Marilyn Mueller: Hospice Memorial Fund (02/27/2015)

Many of our regular customers remember Marilyn Mueller: a prolific local artist whose creations have been joyfully given away to people across the United States. Marilyn created for the sheer joy of the creation. She loved to share her colorful works of art with anyone who might enjoy it.

The Stitchin’ Den is proud to offer for sale a number of gorgeous creations from Marilyn’s estate. Come by the shop and browse through these stunning knitted items: headbands, hats, mittens, socks, scarves, throws, shawls. Cash & checks only, please. All proceeds benefit Hospice.

Price List:

• Headbands: $25

• Hats / Mittens / Socks: $50

• Scarves: $150

• Throws/Shawls: $200

Marilyn Mueller was a prolific local artist whose creations have been joyfully given away to people across the United States. Marilyn created for the sheer joy of the creation. She loved to share her colorful works of art with anyone who might enjoy it.

In 2007, Marilyn was diagnosed with breast cancer and during her chemo treatments she would distribute knitted hats to other cancer survivors, doctors, nurses and janitors. It brought her so much joy to see others enthusiastically receiving and wearing these ornaments. In 2008, Marilyn was in remission and moved to Estes Park. CO.

Over the next 5 years Marilyn joyfully created more and more works of art. She taught knitting at the local Stitchin’ Den, learned quilting (and made over 30 full sized quilts), and learned to spin yarn (reveling in the delights of the Estes Park Wool Market). She always had a smile on her face and only created things that were FUN to make. She often shared in giddy delight over her latest creation, “I am just having SO MUCH FUN!”

Marilyn did not own a car and walked everywhere she went. Even on a snowy and blustery day, Marilyn could be found walking to town decked out in a colorful hat, gloves and scarf with a huge smile on her face. She was cheerful to everyone, and it was not uncommon for Marilyn to hand over her scarf if someone said, “wow, that is gorgeous!”

In March of 2013 Marilyn was again diagnosed with cancer, only this time it was advanced and she was recommended to go on Hospice care. Marilyn cheerfully agreed, for she had no fear of death. She figured it would be just another fun adventure.

On May 24th, 2013 Marilyn passed peacefully in her home with a huge characteristic smile on her face. She was deeply grateful to Hospice for helping make her final transition so peaceful and heartful. Her last word in response to “how are you doing?” was “WONDERFUL!”

It was Marilyn’s wish that her creations be enjoyed and used! All proceeds from your purchase will be donated to hospice in Marilyn’s name. Wishing you JOY!!!!

—tribute courtesy of Marilyn’s sisters


Super Bowl Sunday: Who said you can’t eat & knit at the same time?! (01/30/2015)

Are you heading to a Super Bowl party on Sunday? Is your team not playing this year? We suggest making a pair of cozy socks & enjoying a tasty treat. Read on…



 

Make a Pair of Cozy Socks

We have so many great sock patterns to choose from at The Stitchin’ Den. Stop by the shop and purchase your copy today and get started this weekend!


 
One of our favorite patterns is the “Ann Norling Basic Adult Sock” (item #6049)

 


 
Another favorite pattern is “Heather Strips and Stripes Socks” (item #344)

 
We suggest using Neon Now or Ty-Dy Socks Dots yarn. One skein will do for a pair.

PlymouthNeonNow_BlueGreen0003
Neon Now
Blue/Green 0003
PlymouthNeonNow_HotBerry_0004
Neon Now
Hot Berry 0004
TyDySocksDots_CandyDots_6238
Ty-Dy Socks Dots
Candy Dots 6238
TyDySocksDots_Sunflower_6352
Ty-Dy Socks Dots
Sunflower 6352



 

Whip Up a Tasty Treat


 

The southern ladies at the shop recommend this scrumptions crab dip—it has been one of our most popular repins on our “Who said you can’t eat and knit at the same time” Pinterest board.

Louisiana Hot Crab Dip

½ pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells
1 8oz package cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons minced green onions (white and green parts)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden on top. Serve hot.

Serve hot, with hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

Makes about 1½ cups.

Knit One Below (01/09/2015)

We love this new-to-us technique: “Knit One Below”: a new and exciting way for knitters to combine colors, weights, fibers, and types of yarn into versatile fabrics. Shown in knitting instructions as “k1b” (knit 1 below), the technique alternates one simple action, working into the stitch one row below the stitch on the needle, with a knit or a purl.

