July Featured Yarn – Super Sparkle

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Who doesn’t love a little sparkle added to their knitwear? Blue Moon Fiber Arts sure does! Super Sparkle takes sparkle yarn to a whole new level with their revolutionary technique of plying the Lurex into the wool. One continuous filament spun directly into the wool means the sparkle will stay put – not shedding or pulling! We can’t get over how smart this yarn is – Tina truly listened to the knitting community when creating Super Sparkle! Here are our favorite pattern suggestions for this magical fiber:

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Stolen Moments by Shannon Squire is meant to be knit in Super Sparkle. The simple pattern shows off BMFA’s wildly variegated colorways and the addition of a pompom at the ankle is such a fun touch. These toe-up socks do not require a lot of attention which makes them perfect to throw in your bag to knit on the beach, the train, or your local Knit Night.

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Up next is another Shannon Squire pattern – Slay Me. This pattern is perfect for all you Buffy fans! To celebrate the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer turning 20, Tina created some amazing Buffy colorways and we are lucky enough to stock three – Bite Me, Buffy, and Sunnydale. “This asymmetric shawl starts and ends the same way: with one single stitch. Along the way, you’ll play with striping, work some simple yet effective mesh lace, and create a lovely and stretchy edging.”

traceyLastly, we would like to feature our Exclusive Candyland colorways. We initially ordered Super Sparkle just for our exclusives. Once we saw Tracey knit up Lord Licorice’s Bitter Bats in Madder Ribbed Socks by Nancy Bush, we had to add stock colors to our Super Sparkle selection! Simple sock patterns are best for Super Sparkle so you don’t lose intricate patterning in the highly variegated colorways.

We also love the idea of adding a stripe or two of Super Sparkle into patterns like Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry or any of Stephen West’s funky brioche patterns! Have you knit with Super Sparkle? Share your project in the comments below!

Something Special

Emily K here! If you can believe it, I have been at ESK for 3 years. It feels like just yesterday I was trying to figure out what a base was! I’d love to share my journey to ESK and ask for your help as we transition to the new shop in Dallas, GA.
My mom taught me to knit when I was a young teen. I saw her clicking away on cables and remember feeling fascinated that one strand of yarn could be turned into a beautiful scarf. After making a few horrendous scarves, my big red bag of awful furry yarn sat in the closet for many years. Fast forward 10 years (college and a couple of not-quite-right jobs) to me jumping out of my bed at 6 AM, running up 3 flights of stairs, and squinting at the computer to apply for the Social Media & Marketing Manager position at some store called Eat.Sleep.Knit. I immediately knew ESK was something special as no other job posting had evoked such a response…ever! I was ecstatic to get a callback from Erin, did a serious fist pump when I met and realized Erin & Dan are the most genuine, intelligent people in the world, and shed tears of joy in my living room when Erin asked, “Do you want to work here?” I feel so proud to be a part of all this…the yarn, the excitement, the fun, the rainbows, the cats, the joy, and, most importantly, the community! The customers, dyers, and friends are really what light this place up!

Now that I have been here 3 years, I’ve fallen even more in love with this place. My co-workers are fantastic, my creativity is finally encouraged, and I laugh on the daily! So, my brain went nuts trying to think of a way to show my love and appreciate for all things ESK. I thought and I thought…I’m a pretty crafty person so a few decorative projects came to mind. The letters E, S, and K wrapped in yarn, eh. A painting, no. A giant ball of yarn, maybe. Then, I saw this adorable yarn mobile one morning on my daily scavenge of the online knitting world and thought, how can I make this special enough to hang in ESK? Hmm…the light! You all are what light us up so how could I incorporate yarn and our community into something that we could cherish in the new shop?

This is where I need your help! I would absolutely love to use your scrap yarn to make the yarn balls for a mobile like the one seen below! Whether it be your very favorite colorway, scraps from your first project, or that yarn from the bottom of your stash, I’d love to make it (and YOU) a permanent fixture at ESK! All you need to do is send your scrap yarn (any amount will do as the yarn balls vary in size but the more the merrier) to:

Eat.Sleep.Knit.
Attn: Emily K
1060 Cedarcrest Road
Dallas, GA 30132

Please include your name (legal name, Ravelry handle, whatever you’d like) and city/state on a paper/card with your yarn. I will write them on two knitting needles that will stick out of your yarn ball! If you live locally, feel free to drop it off! The end result will look something like a mix between the two pictures below but your names will be added to the needles. You all are so important to us and I’m so excited to see the finished product when all of your pretty yarns combine!

