Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

mayan puzzle

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

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with hints of crisp weather in the evening air and a big yarn sale starting tomorrow on our legacy breakfast blend DK (fingering too!), we all agreed this would be the perfect time to open pattern sales for my mayan puzzle jacket.

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this design has been trying to get out of my head and onto paper ever since i published the aztec mazes pullover some years ago, but i had a secret longing to rework it in winter white—i just thought that would be stunning, you know?

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well it was some time before the right cream yarn came my way and not until we began spinning our own brand that i finally had it in my hands. almost hilariously, i now have several options that are perfect for this design, among them Ghillie sport/DK (shown above in cream), kent DK (shown below in beach glass), breakfast blend DK (25% off starting tomorrow!), and luscious confection sport.

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the choice of using kent DK was made by our friend katharine, who knit the gorgeous sample that brad is wearing in the photo above. i wasn’t sure the kent would have the right amount of body for this design, but wow—i had nothing to fear; it’s just beautiful. and so light and airy with lots of bounce—thank you katharine!

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i actually got serious about getting this pattern published when we started carrying the ghillie sport/DK—this was the yarn i dreamed of. close on its heels came the confection sport and it, too, is a perfect choice. both of these yarns are light and springy with a hard-wearing 3-ply construction that offers excellent stitch definition.

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when we received our sample in ghillie knit for us by kathy in size small, tears literally sprang to my eyes as i pulled it out of the box, so perfect a match it was to the picture i held in my head for this design (thank you kathy, from the bottom of my heart).

i’ve been having a lot of fun styling it, since it fits my dress form so well.

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last night i sewed on the buttons, which i chose from our selection in natural materials—i liked these two-tone buffalo horn ones with this yarn, but we have several that will work.

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the ones katharine’s beach glass sample are simple black horn, for instance.

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and then there is this knockout version knit by anne marie in briar rose wistful—isn’t that gorgeous? BTW you can see this one and our ghillie sample in person if you visit our booths at this weekend’s michigan fiber festival.

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this is size medium and in the draper alpaca/silk/merino blend, it has a looser, more relaxed fit; if you choose a yarn like this and you are between sizes, it’s probably best to stick with the smaller size to allow for that relaxation.

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the sweater is knit in one pice to the underarms, then divided to work the yoke and shoulders. it has a looser, less tailored construction known as a modified drop shoulder (or t-shape), but the cable detailing along the side seam area and armscye helps to stabilize the shape.

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the entire garment is characterized by its texture—strong and defined, it is fun to work and makes a great statement.

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i had thought that it wouldn’t be appealing as a “guy” jacket, but again i was wrong—it is smashing and some guys will totally rock that look.

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to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to purchase in our knitspot online shop and here to purchase in my ravelry pattern shop.
(if you wish the pattern to appear in your ravelry library, please use this ravelry store link, thanks!)

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looks like we’re going to have some terrific weather for the show this weekend—if you are going, please be SURe to stop by to say hi andsnap a photo with us!

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gearhead

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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chilly and overcast as it has been during the weeks of june, i’ve had no lapse in my desire to knit every day—and with nice wooly yarns at that. i am actually hard at work on sweaters for fall already, so i’m content that the temperatures stay right where they are.

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you might be in the same situation—some extra knitting time on your hands due to vacation or summer work hours and looking for a project to get you ahead of the game on fall knitting? but you still want it to be simple and fun, right?

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of course you do! and this one might be right up your alley—mostly stockinette on larger needles with fun cable details to keep you ticking those rounds off. that’s right—i said rounds; this one is also seamless, so when the knitting is done, it’s done. ya gotta love that.

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and here’s the best part—it’s not only easy to knit and seamless, it’s also shareable—tell me you’re not sold now. it looks adorable on lauren, doesn’t it?

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i pretty much designed this sweater specifically for our friend bill and the prototype was knit by the very talented anne C in BNWs stone soup DK (color pumice). prototype approved by bill, we got to work creating a production pattern and when it was done

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our friend carie was just getting ready to knit her husband a sweater and when he said he liked the design, she volunteered to test it out in our kent DK yarn (color mussel shell).
despite going through a big family move to another state, she whipped right through the pattern and wow, it worked up a treat, didn’t it??

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dave is very happy. really.
it’s hard to tell from the photos but the fabric is extremely light and airy—surprisingly so. guys like that.

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and stop. it.—barb also got in on the act and knit up this delicious cotton version with ecobutterfly organic pakucho worsted in the rustic avocado shade. unfortunately the weather this week did not permit us to get photos for today, but we will bring you some great ones next week.

the terrific thing about the cotton version is its versatility—soft, warm, and very easy to care for, it works well for beach and cabin. i blocked barb’s sweater by tossing it in the washer and then the dryer; it came out wonderfully fluffy and springy.

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the cable detailing along the seamlines and front placket is classy and simple to work; it provides a great textural element and some fun for the knitter, but it’s also functional—it helps stabilize the seamlines and edges in the absence of actual seams to do the job.

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it has just enough detail to keep everyone happy. the result is a project that is no fuss, no muss to construct, but keeps its shape and great fit, too, for those hardwearing customers.

