quick getaway

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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phew, i really didn’t think i was going to make it to this point at a decent hour, but somehow the hour is here and i’m ready.

 

we are off to rhinebeck in the morning! barb, sarah, and i are riding caravan style—barb in her own vehicle with me and sarah in the cargo van that will be carrying the makings of our popup shop.

i’ve got a couple of class projects on the needles and a couple of secret projects and a couple of fun new design projects that are my treat for working so hard these last couple of weeks. more on those as they progress. . . sounds like a lot of knitting, i know, but i’ll be gone almost two weeks and i’ll have some time to knit with my friends as well as my mom—i’m going to stop up and visit her after our after party.

meanwhile, back at the ranch, david, emily, erica, and anastasia will be holding down the fort. my october chapter is done and dusted and will be released sometime around midnight on the 16th.

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these are the yarns i’ve picked for one of my new design projects. i’ve been playing around, mixing handed yarn with our bare naked yarns; between striping and patterning, i’ve been having a lot of fun with it. what i’ve got here for color is a beautiful skein of yarn spun by my friend phoebe and gifted to me for my birthday; i just love the raspberry and chocolate tones in it and when i put it next to our wools, it really pops.

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i can’t wait to cast on—i’m thinking maybe a crescent this time. or a triangle. or both. i’ve got a hankering for a new little neck scarf and i’m pretty fond of the little triangle shape, but maybe a crescent would be a nice change up . . .

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the other day we had a special guest in our monday knitting class—my friend jude spent some time with us and after he mentioned about twelve times the he wanted to learn to knit, i scrounged up some needles and yarn, sat him in the corner next to me and showed him a few tricks.

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wow, fastest learner i think i’ve ever taught; i just and to show him once or twice and he knit himself a whole row. but then it was time to go, but i’m pretty sure he’ll be back.

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he says he needs a hat. or a cowl.

alright now, time for me to get to bed. but please come to one of our fun weekend events at the wool show—there is indie untangled on friday evening, our knitspot lunchtime picnic on saturday at noon, our popup shop on sunday afternoon, and our retreat from monday through wednesday. all are welcome; see you at the fair!

wake and eddy

anne wrote this late at night:

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oooh, it’s fall and october and rhinebeck time. and when it’s rhinebeck time, it’s time to get together with good friends—like sweet jen from spirit trail fiberworks.

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when jen asks me to design with her yarn, i can’t say no—i love it all so much. it’s a bit of a tradition to create something new each year for her booth at rhinebeck and this year, it’s a luxurious scarf/infinity loop/cowl knit with her scrumptious birte DK.

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the colors she sent me to work with are water colors—one dark and one lighter. i immediately began to think in terms of wavy patterns that would remind me of water or waterfalls in some way.

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birte is a nice round yarn blended from merino, cashmere, and silk—luscious, right? it catches the light with a soft sheen and drapes beautifully against the body as it falls from the shoulder.

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while i fell in love with this undulating wave pattern, i was a bit concerned that it might drape too much, so i trimmed the edges with rolling garter stitch and added a cable to the center to stabilize the fabric.

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the result is a scarf or cowl with just the right amount of weight to slump ever so lazily around the shoulders without losing its body completely. it’s light and warm and soft as can be, with a fine cashmere halo all about its surface

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to catch the light in its openwork. sigh.

shown above: short cowl/small infinity, knit with one skein of spirit trail birte, colorwway bog shadows

shown below: petite scarf, knit with two skeins of spirit trail birte, colorwway ebb and flow

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pattern also includes instructions for a long infinity scarf and a longer rectangle scarf.

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to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the wake and eddy page in the knitspot pattern shop or click here to see specs and purchase in my ravelry pattern shop

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you can’t tell from these serene photos, but we are all a bit crazed here, trying to pull everything into place for our trek to the hudson valley of new york—we are going to the fair!

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in the spirit trail booth, you’ll be able to see these samples alongside jen’s entire array birte colorways to knit your own wake and eddy. and for those who choose yarn to buy birte for this project, she will provide a free ravelry download of the digital pattern (available at the spirit trail booth only, sat 10/18 and sun 10/19)

nice deal, right?

well, there’s more . . . we are also releasing the pyro, chiminea, and firestorm patterns at the show, featuring jen’s sunna—the fingering version of this delicious merino/cashmere/silk blend. if you purchase sunna to knit those pieces, you will also get THAT pattern free (as a ravelry download; available only at the show 10/18 and 10/19 from spirit trail fiberworks).

yep, we are going to the sheep and wool and i’ve been planning what i’ll knit on this trip—i’ll be away almost two weeks. first things first—i have a couple of samples and swatches i’d like to complete for our after party popup shop and for my classes at our retreat.

