Friday Five – 12/27/13

I’m writing this week’s Friday Five from a motel room in Wytheville, VA, our regular stop on our two-day drive home from Christmas with family. It’s a bit more chaotic this year than normal with the dog and the 6-month-old, so I’m betting I’ll surprise a few of the ESK ladies by actually remembering to make this post!

By the time Christmas rolls around, I am usually feeling like a slave to knits of necessity – gifts, shop models, special requests – so nothing is more fun than casting on for a new project when I get home. A project for fun, a project meant to please no one but me. Which usually means either worsted weight, or colorwork, or both! Here are some options I’ve been pondering:

green-memoriesGreen Memories. A sweet colorwork hat that looks fabulous in every project I see, whether the knitter chose a dark or light background color. This one takes six colors of fingering weight yarn; I’m sure I’ve got more than 6 coordinates in my stash, and I love how quickly hats knit up!

I’m partial to the green palette, but should mention this is the project that is really selling me even more on this hat!

 

laminaLamina. It’s worsted weight! It’s striped! It’s got a cowl collar and a fun shoulder construction!

How have more people not knit this yet? Dare I be one of the first?

Goodness knows I’ve got plenty of worsted weight yarn to choose from, and I am sadly lacking in sweaters that fit me these days. Hrm, possibilities…

 

 

horatioandoren_z_500_medium2Horatio and Oren. These are just fun. I don’t need them, I’m not into owls or anything, but these are adorable and they look fun to knit, and I love that the pattern designer took the time to make charts for TWO kinds of owls.

And who can’t use a new pair of cute mittens?

 

andersAnders. Again, this is all about the fun of knitting it. My child is pretty hot-blooded, we live in Georgia, and since he’s not really independently mobile yet, sweaters mostly just get in my way so far. He doesn’t need a fair isle cardigan, at all, but he might get one.

Two colors, calls for Malabrigo Arroyo or any comparable sportweight, and kids’ sweaters knit up sooo quickly!

claritycardiClarity Cardigan. Looks warm, looks cozy, looks like a relatively mindless, chill out sort of knit. Bonus points for not having a million buttons, and using sportweight which is sort of the perfect weight for a wrap sweater in Georgia.

This is probably the most useful of the bunch (for me), which sometimes means it will be the one I choose, and sometimes means it will be last on my list – we’ll see what kind of mood I’m in when I get home! (And if I finish this shop model by then…)

Friday Five – Total Last-Minute Gift Edition!!

It’s December 20th. Christmas is five days away. And now – just now, this very minute – is the time you realize that you actually DO want to make a few handknit gifts this year, but what is there time for??

Oh, hello, welcome to my every December 20th, and thus, the Friday Five, Super Duper Holy Crap Last Minute Gift Edition.

sheridanskaterSheridan Skater’s Hat is a cute hat that only takes one skein of a chunky or bulky weight yarn. This stitch pattern will be especially flattering for hand-dyed yarn, and it’s deceptively simple. And nothing is more festive than a pom pom!

 

 

 

 

rainbowtwistArco Iris, how much do I love thee. Let me count the ways. Rainbow Twist cowl. Shown in Malabrigo Rasta in Arco Iris, but would also look awesome in any of their other painted colorways, like Solis or Plomo for something more understated. Takes just one skein and you can surely knit this baby in a single night!

 

 

mittlessfingersOh, I know, what ARE these, right? Mittless fingers are a gift that likely only a knitter would appreciate, which means they’re just the thing for your knitting friend who was last on your gift knit list because she is a KNITTER so she will understand when you tell her you meant to knit the second sock but, well, here is the first one and the rest of the skein of yarn.

And yes, it might be faster to knit fingerless mitts than mittless fingers, but would it be as fun?

tccozyhat

 

TC’s Cozy Hat is another bulky weight hat that features two of my favorite things – stripes, and earflaps.

Stripes do require buying two skeins, but then you can knit TWO quick striped, earflap hats. Adorable for siblings, cousins, or besties. This hat should fit all children, plus adults with small heads!

 

 

 

tinytrees

Tiny Trees should be on every knitters’ tree this year, and next. Especially next. In fact, let’s knit a few of these next week to get us started for next year, so we’re not frantically searching these blog posts!!

 

 

 

 

And speaking of December 20th, please remember that we will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, 12/24 and 12/25, both in the store and online. All orders placed after noon on 12/23 will not ship until 12/26! If you need a gift certificate last minute, please order the web version which will be e-mailed to you immediately as no one will be at the shop to field e-mails or phone calls.

So long, Sock-A-Long!

Well, it’s finally here, the end of the Fall Sock-A-Long! I thought for sure I could make one pair of socks in roughly two months, but in reality I only managed one. Well, I got the second sock started, but not very far!

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You may have already seen that Erin left the rest of us in the dust here at the store. Kudos for not falling victim to Second Sock Syndrome (or Last-Minute Holiday Gifts)!

 

 

 

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But I think we put in a pretty good showing, with Tiffany, Jessica and myself all managing to finish one sock! That counts for something, right?? We tried, we really did!

