fringetree

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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it’s hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we introduced the second addition to our family of bare naked wools—our stone soup fingering yarn, which we shipped as the march club selection to our 2013 bare naked knitspot members, in the original pumice shade.

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stone soup has been so popular that we now sell it in two weights and four—soon to become six—shades; fans of this handsome, well-performing blend just can’t get enough (including me, haha). it makes lovely sweaters with a beautiful hand in both stockinette and textured fabric, but it also does lace like nobody’s business, blocking out into edges that seem cut from crystal and holding its shape with perfection.

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i fell in love with it as soon as i saw it, but i became very much more attached when i began to knit with it. the first thing i made was the shawl i designed for the march club installment, fringetree. this design was a little slow in coming to me and a little resistant to coalescing at the time, but once it finally defined itself i was certain it was just the right thing for showing off this yarn.

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the mix of its chiseled good looks with the delicate fluttering lace motifs is a surprise, while the contrast of all those lace points with the softness of the fabric is pleasantly disarming.

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fringetree turned out to be a real hit with our club members too; one of those designs that lots of people seize on as the perfect early spring knit. its complex appearance belies its surprisingly easy-to-work construction and once you get it on the needles it flies along.

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(i just love this photo of my friend kris modeling the shawl; she looks like she’s about to lift off on its wings.)

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the fabric is so light and soft that it can be piled up and wound round the neck as a scarf or allowed to flutter free in the breeze—it flexes with the weather at hand. i know one knitter who sleeps in hers, which is my favorite feedback on this design so far.

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and with three sizes included, there is one for every use. i’m always partial to the petite and mini sizes because i find little shawls terribly useful when traveling. but with these options and our new halfsies and mini-sized skeins, everyone’s desires are covered.

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shown here, the medium shawl (left) and the petite shawl (right) in bare naked wools stone soup fingering yarn, color pumice

and now is when it gets interesting, because as much as we love this design in the stone soup yarn, we have a special batch of yarn that is also lovely knit up as a fringetree.

shown below, the petite size shawl in breakfast special #2, color cream n sugar.

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we received this one-of-a-kind batch of breakfast blend fingering from our mill in the cream n sugar shade back in december. when we took it out of the box, we could see it had been spun to perfection—angel hair in a skein, i’m not kidding you.

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everything about it—the drape, the halo, the next-to-the-skin softness—was something special alright; only problem was, it was just a little too thin to qualify as our regular breakfast blend fingering yarn. at 500 yards per skein, it was not hefty enough for socks but would make lovely lace.

i figured, why not do one of our special kits with it when the fringetree is ready to be released?

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so we did—david has just opened the kit listing; there are just sixty skeins available (the two-skein option will actually allow you to make both the petite and the medium size). this yarn would also make a really lovely wedding shawl, kinda like the one our kim wore last week at her wedding.

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the one-skein option will make the adorable petite size, perfect for those of us who love scarves or a very quick knit—you could totally knit this by easter sunday.

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to purchase patterns or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the fringetree page in the knitspot pattern shop or visit the fringetree page in our ravelry pattern shop. please click here to purchase the fringetree kit.

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the shawl pattern is also included in the BNK 2013 eBook collection—14 terrific garment and accessory patterns that celebrate the beauty of natural fiber, each one multi-sized and suitable for gifting or keeping; many will have universal appeal for women, men, and children alike. purchase the eBook collection from the knitspot club website or in our ravelry pattern shop.

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another fun thing to do—click here to view the project page for the fringetree shawl. see more examples knit by club members and photographed on a variety of people and in alternate yarns. or better yet, join us in our swinging’ BNK clubhouse or knitspot mothership for a KAL!

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thank you so very much to karen who modeled the new shawl sample for us this week—doesn’t she look adorable in it? i love how she’s rocking’ a bit of a cowboy look with it, so cute.  and many thanks all to our friends helena and kris who modeled the original designs for us last year.

 

what’s cooking?

anne wrote this in the late evening:

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the view from my desk here in san diego can’t be beat—especially with snow flying back at home (poor david; i wish he was here with me). the first few days were a bit dreary, but since the wedding, the weather here has been perfect—refreshing 50s at night and in the 70s during the day. i SO needed this.

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w-day went off with no trouble at all; the day dawned perfectly beautiful and the event was lovely as can be with plenty of special people to celebrate kim and jeff’s happy day

if you enjoyed that small synopsis, you can see an even more extensive album on my flickr page

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an absolutely lovely day for my lovely friend; it just makes my heart swell to see her so happy!

that night the newlyweds went off to honeymoon and now they are enjoying a week in paris (so jealous!). i’m staying on here to look after the boys while they are away, which is pretty exciting considering the weather at home, which continues to be very cold and even snowy.

i can work very well right here while the boys go to school and work; they could probably even take care of themselves, but this way, they’ll get decent meals and have a reliable adult around just in case.

