Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

A Voyage Into Color Territory

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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Understanding how yarns perform is an essential knitting skill. To gain this knowledge, it’s important to know about the fiber

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from sheep to yarn

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to knitted fabric.

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Or to learn fibers have long or short staple lengths and are good for particular types of knits. Plus, the construction of the yarn – plies, blends, weight -

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is an essential part that should be taken into account when planning a project.

I learned so many vital pieces of information when I took a Yarn Voyage class from Anne. I had notes scribbled everywhere and my head was swimming with new information. I can’t tell you how many times I blurted out “aha!” in class (and possibly a few more in my head). Several us chatted after class and unanimously said, “if only I had taken a class like this when I started knitting!”

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Everyone, even very experienced knitters and spinners, left the class with lots more knowledge about yarn and its properties. I must say that every knitting project since class has been more successful. The necessity of swatching was really driven home,

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plus I looked at my stash completely different. I feel I have more of an educated eye when discerning between yarns in the planning process of a project. Even when I get to the swatching phase and a yarn doesn’t necessarily work out, I no longer get frustrated or think time has been wasted. I just log that swatch and information away for a future project. And my finished Knitspot objects – well, they’re just that much more beautiful.

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This year at Rhinebeck After Party Anne is teaching Yarn Voyage II: Color Territory. In Anne’s words,

Yarn voyage for color knitting and design: Are your attempts at color knitting foiled by sloppy looking results, fabrics that appear lifeless, and/or stitches that gape and won’t lie straight? Do you find your attempts at substituting colors or creating your own combinations disappointing? It might not be you—it could be your yarn. Learn how choosing the right yarn will help you achieve a smooth and cohesive surface as well as a beautifully orchestrated palette in your color knitting projects. Our voyage into color knitting territory is much more than a discussion about yarn weight. It’s an explorative class for knitters and handspinners of all levels, covering the specific characteristics of yarn that influence the outcome of color knitted fabric. Included will be a short history of color work in knitting, how it was disseminated around the world, how various cultures influenced its development, and the evolution in turn of its separate ethnic identities. Participants will learn how yarn type relates to the fabric surface, texture, weight, and elasticity, and how to use that information to make better choices and/or substitutions in their projects. Students will test Bare Naked Wools of various fibers and twist ratios to make comparisons and learn to assess final fabrics. Even the most experienced knitters and spinners will go away with new insight on the fibers and yarns they thought they knew. 
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This is a class I am super excited about. Colorwork is my absolute favorite, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve knit a few color projects (mostly striped or slipped stitch) and a couple successful fair isle items like this Peruvian Purl Earflap Hat,
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but I’m desperate to learn more about the process. As I learned in the first Yarn Voyage, a lot of unsuccessful knits are due to choosing the wrong yarn. I definitely believe that was the culprit in my past experiences. I’m excited Anne’s new class takes Yarn Voyage to another level and focuses on color, with emphasis on naturals. I drool over fair isle sweaters and vests, but I have a little fear. I know Anne will help me nip that in the bud. She always does. I want to knit Apples in Clover
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and Sheltie Triangle, but I can never seem to get past the planning stage. Which yarn? Where should my color placement be? How can I add a pop of hand dyed color into my neutral palette? Can I mix fibers? There’s just so many questions!

For those that have taken Yarn Voyage I, you will definitely learn new things. For knitters that haven’t, have no fear! The first class is not a prerequisite. We will all leave this class with our eyes wide open and itching to cast on a project. Speaking of that, Yarn Voyage II is just the kickoff to the After Party. Following the afternoon break, Anne will teach A Survey of Color Knitting - an exploration of techniques including mosaic, intarsia, stranded colorwork, and slip stitch. Both two-handed and one-handed stranded color knitting will be covered! The following day, jump head first into mosaic or stranded knitting with Color Project Immersion. This class includes a brand spankin’ new kit with an unreleased pattern. You will spend the day (with an afternoon break) in a relaxed, semi-social setting planning your color palette, swatching and knitting the beginnings of the project. Not only will students be the first ones to buy this Knitspot kit, Anne Hanson will be walking you through the process! How cool is that!?

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On the last day, you can tackle knitting successful sweaters with Sweater Fitness. In Anne’s words, 

An intermediate workshop in the important basics of sweater fit and construction. Get into your best shape EVER! Participants will complete a thorough set of body measurements and discuss how to use them to choose and use a sweater pattern in an appropriate size. Students may knit gauge swatches during the workshop. Other topics of discussion will include swatching, yarn choices, pattern reading and terminology, types and uses of shaping techniques (increasing and decreasing), tips and tricks for successful navigation through a sweater project. 