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once i’m in the car with sarah at the wheel, i plan to snuggle into that passenger seat with a nice ball of our new, better breakfast DK (coming soon; we are SO excited!). i’m going to treat myself to a short wake and eddy cowl—i can just feel it.

i’ve been so crazed that i haven’t even had a chance to knit something substantial from this yarn yet and i’m dying to get my fingertips into it. trust me, this is so, so lush—everyone who touches it goes weak in the knees. if you’ve been loving breakfast blend, you will simply adore better breakfast. i have just two words to say about it: completely dehaired.

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that’s right, the new mill we’re working with is able to remove all that tickly guard hair, leaving this yarn with nothing but soft, downy fibers. even the fussiest and most sensitive of our test knitters are swooning over it. (hattie will vouch for it!)

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interested? come see and purchase the fingering version at our after party popup shop right after the wool show, open sunday october 19th (2 pm on) through tuesday october 21st  at the marriott hotel in kingston, new york.
(click here to see photos of our first sample knits in this divine yarn)

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we’ll have a VERY limited number of sample skeins available in a few shades, fingering weight only, while supplies last. come and get it.

oh phew, i have been keeping that secret for months; it feels SO GOOD to finally tell!

in fact, we will be talking about and playing with yarn and color for three days—why don’t you join us? learn, have fun, and enhance your stash; there are  a few spots left. click here for more details

Glentrekker

majordomo wrote this mid-afternoon:

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I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this cardi. Months ago, we sent Jen Hagan skeins of various Bare Naked Wools to swatch and explore. Breakfast Blend DK immediately struck her fancy.

She told me, “I knew right away I wanted to swatch some cables with it. The wool/alpaca blend is perfect for cables. Alpaca for softness and wool for definition.” After spending some time swatching and sending me sneak peeks, she finalized the design and chose Bakery Rye. She said, “It really is as scrumptious as rye – my favorite bread.”

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As she knit through the design she would release progress pics on Instagram making the knitting world just drool over the photos.

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Even the wrong side was gorgeous! And then, two months ago she posted this pic

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with the caption, “She’s all done, buttons and all! Now to finish writing the pattern and get some testers.” I wasn’t the only one dying to see the finished piece! Test knitters were clamoring for a chance to work on this design.

Throughout this process Jen and I kept in touch and she shed some light on the design.

How did your design come to fruition?

The yarn often tells me what to do. It’s the boss of me sometimes. The Glentrekker came to me as a perfect use of this lovely yarn. The structure of the cardigan took some twists and turns (haha), but I finally decided to let it be simple. The garment structure is pretty traditional.

How is BB DK different than other yarns you’ve designed with?

I love that this is American-made fiber and I am working with another small business in this project. Teamwork! Also, the yarn is of exquisite quality. I don’t remember encountering one single knot and I was able to work felted joins for the entire sweater, leaving few ends to weave when I was done. The fabric washed and blocked out gorgeously. The whole project was a delight.

I am pleased to introduce Glentrekker by Jen Hagan, a limited edition Bare Naked Wools kit.

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The allover cable detail is strategically placed in this raglan design for intrigue and flatter, complete with a shawl collar it is a super comfy design to wear this fall and even into cold winter days with a scarf or cowl.

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Plus, Jen also designed a hat as a great accompanying piece, an idea inspired by her hero Elizabeth Zimmerman. “In her book The Opinionated Knitter, the instructions for her Leaflet #6 Circular Aran Sweater state ‘I shall not ask you to make the hated swatch, but a useful cap, which will familiarize you with the patterns, and give you a perfect gauge.’ What an excellent idea!”

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Kits are available in five colors of Breakfast Blend DK here and the first 30 kit customers get the sweater and hat patterns for FREE! Grab one here.

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Need buttons for your cardi? We have shell and glass options here.

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And, in case you haven’t heard, we now stock ChiaoGoo needles in our online store! Shop sizes here.

Join us for the After Party next weekend in New York and you can see these pieces in person! They will be on display Oct 19-21 in the popup store. Want to make sure you snag a kit during the After Party? Order your kit online today, make a note on your order that you want to pick it up in New York, and we will pack it in the van!

I’m super pleased to announce that Jen will also be hosting a KAL in the Bare Naked Wools ravelry group. You can choose the Glentrekker cardi or hat, or both! Cast on begins November 1 and runs through February 1. Join the fun here.

