Here we come TNNA! Introducing Isle of Skye, our Kid Mohair/Mulberry Silk.

The National Needleworkers Association (TNNA) holds trade shows for members twice a year. We are fortunate to have this great event so close and near Portland, Oregon. We will gather at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard, just on the outskirts of this knit-friendly city, to meet fellow business owners, designers, suppliers, and all sorts of creative and enterprising people. We are also going to just have FUN! Lots of time to knit in the beautiful open lobby, take classes, and spot the knitterati as well as introduce our yarn line-up in our very own suite on the 9th floor. We hope to capture this adventure and post in Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, so be sure to follow us on our adventure.

Reminding you that the Studio is closed for the next few days – back on Tuesday evening,

5 to 8 pm for drop-in knitting!

Meet movie-star Isle of Skye

from the Jorstad Creek Yarn Portfolio…

Isle of Skye in Departure Bay and Lady Mary Colorways

When I started adding yarns to my dye-portfolio that were not made from scratch with local fiber I decided I wanted to look for something I couldn’t easily make myself, a yarn that would stand out in any crowd. Focusing on luxury blends with an eye for their source, I sought out yarns that made me want to drop everything else and knit. That is the standard we continue to apply to yarns we add to the line up. We’ve added some truly special yarns, but it is hard for anything we dye to stand up to the movie-star qualities of Isle of Skye.

Named for an island off the coast of Scotland (a visit in my twenties to this amazing place on the planet), it manages to take every color and behave as if it were being seen through a camera filter. Every angle is replete with the spectacular. The fibers display our colorways like a legend waiting for her closeup.  Endlessly fascinating, 24 colors is not enough for this amazing yarn. From the sublime of soft Grey and Dusty Cedar to the eye-popping Lipstick, Indra, and Ultraviolet, this yarn takes color and reflects it back with sparks of silk in the depths of the soft kid mohair. Can you say that a yarn is sexy and mysterious like Joan Crawford or Marlene Dietrich? Well it just is.

We’ve paired this yarn with all sorts of companion fingering-weight yarns to make a DK combination that is light, lofty, and incredibly beautiful. Solid or hand-painted yarns gorgeous on their own are elevated to something transcendent when knit together with Isle of Skye. We’ve used this technique of holding two yarns together for all kinds of projects. Now we have two designs using this technique, developed by our sister-company BK Collective, a design cooperative.  The Glacier Cowl and the Sunset Beach Shawl offer simple design in a two-skein project. The results are stunning and a pleasure to wear.

The possibilities are wide open when you think about all the DK weight designs you can make by pairing Isle of Skye with that special sock yarn you’ve fallen in love with. It is also a great way to experiment with color dominance – you can pick a matching color of Isle of Skye, or a contrasting color – you will get wildly different results.

Isle of Skye is classified as lace weight on its own. It is a two-ply, 70% Kid Mohair, 30% Mulberry Silk (the kind of silk that is smooth and shiny). Find it at our Studio or meet Isle of Skye in real-time at TNNA or the Madrona Arts Festival in Tacoma later in February.

Next blog we will feature another

Jorstad Creek Yarn and more BK Collective




Schedule Update for 2019 Introducing the Jorstad Crew

Announcing two weekends coming up when the Studio will be closed!

We’re going to a trade show in Portland at the end of January, and as a consequence we will be closed January 31, February 1, 2, and 3. We are back to normal hours starting the week of February 4. Then we will be closed February 14 through 17 for the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival.

Both of these events take all of our attention, energy, and focus to achieve, so we hope you understand and can bear with us. We will miss our regular drop-in knitter friends and customers, and ask for your understanding and support.

In sum:


Jan. 31 – Feb 3
Feb. 14 – Feb

Meet the Jorstad Crew…

We look forward to meeting new friends and having time with returning friends as we attend our two big events in Portland and Tacoma. To make it easier to get to know us we thought it would be fun to post about our crew, who we are and what we do. Jorstad is a labor of love, but for now our folks are all part-time and hoping 2019 will bring us the ability to make it our full-time occupations!

Kerry Graber, Owner and Creative Director

Here I am, Kerry Graber, originator of Jorstad Creek! I started my knitting journey at age 4, learned about wool, spinning, and dyeing in my twenties, and in 2010 founded Jorstad Creek, a local and hand-dyed yarn company. My first experiences sharing locally sourced and hand dyed yarn was at the Nordic Knitting Conference and the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. Knitters loved the yarns, and I am so grateful for the support! The positive feedback encouraged me to keep going. In 2016 I moved the dye studio into a warehouse in downtown Olympia and with the help of my husband Craig scaled up production.   The rest of the crew came on board throughout the last three and a half years. I am so lucky to have these terrific ladies on my team!


