field and shore

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, patterns

back in the winter, when i published my dock and cabin cardigan pattern, my good friend nancy said that she wanted a blanket pattern with all the same textures. funny thing was, i already had it in the works!

several months before i had swatched the patterns in our stone soup DK yarn and the result was deliciously smooshy and inviting. i liked my first swatch SO much that i did one in a second shade. i put together a quick pattern, thinking that we could squeeze it into the winter ensemble collection and our friend amina agreed to knit the sample, saying “blanket knitting is my happy place right now!”

in no time at all, we had this gorgeous blanket back in our hands and were snuggling up with it. but by then, we had decided to save it for fall and our october focus on bare naked wools stone soup yarns.

you can imagine my impatience at having to wait so long to release a newly completed pattern, but wow, the time has flown by! here it is, the week before rhinebeck and the perfect time to get a blanket on the needles. field and shore knits up so quickly, it could even make your holiday gift list. the lap size blanket (shown here) is big enough to satisfy for TV watching and knitting, but small enough to be a very quick knit.

the waiting period gave me a chance to make a little youTube tutorial for the twisted rib cable used in the design. i’ve incorporated this cable into several other designs and some knitters find it confusing to learn from the written instructions—better to see it live, so we’ve arranged that for you here.

this is a great piece to toss over your favorite chair or to keep on hand for enjoying those last mild evenings on the porch or deck (or boat). and what baby wouldn’t feel handsome as all get-out sporting THIS blanket over his or her stroller or crib? it’s sturdy, go-anywhere design for that special little cuddle bear.

and the pattern includes several sizes, should you want something larger for a sofa or bed. Not to mention the wrap option—a lovely rectangle long enough to swaddle your upper body but keep the rest of you comfortable for driving.

can’t you just feel the depth? trust me it is all that and more . . . our stone soup blend is a velvety combination of four heritage wools—rambouillet merino from montana, churro, lincoln, and columbia wool—with some alpaca and a smattering of luxury fiber like silk, bison, and tencel to add those tweedy neps. it knits and washes to a flannelly soft surface that gets better and better over time. there’s no wonder that stone soup blend my favorite of all our yarns (don’t tell the other yarns i said that!).

but of course it will work with all of our other DK options as well and would be particularly handsome in our festivus 4.0, with a needle change up for the worsted weight (maybe US9 and 10) or down for the sport weight (US7 and 8).

shown here, the small blanket in stone soup DK, color slate

david has put together kits in stone soup DK, Better Breakfast DK, Kent DK, and Ghillie DK; click here to shop the kit listing.

to view and purchase pattern only, please click here for ravelry purchase and click here for knitspot pattern shop purchase.

thank you ever so much to our dear friend amina, for knitting this spectacular sample. if you’ll be at rhinebeck next weekend, please stop by our booth at indie untangled or our popup shop on sunday at the courtyard marriott in kingston to fondle this lovely blanket in person.

the true meaning of festivus

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, patterns, yarn and dyeing

hello friends! i’m so excited to be back in my blogging chair and writing about one of my favorite knitspot projects—our annual red scarf scholarship fundraiser. funding our scholarship has become a warm and inspiring tradition in our community, one that knits us together across the miles. i feel like it commemorates the fast and solid friendships we’ve nurtured through our years of knitting, chatting, clubbing, confessing, and laughing together here at the knitspot. it’s our chance to share the good fortune and support we’ve enjoyed, passing it on to an aspiring young person who is becoming a success on their own.

plus, it involves RED YARN—what’s not to love?

for those who are new to this, let’s start with the specifics. our scholarship is offered each year to one student (studying in a field related to our industry whenever possibly) participating in the foster care to success (FC2S) program for kids who have aged out of the foster care system and who aspire to continue their education. the fund provides and administers scholarships, life guidance, and help with handling the challenges of higher education.

this is jelissa roberts, our current scholarship recipient. she’s is a fashion business major at FIT in NYC and will graduate in may, thanks to her scholarship.

the red scarf fund was created through the knitting community to support FC2S students with emergency money for costs not covered by tuition and scholarships; the red scarf project is a way for knitters to contribute warming gifts and care packages to hardworking students as a special valentine’s treat.

the knitspot scholarship has its origins in the red scarf project—as i participated each year, i had the idea to publish a pattern to raise money for the care package postage fund. this effort grew and became SO popular, that within a few years, it was earning enough to fund a separate knitspot community scholarship. you can see all of our red scarf patterns, past and present in our online shop.

