my cutest cardigan yet

Posted on 60 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing

boy has this been a lifesaver the last couple of weeks! there has been lots of adventure around here, both scary and exciting, which is why we’ve been pretty quiet for a little while.

back on st. patrick’s day, our little stray pal, cardigan, went missing and didn’t come by for his normal meals—usually we could expect him to show up several times each day to eat and play about the yard.

i got anxious right away and started calling the pound and the humane society on saturday, but neither one reported any sightings. we went down to the pound on monday morning, but no one had seen the dog. when i finally posted the disappearance on the lost and found pets page, i began to get a flurry of messages—”he” was actually a she and had been picked up by the pound early on the morning of the 17th. she was even able to have a visit with her natural dad, herman, because someone who works at the pound had adopted him last summer (herman is on the right below, cardigan on the left).

apparently they had both come to the pound last august with a pack of feral dogs that was rounded up in a nearby town. she was spayed, microchipped, and vaccinated, then quickly adopted out, but herman has some socialization issues and did not get lucky until melody decided to take him home.

when they called cardigan’s owner on st. patrick’s day, she said the dog had been gone for three and a half months and she didn’t want her back; maybe she was not prepared for the challenges of working with  feral dog. so with that clearance, cardigan ended up getting adopted out within a few hours. RUH-roh.

her new family brought her home to a rural town about twenty miles away and she seems fine in the house for a few hours, but when they tried to put her in a truck to go to the vet, she ran under the truck, started squirming like crazy, and slipped out of her collar to run away. oh no!—now she was lost in a place where she didn’t know anyone or have a familiar environment at all.

see? as far from our neighborhood streets as a place can be!

i found all of this out on monday and i felt just awful—we knew she was super skittish; that’s one reason we hadn’t gotten hold of her ourselves in all the time she was here. and then, we were doing so well at making friends and luring her toward the house—she was within a few feet of me several times, taking food. now she was lost, scared, and on the run again. i won’t kid you—i sobbed my eyes out to david over that; i was distraught for her safety and also because i wasn’t sure we would see her again.

i offered to help find her in any way i could and we kept in contact with the new owner; over the next day or so however, it became clear that the search wasn’t going well. we got to know the new owner, kathy a bit and after spending time working with us, she decided that if we could recover the dog, cardigan should come home with us. i really appreciated her understanding and empathy over this; she was awesome.

thankfully, the town where cardigan was lost has a very active Facebook community; everyone pitched in to keep an eye out and post sightings as soon as they happened. we went up there every evening (which is a dog’s time to roam) to follow the clues and get a sense of where she might be bedding down and getting food.

during the days when she was laying low and there wasn’t any point in searching, i could hardly focus on desk work, between worrying and keeping track of messages. i did however use the time to knit on my secret club projects for the month and make way on my second birches sample in cabècou sport.

i don’t have to tell you how soothing and comforting it is to knit when you have things on your mind. and it made me feel productive, instead of useless. i finished up the second sleeve and began the left front, which has that gorgeous cabled panel. this version will be nice and light and cozy-warm, a little fuzzy. i am constantly admiring the golden patina that is more apparent in this batch of the sel gris shade—the tussah silk used in this batch is a deeper honey color than in previous runs.

to ratchet up the odds of finding our little friend, i contacted a wonderful rescue expert named ramona, of jj’s ruff roads, who lives near us and specializes in recovering lost dogs to their owners. she was available to get involved and we started meeting to work on the case together (by now cardigan had been gone for five or six days).

working with ramona was fascinating. first, we just tried to figure out where she might be, based on the habits of most dogs who run. we looked for paw prints in places that were near the sightings—ramona was able to guess by her known weight which prints might be hers—then placed food bowls in likely places near those tracks, with a trail cam nearby. if she came along in the night and ate from the bowl, we’d see it on the cam.

