birches

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gosh, i love this birches cardigan—can i say that? i loved knitting it (twice now) and i love its coziness when i wear it. plus, it just screams “FALL” and just at the moment when our weather turned seasonally crisp (finally—the temps dropped twenty degrees last).

and its oversized cut allows me to throw it on over anything—perfect for running out to the store or a quick walk with my doggie. uncomplicated, but with a richly proportioned shawl collar that always falls into place and a cable feature that’s a real focal point.

i knit this prototype sample in our stone soup DK yarn (color marble) because i know how soft and light it knits up, especially on a bigger needle. it’s buoyant, but still falls into lovely folds; just the thing to show off the stitch patterns here.

the cables are distinct yet light and soft, never stiff. the knit/purl texture has great stitch definition and that little bit of poof to accent its wavy tendencies.

and yet, not so springy as to lend the overall fabric an unwanted stiffness. the textures remind me of the thick stands of birch trees in upstate new york, where i grew up.

the construction of this cardigan is quite straightforward, making for some speedy knitting. it has a straight body with a loose, casual fit that is far from “unshaped”. the front panel becomes the shawl collar with a few sections of simple short row shaping near the shoulders.

the drop shoulder stops short of the bicep and some shaping at the armhole does away with the bulk that is usual with a full drop shoulder. a slight amount of cap shaping in the sleeve allows it to articulate without pulling on the whole garment—much more flattering and polished.

wear it loose and open or belted; add toggles or buttons if like me, you prefer a secure closure to keep things neat. the pattern includes four sizes from XS/S to 3X/4X; shown here is size M/L with approximately six to eight inches of ease.

this is another design that will work beautifully with all of our other DK options as well as several of our sport yarn options. i wasn’t very far into my prototype when i decided i’d love another— this time in one of our super-light and frothy mohair yarns.  so i knit this second sample in our cabécou sport yarn in color sel gris. it looks so fabulous on ellen that i’m going to corner her on our rhinebeck trip for a mini photo shoot and share that with you when my mission is accomplished.

to view and purchase pattern only, please click here for ravelry purchase and click here for knitspot pattern shop purchase.

david has put together kits in a variety of our DK and sport yarns; click here to shop the kit listing.

time to get this winter cardigan on the needles—if you start now you’ll have it done just in time to laugh at the cold.

speaking of time, i’ve got to get going and wrap up a few last details before i leave for rhinebeck. my dear friend kimkimkim is landing here tomorrow afternoon and i want to have everything crossed off my to-do list by the time she gets here. i can’t wait to see her;  we’re making the drive to NYS together—we have SO MUCH catching up to do!

please stop by our booth at indie untangled or our popup shop on sunday at the courtyard marriott in kingston to take a closer look at birches and all of our wonderful samples and yarns. and don’t forget all the other goodies we’ll have—rhinebeck colors kits, knit naked zipper totes, festivus 4.0 yarn and kits, plus our new patchwork gradient yarn and much more—be there or be square!

rhinebeck colors kit

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have i mentioned that we’ve put together a special week of surprises in the ramp up to rhinebeck 2017? even if you can’t make it to the festival next weekend, we’re bringing it right to your desktop with wonderful new patterns (like the field and shore blanket i released in yesterday’s post) and new kits.

today we are featuring a special kit to celebrate the vivid colors and crisp sensations of autumn in rhinebeck. the kalio cowl, lacinato cap, and colcannon mittens were real favorites among our pairings 2016 clubbies, then knit in deep, black/green shades of late autumn.

for the general release of the patterns, we’ve reworked the color scheme, this time knitting them in the river rock shade of stone soup DK with a feederbrook farms entropy gradient, custom dyed just for us in this sugar maples colorway that is perfect for leaf peeping in october.

we just love the way it turned out! a perfect riot of color and texture—festive, but modern.

each rhinebeck colors kit includes one 300-yard skein of each yarn (600 yards total) plus a special eBook version of three patterns PLUS a drawstring project bag to hold everything—totally portable, totally giftable.

