5 Tips for Finding {MORE} Time to Knit!

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Let’s face it, we are all busy people! Whether you are hoping to learn to knit, and aren’t sure you can fit it in your schedule, or you already knit, and can’t seem to finish all the projects you want to, these tips may just help you work knitting into your life!

The truth of the matter is, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. In a way, this fact can be inspiring, because we have the same amount of time as all the world-changers, movers, shakers, and billionaires. On the other hand, it can be intimidating: we have the same amount of time as the world-changers, movers, shakers, and billionaires!!! Life is short! We should spend our time doing the things that we love, that help our families and the world around us, that enrich our lives, and inspire others.

Now I don’t know about you, but one of the things I have found out about myself is that

I cannot take care of others unless I take care of me!

In my world, taking care of me involves, you guessed it: knitting! I have people all of the time say, “How do you get so many knitted things done?!?!” Well, knitting is important to me. We find time for the things that are important to us. Knitting is important because it helps me relax, it gives me a creative outlet, it keeps me healthy & sane (seriously! There is research!), and it is ever practical. I will always know people who need some kind of knitted object. And, as far as I’m concerned, one can never have too many knitted things!

So, here are some tips to help you fit more knitting into your life! Whether you are considering learning, or you have been at it for years, and just want to finish more projects, I hope these tips will help you look at your schedule differently!

  1. Make it a priority and/or schedule it!

As I said above, we make time for things that are important to us! For me, this means making sure I knit first thing in the morning. This means that no matter what other craziness comes up throughout the day, I have already had a chance to knit. Now, most days, this just means I make sure to knit two rows while I’m drinking my coffee in the morning. (I’m not really a morning person, so I have to have a little time to percolate!)

Knitting, Coffee & My Kitty!  Great way to start the day!

Knitting, Coffee & My Kitty! Great way to start the day!

Since incorporating this routine into my schedule, it has made a world of difference. I feel accomplished because, no matter what, I have already knit a little bit each day. Plus, Rome wasn’t built in a day!!! Yes, if this is all you knit, it might take a while to knit a sweater, but you will still be able to knit a sweater if you keep at it everyday! Slow and steady wins the race! Consistency is the key, here, and if it is part of your routine, you will be less likely to blow it off.

  1. Look for the small pockets of time.

You don’t have to schedule hours of time each day or even week to knit! Find the small moments where you can squeeze in a little knitting time, and you will start to see progress on your projects. Maybe you can multi-task and work on your knitting while you catch the evening news & weather.

Maybe for you, this means you spend the second half of your lunch hour working on your project. Do you find yourself stuck to a computer or phone screen at some point during your day? Maybe you can swap knitting for part of that screen time. I guarantee you will not miss that screen time once you make the switch!

Are you a stay at home mom? Schedule yourself 15 minutes of knitting at the beginning of the kiddos nap time, or right when they go to bed! Don’t feel guilty about it, use it as your re-charge time!

  1. Gather all your supplies in one place.

So you have 15 free minutes, and you race into the spare bedroom, pull your needles out from the box under the bed, dig in the closet for that ball of yarn you just purchased, and stop off at the computer to print that pattern you found on Ravelry and…..times up! You didn’t get anything started after all. Sound familiar????

Take time to get organized, and you will be able to maximize those scheduled times, or the small pockets of time that present themselves. Use a basket on the coffee table to gather everything you need for your work in progress, and it will be ready to go when you have a few minutes to work on it.

Keep a bag for your project in progress on a hook by the door, so it’s ready to go with you. Maybe you need two notions bags, one for at home, and another for your bag that goes with you. This way, you’re not forever forgetting it in the opposite place you need it!

Can’t ever find the pattern you want to work on? Maybe it’s time to go digital. You’ve always got your iPad with you anyway, so download your pdf patterns all in one place! A few minutes preparing and organizing will never go to waste!

Color Therapy!

Color Therapy!

