Everyone Gets Tacos. Everyone Gets Kits. A KnitCrate Fiesta!

Everyone Gets Tacos. Everyone Gets Kits. A KnitCrate Fiesta!

Celebrate Stitch Up Chicago the KnitC rate Way. Everyone gets tacos. Everyone gets a KnitCrate Kit. And everyone has a good time! Toss in a little impromptu birthday celebration and you have the makings of a fabulous Saturday night! This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.

Read More

Red Heart & Moogly Bring The Awesome To Chicago!

Red Heart & Moogly Bring The Awesome To Chicago!

Red Heart and Tamara of Moogly brought serious amounts of fiber awesome to Stitch Up Chicago. A very special yarn tasting community event like no other and a treat making the Artfully Simple Cowl. This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.

Read More

Universal Yarn: Oh So Gradient!

Universal Yarn: Oh So Gradient!

Universal Yarn has been a supporter and sponsor of Stitch Up Chicago for 3 years now. Since the very first event, the Universal team has seen the vision and supported this community. Kicking off Stitch Up Chicago with Universal Yarn Stitch Night was just perfect. The smiles & stitches tell the story!

Read More

Allison's Pajamas & A Free Shawl Patttern

Allison's Pajamas &  A Free Shawl Patttern

When Allison sent me her worsted in Allison’s Pajamas and Chocolate Brownie I was not only hungry and wanted to have a PJ party but I knew instantly I wanted to design a transitional season shawl. The Highland Shawl is exactly what I envisioned - and we know that never happens in deign process so yay for that bonus! This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.

Read More

Say Hello To Spring & WIN BIG with Our Stitch Up Chicago Sponsors

It has been a month since Stitch Up Chicago 2018 and I am still feeling all the warm fuzzies from so much fiber awesome. As we enter into spring I thought why not carry that fiber love on with a giveaway! So read on about our event prizes, our sponsors and enter to win one of the Swag Bags from Stitch Up Chicago along with some other extra special treats below.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a giver by nature, my pastor says it is my Love Language. So I am always excited when amazing artisans, small businesses and big businesses want to join in the giving and help make the Stitch Up Chicago prizes so awesome. This year's grand raffle prize had me wishing I could enter to win. Maybe I should have bought a few tickets!

We did the grand prize drawing on the last day just as we started the yarn bomb party with London Kaye. And of course, London got to pull the winning ticket. It was super fun because with a raffle you just never know.

I love that suspense. You can click through this slide show and catch the whole play by play. Our photographer Hannah Schweiss captured EVERY MOMENT of this awesomeness.

The grand prize... ok guys.... UM YEAH! It featured delights from each of these incredible contributors and the handmade wall hanging from The River Haze Shop was surely a fan favorite!

Stitch_Up_Chicago_Hannah_Schweiss_Photography_2018_95.jpg

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO OUR
Grand Prize contributors:


And since not everyone can win the grand prize, we put together incredible swag bags with the generosity of so many makers and fiber businesses so everyone left with some major fiber treats.


SO WE SEND OUT A BIG THANK YOU & HUGE SHOUT OUT TO ALL
Stitch Up Chicago Sponsors. Could not have done it without them.

Hello-spring-giveaway-16.jpg

And now YOU can enter to win not only one of the Stitch Up Chicago Swag Bags, but an amazing Artisan Spring Prize Pack including a knitting hat pattern from Yessy Designs, a crochet top pattern from Evelyn & Peter, a pair of sea shell socks made by the sock master himself, Rohn Strong, a super fun summer clutch purse from Tea Pray Crochet, a yarn mug AND $25 gift card from Yarn Mamas, a Lakeside Cardigan from CoCo Crochet Lee, a hand crochet cactus from Triple Knot Studio and an amazing set of hooks and notions.

UM... YES THIS IS THE ULTIMATE!!!!!!!

So click all the sponsor links to show them love and check them out then enter below!

Knit @ Nite Chicago Style

Oh what a night!

