The knitted-in marker

I was teaching my friend to knit recently when I noticed that she’d fallen victim to something that happens to us all now and again: the knitted in marker.

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Notice how the black ring is THROUGH her knitting, not just on either side? Because this is her very first knitting project, we decided to leave in in place for now. If she restarts the scarf, it will fall out. If she finishes it … well, we’ll either decorate it with beads or take the scissors to it.

In any event, she’s off to a good career in knitting, learning early that “things happen”! Has it happened to you yet? Share in the comments below!

Mrs. Kellogg goes to Washington (State)

I recently had the good fortune to go the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA, with my friends Mary Ann Donelley, Kathi Mundt and Cheryl Churchill. While we waited at the airport, I taught Mary Ann how to knit. 

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Okay, so I have a loud voice. And our plane was delayed. So one by one, I was approached by people who wanted to learn how to use the Fix-A-Stitch to repair their stitches. Since I was on my way to a sewing expo, I didn’t have a sample to demonstrate … so I kept ripping down on Mary Ann’s new scarf. But of course, since I used Fix-A-Stitch to make the repairs, it doesn’t show.

While Mary Ann was getting started, she dropped one of her cast-on stitches. No surprise that I easily picked it back up using Fix-A-Stitch. Watch for a new video about how simple it is to make that repair, now that we have Fix-A-Stitch!

At the expo itself, I made new friends and saw old ones:

• In my classes I was very impressed with Nancy Zieman of Nancy’s Notions. She believes in keeping things simple. After the talk, I learned she’s a knitter — and samples of Fix-A-Stitch are on their way to her.

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• It turns out that the lace Fix-A-Stitch is PERFECT for threading both the Baby Lock 10 needle embroidery machine and their Crown Jewel long arm.

• A seminar on “365 Days of Notions” introduced me to so many wondrous things to add to my own collection that I had to leave my shopping list with The Pine Needle so they could ship it all to me. I’m especially excited about a light table I can use for my appliqué work, as well as my piles and piles of photo negatives that still need reviewing and culling.

There were many wonderful vendors at the Expo. I was delighted to see Great Yarns there — they always have amazing knitted items to drool over (oh, how I wish I had time to knit!). And of course, Makers’ Mercantile was there with all of their wonderful offerings.

In the non-knitting department, I visited with friends from ThimbleCreek  (I hope Joe has time to get us a newsletter this week, now that the show is over), and made friends with Bobbi Bullard. After listening to her speak, I was certain we have a connection, which it turns out we do: We were both raised in Atlanta, Georgia … about the same time … and even have some mutual acquaintances.

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One of the most impressive speakers I’ve heard in a long time was Tula Pink, a young (32) fabric designer with enough stage presence to be a stand-up comic. She kept us enthralled for over 2 hours. When Mary Ann went to get a book signed for her daughter, I was able to move in close enough for a photo.

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At the airport on our way home, I spent some delightful conversation with Jiordan Castle, a young writer now living in San Francisco. I gave her a card, and hope she will be in touch so we can continue our discussion of books and movies and other fun stuff.

Knitting in Cuba … NOT

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Recently I was fortunate to make a US-approved People to People trip to Cuba.  We were in two large cities, and of course I was interested in finding out whether anyone there knits.
The short answer is NO. There is some crochet, but mostly I saw beautiful hand embroidery:
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 I believe that yarn is inaccessible to the people there, and since it is quite warm, there is not much desire for knitted items in other than lightweight cottons.
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Based on the tools that I saw in the fields — primitive by our standards  — if knitting were in practice, one assumes it would be accomplished on hand-carved needles. I’m curious to find out, however, if other knitters know differently. If so, please share with us!

Fix-A-Stitch goes to Stitches West

With Santa Clara being practically in my back yard (well, an hour away, but that’s California for you), I knew that my trusty camera and I had to stop by last weekend at the Hyatt Regency, where Stitches West was taking place.

As many of you remember, Fix-A-Stitch was first announced and demonstrated at the Adela’s Yarn booth at Stitches 2011. In honor of that, I spent a few hours each day at Stitches West 2014, demonstrating Fix-A-Stitch to customers who stopped by the booth. One morning when I couldn’t make it, Lily Chin did the demo for me using our lace weight Fix-A-Stitch (thanks, Lily!).

