A haunting at the Patternworks shop—A Mystery Photo Contest!

It turns out the rumors are true—the Patternworks shop is indeed haunted! After years of hearing reports of strange occurrences, such as balls of yarn flying off of shelves by themselves (and we’re not talking about the summer sale here) and sightings of spooky shadows, our photography team has obtained concrete evidence of the existence of the Patternworks shop ghosts. It took many attempts, but these haunted souls have finally revealed themselves!

Below, we present to you the proof. Now it’s your turn to do the investigating. We want to know what you think the backstory of these haunted souls is. What dire events cause them to linger here after death? What is their connection to the Patternworks shop, located in Senter’s Marketplace (named for the Senter family, who were owners of a large amount of property in this area beginning in the 1700′s).

There’s no way to know for sure what the true story is, so all ideas are welcome! Leave your explanation as a blog comment by 7:30 AM EST on Thursday, November 1st. We’ll hold a company-wide vote to see which tale our employees find the most compelling, and the winner will receive our Three Kit Grab Bag #4, which includes the yarn and patterns for a pair of women’s brioche cabled socks, a baby sweater, and three pairs of baby booties.

Join us in this year’s mystery photo contest, if you dare! (We’re also holding a mystery photo contest on the Keepsake Quilting Blog. Why not double your fun and enter both!)

Posted in Contest, Just for Fun! | 5 Comments

Road Trip Recap

The view of Bushnell Park and the State Capitol from our hotel room in downtown Hartford.

This past Saturday and Sunday, Katie and I spent a little quality time shopping, visiting with friends and vendors and making some new friends at Stitches East in Hartford, CT. Once we navigated our way to the hotel around the road closures for the Hartford Marathon, we checked into our room and noticed the beautiful view of Bushnell Park and the State Capitol building right outside our window.

Along the marathon route near Bushnell Park.

We quickly headed back outside and walked to the convention center, cheering on the marathon runners along the route as we went.

From left, Benjamin, Drew and Mark having their hair buzzed for Halos of Hope.

Once inside the convention center, we stopped to say hello to our friends at the Fiesta Yarns booth, then began our systematic method of shopping, walking up and down each aisle beginning at one end. That system was quickly interrupted when we saw the “Great BuZZ” for Halos of Hope was underway. Benjamin Levisay of Knitting Universe (which hosts the Stitches expos and publishes Knitter’s magazine), Drew Emborsky (AKA “The Crochet Dude”), and Mark Moraca of Kollage Yarns were all having their hair buzzed, as all those casting votes in support of Halos of Hope had decided!

It was truly a pleasure to also meet Pam Haschke, founder of Halos of Hope. She was one busy woman this past weekend, as over 150 handmade hats were collected at Stitches East to be donated to 8 cancer centers in the Northeast U.S., and $20,000 was raised for Halos of Hope through the Great BuZZ event.

Lynne gets a hello hug from Mark, sporting his spiffy shark hat!

Later, we spent a little time visiting with Susie and Mark Moraca, and got to see his brand new shark hat up close. Katie also enjoyed a little swatch knitting with the nice and pointy new, U.S.-made Kollage Square needles while we all chatted.

There was also some time for catching up with old friends (and Katie, skilled enabler that she is, helped convince my friend Kelly to purchase several beautiful skeins of hand-dyed yarn and coordinating beads). Lucky for us, it was also Restaurant Week in Hartford. Katie, Kelly and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at the Trumbull Kitchen (we highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area).

A closer view of Connecticut's beautiful capitol building.

After a brief return to the convention center on Sunday morning to say our goodbyes and make a couple of last-minute purchases (such as a “Surrender yer yarrrrn” button for our co-worker, Betsy) we hit the road for the trip home to New Hampshire and are now contemplating what to cast on next!

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A Weekend at the Fair

The Sandwich Fair is an annual tradition in this area, taking place every Columbus Day Weekend come rain, snow, or sunshine. (This isn’t an exaggeration. Some years it has snowed during the fair, yet I remember a year so hot I left the fair to go for a swim in the lake.) The fair takes place just a few miles from our shop, and you can find many of our employees there, enjoying some delicious fair food, marching in the parade, or collecting ribbons for their award-winning crafts, homemade delicacies, and homegrown vegetables.


