a dickens of a yarn

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events, designing, lace/shawls

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our red skeins are starting to arrive, yay! so far, we have received the 1-ounce sets and some 4-ounce sample skeins to begin projects with.

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soon we’ll be able to pack up your gradient sets and get those out in the mail, yippee! and wow, you guys, THANK YOU for your preorders—we have sold almost everything we ordered from the dyer. right now we still have a few 2-ounce sets to sell and once everything arrives here, we’ll know whether we can add a few more in the largest size (smallest size is definitely sold out for good).

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we have reserved some full-sized skeins to list individually, in case anyone wants to purchase a single shade or a sweater quantity.

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speaking of which—omg, how much are you drooling over that darkest one? SO gorgeous and so unexpected; i think he might be my new yarn boyfriend.

anyway, here are the colors—david spent some time today taking careful photos to capture the color accurately (it’s hard with yarn to get it just right!). the shades are actually much closer from one to another in real life; when you place them next to each other, you can see that the transitions between them will be smooth.

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i just love how the character of the base yarn comes through and works with the red; when you look close, you can see a range of fiber colors within the shades. i showed them around at knit night last night to much sighing and lip smacking. amanda hit the nail right on the head when she said, “i think this is the first time i’m actually falling in love with a gradient”. do you hear that rita??

so, before i actually saw these colors i had thought i would name the shades after santa’s reindeer, you know? but then i saw how rich and tweedy and sophisticated they are and now i’m thinking i’ll pull the names from the dickens christmas carol story. ok, so what do you think of these (left to right):
fezziwig, christmas present, cratchit, and (naturally) scrooge.

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meanwhile my wrap, knit in the undyed shades of the same confection sport yarn base, is progressing very nicely. this yarn and pattern combination makes for a pleasant, relaxing project to reach for at the end of the day—or any time i feel the need for a break during this extremely busy time.

i was on the fence about how to arrange my shades (you could do almost anything, including a random pattern), but i finally decided to work two sets shading from light to dark. but i think i’m changing my mind and instead may go back to shade from light to dark at the center and back again. and then i’ll do a different pattern when i do my red sample—either a cowl and hat with narrow stripes (maybe even random ones) or a scarf in one set of four shades. so many possibilities . . .

now that i have red sample skeins to play with, i’ll be casting on soon with those. the pattern is all set to go—just awaiting final dimensions and yarn requirements (i’ll know those as soon as i’m done with my sample). i wanted to release it by now, but i was afraid that would be just a big tease, with the yarn sets not quite ready yet. it shouldn’t be long though before we can all enjoy those together. we are getting boxes from rita nearly every day. erica, barb, and david will be joining us for the knitalong as well; i’m not sure what they’ve decided to do with their yarns . . .

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hey, speaking of great things to knit at this time of year, have you seen mary o’shea’s new design, winter people mittens, knit in two shades of our kent DK yarn?

they are super-duper; i just love them

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(they remind me of our wedding/engagement ring patterns).

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mary, whose tullymongan designs usually venture toward stranded colorwork, is always coming up with the playful, modern color work patterns i wish i was designing. and often lately using our bare naked wools yarns, which makes us ever so happy.

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these are not only amusingly mid-century in their pattern, but so functional for really cold weather, with the addition of the optional lining in soft, alpaca/merino better breakfast fingering.

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not only that, but she designed them to have a string that will keep them on your person when you need to free your fingers at the tollbooth, bus stop, ATM, or for dog walking. no more losing one at the bank.

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in other knitting news, my interlaken skirt is off the needles. i snapped a few photos when it was just finished, to show you how awful it looks with the patterned areas sucking in and causing the plainer areas to pucker.

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no worries though—some steam blocking straightened all of that out enough that i could see it did not need to be reknit, just “encouraged” to lie flat and behave itself (yes, i may have mentioned the clapper, but not in a seriously menacing way).

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there was one small glitch though—once blocked, it was bigger than i had estimated, but luckily i had not submitted the pattern for tech editing yet and could still make adjustments.

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i made each panel a little narrower from the hip down to slim down the silhouette a bit, which will also shorten the length to just where i want it.

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barb showed up at knit night last evening in her just-finished cam cable pullover (also included in our january collection group), and once i had a chance to snap a quick photo, she dove for the skirt and pulled it on.

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she just loves this piece (and yes, she did drop her pants right in the shop to get a better look, haha).

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the stitch count and length are a perfect fit for her, but i’d prefer it if we got to that number with more panels that are narrower. that way there will still be a nice number of them in the smaller size that will fit me better.

