oh gosh, how the time flies when you’re busy, eh?
i can’t believe a week has already passed since our spinning class holiday party.
we all met at my house last thursday evening to knit (or spin), share a nice communal meal, and do our own fun brand of gift exchange (look, you can see bret’s christmas lights through the curtains, haha).
it was a grand spread of all the makings for tacos, plus dips and salad. and hard cider, yum. we finally got to see susan (december is her living-at-work month); even she can’t miss the holiday party.
(now finished and blocked; she brought it to class last night). barb has really struggled to love knitting lace and finally, finally, she had a breakthrough while knitting this scarf. we’ve been telling her for several years that she will enjoy knitting lace, but it wasn’t an immediate love affair, if you know what i mean. anyway, she’s hooked now.
next we did our gift exchange, which we prefer to be along the lines of “tacky wonderful” as dubbed by our friend linda (sadly, unable to be present). we keep the gifts under $5 or so and we specifically look for items that are first and foremost frivolous. if they happen to be useful in some small way as well, so be it, but not required.
needless to say, these exchanges are a ton of fun.
and of course there were desserts—without those, what’s the point of leaving the house?? helena baked some really yummy cookies and nan brought a chocolate bourbon pecan pie (can you spell TO DIE FOR??). what a nice, nice night; i’m so glad i get to hang out with wonderful friends each week, party or not.
so i haven’t really blogged any knitting progress since last week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. are you ready for what’s up next?
i finished my bloch ness sweater, YAY. the deeply ribbed neck/button band took a little longer to knit than i expected, but so worth the wait.
it’s everything i wanted it to be—light, cozy, warm (but not too warm), and comfortable. the fabric is a dream—it blocked out beautifully and has lovely drape, yet there is plenty of body to support the garment.
it grew in length a little more than i expected, but i like it (though i may tweak the depth of the armholes). and i think the proportions would still work for a shorter version as well; we’re going to try that in test knitting, i think.
you can fold the neckband up or down as you please; i like it up, especially for outdoors, when i’d wear it with a scarf wound ’round to fill the neckline.
but you know, there are plenty of moments when i prefer to turn it down, haha. the trick is in the bind off—it needs to be loose enough around the neck to allow turning down, but firm enough that it doesn’t ruffle if worn up.
i love the ribbed detail on the seams—i originally waffled between ribbing and a cabled seamline, but was encouraged to go in this direction by my friend mary and i’m glad i did; it’s a terrific effect and works so well with the ribbed front panels.
now i have to get the pattern written up and to the tech editor so we can get it to you before too long . . .
the strömming cap pattern is in post production now, mainly waiting for me to finish this new sample and take some photos (the pattern is all written, test knit, and being proofread as we speak). i am once again knitting with shalimar yarns new breathless DK (the next shop update is on the 11th!) in the sequoia colorway, a gray/green that is going to look spectacular on david’s skin. and the yarn makes such a great fabric, mmm.
i knit my prototype cap with this yarn and lara test knit the pattern in it as well, using the black truffle colorway; she may even have posted it on ravelry . . . let’s go see. holy cow, that woman has a lot of projects; but no strömming cap yet. we’ll have to beg her for it . . .
i am diverting your attention to lara because i have another secret project that keeps getting in the way of finishing my own hat; the two are fighting one another for my attention. but i think the cap will be done in plenty of time to have a pattern release on monday or tuesday.
with holidays solidly behind us, we are fast moving into the depths of january and new projects abound for the knitspot the new year. if you happened to catch the yarn thing podcast with marly bird this week, you’ve already got the inside scoop on this next bit of news from the front.
we are getting ready to launch our own barenaked wools yarn label!
we are beginning our venture with a yarn that we created and shipped in last year’s barenaked club—our breakfast blend, a beautiful marriage of merino and alpaca in five natural shades and two yarn weights (fingering and DK). the fingering weight will have a bit of nylon added to strengthen it for sock knitting if desired (but not so much nylon that it gets in the way of making pretty lace that blocks beautifully).
we are beyond excited about rolling out the new yarns and BNK clubbies will be thrilled to know that they will be the first to get their hands on some of new yarn releases—several are scheduled to debut in club shipments throughout this spring (though not ALL club shipments are our own yarn). then, once the club has seen them, we will add them to the shelves of our online shop for general consumption. since the breakfast blend was introduced in 2012, it will go into our shop immediately.
our plan is to have several yarns that we make available ongoing, as well as various popup editions spun from one-time fiber opportunities we might encounter at fairs or farms (we live in a state that is rich with fiber production, a bit of a mecca for the stuff). it will be nothing if not interesting, haha . . .
anyway, right now we are still waiting for all the colors of our first yarn to arrive. we are receiving shipments daily and the boxes are starting form towers in our living room. my mind is working overtime to process all the ideas i come up with as i cast my eye over the skeins.
last spring we shipped our sock weight yarn out to great acclaim from our BNK club. when we decided to go ahead with producing it, we added a DK weight as well. and i’m so glad we did—this stuff is positively narcotic. i can’t say enough nice things about the fabric, the hand, the soft hazy bloom of it, the body. and not just cuz it’s mine neither . . . see for yourself
i’ve started adding it to the suggested yarn lists of new patterns where it will work very well, including the creel winter set, the strömming cap, and the bloch ness sweater. and my first design specifically for this yarn will be a hat to match the squeeze me cowl—i’m casting on this weekend.
i know many of you are itching to see all the colors right now, but even i have to wait for that; we don’t have them all yet! but soon; we have a tentative official launch date of sometime near the end of the month. not what you were hoping to hear? perhaps erica will let me leak out some more sneak peeks over the next couple of weeks . . .
for now, we’ll just have to be happy with a big slice of chocolate pecan bourbon pie
poor deprived us . . . .