Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feeding the addi addiction

We got in a bunch of new addi Click sets -- the interchangeable needle sets that are a dream come true. Now they come in a great leather case which fits easily into our knitting bags. They are now listed on our website along with individual needle tips (2 to a pack) and cord packs (3 to a pack). While we were getting them put up on the web we ran across an ad for addi that we find hilarious and thought you would enjoy too!

Click here to see the addi ad that has us in . . . well . . . stitches!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Fabric of Our Knitch Lives

Sara shoulders a stash of Amy Butler's fun fabrics

We've moved our beautiful fabric offerings to their own bright spot right in front of our new shop. No more climbing of the dreaded circular stair to find these treasures from Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Tina Givens, Jay McCarroll, Jennifer Paganelli and Anna Maria Horner. They are great for lining your knitting projects or creating projects in their own right. We have some wonderful pattern books too for jiggling your imagination.

The fabric niche at Knitch!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blue Moon Is In the House!

We had to show you our wonderful assortment of Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns on display. We don't sell it online, so you'll want to come into the shop and have at it!

Here's some of our Icelandic 100% Australian wool, hand-dyed and gorgeous. The Think Big Cowl on the mannequin is a quick knit from Vogue Knitting International, the Holiday 2009 issue.

Above is pictured just one spectrum of colors we have in shimmery Silk Loops, a blend of 54% Kidmo (mohair/nylon), 26% silk, 15% wool and 5% nylon. If texture is what you're looking for, you'll be thrilled with this. We love it combined with ThickieThin (see below) for the ultimate in textural contrast.

Above: ThickieThin, 100% wool ultra-slubby yarn
and one of a trio of
Family Hats that Nell whipped up
to show off this fun fiber.

Below: Luscious Single Silk, a 50/50 blend of Merino and Silk
is a single strand of soft
worsted weight, spun just enough to make it yarn.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friends and Family Pot-Luck Thanksgiving

The incredible colors outside remind us that our favorite holiday is just around the corner. We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to celebrating with Knitch friends and family on the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, November 22, in our new home on N. Highland from noon on. Starting tonight, Thursday evening, we'll have a sign-up sheet available at the shop so you can let us know that you are coming and what yummies you plan to bring to share with our knitting community. Or if you prefer, you can give us a call and we'll make sure you and your culinary contribution are on the list.

Kim has ordered the turkey, stuffing and squash casserole. Everything else is up for grabs!

Since our new shop does not have a kitchen, we'll be using paper goods this year. Please remember to bring serving utensils and understand that we will not have the capacity to reheat/keep warm or to wash any dishes prior to your leaving. So bring a container to transport the dirty dishes home (nothing can be left for others to enjoy this year - when you go, your dish goes!). We are looking forward to seeing you at our third Thanksgiving at the shop!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fabulous First Days at 1044 N. Highland

Kim with Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed, who inaugurated
our new store in a big way with three fantastic, fascinating workshops.

We are amazed, exhausted and exhilarated! To think we were open for business on St. Charles on Tuesday and by Thursday we were welcoming folks to our new store on N. Highland . . . well . . . it leaves our heads spinning. Our staff and loyal friends worked way beyond the call of duty to make it happen. Good spirits were overwhelmingly evident the whole time; any weariness was trumped by the thrill of creating this vibrant space.

Not only did we open on Thursday, we also welcomed Jared Flood that evening for the first of three workshops in our new space, which we found very versatile and accommodating to the twenty eager participants. Here are some more photos from our first couple of days.

Marina was the very first to pull up a chair at the farm table.
She loves all the light which makes it that much easier to
what she is doing and to appreciate the colors she's working with

Becky Douville proudly showed us a
just-finished sock she made from Handmaiden Casbah.

Baby Tucker Belle (with Dad) models our Happy First Birthday
hat -- so appropriate on our first day!

Charles Gandy was with us all day, knitting
away while waiting for Jared Flood's workshop.

Suddenly we have this bright and welcoming corner
in the
front of the store for knitting and visiting with friends.
Haley is enjoying a gelato from the shop next door.

Joy and satisfaction are clearly evident in
smiles of Donny, Stephanie, Nell and Kim.

Kim introduces Jared Flood for the first of three fascinating workshops.

Jared greeted every participant personally,
winning hearts as well as minds.

Jared shows a swatch to illustrate a point.

Jared, Jane and Nell exult in a day well-spent!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We've moved!!

Our move has been under wraps,
and now the wraps are off!

We are thrilled with our new shop at 1044 N. Highland Avenue, a few blocks north of our original store. Just across the street from George's Restaurant and Highland Woodworking, our new space is light, bright and all on one floor. (We don't think anyone will miss the spiral stair too awfully much!) Easy access, plenty of parking and right in the middle of what we think is the coolest neighborhood in the city, we're very excited and eager to open on Thursday morning.

Nell and Kim (yes, she is . . . and due in February!)
are getting ready for opening day.