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If you would like to be a part of this project, you get 3 things: my extreme excitement and appreciation for helping, a permanent home at the new ESK shop (not that you didn’t have one already), and the opportunity to be featured in one of our blog posts! Simply write BLOG on the paper/card you send with your yarn and give us a little back story on your yarn…what it was used for, why you love it, etc. You will then be entered into the random drawing to be interviewed by yours truly! I’ll ask you all kinds of fun questions and you can share your knitting journey too! Thank you in advance and stay tuned for a ‘Tour of the NEW Store’ blog post!

June Featured Yarn – Nerd Girl Yarns Winning

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We have not been able to keep Winning from Nerd Girl Yarns on the shelf. This amazing 65% Silk / 35% Linen yarn absolutely flies out of here the minute we get a restock and we totally understand why. A few garments have made their way into the shop via awesome customers and the kitties lose their minds when seeing it knit up. Tracey, who is traditionally a wool-only knitter, cannot believe how much she loves this yarn. The blocked fabric is soft, airy, and light as a feather, making it the ideal summer yarn. Here are our suggestions for this delightful yarn:

Herald by Janina Hallio lends perfectly to Winning with the flowy eyelet repeats. Asymmetrical in design, Herald is knit diagonally with increases on one side and decreases on the other. This type of construction allows you to adjust the size with ease. Simply stop knitting once you achieve the size you desire. Chose a solid or variegated color of winning – any dye-style will show off in this pattern! We love how versatile and simple Herald is and can be worn with a cool tank top, airy tunic, or neat button-down. Use it to add a splash of color to all your outfits!

Winning is THE summer top yarn. There are dozens of patterns that would knit up beautifully and keep you nice and cool as the summer months approach. We saw CherryCokeKissez’s version of Otherside by Melanie Berg and had to share! Knit at a lose gauge, Otherside is a flattering boxy top worked flat, starting at the front hem. We adore the addition of a lacy yoke knit in a contrasting colorway – it truly sets off this pattern!

Leafy Baby Blanket by Leyla Alieva would make a lovely gift for a little one expected in summer. The leaf motif is precious and the pattern comes with written and charted instructions. Though this pattern is written for a sport weight, it would translate perfectly into a lightweight blanket using Winning. Just go down a needle size, swatch, and see what size needles creates the fabric you are looking for. Winning will also provide for a small amount of sheen and is machine washable which is an absolute for babies!

 

Estuary by tincanknits allows you to wear your beloved knits even when it’s not snowy and grey. Bring this lacy shawl with you when you head to the beach to throw over your shoulders when you head to your favorite seafood dive. We love how the designer described the inspiration for Estuary: “An estuary is an in-between place, not ocean, yet no longer river. It is a fertile habitat where sweet and salt water mix,and many species thrive. Estuary combines two lace patterns to create an ambiguous shape: not quite a shawl, yet something more than a scarf.”

Can you tell there are too many wonderful Winning patterns to share? Here is a quartet of patterns that are too good to not mention:

  1. Dulce de Leche by Heather Zoppetti
  2. Byssus Cocoon by Bristol Ivy
  3. Sirena by Julie Turjoman
  4. Poetry in Motion by Elena Nodel

Have you worked with Winning? Maybe started your Summer Yarns KAL? Share with us in the comments below.

Mounds of Mini Skeins

Mini skeins are not only beautiful but they make color play so much easier! If you are planning a sweater and want to add a few stripes, mini skeins allow you to mix and match colors until you find the right combination for the look you’re going for. We have a plethora of mini-skeins so, whether you want a full set or a bundle, you’ll be able to create an amazing colorwork project from the options we stock. Here are some fun ways to use those pretty little minis!

Handmaiden – 5ply Casbah Gradient Pack
Casbah 5ply Gradient Wrap by Handmaiden Yarns

Handmaiden

Hedgehog Fibres – Sock Mini Sets
Outline by Beata Jezek

Picture: Miki Barlok

Lorna’s Laces – String Quintet
Ombre Quintet by Wendy S. Baker

Lornas

Madelinetosh – Unicorn Tails
Buccaneer by Justyna Lorkowska

Madelinetosh

Squoosh Fiberarts – Beefcake Minis
Fruit Stripes Gum Socks by Leah Oakley (calls for self striping yarn but you can use minis to create your own stripes!)

Squoosh 2

SweetGeorgia – Party of Five
Gimli Peak by Jessie Ksanznak

Sweet GA

Three Irish Girls – Adorn Luxe Mini Skein Sets
Building Blocks Shawl by Stephen West

Three Irish Girls

How do you use your mini skeins? Share with us in the comments below for your chance to win a set of Beefcake Minis from Squoosh Fiberarts! The random winner will be chosen and announced on Facebook on May 12th at Noon EDT.