Doesn’t that sound fascinating? We wanted to know more about this technique, so we’re passing along what we’ve discovered…

Don’t miss our February 13 Free Friday Project: we’ll be using the “Knit One Below” technique to make the Inside-Outside Scarf!


Inside-Outside Scarf

 

The result of Knit One Below is an easy-to-knit fabric with wonderful drape and flexibility that looks equally good on both sides. The color effects possible are also impressive: by alternating two or more colors, weights, or fibers, flattering vertical columns appear on one side of the fabric and a mottled pattern shows on the other.

 

Making the most of this double-sided characteristic, the projects include afghans, scarves, bags, jackets with turned-back lapels, and hats with turned-up brims, all constructed from simple shapes and requiring minimal finishing. Several designs go beyond the basic stitch by adding cables, felting, and intarsia designs.



Reversible Vest

The Inside-Outside Scarf shown above is a free Ravelry download (click on the picture above). The pattern uses 220-300 yards worsted weight yarn (110 yards each of 2 colors: 1 solid color & 1 variegated). We recommend Universal Poems yarn (see photos below).


Here are a few of the other patterns you’ll find in Knit One Below:


Bottoms Up! Bag
KnitOneBelowNonrepeatingSweater
Non-Repeating Sweater
KnitOneBelowPinwheelSocks
Pinwheel Socks

Elise Duvekot, the creator of this technique, has written a book, Knit One Below, available at The Stitchin’ Den.

Elise Duvekot is a knitwear designer whose enthusiasm for novel techniques led to the stitch patterns presented in her book Knit One Below — One Stitch, Many Fabrics. Her inspiration comes from geometrical patterns and from the many beautiful colors and yarns that are available. The style of her work can best be described as traditional in workmanship, while modern in color and design.

Elise also divides her time between the Old World (The Netherlands) and the New World (Canada). In addition to knitting strands of various yarns together as a designer, she knits words of various languages together as a translator. Knitting and translating both provide ideal environments in which to be creative and productive.


Knit One Below Table of contents:

• Introduction: History, techniques, casting on, binding off, increasing, decreasing, yarns…

• Vests

• Jackets

• Sweaters

• Wardrobe Building

• Creature Comforts

• Child & Baby

• Head to Toe

• Stashbusters, Techniques, etc.



Yarn Recommendations for the
Inside-Outside Scarf Shown Above:


Universal Poems Yarn
(color shown: 588/La Lavande)

Universal Poems Yarn
(color shown: 594/Sunset Drive)

Knitting Can be Dangerous (01/02/2015)

Who knew? Knitting can be a dangerous past-time. Read on: we’ll give you hints & tips to prevent injuries…

(from Rebecca A. Watson’s “Ravelings” article in the Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Knits magazine)

First, the bad news: knitting may not be a contact sport, but knitters are vulnerable to injuries that can be devastating to productivity and sanity in the short run and debilitating in the long run. But there’s good news, too: most of these injuries are completely preventable with a few minutes of care every time you knit.

“Knitters are susceptible to any of the repetitive stress injuries, particularly carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuritis,” says Dr. Jeanette Y. Lomori, DC, a knitter of almost forty years. As a chiropractor, Dr. Lomori knows how to keep our bodies as loyal to our craft as our minds are. A repetitive injury can take days or weeks away from your knitting time, so think of the time spent on the following exercises as an investment in your crafting retirement account.



KnittingExercises_find_the_sweet_spot

FIND THE SWEET SPOT. Knitting is supposed to be re­laxing, but if you’re sitting incorrectly, the strain on your body can cause seri­ous stress. Lounge in a supportive and comfortable chair with both feet planted on the floor and your heels aligned vertically beneath your knees, Your knees should be a little lower than your hips. Keep your spine straight and chin tucked back, not jutting forward or nodding down­ward. The idea is to keep your body loose; none of your muscles should be contracting.


TAKE BREAKS! As much fun as marathon knitting can be, it’s important to break it into smaller segments of time. When you hold your body in an abnormal or awkward position for more than twenty minutes, it starts to adapt and consider that position its new normal. Simply taking two-minute breaks for every twenty to thirty minutes of knitting can decrease the risk of repetitive strain injuries. And with those two minutes to kill, why not perform a few simple stretches?

