Bare Naked Wools

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in projects, yarn and dyeing

It’s here. What you’ve all been waiting for. The yarn that was inspired by our uber-popular Bare Naked Knitspot club! That’s right, Knitspot’s very own line of artisan fibers is now available!

Over the last couple weeks we have debated about delaying the launch of this line because all the colors wouldn’t be available at the end of January. We really did want everything to be perfect. So we contemplated delaying the launch until the end of February. But with even more contemplation, we thought – why? Why wait to reveal this beautiful, gorgeous yarn that has been arriving for weeks in giant boxes

via this delightful UPS man

and so diligently organized by Mr. Knitspot in lovely totes?

All of you have been patiently (and impatiently) waiting for the yarn to be debuted, chatting it up in this ravelry thread, guessing the names of the colorways, drooling over the sneak peek photos, and dreaming of possible projects.

Why oh why wait to release all the colors at once? Why not give Knitspot fans the colors we have for now and release the rest later when it comes in. It didn’t take long for us to ponder this option. All we kept thinking is, “give the knitters what they want!” So, without further ado…I give you Breakfast Blend, our first artisan yarn, in

Cocoa

and Oatmeal

available now in fingering and DK weight here.

Here is kim (lucky girl) modeling Squeeze Me Hat and Hot Waffles Mitts

to show off both colorways. Don’t they look nice together?

I know I’ve lost some of you at this point, because you hurriedly went over to the knitspot shop to score your skeins. You already know all about the yarn and you’ve just been dying for its release. For the rest of you that are sticking around to learn more about the yarn, here’s the skinny…

Breakfast Blend DK is a delicious, 3-ply pairing of soft, combed merino and alpaca, which knits up into a luxurious, velvety fabric. The alpaca contributes a silky hand while the merino keeps the yarn bouncy and light; the resulting fabric has a warm density and soft halo without weight, perfect for garments, accessories, or blankets.

The Specs:

60/40 Merino/Alpaca

approx 250 yards

4 oz/115 gr ±

4.5 to 5.5 sts per inch

needles size 5US/3.75 mm to 8US/5.0 mm

made in the USA

Suggested pattern ideas: Jackie, Bloch Ness, Rene, Caissa,

Slöfock, Strömming, Squeeze Me Cowl, Creel,

Hot Waffles, Fall Line Scarf or Cowl, Cabled Keyhole Scarf, Haselnüsse, Oktober Zest, Woodstacking Cowl.

Breakfast Blend Fingering is a delicious, 3-ply pairing of soft, combed merino and alpaca with a touch of nylon for added strength, which knits up into a luxurious, velvety fabric. The alpaca contributes a silky hand while the merino keeps the yarn bouncy and light; the resulting fabric has a warm density and soft halo without weight, perfect for socks, lace shawls and accessories, or light garments.

The Specs:

50/40/10 Merino/Alpaca/Nylon

approx 425 yards

4 oz/115 gr ±

6 to 8 sts per inch

needles size 1US/2.25 mm to 6US/4.0 mm

made in the USA

Suggested pattern ideas: Dovecote Shawl, Hazeline, Stonewall, Obstacles, LOVe Shawlette, Les Abeilles, Budding Apple Shawlette,

Longjohn Sock, Sign of Four, Bricker, Fishbone Gansey Sock, Gridiron SockRoger Sock,

Waffle CreamsCurling, Snow on Cedars, Tabata, Cloverleaf Lace Mitts.

So now that you have all the details, I’m dying to know which yarn strikes your fancy. And most of all – what will you be knitting? I’m off to work on my Squeeze Me infinity in Oatmeal.

struggling to be nice

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, lace/shawls, projects

well, one good thing—i did get away from the snow and severe cold by coming to the west coast this week. and maybe—just maybe—we are beginning to move past the rain and heavy gloom that has been plaguing the area since i got here friday, haha.

it reminds me of home; they’ve had so little sun for the last few days that the solar power for the greenhouse ran out. yesterday it dried up a bit at least, though the heavy cloud cover remained. i went out for a long run while kim’s family went to church, which felt glorious after being cooped up inside for most of the previous two days.

and today, finally, things are looking better, albeit intermittently.

ten minutes ago it looked like this—very promising, yay.

a good-sized expanse of blue sky, even—WOW.

haha, but no sooner did i download those photos than it all changed again. no matter; we are heading out anyway for some kind of nice walk or something in just a few minutes.

you might be thinking that all this bad weather is good for knitting and you’d be RIGHT. except . . . it’s all been secret knitting so far but for one item. i got a whole secret something knit on the plane on my way here—seriously, that felt SO good. i even got a lot of work done on another item during my travel time.

then when i got here, i started swatching for a third secret item, which i can’t show you either. but i want to . . .

however, i do have this, which is just a beginning, but which i’m VERY excited about.

