Monday, November 14, 2011

How many knitters does it take to make 29 tobaggons?

Vicki Butterfield and her daughter are practically knitting magicians.

Just last month, they brought in 29 hats. The luscious color combinations in them make it hard to believe the yarn started out as a mismatched bag of remnants.

The two take home a wide assortment of partial skeins of yarn that customers donate at the shop, and then turn them into warm toboggans and scarves. They bring those Always In Stitches, where Grandma Ginger gets the items to Good Samaritan Network, Hamilton County’s agency for clothing, feeding and housing residents in need.

Combining their donations with other customers’ handwork, 51 hats and eight scarves were sent to Good Samaritan in October, and seven quilts or crocheted blankets were given to Project Linus.

If you’d like to donate yarn or be part of these service projects, ask an AIS sales associate for more information.

Here are more articles from our Nov. 11 newsletter.

New knitting BOM
Great for beginners, fun for everyone
Raise your needles if you’re looking at the calendar and wishing you’d started earlier on your hand-knitted Christmas gifts.

Always In Stitches can help you not fall into that time trap again next year. Our new Knitting BOM will get you started on a 12-block afghan (each one a different stitch) early and have it done by 12/12/12.

“This is a fabulous way for new knitters to learn tons of techniques,” said Penny, our in-house knitting expert.

There’s no sign-up fee for this BOM. A monthly $20 payment gives you a skein of Cascade 220, the block pattern and a 30-minutes class, which will be held at 2:30 on the last Saturday of the month beginning Jan. 28. (Ask Penny about the bonus for bringing in completed blocks each month.) Plus, there will be knitting goodies and snacks at each class.

The first pattern will be available starting at the Knit-In, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 18 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 19 at the shop. There also will be door prizes, discounts and fun fellowship during those 10 hours of knitting, where we’ll appreciate you using our products. Call now to hold your spot for the Knit-In, (317) 776-4227, and sign up at the shop to be part of the Knitting BOM. 

Machine tips, tricks, techniques at Univ. of AIS
 “In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.” - Jeff Bezos, founder

This month’s class at University of AIS may not teach you how to thread a machine while it’s running, but it will give you more valuable tips, tricks and techniques to harness the high-tech power of today’s machines to suit your project.

The session is 10:30-11  Nov. 16. Bring your finished item to get this month’s sticker.

In addition to great instruction every month, this program includes free gifts. Betcha can’t get that deal in Seattle.

Make bias tape yourself to create a perfect edge
There’s a way to perfectly match bias tape to match your fabric. DIY.

The Bias Tape Maker tool cuts strips the finished width and presses the fabric as you pull the strips through the tool. It seems particularly practical for finishing projects like aprons or placemats, and would be great for making little stems for flower appliqu├ęs. On any project, making your own bias tape could save you money.

Find it among the sewing notions in the shop.

Sweet PJs are dream to make
“Every night feels like a slumber party when you are wearing a pair of pajama pants made from your favorite fabric,” begins the introduction to Sew Easy’s “Pajama Pants” pattern book. We couldn’t agree more.

Manager Capi Saxton whipped up a pair of these – in an adorable fish-pattered fabric – overnight and calls the book very user friendly. Instructions are basic and simple, but experienced stitchers will enjoy making them, too. Trace the patterns before you use them because they can be customized from sizes XS to XXXL  so you’ll use them repeatedly.

There are opportunities to embellish the pants, too, says Capi, including Capri or full length and with or without pockets. If you’re making them for someone heading to a slumber party, you might want to make a matching tote bag, bracelet or pillowcase – and patterns for each are in the book.

Find “Pajama Pants” among the books at the front of Always In Stitches.

Caryl Schuetz appraises quilts Nov. 19
Get ready now for Always In Stitches’ version of Antiques Roadshow.

We’re bringing Caryl Schuetz to the store Nov. 19 to appraise and explain the history of your quilts.
For $45, Caryl will appraise one quilt in a private, 30-minute session. Additional quilts can be brought in, but each must be signed up for an individual session.

Congratulations, Ruth
Ruth Middleton, our in-house quilting expert, walked away from the recent Quilt Guild of Indy show with a third place award. She made Deb Luttrell’s Gumballs quilt.

We’re so proud of her!

You can benefit from her talent and expertise. Ruth will teach four people – advance beginners to advanced – how to make the quilt from 10:30-3:30 Dec. 3 at the shop. Cost is $50 plus supplies and pattern.

Dear Lola,
I try to plan my knitting projects carefully, but sometimes I run short when I need to bind off. Any suggestions on what I can do?

That’s a common conundrum, Frazzled. It won’t be a problem, though, if you follow the knitter’s rule of thumb: It usually takes four times the width of your piece to bind off. Save that amount of yarn in advance, and especially if you start running close on your yarn for the project.

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