Cliff

Seattle’s 6th Annual Stitch ‘n Pitch

It was a beautiful evening as fans filled Safeco Field to watch the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers.  Equipped with yarn, needles, and charisma, hundreds of knitters filled the upper deck for Seattle’s 6th Annual Stitch ‘n Pitch!


The 300 level of Safeco Field was turned into a temporary knit shop as knitters walked between dozens of booths set up by local yarn stores, designers, and knitting organizations.  In addition to the great shopping that was available, each Stitch ‘n Pitch participant received a limited edition Mariner Moose Bobble head covered in yarn!


Many Skacel employees along with their family and friends attended.  A few lucky employees were sitting in the right row, as their row was selected for a special “goody bag” filled with pattern books, roving, yarn, and knitting accessories.



Famous knitter and author, Debbie Bliss, threw out the first (and probably most exciting pitch) of the game, as the Mariners lost 0-6.  Regardless of the score, though, the crowd was great, the knitting was great, and the 2010 Mariner’s Stitch ‘n Pitch was once again a great event, and Skacel would like to thank everyone who participated!

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Cliff

Grande Beanies

CliffYears of snowboarding around the world have brought me to one realization….  Beanies are crucial, not only for boarding or fighting off Jack Frost, but crucial for the survival of fashion, swagger, and style.  However, when it came to finding a beanie that would keep my head warm and my style hot, I often ran cold.

That was until I laid eyes on Grande, and honestly, it was love at first sight!  This yarn is bulky, bright, soft, and comes in colors so sweet they hurt my teeth.  Grande truly is a one-ball wonder yarn with more natural abilities than Bo Jackson.  Its 100% wool, chunky two-ply design gives it a soft hand and makes it enjoyable to knit, hold, or even use as a pillow.

The funny thing about all of this is that I first started my quest for the ultimate beanie while living in Switzerland.  A year later I’m using a yarn manufactured by Schulana of Switzerland to make the beanies I have always dreamed about.  This gives me confidence in the yarn being a true performer, because, after having lived there, I realize the Swiss know three things: money, yarn, and snow sports.

So, having found Grande, I grabbed my needles and started to knit … and knit … and knit.  It truly is a pleasure to knit, as big size makes it easy to work with while allowing the stitches to fall into place effortlessly.  I think I was about halfway through my second beanie when the addiction hit.  Now all I can do is knit beanies, Grande beanies.

hats

I have built up my yarn stash with all the awesome colors of Grande and have been making beanies non-stop for the past couple of months.   Never using a pattern I just try new stitches, cast-ons, decreases, etc.  It is fun being able to bring in a half-knit hat to work and getting tons of great ideas on how to finish from all my co-workers at Skacel.

After a couple of beanies I stumbled upon the style that has dominated my new obsession.  It takes me a little over an hour to complete, and it is taking up all my free time.  The hundreds of potential color combinations keep me busy with new ideas and push me to stay up all night knitting.  The feedback I have received from my snowboard and skiing peers is positive and many of them have jumped on the waiting list for a custom-knit masterpiece from me.

hat

Just this last weekend while working our booth at the Northwest Needle Market, I got the honor and privilege of receiving a one-on-one lesson with the knitting goddess herself, Ms. Cat Bordhi.  Cat taught me how to use the Tunisian cast on method to start my beanies from the top and knit down.  A couple of knots, some dropped stitches, and ten minutes later I had learned this killer cast on.  Fully cast on and 30 rows later she introduced me to the yarn over bind off.

Over a 20 minute period I had learned a totally different way to structure my beanies.  This has since resulted in more sleepless nights full of knitting and has introduced a whole new design element into my knitting.  As I continue on my quest to knit the ultimate cocoon of happiness, I look forward to all the people I shall meet and all the lives I shall change.

Stay beautiful, stay fly, cool runnings,

Cliff