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And HAPPY I LOVE YARN DAY to everyone! Go ahead and give some a yarn a squeeze and cast something new on. Enjoy!

it’s that (fine, fine) time again

anne wrote this mid-afternoon:

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yesterday i was running my usual circuit of nearby neighborhoods as a break from desktop madness, when two young dear nonchalantly crossed the street just in front of me, as they grazed from one yard to another. the stillness of that street and their quietude instantly made me drop my shoulders and take a deep breath. this is why i do this, i thought, as they allowed me to get quite close to snap photos. i just love running . . .

with my ankle all healed up now (thank goodness), i’m training for a november half marathon event with a course on the towpath running alongside the ohio  and erie canal. of all the races i did in the last year, this was my favorite, running almost the whole way in the woods along the water—i wish they were all like that.

meanwhile back at work, things are just a tad crazy around here right now, as we all get ready for our trek to rhinebeck next week.

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david and anastasia are packing yarn for our booth at indie untangled on friday, 10/17 as well as our popup shop which opens on sunday, 10/19 at the kingston courtyard marriott

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we’ll be in that location for three days, participating in our fun after party retreat. the store there will be larger and chock full of luscious yarn, patterns, and design samples (we’ll also have needles and natural buttons available)

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as well as kits for my newest designs. we are bringing as much as we can fit into the van but if you know you want a sweater or blanket quantity of something specific and would like to be sure, please let us know—we are happy to take pre-orders.

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we’ll be doing a whole concentration on color knitting at the retreat, working out how color (or shade) and stitch patterns relate to one another. some spots still available for classes if you are making last minute plans to come—we welcome you to join us!

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don’t worry that these classes might to be too difficult—the emphasis for this one is on simple constructions and techniques so that we can fully explore and appreciate color behavior. we will  have one whole day just for working on a project.

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i’ve got a couple of new designs to use in that class or you could work with one of the recently released color projects. i’ve just finished this mass transit cowl using several shades of our new confection sport yarn along with a multi-colorway of briar rose fourth of july. i just love it!

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i also love the back side of this one a LOT, where the orange yarn is more dominant—isn’t that pretty? this one is especially dear to me because it was an exclusive colorway that appeared in our first fall color club.

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speaking of samples, i finally remembered to snap a few photos of barb’s wake and eddy test knit in spirit trail birte. it’s SO rich and lush, mmm.

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the scarf or infinity scarf require two skeins; the short cowl cowl requires one skein.

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sarah is editing the pictures from our photo shoot yesterday; i will be releasing this pattern next week just before we leave for new york. this scarf and the coordinating cowl will appear in jen’s booth as a show special—details to be announced.

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we will also be showing a beautiful new set called sugardance, designed by our friend lara smoot and knit in our ghillie sport/DK

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this cozy cowl and matching fingerless mitts are a wonderful weight for late fall weather and so attractive. i love the texture and those big holes; it always makes me want to look closer.

new samples in bare naked wools are arriving every day, in fact; it’s so exciting that other designers are publishing patterns for our yarns. we will be showing them off frequently in the months to come

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look for this brand spanking new set, including a sweater plus accessories knit up in breakfast blend DK by jen hagan to be released tomorrow. the sweater is just gorgeous; i can’t wait to see her photos. and she sent  a stack of hats along with it so we can take pictures too. these samples will be featured in our booths as well, so you can see them in person when you visit.

and last but not least, my friend laura nelkin has published a book recently—you may have heard. she’s going to be at rhinebeck signing them in the author’s alley at the sheep and wool show.

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knockout knits is a collection of technique-driven designs that are paired with how-to segments for a variety of knitting types. include are instructional sections for such techniques as lace, wrapped stitches, beading, etc.

laura explains the purpose of each type and illustrates/demonstrates how to perform each one. discussion might also include appropriate choices for materials.

and then there are patterns to support each section of the book—these run the gamut from very simple and quick beginner projects to those that are more involved. this makes it nice for experienced knitters who have never beaded, but can handle (and even appreciate) a more complex project. at the same time, newbies or those with less time are not left behind. i like that feature a lot.

this is a beautiful book; if you are considering a gift for a new or intermediate knitter who has more to learn, this would be an excellent choice.

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alright now, somebody here said something about being REALLY busy and still working on materials and secret knitting for next week—sounds like she should get her heinie back to work right this minute!

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oh and by the way, for those who are not coming to rhinebeck—our BNWs boutique will remain open while we are traveling; david, anastasia, emily, and erica will be manning the fort while we’re gone.

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