this is that little shawl i mentioned the other day, the design based on the peu bourgeons scarf/cowl/hat pattern we released in last year’s BNK club. i’m knitting with the earl grey color of our new breakfast blend DK. it’s going to go very quickly, yay. i’m intending to write the pattern so it can be used with both the DK and fingering yarn weights.

last night the boys and i cooked some rockin‘ indian curries; i had my hands too full to take pictures, but boy oh boy, did they turn out good, YUM. we are going to do plenty more cooking together this week and i’ll try to be better about photo ops, or assign one of the guys to camera duty.

kim has been wearing the infinity scarf i brought for her nearly all weekend, even with her pajamas, haha. that makes me feel really good; i’m so glad she likes it. and wow, it’s a perfect fit for her, don’t you think?

so, actually, that’s all i really have for today. we are heading out soon, so hopefully there will be more later.

but here’s a blog that you might find a fun read—one written by our friend jo-ann of knitographical. she interviewed me a while back and the post has gone live; it’s a wonderful piece that really warmed my heart to read. jo-ann’s blog is fairly new, but she’s doing a wonderful job with it—could be a good one to add to your list of weekly reads. thank you so much jo-ann!

 

Making Time

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in projects

 

The week was off to a great start. Matt had Monday off and he felt it was important to make time for some family memories. We spent the morning watching inauguration coverage and then spent the afternoon at Henry Ford Museum. There were all kinds of special festivities because of inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We spent a good deal of time watching children ponder what good deed they should do to honor Dr. King.

Isn’t this a great way to get kids to stop and think about what they could do for others?

We also couldn’t help but peek into all the rooms of these historical dollhouses.

Miniatures are so fascinating to me. I had a dollhouse growing up and I was always taking little bits and scraps of things around the house and creating functional pieces for my miniature world. I still find myself today occasionally eyeing up something in the house that would be perfect for a dollhouse.

Our favorite part of the day was this special exhibit

of buildings around the world recreated in LEGOs.

Matt and I both played endless hours of LEGOs as kids. Oh what you can create with little rectangles of plastic that stick together!

The exhibit is a must see and ends with a discovery room full of LEGOs that kids can just go nuts with!

We were a little jealous our little one wasn’t old enough to play, because we were dying to snag a table. Baby Knitspot was a bit on sensory overload and spent most of the day like this.

He occasionally woke up to admire the bright lights and anything sparkly or to be fed by dad, in which I could get a few rows knit on Juerga.

What a fun pattern for on-the-go knitting! I’m sure most could get this pattern done in a night or two, but I was ecstatic I finished the neckwarmer in about a week’s time with the little knitting time I had.

My mom and I both knit one while watching episodes of Downton. Season 3 is getting interesting!

The neckwarmer accomplishment made me realize I could make a little time for knitting. I’ve snuck a bit into my evenings this week after Padraig goes to bed and it feels so good! I’m on the stockinette section of my Slöfock Cap in Shalimar Breathless DK, which is heavenly to knit with and divine to look at in the Emerald Isle colorway. The KAL is getting quite large on ravelry!

I finished one Wussypillow Mitt and I’ve cast on for my second

and I’m working up the infinity version of Squeeze Me

in Bare Naked Wools Breakfast Blend DK. This yarn is to die for! I keep stopping every 20 stitches to look at the definition and luster of the yarn and to squeeze the cake. The yarn will be available any day now. Aren’t you excited? Make sure you are on our mailing list, because this is the way we will notify customers the moment the yarn is available in the shop. If you receive our monthly newsletters via email, you’re on the list! If you don’t, click here to subscribe to our newsletter. And look for a special Bare Naked Wools eblast by the end of the month.

I’m off to knit with friends this evening and the boys are staying home. I’ve packed all my lovelies

and hope to make progress on at least one of these projects tonight.

Oops! I almost forgot! The winner of the Vintage Knitspot contest is bonnie! I just love this part of her comment, “My guy and kiddo think I’m nuts when they find me watching the same stuff over and over again, but I tell them it’s like knitting with old friends!” Isn’t that the truth!? Thank you all for the great suggestions of media to knit to. I’ve looked a lot up on Netflix.

In my next post I’ll tell you all about the monthly KALs, contests, and shenanigans I’ll be conducting in the #1 Knitspot fan group on ravelry. Make sure you’re a member! It’s going to be fun!

nippy

Posted on 25 CommentsPosted in designing, projects

ooooh boy, jack frost has arrived (uninvited) for visit—i don’t think i’ve ever seen such long, craggy frost fingers on our windows.

it’s really quite something. other windows have dancing starfish, frozen mid-whirl or christmas trees that blink perpetually in the sun.

just last week i was remembering that last winter, i ran intermittently for a while because of the cold and was congratulating myself on how much hardier i seemed to be this winter, out running when the temps dipped into the low 20s.

