Cover Lover

majordomo wrote this late at night:

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The temp has dropped considerably in Michigan and I couldn’t be happier. Gardening is such a delight in the crisp weather! Every single bed got a fluff and facelift, plus we did a new raised bed out front with new plantings, thanks to the help of my parents.

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Each night we worked until dark and were chilled to the bone, looking forward to escaping to all the woolens inside. The heavier blankets came out of cedar storage and onto the beds and handknit socks were on our feet. I love to be covered in layers in the evenings with knitting in my hands. This combination seems to warm my soul.

Last night I wove in the ends of my Goobalini in Stone Soup DK and Nate’s Yarn and today I had a chance to wear it.

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There’s just enough nip in the air and it feels so good to walk around the neighborhood with the sun heating up the blend (rambouillet, columbia, lincoln, navajo-churro, alpaca, silk, bamboo, tencel, bison, and llama) atop my head. Details on my ravelry page here.

I’ve now moved onto a Fartlek in two colors of Stone Soup DK. This yarn is my new obsession!

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I’m doing the brim in the new Travertine and the body of the hat in Marble. I knit Fartlek before in Pumice (details here) and I’m looking forward to a whole new look of this hat in two colors. In case you did a double take two sentences back – yes! we have NEW colors of Stone Soup and we have them in Fingering and DK!

River Rock is a rich, chocolatey brown

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and Travertine is a warm, soft brown that reminds me of wet clay on a wheel.

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The two of these colors compliment each other beautifully and are also stunning on their own.

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Cable Keyhole Scarf is a perfect quick knit for Fall. With just one skein of Stone Soup DK, you can make two scarves! That means one for you and one for the gift bin!

And once you get hooked on cables, you can move on to getting an Aztec Mazes on the needles.

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This version was knit in Breakfast Blend DK, but just imagine it in the subtly tweedy texture of Stone Soup DK!

Or maybe you’re wanting to cover up this winter with a Wheaten blanket. A great way to get comfortable with the stitch pattern is to first work up Wheaten Cap and Mitts.

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This version was knit in Stone Soup Fingering River Rock. Wouldn’t it be so sweet to give a couple the gift of Wheaten for the holidays? The girl could get the cap and mitt set and the guy could get the blanket!

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Maybe there’s a new baby needing a warm welcome into the world and Sky Ladder would make a sweet little gift.

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Plus there’s a matching cap too!

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This set was knit in pumice and I bet it would be lovely knit in one of the new browns!

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I’m still deciding what blanket I want to cast on. There’s so many gorgeous ones! I was really set on Caravan,

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but now I’m leaning towards Roger That after seeing WelshSteph’s blanket in Stone Soup DK in Granite.

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Isn’t it divine!? And her wallpaper is fantastic! See details on her ravelry project page here.

Anne has carefully chosen the new browns to work well with the rest of the Stone Soup palette, so you have even more options for colorwork. I think a Hazard throw in all the Stone Soup Colors would be quite the show piece.

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Imagine this wrap in a stripey blanket version! And depending on the yardage you need to plan the colors of your throw, we have Halfsies (half skeins) available here.

Even though Anne’s blanket patterns are designed for specific weights, they can easily be knit with other ones and a needle change. For instance my mom is knitting Comfort Me

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in Breakfast Blend DK on a US #7, instead of the Confection Worsted it was knit in above. You can easily customize Anne’s blanket designs to fit the weight and size you prefer to knit.

What blanket or sweater are you dreaming of casting on? Tell me in the comments by 9 pm EST September 23 and I’ll pick TWO WINNERS to get a pattern of their choice! Speaking of contests, thank you all for entering the Garden Inspired Knits giveaway. The winners are Anya and Shelley!

busy city

anne wrote this in the late afternoon:

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last week i mentioned that we were heading out to participate in a large wine and food event downtown and what an adventure it turned out to be! first of all we made new friends all over the place.

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i mean, who can resist doughnuts, especially those made by peace, love, and little donuts? and doughnuts with wine?? well, i’ve learned—that’s how we do things in canton OH, haha.

just after setting up our pretty booth, a big storm rolled in that spattered everyone with rain throughout the evening. in fact, at one point the tornado sirens went off and they cleared everyone off the street to get inside under cover.