You'll find all the yarns you know and love as well as new ones for fall, needles, knitting bags, books, fabrics, and, best of all, as ever, plenty of inspiration and encouragement. Our farm table is ready and eager to gather knitters; classes and groups will meet as always. We look forward to seeing all our friends and welcoming new ones. Come see us!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nell is a Grammy!

We were getting set to tell you about Nell's having saved the day for young Miles, whose sweet, well-loved knitted cat "Bubbles" was in need of repair, whose loving grandmother, Grammy Lynda from New Jersey, looked to Nell to work her magic on dear, irreplaceable Bubbles.

While we were preparing the photos, Nell got a call from her daughter Melissa in Virginia who has just now -- 30 minutes ago -- given birth to Corbin Michael Jenkins, weighing in at 8 pounds 15 ounces, thus making Nell, officially, a Grammy!

It's a very happy day!

Miles and Bubbles have been joyfully reunited now that he has been pulled back together and decorated with colorful knitted circles -- Bubbles, that is!

And baby Corbin has Nell for a grandmother. . . and Haley for an aunt. What a lucky baby!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Insouciance Makes an Appearance at Knitch and Hopefully Never Leaves

"Insouciance" is defined by Cat Bordhi as "that cheerful feeling you have when nothing is bothering you." That was the feeling that came over us last weekend when Ms. Bordhi came to call and offered two enlightening workshops at Knitch. With her newest book, Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters as our guide, we were able to cast off the resistance to sock knitting, knowing that, armed with Cat's clues, we could knit socks that would fit us, be comfortable and not cause us to go loony. With Cat's guidance, it's all about ease. What a concept!

Cat also offered a workshop called Finding the Fountain of Fresh Knitting Ideas that truly stimulated our creative spirits. The concepts can apply in many areas of life and, once again, we confirmed that knitting is a metaphor for so much more than the obvious!

We used a pair of toddler pants and divided it up into 15 sections. An array of technique names were in a bin that we drew from to randomly determine how each of those sections would be approached: intarsia? entrelac? lace? moss stitch? The result was to work out of the mold of patterns and precision, to design backwards, if you will. Generating so many ideas in this way meant we could back off of ideas that didn't particularly ring our bells -- a much more satisfying direction to work than starting with a blank slate and going forward. This approach to problem solving felt fresh, exciting and new, not to mention liberating!

If you were there, we'd love for you to share any of your thoughts, lightbulb moments and memories with the rest of us. And if you weren't there, we missed you! We have a stack of Cat's new book, freshly autographed, which will give you a taste of what a great workshop experience this was. We can't wait for the next one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love - An Idea Whose Time Has Come . . . And Almost GONE!!

We just found out about this wonderful project (thanks, Schaune!) and we're going to give you the abbreviated version, with links, because time is short!

The idea is to send all those things you have stashed (yarn, needles, notions, fabrics, etc, etc) that you're likely never going to use and send them, in sweetly arranged bundles, to a US soldier, stationed in Iraq. Said soldier, Art La Flamme, has seen a tremendous need by local people for materials with which they can make something beautiful, clothe their children and themselves, and generally get on with their lives. As a result of his observation, caring, and willingness to act, IBOL was born. We want to get in on it and encourage you to do so as well.

The thing is this: all packages have to be in the mail no later than September 8 so they can reach Art and his unit during Ramadan and before they depart from Iraq. The most pertinent links are listed below, in an effort to streamline things for you. If you do decide to participate, please remember the deadline and we'd love to hear all about your experience.

Iraqi Bundles of Love - This is the main website for the project.
The Intro - Click on this one to get the basic story
What to Send - here's what to put in your bundle
Building a Bundle - step by step how to do it, including the brilliant idea of using a flat-rate USPS box that will set you back around $12 in postage, no matter the weight of the contents. (Never mind a few misspellings!)
Sew, Mama, Sew - a blogger's thoughts on the project, put beautifully. (We would do our own, but, like we said, the clock is ticking and we're working on our boxes!)
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Other links - We Googled the project and came up with 20,100 results. The news is spreading!

Note: How do you know where to send your box? It says to leave a comment anywhere on the IBOL site and you'll be contacted with the mailing address. Or you can leave a request and your email in a Comment on this Knitch blog, and we'll send you the information right away. Don't worry, your email address will not be posted to our blog - we have ways of keeping such things private!

Art La Flamme with just a few of the many
Bundles of Love coming his way.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Haley's Work in Progress -- Fair Isle Bird Mittens

Nell's adorable daughter Haley is working on these almost-as-adorable Fair Isle mittens, using a free pattern from Ravelry called Bird in the Hand. She's using Louet Gems (machine washable and dryable merino wool). To keep things interesting, she's planning to do the second mitten in one of the other available patterns -- probably a cat, just to keep a little tension going! We have to tell you -- she started this project just yesterday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who knew you could improve on the Baby Surprise?

Nell will be teaching the beloved Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman in three meetings: October 7, 14 and 21 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. She'll be including modifications you can make to the already fantastic design, such as this collar. Who knew the BSJ could get even better?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Julie's Work in Progress

Julie is working away on this precious baby blanket. We're falling in love with it, wishing we were that lucky baby! She is using Artyarns Cashmere Sock yarn in a garter stitch with size 6 needles. Nine skeins is what it takes.

