FO Friday is on Vacation!

The Finished Objects are on vacation this holiday weekend, but we will be back next week with more beautiful projects from Natural Stitches customers. Want to be on FO Friday? Bring your completed project made with Natural Stitches yarn and/or pattern next time you come to the store. We love to see what you’ve made!

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Wee Envelope

Even though we personally have no babies around right now, when Ysolda Teague released Wee Envelope, we all let out a collective  SQUEEEEEEEEE. Frequent Customer Courtney asked to knit the sample, and she quickly whipped out the 0-3 month size with a skein and a half of Mountain Meadow Wool Cody. The final project is wonderfully soft and squishy.

wee envelope (3) wee envelope (7)

Wee Envelope is available individually or as part of an e-book as a Ravelry in-store download purchase. The e-book also contains Wee Cria (coming soon as a shop sample), and Wee Liesl, which has been featured here as a shop sample. I desperately need someone in my life to have a baby so I can knit these as well!

 

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CustomFit: Updates, Fun Things, Fall Sweater Knit-Along

It’s Monday.  I’m feeling less than energized today, but that’s just because it’s Monday.  As I’m looking at the calendar, though, I realize that 8 weeks from today, I will have returned from the New York Sheep & Wool festival (aka Rhinebeck), probably having bought some Cormo, maybe a book, and who knows what else.  Anna and David can vouch for the fact that when I’m at festivals, I generally buy very, very little yarn — sometimes none at all.

Anyway!  Let’s do some math:
7 days/week x 8 = 56 days
56 – 3 = 53

I HAVE 53 DAYS TO KNIT A SWEATER FOR RHINEBECK!*

Now, truth be told, I am likely just wearing my CustomFit worn-open cardigan that I knit from BMFA’s BFL Sport, but I know that Anna wants to knit a Rhinebeck sweater, and I’m sure that there are others of you out there, too, that need a push a gentle nudge to start knitting a sweater for fall, which would also serve as a great layering piece in the early winter.

Fall-Festival-KAL-231x300

Enter the Fall Festival Sweater Knit-Along.  Technically, this started on August 15th, but we’ve had other things on the brain (wrapping up the yarn crawl and getting ready for both the Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn tasting and our visit with Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochiland).  Besides — 53 days to knit a sweater?  Easy peasy (as long as you’re not talking laceweight, I think…).

In order to make things easier over on the CustomFit side of things, Amy and Jackie (those smart cookies) have made it so that 11 of Amy’s popular designs are built into the CustomFit LYS site — meaning that you no longer have to purchase a recipe AND the CustomFit pattern and refer back and forth to both pieces of information.  Now it’s all right there for you.  The process is still the same — get measured** (if you haven’t already been measured), make a swatch in your desired yarn, purchase the pattern from us.   Then cast on and knit!

The 11 designs available are:

Alight, Arm Candy, Courant, Cushing Isle, Cushman, Nantasket pullover, Sebasco, Shore Ledges, Trimmings (both versions) and Wintry Mix.

I’ve convinced Anna to start the Cushing Isle using some Tosh Vintage that’s in her stash.  Easily do-able in 53 days – and yes, that includes the seaming.

What can we inspire you to knit?

 

*Upon seeing this number, Anna fell to the floor, reminiscent of Redd Foxx’s character Fred Sanford.  I’m surprised she didn’t yell “I’m coming, Elizabeth (Zimmermann)!”

**Cost for our measuring service is $18.  Please call before coming in to make sure that a CustomFit-trained employee is available to take your measurements.  

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FO Friday: Lois’s Touch of Lace Cardi

Lois shared her Touch of Lace Cardi with us! Knit in Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme, this cardigan is perfect for the cooler temperatures we’ve been experiencing this summer (or even for helping you deal with overly enthusiastic air-conditioning)! This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

Touch of Lace

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Harvest Moon Shawl

David knit this gorgeous Harvest Moon Shawl out of one skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu, making it the perfect project if you are curious about this lustrous wool and bamboo blend. Harvest Moon is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase and is written for worsted weight yarn but easily adaptable to other weights.

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Dream Club signups are open!

Natural Stitches is very excited to announce that we will once again be participating in the Dream Club from Dream in Color! What is the Dream Club, you ask? It’s a club-exclusive colorway dyed on a different yarn base each month, with an accompanying pattern.

Ornata

Ornata by Susanna IC (November 2013)

Here are the details. Natural Stitches is offering the full Dream Club subscription price at $214. There are three ways to join:

  • If you prepay for the entire six months, you will receive a 15% discount, making the six month prepaid cost $181.90 (savings of $32.10!).
  • Want to join but you’re on a budget? No problem! Commit for the entire six months and you will receive a 5% discount, making the cost $203.30 (savings of $10.70!). We will ask you to pay for the first skein at the time of sign up; future skeins can be paid for at the time of pick up.
  • Afraid of commitment? You can take your chances of finding a skein on the shelf, and pay $35.67 for that month’s yarn and pattern.

