Handmade Holidays featuring Rident

Day 2 of our series on our Handmade Holiday Show & Party! Rachel was one of our very first students when we began offering classes in March. She quickly went from doing her alterations to making custom bags for co-workers which has spiraled into an Etsy shop. We're thrilled to be Rident's very first trunk show! And so excited to see our fabrics made into gorgeous bags!

What's your name, what's your business name and where are you based?

My name is Rachel Vaughan, my business name is Rident and I'm based out of my home in Chelsea, MA.

What's your handcraft? And how long have you been practicing it?

I'm a sewer of beautiful, custom bags.  I've been sewing since I was a young girl, all through my teens and early 20's, then took a break for a few years before coming back to the craft. <PREVIEWEND>

What items will you be bringing to the Handmade Holiday Show? Why do you think your (insert noun here) are perfect for the crafty-genius to give or receive?

My niche is custom bags so that people can have input in the creative process and truly have a unique item that speaks to them.  That being said, I will be bringing some pre-made bags in my smaller sizes that will be perfect for people that want to give a gift right away, love it so much they can't put it down or just can't wait the 7-10 days for me to make it from scratch.


What are you making/giving to your friends and family this holiday?

I've chosen some special fabrics that aren't in my lineup to make bags for those special people, but my husband still would prefer something electronic and I can't make those. :)

Anything new in 2012? What can folks expect to find at your (insert studio/website/etsy shop) in the new year?

I'd like to expand my line to include totes, other sizes of laptop/notebook cases and there may be something else up my sleeve.

You can shop online soon at www.rident.etsy.com

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Handmade Holidays featuring Made in Lowell

Have you marked your calendar? On Saturday, December 17th from 2 - 7 pm, we're hosting a Handmade Holiday Trunk Show and our annual (well, our first) Holiday Party. You'll find great handmade gifts for the crafty genius in your life as well as enjoy a cup of good cheer (Virginia's now famous warm cider) and enter to win cool prizes! Mix and Mingle with a host of friendly makers and give the gift of handmade this holiday.

Our first feature is on our not-so-secret craft-crush, Liz of Made in Lowell. You can watch Liz on the Martha Stewart Show over here! (I think that appearance automatically makes her one of craftiest geniuses ever.) Read on to learn more...


What's your name, what's your business name and where are you based?

Liz Smith, Made in Lowell, Lowell MA

What's your handcraft? And how long have you been practicing it?

I've been working with polymer clay for over 20 years, and felting for about 5.<PREVIEWEND>

What items will you be bringing to the Handmade Holiday Show? Why do you think your (insert noun here) are perfect for the crafty-genius to give or receive?

Pincushions!! Shaped like cupcakes!! I don't think I need to explain why that's awesome :) Also eco-friendly cup cozies and fun, felty brooches, maybe a few other sweet goodies.

What are you making/giving to your friends and family this holiday?

Notepads, cup cozies, scarves and hats!

Anything new in 2012? What can folks expect to find at your (insert studio/website/etsy shop) in the new year?

Working on a new line of felted coasters and bowls!

Check all that is beautiful at www.madeinlowell.com

You can follow Liz on twitter and read her words of crafty wisdom on her blog.

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Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm

Have you ever fallen in love with a place that you've never been? I fell in love with Juniper Moon Farm when we were in the throws of creating gather here. I had heard about a farmer in need of help through a CSA newsletter. Which led me to a blog post about raising funds for that very same farmer. At the time I was short on funds. But I had this shop that was opening in the very near future. And the blog was asking for donations to raffle to the generous people giving funds to help rebuild the farmer's barn. So I offered a $100 gift card for product or classes, pretty much anything we had to offer.

