Weekly ideas for keeping busy during the coronavirus quarantine.
Bonus! We are offering free US shipping on orders over $25 during the shut down!
UPDATE MARCH 22 - We can no longer offer curbside pick up, in order to comply with Gov. Wolf's Stay-At-Home order in Montgomery Co.
UPDATE April 28 - We are once again offering curbside pickup, you will see it as on option in the cart checkout.
UPDATE May 24 - We're admitting defeat and switching to a weekly project.
Sunday, May 24 - Four Points Baby Blanket
Time for a knitting project! The Four Points pattern by Purl Soho is super flexible (and free), and can be knit in any weight yarn, you just have to adjust the stitch count. We made ours in a super bulky yarn, Pacific Bulky by Cascade for a quick finish, (click here for other super bulky choices) but if you want a longer project consider a chunky one with Kreamer Mauch Chunky (spun in PA!) or one of our other Chunkies, or even a worsted weight one in Malabrigo Rios, or any of our worsted yarns.
For our version, I cast on 47 stitches on size 13's...then followed the pattern based on that number. You start with one triangle, casting on the stitches for one long side, then decrease down to one stitch. For the next two triangles, you pick up and knit along a designated edge, and for the final triangle, you pick up and knit, then knit stitches together with the first triangle for zero seaming. It's all knitting (no purling or counting once you've cast on), and the decreasing triangle situation makes it seem quicker as you go - perfect mindless, soothing knitting. One ball of each color (Navy, White, Copper, and Silver for ours), and we've just re-stocked so we have some good choices! It's a small-ish blanket, see my feet for scale, and would be a great stroller or car seat blanket, or a nice little lap companion for TV watching.
Saturday, May 16 - Matchy Matchy!
So it looks like we might be wearing masks for a while...why not make a cute spring top and a matching mask? We love the Sorbetto top by Seamwork; it's a flexible pattern with some options, the instructions are super clear and it's suitable for beginners, AND IT'S FREE! Since masks use small pieces, you'll have lots left over for a mask or two, and we made ours with shiny fold-over elastic for extra elan (you need about 1 yard for the around-the-head style mask, less for around the ears). Art Gallery Fabrics are perfect for this project - a little lighter than regular quilting cotton. You need about 1-1/2 to 2 yards, depending on the size and style you make.
Sunday, May 10 - Celebrate Mother's Day with a cute baby quilt kit!
This adorable Wee Pals quilt kit from Blend Fabrics comes in 3 colorways - blue, pink and yellow. The kit includes everything but batting, thread, and the few hours it will take to complete. Finished size is about 30" x 44", a perfect little crib size! All fabrics are 100% cotton, and the kit has the center panel, borders, backing and binding, along with instructions. Talk about cute and simple! Here's Lisa with the kits - her verdict? "Even I could make this one!"
Thursday, May 7 - Kids (or adults) Learn to Knit!
Rowan yarns has put together a 5-part online class for kids to learn to knit - but why not learn with your kid? Get all the details and register here. They recommend Rowan Big Wool, which we sell here, and 10" straight knitting needles, available here, choose size 11, 13 or 15 in the drop-down list. The series teaches casting on, knitting, and binding off, and includes 3 projects!
Thursday, April 30 - 3 Yard Quilts
How about a cute little lap quilt you can make with just 3 yards of fabric? We've designed two for you! Both use up almost every bit of three yards of fabric, and if you're thrifty with your cutting you can get your binding out of that too. We've also put together some great 3 yard packs of fabric for you! Look here for the regular cotton prints, and here for the batik ones. We usually only have a few of each pack, and many of the batik packs are one-offs, so don't hesitate if you see one you like. And of course you can put together your own three yards by browsing our fabric...we have it sorted by color, by theme (butterflies, floral, skulls), by style (dots, prints, solids), and by designer. You can put your choices on our design wall to see how you like 'em together!
The first pattern is a Square-in-Square quilt made by cutting squares & triangles, and the second one is Strip Squares, made with strips sewn into sets. Both come out at about 48" square. Click the links for PDF's.
