Thursday, October 11, 2018

Everyone needs a knitting buddy!

"Knitting is sitting for creative people!"

On any Thursday night at YBD you will find the "knitting circle" filled with people from all walks of life. It can get a little bit loud, and can get a little bit crazy (knitters do have a wild side) but it is never short on fun! Everyone brings something different to the table. I have had the privilege of knitting side by side with some of these women weekly for about 10 years! Everyone in this group is good at something different, and we always are willing to help each other out when in need. Sometimes we eat cheese and drink wine, sometimes we go for ice cream or beers after, and a few times a year we whip out a pretty amazing potluck dinner! 

If it wasn't for these ladies, and all of our customers, we wouldn't be YBD! We appreciate each and every one of our "Fiber Friends", and I have chosen to feature a few of them in this blog, and the projects they are working on! 

First up is Meridee! Meridee has been quite the fixture at YBD! She belongs to not 1 or 2, but 3 of our clubs! We refer to her as our "Knitting Engineer". She is incredibly organized, she maps out her patterns on graph paper, and just pays excellent attention to what she is doing. She is also incredibly knowledgeable and we are so lucky to have her! 

How long have you been knitting?
I started knitting in the mid 1980's and stopped sometime in the 90's (probably after my kids were born). I resumed knitting in 2013 by taking a class with Edye. After taking a few lessons with Edye, I joined the YBD Knit Club! 

What is your favorite thing that you have knit?
Tattersall Scarf by Elise Duvekot that I made for my mother.

What brought you to YBD?
My best friend had been knitting for several yarns and when I would visit her in Houston, we would visit LYS's. I discovered YBD when she came to visit here in Oakmont. She had found YBD on Ravelry and asked if we could stop. It was still a few more years before I decided to pick up knitting again, and by then the store had moved and I came in and took a class. I knew what a nice shop YBD is and enjoyed the high quality yarns! 

Currently Meridee is working on Tegna by Boyland Knitworks with the rest of the YBD Knit Club. She is using Hedgehog Sock in Pollen for the bottom lace hem, and Raku for the body. 

Next up is Rebecca! Rebecca not only knits, but bakes (worlds best baker), sews, and rug hooks, just to name a few! She is also incredibly organized with her knitting (this is something I am insanely jealous of because I'm a hot mess express) and is our "Voice of Reason". She always has the simplest and easiest response to our questions. It always has us questioning, why didn't I think of that?

How long have you been knitting?
I have been knitting since 2006. I taught myself to knit via an instructional book. I followed all of the instructions and was making good progress, It wasn't until my MIL asked me, "What are you doing?" Did I know that I taught myself how to knit left-handed? I am right-handed. Knitting became much less awkward  when I switched to the right-handed knitting! 

What brought you to YBD?
I came into YBD  just to see what you had. Little did I know I was to make such great friends and find such great yarns! 

Rebecca is making The Circlet Cardigan by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, color Vitner. 

Last, but certainly not least, is Cathy! Cathy has been a Fiber Friend of ours for a long time. Outside of knitting, she is an amazing cook, and loves to travel with her husband and kids. She is also one of the funniest people I know! She is a huge supporter of ours, and says on a regular basis "Sandy provides such a beautiful place for us to knit, how could you not support her?" She has been knitting for a number of years, and use to sew as well. Currently Cathy is working on The Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, color Faded Quilt. 

How long have you been knitting?
I knit as a little girl and then picked it up again around 6-7 years ago. That was when I first met Sandy.

What is your favorite thing that you have made?
I love making baby things because you get rewarded so quickly! I am also really enjoying making my current project, The Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry! 

What brought you to YBD?
I live in Oakmont and never knew we had a yarn shop! I then stumbled upon an ad for YBD and decided to stop in. That was when I met Sandy, and she re-taught me to knit. It was then I started coming to the Thursday night Fiber Friends group!

If you are interested in becoming a Fiber Friend at YBD, all you have to do is show up and knit! This is a free knitting group and we love having everyone attend. There are two different groups that meet, Tuesday mornings from 10-12pm and Thursday evenings from 5:30-8pm. We hope to see you there! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sweater Weather Forever!

We have all seen it on SNL by now, "Sweata Weatha"

Our favorite season, as fiber artists, is finally here! Time to get our woolens out and ready for wear! Also, time for some new WIP's! The first day of fall was this past Saturday and the weather couldn't have been more perfect, cool and windy. I had my pumpkin candles lit, tea in my cup, and WIP's moving fast on my needles. I am currently making my family a big chevron afghan, and I couldn't be more excited to finish it! All summer long I was working on projects that I wouldn't yet get to use when completed. It is almost like finishing a project all over again, when you finally get to wear it! 

