“It’s Nan”

June 21st, 2015


Smiling, Knitting and Singing



If you’ve read our blog at all over the last 5 years, you’ll know about our beloved Nanny Jean.  She is Carly and my grandmother. We called her Nanny or Nan.  There are plenty of blog posts about our Nan.  This is a great one..and this…heck, just search Nanny on our blog:)

Anyway…we are always paying attention for little signs from our Nan.  We are open to that kind of stuff.  Friday was a big one!

Here is how it went down.

I got a call early last week from a sweet older woman looking for help on a prayer shawl.  I told her I’d be happy to help if she came in.  Then she said it was crochet.  Now, I can crochet and if necessary I could probably have limped my way through helping her, but really Carly was the person for this task. Carly is my cousin.  Our Nan taught us both to knit.  You can read a bit more about Carly here.

Carly isn’t the worlds most proficient crocheter either, but she’s better than me.  So, I told the lovely customer when Carly would be in and told her maybe it was best she come in when Carly was working.

A little preface here…
Our Nan loved coins. She got in some trouble once buying too many coins:) She used to collect coins for Carly’s kids. Hogan got quarters, Lily got dimes and Henry got nickels or something like that.  Anyway, coins and Carly and Nan are connected.  A few years ago Carly was moving to a new house and starting a new phase of her life. When she was all done cleaning out a storage locker, she was sweeping it out and found a threepence.

carly threepence

Have I mentioned our Nan was from England?  We just knew then that Nan was watching out for Carly.  Since Nan passed, Carly has been finding dimes in random spots.  It’s just a weird little thing.  So, whenever Carly finds the dimes, she takes a sec and thinks of our Nan.

Cut to Friday.

The crochet customer came in Friday for help with her project. Carly got her back on track (of course she did) and the customer was ready to leave.  She got her cane and started walking out of the classroom. Carly could sense she needed some assistance so she took her elbow and started to help her.  All of a sudden the customer bent down and picked something up and handed it to Carly.


It was a dime. The customer said “I think this is for you”.  This person, who was having trouble even walking, bent all the way down like it was easy as pie and picked up the dime. Carly asked her for her name and it was Fran.  Carly thought, of course it is.  It rhymes with Nan.  She smiled.

There were a few people in the shop at the time and Carly told them to hold down the fort.  She was going to walk Fran to her car.  So she took her hand and made sure she made it safely into her car.

When she got back in and back to the counter she said to the next customer, who had been patiently waiting, “Remind me of your name”.  The customer said “It’s Nan”.

Carly said “Excuse me?  What?”

The woman said “It’s Nan.  That’s my name”.

Carly thought, of course it is.  It’s Nan!  She smiled.

We hear you Nan! We love and miss you!

Sun Shower Blanket

June 17th, 2015

We’ve had the perfect baby blanket knit up for a year or more now and I realized I hadn’t shared it here yet!


Sunshower Baby Blanket by Melissa LaBarre.

Sun Shower 1


It’s knit on circular needles in the round. A fun easy little lace pattern at the center starts this blanket out, then it’s smooth sailing with stockinette stitch in the round.


Sun Shower 2

If there is baby knitting in your future, you should consider this one!

Yarn: Hikoo Simplicity – Click here for yarn packaged and ready for you.


Pattern: Sunshower Blanket – Click here to download the pattern from Ravelry. Or, and we can buy it for you!


Want to make up your own kit?  We have pretty much ever color of simplicity on the shelves now.  Make up your own:) 



Tahiti Shawl

June 10th, 2015
Tahiti Shawl

Tahiti Shawl


Perfect summer knitting!  Cast on 5 stiches and increase as you go. The yarn does the real work!

Click here for the yarn
Click here for the pattern

Americana Cuff

June 10th, 2015

Our air conditioning has been out the last few days…it’s not normally a problem in Minnesota, but these last few days have been hot and steamy.


What better thing to do during a non airconditioned day than to whip up something in cotton!


We love this little Americana Cuff designed by Cirilia Rose for Skacel.  The pattern calls for a great wool called American B.R.A.N.D.  But we decided to use another great Skacel Hikoo yarn called CoBaSi this time around.


It’s fingering weight yarn knit on a US1. I am normally not a US1 gal, but for this I made an exception:)


Americana cuff 3
americana cuff
americana cuff 2
How cute!!


We have kits available in wool (Quince Finch) or cotton like the one you see pictured in Hikoo CoBaSi.


Pick up a kit for yourself here and you’ll be wearing it by July 4th!

To shred or not to shred

June 2nd, 2015

As I was doing our usual shop shredding the other day I got to thinking…do we really still need to shred? Now don’t get me wrong, I like to shred.  I find it satisfying to put in a piece of paper, hear the blades working and get a pile of tiny paper out.




But with cyber crime so prevalent these days, are people still digging through dumpsters to get at our bank statements? All a criminal needs to do is long onto a computer right? If a criminal still digging through a dumpster to get my credit card statement, he’s not a very modern criminal is he?
Heck the IRS was just hacked. The IRS!
I’ll keep shredding, because I like it, but do we really need to still shred?
These are deep thoughts I have when the yarn shop is slow:)


Kool-Aid Yarn

June 2nd, 2015


We cleaned out our storage room a few weeks ago and found a gem.

On a way high up shelf, way in the back we found a mason jar with some yarn in it. It brought back some memories.