Our own Kathy G. from the Distribution Center has been entering her canned goods, jellies, and vegetables in the Sandwich Fair for 40 years, and it shows! This year, from 17 entries, she took home 14 awards, including those for her canned squash, mint jelly, cranberry sauce, and green beans.

Heather J., one of our shop merchandisers, exhibited her baking prowess, winning first place for her carrot cake.

No self-respecting country fair would be complete without a parade, and you can be sure to spot our employees and their families there as well. Colleen from our Cutting Room led her miniature horse Cyclone in the parade, with her granddaughter riding in the specially-constructed ice house that he wore for the occasion. And our copywriter Bonnie’s grandnephew Gavyn rode on his elementary school’s float (he’s the cutie in the wolf hat and paws).

It doesn’t get much better than a crisp fall weekend at the fair, and we’re happy we could share some of our highlights with you! We’d love to hear about your plans for enjoying the fall this year!

Posted in Just for Fun! | Comments Off

Knit and Crochet for Halos of Hope!

Lynne and her mother, Faye, at a recent American Cancer Society fundraising event.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve launched another chemo cap drive—this time, to benefit Halos of Hope. We invite you to join us as we knit and crochet hats to provide comfort and warmth to those undergoing chemotherapy. This is something that’s particularly close to my heart, as my own mother is a breast-cancer survivor.

While you can use any soft, machine-washable yarn you wish, we encourage you to use Jeannee Worsted by Plymouth for its cottony softness and ease of care. Plus, when you order Jeannee Worsted from Patternworks, you can choose to receive a chemo cap pattern pack (item #801852) that’s available free with purchase of the yarn.

A selection of hat patterns available in the chemo cap pattern pack, item #801852

Though we are holding this drive in honor of breast cancer awareness, Halos of Hope sends hats to all types of cancer patients—men, women and children. Don’t think of them as just chemo caps, think of each one as a hat that the recipient will enjoy wearing long after his or her treatment is completed and the hair has grown back, as a reminder that you cared enough to knit or crochet a handmade item.

Get your needles or hooks ready and be sure to mail your finished hats by November 30, 2012 to us at:
Patternworks
P.O. Box 1618
Center Harbor, NH 03226-1618

If you aren’t able to knit or crochet any hats, but would like to support Halos of Hope, consider making a donation directly to the organization, or by purchasing the Chemo Caps and Wraps pattern book (a portion of the profits are donated to Halos of Hope). Halos of Hope relies on monetary donations to cover the cost of shipping the much-needed hats to cancer centers and individuals in need.

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, please know that we support you! Here are some helpful sites with more information on the latest advances in cancer treatment and research:

Thank you for helping us to help others by knitting and crocheting hats along with us!

Posted in Events, KAL | 1 Comment

It’s Mail Day!

Our imaging specialist, Kali, modeling the new Tamworth Pullover, a Patternworks exclusive pattern.

Its an extra-exciting time for us here at Patternworks, because our Fall Catalog is in the mail! Soon, you’ll get to see all of the amazing new yarns, patterns and projects packed within its pages, along with some very special photos taken by our photographer, Evelyn.

We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful area, so we love to feature local scenery and attractions in the photos we take for the catalog. One interesting spot that you’ll see featured throughout the Fall 2012 Catalog is the Tilton Arch, located in Northfield, NH. The arch was erected in 1882 by Charles Tilton, who at that time was the wealthiest man in town. Mr. Tilton was inspired to build the Romanesque arch after traveling to Rome on holiday the previous year.

Stephanie, our purchasing agent extraordinaire, modeling the Undulating Leaves Shawl, available free with purchase of Ensemble Light yarn.

Not only will you see photos of the 50-foot-tall monument scattered throughout the pages of the catalog, you’ll also see the faces of Patternworks employees as they model garments in front of this local landmark. One of these employees, Stephanie, even has a special link to the Tilton family. She once lived in an apartment in what was originally the Tilton family mansion. This building is now part of the campus of the Tilton School, a private prep school. You can find photos and more information about the Tilton Arch here.

