12 Days of Christmas: more items for crafters to make and love!

2014-12-18 01Happy Week before Christmas, dear friends.  I am still in the thick of making gifts, working on projects, and baking!  I took some time to create a few of those fabric buckets we talked about in an earlier post. I really love the way this one turned out!

Here are more of those last minute quick gifts that we love to make, and they love to receive! We have found some clever ideas, fast fixes and even some projects that could include the whole family.

I am focusing on the quick, functional, and fun to complete. I hope that you are able to give at least one project a try. They are sure to be favorites, and perhaps even become a tradition!

Child Crafters

2014-12-18 02bHow about a gift to make with children?  This fantastic star ornament not only uses little bits of fabric scraps (or just a few fat quarters) but – much like a 24 piece puzzle – it is child friendly.  Here is a picture of my “practice” ornament. It is not perfectly measured but it still turned out well.

My tips for making this with children would be to use higher contrast fabrics. My fabric choice for the green center has too much white in it for my taste, and so I think that takes away from the graphic effect of the star shape. In addition, I would recommend using a glue stick, instead of the interfacing that is recommended in the pattern, to hold your fabrics in place while working. It is important to keep the points in place while working on a whole bunch of these guys before stitching.

Making Candy

2014-12-18 06Kids also love to cook, especially around the holidays! We made Cracker Candy from this Rachel Ray recipe last week. It was easy, and so yummy and fun to make! The girls loved it, and so did I!


C2014-12-18 05oasters are the perfect on-hand gift for the folks or events that sneak up on you in those last holiday hours. Impromptu cocoa parties or visiting that aunt that you so rarely see would be perfect occasions to pull out these little guys.

This free pattern on Ravelry just couldn’t be simpler.  Just Knit, Felt and Repeat. Using a color changing yarn like Casablanca or Berroco Lodge would be wonderful and add interest to these coasters.

Hats Galore!

2014-12-18 03I have a long-standing tradition that I knit hats on the 23rd and 24th of December. They are my go to gift for my dad, brother and sister-in-law.  This is really a last minute gift if there ever was one, but there is something so comforting about knitting a gift at a specific time that I know will be done in just a few hours and takes absolutely no finishing or blocking.  Last year I knit the Winschift Hat by Steven West.  The year before that it was a series of hats from Hat Heads. And the whole thing kicked off by knitting the Turn a Square by Jared Flood. That year even darling husband and his brother recieved hats!

This year I have picked the Barley Hat from Tin Can Knits.  I love the basic design that is going to let me pick the recipients favorite color and knit an interesting but basic hat just for them.


2014-12-18 04Everyone loves tree ornaments.  What about whipping up one of these adorable little ball ornaments. Using scraps or perhaps even some color coordinated skeins of Cascade Longwood from The Crooked Stitch you could work up one or two of these in just one evening.  Don’t forget we also stock Fiberfill at The Crooked Stitch for all your holiday crafting needs!

Matching Pajamas

2014-12-18 07Do you have a family tradition for Christmas morning? Our Harmon family tradition is matching pajamas.  I love a good comfy pair of pajama pants.  This pattern is a great one, it shows how to cut up and sew a pair using that favorite pair you already own.  Using  a drawstring  makes this an easy to care for and easy to sew pair.  I think they would be fantastic in the Elf on the Shelf Fabric we stock.

Your Own List

How is your holiday list looking? Have you got all the egg nog, tinsel, and fruit cake you need?  Don’t forget to find time for some of these last minute holiday crafting adventures.  Let us know what last minute gifts YOU put together for loved ones!


12 days of Christmas : 12 Fabulous items for crafters to make and love

Over the next two weeks we will be sharing some ideas on quick ,fun, and affordable gifts to knit, sew and share.  We know how much satisfaction you get from knitting and creating things for people you love!

Fabric Based Gifts

Fabric Baskets

fabricbuckets3How about some round bottom fabric storage buckets?  These will let you use up some of those lovely fat quarters that you have lying around your home begging to be used, or (better yet!) help you pick out some new ones that have been tempting you at The Crooked Stitch!  I am planning on making a few for teacher gifts and filling them with tea, gift cards or other treats. They don’t have to be gift wrapped, just made up and filled.



10patchworklanyardIts always nice to have a little something for your co-workers to let them know you appreciate them.  This little lanyard tutorial is just a great one. And won’t everyone look so nice while wearing their name badges!


Fabric Bowls

Picture1How about giving your loved ones something to brighten their office, kitchen, dressing table, or desk?  These clever collapsible fabric bowls are both useful and functional everywhere you put them, and it is just perfect for small pieces of fabric.  You could really doll one of these little guys up by adding a pieced block to the center of the inside of the bowl!!

Yarn Based Gifts

Now knitters, here are a few  projects for you, too.