HA! then this week came and i realized that my layoff was probably just good sense and not me wimping out—it’s freaking cold when it goes down that low in a way that doesn’t feel healthy for running. the air burns my lungs and my digits never actually warm up, no matter what i wear. my legs let me know afterward that they hate me and my stupid vanity—is it really too much of a concession to just let them ride the exercise bike inside, where it’s nice and comfy??

ok, ok, i got the message. i told them i’d take them to sunny california to make up for my gaffe. they can run in bliss for a whole week and wear shorts while they do it, to boot. yes, it’s once again time for me to hit the road; i’m heading for san diego and long beach—TNNA is next weekend and i’m visiting dear kim for the week before the show.

unfortunately, david can’t make it this time; he’s preparing the website for the launch of our yarn lines and tidying up the last of the loose ends to start shipping our 2013 bare naked club (we’d love to have you join us! serious fun and adventure awaits). he wants to come, but the week before the first ship is always a scramble of last minute signups and he doesn’t want it to  get out of hand.

so i’m going off by myself on a very early flight tomorrow. after i finish here, i have to pack and more importantly, figure out what knitting i’m taking along. with most of my recent small projects off the needles, i’ll need to replenish my knitting bag with new ones from my go-bag pile. or just new ones, haha.

i thought about taking my quiviut mitts project, since it takes up practically no space in my shoulder bag and is very portable. but i need to reassess this project—which has very little going for it except its trophy yarn component and the fact that i’ve put too much work into it.

i finally figured out how it was that i so easily cast aside such a luxurious project for so long. it wasn’t hard; the truth hit me as soon as i started working on it—on this size needle (2.25 mm) it’s all just too fussy and small. between the dark color, the dry, blunt needles, and the fuzzy halo of the yarn, i literally can’t see a freakin’ thing i’m doing.

i now understand why the ribbing was complete, but the pattern (usually my favorite part) remained untouched—every single stitch is the definition of laborious. but did that stop me from putting another four hours of knitting time into it? NO.

if i wasn’t stuck in the car for eight hours the other day with nothing better to do, i would have ripped the whole thing back and knit the yarn into an ivy vines neckwarmer, similar to the one i knit with fibre isle magique several years ago—which i loved knitting and continue to enjoy as one of my all-time favorite, most wearable knits. but for some reason, i didn’t think of alternatives then.

instead, i have one mitt nearly completed and you know how that is—the bigger the investment the greater the knitter’s persistence, even when we’re not thrilled with the developing outcome. sigh. well, who knows; i just might go ahead and rip it out—it would be a great color next to my face and maybe wear better as a neckwarmer too. i’ve been known to tear down much bigger projects than this.

yes, i should just leave that one home and find a more appropriate yarn to knit these mitts with. or take along one or two of my unfinished sock pairs; there’s a novel idea.

why, you are probably asking did i even spend that long on them?? well, with my squeeze me hat finished, i didn’t have anything else at just the right point to travel—stupid me, i didn’t pack a pair of socks to knit.

but forget that for now, let’s talk about happy knitting. i love this hat! it’s nothing short of deLISH! when we got home, i wove in the ends and gave it a bath; it came out so lovely and soft.

with the perfect amount of droop; the weight at the back keeps it in place at the front so it doesn’t slide down too low over my eyebrows. that pouch is like a little heater—the soft folds hold nice warm air near the head.

i need to write up the pattern for this; i’m pretty sure i won’t get to it before i go, but who knows, i might find some time to do it during my trip. if not, then certainly when i get back.

isn’t my hat form fun? david found that somewhere and gave it to me for christmas. i just love it. i’ve never seen one with a face before . . .

here and there i’ve been working on the boy’s sweaters that i had hoped to knit for christmas, but never got off the ground. i did manage to get a full set of measurements for each boy when i saw them, so now i can proceed with confidence. this is a good traveling project too—some small pieces for on the go and bigger pieces for TV knitting. i could get pretty far with this if i bring it.

and of course i’ve always got secret knitting—there’s never a shortage of that. it will be good to get further ahead on club projects as well as some designs for the new yarns.

actually, one of those bags has a non-secret project-to-be. i’ve had this idea in my head since last march to make a shawl that coordinates with our BNK yak ensemble, the peu bourgeons and peu de pluie accessories. and now i’m going to knit it using our own breakfast blend DK in the gorgeous earl grey color, yay. i can’t wait

ok, so yeah, who needs an annoyingly fuzzy mitts project after all? to the frog pond it goes for reassignment as something far more wonderful.

i think i’m pretty well set for doable travel project with what i have here, but for insurance,  i’ll probably add a sock to the mix as well.

ok now, kiddies, time for me to take a hike and get my suitcase packed. i will be back with photos of the sun, the beach, and the many wonders i’m sure to encounter over the next week.

erica will pop in over the weekend as well to tell you who won the vintage knitspot giveaway and chat you up about whatever she’s knitting.

enjoy the cold and snow while i’m gone, you hear?