Appease the Yarn Gods

In order to appease the yarn gods, we had to release our classes for the masses before the STASH fall newsletter was released. Feel free to check them out here!

This poses the question: what would have happened if we had angered the yarn gods? Here are few examples of their wrath:

  • You would get more than one knot in a 100 gram ball of yarn
  • Dye lots will be unavailable if more yarn is needed
  • You would lose two of your 5 double point needles, rendering the set useless
  • Sleeves on your sweater will be too short
  • Felted items will not felt/superwash items will felt at random
  • Children will lose one mitten

Yep, it could have gotten ugly. Never anger the yarn gods.

Peace Fleece

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 9.49.20 PMThis aran weight yarn is the tweediest yarn at STASH and there is something so wholesome about it, so hearty and robust, that it keeps on catching our eye! We made the Handful of Berries mitten with it and darn if it isn’t PERFECT.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 7.59.07 AMPeace Fleece is based in the USA but it’s history involved partnering with independant wool producers in Russia to spin together a blend of worsted yarn that reflects a needed harmony between the two countries. Seriously people, this is peace-keeping one stitch at a time. There is nothing nicer than a yarn that warms the heart AND the hands!

At a generous 200 yards per skein, this wool is a lover, not a fighter. Now made with a 75% American/Navajo fine wool / 25% Mohair blend, it has a unique texture that showcases Peace Fleeces lovely colour ways.  

There you go! That is the STASH scoop on our line of Peace Fleece worsteds. Bam!

Three free patterns for our new cotton

Pima Cotton Sport weight at STASHWe just got Cascade Ultra Pima Fine cotton in 10 colours, a lovely sport weight with enough sheen to just make your day. Now we get to daydream about what make with it…

Here are three free patterns on Ravelry that inspired us, we hope that they inspire you too!

newborn hat with a touch of lace – a great summer gift for a new mum

niemeyer shawl – a quick lacey knit with lovely drape

monteagle bag – the perfect knit market bag to squish into your purse

Keep on craftin’ on!

Library Cards!

cardSeptember is Library Card Sign up Month! To celebrate (and to encourage you to visit your local library), here are our seven fave books available in the Calgary Public Library system:

mason dixon book review1. Mason Dixon: The Curious Knitters Guide by Kaye Gardiner & Anne Meador Shayne

Written by a pair of knitting enthusiasts with a fun approach to knitting, this book features easy, inspiring patterns that can be knit or crocheted up from a variety of yarns. From felted, handled boxes to the scribble scarf, you will be hard pressed not to find a pattern that inspires you to pick up your needles and try something new.

All wound up book review2.  All Wound Up: The yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Just about the best darned knitting humourist out there (are there others?) and CANADIAN to boot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has done it again and written a knitting book that is helpful. insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny. ANY book by this author is well worth the read. Her blog, the Yarn Harlot, is a great glimpse into her style, which can best be described as “a real person wrote this who doesn’t mind  some self depreciating humour and feels as irritated/guilty/frazzled as we are when the house is messy.” You will want to be her friend and invite her over for wine and a good discussion about Battlestar Galactica.

Last Minute Knitted Gifts book review3.  Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (available as a library e-book)

Written by the owner of Purl Soho (one of STASH’s fave knitting shops in New York City), this book became an instant classic when released. Filled with luscious photography and clever, quick project ideas, the hardest part is deciding which pattern to knit up first. Also worth checking out is More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Both books are available as e-books!

Simple Times book review4. Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People – By Amy Sedaris

So funny that it borders on offensive (it has a chapter called Crafting for Jesus – you have been warned) , this book is nothing short of insane. Amy Sedaris, little sister to creative non-fiction genius David Sedaris, likes to take the clean cut mythologies of Martha Stewart craftiness and just mangle them. She does kitsch dead pan, isn’t afraid to look like a lunatic while doing it, and even suggests pre-crafting stretching exercises in 1980′s leotards. This book is AWESOME.

teeny tiny book review5. Teeny Tiny Moichimoichi by Anna Hrachovec (available as a library e-book)

At STASH we are big fans of anything knit small, so prepare for your mind to be blown away by … Continue reading

Malabrigo MADNESS

Screen shot 2013-08-27 at 1.51.42 PMI’ll keep this quick so that you can skip immediately to the awesome Malabrigo pattern links (below the photos), but I’m just going to say that Malabrigo RASTA always blows my mind with it’s intense, colourful beauty.

