Very Finchy Easter Baskets

In case you missed the memo, Easter is one month away. Can you believe it?? It seems like it was Christmas a week ago, but it wasn't.

So, to help you get back on the Roller Coaster that is 2016, we have a few suggestions for those upcoming Easter baskets. If are lucky, your home's Easter Bunny is generous with his baskets and knows to fill them with Finchy goodies. But if the Bunny needs some direction, then forward this blog post :)

So let's talk about the sweet treats for baskets....

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First up, we have these Macaroon Tape Measures. These Macaroon Measurers are perfect for both knitters and sewists. One can never have too many measuring tapes laying around, especially when they look edible. Did I mention they are calorie free?

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Another sweet treat idea are pre-cuts. We have Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarter bundles, and Charm Packs available. These are also calorie free, especially the Carolyn Freelander Carkai ones (not pictured).

But what about Easter Eggs? You are wondering...

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Don't worry, we've got you covered; we carry darning eggs! I would argue this is a gift that keeps on giving.

And we also have an egg shaped Dropcloth Samplers that would brighten up any Easter Basket. Buy it to make it or buy it to gift! We carry hoops, thread, and the pattern too-all of these would make the perfect Easter basket stuffer.

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Okay...I'm thinking some of you are the Easter Bunnies and need ideas for baskets. No worry, we at the Finch have great ideas for you as well!

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Knit up a Quince and Company Doll for your little's basket; Mary, Millie, & Morgan dolls are a winner in this house. Ben and his dog? So adorable. Pick up any Finch Make + Take kit and start knitting today. If you are coveting one of these kits, hint to the Bunny; the Finch has plenty in stock.

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For those of you knitters who are celebrating your Baby Bunny's or your Grand Bunny's First Easter we have just the kits in mind. We have Blue Sky Alpacas Knit Kit Animals in stock, featured above is Mr. Rhino. The second picture features a hat and baby mitten kit; perfect for a newborn baby girl. Adorbs, no?

Sewist Bunnies we have ideas for you too...

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These felt kits are so fun and we only have a few left and then they will be gone. Forever. So make that Easter Basket special and one of a kind with these Fairy Felt kits.

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And if you want to keep up with a whimsical theme, look no further than our Mr. and Mrs. Gnome patterns.

I think we covered the basics, but I argue there is more to share. So here are a couple more ideas for you or your bunnies' baskets or yours...

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There are two things knitters and sewist constantly run out of, or always wish they had on hand: all purpose sewing needles for machines, buttons, and blunt needles for weaving in the ends of knitting projects. Needles and buttons are great basket stuffers and I promise that they will be used and greatly appreciated. Especially if there is, or you are, the quilter. And don't forget, we have Finch Gift Cards available!

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Let me go ahead and mention that we still have spots available for our May 12-15, 2016 Finch Makers Retreat. That would be the ultimate gift from your Easter Bunny, and a great Easter Basket filler!!!

What will be so special about this event is that it will be small and intimate. With only 10 women, we will have a wonderful time together working on our craft, eating delicious food, enjoying the scenery from the generous porches, and so much more. Be sure to sign up or have your Easter Bunny sign you up as soon as possible. Our retreat is on focused on making bags, and that bag is for you!

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And don't forget....

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It is never too early to start your 2016 Finch Registry. Seriously, start that puppy now! We do plan on hosting another Girls Night and Guys Night, and with Mother's Day around the corner (!!!), we can help the hubby out even more if you have one started.

That is all for now. Be sure to check out our Instagram for more ideas for Easter Basket and new shop arrivals.

See you soon,

xoxo

~Stefanie + the Finch

Why the Finch Makers Retreat is So Special!

Well... there's this....KAM_0355 The venue is always a huge part of a Finch Retreat, and the Manor at Cool Springs is no exception.  6000 square feet of gorgeously appointed rooms, on what used to be a golf course with rolling hills and lakes, you'll enjoy quiet corners for private relaxation and large gathering rooms for crafting with friends.

Then there's the food...

