don’t sweat it!

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, patterns, projects, spinning and fiber, yarn and dyeing

We know that the knitters and crocheters who love Bare Naked Wools love the simplicity of a great selection. Those who try our yarns know they aren’t being deprived of color, but instead are getting to try the truest form of a fiber for themselves. What better time than mid-summer to try a fiber that is one of the oldest in the world, but still new to many crafters? Hempshaugh, one of our favorite yarns from the Bare Naked Wools line, is a blend of 40% Merino, 30% Hemp, and 30% Silk. Since Anne shared her ongoing project in this great yarn, we’re here to help you start dreaming up projects of your own, too.

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Hempshaugh comes in two weights—lace and fingering. Hemp is a strong fiber and is sometimes called bast (this just means it comes from plants). Longer than your typical wool, it blends beautifully with silk, but it can be tricky to blend with wool. Luckily, our mill knows exactly what to do with it, and Anne knows when she comes across the perfect mix. This yarn is lightweight, has great shine, and a beautiful hand that translates into warm weather garments you can actually wear.

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Our Ensemble series is the perfect place to look for inspiration. From this year’s Spring collection, we have to recommend the beautiful Estlin pullover from designer Bristol Ivy (you can find the kit here!). Featuring delicate details like a two-toned yoke, short row shaping, and elbow-length sleeves, it’s easy to wear this piece long past summer ends—just in case you tend to knit at a leisurely pace.

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Kit available here 

Living in deep summer heat? Don’t despair, when working with hemp, you can still wear your knits proudly. Anne was wearing Salt and Pepper from the Spring collection all weekend in Washington, D.C.—and the weather was well into the 90’s! Knit in Hempshaugh lace weight, this is the perfect traveling companion project. Wandering bodies (and minds) are a match made in heaven for stockinette stitch. The clean lines of this garment will assuredly match anything in your wardrobe, too. (Though, might we suggest you think about pairing it with the Amalfi Coast skirt? The look is just too chic!)

White jeans or shorts and the casual classiness of a knit polo (with a bit of feminine flair) are exactly what you find with our Janet Guthrie pattern. Designed by Anne, this top can be sporty or sweet, and in Hempshaugh Fingering, it’s decidedly cool. Even with all the delicate details, this pullover can be a speedy knit—with options to bypass the sleeves if you get impatient.

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Make it in two colors for contrast stripes, or knit in a solid color like Millet if you want to go for a more shell-like sheen.

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In Ensemble, we recommend substitute yarns from the Bare Naked Wools selection on every pattern, should you decide to go your own way. That said, with a great yarn like Hempshaugh in two weights, a few more months of summer stretching out before us, and needles itching to cast on, why would you?

It’s Back

Posted on 8 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, patterns, projects, spinning and fiber, yarn and dyeing

Hi, again! I had to drop by and show you some more tempting new things…..

For those of you that missed out on the spinning fiber last month, we have some more!

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This time around we have one of our very special plant fibers as a roving option. This super shiny and silky soft fiber is Hempshaugh Buckwheat. Hemp is usually a rough plant fiber, so many spinners haven’t used it, but this is a soft and unique blend that will make for an excellent project!

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The other fibers are Better Breakfast (65/35 Merino/Alpaca). This dark, stormy grey is a rich color that will complement many outfits and skin tones.

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This creamy white is a soft and luscious color. It has some slight variations in shade that lend a lot of character and charm to the roving.

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You all seemed smitten with the Chebris Multi last month, so we had our brilliant millers create a similar fiber blend in Better Breakfast. This unique mix is similar to our muesli with a stunning blend of grey and brown. It is the perfect shade for a sweater or accessory as it pairs beautifully with most neutrals.

Now, for the yarn! I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to use the fluffy and cozy new Better Breakfast Worsted to make a blanket wrap for my sister. I could not decide which of those shades to use, so I grabbed a couple skeins of each and decided on some stripes.

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I am knitting Hypoteneuse. I highly recommend this pattern if you’re like me and haul your knitting everywhere! I knit in the car, in class, at the laundromat, restaurants, waiting rooms, and everywhere else. I had this pattern memorized three rows into the motif and it goes so quickly. I am knitting a half to a full stripe a day, depending on my homework demands.

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My kitty, CC, loves to cuddle under it while I knit. She is an adult, but will never get bigger than a kitten due to a genetic disorder. She is a great knitting buddy and loves anything Alpaca!

More to tempt you…

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Biscotti on the top and Muesli on the bottom. The biscotti is a little different from the fingering and DK shade as it was blended with brown alpaca and light merino as opposed to brown merino and light alpaca.

