freefall and floozy

anne wrote this terribly early in the morning:

freefall058_72dpi

last summer i was lucky enough to be knitting with a soon-to-be-but-not-yet-released yarn from kelbourne woolens, a new lace blend named meadow that was perfect for summer, with a good measure of silk and flax to lighten up its merino and lama content.

floozy009_72dpi

for the opening installment of our 2013 fall in full color club, we were able to secure a colorway that wouldn’t be available to the rest of the knitting world for another year. this is was bluebonnet, a pretty gray/blue that seemed perfect for the waning summer season—reflecting the earlier evening sky, it could be worn on chilly mornings without looking heavy.

freefallfloozy867_72dpi

the yarn knits up with a silky hand that yet has some bounce and crunch—that bit of linen content provides structure and loft to an otherwise completely liquid combination of fibers; it’s a brilliant addition that adds just the right amount of body to the fabric.

freefallfloozy874_72dpi

for the design i wanted something fresh and pretty to carry us into the first days of fall. i though that working with a lace yarn—though one that is on the heavier side—was a great opportunity to knit a fabric with a larger, overall motif.

freefall055_72dpi

when my eye lit on this cable and lace pattern, it all came together in a moment for me—i loved everything about it. big mesh squares on the diagonal, crisscrossed with heavy solid bands that wound around each other like ribbon ties at each corner; it had the look of a big picnic cloth, a little remnant of summer days to carry along into frosty fall weather—so cute! it was settled.

freefall039_72dpi

freefall (the rectangle) is knit all in one straight piece from end to end, but has a gentle, curving shape when completed and blocked, due to its asymmetrical use of edgings. this allows it to drape nicely around the shoulders and flutter just a bit at the edges.

blocking5x4

floozy (the triangle) is knit from the top down, beginning with a few stitches and ending with a knit-on hem edging. it can also be blocked with a bit of a curve to the hem, taking advantage of the ripple in the edging to create a little flair that finds each and every breeze.

freefalsloozy830_72dpi

i’m not sure if this colorway of meadow has been release yet, but we kept some in stock to celebrate this general release of the pattern with an accompanying kits, one for freefall and one for floozy.

freefallfloozy960_72dpi

who doesn’t love that? kits come in two sizes, single and double so you can knit small, big, or both. we are happy to accommodate special requests such as adding both patterns or a third skein of yarn—just ask! (we also have lots of other choices in kits for our designs—come take a look)

freefallfloozy945_72dpi

if it’s the single pattern you’re after, click here to view more information about the floozy triangle shawl or here to read about the freefall rectangle scarf/stole. you may also view them in my ravelry pattern shop—click here for floozy and here for freefall.

freefall086_72dpi

these patterns are also included in the 2013 fall in full color eBook, along with fifteen other accessory patterns from the 2013 fall color collection—that’s a lotta patterns! anyone looking for a knitalong around these designs need not look further than the ravelry clubhouse where our color clubs meet—all are welcome and appreciated.

freefall916_72dpi

and erica just texted me this photo from the road of a brand new freefall sample knit up in our chebris lace yarn—can you spell H-E-A-V-E-N-LY??

freefall070Chebris_72dpi

she picked it up on her way to meet up with susan and emily for the michigan fiber festival in allegan, MI, where the three of them will be running our bare naked wools booth this weekend. it’s a great opportunity to see all of our yarns in person, give them a squeeze and sigh over a multitude of samples.

freefall931_72dpi

the freefall  kit is just one of our show specials—please come out and visit us there today, tomorrow, or sunday!

allegan08_15

and now let’s begin our weekends—tell us what you’ve got planned! for me, i believe there are more green beans and now tomatoes too. i’ll also be on the hunt for peaches, so i’m heading to the orchard farm saturday morning to see what i can score.

showBooth08_15

i was supposed to race tomorrow but my ankle still needs some recuperating so instead, i’m going to bike, which the chiropractor says is a good idea. i think erica B and i are heading out sunday for a long ride and naturally, ice cream to go with it.

freefallfloozy925_72dpi

 

Hooked on Cotton

majordomo wrote this in the late evening:

chunky bowl

We have spent the summer really enjoying knitting up Knitspot favorites in cottons. Many of us have fallen in love with Anne’s stitch patterns in cottons, that blankets and sweaters have been cast on. Many also realized cotton is not just for summer. It’s great for year-round wear. It’s great for baby knits. It’s great for people that live in hotter climates or winter somewhere sunny.

I just finished a fab housewarming gift – I’m a Soft Touch

IMG_1902 web

and paired it with soap from my favorite artist – Ida Belle. This will not be my last face cloth.

