anachronaut and toffer

anne wrote this in the early afternoon:

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ready for a light, lacy project with a hint of spring to get you through january?

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selfish knitting month is half gone now—maybe you still need to cast on something for yourself . . .

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and this pretty pair holds plenty of possibility. they are both designed with the same stitch patterns—an open, lacy cable-and-lace motif for the hems with a more solid, garter-based pattern for the body.

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toffer is a little more than a half-circle, with shaping that allows it to sit nicely on the shoulders and a bit of a collar to finish off the neck (that’s optional; it may also be finished off with a round neck if desired). anachronaut is rectangular and can be knit as a scarf or stole (and is easily enlarged to a blanket or wrap!)

the detailing gives the pieces a little bit of a victorian feel, but doesn’t lock them into being worn any particular way—the larger ones can still function as both scarf or wrap.

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toffer, the crescent shawlette, begins at the hem with the lace portion and is worked to the neck, where it is finished with a collar or a narrow band. anachronaut, the rectangle scarf or stole, is worked from hem to center back and grafted.

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the lacy hems are worked on larger needles and with more sts to give them a little flare.

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something for the breeze to pick up and play with.

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shown here are the toffer shawlette (above, one size), all knit in miss babs isadora, a merino/silk blend singles in colorway allium, the custom dyed colorway for our club. we have some extras listed in the store for those that might want them.

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shown below are the anachronaut scarf (top) and the stole (below), also knit in the isadora lace yarn.

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if it’s the single patterns or more information you’re after, click here to view our online store page for anachronaut and here for toffer. you may also view or purchase them in my ravelry pattern shop by clicking here for toffer and here for anachronaut.

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if working with fine lace yarn is challenging for you, these pieces can be knit in light fingering yarn on larger needles to be more manageable. they would be lovely in our chebris lace, stone soup fingering or better breakfast fingering—not to mention the luscious pura mongolian cashmere (i would guess needles size 6US/4.0 mm and size 5US/3.75 mm for that weight).

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and don’t forget that help with grafting is just a click away; with my free craftsy class, the ins and outs of grafting can be yours forever. need a hand with blocking a shape that’s new to you? i also offer a complete blocking course in a handy DVD format—put it on the TV while you are pinning out your lace and follow me step by step.

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many thanks to our friends and coworker, sheyanne, quentin, and faith, who modeled these pretty pieces for us in the fall; we really appreciate you taking the time to do this for us!

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starting from scratch

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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with our purple club now complete and a midwinter holiday weekend in progress, my mind turned to a plethora of new projects that have been percolating for awhile, patiently outwaiting the holidays for their turn at my attention.

i had several beautiful yarns lined up to explore—some for actual projects i have slated and some for testing, in order to send feedback to the mill.

and you know what that means . . . (begins with an ‘s’) . . . i had some swatching to do. in fact somehow while my back was turned, a lot of swatching that had piled up. now you know me—i love swatching. but there are times when being patient makes me just as crazy as it makes you.

i’m so itchy to start a new sweater that i can’t stand it. feeling like this can make me a bit reckless . . . but i figured i was safe in starting something with the kent DK (far right, above) in kelp, because that was the yarn best known to me and a project i had been thinking about for some time.

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now i’m not saying i didn’t swatch (i didn’t completely lose my mind!). oh no, i swatched both flat (left) and in the round (right), because my original idea was to knit myself the placketed pullover version of my pedal pusher design which would need to be knit partly in the round and partly back and forth.

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i even went ahead and started a sleeve, completely confident that this was what i wanted to knit (my friend anne C is knitting the official sample for her husband). but then i got thinking . . . boy, i really love this yarn and the way it knits up; i honestly didn’t think it was going to feel this soft and this spongy-squishy or this light.

i’m really thinking it might be terrific in a more textured fabric.

