Yarn Skein Necklaces are back!

Remember that time when I collaborated with Mei of Tiny Hands Jewelry to bring you… exclusive Yarn Skein Necklaces?

They were super-popular and flew off the shelf… and so 2 years later, I have a limited number available!

Yarn Skein Necklaces

And she agreed!

Yarn Skein Necklaces are now available until they’re gone!

These necklaces haven’t been available since 2015 and probably won’t be available again. If you want one, you need to order it now!

At a new, lower price!

Each necklace is handmade from polymer clay, and they’re available in 7 freshstitches-selected colors: pink, red, orange, yellow, lime, blue and purple. Squee!

skein-of-yarn-purple-necklace

You’ll want to hop on over to the listing page to grab your favorite color!

Unlike previous listings, these yarn skeins are being sold as skeins only, without the necklace chain or gift box. So, the price has been lowered from $24 to $18!

 

Order yours, now!

These skeins are made exclusively for freshstitches, and are available until they’re gone! If you have a favorite color (ahem, purple), be sure to grab it, because I know some colors go fast!

Here’s a little video that I made last time… have a peek if the necklaces are new to you!

Mega Thanksgiving Sale Continues!

Today’s a HUGE day of the sale… all yarn, fabric, needles and eyes are on deep discounts!

A little note: Some products are showing up as the normal price, crossed out, with the normal price again. This is a website glitch! The sale price DOES show up when you add the item to the cart! So, keep shopping!

I have a special deal for members tomorrow for Cyber Monday: goodie bags! More details tomorrow!

Sales start at 12am EST and last 24 hours. Here is a handy tool to help you find this time in your timezone. I’ve converted some popular timezones for you:

clocksWhat’s on sale? Check it out!

Links to the individual items are below… just click to start shopping! Items with an (*) will be discontinued.

sunday-2016_final50% off

40% off

Space Cadet Rainbow mini skeins for FreshStitches

And for a repeat…

FreshStitches I Heart Yarn Necklace

The I heart Yarn Necklaces and Needle & Hook Gauges were 40% off yesterday, but the sale price wasn’t showing properly for everyone (although the correct sale price did appear if you put them in your cart.) So I’m extending the sale for these two items!

Eyes: 25%-36% off (+another 10% for members!)

All FreshStitches Eyes are 25% off!
Eyes from FreshStitches
As always, save 15% when you buy 25 pair (that’s 5 5-pair packages of the same eye). That’s 36% off!

And… Ami Club members always save 10% off of all eye purchases! Yup! That’s on top of sales!

Ami Club-amigurumi crochet club from freshstitches

And you can join Ami Club this weekend and get a FREE month! What are you waiting for?

This is your chance to stock your eyes collection! All eyes only go on sale once a year!

25% off

Happy shopping! Quantities on items are limited, so make sure you get what you’d like to have while it lasts!

I hope you’re having an amazing sale weekend! Be sure to come back tomorrow!

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How to use Ravelry's Stash Feature

This post was originally published 5/21/2012… but 4 years later, this is still some of my best advice! Follow these steps to get your stash organized!
amazing tutorial for using stash on Ravelry... go read these tips!
You’ll also be interested in reading:

If you’re a Ravlery-user, you’ve probably seen the ‘Stash’ button (underneath ‘my notebook’)… but do you use it?

You should! In this post, I’ll tell you why I love storing my Stash on Ravlery, and I’ll walk you through the basics of how to use it. Just put in a bit of time up front, and you’ll have a super-organized stash that your yarny-friends will be envious of!

Reasons to Use Ravelry’s Stash

Why should you go through all of the work of uploading your yarns into the Ravelry database? Seems like a lot of trouble, huh?

Here are a few reasons why I think it’s worth your while:

  • No matter how large your stash is, storing it in Ravelry’s online database makes it easy to sort and search… no more digging through tubs in your basement to see if you have any pink laceweight yarn.
  • The stash is integrated into other features on Ravelry, meaning you can search through patterns based on what’s in your current stash.
  • When it’s time to do spring-cleaning, it’s easy to list your undesired yarn stock as ‘for sale/trade’.

