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So our little Miss picked out our Sweetie Pie hat to wear with her fabulous outfit today. It’s such a fun hat. She chose to wear it herself- too stinking cute!

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Oh my! How cute is this?!
It’s a sweet pattern that also comes with instructions for booties.
We love Be Sweet Yarn and patterns. The yarn Bambino Taffy for this project is soft and color changes with bright summer colors, patriotic red/ white/ blue, and a watermelon ish one as well.
Perfect cotton hat for all year round.
The pattern changes and color changes in the yarn keep it interesting.
Happy knitting!
xx
Ash

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Mary Mary Pettis-Sarley how does your garden grow? With alpaca, sheep, and little goats. And coriepsis all in a row…

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So last weekend we had a dye workshop up at Twirl in Napa, CA. The weather was perfect… Sunny, hot with a nice breeze and lots of cool shade from the grape vines.
We learned about natural dyes, mortars, and that duplicating a naturally dyed yarn is near impossible 😉

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Mary loves her animals and treats them with such kindness. She glows when she talks about her bummer lambs or Celeste or Cupcake, Peanut Butter, or Carolina the cow.
She has respect for her animals and likes to honor them by naming colors or yarns after them.
Twirl is a magical place with creatures of all shapes, sizes, and talent. The day was fun and relaxed and we all left with four beautifully dyed yarns!
1. 100% wool tan
2. 100% wool white
3. Alpaca blend brown
4. Alpaca blend darkish grey
The fibers all took the dyes differently. I put the two lighter yarns in the “pink” pot and the colors are pretty different shades. Same dye but different fibers.

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Dying is completely new to me. Aside from mixing some Rit in my washer and tossing in wet clothes?! I have no experience. Mary is very whimsical about her dying and doesn’t waste time with worry. She loves all the colors she gets and tends to avoid trying to force a color onto a fiber. Which makes for a happy dye lady😉
While we were at the ranch Mary sent us off in all directions foraging for dye materials. Including Chris driving a “Mule” (which is like a 4WD golf cart) to another part of the property. She wasn’t hovering or pointing to a specific branch or flower. She was laid back, willing to let us explore and pick at her garden. It was a generous welcome!

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This little squirt was searching for left over pastries

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This one found a yummy bush!

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Mom tried to pick up a grouchy gopher snake – he wasn’t having it.
And after the tour and getting to pet a LESS than one day old baby alpaca, we hiked back, collected our yarns in baggies, and said our good byes. It was such a good time. The atmosphere was relaxed, the company was wonderful and Mary and Chris are so welcoming it was easy to feel at home.
And Mary made these parting gifts for all her students!

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I am doing more dye research and even looking into a “dye garden” I will share what I find and can’t wait to share my interview with Mary here on the blog! Yee! For those of you who haven’t met Mary or seen her with her animals – you will get to know her a little. I love our local yarn farm!
Happy creating!
xx
Ash

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Saturday we had a dye workshop at Twirl in Napa, CA. The most amazing views!

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Some coffee and pastries

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We all talked and some brought knitting (smarty pants! I wished I had some) and Mary gave us the skinny on her experience and how she came to live on the amazing (seriously! Amazing!) 2,000 acre ranch in Napa. Surrounded by all the wonderful animals she loves and names.

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She shared her love of fiber and could barley hold back from just tossing the soft fiber on us (wishful thinking??) it was so soft and really white.

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Then we “foraged” for dye.. And by we I mean I gabbed away and watched all the happy dyers cut, pick, and pluck, for the dye baths.

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(Heading out in the mule to hunt)

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A soon to be dye!!

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We had four fiber choices to choose from. We could choose two from each table… I chose one of each fiber.

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We all picked a little something to put our yarn in..

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Then we plopped our yarn in the “vats” which all varied in sizes and materials. Bowls, pots set on camping stoves, and a huge iron pot on a fire (hot people).
While we waited for our yarn to have a relaxing tub of color we had a nice tour of a small part of Mary’s home.

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So much to see and do and to be done out here. It’s truly a hard working duo that keep this ranch running. The animals are loved and cared for and the garden is beautiful. It’s a peaceful place to be and a great way to disconnect from the phone and enjoy your surroundings.
I will share more but I’m leaving this as a “to be continued”. I took photos of my yarn and will be collecting photos of other dye day ladies too. Can’t wait to share!
Happy knitting!
xx
Ash

Well I was working a couple Saturdays ago and in front of the shop there was this surfer-ish guy putting his kid in the car. I really liked his style. He had this knit hat on that was super cool. It really wasn’t the hat it was the yarn. A ombre sunset-esque , probably wool. I loved. So what does a knitter do?? You know! Make one!! I’m on it, in P Town we get really chilly evening nights. This will be an all summer long hat.
I grabbed some Noro to get the Ombré look and I plan to do a knit 1, purl 1 rib… Check out my Ravelry page and ill update as soon as I finish!