If you heard or read about my 7 Crazy Days in NYC earlier this year, then you know how much fun Knit @ Nite in NYC is and how much of a great time we had when we went. Hosted by knitwear designer Josh Bennett, it is a weekly gathering of knitters and revelers at Club Cumming in the East Village.

So when I heard about Vogue Knit Live Chicago, and knowing how much fun we have at Stitch Up Chicago I thought why not bring Knit@Nite to Chicago!

Genius right? 

I teamed up with my fave Chicago Yarn Shop - Nina Chicago and reached out to Josh to make the magic happen - and boy did we ever!

We took over the Two-Zero-Three cafe at the Virgin Hotel and turned into a social, evening knit hang haven. Cocktails, laughs, knits, and yarn ... it was a fantastic evening.

We were lucky enough to have so many gracious vendors contribute to over $1000 in prizes!  YES!!! OVER $1000 IN PRIZES!

It was so much fun pulling raffle tickets and seeing people get excited about all the amazing yarn and prizes. We even did a "Yarn for a question" version of the yarn toss! The Grand Prize for the night was quite the catch and the winner needed a tote to carry it all home.

Thank you to each of our sponsors who contributed (and I encourage you to check them out):



I think Knit@Nite needs to come to Chicago way more often and I am on a mission to make that happen. Though the venue had capacity limitations, we had a blast and if (WHEN) we do it again I know we will go bigger so more people can join the fun!I know I will definitely be there as host or just to attend!

And a special thank yo to our event sponsor Nina Chicago

Stitch Up Chicago 2018 - HECK YEAH!

Was it a dream? Did that all just happen? Oh my goodness Stitch Up Chicago how you are the most beautiful amazing days of the year. I am filled with so much gratitude and love from two days of amazing connections through fiber.  For me it is so personal, and so very special because when I started this blog it was all about giving back freely, sharing what I know and inspiring the fiber (and maker) community. Stitch Up Chicago was born as an extension of the blog to bring those online connections together and grow in community off line. I had no idea the reward would be so grand. So tangibly amazing. Words cannot describe it so let's just relive it all one more time in a fabulous recap.

And you can bet I am already dreaming ahead and planning Stitch Up Chicago 2019!

We kicked things off with a little pre-game afternoon tea and snacks at one of my FAVORITE places, Nina Chicago LYS (local yarn shop).  This was super cool because Nina has a new owner, Hilary, and I just LOVE HER and she was such a great host. The gals did some (a lot) of shopping and we definitely got into the Stitch Up Chicago mode.  Hilary has done a pretty amazing job since taking over Nina Chicago and if you are in Chicago definitely go say hi and check it out. Also - they make a mean cuppa ;-)


Back at the Virgin Hotel for the second year in a row, things got off to quite the start Friday with the Wool And The Gang Tau Zion Lion Beanie Knit Kit and a super yummy dinner. And of course, cocktails. It was pretty fabulous to have people there who had never met but share a love for all things fiber. The energy was just INCREDIBLE. I cannot put it into words because IT WAS AMAZING and even that in all caps doesn't cut it.

The Tau Zion Lion Beanie was the perfect kit because we had several new knitters who were so excited to learn. I mean how cool is that? Sign up and register for a Knit intensive event and not know how to knit! That is right because at Stitch Up Chicago you will learn. And they did.

One of the most magical things that happened Friday night was Nancy. Nancy was a guest at the Virgin hotel, in town for a completely different event over the weekend. On her way to the restroom, she noticed all these laughing, smiling, knitting people. She popped in and asked.. "What is this? Some kind of knitting party?" You bet it is! And within 15 minutes Nancy had a kit in hand, pulled up a spot on the sofa and was fully immersed in Stitch Up Chicago Knit Party. Her husband even came down a few hours later to see what was going on and where she went off to. lol. The magic of fiber!!! And the best - Nancy won the raffle for the day including a London Kaye Kit from Lion Brand. She was even a double winner because London was there knitting with us and signed the Kit for her. Truly could not have been more perfect or more magical.