Notes:
-The random winner will be drawn May 12th at Noon EDT
-Your project must contain at least 1 mini skein that we carry/have carried
-To enter, comment the link to your project page on Ravelry in the comment section on the blog, not Facebook
-Projects can be from any year

Meet Andrea Mowry

We are so excited to bring you an exclusive interview with the woman who made the fade what it is in the knitting community – Andrea Mowry. If you can believe it, she’s just as delightful as her designs. She’s humble, family-oriented, and an all-around gem! Read along to learn about Andrea’s past career, pen collection, and precious personality.

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Tell us about yourself. 

I was born and raised in Michigan, and moved back here with my husband about 5 years ago.  After leaving my job as a pastry chef to have our first child, I finally had the space to try my hand at designing knitting patterns. From there, the stars aligned and everything just fell into place! I feel like the luckiest person ever!!

What does your design process look like?
notebookpensMy design process has always felt very organic. An idea pops into my head and there is almost an urgency to getting it onto my needles. If I can’t cast on right away, I make sure to draw a little sketch, as my memory cannot be trusted! I have a lot of notebooks and quite the pen collection, and I always have at least one of each with me. From there I swatch and cast on. I am “write-as-I-knit” designer, so I always have my notebook or laptop next to me to write out the pattern.

What is your most favorite design and why? 

FullSizeRender 3Hahaha – typically, whatever I have just finished is my most favorite because it is what I am currently the most excited about! It’s hard to pick just one, as it sort of feels like trying to pick a favorite child! Lately, I find myself always grabbing my Briochealuscious shawl. It has some of my favorite colors, and perks up whatever outfit I am wearing.

How do you choose what you will design next? 

Ideas just seem to pop into my head! Mostly, I would say I am inspired by yarn. Often times for me, the yarn comes before the design, and tells me what it wants to be. When I’m traveling, I do love to see what people are wearing in different cities and what they choose as their travel clothes. After I get home from a trip I usually have a lot of new ideas, I think just from having a break from my daily routine and surroundings. It gets my brain percolating again!

Who taught you to knit? 

I was really fortunate to have my grandma teach me the basics when I was little. From there, I used books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Debbie Stoller to teach myself the rest.

What designers do you admire?

Oh my gosh – so many! Norah Gaughan would definitely be at the top of my list!

What are you currently knitting?

Well, I am FAR from a monogamous knitter – so right now I’ve got a couple sweaters, a cowl, some slippers, a few shawls, and a hat…to name a few 🙂

How do you balance designing with your personal life?
untitled-49Isn’t this the question? I am a work at home mama, so this one is tough. I am always trying hard to achieve balance, and failing most of the time! Ha! Thankfully, I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and we just make it work. Some days I work too much, and others not nearly enough, but that’s life I think.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love to cook and am really interested in nutrition and the healing power of food. So if I’m not knitting, I’m typically in my kitchen!

Do you have plans to expand? 
Yes! Always expanding 🙂 I am actually beginning to design full time in just a few weeks, and have loads of new collaborations and big projects happening this year. I have a number of book dreams, and hope to tackle that next adventure soon!

Do you have anything you’d like to say to our knitters/crocheters?

Aren’t we so lucky to be part of such an amazing community?? I’m so happy to be one of you, and I hope your knitting or crochet brings you joy each and every day!

We would like to sincerely thank Andrea for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview for us! It was a pleasure getting a glimpse into your life and, if it was possible, we adore you even more. Have a comment or question for Andrea? List them in the comments below!

 

May Featured Yarn – Northbound Knitting MCN DK

MCN DK from Northbound Knitting has quickly become one of our favorite go-to DK weights. We would categorize it as a light DK and find it perfect for everything from small accessories like hats and cowls to larger projects like a mid-weight sweater. After we are done admiring this base for its quality and softness, the fantastic colors that Lisa Mutch has created are next. There are spectacular semi-solids like Vixen & Tidal and vivid variegateds like Metallurgy & Flotsam. All around, we love this yarn so take a look at the pattern suggestions below for inspiration for your next project!

Feminine yet bold, Fortress by Lisa Mutch looks spectacular in MCN DK. The original pattern calls for Merino DK but greensnake (project on right) used MCN DK for the added strength of the nylon & softness of the cashmere.

The superb stitch definition created by MCN DK would lend perfectly to Alicia Plummer’s Campside Cardigan. The eyelets and lace edging will hold up well post-blocking and the ribbed edging gives a great stretch when you wrap up in the lovely cardigan.