Madison Wallace, Lead Production Dyer

Madison Wallace was already an accomplished spinner of yarn and dyer of roving when we met. She is a founding member of “Spinners Anonymous”, a group of spinners who sell handspun yarn. (Come and see, we always have some on hand!) Maddy is enthusiastic and creative – and a talented knitter.  This is helpful to customers when they are looking for the perfect yarn for a project. You will find Maddy at the dye pot or work table turning out our artisan dyed yarns. Maddy also develops colorways, produces fabulous roving braids and spins samples so you can see the amazing yarns you can achieve with our roving. If you want to learn to use a drop spindle or wheel, Maddy teaches at the Studio too.



Pam Ring, Worker Bee and Dye Artist

Pam describes herself as a worker bee. She takes care of customers when we are open to the public, dyes yarn and fiber, and helps us figure out methods for dyeing our plant-fiber yarns and roving. Pam is an innovator with an eye for new color combinations as well as clever ways to do things more efficiently. Her go-to knitting is cotton wash cloths but she also likes to knit colorful shawls. Pam is well-known in the Olympia community for volunteering at the door of local Traditions, a Fair Trade and music venue. We are fortunate she agreed after much persuasion to join us!



Dawn Nelson, Yarn Wrangler

Dawn’s crafting talents are amazing! You will see her excellent sewing skills in her “Bag Lady Bags” seen in our Studio and around local yarn stores in the northwest. She is always innovating a new design and we get to benefit from her ideas. Dawn calls herself the Yarn Wrangler. She manages the freshly dyed and dried yarns with great care and finesse by tidying them into neatly tied and labeled skeins. Dawn provides that final touch to our skeins that really shows them off. She also winds cones of yarn into skeins for dyeing, and handles every deadline with dedication and humor. All of this and she is an amazing crocheter and spinner who spins her Mom’s Romney sheep’s wool!



Leanna Saplan, Dye Artist Online Projects

Leanna Saplan is one of the newest members of our team. Leanna started as a customer and big fan of our yarn and fiber. A member of Spinners Anonymous with Maddy, she is a prolific knitter and spinner. She also makes the most amazing knitting project journals, handcrafted from beautiful papers and bound by hand. Her meticulous attention to detail, organizational skills, and enthusiasm for the craft of artisan dyeing is valued and appreciated by everyone on the team! Look for Leanna as a co-instructor with Maddy for our spinning classes.Together they help new spinners get a great start.


Heather Williams Fleece Wrangler


Heather Williams is currently a hard-working student at Central Washington University.  Heather started working for me when I worked out of my house – she wrangled the yarn into beautiful skeins on the skein-winder in those days. Now when she is in town she wrestles with our stash of raw fleece, preparing it to go to the mill for scouring, carding, and spinning. Her upbeat attitude always lifts us up and makes this labor-intensive task much more fun. Heather likes to crochet, listen to alternative music, and is really a wonderful addition to our crew.


Next blog we will introduce our yarn and fiber as well as share our photo gallery!

Knit, Crochet, and Build Skills at Jorstad Creek with our studio classes in 2019

crochet2Introducing new beginning knitting and crochet classes for the complete novice or those who want more confidence in their skills…

March we kick off knitting and crochet instruction here at the Jorstad Creek Studio. We would love to be part of your crafting education! We plan to post more bio information about our instructors in the new year, but for now we’re posting the dates and opening registration for these great skill building classes planned for March 2019. Students get a 10% discount on yarn and needles throughout the month.

Beginning Knitting Class  $45 per session – choose one or both Sat March  9 and 23 – 9 am to 12 pm

Learn or gain confidence in knitting!

Sign up for one or both sessions. Three hours of expert instruction per session to get the new knitter on a solid foundation for learning our beloved craft. Do you know someone who wants to learn to knit? Or maybe learned a long time ago and needs a refresher? This class will provide basic instruction and get you started on your first project. Go as fast or slow as you like, we’ll give you personalized instruction and no pressure! Instructors Ali Hartzell and Dawn Nelson.

Crochet for Beginner’s – $45 per session – choose one or both – March 16 and 30 – 9am to 12pm

There’s more than one way to turn yarn into fabric!  The art of crocheting is nearly as old as knitting and just as versatile.  Use crochet techniques alone or paired with other fiber art skills like knitting and weaving to create original works of art! In this class, we will cover a few basic crochet stitches like chains, single crochets, double crochets, and slip stitches.  We’ll discover how to implement these stitches in straight rows or in rounds to create both flat and 3-dimensional fabrics.  We’ll discuss increasing and decreasing to get your fabric just the right size and shape, and we’ll deal with the fiber artists’ bane–hiding those pesky ends.  Join us for this basics course and you’ll be well on your way to crocheting toys, garments, blankets–whatever you can imagine!