once we could establish a food source she was using, we could set up a trap nearby. now, i know that sounds bad, but ramona (and my friend kade, a kitty rescuer) assured me it was better than being out in a dangerous place, where she could get hit by a car or attacked by coyotes. believe me, i was kicking myself for not trying this earlier when she was safe at our house; i just didn’t know where to turn for that help.

unfortunately, the place we thought were likely only turned up some possum and cats—no more paw prints. after a few more days i sat down and mapped out every sighting on paper and we met up on sunday to walk the route we knew she’d taken. ramona knew the dog would bed down near a water source, but there were several in the area. we hiked around each one, talked to several households, and left more food bowls in different spots. everyone was looking for cardigan at this point; some people already knew the story and were helping with regular posts. we just kept missing her . . .

we were walking back to the truck at the end of the afternoon and came upon a very small pond situated just behind a few houses, both of which had dogs in the yard. we were chatting away and making all kinds of noise in the field straw, when suddenly i saw her! there she was, sleeping like a baby near the pond. and of course we had no way of catching her—no trap, no blanket, just food and a bowl. ach.

we decided to wake her and see what she did—if we couldn’t catch her, we could at least see where she ran to and follow, then put food  down and an open trap to get her interest. we roused her gently and she got up slowly, very groggy looking. when she saw me with some hot dog treats she hesitated but turned and trotted away toward the houses and neighborhood. we followed and sighted her several more times, weaving in and out of back yards until we lost her. we got back in the truck and went in her direction, hoping to catch another glimpse. we checked in at a house where she was seen twice and sure enough, she was curled up atop of a pile of leaves there. again she got up, hesitated when she saw us, but then trotted off.

by now it was getting dark and rainy; we took one more turn around the town, placed the open trap up near the pond (not set to spring, just to lure her), and then headed home. then i saw her again as we were leaving town! sleeping in the grass in a field near one of the food sources. obviously she was tired; i hoped this would help us. we decided that since we knew she had plenty of food and she had certain places to sleep, we could let her relax and come back the next day.

omg, do you think i slept that night?

i was so anxious to get going the next day that i got into the car the minute ramona called to say she was ready. we hardly had time to check the food in the trap when we saw cardigan again, sleeping near the pond (thank you, mother nature for giving dogs predictable habits!). ramona set the trap and we laid out lots of yummy goodies in a trail leading to it. then we sat in the wet grass on a nice man’s lawn and watched from a little distance.

haha, and she slept on like a hog. after an hour and a half, during which we got to talk about dogs and working with feral ones, we decided we could probably rouse her gently and encourage her toward the food. we walked around near the pond talking to each other and mentioning her name a lot; she stirred but didn’t really move. then we got a little more assertive; i moved closer with some hot dog chunks and started tossing them while ramona quietly closed in from the back. cardigan got up and showed interest in me and the food, but was indecisive and hesitant. at one point she turned to go in the other direction but ramona rose up out of the grass and the dog ditched that idea to begin moving toward the trap, which was placed near her escape route of the day before.

she went right to it and faster than we figured she was inside and the trap was sprung. omg, BIG adrenaline rush for all three of us. poor baby was shaking like a leaf and trying to nose out of it when we got to her. ramona and i just talked and talked to her with calming words and tone but we were shaking too.

ramona went to get the truck ready and i stayed with cardigan, trying to soothe her. this dog has never shown any aggression in my presence and she didn’t now; she was just scared. we cleaned up the area of debris and carried the crate to the truck to take her home, then thanked the homeowners for allowing us to work in their yard. next stop, home!

as a precaution, she rode home in the trap so ramona could drive while i followed in my car. when we got there, david was on hand to help get the cage in the house and finally cardigan could come out. she was really very docile and stoic, though very scared. thankfully, not aggressive at all.

we all sat around her stroking and calming her as much as possible and after a while she relaxed some.

then a little more . . .