The Basics of Putting your Stash on Ravlery

Let’s start at the start. Under ‘My Notebook’, click on ‘Stash’:

You’ll go straight to your Stash Page (yours will be empty if you haven’t added anything yet, but I’ve got yarns in mine!):

Have a yarn you want to add? Click the ‘Add New Yarn’ button and add whatever information you’d like. I like to put a picture in, but that’s not necessary. To get the best use of the stash feature, be sure to enter the name of the yarn, number of skeins you have and color.

How to Search through your Stash

Okay, so you’ve uploaded the yarns that you have… how do you search through them? Easy-peasy!

Let’s look at our main screen, again:

Look to the right of the ‘Add New Yarn’ button… that’s where you do your searching! You can search by ‘Date Acquired, ‘Yarn Weight’ (i.e. do you have any bulky-weight yarn?) or ‘Fiber’.

Let’s say I’m trying to find out if I have any yarns that contain cotton… I just select ‘Contains Cotton’ from the ‘Fiber’ drop-down menu:

Looks like I have 4! When I click on that selection, those yarns come up on my screen and I can browse them for further info.

Searching Patterns with your Stash in mind

Now, we’ve all done the search for patterns… but did you know that you can restrict your search to patterns that you already have the yarn for?!? Talk about a time-saver!

To do this, you’ll need to click ‘Pattern Browser & Advanced Search’:

Here, you can enter lots of criteria… but what’s important to us is restricting your search to yarns you have in your stash.

Scroll down, looking on the left, until you see the ‘My Notebook’ header. Click ‘Yarns in my Stash’, and the search will bring up all of the patterns you can make!

Isn’t that great?

Using your Stash in your Projects

Once you’re using the Stash feature, you’ll want to keep it up-to-date. So, when you start a new project, make use of the ‘use stash yarn’ option:

Doing this does 2 things:

  • It automatically updates the amount of yarn in your stash
  • It lists detailed information about your yarn (color, dye lot, purchase date) in your project

Listing your Yarn for Sale/Trade

Sometimes, you’re looking to clean out your yarn stash. No problem! It’s easy to list your yarn for sale to other Ravelry-users. Edit the information about your particular yarn, and select ‘Will Trade or Sell’:

If you want added exposure, share your yarn with some groups where you think people may be interested.

Get Started!

Are you encouraged to list your stash online, yet?

Those of you who have giant stashes, here’s one more helpful bit of information:

See that line next to my cursor? You can use the ‘Stored In’ line to add information about where a particular skein is stored (i.e. the blue storage tub under the guest bed) in real life!

Happy organizing!

Announcing the FreshStitches Yarn Line!

I have the biggest news… possibly in the history of FreshStitches!

I have a yarn line! Squee!!

FreshStitches yarn line

The yarn base is Louet Gems, a deliciously soft 100% merino wool that’s machine washable. Could there be anything more perfect for baby and kiddie items?

I am out of my mind excited about this! The yarn debuted to the industry at the trade show this weekend, and it’ll be available on the site in the fall!

FreshStitches Intarsia

I’m also developing a little pattern collection to show off these amazing colors… it’s going to be so much fun!

Stay tuned!

knitting on double point needles with freshstitches

It’s The Sexy Knitter, loving the new colors!
sarah

And Barbara Benson stopped by my booth!

How to Knit or Crochet Using an *Exact* Amount of Yardage!

We’ve all done this, right? You have a ball (or partial ball) of yarn, and you want to know how much you can knit/crochet until you run out. How do you calculate this?

rainbow yarnI’ll show you!

How to calculate how many stitches you can get from your yarn

I’m detailing each of these steps, below!

  1. Calculate how many yards of yarn you have
  2. Calculate how many stitches you get per yard (using your gauge)
  3. Calculate how many stitches you can get from your yardage!