  1. Take your knitting with you!

Now that you have your project in a bag by the door, take it with you on your way out! You never know when you will end up with a little extra time waiting somewhere. If you end up in line at the Dr.’s office, waiting in the pickup line at school, early for an appointment, or with a cancellation, take advantage of the “free” time. You are going to have to sit there anyway, I find knitting makes waiting much more enjoyable. I now view it as “free” time, not “wasted” time!

Also, why not a little knitting in public? There are many places you can take your knitting with you, and I find it always sparks interesting conversations. I’m married to a sports fanatic so I always take my knitting to the ballpark, and enjoy feeling like I’m making progress on my project as I take in the sights and sounds. This time of year is great for outdoor knitting!

  1. Bribe yourself…

Last, but not least, the tricky but effective bribe. This is where you handle the “But I really should be doing laundry/cleaning the house/doing dishes/any other unpleasant task” objection.

Yes, we do have to do things to keep our life running smoothly, we can’t just give up all of these things in favor of knitting (although believe me, I’ve been tempted!). This is where I like to bribe myself. Here’s how it works:

Do you set aside an hour to accomplish some household task? Make it a challenge, and finish it in 45 minutes, then reward yourself those last 15 minutes of knitting time! Seriously, set a timer! You will be surprised how much faster you can probably finish something that usually takes you more time. Tasks will expand to fit the time we allow them, and sometimes all we need is a little extra motivation to finish them up quicker. A harmless knitting bribe may do the trick! Set yourself a timer for the knitting time, too, then you won’t go over your allotted time and make yourself feel guilty. Instead, you will have maximized something that was already in your schedule, and given yourself a little “you” time, too!

Use a timer to get things done!

Use a timer to get things done!

So, what do you think? I want to hear from you in the comments! Do you already employ one or more of these tactics, or have another strategy to share for fitting more knitting into your schedule?   Which one of these tips are you going to try this week?

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you will have more happy knitting time this week!

-Sasha

Free Pattern Published by Classic Elite Yarns

Today, I have a link for you to download a free pattern!  This pattern was designed by me at the end of last summer, right after we re-opened at the temporary space.  I fell in LOVE with the Bella Lino Yarn, and I just had to have something made up in it!

Among the Wildflowers

Among the Wildflowers

The idea for this piece is that in the spring and summer months, you don’t necessarily need knitted things for warmth where I live, therefore, you want things that are easy to wear, don’t add bulk, and of course, fancy up your outfit a little!  This design out of the linen-blend Bella Lino is perfect for this.  It looks like a kerchief, but is actually a sneaky cowl!  The benefits here are two-fold:  No extra layer for extra warmth, and you don’t have to fuss to re-situate it constantly.  (Tell me I’m not the only one forever trailing a scarf behind me!!!)

And then there is the fringe-factor…add fringe to a simple knit and it instantly becomes more eye-catching!  I love a good fringe!

The name of the pattern, Among the Wildflowers, is inspired by one of my favorite Tom Petty songs.  If you haven’t heard it, look it up 😉

Love the colors of this yarn!

Love the colors of this yarn!

Yesterday, this pattern was published for FREE by Classic Elite Yarns in their web-letter!  So, go download your copy from their website, and be sure to check out the design on Ravelry!  While you’re there, make sure you add it to your favorites and your queue if you’re ready to make one.  I’d also love to see your finished object photos in the projects area!

We have three new colors of this yarn in stock at Stitch Space, as well as a few favorites from last year’s colors!  Grace even worked up a sample in one of the new colors and it is gorgeous!  Give us a call if you’d like to purchase some of the Bella Lino and have us ship it your way: 417-673-2240

Our new sample, and new colors!

Our new sample, and new colors!