the first night and the next day she did not care to eat or drink, though she seemed a bit dehydrated. when ramona came by the next day, cardigan finally ate some peanut butter from my hand, followed by some food. she let us scratch her belly and ramona (AKA the dog whisperer, haha) checked her over a bit. i went to the pound that day to pick up some papers for her and talk to the vet there; they had administered flea meds and otherwise gave her a clean bill of health—negative for heartworm and parasites. so, no traumatic vet visits needed right now.

we spent the rest of this week figuring out what her schedule should be, what she likes, and how we can best help her adjust. i am finding that a drop of lavender oil on the back of her neck will calm her when she’s shaky; her bed is sprayed lightly with lavender patchouli deodorant that i use. i thought for sure she’d be thrilled to see our yard again, but she was visibly less relaxed outside than in the house. i suspect that being leashed made her feel limited in the face of danger—no ability to run from a threat. and that harness was uncomfortable too; we exchanged that for a martingale collar after two days. much simpler and very effective. david also bought a whistle 3 tracker suggested by ramona for dogs with flight risk; haha, she’s got her own fitbit now. not that she needs to lose weight—she came home a little lighter than she was before.

for this first few weeks, ramona recommends that we just work on building a bond with our dog and not push her too much into training and outings. she thinks that the risk of flight is greatly reduced in dogs who have a solid bond with their humans. being a feral dog most of her life, she does not usually engage visibly (usually looking away or down, even when interested) and doesn’t seem to recognize rewards as we think of them. food isn’t always of interest and she doesn’t seem to know what a toy is for; finding playful ways to interact is taking time. i’ve been reading like crazy and getting advice from ramona about what to try.

so far, peanut butter and long walks are very enjoyable and for that she has ended up with the right human—i love long walks. plus, she is now famous in the neighborhood; everyone wants to meet her. so far she is a champion distance walker; we can’t stay out long enough for her and i have great faith that she’ll enjoy running, once we know each other a bit better. even when it’s pouring rain, she really doesn’t like the walk to end and has begun showing resistance about coming in when we get to the back door, haha. i’ve ordered a waterproof jacket; i already know she’s not going to let me off the hook for a little rain—or even a lot.

the first day out, i took her on one of my usual running routes and realized that from her point of view, this option held danger at every turn—noise, traffic, runners, kids, deliveries, etc were triggering her run reflex from every turn. so the next time, i took her at quieter time of day to the less traveled spots nearby. the cemetery was perfect (we are very respectful at all times when visiting and we take care of all other business before entering).

she’s a shar pei mix (maybe shepherd?), so she’s very stoic and doesn’t bark at all. seriously, i have never heard it personally, though david heard it once when she still lived on the compost pile.

earlier today i had to wind some yarn and she enjoyed watching that, along with the great view from my workroom door. she’s starting to perk up a lot and once in a while she watches my face with that cute tilted head look that doggies give us.

it’s the little things . . .

yesterday we went to visit erica in the office; she did really well, so later this week we might go to a meeting with doug there. maybe one day this week we’ll try doing a bath—she hasn’t had one yet and it’s allergy season for us, haha. this morning we had our usual three mile walk, followed by some touching and cuddling before breakfast (still learning to accept touch and handling). this afternoon we’re having some serious work time in my office because i have so much to catch up on. you can see that she’s great help with this. we’ll go for another long walk this evening.

you know, i’ve never had a house pet—i grew up on a farm and while we always had dogs, they lived outside. then during my years in NYC, it was not really practical from the dog’s standpoint. since we’ve settled here in the house,  i’ve secretly been wanting a dog for a while, but i know david doesn’t believe in caging animals. then, when cardigan picked our house to take up residence, we began to talk about it and he thought that if someone actually abandoned an animal, then in all fairness we should find a way to open our home to her. and so we are living with a bit of dog hair on the sofa, a new set of accessories strewn about, and lots of great companionship.