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erica has created a kit which includes pattern and knitter’s choice of three delicious BNWs yarns—please click here to check that out.  some of our yarn quantities are low, so we’ve listed the most popular sizes only, but ALL sizes are available on request—if you don’t see the kit for your color choice and size, please email operations@knitspot.com and erica will be happy to set you up!

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but of course, if you live close by and want to see our samples in person or put your own kit together, come visit us at the bare naked wools boutique. summer is the time for a fun yarn adventure with friends—take advantage of the fine weather to make the trip! we always have something in the shop that isn’t listed in the online store—you might even get a glimpse of something we’re keeping under wraps for the moment . . .

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ok, i’ll stop—enough teasing already.

to purchase pattern only or view complete pattern information, please click here to purchase in our knitspot online shop and here to purchase in my ravelry pattern shop.
(if you wish the pattern to appear in your ravelry library, please use this ravelry store link, thanks!)

and just for good measure, click here to view the yarn kit option.

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looks like it’s going to be a terrific holiday weekend after all—mostly sunny where we live (at least, that’s the story at the moment, haha). we are heading over to a big annual picnic party at a friend’s place and then sunday we are celebrating the graduation of our dear friend helena (hmm, maybe SHE can model the cotton sweater!)

hope you have a wonderful weekend planned; eat lots of grilled treats and fresh berries.

summer peas make me feel fine

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

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hello summer! with all of its plenty, the season of warm sun and fresh abundance is here. let’s parade it in with another pattern released from the 2014 BNK club—this time, two light-as-air shawl or scarf designs from the chapter celebrating luxurious cashmere.

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pea trellis is a pretty crescent in three sizes that is knit from the hem up, beginning with a fetching cable and lace pattern that forms natural scallops along its bottom edge.

soft as a cloud in a luxury fingering yarn, it is shown here in cashmere (mini size), but is equally gorgeous in blends containing mink, musk ox (quiviut), yak, bison, mohair, silk, and well, the list goes on.

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petit pois is the rectangular version of the same design, also presented in three sizes from scarf to large stole; the version shown here is a hybrid of the tall stole width and the petite stole length.

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as you can see, this duo makes the perfect mother/daughter or BFF set—not too matchy-matchy, but close enough that they identify you as connected forever. what a beautiful gift for a bride and her mom.

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both pieces are as versatile as they are beautiful—while shown as summer accessories here, do not let their airy weight deceive you into thinking they won’t work hard for you all winter as well—lace can be warmer than solid fabrics in fact—and luxury fibers even more so. part of their luxury is the fact that they are so very functional.

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i think these were quite a favorite with club members last summer and no wonder; the motif is easy to learn and knit, making either project a good traveler for summer vacation, days at the cottage, or quiet afternoon knitting time at home when the kids are away at camp.

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to freshen things up, erica has created a kit for the pea trellis design, subbing in yarn from another BNK chapter—soft, silky chambery mink. the shade is nearly identical and the fabric is slightly different but equally luxurious, with a heavenly halo. a nice change of pace if you’ve already knit up one in the cashmere option and if you haven’t tried a mink yarn yet, you will experience it at its best working with the natural fiber.

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if you’d like the standalone pattern for the pea trellis crescent, please click here to purchase or to view information in our online shop and click here to find the pea trellis pattern in my ravelry pattern shop.

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you can also find the pattern for the petit pois lace stole in our online shop as well as my ravelry pattern shop.

these patterns along with seventeen additional designs for luxury yarns in natural  shades are included in the BNK 2014 eBook—a great value. shop our entire selection of eBooks and club yarns in our online store

you can see various yarn ideas and size options by spending some time browsing our club project pages here for petit pois and here for pea trellis as well!

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it’s the perfect summer project, both to knit and to wear—why not start one now?

get my goat

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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when it comes to appearance and behavior, i think goats are my favorite fiber animal. i love their light, springy movements and delicate features; i’m amused by their funny faces, made all the more mischievous when topped by a glowing halo of curly fleece.

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last spring we were lucky to be able to explore mohair fiber in our bare naked knitspot club. and while mohair yarns are plentiful throughout the knitting universe, undyed mohair yarn is scarce—and nonexistent in the quantities we required for our club.

as you know, all we need to hear is that something doesn’t exist and we set off to make it happen. and so it was with our quest to provide a quality mohair yarn that any knitter could love.

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and so we began asking about mohair farms through friends and at shows; this research eventually led us to pinxterbloom farm in eastern pennsylvania, home to john and jeanne frett and their gorgeous flock of angora goats.

in addition to his angora goat enterprise, john  is a professor of landscape horticulture at the university of delaware and director of the university botanic garden.

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at the peak of the season, john’s herd numbers between seventy and  eighty goats, with as many colored goats as he can breed (breeding for color in goats is not very straightforward; for more in-depth information on this topic, please my BNK 2014 eBook).

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by diligent breeding, john has managed to develop a representation of about 25 to 30 percent colored fleeces; these range from reds (brown and fawn fleece) to black (gray and black fleece).

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interestingly, the reds are darkest close to birth and grow lighter as they mature, often ending up with pinkish, creamy white fleeces.

