Thursday Night Knitting

Well, this blogger forgot her camera so no photos of knitting. If you weren't at the sit n' knit, you missed Kathy's stunning tilted duster in Peruvia, Rose's mohair shrug, Ellen making major progress on her entrelac sweater, and much much more.

Also, this Saturday begins Crochet Month. Get hooked on crochet!

Weekend Wrap-Up

One of the Knitting School's alumni completed this stunning felted bag with needle felted details.

The purse is so impressive it gets two photos.

Have a great week!
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Thursday Night Update

Fran's latest creation is this red elf hat which Patty is modeling. Fran's also creating a striped hat.

Carol brought in her lace shawl knit in Zephyr.

It's so pretty, here's the close up photo of the pattern.

Lastly, Carol finished the nose on her snowman. Here he is!

Happy Knitting!
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Check out Kelly's baby cabled sweater she showed off this past weekend. She was at the shop selecting buttons and motivating her friends to learn knitting.

As well, check out the Noro Striped Scarf a la Brooklyn Tweed pattern in Noro Silk Garden.

Congats to all the stix-n-stitchers that attended Martha Stewart knitting show today!
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Knit Your Bit

For those who stopped by our shop you may have noticed the "Our Boys Need Sox: Knit Your Bit" poster which is a print of the American Red Cross poster that was printed in 1918. If you want to learn more about how knitting and American history intersect, check out the American Red Cross website which discusses the "knit your bit" tradition as well as containing some free patterns that were published for Americans to knit garments for soldiers.

If you go to this website click on picture #4 to see a young boy knitting from our hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.

If you feel inspired after reading Red Cross and about Clara Burton, check out some of our Schaeffer Yarn in the colorway named after this humanitarian.

If you feel super inspired after reading this site, check out The Operation Homefront site where volunteers can knit a helmet liner to be sent to one of our soldiers serving abroad. If you do decide to knit a helmet liner, please read the instructions for the requirements and pick something soft for our boys.

Thursday Night Update

A good group of us celebrated Valentine's Day at the Thursday sit n' knit at the shop. Joann dropped off some Valentine sweets for us.

Kathy (left) brought her completed shawl in Cameo yarn modelled by Sheila (right). Stop by the shop to see this new store model. When Lisa touched it she said, "Oh, it's so smooshy".

Kathy and Carol were in the mood for the Valentine spirit dressed in red with heart brooches.

Kathy brought her moose over to model his top down cardigan. He hung out at the register for a little bit.

Ellen made an appearance her lovely sweater made out of Noro.

We hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine's Day! We did!
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Fair Isle: Steek

When you get past the initial fair isle project say a hat or fingerless gloves, and you want to make a sweater that has the words steeking in the directions, don't panic.

Steeking is the intentional cutting of your knitting. Intentional. It is intentional because you can create the v-neck, armhole openings, or convert a pullover into a cardigan. If steeking doesn't sound familiar, click here for a youtube video.

Check out this tutorial for information about steeking. If you need more information and very detailed Eunny Jang, the editor of Interweave Knits, goes into great detail on her blog about steeks as well images for the visual learner. As well, you can enjoy her Endpaper Mitts pattern.

Only two more days of Valentine's Day patterns left, so today's free pattern link goes to Knit One Pearl Two's Heartwarmers.

Two more days...

In the meantime, distract yourself with some Valentine's Day trivia.

  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets

  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.

  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine's Day

  • 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.

  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine's cards with teachers, classmates, and family members

  • 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.

  • It wasn't until 1537 that St. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday. England's King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday in 1537 for the first time.

So, what are some additional patterns to celebrate Valentine's Day?

Hearts Baby Blanket

Creme Heart Socks

or how about...

Heart Cloth Pattern

Happy Knitting!

Squares for Thom

Ravelry is a wonderful website that is a great resource for knitters and crocheters. While, Ravelry is still in beta testing you can register your email on the waiting list to receive an invitation. On Ravelry, you can store a database of your stash, needles, and books. You can also search patterns to see what yarns people have used and what modifications they have made as well you can seek out yarn to see what people have made with it. Then, you can stop by the forums and participate in several focused discussion groups, like NJ Represent, Zimmermaniacs, and even the stix-n-stitchers.

