notes from a snowstorm

anne wrote this just before lunchtime:

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mid morning snow begins falling like we’re holding a christmas card audition.

cozy new sweater on the needles—finally.

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i tear myself away for a few minutes to snap some photos for a short blog—wow, the white stuff is falling fast—look at our street just a few minutes later.

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i finished swatching for this sweater last night and after a long, hot, soapy soak, they are blooming and drying in my workroom.

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i just love the transformation that takes place between the knitted fabric and the washed fabric—stunning, right? i’m working with squooshy kent DK in the kelp shade, which is a rich brown with gold highlights.

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the design is one i knitted off-the-cuff years ago for a friend, but then liked it so much that i wrote down careful notes afterward so i could replicate it some day for myself. ok, well it took sixteen years, but i’m finally doing it.

hey, i had a long queue and a lot of life changes in between, haha. besides, i was waiting for just the right yarn to come along . . .

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anyway, now it’s here; time to settle in and knit near the window to watch the snow fly, while  appreciating indoor heat and the fact that we don’t have to go anywhere today.

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sounds like heaven to me.

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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