Monday, January 4, 2016

Botanical Knits 2 Trunk Show




The Botanical Knits 2 trunk show is at Stash, January 4 - 21!


Join us to explore Botanical Knits 2, a book of twelve patterns from California designer Alana Dakos, inspired by the beauty of nature! The garments are at Stash this month for you to view and try on!
Now’s your chance to see these lovely garments and accessories in person, and get help picking yarn before casting-on! We have copies of the book in stock and ready for your project planning 
This trunk show is free and open to all during normal store hours.
The collection includes sweaters and accessories to create an entire lovely wardrobe.

Some of our favorites:
Sprig: We recommend Berroco Vintage or Manos Gloria.  A top down, raglan pullover with striking details. A small sprig of foliage adorns the asymmetrical neckband and sleeve cuffs. Dart-like shaping is added to the bust and hips for a flattering fit.



Ivy Trellis Hat: we recommend Wonderland Yarns Mad Hatter.  Meandering cables and leaves climb up this beret like ivy on a trellis. 



Hanging Leaves Shawl: we recommend The Fibre Co. Meadow.  A lovely, lightweight shawl to wrap around your shoulders. The plain Stockinette stitch body is adorned with an airy scalloped leaf border reminiscent of leaves clinging to branches at the end of the season.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Great Gift Ideas!

We now have 2+ weeks to get our hand knits and crochet projects finished!  We can do it!  If you need some inspiration, here are a few of my favorite quick knit and crochet projects.  They are all fast projects that are fun to make and wear! 


farmhouse slippers
Farmhouse Slippers, by Andrea Mowry. I'm in love with the Mukluks and these are on the top of my list! They knit up surprisingly fast, which makes them a great last minute gift.  You hold two strands of sport weight yarn which delivers a beautiful marled effect, or you can grab a heavy worsted weight yarn in a natural color for a rustic slipper.  With sizes from toddler to adult, you can have your whole family relaxing in comfort!  Yarn and pattern available at Stash!

nina hat


Nina HatThis is a basic ribbed hat made interesting by the lovely texture of chunky Manos Franca yarn and the addition of a moss stitch yoke.  It is very simple and quick to knit and uses just one skein, which makes it perfect for beginners and for gifts!  The pattern is free and the yarn is available at Stash!




apple crisp cowl


Apple Crisp Cowl  by designer Little Monkeys Crochet. The Apple Crisp Cowl is the perfect accessory. It can cozy up a white t-shirt and jeans ensemble, and its non-bulky front lets you add it underneath your coat with ease. The pattern is free and yarn is available at Stash!



silver and spice hood

Silver and Spice Hood by designer Salena Baca.  Girls of all ages will be warm for the holidays with this festive hood! Available in sizes toddler to adult.  The chunky yarn crochets up quick, and the simple texture adds a fashionable look that you can enjoy for years to come!  The pattern is free and yarn is available at Stash!





Don't forget about yourself!  Stop by Stash and fill out a "Wish List"  so you can get what you really, really want!   Your friends and family can then bring the list to Stash and we will help them shop for the perfect gift, like that yarn you've been lusting after, a new set of needles, or a blocking kit so all your projects will be perfectly finished.   





gifts for you or your favorite fiber lover!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Great Gift Ideas!

It's that time of year.  We all know it's coming, but yet it sneaks up on us every time!  Here are a few of my favorite quick knit and crochet projects.  They are all fast projects that are fun to make and wear! 


arika cowl
Arika Cowl, by Jane Richmond. This one skein cowl is fast and fun to knit and absolutely effortless to wear.  Using just one skein of Hikoo Kenzington, it pairs beautifully with a denim top and looks just as fabulous worn over a tank in the summer making it a very versatile accessory for year-round wear. It is an ideal gift knit or instant gratification knit for yourself!  The pattern and yarn are available at Stash!
 


kingsley hat
Kingsley Hat  The Kingsley is a great unisex hat pattern with sizing for either a more traditional fitted look, or a more relaxed slouchy fit.  Our hat was knit using the newest yarn in the Manos line up, Gloria, which is an amazing worsted weight, machine-washable, super soft yarn available in gorgeous colors. What more is there to want?  The pattern and are are available at Stash!



audrey boots
Audrey Boots  by designer Mamachee.  These super comfy slipper boots are sure to become a staple for anyone on your list!  Grab your favorite bulky yarn and big hooks.  I bet you can't make just one pair!  The pattern and yarn are available at Stash!




dewey decimal cowl
Dewey Decimal Cowl by designer Heather Walpole of Ewe Ewe Yarns.  Crochet in a Stash favorite, Wool Worsted, this cowl will keep you warm and stylish while you are reading your favorite book or making your next handmade project!  Did you notice the Granny Square pattern?  Granny squares are my favorite!  The yarn is available at Stash, the pattern is free on Ravelry or on theEwe Ewe web site!






Don't forget about yourself!  Stop by Stash and fill out a "Wish List"  so you can get what you really, really want!   Your friends and family can then bring the list to Stash and we will help them shop for the perfect gift, like that yarn you've been lusting after, a new set of needles, or a blocking kit so all your projects will be perfectly finished.   