And super fun bonus - Yes, we made two new knitters and I taught London how to knit. Friday night went way past the designated 7pm end time. And no one was shocked by the wee hour end of our knit hang.

Here are just a few snaps of all the fun and pardon the blur - we were having too much fun to worry about it. I have to tell you it was truly a night of smiles, laughs and kits. Yummy eats and a few cocktails too.


Saturday started off with so many yummy eats, new faces and surprises. We were working up the Betta Knit Adela Kit and it was super fun to see so many new knitters get in the action.  Betta Knit sent some really fun colors and perfect for that chill Virgin Knit vibe we had going. (The fine team at Betta Knit is giving you 25% off through March 2018 with code 144XBK17 if you want to try some too). Saturday morning definitely went by too fast.

Something new this year was that we added workshops to really feed into our fiber souls and maker hearts. First was the Yarn Tasting sponsored by Universal Yarn. Now, I am a fan of Universal Yarn and in fact they are my selected fiber for the Stitch & Hustle Kit Shop. But I know that many are not familiar with them. So this was super exciting for me to introduce these fibers that I love so much to everyone. It is something special to see someone's face when they discover a "New Fiber".  Universal sent some of my favorite fibers along with samples for everyone to see how they work out and lots for everyone to swatch and play with. Based on the feedback I can tell Universal Yarns has some new fans. It was quite a success.

Another workshop series we added was the Photography Series led by my photographer Hannah Weiss. This was special because no matter if you are sharing photos of your fiber for your business or for your passion to friends and family - you always want to show them in the best light (pun intended). And let's be honest - nothing is more frustrating than spending hours upon hours to create something beautiful then having to spend TWICE as long to photograph it!

Hannah led a hands on workshop and Q&A covering everything from at home hacks, how to find the light, filters and apps to help you edit and be true to your own voice and look and how to develop your brand look. It was really fantastic to see so many picking up tips and tricks to improve showing off their creations


As if that wasn't already an amazing event - we closed things out with the most phenomenal Yarn Bomb Party EVER! I had the opportunity to meet and connect with London Kaye, at Vogue Knit Live in NYC and when she said she wanted to come yarn bomb and lead a workshop at Stitch Up Chicago I was beyond excited. In fact, I could hardly contain it. And to top that off, she had just launched her yarn, hooks and kits and the amazing people at Lion Brand joined in the fun and sent us SO. MUCH. YARN. that I could not even count it all.

It was incredible to see so many fiber loving humans come together to make fiber pieces that would become one big PEACE (see what I did there?). London shared a bit of her history and how she found her passion for yarn bombing and developed her ergonomic crochet hooks on a 3D printer. GENIUS! Every grabbed some yarn and moments later there were smiles, creations and it all started to come together.

And of course, my favorite part of the event was teaching people to knit & crochet. Over the course of the event, I taught 5 people to knit and 2 people to crochet and can honestly say that might very well be my favorite part of it all. And we got those pieces worked right into our yarn bomb! Sharing my fiber love is the greatest gift of all.

Truly magical. And the result of us all coming together was so symbolic of what Stitch Up Chicago and this blog is all about: COMMUNITY. This awesome fiber Community. It was in fact the perfect - and only way - Stitch Up Chicago 2018 could have ended.

I am so humbled and so grateful to all who came out and all who supported this event. THANK YOU!

Let's rest up and do it again next year!

 

Have a scroll through our Yarn Bomb Slideshow and look at all the amazing creative fiber contributions, smiles and laughs as we prepare and then yarn bomb the Virgin Hotel. You can visit our installation all through the month of March.


Special thanks to Hannah Schweiss Photography for capturing the true magic and joy of this event.

A very BIG THANK YOU & HUGE shout out of gratitude to all of the
Stitch Up Chicago Sponsors. Could not have done it without them. Please check them out and stay tuned for more about each of them.