This weekend I will start getting out all of hand knits and getting them cleaned up and ready to wear. Eucalan, Knitters Blocks and Gleener will be working hard to prep my stuff for winter. I do this at the end of the season too (I'm terrified of moths). 


I first start by washing the hand knit and soaking them a bit in Eucalan (lavender is my personal favorite, and it is a moth deterrent). I will lay them out to block, and when they are dry I will go over them with my Gleener to remove the fuzz and pills. I love the way yarn blooms after it is blocked, so squishy and soft! It really brings the knit back to life! 

How do you go about carrying for your hand knits? Let us know in the comments! 
Happy knitting! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

2018 SVYC Wrap up!

The Steel Valley Yarn Crawl has once again, come and gone! Yarns By Design wants to give a BIG thank you to all of the participants of the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl! We look forward to this event every year. We love meeting new people from around the city, and seeing all of our regular favorites too! We couldn’t do this event without you, and most importantly, wouldn’t be here without you! We love our knitting community in this wonderful city! Thank you again, from all of us at YBD! 
Freshly stocked shelves the night before the crawl

A special shout out to all the wonderful companies who generously donate so much to us for our raffles! We couldn't do it without them! 
Berroco, Brooklyn Tweed, Chiaogoo, KFI, Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Shibui, Skacel, & Woolfolk.
A busy Saturday during the crawl.

We would also like to congratulate our lucky winners of the 3 YBD raffles! Heather Vigano, Terra Elsberry and Laura Yant!

Start knitting, crocheting and clearing out your stash! We look forward to seeing you all again in 2019! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 Steel Valley Yarn Crawl

It's that time of year again! Clear your calendar and clear some space for a fresh yarn stash- the yarn crawl is here! This year we welcome 3 new shops participating, and said a sad farewell to 3 that closed. We get a lot of questions about the crawl, and I am here to answer a few! 
A full shop for the SVYC

What is the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl (SVYC)?
The SVYC is an event hosted by 11 local yarn shops in the great Pittsburgh area. We welcome crafters into our stores from August 3rd - August 12th 2018. To participate, you purchase a bag and passport ($12) and travel from shop to shop getting your passport stamped. Bags can be purchased through the participating shops. Once your passport is full, you leave it with the last shop you visit and it is put towards the grand prize raffle baskets! 

Each participating shop will have 3 raffle baskets as well! You are given tickets with your bag and passport to use towards these baskets. You can also make purchases in order to earn more tickets to use towards the raffle baskets at the shop you are visiting! Every shop will also have a pattern to hand out when getting passports stamped (knit and crochet). 
One of last years YBD raffle basket winners! 

Who are the participating shops?
Bo Peep Fine Yarns (Ligonier) 
Darn Yarn Needles & Thread (Harmony) 
Dyed in the Wool (McCandless/Ross Township) 
Kathy’s Kreations (Ligonier) 
Kid Ewe Knot (Bridgeville) 
McWalker Yarns (Millvale) 
Raggz Fiber Art (Forbes Road/Greensburg) 
Ross Farm Mercantile (Washington) 
Sewickley Yarns (Sewickley) 
Tonidale Yarn & Needlecraft (Tonidale) 
Yarns by Design (Oakmont)

Is there anything special this year for the 5th anniversary?
YES! This year we have included a SVYC Carabiner with your bag! The shops will be handing out stitch markers to hang on the carabiner. 

This years bag has been my personal favorite so far! A mini tote with a pocket on the front, makes for the perfect project bag! 

What are the grand prizes?
2018 grand prize structure as follows:  THREE prizes - first prize valued at over $500, second prize valued at over $300, and third prize valued at over $200! Each store contributes to the raffle prizes! 

What are the rules?
-Passports must be purchased from one of the participating yarn stores.
-Each participant must have their own passport. Only ONE passport per person.
-Each participant must fill out the contact information on the passport PRIOR to your first stamp. Please print clearly - we need this information to be able to contact you!
-Each participant must be present at each yarn shop to receive their stamp (i.e., no proxy crawling).
-Each participant must be at least 18 years of age.
-All completed passports must be turned in by the end of business on August 12th, 2018 to the last store you visit.

We are getting really excited to meet new friends, and to see some old! This is such a fun event, and we wouldn't be able to do it without all of you! Stop by and get your bags today! 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mini Skein Madness!