We hope that you’re as excited about the Dream Club as we are! This year’s designers include Laura Nelkin, Connie Chang, Andi Smith, Kristin Omdahl, Ann Weaver, and Amy Loberg!

Signups are happening NOW! If you are interested in either the prepaid or “commitment” option, PLEASE call or stop by so that we can get you on the list. Our initial order is 10 skeins, and we’ll need to know if we have to increase that!

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Knit All the Tiny Things!

In September, we will be hosting Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochiland.   Anna last visited us in March of 2013 for a book signing and chat.  This time, Anna’s going to be hanging around and teaching us some of her knitting and photography tricks!

Depending on her flight schedule, we are hoping to host a meet and greet/signing with her again on Friday evening, September 19.  On Saturday, September 20th, we will have two classes:  In the morning is Knitting a Tiny Gnome.  In the afternoon, Anna will present a photography workshop.  This will be presented as a creative exercise, with students working in teams and telling a story with the photos they take.  If you have a camera-ready phone, all the better!  *This class is full of opportunity for shenanigans – my favorite thing!

IMG_0886

On Sunday, September 21, Anna will host a workshop on designing your own knitted toys.  This will be largely a discussion/lecture class, and students are asked to come with (very rough) sketches of toys they’d like to make.

To Recap:

Friday, 9/19
Meet & Greet – further details TBA
Saturday, 9/20
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Knitting a Tiny Gnome
2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Photography Workshop
Sunday, 9/21
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Toy Design Workshop

Cost of each class is $75 (plus materials in the case of the tiny gnome class).  If you take the Tiny Gnome and Photography workshops together, you will receive a discount of $25, making the classes $125.

Sign ups are open now!   Call the shop at 412.441.4410 or stop by to register.  And remember to stay tuned for details on the meet & greet!

 

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FO Friday: Kim’s Guernsey Wrap, Reinvented

You may remember Kim’s Guernsey Wrap from a previous FO Friday post; Kim enjoyed knitting this pattern so much that she modified it to turn it into a baby blanket!


Kim_blanket

Kim knit the blanket using Gemini from Yarn Hollow, which gave the finished blanket amazing stitch definition!

Kim_blanket(2)The original pattern, Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood, is available as a Ravelry in-store download.

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Whither Shall We Wander?

Not since the Color Affection Plague of 2012 has a pattern been so viral here at Natural Stitches.

Enter Strandwanderer.  Julie and Yvonne walked into the shop after dinner on a Friday evening and saw a customer working on one.  Julie went home and cast one on.

Julie had originally started with a color of Frolicking Feet but decided it was too busy, and changed to Alegria from Manos del Uruguay.

Yvonne cast hers on the next day.


Yvonne’s Strandwanderer in a Socks That Rock mill end.

Kelli saw Yvonne’s project and cast on the next day.


Kelli’s project is Socks That Rock Lightweight in River Rocked.

Anna, when did you cast on?  It was a couple of days after we all went a little crazy…

Anna’s project, also in STR, colorway is Skyrocketing Puddle Jumper.

Jack had cast on with a skein of madelinetosh from his stash; however, the colors were too close in value and the pattern of the strandwanderer was lost.  We know he’ll cast another on soon…right, Jack?  Jenn has queued it.  Annette has queued it.  We think that other employees might have put it in their queues, too, but aren’t telling us…

But it’s not just the staff here.  Customers have joined in the fray, too!

Robin’s using STR in Room Without a Roof:

Angie is using Socks That Rock in Bejeweled:

Olivia is using Socks That Rock in Muddy Autumn Rainbow (her project is camera shy).

If Ravelry is any indication, we aren’t the only ones smitten with this project.  But we’ve learned a few things along the way:
- Choose a yarn that has at least 3 color changes, but no more than 4.
- Choose a yarn that the color changes are bold — you don’t want something where the colors are similar in value.
- While the pattern recommends a 2.5 mm (US1) needle, you can easily go up in size.   Yvonne’s using a 6 and still getting a great fabric.
- Knowing how, or learning how, to knit to and fro would be a boon when doing the striped section of the shawl.

Want to jump on the bandwagon?  The pattern is about $4 (2.9 Euros), and is available through Ravelry’s in-store download program!

 

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Shop Sample Spotlight: Shaelyn Shawl

Our wonderful yarn rep for Mountain Meadow Wool, Andrea, knit a Shaelyn in Mountain Meadow Lilura. Lilura is a beautiful fingering weight alpaca and wool blend, made with fibers all sourced in Wyoming. Shaelyn is available as a Ravelry in-store download purchase, and can be adapted for different weights and yarn amounts.

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