not enough knitting . . .

Posted on Posted in designing, projects, yarn and dyeing

our journey home through new york state the other day was rather stormy, but it allowed me to indulge in one of my favorite car activities—taking photos out the window (what—you don’t do that?).

i don’t know what it is about roadside scenery, but i’m deeply attracted to those miles and miles of tree stands, in all their subtle variations.

i even love the guardrails . . . i keep those in the photos wherever they appear.

i arrived home with almost 200 pictures just from the car ride alone—and i had a seriously difficult time limiting myself to even that many. which of course, needed to be pared down to weed out the stinkers. but still, i netted sixty or so good ones (not bad, considering that we were moving at highway speeds the whole time).

that day, i was really hunting for great color combinations—the hills and valleys of upstate and central new york are carpeted with incredibly gorgeous neutrals at this time of year. they are beautiful eye candy at any time, but in a snowstorm, when every subtle shift in tone stands out against the white, the colors hiding within come to life with impressive power.

(i sure hope you can see what i see in these—otherwise, you’ll think i’m nuts. “anne hanson just posted a dozen blurry photos of dirty-gray snow and ran on and on about the colors in them, HAHAHAHA!”)

this is one of my favorites—just look at that brown
and then, just a few miles down the road, a stretch of craggy pines so lovely it takes my breath away.

these would be wonderful yarn colors, any one set of them. or maybe one of these photos will start off an idea for placing color—or texture. maybe one of these plus one from my (ever-growing) set of lichen photos will have a smash-up in my brain that results in a lace composition . . . i dunno.

but thinking about it sure makes the car ride go faster, haha.
though frequently interrupted, i did quite a bit of of knitting on the trip home, mostly on a secret project i could knit on autopilot, which was advanced far enough forward for me to finish up that night—OTN!

and . . .

i’ve completed the pieces for the whitfield shortie and corrected the neck to my liking. now it just needs to be blocked and seamed, then the collar and pockets added. not a little work to be sure, but very doable in a few days’ time.

i’m knitting here with a new superwash merino 4-ply worsted weight yarn from briar rose fibers that is de-LISH and at the same time, very impressive. it holds its shape nicely and makes a plump, squishy fabric with nice stitch definition.

i am totally starting a little one for the baby.
this could be the death of my christmas knitting plans . . . didn’t i tell you that knitting for kids and babies is a black hole for me?? and still, you let me do it.

(i know it’s not your fault. and it’s payback for all the enabling i do.)

oooh, speaking of which, some yarn arrived while i was away. and since all our mail was held at the post office during our trip, we got a big box of it all at once yesterday morning. some of the packages were for david, but a couple were for me

from leann, dyer behind forbidden woolery footloose sock, a merino/nylon blend, in colorway english countryside.

and a skein of twinkle merino/bamboo in colorway great pumpkin.

i saved the box from the woolen rabbit for last. i knew it held my order of luscious hand cream and also a surprise—kim has been experimenting with some new yarn bases and said she sent samples; this would be my first peek. most of these aren’t listed on kim’s website yet, but they will be soon.

this is grace DK, a squishy merino for sweaters, hats, mitts, and scarves. i love the color she sent—scottish heather—one i’ve been admiring for some time in her other yarn bases, as i see it knit up into projects posted in our ravelry group.

and this is ella twist, another 4-ply merino that has one superwash ply, which absorbs the dye a little differently, lending a little texture to the colorway. it’s shown here in jungle book.

but the main reason for sending yarn samples is that kim and i are collaborating on the february club kit for the yarn4socks annual club. we’ll be doing a pair of mitts inspired by the film my fair lady. the story revolves around a snobbish professor’s bet that he can turn a streetwise flower seller into a lady presentable in higher social circles.

kim and i brainstormed about what sort of color and texture would best represent such a transformation—we wanted something delicate, yet lively, as the main character certainly does not lose her vivacious personality, no matter how the professor tries to suppress it.

and since it’s a february kit, we also wanted something cheerful to get everyone thinking about spring and the flower blossoms soon to come.