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during our visit to the farm in december 2013, we got to tour the barns and grounds to meet all the adorable residents. john talks about his goats as if they are people; it’s not always clear at first that the characters in his stories are animals.

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john names each new generation after a plant genus; the first born is given the name of the genus (this year it is redbuds, so the first is named redbud) and then each subsequent kid is named for a species in that genus. in march of this year, when i wrote to inquire about kidding season and the availability of fiber, john wrote:

Kidding is finished for the year. Five colored buck kids, 4 brown and one black, and five doe kids, one brown and 4 white. They are off to a great start. This year all of the kids are named after redbuds an early flowering small tree native in this area. Some of the names are, Cercis, Racemosa, Silaquestrum, etc. They are a great source of amusement and inspiration; watching them leap around and dart in and out of the barn is energizing and soul lifting.

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after a look around the place, we headed indoors to and down to john’s basement workshop, where fleeces are sorted and skirted to make them ready for sale. some will be sold to hand spinners at retail wool shows and the rest will be sold on the market for use in making textiles.

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john runs us through the process of sorting, skirting, and measuring the staple length while determining the grade and weight of each fleece. whatever isn’t discarded in placed in a bag and marked with this data, as well as the name of the animal that produced it.

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there was a good stock on hand the day we visited, with some fleeces left from the previous season and some still left to grade from the fall clip.

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as the work progressed downstairs anne marie and i wandered upstairs to talk to jeanne, who showed us the beautiful rolags of hand-carded mohair fiber (she gets pick of the fleeces each year!) as well as some of the beautiful items that she and john make from their handgun mohair yarns. jeanne teaches classes in natural dyeing and uses her soft hues in colorwork projects such as mittens and hats.

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jeanne does natural dyeing, handspring, and knitting; john is a weaver and has a big look on which he can produce blankets and other fabrics.

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we left that day with about 225 pounds of fiber ranging in grade from kid to young adult and in all shades—white, red, steel gray, and black. we drove it straight to sweitzer’s mill for drop off, planning that the largest portion—150 pounds of white and tan fiber—would go into our club yarn, a 60/40 merino/mohair blend in a heavy lace weight.

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the darker fiber—including 25 pounds of kid mohair—would be spun afterward into the first generation of our cabécou brillant sport yarn—in poivre (more about this lustrous blend later).

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the club yarn—chebris lace—turned out lovely and as soon as i had sample skeins in the house i began work on the design we’d be shipping with it.

the 2-ply heavy lace yarn had a bouncy hand and while a bit bumpy in texture, offered great stitch definition. with such a generous yardage (750 yards per skein), i had plenty to knit a shawl project that could be a triangle or square, sturdy enough to be worn every day, but with a wonderful bold edging to show off some knitterly skills.  i kept the main portion of the project in simple garter stitch, which showcases so well the rustic qualities of the yarn but also lends balance and drape to the final fabric.

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the mohair content helped the yarn block out to a beautifully consistent surface, with crisp points accented by a soft sheen. the result pieces were the deliciously soft and cuddly capricorn triangle and amalthea square.

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the triangle is simple, soft, and warm, but also dramatic when you want it to be. it makes a special gift for a new mom—something to toss for those walks between bed and nursery, or when sitting nighttime vigil with a fussy infant.

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and it works equally well for running errands out and about. the pattern includes several sizes so it can be tailored to any function or frame you like.

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on the other hand, the square shape of amalthea is generous enough to perform all sorts of roles—baby square, sofa throw, nap blanket.

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the garter fabric is sturdy and highly functional for these tasks while the grand edging gives it some fancy flare.

the patterns for capricorn and amalthea are now available for purchase in the knitspot pattern shop or in our ravelry pattern shop.

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last summer we started working with a small mill in ohio and eventually they took over the production of our mohair yarns. with the new mill came the opportunity to spin a finer laceweight yarn, so we ran some tests with our luxurious cabécou blend.

this yarn turned out SO beautifully—i just love the fabric it makes.

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hattie knit this stunning pine and ivy sample from just half a skein—isn’t it incredible?

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the way it catches the light; it takes my breath away. the yarn is fine, but has plenty of grip so it’s a pleasure to knit. it will work with such favorite designs as the alhambra scarf, campanula, and nightingale wing stole.

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and we also have it spun in the popular sport weight for more substantial wraps and sweaters

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like this morning glory wrap, the gnarled oakwood wrap, obstacles, or stonewall.

more experimentation resulted in the expansion of our chebris line as well, with variations in sport and worsted weight.

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the worsted weight is so light and poofy; perfect for featherweight blankets, oversized jackets, and soft, delicious caps.

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it’s a knockout in cables—wow.

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the sport weight makes excellent blankets, too. its lofty, bouncy hand—a direct result of using high quality fiber and handling it carefully—allows all of these yarns to be knit on larger needles than you’d expect. it almost seems as if the more room you give to each stitch, the more the yarn will bloom to fill that space. i love that!

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well, i could run on and on, but i’m sure you’re tired of hearing me talk, haha. how about a few more photos to dream on over the weekend?

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