Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

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?

Spring Ensemble 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

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Firstly I want to thank the designers that have collaborated to create these lovely creations:

Bristol Ivy

Rich Ensor

Andrea Rangel

 Janelle Martin

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Anne Hanson (a special kiss for Anne)

Spring Ensemble, a mindful approach to styling and presentation, making our knitwear a functional part of your daily wardrobe. We have taken great care to ensure that the items in this collection are indeed wearable and not merely esthetically pleasing, although they are beautiful. The collection debuted at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend, the reception has been extraordinary, I can not sufficiently express how often I heard the words, beautiful, lovely, wonderful spoken as festival attendees admired the well dressed manikins in the booth. Barb and Anne were particularly fetching in their Ensemble attire. The reactions have been just great at the Maryland Festival, a successful debut as it were and we are admittedly very proud of this collection, and we are so happy to be able to share it with you. I hope that you like it.

Purchase downloadable Spring Ensemble patterns on Ravelry or in our Bare Naked Wools Boutique.

See the collection of Spring Ensemble kits in our luxurious yarns.

Spring Ensemble Lookbook.

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Our staff (Erica, Andrew, Doug and Lillian) have worked really hard on this project, thank you, your efforts are very much appreciated, especially Anne who has literally worked ceasingly these last 10-12 weeks, probably to the detriment of her well being. And alas a big thank you to all of our proof readers, tech editors, test knitters and models. A huge undertaking for such a small company, Knitspot/BNWs is boss.

Now the yarns, they are spectacular on their own (Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast, Hempshaugh, Ginny, Stone Soup, Chebris, Cabécou and Ghillie), all natural, no dyes or chemicals, nor harsh processing. Bespoke yarns created by Anne Hanson, whose knowledge of wool is incomparable (says I) and allows us to produce really excellent yarns – there are no short cuts taken or use of inferior fiber, just really good quality wool. You have seen our mills at work, their passion, commitment and attention to detail when creating yarn. We have also shared video in recent years of some of the goat and sheep farmers we purchase fleeces from and again their love of their animals, translates into better fiber. Much of our fiber is local, as are the mills, and we are striving to make these percentages even greater. If a particular yarn should be out of stock just now, either pre-order (if option permits) or get on the back in stock list.

Here are some of the Spring Ensemble patterns:

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Estlin Pullover by Bristol Ivy

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Salt & Pepper by Anne Hanson

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Costa Figueira by Anne Hanson

 

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Arques Sock by Rich Ensor

Arundhati

Arundhati Shawl by Andrea Rangel

zwickel

Zwickel Sock by General Hogbuffer

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Dust Devils by Anne Hanson

gibo

Gibo Auja by Janelle Martin

Cardita

 

Cardita Cowl by Andrea Rangel

 

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Janet Guthrie by Anne Hanson

chevi

Chevi by Anne Hanson