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!

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.