After receiving our most recent shipment of Hedgehog Fibres, it go me thinking about the beauty behind the mini skein! Mini skeins are not only adorable and beautiful to look at, but a great way to add a pop of color to your WIP! From socks, to hats, to sweaters, you can use mini skeins to mix and match colors in any project. Colorwork is an easy way to give a project that wow factor without making yourself crazy with difficult techniques. Here are some ideas on how to use those wonderful minis for more than just a stash filler! 

Sock toe, heel, & cuff

Brighten up you day by stopping by YBD, or visit us on the web to check out our current selection of Hedgehog Fibres in Skinny Singles, Sock, Sock Mini, Merino DK, and Merino Worsted! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Vacation knitting! T-minus 20 days!

"At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour, but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun." -Unknown

In just 20 short (long) days I will be headed down south to The Outer Banks National Seashore! We will be staying in Avon for 2 weeks, and that will require some prep work for knitting projects! I always over pack, but you never know what you will need, am I right? You never know how much or little time you will have to knit or read. I am guessing I will not have too much time, chasing a 5 year old and 11 month old around... but a girl can dream! 

I have 3 projects to take with me this year! I like an easy, medium, and hard to choose from at all times. Recently, I finished up Andrea Mowry's Weekender sweater, and MAN, I am in a slump after that! It was like reading Harry Potter... so good you don't know what to read/knit next! I was riding that knitting high for weeks after finishing it! I was able to whip up a pair of fair isle mitts after and finished a brioche cowl, but I was struggling to figure out "what next"?... till I discovered Tegna! (side note... I plan to make another Weekender in Brooklyn Tweed Newsprint this fall!) 

Tegna! Ooooh, Tegna! This sweater is beautiful, light weight, short sleeved and perfect for taking to the beach! It has a lace detail bottom which is amazing and hard to put down (I know this because I already had to frog... don't knit lace tired and ALWAYS USE A LIFELINE!!!). It is knit in a fingering weight yarn, I chose Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant, and doesn't take a lot of yards! 2 skeins for me! This will be knit while the kids are napping and I am relaxing on the deck staring at the ocean! As soon as the lace detail is done, it will be a perfect car project! I cannot wait to add this garment to my growing handmade wardrobe, this summer! 

Next is my easy, mindless but not terribly boring, transportable go to project, The Hitchhiker Shawl! This is so great, small enough to travel with, lightweight enough to take to the beach, and Malabrigo Mechita! Enough. Said. I hope to have this done by the time we come back for a boutique sample! The color is Paprika, and I never get sick of looking at it! 

Lastly is my "medium" project. I do not mean medium in terms of difficulty, but more size and transportability! I am going to start Hayward, by Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Soot. I want this done for fall, so I am in no hurry at all. I am taking this to work on in the evenings while watching the Pens in round 3 of the playoffs.... because there will be a round 3 (3elieve!!!)! It's mindless enough for the stress that hockey can cause, and noise level of a giant house full of Pens fans. Unfortunately, it is us just a little too heavy and too big to take on car travels and beach trips when its hot out. Super simple design and construction, plus amazing yarn means I am sold! 

I will be taking all my notions with me as well, and needles, and just about everything (like I said, I am not a light packer!). Fingers crossed some of these projects get some knitting love! I also have a book, but Im highly considering getting it in audio so I can kill two sea gulls with one stone! 
What do you like to knit on vacation? Do you take multiple projects or just one? Let us know in the comments below! 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Now at YBD: Fringe Supply Co.

You have the tools, notions, yarn and patterns but need the perfect tote to carry them in...not to worry! Fringe Supply Co. bags are now available at Yarns By Design. These fun and functional totes are sure to bring a smile to your face while carrying all of your project needs. 

Woollelujah for Fringe Supply Co. bags!

We couldn't be more excited to now be a Fringe Supply Co. stockist. The company was established in 2012 and is located in Nashville, TN. As owner Karen Templer notes- their products are built to last. 
The Knitting Necessities bag is a necessity. 

Currently we carry three totes to choose from-all made of 100% cotton and made and printed in the USA.  The "Knitting Necessities" and "High Fiber" totes are a standard size of 18"wide x 13" high x 6" deep. 
The high-fiber tote. 
The "Woollelujah" tote is for those you you who don't like to pack lightly- this bag fits it all. It is 23" wide x 13" high x 9" deep.  Check out how much our manager Natalie totes around in her bag! 
This bag fits everything.

