wow, i can’t believe i’ve been home for over a week already—where did the time go?? oh yeah—i was catching up and putting this month’s club chapter together. it’s amazing how much time can pass when i’m focused on a task.
i so enjoy that feeling of being immersed in my work; it’s one of the things i miss most when i’m away. the nomadic life of travel teaching doesn’t lend itself to focused work requiring number calculations, deep thought, or creative contemplation. too much noise and bustle for that most days.
and when i get home, there is usually a backlog of issues to discuss with david, longer emails to answer, patterns to write, and decision making to take care of. if i don’t do something about all that right away, they snowball even further. that’s the time when i must put my nose to the grindstone and take care of business; it’s for the best.
i squared away a lot of paperwork and communications this week, but there were also some hands on tasks waiting for me—like the two shawls that needed blocking. i didn’t really feel i could afford the time, but it was a must if i wanted to release the new pattern on monday.
so, on wednesday morning, with a thousand other things to do, i put the two shawls on to soak. around noon i left my desk, grabbed a towel, and pulled them from the bath to set about threading wires, stretching, and pinning. i really do love this work; it was a nice respite from the rest of my week.
first i pinned out the wasp and rose sample knit by vanessa in lux from the buffalo wool co. this yarn is a bit heavier and more tightly twisted than the pink kami bison that i used for my prototype, however, the buffalo wool people are in the process of replacing it with a new yarn called sexy that is even more similar to the one i used. i’m told lux will remain available for about six more months.
as with the kami bison, the stitch definition is crisp and clean; the fabric surface is smooth as still water. that little bit of extra weight in the lux makes the fabric hang beautifully, too.
the top edging is one of my all-time favorites—so delicate and pretty. it reminds me of the tiny tea roses we used to have in the brambles of our yard. what a difference the color makes, eh? this is lupin, a rather denim-y blue. it gives you an idea of how the shawl translates in a stronger, darker color and something other than pink.
look for the pattern to be available tomorrow . . .
once i had wasp and rose pinned out, i set to work on my hazeline, another reknit, this time in hazel knits entice, in the color wendee dyed for our september club release
(if you are wishing you had some, take a look on her site at a colorway called portobello).
these heavier weight shawls are so easy to block—so many less stitches, for one thing. but it’s also much easier to see what i’m doing, haha.
the textures in this design are wonderfully tactile. where wasp and rose is all about the luminosity and delicate lines of a garden in high spring, hazeline is more about shapes and depth of texture—lots of garter stitch with motifs that jump off the surface.
the effect is one of nesting and cozy warmth, with influences from woodland environments.
i felt very satisfied to have gotten this task completed—such an island of calm in the midst of the mayhem at my desk.
the feeling was further expanded on wednesday evening in spinning class, when we all actually spun yarn instead of knitting, haha.
we were joined by a new participant, nan, who has been to some knitting classes with me and is now discovering a love for spinning wool. we, of course, are more than happy to enable her in this endeavor . . .
i did not want to intimidate her right off the bat by taking blog photos of her work (we’ll save that for next time, MWAH-ha-haha), so i’ll show you what i worked on.
this is my finn fiber project that i began spinning oh, over a year ago—so far back i can’t even remember. i’m working on a 3-ply yarn, so it’s taking a while, even when i do manage to fit spinning time into my week (not the norm lately).
some day, i will have a whole bunch of yarn—hopefully a sweater’s worth—that looks something like this. i’m moving through it with painful slowness, but when i do get to spin, i enjoy every minute.
i sat next to nan and kept an eye on her, but she barely needed me there; she did great. she’s definitely got a future as a spinner. watch out, helena!
it was with immense relief and pleasure that i finished my november chapter on thursday night—earlier than i expected, leaving plenty of time for anne marie to proofread it while i cleaned up a few remaining tasks. david and i sat back to watch the chapter go out at midnight on friday, which was doubly exciting because it kicked off signups for current members to subscribe to our 2013 barenaked club.
WHOA, did those emails bells ever start jingling—we were surprised and pleased to see how many clubbies had stayed up to wait for signups to open. thanks you guys!! it really made our evening AND our week. with that we headed upstairs to catch a little TV before bed and looked forward to having yesterday off. yay!
yesterday i got up early and went to susie’s house to knit. we pushed back into recliners to talk and knit the morning and half the afternoon away, while drinking pots of coffee. omg, it was grand. i worked on swatches for a secret project and had a whole pile done by the time we put aside our needles.
we did a little modeling session with wasp and rose (see how happy susie is to be wearing it??) and then took a drive to the fruit orchard to buy apples. i didn’t get home til nearly 5 pm and all that time, i didn’t do anything that felt like work. i’m hoping to make a treat for knitting class tomorrow with some of those apples—we’ll see how today goes.
last night after dinner, i wound up those baa huey yarns from newhue handspuns that i received in the mail just before i went to rhinebeck. with all that transpired between then and now, i haven’t been home to play around with them and i was anxious to explore.
the yarn sets—available in five colors—contain gradient skeins in DK weight that are spun for specific projects—two mitts and a hat. these are spun from gradient colors that are plied with natural brown BFL. a bit of plain green yarn is included for doing colorwork or trims.
cheryl also has gradient kits in dyed color only (no natural brown); she gave me one of these in the pine green for a cowl, which i cast on last night—soooo excited to watch the colors change slowly from dark to light.
david is going to love this (as are several other recipients on my list); isn’t it gorgeous?? i’m knitting it in a very simple breadbasket pattern. i plan to do coordinating mitts and hat, using the trim color for some type of edging—maybe i-cord or simply a nice rib.
just look at how beautifully cheryl translates a color from nature into yarn—it matches the juniper topiary that stands on the porch outside my studio door. isn’t it great? these kits are very reasonable and are the perfect way to spread handspun love. they make an excellent gift for a new knitter or swap partner who will really appreciate having a trophy yarn to pair with a simple project.
i’m working on a couple of simple, quick gift knits for these kit yarns, to become available throughout the gift knitting season. but if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for a new design, these skeins would match up really well with some existing patterns, such as hot waffles, matterhorn, snug cap for all sizes, slöfock, high peaks, lacunae, juerga, and so many other choices on our coordi-knits page.
just to tempt me (and you) a little further, cheryl sent an additional kit last week in plum
omg, so me.
she included this photo of her cowl kit design to share with you how prettily the colors knit up.
who taught this woman how to enable us so well?? (ooops, that might have been me)
today i am mostly back at my desk, but when i finish this post, i’m going for a run—we’ve been incredibly fortunate this month in having mostly gorgeous late fall days, full of sun, with afternoons in the mid-50s. much too good to last, so i want to take advantage while i can.
after that, i’m tucking back in at my desk to edit photos for tomorrow’s pattern release and to write up a pattern for a secret project or two.
another full day and it’s already half done—i’d better skedaddle. see you next time and til then, happy knitting.