Friday, March 17, 2017

Springtime in the Rockies

The calendar tells us Spring is just a few days away.  In Estes Park, we KNOW Mother Nature does not have a calendar!  There will be more cold winds, more snow...in other words, more Winter.  This is the time of the year many residents long to move to warmer territory. 

We at The Stitchin' Den know the yearning for warmer weather, and we want to help you through the next few weeks.  No, we won't come shovel your snow!  But we will give you 25% off any pastel item in the shop during the entire month of March. 


Quilters, is there a new baby coming into your life?  You may enjoy this panel and coordinating fabrics for 25% off:       
                                                  





                                                 





Knitters and crocheters, Universal Yarns features a new 100% Acrylic, bulky yarn.  This is a BIG skein...328 yards.  The yarn comes in many colors, but I want you to see these pastels:   Think baby blanket or a pastel touch  to your family room. Worked  on Size 10 needles, this will be a fast project, and you will enjoy the pastel colors as you work.    

 

                               

We have far too many pastel yarns and fabrics to give you more than a small sampling.  Come enjoy the pastels, dream of spring, and save 25% on your purchases.


Besides the Color of the Month, we always have a Project of the Month.  During March you can save 25% off any Easter project, whether it is knit, crocheted, or sewn.



Knitters, if you are not familiar with the Scandinavian designers Arne & Carlos, you will want to come see their classic book, Easter Knits.  This book sets a high bar for any Easter projects AND it's 25% off.  I guarantee you will enjoy it.








Of course, a Ravelry search will give you many more ideas for Easter projects.  There are ideas for hostess gifts:  



If you are the Easter Dinner hostess, stitch up these little baskets for placecards.  They are sure to brighten your 
table and get rave reviews!


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Everyone needs a bunny for Easter.  This crocheted  bunny will  make someone in your life happy.  Do your own Ravelry search for Easter projects, then come buy your pastel yarns at The Stitchin' Den.


We know winter isn't really over in Colorado, but be comforted by the fact that underneath the snow which is sure to come, flower bulbs are preparing to spring forth and brighten our days.  And,when summer comes, we will enjoy warm weather, sunshine, and our beautiful Rocky Mountain surroundings.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The saga is over...



Back in March, 2015, Alison invited me to join a KAL her Knitting Guild     
was sponsoring.  The ladies in her group chose to knit 
"Anne's Carpet Bag" in the book, Green Gables Knits by 
Joanna Johnson.

I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables book series by L. M. Montgomery.  The photos of "Anne's Carpet Bag" brought back fond memories of the beloved book character, so of course, I jumped at the opportunity to knit this project.

The bag in the book was knit with 3 colors of Brown Sheep Company "Shepherd's Shades" yarn.  The Stitchin' Den does not carry this yarn, but Susan agreed to special order it for the KAL participants.  With so many color options available, choosing those three colors was difficult, but I was very happy with my choices when the yarn arrived...

And the knitting began!  The slipped stitch pattern, bulky yarn  and Size 10.5 needles made this a very fast and enjoyable knit.  The bag is knit in the round, so no finishing!  And all went well.  My bag looked VERY large, but I knew it would shrink in the felting process.  I really liked the colors I chose for this pattern.

It was time to go to the laundromat for the magic of felting.  I stuffed old jeans in with the bag to increase the agitation that would make my bag shrink to the size shown in the book.  After periodically checking the progress of the felting process, I was confident the bag was sufficiently felted and pulled the very heavy, very wet project out of the machine and put it into a trash bag.  I felt very proud of my accomplishment as I spread the wet bag out on my kitchen table to dry.

But, I must confess, I had a niggling bit of worry as I tugged on one corner to even it out...This story turned into a saga the next morning, when I realized that troublesome corner was NOT going to pull out evenly.  I explained it by deciding that one corner got stuck in the washing machine, which pulled it out of shape.  And that was my explanation to my knitting friends.  When the bag was dry, this was the lopsided result:  
     
Feeling very downhearted, I brought it to the experts at The Stitchin' Den.  The conclusion was that I must have zigged, when I should have zagged, and that I was to blame for the wonky corner, NOT the washing machine.  My experts each pulled, questioned, and gave support, but they all came to the conclusion the only solution was to cut off the top portion of the bag and reattach it.  Cut my bag???  I knew felted fabric did not unravel, but, really, they wanted to cut it two???  I took the bag home and put it in the closet.