i can’t thank ramona enough for all that’s she’s done to help us recover and adopt this adorable dog, as well as her continued coaching and guidance! in addition to working full time and parenting five dogs and four foster dogs, her non-profit organization, jj’s ruff roads is helping rescue community dogs in a variety of ways, restoring them to owners, rescuing and rehoming strays and unwanted souls, and partnering with similar organizations to meet joint goals (check out some of her cool rescue videos here, especially this one). if you have a few spare bucks and would like to support her mission, please consider a tax-deductible gift in any amount (click here for information on giving). and if you live locally, they have a big fundraiser event coming up on may 7, in partnership with pitties and kitties.

one last irresistible cuteness injection . . .

winter again . . . and again

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, food and garden

happy st. patrick’s day everyone! because we’re all irish on march 17th, right? i hope you’ll enjoy the day in all the best tradition; it’s a bonus that it’s friday, too—party down.

thank you all for participating in the giveaway of in search of the world’s finest wools book the other day; i found the comments fascinating and have plenty of food for thought regarding future posts and club yarn choices (of course that last always depends on what we can actually obtain, so i can’t promise . . .). again this is a book that i highly recommend for those who enjoy a good fiber read or those who are educators in our field—how i wish i could go on a fiber trek like this.

the winner of the giveaway copy is chris H, who was emailed about the win the other day; congratulations chris!

well, after a record breakingly warm february, march has proven less than appealing; we’ve been sharing the snowy, windy weather that the northeast states have experienced and it’s driven us all back indoors.

bad for running and biking, but maybe good for knitting and eating. i worked on the lower body section of my mega cable pullover, which i’m knitting in our better breakfast fingering yarn (poppyseed shade; darker IRL than it looks here).

this is knitting up much, much faster than i expected, especially considering that i didn’t spend a ton of time; it just moves along very quickly, being mostly knits and purls with just a cable cross every 28 rounds. suddenly i’m ready to begin the neck detail, which i’ll tell you about in a minute.

most of my knitting time last weekend was grabbed in between chopping chores—it had been a while since i spent any quality time in my kitchen and i was jonesing for some of that. and sitting too much in cold weather just makes me colder; i needed to get moving somehow.

so i kept warm by making soups to restock our freezer—we were suddenly very low. i cooked four kinds in all, including this curried butternut and red pepper soup (a mashup of  few different recipes), made creamy with coconut milk—so completely vegan. the flavors are both bright and summery, but warm and embracing for the cold weather; just what the doctor ordered.

in fact, this whole soup making rampage started because i noticed our standing army of butternut squash were beginning to suffer a few casualties, maybe because the basement was not as cold as usual this winter. every week i would find another small one collapsing. i knew i had to do something with the remaining ones soon. i just got a little carried away, once i started thinking about soups i like.

one new thing i tried was making these oven baked butternut squash chips. you peel the squash and take to the seeds, then shave or thinly slice the flesh. boil for two minutes in a big pot of heavily salted water (this supposedly helps them crisp up later), then spray or brush with oil and seasoning and bake. super simple and YUMMY delicious. squashes with long thin necks work really well for making round chips, but you can make them any shape. you can also cut them thicker to make squash fries, which i highly recommend as well.

since i was already chopping stuff, i decided to keep going and cleaned up ingredients for our favorite potato and vegetable soups as well (thirteen or fourteen vegetables simmered in broth? you cannot find a better tonic for what ails you).

and then, to complete the picture, i pulled some of our summer tomatoes out of the freezer and cooked a batch of tomato soup. i am always on a quest for just the right flavor—like campbell’s but better; not like tomato sauce, which is all wrong for soup. but i never get it; what am i doing wrong? this time i tried mushroom stock and a touch of vinegar at the end, but it’s still not what i’m looking for.

anyway, by the end of the weekend i had something like thirty quarts of soup in multi-sized containers to freeze, ready for quick suppers and lunches of leftovers.

