Sunday, December 18, 2011


Another year almost gone...

Dear friends, customers and anyone who is still interested in this blog...here it is the end of 2011 already!  When this year began, I had no idea that by its end I would not only become the owner of a fabulous yarn shop, but also that I'd be able to continue my dyeing in the store's basement, after four years of dyeing a metric ton of yarn in my kitchen.  It was great fun, but it's also nice to have most of the Stitchjones paraphernalia moved out of our house.  I've been very fortunate, and am very grateful to everyone who supported my indie dye work, from the wonderful Twisted  who sold my first few skeins on consignment, to my pampered preciousses who signed up for Yarnageddon 2012.  I'm in the midst of dyeing the first shipment, and am totally excited about it - and also the special gift I'm including in the packages!  I hope you're gonna love it. As soon as everything is ready, I'll announce it on the Stitchjones Mosh Pit Facebook page and also the Yarnageddon discussion board on Ravelry.  This is truly an interesting phase of life - sometimes it feels like all the challenges I face in getting my feet under me as a new LYSO are going to eat my brain, but I welcome it, too - being swamped is much better than being un - or under-employed. As may show from the photo above, the speed and quality of my knitting have improved somewhat.  This is the Evergreen shawl (free pattern on Ravelry) made with 1 hank of Cascade Heritage handpainted sock yarn in Rainforest. I finished it in just a week, and gave it a light blocking.  It looks much better worn than on a hanger!

If you'll allow me a bit of reflection...last December sucked in both my personal and professional lives.  But without re-hashing the past too much, I've got to say that I couldn't be happier about the way things have turned around on both fronts.  By last summer I was surprised at how depressed and despairing I felt.  Launching Yarnageddon did good things for my spirits, and the fact that my mother-in-law finally kicked Jason's brother out of the house improved our family life dramatically; we were able to have a peaceful visit with her over Labor Day.  I don't hate my BIL - we all have our demons to wrestle with, but as they say, enough is enough. Now that my MIL is stepping out from the shadows of the abuse she has had to live with, she's getting out and about, traveling, and still enjoying life at the age of 82.

My wish for you all, is that any dark clouds on your horizon dissipate.  May the sun come out and shine brightly for you in 2012!


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Exciting news!

Dear readers, fellow knitters, & esteemed Stitchjones customers,

Some big changes are happening, and I'm very excited and happy to share the news with you. Effective November 1st, I will be the proud new owner of Kathy's Knit Korner in Forest Grove, Oregon! Back in 1999-2000, I found myself with some extra time once my daughter was in elementary school, so I decided to take up knitting which I'd put aside to chase after her. When I walked into Kathy's Knit Korner for the first time, I discovered yarns more beautiful, varied and amazing than anything I'd ever seen in a craft store, and it turned me into a true knitting addict. Although my knitting skills improved slowly, Kathy was always supportive and encouraging of my efforts, and she always tried to help me find just the right pattern for the yarn I picked out. To be able to provide the same assistance, advice and inspiration to knitters and crocheters is no less than a dream come true!

You might be wondering though, now that this is happening, will there be any more Stitchjones yarn & fiber? Rest assured, there will indeed, because the shop's basement is the perfect space to set up a dye studio! I've started packing up my mini-dyeworks already. I'm still reeling from all the excitement, and so very grateful for this unique opportunity to do both things I love. In the weeks and months to come, I'll be getting to know the many wonderful customers at the shop, and starting a brand new adventure. My enormous thanks to everyone who's supported Stitchjones, because without you this would not be happening. I'll send out frequent updates on Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry groups about both the studio's progress and news & happenings at the shop. I hope to see many of you there!

Friday, August 05, 2011


Yarnageddon2012 Yarn Club - a quick update

Sorry folks, I forgot to include any payment information in the previous post. Basically, I am asking for the dough by September 30th. Payment in full by that date is preferred, because it lets me begin tracking down hard to find and/or not always available yarns and fibers. I'm totally willing to split it into two installments to make things easier, though. If you could do 50% of your membership by September 30th, with the remainder due by December 1st, that will work out fine.

Method of payment that works best for me is Paypal: sharonfs AT comcast DOT net. If you prefer, I can send you a Paypal invoice - just let me know.

Checks may be made out to Stitchjones and sent to the following address:

Stitchjones Hand Dyed Yarn and Fiber
PO Box 1814
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Oh, and when you sign up, please let me know whether you prefer yarn only, or yarn and fiber.
If there are any questions at all, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for the emails and excitement! I'm thrilled!


Thursday, August 04, 2011


It's not a "gang"...it's a Club!

That's right - I have given this a whole three minutes of serious consideration, and decided that next year I will do something exciting that I have wanted to do since the founding of Stitchjones Hand Dyed Yarn in 2008, and that is - a yarn, fiber and gift club!