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and the next thing i knew, i had that sleeve on a holder and i was swatching for a completely other sweater, something i’d knit years and years ago for a friend that i always wanted to recreate. so i have yarn, i have swatches, and i have a pattern, but none of them are for the same project.

i’m hoping that by tuesday i’ll be settled with a definite goal for this, because if i’m not knitting myself a sweater by then i just might have to knit a dumb, topdown stockinette pullover to satisfy my craving for one.

and that would be a big waste of my precious design time, ya know?

by the way, did i tell you the latest thing david said that gave me the shock of my life? it was actually over this very batch of kelp kent DK. i was planning all along to knit the placket pedal pusher for him, but when i started asking him a few questions about it, he told me not to bother. i was floored. i said, “but you need sweaters—yours are all in a bad state”.

he explained that this was just the point; he just ruins them, wearing out the elbow, getting tears at the neck edge from clipping his earphones on. i was stunned; i never cared about that. in fact, i find it endearing that david literally loves his sweaters to death. to me, it’s really touching that when the sleeves and neck disintegrate to the point of falling off, he simply layers them over another badly worn item and wears them for doing yard work (thus showing them off even more publicly; so cute).

so yeah, i was going to cast on a sweater for him next, but then he refused it. which kind of threw me off, so at first i assumed i’d just knit that same sweater for me. but now i’m thinking i’d rather have something different. so for the moment (and hopeful very temporarily) that project is back to the percolating stage while i swatch a little more.

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somewhere in the midst of all this, barb actually DID start a new sweater, just like she said she was going to do (i should take lessons from her in efficiency). last week she bought four skeins of better breakfast fingering yarn in the new daybreak shade to knit herself a bel air pullover, because her old one is her favorite sweater. and this week she came to class with one sleeve done and about one-third of the front complete. isn’t it gorgeous?

barb says she really loves the way the better breakfast is knitting up in the stitch pattern—she never appreciated the motif as much in the other yarn, which didn’t have as much dimension as the BBF. not to mention how soft it is; she’s finding it hard to stop petting it.

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we’ve also been swatching up a storm with the new cabécou lace yarn i’ve showed you a few times (center in that lineup of yarns, above). the sample skeins are really beautiful, but the washed skein showed some inconsistency that we want to get to the bottom of. since it’s a new weight and lace can be very tricky to spin, we’re doing a bunch of swatching to pinpoint the exact issue. laura did several swatches and i’ve got several myself.

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they sat in a bath all afternoon while i went to a birthday party for a special friend (more about that later this week). i also have a really big post brewing about the results of all the swatching; stay tuned for that later in the week as well.

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with everything in testing stages and nothing really on the needles to knit, i thought, what the heck, i may as well get it all out of the way while i’m in that mode and next thing you know, i was swatching my special, special yarn that we brought home from the mill last week (sound dizzying? don’t get me started).

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i tried it out on two different needle sizes in both stockinette and the wheaten pattern, figuring that this would give me plenty to think about. the yarn is buttah soft; it will be a luxurious garment. i was thinking that a long, softly shaped cardigan would be lovely in this yarn. i’m not definite about that; we’ll see.

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meanwhile, i’m collecting data.

so you see, lots and lots of knitting and nothing really to show for myself.

later today though, i’ll be releasing a couple of patterns from the september installment of the purple club—two very pretty lacy designs. have a wonderful MLK day and come back for more a little later on!

 

 

glasstower

anne wrote this mid-afternoon:

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with all this january cold and wind, you might tiring of the same old rotation of scarves.

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or possibly (like, ahem, me) you never really got around to sorting out your warm woolies and are making do with a rather flimsy fall scarf (though you never thought it was, back in october).

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if your own comfort fell victim to december gift knitting, i think you are well within your rights to take advantage of the holiday weekend just about to begin—time to put your feet up and indulge in a couple of afternoons or evenings filled with selfish knitting.

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this trendy little accessory cowl is just the thing—fun and quick enough to complete in an evening or two, warm and cuddly enough to fit the bill for outdoor wear, and—if you haven’t ventured into color knitting yet—a neat little gateway project to introduce yourself to a new skill.

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glass tower, in size small (shown here) or large (to wrap twice or wear long) can be knit in any combination of two natural shades or dyed colors of DK weight yarn that you desire.

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ours is knit in two shades of stone soup DKtravertine and river rock—which has a soft, flannelly surface, but would be equally handsome in kent DK, breakfast blend DK, or Confection Sport.

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

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erica put together a kit which may be purchased in size small or large and includes the pattern plus your choice of two yarn shades.