By the way, if that's too much yarn to buy at the moment, we do have a kit that comes with six skeins of Artyarns Cashmere Sock yarn with an open pattern and bigger needles.

What's so fantastic is that this 67% cashmere yarn is machine washable, which opens a whole new world of possibilities for scrumptious baby things. The other 33% is one ply of wool/nylon twist. But it feels 100% like cashmere. So soft. When are they going to make it possible to feel something via the computer?

Like we said . . . lucky baby! Beautiful work, Julie!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Marina Cashmere Wrap, aka My Next Project

Nell designed and whipped out a fabulous scarf pattern that looks much more complicated than it actually is -- which is not at all complicated! Marina (pictured above) was her inspiration and so she named it for her. It's made with 3 skeins of Jade Sapphire 2-Ply Cashmere (yummmmmm . . .) and feels so good. Hey, if it feels this good in August, imagine how it will feel when the winds of November come!

We have already bundled some of the Jade Sapphire 2-Ply Cashmere (drool below) in anticipation of your wanting to get going right away on your own Marina Scarf. We'll throw in the pattern with your purchase of the yarn.

Marina made her version out of 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden (see below), which lends itself beautifully to the pattern as well. You could concoct your own combination of fibers. We're eager to do it with cashmere and add some sparkly Tilli Tomas something to the mix . . . ohhh, or maybe some of that Artyarns beaded and sequined fabulousness . . .

Beautifully done, Marina! You look marvelous.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Chicken Whisperer -- and the People -- Have Spoken . . . And We Have Our Winners!

We first want to send out an Extra Large, no, a JUMBO size thank you to everyone who participated. You all put in many hours and so much imagination and skill to create chickens beyond our imagining. Not a paltry poultry among them! We know the children at Egleston will be thrilled when they see these masterpieces in the next few weeks. Read on for the results of the decision of Andy the Chicken Whisperer and our People's Choice Award.

Just as one can't rush that first egg laid by one's chickens (Kim is STILL waiting for Egg-ero Uno from her girls), one must be patient for the sensibilities of the Chicken Whisperer to manifest. After long and very difficult deliberation, Andy has arrived at his decision.

(drum roll please) . .

Sally Eggstein and Her Offspring
by Gay Lynn Barson

As those of you who have seen all of these egg-straordinary creations can appreciate, and as fabulous as Sally Eggstein certainly is, the decision was a grueling one to make. So Andy insisted that he had to name four runners-up as well. They are, in alphabetical order:

Call Me Chicken
by a Friend in California

Chicken a la King!
by Diana Thomas

Chicken of the Sea
by Kate Jordan

Polly Pull-it
by Charles Gandy

The Grand Prize winner, Gay Lynn Barson, receives a $25 per month credit at Knitch for a year! Runners-up, you have a Special Prize awaiting you at the shop.

(another drum roll please):

Chicken of the Sea
by Kate Jordan

Congratulations Kate! You've won a $50 Knitch Gift Card.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Knit Chicken Gallery

We've put all the chickens in one coop so you can see them all together. You can even watch in a slide show format! The big announcement will be coming soon . . . .
Click here!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Camp Rocks . . . Felted Rocks!

You take a rock, see, any rock, and then you felt around it and, voila!, a fabulous objet d'art or paper weight! Cate continues to concoct fun and merriment for our Knitch campers. From left: Margaret, Emma, Henry, Cate, Maddie, Hope, Mary and Lauren.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fun Times at Kids Fiber Camp

Natanya, Emma and Annie are having a grand time at Knitch's Kid's Fiber Camp this summer. Here they are proudly posing with dolls they created with fabric and varioius baubles. In the photo below they are joined in cuddles by their fabulous teacher and counselor, Cate Stuart-Hodges.

Below Natanya shows us the knitting
needle tops she made in Fiber Camp. Great work!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Soup-er Chicken with Amazing Healing Powers and Her Sidekick, Dinky the Wonder Chick

Faster than a speeding pullet! Susan Powell's blue and red hero wears a crimson cape with a big blue "C". When she's not out being amazing, she's happy in her alfalfa nest with her trusty sidekick, Dinky, the Wonder Chick, a chick who gives new meaning to the "which came first" conundrum. Both are ready to give comfort and bring their healing powers to their new Egg-leston friend, whoever he or she may be.

Here's a verse, in case you forgot, from the Super Chicken Theme Song (from the show produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott back in the 1960's):

When you find yourself in danger, when you're threatened by a stranger, when it looks like you will take a lickin' (puk, puk, puk, puk)
There is someone waiting who will hurry up and rescue you, just call for Super Chicken (puk, ack!)

Here's how Dinky the Wonder Chick morphs from egg to chicken and back again at will. But which comes first????

Polly Pull-it; Poultry in Motion!

Polly's a pull-toy with a secret! You can tell by the twinkle in her eye . . .

If you egg her on a little, perhaps she'll show you her golden egg!

Charles Gandy, you're a wizard!