Friday Five – 1/31/14

Wow, what a week – can’t believe it is already Friday! As you may have seen, Atlanta’s been making national news for our amazing powers of traffic jam and a few of us were even a part of it, with only one out of four employees who left the shop at noon on Tuesday actually making it home with their cars. But the roads are clear again, we’ve all been reunited with our vehicles, and everyone here is safe and a bit stir-crazy from our snow days. Which means we’re powering out those orders y’all have been placing! As of this writing, nearly all of the orders placed through today are on the mail truck finally winging their way towards you, and we really appreciate your patience and the kind thoughts our customers have sent our way.

But it wouldn’t be Friday without my rambling pattern ideas, right?

PAT-ChevStripe-Photo2_mediumAll of this cold means I’m really still on a scarf and cowl kick – anything to stay warm. Knitterella’s Chevron Stripe cowl is super chic and includes an option for a basic two-color cowl or a four-color infinity cowl.

Chevron Stripe is knit in the round to create an extra squooshy reversible fabric, and even better, no weaving in ends!

 

 

tungataA lot of Stephen West’s patterns are a little more … fashion forward … than my usual style, but I absolutely love Tungata. Folded over double, this cowl is warm, reversible, and so pretty!

You can knit this with either two or three colors depending on how complex you’d like the design to be, and the reversible back can be a solid color, striped, or really anything you like.

 

babyblanketI absolutely love this Walt-Painted Baby Blanket (maybe I’m in a Chevron phase) from Fibre Space (which is a really great yarn shop to visit if you’re ever in Northern VA!).

You can knit this with really as many colors as you’d like and you only need two skeins for the main color and 1 for any contrast colors. The texture is a great feature and I kind of love this color combo!

Shibui-Gradient-Ravelry-2_medium2Gradient is a free pattern from ShibuiKnits that indulges many of my knitting guilty pleasures – an easy, fairly mindless knit, fuzzy super-soft yarn, and a gradient rainbow of colors.

Gradient uses three strands of Silk Cloud held together in four colors to create this circular gradient beauty – periodically you’ll change the color of just one strand at a time to achieve this effect.

 

 

 

nurserycatAnd then there is the latest in this series, Nursery Cat! We are big fans of Window Cat at ESK, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some Nursery Cats around the shop soon.

Q1 Trivia Question #4

Last week’s question was, “Eat Sleep Knit started in Erin’s spare closet. How large in square footage is ESK’s entire space (retail & warehouse combined)?”

The answer? 14,000 square feet, or 13,880 for the many of you who are far more exact than I ever am! If you submitted any answer between 13,500 and 14,500, your yardage has been credited and we’ve e-mailed you to that effect. And congrats to the Stitchosaurs, who trounced the other teams in trivia participation this week!!

Our first commercial space was 3,600 square feet, and it was huge and I thought we’d never fill it up, ever, but the price was right. It only took two years before we were busting at the seams and we were back on the hunt for more space. We probably only currently use about two-thirds of our space, but hopefully that means we won’t grow out of it so quickly this time. (two years and going strong!)

Which brings us to this week’s question – since we do have all this extra space at the moment, it seems a shame to waste it. Question #4: What is the name of the other business that shares our space with us?

As always, e-mail your answers along with your ESK username or your full name by Friday to trivia at esk dot com. (You’ll need to spell out the URL though!) Correct answers received by Friday will earn 50 extra yards towards your individual totals!

Friday Five – Polar Vortex Edition

It’s cold, y’all! It’s so cold! And I know, it’s winter, it’s supposed to be cold, yada yada yada, but this is Georgia and this isn’t how we like to roll. One astute Yarnathoner informed me last week that it was at that moment colder in Atlanta than in Moscow. So indulge me, my house isn’t very well insulated, more than a decade south of the Mason-Dixon line has thinned my native-New-Englander blood to an embarrassing degree, and my fingers are kind of numb.

I want mittens and cowls and warm sweaters, because after years of winters with a low of, say, 30 degrees Fahrenheit, I don’t own a real winter jacket anymore.

(Oh, I also want you to send in your trivia answers! Today’s the day! Trivia at esk (spelled out) dot com! And I apologize for any confusion over the e-mail address but spammers are to blogs like moths to a flame so we are speaking in code here, but please visit us on Ravelry if you are having trouble understanding the right address.

suchawintersdaySuch a Winter’s Day really encapsulates everything I feel about the season right now. Worsted weight, wool, big warm neck, just, cozy. So cozy I will probably forgive it for being such a pain to knit – all-over textured patterns, lovelovelove the look, lovelovelove the warmth, always dread the knitting a little bit.

These kinds of wide, almost boat-neck-style cowl necks are great, too – I am one of those people who feels like they’re chocking in turtlenecks, but if you see above, I am also always freezing any time it dips below 65 degrees, so this is a pretty classic sweater that will get a lot of wear for the effort. I’d knit it in something that will wear well since it seems like such a great every day sweater.

bluesandcardiBlue Sand Cardigan is something I favorited last week, when it was less cold so this seemed like the perfect beautiful accessory for a brisk evening. It still is, of course, though looking at it right now makes me cold!