Drop Stitch Cowl

Drop stitchThe Drop Stitch Cowl is a stylish and fun project that you can complete in just a few hours.  Grab a bulky yarn like Cascade Magnum or Casacade128 Multi  and you will create a soft and beautiful project with just one skein of yarn!

The Present Cowl

DSC_3332_medium2The Present Cowl is another fast project that would look great in Berroco Chunky.  The alternating rounds of stockinette and garter stitch make for a very squooshy and warm cowl. And based upon its name, a fabulous present!

Color Block Bias Wrap

_MG_9338_-_final_medium2The Color Block Bias Wrap is a bigger project but it would work up well while traveling or resting with family.  Its simple construction lets you play with color and enjoy the creation of your project.

There you have 6 great ways to tackle some last minute gift giving, organize your creative space, or just look festive during the holiday season.

Want more?

Next week check back for some ways to dress up the table and spruce up your tree!

Thankful For YOU!



Cross Stitch pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery “You are smashing”

This Thanksgiving I want you all to know how important you are to The Crooked Stitch!  Without the wonderfully inspiring customers there would be no shop. (What a terrible thought!)

Each day you bring us more inspiration in the form of your ideas, your projects and creations, and your willingness to share all of that – not only  inside our four walls at 390 Franklin Street, but also on our Facebook Page, in your Pinterest Pins and also on The Crooked Stitch Ravelry Group.

Thank you for letting the team at The Crooked Stitch offer you classes, advice, tips and friendship.  Thank you for bringing us your problem projects, your successes, and your leftovers to share with others in our community.  Thank you for your support and your business over the last five years!

Happy Birthday to us

old shopYes, it’s true! We have officially hit the 5 year mark!  December 1, 2009 was our first official day of being “open” in that tiny shop across the street from our current location.  (remember that?)

It is almost embarrassing to think how small we were back then.  But we had a dream – and as we grew, the dream grew – and it continues to grow because of your support and friendship.

To celebrate the wonderful dream that became The Crooked stitch we invite you to visit us during our birthday week December 1st through 5th.  We have sales planned on our top 5 products – the things you love the most, as well as a special surprise!  Unplanned Peacock has created a special Birthday Colorway just for us and we can’t wait to show you!

A Special Week

In order for our employees to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families we will closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th.  However we will reopen on Saturday, November 29th at 10:00 AM and will kick off our birthday week with a bang!  On Saturday ONLY you will find 30% off any yarn or fabric in the shop. Starting on Saturday and going all week you will find hourly specials on your favorite Crooked Stitch products.

This amazing week will close with the wonderful Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas on Friday December 5th.  Visit us on Friday night between 6:00 and 8:00 pm and enjoy fun and fiber with spinners Olivia, Dorothea, and LeMoyne, as well as special sales and yummy treats.

 Thank you!

We can’t thank you enough for your support and trust and we look forward to celebrating with you! Please stop by during our special week and share your special memories of us as we have grown over the past 5 years. Can’t wait to see you!

Finished Objects

‘Tis the season to wrap up in knitwear.  Here are some of the pieces our local knitters have checked off their lists!

Untitled2First we have a lovely fall color inspired Baby Sweater made in a simple Raglan style with a garter yoke. (Find the pattern on Ravelry here.)

UntitledNext up we have a Beautiful Model ( Hi Lori!) with a fantastic Color Affection shawl.  This picture has been hanging around on my computer for a while. I love how Lori selected the colors for this shawl by picking the speckles from her lightest color yarn and featuring them in the stripes.  This idea has really helped me figure out what to do with some Madelinetosh I have stewing in my stash.

red&grayHere is Rachel’s ALMOST finished hat for her uncle.  It is a simple ribbed pattern like Zissou.  You can find this awesome Cascade 128 Multis in a variety of colors at The Crooked Stitch.  The superwash yarn is perfect for quick gifts and it is easy to care for!


bluehatChristina finished this Capucine Hat out of Cascade 128 Multis too!  The blues in this colorway are so brilliant.


vestHelen finished this Merrigolds in Savannah Sweater in Berroco Weekend DK.  She knit the pattern with some positive ease so it would be a comfortable to wear vest that could be layered in cooler temps.  The Cable and Lace pattern shows up well in this yarn. Excellent Work Helen!


Your Turn!

What projects are you finishing up this month?


Decorating the Home

When you craft do you think about how an object will look in your home?  Do you plan it to match someone elses? Do you prefer to work with your favorite colors or fibers regardless of where they will wind up?


Some times I feel like I put more emphasis on clothing that I do on home decor.  I sometimes forget about the joy of finishing a project and having more than just a stack of sweaters to wear or quilts that don’t fit beds or living room decor.


This past month Country Living Magazine put out some fantastic ideas on how to better share some projects and make interesting home decor out of them. For some of these projects you could use old quilts that have age-damage since many of these projects are cut up, but you could also pull pieces out of your stash or make a few co-coordinating blocks to get the look you really want.