The founders of Ravelry are Casey and Jess. In November or December 2007, Casey's dad, Thom, was injured in an accident. To show our love to Thom, who we affectionately call Grampa Rav, Ravelry members from across the United States and Europe have been creating 4x4 squares that will be seamed together into a large afghan.

In addition to the 15 pictured above, we have had several additional squares dropped off afterwards.
Squares have been made by: Remi, Maven, Debra, Patty, and Sheila to name a few. We want to thank everyone that contributed a square for Grampa Rav and we hope that this blanket keeps him warm during his recovery.
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Weekend Wrap-Up

Sunday was busy as she taught her Beyond Scarves class in the morning and the Sock class in the afternoon. The sock class turning the heel and doing quite well.

Eva and Ed stopped by this Sunday for some dedicated knitting time and to peruse yarn. Eva showed off Ed's latest crocheted creation.

The yarn and the pattern give the illusion of autumn. Here's the close up photo.

Ellen taught herself entrelac which was inspired by a sweater Anne wore one day in the shop. Of course, the sweater is classic Ellen, bright and cheerful.

Lisa is doing well on her first sweater Mr. Greenjeans in the Ella Rae Classic. She is progressing on the cable at the bottom of the sweater.
Tomorrow, we will post the status of the afghan for Tom.

Several days to Valentine's Day and if you want to make your loved one a knitted hat, check out this pattern.

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red is in the air....

"Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Oh, this would be so much easier if I wasn't color-blind!”

Every year, Valentine's Day, we think of chocolate, red, roses, and the color red. Red is often associated with energy, love, passion, and anger. Red is also a symbol of courage and bravery. Red is a symbol of power and yet can signify danger.

In China, it is customary for the bride to wear a red dress. Traditionally, Australian Aborigines painted items they wanted to protect red. Red painted amulets and rubies were thought to be protection against the "evil eye". Americans roll out the red carpet to vip's (very important people) and we paint the town red when we celebrate.

According to Crystal Cure, "Put some red in your life when you want: increased enthusiasm and interest, more energy, action and confidence to go after your dreams, protection from fears and anxieties "

Combine red with green and it evokes Christmas. Combine red with a cool blue to provide contrast and tone down the red (red, blue and white is the common colors of several country flags). Pink mixes well with red as does yellow as long as the colors are not too close in value. Red as an accent to grey is lovely.

Looking for another pattern to make a knitted heart to give to someone special? Check out Mochi Mochi's pattern here.
So, roll out the red carpet for this striking color in a knitting project today.

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Sampling the Yarn

Remi crocheted a market bag from Berroco's NaturLin. The pattern is Hadley which is from the new NaturLin booklet. Stop by the shop and check out this new store sample.

NaturLin is a new yarn that arrived this week in the shop and is available in a few colors. The rayon/linen blend knits at 24 stitches over 4 inches. The NaturLin book has some great patterns including the Salem throw.

Have you heard of Comfort? This is a great yarn for baby knits or afghans. The yarn is nylon and acrylic and so soft. It is a worsted weight yarn that knits either 18 or 20 stitches over 4 inches. We have a wide assortment of colors.

It is also a great yarn for dog sweaters. Yes, dog sweaters. It is machine washable and has over 200 yards per each skein which means that most projects will be reasonably priced. This is the Buster sweater, a free pattern on Berroco's website, modeled by Maya (Maya is working on her modeling skills). The Buster sweater is currently being worn by one of the teddy bears in the shop so next time you stop by you can see it.

A few more days and Valentine's Day will be upon us and if knitting a knitted mug cozy didn't appeal to you then how about knitting little hearts? One skein of Peruvia will yield 15 hearts (which I imagine if you didn't want to felt would be great stuffed with lavender or catnip for kitty cats).

By the way, we would love to hear from you about future topics you would like to have featured on the stix blog, so please leave a comment. At the bottom of each individual post, click the link on comments and drop us a line.

Have a great weekend!
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Thursday Night Update

Well, a lot was happening tonight. First off, check out the cool socks knit up in Zitron Lifestyle. They are incredibly colorful and have great color changes.