A few months later, I pulled out the bag.  Perhaps I was hoping for a miracle, but the bag was as wonky as before.  Acknowledging that the cutting option was essential was one thing, but actually snipping was another.  I brought it back to the shop, where Donna cut my project into two pieces, while I stood shaking in the next room. The  bag did NOT unravel!

Next, the two pieces needed to be attached....but, how?  I got several suggestions from my coworkers, but none made sense to me.  The fabric was so thick sewing it by hand was impossible.  The bag went back in the closet....

Months later, on a mission to finish some UFOs  in my closet, I pulled the bag out and brought it back to the shop.   This time someone suggested I take it to our local seamstress, who would have an industrial strength sewing machine that could possibly sew through those heave felted layers.  I did just that, and it worked!

Attaching the handles and sewing in a couple pocket was easy.  My saga is over and I love my new bag:    
                    

 I'm thinking Lamb's Pride Bulky for my next bag...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

What happened???  It seems like it was just yesterday that we were making our New Year's Resolutions...and it's now February?  It's time to take stock on how we're doing.  Have you stopped eating sugar?  Are you eating more veggies?  Are you walking 10,000 steps a day? Going to yoga class?  All of these resolutions are important, but we fiber freaks know the resolutions that really matter are those related to our craft.  So, let's talk about it...

When surveyed, the staff and customers of The Stitchin' Den often name a skill they would like to learn or a project they would like to make.  But, overwhelmingly, the resolution to use up stash yarn (or fabric) was at the top of the New Year's Resolution list!   Most of us have a stockpile of yarn (or fabric)  to use "someday".  Whether we fell in love with a yarn, the fabric was on sale, or our friend talked us into buying, many of us have a large collection.  If stash busting was/is your 2017 resolution, you are not alone.  Following are a few ideas for lessening your yarn stash:



Alison knits a lot of socks and has a accumulated a large cache of scrap sock yarn.  She found  the ultimate sock yarn stash buster!  She is making The Beekeeper Quilt, a free Ravelry pattern. This project requires 380 "puffs" for a 3' x 4' quilt!  Ali's goal is to make one puff a day. That is about an hour of knitting per day.  She has finished 150 hexagon-shaped puffs, knitted on a Size 4 needle, stuffed with polyfil, used the Kitchener stitch to seal AND sew puffs together!  That's a huge accomplishment, but she does have a long way to go!  She plans to keep going until she runs out of scrap sock yarn, then add to the quilt as she makes more socks and has more scraps.  Ali says, "Am I mad to have started this?  I'm frightened to stop in case I never pick it up again!"  Good Luck, Ali!

For those of us who are less ambitious, socks, hats, mitts are great projects for using up yarn.  I made the resolution to use up stash yarn by copying the "Knit 52 Hats in 52 Weeks"  group on Ravelry.  Hats use small amounts of yarn, so it takes a while to to use up a sizable amount of yarn, but I love to make hats.  I have nine hats completed since the 1st of January and am pleased with the small dent I'm making in my stash.  And I will have hats ready for gifting and/or donating to charity.  The more yarn I use, the more motivated I become.  

Throws can be a great way to use up yarn and are always a welcome way to keep warm.  
One of our shop models, The "Garter Squish" by Steven West,  is a great stashbuster.  This is a pattern that uses 6 colors of worsted yarn held double,and knit with a Size 15 needle.  If you are wondering what to do with your worsted yarn, consider this pattern/blueprint.  It will be fast and fun and much appreciated when it is completed.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The Slip Stitch Sampler Throw is another pattern that will eat up the yarn you have 
accumulated.  Color work, slip stitches and lots of different yarns will make this a fun stashbuster!  Find it on Ravelry.








Felted items are a good way to use up wool yarn. There are many patterns for felted slippers and bags that would use up lots of wool yarn.  

If stashbusting is your New Years Resolution, start knitting or crocheting! We would love to hear how you are busting your yarn stash!  Let us know in the comments or in person. Remember....there is something fun YOU can make with your stash, and maybe you can add a new technique to your repertoire at the same time!



Friday, January 20, 2017

Only 11 more days to save 25%...

on our January specials.  This month's special color is red; the special project is knitted or crocheted afghans.  The weather this month has been perfect for curling up on the couch with yarn and creating an afghan.