So keep an eye on your mailbox for your copy of the new catalog!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Back from the show!

Last weekend was our annual trip to TNNA, The National Needlearts Association’s Summer trade show in Columbus, Ohio. Cheryl, Jo and I scoured the aisles for the newest and best products to include in the Fall 2012 Patternworks and Keepsake NeedleArts catalogs.

The half a sock I knitted during the delay (it's Berroco Sox, color #1440)

Our trip got off to a rocky start! After multiple delays at the airport, a trip that was supposed to take a few hours took literally half a day—we were originally supposed to leave New Hampshire around 3:30 in the afternoon that Friday, and didn’t arrive at our hotel in Columbus until after 3:00 Saturday morning. (I managed to knit half a sock during the seven-hour delay before leaving New Hampshire!) On top of all that, our luggage spent the night in Baltimore! Though we lost Saturday morning at the show, meetings were rescheduled and we made the most of the time we had remaining.

Stacy Charles from TSC Yarns shows Lynne and Cheryl the new fall line at our office earlier in the Spring

Twice a year, we meet with several of our vendors and sales reps prior to the Winter and Summer TNNA trade shows. We pore over color cards, new pattern designs and sample skeins, making careful notes about what to include in the catalog, what to feature as web-only products, and what doesn’t make the cut. Having these meetings before the show allows us to use our time at the show with these vendors to firm up or rethink our initial decisions. Sometimes, seeing a model garment in person instead of in a photograph can give you an entirely different perspective on the design! (That was certainly true for me at this Summer’s show.) The trade show is also a great place to meet individual craftspeople with truly unique new products (you’ll be seeing some of those when our Fall catalog arrives in early September).

Boxes, bags and baskets of samples currently piled around Lynne's desk

After the trade show is over, we sort through all the samples, brochures, product sheets and price lists we picked up at the show to make our final decisions on what to include in the catalog. (This is where my desk starts looking a bit like a tornado came through.) We request additional samples or model garments for photos we plan to shoot ourselves, or vendor’s images if we choose to use those instead. We narrow down color palettes for yarns, review sample patterns and books, try out new tools, and write up all the product descriptions. Evelyn and Kali photograph the products; our graphic designers, Katie and Betsy, lay out the entire catalog; several rounds of proofreading are done to check colors, descriptions, item numbers and pricing; and finally the catalog goes to the printer and mail house to be sent out to customers and prospects.

Coming this fall, you’ll be seeing some great new yarns, patterns, tools, shawl pins and accessories! Click on any of the images below for a glimpse at the show.

Posted in Behind the Scenes | 1 Comment

Sock yarn = shawl yarn!

Many of you may have realized this already, but sock yarn is not just for socks! Fingering-weight yarn is perfect for creating beautifully draped shawls that generally work up more quickly than their lace-weight cousins. And often, you can make one with a single skein.

Kali wearing the smallest size (unblocked) in the Majesty colorway

Several months ago, I worked up a couple of edging swatches for a photo shoot of the newest Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 6: Edgings. As I was making the knitted edging, I thought it would be the start of a nice shawl, and decided to continue with it. Though my first attempt came out a little smaller than I wanted, it’s still big enough to wear as a shawlette and fits our petite Kali (pictured here in the purple version) perfectly!

Lynne wearing the 45" size (blocked) striped in the Celestial and Moonstruck colorways

Since there were more skeins of Kollage’s Sock-A-Licious yarn available in other colors in my stash, I quickly whipped up a larger version—this time, with the upper portion of the shawl in two-row stripes of blue and grey. Now, this is exactly the size I wanted to knit. The larger version was finished and blocked in time to wear it to the Squam Art Fair (because you just have to wear something you made to these sorts of things, right?!) and I was just tickled that several people asked me about the pattern.