 

 

If you haven’t already, be sure to head over to our Ravelry group and post the best photo of your finished Sock-A-Long socks as your contest entry! If you didn’t finish or you participated using non-ESK yarn, we’d still love to see your progress in the original Sock-A-Long thread!

Between now and Friday, December 20th be sure to vote for your favorite pair using the Agree button! (Voting ends at noon Eastern Time.)

A big Thank You to every participant! Do you think we should do this again? Do you have suggestions on how we can make this more awesome in the future? Please let us know, either here or on Ravelry!

Thanks again, and Happy Knitting!

Friday Five – Last-Minute Gift Edition

The busy holiday season is upon us, and those of you celebrating Christmas only have 12 more days to finish your gift knitting! Are you freaking out as much as I am? If you are like me, you told yourself this would be the year of no gift knitting, and now in the eleventh hour, you are kind of wishing you had time to knit a few gifts, anyway.

Well, don’t be entirely like me and decide now is the time for a laceweight stole measuring 8 feet long. I’ve been favoriting some great projects that should be easily knittable in the time we have left – in fact some should be so quick you even have time to order yarn AND knit them!

2079408126_02a79e24c3_zMy old standby is Hannah, and I’m not counting it as one of my five, because I am pretty sure I talk about this hat somewhere online every single December. As a habitual ponytail wearer (seriously, even when I think my hair is down, it turns out I’ve gone and pulled it up), I love these hats, and they are seriously fast. Sit down on a Friday night with Netflix, and one skein of Groovy and three hours later, you’re hunting for buttons and your gift is nearly done. I keep a stock of basic 1″ wooden buttons to sew onto these!

ovateOkay, now we’re getting advanced. These patterns can all be knit (probably) in less than a week. If you haven’t even realized it’s December yet, you’ll want to stay-tuned for next week’s posts and just continue ignoring the inevitable for now. Ovate is a good project for those of you who’ve planned a bit ahead – this cozy shawl takes two skeins of Malabrigo Rasta and should knit up quite quickly while impressing the pants off the recipient!

 

correspondentscarfPodcaster is a really special-looking cowl that can be knit up in everything from a sportweight yarn like Malabrigo Arroyo to an aran weight yarn like Tanis Green Label, depending on what you have on hand and how much time you have! Nothing’s better for gift knitting than a pattern that can adjust to you, right? This one will probably look best in a more tonal colorway, and I think the pattern is lovely for showing off a special skein or two of kettle-dyed yarn.

 

correspondentsI know, I know. I said no fingering weight stoles. But this is just a scarf! It only takes a one skein! And did I mention how there are still a whole **twelve days** to knit it? Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf is pure elegance, just the thing for a skein of Mini Maiden or a couple of skeins of Finito. Imagine the luxury! Imagine how spoiled your recipient will feel! We so have time for this one, right?

 

turnstileFor your cool customers – Turnstile. Pick your yarn, pick your gauge, pick two colors and go. The sample is knit up in sportweight yarn, so this is another good choice for Malabrigo Arroyo or one of my personal favorite, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport. It’s knit in one piece, in the round, in stockinette stitch. If we’re talking bang for your buck, it doesn’t get much better. Downside: I’m pretty sure when I’m done, I’m going to need one for myself.

 

 

winterfestThese Winterfest mitts are just too ridiculously cute for their own good. Knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino, they’ll work up fast and adorable, and I’m guessing you could get at least two pairs, if not three, out of your single skeins of each color. And I love the wee thumb gussets!

 

 

starmakingStarmaking – A Tutorial is your bonus pattern this week. Sweet crocheted stars, perfect for ornaments, gift tags, or a little knitted something tucked into a gift bag. This time of year, ain’t nobody in my house got time for that, but maybe you do, and if so, these really are adorable. Maybe one day, I will master the art of having all of my ducks in a row during the holiday season and then someone will find a few of these in their (handknit) stocking.

Gift Guide

Whether you’re a new knitter or you’ve been a yarnaholic for ages, there’s bound to be someone in your life wanting to get you knitting-related gifts.  Invariably these folks are completely stumped by the doodads, pointy things, and strings – so we’re here to help!

Feel free to just link this to all friends and relatives in the gift-giving spirit! 😉

So let’s break this down into categories! First up: Notionskittysnips_3
Many notions are extremely useful even if you have more than you really need – let’s say stitch markers, scissors (especially of the cute kitty or puppy varieties!), and of course tapestry needles! I leave my good rust-proof T-pins close to where I do most of my blocking, but they invariably get moved when I think I’m going to do some sewing. These kind of things make excellent stocking stuffers!

14oz_main_3Soak wash is a great way to keep your knits (and other delicates) looking their best for years to come! We have a variety of scents and sizes from single-use packets up to bottles with enough to last upwards of 75 washes.
Next: Accessorieshermosa2_3
Need some way to hold all the doodads, all your projects, or just want to show off your ESK love? Check out the variety of stylish Namaste bags which could easily be used as purses, carry-ons, or even diaper bags! Contemplate your next project over your morning coffee with the Eat.Sleep.Knit. mug which has a free pattern printed on the side! If you’re looking to spread the word about your favorite yarn shop, consider our various t-shirts or brand new tote bag designs!

