everything new

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.

barb wore the beautiful sheltie triangle she knit from an installment of last year’s barenaked knitspot club and at the same time managed to show off the isadora scarf she was knitting.

(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

mmmmmm.

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 . . . .

33 Responses to “everything new”

  1. the party looks like so much fun! we did a $5 white elephant this year with my family and it was a hoot!

    i love that you put out a spoiler pic of the new DK yarn. it’s so luscious and gorgeous. but i don’t like how you make me out to be the bad guy, holding precious info from the public. ha ha!! i bet the ravelry threads are buzzing as i write this. i’m SO EXCITED about barenaked wools and i’m really looking forward to the new hat design. you know i love hats!

  2. GeniaP says:

    Am I correct that all the new barenaked wools have alpaca in them? That new DK looks positively edible; but not, sadly, for someone who is allergic to alpaca.

  3. GerryART says:

    Such exciting goings on!
    Can’t wait.
    Hugs

  4. Janice says:

    That chocolate pecan bourbon pie looks delicious!
    I can’t wait to try the Bare Naked wool, I’ve heard wonderful things about the Breakfast Blend.

  5. Hattie says:

    I LOVE THAT SWEATER.

    And the yarn of course looks delicious, darn it all that I’m allergic to it! I know it’s the alpaca that makes it look so appealing.

  6. Robby says:

    DK? Perfect. I want to knit a shawl for my sister who works in ‘the coldest office on Earth’, so she can be cozy and productive. The productive part isn’t in question, although it might improve if she isn’t freezing all the time. Can’t wait to see the whole shebang.

  7. Donna says:

    What a luscious post, every bit of it! I’ve heard from people with alpaca sensitivities that this blend did not bother them at all, so I’m going to try a pair of Waffle Creams with my BNK skein. This yarn is too yummy to pass up:) And the Bloch Ness photos are giving me the impetus to finish up my Caissa, which got set aside for holiday knits. Thanks for all of this, Anne!

  8. cynthia says:

    Okay, two things. NEED the recipe for chocolate bourbon pie. And, I have been anxiously awaiting the Bloch ness sweater- it is stunning! I love the shoulder detail. Way to go, Anne! And fantastic news on the yarn! That’s three things. An exciting post- thank you!

  9. Rose says:

    What a wonderful, wearable sweater. I’d love to make a sweater, but I can’t help thinking – If I made it, would it look like that?

  10. Jody says:

    Congratulations on your new yarn launch! I hope to try it! And your sweater looks marvelous on you. Great attention to detail!

  11. Jo Morgan says:

    Some of the best holiday fun is celebrating with women friends who share common interests and lots of laughs–your dinner looks yummy in every way! The bloch ness sweater is terrific. I personally love the length–it works better for me than shorter sweaters. Finally, congratulations on your yarn launch!

  12. nathalie says:

    That Mary, she’s so smart! The new sweater looks great.

    Congrats on the new yarn endeavor. Such fun and exciting news!

  13. Sheryl says:

    At first I was surprised about your new yarn, as in “where in the world will she find the time”! But after a moments thought, I realized it is a natural extension of your passion and creativity.
    Congrats and I simply cannot wait to get my little fingers on some :)

  14. Anne Marie says:

    A great start to 2013; good friends, a new green sweater, and a yummy yarn line to play with all year.

  15. josiekitten says:

    That party looks like it was a lot of fun! I like the challenge of finding quirky little gifts for people too. Love the versatlilty of the collar on Bloch Ness, that colour looks so great on you! (Have you got new glasses?!) Will the new yarns only be available to clubbies who have full membership? I am worried that being pattern only, I’m not going to be able to get my hands on it!

  16. Bobbie in AK says:

    First of all, you look fabulous is your bloch ness sweater! Green is a such a good color on you. Second, OMG! I am excited beyond belief to read about the Knitspot Breakfast Blend! The Alpaca Merino yarn from the 2012 BNK club is one of my favorites! Happy Days!

  17. juniperjune says:

    yesssss i’ve been scheming to make those waffle cream socks for my boyfriend when the pattern becomes available, and fretting about how i couldn’t think of another yarn that would be nearly so perfect! i’m excited to see the whole range of colors!

  18. catherine says:

    Love the sweater and congratulations on the new yarn line! How very exciting! I just know it will be successful for you as is everything you put your mind to. :-)

  19. Liz in Missouri says:

    The Bloch Ness is WONDERFUL! Really a nice look to this one, Anne, and I agree about the shoulder shaping with the ribs. And how exciting is this new yarn adventure!!!! Can’t wait. I’ve missed the BareNaked clubs while sorting out other finances – but I’m so excited about the new yarn and a chance to try another of the BNK offerings in a small dose. (I was able to buy the Sweet Tea pattern and cotton a while back! LOVE!!!!)
    I think this is going to be a GREAT YEAR!

  20. Beth in Maryland says:

    O.M.G. I can’t wait to see that yarn! Everything you do is such high quality, I know it will be too!

  21. Katie says:

    That food looks delicious! And so does the Block Ness :) I can’t wait until the pattern is available!

  22. Steve says:

    Well, this is a good news day (except perhaps for my bank account….)

    Congratulations!

  23. stashdragon says:

    Great news all around! Bloch Ness looks terrific – love that wide rib trim – and of course I have to say congratulations on your own-label yarns!

  24. scienceknitster says:

    Love the new sweater! And am sooooo excited about y’all releasing your own bare naked yarn! So glad I decided to double dip in 2013!

  25. Julie says:

    Absolutely love the new Bloch ness sweater! I really like the length of it so hope even though there will be a test for a shorter length that instructions for the longer version will be available.

    Congratulations on the yarn line!! Looking forward to seeing it in person.

  26. Kat Jorgensen says:

    This is *all* so exciting, Anne. The Bloch Ness sweater is seriously gorgeous!!!! Another must make sweater pattern. And then the anticipation of yarn. And knowing BNK clubbies will get to try it in some of our shipments. I love being a clubbie. You are cutting into my Rhinebeck budget with this new yarn. You know I must have some. Or alot. heheh.

    And lastly, those food pictures. I’m trying to lose weight!!! And all I can think about now is that pie.

    What a lovely post all around. Love to you and David.

  27. danielle says:

    oh my….that sweater….oh my……sumptious…..dignified…..beautiful….sigh…

  28. Lara says:

    What a fun looking party! block ness is stunning, and what a beautiful color too!

    I enjoyed every minuted of the stromming! It’s such a fun knit and the brim is really beautiful. I love how the decreases spiral and give the top a lot of interest.

    Sorry Im behind on pictures. Ive added a couple late night shots with the glass head modeling on Ravelry. At least they are better than the self portrait cell pic’s I sent earlier this week! I’ll have Andy take some better ones tomorrow :)

    BTW Im in love with the alpaca merino, so soft and the color is one of my favorites!

  29. Mary says:

    My pleasure, Anne. Looks great. Congratulations on the new yarn venture.
    All good things in 2013!

  30. Lara says:

    PS I loved the podcast!

  31. Kim says:

    Loved the picture of the Spinning Group! Hi guys! The bourbon pie looks fabulous – and Barb is doing lace! Yay!!!

    And the Bloch Ness looks fabulous. Can’t wait to see it!!

  32. Kathy says:

    How about the recipe for the chocolate bourbon pie? Any possibilities?

  33. janna says:

    So excited about your yarn line! I’m also happy that the BNK13 is about to start. I got patterns only for FIFC12 (the whole house-buying thing, you know!), and I’ve missed finding yarn surprises in my mailbox.