2015 – The First Quarter Begins

Okay, I think we’re all squared away over here and ready to really kick off the Q1 of Yarnathon 2015! If you haven’t seen already, we’ve got new mascots, new knit-a-longs, and a whole new Booster Club this year, along with a helpful (we hope!) addition to your account page that lets you submit your projects and track your Yarnathon progress. And don’t forget to check out your team thread on Ravelry!

We know the Booster Club is a big change and can be pretty overwhelming at first. We hope the Booster Club page explains everything well, but there are so many badges! So many possible prizes! We recommend starting simple – just knit, and chat with your teammates on Ravelry about what you’re knitting, and one of our helpful elves will be letting you know you just earned a badge before you know it. Most of the badges are for things most of us will probably do throughout the year anyway – they’re just for fun, and to give you some extra prize options aside from yardage and store credit (though you can earn those too).

The only real change we’ve made to knit-a-longs this year (and crochet counts too! It just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well.) is that you’ll be able to participate in any knit-a-long all year long, rather than being restricted to a particular one each quarter. We’ve also added more options to the knit-a-longs in the hopes that everyone can find at least a few that suit your skill levels and crafting plans.

Since there are so many more knit-a-longs, we’ll focus on three each quarter as a shop, but please craft away in the others as you see fit! The first three knit-a-longs will be:

KAL #1: Colorwork! You chose the patterns for this one in the Ravelry group last year – your options are: Fightin’ Words, fingerless mitts with attitude; Roosimine Socks, which use a weaving method to create the colorwork; Stitch Block Cowl, a two-color worsted weight cowl that uses some neat tricks to accomplish the colorwork look; Color Infusion, a reversible three-color fingering weight cowl; or the Pixelated Pullover, a top-down gradient-style sweater for the truly adventurous. Prize: 250 yards for mitts or socks, 500 yards for the cowls, 1000 yards for our intrepid Pixelated Pullover. Moderated by the effervescent Emily Nan, who will fearlessly lead you down the path she herself has never been down before.

KAL #2: Headgear.  Hats, headbands, ear muffs, SNOODS! If it goes on your head, it works here. Check the Ravelry thread for some staff favorites. Minimum yardage: 50 yards. Prize: 250 yards. Moderated by Emily L, who believes one can really never have too many hats.

KAL #3: Shawls. Big or small, we love them all. Stockinette or miles of lace, stripes or solids or variegated pretties, there are so many variations on the shawl and we look forward to seeing yours. Minimum yardage for this one is 250 yards. Prize: 500 yards for shawls using 250-650 yards, 1000 yards for shawls using more than 650 yards. Moderated by our resident high priestess of shawls, Janine.

General Guidelines for ALL knit-and-crochet-a-longs:
*Projects should be completed entirely from yarn originating from Eat.Sleep.Knit. Exceptions are small embellishments like embroidered faces.
*While any knit-a-long can be completed at any time during the year, all projects should be started and completed during 2015.
*Each project can only earn a prize for one knit-a-long, i.e. you’ll need at least one project per knit-a-long you participate in.
*For knit-a-longs with specific yardage requirements or levels, you can combine multiple projects to meet the yardage requirements. For pattern-specific knit-a-longs, if you knit two patterns we’ll credit you for the one with the most yardage.
*Each Yarnathoner is only eligible for one prize per knit-a-long, so if you want to knit two things from the same knit-a-long you’ll just receive the one yardage credit (but have two fun projects to show for it!).
*You can submit your completed projects on our website via your (new!) Yarnathon dashboard. We’ll be reviewing submissions as they arrive, but please allow 1-2 weeks to receive your credits!

And, I think that’s just about it! Oh, trivia! Trivia started back up this week – you can find your first question here.

Hello 2015! A New Year, a New Yarnathon

A very happy new year to all of you in yarnland! We are celebrating in the usual Eat.Sleep.Knit fashion, with a new Yarnathon and new additions. 2014 brought you teams, which will continue in 2015, with a team reshuffle and new, adorable mascots.