The kit has enough yarn to knit BOTH a cowl and a cap (with pom pom) and probably a headband as well OR a headband, cowl, and mittens. each pattern includes two sizes which are well-covered by the yardage. you can use either yarn choice as the foreground color; we’ve knit the cowl and cap both ways—one with colorful leaves and one with the leaves in silhouette. we like both!

worked with stranded knitting technique, the fabric offers body and warmth; the high merino content lends just the right amount of slouch and and next to the skin softness. our sample knitters were enthralled, watching the colors advance.

click here to purchase the kit now and have it shipped or pick up in person at our indie untangled booth on friday 10/20 or our popup shop on sunday 10/22 at the courtyard marriott in kingston.
but don’t wait too long; we’ve been getting inquiries all week about our sneak peeks on instagram and i think these will go fast.
see you in RB!

thanks a million to our lightening-speed sample knitters vanessa and barb; we SO appreciate your knitting prowess!

gotta get back to nashville

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, home and family, lace/shawls, projects

i’m writing this post on tuesday because by the time you read it, i’ll be on my way to nashville with ellen, where we will exhibit at the super summer knit together market day. i am pretty excited about this trip; i lived in nashville during the early 1990s for a few years, when it was a fairly sleepy small city. now it’s grown and changed so much; i can’t WAIT to see it!

this will be a great opportunity to see our friends from the area; if you plan to come to the market day on saturday, be sure to stop by and say hello. we’ll have knit naked bags, all manner of patterns, and BNWs yarns in old favorites as well as the new colors we’ve been teasing on social media. plus, glamorous samples from ensemble collections and my own design portfolio will be on display.

such as this costa figueira pullover tunic in deco fingering yarn, in the chrome shade—one of a few fresh samples knit in a newer yarn. i just love it and will probably be wearing it on saturday.

it is SO cool. very many thanks to ellen’s friend coletta, who knit it for us. i’m sure she has an awesome ravelry page but i don’t know her rav name!

and then our long-time friend kathy knit this caïssa cardigan in ginny DK, our lusciously soft blend of cotton/alpaca/merino in the mississippi shade. doesn’t ellen look gorgeous wearing it? i had it on too (caïssa is an old favorite) but my photo doesn’t do the sweater justice and i think you’d rather see it on ellen anyway.

colletta and kathy really pushed the pedal to the metal on these and got them done in just a couple of weeks—there’s still time to knit one and wear it for late summer, just when you’ll be looking for a sweater to throw on at the end of the evening . . .

and of course you’ll be able to see and fondle the extravagantly soft oana cardigan designed by elena nodel for the BNWs winter 2017 ensemble collection. the sample is knit in BNWs chebris sport, one of our luxury mohair offerings.

this design would look (and feel!) fantastic in the über-soft soufflé shade, new to the chebris line.

if i could give you a squishing experience with these skeins, i would—i think it’s the softest shade yet, so yummy. it’s a beautiful oatmeal color, threaded with a mix of warm brown, white, and gray fibers. it maintains that silvery sheen that polishes all of the shades in our mohair lines (the secret to that is great quality mohair fiber).

also super-floaty in cabécou brillant sport, if you like that extra hit of luxury with your cardigan. we just got restocked in a shade we haven’t had for ages—check out the new batch of poivre.

by the way, doug tells me that in may and june, sales of the oana pattern raised $2,115 which we are forwarding the go fund me for elena’s cancer treatment. thank you to everyone who purchased a donation pattern or yarn kit during our fundraising period; they are almost at their goal!

behind the scenes here, the office has been abuzz with the activities of packing and prepping for SSK. ellen has been preparing and packing samples and kits for the booth, doug pulled many skeins of our most luscious yarns to fill our cubbies, and Cardigan supervised; nothing gets by her.

at the house, i washed and freshened up a selection of other favorite samples to display front and center, along with the new samples i showed you at the top of the post. we are ready to greet you, nashville knitters—come visit our booth!

in designing news, i’ve been diligently (and pretty monogamously) knitting my way up the back piece of my aspergillum tunic, which i’m enjoying immensely. with no shaping to keep track of, this stitch pattern becomes totally engrossing and addictive to work. mean, really—i can hardly tear myself away, and not just because i have a deadline.

addiction leads to great progress and i can often finish off a 24-row repeat in couple of hours of morning knitting. i will confess, i don’t keep track of my knitting time too carefully (and why? that would totally defeat the purpose).

even the wrong side texture of this fabric is amazing i think; i just love it to bits.