IMG_1906 web

The pattern has three different choices for stitch patterns, so I’m definitely making them all. Depending on the final size you want, you can easily get all three out of one skein of sport weight cotton.

ecobutterfly-cotton_l5

My mom is always knitting cotton dishcloths during car rides for her gift box. She loves to give them as hostess gifts. I must say they are one of my favorite things my mom has made me. I feel how much she cares for me every time I use them. I love feeling the hadnknit stitches as I scrub our dishes. And they wear amazingly!

I’m thinking the next things I need to do (well, other than finish my Zig Zag Mitts) is cast on a blanket. I LOVE cotton blankets and the feel of the organic cotton is just too good for words. And if you’re thinking along the same lines, I have great news – we have lots more yarn in stock!

vegan Fifo worsted web

We’ve even scored some of the most coveted color – Fifo – in fingering, sport, and worsted (above)! This is the rarest mauve color of color grown cotton and the yarn Anne chose to kick off the Passion Knitting club. Anne designed Banjo (details on ravelry here) to bring out the features of this unique fiber.

banjo1 web

in Anne’s words…

When I saw my first cake of Fifo, I was reminded very much of vintage cotton fabrics I’d seen in everyday vintage quilts and old work clothing—a tough, tightly spun fiber, worn soft with age and use, the colors dulled a bit from many washes. It brought to mind that quintessential item of work clothing—the workman’s bandana. I thought that emulating a bandana print in our first purple club project could be a lot of fun, making for a versatile piece that could be used as a shawl, head covering, table topper, curtain, scarf— whatever you like it to be. 

banjo2 web

We have extra skeins of this yarn for clubbies here,

FifoLace web

or we still have a limited number of Passion club memberships left. Join us now here and we will get this yarn right out for your exclusive pattern, plus you get three more future packages of lovely purple surprises. And pretty, pretty patterns! Already for July Anne threw in a bonus pattern – Hobo Square - and there’s so much more fun in store!

If you’ve fallen in love with the rare shade of Fifo, may I suggest the fingering

Fifo fing web

for a lace shawl, cowl, or sweater?

Blümchen

blumchen210_72dpi

or Sprössling

sprossling368_72dpi

would be darling in cotton! And back to the blanket topic, Anne has patterns ranging from fingering to worsted. Once Barb started knitting up blanket swatches in cotton, it got my wheels turning!

barb swatches

My particular favorite gift giving pattern right now is Roger That.

rogerThat713_72dpi

And you could pair it with a Slouch Potato hat! Wouldn’t that be the best gift for someone heading off to college? Or make the small blanket and the smallest hat for a toddler? I just finished a Slouch Potato for Padraig in MCN

slouchpotatoP web

and I can’t get over the cuteness of this hat on him! I need to get another on the needles in cotton.

If you want to see everyone’s WIPs and FOs, check out the cotton KAL thread on ravelry. Stunning things are flying off the needles!

I’ll be back soon to report on Michigan Fiber Festival. Join us this weekend in Allegan, Michigan. It’s a great show and we’re bringing so much Bare Naked Wools yarn we had to rent one of these…

van1 web

toppa

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

toppa454_72dpi

david has really enjoyed collecting a hat wardrobe over the last few years—starting with a first few thick woolen ones to keep his head warm in winter and now a couple in cooler summer fabrics to keep the sun off.

they do double duty during the unseasonably chilly evenings we’ve had this summer.

toppa432_72dpi

which gave me another chance to knit along in the cotton KAL in our rav group. ok, so i’m sort of a lurker in that thread; i knit along on all my cotton projects but i never post in the group, shame on me!

but my heart is in the right place, i promise.

tapah310_72dpi

i’m so jealous that david can wear hats in all different ways; i have such a tiny head that just getting them to stay ON is a success in my book. but he can wear his on top of his hair (above) or he can tuck it all inside (below) and the cap stays put.

toppa467_72dpi

in fact, he often wears his hair all bundled up in a head wrap to keep it from getting dusty while he works. this cap has very simple styling—a couple of openwork bands set on a stockinette background provide textural interest and practical ventilation for summer weather.

toppa429_72dpi

this version is knit in breathable ecobutterfly organic color grown cotton, which has a lusciously soft hand and beautiful drape. but it could easily be knit in wool yarn with a bit more body and spring to create a fabric that  provides more warmth when the days turn chilly in fall. david chose the rustic avocado shade, a pale green  which looks really great next to his skin. it would also be great in our latest cotton offering, sport weight fifo, which is an extremely rare, mauve/brown color.