Third: Needles & Yarn
It can be a little tricky to give needles or yarn as gifts since everyone’s tastes are different. Not to mention that for the non-knitting gift-giver, it can be intimidating to look at all the variety we carry and have no idea what their recipient would like. So here’s where the ESK wishlist really shines – add the needles or yarn you *really* want to your wishlist, whether it’s a whole set of interchangeable needles, a sweater’s worth of yarn, or just the needle/yarn you need for your next project. This way you’re sure to get the perfect gift!

BothTotesFullAnd last but not least: Gift Certificates
Not everyone loves gift certificates. Maybe they aren’t personal enough, maybe they feel like a last-minute choice. But I think having the freedom to choose what I’ve been pining for without repercussions to my wallet is the best gift! There is always a skein (or 12!) that I’ve had my eye on for a while but need to save my pennies for mundane things like groceries. Gift certificates let me have the yarn without the guilt! Everybody wins! 🙂

Actually last: The Wishlist
I’ve mentioned our Wishlist a few times here so I should probably lay out the details for anyone not yet savvy to this amazing feature! When you make an account on eatsleepknit.com you can add items to your cart (buy it all now!) or your wishlist (save it for later!) – AND you can share that wishlist with any potential gift-givers! Either via a direct link or by searching for your email address.

Full Disclosure:
I haven’t hung the new Customer Love bulletin boards yet. At least it’s bringing my office some much-needed holiday cheer! (And yes, those boxes do hold the cork boards that are waiting patiently to be hung on the wall!)
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Sock-A-Long Status

Happy Monday, ESK fans! It’s December. No, really, this is even the SECOND week in December already! Where has the year gone? How is there only a week left in the Sock-A-Long?!?

Remember how excited we all were to knit those socks? Remember how we were all so sure we could finish them in a little over two months? OK, so Erin wasn’t exactly sure, but I was a bit overconfident that I would have them done in no time. And here I sit, with only two-thirds of one sock finished while Erin’s already on her second sock! I guess that’s what happens when I suddenly decide I have all kinds of time to knock out an armload of gift knits – poor sock gets ignored. 😦

But from the looks of our Fall Sock-A-Long Fun thread on Ravelry, a lot of you are making fantastic progress! Which is great because there’s only ONE week left to be eligible for the contest! Next Monday (December 16) we’ll open the Sock-A-Long Finished Object thread for everyone to post beautiful photos of their *completed* socks. We’ll give everyone some time to get the photos up and there will be two prizes – one based on user votes and the other for participation chosen at random. Stay tuned to the Ravelry group for more details!

In other news:
Please remember that we are always working our hardest to make your shopping experience the best it can possibly be, but there aren’t many of us. So we ask that if you have customer service questions you email us directly (eatsleepknit @ eatsleepknit.com) rather than ask us here on the blog, on our Facebook page, or in our Ravelry group. We do try to keep up with all the contact points, but we can only guarantee you’ll get the help you need with direct emails. Thanks!

Another big Thank You to everyone sending us lovely notes and cards! I’m about to hang up a *second* bulletin board in our front room so we can show all of them off at once! Not only are they really sweet, they’re making me quite jealous of wherever y’all buy your stationery! So adorable!

If you’ve waited until The Last Possible Moment to make holiday gifts, keep your eyes peeled for some more quick project patterns coming later this week! (FYI: If they’re Hanukkah presents, you’re officially late! :D)

And lastly, if you have a topic you’d like us to cover on the blog, please let us know! We’re a creative bunch, but since we’re here to help you – let us know what you’d like to see from us! 🙂

Meet the ESK Staff! Pt. 5

Is everyone having a good holiday season? Things seem to be settling down around the shop – as far as settling down goes what with trying to restock all the shelves in the Post-Black-Friday-Haze! 🙂

So naturally it’s time to get back to introducing the wonderful staff who work so hard to get you that perfect skein (or three)!

Today, it’s time to meet Jessica, the Yarn Slinger!

What type(s) of crafting do you do?
Knitting, sewing, and I’m also learning to crochet and weave.

How long have you been knitting and how did you learn?
I’ve been knitting since 2010! I learned by watching YouTube videos.

What’s your favorite color?
I love red!

What’s your favorite yarn that we carry?
Malabrigo! So many fun colors and bases to choose from!

What’s the Finished Object you’re most proud of completing?
My Mary Mary Cardigan

English vs. Continental?
Mostly English, but Continental is fun sometimes!

What’s your favorite “advanced” technique?
I really enjoy knitting cables!

Who is your favorite designer?
Tiny Owl Knits and Andrea Black

What’s your favorite non-yarn-related hobby?
Video games!

Where is your favorite vacation destination?
Anywhere with a beach (or a tiki bar)!