vendange

Posted on 29 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, patterns

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we all have knitting heroes, right? i gotta tell you, mine is barb. cuz the only reason this pattern is ready to roll so soon is that she brought in the big needles and put them to work.

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first, she knit this gorgeous short version of my new cabled coat design, vendange. doesn’t emily look stunning in knit in this sample, knit in cabernet red vesta, a new merino bulky yarn from spirit trail fiberworks? (i once read that true red will work for any coloring and i think it’s true!).

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i don’t usually wear much red, but this one is rockin’—jen called it exactly right.

anyway, back to barb and how she is my hero, she barely had that red jacket off the needles—actually, she didn’t have it off the needles, come to think of it—when she was itching to start a second one in our chebris worsted (i was originally supposed to knit it but we all knew that would just slow things down).

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anyway, before i knew it she was dropping the chebris coat off for me to complete the finishing work. that was sunday. she is god.

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i got all the seaming and trims put on by yesterday and today we photographed it. and i just couldn’t take it off—this garment is simply to die for. soft as a cloud and nearly as light, it is both warm and breathable—my very favorite combination. i wore it all day and not an itch or a prickle.

thank you barb; i love it. i look froward to wearing it all weekend at the NYS sheep and wool show (rhinebeck)!

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this sweater has several versions and we love them all—from the short jacket, which is so sexy looking when paired with a skirt or dress as emily wears it here

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to the coat version, also in red vesta that i showed you last week. the longer one is elegant with pants or no nonsense with a short skirt.

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not to mention warm—if you (or someone you love) are fond of wearing thin leggings all year round, a longer sweater coat might be just what you were wishing for as the season begins to get chilly.

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and lucky for you, this sweater knits up so fast in bulky weight yarn that you can actually have one by the time the wind gets serious (and if you’re anything like barb, you could have one in just a few days).

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whether it’s the coat or jacket, hand dyed or natural, you will enjoy the cushy depths of its cable texture and deep, ribbed collar that converts to a button-up cowl

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speaking of buttons, aren’t these glass buttons by moving mud spectacular? sarina is absolutely visionary when it comes to making custom buttons—we write, enclose a swatch that is a good representation of the knitted fabric, and couple weeks later a little package arrives that contains the perfect buttons (even if you don’t think so).

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for the frosty beige chebris coat in color frappé, i ordered some from sarina, but until they come, i am using a set i sorted out from my big box of vintage abalone shell buttons. i love the way they look; i may just keep them on this coat and use the ones i ordered for another garment i am knitting.

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the chebris yarn has a really cool feature, a result of its mix of long mohair (which blooms to form a big halo) and short, fine merino (which doesn’t). as the mohair gets worked a bit and begins to really separate from the yarn shaft in long, shiny tendrils, it forms a sort of “fog” over the underlying merino, lending the fabric a frosted appearance. it is the coolest thing.

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mine has been washed and is drying now—and as it does, i’ll be “encouraging” that effect by shaking and reshaping frequently. it will take a little wearing as well, but i plan to never take it off for the next week so that should do it.

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yes, it’s going to be increasingly chilly as the week goes on but we will be ready.

shown above, long coat in size small, knit with spirit trail vesta in colorway vendange (BTW, vendange is the french term for grape harvest, but also an untranslatable word for the way the season feels). 1-inch flat glass custom buttons by moving mud. jen will have this color of vesta in her booth at rhinebeck and i believe she is also taking orders through her website.

shown below, jacket in size small, knit in the exact same yarn and colorway.

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we all take turns wearing this one—it’s the shop favorite at the moment, so cozy and yummy

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and finally on myself above, the long coat in size small, knit in bare naked wools chebris worsted, color frappé. chebris worsted is also currently available in dragée and truffe; we are expecting a good sized order of these and more shades in a few weeks—including a new cream shade (haven’t decided on a name yet). and as soon as we can score some dark mohair fiber, charbon will be in the works.

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to purchase pattern 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!)

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rev up your fall knitting by meeting up with us in the BNWs rav group threads or the knitspot rav threads to knit along and share updates on your progress. we enjoy a wonderful community of knitters in our groups—it’s the best place to get advice, ask pattern questions, and find support and answers; won’t you join us?

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ok, then, it is VERY late (after 3 am) and i still have a few things to take care of before i can sleep tonight this morning. tomorrow, kimkimkim arrives and i’m so excited i don’t think i could sleep if i tried! in a few hours, i need to bake that cake i promised her and david . . .

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she is gonna LOVE this coat.

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oh boy

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, projects

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it’s all about friends, right? our weekend at the athens fibre faire was filled with them, thank goodness.