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we are cooking some old favorites and trying some new ones as well—the other night we made pasta with vodka sauce, which is always on the request list

but we also tried a new recipe for mahi-mahi with peppers and mango in a sweet and sour curry sauce that turned out delicious

and believe me, they gobbled up those green vegetables almost entirely—just a lunch portion left of each. we baked sweet potatoes with this dinner to round out the meal, which were also yummy.

today i did my long run while the boys were at church and when i got back i started a vegetable curry.

kade helped me finish it up when they got home.

for dessert, we’re making sticky rice with mangoes, using an intriguing method for steaming sticky rice that i found on the shesimmers website (my go-to site to read about thai cooking and recipes).

(with the publication of her first book, simple thai food, leela has a week of giveaways going—you should check them out)

on the recommendation of the proprietor of our local asian market, i’ve been using black sticky rice to make this dish, because it is both flavorful and quite beautiful. my sister-in-law nan was converted as well when we made it this way over christmas. the rich purple color of the rice is a gorgeous complement to the bright orange mangoes. like any whole-grain (brown) rice, it takes quite a bit longer to cook but it’s well worth the wait

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i couldn’t get the mangoes we like best, which come from thailand or the phillipines, so we had to settle for the mexican ones. mangoes are just about to come into season though, so hopefully we’ll see the asian type in the markets soon.

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with all this talk about cooking and wedding celebrating, you probably think i haven’t been knitting but i have. of course, mostly on secret projects, which i’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear, haha

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on the plane out here, i got the whole back of a sweater knit—i’m so excited; just two sleeves left to go and with some diligence (meaning, no email or ravelry chatter) i think i can knock those out this week and maybe do the blocking and seaming as well.

i’m working with our stone soup fingering yarn in the slate shade—this will be a lovely, lightweight garment, just perfect for spring. i can’t give you any more details than that right now but stay tuned, because it will be revealed soon.

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i’ve also worked on the fingering weight op art cowl in spirit trail sunna, colorway va-va-voom! it’s coming along, but i am trying to be fair and split my time between all three rejects i have here; they are all important right now.

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i’m also running as much as i can while i’m here—gotta take advantage of this glorious weather. i WANT to be out there for a long run every day but i’m trying to be sensible—my first half marathon is two weeks form today and from here on out, it will be important to scale back a little, eat right, and get plenty of rest.

so today was my last long training run until race day; i’m just so glad i got to come out here for the pre-race period. i’ve been a lot less stiff running in the warmer climate.

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i purchased some new shoes just before i left home which are breaking in nicely.

people often ask me how i come up with ideas for my designs and while it’s not always a straight line between inspiration and finished design, i can sometimes see afterward a clear relationship—like my hills in jamul hat design, which was included in the february BNK club package

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the colors, textures, and winding roads that i run on here are approximated in the shapes and textures of the hat.

today i ran a little bit longer than the half marathon distance—my turn back was about a half mile past this mile marker sign; when i got the other direction, the miles count down and after the zero point there is still one mile to go.

i’m tired, but it’s a happy tired; i am ready.

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ok, i’ll be back in a few days, hopefully with the fringe tree shawl pattern to release; i know some of you are waiting on that. i need to get photos from sarah so i can do the post.

have a good monday; happy knitting.

Introducing Halfsies and Minis

majordomo wrote this terribly early in the morning:

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Colorwork nuts get ready. We have something special for you. Stone Soup Fingering in halfsies and minis! The unique blend of rambouillet, lincoln, columbia, churro, alpaca, plus a little tencel, bamboo and silk throw in the mix

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in natural colorways of Pumice, Slate, Marble and Granite are now available in minis (1 oz skeins)

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and Granite and Pumice are available in halfsies (2 oz skeins).

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Aren’t they precious!? Don’t you want to scoop up a few of these and start playing with how the colorways relate to each other in a stranded motif? Or grab a limited edition Bare Naked Wools kit? Yeah, we thought you would.

That’s why we had Tanya knit an Apples in Clover last week

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and had Susan model for us,

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so we could release a limited edition kit – Apples in Clover Tam. What a great way to welcome spring with a pattern of apple blossoms, clover, and tiny fruits running rings around this slouchy tam.