Screen shot 2013-08-27 at 1.52.19 PM

What to knit with it? Here are three STASH Ravelry faves, AND a free pattern from STASH, called Chunky Rib Toque!

  • Ovate, by Tori Gurbisz – a paid pattern, great into to chunky lace knitting, uses one or two skeins, depending on which of 2 shawl options you choose.
  • Drop Stitch Cowl by Abi Gregorio – a free pattern (and STASH fave). One skein will get you a cowl if you modify the pattern to be shorter, or two skeins will get you a generous show stopper of a finished piece!
  • Rainbow Twist by Thao Nguyen – A bulky cable cowl that let you wear your RASTA like an object d’art. It is also free and uses only one skein.
  • Want more ideas? Follow this link to Ravelry and scroll through the plethora of project ideas that have been done with RASTA. Don’t forget to breathe.

    Robo-hack Attack!

    Ohmigod I missed the STASH blog! If you liked to peek at this page but it disappeared it was because we were robo-hacked by evil, purse-selling, converse shoe-lovin’, gambling addicts who inserted malicious code into everything. It was awful.

    But three weeks and a lot of house cleaning later I think we may have nipped the problem in the bud, so to speak. Knock on wood. Cross yer’ fingers. Pray to the blogging gods…

    So feel free to check back and read some new posts or, alternately, see if we have yet again been taken over by the borg!

    Shake off the Flood Mud

    Today our friend Nan contacted us about helping out a knitter who lost her stash of yarns in the Calgary floods, and darn it if she didn’t help us figure out how an odd little yarn shop can do something for flood victims, evacuees, and knitters who just need a break from the sheer madness of the past week?

    So here you go, STASH is having a party…

    STASH Relief Party

    Basically, we are donating piles of lovely yarns from our personal collections, plus needles and pattern books, to those who may have lost it all and to those can’t yet return to what they have. We know how special a STASH of yarn can be, how comforting knitting is, and how sad it must be to have neither in your life when you might really need it most.

    Even if you haven’t been personally affected by loss due to the flooding we want you to attend just to de-stress and feel a bit more normal again! Bring your knitting (or crochet, or other handy crafty thang you do) for our knitting circle and enjoy tea, coffee, and snacks! We want you to have fun at STASH with door prizes and other knitastic shenanigans!

    You can also help by contributing a ball or two from your own stash to the pile so that we can outfit stash-less knitters with inspiring new yarns to replace that which was lost.

    So we hope to see you there and hope that all is well in your world!

    The top 3 summer yarns at STASH

    What makes for a good summer yarn? At STASH our criteria are: that it is a cotton blend so that we don’t die of heat exhaustion while knitting with it, that the yarn lends itself well to summery projects, and that it has a palette to remind us
    Captiva of beaches and sunshine, not snowflakes and hot cocoa. Based on these points, here are our top three picks!

    Number 3Berroco’s Captiva ($7/skein) puts a bit of shimmer into summer knitting! It has a slightly metallic sheen yet comes in soft, natural-based colours (we have six colours) so that whatever you make with it, it’s gonna look pretty darn good!

    Our plan is to knit up this unstructured vest with Captiva (a Berroco free pattern!) and then wear the heck out if it all summer long!

    OuterNumber 2 –  You can get your bulky knitting fix with Outer by Spud & Chloe (&18/skein), a cotton/wool blend that makes summer chunky knitting a pure delight! Using 9 mm to 10 mm needle size to whip up  a light and frothy project, this yarn is perfect for fast summer knits without all of the heavy heat of a regular bulky wool project, and we carry it in 9 colours. From baby blankets to quick summer scarves, this is one versatile bulky knit!

    Number 1 - STASH’s official number one summer yarn pick is Blue Sky Alpaca’s Organic Worsted Cotton ($14/skein). Not only does it come in the most kickass palette of colours (we carry sixteen of them!), this yarn is freakishly soft to boot! At 137 meters it is also a pretty generous skein for such a high quality yarn, and the 4.5 mm to 5.5 mm suggested needle size

    Organic Worsted

    makes it a versatile yarn for any worsted and aran weight pattern. Just when you think it can’t get any better, this yarn isn’t a

    heavy cotton that just drags down – instead it is a proven perky knit (and crochets up extremely well too!).

    This yarn is so beloved a STASH that we are using it for our Summer Drop Stitch Cowl class, and pet it adoringly every time we walk past it.