spent the week so far writing and correcting patterns, working on my skirt, and madly swatching for the red scarf project (so glad everyone is excited to get on board!).we are working on a followup version of our celebrated festivus yarn, this time working with our confection sport and possibly confection worsted, too.
to get started, i’ve been swatching my designated red scarf motif in shades of confection sport. i started on size 7US (4.5 mm) needles, using four shades and changing every four rows. i love the effect, but with all those yarn ends, i think this pattern is better suited to a circular construction, so i’m earmarking it for the hat and cowl set. Also, while well suited for a hat, the fabric is stiffer than i would like for a scarf so i need to move up to a bigger needle.
test driving it on size 8US (5.0 mm) produced a light, soft, drapey fabric that still holds its shape (rebounds nicely when stretched) and has excellent stitch definition. it’s got depth all day and feels super cushy to squeeze in my hands. in this larger swatch, i changed shades every half repeat and used all five shades.
still, for a scarf or wrap, it could be lighter and drapier—in my opinion. i got to wondering just how far i could push the needle size; at what point would the fabric ever be too loose?
i got out my size 9US (5.5 mm), which is really stretching it to create a fairly solid fabric from most sport weight yarns, but we find that our BNWs have an almost unending level of loft; give them enough room and they will grow into it, while maintaining a cohesive fabric with integrity. the swatch (above) looked good; lighter and airier than on the smaller needles, perhaps with a bit less recovery. but enough to keep its shape in a scarf or wrap.
into a hot, soapy bath it went to remove spinning oil, dust, and to bring the yarn back to its original twist.
by this morning it was dry and looked great—still showing good stitch definition, even stitches, and nice body. the overall fabric is a little more translucent, allowing light to filter through and fill up the fabric til it glowed.
so here’s what i’m thinking—because i have so many ideas already for what could be done with this stitch pattern and combining shades. what do you think of knitting the scarf and wrap sideways, with the long edge as the cast on and bind off? then the shades could be worked across; i think that would be fun and different; also very easy to turn into a cowl, yes?
THEN, we would have two spinoff patterns—one for a hat and cowl in this pattern on smaller needles. it will be much easier to deal with the color changes when working in the round. and what a cute ski cap and gaiter that would be!
the other spinoff would be a blanket/wrap/scarf pattern (ala wheaten or sky ladder) for the confection worsted yarn, to knit in horizontal stripes from bottom to top.
want a little peek at a VERY rough draft of what this might look like in color?
it’s very crude; just something i whipped up in photoshop. we’re not even sure if we are going with five shades or four. we will definitely make the solid red options available as well, along with choices for natural shades and solids.
the yarn will be named festivus 2.0 and i think i’ll name the color gradients for santa’s reindeer, with rudolph being the brightest, naturally.
i also have to think of a names for the three projects; i’d like to stick to ski themes (as opposed to holiday-specific ones or color references); i think the stitch pattern looks like ski slopes and carving in the snow. if you have suggestions, please add in comments (short, punch names are best; non-english words are welcome!).
all sorts of excitement back at the ranch this morning when a HUGE truck made its way up 15th street and stopped at the end of my block, clearly unable to make the turn. seriously, it was the biggest truck i ever saw.
it was the yarn truck.
i knew we were expecting a long-awaited delivery but i didn’t know it would arrive with such fanfare, haha. i had to run out and show the driver where the shop was located in the back alley.
our LONG awaited shipment of stone soup yarns has arrived!
we are beside ourselves with happiness; all summer long people were asking us about this yarn and why we didn’t have it at the shows (not our choice, believe me!).
along with a few boxes that also came last week, we are now restocked in all shades and skein sizes, at least for a little while (this yarn is popular!). it will take a few days to get it all unpacked, counted, weighed, labelled, and logged into the store, but if you’ve been waiting, it won’t be long now.
and i have it on good authority that next week we should be getting a big shipment of chebris worsted so that vendange sweater knitting may commence.
last night was knit night in our shop. susan worked on her oatmeal stout cowl in a variety of yarn, amanda worked on her monkey bread hat in a super soft mink/cashmere blend, donna knit on a roger that blanket in briar rose abundance that she is knitting for her husband, and barb worked on her cam cable pullover in better breakfast DK, color poppy seed.
you might remember that i knit one of these in kent DK (color kelp) back in the winter (wow, feels like yesterday to me).
the pattern and photography have been completed for some time, but once it got warm in the summer, we decided to hold off on the release til it got cold again. we will include this garment in the january ensemble collection i was telling you about last week.
i worked on my skirt, both at the shop and then after dinner once i was back in the house. i added a few inches just in one evening.
i put a few more rnds on this morning with my coffee. i think it’s looking really nice; before the next blog i’ll take it off the needles once more to check the shaping; i’ll be sure to take photos when i do, hopefully with it on myself.
this yarn—kent DK, color driftwood—is so rich and has such incredible depth; it’s kind of hard to photo graph sometimes because, being a lustre fiber, it reflects light from it’s polished exterior. look at that upper left corner; it’s almost metallic.
so rich, sigh . . . whenever i’m away from it all i can think about is the next time we’ll be together . . .
oops, time for me to wrap things up here; i have an appointment in an hour and i’ve done nothing with my hair today. tata!