Heather Foster is your instructor. Heather is an experienced crochet teacher and designer. We are pleased to have her join our talented group of instructors!

Yarn Substitution Success! $30 per student
April 13 – 9am to 11am

So many great patterns call for yarns that are discontinued, or are no longer readily available at your LYS. Want to substitute that luxurious hand-dyed yarn for a commercial yarn called for in a pattern? We will talk about yarn construction, fiber content, and something called “grist!” We will share our stories of both substitution successes and disasters. Students will have the knowledge and confidence to substitute yarns by the end of class! Bring a pattern or two to evaluate. Includes handouts and worksheets. Instructor – Kerry Graber, owner of Jorstad Creek

Finishing and Blocking for beautiful project results
March 2 – 9am to 11pm

Every knitter should know basic finishing and blocking.  A packed two-hour seminar! We will show you different techniques for blocking knitted pieces, even pieces that curve. We will discuss different finishes for edges and seams.  Bring scrap yarn and needles for trying out techniques. This is an introductory class for newer knitters. Jann Hoppler, talented designer and instructor, is your teacher.

Coming soon – redux of our spinning classes, new colorwork class, and spring/summer dye classes!

Read More

Spinning Class Schedule is Up!

spindleCorrected dates – see below. Join us for a spinning class in December or January. Madison and Leanna are teaming up to offer our beginning spindle class. We’ve also added a “next step” class on plying that will help you get those singles into a fabulous plyed yarn. Have you moved up to a spinning wheel, or plan to buy one but want to try it first? We have our beginning wheel class in January – bring your own or borrow one of our two Studio wheels to learn wheel basics.

Added to the schedule is a new dyeing/spinning combination with silk hankies! Learn how to dye these fiber jewels and spin them into a beautiful yarn.  Check out our schedule, below, and stop by or email us at to reserve your spot in class. Space is limited.

Beginning Drop Spindling –      Sat December 8 – 9am to 12pm

Learn to spin yarn! This is the first step to learning how to make yarn. If you are considering diving into spinning with a wheel, we recommend starting with a simple spindle. We’ll show you how! Spindling is a portable craft you can take with you anywhere. Beginner spindles available for at the Studio. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

New! Dye and Spin Silk Hankies –Sat January 12 – 9am to 12pm

Silk hankies provide a spark of intense and reflective color as a ply for a plied yarn, or for a unique knitted project. We provide the silk hankies for you to apply amazing color – we let you experiment with two types of dyes, low-acid and procion fiber reactives. Then we show you the technique for getting a beautifully spun yarn.


Ply Yarn Singles with Spindle Sat December 15 – 9am to 12pm

Class Fee: $40 – sign up for both the beginner spindle class and this plying class, get a class fee discount!

So you learned to spin yarn singles, now what? Come to this class and learn the two basic ways of plying your spun singles. We will demonstrate how to turn your singles in to a 2 ply and 3 ply yarn. Please bring spun singles and your spindles and be ready to make beautiful plied yarn. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

Beginning Wheel Spinning Sun January 20 10am-3pm

Have a wheel but don’t know how to get started? Want to try wheel spinning?  In this two-part class, we will provide the basics for setting up your wheel properly and then the techniques for drafting and plying for a knittable or weavable yarn. Limited number of wheels for loan, please make arrangements prior to class. Fiber for spinning is provided as part of the class fee. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

More to come! We are putting together a schedule for more dyeing as well as knitting and crochet classes – check back soon!

Basic Mini-Sweater Ornament

Mini-Sweater with Fair Isle color work

Jorstad Creek
Basic Mini-sweater Pattern by Kerry Graber

Materials:    Sock Yarn

Needles:      US #1 or #2

Notions:       Safety Pins, darning needle


 Body from the bottom up

  1. Using knitted-on cast-on method, cast on 32 stitches and divide on to 3 needles.
  2. Join by knitting one round in K1P1 rib, careful not to twist. Knit 3 rounds in ribbing.
  3. Change to stockinette, Knit around until the tube measures 2” from the beginning, (the cast-on row). (Optional – begin adding color work or texture stitches at 1”)
  4. Divide stitches on to two needles evenly – 16 stitches each.

Chest and Neck Yoke

  1. In stockinette knit 4 rows or about ¼ “ from the point you divided the stitches.
  2. With right side facing knit 5 stitches. Turn. Knit 6 rows for the right-side shoulder. Slip stitches on to a safety pin and leave a 3” tail.
  3. Slip the center 6 stitches on to another safety pin.
  4. Join the working yarn at the right edge of the remaining 5 shoulder stitches and knit 6 rows. Slip stitches on to a safety pin and cut yarn leaving a 3“ tail.
  5. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for the back.
  6. Slip front and back set of shoulder stitches back on to needles. Using a three-needle bind off, join the shoulders front and back.