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after driving in the rain most of friday afternoon and unloading the truck in a downpour, the rest of our setup went smoothly and we managed to put together a pretty booth

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at least, that was what a lot of shoppers told us as they approached our corner and were drawn in.

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we like to create outfits to showcase all the shades of our natural color yarns and how well they layer with each other. there’s so much to choose from! i dunno, maybe it’s an extension of dressing up barbie dolls, which i loved so much as a girl—i would sew up new outfits for them, one after the other and dress them in a different one for every hour of their day. poor dears . . .

well, at least it prepared me for something; you know how i hate to waste time, haha.

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anyway, we had many visits from wonderful knitters who loved our aesthetic and our yarns; i am always grateful when others share their enthusiasm and support for our brand and the producers behind it. kelly here follows the blog, has knit several of my designs, and has also purchased a few different BNWs; she not only appreciates knowing where the yarn comes from, but is sincere fan of the quality and beauty of the projects she completes with them.

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we also very much enjoyed getting to know our neighbors, sarah and her daughter from my sarah’s sweets. and guess what her daughter’s name is? anne—who wanted to learn to knit.

well, of course we hit if right away and toward the end of saturday, i had a chance to sit down with her to get started. the only spare yarn and needles i had were in my own project but i figured, what the heck and got her going on the purl stitch first, since that was the row i was doing.

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well, she blew me off the map, i’m telling you. not only did she get the purl stitch right away, but when we turned the row to start on the knit side, she immediately observed that a knit stitch is just a purl stitch done backwards. how about that? she learned so fast that i even had her doing the yarnovers and k2togs that are part of the pattern. knitting lace didn’t phase her at all—just part of the learning curve. erica looked on agog; she has been working up the courage to start knitting lace but has not yet tried it.

i am totally keeping the two rows that anne knit in my project—first of all they are perfect and second of all, it’s a gift knit and i think it’s really cool that this good karma is part of it.

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the next morning we reconvened and this time we brought an extra ball of kent DK we had at the hotel and opened a set of needles for her to work with on her own.

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we cast on 96 sts for a simple cowl in garter stitch and stockinette and sat back to knit together (clearly, not without some iPad silliness). can you believe how relaxed she is with her work already? the show was a bit slow on sunday so we had a lot of time to work; we were all impressed with how many hours in a row this kid can knit! when it was time to pack up to go, she had completed about five rows of her garter stitch hem. i hope she will write to me from time to time and let me know how it’s going!

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after a weekend away, it’s always hard to choose between dealing with the overgrowth in the garden and the overgrowth in my email box. but this week the garden won out because my computer was in the shop til thursday.

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that gave me a bit of reprieve to put up the nearly half bushel of tomatoes that had accumulated in my ripening area (and to be replaced by another big batch that was waiting on the vines).

we had a lot of everything else too, which we ate all week, yum, yum! my favorite from this week was pasta puttanesca with roasted tomatoes and garlic, eggplant, peppers, capers, olives, and codfish. deLISH!

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we are also picking wonderful baby power greens as often as we can use them—i’m so glad i planted that little cutting garden in august. fresh spinach, tiny zen greens, mei qing choi, and pak choi, red chard, beet greens, and erbette. we are fond of making large salads for dinner with salmon or tuna.

david also dug up the potatoes and sweet potatoes while i was away—these drying on the porch for a few days before being stored away. i already stole a few to cook with and they are amazing.

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speaking of cooking, last night and this morning i put together a huge pot of winter squash soup, using everything from the garden—butternut and acorn squash, garlic, celeriac, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, celery, onions, and parsnips. i put aside a big container to bring with us to rhinebeck for our friday evening meal after the indie untangled show. everyone decided they wanted to eat in that night. i’ll bake some gluten free cornbread to go with it; i think that will be a great combination. with cheese and apples from the hudson valley? heaven!

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progress shot of our freezer—nearly full now. there are a few little nooks and crannies left, but the garden is winding down and next weekend we expect frost. so i think we paced it just right . . .

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i even remembered to make something to give back—roasted squash seeds for the birds.

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the rest of the week has been a beehive of activity to get ready for our events at rhinebeck and to release the vendange sweater design. barb brought her completed short version to knit night on wednesday—isn’t it great?

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yesterday was so gorgeous, we took both versions out for a walk downtown to take photos with emily, who rocks it way better than i do.

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everyone is SO excited about this pattern release—jen is ramped up with vesta ready to sell in the spirit trail booth at the show and we will release the pattern in time for downloading to take in your shopping bag.