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone with London Kaye at VKL NYC 2018

One of my favorite parts of Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2018 was that they had a London Kaye Yarn Bombing Workshop. I was excited because I knew this would be a highly interactive and extremely fun way to learn more about London but also some tips and techniques to achieve my own Yarn Bombing aspirations.

The day started off with a bang. The elevator at the hotel broke and that gave me a 32 flight climb and descend. OYE! I was worried I would be late to class (and I was) but all in good fun and plus cardio for the day for the win right?

The class and London were amazing. She gave us a brief overview of her background and it was super fun to learn so much more about her. I had no idea she was on Amazing Race. HOW DID I MISS THIS FACTOID???? She also talked about how her art, crochet, started and I loved her organic journey. I won't act as her biographer but I highly recommend you get to know her story if you get a chance.

Then we got our hands dirty and by dirty I mean it was PLAY TIME!!!! We not only yarn bombed a chair together but London brought a lot of her scraps from previous yarn bombs for us to play with and create something new. It was magical.

Working with London was super fun and inspiring. It really forced me to get out of my comfort zone and I think that was what I liked best about the workshop.  As primarily a garment designer, math and dimensions and measurements are a huge part of what I do. Shapes and sizing and all the detail are essential. I love it. It drives me and makes me work to do better and improve. But that was a challenge when I want to yarn bomb because I am always too hung up on precise stitch work and detail to every millimeter.

London's workshop really taught me how to throw caution to the wind and just make art. Not that my fashion and garment designs aren't art but this is different and really pushed my thinking and approach. It is more about the overall art. The joy of adding yarn and color and texture or a message.

London_Kaye_Workshop_VKL-2018141.jpg

Truly the class turned out to be more than I hoped and I am so glad I signed up for it. It pushed me to get out of my comfort  zone of charts and schematics and graph paper and into the world of free form and who knows what will happen if I skip  stitch (OH MY GOSH DID I JUST SAY THAT?!) and the beauty of not knowing what stitch may be next.

I also found out London is launching new Yarn Bomb kits with Lion Brand Yarn!!! That is so exciting because now you too can try it out and start to think outside the box. Or even better why not come Yarn Bomb with London & Me! Yup...



To celebrate her new Kit Launch with Lion Brand Yarn,  London is coming to host a Yarn Bomb Party at Stitch Up Chicago!!!! So yes -  you too can come and get outside the box and learn some fun tricks to bring fiber art to the world and join us as we yarn bomb in Chicago. Register Here.

And check out all of London Kaye's new Kits with Lion Brand here!!

Get Your Stitch On! It's The Ultimate Maker Co-Op

I have known of co-ops my whole life. Maybe because of my hippie-dippy upbringing. A few years of my childhood were spent hanging out with my mom's boyfriend (at the time) and he was a total hippie - refurbished VW Beetle and all. He was a super cool dude and shared a big piece of land with a bunch of other really cool dudes (and dudettes). We would build our own houses and grow food and play music and go on the river in rafts and stuff. It was where I learned about community and giving more than you take. Ah - that was a time in my life where I really felt like my world was right. Sure I was 5 years old, but hey... I know a good thing when I see it!

The littlest hippy of them all

The littlest hippy of them all

Fast forward to about 2 years ago when I was inspired to launch this blog and build this community to be more than just a platform to share my knowledge but truly feed into maker lives. I had no idea that it would grow at the awesome pace that it has but I feel so incredibly blessed it has and also feel like we are all just getting started. I knew it was time to revive those co-op roots.

Since launching the blog, I have had the idea to bring that co-op vibe that I loved as a kid into my maker world. I mean the word itself - co-operative means: "a farm, business, or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.". All of that is EXACTLY what I envisioned for Stitch & Hustle.

Putting it into action takes work. It started with posts and sharing and then led to Stitch Up Chicago and bringing people together to share, be in community and knit together. But Stitch Up Chicago was just the beginning. Here comes the next step: The Get Your Stitch On Kit Shop!