when i had a break between batches or while one of them was simmering, i swatched for the pullover’s cablework detail. i think i showed you this first version last week; i learned a lot about what i need to do and it’s almost what i was looking for, but i feel it lacks depth and dimension at the very center front.

i cast on first thing last friday morning, aiming to inject more stitches faster so i could cable sooner and create that depth i was lusting for.

this kind of task takes lots of knitting, ripping, and reknitting, but i enjoy the challenge; i rarely tire of starting over. ok yeah, i guess i’m just a terrier when i get close to obtaining the results i want. grrr.

by noon it was looking good, but the more complex part was still ahead.

it was late afternoon before i could really see what i had and even then, it was scarily contracted and rumply looking. i was nervous that A) no matter how many extra stitches i inserted, it would always pinch and B) that even if i got it to block out, it would always want to shrink back. these are both valid concerns!

i soaked it well and pinned it out, stretching pretty vigorously to get the cable shape i wanted. i did not steam it, but that would certainly help. for now i just wanted to know if i was on the right track.

and it looked good; i pinned it up on the dress form to check the way it hangs and while it’s hard to tell with no seams securing it, it seems to work. there is inset body shaping that would eliminate those folds under the bust and help support the neckline. maybe a few small tweaks, but i was ready to start charting.

here it is pinned more at the height that i actually want it to land—i’m aiming for something a bit more sexy and not so sporty, so i want the neck a little lower. not plunging, but low enough to be dressy. low enough for a bit of cami lace to show out the top. low enough to maybe even drop off the shoulder a bit if one so desired.

later today i plan to steam this swatch well, then re-soak to see how that blocked shape holds up; it should be pretty malleable with some steam, which also serves to reshape in a semi-permanent way.

the pink rubber rings at the center of my actual sweater front are placed to mark the start of the cable feature, once my chart is ready—i better get back to it now!

it’s a little chilly at my desk, which faces out a west window, but i’m raring to go. and look, it’s begun to snow yet again; a good day to have indoor activities planned. feel free to substitute indoor beer lifts, of course.

our little pal cardigan continues to make progress in our quest for bonding. last week on a fine weather day, he played in the yard several times at catching the hotdogs bits i tossed from the window.

it is so entertaining to watch him come forward when he thinks i’m going to toss one and then retreat with lightening speed to eat it and watch for more at a distance. still, it was an interaction.

while still not allowing anyone to come very near in person, i feel like we are getting close to taking him indoors. and he definitely knows me by sight, smell—i’m the hotdog person (i just need a hat).

i know—i’m becoming one of those dog people, haha. eh, sue me.

knitting landscape

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, lace/shawls, projects

back in november and december when the temperatures were well below freezing and it looked like the winter ahead might be rough, i decided i needed a warmer oversized sweater—something in a heavier weight. my fingering and sport weight sweaters get the most year-round wear and those knit in our lofty BNWs are especially cozy, but when the temps hit the teens and below, i reach for DK and worsted weight ones.

since i hadn’t yet knit myself something with our stone soup DK in the marble shade, i pulled six skeins and sat down to design a cardigan along the lines of my caïssa or my dock and cabin designs—longer, easy-fitting, and textured.

i swatched a few stitch patterns, picked one that i liked and, as we set off to spend thanksgiving with my mom, i cast on for one of the sleeves. i knit maybe three-quarters of that first piece during the trip but once we got back home, the project was laid aside as the work on the winter ensemble picked up and the deadline for another sweater design drew near. with not much knitting time to spare over the next few weeks, my cozy sweater languished a while, sadly.

it ended up well, though—the time away gave me a chance to choose and chart up a large cable pattern to place along the front edges. the sinuous background texture and the branched cable gave me the idea to call the design birches. and in the marble shade, it is the color of white birches, one of my favorite trees.

during christmas week, anxious for some time off to knit, i settled back in with this project and enjoyed some progress—working with lofty, soft stone soup DK on size 8US (4.5 mm) needles, i was able to gain inches in a single sitting, which was just what i needed.