Afghans are among my favorite knitting projects.  They make memorable and cherished gifts for weddings and graduations.  And what fun it is to create a handmade blanket for the new baby!  My husband asked me last week when I'm going to knit a a blanket for him...guess what he's getting next Christmas!

There are many, many patterns available for afghans.  One of our favorite books at The Stitchin' Den is Done by Monday.  







The patterns in this book are knit with double stranded worsted yarn on Size 13 needles.  The book suggests the ever popular Encore worsted.  This is a great pattern book when you need a fast, but impressive project! 



Michelle Hunter was inspired to write Building Blocks and Building in Color because she heard, "I want to be a better knitter"  so often.  Each book is a carefully designed sequence of patterns, with supporting videos, to help any knitter improve her (or his) skills.  

                               




Have you heard of the Knitterati Afghan?  This pattern, designed for Cascade 220 Superwash Yarn, has 30 squares,
created by 30 different designers, to commemorate Cascade Yarns 30th anniversary.  The 30 squares will be released throughout 2017 as part of a mystery knit-along.  This is the first square.  You can read more about this project on the Cascade Yarns website.  The Stitchin' Den has many beautiful colors of this yarn and will soon have the colors called for in the patterns.





We've got dozens of patterns to choose from, from cozy cable knit throws to precious designs for baby's first blanket.  

             

 


Visit The Stitchin' Den soon, save 25%, snuggle up on the sofa and create an heirloom. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy New Year!

 When asked about New Year's resolutions, most of us think about healthy eating, more exercise, etc.   You've made those resolutions by now...and maybe even broken a few of them!  

But, let's talk about the fiber arts world.  Have you made 
some resolutions?  If not, it is not too late.  What are you 
fired up about for the new year?  
                                                                                                     
Do you want to finally knit that cable sweater you have been looking at for the last two years?  Is this the year you knit a comfy blanket for your husband?

Is there a pattern you want to crochet, but need to choose some yarn?

Do you want to learn a new fiber art this year?  Are you a knitter who wants to be a crocheter or vice versa?  Have you always wanted to be a quilter? a cross-stitcher? a needlepointer?  

Or maybe you did needlepoint years ago and would like a refresher course.

Are you trying to figure out what to knit from that yarn you bought on vacation three years ago?

Whatever your fiber arts goals are, The Stitchin' Den is a great resource.  Visit or call  us soon to find out how we can help you reach your fiber arts goals for 2017. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

        
'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the store, 
stitchers were shopping for craft things galore!

"Come here!"  screamed the Stitchin' Den staff right out loud.  
"We have everything useful for you and your crowd!"

This crowd is anyone who gives or receives
Handcrafted items that are certain to please
Those who make, those who wear, those who just like to see
What can be created by you and by me.

So Come!  See our yarn, see our fabric, our kits...

And brighten your holidays with spectacular gifts!
                           


             Merry Christmas to all from 
               the Stitchin' Den staff!


                                


                                            
                                                         


    

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Woolly Wednesday

It's The Twelve Days of Christmas at The Stitchin' Den.  Today is "Woolly Wednesday" Come in today and save 25% off any 100% wool yarn.  Many, many choices of beautiful wool are waiting for you.

There's Lamb's Pride (bulky and worsted) yarn in many beautiful colors:
                                

Our customers' favorite is Mountain Meadow wool.  Yes!  It, too, is 25% off.  Enjoy bulky Sheridan, worsted Laramie or sport yarn Cody in those famous, beautiful colors one can find only in hand-dyes:

                              


The sale includes all Cascade 220, worsted or sport, superwash or not!  There are so many rich, saturated colors in this yarn.  You will surely find something you need/want!

 

These yarns are all perfect for last minute gifts such as mitts, hats, headbands.  But you will also have a head start on the New's Year's bigger projects such as sweaters, throws, jackets or that felted bag you have been dreaming about.






Our shop has many more 100% wool yarns.  Save on Nature Spun, Colors by Kristin, Burly Spun, Baby Ull, Ambiente, Liberty Wool, and Ella Rae Lace Merino and Lush Merino.... Really, don't miss out on today's deals.  Buy your wool today and receive 25% off!  

Perhaps you need this yarn for a last minute Christmas gift, or save it for the big project you have planned for 2017.

We are here until 5:00 this afternoon...don't miss this opportunity!

P.S.  Tomorrow is "Thread your Needle Thursday".