We start the day with hot coffee and self serve breakfast (we bring tea too) and gather on the veranda to, knit, stitch, weave, and visit with Finchy friends.  Some will take a moment to walk the beautiful grounds or take a bike ride on one of the Manor's bicycles.  As the day goes on and the workshops commence, we will partake in some snacky bits, wine, and a gin bar... Yum! After a wine tasting, dinner is catered and served  at the generous gathering table with the french doors open wide to the veranda (won't that be wonderful in May?!!).  Dinners are catered by Cowbell Kitchen, a local farm to table caterer whose food couldn't be more delicious.

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Which will be all about bags this time (what could be more perfect for a spring retreat?!)!  And in the evenings, we'll all gather in the grand living room for some more crafting (so bring some handwork for a relaxing end to a day full of sewing).

IMG_2602But you know what is best about all these things?!  The people...  That is really what make a Finch Retreat.

There couldn't be a more cheerful, kind, and lovely group of people than the people who comprise the Finch community. We validate one another as creatives, we build each other up, and we give one another a reason to keep on making.

So...

Who should come?: Makers of all kinds (knitters, sewists, and crafters alike)!  We'll have projects for all interests and levels.   If you're up a fun time, a relaxed atmosphere, and lots creative inspiration, we hope YOU will sign up!

What goes on at a Finch Retreat:  We're going to make bags, but that is not all...  we'll eat great food, drink a little wine, sit on the veranda for coffee each morning, and even do some yoga on Sunday morning. To get more specific about the workshops, please see the listing here.

Do I need to Bring a Friend?: No!  We have plenty of room- , we won't make you share a tiny bed with a stranger.  At this time, there are several rooms available for people to occupy by themselves. You're going to make new friends anyway!  Finch people are the nicest, don't you think?!

A Final Word: Finch retreats are always a cut above - we think everyone deserves a little bit of luxury every now and again. We'll give you high quality instruction and a ton of inspiration, but what we really love about Finch retreats are the friendships created during our relaxed weekend together. A Finch retreat will send you back to your families feeling like you are special and appreciated by your creative friends.

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Retreat attendees will choose a bag they'd like to make before the retreat (we'll send a list of ideas and suggestions), be invited to a secret Pinterest board on bag design and all things related, and then we'll learn about all my favorite things related to bag making- zippers, leather, tassels, rivets, and hardware.  You'll be bringing your bag making to the next level!

Sold? Sign up here!

The cost for the entire event is $799-850 per person and is non-refundable. Due to the fact that this event will sell out quickly and is limited in numbers, we are not able to give refunds.

The price for the retreat includes the following:

  • A 2-night stay in one of the comfortable beds at the Cool Spring Manor (check in is 3pm on Friday, check out is 12 noon on Sunday); all meals are included.
  • Family style dinner on the veranda on Friday night.
  • Breakfast of artisan breads, yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit on Saturday + Sunday.
  • Lunch of gourmet sandwich meats, veggies, etc.
  • A candlelight dinner in the dining room on Saturday night catered by Cowbell Kitchen.
  • Snacks and WINE and GIN throughout the day. :)
  • Informal Workshops focused on all things Bag Making on Friday and Saturday.
  • Pre-Dinner Wine Tasting led by Nicole on Saturday
  • 75 minute Yoga Class on Sunday morning
  • Bicycles and boats are available for use on the grounds.

This retreat would make a great Valentine's Day gift or Mother's Day gift, so be sure to mention this to your family. If you have a generous Easter Bunny at your house, ask the Bunny to put the Retreat in your basket ;)

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We really hope you will be able to join us, and without a doubt it will be a great time! Us Makers are special people and this retreat is a chance to celebrate that. When you are around other Makers with yummy food, a beautiful setting, and wonderful people, you know it is a recipe for magic.

xoxo

~ Stefanie + the Finch

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Twelve Days of Finchmas: Day 10- The Storytelling of Handmaking and Christmas Babies

TDOFGraphic1 When you are pregnant, people tend to respond with a sympathetic wince when you tell them you are due on the 26th of December...  As a mom of two, that's right, TWO December babies, I'll agree that at first glance, a birthday just days away from Christmas tends to be a little bit crazy making as the parent.