Free Pattern: Scarf-A-Licious Wrap
[ Download PDF ]

  • Pattern includes seven sizes from 39″ to 57″, measured along curved top edge after blocking.
  • Kollage Sock-A-Licious yarn, one to three skeins depending on size (or 350 to 900 yards fingering-weight yarn)—one skein is enough for the smallest size.
  • U.S. size 5 (3.75mm) needles—straight or double-pointed for edging, and long circular (24″ or longer) for body of shawl.
  • The crescent-shaped shawl begins with the narrow edging, worked side to side. Stitches are then picked up along the straight side of the edging and worked in garter stitch with occasional eyelet rows up to the top.
  • The skill level for this knitting pattern is easy to intermediate.

Katie's shawlette in progress!

Katie, one of our graphic designers you’ve seen here on the blog before, has already started one for herself! She’s on a bit of a “yarn diet” at the moment, though, so she’s using a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn that’s been in her stash for a couple years now. (Then she can rationalize buying more yarn when she’s done. I think many of us know all too well how that goes!)

We love to see all the exciting things our customers are making—if you make this shawl, or any of the projects in our catalog, please share photos of your works in progress and finished projects on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group!

Posted in Posts with Free Patterns, Project Tales | 7 Comments

Especially for beginners!

Are you a beginner just learning to knit or crochet? If you’re lucky, you have a more experienced knitting or crocheting friend to help you out. My mother-in-law was the first person to teach me to knit, and I’m fortunate to have had her help. But what if you are just learning and don’t have any knitting or crocheting friends? Or, what if your crafty friends live far, far away?

We’ve put together the Beginner’s Corner on the Patternworks website to help you out. There, you’ll find lots of helpful reference books. A favorite of mine is Knitting School: A Complete Course (and its crochet counterpart, Crocheting School: A Complete Course). They’re chock-full of clear illustrations and teach techniques ranging from the basics of casting on (or learning to chain stitch) to designing your own garments! If you learn better visually, you might find DVDs more helpful, such as the “I Can’t Believe I’m…” series, either the knitting version or crocheting version.

Be sure to check out the free knitting lesson videos courtesy of our sister site, Love of Knitting. They’ll show you the basics, such as casting on, knitting, purling, simple increases and decreases, and binding off.

If you’re a new knitter or crocheter who needs some basic tools as well, check out The Crochet Dude’s Let’s Start Crocheting kit for beginners or The All-New Teach Yourself Knitting Set. Each includes an instructional booklet plus several essential tools to get started.

 

Once you know the basics, you’ll need patterns. We have those in our Beginner’s Corner, too! The Fast-Knit Vest in Raggi yarn continues to be one of our best-selling patterns ever—and it’s so easy to make!

Whether you’re still thinking about learning to knit or crochet, or you’ve already started, we wish you success and are eager to help guide you on your crafting journey.

Posted in Product Review, Tips and How-To's | 6 Comments

There’s a cozy for everything.

Yes, even TV tray legs.

It may seem like a completely silly knitting project, but it’s really practical! Because our living room is pretty tiny, we don’t have room for a coffee table—so we use TV trays a lot. But once we installed new laminate floors in the living room, I noticed the TV trays were starting to scratch them up a little whenever we moved them around. Being a very resourceful knitter with lots and lots of sock yarn scraps, I had an easy solution—TV tray socks!

And, just in case any of our readers out there would find these just as practical (and fun) as I do, here’s a free pattern, perfect for stash-busting! You could also use these for chair legs, though you may need to increase the number of cast on stitches to fit a larger diameter.

(P.S. You could even use this pattern as a base for fun little finger puppets—just knit according to the instructions, then embellish with scrap yarn any way you wish to create a face, hair, etc.)

Posted in Just for Fun!, Posts with Free Patterns, Project Tales | 1 Comment

The 2012 Tent Sale—the recap

It’s been a whole week since the 2012 Summer Tent Sale, and we’ve finally recovered! It was a wonderful success—even the torrential rain last Saturday didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of all the savvy shoppers seeking bargains (and shelter) under the big tent.

We had tons of fun, and we hope you did, too! If you weren’t able to attend, or if you just want to relive the excitement of the day, here’s a gallery of images for you to enjoy. Simply click on any image to see it larger and scroll through them all.

Posted in Events, Here at PW | Comments Off