How to calculate how much yardage you have

If you have full skeins of yarn, this step is easy. Just read the label.

But, if you have partial skeins, you’ll need to do some calculating. The best way to do this calculation is by using weight. Read this blog post for step-by-step instructions!

scale for measuring yarn

You’ll need a digital scale and a calculator!

How to calculate how many stitches you get per yard

You’ll need to do a little gauge swatch! This technique works for either knit or crochet. Read this great blog post on how to measure yarn.

how to measure yarn

This blog post has some typical measurements for crochet.

how much yarn do I need?

Calculate how many stitches you can get from your yardage!

Let’s put it all together now!

To begin, multiply your yardage by 36 to get the length in inches.

So, if I have 110 yards, that’s 3960 inches.

Divide this number by your inch/stitch measurement (that you got in step 2), which for single crochet with a worsted weight is 1.8″.

3960/1.8 is 2200 single crochets!

crochet freshstitches

That’s your number! A good pattern will contain stitch counts at the end of each row, so you can add them up and determine how many extra rows you can sneak into a cowl, or whether you’ll need so skip some rows of sleeve length to get your sweater to work!

Introducing I Heart Yarn Necklaces + coupon!

I’ve been working on something for months… and they’re finally here! Now, I know it’s a bummer that they didn’t make it in time to be included in my Black Friday sale… but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Keep reading!

First thing’s first! Let me show you this awesomeness!

I Heart Yarn Necklaces!

Announcing a FreshStitches exclusive… the I Heart Yarn Necklace!
FreshStitches I Heart Yarn Necklace

You love yarn, right? Now you can announce it to the world with this stunning necklace!

FreshStitches I Heart Yarn Necklace

I worked with Designosaur to create these necklaces that say ‘I *heart* yarn’ in a script that looks like it’s written in string! And of course, I got them in every color!

Each necklace measures approximately 4″ wide and features a lobster clasp closure. And, they come in a lovely gift box!

necklace in box 2

You’ll want to head on over to the product listing and get your favorite color!

I heart yarn necklace freshstitches

Keep Black Friday going!

I feel awful that these didn’t arrive in time for my Black Friday sale, so I’ve made a little coupon for you!

FreshStitches I Heart Yarn Necklace

Use the code BLACKFRIDAY2015AGAIN to get 10% off as many necklaces as you want! The coupon expires December 5th, so act fast!

Needle and Hook Gauges!

I love Designosaur’s work so much that I couldn’t stop at the necklaces… and we worked together to design these amazing mirrored needle gauges!

FreshStitches needle gauge

They’re in the shape of a ball of yarn! LOVE! And of course, in every color of the rainbow!

These gauges allow you to measure both knitting needles and inline crochet hooks.

using needle gauge with crochet hook

Each hole is marked with the measurement in millimeters. See the chart below for the conversion to US knitting needle and crochet hook sizes!

crochet hook conversion chart

These gauges are a great addition to your notions bag, and would make great stocking stuffers for yarn-y folks!

freshstitches yarn needle gauge

Act fast!

The Black Friday sale was HUGE and I have no doubt these guys will be just as popular!

You’ll want to use your special coupon before the end of day Friday, December 5th and get all of your shopping done before December 13th. I’ll be shutting down the shop for a winter break… more details on that, later!

FreshStitches I Heart Yarn Necklace

Want to try 9 inch circular needles?

I absolutely love knitting socks on 9 inch circular needles.

Most people think I’m crazy when I say that my favorite knitting needle is a 9″ circular. But I can’t help it. I’m in love.

Darjeeling Cat Bordhi socks

When you knit with other techniques (double point needles, two circulars or magic loop), there’s always a join that creates the potential for laddering (those icky loose stitches) as well as costs you some time maneuvering them around.

With the 9″ circular, there’s none of that! You just knit around and around!

Over the years, I’ve gotten oodles of comments, asking me where to get these needles and how to use them.

So. I knew what I had to do.

Introducing 9″ Circular Needles!

These needles aren’t available in a lot of yarn stores, so I’ve bought you my favorite brand!