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This is not the hat or the man I saw… But he is a surfer in a beanie. Swoon! A cute surfer😉 (Keith Malloy)
Happy knitting
xx
Ash
*and the original pic sans the pink arrow is from Patagonia.com

I love to write list a good list. I will call it a hobby. My favorite kind is a “bucket list”, checking things off is the best part- feeling accomplished.
My recent ’29 before 30′ list inspired me to ask: what makes me happy? What improves my quality of life? What do I love to do? (Besides write lists 😉)
Family, friends, exercise, – Yes I love it!, adventure, and crafting. Not solely these things … But these things for sure. Anyway before I had my daughter I started a knitting group. I basically recruited my friends and taught them to knit so we could have a knit night. (He he- I made my own knitting army!) Then we’d meet once a week at Knitterly and gab about life and kids and knit. I looked forward to it every week. And it was the for sure thing that got me to knit, out of the house, and time with my friends – sans kids.
Then life got “busy”. Ugh! What a lame excuse – my least favorite to be honest. I still hang out with my friends often but knitting is not on the repertoire and kids are usually present and demanding most of the attention. I don’t finish projects quickly – at all -these days and rarely have time to knit. Unless its the butt crack of dawn or late at night. It’s so important to not be “too busy” for life’s pleasures and to make time for people you love – who make you happy.
We have woman who have been coming to Tuesday Night at Knitterly for years. They sit and talk and knit and sometimes people don’t need much help – It’s more social, but its every week which makes it easier. Like going to a class at the gym, it’s harder to cancel when friends are counting on you to be there.
With social media like Ravelry, there are new friendships popping up in our shop. Regular customers who never previously met are finding each other on Ravelry and then meeting at Knitterly. One Saturday two regular customers came in, Knitterly, together. I knew them both and didn’t think much of it. They sat down on some cozy chairs and started pulling projects from their bags. Both woman were really excited, laughing and chatting. they stayed quite a while. Before they left they told me they had met in Ravelry!! What?! These two woman had definitely been in the shop at the same time over the years – and not even realized! They met on Ravelry, shared the same LYS (local yarn shop) Knitterly and decided they should me in person. Loved it! They had started a friendship based on a mutual love for knitting and Knitterly.
I recently had a birthday (29 thank you! It’s going to be awesome!) I made a “29 before 30” list, 29 things to do before 30.
“#28. Start knitting night again” is definitely worth going on the list and definitely worth making time for. It’s also an excuse to have a ladies night regularly! A time separate from my- awesome munchkins, to just be Ash.
I highly recommend starting your own knitting group. If you don’t have a knitting venue, every Tuesday we have “Tuesday Night” it’s a semi class. For $10 you basically get the ‘backstage pass’. The shop is open 6:30-8:30 and there are teachers to help if you need, supplies for sale and a pretty great atmosphere for a knitting group.
My dear friend, Kit, who has had her knitting group for years gets together with her friends every Wednesday to knit. Every week they rotate someone’s house. I love this! The host makes snacks and drinks – its like a mini knitting party, every week!

If you have friends who knit start a knitting group and rotate houses, meet at Knitterly (there are chairs all over and you are welcome to knit in the shop anytime), hang at a coffee shop. I think knitting should be a prescription for good health. So I’m writing one for you..

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xx
Ash

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We all have those projects. You know the one. The one you carry everywhere, botch the pattern daily and rip it multiple times -Ugh!
I have been knitting this sweater for a few weeks now. Putting it aside because I need to focus and its almost impossible with my mini’s around.
I didn’t pick up my wrap and turns, I lost track of my rows, I missed the *note* that in bold said “at the same time shape neck edge”, then I picked up my wraps and it looked terrible… I’m convinced this is the last time I will cast on and knit the short rows!