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no matter; it didn’t last long and afterward, everyone came out ready to party. the event was absolutely PACKED and the rain just made everyone duck under the tents to congregate around the booths—perfect. and we got to have fun too—i tasted a few wines that i really liked, my favorite being fagus, a grenache that comes from a 90-year-old vine. it was very dry with a wonderful clove scent. mmm-mm.

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of the non-wine offerings, this was my personal favorite—chocolates by erin. this is what i brought home for a treat at the end of the night.

what a fun event; we didn’t sell a lot but we gave out tons of cards and invitations to our grand opening party next weekend (which i jokingly refer to as the GOP).photoShoot09_17

once vintage canton was over, we all had to scurry to get everything finalized for our september purple club release. we had a very specific look we wanted for the photo shoot, which required just the right kind of streetscape. i love the way everything turned out, thanks to david and sarah and our models quentin and sheyanne.

and of course there is no rest for the wicked—as soon as this month’s samples were off the needles, it was time to get serious about other projects that have been queued up, including cooking for the week ahead and catching up with things around the house.

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i’m not joking when i say i’m still picking tons of beans every few days; they just won’t stop. i picked three or four pounds of them on sunday and since they were a bit big, just roasted the whole lot (thank you cathy). some i coated in sesame oil with chile garlic sauce and some coated in truffle oil, salt, and pepper. these were ziplocked away into the freezer for future meals.

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meanwhile, i had some smaller ones i’d saved aside from the previous batch to make a big pan of those stir-fried beans i showed you last week. i could eat those every night; we had them on sunday with salmon, fresh dug, crisp-roasted potatoes (jealous??), and fresh sweet corn.

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yeah, the potatoes are gonna be the next tidal wave—we have so many out there and they did SO well this year that i’m actually a little frightened. every time i go out to dig some, i get all i need from one or two hills—these took longer to hose off than they took to dig, haha. we might have to store them right where they are and dig as we need them; i don’t think we have room anywhere to keep them in the house.

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I’ve spent a good deal of my “free” time in the last week on swatching—in addition to several secret projects in various stages of planning and knitting, i’ve got some gorgeous birte DK from spirit trail fiberworks with which to design a new scarf/cowl in time for jen to release it in her booth at rhinebeck.

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i love this sludgy dark blue-gray, the color of an oil slick. it’s called bog shadows; isn’t that appropriate? i found a pattern i liked right away—one big motif with a cable running right up the center. it’ll be so striking but SO simple—just the thing to make a few of for holiday gifting.

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along with that dark color, jen also sent this rich, ocean blue that fades in some areas to teal and olive; another winner. and look—jen has a BUNCH of birte on her sale page right now, many colors still have two left (which is what you’ll need for a nice sized scarf with some leftovers)

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i’m also gunning right along on my colorwork projects for fall classes—this is one version of my new mass transit cowl which is being released the first weekend of october. i’m knitting it in one colorway of briar rose fourth of july along with two shades of stone soup DKmarble and granite. next i’m going to knit the exact same pattern with the same colors, but in a different arrangement and i think you’ll be amazed at what a big visual difference that will make.

(these are awfully fun projects . . . they make me want to abandon all my responsibilities, run away to a remote cabin in the woods, and knit every variation i can think of for the next month or so from just these two patterns. does that make me a bad person??)

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i have my boilermaker cowl (also a future release) knit to the point where i really need to add a third shade, but put it aside because that shade has not yet arrived from the mill. i  might just go ahead and work with another one; trying to decide . . .

our plan is to make everything available during the yarn in the barn event weekend. if you can’t make it to michigan, we’ll bring it to you at home—we’ll offer kits right here combining our undyed bare naked wools with chris’s beautiful fourth of july in four different colorways so you can knit along with us from home.

i’m excited—are you excited?