anyway, i’m almost done with the back now—that pink marker is the underarm point and i am a repeat or so past it today; two repeats for the armhole depth and less to start the back neck shaping. this top has shaping for both the front and back neck because the neck band is wide. also, beause i like summery tops to be a bit more open at the neck.

i do think, however, that i might have fashioned the front neck to be a little too deep for the width. i’ve ben changing my mind every day about whether to go back in and remove a bit from the shoulder height. for fitting me personally, i think i should do it, but i’m more “shallow” at the neck and armholes than most people. i know i can add it back into the pattern before tech editing if it seems too high later on—that would be a minor change.

i just love this photo that i took yesterday, of the unfinished back and the blocked front, side by side. i’m so excited to be in the home stretch on this design; i’ve been patient til now but i want to see how it all pulls together. keep your fingers crossed for me!

ok, gotta go now and finish up my packing. i’m bringing my tunic project to finish, along with some secret design swatching and a travel project i started in may—my see the sea shawl design in our smoothie gradient (i’ll show you that next time).

i’m pretty sure that Someone doesn’t know i’ll be gone for a few days; it’s hard to convey to her what’s happening without making her nervous. she’s learning to be secure, but not sure yet. i feel bad that for her, i will just disappear without any explanation. un fortunately, she doesn’t FaceTime yet.

at least i know she’ll be in good hands while i’m gone . . .

switchgrass

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in projects

the second installment of our grand ensemble summer lace KAL is here—switchgrass skirt in deliciously cool hempshaugh fingering yarn. i chose the kasha colorway for my sample knit—it coordinates well with any color top from black to pale lavender. this project is the perfect next piece for your summer knitting because the stitches are easy to work, it has no seams (i.e., very little finishing), and makes for terrific travel knitting; you can take it on vacation and wear it home!

and when you’re done, you’ve got a go-anywhere staple for weekend travel or a full day of summer fun away from home. pull it on in the morning over a swimsuit when heading to the beach and tuck a cute top into your bag to pair later for lunch on the pier or dinner in a swank seaside nightspot. we’ve put it together with the sleeveless version of our violet cardigan, knit in hempshaugh lace, color millet, but it can be dressed up further with a slinky, strappy top and wrap. you may decide you’ll need two of them!

hempshaugh has quickly become my go-to summer yarn for a multitude of reasons—shall i fill you in?
first (and most importantly for the knitter) unlike many hemp yarns, this one is super soft and pleasant to knit with. you might see hemp and think “oof, ropy and rough“, but not so with this blend; it has a measure of smoothing, soothing silk and a dose of merino to add some bounce and lightness. secondly, it is soft, cool, and dry to wear, no matter how muggy the day becomes; it always has a wrinkle free, freshly-washed look. it packs and unpacks endlessly without crumpling, even if your “suitcase” is a large sling bag tossed over your shoulder. and third, it responds well to gentle machine washing, reshapes easily, and air dries in no time. it behaves like an up-to-the-minute tech fabric AND a soft vintage linen at the same time.

let’s talk design details: this breezy skirt in nine sizes from XS to 5X has a drawstring waistband and is knit from the top down in the round. the fabric is solid through the hip and semi-fitted, opening up in eyelet ribs as the shape flares to a swishy mesh-patterned hem. it hugs the high hips just enough to stay put all day, but the overall feeling is loose and light.

the sample shown here in knit in size small to fit someone approximately size 4 to 6, depending on body type (it’s always best to choose a size by measurements rather than your “store bought” size). when a relaxed cast on is used, the waist will stretch well beyond the stated finished size to pull over the hips.

while i’ve knit mine in my favorite hemp blend yarn, the gauge will work well for our dreamy deco fingering yarn or chebris lace yarn as well, for a couple of dressier alternatives. or if you have a wooly, fall/winter version in mind, it would be fantastic in stone soup fingering yarn.

david has put together a kit for those of you who like to grab and go—with choice of BNWs deco or hempshaugh; click here to see details and purchase.  this might be your chance to try our deco blend in the new color, bronze.

click here to view pattern details and other yarn options in the knitspot yarn and pattern shop OR purchase pattern alone on ravelry by clicking here (please purchase on ravelry if you’d like the pattern in your rav library).

pattern details are included on each product page.

enjoy your summer; i’ll be back VERY soon with a blog update (i know i owe you big time).