The blog was Juniper Moon Farm's (JMF). The blogger was Susan Gibbs aka Shepherd Susie (twitter). The lovely person who accepted my small gift was Jenny. Jenny wrote the nicest paragraph about us and she'd never met us, I don't even recall if our website was live yet or merely a splash page. Honest to goodness, I cried when she posted our "prize". And then Amanda, another friend of JMF's, ended up winning the gift card and she has become one of the shop's greatest supporters and friend. (To learn more about Susan and Jenny click here!) <PREVIEWEND>

It would be a lie to say that I didn't become a little bit of a JMF groupie. I read back to Susan's earliest blog posts. She had left her successful career to start a fiber farm. And perhaps I found this comforting because I had left my successful (yet all encompassing) career in film to open the stitch lounge. Susan's spunk and honesty on her blog, in various interviews and on twitter is like having a dear friend telling you that you really can "climb every mountain".

When our Knitting Fever Inc. sales rep came to us with Susan's latest venture, Juniper Moon Farm for KFI, I took the risk and agreed to carry the entire collection. We're a young business and committing to an entire collection is expensive but I believe in Susan Gibbs. And even though we've never met, just by being there doing what she does, I guess I think she believes in gather here, too. Plus the colors were so gorgeous I couldn't help myself.

What's all this wordy stuff about? Well, just the most exciting thing I've had to blog about in awhile. Susan will be here on Thursday as part of her yarn tour!!!! She's bringing the JMF trunk show so you can see the awesome patterns knit up in this scrumptious yarn in person. And try stuff on. And enjoy your pint with someone I know you're going to love. Plus you'll get to witness us meeting. For the first time, in person. You know the blue shirt dress on the dress-form? Well, I made it for Susan. Because she tweeted wanting a Lisette Traveler Dress. And I saw the tweet. So I'm giving it to her on Thursday. (Fingers crossed it fits!)

So join us on Thursday night for Pints n Purls (6-9 p.m.) and meet the incredible Susan Gibbs. If you haven't fondled the JMF yarns in the shop, you really should. Findley (a lace-weight) is to die for. I mean it. And I have all kinds of plans for Chadwick. Can't wait to see you! (What are you going to wear????)

After thought: Gosh, I hope she likes me. I've signed up to take Lizzy's classes at the farm next March! (Will find fancy beer to offer special guest...)

P.S. All photos lifted right from the Juniper Moon Farm website. Doesn't it look beautiful????

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Yarn Swap on Saturday the 21st (& my birthday so there's gonna be a sale)!

In true Virginia fashion here's a belated blog post! But this one is filled with good stuff, so please, read on!

This is my Louisa Harding Grace donation. I am recovering from a Louisa addiction.

This Saturday, May 21st is our first ever yarn swap. Over the last five days we've received some really incredible yarn for the swap and we're still collecting it. We will be organizing everything by type (worsted, bulky, sock...) and it's all natural. <PREVIEWEND>Plus you get one of our way awesome 100% recycled cotton tote bags to stuff your new-to-you yarns in. We think this is just icing on the cake.

Sweet bags! And they can hold plenty of yarn!

Speaking of cake, Saturday, May 21st is also Virginia's birthday. Yep, the store will be 13 weeks old and I'll be in my late 30's. The specifics aren't important (never ask a lady her age, folks!). What is important is that all day long we'll be giving everyone 15% off every single thing in the store to celebrate my birthday! I might not have made it to this big day after opening the shop if it wasn't for all of you awesome people. I certainly wouldn't be in any mood to celebrate my birth without the support of this crafty community.

Love to all you crafty geniuses! Thanks for making all my birthday wishes come true!

So if you are one of the hardcore followers of gather here then you’re in on the birthday surprise! And I sure hope you’ll come celebrate with us because there will most definitely be CAKE!

Knitter’s Brunch (can you say mimosa?)! Yarn Swap! Birthday Cake! AND 15% off your entire purchase! You rule!

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Quilt for Japan Update

I can't believe I haven't blogged since the end of March. Wow. Blog Fail! April was a busy month for us and I owe every single person who came in and shopped, took a class, told a friend, liked us on Facebook, followed me on Twitter, and joined us for our various events a HUGE thank you. I knew I was aching for a place like  gather here  and I thought perhaps there may be a few others who were looking for that place, too, but I had no idea there were so many of us around Cambridge. And I'm pleased as punch to have met you all and look forward to meeting more of you crafty geniuses!

