hiding right in front of us

it’s no secret that i hate secret projects; all that knitting and nothing to talk about on the blog. bleh.
as a workaround, i’ve given myself license to gush about the yarns i’m using, without actually revealing the project details. i think that’s ok and i know you want to know . . .

from the comments i’ve been receiving, i know that the natural dye studio is already a very popular dye house among UK knitters. and now that they have had a presence at TNNA, their beautiful yarns will soon be more well-known to US knitters as well (and you can always order direct!)

i’m knitting this week with their silk 4-ply singles, precious, in colorway heather. the yarn is absolutely delicious to work with—smooth and buttery, with rich color. the nearly-solid lavender is highlighted with some pink and subtly streaked with pale brown and deeper purple. the resulting fabric is washed with variation, thoguh not in a distinct way. just lovely.

then there is this other secret project that i started on monday night. it’s on a deadline; i might be able to tell you more about it next week. the yarn is from the woolen rabbit; it’s kim’s bambino sock, which she has replaced now with the very similar pandora sock, a beautiful bamboo/merino/nylon blend (the yarn i used for pea vines and potager). the colorway i’m working with is woodrose.

suffice it to say that this project is practically knitting itself and flying off the needles; i should be able to finish it today (well let’s just say, i better finish it today, heh).

i mentioned the other day that i think my sock mojo is returning, and with the completion of david’s longjohn socks and the advent of chilly fall weather, i picked david’s brain to find out more about his favorite sock yarns (he loves the yarn i used for the longjohns, which is shalimar zoe). he said his other favorite socks are the tottering cables, knit up in zen yarn garden squooshy, which i also loved knitting with. i don’t have any more in the house though, and roxanne has replaced that yarn with her serenity sock line. similar yarn base, but with a touch of cashmere. so yummy. i do have lots of that in my stash, as it happens, so i wound up a skein in the copper peach colorway

which came to me in this batch of serenity sock 20. i adore roxanne’s colorways and feel a kinship with her love of squishy sock yarn. david and i both appreciate a cozy pair of socks . . .

i haven’t cast on yet—i’m pondering what to do with the design. i’m sorta feeling a need to make another gansey sock; i like that style a lot. i definitely want something that isn’t fiddly to knit; my sock mojo may be too fragile yet for that. it needs to be something addictive that travels well. i’ll keep you posted on it . . .

speaking of david, he’s moved right on to another house project, now that my study is done. this time, it’s roofing work. the extensions on the first floor of our house which were originally built as porches and now house the office and the sun room, have been badly in need of new roofing and railings for some time (well, since we moved in). he took the rotting old railings down last fall and last week, began demolition on the sunroom roof.

our back garden is now filled with debris, some of it very old and rotten, which is making me sneeze and cough like crazy. and for some reason, the job requires the use of a lot of indoor floorspace.

the sunroom is totally off limits at the moment because he’s storing all the materials there and because taking off the roof is making a mess in it—thankfully, he’s covered all the furniture with plastic. except for that footstool, but i forgive him . . .

since the TV room provides the upstairs access, there’s a pile of tools and stuff there too. even the entry hall is a staging area of sorts

i think the front porch has the only access to outdoor electricity.
contrary to what my whining may lead you to believe, i am VERY excited about this project—i’ve been griping and moaning about the state of those porches for years and no one is happier than me that they are going to be finished. we have saved up six different times for this project and finally, finally, we will have new railings!!

railings complete the house design, but are mostly cosmetic, so it’s one of those jobs that has gotten pushed off every year for the sake of spending money on another, more urgent jobs—like the front steps last year and the gutters the year before, and the storm windows the year before that. before that, it was the furnaces (yes, plural; there are two) and before that, it was the gas and electric service.
old houses are just black holes for cash, let me tell you; we are definitely paying for this place on the installment plan.

but finally, we are in the closing stretch of the outdoor renovation—once the roofing and railings are done, it will be just how we want it. we’re even starting some landscaping after this, yay.
honestly, i never thought i’d see the day, but so happy i am.

yesterday i persuaded david to take a little time out from his project to do a photo shoot of a few items. i blocked the wristlets the other day so we were all set to take photos.

even the roofing debris came in handy as a prop

look at that cool texture in the insect-eaten wood.
the pattern will be ready soon and i’ll be all set to stick some nice pictures onto page one.

ok, it looks as if this dreary day has turned a bit sunny, so i think it’s time for a nice bike ride. i’m signing off; see you next time.

