.  WARNING:  There was, apparently, a similar hashtag used at a previous time, and it brings up some pretty, uh, different-than-our-shop-sells items.

Using that hashtag search, I can see who all is participating in the photo challenge (and I have an Excel file to help me keep track!).  At the end of the challenge, we will use the random number generator to select winners!    Prizes include a store gift card and something fun from Dream in Color (hence Day 22′s challenge!).

If you miss a day, that’s okay — you can always post “catch up” photos (just please don’t post 31 photos on the 31st day of March!).

If you have a smart phone or a tablet, you can play along, too!  Just download the free Instagram from either the iTunes app store or Google Play, create a free account, and start posting photos!

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FO Friday: Marc’s Exploration Station

Exploration Station was Stephen West’s latest mystery shawl, and I’ve seen some fantastic outcomes. One of the best is definitely Marc’s knit in Smooshy with Cashmere. The brioche stitches just pop! The pattern is available as an in-store Ravelry download purchase.

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Posted in FO Friday, Ravelry In-Store Patterns, Stripey Shawls, Yarn | 3 Comments

WIP Wednesday: Jenn’s Zigzagular Socks

Is this not a perfect match of yarn and Stitched by Sasha project bag? Jenn is working on Zigzagular Socks in Socks that Rock Lightweight in Spacedust. The pattern is free on Ravelry and works really well with multicolored yarn.


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Songs About Thrumming, by Zizmo Bunneh

Good morning.  It is I, Zizmo.


I have been seeing this thrumming business happening and it has been very inspiring.  It makes me want to sing!  So here, for you, I sing.

Maybe more than one song, eh?

(To the tune of that Christmas favorite, Little Drummer Boy:)

Thrum, they told me
tha-rum, thrum thrum thrum









A new technique, you see
tha-rum, thrum thrum thrum








Using wool from fluffy sheep
tha-rum, thrum thrum thrum







Make slippers for your feet
tha-rum, thrum thrum thrum








thrum thrum thrum thrum








thrum thrum thrum thrum









Once you feel these things
tha-rum thrum thrum thrum









You’ll want some.


(To the tune of “Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon” by the Young Rascals:)









on a Tuesday afternoon
will go away real soon

Thrummed slippers feel so much better
in the middle of this nasty weather so…






There ain’t a place I’d like to be instead of thrummin’….








Now, didn’t that make you feel the inspiration?  Don’t you want to do the thrumming?


I can sing more.


Thrumming my beautiful slippers,
hoping for a mitten to thrum…


I’m killing you softly with my songs!
Killing you softly! With my song! About thrums…

about thrummmmms…..





(I am remiss in mentioning the pattern is cadeautje by ysolda teague, available as a Ravelry in-store download.)


Posted in Bunny Nuggets, News, Shenanigans, Shop Pictures, Yarn, Zizmo | 1 Comment

FO Friday: Barry’s Toasty Twisty

Barry’s scarf is a lovely exercise in texture. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted, the pattern Toasty Twisty is free on Ravelry. Boy, do we need two or three good scarves like this today!

barrymarc (5)

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WIP Wednesday: David’s Hitchhiker


I’m shocked: David is knitting something that isn’t gray, blue, or green! David’s Hitchhiker in progress uses one skein of Blue Moon Socks that Rock in Holiday Hen, and we still have this lovely color in stock!

Posted in Knitting, Ravelry In-Store Patterns, WIP Wednesday, Yarn | 1 Comment

OMG It’s Cold: Yarn Store Employee Edition

This morning, I asked everyone on the day shift to snap a selfie to document what we wear on the coldest day of the year. All linked patterns are either FREE or available for purchase as a Ravelry in-store download.


Yvonne is sporting an All Boxed Up Hat and Springerle Mittens in Dream in Color 2-ply, a special edition from last year’s Dream Club. She’s wearing both a cowl and a scarf: the cowl is the Barnwood Cowl in a camel silk experiment from Yarn Hollow and the scarf is Noel in Dream in Color Smooshy.  Unseen is a pair of Hedera socks.


Jessica is really sad about the cold. She’s wearing the Polonaise Cowl and Hat set in Cascade 220 Superwash Aran. Underneath that cowl, she has another cowl, Present, in Malabrigo Worsted. She’s also wearing mittens made with Emily’s handspun and socks knit in the Vanilla Latte pattern.


I’m wearing the Barley hat in the same Dream in Color 2-Ply as Yvonne’s accessories, and a Present in Yarn Hollow Brocade. What you can’t see are a pair of Cable Cuff Mittens Yvonne knit for me out of some festival yarn, and my Through the Loops Mystery Socks from last year in Dream in Color Smooshy.

How many knitted or crocheted items are you wearing today?

Posted in Dream Club, Free Pattern Links, Knitting, Meet the NS Staff, Ravelry In-Store Patterns, Shenanigans, Yarn | 4 Comments

FO Friday: Robin’s Silver Stag Pullover

Robin brought this pullover she made for her daughter and we all gasped. Then we all gasped again when she said she knit it in five days! This is in Berocco Vintage DK, and the pattern is a free Drops pattern.

yoked (3) yoked (4)

Posted in FO Friday, Free Pattern Links, Knitting, Yarn | 1 Comment

WIP Wednesday: Zelda’s Esme Sweater

Our Work In Progress this week is Zelda’s Esme sweater. Knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu in Corbie, the cables really pop! Esme is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase.


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Jack’s Year of Knitting Dangerously

A guest post from Jack….


Normally I am “Employee of the Year” for the Gauge Enforcement Division of the Knitting Police. However, last year, my knitting was filled with tension woes and much agony, including horrible miscalculations of row gauge and the ripping out of an entire sweater (you should cry…I still mourn the loss nightly). So, in an effort to minimize my anxiety level, I have decided to resign from my post with the Knitting Police, and I am going rogue! This will be my year of knitting dangerously. No swatches. No measuring. No ripping. No STRESS. Just copious amounts of joyful knitting.

Here is the plan. I’ll be calling this adventure “Knitting Dangerously with Jack.” Each month I will choose a simple pattern that only uses one or two skeins of yarn and requires little in the way of fit. Then I will choose one of the many beautiful yarns at Natural Stitches that I haven’t had the pleasure of working with. Finally, I’ll grab the needles called for in the pattern, and off I go!

I would love to invite all of you to join me on this blissful knitting adventure. All you have to do is check out the blog monthly for a “Knitting Dangerously” post and then stop into the shop to pick up the pattern and yarn that I have chosen for the month. You probably already have the required needles at home. As a challenge for the brave of heart, Try knitting some or all of the patterns using your non-preferred method. I normally use the English style of knitting (throwing), but I will be knitting all of the patterns using the continental style of knitting (picking).

But Jack, you ask, what if the finished piece doesn’t fit? Well, it’ll fit someone. There are many charities that accept hand-knit items, including Bethlehem Haven (There is a donation bin at Natural Stitches). You might even gift it to a friend or family member. Another great idea is to start a gift stash (Check out Emily’s article in the newsletter), so you will be ready when an unexpected gift giving occasion arises. The whole idea of “Knitting Dangerously” is to relax, let loose, and have some fun!

Dangerously yours,



February Patterns:

This month I started out with a matching hat and cowl combination, Barley and Oats from Tin Can Knits [free patterns on Ravelry]. I knit them using Dream in Color Calm. Calm is a super soft single that has been slightly fulled and will be less prone to pilling. The colors are very vibrant and the yarn itself is very springy and “alive” in the knitted fabric. Stop into the shop to see and feel for yourself.

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Posted in Free Pattern Links, News, Yarn, Year of Knitting Dangerously | 1 Comment