I love what you could do with this color-wise – knit it in color blocks as shown, or maybe do one color for the main bit and a contrast color for the pockets and hems and button bands, or even in smaller or random striping patterns!

The sample is shown in a DK cotton, which would be perfect for fall/spring in a warmer climate, and of course wool makes all of us happy.

hedgerowjamI’d never seen Hedgerow Jam until a lovely Yarnathoner posted a picture of her in-progress “new-to-you” KAL project, but I queued it immediately. If you haven’t tried mosaic knitting, it is seriously fun – colorwork without any of the work! – and this pattern is quite stunning.

Worked in a superwash worsted weight, this project is a great stashbuster for those of you into that kind of thing. And it’s cozy. Did I mention cozy?

butterflycowlSunriver Reversible Cowl is, well, reversible. (It’s also free, until 5PM today.) Which gives us two advantages – one is it’s reversible. The other is that means the fabric is doubly-thick, which will keep our necks even warmer. And it’s knit in Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine, which is seriously soft *and* seriously warm. Let’s just say that I’m grabbing a skein to go with my leftovers from my Portside.

pinctadaPinctada. Cables, cables, and more cables. Give me all the cables. Seriously, why don’t I own more cowls?

This one takes just one skein of Pashmina and turns it into an elegant, classic bit of knitting that your co-workers will ooh and aah over. Knit it in a neutral like the sample, or pick something bold like new color Purple Basil!

Meet the ESK Staff! Pt. 7

Aren’t we done meeting the store staff by now? Not yet! 🙂 There are still a couple of lovely ladies to go and we hope you enjoy getting to know each of us a little better! Today we’d like to introduce our sage Saturday star: Jackie!

What type(s) of crafting do you do?
Knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing, have tried painting and drawing, needlepoint, and other crafts over the years. I taught myself to knit and crochet, which are my main crafts nowadays. My mom could cook, but she was not a crafty person.

What’s your favorite color?
Life is in color, therefore I love all colors! One week I may lean toward red, blue, green, purple, hot pink; whatever catches my eye at the time.

Where do you find inspiration?
All over! Life, friends, yarn.

What’s the Finished Object you’re most proud of completing?
A Kollage sweater pattern I have been working on for a while and a sweater I made for my husband. Also a shawl pattern for the Think Outside the Shawl Contest where I won second place in my category. {Editor’s Note: Jackie doesn’t have a lot of projects up on Ravelry yet, but we love the Shibui Cliff Hat she made!}

English vs. Continental?
English, I’m left handed and learned by looking at books and magazines (before the internet).

What’s your favorite “advanced” technique?
I enjoy doing colorwork but also enjoy cables and lace and trying new techniques.

What’s your favorite knitting resource?
There are a lot of good resources; and, after completing levels 1 and 2 and working on level 3 of the TKGA Master Knitters Program, I try to utilize them all.

What’s your favorite entertainment?
Changes with the times. But, Scooby Doo has always been a favorite and Jonny Quest.

What’s your favorite non-yarn-related hobby?
Riding my bike on the Silver Comet Trail. I love being outdoors.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?
I have always enjoyed going to the mountains, so I would have to say Gatlinburg TN.

Q1 Trivia Question #3

Last week’s trivia question was, “What were Eat Sleep Knit’s original six yarn brands, available on opening day?”

This one was a serious blast from the past, and we even had to look this one up to determine which of a few options #6 was! The six original yarn brands were:

  1. Cherry Tree Hill
  2. Claudia Handpainted Yarns
  3. Dream in Color
  4. Lorna’s Laces
  5. Schaefer Yarn
  6. ArtYarns

Since that day, two of these companies have closed their doors and of course we stopped carrying #6 a long time ago (though we have considered bringing it back quite a few times…). We recently got an e-mail that Cherry Tree Hill is reopening its doors though, so keep an eye out for that one as it may be returning in the next couple of months! Anyway, if you submitted these six yarn brands (and only these six!), your yardage has been credited, and we’ve sent an e-mail to confirm, so let us know if you don’t see it. And a special congrats to the Octopurls, who doubled their participation from last week! Keep those answers coming!

And now what you really came for:
Question #3: Eat Sleep Knit started in Erin’s spare closet. How large in square footage is ESK’s entire space (retail and warehouse combined)? (an approximation is just fine here; I’m not sure we even know the exact number though more power to you if you find that!)
Like last week, e-mail your responses along with your username and/or full name to trivia at esk dot com by Friday to play! Correct answers submitted by Friday will receive 50 yards to their individual totals with the answers revealed next Monday.

Oh, and a reminder – today is a US federal holiday, so there’s no mail today! All orders will be going out tomorrow.

Friday Five – Distractions!

