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The sidewalk sale is always a ton of fun! Today is the last day of this years sale. It’s been fun and our awesome customers have come from in town to out of state to build a mountain of a “stash”.
We still have a couple bags…

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Kits…

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And fabulous yarns to move on out before fall calls on the yummy winter yarns.

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Yep there is Alchemy, Rowan, Tahki, and lots of the best in there.
Hope to see you all today!

Happy “Stashing”!
xx
Ash

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I am one blessed chick! We have a great Knitterly family. I have been fortunate enough to meet some creative and inspiring people. And I have had the pleasure of befriending Mary, her Hubby Chris, and their lovely family at Twirl, in Napa.
Mary excitedly agreed to do an interview with me… Enjoy it and check out, knit, touch, and smell TWIRL. They are local, leave a smallish foot print and love what they do!

Ash: You live on a 2,000 acre ranch surrounded by beauty. Is this where you always saw yourself? On a ranch with hundreds of animals by your side?

Mary: No, I would have never dreamed this in a million years. It is so much better than I could have ever imagined.

A: You attended college before becoming a ranch woman what was your major and where did you go?

M: UC Davis, with a degree in Design (emphasis in textile design) and minor in art.
UC Berkeley for Masters degree in Visual Design. The time I was there Berkeley was the center of the universe for fiber. It was wonderful to be there.

A: Twirl is such an amazing place to visit and you live there… What’s the best part about your day?

M: Each day is different. No two are ever the same, so it has never gotten boring for me to be here for 34 years.
I love surprises, and every day is one – the animals make sure of it.

A: Favorite fiber to dye?
I know it is hard to imagine, but I love dyeing my yarn. I guess I made it so.

M: Favorite fiber to knit?
wool

A: Tell me a little about your dye?

M: I love most natural dyeing, because it is always a little bit of surprise. Each time of year, each plant, the soil, the weather, the fiber blend, the mordant all decide the color. It usually is a more subtle color, and I really like the quiet energy of those colors. They are deep, and rich. They are truly an exercise for keeping an open mind, because if I really have an intent on a particular shade and color, it is JUST right next to it, but never exactly the same.
That being said, I do love color – bright ,vibrant, saturated color that the acid dyes offer. I dye that way with an intent.

A: People love local and knowing what they spend their money stays in the good ole USA, how do you stay local and keep such fabulous price points? And where is your mill?

M: I do it for love, not money. I want my yarn to be used and enjoyed by everyone.
I do a lot of the labor myself, so it keeps the cost down.
The wool mill I use, and love is Yolo Wool Mill, run by Jane Deamer. I love the people who work there – they are brilliant.

A: One word to describe you?

M: I hope *quirky*

A: Who are the guardians and what do they do?

M: I could not live without my guardians….
First, the dogs….. some stay with the sheep and goats, others patrol the boundary. It is the chorus…. 12 in all.
Then, the llamas (Masami, Dolly, Wally, Grommit, and Toni) guard one group, on the terraces.
And, the Alpacas – some stay with the sheep day and night, and others are out, 46 in all. Their shear mass approaching a strange visitor usually makes it leave.
And finally, my two donkey girls, Rose and Estelle (Pistelle). They came to me already trained as sheep guardians.

A: What is your biggest threat on your ranch?

M: the Coyotes, and the Mountain Lions. Coyotes are out of balance right now and causing me grief.

A: How self sustainable are you up on the hill? You are a ways out… How much do you rely on your home for food?

M: I have milking goats, and a few dairy cows. When I am milking, we get fresh raw milk, yogurt and sometimes, but not so much now, I make cheese.
Then we eat our own meat, because I know exactly where it has been, what it has eaten, and know it has had a good life here.
And, we have a big garden, with zucchinis right now we have to really keep track of!
When the kale gets too big, I use it for dye!

A: One word you strive for?

M: Magic

A: Advice to a person who dreams to love animals and make beautiful fiber out of their fluff?

M: Do it now, don’t wait.

A: If you had one super power what would it be?

M: Make time stand still, so I could get caught up on things

A: What’s in your record player/ I pod/ CD player right now?

M: A tie between M. Ward, Josh Ritter and Xavier Rudd.

A: The seasons must affect your dye process, what is your favorite season to dye?

M: Spring and Summer are the best for me

A: Do you have anything exciting coning soon we should look for?

M: Bunny and Muffy!

A: What part do you play in the local Fiber shed?

M: Mostly as a producer. But, I am also on the board. Also I like to support and participate in the sheep in schools program.
It is important for kids to know where meat and fiber really come from.

A: Why Twirl? How did you come up with that?

M: When you spin fiber into yarn – Twirl
It is the spinning wheel.
But, also, I imagine the sheep out in the pasture at night twirling under the stars.
One of them, for sure has the music, and another a tutu.

A: What’s your Moto?

M: Invite in magic.

I love this! Hope you do too!
xx
Ash

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

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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She’s done it again! The shop looks amazing and there is a whole new batch of fun cowl kits. New kits filled with awesome yarn that has not been kitted up before. Come check it out and see how Shelli has switched things up.

Happy Friday!
xx
Ash

In 2003 Knitwhits came to be. Creating and selling knit kits. Fast forward… To now 😉 and there is a new creative happening from the Knitwhits folks. It’s a company called Freia. The yarn comes in lace, sport, fingering, and worsted weights. It’s 100% wool and silk merino blend and is available in three different yarns, ombré, Flux, and Semi Colors. So pretty and so soft this yarn is being gobbled up. Check out the Freia patterns for some inspo…
And look at how awesome it really is!!

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Shelli could not wait to get some on her needles!

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And Kate – our fabulous friend being fabulous! 😍

Hope you can check out our selection of Ombré before its gone😃

And for all you animal lovers… The yarn is named after this beauty

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Happy knitting (with Freia😘)
xx
Ash

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