This Kit Shop has quite truly been over a year in the making. I am beyond thrilled to be here. Writing this. Launching this. It is surreal. So many hours and hours upon hours have gone into this. Abbey and I have poured our hearts and energy into this for YOU! Selecting fibers. Editing listings. Updating designers. Changing and doing all of that over again. But each step of the way, I have been blown away by the response of everyone involved. It is so incredibly exciting to work with a group of talented designers and makers to bring this to reality.

The Get Your Stitch On Kit Shop! is truly For Makers, By Makers. Featuring some of the most amazing talent of our community you can now get a kit to make that awesome item you saw in your Instagram feed. This is a chance to feed directly back into the maker community as well by getting kits from your favorite makers.

To celebrate the launch and first year of the Kit Shop, we have a Limited Edition Kit from Crave Yarn and only a handful of these exist. Amor has selected the chunky soft squishiest Alpaca fiber and dyed the perfect shades of blue. Get the Kit here.

And that is not all. Beginning November 1st, one of our fabulous designers will be featured each month for the next 12 months! You will get to know each of our amazing designers on a deeper level and we have something special planned for each month with the Featured Maker.

So I encourage you to visit the Kit Shop. See all these wonderful projects that you can make or give as a gift to your favorite maker for them to make. In the truest hippy-dippy co-op vibe, let's support each other and share the love.

Stitch Up Chicago - Yeah That Was AWESOMESAUCE!

It has been a week since Stitch Up Chicago, and I am still feeling a full heart and incredible gratitude from the sheer awesomeness of the event. I am so honored to have teamed up with fellow yarnie Ali Ford of Ford Explorer Knits to bring this idea to life. It started as a chat then a text, an idea to build from our online community and create an offline connection and meet up in person. But it turned into so much more. Stitch Up Chicago gave us two days of makers and awesome people coming together to laugh, learn, inspire, and connect with each other. So much goodness.

We kicked things off Friday afternoon with a little sip & stitch at Nina, an incredible yarn shop in Chicago. Nina served up awesome yummy tea and snacks and even more yummy yarns. You can bet we will be visting Nina and her awesome shop again.

Ali and I ducked out of Nina's a bit early to head to the Virgin Hotel Chicago to set up for the Friday Night We Are Knitters Party. And what a party it was. Snacks, bevies and knitting good fun. The party was 'officially' from 4-7 but I know one table closed the place down and a few of us may have knitted into the wee morning hours.

So many wonderful highlights from that perfect evening. Teaching new stitches to knit. Teaching new knitters how to knit. Laughing so much my side hurt. Yummy snacks. It was all amazing. See some of the awesome social media shares here

A quick sleep and then it was time for Saturday Brunch Workshop with Betta Knit. This brunch was particularly special because Betta Knit is new in the US and it was great to introduce this yummy yarn to so many. Amazing eats, amazing yarn and amazing people made for a perfect Stitch Up Chicago Day Two.

It would be near impossible to pull a single moment from Stitch Up Chicago as a favorite. The truth is, from beginning to end it was sheer perfection. While Ali and I were planning everything seemed to fall right into place and we just knew this was meant to be.

A special shout out to our presenting Sponsor, The Yarn Mamas and supporting sponsor Globe In and to all of our sponsors because we could not have done this without them. We will be sharing more about our amazing sponsors over the next few weeks. Everyone loved the swag bags filled with awesome gifts and even if you didn't attend Stitch Up Chicago, you can enjoy some sweet discounts from our sponsors here.

Reflecting on last week, all I can really say is Thank you. THANK YOU ALI for teaming up with me and turning our idea to meet up into something so much more. I am truly grateful for your friendship and to be on your team. I love ya girl! THANK YOU to our sponsors. THANK YOU Virgin Hotels Chicago. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED for making the first Stitch Up event more than I could have dreamed.

We are already hard at work planning Stitch Up Chicago Too for late Fall. Don't miss out. Get the insider updates when we announce by signing up for Stitch & Hustle News here.

And if you want us to help you host a Stitch Up in your city, let us know here