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and finally, needles are in the shop—both our retail space and our online store. and if you want some, you better get them before i cannibalize the rack—i’ve already taken one pair (to knit my second cowl!)

emily and erica are going through the website a little at a time to add links to the pattern pages for the right needles along with yarn suggestions.

we are all working hard this week making final preparations for our grand opening days next weekend—i hope you’ll try to stop in if you live nearby. i promise it will be worth it; we have some awesome door prizes for one thing. we’ll be drawing names every hour, but you have to be present to win.

alright now, somebody said something about working g hard and that would apply to me too—i better go over to the office and see where i’m needed.

A Grand Affair

majordomo wrote this terribly early in the morning:

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It’s time to celebrate the boutique in proper fashion, don’t you think? There are new samples coming in weekly from our team of knitters,

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new inventory has been rolling in,

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including ChiaoGoo circular and double point knitting needles (yahoo! soon they’ll be in the online store too),

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and Sarah’s done a great job of constantly updating the look of the store,

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that we feel it’s TIME to have a shindig. We’re bursting at the seams with excitement about the details and you’re all invited!

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The party begins Friday, Sept 26 at 5:30 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and then we move into the boutique for shopping

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while enjoying light apps and wine from local vendors. At 7:00 design talks will be presented by Anne and Hunter Hammersen.

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Anne will discuss the history of Bare Naked Wools,

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followed by Hunter’s talk about designing these slippers with Bare Naked Wools and her upcoming book.

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As people roam the boutique and check out the trunk show, Anne will chat further about the unique properties of her natural yarn line and how her designs come to fruition.

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Anne and Hunter will complete the event with a Q & A session plus knitting pattern and book signing.

If you can’t make Friday’s event, join us Saturday for morning treats and coffee with a similar design talk session at 11:00. During the 2-day event all Knitspot patterns at the boutique will be BUY 4 get 1 FREE and just for visiting, every customer will receive a ticket for a chance to win this door prize!

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We are giving away a basket including a Dutch Tiles throw kit, Knitspot canvas tote bag, and a couple surprise Knitspot goodies. For every $50 you spend in the store, we’ll give you additional entries into the drawing!

So mark your calendars, call your friends and get carpools to Canton organized. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

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let’s get winey

anne wrote this in the early afternoon:

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still working away on my large-ish secret project but while that’s in the finishing stages and just about to come off the needles (SO close), i’ve been working away at some other projects to get ready for my fall classes which begin in about a month (plus some fiber shows we are involved in!).

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first, to prepare for my color work classes at the briar rose yarn in the barn event in michigan, i spent some time in august playing with combinations of chris’s gorgeous hand painted yarn with shades of our bare naked wools. for the classes, we are knit with combinations of colors in briar rose fourth of july and naturals in our brand new, soon to be released, confection sport yarn; the colors for that will be the same as for our confection worsted weight line (plus a new addition i haven’t seen yet).

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i’ve sorta been going nuts with the swatching—you know how i get excited once i get my teeth into something. especially something bare naked, haha.

seriously though; you can’t even imagine how lush it all feels knit together—wow.

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right now i’m substituting the stone soup DK for the confection sport because there are a couple shade that haven’t arrived yet and wouldn’t you know, one of them is just the one i need for my final project. hopefully that will arrive next week.

swatching for color combinations can really make me seem frantically nuts, as in, i can’t put it down, you know? i just want to try every single possibility! and i haven’t even made a dent yet in the stranded swatching that i’m doing for demonstration purposes.

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we’ll be doing a larger proportion of that in our rhinebeck after party classes, along with a beautiful project.

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i’ve got one on the needles now, in fact; i’m making several versions because i can’t decide which is most beautiful and i want to show participants how easy it can be to get a different look with the same exact yarn choices.

well, i don’t want to give it all away here, but you get the idea. haha, just trying to rustle up some excitement for those looking forward to joining us! hey, if you’re not signed up yet and your interest is now piqued, please consider coming to the party—there is still room for a few more.

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ok, now i gotta boogie—we are a sponsor of and a participating vendor at a big event downtown tonight—vintage canton. this is a fun and foodie event with art, artisans, and music as well—if you live in the area, it might be a fun thing for you to come and take part in. and if you already have a ticket, please stop by the bare naked wools booth and say hello to me, sarah, and the now famous barb!