Now this is fantastic.  All those blocks that don’t have a home sure do look nice on display in frames.  10” and 12” square frames are easily available these days thanks to the shadow box and scrap booking craze.


02-quilts-bolster-pillow-1114-lgn-26490919What about making a pillow?  Quilted pillows are coming back into style and something about the price of the ones at our local home decor stores makes me cringe.  It isnt the price, becasue we all know quilts are worth a fair price.  I think it is the fact that ever quilt I have come in contact with has a familiar story or a local creator.  I think the romance is compltely lost when the quilter is unknown.


03-quilts-folding-screen-1114-lgn-90201931Do you have a room divider or screen that you would like to re-purpose?  Have you considered covering it with a quilt?



What about you?

Do you use any creative quilt displays? How can we get our beloved projects out of the closet, off the cutting room floor or up on a wall?  I would love to hear your ideas, and check back next week for more home decor ideas with your beloved knit items.


Nellknits November

I love a good local designer!

NellI feel like using a design created by someone I know makes the connection to the crafting even stronger.  Just recently I was introduced to Nell Ziroli by some some of my local hand-dyer friend ( Angie and Stephanie of Kismet Fiberworks.)  Nell lives in Atlanta and travels to the Blue Ridge Mountains regularly to visit family… So frequently that I feel like she is a neighbor.

Nell is a designer who has created a nice brand and her exceptional patterns have been designed for the likes of Malibrigo, Swans Island, and Jarred Flood.  Much of her design portfolio is self published, but most recently she was included in the book Wool People Vol. 7.

Nell came up and taught a fabulous class at Sheep in the Shade on Tips and Tricks to Improve your knitting.  I was so moved by this class I wanted to share all Nell’s wonderful tips with all the knitters I know.  Since it is always fun to get new tips and tricks from the designer, Nell will be at The New River Fiber Co. on November 15, 2014 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm teaching her fabulous class.( fee is $40 and there are no supply costs, just bring a 10” by 4” rectangle of Stockinette and some scrap yarn to work with!)

That being said, I also want to knit a very large number of Nell’s designs.  So I had a brilliant idea…


Wheaton Wrap

Wheaton Wrap – The top item on my list to knit.


#Nellknitsnovember is a month long Knit along featuring Nell’s Patterns.  Join other knitters from The New River Fiber Co and The Crooked Stitch by signing up.

Everyone who signs up will get 10% off your purchases at The New River Fiber Co and The Crooked Stitch for the whole month of November  All month there will be prizes as well as exclusively designed patterns from Nell.

Don’t forget to take pictures of what you knit, and at the end of the month any pictures that have been shared using the hashtag #nellknitsnovemeber on Instagram or Facebook will be entered to win 5 skeins of Swans Island Worsted weight yarn!

Won’t you join us?


Little Hand Made Treats

I love Fall… Leaves, Pumpkins, Orange everywhere. Fall is the best season!

Now, Halloween sometimes gives me mixed emotions.  I’m not into the scary stuff, my preference is for the light-hearted, child-like fun that come with Halloween. I love candy and parties, and even dressing up in fun costumes. I love making treats to eat and to decorate with.

Here are some of my favorite this season.


TCS 2014-10-23 A#1 Knit little pumpkin!

Why not create your own holiday decorations that will last for years!  These versatile little pumpkins are easy to make, and are a free Ravelry download.  Make a dozen and share with friends!

Pumpkin quilt#2 Sew a little pumpkin

Wool Applique makes this little guy go fast.  Leave off the bat and Jack-o-lantern face and have a pumpkin fit for the whole season.

#3 Make Pumpkin Muffins

You can make homemade pumpkin muffins the easy way!

  • One 15 Oz. can Libby Pumpkin
  • 1 box spice cake mix

Mix and pour into muffin tins then bake at 350˚for 20 to 30 minutes and you get perfect, easy muffins

caramel-445976_640#4 Caramel Apples

There is nothing like the treat of a crisp, tart apple covered by a sweet caramelly coating.  It makes me hungry just thinking about it!  Apple picking is another favorite!

TCS 2014-10-23 C#5 Pick a Pumpkin

Picking out your pumpkin is a high point of the season.

TCS 2014-10-23 B#6  Make a funny Hat

A funny hat becomes a costume of its own and adds fun to each fall day!


What about you?

What fun Fall crafts are you working on? Do you have anything special your are making for Halloween? Jump over to the Facebook page and leave us some pictures!!

*** Whitney is visiting the Fall International Quilt Market in Houston this weekend so come by and pick up some of your current favorites for only $8 a yard! All bolts are $8 a yard until October 25th! ***

Finished Object Round-Up

In this installment of the round up we have some exemplary knitwear to share.