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The yarn is SOO nice I’m loving all the knitting I’m getting out of this first skein. The yarn is not being destroyed being ripped and knitted so many times – such a good sign of a quality yarn. My Mom laughed when I told her that I’m really getting my money’s worth because I’m reuniting it so much … But it’s true. It’s like bonus knitting.
This go around I wrote all my knitted rows and paid attention to where I needed to start the neck shaping. And I did not pick up the wraps this time (because it looked like a Tetris price for some reason even I did pick them up… It looks better if I skip that part.) I’m really happy with the way it has turned out so far. Smooth with a perfect rounded edge.
It’s also a quick knit, I’m using # 11 for the body and sleeves and then # 15 for the edging. So if I can ever get the hang of it I will be smoking this pattern in a week or so. Wish me good knitting “ju-ju” ha ha
Happy re knitting knitting
xx
Ash

*pattern: Color Flow Cardigan
Size: Small
Yarn: Anna 70% wool/ 30% cotton
*imperial stock ranch yarn*
Needle: Dreamz 32″ #11/15
(I love my interchangeable kit!!)

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We have become a little fancy! Shelli’s Necessary Cowl pattern is now available in the super cute/ easy to travel postcard! On the reverse side there is a little info on Shelli and the shop. (And a cute photo)
I love it!
Happy Knitting!
xx
Ash

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We will be saying good bye to our cute, not so little, chickie babes this week. Butter and Egg Days bring our awesome town more chicks than Easter.
Seriously will be hard to follow up that window display – not much as cute as those little fuzz balls!
We do still have some fun puppets if you missed out Saturday…
This week I’m sewing my kiddos a puppet “theatre” for the many Folkmanis puppets the Omi (AKA Gramma) has supplied. We have a few sewing books and I can’t wait to try out this pattern.
I also have some fun Pom Pom trim ideas to share… It’s gonna be a good week!
Plus my Mom and I are working on Imperial Stock Ranch sweaters and I can’t wait to do a little show and tell.
We also (I’m getting help from the shop girls with this one) have some book reviews! Love those right?! I am a book freak and buy them faster than I could ever read – or knit. Which leaves me with stacks of books all over our house. Book reviews are priceless… Could save a trip to the used book sales for an unread book😉

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours was filled with adventure, snow,
sunshine, friends and family. We even hung out with Laura and Huck from Jimmy Beans Wool … Good fun comes when yarn shops collide😉

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Happy Monday! Happy knitting! And stay tuned this week for some fun projects!
xx
Ash

Blustery days lend to lots of thinking, yesterday at least. I was tearing pages of my magazines (old habits die hard – Pre Pinterest days) and I found so many inspiring ideas. Fashion can change the way a person looks and feels. Feel taller, thinner, more confident, elegant, graceful, fun – a fun pair of shoes can make a girl happy. I love it!

We are the fortunate ones. The ones who have a talent and craft that can be both practical and adventurous. Knitting is a talent that I honestly think can change lives and better attitudes. Customers have told me its helped them through (their kids) teenage years, divorce, loss, boredom, and it inspires. Knitting for a new baby, a friends wedding… And my favorite?? the CLOSET!! Such a happy place. Where I can find and create inspiration. Clothes make me look and feel unique. When we make our own clothes it’s a double bonus. It’s time and money well invested.
I see a dress and think of a pretty light weight cardi to go over or some kind of fringy neck cover. Or jeans and a slouchy white tee with a faux fur vest over. Fashion is fun and being a part of creating it… That’s my favorite part.
I’m super into fringe right now and have been searching for one of those triangle bathing suits to knit (with lots of fringe hanging down) I have found some pretty inspiring designers recently. Check out Spell & The Gypsy Collective and Buffalo Girl… They are winter when we are summer… But the best inspiration!!
I can’t wait to turn some of these ideas I’m having into knits! Maybe even translate into patterns🙏
Knitterly is getting in some new shipments this week and next week. Can’t wait to share! Spring is so fun!

Happy Knitting!
xx
Ash

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Coffee, morning treats, steaming dye pots, lots of awesome animals, gorgeous view? Who’s in, right??
June 1 from 10 …. ( to whenever – because there is a time warp at Twirl we all will be sucked into!!) Mary will be hosting a dye day!! We are super excited about this. The space is limited for this event so sign up asap (we are closed today so call tomorrow 707 762 YARN)

Deets:

Cost: $75.00
Time: 10am – whenever
Where: Twirl (adventure) Ranch, Napa CA
What: Coffee and breakfast treats will be served in the AM
We will be dying two skeins of her magical yarns
pack a brown bag lunch and water..

This will be so fun! Ahhh can not wait!

I will be there for sure
xx
Ash

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(Butt kicking Gaurdians)

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