Highlights & Happy Projects of 2018

We’ve had quite the exciting last year here at Monarch: a ton of new projects, vending at new knitting conventions (hello, Vogue Knitting Live!), fantastic workshops led by wonderful makers, inspiring interviews, and the addition of some really beautiful new yarn brands onto our shelves. Here are some of our most popular posts and a collection of our favorites.

top nine.

Our Top Nine 2018 posts from Instagram with our sweet Linus centered around a year of fun shawls, beautiful sweaters, gorgeous fibers, and wonderful makers.

happy project.

The Latitude Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty has been such a popular project in the shop! Once Ann knitted her own and gushed about how fun the pattern is to knit, so many of you wanted to cast-on as well. Our dear Jana knitted one in her favorite color, orange!

knit, blog & be happy.

Our 2018 New Year’s resolution was to start blogging more. We’ve had the pleasure to interview a ton of designers, yarn dyers, makers and friends of the shop. We even started a series of meeting our staff. Read back and get to know Ann, Koryn and Jenn.

monarch & friends.

This has been our second year vending at Stitches West and we must say, we absolutely love it! It’s always so much fun to see so many clients from home and those from afar visit us in our booth. And getting to partner with our friends Shibui Knits is such a treat! We’re so fortunate to work alongside Sandy Barnes and Britt-Marie, too. They even joined us in San Francisco for Vogue Knitting Live. We cannot wait to work with them again at Stitches West 2019 in February!

happy stash.

We were so excited and honored to add three gorgeous bases of the Plucky Knitter to our shop. Their fibers, colors and overall aesthetic are just what we adore. Plus, they are just the friendliest! We loved knitting up the Whirlwind cowl with their Scholar yarn.

Another new favorite this year was the addition of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers. Just absolutely stunning yarns! Read more about Candice, the owner and dyer of this beautiful brand.

We welcomed some new Monarch goodies this year, too! Our ceramic camp fire mugs, new drawstring bags and a custom candle (Pebble Beach) made just for us by Wax & Wool!

happy workshops.

It was such a treat to host Marie Greene of Olive Knits for two workshops this year. She even designed a shawl just for us! The Pacific Grove shawl is knit up in one of our favorite cashmere yarns, Lux Adorna and it is such a fun project. We look forward to working with Marie again next year… more on that soon!

happy five years.

Last but not least, we celebrated 5 years as the new Monarch Knitting! All in thanks to the support of our community, both near and far. We love opening our doors each day to welcome our wonderful community into our knitting home. We look forward to more happy projects, posts, events, workshops, and of course more photos of our sweet Linus!

From all of us at Monarch Knitting, we wish you a Happy New Year!


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Welcome Britt-Marie

Whenever Britt-Marie Brehmer calls us to schedule a visit to show off new yarns, we jump at the chance.  Representing various brands within the fiber industry, Britt-Marie’s expertise and love of textiles helps us to select some great new yarns for the shop.  Much like her aesthetic, she brings a classic yet fresh approach.  We especially love it when she shares current yarns and samples from Shibui Knits!  Along with that, she hosts Shibui Mix parties and has worked besides Sandy Barnes of Shibui in our Stitches West booth.
It’s always so much fun having her in the shop!  We’ve been so fortunate to get to know her over the past couple of years as a yarn rep, and to now call her a dear friend.

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Tell us a little about how you got started with fiber arts and becoming a yarn rep?

I can remember my first knitting experience as a 3rd grader in Sweden, growing up with fibers in every corner, but not until now do I realize what a gift this was. I never thought I would be in sales, but I have realized that I’m not really selling, I’m sharing my love of yarn and all that comes with it. The people, the fibers, the knitting and all that other fun it brings.

What’s a day in the life look like for a yarn rep?

Well, I wake up and the first thing (even before coffee) I think about is…what do I knit today??? I knit a lot of samples to better understand the yarns I’m representing, so a lot of time is spent on picking projects for specific yarns. This is also happening when I’m not on the road visiting my stores. I’m so fortunate to be in this business, I really enjoy being with people that share my loved of fibers!

We just love your aesthetic!  What influences your effortlessly chic and sophisticated style?

I believe in “less is more”, even in knitting I apply this to my work. There is so many beautiful yarns available today, and I want the design and the fiber to be happily married.

Knit, crochet or both?  What’s your favorite thing to do while knitting/crocheting?

I have to say knitting, and I love doing this while watching my favorite show on Netflix, having morning coffee with my husband on the patio, or just hanging out with my family. I also need to say that I have not missed one episode of Espace Tricot and Kammebornia podcasts.

What are some of your other passions and/or hobbies?

I love cooking for family and friends, baking bread, and gardening. I have also lately enjoyed taking upholstery classes. One of these days you will see me with chickens, goats and a little barn somewhere in the wine country.