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So when the ultrasound tech confirmed that the due date for baby number 3 was in fact Dec. 26th, my first thought was, "here we go again", and my second thought was "how can we make this happen early???!!!"   In the end, Baby Hollis was born on Dec. 22nd, just 4 days after his big sister turned six on the 18th.

Cassidy was born during the hospital's annual holiday party....  I can remember imagining a very Grey's Anatomy scene going on somewhere beyond my hospital room as the quiet first few hours of motherhood set in on me. Babies and the quiet fragility of the first few days of life are very deeply connected to Christmas time for me. Don't even think about playing Silent Night for me...  Instant waterworks, I tell you!

There is no better maker's muse (at least for me) than a bun in the oven.  And since two of my children (the middle one not very far off with a February birthday) are Christmas babies, the season itself, a season so rich with gift giving and anticipation and planning, is very much a part of the making experience for me.

Not to get too literal, but making things (especially hand work, as in hand stitching and knitting) and pregnancy have some striking similarities.  Both are steeped in anticipation and are simultaneously enriched by the waiting and wanting that happens during the making process.  It is no wonder that the first things I made for our baby were hand knit, an activity that is much slower than most sewing projects can be (of course there are exceptions to that).

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Each teeny tiny stitch of this first project marked a moment of quiet celebration for our special news.  I can remember being at the swimming pool, with my two older kids, knitting a little hippo arm when the doctor called to ask if I'd like to know the sex of the baby.  And just like that, we were having a boy.  In a way, the making itself becomes the story telling of the moments leading up to that long awaited first meeting.

So much of story telling is about sharing in the anticipation with friends- the weekend trip to a friends' house for a weaving class where I finished the little striped hat baby Hollis wore on his first trip home.

My striped baby hat- a soak wash kit- on a gorgeous alpaca bamboo (Classic Elite Chalet) cable blanket knit by Finch Teacher, Cassie.

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During the same trip, I made a wall hanging - the very first thing I made for his nursery. And during the whole weekend, reuniting with friends and making new friends all while sharing in the joyful news of a new baby...

I have always had creative friends, but never so much as now.  On your third pregnancy, one certainly doesn't expect a shower, so when all my friends at Finch threw me a shower...

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The shower showed me again how wonderful it is when friends gather to welcome a new baby. Later when I sat on the nursery floor after the shower and folded and organized all the beautiful hand made things we were given, I couldn't help tearing up thinking about how much more excited I was for Hollis' arrival and how that was the real gift of the shower... the waiting and wanting so carefully knit together with the love and shared joy of my friends.

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Every day that I take out a brand new hand made treasure to put on my little one, I am so moved by my friends..  that they took the time to so carefully make such beautiful things for him.  Because Hollis couldn't be more special to me.

Pompoms by big brother and sister with mommy.

After all the anticipation and excitement and waiting leading up to the 25th, we hope you're finding a reason to savor the quietness of the last few days of this lovely year.

xoxo,

the Finch (Nicole and Family)

***A HUGE photo credit to the amazingly talented Alicia Bruce of Love Knot Photos who made all the above photographs. The inferior ones below are mine.  ;)

Hollis in his Alabama Chanin Nighty Designed and made by Mommy. On a Tinsel Fabric receiving blanket (also by me).

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Twelve Days of Finchmas: Day 5!

TDOFGraphic1 On the fifth day of Finchmas the Finches gave to me...

...a Hand Knit Finchmas!

I can spend hours and hours on the second floor of Finch pouring over pattern books on the worktable or in the notion room. For the knitters and crocheters in your life (and yourself too), this is a great post for stocking stuffers and all types of gifts for your favorite knitters.

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Upstairs in the Knit Lounge we have these beautiful Wool and Wire Sterling Silver stitch markers. We carry an assortment of them; any fancy knitter would love this in her stocking. Be sure to check out the shawl pins and bracelets (yes!  Bracelets!!) that go with these stitch markers.