this year, in an effort to exceed all previous funding efforts, we are ginning up the fun factor with yet another new twist—MORE DESIGNERS AND PATTERNS! i am very please to announce that THIS year i am joined by the talented and generous Kerri Blumer, Kate Atherley, and Mary O’Shea in bringing you some red letter pattern choices for the holiday season. we’ve put together a crackerjack portfolio of people pleasing textures and color for quick, fun, last-minute gift knits as well as those to invest with love. the entire price of each and every pattern with be placed in the scholarship fund.

the first patterns are this gorgeous andiron scarf and andiron cowl designed by kerri blumer—read on for more purchasing details and kit options!

a few years ago, we started offering a special red yarn to go with the annual scarf design, for which we also donate a percentage. we call it festivus and it’s offered as a one-time, seasonal batch that is not repeated; when it’s gone it’s gone! what began as a mill accident has evolved into a MUCH anticipated competitive dash to acquire at least one skein—festivus usually disappears quickly, never to be seen again.

our 2017 festivus 4.0 yarn is dyed on our new patchwork gradient base by the very popular julie asselin, in her custom-for-us cranberry crush colorway. available in both festivus 4.0 worsted and festivus 4.0 sport weights, this cushy 2-ply yarn, is spun in 100 percent merino from varying shades of natural wool, which produces a slow-fade gradient fabric and subtle striping. the shading in each skein is completely random; every one is a unique work of art. this year’s yarn reminds me of red glass tree ornaments; they catch the light in such a variety of shades.

festivus 4.0 on patchwork gradient

we are making all the festivus that we ordered available NOW; we know everyone looks forward to getting some as soon as it it’s available. we’ll keep the fun going by offering the patterns on a continual rollout—every week or two another option will be presented to keep your fingers happily working in that gorgeous festivus yarn.

let’s get back to that beautiful andiron scarf and andiron cowl, designed by kerri blumer in Festivus 4.0 worsted

this is a nice, long scarf as shown, but as with any scarf the length is up to you and easily adjusted. the pattern is a soothing repetition of knit/purl texture, bordered by a simple cable at the edges.

its horizontal orientation makes the most of the slow-fade gradient yarn, resulting in subtle color transitions, even in a narrow piece. a super-squishy muffler for the coldest winter days and sure to be appealing to women and men alike.

to view more information or purchase a scarf pattern, please click here for our store listing, where you can also choose to add a donation using the pulldown menu; we will be happy to add it to your ravelry library afterward if you request it.
OR click here to purchase on ravelry (no extra donation option).

and we have kits all made up for you in festivus 4.0 merino 2-ply gradient. the kit includes the yarn and pattern, plus you may add a donation if you choose. a percentage of the yarn price PLUS the entire pattern price (and donation) will be added to the scholarship fund.

the andiron cowl has the same handsome texture as the scarf. here, the cable feature along the edge takes on the appearance of a ribbon edging.

the edging has a split at on side to encourage just the right amount of slouchiness and drape—it covers the open lapel of a coat, but stands tall to shield your face from the wind if needed.

to view more information or purchase a cowl pattern, please click here for our store listing, where you can also choose to add a donation using the pulldown menu; we will be happy to add it to your ravelry library afterward if you request it.
OR click here to purchase on ravelry (no extra donation option).

we also have cowl kits all made up for you in festivus 4.0 merino 2-ply gradient. the kit includes the yarn and pattern, plus you may add a donation if you choose. a percentage of the yarn price PLUS the entire pattern price (and donation) will be added to the scholarship fund.

i would like to thank kerri so very much for designing these pieces for the scholarship fundraiser; she’s just awesome and she has lots of beautiful designs to share—be sure to check out her ravelry shop.

want a lil peek at some of what we have in store for you from our other designer contributors?

lots of clever detail, schmooshy texture, and FUN to come!

now, let’s talk about goals . . . last year we set a goal of $5000 but unfortunately did not meet it, falling rather short. i would love, love, LOVE to make it up this year and top the charts with the best fundraiser ever.

let’s try to exceed last year’s goal of $5000—can we get to $6000 this year??

to do that, we need to sell all the yarn and tons of pattern too—want to be part of it? you can help out in several ways:

