going natural

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, projects

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right after my last post about this top, i took off the armhole trim and set in the sleeves i’d knit as an alternate look.

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i don’t know about you, but i really love it both ways! so obviously, i’m going to need a second one . . . good thing we have another shade in this yarn.

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AND another weight, a fingering yarn that knits up to a nice density. i’ll be knitting a skirt with it soon . . . but i’m also looking forward to a making a couple of long-sleeved tops for fall with it. i can totally see it as a cuddly thermal henley, for one thing—can’t you? (note to self: make three of those)

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after prancing about the bathroom in it and snapping photos, i put in into a basin with very hot soapy water to soak. normally i’d put it in a mesh bag and wash it in the hand wash cycle of my machine, but i had just the one item and it’s so light, i didn’t mind doing it by hand.

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the fabric bloomed beautifully in the wash and as it dried, i “encouraged” it some more by reshaping frequently (see my blocking DVD for this and plenty more great techniques).

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as expected shaping the pleats was simply a matter of pinching the fabric a little to make pleasing folds; after drying in place, they stay put on their own quite nicely.

the whole garment dried in just a couple of hours; i was surprised how fast. but then, the fabric weight and fiber blend really encourage it along—which bodes well for summertime wearability; that’s why i love my linen clothing in humid weather.

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in fact i wore it all the next day when laura and i traveled to pittsburgh for a teaching engagement—it felt like a soft, old t-shirt next to my skin from beginning to end; i wouldn’t lie to you about that. i’m changing just two things in the pattern—the sleeves (and only the sleeves, for some reason) lengthened a bit in the wash so they need to start out shorter and i think the neck could be just  little lower, maybe one inch. pattern is on the drawing board.

and see that skirt? that’s what i’d like to knit with the heavier hemp blend, once we have more shades to work with. that would work with lots of tops to make a two-piece dress.

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so yeah, on wednesday we went on the road—to one of our favorite shops that we’d never visited—natural stitches in pittsburgh, PA. i don’t know why we’d never been—it’s not far and we love them. the fact is that i just don’t get out enough, period!

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first of all, it’s BIG and has lots of great yarn. and secondly, they have one of the smartest, most connected staff i’ve experienced (see above).

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best of all, the bathroom is not to be missed; do you think that belted version of the ombré sweater would look good on david?  (have i talked you into it yet?) and if all that isn’t enough

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they carry bare naked wools!
zelda knit this beautiful tree ornament using several shades of stone soup DK. i don’t know what pattern that is (probably zelda’s own design) but you can find plenty to choose from in this collection by arne and carlos.

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natural stitches has stone soup in every shade and they’ve even knit some mighty beautiful projects with it

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david knit a wheaten wrap that is exquisite and was displayed in a very prominent spot in the shop.

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and zelda hit it out of the park with her distant shores pullover, designed by the incredible Iaroslava Rud (i have a serious crush on her work; go look!) knit in nature spun sport with the yoke in all shades of stone soup fingering—WOW.

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is that not spectacular?

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so yeah, we love this shop and we love the people that work there (david tried on my pedal pusher cardigan and received much feedback on how hot he looks in it).

anyway, after several staff members traveled here for a sweater fitness class in february, yvonne decided that they should being me over to pittsburgh to teach yarn voyage for the staff—i loved that idea!

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yarn voyage is jam-packed with cool information that i think is essential for anyone that knits or spins, especially those who teach or work in a shop. but i don’t run the world, so i have to be patient and wait til it occurs to knitters and shop owners to take the class themselves.

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and ideally, this is the kind of shop that you want to go to—where the staff is connected to the global community, they choose products they care deeply about, and they are  continually learning and applying new skills in an effort to serve you better. so next time you are in pittsburgh (you might be dropping a child off at college soon!), remember to visit natural stitches

well we just had the best day—i’m so happy we went and i hope we can do it again. it felt good to get out of the office for a bit too—it’s summer after all.

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after class was done, a few of us went out for fortification before laura and i headed home. a refreshing cocktail tastes so much better at the end of a good day.

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nice food is always good as well and i think everyone around the table enjoyed their local selections

as we headed out of town we chatted enthusiastically about all the great ideas we’d tossed around with our friends; that’s another thing i love about getting out and about.

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i settled in to knit with the last few remaining minutes of daylight . . . i’ll be back soon to show you what i’m working on next.

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18 thoughts on “going natural

  1. That sweater looks fab on you Anne! Love that Natural Stitches thought to bring you in to teach staff. That’s the kind of LYS I like to visit when I travel.

  2. I love the sweater both ways as well–such different feels to the look of each. I think the idea of lowering the neckline an inch or so sounds great–especially as the temps are in the 90s right now!

  3. I love how versatile this sweater is. I really liked the sleeveless version, it looked so light and cool. Dave’s Ravelry name is Davetony. (He and I were swap partners once!)

  4. Love the sweater but I agree, shorter sleeves and a slightly deeper neckline might be more generally flattering even though this one looks great on you…looking forward to the final version!

  5. Love, love, love the sweater. I found everything you wrote about, every idea, every person to be fascinating and inspiring!

  6. You look simply fantastic in the sweater and skirt. Can’t wait to see the skirt in BNW!!

  7. Love, love, love the new sweater! I’m so glad that you are writing two versions. I love the look of the sleeveless tank, but not so sure it would look right on me. I’ll be all over the other one, though! The neckline is so flattering. And another color, too? Fabulous…

  8. I am in the no sleeves camp, but can’t put a finger on why! Thank goodness I am not close to that yarn store–dangerous!l

  9. Fabulous sweater (both versions)! Looking forward to the hemp yarn, too! It looks like you had a great trip!

  10. Anne, thank you again so much for visiting us – we had the best time! Hope to see you soon!

  11. I’m very much in love with the neckline of this sweater and so glad that you put sleeves on it. I have some hope of being able to make and wear it now that it has sleeves.

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