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we agreed that she would knit the new, smaller version (this time in stone soup DK, river rock) and then we could swap samples. she is super excited to get her legs into this garment for keeps, haha.

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today it went into a nice soapy bath to soak and soften, along with my oculus coat, which i hadn’t wet blocked yet.

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the texture looks even richer and more defined, now that the fiber is clean and blooming and the stitches are falling into their rightful places.

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the awesome cable along the sides of the coat is finally able to spread out and lighten up a bit—we just adore its bold look. the mohair in the chebris worsted that i knit with (in dragée) is blooming like mad; it’s going to be delicious to wear, mmm.

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both are drying now; the next step will be to style them with additional garments and accessories to get ready for the photo shoots coming up soon. patterns for these and more will be available in our ensemble collection, releasing in mid-january. myself and a few designer friends have been working hard on some great mix and match pieces—all in shades of bare naked wools.

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now i can get back to working out the top portion of the shawl that i started over thanksgiving; it’s been waiting patiently for me all week. this evening i worked out a tentative chart for the crescent shape in a mesh pattern—i’m hoping it will work, but if not i have a plan B to go to.

ok, i think that’s everything i have for today. i’ll be back in a few days with updates (i’ll see if our bookkeeper doug can give us the scholarship numbers so far) and some newsy items about books, patterns, and gift ideas that friends have been sending my way—stay tuned.

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24 thoughts on “a dickens of a yarn

  1. I am in love with the reds! Barb is so funny but she looks great in the skirt and her sweater is gorgeous.

  2. I’m SO glad I ordered this gradient set. The colors turned out so rich!! I can’t wait to get may hands on it 🙂

  3. I love everything in this post, especially Barb’s enthusiasm! And I can’t wait to get my hands on my LARGE gradient set! And the skirt . . . and the cabled sweater, wow!

  4. What a gorgeous post. I love the reds, the mittens, the skirt. Wow. And yes, the mittens really look like they were inspired by your ring design.

  5. Love the skirt and those mittens! Your reds are beautiful….everything is wonderful…great post! Thank you for a great way to start my day!

  6. I can only echo everyone else’s comments, OMG great post! That Barb is such a hoot! Love the reds…can’t wait to get mine. Wish I wore skirts…but love that skirt and I do wear mittens and sweaters!

  7. Oh wow those reds… I can’t even pick a favorite, they’re all so pretty! And that skirt! I just love how it came out, so stylish.

  8. Really over the top…

    I guess what goes on at Knit Night doesn’t necessarily stay at Knit Night- a good thing in that I am glad that you share the fun. Hoping that when you are thinking of a photo shoot that you consider another video with Barb maybe at Knit Night- the last video was so memorable and so much fun.

  9. I just spat out my tea I laughed so much at the photos of Barb! Priceless. I love the names of the Dickens characters, great idea. The cables on your new coat design are so striking, looking forward to seeing this one some more. I especially like the darkest skein of red, it would make a stunning sweater.

  10. Wow, the skirt does look ever so promising!
    As usual – your photographs are awesome!
    Thank you for sharing these!

  11. I love the gradient names. I cannot wait for the set to ship! Your skirt came out fabulously. Barb’s a great model.

  12. Okay, never mind that last comment. I guess I should start reading the text thoroughly instead of just skimming the words and drooling at the pictures. 🙂

  13. Yowza! I NEED a sweater out of that gorgeous Scrooge colorway…I’ll be haunting the shop watching for those single skeins!

    And you folks have way too much fun at Knit Night!

  14. Those reds have the best color names ever! And Interlaken is looking to be my first hand-knit skirt ever, possibly in “Christmas Present” or “Crachit”. I love the patterning on the mittens, too. You’re batting a thousand here!

  15. Beautiful post, Anne! The gorgeous reds, the skirt, your RINGS, Barb, the mittens. I’m so glad I decided to belatedly jump in and snag one of the few remaining 2oz gradient sets. I haven’t tried Confection yet, and I love reds, so what was I waiting for?

  16. These reds are beyond sumptuous–no humbug there. I am in love with the skirt patterning, but alas never wear skirts. My niece will be here for Christmas, maybe she wears skirts.

  17. Wow! Great post, always had a weakness for shades of reds. This yarn has my name all over it. Hoping to touch and take some home Wed knit night.

  18. Oh Barb . . . . . hubba hubba!!! Those pasty legs are really doin’ it for me!!!

    But I LOVE that skirt!!!!!! Can’t WAIT to make it!!

  19. Love the rings-mittens comparison. Looking forward to hearing the yardage requirements for the skirt. I think it would look awesome with tights and boots. And I assume it would actually be warm enough for NE OH winters. (sjn821 on Rav)

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