apple blossoms are out, yay. with morning temps that are still dipping into the mid-30s some days, they are coming in ever so slowly, but coming in they are.
in fact, after several false starts and retreats, the whole garden is beginning to make its groggy way to life . . . finally. hosts are poking up
and just just when i thought this would be the year we wouldn’t see may apple by the first of may
there they were the little devils, right on may day.
and boy have they done a good job making up for lost time over the last couple of days
they have begun to forest the back garden, creating a low canopy that keeps the weeds down a bit. i like them.
it’s the same all over the garden—where the fiddleheads were still locked up tight in their shells on sunday, today, some of them have sprung into their upward climb toward the sky.
after a full week of rainy, overcast weather, we have lots of bright green around us now.
broken up with flashes of magenta, pink, white, and purple—plus all the other colors of perennials in bloom.
and climbing hydrangea. it makes my heart jump for joy to see so many sunny colors—so much so that i was inspired to let it decide my choice of nail color today at the salon.
i love them! now i can look at them when i have to be inside working or knitting and feel a little spring in my fingers, haha. (and in case you need to know, here is it: vinylux #170 lush tropics)
speaking of being inside working or knitting, there has been a LOT of knitting and yarn activity around here. let’s talk about the yarn stuff first.
we got another small shipment of the chebris fine wool and mohair lace yarn that shipped to our BNK club in april (click here and here to see the projects we are knitting with this soft and springy artisan blend). this yarn has been trending on the ravelry top ten list for a couple of weeks and our clubbies have been going nuts over its almost-handspun character and beautiful drape, not to mention its light, sparkly halo. this is a lace yarn with lots of body that can be knit on needles up to size 6US (4.0 mm) or even a little bigger, with a generous 700 yards per skein.
the extras from our first batch got snapped up overnight right after the chapter went live, and then we all had to sit tight and wait for the rest of the run to arrive. we finally got the last hundred skeins the other day and david has listed them in our online shop, available to anyone who wants them. we loved making this yarn so much that we will definitely be doing it again; we made a great friend in working with the mohair producer and we all want to repeat our collaboration.
we also have a sport weight in the same blend, which will be lovely for lightweight blankets, medium weight sweaters, and soft accessories. this version just started arriving yesterday, so fortunately, we’ll be well stocked with it for a little while anyway.
then there is this new yarn we are working on that is a wonderful blend for more temperate weather and climates. we’ve had a test batch spun and we love the results; we’ll probably make a few tweaks and do a second test batch before going into full production with it.
barb and i have been playing with it and while i was swatching away and trying different stitch pattern out, she went home and knit a whole twig and leaf shawl in a few days.
she must have told me ten times how much she loves this yarn and we all agree with her. it’s bright white color, soft hand, and beautiful resulting fabric cannot be argued with—it’s a gem.
it blocks out a treat and hold its shape just beautifully—just look at those sculpted lace motifs, WOW. we cannot wait to share this yarn offering with you! now, i have to come up with something terrific to showcase it; i’m thinking a cute little cardigan will be just the thing.
and if that wasn’t enough excitement, we’ve also got two new shades of kent DK to list—but david doesn’t have those quite ready so i’m going to keep my lips zipped about it and let erica tell you what they are later on.
in addition to the two sweaters i finished last week and the pattern for arts and anne that is now in production, i’ve got a bunch of projects going on the needles. some of them are secret (sorry!), but i have my share of public projects, too.
once i got the sea pearl sweater pattern off to tana, our tech editor, i couldn’t help myself—i HAD to celebrate by starting a new one that i’ve been itching to get on the needles, this time in our worsted weight confection (the color i’m knitting with is the dark chocolate).
this is another sweater that goes back a ways; i first knit one for christmas 2009 in briar rose sonoma to give to david.