i was liking the front panel an awful lot—the large cable segued to simple, lush ribbing at about chest height and once i got to the shoulder, i began to muse about turning the lapel into a shawl collar.

i threw that out on instagram and wow—the response was immediate and unanimous. shawl collar it is. the shaping didn’t even require much experimentation; it practically knit itself, for which i was awfully glad. i know it looks weird, but when you bend it and stitch it down . . .

shawl collar origami!

in january ensemble once again cut into my knitting time considerably, but with just this one project on the needles, i was still able to make progress through a second front.

then, shortly after the last ensemble piece rolled out and the club patterns were done and dusted, i gave myself a couple of knitting days to catch my breath and by that sunday morning, i had a satisfying stack of completed pieces. i was truly going to stop there and write a long overdue blog, but the call of the steam iron was too strong and i caved (sorry blog, next time i will be stronger).

could not resist of shot of the strange and wonderfully shaped front piece.

it actually took a bit longer than i’m used to spending, but was so worth it—as the sun was setting, i folded up the last blocked piece. would i be able to resist seaming them that night??

no i would not (i am so weak).
actually we did go to a movie too, but i spent the rest of the evening grafting my collar and seaming. another advantage of a looser knit sweater on big needles—seaming is super easy.

now this cardigan could be shorter (i will probably offer two lengths), worn loose and overlapping, or belted, or you could add buttons. i like buttons, so what i did was to add three eyelet buttonholes for public buttons on the right side, secreted away in the rolled edge and one buttonhole on the opposite side to secure an inside button. my thinking was that the buttonholes don’t show, so even if i decide to wear it open or belted, they would be tucked away out of sight.

i finally got around to giving this one a good soaking bath the other day. the toggles i ordered had arrived and i wanted to put that final touch on.

i have a choice of these kind of flattish ones made from horn . . .

which have a bit of warm brown along with the charcoal

or these antler tip toggles (i even have a choice of colors with these)

these are more true gray with streaks of a lighter, yellowy color and they are round rather than flat.

what do you think? i’m leaning toward the flatter ones because i like the contrast, but either one is really good-looking.

i don’t have modeling shots yet; every time i think about doing them, i feel like i’m just not looking my best right then, haha.

i still have to finish writing up the pattern and then send it through tech editing; i’m thinking that once it’s all done, it will be truly spring and this sweater won’t be in such demand. so we’ll probably save it for a fall release, maybe during rhinebeck month. we’ll see . . . one thing is for sure, i am going to knit another one of these from our cabécou brillant sport—i have been drooling over this yarn since we first received it in the sel gris shade and now i’ve found its match. can’t you just picture that collar in our minky mohair cabécou  or chebris blend??

gosh i just ran on and on about that project, sorry . . . i think i’ll hold off on sharing more right now because there is at least that much to say about my current couple of projects.

i’ll leave you dreaming about deliciously juicy mega cables.

what’s up, pup?

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, food and garden


hello friends; i know it’s been far too long and i hardly deserve your attention, but i hope you’ll enjoy catching up for a bit? and holy cow, get a load of our daffodils; are they crazy-big, or what?

what a month! the last time we had a real post was when david unveiled the updated blog by telling you about our new friend. i want to update you on him first thing because i know many of you are animal lovers and were concerned about him.

during christmas week, this feral dog took up residence on our compost pile where it’s actually pretty cozy if he burrows down into the loose leaves. don’t get us wrong—we did  not WANT him sleeping out in the cold, but he seemed to prefer that over being near people and we didn’t want to scare him off to parts unknown by not letting him sleep there.