I couldn't resist "Yarnageddon" because of next year's notorious numerals. However, I promise that there will be no apocalyptic hype, even if it stars John Cusack - just superb yarns and fibers as fine as my customers deserve, and as beautiful as I can possibly dye them.

There will be 4 club packages, which will be ready to deliver and ship in February, May, August, and November of 2012, by no later than the 15th of the month. Club members have two options for package contents: 1) yarn, and 2) yarn & fiber. At this point there isn't a fiber-only option, but this is just the first time around.

Not to suggest that we're only talking yarn and fiber, though! There will be original patterns, fun accessories and other goodies, although these may or may not be included in each package. What especially fires me up about this idea is that it's a chance for me to share something with you that's not necessarily yarn-related. It could be a memento of something that inspires me, something that makes me laugh, something I enjoy. I can't divulge more than that right now, but I can tell you that it will be chosen with thought and with love.

Now to the not so fine print: Prices. There are two price options, depending on how you want your packages to get to you.

If you are local to the Portland, OR metro area and would like to arrange delivery/pickup, the price for all 4 packages is $150.00.

For US and International first class shipping, the price for all 4 packages is $175.00.

To be clear, members will receive hand dyed product in a generous quantity each time. This will give me the opportunity to carry yarns I dream of, for instance this:

500 yards/250 grams merino/silk worsted weight yarn, handpainted in "Earth Angel". This is not a spoiler or preview, just an idea of what I'm talking about. Borrowing from the idea of CSK, or Community Supported Knitting, this is a way for me to get my hands on stuff this good - so I can get it into your hands!

Interested? Just email me at sharon AT stitchjones DOT com! The number of memberships I can offer the first year is somewhat limited, but with your support I will be able to produce more and better product, and give you more than your money's worth by putting together something beautiful and special - just for you.

Thank you!
With love,
Stitch Jones

Friday, July 22, 2011


blogging my heart

"I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I have a history of taking off my shirt" - Barenaked Ladies, One Week

Dear friends...I have a confession to make. Some people should stay off Facebook, and I'm one of them. I have gone and created unneccessary drama, which I now regret. You all know that I married a great guy from a crappy family, and that last Christmas for no good reason I was essentially kicked out of his family, for which I should be glad - or at least indifferent, because let's face it, they suck. Over July 4th husband & daughter went to visit them, without me of course, but I have not as yet been able to get over my hurt and anger about the whole mess. The perp, my brother-in-law, insists that he "has nothing to apologize for because he's done nothing wrong". Prick. Well, I own my mistakes and when I'm wrong, I admit it. I took it to Facebook, never a good idea, and changed my relationship status from Married to It's Complicated (why can't it be both, anyway? Dumb Facebook) and dropped my married name of Spence because I want no connection with that den of vipers. The truth is that we are not splitting up, and while I have no actual plans to legally change my name, I've come to the decision that the best thing to do, is to professionally use my birth name (Fletcher) and my married name, for my husband's sake. I am ordering new business cards, and will become a chick with 3 names, like Mary Tyler Moore.

I apologize for being misleading. I know it was childish behavior on my part. Eventually it will get easier...it's just taking a long ass time!!


Besides the perennial dyeing, which I will always love, I have suspended work on my ubiquitous 3 dozen odd knitting projects in favor of baby knits. I have become very attached to the kids in my husband's family and have enjoyed watching them grow up. I have one brother, and he & his wife stayed childless by choice. A niece on hubby's side is expecting. Whether or not they still consider me family, I've made things for the baby, so here is my little parade of FO's and near FO's.

Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, a free pattern on Ravelry, almost done. I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, which I like very much.

Sunshine Hoodie - made with just over 3 balls of "Aspen" wool-cotton yarn. The pattern is the Baby Tunic from Knitting Pure & Simple. I made the 12 month size.

More Elizabeth Zimmermann baby leggings. This pair took just over 1 skein of Shepherd's Wool. Very soft, & knits up beautifully.

Debbie Bliss ribbed baby cardigan. I had some Bliss Rialto Aran in my stash. Love! Since baby knits are as addictive to me as socks or shawls are to other knitters, I prefer to go with genderless colors and styles. The things I don't gift will be donated to charity.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Shawl we dance?

Dear friends...I should always re-read these blog posts before I hit "Publish". Last post seems almost freakishly maudlin in retrospect! Things certainly aren't always bad as all that, and I'm sorry to have given that impression. The 2011 Black Sheep Gathering has come and gone, and I enjoyed it tremendously. The weather was beautiful, which did much to bring people in, and everyone was...excellent to one another! Case in point: a spinner's wheel unfortunately went missing, which is definitely not excellent, or as Gene Simmons would say - "That does not rock!" However, a collection was taken up among the vendors, and enough was donated to replace the wheel. Demonstrating once again, that fiber and yarn people are exceptional and should be in charge of the whole freaking world. JMHO.

