Archive for the ‘book reviews/events’ Category


Sunday, April 13th, 2014


just a quick drive-by to say—look, we finally have flowers opening in our garden! only a few and very reluctantly, but i’m hoping this warm, sunny weekend will prompt more of them to come to life.

that said, there is snow predicted for later this week; it’s going to go from 78 degrees today to 39 tomorrow afternoon. oh joy. and what was i thinking anyway, that spring would really come?

ok, here’s the low-down; i am home, but up against a really tight deadline. i’ve been working like mad on only one thing since i got back the other day. i’m hoping to be over the hump by tomorrow, but i’m also running one of my big races today, yay!

david and i are heading out in just a bit for the town where the event will be held; i’ll report back later when it’s done. and i promise i’ll show you some knitting, too, haha

wish me luck!



Friday, April 11th, 2014

photo 2 web

Last week Susan, Barb and Sarah packed themselves into an SUV stuffed full of wooly goodness destined for a Chicago pop up store. Sarah can attest it was one cozy ride amongst Bare Naked Wools, patterns, kits, and swag!

IMG_1565 web

They all took turns driving and snapping pics from the passenger seat,

IMG_4906 web

photo 1 web

while the backseater could get a few rows of knitting done.

photo 3 web

I love all the photos they text me during their journey! Before they knew it, they arrived in the city

photo 4 web

The girls worked very hard on Saturday setting up a gorgeous booth for YarnCon.

setup CollageThey really wanted customers to be wowed when they arrived on Saturday morning.

YC girls

Boy, were they! The booth had a steady line for hours and people couldn’t stop chatting about the lovely presentation of natural fibers!

photo 6 web

Everyone loved seeing the yarn in person,

photo 4-4 web

yarn Collage web

photo 3-6 web

browsing the samples

photo 2-2 web

photo 1-7 web

photo 3-1 web

and gobbling up accessory and sweater quantities worth of yarn.

photo 1-2 web

The girls had so much fun meeting fellow Knitspotters and ravelers for the first time and sharing the show floor with past Fall in Full Color club dyers Yarn Hollow and Fleur de Fiber. What a small world full of nice surprises!

photo 5-8 web

Wondering what was popular in Chicago? Wheaten (both the blanket and scarf version; kits here)

photo 3-4 web

topped the list along with hats Apples in Clover, Scotty, Squish Me and Polartorte.

photo 5-2 web

See that empty bin? By Saturday afternoon, Susan sold out of Stone Soup DK in Marble! And before the show ended they depleted their stock of Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace! Bloch Ness sweater kits in Kent DK were also a hit. Could it be because Barb was wearing one, while knitting between customers under the Bloch Ness sign? It probably didn’t hurt.

photo 1-4 web

Other hot sellers were the special offerings just for YarnCon…

photo 1-1 web

Danger Cowl kits (available in various sizes/yarns here and pattern here)

photo 3-3 web

and EXCLUSIVE Moving Mud Buttons! Yes, special special handmade glass buttons by Sarina! We are so excited to offer these as they’re such a lovely compliment to Knitspot designs and work so beautifully with our natural palette of yarns. We love to offer a few new things at shows before we put them in the online shop. And the response was overwhelming on our new exclusive!

Watch the blog on Monday because Anne will be releasing Kiltie Cowl and Mitts (a former Fall In Full Color club pattern)


and there will be BNWs kits available, plus you can get your hands on a set of the new buttons. Here’s a sneak peek from the photo shoot today…

KiltieShoot web

KiltieShoot web2

I’m so glad I had the last minute opportunity to grab my mom and Padraig and head to YarnCon.

photo 1-9 web

We made a short weekend of it so she could shop BNWs lovelies in person and we visited some friends on the way home. I love a yarn-related road trip!

Wondering where the girls are headed next? Follow them to Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival May 17 and 18! Plus you could attend workshops with Anne Hanson! She’s teaching Sweater Fitness and Beginning Lace Knitting. Info here.

If you can’t make it to upcoming shows, keep your eye on our social sites (Twitter, Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram). You never know where we may POP UP!

what’s cooking?

Sunday, March 30th, 2014


the view from my desk here in san diego can’t be beat—especially with snow flying back at home (poor david; i wish he was here with me). the first few days were a bit dreary, but since the wedding, the weather here has been perfect—refreshing 50s at night and in the 70s during the day. i SO needed this.


w-day went off with no trouble at all; the day dawned perfectly beautiful and the event was lovely as can be with plenty of special people to celebrate kim and jeff’s happy day

if you enjoyed that small synopsis, you can see an even more extensive album on my flickr page


an absolutely lovely day for my lovely friend; it just makes my heart swell to see her so happy!

that night the newlyweds went off to honeymoon and now they are enjoying a week in paris (so jealous!). i’m staying on here to look after the boys while they are away, which is pretty exciting considering the weather at home, which continues to be very cold and even snowy.

i can work very well right here while the boys go to school and work; they could probably even take care of themselves, but this way, they’ll get decent meals and have a reliable adult around just in case.


we are cooking some old favorites and trying some new ones as well—the other night we made pasta with vodka sauce, which is always on the request list

but we also tried a new recipe for mahi-mahi with peppers and mango in a sweet and sour curry sauce that turned out delicious

and believe me, they gobbled up those green vegetables almost entirely—just a lunch portion left of each. we baked sweet potatoes with this dinner to round out the meal, which were also yummy.

today i did my long run while the boys were at church and when i got back i started a vegetable curry.

kade helped me finish it up when they got home.

for dessert, we’re making sticky rice with mangoes, using an intriguing method for steaming sticky rice that i found on the shesimmers website (my go-to site to read about thai cooking and recipes).