and kim came up with this

i LOVE it!
the colorway is lady slipper; isn’t it amazing?
here it is dyed on her new merino/cashmere/nylon sock base, yet to be named. it has a subtle, luminous sheen that really brings out the best in these colors. we’re a little concerned that this yarn might be a tad heavy for the glove we want, so i’m also testing another of kim’s sock yarns, pearl

dyed here in a different colorway. if we like the pearl yarn better, she will dye it in the lady slipper color for the project. tonight, i’ll play around with those to see which i like best. there’s also a third possibility

kashmir, kim’s existing merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn, in case we decide that what we really need is something much lighter and lacier. lots of choices here, yay.

i’ve got to get this project on the needles pretty soon, if i want to have it all done before i go away in january (and i do), so it won’t be long until you see something taking shape with one of these yarns.

you know what? that’s all i have for today—all of my other knitting progress has been on secret projects. i’ll try to catch up on non-secret ones for the next post. and thanks, too for all of the positive feedback on david’s hat—based on the comments, i think i’ll write up the pattern for it.

since we got back, david has been busying himself with getting our holiday decorations up—the tree and outdoor light are laid out in various rooms, waiting their turn for light testing and such. the weather is gray and some light snow is falling. i have to go out for just a bit, but after that, i’m holing up in my knitting room for the rest of the night.

31 thoughts on “not enough knitting . . .

  1. Such wonderful pictures. Love the snow. All we had here in Northern Virginia was lots and lots of rain. Now it is finally cold!!! I am curious – what took you from New York City to Ohio?

  2. OK just about fainted @ Kim’s ladyslipper colourway in the new merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn. I know, I know I don’t need any more sock yarn, but it’s soooooo pretty….must get back to the ravelry group which will let me justify more yarn 😉 !

    So glad to see I am also not alone in taking “nature shots” aplenty–texture, colour, composition. All wonderful. must be knitters (well actually anyone with an artistic bent) see things in a certain way.

    Glad you got home safely AND hurray for David’s hat (and now the pattern!).

    Cheers, Barbie O

  3. Glad the yarn made it there safely! Thanks for mentioning me on your blog! I hope you find inspiration from it.

    Loving the Lady Slipper colorway, too – so bright and wintery!

    It all just makes me want to squish and pet lots of soft yarn…I’m not weird, am I?

  4. Oh, I see the colors in those photos and they are gorgeous. That’s what I love most about a snowy landscape. How do you do those ‘out of the car’ shots, anyway? I’ve never been able pull that one off even once!

  5. And to think, I missed David’s hat on the earlier post….but NOW THAT I SEE IT I can’t wait for the pattern (hopefully in a woman’s size, please).

    Love your yarn pictures as always as well as your from-the-car pics.

  6. Oh, those photos are gorgeous! I totally “get” it. I have long wanted to do a Fair Isle sweater with the colors I saw on an early spring morning driving through Missouri, but I have the photo only in my mind. But it was gorgeous. Less neutral than these, but still, so soft. Nature does just have the best colorations!

    And those new yarns are all yummy in the extreme.

  7. (i sure hope you can see what i see in these—otherwise, you’ll think i’m nuts. “anne hanson just posted a dozen blurry photos of dirty-gray snow and ran on and on about the colors in them, HAHAHAHA!”)

    I lived in the Copper Country (northern Upper Peninsula) of Michigan for a decade. I know exactly how pretty snow and trees and ice and water can be. Gorgeous pictures.

  8. Beautiful yarns. I can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    I also take pictures on road trips. Some of the most interesting pictures I took while I was driving. I know what you’re thinking, but the camera is very automatic, and I don’t take my eyes off the road, I promise. You’ve inspired me to put up some of those pictures on my blog.

  9. It’s no secret that I love winter and these kinds of pictures are my favorites. I love the subtle colors that gray envelopes …. it’s cold, but oh so interesting. 🙂

    So happy you and David made it home safe and sound. Hmmm…do you think you could send David to NH for a few weeks for decorating??? You guys are great together!

  10. We made the drive from Rochester to Cincinnati today, complete with crazy snowfall amounts around Buffalo. Please tell me you made it through that mess before they shut the thruway down Wednesday or Thursday (if you took that route).

  11. I loved ALL your pictures! I know the black hole of baby knitting…I’m currently in it. But that jacket for your nephew is just beautiful!