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You can choose from two kits, a Marble background with Pumice and Slate as your contrasting colors

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OR a Slate background with Granite and Marble as your contrasting colors. Tanya knit the above sample using all four colors, so if you want the same versatility you could grab a kit here and add an extra color to your cart here. Any leftovers would make great stripey fingerless mitts or a baby hat.

Apple in Clovers Tam also compliments Rain On a Hot Tin Roof nicely.

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Grab full skeins of Stone Soup Fingering, plus the hat and cowl patterns and you’ll have enough yarn to knit both. It’s always nice to have a complimentary set in your wardrobe. And natural colorwork accessories are so versatile. They coordinate beautifully with neutral clothing or you can spice things up a bit and wear BNWs with a pop of color.

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Imagine the options with these new knits below in your closet!

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Some of you may already have Stone Soup halfsies and minis on the needles. We first released them at the BNWs pop up store in Novi, MI and our friend Cherie squealed when she saw them!

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She is such a fan of colorwork and was excited about the new put up. Oh the possibilities! We often save something a little special to offer pop up store customers – a new pattern, a new kit, sometimes a brand new yarn. If you’re in the Chicago area April 5 and 6 stop by Yarn Con.

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Barb, Susan, and Sarah would love to show you the latest and greatest Bare Naked Wools has to offer.

gifts beyond compare

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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packing for my trip the other day, i was really glad i’d decided to fly on the airline that allows me to take two bags—i had to devote one entire suitcase to wedding paraphernalia alone!

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most of my plane ride took place in complete darkness, as i was flying from east to west, but as we landed, the sky was a beautiful sapphire blue—until we got below that thick marine layer hugging the coast.

i got tons of knitting done, completing the sweater back i had going and working a bit on a secret project as well. i’ll show you all of that in a weekend post.

below clouds, it was chilly, windy, and rainy; not as warm as i’d hoped it would be, but better than home, where it was blizzarding once again.

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but sunny smiles all around from my west coast “family”. the afternoon was filled with errands and another trip to the airport; then it was time to head out to sam’s swim meet.

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which was held outdoors unfortunately; the day became increasingly damp and chilly as it wore on. afterward, we all piled into the car and headed posthaste to a warm middle eastern eatery, mmm.

this morning i was up early for a nice long run, during which the sun actually came out for a while and i came home with ever-so-slight tan lines—to be developed further during the next ten days.

we had a lot of errands on the agenda for the rest of the day and naturally with so many last minute things to take care of, there were a few SNAFUs as well. by 9:30, kim was literally buzzing around the house putting out fires.

but before we headed out, i insisted she take a break to catch her breath and enjoy a little indulgence from her knitting compadres.

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you see, i not only traveled to help celebrate the marriage of our dear friend kim; i was carrying precious cargo as well. david and i, along with about thirty of kim’s dearest internet friends have been hatching a secret gift project for a couple of months and finally the day has arrived to present it.

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well, to say she was surprised would be the understatement of the year. you can see the complete story in the youTube video that her daughter xanning made, posted on the knitspot channel.

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and the fact that thirty knitters who love to chat could keep such a wonderful secret from her was the best part i think. her genuine and unadulterated surprise was a real treat to witness; it made us all feel great.

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isn’t she fab?? this is why we love her and love doing things for her; kim’s joy for life is so completely contagious. it’s hard not to smile and laugh when i’m spending time with her.

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and the blanket wasn’t all—there was a beautiful storage bag made by michele

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from fabrics printed with a zombie theme, inside and out; SO much fun and kim just loved that

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the last item in the bag was a special project made by the two newest knitters in the bunch. sarah, who actually learned to knit a bit too late to contribute a blanket square, wanted very much to make something to give to kim.

barb suggested that she and david could knit some blocks to make a pillow.

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ao with barb’s help, they did just that and it turned out so cute!

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each knitter also sent along a card which kim is reading as i write this; she is just so touched.

i know it was a huge effort for everyone involved to keep the whole thing a secret, but i promise it was completely worth it. thank you so much to all who contributed!

we would have loved to spend the rest of the day curled up on the sofa painting our toes and watching movies while alternately admiring this beautiful gift, but realistically, there was a lot of running around to do. another trip to the airport and some errands

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she had to stop at sephora, so i picked up some fresh spring lip color while i was waiting

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to go with my dress, haha. far be it from me to just stand around wasting time.

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later on, while kim packed for her honeymoon trip to paris, i steamed her dress.

we are all set for tomorrow morning; we have to leave the house by 7:30 . . . AM. so i think this is probably a good time to sign off; i’ll be back later in the weekend with a wedding update and lots of party photos.

in the meantime, erica will be filling in on friday with a blog about something new. have a wonderful weekend; see you on sunday!