Neck Rib

  1. Starting on the left side of the neck pick up 4 or 5 stitches.
  2. Slip the back 6 stitches from safety pin on to a needle.
  • Pick up the right stitches, then slip the front stitches on to a needle from the safety pin.
  1. Now you have all the neck stitches onto three or four needles, knit around in K1P1 ribbing, 3 rows. Bind off.


  1. Pick up 14 or 16 stitches around the sleeve opening and knit around until sleeve measures 1.5” long. (Optional – Add any colorwork or texture on the 5th or 6th) Switch to K1P1 ribbing. Bind off.
  2. Repeat for other side.

Finish by sewing in ends and block

Instead of using intarsia you can knit the basic plain sweater and then duplicate stitch with contrasting yarn to make embellishments like stars or an evergreen tree.


Star Pony free pattern

Make this simple knitted hair band to embellish your summer “up doo”.




Yarn:  Jorstad Creek “Moonstruck” – 100% Tencel DK or any yarn with sparkle or shine in a DK weight!

Needles:  US# 7 double pointed needles, set of 4

Embroidery Needle for finishing.

Elastic Hair Band used for pony tails.

Gauge:  Not important! Yes, this is one of those rare times you don’t need to use a swatch…


Using the long tail method cast on 30 stitches with two double pointed needles. Distribute the cast on stitches on to three needles (10 stitches each).

Join by knitting in the round, being careful not to twist. Knit three rounds of stockinette.

Round 4: *K2tog, YO*; repeat star to star to the end of the round.

Rounds 5 through 14: Knit

Bind off in Knit with medium tension.

Turn the knitted tube inside out. Place the elastic hair band around the tube centering around the middle of the piece. Fold the picot flap over the bind off edge to make the star, and using an embroidery needle whip stitch the flap down to the knitted fabric, sealing in the elastic hair band. You’re done!

Countdown to December

Countdown cover

We know what happens …

You’ve promised a scarf, a shawl, a hat, or pair of socks, maybe a pair of mitts as Christmas gifts.  Now it is December and you wish you had all that time from last summer to get started on your gift knitting!

We’ve got you covered! We are going to get you started months ahead with fantastic knitting projects. You will complete them in time to enjoy the Holidays without that panic of last minute gift making!

Not only will you have fun, but you can enter each month in a drawing to get a gift from Jorstad Creek! Participate in two activities each month, get them “stamped” (marked off by us), and we will enter you into a monthly drawing.  Get your passport stamped with any 8 (or more) activities before the Holidays in December and we will enter you into a grand prize drawing.

Let’s work together to make the Holidays stress free and fun this year!

Get the offical hard copy of the passport at the Jorstad Creek Studio. You can also download a pdf version of the Countdown to December Passport Final Countdown Passport and print it out at home – tell the printer to print double-sided and flip on the short edge! 

You must register your participation with us by sending us an email so we can enter you in the drawings. 

Even if you are not able to drop into the Studio very often, you can earn “virtual stamps” by ordering one of the kits or other projects from the passport – just contact us at Passport holders enjoy special discounts on projects in addition to monthly specials that are open to all as we Countdown to December!

Here’s what you can look forward to for July.


Flower-shaped felted coasters in this clever free “Java Flower” pattern.

Kits available in Kodiak single ply in 5 colors. Felt these clever coasters as a gift set! The pattern is free on Ravelry at 

Java Flowers knit up in Jorstad Creek Kodiak, a feltable Alpaca/wool/silk – $24.00 for mini skein kit needed to make a full set.

Simple Christmas Stocking from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Get started early! Kits available in Camano in solids, multis, and accent colors. Make a striped “Pippi” version, or choose a medium or large in brilliant colors. Later on in the gift-making season we will show options for embellishing your stocking! Pattern is available from Churchmouse at

Three versions of the basic stocking knit in Camano, our superwash Merino single-ply, from left the small, large, and “pippi” version.

Christmas Tree Ornament of the Month

This Stitch Nation pattern by Debbie Stoller is a free download from Redheart. It’s the perfect ornament to start our Countdown adventure. We supply the yarn at our Studio, you bring your needles and knit the ornament! The cost is a voluntary donation for supplies!  Follow this link to the downloadable pattern:

This Stitch Nation pattern by Debbie Stoller is a free download from Redheart.


We’ll be back with another blog post to highlight the projects for August, talk some more about our knit-along sweater project (starts on August 6), and give you an update on the Countdown. Subscribe to the blog to get notice of our updates!

Happy gift knitting!


Great Steppe Fiber Project

A scoping project to establish a fiber company in Mongolia based on the principles of Fair Trade

Jorstad Creek

A yarn and fiber company.


(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)

KDD & co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)

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