It is so exciting to see my designs getting out into the world!  If you’d like to see more of my patterns, you can check out my Ravelry page here.  There are a few more freebies, like the patterns from the My Mountain contest: the Chevron Stripe Cowl-Kerchief, the Neon Bump Slouch Hat, and the Go, Fight, Win, Team! Cowl.  You’ll also find some for purchase like my favorite, Sunset Sky, designed in our SweetGeorgia custom color!  Make sure you favorite any of the designs you like, and share with your knitting friends!

Thanks for coming along for the journey into design world!  I hope you enjoy making the patterns as much as I have enjoyed designing them!

Happy Knitting!

-Sasha

Sweater Love Copy Cat (Free Worksheet Download!)

One of the best things about the CustomFit program, is that you can easily re-create a favorite sweater, in a pattern that is in your size and your gauge.  (To see more about the CustomFit program, click here!)

Below is a picture of one of my all-time FAVORITE sweaters….

Tried & True!

Tried & True!

Now, there is nothing particularly spectacular about this sweater, but has been on constant rotation in my wardrobe for quite a few years now.  I’ve given quite a bit of thought to why, and it’s really simple:

This sweater fits my life & my wardrobe!

Sad, worn buttons!

Sad, worn buttons!

Honestly, what good is a sweater, unless we wear it???  I wear this one all the time because it is in my favorite neutral, grey, I love the fun stripes, and it’s a great lightweight layer.  It’s easy to take care of, and I’ve worn it over everything from t-shirts & jeans, to summer dresses.  I reach for it over & over again.  So, it is time to get a hand-knitted upgrade!

Love the stripes, and the wide cuffs!

Love the stripes, and the wide cuffs!

What I’ve created to share with you today, is a worksheet to help you take a tried & true favorite, like my grey striped sweater, and identify what it is you love about it!  That way, you can translate that into your knitting!

Maybe you’re ready to create a perfect Copy Cat of a sweater you love, or you just want to get more familiar with what you actually wear!  I encourage you to download our handy worksheet, and run through it with one of your favorite pieces.  The results may surprise you!  Here’s what mine looked like:

My Sweater Analysis!

My Sweater Analysis!

What I realized, was that I can ditch the buttons, and make an open-front sweater, because that is how I wear this garment anyway.  Also, the lightness of the piece is what stood out to me.  I want a trans-seasonal garment, that I can wear in the summer on a cool evening, or the spring & fall layered for changing temperatures.  The other realization that I had is that I wouldn’t have to keep the white stripes, the grey neutral is what I always reached for.  (I don’t even know how the white lasted as long as it did!  It’s a known fact that I haven’t been allowed to wear much white since it was confirmed at age 7 that I was terribly clumsy, and destined to spill everything! HA!)

Sweater_CopyCat_004-Edit

My swatch for the dream sweater 🙂

So, what’s the plan, you ask?  I’m making my CustomFit Cardigan as an open-front, V-neck Cardigan.  I’m keeping the stripes, but going for tone-on-tone grey.  One of the hardest choices was yarn, but when we received the Berroco Maya yarn this spring, it was love at first squish!  This yarn is an 85% Cotton, 15% Alpaca blend, with a chainette structure.  That means it can still have the lightness of the inspiration sweater, but at a more friendly worsted weight gauge!  I cannot wait to see how this sweater turns out…I’ll report back!

Your turn!  Download the Sweater Love Copy Cat Worksheet below, and give it a try!  Share in the comments what you find!

Sweater Love Copy Cat Worksheet

And, if you’re ready to start that dream sweater, but have never knit one before,

It’s not too late to signup for our next round of CustomFit classes!

The next session starts this Saturday, April 18th, and meets for 4 sessions total from Noon-1 PM.  Check out the schedule & details here, or give us a call at 417-673-2240 to signup or learn more!

 

As always, Happy Knitting!

 

Spring Refresher Knit-A-Long!

The Cimone Wrap!

The Cimone Wrap!