During part of the afternoon break of Sweater Fitness, Anne added Color Project KnitALong. Have you ever wanted just a little more time with an instructor (yes, that’s me!) after you took a class? This is your chance! Project Immersion students can add this KAL to advance a little on their project, ask additional questions, or get another Knitspot color project on the needles while Anne is sitting next to them. As an added bonus if you sign up for the entire Rhinebeck After Party (kit and caboodle), the KAL session is FREE!

There are openings left in all classes, but they are going fast! Sign up here to snag a spot. I can’t believe New York Sheep and Wool is right around the corner! See you soon!

Garden Inspired Knits

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

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Most of you know Anne has many passions that drive her creative force. Anne appreciates beauty in every form and finds a lot of inspiration in nature. Her and David’s garden is a labor of love every year, no matter the size of crop.

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Anne likes to be up early in the morning to see what the world has to offer each day. New plants, flowers, nests, insects, buds and blooms end up spiraling in her head until they produce or inspire a stitch pattern.

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Often the patterns get on the knitting needles immediately, and sometimes they sit in the Anne vault for months or even years until the right yarn comes along.

 

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Anne thought it would be fun to start a trip down memory lane and highlight shawl and scarf designs that were birthed in the garden. She started a Facebook album, which will be added to over the next few days, and started posting pattern photos on Instagram with #GardenInspiredKnits. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few more here. Come…take a walk with me…

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Lacewing is a faroese shawl with allover floral and fern patterns finishing with a banded insect motif just above the hem. It’s worked top-down, with shaping at the shoulders and an applied (knitted on) lace edging at the hem border. 

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The shawl design was inspired by the lacewing,

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a delicate insect that is a great help in pest control for your garden. The name alone easily lended itself to a lace knitting pattern. Originally knit in Knitting Notions Class Merino Lace, this would be stunning in Chebris or Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace. See Anne’s original blog post here.

Frillibet is a triangle shawl

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with a mix of leaf

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and petal motifs that mimic a blooming hydrangea.

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I think this is one of my favorite shawls because I find hydrangeas such a beautiful explosion of color.

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I love going on walks through my neighborhood in June and July, seeing all the different shades of their blooms. Frillibet was originally knit in Malabrigo Lace, but I think it would make a stunning knit in any of the natural colors of laceweight cotton or  Fibre Co Meadow. For more, see Anne’s original blog post here.

Morning Glory is a wrap that pays homage to a delicate flower that only lives for a day.

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Most morning glories unravel into full bloom in the early morning and they prefer bright sunlight. They definitely have an almost magical quality in their temporary beauty.

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This piece is knit in a DK weight and I think it would be gorgeous in Stone Soup DK. It has such unique properties and when knit in lace it has a sophisticated rustic appeal. See Anne’s original blog post here.

Anne says Fruit of the Vine is the “essence of summer knitting—practically weightless, it takes up no space in a purse or tote. the pattern is simple to work and to memorize; with wrong side rows all in purl it is the perfect knitting for hazy, daydreamy summer evenings. come autumn, when mornings are nippy again, you’ll have a bit of sun-soaked color to wrap up with, mmm.”

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The beautiful open work lace mimics a grapevine trellis, with bits of fruit poking through.

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The original scarf is knit in a discontinued yarn,

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but it would be suitable for several laceweights found in our online shop here. See Anne’s original blog post here.

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Sonnenblume is full of delicate motifs that when all brought together in this cleverly structured semicircular shawl, it looks just like sunflowers.

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To me, sunflowers are one of the happiest flowers – they’re large, hearty, come in array of gorgeous colors and resemble little smiling faces. Just this afternoon Padraig and I stumbled upon sunflowers lining a neighbor’s driveway and we froze in our tracks, smiling at their beauty.

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Sonneblume was originally knit with Knitting Notions, but it would also be lovely in one of the soft organic cotton colors here or a Bare Naked Wools here. See Anne’s original blog post here. To view Anne’s entire shawl/wrap collection click here and to view the scarf collection click here.

Pop back now and then over the next few days on Facebook and Instagram and see more of Anne’s garden inspired knits. There’s an abundance of them! So I’m dying to know, which is your favorite garden inspired design of Anne’s? Tell me in the comments below by Tuesday 9 pm EST and I’ll pick two winners to receive a shawl or scarf pattern of their choice!

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Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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wa-a-ay back in february, while i was staying with my friend kim in sunny southern california, she told me she had purchased enough extra of our special edition festivus club yarn to knit a blanket, but she didn’t know what pattern she wanted to do.

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i asked if she enjoyed knitting the FIFC club projects i had designed for this yarn and she said yes. i said, well then, i’ve been thinking of using those as inspiration for a blanket; why don’t i just put that together for you now?

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and so i did. i don’t know if she ever started that blanket, but since the gauge was also perfect for our own confection worsted weight yarn line as well as the new-at-the-time kent worsted, i made a deal with our dear friend anne marie to knit a sample for us in confection.