KnittingExercises_take_breaks

KnittingExercises_mind_the_hand

MIND THE HANDS. Show your fingers some love and maintain dexterity with this stretch. Starting with your dominant hand, bend each finger backward one at a time for about twenty seconds each. Be sure to keep your wrist straight.Then bend all your fingers back together for another twenty seconds. Repeat with the fingers on your other hand.


IT’S ALL IN THE WRIST. Your wrists do a lot of the heavy lifting during knit­ting. Keep them limber by bending your entire hand back at the wrist for twenty seconds, starting again with your dominant hand. Breathe mindfully while you’re holding the stretches. Repeat with your other hand.

KnittingExercises_its_all_in_the_wrist

KnittingExercises_wheres_your_head

WHERE’S YOUR HEAD? A good trick to avoid strain in your neck is to look down with your eyes, not your head. If
that’s not easy for you, this stretch will help: bend your chin toward your chest and hold for twenty seconds.


MAY I BEND YOUR EAR? Move your right ear toward your right shoulder as if you’re trying to touch it. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat on the left side and hold for twenty seconds.

KnittingExercises_may_i_bend_your_ear

KnittingExercises_make_your_head_spin

MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN. Turn your head as far right as is comfortable and hold for twenty seconds. Repeat, turning your head to the left.


GET THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD OFF YOUR SHOULDERS. Roll your shoulders forward ten times, then roll them backward ten times, remembering to breathe mindfully.

KnittingExercises_get_the_weight_of_the_world_off_your_shoulders


Knitting should be something we can enjoy late into our years. Take care of your most important tools­—your body and fingers—to ensure that you will.

What is that neck “thingie”? (12/26/2014)

Cowl Girls

Of course, we all know a scarf is a long rectangle. But what is a cowl, a gaiter, an infinity scarf, a kerchief, a mobius shawl, a shawl, a snood? We at The Stitchin’ Den were not sure of the differences in these “thingies” until we received the book, Cowlgirls: The Neck’s Big Thing to Knit (available at the shop!). Along with many incredible patterns, Cathy Carron includes definitions for these terms.

While most of us will continue to call most of these neck “thingies” cowls, it is fun to know the difference.

StripedBalaclava

Balaclava:

Covers the whole head, exposing only the face or even just the eyes.

cowl2

Cowl:

The word “cowl” comes from Latin & refers to a monk’s hood. A neckline that drapes loosely around the neck; a smaller version of the infinity scarf that we can’t wrap twice; it is slipped on and worn more snugly against the neck.

SilverStreakDickey

Dickey:

A type of collar that tucks into the front of a shirt or coat and creates a seamless barrier against wind and cold.

FauxFurDonut

Donut:

A neckpiece shaped like a donut; has an upright shape, similar to a gaiter, but is usually larger and is often knit as a tube for double the thickness.

gaiter

Gaiter:

A high, tubular collar that fits closely around the neck; made popular by skiers. It can also be pulled up over the mouth to keep out wind and sand.

cowl

Infinity Scarf:

A large, closed loop of fabric that can be worn in a variety of ways (worn long, wrapped double, or even wrapped triple); can even be worn as a capelet or shawl if wrapped right. Also called an eternity loop or a circle scarf.

kerchief

Kerchief:

A triangular or square scarf worn as a covering for the head or sometimes the shoulders.

mobius

Mobius Scarf:

A large, closed loop of fabric that has been twisted 180 degrees; a type of Infinity Scarf.

BallNecklace

Necklace:

A knitted/crocheted decorative neck accessory.

shawl

Shawl:

A square, triangular, or oblong piece of wool or other material worn, especially by women, about the shoulders, or the head and shoulders, in place of a coat or hat outdoors, and indoors as protection against chill or dampness.

snood

Snood:

A cross between a scarf & a hood; a unique type of scarf that features extra fabric designed to be draped around the neck like a cowl, and can be pulled up over the head to create a hood. While a snood can certainly be used as a regular scarf, the hood portion makes it the ultimate cold weather accessory. Snoods provide warmth for the head, ears and neck, all at the same time. They are made to fit loosely and comfortably around the head, offering further protection from the wind and cold.