Today’s Friday Five is also brought to you by my steeking research for this quarter’s knit-a-long, because for me, no pattern searching is complete without somehow ending up queueing a bunch of patterns that are not even remotely like the pattern you are looking for. Somehow, while searching for a first steeking project, I ended up also finding several cowls, two pullovers, a couple of hats, and some mittens I was so excited about I purchased the pattern and cast-on before even finding what I was originally looking for.

 

alessiacowlBut our first pattern is a very special one, designed by one of our favorite customers. If you’ve ever been in the store, you’ve probably met Tiffany who works the retail store full-time and is our go-to girl for color combos, yarn substitutions, and pattern help of all kinds. Well, Lynn wanted to say a big thanks for all of the help she’s given over the years, and so her new Alessia Cowl is named after Tiffany’s adorable 14 month old daughter!

And it’s not just another pretty face – this cowl is a quick but interesting knit that carries a variegated yarn well and takes just 2-3 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted!

tar Tar is a really cute pullover I wandered across that would be perfect for our climate – lightweight in its yarn choice of Shibui Heichi, a 100% silk tweed worsted weight, but with enough coverage to keep off the chill that creeps in at night and in the early morning of fall and spring.

The super casual silhouette and loose fit is flattering with jeans, which is pretty much all I wear, but could also be dressed up with heels or even (gasp) a skirt! It also seems like it takes relatively little yardage for a sweater due to the loose gauge so it could really stretch those skeins; the largest size of 52″ only takes 12 of the half-size skeins!

lightbulbThe Lightbulb Cap is, in a word, adorable, and perfect for the slightly quirky electricity-lover in your life. (I don’t know about you, but I have at least three friends of this variety, which may say as much about me as them.)

Calls for a sportweight yarn and would even be a good stash buster if you’ve got partial skeins of two colors sitting around. Or, for added light bulb enthusiasm (and night-time safety), knit it in Edison Bulb!

 

fog-and-whisper-2_medium2 You know you need another open-front cardigan. Or maybe just a good, mindless knit for taking to knit group. Or, if you’re like me, both. Fog & Whisper will be your new cozy friend.

The pattern calls for holding tosh mo light with tosh merino light, but I think it would be just as cozy with TML held double, or knit up in a slightly heavier weight (Pashmina? Shepherd Sport? An amazing evolution of color in Kauni’s Effektgarn?) and skipping the whole business of holding things double.

 

Sparkle_Mittens_medium2

 

I definitely took a steeking detour to start SpillyJane’s newest Sparkle Mittens. These are SO MUCH FUN.

Really. Look at them. Look how much fun. I was sold as soon as I read that you could knit them with partial skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino. I have been trying to figure out for a year what to do with my leftover balls of this and Manos Royal_Icing_Mitts_medium2Silk Blend from my Rust & Stone Cardigan. I love these colors; they’re so fun together, and this pattern is perfect for them. Most cheerful mittens ever.

(These other ones are sort of a relative mitten she released at the same time, also for partials of Silky Merino, if they’re more your style. I kind of love both.)

You get a bonus pattern today, because this Owl in a Teacup is sort of amazing.

owl_2_medium2

 

(Psst, don’t forget to send in your trivia answers today!)

Meet the ESK Staff! Pt. 6

Hello again ESK-ers! These last few weeks have been quite the whirlwind around here what with getting yarn restocks aplenty and kicking off the 2014 Yarnathon! We’re all having a great time getting to know our teams and getting into the Quarterly Challenges and KAL projects. We hope you’re also having lots of fun with it (and if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here and read all about it!)

Lest you think we were done introducing all the ESK staff, there are still a few more of us hiding out waiting for our turn! Today I introduce myself – Emily, the Social Media Maven 🙂

What type(s) of crafting do you do?
Knitting. Although, I’m finally giving my best efforts to learn crochet for the Q1 Yarnathon New-To-You KAL!

How long have you been knitting and how did you learn?
About 10 years ago, my sister and mother started knitting this really gorgeous blanket pattern for various friends and family members. I asked them to make one for me, and instead I got a “Learn to Knit” kit and they spent Christmas Day teaching me the basics. I never did make that blanket!

What’s your favorite color?
Purples, Rainbows, and recently Teals

What’s your favorite type of project?
I love making shawls but I don’t understand fashion well enough to actually wear them and look cool. So now I’ve started filling my house with cowls I wear a little more frequently.

What’s your favorite yarn that we carry?
I don’t think I can pick just one! But I do love Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted – so soft and so many gorgeous colors!

What’s the Finished Object you’re most proud of completing?
My double-knit Totoro Scarf – it’s so snuggly soft in BSA Sportweight.

English vs. Continental?
After a quick google search, it appears I knit Continental. 😉

What’s your favorite “advanced” technique?
I love a moderately complicated lace pattern.

Who’s your favorite designer(s)?
Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails, so many gorgeous sweaters to pine after!

What’s your favorite non-yarn hobby?
An array of activities which I’m constantly trying to do *while knitting* – including playing board games, watching corny movies on Netflix, and reading (thank goodness for e-readers!).

One more thing: Go Team RoboKnits!
robo_ravicon