I was thrilled to see the Stitch Diva herself, Jennifer Hansen, and the always delightful StevenBe. Liz from Fine Points was there, too. There were just too many great shops and folks for me to count. I did so much oohing, ahhing and chatting that my photos were kept to a minimum! Still, here are three I thought I should share with you:

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The Yarnover Truck team has such an interesting concept. They bring the yarn to you, whether you’re in an area with no local yarn shop (LYS) or just want to have a “yarn tasting” party and/or knitting class with friends. It’s a shop on wheels, really.

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I hung out in the skacel collection booth for a while, where Marcy, left, and her sister Carma were such gracious hostesses. It’s also always special when I have time to chat with skacel’s Michelle Hunter, aka Knit Purl Hunter, maker of the most fantastic instructional online lessons for knitters.

 

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Last but not least, my good friend Joanna Reyes (far right) brought her lovely daughter, Elise, to help out at the Chic-a  booth. Joanna and I have a fun announcement coming up later this spring — but for now, I’m sworn to secrecy.

So there you have it. I love when a yarn show is nearby without the hassle of packing and jet lag. All that notwithstanding, though, I’m looking forward to heading east in May, to The National NeedleArts Association’s Summer Market in Indianapolis! Ask your yarn store to check with us about the newest offering from Fix-A-Stitch.

Meet our TNNA booth neighbor, Chic-a!

At the recent The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) show in San Diego, we had the good fortune to be exhibitor neighbors with Jay and Joanna Reyes, the proprietors of Chic-a.

According to their website, “Chic-a was founded in 2007, when Joanna Reyes realized there had to be a better solution to storing ongoing knitting and crochet projects. Ziploc bags kept breaking, and the designs of existing bags were impractical for knitting and crochet. What she wanted was a knitting project bag that would last for many projects, would be practical, and yet be fun to carry around. Using her many years of sewing experience she designed and crafted the Quick Draw Project Bag. The immediate popularity of this bag confirmed the demand for her fusion of practical and fun. She continued to develop products to meet this demand, and out of this, Chic-a was born.”

We can attest that they’re wonderful people with wonderful products. Their bags can hold your latest yarn projects — and, of course, your Fix-A-Stitch sets!

Here they are setting up the booth.

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Doesn’t it look wonderful? So nice of them to incorporate the Fix-A-Stitch pink (I guess it’s Chic-a pink, too)!

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Some bags on display.

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Wednesday funny

Just had to share Tim Whyatt’s take on knitting. He has a hilarious site (please note, some of the humor is for “mature” audiences) at Whyatt.com.au/cartoons

Edited to add: Over on our Facebook page, Karla McCord shared a link to show that a Wii Knitting game has actually been beta-tested: http://www.kniittiing.com/about.html. Who’d a thunk it!?

Let’s talk lace

Many Fix-A-Stitch fans are familiar with the original tool, but did you realize we have a lace weight version to help you with finer-gauge projects, too?

Bonnie created the “daintier” Fix-A-Stitch in response to her own need for something that would easily go in and out of lace weight stitches. Its flexibility lets the tool pick up that dropped stitch much more effortlessly than a standard crochet hook could.

Recently, Bon even found ANOTHER great use for the Lace Weight Fix-A-Stitch: An avid machine embroidery user, instead of “pushing” the thread through the holes on her 10-needle machine, she used the Lace Weight Fix-A-Stitch to pull the thread through. “It was MUCH easier. Because the Lace Weight Fix-A-Stitch has a slight bend to it, I could even do the bottom hole, where a traditional crochet hook wouldn’t fit.”

Here are two photos from her triumph:
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Lace Weight Fix-A-Stitch tools are sold in packs of two. Share your Fix-A-Stitch story, and you could win a prize! Email us at bonnie@fixastitch.co for details.

 

Success in San Diego

Bonnie and Donna headed to the San Diego Convention Center last weekend to take part in the annual Winter Trade Show put on by The National NeedleArts Association. At their booth, they met with dozens of knit and crochetwear designers, retailers and distributors who either were introduced to the Fix-A-Stitch tool on the spot — or were coming back for more!

Here’s a look back at the weekend through the lens of Bonnie’s camera (and a few through Donna’s camera, too):

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