FO Friday: Helena’s Afghan

Helena brought in this afghan crocheted with Uptown Worsted. We don’t think she used a pattern but used hexagon motifs crocheted together. It’s gorgeous!

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Cultivating a Gift Stash

This article is from our newsletter earlier this year, but I thought it was appropriate for the holiday season. I am certainly wishing I had a gift stash on hand!

By Emily H.

I’m a pretty voracious knitter.  I like cables, lace, garter, and love knitting everything from shawls to sweaters.  I also love little accessory projects, learning something new, and playing with color and texture.  Like many long-term knitters, my lifetime output has produced far more than I could actually use.  For example, my favorite things to knit are mittens, but I can’t wear more than one pair at a time, much less the 20+ pairs that I’ve knit.  I love to knit fancy shawls and shawlettes, but rarely wear them.  After gathering a list of knit-worthy people, several years ago I started the practice of stashing my projects.

Some knitters talk about shopping from their stash; when it comes time to give a birthday or winter holiday gift, I shop from my gift stash. This saves me from the pressure of deadlines, as well as worrying about immediately matching pattern and yarn with a recipient.  Some of my items have been marinating for several years, but I’m confident that they will find the right person, eventually.

This means that I can indulge my impulsive side when I fall in love with a skein of yarn or a pattern, but am not actually sure that I want to keep it forever.  It means I have no guilt if I finish a hat or scarf that I wanted at the time, but decide I don’t love the finished project on me; someone else will get to cherish it.  When I immediately finish a particular pattern and want to knit it again, I do.  When I want a palate cleanser after a big project, I’ll grab a collection of accessories like 60 Quick Knits and cast on.

Most of my items are relatively small, one-skein projects: a cowl with an interesting pattern, something to show off some handspun, unisex hats, fingerless gloves and mittens in varying designs.  Here’s a selection of some of the smaller items currently in my stash:

Presents!

Clockwise from top left:

Patterns marked with an * are available through the Ravelry in-store download program.

If you’re a process knitter and like the idea of having gifts on hand, consider project stashing.  You’ll likely be glad you did!

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Hitchhiker

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Kelli knit this lovely Hitchhiker scarf, modeled here by Shani, using one skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot Sock. Bearfoot Sock is a fingering-weight yarn in a wool, mohair, and nylon blend, and it is currently on clearance for 20% off at $20.80! Hitchhiker is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase.

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FO Friday: Completed Crackerjacks!

Baseball season is over, which means that our Crackerjacks are finally finished!

Mine is in four shades of Cascade 220. Although the original pattern is for an infinity scarf, my son requested a “regular scarf,” so I grafted the ends together separately.

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Amy, who roots for the Cincinnati Reds, bless her, knit hers in three shades of Cascade Heritage and used texture along with the stripes to show wins and losses.

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Jenn’s is also knit in Cascade 220. She used colorwork to separate out the series, and the red stripe designates the All Star Break!

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We had a lot of fun knitting these, and we’ve seen so many people start scarves for the Penguins’ season. It’s not too late to start one, and we just got in OVER 200 POUNDS of Cascade yarns, so we have plenty of color choices!

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Selimiye Shawl

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Jessica knit the Selimiye Shawl in Blue Sky Alpacas Metallico. The pattern uses about two and a half skeins of this gorgeous DK in a 50% baby alpaca and 50% raw silk. Jessica reports that it’s perfect for showing off the sheen of the yarn and would make a lovely gift. Selimiye is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase.

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FO Friday: Mary Lee’s Go Steelers Throw

We were delighted to get this email from Mary Lee:

I’m temporarily living in Dubai and I try to maintain my connection to the USA and Pittsburgh through my crochet and knitting. Here’s a photo of my “Go Steelers!” Crochet Throw that I finished a couple of weeks ago. My dog, Billie Jean looks good next to it. Now, Go Steelers!

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Thank you so much for the picture, Mary Lee!

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Time to Make the Presents

I was an early adopter of Pinterest, but I confess you will never catch me organizing my pantry or staying up all night to make Halloween costumes for my kids. I am not that kind of Pinterest mom, but I do love it to keep track of recipes and tricks for photography. It’s a beautiful way to organize ideas visually. Recently, I have been thinking of different ways we could use Pinterest at the shop to help our customers.

One thing I thought would be useful for all of us is to create a board with gift ideas. Last year, we made a physical look book to give customers suggestions, but this year, I thought it would be fun to try a more interactive approach. Everything on this board is either a free pattern or available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase. I’ll keep adding to it as the holiday season progresses, and I’d love to hear your suggestions.



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Shop Sample Spotlight: Turtle Pond

The Turtle Pond pattern by Kirsten Kapur is a favorite of ours. A unisex pattern (add the picot cast-on for a girlier version), this cardigan comes in sizes 2 through 16, and is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase. Jenn knit this version in Cascade’s new 220 Aran.

turtle pond

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FO Friday: Two Friends, Two CustomFit Sweaters

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Candace and Nikki showed us their CustomFit sweaters when they came in for our pre-inventory sale. Don’t they look great? Candace is wearing a scoop-neck tank knit in Knit One Crochet Too Cozette. Nikki is wearing an Alight recipe knit in Cascade 220.

Remember, if you’d like to make a CustomFit of your own, stop by the store or call us at 412-441-4410 to get started.

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We are CLOSED for Inventory Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Hey Natural Stitches Friends,

It’s that time of the year when we have to count every blessed thing in the store. We will be closed today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to get this done, but we will be back and running on Thursday, October 30. See you then!

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