Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

first course

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Pairings July 2016

We are so excited to finally reveal all of the details around our first shipment of Pairings, the club we’re running through Bare Naked Wools over the next few months. Pairings ships in July, September, November and January, and each shipment is centered around the idea that knitting and eating have a lot in common. These two activities connect us through the process of making to other people around us, and allow us to share skills we’ve developed with those who will best appreciate them.

The first shipment of Pairings is our appetizer course. Shipped out July 17th, this round centered around the perfect summer food – salads. Our partner chef, Katharine Wainwright,  shared the knowledge that a great salad can be built off of a particularly well thought-out dressing. Katharine shared her take on a traditional Green Goddess dressing and gave expert guidance on how to build the salad of your dreams (including a clever chart I will certainly be making use of on a regular basis!)

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A great salad is bright, refreshing, and celebrates the bounty of the season in which it is constructed and devoured. Anne and Erica approached the yarn for this round of club in much the same way. For the Bare Naked Wools selection this round, they used Hempshaugh Fingering, a unique blend of hemp, silk, and just a touch of merino wool. This yarn has a great, lightweight hand, making it perfect for warm weather knitting. In the dappled greys of Buckwheat, this hearty selection paired beautifully with the shine and texture from the featured dyer, Dragonfly Fibers. Endive, a citron shade reminiscent of it’s crisp namesake, is dyed on Dragonfly’s 100% tussah silk base, Rustic Silk.

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Like the best salads, Anne’s pattern cleverly combines seemingly different ingredients — lace, colored stripes, and textured stitches — into a knit that is both captivating and gratifyingly speedy. A slinky pi style shawl with a delicately ruffled edge that mimics the undulating edges of lettuce, this project changes texture every few inches, so you won’t get bored (and before you know it, you’ll be at the bind off edge!) For those of you concerned with finishing projects as they come in, this is a great way to start — several club members have already finished knitting only a few weeks in.

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I am so excited to see what’s in the next round. I think my favorite part about this club is that each shipment is paired with a packet of information — including Anne’s thoughts on design and yarn choice, followed by chef Katharine Wainwright’s delicious recipe and thought process on the cooking portion, a selection of delicious beverage selections and recipes (cocktails, mocktails, wine, beer, or non-alcoholic choices are all included), and then the pattern. Pairings is so much more than a yarn club! To ask questions or see what members are saying about this shipment, be sure to check out our Ravelry group.

Pairings with a Partner: the joys of joining with a friend

Friday, July 15th, 2016

While the digital age has provided us with an outlet for connecting with other crafters in a social way, we also love the tactile, emotional happiness we get from attending a local knit night or knitting with a close friend. This is very similar to the feeling we get when cooking for family or an intimate group of neighbors. Pairings Club, our latest offering, really gets to the root of what makes group dinners and knitting so wonderful: the community of making and sharing.

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Each Pairings Club subscription features two yarns. One from Bare Naked Wools — a familiar friend. The other, from a surprise dyer — an unexpected, but welcome guest. Pairings also takes this a step further and adds recommended patterns and recipes that partner well with the yarns. While it’s certainly possible to work your way through the club on your own or with interaction in our Ravelry group, we’d love to think that it might connect knitters close at home, too. Here are a few ideas:

Join with your local knitting group. Sign up together for your own subscriptions and meet up each time a new one is delivered to try the recipe together. Who knows — this could result in a future soup swap, supper club, or cookie exchange!

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Join with a local friend. Even if they don’t knit, many of the yarns we’re including are great for learning on, and this is a great reason to get together. Have your packages delivered each to the other’s house to increase the chances that you’ll open them together.

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Join with a family member. If you’re lucky enough to have another knitter in your family, join together and race to finish the project. Open the packages together and think about how you can incorporate the recipe into that week’s family meals. Cook together, knit together, and celebrate the time you’re spending connecting.

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Join across the globe. Many Ravelry users form friendships that span countries and continents away. You may not get to see each other often, but joining a club is a great way to feel connected even when you’re not. Open your packages together online using Facetime or Skype, and form your own far away knit-nights.

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Of course, our Ravelry group is always open to any and all members, and the community aspect there is extraordinary, too. We’re looking forward to celebrating your successes, hearing your recipe reviews, and chatting about when the next shipment has arrived! Find the group here and say hello.

see the sea

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

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back in january we wrapped up our ENVY 2015 club with this final design—see the sea—an asymmetrical crescent shawl that makes the most of a gradient yarn or one with random striping, the kind of colorations you get when hand spinning with dyed roving.

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the pattern includes two sizes; one is a larger shawl (shown above) worked with two skeins of yarn, while the other works well as a shawlette or scarf (see below) for those single rare gems in your possession.

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on this raw day in january, when we headed for the water to photograph the shawl, emily braved the climate with only this shawl between herself and the icy wind.

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she’s such a great sport; thank you emily . . .

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this piece is terrifically fun to knit in a variety of yarns; if you don’t have something self striping in the stash to work with, it is easily worked in stripes of separate yarns or a handpaint with longer color repeats. a colorway with lots of contrast will show off the exaggerated waves in the pattern to great effect.

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designing for our clubs is one of the many joys of my work—thinking up surprise twists and turns that no one expects, making the most of a particular and specific yarn, highlighting its best qualities with just the right motifs and details, collaborating with a special dye artist to realize a vision, and then creating a photographic world in which to display the results—these are the ways that my work brings me close to our whole community.

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this particular design took our ravelry clubhouse by storm, with many members quickly knitting a first one in the club pick of that month, then moving on to knit another in something else. the yarn choice was a custom blend of  entropy sport made with sea cell fiber (instead of nylon) in a colorway dyed especially for us by lisa westra of feederbrook farms.

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lisa’s colorways supply the perfect palette for creating a gorgeous final masterpiece of undulating patterns that ebb and flow across the fabric surface. if you are spinning a tour de fleece project right now, this design could work really well with your resulting skein(s).

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the patterns are extremely easy to work, but if you are hesitant, there is also plenty of support in our knitspot ravelry group—start a thread with any question and you’ll soon have a group formed to chat your way through it! i’m sure there will be many clubbies anxious to share their FOs and advice on the subject, haha.

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speaking of ravelry, the pattern is available in our ravelry pattern shop as well as the online shop here on our website. to purchase pattern or view complete details, please click the link to check out the listing in the knitspot pattern shop or here to view it on ravelry.

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this entertaining and quick knitting shawl or scarf will make a gorgeous going away gift to a college bound teen or holiday gift for a special friend or relative—cast on for one today to knit through the rest of the tour de france or the upcoming olympics; it makes for great TV knitting if you’ve got a little experience under your belt.

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and i know a few of you could even finish one before our pairings club gets going . . . a great way to pass these last few days of anticipation.

don’t sweat it!

Monday, June 27th, 2016

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?