days of wine . . . and wine!

anne wrote this in the early evening:

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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

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or how much the garden has died back

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

open arms

anne wrote this terribly early in the morning:

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well, we are ready—or nearly so.

david has been putting the final touches on our newly expanded workspace.

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that’s right, we’re already changing things in our office, haha. we were sort of over-full almost from the beginning, so once we saw that our retail space was paying off, we decided to expand our footprint a bit, taking the entire lower level of the building that we’re in.

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that was just two weeks ago and several yarn storage rooms needed to be emptied and repainted. this will give us some much-needed elbow room in which to store and access the yarns. anastasia is SO excited that she won’t have to climb over stacks of nine to get at the ones in the back.

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with the other end of the floor came an additional common space, which david has fixed up to create a knitting lounge, where we have now placed comfy furniture and pattern books for browsing. i promise it looks ten times better already—more pictures over the weekend.

(this is also the spot where we can relax and knit with visiting guests or to house an extra class. local class schedule to begin in january; please join our mailing list at the right if you’d like to receive notifications). we will also be able to entertain groups from out of town for day-long classes or events.

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all that’s left is to hang some art.

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emily and erica are out shopping for goodies

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sarah picked up the wine for friday evening, which we’ll serve with snacks and on saturday, we’ll have breakfast items and coffee. hunter hammersen will speak about her experiences working with our yarns and i hear tell that she has been knitting swatches and putting together a beautiful trunk show to bring along with her books (which will be for sale). i’ll talk a bit about how our yarns came to be and how we work, both within our local community and the national fiber industry.

we have a couple of in-store specials for those who make the trip.
one is that when you purchase four patterns, you may choose a fifth one as our gift to you—that is, free.

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the other special is a kit for either the zinfandel shawl or the syrah stole pattens i will be releasing this weekend. we have a VERY limited supply of the gorgeous deep purple briar rose stella lace yarn left from from last october’s club installment; when they are gone, they’re gone.

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but we have been gifted some awesome door prizes too, some of which we ARE able to share with our online friends! we have prizes for delicious meals at the rail, basil asian bistro, tapas 218, main street grille, EB’s pub and party center, then tasty snacks and extras from smoothie king, grapes in a glass, milk & honey ice cream and confections,  and cloud nine cupcake. PLUS five gifts from my favorite hair and nail professionals at salon mystique.

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and our dear friend hunter is giving away a copy of the complete, three-volume set of her knitter’s curiosity cabinet.

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and finally a dutch tiles lap blanket kit from all of us here at bare naked wools, which includes four skeins of confection worsted, pattern, and a knitspot carry bag.

everyone who makes a purchase this weekend, in either our online shop or our boutique will be entered into the drawing for door prizes. we’ll pull names every hour or so throughout the two-day event and for the books and blanket kit at the end.

all that to say, it’s gonna be fun and i hope you’ll join us; see you this weekend!
details on our boutique web page; directions to the shop can be viewed here

 

 

puppy food

anne wrote this at around evening time:

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on monday, my friend debby came to our 4 pm class, and once she settled int0 her chair, she said, “wait til you see my problem”. i guess the one time she allowed her puppy upstairs, he got hold of her handspun camel caravan blanket and decided that was to be lunch. what a mess.

but she had a plan; she just ended a little help getting started.

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first, she took out stitches on either end of the tear until she had a solid, full row to place on a DPN—the bottoms of the stitches. then she did the same with the other side for the tops of the stitches.

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she knit her way across the divide, then grafted the two ends together, that fixed the broken area, but she still had to attach it to the blanket edge, which she did with a vertical graft or weave.

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this will always produce a join that is off by  half stitch, but thankfully, this unevenly spun yarn produces such a rustic fabric that once blocked and the fiber blooms, it will not not be noticeable. she did a great job on this and almost entirely without my help.

which gave ME a chance to catch up on some much needed knitting time (THANK you debby). i’ve been working so hard on class handouts and patterns for the last few weeks that my knitting to-do list has grown a bit out of control; i’ve got to start saying ‘no’ to email and other desk work in favor of actual knitting.

and i have to say, much as i love new technology and am thrilled with iOS8, at the end of every day i am more than happy to switch devices and head for my knitting needles and yarn. nothing (even the new iPhone, i promise) is so comforting as a fistful of squishy wool and a beautiful pattern, no? it really calms me in a way that the phone just doesn’t do. and, it’s productively restful—who doesn’t love that?