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Also upstairs, and near the Wool and Wire Stitch markers, are the BlueSky Alpaca Rosewood double pointed needles. Have you knitted with rosewood? Seriously amazing. They are soft, yet slick like metal; the yarn moves smoothly from one needle to the next. We carry all the sizes, which are great for sock knitting and hat making.

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Speaking of needles, do you know that we carry interchangeable knitting needle sets? The complete set of Chaigoo needles comes with cables, cable stoppers, stitch markers, connectors for the cables, and needle sizes 2 to 15. The Chaigoo sets come in both metal and bamboo. This JUST in!!!!  We are also carrying Knitters' Pride needles, and we just received a wonderful assortment of their needle sets.  Whether you like metal, rosewood, or both (yes, both- ask about the Knitters Pride Karbon needles), we have a set you'll love!

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Check out all the sets in the new apothecary cabinet downstairs. You'll also see in that case that we brought in an umbrella swift for those of you who would like to have one of those at home!

 

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Take a moment to sit and peruse our pattern and book collection! And yes, we do stock Finch Make + Take kits for knitters.

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This kit is one of my favorites!  It comes complete with a pattern book on all the ornaments along with enough yarn to make about 17 ornaments.  Can you believe these are knit flat?  That's correct!  Not as complicated as you thought, huh?! I plan to knit these throughout the year so that my family can enjoy a new hand-knit ornament each year.

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Are you looking to knit a gift, but are wanting to take a class too? We have a few classes coming up right before Christmas! The Afternoon Mits and a Herringbone Cowl class are available a couple of weeks before Christmas, literally just in time.  Both of these classes are quick, one-time classes, and they are inexpensive too! Another one-time class that meets tonight (and there's still room) is the Honey Cowl- this project is a Finch Favorite!  I think each of us own at least 2 Honey Cowls.  They make great gifts and can be done in any weight of yarn.

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This year for Christmas, ask for something you'll use for years to come- a Finch Knitting Class!  See all our classes here. The School of Knitting: Mittens and Socks class will have you doing a thumb gusset or heel turn in no time!  Pick your project for optimal enjoyment. Or maybe you've always wanted to knit a sweater...  pick your own sweater in this  School of Knitting: Sweaters class.

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Crocheters or aspiring crocheters, I know you are out there or you might know someone who wants to learn. We have two new crochet classes available! One is a washcloth crochet class and the other is a hat crochet class.

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Don't forget to stuff those stockings with Twig & Horn notions or Fringe Supply goods! We can't get enough of the Fiber Pyramid posters and tea towels.

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Have you noticed Knit Collage hats at Anthropologie?!  Well, we carry the yarn and the patterns!  It's such a fun knit, and is a great fit for the young and young at heart!

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Don't forget, the shop is never short on inspiration!  Spend about 20 minutes just walking around, and you'll be sure to see something that will have you casting on a new project!  Have you noticed there are a lot of pregnant ladies working at Finch these days?  What could be more perfect than hand knit baby presents?! Check out our display of baby knits up in the work room and around the shop.  And stay tuned for a post on all things baby related with some beautiful baby knits from the staff at Finch (these girls are seriously amazing!).

Come on by the shop for knitting gifts and other hand knit Finchmas ideas. And don't forget...

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...knitters love Finch gift cards too ;)

Stay tuned for our Baby Layette post and a Kids Finchmas post too!

xoxo

~ Stefanie + the Finch

Black Friday Sales + the best BERNINA Bundle of the Season!

IMG_2989 Come in EARLY to get the best deals!!  Shopping online?  Get 25% off Friday thru Monday by using code "Finchmas15" at the checkout.  Visit our online shop here!

You'll need something to sew all these beautiful fabrics and patterns with!  Bundle up with a cozy little BERNINA deal: get a 770, 790, or an 880 for more than $500 off along with a free luggage set! With 60 months of 0% financing, this is the best deal of the season! Offer available thru Dec. 3rd.

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Come on in to get the right machine for you!  703.777.8000

Take note of our holiday hours below:

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