  1. purchase a scarf pattern or cowl pattern and/or add an extra donation on our website—use the pulldown menu to increase your gift and we will donate the entire pattern price PLUS that extra amount. we are happy to add the pattern to your rav library if you let us know!! (but we have to do it manually, so please tell us)
  2. purchase a pattern on ravelry—the entire retail pattern price will go into the scholarship fund.
  3. purchase a nifty scarf or cowl kit which includes the pattern PLUS enough special edition festivus 4.0, to knit a scarf or cowl. we will add 5% of your yarn purchase price to the fund.
  4. buy one or more skeins of festivus 4.0 for any project and we will add 5% of your purchase price to the fund.
  5. please, please, PLEASE tell everyone you know about the fundraiser—they don’t need to be a knitter to throw $6 or $7 (or more!!) at this wonderful cause. please mention it with a link and hashtag on your Instagram, Facebook page (and link it), tweet it (with a link!), pin it (yes, with link) and finally just drag your friends over to look at the blog, haha. we’ll even give them a “knitter for a day badge” if they help out.
  6. join us for a fun red scarf KAL in our ravelry mothership—we promise a rollicking good time, plenty of support, and of course, neat-o prizes.

cardigan is a HUGE fan of this fundraising project by the way—as a former street dog, she knows all too well how tough it is out there on one’s own. you have to have to be smart and have guardian angels or be incredibly charming to snag a good gig. so she’s completely on board with what we’re doing.

hmmm, red or natural?? cardigan has been sniffing to decide which she prefers, but it’s a tough decision; she might have to knit a project in each one.

and with that, i’m going to sign off and go work on my own design contribution to the cause—secret for now, but i think you’ll like it.

oh, i guess cardigan decided she likes ALL the yarn and wants to keep it. she’s swatching now to figure out which to knit with first . . . and after that, scarf or cowl? or maybe she needs a blanket more.

thank you all so much in advance; let’s make 2017 our biggest year yet!

anticipating autumn

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, lace/shawls, patterns

And now for the next offering in our ensemble summer lace KAL—this beautiful crescent shawl in two sizes, designed by kirsten kapur, named Anticipating Autumn.

this is the piece to start now, in preparation for the cooler nights of september and the chilly mornings of october! kirsten chose to knit her sample in our luscious ginny sport yarn—this soft, cuddly yarn makes the ultimate in snuggly fabrics, with a cashmere-y halo, pearly sheen, and beautiful drape. the color shown here is georgia, a cool, silvery gray.

worked from the top down in a half-octagon construction of four pie-shaped wedges, the body of the shawl is knit in brioche stitch to create a light, lofty fabric that swirls effortlessly around the shoulders and neck.

a deep lace hem of lotus flowers and mesh completes the design and kirsten used her signature crochet bind off for a loopy, stretchy finish.

the design is shown here in the petite size, which takes just two skeins of ginny sport. we’ve been experimenting as well with the fabric; we just received a shop sample today in our deco fingering yarn that is a knockout in our new bronze shade—we’ll bring you photos of this new one as soon as david can take some!

as kirsten explains in the pattern notes, this shawl could really be knit in any size yarn as long as the appropriate needle size is used and you swatch to make sure you like the fabric. i can just imagine this piece knit up in cozy stone soup fingering OR DK—or how about one of our mohair sport options? cabécou brillant sport or chebris sport would offer a fabric beyond luscious. need a cooler, lighter fabric, even for fall? then hempshaugh fingering would be another great choice!

to get started david has created yarn/pattern kits for the anticipating autumn shawl in all shades of bare naked wools ginny sport and deco fingering yarns. when ordering a kit, please add a note if you’d like to receive your pattern in ravelry.

interested in knitting this piece and joining our ensemble summer lace KAL on ravelry?
to view and purchase pattern only, please click here for ravelry purchase and click here for knitspot pattern shop purchase.

many, many thinks to our friend kirsten kapur for this wonderful late-summer design, perfectly in tune with the days to come.


gotta get back to nashville

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, home and family, lace/shawls, projects

i’m writing this post on tuesday because by the time you read it, i’ll be on my way to nashville with ellen, where we will exhibit at the super summer knit together market day. i am pretty excited about this trip; i lived in nashville during the early 1990s for a few years, when it was a fairly sleepy small city. now it’s grown and changed so much; i can’t WAIT to see it!