A few years ago, we did some kool-aid yarn dyeing classes with kids…

kool aid dye

Our long lost mason jar must have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Anyway, it turns out that leaving a skein of yarn in a mason jar, on it’s side, with a package of cherry flavored kool-aid and water for 2 years is a good thing.

This is a pretty skein of yarn, even if it smells like cherries:)
If you want to make some kool aid dyed yarn for yourself, click here to download the instructions.

Cherry Kool Aid

Cherry Kool Aid




Socks on Sunday

May 26th, 2015
Lara Neel

Lara Neel

We are so excited to have Lara Neel back at the shop this weekend!


Lara is a local knitter and author of the great book sock construction Sock Architecture.




Sock Architecture

Sock Architecture

We have 2 classes coming up on Sunday, May 31st.


The first class is Beyond the Basics Socks.  You’ll learn all sorts of cool sock stuff.
-How to work the “new” ssk
-Three ways to increase, m1L, m1R and m1P.  How they play well together and how to use them.
-How to work the “extra needle” cast on the easiest, fastest provisional cast on, ever.
-Learn two ways to start toe up socks.
-Work Jeny’s Stretchy Cast Off, using either a knitting needle or a crochet hook.
-Use dental floss to make grafting easier
-Pick up stitches from gussets with confidence, every time.


This class is from 10am – 1pm.  Click here for registration information.


The second class is Heels You May Not Know.  Sick of one boring heel pattern?  Learn about all the other ways you can make heels!
-The thumb-joint afterthought heel can be made either toe up or top down.  If you think you don’t like the fit of afterthought heels, you may be in for a surprise.
-The balbriggan heel can only be made from the top down.  It has little or no gusset and is very fast to work.  Lara will teach you tricks for grafting and picking up stitches for beautiful results, every time.
-The joined heel flap doesn’t have the most romantic name, but is an easy way to make toe-up socks for an unusual look and a quick knit.


This class is from 2pm – 5pm.  Click here for registration information.


Hope you can join us!

Peanuts and Crackerjacks

May 24th, 2015

My niece Brooke is obsessed with the MN Twins this season. And when I say obsessed, I mean 15 year old obsessed. She has apps on her phone that alert her to game scores and big plays. She knows all sorts of stats. She has even started following baseball players, and their kids her age, on Instagram.


So when a customer came in looking for yarn to make the Crackerjack scarf, I knew I had her Christmas gift all sorted out.


This scarf is so fun. It’s knit in the round, like a tube, and then sewn or grafted together.


Brooke's Crackerjack

Brooke’s Crackerjack – colors 46, 37, 51, 38

Here are the basics.  You choose 4 colors that represent the team you have chosen.  Those 4 colors each represent a win or a loss, at home or away.


So, mine are:


Home Game Win: Red
Home Game Loss: Dark Grey
Away Game Win: Blue
Away Game Loss: Light Grey


So when the Twins have a game, I find out the score and then knit 2 rounds in the appropriate color.  Fun huh?


I chose a heavy worsted, Hikoo Simpliworsted.  But you could just as easily do a lighter weight version.  Just choose a yarn you love and go for it!


We are 1/4 of the way through the season and so I am 1/4 of the way through the scarf.  Looks like the finished garment will be 56″ long, perfect for wrapping twice around her neck. Unless they make it into the post season:) I started with one skein each of the Simpliworsted. I’ve gotta be honest and say that I’m not really sure how much yarn this will take. I figured I’d start with 1 skein of each color and get more if I need as the season goes on. Dye lots won’t matter!


It’s not too late to get started on one of your own. Maybe you aren’t a Twins fan, but a Brewers fan?


Crackerjack Brewers - 37, 11, 01, 57

Crackerjack Brewers – colors 37, 11, 01, 57

Or a San Francisco Tigers fan?


Crackerjack Tigers

Crackerjack Tigers – colors 02, 55, 37, 36

You’re smart…you get the picture:)


Click here for the yarn. – Message us if the color you want is out of stock:)
Click here for the pattern on Ravelry.

Ch ch ch changes

May 19th, 2015

I’m just going to come right out and say it.


Jennifer is leaving Darn Knit Anyway.


She has decided it’s best for her family at this time to not have the business stress of the shop.


There are no other issues, no one is mad, no one is ill, there are no hard feelings.


There will be some pains as we try to reinvent shop life without Jennifer and I’m sure she’ll have some pains reinventing her life without the shop, but this is the best thing for her and her family at this time.


She’s on Ravelry, you can find her there if you want to stay in touch.  “jenknits4darnknit”.


It’s hard to run a business. Harder yet to run a business and keep a happy family at the same time.


We’ll miss her around here…



jennifer images

Knit in Public Day 2015

May 19th, 2015

Join us Saturday, June 13th for World Wide Knit in Public Day!


We’ll be knitting in public!


Truth be told, we knit in public a lot, but this time we hope you’ll join us.


We’ll be crafting on the patio in front of the shop in celebration of World Wide Knit in Public Day.  It’s actually a week long celebration of fiber artists and it takes place at different times all around the world.


We’re planning to sit in lawn chairs on our patio on Saturday, June 13th from 10am – 5pm.


Bring a lawn chair, some snacks for yourself and your favorite beverage and we’ll wave at all the poor souls sitting in traffic!


We’ll have a few canopies set up to protect us from the sun or rain.  So we’ll be knitting out rain or shine.


Bring your knitting, crochet, needlepoint, spinning, felting, weaving…whatever kind of fiber project you have going on.


We hope to see you!  Come early, because you know how Stillwater traffic can be on a beautiful summer Saturday!