boilermaker and mass transit

anne wrote this in the wee hours:


some things—and some people—are just destined to be paired. what’s good on its own is suddenly great when the other is in the mix.


it’s like that with my friend chris from briar rose—we’re not attached at the hip, but whenever we work together, it feels like magic is in the mix.


this time, it’s a bevy of delicious cowls, knit up in easy to master color work patterns using her fourth of july and our bare naked wools confection sport. yowza.


the coolest thing about these projects is how many, many options you have—with just one pattern, one skein of dyed yarn and two shades of undyed yarn, you can knit three generously sized short cowls or one lo-o-ong cowl and one short one. but that’s not the best part.


the best part is that if you desire it, each one of those pieces can look completely different from the others. you’re friends will be aMAZed.


these are but a few of the combinations you could knit for the boilermaker cowl alone.

and if color’s not your thing, well . . .


you still have options.

(if you start now, you could knit a good number of them by the time the holidays are upon us.)


seriously, these could really put a dent in that holiday knitting list you’ve got going—and with so little effort, it’s almost criminal (but deliciously so).


shown above: mass transit cowl, size small, knit with briar rose fibers fourth of july (blue), combined with bare naked wools stone soup DK (marble and granite)

shown below: boilermaker cowl, size small, knit with briar rose fibers fourth of july (green), combined with bare naked wools confection sport (nougat and milk chocolate)


each pattern also includes a large size which is double the length; either size is easily adjustable in length and width.


the all-neutral version is knit with three shade of our new confection sport yarn.

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

best of all, david has put together a kit! each kit includes your choice of mass transit or boilermaker pattern, two halfsie skeins (2 ounces/187 yards) of confection sport, AND one half size skein (4 ounces/275 yards) of briar rose fourth of july in your choice of four colors

OR two halfsie skeins (2 ounces/187 yards) of confection sport, AND one full skein (4 ounces/375 yards) of dark chocolate confection sport.


that’s enough yarn to knit three small cowls or one large and one small cowl; have we convinced you yet?


there’s one last option that might sway you . . .


cashmere lining anyone? it’s really easy to add a luxurious lining to your cowl—a sure barrier against even the fiercest winds. knit one for the person you love and watch them glow with the pleasure of it.

then knit your own as a reward; there’s enough for three or four add-on linings in just one skein of our pura bella undyed mongolian cashmere—get it while it lasts.


many thanks to my friends jude and lincoln for coming out after a long day at school to model these cowls for us. and of course also to the incredibly lovely sarah—isn’t she beautiful?

and for  my friend chris at briar rose fibers—visit both of us in her booth at rhinebeck in just a couple of weeks!


interested in exploring color a little more, maybe in the company of good friends? come join us at our rhinebeck after party event in kingston, new york right after rhinebeck weekend. we will be talking about and playing with yarn and color for three days—learn, have fun, and enhance your stash in our popup shop. click here for more details

let the good times roll

anne wrote this at around evening time:


yes, good times indeed—david had a birthday last week and we were all so frantically busy getting ready to leave town that i didn’t get a chance to blog about it.

he had requested a chocolate cream pie and in the process of planning it, i got an idea about how to help myself with getting that troublesome gluten free pie crust into the pie plate in one piece . . . use TWO pie plates!

i thought i’d try it out here. i made the crust from my faithful, original recipe, subbing in gluten free flour and teaspoon of xanthan gum—even though it wasn’t devised to be gluten free i keep going back to this one because, out of all the ones i’ve tried, everyone seems to like it the best.


i rolled it out between two pieces of plastic wrap and laid over an upturned smaller pie plate.


i removed the top layer of plastic and lightly molded the dough to the plate so it wouldn’t tear during the next step.

i placed the bigger pie plate over the dough and rolled the edges of the crust all around to get them in place for crimping later. then i secured them in with the under layer of plastic wrap so nothing would tear (gluten free pie crust tears really easily).

i flipped the whole shebang over, removed the smaller pie plate and the plastic wrap, and finished making the edges neat.


that worked a treat—it took just a few minutes and nothing tore or broke; i’m sold. i finished it off by crimping, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to set up, and then baked the shell to get it ready for the filling.


i cooked a dark chocolate custard filling that i used to make regularly for david and have not made for a long time; i forgot to take photos of that, sorry.


he was pretty happy with the results though . . .


although possibly barb enjoyed it even more, haha. we cut and served the pie during last wednesday’s knit night (see? you should come!)

though we had miles to go that night before we’d be ready to head for michigan, it was a lovely way to celebrate together.

it was quite a frantic, nailbiter of a week, in fact.


it started out well enough—debbie brought her finished and blocked capricorn triangle to class, which we all drooled over—it looks so pretty and now we’re having the perfect weather for it.


on tuesday, debby sent all of us an update photo of her washed caravan blanket, which she’d repaired in class the week before. just look at that; you can’t even tell it was ever any different. and you certainly can’t see anything resembling a bite taken out of it, haha.


