Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

the lace lessons

Thursday, October 13th, 2016


for quite a few months we’ve been steadily working on a new book of little nothings scarves and variations and finally now—it’s ready to purchase!

The Lace Lessons is meant to be a useful resource for lace knitters, particularly those who are taking on lace for the first time or struggling to enjoy its allure. While not a formal manual encompassing the whole vast subject of lace knitting by any means, the “lessons” are in the designs themselves—the kind we absorb by example and by doing, and not always related to actual knitting.


The design included are all new, fresh additions to a collection of designs I call “Little Nothings”—a series of simple scarf patterns which has been extremely popular with readers and users.


Each piece features only one overall stitch pattern, like a swatch that is large enough to wear—just enough of a scarf to drive off a chill or add a spot of color to an outfit. These small, lightweight accent pieces work up quickly, travel well, and make excellent learning projects.


for several of the designs, i’ve created new variations as well, that take the motif into a different direction, such as a triangular scarf/shawlette or cowl.


most are one-skein projects—usually one four ounce skein, but some can be knit with just two ounces of yarn, like the mini neckerchief shown above!


the book starts out with a few very simple designs that should be manageable for new lace knitters, in sport and DK weight yarn with simple openwork motifs and lots of solid background.


we fondly call these “husband scarves” because they have unisex appeal and can be knit in a variety of yarns. as is my custom, the patterns include both written and charted instructions—making it a great resource for teaching yourself to knit from charts if you desire.


but we all know they are not just for men—they can be worn by anyone and in a slinky shiny yarn like our new deco—completely feminine (you’ll be able to see this yarn in person at our rhinebeck events).


after the section of husband scarves, the book offers a group of fancier scarves with more openwork, that can be knit in more delicate yarns.

while visually complex, most of these are surprisingly easy to work and offer both a relaxing and engrossing lace experience. with just a little organization, it’s easy to be working steadily along on one of these in no time.


wherever possible, we’ve chosen to show the designs in alternate colorways, sizes, yarn types, and/or yarn weights. our knitspot ravelry group already has a KAL in place, an extension of the test knitting group. they are a completely entertaining and fun group, but also extremely knowledgeable; please join us there to knit a scarf or two!


the judith scarf for instance is knit once in this fine silk yarn to create a delicate, but really sexy lightweight scarf that feels fantastic against the neck.


then again, we knit it up in our own chebris mohair/merino lace yarn for this spectacular large, airy scarf/wrap. same number of stitches to cast on and still just one skein, it it completely transformed when knit on bigger needles in this yarn that blooms with a pretty halo of fiber to upholster each leaf shape.


and luce stellare, knit above in a dark shade of fine merino/silk lace yarn is wonderfully transparent, nonetheless.


if you’re hesitant to work with such a fine yarn, these designs are flexible enough to work in an alternate—try a heavier yarn on larger needles for your first time out and once you get the hang of things, graduate to smaller needles and yarn for the next piece.


the book includes instructional sections about how to substitute yarns and needles, what to look for when creating an alternate fabric weight, and a general guide to working with our bare naked wools yarns.


there is also a section about washing, blocking and caring for your finished project, so you can show it off to its best advantage.


the designs in the last section are inspired by the landscape, culture, and art i found so impressive in my recent alaskan travels. i was so excited that i even set right to work on swatches in my cabin at night.


this set of mendenhall scarf, taku cowl, and tongass creek crescent shawl, for example, represent reflections on the terrain of the glacial formation we saw during the trip.


another cowl and scarf were inspired by the fantastic woven and painted hats created by women artists of the haida culture.


the collected patterns may be purchased in eBook from in both our knitspot pattern shop (click here to purchase or view more information) and in our ravelry pattern shop (click her to purchase if you want the book in your ravelry library).


the patterns are also available for individual purchase if desired;  you can find all of them in our ravelry pattern shop or in our knitspot pattern shop.


erica has also concocted kits for each one, including several with exclusive hand dyed yarns—click here to browse the selection of kits in our online shop.

and if you are coming to rhinebeck, please visit our booth at the indie untangled event on friday evening, where we will have all the scarf samples on display, with kits and individual patterns available for purchase (including our new deco yarn).


and if you can’t make it to that event, please join us on sunday at the marriott hotel in kingston for the bare naked wools popup shop, from 11 am to 9 pm; we will have ALL of our luscious yarns on display, tons of samples, patterns, and well, fun! please stop by to say hello and browse our beautiful wares.


i hope you will enjoy this new collection; it is a wonderful resource for gift knitting and inspiration. many thanks to all of the dyers, knitters, and models who contributed to the production of my book; it wouldn’t have happened without you!


chained to you

Sunday, September 25th, 2016


you might not be pulling out cold weather knits quite yet to wear, but you might be making your holiday knits list, thinking of yarns to look for at fall shows, or looking for small, portable projects to take along on fall excursions. and we have a trio of possibilities for you.


this adorable set of worsted weight accessories was featured in the kickoff segment of our IMMERSION club in february. knit up in in the exclusive blue colorway le dauphin in spirit trail verdande, this trio is a quick, fun knit to brighten up those mid-winter days.


featuring an unusual cable that creates a chain look, the hat, mittens, and cowl were a delightful surprise to our clubbies and inspired a round of raucous fun in our ravelry clubhouse. over the next two months, participants enjoyed the speediness and satisfaction of finishing projects in plenty of time to wear them while the cold weather hung in.

each piece is designed for three sizes, making it a project that works well for stuffing stockings later on, since you can pick any size and it will surely fit someone.

and when knit up in a neutral yarn, like one of our bare naked wools worsted weights, it would suit any member of the family. just imagine it in super-cush and fluffy better breakfast or chebris worsted—oh my yumminess. and in kent or confection worsted, a go-to woodsman’s must-have (even if you woodsman is a weekend warrior).


first, the adorable chain of fools cap, topped by a large pom pom—who could resist it? just one skein of worsted weight yarn does the job and uses up every bit of the yarn.


ours has a bit of a slouch but it is easily shortened if a tighter fit is desired.


some people might prefer this look without the pom pom and that’s fine, too—simply eliminate it and make it your own.


with a second skein of yarn, you can add on the chain, chain, chain cowl, in the shorter length—this project knits up so fast you can even consider it for an emergency last minute gift knit.


got lots of that particular worsted weight yarn? choose one of the longer versions for a cowl that wraps double or brightens up the whole front of a dark coat.


and finally, the mittens—deliciously warm and cozy, these are breeze to knit with a fit that is perfect.


plenty of people on your holiday list will appreciate and extra set of mittens for cold, blustery days.


hard to believe we are talking about snowy weather already, when the garden is still producing juicy tomatoes, but you know it will arrive before we’re really ready . . .


all three patterns are available in our ravelry pattern shop as well as the online shop here on our website. to purchase patterns or view complete details, please click the links to check out the listings in the knitspot pattern shop for cuffed links, chain, chain, chain, or chain of fools OR here to view them in my ravelry pattern shop:  cuffed linkschain, chain, chain, or chain of fools.


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!)


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.