(with the publication of her first book, simple thai food, leela has a week of giveaways going—you should check them out)

on the recommendation of the proprietor of our local asian market, i’ve been using black sticky rice to make this dish, because it is both flavorful and quite beautiful. my sister-in-law nan was converted as well when we made it this way over christmas. the rich purple color of the rice is a gorgeous complement to the bright orange mangoes. like any whole-grain (brown) rice, it takes quite a bit longer to cook but it’s well worth the wait


i couldn’t get the mangoes we like best, which come from thailand or the phillipines, so we had to settle for the mexican ones. mangoes are just about to come into season though, so hopefully we’ll see the asian type in the markets soon.


with all this talk about cooking and wedding celebrating, you probably think i haven’t been knitting but i have. of course, mostly on secret projects, which i’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear, haha


on the plane out here, i got the whole back of a sweater knit—i’m so excited; just two sleeves left to go and with some diligence (meaning, no email or ravelry chatter) i think i can knock those out this week and maybe do the blocking and seaming as well.

i’m working with our stone soup fingering yarn in the slate shade—this will be a lovely, lightweight garment, just perfect for spring. i can’t give you any more details than that right now but stay tuned, because it will be revealed soon.


i’ve also worked on the fingering weight op art cowl in spirit trail sunna, colorway va-va-voom! it’s coming along, but i am trying to be fair and split my time between all three rejects i have here; they are all important right now.


i’m also running as much as i can while i’m here—gotta take advantage of this glorious weather. i WANT to be out there for a long run every day but i’m trying to be sensible—my first half marathon is two weeks form today and from here on out, it will be important to scale back a little, eat right, and get plenty of rest.

so today was my last long training run until race day; i’m just so glad i got to come out here for the pre-race period. i’ve been a lot less stiff running in the warmer climate.



i purchased some new shoes just before i left home which are breaking in nicely.

people often ask me how i come up with ideas for my designs and while it’s not always a straight line between inspiration and finished design, i can sometimes see afterward a clear relationship—like my hills in jamul hat design, which was included in the february BNK club package


the colors, textures, and winding roads that i run on here are approximated in the shapes and textures of the hat.

today i ran a little bit longer than the half marathon distance—my turn back was about a half mile past this mile marker sign; when i got the other direction, the miles count down and after the zero point there is still one mile to go.

i’m tired, but it’s a happy tired; i am ready.


ok, i’ll be back in a few days, hopefully with the fringe tree shawl pattern to release; i know some of you are waiting on that. i need to get photos from sarah so i can do the post.

have a good monday; happy knitting.

Introducing Halfsies and Minis

Friday, March 28th, 2014


Colorwork nuts get ready. We have something special for you. Stone Soup Fingering in halfsies and minis! The unique blend of rambouillet, lincoln, columbia, churro, alpaca, plus a little tencel, bamboo and silk throw in the mix


in natural colorways of Pumice, Slate, Marble and Granite are now available in minis (1 oz skeins)


and Granite and Pumice are available in halfsies (2 oz skeins).


Aren’t they precious!? Don’t you want to scoop up a few of these and start playing with how the colorways relate to each other in a stranded motif? Or grab a limited edition Bare Naked Wools kit? Yeah, we thought you would.

That’s why we had Tanya knit an Apples in Clover last week


and had Susan model for us,


so we could release a limited edition kit – Apples in Clover Tam. What a great way to welcome spring with a pattern of apple blossoms, clover, and tiny fruits running rings around this slouchy tam.


You can choose from two kits, a Marble background with Pumice and Slate as your contrasting colors


OR a Slate background with Granite and Marble as your contrasting colors. Tanya knit the above sample using all four colors, so if you want the same versatility you could grab a kit here and add an extra color to your cart here. Any leftovers would make great stripey fingerless mitts or a baby hat.

Apple in Clovers Tam also compliments Rain On a Hot Tin Roof nicely.


Grab full skeins of Stone Soup Fingering, plus the hat and cowl patterns and you’ll have enough yarn to knit both. It’s always nice to have a complimentary set in your wardrobe. And natural colorwork accessories are so versatile. They coordinate beautifully with neutral clothing or you can spice things up a bit and wear BNWs with a pop of color.

photo2 web

Imagine the options with these new knits below in your closet!


Some of you may already have Stone Soup halfsies and minis on the needles. We first released them at the BNWs pop up store in Novi, MI and our friend Cherie squealed when she saw them!

cherie web

She is such a fan of colorwork and was excited about the new put up. Oh the possibilities! We often save something a little special to offer pop up store customers – a new pattern, a new kit, sometimes a brand new yarn. If you’re in the Chicago area April 5 and 6 stop by Yarn Con.


Barb, Susan, and Sarah would love to show you the latest and greatest Bare Naked Wools has to offer.