  12. I LOVE upstate. It’s so fucking gorgeous there. I lived in Ithaca for a total of about 4 years, and it was really one of my top 3 places to live. Well really, top 2. Ithaca and Chicagoland. Sigh.

  13. Beautiful pictures of the snow! And I just told my fella I wasn’t getting excited about it this year after our 3 blizzards last winter….. : )

    I love the contrast in picture below the river picture – just beautiful!

    Oh, we were supposed to tell you no, don’t do the sweater for the baby??
    Really?? : )

    Enjoy the knitting and the upcoming holidays! Just ordered the snow on cedars mitt – very cute pattern.

    Well, off to work on my own Christmas knitting – just learned how to do my very 1st short row heel – very fun!

  14. Another roadside photographer! I just posted some early winter pics, heavy on the grays and browns, on my blog earlier this week also (and wondered if everyone would think I was nuts also). But apparently it didn’t stop me….

  15. I really enjoyed reading all your posts while you’ve been away. Loved seeing your amazing Mum doing the cooking! All that delicious new yarn to play with too. How do you decide which skein is going to be your next project? I bet your stash is pretty mind blowing!!

  16. Oh my, yes, I get the photos big time….all that softness, all that texture….great to look at and admire. When I taught calligraphy I always had an albumn full of such photos to teach my pupils to observe and ‘see’ colours and textures and how it could be applied to calligraphy and indeed a lot of art media.

  17. I completely agree about the muted colors of winter. Your Scottish Heather above and many yarns from A Verb for Keeping Warm capture this feeling.

  18. Should you be thought “nuts” re: roadside scenery and inspiration, know that you’re not alone! I love see what colors shine through the ice and snow on a winter’s drive. Or even better, the sheerest haze of spring colors overlaying the dull browns of winter’s end.

  19. Love Kim’s new yarns! The scottish heather DK is beautiful. Wish I could wear grays, but will find solace in the browns ;).

  20. Funny post – your writing made me giggle. Those pictures remind me of ”

    . . .”The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep. ” . . .~Frost

  21. Before I moved to Missouri 5 years ago, I had been in the Rocky Mountains for the past 25+ years. I don’t know how many hundreds of pictures I took of those roadside trees, but I’m sure that is probably where my love of the muted grays, greens and browns comes from. Yes – I SOOOO get it. I have a picture of aspen trees that I want someone to make into a yarn color for me. (Who would I call for that?) I seek out those colors all the time. I think they are lovely and calm and restful. Of course, I may be the only person I know any more that adores winter. LOL
    The fibers are beautiful. I just got my my pearl yarn (blue jeans colorway) this week. I bet you mentioning Kims yarns has the same effect as Oprah mentioning a book! A sure-thing sell-out.
    Can’t wait to see the finished baby jackets. (Note the “s” – for jacket”S”.) I adore making baby things – all flights of fancy and imagination – you just can’t go wrong.

  22. Love the road pictures. I don’t see those colors often down here in Oklahoma, so they are that much more special. When it snows, I’ve been known to tromp around in my robe (what? get dressed? Why?) on a snowy morning snapping pictures before it all melts or gets messed up with tracks.

    I love that English Countryside colorway. Very pretty! Kim’s stuff is lovely too, as always.

  23. Glad to see that you made it safely back home after the drive from Ohio. Having made the trip from Cleveland to Rochester a number of time during the winter, I agree that the countryside can be absolutely beautiful. It always makes me want to break out my sketch pad and pencils but that is rather hard to do when you are the driver.

    Those yarns and colors from Kim are magical! I wish I didn’t have so many projects to finish so time soon so I could start even more.

  24. Your pictures from the car were great, Anne. Loved seeing the scenery. This is how I keep myself busy on road trips, too.

    I started a brief hyperventilation on Kim’s new yarn bases. That new MCN is luscious. I want it. The ladyslipper colorway is a must have.

    Between your patterns and Kim’s yarns, I’ve got lots on my knitting want to do list.

  25. I totally get you. My hometown is located in a beautiful (to me, anyway) but very stark landscape; in the winter, it’s hard to tell the hills from the sky. I’ll have to take some pictures when I’m home in a few weeks–it’s hard to do justice in words.

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