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i just had a feeling this would be very appealing to our readers and fans of our yarns. first of all, with such a great balance of knit and purl within the construction, if has lovely drape, especially in a smooth, semi-worsted yarn like confection.

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the textured motif is wonderfully reversible and because the pattern ribs catch the light as they change direction, a delightful illusion effect is created by the natural sheen of high quality wool yarn.

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besides all that, it is also super fun to knit—the motif is so engaging you just don’t want to put it down. it’s highly entertaining and yet, simple enough to work on through football games and other spectator sports.

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but watch out—this sideline knitting could end up drawing quite a bit of attention, haha.

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it makes a great gift for that kid who just left the nest for college—a little something to cover them with love while making such a big transition maybe?

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

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this lap-sized version above is knit in the cookies and cream shade of our confection worsted, a great choice for  someone who has some knowledge about washing woolens.

but for that recipient who doesn’t, why not consider easy care, worsted weight organic color grown cottonour version from ecobutterfly has a lusciously soft hand, beautiful drape, AND it’s completely machine washable and dryable.

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barb knit up a sample swatch for us at the beginning of the summer so you could get an idea of what it looks like. a blanket like this would be an excellent addition to a summer house, boat, or sleeping porch extending your enjoyment of those favorite spots well into the fall.

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(in fact, many of our blanket designs translate beautifully in heavier cotton yarn, especially in these sophisticated color grown colors, which are nature’s answer to neutrals)

yep, it’s time to knit a blanket; my fingers are itching for one, especially on these chilly evenings we’ve had—fall is definitely in the air now.

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i think even our newest knitters are ready for a project like this—won’t you join them?

Fall Show Season is Here!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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Bare Naked Wools was on the road again! This past weekend my friend Kim and I packed up the car and headed to Allegan, Michigan, to meet Susan and Emily to set up a popup store at Michigan Fiber Festival.

Susan packed up every yarn, including all the new stuff,

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and filled every square inch of a Uhaul!

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This was going to be a big show and we had to have lots of stock for natural yarn lovers!

While Susan drove, Emily worked on Squeeze Me (yes, she’s knitting now!)

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and her lovely driver even pulled over to fix a dropped stitch!

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We all made it to Allegan and set up the booth in SUPER CRAZY WIND! Thanks to helpful booth neighbors, and a few cinder blocks and bricks, we got the tent erected and secured so Kim and Susan could start laying out the displays.

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The next morning after a lovely sleep and meals at my parents’ house (HUGE thanks to them for hosting the booth staff!) it was time for customers.

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We helped lots of knitters build new projects! Cabled Keyhole Scarf was a popular new kit in Travertine

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and lots of knitters were running to the booth for the new Freefall and Floozy patterns for Chebris Lace. Kim helped a knitter build a Color Affection with Stone Soup Fingering

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plus we all built lots of Knitspot wraps, blankets, and sweater projects for shoppers.

We met many new knitters who fell in love with Bare Naked Wools for the first time, and also lots of familiar ravelers stopped by.

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kakayers realized she needed to purchase a new yarn card because we’ve added lots of colors and yarns since she bought her first one.

These ravelry friends (jukaheff, libelulaknitter, CrafTeaMama, my3greys) were very happy to pose for a group photo with their new goodies!

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And CrafTeaMama dropped off pecan brown sugar shortbread from her kitchen. The cookies did not last long! Yum!

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When I floated around on my break, I noticed lots of Knitspot samples in the Knitting Notions booth, and Briar Rose Fibers was promoting Yarn in the Barn.

Anne is teaching workshops (details here) at the event and BNWs will have a pop up store! To advertise the collaboration, Chris is showcasing Knitspot knits in BNWs and BRF.

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Highlander, Sheltie Triangle, and Hot Waffles get a totally new look with handdyed accents! When I saw all of these pieces I immediately thought a similar pairing would work for the Oatmeal Stout KAL in the BNWs ravelry group.

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You only need one Bare Naked Wools yarn in your project to participate in the KAL fun! Join us here.

The next October popup for Bare Naked Wools is Rhinebeck After Party. The event starts with shopping Sunday night and then three days exploring color in workshops with Anne. Last year, attendees had so much fun extending their whirlwind NYS Sheep and Wool Festival weekend at our after party. They loved meeting up with ravelry friends, sharing their fiber haul, shopping for new projects, learning new techniques and of course lots and lots of free knitting time. We pretty much take over the hotel lobby and it’s a fun knitting hangout all day and into the evening. Attendees love the free time built into the schedule to work on class projects or tour the local area with friends. There are openings left in all workshops and we have scored a great hotel rate (details here). We can’t wait to see you!

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