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Art of Blocking



There are a few different ways to block your project once it's finished.  The two most common are wet-blocking and steaming.  Occasionally I will steam block, but  I prefer wet blocking and do this about 99% of the time.  
Learn how I wet block at the end of this post!  

I often am asked if blocking is really necessary.  My answer is always "ABSOLUTELY!" it's the finishing touch on your project.  Wet blocking is immersing your project in water and wool wash (we love Kookaburra), which opens the fibers making them bloom.  They become softer and smoother.  

Another reason I believe wet blocking is important: wet blocking = washing.  Think of all the places your project has been while you were working on it: in the car, at the doctor/dentist office, used as a dog pillow, on an air plane, etc.  We'd be fools not to wash it!

Blocking also evens out your stitches, which is especially true for stitch patterns such as lace and stranded color work which need wet blocking to smooth out the stitches to show the true nature of the pattern.  

Here are a few tools available at Stash to help with blocking:


Knitter's Block  The Knitter’s Block is a set of 12” square blocking tiles that snap together like pieces of a puzzle. The Original Knitter's Block kit contains 9 tiles, an instruction pamphlet, 30 t-pins, and 36" × 36" 100% cotton pressing cloth


Sweater Care Kit  The Sweater Care Kit contains everything you need for handwashing and blocking your hand-knit items and all of your fine hand-washables. The kit is perfect for blocking seamless sweaters or accessories which do not require pinning.  Kit contains: two fine mesh, zippered laundry bags (small: 8" × 12 × 8", large: 8" × 22" × 8"), one large super-absorbent towel, one super-absorbent grid towel, inches and centimeters on opposite sides, one mesh pop-up dryer, a bottle of unscented Eucalan wash, and the jute bag


Knitter's Keep  A silicone slap bracelet fits any size wrist and sports a brushed steel-plated magnet. Nickel-plated accessories attach to the magnet to keep what you need where you need it most.  Like T-pins used in blocking!  Kit includes: One silicone slap bracelet, 10 large round stitch markers,10 small round stitch markers,10 opening stitch markers, 2 cable needles, 2 curved-tip tapestry needles.  T-pins not included, but you can get them at Stash!

How to Wet block:

You will need: 1 towel, wool wash (we love kookaburra), a blocking surface (we use the Knitter's Block kit) or a large towel will work, stainless steel pins, and a tape measure

Directions:
1. Fill sink with cool/cold water and add wool wash.  Soak project for 10 - 15 minutes to get the fiber saturated.  Do not fuss with the project too much, you don't want it to felt!

2. Remove item from the sink and gently squeeze out as much water as you can.  Do not twist or ring.

3. Lay a clean, dry towel on the floor and lay your project on it.  Roll the towel up into a tube and press down on it to get as much excess water out.  I like to step on the towel to really get as much water out as I can.

4. Unroll the towel and set aside.  Begin blocking by laying out the piece in the general shape and size it should be.  Use any given measurements in the pattern as a guide for sizing

5. Once pinned i place, let it dry completely.  Once dry, unpin your piece, finish any weaving in of ends, or other finishing work, and wear or gift with pride!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Times Square KAL: Day 1



Did you start your Times Square today?  We had fun starting ours at Stash!  If you are knitting along with us at home here are a few tips:

1.  Knit a gauge swatch and wet block it to get correct gauge!
2.  The pattern refers to using a fancy "alternate cable cast on"  I chose to use this one, if you choose to use your good ole stand by, the long tail, it will be just fine!
3.  We also found it easier to keep track of your pattern by placing stitch markers on Row 1 (after the ten rows of garter) as follows:  (P1, K1) 7 times total (or 14 sts) p1, place marker here, knit recommended sts, place marker here,  continue in pattern.

It's fun to see the many ways people knit, the colors and yarn they choose, and the accessories they need.  I managed to remember to take a few pictures of our KAL at Stash

I'm a little old school, I like to use the paper pattern and write notes all over it, I also need my stitch markers ready.  Kate on the other hand seems to be very minimalistic, just her project and IPad.  Margaret, like me, has all her supplies at the ready.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Times Square KAL


Times Square Knit-a-Long starting September 2nd!

This sweater will be your absolute go-to piece for the season and maybe for the rest of your life!  It has timeless style, great fit, and is knit with the most amazing yarn!  Times Square is worked in one piece form the bottom of the back to the bottom of the front.  There is minimal seaming and no picking up stitches.

Join us in person at Stash 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
or Knit-along with us on our blog where we will be posting our progress and tips!

knitting my swatch for the times square KAL
My swatch is knit and ready to go!  Do you have your swatch done yet?  We can help you with that!  Swatching is one of the most important things you should do before you start any project.  The next most important thing is to block that swatch!  Read all about the importance of blocking from Courtney and Kate of Kelbourne Woolens on their blog.

times square by norah gaughan
knit with knightsbridge beaverden
times square knit by kate
with knightsbridge poole
For more information visit our web site: www.stashcastlerock.com

Monday, August 17, 2015

We Love Gradient Packs!



knerd string and wonderland gradient packs
Gradient Kits make me swoon, but I often wonder "what do I make with this?"  I've heard the same form many of you, so I've come up with a few ideas for us to knit or crochet!

my antarktis shawl using
wonderland yarns gradient kit


augusta shawl crochet by
Manos dul Uruguay yarns