Friday - Sunday, April 24 - 26 - Breathe & Hope shawl kits
Well, we can't enjoy LYS in person this year, but fret not, Casapinka is sharing a lovely pattern with us & we've put some kits together for you! Check out the pretty combos here. They are all made with 2 skeins of Mad Tosh Merino Light, and you will get the pattern code to download the pattern for free this weekend.
Like another yarn better? Want to make your own combo? Choose two 420yd skeins of fingering weight yarn from here, and let us know it's for the Breathe & Hope shawl - we'll give you a pattern code!
Sunday, April 19 - Chevron Baby Blanket
Juniper Moon Cumulus is re-stocked and seems like it's softer than ever. What better yarn to make the Chevron Baby Blanket? Another Espace Tricot free pattern, we love this one for its flexibility...you can do 2 colors or 10, you can use any weight yarn, you can adjust the size endlessly. Ours is knit with 3 colors of light-as-a-cloud Cumulus, and used just one skein of each color. The blanket is about 30" x 26", perfect for a car seat or stroller, and Lisa cast on 121 sts as per the pattern, and knit each color for 10 rows, starting and ending with the neutral. To make it larger, simply add 24 or 48 stitches to the cast on, and keep knittin' kitten! To do this, you will need more yarn, so think of either 2 skeins each in the 3 colors, or choose to add more colors.
Of course, you can knit this in any yarn! How about Cascade 220 Merino (SO MANY COLORS!), Berroco Ultra Wool worsted or Chunky (lovely solids), Berroco Sesame (for a more grown-up version), Noro Ito (bring the party! Just pick 2!), or Kraemer Perfection Chunky (the economy version). Adjust your needle size, number of stitches, and yarn requirements accordingly - ask us for help ;-)
Thursday, April 16 - Cozy Blue Embroidery Kits
Our popular Cozy Blue embroidery kits have just been re-stocked! Grab one today, they contain everything you need to complete the project: printed fabric, threads, needle, hoop, and instructions. Try the Lunar for a beginner stitch project, or Full Heart Floral for an intermediate adventure. Or how about treating it as a meditation? Show Up, Be Kind is a great reminder for us all these days. Head on over to our Embroidery Kits section for all the choices!
Tuesday, April 14 - Take Along Tote
Patterns now in stock! Make this cute little tote in a couple of hours, and show off your favorite fabrics while you take your knitting on your isolation walk. Because we can all can knit and walk at the same time, right?
My pink one is made with Essex Linen Berry on the inside, and Rifle Paper Co. Primavera Rosa in Blush on the outside. Delish! We used 1" leather for the handles, and you need Pellon 101 interfacing and Peltex firm for the base, with a little circle of fusible batting to line the base. See amounts below!
The blue ones are Driftless Essex by Anna Graham of Noodlehead, with Yarn Balls in Bluestone by Dear Stella as the lining. There is one with leather handles, and one with nylon.
Saturday, April 11 - Turtledove Sweater
Our trusty cutting helper Lisa is wearing her Turtledove sweater today! It's a free pattern by our friends at Espace Tricot. A fun knit, top down and knit in one piece, it calls for a chunky weight yarn. Danielle has knit it twice, it's addictive! Try it with Malabrigo Mecha for a hand-dyed version, Kelbourne Woolens Lucky Tweed (a new fave!!), Cascade 128 Superwash, or even Noro Ito if you want a colorful one. You're looking for a yarn with a gauge of 14 sts = 4", and Lisa has even done it on a tighter gauge for a lighter sweater (following the XL instructions). She used Wooladdicts Air. The pattern is sized XS-XL (with lots of positive ease!), and uses 750-1200 yards of yarn. It's roomy, stylish and you're going to want to wear it all the time. All. The. Time.
Here is Lisa (in her mask!) cutting fabric for orders. And there have been lots of orders! We're super grateful to all of you for getting your fabric and yarn from us!
Thursday, April 9 - Microwave Cozies
At a time when we could all use a little comfort, how about whipping up some cozies for your bowls? These little guys go right in the microwave with your bowl or dish, and act like a potholder to help you grab your hot stuff. They're best made with 100% cotton fabric (we have lots of that!), and sewn with cotton thread, so nothing can melt in the micro. We also recommend Wrap N Zap batting, specially designed for this very purpose. Here is a wonderful pattern, the PDF is free but there is the possibility to make a donation to the designer. Here is my personal hack: for large, flat pasta bowls, cut your fabric 12" x 12" and make your darts shallower (1/2" wide x 2" rather than 1" x 2"). Also, use flannel for extra coziness!