If you are looking to add a little flair to your bags, we also have Fringe Supply Co. knitmoji enamel pins. Choose from the sheep, the heart-eyed sheep or the frog. Add one (or all) to your jacket or handmade item and these make great gifts for your fiber loving friends. 

Perfect little pins. 
Stop by today to get your Fringe Supply Co. fix!


Sarah with YBD

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Knitting Olympians

Who has been enjoying the Olympics so far? What a great excuse to grab your yarn and a spot on the couch and enjoy the events! I can't help but think  about what these athletes have endured to get to The Games…the grueling workouts, the financial burdens, the injuries, failures and disappointments. Enough to give even the most seasoned athletes a body full of jittery nerves. Well, the Finnish Olympic Team (including the coach) decided to use knitting to help calm these nerves. It began in the 2014 Sochi games where they made a giant scarf, now they are working on a blanket for their president's newborn son.
The Finnish Olympians knitting their nerves away. 

In other knitting Olympic news, we have had several customers chatting about the Gold Medal Hat seen on Team USA's snowboarder Chloe Kim. Click here to find the knit and crochet patterns to make your own!

Chloe Kim in her chunky pom pom hat. Photo:Time. com

If you're in the Olympic spirit but the chunky pom pom hat isn't quite the look you were going for, try these Lion Brand Team USA knitted mittens or this team spirited Crochet Neva Hat by Whistle and Ivy.

Team USA Mittens by Lion Brand. Photo copyright: Missy Marshall. 
Crochet Neva Hat by Whistle and Ivy 

What are you working on during the Olympics? Have you made anything inspired by these athletes? Does knitting or crocheting calm your nerves? We'd love to hear from you! Stop by the boutique or comment below.

Sarah with Yarns By Design

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New to knitting

This time of year is all about goal setting, making changes and trying something new. I've been a crocheter for close to 10 years, I can crochet with my eyes closed and can spot a hand crocheted item from across a room. I love how I can catch up on Netflix shows or carry on a conversation while working on a project. I can crochet without a pattern and can teach others to become crocheters too. But there's something I can't do: knit.
My first attempt at casting on. 

This year, I've decided it's time. Working in a yarn shop and being around knitters all of the time, it just makes sense!  I've become so comfortable with a hook that this knitting goal is a little scary to me. Holding one hook seems better than two needles, right? 

The team at Yarns By Design has been supportive of my goal and Sandy gave me my very first quick lesson today. I worked on casting on, and by worked on I mean fumbled through it. Even though it wasn't pretty, it was exciting! I keep thinking about and looking at all of the beautiful knit patterns out there and it gives me motivation to continue to step out of my comfort zone.
Are you a crocheter who wants to learn to knit? Are you a knitter who wants to learn to crochet? NOW is the time. YOU CAN DO IT! And what a great excuse to get more yarn, too. Sign up today. 

Sign up for a lesson with our talented instructors. Grab a few friends and make it  group event. 2018 is the year you'll learn a new skill. 

Stay tuned for my journey from crocheter to knitter!

Do you have any suggestions for newbies? Maybe a tip that someone gave to you when you were learning? Please feel free to share your comments here. 


Sarah with Yarns By Design

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It's 2018! It's a New Year and a new…yarn color to try??

The Pantone Color of the Year 2018 is  (drumroll) Ultra Violet. This shade of purple is a great way to start the New Year with some color yet still feel "wintery". Purple is a combination of the calmness of blue and the feistiness of red. Purple is historically known to be associated with royalty, nobility, creativity, pride and magic.  
Ultra Violets at Yarns By Design.
Yarns as pictured left to right: Malabrigo Rasta in "Purple Mystery", Madelintosh Tosh Vintage in "Iris", Malabrigo Worsted in "Purple Mystery", Juniper Moon Farm Herriot in "Exotic Evening", Madelintosh Tosh Vintage in "Gosia", Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Single in "Sorry Not Sorry" and Malabrigo Caracol in "Holly Hock".

The boldness of Ultra Violet means a little bit can go a long way! Add pops of it to your projects such as stripes, edges and cuffs. Yarns By Design has a lot of options when it comes to yarn with hues of this rich color. Stop by or shop online to add some Ultra Violet to your life.

A few more  Ultra Violets at Yarns By Design! 

Our 2017 Yarn Crawl Crochet Pattern predicted hues of Ultra Violet for 2018, using Hedgehog Fibres in "Birthday Cake".

Wishing all of our customers a very happy 2018 ahead.


Sarah with YBD