Ellen finished her top down sweater for her son! This is Ellen's first top down sweater and it is knit in Cascade Superwash 220. It is colorful which is Ellen's signature trademark. Her son asked her to make him a sweater so this sweater has special meaning.

Lucy came in with this beautiful tweed sweater that she designed herself. It is hard to see in this photo, but try clicking on the picture for a larger perspective, the cables framing the shoulders are such a delicate touch.

Lastly, Fran came into the shop displaying samples of necklaces she made from yarn purchased from the shop. Fran is currently working on a sweater for Piglet, more on that as the sweater develops.

Later this week we will post photos of new samples crocheted from Remilter using Nature Linen and a dog sweater knit in Berroco Comfort.
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Fair Isle continues

Fair Isle continues at stix-n-stitches as more people stopped by with their completed Fair Isle hats. It is interesting to learn the history of this technique which originated in Fair Isle which is located in the United Kingdom and gained its greatest popularity when King Edward VIII at the turn of the twentieth century. It was reported in one location he wore a fair isle jumper (that's British for sweater) while playing golf and the garment became extremely popular.

To learn more about the history of Fair Isle, click here.

In one week, it will be Valentine's Day. In honor of Saint Valentine and Fair Isle, you can now knit a Valentine Mug Cozy.

New Yarn: Colinette

We received new yarn from Colinette. Colinette is a yarn company based in Wales where they handpaint yarn in various colors and textures.

Let's begin discussing Giotto a ribbon yarn that would make a beautiful summer wrap or shawl. It would be perfect for the Yo! Drop It" scarf from Debbie Stoller's Stitch N' Bitch Nation. This super bulky yarn knits at 11 stitches over 4 inches on a size US 11.

Cadenza is a new yarn to Colinette. Cadenza is a superwash dk weight yarn. This yarn has robust color which paired with it being superwash makes it a great knit for a baby sweater. On size US 6, it should get a gauge of 22 stitches to 4 inches. Each skein has 120 yards.

Lastly, let's discuss the new colors of Jitterbug. It was Belle who first mentioned Colinette added new colors to their sock line, Jitterbug.
We added these semi-solids to our existing lineup.

We've added yellow, orange, red, tan, and pink. Colinette has another technical name for these colors which sound like cinnabar, vattican pie, or salty dog, but a little difficult to connect with the actual color. Jitterbug knits at 27-28 stitches over 4 inches.
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New Arrival from Asia

We received some new items from Lantern Moon including the Fish Tote bags. The bags are made by Cambodia landmine survivors and the materials are recycled from fish feed bags. We have several colors (blue, yellow, and pink) as well as messenger bags (not pictured).

In addition, we also received rice paper baskets in several different sizes and colors. We love these baskets for yarn storage, toting projects, or purely decorative purposes.

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Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend was packed as some folks participated in classes and others stopped in prior to the Superbowl event for the night. Sunday had her Beyond Scarves class in this morning working on their sweaters. In the afternoon, Barbara Gilchirst taught a class on Beaded Bracelets.

Barbara brought the most amazing homemade decadent bars that are tiny morsels of nirvana. They were so delicious I had to take a picture and post on the shop blog.

Moving onto the class, Barbara also brought in some samples in various stages.
They are all so sparkly and pretty.

Here's Kathy and Carol in the beginning of the class in the process of making their bracelet. Most people left the class close to finishing the bracelet.

We also took a picture of two participant's bracelets as both made the same colorway. We were curious to see how choosing the width, different size beads, and the difference in thread color would impact the look of the bracelet.
If you are interested in the bracelet kits pictured in this post, check out Earthfaire to purchase one of stew or soup bracelet kits.

Have a great week, we will announce new yarns and bags in the shop this week.

Go Giants!
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New Yarn: Sundance

Classic Elite has released a new yarn called Sundance. This yarn is a cotton and microfiber blend which knits at 20 stitches over 4 inches. The colors and material would make a great summer knit. A few people have stopped by asking for spring yarns well this is the beginning of what is coming into the shop.

By the way, the preview of the Spring Interweave Knits is up, click here to see the new patterns.
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