i never wrote up the pattern, but always wanted to—i’d love this sweater for myself. then when we got the confection in and later the kent worsted, i knew the time for this sweater had come. between our yarns and chris’s yarns, this would be a go-to design for lots of us.
just to be sure, i played around with the photos a bit in photoShop to see how it would look in a more neutral tone. yeah, this is going to be stunning in natural color yarns.
plus, i have a special catch of gray-green sonoma that chris gifted me as well, for a color version.
and holy cow is this thing knitting up fast. i remember i made the original one in less than a week (you know me and my christmas brainstorms!) and now i see how—it practically knits itself in worsted weight stockinette; i knit one sleeve each night over the weekend.
and last night i started the bottom ribbing for the body, which is knit in one piece to the underarms, then joined with the sleeves to knit the yoke in one piece also. this is the kind of project i end up knitting on all through the night, promising myself that i will go to bed after the next row, then the next repeat, then the next pattern landmark, til all of a sudden, i’ve completed another piece.
and what’s wrong with a little instant gratification once in a while, i ask you? especially when there is always plenty of lace this and fingering that on the menu . . .
needless to say, i am having a blast barreling through this one and already looking forward to knitting up the color version. i know i should have made the dark one for david, but at the time i started i just wanted it for myself. and hey, he can knit his OWN sweater now—he’s good enough to do it.
in fact, as long as we’re up in the library looking at my current project, let’s snoop around at his end of the sofa and see what’s going on in his
rat’s nest organizer. don’t you just love that he can mix weather stripping compound, playstation consoles, iPhone covers, and some kind of memory card in with his other knitting tools and be totally ok with it? it was all i could do not to divide the box into completely separate areas for knitting, gaming equipment, and uh, miscellaneous, placing each item in the group where it “belonged” and where—heaven forbid—it was not touching even an edge of the knitting stuff. but that’s me . . .
i will admit that the chaotic environment of the knitting box does not seem to influence the outcome of the squish me hat, one way or the other—it’s beautiful in breakfast blend DK, color morning smoke. he’s almost done; he would be done if he hadn’t had to rip back—once when he had the top decreases done but realized the hat was not as long as he’d like (to put his hair into) and once after he restarted but then read the chart in the wrong direction for several rows.
now he’s smooth sailing again and i would bet that he might even finish this up tonight. it’s funny, he and sarah are both going through a little bump in the road; it’s something that occurs when a new knitter starts getting better and knowing what they are doing. they are intuitive enough now to not have to pay such close attention, but because they’re not, they goof up here and there. i’m sure we can all relate, haha.
ok, one last beautiful knitted thing before i close—are you ready?
look what cherie knit for us to use as a booth sample—isn’t that just the bees knees??
this design is based on the blanket that we made for kim’s wedding, which i showed you about a month ago. one of the options in the pattern will be for a version knit in strips like this—one strip in each shade of our stone soup DK, kent DK, Breakfast Blend DK, or confection worsted yarn.
we chose to do a dark-to-light ombré sequence, but you could alternate just two or three shades. for a larger size blanket you could add a fifth strip as well. we plan to publish a booklet later in the summer with several blanket options, as the central focus for a free-form blanket club/blanket KAL. we will keep everyone updated on the details of that as the time approaches. all the big work on this is done, but the project needs some teaching and cleanup which has to wait just a bit til i get some other projects squared away.
but if you want to see this and several other gorgeous samples in person, come meet us in lexington at the kentucky sheep and fiber festival next weekend, may 16 through may 18; i’ll be teaching classes on friday and saturday while susan, barb, and erica run our popup shop—come say hello and see all of our gorgeous natural yarns for yourself.
and if you can’t make that show, then please do take a trip to the great lakes fiber show in wooster, ohio on memorial day weekend! it’s our local fiber show and we are so thrilled to be included as vendors for the first time. every single one of the knitspot team will be there and mister knitspot will be selling kisses for a dollar.
(david says one of these days i’ll be sorry if i don’t stop teasing people)