Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

summer peas make me feel fine

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

petitpois_peatrellis075_72dpi

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.

peatrellis882_72dpi

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.

petitpois995_72dpi

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.

petitpois_peatrellis097_72dpi

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.

petitpois_peatrellis136_72dpi

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.

petitpois_peatrellis123_72dpi

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.

peatrellis052_72dpi

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.

peatrellis752_72dpi

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.

petitpois_peatrellis059_72dpi

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!

petitpois_peatrellis183_72dpi

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

get my goat

Friday, June 5th, 2015

mohairGoat06_05

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.

herd06_05

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.

pixterbloomFarmB06_05

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.

gilbert06_05

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).

brownGrayGoat06_05

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).

brownGoat06_05

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

trilliums06_05

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.

pixterbloomFarmD06_05

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.

johnSorting06_05

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.

mohairLocks06_05

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.

mohairFleeces06_05

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.

mohairCardedFleece06_05

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.

mohairFabrics06_05

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.

chebrisLaceCreme06_05

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.

chebris-sport-poivre06_05

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).

chebrisLaceCremeA06_05

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.

amaltheaEdgingBlocked06_05

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.

Capricorn270_72dpi

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.

Capricorn240_72dpi

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.

Amalthea164_72dpi

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

Amalthea091_72dpi

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.

cabecou-lace-sel-gris2_lo785_55

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.

pineIvyCAB057_72dpi

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

pineIvyCAB024_72dpi

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.

morningGlory730_72dpi

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

morningGlory772_72dpi

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.

chebrisWorstedCharbon06_05

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

woodcutersToqueA06_05

it’s a knockout in cables—wow.

CrocousPatchCHE158_72dpi

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!

pineIvyCAB065_72dpi

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?

CrocousPatch080_72dpi

woodcutersToque06_05

Capricorn287_72dpi

 

double happiness

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

doubleHapp801_72dpi

looking for a fun, quick traveling project to take away this holiday weekend? no need to think twice—just cake up a skein of yarn, grab two sets of circular needles, download this pattern, and you are packed for the weekend.

doubleHapp921_72dpi

you won’t need another project because this one is so addictive.

doubleHapp573_72dpi

it starts off at the top with easy, mindless maneuvers—shorter rows all in garter stitch; exactly what you need while riding in the car, waiting in an airport lounge, or chatting with family and friends.

doubleHapp483_72dpi

there’s quite a bit of luscious garter stitch texture to carry you right through your travel and settling in phase of the weekend—the perfect vehicle for getting comfy with a yummy yarn choice. mine is our better breakfast fingering yarn in the mocha shade, yum, yum.

doubleHapp589_72dpi

you’ll probably be well relaxed and ready for a change of pace just when your top part gets to the right length. and presto! the hem begins just in time to buoy your interest.

doubleHapp541_72dpi

but it’s not just any hem—this one is two hems in one, sooo much fun to see it tick off the needles.

doubleHapp473_72dpi

the smallest size of this shawl can be knit with one skein of yarn and a few spare vacay days or evenings. it’s a great newbie shawl project, too—simple to start with just enough going on that it doesn’t look like a beginner work.

doubleHapp757_72dpi

it makes a smart little layering piece to keep or give as a gift.

doubleHapp667_72dpi

but if small shawls aren’t your thing, the pattern includes two more (taller) sizes.

doubleHapp545_72dpi

as with its crescent sister, love me two times, the size is generous enough to wrap in a variety of ways

and with the reversible option there’s no limit.

doubleHapp863_72dpi

shown here is the petite size, knit from one skein of better breakfast fingering yarn in the mocha shade.

doubleHapp376_72dpi

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!)

doubleHapp446_72dpi

i know that some of our friends who’ve been doing the ravelry KAL for love me two times are just about ready for a new project to start—join us in the mothership group with any yarn, any size, any pace, any deadline. barb is going to create that thread very soon

doubleHapp554_72dpi

we’ll be back at the great lakes fiber show this weekend in the same spot as last year; please come by to say hello and see what’s new in out booth.

We also have retreat classes going on here at the shop on friday evening and sunday as well as  yarn tasting on monday morning to end the weekend on sweet note. it’s not too late to join in; email us and we’ll get you signed up.

doubleHapp871_72dpi

our rollout of the new mohair yarn selections begins on saturday morning—we have very limited stock in these yarns right now (we are spreading what we have between the site, the boutique and the wool show), so online quantities will be small at first. we will also have some at the show as well as in our shop—come by and take a look!

doubleHapp667_72dpi

and if we don’t see you here, have a safe, wonderful holiday weekend—enjoy every minute!

doubleHapp599_72dpi

Designer Spotlight: Janelle Martin

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Hope you are all doing flawlessly.

Let me just say – I think you’re in for a treat!