Do you have spring fever?  Are you tired of working with wool, and need to finish something you can wear right now?  I know I always get the itch at this time of year to work on something that is (almost) instant gratification!  At the shop, we are loving the new Berroco Espresso yarn, and all of us have picked out our favorite color to work up in the Cimone wrap.  It is a simple garter stitch triangle wrap, on size 13’s, with knitted on fringe.  If you know me, you know I love a good fringe and this technique is so fun!  I think this project will make the perfect palette cleanser before we dive into bigger spring & summer projects!  Knit-A-Long with us, as we make this fun Cotton Blend wrap, that will work up in a snap!

The KAL will begin April 7th, and run through May 1st!  Purchase a kit with us, and we will send you a download with tips & tricks for making the Cimone Wrap, as well as a video on completing the knitted in fringe! (video released by April 20th)  Complete your wrap kit purchased from us by May 1st, and you will be entered to win a $50 class gift certificate from Stitch Space!

Buy the kit for $49.99 and pick it up in the store, or let us ship it to you. The kit includes 2 skeins of Berroco Espresso yarn, and the pattern.  We can even add on needles for you, if you don’t have size 13’s!

(April 7th & 8th only, get $10 off the kit!)

See the colors below, and call us today to order!  417-673-2240

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The New Stitch Space Classroom!

One of the things I had been looking forward to through the entire rebuilding process, was getting to use the amazing classroom space we had built in.  If you visited us at the temporary space, you know we were cramped, but even before the fire, we were beginning to outgrow Stitch Space version 1.0.

Our new classroom!

Our new classroom!

The new classroom space is SO WONDERFUL for Stitch Night!  We are able to fit so many more people, while still allowing everyone room to move around the shop, and squish the new yarn.  Join us on a Tuesday from 5-8 to see for yourself!

Another thing the classroom has done for us, is allow us to host more knitting classes than ever before!  We are getting ready to kick off our new schedule this next week, and I wanted to take a minute and tell you about some of the great classes we are offering!  Are you ready to signup for one of the classes below, and take advantage of our new space?  Call us at 417-673-2240 to register now!  A couple of these are almost full!

Knit To Flatter: Saturday April 11, 12-1 PM

This is a great class to take if you are ready to start that first sweater project.  We will discuss the design details to incorporate to help flatter your figure, as well as talk about a few universally flattering options.  If you are going to spend the time making a sweater, it should look great and make you feel good!  Take this before the CustomFit Sweater class for optimal results!  One Session $25

CustomFit Sweater:  Saturdays April 18, 25, May 2 & 9, 12-1 PM

Once you’ve figured out what you want to make, let’s make it a reality!  This class uses the CustomFit sweater pattern generator to make any style of sweater, in any yarn, in your gauge!  Topics include Good Sweater Fabric, Right & Left Slanting Increases & Decreases, Blocking, Seaming, Picking Up Stitches, Buttons, & More!  Our goal with this class is to successfully get you through your sweater construction, to a garment you love & will wear all the time!  A sweater doesn’t have to be an advanced project, you are welcome in this class as long as you can cast-on, knit & purl!  Four Sessions, $80

(Ready to take your sweater construction to dream-sweater status?  We are also offering a Completely CustomFit Class.  See the details on the schedule here!)

Grace showing off her first CustomFit sweater!  Fits beautifully :)

Grace showing off her first CustomFit sweater! Fits beautifully 🙂

Fiber 101: Saturday April 11, 2-3 PM

Whether you’re just starting out with knitting, or have been doing it for awhile, knowing which fibers to pick for each project can help you have more project success!  This class will walk you through many of the options for natural & synthetic fibers, and what the properties of each are.  I’m digging into my class materials from teaching Textiles at the University to help you choose the best materials for your knitting project!  One Session $25

The colorwork cowl class project!

The colorwork cowl class project!