i had that morning, washed all of the finished cowl samples i had knit the week before to get ready for my upcoming color work classes. it’s so interesting—the bottom two are form the same pattern and the top two are also from the same pattern. but you can change the look completely by putting the colors in a different order or organizing them differently. most of these are knit with briar rose fourth of july, paired with our own, brand new confection sport.

yep, we’ve got kits—coming up in the next post, later tonight.


i also paired a couple of them with our stone soup DK, for a more soft and subtle tone. yeah, it’s easy to go crazy making these—as anne marie said, they my latest potato chip project; i can’t stop after just one.

hey there are worse things—and there is no shame in being ahead on holiday gift knitting for once.


or how about this one in an all-neutral palette—is that stunning or what? as soon as we get the sport weight white chocolate shade of confection in, we’ll hustle this kit up into the store, too.


i like this one so much that i even knit a cashmere lining for it, which i felt required a special drying setup. so i cantilevered my sleeve board over the edge of my pressing bench and hung it to dry, turning frequently.


can i just say? nothing says i love you like cashmere and who better to be on the receiving end than you?

cashmere linings take just a few yards (like, 100 or so) and almost no time to knit, but are the absolute essence of luxury. i used our pura bella mongolian cashmere; one skein will make three or four linings—enough for all your special knitwear appreciators, with guilt-free leftovers for you. just saying’.

anyway . . .


back to reality, it was an awfully long night last wednesday getting those last few tasks finished for our weekend at yarn in the barn at briar rose fibers in michigan. since i was up early on our travel day too, i took one last tour around the garden to gather whatever was out there; i saw the temperatures were going to plummet while we were gone.

then david and i piled ourselves and all of our booth stuff in the rental car and headed out.


and it was oh, so nice to arrive at chris and rogers lovely home in the late afternoon. to spend a warm, cozy evening knitting and catching up with friends.


i was so excited about the prospect of getting some knitting done that after dinner, i plunked myself into a chair and barely moved all evening. i worked on my wake and eddy cowl—a new design that i’m knitting in spirit trail birte, a merino/cashmere/silk DK blend. in fact, i finished it up that evening and this morning i grafted it while i had my coffee.


it’s not blocked yet, but you get the idea—a rich, dramatic  swirl of cables with a bit of openwork; i just love the way it slumps in the shorter version. there is a longer version too, which you can make either flat or as an infinity.

barb knit the flat one; it’s over in the office and i haven’t got a photo but we all just love it. we’ll take some nice photos before we leave for rhinebeck next week. this pattern will go live over rhinebeck weekend. the short version requires one skein of birte and the long version takes two.


somehow, fall well, fell this weekend didn’t it?

when we left home on thursday to go to michigan, it was 80 degrees and by the time we came home two days later, it was 39 or something. i think summer is really over . . . we’re gonna need these kinds accessories on a daily basis now . . .


before i left home i had cast on yet another cowl, using some leftover octoberfest fourth of july from our first fall in full color club and several shades of stone soup DK. when i was done with wake and eddy, i took out my barely begun color work cowl and got busy on it.


i knit on it throughout the next day and only stopped when i realized i was out of the darkest shade of SSDK—now that i’m home, i will finish it up, probably in class tomorrow. this one is a little longer—the better to scrunch up with pockets of warmth. everyone, including me, enjoyed watching its progress as we worked through our classes this weekend. and because of that, maybe this one is my favorite after all . . .


speaking of classes, we had an absolute blast this weekend in our color workshops. judy asked her husband jerry to drive her to michigan for the event—all the way from washington state. and he said yes, which was just our luck because judy is completely lovely.


we had the best time, especially on the final day when all of our weekend’s work culminated in our project immersion.


we learned and swatched and experimented. we did some technique work, yes, but the main point of it all was to experience the interaction of color—and by midday on saturday the lightbulbs were going off and everyone was grinning and chattering over the possibilities.


that was very exciting.

many of the participants chose to work with the red kit and yet each of them created a very different expression with it and marveling at their outcomes. so fun.


interested in exploring color a little more, maybe in the company of good friends? come join us at our rhinebeck after party event in kingston, new york right after rhinebeck weekend. we will be talking about and playing with yarn and color for three days—learn, have fun, and enhance your stash in our popup shop. click here for more details


meanwhile, out in the barn, erica and david were hard at work, setting up and running our booth, which looked beautiful. the hottest seller of the weekend was our delicious cabécou brillant. every last skein we brought was sold by saturday morning. people just make a beeline for that one . . .


of course we brought all of our yarns, but also all sorts of other goodies. with so many people in our ravelry group finishing up ivar sweaters lately, there was a lot of interest in our ivar kits.


rene and highlander were also popular choices for those looking to knit sweaters and almost everyone wanted a good hat or cowl pattern to knit up for holiday gifts.


and now we’re home again and wow, today just flew by. i came back with an armload of blocking to do and plenty of secret knitting as well. and of course, i have to finish up this cowl—maybe tonight while i watch TV; i need to ferret out some leftovers of SSDK in slate, which will require a trip to the office. haha, good thing it’s not far!


this morning i was looking out the kitchen window and noticed a bunch of red tomatoes on the vines—i don’t even know where those are coming from in such chilly weather, when we hardly got this many in july.

and seriously, the green beans? still pumping away; i picked another pound of those this morning too, along with some swiss chard and a few carrots that i pulled to snack on.

well, someone said something about releasing a couple of patterns this evening so i’d better go see about that—i’ll be back in a couple of days with an update of blocked and finished knits.