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long or short, it’s a wonderful coat for fall and winter—easy and quick to knit too, so you could have your own by thanksgiving.

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and for those who’ve been awaiting a glimpse of the coat in our chebris worsted—here it is! barb dropped it off after church today so i could take on the finishing work (we make a great team don’t we?). she was worried about the length so i reblocked the body and it worked out just right.

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i’ve got my work cut out for me this afternoon and evening; knit the collar, add the button band, and sew in the sleeves. if i get it done by tomorrow afternoon, i will wash it, too. i’ll take photos first so you can see it on the mannequin . . .

this is the small size again, this time knit in chebris worsted in the frappé shade—a frosty café au lait color that is to DIE FOR.

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she and i went through our store stock of moving mud buttons and found these—they look like chips of ice down the front. perfect. sarina is making a set of 1-inch size that i can pick up from her and sew on next weekend. it’s all pulling together!

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meanwhile, over at the office, erica and kiran are busy getting things ready to roll out on thursday. we have a truck to pack and plenty to do, but i will be back to blog before then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy birthday mister knitspot!

Posted on 35 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, projects

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it’s the first day of october and david’s birthday (ok, well my internet was down when i tried to post this yesterday, so let’s pretend it’s still the 1st). he did NOT get a basket of vegetables for his birthday; those i picked on wednesday.

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and yes, we are still collecting THAT many green beans every two or three days (this was an eight-pound haul). i just can’t bear to throw them out so i give them away to just about anyone who walks by the house. in this case, it was barb—not that she’s just anyone but, knit night is wednesday so after pulling out a couple meals worth for us, the rest went home with her.

for david, i used all those vegetables (plus a huge basket of swiss chard) to make a fairly authentic indian meal. i would have taken photos but my phone camera has been working only on and off and today, it was decidedly off. hmm, i just realized that i’ve mentioned two things broken down and i’m only on the third paragraph; what next??

let’s talk instead about something that IS working.

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thank you for all your enthusiastic comments regarding my new cabled coat design, vendange. the name, taken directly from the name jen gave to the yarn color, is inspired by the french word for “grape harvest”. here’s a sneak peek of what it looks like in action.

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david and i took the coat to a church downtown the other day for a photo shoot and i got to test it for true wearability. the timing couldn’t have been better; the weather had turned suddenly cold, windy, and rainy—a reminder that we are going to need sweaters like this from now on.

and hey—they might as well be wonderful ones that we want to wear, yes?

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the verdict?
this one definitely IS; i love it! i was worried that it would be heavy, but it’s not; it’s really nice to wear and SO cozy. the A-line shaping is just right—enough to swing freely around my body, but not so much that it’s bulky.

barb is knitting the shorter version and last night she was adding the collar, so she’s almost done. and she has started one in chebris worsted, for which i am foaming at the mouth (no pressure or anything barb . . .).

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i think you get the picture from the photos—smiles all around. look for the pattern release just before rhinebeck weekend (october 17 and 18); buy it either online here or in the spirit trail booth at rhinebeck. more details as the time draws closer; i believe jen has a promotion brewing with her vesta yarn rollout and we plan to do the same on bare naked wools purchases for this garment.

we will be showing that weekend at the indie untangled trunk show event and also our own event

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on sunday afternoon at the courtyard marriott in kingston, from 2 to 9 pm. come on over after the show to browse our popup shop and enjoy refreshments with us in a relaxed, social atmosphere. we are cooking up several promotions for the event; stay tuned for details.

ok, now, much as i want to just bask in the glow of my recent FO, i am already deep into the next one, which has been on my needles since i stitched the last button on that red coat. i’ve got a schedule i need to catch up with, for i am behind as usual.

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fortunately, i am once again knitting with a lofty, big, squishy, delightful yarn so staying on task is not difficult.

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this time it’s chebris worsted in the silvery dragée shade—to die for, truly. if only miss piggy could be here  . . . she’d be all over this one (stay with it through minute three). i am even more excited about this design than the red one i think—i even thought of the most excellent place to do a photo shoot, if they will allow us.

back to the present tho . . .

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tomorrow erica and i are off to the athens area fiber faire; this is a gem of a show and we are so excited to have a booth there. if you are within driving distance, it promises to be a terrific early fall weekend—why don’t you come see us? i understand that athens is a fun college town with lots of personality; it will be my first visit and i’m really looking forward to it. i know a few peeps are talking about being there—please stop by to say hello!

(that reminds me; i still need to pack a bag.)

so i’ve gotta get going now and get back to my packing and my knitting; hope you are working on fun stuff too!