Colorwork Cowl: APRIL 18 & 25 SESSION FULL, MAY 16 & 23, 3-4:30 PM

Learn to knit this gorgeous colorwork cowl, that has no wrong side, with the two-handed method of working fair isle.  We will be working a provisional cast-on, working in the round, and joining the piece with kitchener stitch at the end.  This class is chock full of fun new techniques!  Can’t choose 5 colors under pressure?  We used the SweetGeorgia party of five mini-sets to make our shop sample.  These sets have 5 pre-coordinated mini-skeins of yarn that mimic popular SweetGeorgia variegated colors…..gorgeous!!!  Two sessions $50

 

Harness the power of hand dyed yarns to create patterned knits in Magic Number Knitting!

Harness the power of hand dyed yarns to create patterned knits in Magic Number Knitting!

Magic Number Knitting:  April 25 & May 2, 10-11:30 AM ***ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT!***

This class will truly blow your mind!  Learn how to create diamonds, stripes, argyles, ikat and more without ever changing yarns!  We will swatch do a little (EASY!) math, and discuss which yarns work, and which ones don’t for this technique.  Yarn is included in this class, so we can dive right in.  At the end of the class, you will know how to choose a yarn to cast on for your own project utilizing Magic Numbers!  Two sessions $60

FixAStitch

Don’t Panic! Learn to Fix-A-Stitch!

Fix-A-Stitch Clinic:  April 30, 6-7 PM

Yikes!  You dropped a stitch again, and now you have to rip it out…ugh!!!  Don’t rip it, learn how to fix it in this class!  The Fix-A-Stitch tool offers a unique method for fixing mistakes from the right side of the work.  Learn to use yours, or try out one of ours before you buy.  ***Homework required, 4-day advance signup recommended!***  One Session $30

These slippers will be a new favorite!  I love them so much I've worn through several pairs! (Yours will look like the brand-spanking new pair on the bottom, not the stinky worn out version up top!)

These slippers will be a new favorite! I love them so much I’ve worn through several pairs! (Yours will look like the brand-spanking new pair on the bottom, not the stinky worn out version up top!)

Felted Slippers:  May 6, 13 & 20, 6-7:30 PM

You can see from the photo above that I love my felted slippers (maybe a little too much).  This fun class will walk you through the process of knit and felt slippers with 100% wool yarn.  We’ll even spend the last class felting our slippers together in the washing machine!  Once you make one pair, you’ll be hooked, and will have a new go-to gift knitting project that you can make up in a weekend!  Three Sessions $50

Continental W/ Grace:  May 9, 10-11:30 AM

Try out the continental method of knitting, where you hold the working yarn in your left hand.  Grace will take you through the whys and hows of this method to add it to your knitting arsenal.  The first group that went through were all knitting and purling along by the end of the class time!  One Session $40  ***Not a learn to knit, must already have basics!***

Whoa…2 at a time???  You betcha!

Whoa…2 at a time??? You betcha!

Socks Toe-Up, 2 at a Time!:  May 16 10 AM-3 PM ***SPACE LIMITED IN THIS ONE DAY WORKSHOP!***

Have trouble making it to town for 3 separate classes for one technique???  Have no fear, the One-Day sock workshop is here!  By popular request, we are offering this class in one full day instead of 3 separate sessions.  Start the day learning how to cast on 2 socks at a time, increase for the toe, turn the heel, and bind off that ribbed cuff!  We will provide the supplies, and the lunch!  At the end of the day, cast on for a pair in sock weight, or whatever weight you choose.  Walk away with our Super-Fabulous Sock Worksheet to help you in your sock-knitting adventures!  One Session $75

Whew!  That’s a lot of classes, and we can’t wait to use our new space and help you advance your knitting skills, or Learn to Knit!  We offer beginner classes, too, so check out the full schedule here!  Call us at 417-673-2240 to reserve your spot in a class.

Remember, some classes require homework, and many require purchase of yarn at Stitch Space.  We do always give you a 10% discount on supplies used for your class, and we’ll be happy to give you a run down of what is required for a class before you signup!

Hope to see you knitting with us soon!

-Sasha