Your 2015 Yarnathon teams are:

Teams_All

You can find your new team on your account page and your brand-spanking new Yarnathon dashboard!

We’ve tried to make the knit-a-long format more fun and more inclusive, with more options, more time, and more flexibility. Instead of one big knit-a-long announced each quarter, you’ve got your pick of twelve knit-a-longs you can complete at any time all year! We’ll focus on three each quarter, but you’ll be free to join in one, four, or hey all twelve, and nearly all of them offer multiple options to accommodate beginning and advanced knitters and crocheters. (Individual knit-a-longs are detailed separately here.)

ESK_MeritKitty

But wait, there’s more! The challenges are going to be a little bit different and a lot bit of fun for 2015. In lieu of the bigger quarterly challenges, you can help out the ESK Booster Club for the Yarnathon where you can BOOST your individual yardage, support your team and earn even more prizes and yardage all year long.

The Booster Club is a little bit Yarnathon meets Girl Scouts meets the magic and nuttiness that is ESK. You’ll be able to earn merit badges by completing different yarn-related tasks, each associated with different point values. Your points can be used to earn prizes and yardage for yourself, your friends, and/or your team as you move through the five levels of Booster Club membership!

See below for a badge and level break down. Charts are easier, right?

Badge Level Point Value
High 20
Medium 10
Low 5
Booster Club Level Points Needed
Entry 70
Bronze 150
Silver 300
Gold 450
Platinum 600

All the Single LadiesFor example, the “All the Single Ladies” badge is a medium point value badge and requires you to knit a single-skein project. If you complete, say, Piccadilly, you earn 10 points towards your first Booster Club membership level. If you complete any combination of badges that earns 70+ points, you will level-up into Entry Level and be able to choose from the prizes associated with that level. So as not to make things too overwhelming, we will release 13 badges per quarter worth a possible total of 150 points per quarter! But feel free to play along at your speed – you can earn badges from Q1 in Q4 if you’d like!

You will be able to submit your completed tasks to earn your badges using your dashboard which can be found on your ESK account. Once approved, your merit badges will appear on your dashboard!

When you reach the Silver Level, you’ll get your official Booster Club tote bag and badges you’ve earned to add to your sash! Aside from earning more yardage and prizes, we hope the Booster Club will encourage you to expand your knitting, perfect some skills, and have tons of fun! There are a variety of badges so any level knitter can play and, trust us, you will get a kick out of some of the badge names! We had so much fun coming up with the names and pictures for the badges and we absolutely cannot wait to share them with you! So help BOOST your team to the next level with the Booster Club! Here is a list of the badges:

Alternator – Complete a project alternating your skeins to ensure a perfectly blended hand-dyed knit!

Long Haul – Complete a project you’ve been working on for more than 9 months.

Colorwork Cutie – Complete a colorwork project.

All Your Base… – Own at least one of every base yarn Eat.Sleep.Knit offers from a single dyer (minimum 4 bases).

Social Stalker – Follow us on at least two forms of social media.

Special Delivery – Order yarn on your birthday!

Stash Diver – Complete a project entirely from your stash.

All the Single Ladies – Complete a single-skein project.

Yardage Beginner – Purchase one mile’s worth of yarn in a single order.

Binge Knitter – Watch an entire season of a TV show while knitting!

Queue Anonymous – More than 150 items in your Ravelry queue.

Accidental Moebius – Accidentally twist when joining in the round, even though you rolled your eyes when the pattern designer explicitly stated you should “be careful not to twist.”

Cast-on Queen – Complete a 400+ stitch cast-on!

Trivia will continue as usual! The questions can be found on our Twitter feed every Monday. The theme for the first quarter’s questions is colorways! Submit your answers on the Google Doc by midnight on the Friday following each question! Correct answers will earn you 50 yards which means you can earn 500 extra yards each quarter by playing trivia! The congratulatory e-mails telling you your yardage has been awarded will be sent by Monday at noon. Good luck!