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barb and i are both working on samples of this new scarf and cowl design that i’m making with spirit trail birte, which is jen’s luscious bespoke blend of merino/cashmere/silk. i’m working with the DK weight and to show it off, i knew i wanted something really extravagant—a large, dramatic motif for a neck ring or scarf.

i’m knitting a shorter infinity cowl, which is why i have started with a provisional caston. the pattern will have two sizes for both the infinity version and a flat scarf version. barb knit the scarf with the ebb and flow colorway—she finished that up in no time and texted me in between to say how much she enjoyed knitting it. i wish i had thought to take a photo the other night when she came to class, darn it—trust me, it looked spectacular. i love my sludgy blue/green/gray color too—bog shadows; it’s so mysterious. the pattern will be ready to release when we go to rhinebeck; look for samples, yarns and pattern in the spirit trail booth.

i’ve also been busy knitting other stuff—samples for my color work classes at yarn in the barn and our own rhinebeck after party. ok, now don’t think i’m crazy or anything, but i kinda got carried away with the project i started last week and well . . .

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oh and that’s no all—i still have one or two left to go. i just feel like i need them, you know? the ones i’m working on now are all in natural colors—stunning. and one more with a wild, multi-color strand.

like i don’t have other work to do, huh?

oh well, you only live once.  it’s just so much fun to try out the different combinations you can create with just three colors.

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for instance, these two cowls are from exactly the same pattern. i know, right?? and in my fall classes, we’re going to talk all about how different effects are created by understanding how color works.

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these two cowls are also from the same pattern. the kit for the class project will allow the user to make two cowls of this size or one long one. we are gonna have SO MUCH fun.

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in the course of researching information to include in my class discussions, i came across a few books i didn’t have in my library, so i treated myself to them. plus that DVD about the bonus cooperative—can’t wait to put my feet up and watch that one. the shetland book is extraordinary—if you can afford just one new book this year, i would say to get that one, even if you never plan to knit a shetland project.

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i also finally purchased a copy of the spinner’s book of fleece, authored by my friend beth smith—another gorgeous book and so informative too. i love that it has so much breed specific information and such great photos of the animals. details about these and more at schoolhouse press.

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and of course, it wouldn’t be a week without secret knitting! something cool is zipped up tight in this bag and it’s calling me now, so i’m going. see you in the morning.

fall crocuses

anne wrote this mid-afternoon:

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wow. it’s the first day of fall and just like clockwork, the temperatures have dropped and the wind has picked up. our old house can be a bit drafty, especially in the morning. today, while other knitters might be savoring their first PSL of the season, i’m getting snuggly with my own coffee and knitting at home, under a cozy little lap blanket.

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the crocus patch blanket has been published for a while actually, but only as part of the book, my grandmother’s knitting by larissa brown.

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until now.

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i didn’t know until recently that we could publish this blanket as a single pattern, but once we realized we could, i thought it would be so pretty knit in several of our yarns. so in a way, it’s nice that we waited.

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this sample was knit by our dear friend hattie, in our chebris sport, a luscious blend of fine wool and yearling mohair. i can’t even begin to describe how soft and lovely this little number feels—i want to keep it all for myself. but it was made for everyone to see—i will share.

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just for this morning though, i pretended it was mine. can you see those gorgeous mohair fibers catching the light?? so beautiful!

i keep imagining what it would look like in the cabécou brillant très bien. très belle. très great!

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and if you are just now wondering how this might work up as a baby blanket option—i’m about to show you.

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erica’s dad sent us these precious photos of little baby carter sacked out to great satisfaction on it.

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nana candy knit his in breakfast blend fingering yarn for his christening gift, along with a wee slouchy cap i designed to go with it—hey it’s never too early to get them addicted, is it?

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now, the cap and blanket are not just for the little ones—both patterns include sizes. the blanket has three and the cap has eight—one for every family member from preemie to adult.

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the blanket show here is the smallest size; the hat is the 3-month size. they are both knit in the oatmeal shade of breakfast blend fingering yarn. it’s such a great color for a baby—it goes with everything, especially that lovely new skin.

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

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the small size blanket is perfect for taking along in the car, stroller, or carriage, while the medium and large sizes make excellent covers for crib and playpen as well as for use as a lap blanket.

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

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yep—blankets in the fall make everyone happy. the perfect thing to celebrate the arrival of yarn season!