Now to the meat (tofu) and potatoes of this blog post. We finished the quilt AND shipped it! Hooray  gather here quilting bee! There were a few Sundays with over a half dozen folks cutting and piecing throughout April and I was overjoyed. The last week of April many of  gather here*s staff helped hand tie the quilt using Louet's Kidlin! I just love that each day another person put his/her hands and hearts into this quilt. Thank you all so very very much.


I'd like to give a special shout out to Alexis, Ingrid, and Amy because they showed up that very first Sunday we hosted the Quilting Bee for Japan. They not only donated fabric but also their time and design expertise. They helped delegate when the quilting bee grew; teaching others with little quilting experience how to cut and piece. And then Tracy joined us the second week and donated beautiful kimono fabrics which we incorporated into our quilt back. I heart you ladies.

The lovely photos were taken by Lisa Abitbol, a crafty genius in her own right but also an amazing photographer who has helped capture the world of gather here far better than I ever could. Most of the photos you now see on our website were taken by Lisa and every time she sends me an album I think, "that's not my shop! no way! really????" Thank you so much, Lisa!

The gather here quilting bee was such a success that we're continuing it. Please join us on the first and third Sunday of the month from 4-6 p.m., this week we'll be focusing our efforts on a quilt for Bama Bound Quilts.

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One week later

We did it! We got through the very first week! Thanks to all the nice people who have dropped in and welcomed us to the neighborhood. And thanks to all you knitters, sewers, embroiderers, crocheters, and all-around-crafters for being excited about the shop and the space. We're still all warm and fuzzy from the love. It's actually really hard to leave at the end of the day.

<PREVIEWEND>This next week is a pretty big deal as well. Our classes begin! We kick off the week with "Skip the Tailor". If you've ever taped up the hem of your pants or safety pinned your pants closed, this is the class for you! (Secret: I have some of my pants cuffed using safety pins.) You don't have to pay someone for every pair of pants you need shortened (or lengthened) you just need the knowledge and some readily available tools (needle, thread, pins) and you can do-it-yourself. You'll be learning from an actual film and television tailor who has altered clothing for some real big stars. And you'll learn some trade secrets like how to hem jeans without losing the original hem.

If you've been contemplating knitting then sign up for Friday's class on "Knitting Basics". You'll learn how to cast-on, knit, purl and cast-off. We'll be making washcloths in class and I'll share my washcloth knitted by Oscar-winning costume designer, Jacqueline West. It was a thank you gift for my work on The Social Network and I cherish this handmade square so much! After you knit up your washcloth you might not want to part with it but you'll have the skills to whip up another in no time.

On Saturday we'll have our first Kid + 1 Sewing Class. I created this class in a fit of nostalgia for the days when I learned how to sew with my grandmother, Nita, during many summers in a small town in Iowa. Not every child has a Nita to teach him/her how to sew or knit or embroider but if you (Parent, Grandparent, Godparent, Family Friend) want to learn (or brush up your skills) along with your curious 7-10 year old please sign up. We'll be making drawstring bags this week - a useful thing to carry treasures, toys, snacks or produce.

(The Feathered Nest Rabbit Stuffies)

Our first Sewing Basics - Tote Bag class is FULL. It happened on the first day online registration went live and I'm thrilled people want to learn to sew. We added a section on March 16th but now it's full, too. So if you are eager to learn to use a sewing machine, please sign up for the class on Saturday, March 26th because we won't be offering another sewing basics class until April!

If there's a class you've always wanted to take but you don't see it on the schedule, please let us know. Or if there are specific times of the day/week that would be great for classes, we'd like to know that, too! We stayed away from week day classes but if there's enough interest, we'll add them to the schedule.

(The shop bots!)

Don't forget to join us this Thursday for our first Pints 'n Purls, an open knit for guys and gals! Bring your knitting and your beverage and we'll provide the peanuts (and some other stuff, too). It's gonna be a great week at gather here!

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gather here's blog chronicling the opening of our stitch lounge, experiments in craftiness, and all things fiber.


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