this will be a great opportunity to see our friends from the area; if you plan to come to the market day on saturday, be sure to stop by and say hello. we’ll have knit naked bags, all manner of patterns, and BNWs yarns in old favorites as well as the new colors we’ve been teasing on social media. plus, glamorous samples from ensemble collections and my own design portfolio will be on display.

such as this costa figueira pullover tunic in deco fingering yarn, in the chrome shade—one of a few fresh samples knit in a newer yarn. i just love it and will probably be wearing it on saturday.

it is SO cool. very many thanks to ellen’s friend coletta, who knit it for us. i’m sure she has an awesome ravelry page but i don’t know her rav name!

and then our long-time friend kathy knit this caïssa cardigan in ginny DK, our lusciously soft blend of cotton/alpaca/merino in the mississippi shade. doesn’t ellen look gorgeous wearing it? i had it on too (caïssa is an old favorite) but my photo doesn’t do the sweater justice and i think you’d rather see it on ellen anyway.

colletta and kathy really pushed the pedal to the metal on these and got them done in just a couple of weeks—there’s still time to knit one and wear it for late summer, just when you’ll be looking for a sweater to throw on at the end of the evening . . .

and of course you’ll be able to see and fondle the extravagantly soft oana cardigan designed by elena nodel for the BNWs winter 2017 ensemble collection. the sample is knit in BNWs chebris sport, one of our luxury mohair offerings.

this design would look (and feel!) fantastic in the über-soft soufflé shade, new to the chebris line.

if i could give you a squishing experience with these skeins, i would—i think it’s the softest shade yet, so yummy. it’s a beautiful oatmeal color, threaded with a mix of warm brown, white, and gray fibers. it maintains that silvery sheen that polishes all of the shades in our mohair lines (the secret to that is great quality mohair fiber).

also super-floaty in cabécou brillant sport, if you like that extra hit of luxury with your cardigan. we just got restocked in a shade we haven’t had for ages—check out the new batch of poivre.

by the way, doug tells me that in may and june, sales of the oana pattern raised $2,115 which we are forwarding the go fund me for elena’s cancer treatment. thank you to everyone who purchased a donation pattern or yarn kit during our fundraising period; they are almost at their goal!

behind the scenes here, the office has been abuzz with the activities of packing and prepping for SSK. ellen has been preparing and packing samples and kits for the booth, doug pulled many skeins of our most luscious yarns to fill our cubbies, and Cardigan supervised; nothing gets by her.

at the house, i washed and freshened up a selection of other favorite samples to display front and center, along with the new samples i showed you at the top of the post. we are ready to greet you, nashville knitters—come visit our booth!

in designing news, i’ve been diligently (and pretty monogamously) knitting my way up the back piece of my aspergillum tunic, which i’m enjoying immensely. with no shaping to keep track of, this stitch pattern becomes totally engrossing and addictive to work. mean, really—i can hardly tear myself away, and not just because i have a deadline.

addiction leads to great progress and i can often finish off a 24-row repeat in couple of hours of morning knitting. i will confess, i don’t keep track of my knitting time too carefully (and why? that would totally defeat the purpose).

even the wrong side texture of this fabric is amazing i think; i just love it to bits.

anyway, i’m almost done with the back now—that pink marker is the underarm point and i am a repeat or so past it today; two repeats for the armhole depth and less to start the back neck shaping. this top has shaping for both the front and back neck because the neck band is wide. also, beause i like summery tops to be a bit more open at the neck.

i do think, however, that i might have fashioned the front neck to be a little too deep for the width. i’ve ben changing my mind every day about whether to go back in and remove a bit from the shoulder height. for fitting me personally, i think i should do it, but i’m more “shallow” at the neck and armholes than most people. i know i can add it back into the pattern before tech editing if it seems too high later on—that would be a minor change.

i just love this photo that i took yesterday, of the unfinished back and the blocked front, side by side. i’m so excited to be in the home stretch on this design; i’ve been patient til now but i want to see how it all pulls together. keep your fingers crossed for me!

ok, gotta go now and finish up my packing. i’m bringing my tunic project to finish, along with some secret design swatching and a travel project i started in may—my see the sea shawl design in our smoothie gradient (i’ll show you that next time).

i’m pretty sure that Someone doesn’t know i’ll be gone for a few days; it’s hard to convey to her what’s happening without making her nervous. she’s learning to be secure, but not sure yet. i feel bad that for her, i will just disappear without any explanation. un fortunately, she doesn’t FaceTime yet.

at least i know she’ll be in good hands while i’m gone . . .