So hold onto your yarn balls, kitties, as we race into another fun-filled year! Are you up for the challenge? We know you all will bring us another 365 days of joy while earning merit badges, knitting-a-long with us, making hilarious and helpful comments on the Ravelry forums, and sharing your jaw-dropping projects. Again, we cannot wait! Officially, let the 2015 Yarnathon begin!!

2015 Knitalongs

For this year’s Yarnathon, you’ve got your pick of twelve different knit-and-crochet-a-longs to play along with your teammates and your favorite ESK staffers! We’ll put our focus on three each quarter, but you can start, finish, or join in to any of these any time you like. Choose one, four, or all of them – it’s entirely up to you, and there is sure to be something for every crafter. You can earn anywhere from 250 yards all the way up to a whopping 9,000 yards to your individual Yarnathon total. Details below!

1. Colorwork. For this knit-a-long, you’ve got your choice of five patterns chosen by popular vote on Ravelry in December. Your options are: Fightin’ Words, fingerless mitts with attitude; Roosimine Socks, which use a weaving method to create the colorwork; Stitch Block Cowl, a two-color worsted weight cowl that uses some neat tricks to accomplish the colorwork look; Color Infusion, a reversible three-color fingering weight cowl; or the Pixelated Pullover, a top-down gradient-style sweater for the truly adventurous. Prize: 250 yards for mitts or socks, 500 yards for the cowls, 1000 yards for our intrepid Pixelated Pullover knitters.

2. Headgear. Hats, headbands, ear muffs, SNOODS! If it goes on your head, it works here. Check the Ravelry thread for some staff favorites. Minimum yardage: 50 yards. Prize: 250 yards.

3. Shawls. Big or small, we love them all. Stockinette or miles of lace, stripes or solids or variegated pretties, there are so many variations on the shawl and we look forward to seeing yours. Minimum yardage for this one is 250 yards. Prize: 500 yards for shawls using 250-650 yards, 1000 yards for shawls using more than 650 yards.

4. Hitofude Cardigan. C’mon, you know you want to. It’s been at the top of the popular Ravelry patterns for months, and we have to know what the fuss is about. This masterful lace cardigan is worked all in one piece in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light or a comparable yarn like Mrs. Crosby’s Satchel, Dream In Color’s Jilly, or Manos del Uruguay’s Fino, and together, we can do it! Prize: 1000 yards.

5. No Sleeves! Another peoples’ choice selection, you’ve got three pattern options for this one which we hope cover as many possible body and style types as possible (we know sleeveless can be such a touchy area!). Your options are: Mereweather, a fitted patterned top that works equally well as a tank or a vest on every body type; Beekeeper’s Tank, a free-flowing style summer-y tank; and Hane, a choose-your-own-sleeveless-adventure with six different sleeve/armhole options varying from basic tee to avant garde. Prize: 500 yards.

6. Mitered Squares. Maybe we’re just big knit nerds, but we love mitered squares and their endless possibilities. Most commonly these are knit in garter stitch and turned into blankets, but they can really become anything from scarves to tunics to felted bags and more, and you can even crochet them! Minimum yardage: 150 yards. Prize: 250 yards for projects using 150-300 yards, 500 yards for projects using 301-650 yards, 1000 yards for projects using more than 650 yards.

7. Socks. AKA, fill your boots! We’ve got some fabulous sock pattern options for you to choose from. Select worsted weight socks for a quick, hearty knit: Laule’a, Unicorn Socks or Sweetheart Socks. Or, some fingering weight socks: Bayerische, Hermione’s Everyday Socks, or Cadence Socks. Prize: 250 yards for worsted weight socks, 500 yards for fingering weight socks.

8. New-To-You. Yep, it’s baaaaack! This knit-a-long was just so very much fun last year, we’re going for round two. This is the time to try that thing you’ve been afraid of or meaning to get around to – lace, cables, colorwork, brioche. Some clarification – by new technique, we mean technique, so, new to crocheting? That counts. First time with cables? Totally counts. Never knit magic loop or two-at-a-time or on circulars? Counts! Unfortunately, it being the first time you’ve knit exactly 264 yards of blue yarn into this particular pattern would…be a good project for one of the other 11 knit-a-longs. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you’re not sure. Minimum yardage for this one is 150 yards. Prize: 250 yards for projects using 150-300 yards, 500 yards for projects using 301-650 yards, 1000 yards for projects using more than 650 yards.

