when i tell friends that is is very gray in our neck of the woods (NE ohio), i am often treated to stories about the grayness in places where THEY’ve lived. then they come here in november or december and suddenly, they get it—they know gray in a whole new way.
above is a photo taken from my kitchen window the other morning.
yes, that’s right, i said morning—as in 10 am or so. this is not unusual; it’s merely november. december, of course is even dimmer.
which is why we have to create our own moments of cheery color. i’ve been allowing myself thirty to sixty minutes of cozy knitting over coffee before i start my day as incentive to get out of bed on these dark mornings.
snow has come early again this year and with it, the cold. this week, temperatures fell into the teens and then to the single digits, with wind chills in the minus numbers. brrr; it’s no wonder it’s so hard to get up in the morning after a late night of knitting.
so yeah, i’ve been swatching my idea for the red scarf design and finalizing that. it’s not exactly as pictured above—i wanted it to be truly reversible and this combination of patterns just missed the mark. but the photo serves at least one purpose, to give you an idea of the “before” state of the yarn. a little stringy, the sts not so appealing, right?
well, get a load of this . . .
nice transformation huh?? after a good long bath, this yarn fairly explodes. i’m so jealous for those of you who get to see its blocking magic for the first time. i’m knitting it all the way up on size 8 (5.0 mm) needles and i think i could go even a little higher. it seems like the looser you go, the better. the more spaced apart the sts are, the more room that fiber has to blow UP. the fabric is so light and soft.
i’m excited; this is exactly what i envisioned for our red scarf design—something simple and quick to knit, but with a bold, fun texture. i got this one on the needles right away after finishing my swatching and evaluation; i’m knitting the infinity version. if the light wasn’t so bad, i’d share a photo, but there’s plenty of time for that later on. it’s a scarf—we want to see it, but there won’t be many surprises at each progress point, haha; we can take our time.
what i’m really wondering about is when to release the pattern. it’s all set to go right now actually, except for final photos, final yardages, and final size. i’ve got educated guesstimates plugged in for all of those. the twins and david have the kits all lined up and ready to go as well. i’m trying to finish my scarf before the thanksgiving weekend so we can launch this thing, but i keep wondering . . . do i have to? i mean, i’ve never done anything like this before but for the sake of fundraising, should i release it so we can all knit along together?
let me know your thoughts on that.
last weekend, i put in some longish hours on the pedal pusher pattern and have the cardigan all written up now, charts and schematic included. but then i remembered i promised my friend anne C that i’d work out a pullover placket neck version, so it’s waiting patiently while i clear a few more jobs from my desk.
i’m almost there and once i’m done, i can send this one off to the tech editor. yay. i just love writing patterns; i wish my time wasn’t committed in so many directions right now.
but committed i am—just look at all these notes for our company meeting on thursday, where the main topic will be getting the word out about our thanksgiving weekend promotions. we have a LOT planned, starting with general signups for our blanket statement club. there is more in store, too . . . don’t miss it!
you know, we are always looking for great designs to knit up our bare naked wools in and while we were at rhinebeck, anne marie found wonderful pattern which she immediately cast on for in confection sport.
turn it inside out and you have another cowl! you can chose from five different stitch patterns to make various combinations, which elizabeth says are inspired by West African bogolanfini (“mud cloth”) textiles. i think she’s brilliant for coming up with this one.
because the confection sport is so lofty, anne marie knit her bogolan using a size 8 (5.0 mm) needle to reduce the density of the fabric (a change from the original pattern). with the larger needle, she also reduced the depth of the cowl. she used one four ounce skein each of white chocolate and dark chocolate and though we are awaiting our shipment of white chocolate, the nougat (a VERY pale gray) would be a good substitute.
meanwhile, back at the ranch, in addition to starting the red scare design and working on a schlep of secret projects for upcoming club installments, i’ve begun working on mister knitspot’s new hat, based on my boilermaker cowl design. it’s time—the winds have been fierce already and sadly, where he used to have a stupendous mop of locks, he has little in the way of protection up top any more.
his consolation however, is a terrific wardrobe of capos and hats, we’ve been building over the last few years. nothing pleases me more than knitting my man a new lid.
haha, the other night i asked him to put the cowl around his head so i could get an idea of the stitch count i’d need and when he did, the cowl size was actually perfect as is. that’s my david.
where the cowl was worked up from confection sport, i decided that a variation in soft, flannelly stone soup dk would be deliciously warm and cozy for him. i scrounged up a small ball of each shade from my knitting basket
mostly leftovers from recent color work projects. the only full skein i procured was in my main color—a two-ounce skein of marble in this case (we are restocking this shade as you read this).
i knit the ribbed brim and have started the progression of shades to the center of the deep brim and back—i can’t wait to see more. as soon as my next set of patterns are turned in to anne marie, i will let myself have a half day or so of knitting so i can indulge in this project.
i still haven’t decided what the top part will be yet, but i’m leaning toward the grampa’s wool socks look. i think.
tomorrow i’ve got the bocce hat pattern to release; something to keep our ears warm and not a minute too soon, right?
over the weekend i plan to cook a couple of pots of soup, one of them to be from this treasure trove of butternut squash i acquired from bret and connie. connie’s dad had such a successful garden this year that connie was using the squash to decorate for halloween. i figured she probably had extras, haha so i asked for some. a pot of squash soup and a pot of vegetable soup will work wonders for improving work days in our chilly house.
alright then, time to go relax and knit—see you tomorrow.