over the past eight weeks, we’ve been slowly, slowly gaining his trust by feeding and making a calm, safe place for him to hang out. he’s pretty relaxed in all ways except when humans come near. we love watching him; we’ve set up a dog cam inside the window to get a sense of his habits and eating times; you can watch a video of him on our youTube channel if you like! (it’s about five minutes long)

it took several weeks to get him to eat what i put out at all; he was so mistrustful. i even tried roasting off some plain turkey legs with carrots and sweet potatoes for him, but he wasn’t having any of that, thank you—into the freezer it went for a future time; i’m sure the day will come when he’ll be happy to have it.

as you can imagine, i’ve been secretly thinking of names for him because i love finding just the right one, haha; i decided to call him cardigan and david agreed it was a good name. i know it’s silly, but the dog is just so grampa-looking don’t you think, with that funny face of his? like a shawl-collared sweater. and if you take a look at the 7th earl of cardigan, well, he bears and uncanny resemblance.

our cardigan now feeds from a bowl much closer to the house and on good days, he allows me to get a bit closer, talk to him, and even began approaching me tentatively a few times. believe me, it’s not because i’m irresistible—he knows i bring hotdogs; what’s not to love? (thank you kade, for recommending that strategy!).

our neighbors are helping out by not feeding him randomly; we hope this will persuade him to come “home” to eat most meals. we set up a shelter crate for him but so far he’s not interested. he does roam the neighborhood throughout the day but sleeps here every night. he is generally well liked—no one has reported aggressive or annoying behavior from him, not even barking. we hope that we’ll be able to contain him within a the next week or two; after all these years, we are going to have a doggy, how about that?

i also had a birthday which went by quick, as we were still rolling out our winter 2017 ensemble collection at the time, but was lots of fun. david baked a gluten free chocolate cake that was deLISH and we went to pittsburgh for the afternoon and evening to visit the andy warhol museum.

in other new news, we are once again welcoming a new member into our human family—james and diana had another baby boy last week, jonah gray, arriving three weeks early with the spring weather.

isn’t he a sweet pea? and at eight pounds, i bet his mom is glad he WAS early, haha.

the rollout of ensemble and the start of our new bare naked knitspot 2017 club made my life crazy for a while, with plenty to do every minute between christmas and mid-february. we even produced a whole new yarn for that first shipment. saying that really makes me wonder A) about our sanity at times and B) where did we fit it all in??

but i’m SO glad we did because i just love the results—smoothie—a slow gradient fade of natural shades in a 2-ply sport weight alpaca/merino blend.

while the color range is the same for the entire batch, each skein is different and random—you never know how the colors in a particular skein will collide and play out.

some have a little contrast and are more subtle while others have more contrast and color changes. some are slightly more gray in tone and some are more chocolatey.

the club designs are an asymmetrical crescent shawl and a coordinating scarf. single dip members (full membership) can make their choice of one piece and double dip members (full membership + extra yarn) can knit one of each in the small size or a larger shawl or a stole size of the scarf. these designs are only available through the club for the next six months; you have to join to have access to them.

once the secret was out about this shipment, there were a flurry of new club signups and this yarn is flying out the door. but we still have a few spots left and will make room if you decide to join now!

and i’ll just add this—i’m almost MORE excited about the next shipment, which will go out in april. it’s a fiber i have wanted to feature in the club forever and just today while i was talking with erica about it, a new design idea popped into my head for the yarn that i can’t wait to start. i’m wiggling in my seat just thinking about it. ok, i better stop now before i give something away . . .

anyway, with all that high energy action in the late fall and winter, i had to take a little time afterward to regain my wits, knit, work on some designs, and fritter away my time (AKA swatching) a little more than usual.

i’ve been playing around with cables, some lace, and knitting on some designs for next fall and winter, but also for this summer. i know, i have my seasons all mixed up, but i’m chalking that up to the insanely changeable winter we’re having; one day it’s freezing and i want to knit cozy cardigans and the next it’s in the 70s and summer tops are my desire.

it has made me feel very erratic and scattered lately, but i’m going to organize all that progress now and write up a separate post for you to read on friday. til then!