9. Sweater Free-for-all. Because we all need a sweater. Cardigan, pullover, short, long, stripes, cables, however you like it! You’ll need to start and complete an adult-sized sweater for this knit-a-long (and if we’re being honest, we’d love to see you knit it for yourself, deserving knitter that you are). Check the Ravelry thread for about a thousand of our staff favorites. Prize: 1000 yards.

10. Selfless Knits. These are your gift knits, your labors of love for children, pets, partners, and co-workers, your charity knitting, your holiday knitting – a knit-a-long to honor the time you’re spending on others. Minimum yardage for this one is 200 yards and yes you can combine multiple projects for a total yardage. Prize: 250 yards for projects using 200-300 yards, 500 yards for projects using 301-650 yards, 1000 yards for projects using more than 650 yards.

11. Felting. It’s, well, it’s felting! The magical act of intentionally ruining your knitting to make it into something somehow even cooler. Now is the perfect time to finally try out French Press Felted Slippers (and there’s even a crochet version) or a Booga Bag or even these fun scrappy oven mitts. Projects should be all or primarily felting to be eligible for prizes. Minimum yardage is 150 yards. Prize: 250 yards

12. Chunky Knits. They’re quick, they’re easy, and they’re so often overlooked. Chunky lace sweaters like Road to Gimmerton are some of our favorites as you can often knit a great little sweater with just a few hundred yards and a little spare time! And of course chunky yarn makes great winter accessories. For this knit-a-long, any chunky, bulky, or super bulky projects count, minimum yardage is 125 yards. Prize: 250 yards for projects using 125-250 yards, 500 yards for projects using more than 250 yards.

General Guidelines for ALL knit-and-crochet-a-longs:
*Projects should be completed entirely from yarn originating from Eat.Sleep.Knit. Exceptions are small embellishments like embroidered faces.
*While any knit-a-long can be completed at any time during the year, all projects should be started and completed during 2015.
*Each project can only earn a prize for one knit-a-long, i.e. you’ll need at least one project per knit-a-long you participate in.
*For knit-a-longs with specific yardage requirements or levels, you can combine multiple projects to meet the yardage requirements.
*Each Yarnathoner is only eligible for one prize per knit-a-long, so if you want to knit two things from the same knit-a-long you’ll just receive the one yardage credit (but have two fun projects to show for it!).

*You can submit your completed projects on our website via your (new!) Yarnathon dashboard. We’ll be reviewing submissions as they arrive, but please allow 1-2 weeks to receive your credits!

Q4 Stephen, Stockings, & Stuffers

As we hinted in our last post, this quarter we’re doing what we’ve dubbed the Westknits-A-Long! For Q4’s knit-a-long, you can select your favorite Stephen West / Westknits pattern, grab your Eat.Sleep.Knit yarn and cast on!

IMAG1901_1

Rules are pretty simple as always – projects need to be knit between 10/1-12/31 and should be knit entirely in yarn from Eat.Sleep.Knit to be eligible for prizes. Projects should use at least 180 yards of yarn. (We’ve relaxed this last bit due to numerous inquiries.) And, of course, it should be a Stephen West pattern.

Need yarn? We’ve got a special offer for you – place your knit-a-long order between now and October 10th and specify in the comments field which yarn is for your project, and we’ll take 10% off for that yarn. This discount excludes already discounted yarns. Adjustments will have to be made manually so this discount won’t show up at checkout, but we will e-mail you to confirm.

Some answers to burning questions:
Yardage requirement – Most of Stephen’s hats use right around or more than 200 yards so this should not exclude hats, but we’ve relaxed the minimum to 180. If you would prefer to knit two smaller things that total up to 200+ yards, that is also perfectly fine!