We suggest choosing a solid colorway for this project. You may lose some of the pattern if you go with a highly variegated color. The inspiration for Campside is quite magical, “Large dots of golden sunlight swish through the leaves on the trees, dancing in patterns across the bare floorboards.”

 

If you love a beautifully combined mash-up of textures, this pattern is for you! Featured here in the color Saffron, Rambled by Dani Sunshine truly comes to life in MCN DK. The combination of warmth, softness, and structure make this pattern a no-brainer for your next hat.

 

Snuggle up in lace repeats with Dinner in the Eiffel Tower Shawl by Jessie Dodington. See Merrick79’s MCN DK rendition here. She chose to use a bold NBK color which we think was absolutely the right choice. Whether you choose something neutral to go with everything in your wardrobe or a more unusual color to complete an outfit, this shawl is sure to be worn time and time again!

Have you knit something amazing using MCN DK? Share with us below! We love to see what you all are working on.

A Day in the Life of a LYS Owner

Have you ever wondered what it was like owning your own yarn shop? Sounds super fun, right? Picking out yarn all day and researching new dyers would be the best job ever! But, when you really think about Eat.Sleep.Knit., all of this is Erin’s. Every wall, skein of yarn, needle & notion, shelf, pillow, photograph, desk, tape gun…every carpet fiber is hers. What is that truly like? The excitement and fun that we have is what we love to portray because, really, we have fun here but Erin wears so many hats that she might need to clone herself. Read along as we give you a glimpse into a day in the life of a LYS owner – the defeats, the joys, the fire alarms, and the victories!

Herding Kitties 

Erin has the pleasure of trying to herd 9 kitties. Admittedly, we can be a handful. She has to make sure we are all on task, keeping things running smoothly, and, the thing that’s most important to her, making sure we are all taken care of. From day one, her main priority has been making sure all of her employees are happy which involves a lot. Salaries, health care, job security, general happiness at work are all things that Erin makes sure are covered for us. It’s rare to have a boss like that but these are the things that make us come to work every day with a smile on our faces ready to work hard for her!

Ordering

Erin places yarn orders every week – most of the time, every day. It takes a special skill to know how much to order, when to order, what new dyers to add, what new colors will sell, when to discontinue certain bases, and keeping track of it all. She has it down to a science but so much of her time is spent filling up HER cart so she can keep yours full too!

Building a Building 

As you have probably have heard, Erin is building her very own building from the ground up! From clearing the land to picking carpet, she is all hands on deck to make this an efficient-for-ESK and, frankly, super awesome yarn shop. Here are some of her regular duties: talking to the contractor at all hours of the day, dealing with delays like the construction crew bringing in a too-small crane that won’t lift the roof trusses onto the building, and making little decisions that add up to BIG decisions like picking out brick for the exterior or deciding where windows should go. Then, there are the completely unexpected surprises that arise like rain delays or a sinkhole that needs to be filled. Yes, at the end of this process we will have a perfect new building but getting there has definitely been a headache for our chief kitty.

Having a Life

Erin has a darling family that she loves spending time with. Seeing Levi and Molly grow is really what keeps her going. They are both in preschool now, walking & talking, and becoming tiny humans with feelings and needs and A LOT of adorableness. Then there’s her handsome husband, Dan, who she adores but, being a LYS owner, she might get 2 date nights per year. Family will always come first for her and building this new store so close to her home will allow for more memories to be made at the Walker house!

Behind the Scenes

There are so many things that we don’t really notice around the shop that just get…done. Who does them? Erin. She basically manages 5 departments and takes care of the important but forgotten things like: paying the bills, filling out tax forms, payroll, back-end website magic, credit card fraud, banking, stocking boxes & supplies, ordering prizes, customer service, and a million other things that keep this place running.

Firewoman

When things go wrong, we call Erin. The roof is leaking, we call Erin. The internet debacle of 2016, we called Erin. Crystal Springs didn’t deliver our water, we call Erin. We should invest in a red phone (or probably a rainbow phone since, hello, we’re ESK) so we can always have a direct connection. I’m sure when she’s snuggled in with the kids watching a movie, she would like to unplug that phone but, nonetheless, she is always there to put out the fires.

Basically, Erin does it all. At the end of the day, we are a team and we all work together to make sure everything gets done, no doubt, but we thought it would be nice to give Erin a big thank you. Thank you for sacrificing so much of your life so the kitties can have a wonderful place to work and our customers can have a favorite yarn shop. We see how much you do and appreciate it more than you know! If you’d like, leave Erin a thank you note in the comment section below!