First check out Becky and Linda’s finished  Kismet MKAL. (Kismet Mystery Knit Along)

2014-09-18 01

2014-09-18 02









Next is Lisa’s Acorn Trail.  This is a beautiful Custom Fit Sweater.

2014-09-18 03


Custom.   Fit.   Sweater.


2014-09-18 04

Did ya catch that?

Custom.   Fit.   Sweater.

Remember those words – we will be doing a Custom Fit demonstration and offering Free Measuring Workshops at the shop VERY SOON!

This last beauty is Graiselle Sweater, made by Lisa in lace weight yarn.

2014-09-18 05

Knitters Tool Kit

The beginning of September always makes me think of going back to school.  I grew up in an area where we never went back before Labor Day. (Mainly, I think, because high school students were needed to labor at the local tourist traps!)

No matter when we went back to school, for many kids like me school supplies are the best part of going back to school.   There is nothing like having an organized pencil box full of cool stuff to use. Organizing all the new sharpeners, crayons, pencils and rulers always made me feel smarter and more prepared.

I feel the same way about having a well stocked knitter’s tool kit. I may not be in school any longer but I do still enjoy learning and not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new about knitting or quilting. Having the correct tools makes every job more enjoyable and easier to complete. (Who doesn’t hate having 1,000 ends to weave in!)

Here are some of the things I think are essential to a knitter’s tool kit:

2014-09-11 01A Knitting Bag

Lets Start with a bag:  I like a box bag or zipper top bag.  I really love the KSC Designs bags that we stock at The Crooked Stitch. They are well contructed and so hold up well for a very long time. All of the bags I currently use have been around for several years.  I really only add to them when there is a fabric pattern I can’t live without. They are a great investment and make your tool kit look very stylish.

A Medical Kit

Inside the bag I like to keep a travel “medical” kit stocked with lots of little knitting items. These are available at your local big box store, or a dollar store – usually for less than a buck.  There are any number of things to keep in this kit, here is my list:

  1. 2014-09-11 02Stitch Markers –  I like to keep at least two different kinds of stitch markers in my kit because some projects require loopy beaded stitch markers and others require just the round ring markers. It is really a personal preference, but I like to be prepared for my mood.
  2. Knitters Safety Pins – Knitters safety pins are really just coil-less safety pins.   They are great for marking the right side of a project or for making a dropped stitch. They won’t pick the yarn and are very handy.  I also use them when adding a tag to a knitted gift.
  3. 2014-09-11 03Snips – My favorite snips don’t fit in my med box, so i just leave them loose in the bag.
  4. Darning Needles – I recommend three sizes so that you can thread any yarn into the eye and weave those loose ends into place ASAP. (It is best not to let them linger as they are never too much fun to deal with – and really – sweaters being worn with loose ends just look silly.)

Measuring Tools

I generally carry three different types of measuring tools in my knitters kit.

  1. 2014-09-11 04A needle gauge so that I can make sure I am using the correct needle for my projects or I can identify the needles that have wiggled free of my needle case.
  2. A clover clicking row counter is very handy on charted projects or if you are trying to keep track of decreasing and increasing.
  3. A Hiya Hiya retractable measuring tape. Some times I think the tape lies to me – especially when I have knit eons of stockinette stitch… But scientifically I know it is really right.  Frustrating but handy.

Dental Floss

2014-09-11 05Last but not least I carry dental floss.  I use this for safety lines in lace projects and to park stitches for sleeves and the like.  Extra yarn works well for this too, especially cotton which is not too sticky.  I just like the dental floss because it is waxed, so it won’t stick and it’s in a neat case so it doesn’t go everywhere in my bag!

What about you?

What special tools do you carry?  Share your ideas with us, you never know what others are ready to learn!

The Parade of Fabrics

Out with the old and in with the New!


“A is for” from Windham fabrics has a 30’s vibe but very fresh.

Over the last few weeks you may have stopped by (Thank you!) and noticed that our fabric inventory is changing.


Homebody by Kim Knight and Moonlight by Rasida Coleman Hale for Cotton and Steel

We pay attention to what our customers tell us, and you have told us that you wanted new fabrics!  So we are moving out some of the commission fabric we had from the (now closed) Smith Mountain Lake Quilting in order to make room for fresh stock.

We will be focusing on the traditional prints you know and love, the more exciting and modern fabrics, as well as continuing to stock the novelty fabrics that you crave.

In fact, we recently received some wonderful pieces from Windham fabrics, Cotton and Steel/ RJR and just this week Quilting Treasures!

Sarah Watts

It feels like I just came back from the Spring Quilt Market, but here we are only about 6 weeks away from the Fall Market which means all the latest and greatest will soon be available.

What are you favorites? Is there anything you would like to see more of at The Crooked Stitch?  Share here, or join the conversation on Facebook.