Crochet and other modified versions – These are okay as long as they are truly Stephen West and/or okayed by Stephen (such as Crochet Clockwork) as we do want to encourage everyone to support the pattern designers.

Stephen’s patterns are too artsy for me! – We promise, they’re not! You may not want to take part in one of his photoshoots, but a big part of the reason we chose Westknits for this knit-a-long is because of the absolutely huuuuuge range of great patterns he has to offer. Any type of garment or accessory, ranging from basic to textured to wild, there really is, we think, something for everyone. Though participation is 100% voluntary and has no negative impact on your yarnathoning, we urge you to actually look at the patterns (or even look at other completed projects in different colors) before counting yourself out!

Still not feeling it? That’s okay – we may still have something for you! This quarter’s challenge is ALSO a knit-a-long of sorts.

Q4: Stock-a-long Challenge

stockingThe holidays are coming up, and we wanted to celebrate something a little dear to our hearts, stockings. Now, specifically, Christmas stockings, they’re a bit of a thing around here. I learned to knit for the sole purpose of recreating the heirloom handknit Christmas stockings my family has had since my sister and I were born, so to me stockings are very special, and without stockings, there would be no Eat.Sleep.Knit!

So, our challenge is this – knit a stocking! A stocking of really any flavor. Obviously the most common are Christmas stockings, but we don’t all celebrate Christmas or particularly want to have a handknit stocking, so this is also the perfect time to try out that amazing colorwork sock pattern you saw, the one that looks so cool but you’d probably never wear it, or certainly never get around to sock number 2 – with this challenge, you don’t have to!

To be eligible, projects should be made with Eat.Sleep.Knit yarn except for minor embellishments (for example in the stocking above the fuzzy beard yarn and black for the face would be considered minor embellishments). They should either be a traditional holiday stocking or a regular adult-sized colorwork sock pattern. For sock patterns to count they should absolutely include some kind of colorwork, kind of the hallmark of the fun of stocking knitting! You do NOT have to knit a whole pair though, just one. Projects can have already been started but should be completed by December 31st!

There are about a bazillion (okay, 1300?) Christmas stocking patterns on Ravelry to get you started, but we also wanted to share some of our other favorite colorwork sock/stocking patterns.

Fireweeds

Fireweeds

Flock for Feet

Flock for Feet

Lucy in the Sky

Lucy in the Sky

Mondrian Socks

Mondrian Socks

Neptune High

Neptune High

Nightingale

Nightingale

Starry Starry Night

Starry Starry Night

Viking Ugla

Viking Ugla

Wallflower

Wallflower

Prizes (The Best Part!)

All participants who complete an eligible knit-a-long project will receive 1000 yards added to their individual yarnathon totals. For the stocking challenge, we’re going for participation! The team that has the largest number of eligible stocking/sock projects at the end of the quarter will receive two additional virtual medalists for the 2014 Yarnathon, your last chance to rack up a few extra points before the winner is declared! And because this is a stocking challenge, we’ll also be awarding some special bonus “stocking stuffer” prizes to our favorites!

For the knit-a-long, there is a limit of one award per person. However, for the challenge, you can complete as many stocking projects as you like and each will count towards your team’s total. All prizes, yardage, and virtual medalists will be awarded after the quarter is over. The yardage will count towards your 2014 total. You will not actually SEE this yardage but you will get any prizes/milestones earned with it and it will count towards your team’s standings!

Submissions

Completed projects, KAL and Challenge, should be submitted to the Google form by December 31st to receive your prizes! Both projects can be submitted here but please submit them separately. Please specify which project you are submitting by checking WestKnits KAL or Stock-a-long Challenge on the the Google form.

Trivia

Trivia will start back up on October 6th. The theme this year is US, your lovely Eat.Sleep.Knit employees! Helpful resources include our Ravelry accounts, all of the ESK social media pages, and interviews with us conducted by our suppliers/dyers. So think hard and good luck! Please refrain from PMing or asking us questions directly, what fun would that be?

What’s in Store for Q4!

