Knitting in Haiti

skacel is always happy to help out those in need, especially knitters in need.  So when Denise Gideon informed us of the philanthropic knitting adventure she was to about to embark on, skacel was eager to help out.

Denise Gideon went down to Haiti in February to teach a small group of women how to knit.  She taught them to knit a shopping bag with circular needles.  It is her hopes that the women hold on to this skill in order to knit projects they can sell in the near future.

skacel was happy to donate circular needles so that the women would have a quality needle to learn with and keep for future projects.  We would also like to thank Denise for making the world a better place one stitch at a time.

Way to go Denise!


Hug of Love

Loosing a loved one is something that we all know will eventually happen to us. Despite our knowing, there is no way to prepare for such an event. When it arrives, we are usually stricken with a tremendous amount of grief and if we are one of the lucky ones, we’ll have friends and family around to comfort us during this time.

Recently, Cynthia of Cynthia’s Fine Yarns and Gifts, had to lay her best friend of 13 years to rest.  She was red bull terrier named Zoe.  Cynthia’s good friend Christa, intuitively knew that Cynthia was in need of a great big hug, and thus the evening Zoe left us, Chirsta stayed up all night and designed and knitted a big “Hug of Love” neck wrap for Cynthia.

Cynthia was so moved by this,that she arranged with Christa to share this fabulous pattern with everyone who is either dealing with grief themselves, or knows of someone else who is.  This pattern can be found on Ravelry as a free download, or by clicking on the link here, Hug of Love Pattern.

Thank you Cynthia for sharing this story with us, and Christa, for designing such a great neck wrap for a special friend.  And I have to add, we are of course very pleased you chose our Schoppel Zauberball Crazy yarn to do so.

 "Hug Of Love Pattern"

This pattern was created from the love and compassion of a friend, in my time of grief. I had to put my best friend to sleep on September 15, 2010. She was a beautiful 13 year old red bull terrier named Zoe, a companion for life that I will miss dearly. She had extreme allergies and a poor immune system.
I was lucky to have her in my life to help her control her problems as a daily commitment. My friend Christa could feel my loss, having suffered it herself. We had talked only weeks before on creating a pattern using a changing of the needles. When she heard about Zoe, she went to work and in an evening blessed me with the “Hug of Love” pattern. It is written and given in Memory of Zoe. Out of this tragedy in my life came something good to share with others who need a huge hug when deep in their moment of grief. Christa brought a smile to my face and a comfort to me that I didn’t stand alone. I share this pattern with you from Christa and me, Cynthia, to enjoy the process of knitting the hug and carrying our memory of the one we lost with us forever, never ever to be forgotten, and always to wrap our neck as a hug!

Go give a knitted hug of love today!


Skacel: an international family

The thing I like most about Skacel is that we are a family run and family oriented company.  Not only do we have three generations of Skacels working here, but all of our employees and most of our vendors, have become part of our extended family.  

It is true that our vendors are across an ocean in Europe, but over the years we have developed close bonds.  I visit Germany once a year to connect with our family-owned vendors over there, and once a year most of them visit us.  Frequently when they visit, they stay in our home.  This gives us a very comfortable atmosphere to discuss business, family, hobbies, and whatever we desire.

This past Independence Day we were fortunate enough to have Thomas Selter (5th generation owner and President of addi) come stay with us and celebrate.  Thomas was such a sport that he actually dressed as Uncle Sam, which prompted us to name him and his partner, Claudia Malcus, King and Queen of Independence Day. 


Not all was fun-and-games for when we discussed the addi Lace Clicks we got into a little wrestling match.  Although it does look like I am in a death grip, fear not, I won! 

We have gotten one step closer to getting the production of the Lace Clicks into full swing!  Our estimated arrival date of these needles should be end of summer or early fall.  Don’t get the impression that I wrestle my vendors a lot.  It’s only on occasion.


WonderMike (knitter, spinner & producer of the Fiber Beat podcast/vidcast) sat down with me last year to discuss the origins and history of Skacel Knitting as well as the exciting products that are hitting the markets right now. You can hear it all in the latest episode of Fiber Beat No. 4, “Skacel-ebrate“. Be sure to enter the contest for a full bag of Zitron’s Unisono yarn. Details are on the podcast and online at fiberbeat.com. Deadline for entering is January 21st. So enter soon!

And just so you know – Unisono is the newest yarn from Zitron.  It is a 100% superwash Merino with a real nice, tight twist that is enhanced with Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera.  It runs through your hands like butter and yet, it shows fabulous stitch definition.  The winner will get to choose their color too!


Sock Summit

KarinSock Summit -there was so much going on that I could write for days, but due to a lack of time, I won’t. Rather, I’ll give you my highlights in pictures and sum it up with a little story.


Beth and Bonnie from Burien Yarn Stash proudly wear their hard-earned T-shirts on the final day of the Summit. skacel gave away T-shirts to all that brought in a printed copy of Brian’s blog entry, as well as those who could prove they were big fans of the addi needles. We gave away over a hundred T-Shirts at the show. Several other proud recipients are featured below as well.

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I haven’t knit on two individual needles since I don’t know when, however, it was mandatory in order to participate in the Guinness Book of World Records attempt. So, I actually did it. Hopefully no one got a picture of me, as I had to use a set competitor’s needles since I forgot to bring addi’s along.


Brian, of course, was at the Summit, knitting away on his 14 socks on one needle. Many folks stopped to check it out. I give Brian credit, he repeated himself on what he was doing and why (Because I can), at least 50 times a day, and never complained or got “short” with anyone!


Brian was also photographed over and over and over again. There were times when 4 or 5 people would be standing in front of him with their cameras flashing. It sort of gave our booth the feel as if paparazzi were hounding us. Above, Brian checks out a photo of himself on the I-phone of one of his many admirers.


My little summation story.

On the last day of the Summit, on the elevator ride down at my hotel, I met a mother and daughter with over-stuffed fabric bags in their hands. I asked them if they had fun at the Summit. Their enthusiastic answer was “Yes, and we learned so much in class.” They had flown out from the Midwest and had feared it may not be worth the money, but they agreed it was worth every dime and they would do it again. Only thing was, they had spent more money than anticipated on new yarns and did not have room in their luggage to get it home. Thus, they had to send a package from the UPS station inside the show. When I asked them if it was newly purchased yarns in their bags they were sending, one responded, “Heck no! This is our dirty laundry we’re sending! The yarns come with us on the plane.”



TNNA Fashion Show

KarinFor many knitters, the term TNNA is one that has been heard here and there.  Yet, what exactly is TNNA?  TNNA stands for THE NATIONAL NEEDLEARTS ASSOCIATION.  This association for professionals in the needlearts industry is really the heart of the industry.  Of the many things the TNNA does, supports and sponsors (see tnna.org), putting on the main trade shows in the USA for vendors such as skacel, to present their goods to the local yarn shops, is what they are most commonly known for.

At the TNNA trade shows there are many events, but one of the most popular is the fashion show.  Held at the two main shows (January for spring yarns, June for fall yarns), the fashion show usually boasts 100 or more garments from a vast array of vendors.  There are a few crochet and felted garments, but for the most part, the garments are knitted.  For the longest time, the fashion show was only seen by the eyes of the members of TNNA, but since the show in June of 2008, they have allowed the public to see a video-taped version of the show.

The video above is the past June’s show. We are the third group on stage.

The shows are quite lengthy, but if knitting is your thing – the show will fly by!   Enjoy!