Quick Knit Gifts: Hats (12/19/2014)

Feeling the pressure to finish your holiday shopping? We have some ideas for making quick knitted holiday gifts:

This week we’re featuring hats. Stop by the Stitchin’ Den and pick up some of these nifty gift ideas. Patterns (free or purchase as Ravelry downloads) and yarns available now:



Slouch Hat

(Ravelry)

Cascade Yarns Color Duo
(color shown: 205/Grapey)
70% baby alpaca, 30% merino
Yardage: 197 yds
Gauge: 18 sts = 4″


Otaki Hat

(Ravelry/$6)

Wisdom Yarns Poems
(color shown: 608/Baltic)
100% wool
Yardage: 109 yds
Gauge: 18 sts = 4″


Circular Ridged Hat/Scarf

(Ravelry)

Cascade Yarns Kenai
(color shown: 08/Punk)
100% wool
Yardage: 109 yds
Gauge: 18 sts = 4″


Ode to Spring Hat

(Ravelry)

Mountain Meadow Cody
(color shown: Moss)
100% Mountain Merino wool
Yardage: 200 yds

Quick Knit Gifts: Fingerless Mitts (12/12/2014)

Feeling the pressure to finish your holiday shopping? We have some ideas for making quick knitted holiday gifts:

This week we’re featuring fingerless mitts. Stop by the Stitchin’ Den and pick up some of these nifty gift ideas. Patterns (free or purchase as Ravelry downloads) and yarns available now:



Half-Linen Cozies

(Ravelry)
TahkiDonegalTweed_863_dark_red

 
Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed Homespun
(color shown: 863/Dark Red)
100% Pure New Wool
183yd
4.5 sts = 1″

Jarbo Garn Raggi
(color shown: 15105)
70% wool, 30% nylon
165 yds
4.5 sts = 1″


Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts

(Ravelry)

Brown Sheep Yarn Nature Spun Sport Weight
(color shown: N17S/French Clay)
100% wool
Yardage: 184 yds
Gauge: 6 sts = 1″

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport
(color shown: 123/Lily Pad)
100% Superwash Merino Wool
Yardage: 136.5 yds
Gauge: 22-24 sts = 4″


Shirl’s Mittlets

(Ravelry/$6)

Mountain Meadow Laramie
(color shown: Moss)
100% Mountain Merino
Yardage: 196 yds

Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock Yarn
(color shown: 5685/Dahlia)
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Yardage: 437 yds
Gauge: 28-32 sts = 4″

Quick Knit Gifts: Cowls, Shawls, Scarves (12/07/2014)

Feeling the pressure to finish your holiday shopping? We have some ideas for making quick knitted holiday gifts:

This week we’re featuring a shawl & 2 cowls. Stop by the Stitchin’ Den and pick up some of these nifty gift ideas. Patterns (free Ravelry downloads) and yarns available now:



GAP-tastic Cowl

(Ravelry)

Cascade Yarns Color Duo
(color shown: 202/Sea Storm)
70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool
Yardage: 197 yds
Gauge: 18 sts = 4″


Honey Cowl

(Ravelry)

Wisdom Yarns Poems Silk
(color shown: 737/Ribbon Reef)
25% Silk, 75% Wool
Yardage: 109 yds
Gauge: 4-5 sts = 1″


Zilver Shawl

(Ravelry)

MJ Yarns Simple Sock
(color shown: Purple Dragon)
75% Wool, 25% Nylon (Polyamide)
Yardage: 390 yds
Gauge: 7-9 sts = 1″


One by One, Two by Two Scarf

(Ravelry)

Erika Knight British Blue Wool
(color shown: 32/Steve)
100% Bluefaced Leicester Wool
Yardage: 60 yds
Gauge: 5.5 sts = 1″

Magic in Knitting (11/21/2014)

One of our favorite patterns is the Tequila Shawl, made with Kauni Wool 8/2 Solids, a Danish 100% shetland-type sport weight wool that produces transitional gradient-style color changes when knit up. (Scroll down or click here to see some of our newest yarn arrivals!)


tequila_shawl kauni_yarn

There is something magical about this yarn and this scarf pattern… Donna is making this shawl; as she completes one section of the shawl and starts on the next, the yarn is automagically changing color. What a striking garment; we can’t wait to see the finished product!