18 Responses to “hiding right in front of us”

  1. The rich browns take my breath away! I love the photography. Amazing stuff

  2. Oh, please stop with the yarn pron! That Precious is so lovely, the color and texture really come through the screen. And I spent several minutes perusing the Zen Yarn Garden site as I’ve never met any merino/cashmere/nylon yarn I haven’t liked. Must resist…

    David has demolition fever! The great part about that is that his track record for finishing these projects is excellent!

  3. josiekitten says:

    The Precious yarn really is lovely to knit with. Not sure if you have heard, but Amanda at the NDS posted that her supplier’s warehouse burnt down, along with all her undyed yarns on September 18th. So they are in a bit of a pickle, and trying to source out some new yarns. I really hope things work out for them. I shall watch your DIY projects with interest!

  4. Neuroknitter says:

    Sock mojo returning…yay!! And I so like your approach to re-entry: Gansey/transportable/not fiddly…three thumbs up!!

    I actually found myself on Roxanne’s site today looking for Squooshy and wondering if it had been discontinued…I so enjoyed knitting the Tottering Cables sock in that yarn! Off to check out Serenity Sock!

    Can’t wait to see the mystery knitting unveiled!

  5. LaurieM says:

    As a beginning spinner, a 4-ply single sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. Could you please explain what you mean by that?

  6. Liz in Missouri says:

    As usual the yarns are inspiring! A few bills to pay now that it’s the end of the month – and then in a couple weeks I should be able to explore the Precious yarn, at least. I have six different projects on the needles as we speak, and I’m pushing to get at least half finished before I start anything else – but the yarns – for heaven’s sake – who can resist? I can’t wait to see the secret projects. I have a yarn all put together for the Pea-Vine – but you know how these things can change – it’s never settled until it’s complete.

  7. Gina says:

    love the wristlets

  8. Tana says:

    LOVE the wristlets!

  9. Jocelyn says:

    Hooray for wristlets and a tam!! They’re lovely :). The yarns you’re using are wonderful, too – sharing those is definitely a good thing, even if you can’t talk about the projects they’re being used in!

  10. Lana says:

    Best of luck with the remodeling. We are in the middle of adding a second story and I find it awfully hard to concentrate on pattern-writing with so much fuss and noise going on.

  11. Kim says:

    Looks like David has been working hard!!! Loved that last picture with the wormy wood. . . .

  12. Renee says:

    Love the wristlettes!!

  13. Knitnana says:

    Oh my, lovely yarns! I adore the lavender (you knew I would!). And I totally agree with you about Roxanne’s colorways…they are scrumptious!
    Looking forward to seeing the reveals on all your secret projects!
    (((hugs)))

  14. Rae says:

    lovely! The roof debris certainly did make a great prop for the photos. Those wristlets are growing on me more and more each time I see them in the blog. I think I know a 16 year old girl who simply must have a pair.

  15. Lara says:

    Lovely wristers, perfect for fall. Have also been living with doing home improvements over the summer. Glad to be on a break from that for them moment at least.

  16. Fiberfanatic says:

    Ooh so excited it’s the 4ply Precious in that colourway and I have just frogged mine so it is sitting ready for the mystery project! That yarn is so much more beautiful in real life and it is superb to use and the tactillity (made up word!) as it slips through your fingers is positively naughty!

  17. Tara says:

    I’ve lost my sock mojo as well, I’m afraid… oh well, it’ll be back!

  18. Laura47 says:

    The one really wonderful thing about the house we just bought is that the previous owner had, from necessity, replaced *all* the major systems. My husband loves projects, but doesn’t have time for them because of a very, *very* busy job, so this was the best decision for us right now, even though I’d adore tackling an older home like you guys have. I am really impressed at David’s fortitude at taking on project after project and doing such beautiful work with them, though! When I wanted my new craft room painted, guess who got to wield the paintbrush? Sigh. Oh well, I got just what I wanted, however it happened — you just have a renovation genius to do it for you, lucky you!

    My sock mojo also recently returned after an eight-month absence; I’m on my second pair of socks now (just basic socks, but with this lovely yarn, Saffron Dyeworks’ Tush sock yarn in her Emerald Green colorway, which is a to *die* for green) and feel prepared to tackle something with a bit more pattern for the next pair. It does feel lovely to regain my mojo — I was beginning to fear it was gone for good! So here’s hoping yours doesn’t just return, but *stays* returned, too!