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We’re always looking for pattern inspiration, what’s currently on your needles or in your queue?

I will very soon be casting on for Calyx by Elizabeth Doherty using Reed+Twig together, and in my queue I have Thea Colman’s Stillhouse Vest. I’m also planning to make another Cirrus by Nancy O’Connell in Pebble+Cima, it’s such a great piece!!!

What’s in your notion’s bag?  Or what’s your favorite way to carry your projects/notions?

Right now my favorite project bag is from Blue Bee Studio. It’s super cute and handy.

 

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It’s always so fun having you in the shop for Shibui Mix parties.  What are some of your favorite Shibui mixes and patterns?

I’m a big fan of Pebble mixed with Cima, Silk Cloud or Lunar. Twig is also one I really like, the drape of this yarn is fabulous. I love them all, so it’s hard to pick favorites.

Now for a bit of fun…

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Britt-Marie, thank you so much for being a guest on our blog!  We look forward to hosting you in the shop this month.  

*Dear reader, if you’d like to join Britt-Marie at the shop, we will be hosting her on Saturday, May 19th.  We hope to see you there!*

Welcome Sandy of Shibui Knits

It’s no secret that we, here at Monarch, have long admired Shibui Knits yarns.  From their minimalist and sophisticated aesthetic, to their mixing of fibers in each base they produce, and to their extensive pattern library, it’s no wonder that we often refer to our famous “wall of Shibui” each time we’re planning projects. We’ve been so honored to collaborate with them on multiple occasions.  Last year, during Stitches West, we had the pleasure to work alongside Sandy Barnes, Shibui’s Sales Manager.  We’re so excited that she will be joining us again this year – we just adore her!  To help celebrate Stitches month, Sandy has graciously offered to be a guest on our blog.  Thank you, dear friend!

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What was the path that led you to Shibui Knits and to your position as Sales Manager?

I learned to knit when I was in third grade.  My mom made arrangements for Susan Beattie, a local Boulder knitter, to meet me after school in the elementary school library.  I don’t really remember those early years, but in Junior High I knit a colorwork vest that won a blue ribbon at the 4H County Fair. The following year, I received a reserve champion for an aran sweater I knit.

I’ve knit off and on over the years, but really picked it up again while living in Germany in 2006.  When returning to Portland I took a class at Knit-Purl from Darcy Cameron and casually asked if Knit-Purl was hiring.  I started the following Tuesday and the rest is history.

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Over the years I wore multiple hats at Knit-Purl, as everyone does in a small business.  I worked on the sales floor, taught beginning knitting classes, became the Store Manager, and then the buyer. During my tenure at Knit-Purl, I was always involved with the planning and executing of TNNA for Shibui.  So, it was natural in 2012 to move to Shibui and the wholesale side of Cameron Design.  At first, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it, because I felt like I was losing the customer connection that I so enjoyed.  Now I can’t imagine not working for Shibui. I love the shop owners and I love getting to meet knitters at special events.

We’re really big on collaboration at Shibui. In addition to working with our sales reps, and retail shops, I get to be a part of the design and yarn development team.

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Our famous Shibui wall.

 

As evidence by our large Shibui wall, we love knitting with Shibui yarns!  What are some of your favorite bases with which to work?

It’s really hard to choose a favorite yarn, or choose a favorite fabric.  I’d have to say Silk Cloud added to any of our yarns is like “adding cream to your coffee, once you start you don’t stop.”  I read that on the Fringe Blog and it has really resonates.  If there only one yarn on the planet, I would want it to be Pebble as it is great for every season. If I could choose a second, it would be Twig for the warmer months.

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Curlew pullover by Amy Herzog, knit in Pebble.

What’s currently on your needles and in your notions bag?

I just finished one of the new Shibui designs for Spring/Summer2018 collection.  While it is still a secret, it’s one of my favorites. I currently have the Churchmouse Twice Reversible Poncho on the needles using Silk Cloud and Maai (so luxurious) and I’m about to “cast on” for a yet to be released design that I’ve sworn not share. I love knitting bags! One can never have too many right? I knit exclusively with Addi Rocket needles and you’d find my knitting bag full of CocoKnits accessories.

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Besides all things yarn, what are some of your other passions?

In my spare time I love visiting my daughters, exploring new places and hiking. My girls are the light of my life, nothing has been more rewarding than being a parent.  Sometime this year, I’ll be gaining a son-in-law and a grandpup, I feel truly blessed!  I always tell people I meet that I’m so lucky my job is something I’m passionate about.  I love working in this industry. I meet so many wonderful people and my day isn’t complete unless I knit at least a couple of rows.

Such a wonderful history!  It’s always a joy to get to know such talented friends within our community.  A huge thanks to Sandy for taking the time to be a guest on our blog.  We cannot wait to join her at Stitches!