Donna’s in-progress / unblocked shawl:

tequila_scarf_d1.jpg tequila_scarf_d5.jpg

Our store model of the shawl:

tequila_scarf1.jpg tequila_scarf5.jpg


Another example of magic in knitting is Universal Yarn’s Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes: a self-striping yarn that knits (or crochets) up beautifully. Come in to the shop and browse through all the colors we have in stock.


UniversalYarnUptownWorstedSpiritStripes_dropshot_519
Dropshot/5191
UniversalYarnUptownWorstedSpiritStripes_mvp_509
MVP/5091

Here are two free scarf patterns (from Universal Yarns):


StadiumScarf
Stadium Scarf (knitted)
ArgyleScarf
Argyle Scarf (crocheted)


 


Check out some of our newest (magical) yarns!

PoemsSilk_ribbonreef_737
Poems Silk by Wisdom Yarns
Materials: 75% wool, 25% silk
Needles: US size 8 Needles
Gauge: 18 sts & 23 rows/4 inches
Yardage: 109 yards
Care: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry
Suggested Uses: Shawls, scarves, cowls, pillows
[color shown: Ribbon Reef/737]
Poems_lalavande_588
Poems by Wisdom Yarns
Materials: 100% wool
Needles: US Size 8 Needles
Gauge: 18 sts & 23 rows/4 inches
Yardage: 109 yds
Care: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry
Suggested Uses: Scarves, shawls, hats, cowls
[color shown: La Lavande/588]
PoemsChunky_embers_901
Poems Chunky by Wisdom Yarns
Materials: 100% wool
Needles: US Size 10.5 Needles
Gauge: 13 sts & 18 rows/4 inches
Yardage: 110 yds
Care: Hand wash cool, lay flat to dry
Suggested Uses: Sweaters, cowls, scarves, hats
Smart yarn self-patterns for easy knitting
[color shown: Embers/901]
Dune_teal_turquoise_58
Dune by Trendsetter Yarns
Materials: 45% mohair, 25% acrylic, 20% viscose, 6% new wool, 4% polyester
Needles: US Size 10 Needles
Gauge: 4 sts/inch
Yardage: 87 yds
Care: Hand wash cold (no detergent); dry cleaning recommended
Suggested Uses: Scarves, cowls, shawls
A wonderful addition to other yarns in a sweater
[color shown: Teal/Turq/Purple/58]

Look at the magic this yarn creates—envision how much fun you’ll have as the color continues to change as you knit this pattern:


UniversalYarnConvertibleCowl

Convertible Cowl
(Ravelry/$4)

(made with Poems yarn)


Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton: Designer Extraordinaire teaches at the Stitchin’ Den on November 16 (11/11/2014)

Register now for Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton’s “Dropstitch Openwork” class: 2-5pm, November 16

Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton
Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton has applied her talent in combining colors and structure to designing handknits.

Hamilton’s artistic background began in her childhood and she started selling her creations in her mid-teens. A true multi-crafter she is proficient at embroidery, macramé and crochet but finally settled on handknitting at the age of 22. Her knitting career started in New York where she developed her talent during the early 80’s. There she designed for the knitting magazines and a private clientele as well as sold her handknits to better boutiques in Manhattan. The high point of her time in NY was a handknit collection under her own label that was sold to select boutiques in 20 states from Florida to Alaska.

The move over the Atlantic to Mariefred, Sweden gave her the peace and harmony to raise a family and develop her business and artistic creativity even further. Cornelia has written numerous articles on Swedish knitters and knitting. She has 12 pattern books to her name, including Noro: Meet the Man was published by Soho Publishing in the fall of 2009. A new booklet, Reflections, featuring the Poems Collection from Universal Yarn was released in August.

(background info Cornelia’s website)

Read more about Cornelia on her website, her Ravelry page, and her FaceBook page.


Alcott
Alcott laptop case
(Poems Reflections)
Dulcinea
Dulcinea sweater
(Poems Windfall)
Steinem
Steinem scarf
(Ravelry)
Walker
Walker hat/scarf
(Poems Reflections)
Leonela
Leonela sweater
(Hamilton Yarn)
Ursula
Ursula top
(Ravelry)
Zoraida
Zoraida vest
(Poems Windfall)
Isadora
Isadora fingerless mitts
(Hamilton Yarns)
Reflections Windfall Diversions Earthworks
Wanderlust NoroRevisited EternalNoro Noro
NoroBook2 NoroBook1 Transitions Passages


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