Janelle Martin’s Interwoven Blanket made in Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup Fingering

Janelle first met Anne in 2009 when she invited her to guest judge for her local knitter’s guild show.  She had just started designing, so you can imagine that having the opportunity to spend time with a designer that she really admired was the chance of a lifetime.   It was during this visit that Anne mentioned a new endeavour; one featuring all natural yarns.  Hence, the creation of Fall in Full Color and Bare Naked Knitspot.

 

Cover_Shot_med_watermarked_medium

Janelle Martin’s Every Which Way in Bare Naked Wools Confection

 

 

The first designs Janelle ever created using Bare Naked Wools, were the Every Which Way Collection.

“The first time I touched Bare Naked Wools ‘Confection’ I knew two things: 1) I wanted to wrap myself in the yarn and 2) the amount of “spring” in the yarn would make it a dream to knit with.”

GIVEAWAY!

Janelle is graciously offering not only an Every Which Way Set ebook but ALSO an Interwoven Blanket pattern to all of our blog readers!  Winning is easy; go to Janelle’s designer page and check out all of the beautiful pieces she’s designed since 2009!  Won’t you tell us what pattern you love!?  Winners will be selected Tuesday May 19th at midnight, (so getchur comments in!)  We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday! Happy commenting!

***

 

 

This past summer, Janelle traveled to New Foundland, specifically, the arctic coastal tundra region where the Vikings had the first European Settlement in North America.  This stunning landscape inspired her upcoming collection.  “I find the remote and stark landscapes inspiring – nature has such beautiful lines and movement.”

Janelle’s collection will offer 30-40 pieces (shawls/stoles, scarves, hats, cowls, blankets, and possibly socks.)  If she can squeeze them in!  I mean, that’s A LOT of knitted goodness!

“I knew right away that the beautiful, natural colours and textures of Bare Naked Wools paired perfectly with this landscape. The collection also features indie dyers, focusing on colours drawn from New Foundland and it’s geographical cousins in Iceland and coastal Ireland.”

 

8yybMgy41rtA9D5wMi4RLERJxY7IjkRIvLddNw5zk8Y

The collection is being offered in three parts.  Part One will be released this August.  Part Two comes out at the end of this year and Part Three will be available in Spring of 2016.  Each part of the collection will be offered as an ebook or individual patterns.

Secret Society by Janelle Martin, coming in July 2015

Secret Society is a “teaser” pattern from the upcoming book.  The pattern calls for either Stone Soup Fingering or Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace.  It’s a bottom up, triangular shawl inspired by rocks found in The Burren, Ireland.

11083625_425135674333229_7164381261785680951_n

***

Janelle described her design process to me.  I find this aspect of knitted garments extremely interesting.  All too often, I’m wondering how a designer envisions a concept and thus, turns it into art:

My favourite items to design are shawls and stoles.  The large amount of space allows me to incorporate multiple stitch patterns. I call my design aesthetic “organic”. I like there to be continuous lines in my work, for the stitch patterns to grow out of each other. Often this means I have to create transition charts to move from one stitch pattern into the other. My complex lace designs, such as Cartouche Shawloften have five or six charts to handle these transitions, but the result is worth it.

huivi2_medium2

Cartouche Shawl by Janelle Martin Knitted by Mari AKA rapelleykset on Ravelry

cartouche_5_medium2

Janelle offered Cartouch as a Knitty pattern in Knitty’s Winter 2011 edition.

I’m drawn to the complexity of Japanese stitch patterns. Their stitch dictionaries show stitches that are combinations of smaller elements joined together and there is such beauty and complexity in their presentations. These stitch dictionaries approach knitting with a different eye and that is what I’m drawn to. I tend to combine patterns that share elements and can build cohesive designs out of these stitch patterns. An example of this is my Flower Bell Stole.

Knitting-2013-10-14_MG_8733_medium2

The cohesive element in this design is the raised flower bud. It appears in the attached edging, the bottom border, two different sizes in the left/right borders and in large form in the centre panel. The use of this element in various sizes creates cohesiveness of design. Of course, these stitch patterns “eat” yarn just like cables do and so I had to work through several iterations of this design before I found a final version I liked that didn’t require excessive amounts of yarn.

 

Here at Knitspot HQ, we are so excited to see what Janelle has in store over the next few months!  Her 3 part series is sure to be a treat for the eyes and a joy to knit.  We’re thrilled to be in collaboration with her and we wish her incredible success!

 

She wishes to mention one last thing:

I owe a lot to the incredible support, encouragement and mentorship provided by fellow designers like Anne Hanson and Kate Atherley, indie dyers/designers such as Kim McBrien Evans (Indigodragonfly) and Tabi Ferguson (Sericin Silkworks), industry professionals such as Amy Singer (Knitty) and Sanguine Gryphon who included my early designs in their publications, and Karen Crouch, the amazing owner of my LYS Shall We Knit?  I would not be where I am today without the invaluable resource these incredible women have been and their excellent advice.

 

My designs are available through Ravelry, Patternfish and LoveKnitting, as well as on my website (www.eclecticcloset.ca).