Upon finishing the above Citron in 2/3 skein of baby alpaca-silk laceweight Friday night, I gave it a quick and dirty blocking best I could at the motel, then displayed it in the booth on Saturday. I think I tweeted something like "if you've ever blocked a shawl on a motel wet bar...you just might be a yarn vendor". Don't worry, I'm not ready for the Blue Collar Comedy tour just yet!

Here is this year's Black Sheep booth.

On my show wish list: more gridwall, hooks, and I think we're ready to get a free standing banner. Behind the partition was the Fiber Arts display and judging, and the people in charge of that graciously left the partition up so I could keep my sign where it was. I may not always be so lucky though!

Yarn For Sale...

Here is one of my recent favorites:

It's Boutique (baby alpaca-bamboo-merino-nylon sock blend) in "Smoke and Orchids". I seem to recall a TV show or movie from the 60's called "Summer and Smoke", and must have been free-associating. Anyway, I only made one, so I may have to just...ahem...commandeer it for my personal stash, as I'm eager to see it knit up!

This is a definite shawl-heavy post. I also finished a forgotten-about WIP, the Diamonds and Pearls shawl designed by my friend Shelia January, in The Knitter's Book of Yarn (Clara Parkes).

I know the lace columns are completely wonky. However, it's exquisite Artyarns silk & mohair, which I bought almost 3 years ago, and it is the perfect pattern for the yarn. I'd knit it again, and would make extra effort to get it right!

And...the last time I showed you this, it was a poorly lit blob of unfinished yarn object. I have since finished it. Here, bathed in Oregon sunshine, is the Palatine Stole (Ravelry free pattern download).

It's an easybreezy knit, really just a giant swatch of the Dewdrops pattern from Barbara Walker's first Treasury with a garter stitch border. I used a luscious blend of 50/50 merino-cotton yarn from Urban Fiber Arts to make this one.

Non-Yarn Stuff (skip if you find this boring)

The fam is leaving for Spokane tomorrow, well today actually ;) and I don't have to go, neener neener, happy dance!! In all seriousness, though, there isn't anything here to dye (yet), although I did re-stock all my dye colors this week. So I'll be doing odd and sundry things over the weekend. Not sure exactly what yet. Will probably try to get away from the house as much as possible, what with all the fireworks in the immediate vicinity!

What are your summer plans and projects? Anybody up for a marketplace meetup during Sock Summit? I'm not sure what day(s) I'll be there as of yet, but would love to hang with you for a while and knit!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Tweets from the abyss

Just a little riff on Carrie Fisher; a la Postcards From The Edge. My friends, I have to say that 2011 kind of blows so far, and things seemed to have reached the nadir last week. Not that we're guaranteed a thrill a minute or anything, but come on. Vise-tight finances + ongoing dental issues + basal cell carcinoma + my daughter's mental health issues since January = me spending way too much time boo-hooing and worrying, and far too little time doing the things I enjoy: dyeing, knitting, hanging with friends, visiting LYS's and so forth.

However, we fortunately received some financial help this month, so we could put a stop to at least some of the stuff that happens to you when you're flat ass broke with no end in sight. I didn't realize how low my spirits had become.

One of my favorite, oft-quoted people is Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. In the 90's I joined the company and became a beauty consultant. I enjoyed doing that for a while, but wanted the chance to do lots more things (many of which I later got to do). In addition to the excellent sales training I received, I also learned some good strategies for keeping a PMA. Some of them are very basic, like the rhyme about "work for your two hands to do/and something to look forward to". Well, there's always knitting. But lately, I've actually been too depressed to knit. I made half assed attempts at housework and gardening, although it's been so rainy that not much has been accomplished in the yard. I really felt purposeless and adrift. This isn't a pity party, I promise! I do have things to look forward to, like the 2011 Black Sheep Gathering, which is next week! Because of the money thing, I didn't add as much to inventory as I was hoping. That's ok though - I have lots of nice stuff, and new patterns to sell. If you're going to BSG, Stitchjones will be in Bldg. 1, next to the fiber arts display. Come see me!

Ideas for more knits keep popping into my head, too, which feed my compulsion to do fiber art. Unconsciously I picked up the Knitty model: I make two samples of each design, using yarn that's readily available at most LYS along with my hand dyed. So far, I've only designed socks and hats, but by Oregon Flock & Fiber at the end of Sept. I should be able to add mitts, a shrug, and a shawl to the pattern line.

And of course, the thing that will save the first half of this year, is another chance to see Rush in concert. We three will be at the Clark Co. Amphitheater on June 28th, a Tuesday night, rocking out. Things can't be all that bad, if we as a family get to see the one band we all love!

Jason and I had a chance to escape out to Cannon Beach last Saturday. It was a perfect day. We took a long walk on the beach, then back to town. I put one foot in front of the other, breathed fresh salt air and enjoyed the warm sun.

My spirits are much better now.

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