Check out the needle shop to see the sizes I have available. And cast on for some socks for yourself!

A little video for you!

Are you a bit nervous about knitting with 9″ circulars? Don’t be!

I made this video a little while ago:

And it’s pretty good, but felt like I could give you a better idea of what to do my knitting a miniature heel flap, where I could also show you how to pick up stitches. So, I made you this one:

(sorry, the manicure isn’t as nice… but that’s okay, right? I filmed the first one while I still had fancy nails from filming my Craftsy course!)

The heel flap is what most people think is the scariest part of knitting on a 9 inch circular… and I hope you can see that it’s really not hard!

Don’t you feel like giving it a try?

Pick your favorite pattern!

Almost any pattern can be converted to 9″ circulars!

knitting socks

If you’re a newbie, I recommend Churchmouse Yarn and Tea’s Basic Sock pattern. If you’re looking for a more advanced pattern, I recommend the book Sock Knitting Master Class.

Candy Skein Yummy Fingering

There are no patterns that I know of that specifically call for 9 inch circular needles. So, you should feel comfortable with knitting on a circular needle before beginning a pair of socks, as you will need to do some ‘translating’ in terminology.

Give ’em a try!

bright socks 9" circular

I’ll be honest, if you have big hands or like a lot of ‘space’ when you knit… the 9″ probably isn’t for you.

But if you like to knit socks, and are tired of losing a double point, getting ladders in your work or having trouble tossing your knitting into your bag and going… then you might love these guys! Try them!

Add on some fun stitch markers!

Stitch markers are like jewelry for your knitting… and it’s just plain fun to pass a little something special as you finish each round.

I love using these shaped stitch markers! (you can see one in the video if you look!)

star shapes

Now… I could put these on a card with a fancy string and charge $10.

I could.

But I’ll tell you the secret: they’re actually just jewelry jump rings! So go ahead and add them to your order for only $2!

Happy knitting!

The Clever Crafter's Guide to Wool

I love wool. Most of the yarn I use is wool yarn… it’s delightful to work with and makes my heart happy.

Imagine my delight when Tom from Clippers Ireland sent me this delightful infographic all about wool! (and popped FreshStitches into the reference section!)

Guide to Wool for Knitting from Clippers Ireland

Isn’t wool awesome?

Thanks so much to Clippers Ireland for putting together and sharing this great information! (reposted with permission)

Dye yarn with Wilton Icing Dye!

Did you know that you can dye your yarn using Wilton Icing Dyes?

Dyeing yarn with Wilton Icing dye from FreshStitches

You already know I’m a huge fan of dyeing with Kool Aid… but the colors can be a little limiting. So I had to try my hand with the Icing Dyes!

Advantages of Icing Dye

Icing dye, as the name suggests, is actually meant for dyeing. Granted, it’s usually food and not yarn… but it means that there are a wide range of colors that are really quite nice.

The dyes also have the property that you can mix them together with fairly predictable results, which isn’t necessarily true of Kool Aid.

The main disadvantage is that you’ll need to add vinegar to your dye bath to get the color to set. That’s not too big of a downside!

Wilton Icing Dye Color Card

For each color, my recipe was:

  • 8 yards of white worsted weight yarn
  • 1/8 tsp of Wilton Icing Dye
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

And here’s how the colors look!

Wilton icing dyes and yarn freshstitches color chart

I’m so excited about the possibilities! These are the colors straight out of the jar… you can mix the colors to get even closer to what you want. Have a peek at these formulas for some ideas!

Notes on Dyeing

  • These colors were all produced with the same strength of dye. Experiment with adding less dye for more subtle colors.
  • Purple is notoriously difficult. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the blue & red tones separated out quite a bit. I love the look, but you’ll want to always test swatches if you want a certain look.
  • A true black is very hard to achieve. I’ll play around with adding a higher intensity of dye.
  • Always do a test swatch! These 8 yard skeins were just perfect, you can wind them yourself for playing!