Toppa420_72dpi

the cotton version is super slouchy with plenty of room to stretch over lots of hair. you could get the same effect with an alpaca or cashmere yarn or opt for a shorter version. i think i’ll knit my next one in our kent DK yarn; it has the perfect balance of springiness and drape to carry this design. maybe one of our newer shades—coconut husk or kelp

toppa458_72dpi

now this is another good choice for a gift knit because the pattern include five sizes from extra small (for kids and preteens) to extra large (like mister knitspot here, ahem).

toppa498_72dpi

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the toppa cap page in the knitspot pattern shop or click here to see specs and purchase in my ravelry pattern shop

toppa is sort of a slang name for a rasta style hat; david is smiling his head off over his . . .

toppa482_72dpi

did someone ask for green beans?

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

greenBeansSunday08_05

seriously, i only planted a total of about eight feet of green beans; it just seems like acres.

last sunday i went out to the garden pre coffee in order to pick what needed picking before it got hot. uh, no worries there—we are not exactly having “hot” weather this summer. but that doesn’t stop the beans from coming and coming and coming.

greenBeansFridayA08_05

in addition to that big basket i picked, i had another three or four pounds in the fridge from the previous few days. the upside of super fresh garden pickings is that they can wait a couple of days to be put up—good for me because i’d rather spend one big whack of time in the kitchen putting up beans than do a little bit each day (not so with tomatoes; for some reason, i don’t mind doing those every day when they are plentiful).

greenBeansSort08_05

once i had all of them gathered together, i sorted them by size and purpose—very slender young ones for immediate eating, medium sized ones to freeze for future meals, and the bigger overgrown ones to be cut up and frozen for soup niblets (while i don’t like eating those plain, they are perfect for that use).

i know—that seems really fussy, doesn’t it? but i don’t mind; i just put on my audiobook and the time flies. normally on sunday morning i’d be doing my long run, but i have a nagging sore ankle that needs time to rest. so i’m resorting to green bean sorting. like knitting, it’s therapeutic.

fingers crossed that i can still do my half marathon in two weeks (but no worries;  i’m not insane enough to “do it anyway”).

gardenHaul08_05

and it’s not all green beans and no fun—while i was outside, i also picked a lovely basket full of vegetables for a thai curry. our thai basil is growing healthy any strong; i’m so glad we were able to get some this year.

ThaiBasil08_05

it has that spicy bite i love and tastes so great in our fresh curry dishes. i really must make time to freeze some for winter; it is impossible to buy in our area, in or out of season.

i discovered several yummy items that are coming to maturity out there as well

newScallions08_05

purple scallions—if you haven’t had homegrown scallions, you really should explore the option. they are one thousand percent more yummy than store bought. one square foot of dirt will produce all you need and you can rotate that area so that half are always ready to use. so worth the trouble.

newOnions08_05

and on a  similar note—onions are just about ready; the tops are beginning to lay down, though they’re not dried out yet. still, i’ve been pulling one or two as needed. in a week or so we’ll pull them all and lay them on the porch to dry. it is SO nice to use onions this fresh.

newCarrots08_05

and probably my favorite find of the week—little carrots! omg our carrots this year are phenomenal—they love the planting mounds that david made and are growing straight and big with all that wiggle room in the soft dirt. in fact, after cooking all morning and doing some work in the afternoon, i went outside to (finally) thin those babies out. they were ridiculously crowded because i seeded them so heavily (which was necessary in other years, but not this year).

i cleaned all of the above so that when i was ready to cook dinner later, it would be all set to chop and go.

carrotsThinnings08_05

again, i only have maybe six or eight feet of carrots planted, but in a triple row across and every darn seed i planted germinated i think. they were long overdue for thinning actually, but i’m kind of glad i waited because—after several hours of crouching in the dirt, tediously yanking and prying them out—we now have a nice haul of baby carrots for cooking and snacking.

carrotsTrimmed08_05

i planted a mix of red and orange varieties, but at the moment i can’t remember the names, sorry. suffice it to say that they are growing very well and are tasty, too, nice and sweet.

sunsetSunday08_05
at sunset, i sat my butt on the back steps and stretched my legs while pinching off all those tops to add to the compost pile. in other years, i’ve ended up with a range of interesting carrot shapes, mostly blunt and stunted.

carrotsClean08_05

but this year, they look like they belong in a seed catalog—straight, pointy, and consistent. good enough for the fair, even . . . and they cleaned up so pretty too, totally worth the work. i love this photo, with its accents of green tips.

carrotsSort08_05

and if you think that sizing green beans was a singularly odd and obsessive tic that i had going on, you are mistaken. apparently my penchant for organization extends to carrots, too. representative of a deep psychological issue i bet, but we just won’t go there.

rather than beat myself up and make a character flaw out of it, i prefer to think of it as the kind of behavior typically exhibited by designer types. or to put it another way, an excuse to waste time.

once in a while we all need a little of that. by now it was well past dark and we hadn’t yet eaten dinner so i fired up the burners and got that stir fry going. it was deLISH.

the next thing i knew it was monday morning and guess what?

greenBeansMonday08_05