When I saw the two new shades in Worsted, I was planning my next project. I love the way this yarn is working up as a blanket or wrap, but I want to do a cabled hat like Woodcutters Toque or Gobi  with the new shades.

What would you knit with the new Worsted, and which fiber was your favorite this month?

Perfect We Got

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in projects

Once a month we get a shipment of yarn from our good friends and AMAZING mill owners Robbie and Carrie Davis. They run America’s Natural Fireworks and Blessed Criations Alpaca Ranch right here in Ohio!

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We love them and really appreciate the time and energy they put into their business; it makes for such high quality yarn and fiber. They spin our Better Breakfast, Chebris, Cabecou, Hempshaugh, and Ginny yarns.

This month, we got some super special things in our boxes from ANF…..

Better Breakfast Worsted 

Our Better Breakfast–the new and improved incarnation of the original Breakfast Blend–is one of the most popular BNWs. It’s soft and cozy but very durable and keeps its shape. Robbie and Carrie “dehair” the fiber so any prickles or guard hairs are removed. It’s an all-around great yarn for any project from head to toe. Anne had the idea to do a worsted as a perfect option for a coat like the Vendange or Oculus–and perfect we got.

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This yarn is butter soft. I so wish you could feel it!

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This yarn is so….FLUFFY! It is such a unique product because it is so silky soft, but it really has a great deal of body and shape. We got two shades–Daybreak and Milk and Honey.

Anne is still in Colorado filming her Craftsy class, so I got the honor of knitting the gauge swatch. We figured this would be pretty spot-on with the Chebris Worsted, and we were right.

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I knit my swatch on US9 needles, and I got 4 sts/inch. The fabric is nice and stretchy with enough density to keep the chill away in a sweater or hat. This is a Merino and Alpaca blend, so remember this fiber likes it a little rough in the wash. I soaked it in warm water for a couple of hours while I was in class last night. When I got home, I took it out and  showed it some tough love by engaging the fibers and allowing them to bloom and fill out. (See Anne and I wash Better Breakfast squares in this video)

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The spin is superb, with a little bit of variation to keep the fabric interesting and unique. This yarn is versatile like many of the others, and can probably be knit on US6-US10.5 depending on the desired fabric. After making my swatch, I am already planning a warm and cozy wrap for my sister who just got a new job in an office. Maybe Wheaten or Hypotenuse?

Now…for a little more fun.

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Lots of our customers and friends are also spinners. We asked Robbie and Carrie to make a few bumps of roving with the fiber as they spin our yarn. The two blends we have available now are Better Breakfast (Americano) and Chebris (Multi). The Chebris is a blend of all the shades we offer, so it will make a really fun skein of yarn–almost like the Entropy yarn that Lisa at Feederbrook Farms makes.

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We don’t have much, so grab it while you can. If this is something you like and want to see us do more of, let us know in the comments, and we can do a little each month!

Celebrating our Friends

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in projects

Hi, everyone!
I am sure most of you know me or have seen me mentioned on the blog before, but for those of you who do not, I will introduce myself. My name is Erica, and I’ve been working at Knitspot since the Summer of 2012. I started working here with my sister occasionally packing club orders, and now I manage the office and do everything and anything that comes across my desk. I LOVE working with knitters because they really make for the nicest customers. I love to hear from all of you and see your projects and ideas. I learned to knit nearly two years ago and have recently branched out into lace projects. I am a senior at Kent State University and plan on graduating with my BA in Business Management in December.

I have decided to start doing some blog posts because I think it will be really fun to show all of you what’s going on around the office and other things that might give you some insight into how we work together to turn great sparks of genius from Anne’s mind into all of this.

This week, I wanted to show off some of your projects because at Knitspot HQ we really do look at them and enjoy your ideas so much. Many of my goals and projects at work are inspired by the suggestions, reactions, and comments that you give us as you knit. This week, let’s see some Vendange coats!

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This is a cool coat. It’s elegant, sexy, and smart all in one. I love designs that are versatile because they flatter your style and personality without overpowering you. Thanks to Barb for making our samples so quickly!

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This is Kathy’s Vendange in Berroco Peruvia. It’s a green/blue color that is perfect for her. She is embracing the cowl-neck! She has some more photos on her project page that show off the coat, but I love this selfie 🙂

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I just don’t think this blog could happen without these shots. I want to learn to strike a pose like her.  Cynthia’s Vendange is rich and cozy in a bulky Targhee by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. She is really showing it off, and it is the perfect color and fit for her.

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Heather’s classic and silly shots show off how awesome she looks in her Vendange ! Heather’s coat is a great fit and very cozy in Miss Bab’s K2.

Thank you to the wonderful knitters that gave me permission to celebrate their coats with all of you! Anyone currently working on their Vendange?