Tuesday, April 7 - The Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry
To help celebrate Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits' five years in business as a pattern designer, today's project is her uber-popular Shift Cowl! We've made a few versions in the shop, our favorite is the Edition 3 version in the pic. Make a quieter version with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a hand-dyed one with Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light, a luxe one with Manos Del Uruguay Fino, Fino Mini Skein Sets, or a funky one with Manos Alegria. Or browse our Fingering/Sock weight section to make your own choices!
The pattern calls for 600 yards, an equal amount of 3 colorways, but you can play with that easily! For our version, we used 3 colors of Edition 3: 2298 Blue Wash, 2361 Tante Emma, and 2296 English Garden, see middle pic. For another version, how about 2329 Strand Cafe, 2401 Sometimes Cheer, and 2349 Elements?
We only made a slight adjustment to the pattern as written, in order to maximize the yarn use. See our project notes on Ravelry.
We have the printed pattern in stock (and it comes with a Ravelry code to get it in your Rav library!), but Drea Renee has a code for 50% off today only (April 7th), use code THANKU on Ravelry.
Wednesday, April 1 - Corinne Lapierre wool felt kits
These wonderful little self-contained kits are back in stock, with some new friends! And a contest!!
We've added a bunny family to the repertoire, and the adorable mouse family and llamas are back in stock. All kits have everything you need to make the project: felt, threads, stuffing, instructions, needle...it's all in there.
Reena has been home working away on a mouse family, check out how a couple of her pets have reacted!
And now for the contest: post a photo/photos of something you've ordered from us during the quarantine to Instagram or Facebook (finished, in progress, or raw materials), tag us @stitchcentral and #quarantinecrafting - We will enter you into a draw for the adorable Bee kit!! Please enter by 1pm April 3rd. Good luck!
Tuesday, March 31 - Quarenskeins!
How about a little mystery to wrap up the strangest March ever? Try a Quarenskeins Mystery Pack!
Choose your price, then give us some details in the Notes section (we've given you some guidelines, see text on the product page). We will take that and put together a beautiful, wondrous package of yarny love (worth equal to or more than what you paid)! We'll suggest some patterns, which you can get on Ravelry. We'll ship it to you for free and you will get a delicious surprise in the mail!
Share your surprise package on Instagram, tag @stitchcentral
Monday, March 30 - Organize your projects
Today’s project is not a crafting project, but a way to help you organize your crafting to-do pile. Check out this blog post from Moda, and link to their downloadable PDF.
Moda Project Sheets
Friday, March 27 - MASKS!
By now you've seen all the calls for fabric masks to be made to donate to medical facilities struggling with getting enough of proper surgical masks. A certain member of our local Modern Quilt Guild has been working hard to identify hospitals that are requesting the masks, and to make sure that masks donated are truly needed and will be used. Another two members have written out a very clear tutorial on making a sturdy mask with a pocket for replaceable filters and a wire along the bridge of the nose so that these masks, although only about 40% as effective as N95 masks, will be as useful as possible. They will likely be used by hospice workers, visitors, and others not in the very front lines, in order to save the real masks for those who need them most.
One of the big problems people have been facing in trying to make the masks is a shortage of elastic. We have just received a shipment, so we've go you covered! Check the options here. The world seems to be out of 1/8" and 1/4" elastic, but we've managed to find some 3/8" (good for the ear wrap style) and 1/2" - which will be better for the mask style where the elastic wraps around the back of the head rather than the ears.
Here is the wonderful pattern by Jenny Mathis and Natalie Lynn. It includes a link to a You Tube video if that's your preferred tutorial delivery method.
You can drop masks off any time at Stitch Central, we have a covered bin on our little porch. Update: we are no longer dropping masks off at the Jenkintown police station.
A very big shout-out to all those doctors, nurses, and care workers who are out there working hard and doing their very best to get us all through this pandemic safely! THANK YOU!
|Sew a thread in to help you see where to sew the top of the pocket!|
|knit with Col 84 & Solo Col. 7||
Knit with Cols 269 & 471 (regular Silk Garden)