IMAG1901_1

Q3 only has a few more days left?? Weren’t we just creating that crossword puzzle and going through our queues? We loved seeing all the interaction and teamwork on the forums. Whether it be for the greater good of the team or out of the kindness of your hearts, your willingness to help one another seriously shined through this quarter! Well, here we are almost 12 weeks later, and, boy, do we have some exciting seeds to plant in your wonderful knitting brains…

There has been a little buzz and a lot of guesses as to what Q4 has in store. We’ve heard some of you guess another photo challenge because of the t-shirt sale – you guys really do pay attention! You’ll get the full scoop on the challenge when we officially release the Q4 rules but here’s your KAL preview. We wouldn’t want you to feel rushed when planning and purchasing! The Q4 KAL is designer-specific and we chose none other than the fabulous Stephen West! His spirit and excitement fits perfectly into the ESK attitude and have you seen his pattern designs? They are A-MAZING and you can choose any pattern you would like. As per usual, all yarn must be from Eat.Sleep.Knit. in order to be eligible for prizes and the 200 yard minimum stands.

Need yarn? We’ve got a special offer for you – place your knit-a-long order between now and October 10th and specify in the comments field which yarn is for your project, and we’ll take 10% off for that yarn. This discount excludes already discounted yarns. Adjustments will have to be made manually so this discount won’t show up at checkout, but we will e-mail you to confirm.

 

Team Mascots KAL Prizes

Just a quickie today, since last week’s trivia answer was (I hope!) quite obvious (if you are still wondering, yup, the answer is never!).*

A couple of you have mentioned on Ravelry about the prizes for this quarter’s KAL, and I will admit that for a second I was all, “duh, I already posted that,” except, guess what, I didn’t! Sorry ladies, I totally flaked and thought this was posted with the original post.

So, yes, each person who completes a team mascot KAL project this quarter will receive 1000 yards towards their individual total (limit one award per person). There is also a team prize – the team with the most members who knit a mascot project will get two additional virtual finishers to contribute towards their end of year totals (the Stitchosaurs won this prize in the first quarterly challenge).

And, a secret bonus prize – anyone who completes a qualifying KAL project for all four team mascots (so, a monkey, an octopus, a robot, *and* a dinosaur project) will get a special treat from us in the mail just for being awesome. And before you ask, yes, if you find a way to incorporate all four mascots into one project, I will count that because, frankly, that sounds amazing.

If you’re already ready to submit your project, I’ve gone ahead and opened the submission spreadsheet, but you have until June 30th to submit!

*I also wanted to just mention that some of your responses did crack me up a little bit, because some of you phrase it so it sounds like some kind of gang! Things like, “once you’re in, you’re in it for life” – sounds almost threatening! You will love your 10K club or else!

Q2 Customer Project Gallery

This week’s inspiration comes from our favorite place – you! As your Q2 Team Spirit knit-a-long projects are being posted, we are reminded again about what a fun and creative group of customers we have.

Octopurl slippinginbetween knit this fabulous three-dimensional, sparkly coffee holder:

slipping-octo

 

And our Roboknits are representing with some adorable new friends. SlipZip knit Stashy in the appropriately-named Lorna’s Laces colorway, Robot Overlord:

slipzip-stashy

 

And we think he and eatmyoxygen’s cutie Bot Byte might become new friends:

eatmyoxygen-botbyteStitchosaur Maryzona had an idea so great we wish we’d thought of it – using the outline from our free Stitchosaurs chart, she created a single-color beaded version and turned it into a wine cozy!

maryzona-coozyFiber Monkey Jubbers is another Yarnathoner with a creative streak – she knit up the Fiber Monkey’s team mascot chart and sewed it onto a tote bag! So great!

jubbers-monkeybagStitchosaur lallantonio knit up this friendly stuffed brontosaurus for her team project – we love the stripes!

lallan-boogie

Still needing some inspiration? Octopurl widha decided to tackle a new technique at the same time and chose these stunning colorwork octopus mittens for her Q2 project, aren’t they great? And I can’t believe this her first stranding project!

widha-octomittsLooking forward to seeing more and more of your projects as the quarter continues!