GOP–Not That GOP

anne wrote this in the wee hours:


Bare Naked Wools Boutique Grand Opening, perhaps a lifetime in the making, one must delight and savour such moments. A huge thank you to all of you for your support, kind words and generosity of spirit. How wonderful to share this experience with you, how I wish all of you to come visit in person to see what Knitspot has become. Stay tuned, for the next big thing, in the coming in the weeks ahead.



Day 1, space filled with people, some have travel a great distance, others mere steps from their homes next store. Movement proves difficult in the small space, echoes of “excuse me” rebound continuously as I traverse the hall. The accolades are like music, as one person after another expresses their exuberance for our collective success. I make my way to the back of the space, where the Knit Pit resides (Knit Pit = comfortable sofa and auspicious club chair, space to lounge, knit, contemplate, etc.), again, abound with personages, but heartened to see the space being utilized as intended, everything in it’s right space.




Alright, time for the chamber of commerce ribbon cutting, the scissors are massive, much larger than you might expect. Note my conspicuous absence from the photo, I prefer being behind the camera, although cajoled into an alternate take of ribbon cutting moments later. The evening concluded with talks by Hunter Hammersen, an Ohio based knit wear designer, she has several lovely books published and our own incomparable Anne Hanson, one of the most brilliant/knowledegable speakers I have encountered (I know, a bit bias, but nevertheless true).



Day 2, in the morning, must say not my favorite part of the day, but I courageously forge ahead, only to surrender to sleep immediately afterwards. Again there was a nice turnout, even a few people I personally invited came by. Hoping we can hold such events in the future, presently planing a ladies night. Wednesday is Knit night, come by and knit with us. Also, taking signups for beginners knitting class, send an email (name and email address) here.

A listing of prizes given away:

Yvonne Spencer – Dutch Tiles Kit

Robin Turner – Knitters Curiosity

Stephanie Bailey – The Rail

Ellie Russ – Salon Mystique

Sharon Miller – Milk and Honey

Mimi Crawford – Smoothie King

Susan Kelley – Main Street Grill

Courtny Richman – Smoothie King

Kelsey Miller – Basil

Alyssa Gearheart – Tapas 218

Cheryl Cone – Cloud Nine Cupcakes

Stephanie Garcia – Grapes in a Glass

Susan Meinal – EB’s Pub

Amanda Carter – Milk and Honey

A special thank you to our sponsors of gift certificates.


Mister Knitspot

days of wine . . . and wine!

anne wrote this in the early evening:


the first day of fall is just just a few days behind us, but wow, have things changed around here. i can’t get over how much more color has appeared in the treetops in just one week’s time


or how much the garden has died back


neither one a cause for regret in my mind, because both signal the onset of full-on knitting season and the flurry of excitement that goes with it. time to dive back into the stash and take account, make shopping lists for fall wool shows and shop excursions, and begin scheming upon holiday knitting strategies for later in the season.


i don’t know about you, but my own excitement about the advance of wool-wearing weather is somehow amplified by the fact that it is so closely timed to harvest season, when a rich variety of plenty can be had on all levels.


right now, when time is once again freed up for evening knitting and it’s cool enough to knit with wool in hand, is a good time to work through a much-desired selfish knitting project.



maybe you’ve been desiring to stretch your skills a bit with something a bit more involved or  make a larger shawl you can enjoy layering on when the weather turns truly cold.


these two pretty pieces will fit the bill; large, light and lacy, you can wear them loose and fluttery when the sun is warmer and you just need a light cover


or bunched up into a lovely pile of warmth around your neck and shoulders when the temperatures are a bit brisk. either would be stunning as an accent at the throat of a classic, plain coat.


featured in both rectangle and semicircle versions as our october club patterns last fall, they share a composition of grape leaves and trellises, set agains a background of garter stitch and mesh.


the semicircle, zinfandel, begins with a small number of stitches and increases outward to the hem through a “pi” construction; once you work an increase row, your stitch count and patterning will stay the same until the next big increase row. it’s kind of a nice break from a construction which increases constantly; you can decide about halfway through whether you want to knit the petite or tall version.


the rectangle, syrah, also can be knit in two sizes and begins at the center back with a provisional caston and is worked outward to the hem in both directions, resulting in a solid “body” punctuated by eyelets, with lots of lacy texture down near the hems—wonderful for scarfing up if you like.


shown here is the petite stole (above) and the petite semicircle shawl (below), both knit in briar rose stella, colorway days of wine . . . and wine!, which was a custom dyed colorway for our club.


we have a very limited number of skeins left in our bare naked wools boutique; too few to list in our online shop. please contact david to inquire, using our contact form at right.   ETA: all gone now, thank you!


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


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.

either of these beautiful shawls would be cushy and delicious in our chebris lace yarn or mrs lincoln’s lace.


i’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap up post about our wonderful grand opening party; stay tuned!