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that’s bound to make someone you know happy!

many thanks to our friends darpan and kedric for giving this release such a handsome look.

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beautiful, but cold

anne wrote this in the early evening:

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we had a little reprieve over the weekend from those plunging bitter temperatures, but now we are back to frosty windows and cold toes. the sky really is that unbelievable blue, but i’m not hanging around outside to admire it.

the good news for this week is that i’ve finished all secret knitting for the time being and since the projects in our next club are not secret, i’m getting a bit of a break from that. almost all my knitting for the next four or five months can be public (save for a few collaborations or gifts i might work on).

more good news: laura and sheyanne have put a little video up on the knitspot Facebook page to help promote a contest that our staff has devised. please take a detour over there to see what it’s about and leave a comment. and please share it with your friends; i am SO enjoying the responses to their message. thanks!

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while we finalize details for our blanket statement club, coming up in february (still spots left; come and get ‘em), i’ve been dreaming about working on some sweater projects and there are a few lace shawl projects i’ve been wanting to get to as well. i feel a sense of freedom about the approaching months; i just hope i can keep it going.

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this kent DK in the caramel-y kelp shade has been calling my name since we received it in the fall; its golden highlights give it a bit of an aura for me. i’d like to knit a nice cozy saturday cardigan with it. it was a real tossup between this shade, which i’ve drooled over for months and the new mussel shell shade, which i instantly took to—it’s so my color. i’m actually still wavering . . .

i also want another ivar—mine got conscripted into another life as a shop sample. i’m thinking that for the next one i should knit with better breakfast fingering—how delicious would that be? i’m waiting to see what the next shade looks like—it’s supposed to be a charcoal—to decide. and maybe this time i’ll go for a pullover (which might help me justify using the mussel shell for my other cardigan; see above)

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and there thee is the special, special yarn we made while visiting the mill last weekend. i know exACTly what i want to knit with this—a gorgeous openwork cardigan; wait til you see. look at the beautiful gold halo over this fiber—that’s not actual color streaking in the yarn but the light catching the blooming soft fibers.

but first, i had to spend the weekend tying up loose ends on the purple club, so i can launch new projects going forward.

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i did my planning and scheming while putting some much-needed time into a big pot of soup and other tasty meals to tide us through the week. we still have lots of ingredients from the garden for soup, including potatoes, onions, carrots, and celeriac (that ball-shaped vegetable with the fascinating appearance at the back of the frame), plus frozen tomatoes, green beans, and corn.

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for an hour or so of effort in chopping and getting it started, the return is great—several quart boxes for the freezer and future evening meals, a couple of larger cartons to freeze for impromptu company and the rest for meals during this week. not to mention the delicious fragrance that filled the house.

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mmm.

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while things bubbled, i worked on my sock a bit—it’s amazing how it grows when i actually work on it, haha. the yarn—our stone soup fingering weight in the travertine shade—is knitting up into a nice dense fabric, that yet will not be too bulky to wear inside shoes.

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a pretty toasty brown shade speckled with white neps from the rambouillet wool that makes up part of its content. this fiber also adds lots of spring to the yarn, ensuring a cushy sock fabric. i’ve always wondered if it would make good socks and now i’ll find  out.

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i’m using my basic sock patternfor numbers; this morning i knit the heel flap and soon i’ll be cruising down the foot. it’s a nice travel knit, portable and easy to pick up where i left off. all factors that make the knitting go faster.

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on sunday it was more cooking, this time a vegetable curry. we can buy some nice organic vegetables in winter but they don’t last long, so weekend are my time to decide what to cook with them.

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more chopping and then sautéing, layering each item into the pan as the previous one began to cook. once the liquid went in, i got to sit down and knit some rounds while it bubbled its way to doneness.

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and today, leftovers for lunch, mmmm.

i don’t keep recipes for these dishes, but just construct them from whatever we have in the fridge (or the garden in summer). easy peasy; the hardest part is chopping stuff. pinky swear!

ok, time for me to get on out the door to yoga class—i’ll be back next time with a warm cowl pattern, something i kept back from the pre christmas rush that we can knit quickly for these coldest winter days.